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I hope no one ever reads this, but I need to write my experiences down so I can sort them all. Multiple lifetimes is A LOT of information to be crammed in your brain.
I was born in the year 757 AD, in a village near what is now London, England. It wasn't much of a city then though. My family were peasant landowners, who were barely clinging on to a small patch of land. We barely had the room to feed ourselves, even before the tax. The local Saxon warlord was looking for soldiers to send to the service of his king. When his forces reached my farm, my father told them about me. I was 16, it was the Spring of the year 774.
I was given a shield and a spear, and told to follow the orders of my superior officers. It was hard work, but I grew good at it. When the campaign season ended, we returned to our farms. I didn't have a farm to return to, because my family packed up and headed to the closest village. I was then made part of the small standing force for the local warlord. At the age of 21, I was made a sergeant. (My old mind forgets the Saxon term, and I could never read it anyways.) I was given much better equipment, and wore a helmet for the first time.
It was in a battle against a raiding force from Wessex that I first learned of my fate. We took the field after forcing them on favorable ground. As a sergeant, I was in the front. When we charged, I ran too fast, and was out in front of the formation. I hit the enemy lines, and was impaled with a spear. All I could see as I died was red. Only later did I find out that that was because of a massive gash on my forehead, but that is for later in the narrative.
When I awoke, I was nearly naked. My weapons and armor and much of my clothes were taken by my former comrades, and I was left only with my blood soaked tunic. I had blood on my face too, and even had blood from in my eyes running from out of my nostrils. I checked out the wound, and in place of a spear hole, I saw that my flesh was intact. I couldn't even find a scar. In a water puddle, I looked at my reflection. Besides caked-up blood, I saw no signs of my other injury. The only thing wrong with me was my mind. Why was I still alive? I remember feeling my veins empty of blood, and remember going unconcious. What happened in between, I wondered.
I will never know why God in his wisdom decided to spare me. Did he have a purpose for me, or was it a random act on his part? I will never know, and that question led me away from God. Whatever the case, I knew I had to pass myself off as someone else.
So I made my way to Wessex…
Edward: Wait, you're that Eternal from England I treated ! I was there around that time, I remember you! No wounds or naything, and you swore me to secrecy. Good times, good times.
The Saxon: I've forgotten much of my life. I guess it is possible, but who knows ? I didn't remain long in Wessex. It was the early 790s that I left England and joined Charlemagne's army. I fought in Italy against the Byzantine Empire, and defected to them after being killed by two arrows from Khazar mercenaries (I called them Turks at the time. I probably still would if not for the Ottomans, but I keep getting ahead of myself.) Although I was good at war, I grew tired. Every night when I slept for at least a year, I reenacted my deaths in my dreams. I guess the fear I felt had caught up to me. I lived multiple lives in the Roman Empire, and didn't return to war until the campaigns of Nikephoros Phokas.
When Nikephoros Phokas gathered troops for his campaign in Crete, I ended up joining him. In one of my “lives” I learned how to ride horses. Since I spent much of my early life as a soldier, and still had trouble adapting to peace, I felt an urge to join up. I knew that it would be terrifying, but deep down inside, I knew that it was all I was good at. A minor noble had died, but I found out before anyone else. I took his identity, I took his armor and weapons, and I took his horses.
We set sail for Crete and landed near Chandax in 960. After a ten month siege, we took Chandax and restored Roman rule to the island. I was promoted to a higher rank, and became one of Nikephoros's top lieutenants. My Greek writing was flawless from my time in the Empire, and I was able to write brilliant orders for the officers under me to follow. I quickly learned the fine arts of generalship, although I never lead an army myself. But Nikephoros was a great leader, and taught me well.
I was at his side from Crete to Aleppo, and played a crucial role in him taking the throne. Those days were hectic, and Nikephoros was too busy securing his power to worry about granting higher offices. I had hoped for command of the Anatolikon theme, and let Nikephoros know of my desires. Instead, he decided to send me to an imperial backwater, the Peloponnese. I was furious. I proved myself time and time again, and was snubbed. But there were a few benefits before I was sent there. I became the friend of John Tzimisces, and met the future Emperor(or Basileus, as the Greeks say) Basil II. Although he was young, I figured out his personality. Forget the history books, Basil II was not a timid child. He exerted a quiet strength.
When John Tzimisces deposed his uncle, I was given the position Domestikos ton Scholon. Finally, someone appreciated my gifts. But I knew that I was near the end of that “life”, and was starting to look too young for the part. Finally, in 974, I “died” during a river crossing. Unfortunately, my eulogy didn't survive the 4th Crusade.
