So... a short tale I wrote some time ago. Dark Souls inspired. Enjoy!

I've been walking for such a long time that the only thing i remember it's i must keep on walking. The weight of my sword and armor is more a nuissance than an advantage; i've been considering to drop it all but, as I go deeper and deeper into the copse, i get the feeling that I will eventually need it, so I keep it on.

Days seem to be shorter and nights are long and dark. I am now accostumed to the darkness that shrouds this place. Since the moment i stepped into this forest i havent seen any living being nor heard any other sound than the wind blowing high on the trees. The road looks ancient, the remains of what in the past must have been a wide stone road now sunk beneath dried leaves and huge tree roots that crawli into it from the forest. Between the trees i can see some crumbling ruins, huge stone columns devoured by vegetaton and time. I want to explore them, but there is something unnerving about them that keeps me away.

Night falls again. I would swear that the sun rose recently. Gather some branches from the edge of the road to make a fire and spend the night there. Curious how the mere sight of the flame comforts me, a spark of life among this darkness. As I sit on the ground i can feel something sticking between the plates of my armor, reach to it with my hand and feel the soft touch of silk; it is the Black Crystal i was given before leaving my town. Traditionally, this crystal is given to every exiliate as a sign of good bye, tough I never understood its true meaning, it is all i got left from my past life and evoques me happy and sad memories.

I try to sleep, but this unnatural silence creeps me out. Anyway, tiredness overtakes my worries and I fall sleep. In dreams i cans ee the face of my parents, horrorized by the mere sight of their first born; my little sister, running away from her big brother; my friends, beating me to a pulp and taking me to the priest who, with a cold stare gave me the black crystal and read something from an old whittering book. Some other priests clothed me and dressed me in armor before kicking me down a dark chasm. I saw light fading as I was falling and the... awaken! The bonfire was now just a bunch of fading embers. I havent eaten a thing since the day I left home, but even when I dont feel hungry, my body feels weaker every day.

I keep myjourney. The same trees, same road and the same roots blocking the path. I feel like if this was a cruel joke from the Gods. The idea of dropping my equipment its now a necessity, it feels heavier than yesterday and it is now hurting my body. While pondering the pros and cons of that idea, I see something in the distance: a light. I've reached the end of the forest, finally, an exit to this darkness. I run for it, suddenly the armor feels light. I reach the exit and the light blinds me for a moment and i stumble upon a rock, falling to the ground. Blood flows down my face, I can feel its taste in my mouth; i stay down for a momento, trying to catch up my breath and accustom my eyes to the light when, in the distance, I see it; a huge, cilindrical mountain so high thath clouds cover whatever lies on the top o fit. the Land of the Lords is how they call it, and that's where I will finally find my destiny. I remember the words from the High Cleric before departing "..Those who are chosen, maketh pilgrimage to the Land of th Lords..." This is my fate, but a rocky desert lies betwwen me and the mountain.

Looking around I stumble upon a smoke column coming from behind some ruins, a campment maybe? Its been so long since i saw another person thst i automatically start walking to the place, with the most sicnere smile on my face... which immediately turned into horror when I saw what lied there; a man, clad in armor, with his throath slit and blood covering his chestplate, a knife on his right hand and, on the wall, written with bllod, a message: "I can't take this". Spent the rest of the day burying him, among his belongings I found multiple talismans, amulets and the same black crystal as mine, strongly clenched in his left hand. I prayed to every god, hoping for one to hear me and have mercy on his soul. What made him end his life like this? I go back to the campment and lit whats left of the bonfire. Its night again, I see the stars for the first time in a long time, but there seems to be less than before, are they dying too?

My armor feels havy again, but fire comforts me. I dont think I will be able to sleep; every time i close my eyes i can see my parents face, my sister running, the priests and the stranger bathed in blodd...

No, I won't sleep...

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