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Threetoe's Stories, and Analysis

Brotherly Love

By Threetoe

Cracks covered the mud brick wall. Mefin and his infant brother slept in the same room as his mother and father. His older brother stayed in the castle. He had been accepted by the guard. Mefin's jealously knew no bounds. The only food and clothing provided them had come from the begrudging gifts of his brother. There had to be another way. That night Mefin struck out from home.

He spied a roast cooling in the window of a wooden cottage. He stole it. He thought of bringing it home to his family, but it was he who had earned it through cunning. He was tearing into it behind the cottage when the chef of the roast came around the corner and beat him within an inch of his life. When he opened his eyes he found himself being dragged by the guards across the castle drawbridge. He was thrown into a dungeon cell. Chained to a wall, Mefin stared through swollen eyes at the dim torchlight. He heard steps from the corridor. He could see his brother through the iron bars.

"You have to get me out of here!" cried Mefin.

"You have done wrong brother, and must serve your term." said his brother.

Mefin cried tears of rage that did not cease until he heard a man speak from the cell across from him.

"Your brother may not understand you, but it is still good to have ties to the guard."

Mefin held back his tears and served out the rest of his term in silence. When he was released, he returned home where he was soundly beaten by his father. The next week when his brother was paid, he strolled into the family home, kissed his mother and gave his father a meager purse of coins. Mefin kept his eye on the purse until his brother left and his parents went to bed. He snatched the purse and ran into the night.

The next morning he bought a dagger and spent the day in the merchant district watching the wealthy aristocrats of the city shopping the high end shops. That day he cut his first purse. A fat baron bent over to examine a table of jeweled rings and Mefin snatched it with a flick of his blade. The noble cried out as Mefin darted into an alley. He found a crevice in which to hide his loot. The next day, when he tried to steal jewels from the same counter, the guards were waiting for him. They shouted and drew their clubs. Mefin made for the same alley but was blocked by a guard. Prepared for this moment, Mefin withdrew a portion of the loot he had stolen the day before. He offered it to the guard who took it and smiled. The smile fell from the guard's face when Mefin's brother approached. He took the gold from the guard's hand and shook it in Mefin's face.

"I'd hoped you had learned your lesson. But now I find you have stolen from our mother and father. There is nothing more I can do for you," he said solemnly.

As his brother turned his back and left, the guards turned on Mefin and beat him savagely. Once again Mefin regained consciousness in the dungeon. He coughed up blood and winced as all the teeth on one side of his mouth had been broken. For all the months he spent in the dungeon, his brother never visited him. His only companion was the prisoner in the cell across from him. The prisoner was hidden in shadow. The torch light and the prisoner's whispers were the only things that took his mind off the pain.

Mefin was escorted from the city by the guards. Banished. No doubt his brother had a hand in this. Without looking back, Mefin walked into the hills. The prisoner's words echoed in his mind. He had a connection to the guard. That connection was his brother, the man he hated most in the world. He soon came across a band of cutthroats. They immediately marked him for who he was. An exile. He told them he knew a way into the city. The guards would be no problem. He had a connection.

That night the band made their way into the city. They smashed their way into Mefin's house and seized his family hostage. A cutthroat stood behind Mefin's father holding a dagger to his neck. Mefin slapped his father across the face. He left the house alone. He ordered that his family be left alive, but knew that it was really just a guideline. He strode to the castle drawbridge. He shouted for his brother. The gate opened guards poured out armed with crossbows. Mefin's brother approached him.

"Touch me brother, and your family dies," said Mefin.

"It is our family, brother, no matter how evil you have become," said the guardsman.

"I want a thousand coins of gold for their safe return," said Mefin.

The guardsman nodded and whispered to a guard who returned with a large sack. Together with a group of guards, the brothers made their way through the city to the family home. They looked through the door to see the walls splattered with blood. A guard went into the house and returned to report the house was deserted and the family dead. Mefin went white with terror. His brother kicked Mefin in the gut and he sank to his knees.

"Here is your reward," said the brother.

The guard emptied the sack. Mefin looked down to see a pile of human waste before him. His brother struck him he the head and he fell to the ground with a splat.


Comment: Mefin is another player doing things improperly. Before alienating his brother, he had a chance to make it in the underworld with a proper connection in the guard. Even with a hint, he didn't understand what to do. Later, after it is too late, he misinterprets the hint and this leads to his demise.
    • home cooking, cooling things at windows
    • depending on entity ethics and the level hatred, attacks can be curtailed at specific trigger moments, such as unconsciousness
    • visiting people in jail
    • some crimes can be punished multiple times, regardless of preceding punishments
    • random advice from chatty prisoners and others who don't get to talk a lot
    • bribing guards, some guards cannot be easily bribed
    • certain city districts are more upscale than others, certain social classes might only visit these districts, while other classes might be dissuaded from visiting them in various ways
    • after a crime, guards can patrol that area more often
    • guards can have specialized blunt weapons to reduce inadvertent deaths from beatings
    • people in a position to influence official decisions do so in accordance with their personal enmities and so on
    • a creature's sense of justice may override family or entity matters
    • people can show affection to the people they like, including family and entity members
    • a restrained person can be beaten, tortured, debased and interrogated, the restraint doesn't have to be physical, it could be a threat of harm
    • ability to cut certain restrained objects from inventories
    • being able to smell objects from a distance
    • hiding places for objects -- objects shouldn't all be automatically moved after revisiting a site, that should only be true of objects in frequently travelled locations
    • blocking and encircling tactics in small fights
    • using weapons to restrain people under threat and influence actions