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    Chronicles of a Malcontent: Chapter 2 - Brothers of Tedium
    Posted on Thu, August 12, 2004 by Farcluun
    DangerDwarf writes "Krost continues his journal, detailing hs entrance to the monkly order, the Brothers of Tedium.



    Chronicles of a Malcontent: Chapter 2 - Brothers of Tedium
    By: DangerDwarf
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Monks.

    When mentioned they conjure images of exotic Baklunish warriors capable of astonishing physical feats, or perhaps the feared and deadly agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood. At least that is what a monk was in my mind. I did not, by any stretch of the imagination, envision Tarande.

    Tarande was my escort from Niole Dra to the monastery in Dilwych. He was an elderly man, perhaps in his fifties, and I remember thinking he would look more natural as scribe or librarian than a member of a martial order. Both his hair and his beard were cut short, gray mingling freely with the blonde. His pale blue eyes were always alert and intense however, seeming to fully take in everything that he cast his gaze upon.

    We spoke little during our trip from Niole Dra and even with my youthful energy I often found it difficult to keep pace with Tarande’s tireless stride. When we did arrive at the monastery I again found myself disappointed by my expectations. It stood on a lone grassy hill, a small keep surrounded by a squat wall. Even the courtyard was bare, save a single stone well in it’s center. I began to regret my agreement to come to this place.

    I learned much of the monks my first few weeks with them. They were a small order, caring little for prestige or fame. They were simple devotees to Lendor, the Prince of Time. They called themselves the Brothers of Tedium, the Father of the order was an aging man named Varin who had found a sense of serenity in the more esoteric dogma of his faith and applied it to fighting techniques he had studied in his youth while traveling abroad. They were as much historians as they were warriors, endlessly recording the passage of time and studying the events of the past.

    Me and my impetuous nature, of course, despised the place. There was nothing to do! No comely young women to pursue, no taverns to prowl, nothing but a keep of musty tomes and aging boors.

    Tarande served as my mentor and for the first several months I was kept busy in the impressive library the Brothers maintained. There I studied the great migrations, the founding of Keoland and many other things my young mind found quite intolerable. Once I asked Tarande why is it that I was being forced to read through those pointless texts instead of being taught to fight. His reply was simple.

    “A weak mind is incapable of sustaining a strong body.”

    Few things that Tarande taught me did I actually take to heart but I found an undeniable wisdom in his words that day. From that point on I approached my studies with a renewed interest.

    During my time their I always kept Evran’s rapier at hand, some of the Brothers found it curious but never approached my about it. They had taken notice of the change in my attitude as well and many of them began schooling me on the precepts of their order and all of the intricacies that they entailed. Tarande had even agreed to show me the rudimentary techniques of their fighting style.

    One afternoon, while training in the courtyard with Tarande, I noticed Father Varin studying us. Nodding in respect to him I continued with the exercises which Tarande was putting me through. Coming closer he nodded towards the rapier which I had left leaning against the nearby wall.

    “Why is it you keep that blade with you, even when expressing interest in learning our ways of combat?” He had asked.

    “It is not a weapon to me Father.” I replied evenly. “It is a reminder of my shame. As long as I carry it with me I will always remember that not only do my actions have consequences, but my inaction as well.”

    He stood quietly a moment, as if considering my words, then bowing briefly he turned and walked away.

    Confused by the exchange I looked to Tarande. He gave me a slight smile and nodded, seemingly pleased with my answer.

    “Let us resume our exercises young one.” He said.

    A week later I was awakened before dawn by Tarande. Motioning for me to get dressed he stepped out of my small chamber. Hastily throwing my clothes on and grabbing the rapier I rushed into the hallway.

    “What is going on?” I asked.

    Holding his finger to his lips he spoke quietly. “No need to wake the others, everything is fine. Father Varin has decided you are ready to be tested.”

    “Tested?”

    “Yes. You will be given a test, should you succeed you will be accepted into our order.”

    I was surprised to find myself excited by the prospect. I guess over the passing months I had grown fond of the obstinately dull Brothers. I could do nothing but nod dumbly and follow Tarande.

    “How will I be tested?”

    “It is easy to judge a man by his strengths, however his weaknesses offer a far better look into his character. Expect to be tried in the areas you have been found lacking.”

    With that he led me to a closed door.

    “Wait inside for Father Varin, he will be with you shortly and begin your test.”
    Nodding to Tarande I opened the door and entered. Closing it behind me I looked around the sparse chamber. No window, no decorations, no rug. Simply two wooden chairs set facing each other in an otherwise barren room. Taking a seat I awaited my test.

    I sat there alone for quite some time. Standing up I began to pace, growing irritated by the wait. When my stomach began to groan I figured it was the usual time for us to take breakfast. Sneering I headed towards the door, I would not continue to sit there like a fool as they played games with me.

    As my hand reached for the door I recalled what Tarande had told me earlier.

    Expect to be tried in the areas you have been found lacking.

    Of course! Patience! This was a test of my patience, Tarande had scolded me often enough about my need for it since my arrival. With a smug smile I returned to my seat, confidant that I had figured out the first part of my test. Surely Father Varin would walk through the door shortly and commend my actions thus far. Well…

    Still I waited,

    And waited.