I grew tired of the Greeks, and I grew tired of war. I managed to find my way to Russia. It was there that I first fell in love. She was a simple girl, the daughter of a local Slav chieftain. Although I hadn't fought in battle since Bulgaria, I impressed him with my skill, and became a part of his Druzhina. I got married to his daughter Galina, and managed to sire two sons and four daughters. Perhaps they too are Immortals, but I haven't seen them since that day…
We were on the edge of the steppe. Some Pechenegs came to raid our village. My skill with a bow had become good, and I managed to kill a few of them. A lancer charged me, and although I impaled him and his horse with my spear, his lance ran through my body. The last sight I saw before I blacked out was my wife getting hit with arrows, and my sons and daughters taken captive. I like to think that they were immortals as well, and maybe my sons became members of that tribe. To this day, I don't think I will ever know.
I was devastated. I awoke with a lance broken of in my body. Luckily, it went the whole way through before breaking off. I broke the spearhead off, and pulled the lance from my body. My heart had been pierced, and healed around the spear. I bled out again and passed out, although I don't know how my heart kept beating with the spear in the first place. God's curse apparently.
I didn't want to live. But although I carefully set up an axe to cut off my head(I didn't know that that was what it took. I just thought it would be my best bet) my suicide attempt failed, so I did the only thing I knew how. I fought. I found a horse that the raiders missed, and grabbed a bow and alot of arrows. Although I don't know where they came from, I did stumble upon a camp. It was full of woman and children, and the men were off practicing archery to the east. I slaughtered every last woman and child I found. It was my blind rage that fueled the slaughter. I looked for my children, but that must not have been the camp, or perhaps my children were sold into slavery.
It wasn't until I got back to my village that I realized what I had become. I became a monster. I became everything I hated. From that day forward, I promised never to go to war. Of course, war was all I knew. Although I made that promise, war found me every time, and I fought it well, but I never intentionally killed innocents again.
In 1015, I found my way back to England. For the next fifty years, I lived three different lives. In last “life” there, I was a sailor. Of course, I found myself in Scandinavia after a ship wreck. It was nearly impossible to find a job there, so naturally whenever a contingent of men left for Constantinople, I found myself with them. I was finally accepted into the guard in time for Manzikert…
The Emperor Romanus feared that Alp Arslan would invade the Empire. So Romanus went to Manzikert. He dispatched forces under Tarchaniotes to cover his southern flank. A young member of the Dukas family, Michael, controlled the forces covering Romanus's force.
Battle was made near Manzikert. Tarchaniotes couldn't return in time, so he stayed in place. The battle was intense. Arrows flew from both sides, and men and horses got embroiled in conflict. Whenever our flank was turned, the Varangians were sent in. We followed the emperor into battle, and tried to push back the Seljuk forces. Whenever that didn't work, the order was sent for Michael to hit the forces that surrounded us. Michael passed that off as the Emperor telling them to retreat.
At the end of the battle, I was captured along with the emperor. Alp Arslan put his foot on the Emperor's throat and asked him: “If you had won the battle, and captured me, what would you do?” Romanus said, rather stupidly I thought: “I would probably parade you on the street, and take you as a slave. Alp replyed: “My fate shall be much heavier. I shall set you free.”
Me on the other hand, I was found useful. I was taken as a slave and given to the Caliph in Baghdad as a gift. There, I was immediately put to work translating Greek texts into Arabic. Not that there were too many that weren't translated anymore, but I corrected small errors.
I was freed a year later, converted to Islam, and married a merchant's daughter. Alp Arslan then found me and gave me a high position. My life was great. I had several children with her (unfortunately, I've forgotten her name.). None of my children with her became warriors, and have done no deeds for me to remember them by. I'm sure that I loved them, but sometimes my mind has pushed things that I should remember out.
I was living in Damascus whenever the First Crusade happened. It was also that time that I was forced to give that life up. I decided to be a little adventurous, and decided to race horses. I went all the way to Jerusalem, rather stupidly might I add, and was “killed” because I was wearing the garb of an Islamic warrior.
When I returned, I dug my way out of a shallow grave, and assumed a new life as a Frankish knight. That lasted a year, and I made my way to Norman Sicily.
At that time, Norman Sicily was a very interesting place. Nowhere else in Europe could you find Catholics, Greeks, and Muslims living together harmoniously under a Catholic monarch. Since I was familiar with the Orthodox faith, I passed myself off as a Greek merchant. I made a lot of money shipping supplies to Tripoli and Acre.
But my newfound wealth made me many enemies. Competition between us and the Italians was intense, and our ships ran into each other on multiple occasions. At that time, naval battles were still small affairs, and more often than not common piracy. But I couldn't compete with the Genoese navy. In a few week period, my fleet was eliminated, and I struggled to keep as much of my wealth as I could. I managed to save enough to live a comfortable, yet modest, life.
I was bored with living a comfortable life, so I packed my bags and headed for Venice. I “died” on the way up the Adriatic, and reinvented myself YET again. It was in 1156 that I became a Venetian merchant. I established myself in Constantinople, and worked my way into the court of Manuel Komnenos. No matter how much I tried, I couldn't avoid the Roman Empire. I always found myself drawn back into the allure of the East. I was with Manuel as he fought against the Rum Seljuks in Myriokephalon, but as a records keeper instead of as a soldier. The defeat there wasn't great, but it made Manuel a timid man, and ended the attempts to end Turkish power in Anatolia. With that, Rome would expand no longer. Although it is inaccurate to say that Byzantium entered terminal decline, the spark was gone. In 1196, I “died” again, and reinvented myself as a Roman nobleman.
