Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Mireia's nightmare

Tivissa, 10th July 1713


Mireia awoke abruptly, in a terrified scream. Drenched in sweat, deeply troubled by her nightmare, the young girl got up hastily from her modest bedding and went to the old house main room, where the fireplace was quietly crackling, permanently kept alive by her grandmother Teresa. In spite of being half deaf, the old woman managed to hear the slight rumour of her granddaughter small feet. Without turning her head, she affectionately said good morning to Mireia and asked: –...A nightmare again, my dear?

Surprised, Mireia didn’t respond at first. To her wonder, Granny was always anticipating her emotions and thoughts since a child, as if her soul was completely transparent to the venerable woman; and she had never completely got accustomed to it. Mireia quietly approached to the fireplace and filled for herself a bowl from a boiling soup pot. She then noticed her hands were trembling –and so did Teresa too. Increasingly worried, the old woman looked at her granddaughter for a long while, before sweetly insisting again: –Worse than usual this time, isn’t it?

–Yes it was, Granny –answered the girl in a whisper. At this moment, Mireia’s mother entered the room, carrying a wicker cart plenty of just collected vegetables. She was about to start some happy talking but quickly changed her mind after realizing the scene, so that she closed by her relatives and listened in silence.

–I was walking down the road, in the direction of Móra town –Mireia started–, collecting medicinal plants as Mum taught me to, when suddenly noticed a big dust column ahead, by the Ebro riverside. The column got close to me in a very short while, and then I could see the dust was due to a tight band of men, clad in bright vests and with shiny swords at hand, mounted on huge horses that looked at one as fiercely as their riders.

–...Soldiers –whispered Mireia’s mother, Blanca.

Mireia shook affirmatively her head, and continued –One of them suddenly stopped in front of me, with an angry expression in face. He then started shouting at me and threateningly waving his sword. I’m certain he was furious at me, but couldn't imagine why. He shouted at me, so that the rest of soldiers also stopped and approached to me, very angry too... –sobbed the girl.

–...Oh dear –whispered her mother, shocked.

A fateful premonition was growing deeper in old Teresa's heart: –Did anyone tell you why they were so angry? What were they shouting?
–...N-no Granny, don't ask me please –replied Mireia in anguish.

–They were accusing us of being witches, Granny. “BRUJA”, “BRUJA”, they shouted –followed Mireia, visibly altered–. I then would run away, but I wasn't able to, my feet didn't obbey to me, and they were getting closer and closer, always shouting "¡A la hoguera iréis!", "You'll be burning at the stake, witches!". Mum, I shouted and prayed and cried, "We aren't witches, we aren't!" I told them, but they wouldn't believe, they wouldn't... –at this point, Mireia broke down and started crying inconsolably.

Both women looked at each other and kept a long silence.

–We cannot ignore this warning. It's time to leave, my children –suddenly said old Teresa with determination. –Right now, the Castilians might arrive in here at any moment.

Astonished, Mireia looked at her relatives while they started a frenetic packing activity. –Hurry up, my young! –admonished her grandmother, imperative; so that Mireia started helping them, albeit in deep trouble.


Salvador said...

How was that Monty Python gag...
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!
Well this family saw the fires coming their way! And indeed the fires came their way... Again, an interesting piece, Msr. Vilalta... Just keep 'em going..

Soldadets said...

Hi Salvador,

This tale is in fact someone else's contribution to this exciting project. Last weekend a gaming mate and good friend came home for a meal, followed by a long, deep chat on the Imagi-nation. He's a prolific rolepaying plots developer, and suggested me a couple of dazzling storyboards, eventually critical to the Imagi-nation's future. This is one of these.


Achtung Defiant Principal! The Ecclesiarchs of the Ordo of the Bloodied Martyr, currently in Langdouc have active covert agents operating in your nation...

...Lietung-Direktor Otto Schwarz von Blitzenkruz, has authorized the immediate dispatch of a Direktorat diplomatic mission to your country...

...complete with an appropriate Herrschadener military escort...

...korrekt authorization code

That is all...

Soldadets said...

His Highness Lietung-Direktor Otto Schwarz Von Blitzenkruz will be no doubt pleased to know that appropriate passports and credential letters will be granted to His Highness' legacy -provided the Two Crowns' naval blockade just set on Galatan harbours can be run by that legacy :)

Jokes apart, my friend: I'll be glad to involve your legacy in my early 18th century campaign. I am only vaguely aware of the so special features of your Direktorat, so that I could hardly
improvise their roles, appearance, odd powers (if any), motivation, and (real) mission. Therefore, I'd beg you to let me know whatever feature I should have into account about the legacy, at your will. If desired, e-mail me at "lvilalta [at] impacte [dot] cat".



...the Direktorat maintains a constant envoy presence in the most pleasant and absolutely neutral Principality of Monte-Cristo. Our diplomatic contact will most likely evolve through there...soon...


Bluebear Jeff said...

I liked it . . . a good contribution.

-- Jeff

abdul666 said...

Small scale 'Pulp' / swashbuckling adventures can nicely complement traditional military campaigns, spicing (!) everyday life in your Country between major battles. Even in a purely 'rationalist' setting you can add now and then a little 'paranormal' atmosphere if some characters *believe* in the supernatural, and interpret as such purely 'normal' events.

Peace is sometimes jeopardized by mere misunderstandings: the neutral and welcoming Presipality of Monte-Cristo is a place of choice for unofficial contacts clearing up such misunderstandings. Alternatively, when peace is threatened by fanatical warmongers it can be preserved by a deterring alliance of peace-loving countries: again Monte-Cristo is a perfect place for the preliminary exchanges preparing such -purely defensive- alliance.

Soldadets said...

As a former RPG gamer, I also love the power of seduction of individual characters merged into a massed, anonymous military campaign. Moreover, if such characters are subsceptible of somehow altering the global results -or if they're able to show us, through their individual experiences, the anonymous horrors of war -simply by experiencing them 'on their own flesh'.