    I don’t know how long I had sat there before I noticed my jaw muscles hurting. I had been grinding my teeth, trying to contain my rising anger as I sat impatiently in that silent room. I tried to reflect upon the teachings that Tarande and the other Brothers had passed on to me but found I could not concentrate. Attempting to calm myself I began my breathing exercises, working towards a meditative trance. While in that semi-conscious state I had a revelation. While I did not possess a great deal of patience I did have one quality that would aid me in this trial.

    Stubbornness. Pure, raw stubbornness. With a sly grin my calm returned, they could test me all they wanted but I would not bend. This is a battle I would win.

    How long I eventually sat there I do not know but I sensed the day had already passed. When the door finally did open I jumped slightly as Father Varin entered the chamber.

    “I hope I did not keep you waiting to long.” He said softly as he sat in the chair opposite of me.

    “No Father, I had the teachings of the order to keep my mind occupied.” I lied.

    “And what did you learn in today’s reflections?”

    Oddly enough I had an answer. “Time itself is unending. With patience you can observe time’s course and best determine the proper actions to further your goals.”

    “And what are your goals?”

    “I….I…I do not know.” My shoulders slumped. “I thought I did but…”

    Father Varin smiled in understanding and stood.

    “Come Krost. Walk with me.”

    I followed quietly behind him as we walked out to the courtyard. The day had indeed passed, the moon high in the sky indicating it much of the night had passed as well. The monastery lay silent, most of the Brothers already in bed.

    With his hands behind his back Father Varin gazed into the night sky.

    “You are still young Krost. Decades of your life stretch before you and you are eager to take your destiny in hand. The impetuousness of youth robs you of much wisdom, but in time you will learn the value of deliberate and thoughtful action.”

    “I have observed you intently ever since your arrival here. You are willful and stubborn but despite these things you were able to absorb a bit of Lendor’s wisdom today, surprising even you. You are welcome in our order Brother Krost, what you take from it is in your hands.”

    Blinking in surprise I only managed a simple, “Pardon?”

    With a soft chuckle he answered. “ I said welcome to our order Brother Krost. Now go get some rest, morning will be here soon enough. You will find your robes already in your chamber.”

    Bowing deeply I thanked him and hastily made my way to my room. On my bed was a set of dark gray robes bearing Lendor’s holy symbol embroidered onto the left breast. I felt a sense of pride as I picked it up and tried it on. Smoothing it out I studied myself and felt quite awkward in the flowing robe.

    Removing the garment I took a knife, slitting it down the center I made it open in the front. To invigorated to sleep I spent the remainder of the night stitching the cuts I had made and shortening the sleeves to elbow length. Donning it again I was quite pleased with my alterations.

    That morning I strode with pride out into the courtyard. Seeing Tarande I called to him.

    “Greetings Brother Tarande!”

    Turning with a smile he called back. “Greetings Brother Krost!”

    He paused, looking at me.

    “Your robe…”

    With a wry grin I spoke, “You codgers may not mind dressing each day in a sack but I’ve got the women to think of.”

    Tarande could only shake his head at me.


    "
     
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    Re: Chronicles of a Malcontent: Chapter 2 - Brothers of Tedium (Score: 1)
    by cwslyclgh on Thu, August 12, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    very nice, I like it.



    Re: Chronicles of a Malcontent: Chapter 2 - Brothers of Tedium (Score: 1)
    by DangerDwarf on Fri, August 13, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    thank you


    ]


    Re: Chronicles of a Malcontent: Chapter 2 - Brothers of Tedium (Score: 1)
    by Kirt on Fri, August 13, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    I actually like this better than the first one. you have a nice style, sparse but evocative. Very nice to read.

    entrance to the monkly order?

    monkly?

    I think "monastic" is the correct adjective...

    Kirt



    Re: Chronicles of a Malcontent: Chapter 2 - Brothers of Tedium (Score: 1)
    by DangerDwarf on Fri, August 13, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Thanks again.

    And...Doh! You are of course correct about monastic being the correct term, especially considering it is a real word....


    ]


    Re: Chronicles of a Malcontent: Chapter 2 - Brothers of Tedium (Score: 1)
    by Argon on Mon, August 30, 2004
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    Nice very nice! You got me at the end! All this talk of patience understanding and wisdom and on his first day in the order he bumbles by altering his appearance and focusing on women. Too bad it ended this way I actually thought you were going for a serious story but this was quiet funny and well written. Yes I believe Kirt is right it is monastic order.

    Good job!



    Re: Chronicles of a Malcontent: Chapter 2 - Brothers of Tedium (Score: 1)
    by Mystic-Scholar on Sat, October 03, 2009
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://mysticscholar.blogspot.com/
    Another excellent job! Very well done. I find myself hoping that there is a third installment to the story.



    Re: Chronicles of a Malcontent: Chapter 2 - Brothers of Tedium (Score: 1)
    by janejones4237 on Wed, February 10, 2021
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    You're truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Thank you from  construction debris Ottawa [demolitionexpertsottawa.com].




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