I was a soldier, first and foremost. When Venetian and French crusaders attacked the Empire, my unit was one of the few that achieved local success. We neutralized a few hundred men, but couldn't turn the tide by ourselves. I was taken prisoner right before the siege of Constantinople. I was forced to watch as the city was entered. I watched countless books burnt by the religious fanatics that dared to say they served God. I watched most of the possible historical sources be erased from existence. I saw our knowledge of history be greatly diminished with that event.
One night, I escaped my captivity, and made my way to Athens. When that city became Frankish property as well, I snuck aboard a Venetian ship. I made my way to France, but the events of 1204 struck me, and I decided to go to Germany instead. I ended up in Trier…
Trier was booooooring. It was a disease ridden hell hole that should never of been founded. And I mean that.
I left Trier and made my way to Berlin. Berlin wasn't that special, so I left it as well. I decided to go to Prague, the capital of Bohemia. This too hardly inspired me. So I swallowed my pride and went to France. I got to the Ile-de-France in May of 1236. After being insulted by the French King (I got arrested), I decided to go to one of his vassals. I found a good position as a knight in Gasgony. Ultimately, I was a vassal of the English King, and enjoyed working for my former countrymen.
I took the opportunity to go to London. I got myself a nice piece of land, with its own Castle! Well, I wouldn't call it a castle, but I got by. I was a bit of a womanizer in that “life”. I never had a stable relationship, but I liked it. It was fun, and it pissed alot of men off. It didn't matter whether a woman was married, engaged, or single. The only things I considered were age and physical appearance. I'd follow the same pattern when I got to Italy (But I'm getting WAY ahead of myself.)
In 1268, I chose yet another life. This time I was a Flemish merchant. That area was just starting to boom. I did this until 1292. I joined the Reconquista, but fought for the Muslims. I killed many a Spaniard, and grew to enjoy it. But these details are for another entry.
I left Antwerp and ended up in Cadiz. I offered my services to the Almohads. To try and take out the Spanish, we would conduct far reaching raids. Along the way I saw the Spanish forces kill Muslims and Jews. That incensed me. Not fearing death, I boldly challenged as many Spaniards as I could. One-on-one, surrounded, overwhelming, etc.
But along the way I realized that the Spanish soldiers were fathers, sons and brothers themselves. I grew disgusted with my murderous ways, until I saw a whole village of Muslims raped and murdered. I charged at every last Spanish soldier in that village.
I became known as “The White Death of the Christians”. People were convinced that El Cid had been brought back to life. I was legend. But my memory has been lost to history, and probably for good reason. I didn't like it, but quite frankly, notions of pacifism didn't exist in Christian Europe, and I didn't share those values.
My next few lives were dull and uneventless. Eventually I set my sights on Constantinople again. This time, it was in the year 1453.
I arrived in the company of Giovanni Giustiniani, a Genoese condotteire. I had no connection to Constantinople by that time. I only went along to pay off a debt that I owed to a Venetian merchant (Funny how tangled those things were back then).
I arrived in just before Mehmet did. The Ottoman host was a marvelous, almost beautiful assembly of men and horses. It was well assembled, unlike the feudal hosts that most armies of the day consisted of. We knew that only the walls of Constantinople could keep them out.
Despite the nature of the situation, Constantine was a proud, intelligent, and most of all, calm person. He knew that the situation was hopeless, but he wasn't content to be a servant of what he called “Barbarian Turks”. He was the last in a long line of Roman Emperors, and submission to a foreigner is more than he could deal with.
The siege was long and horrible. Ironically though, the bombardment actually led to a more effective wall. The rubble made by the Bombard was piled back up behind massive wooden stakes, and absorbed cannon fire more effectively. The only problem is that the Ottomans wised up to us. The marshalled their forces, and assaulted the walls at the right time. At first, Giovanni's men fought back the Janissaries. But they regrouped, and attacked again. Seeing that the city was to fall, Constantine rushed into the fray, and was never seen again. I like to think that he was an immortal like myself and Giovanni. But the truth is probably more depressing than that.
I continued to fight for a few days after Mehmet entered the city. But eventually, I was captured by Turkish soldiers and brought before the young Emperor (I called him a Sultan in those days). He ordered my execution, and I was hung by my neck. The shock of the impact cracked my neck, and crushed my windpipe. I was unconcious until they put me in the ground. After about twelve hours underground, I awoke, with my organs back in place, and my voice the same as before.
I wandered for the next few decades, until the Italian Wars began.
A sword ? How lame.
I use a shotgun firing buckshot. The same beheading effect as a sword, with more range.
Gotta be pretty good with one though. I am, thanks to the Great War…
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