Lordran, land of the Undead, is a strange place indeed. It is said that the closest thing an Undead can have to a home is one of the several bonfires scattered throughout its labyrinthine terrain. Outside of those bonfires, time twists and warps and bends back upon itself. One of the effects of this is that when an Undead warrior cleaves through the hordes to reach a bonfire and rests there, he will leave the bonfire to find that those hordes have returned, exactly as he encountered them the first time.

Nak sat at at a bonfire in a bleak tower cellar in the Undead Burg. This village was beautiful once, and still boasted some gorgeous views, but was now completely overrun by the withered and insane Hollow. Those Hollow, Nak recalled, tended to distribute themselves such that he could think of his march onward in a certain sequence of encounters that went like this:

1) A crossbowman and two dirk-holders just outside the cellar, 2) Three knaves, above and out of reach, hurling firebombs onto a narrow walkway, 3) A dirk-holder, a battleaxe-wielder, and a “soldier” (with a more complete suit of ragged armor, shield, and sword) just across that walkway, 4) Two more dirks in what used to be a tavern, 5) Two dirks and a firebomber just up a ramp, 6) The three knaves with the firebombs again, but this time within reach of Nak’s sword, 7) A crossbowman on a short turret, which Nak usually dispatched before engaging the three soldiers down a ramp which the crossbowman had a commanding view of, 8) A dirk at the top of a ramp into a large turret, 9) Two crossbowmen and the Taurus Demon.

The very first time he had left this bonfire, Nak had fought his way, with caution and poise, to the Taurus Demon, whose incredible brute strength and massive club proved to be his undoing.

But frustration does funny things to a warrior for whom death is but an inconvenience. The next time he set forth from the bonfire, he charged the firebombers too quickly when he finally reached them, and succumbed to the flames. After that, the first soldier across the walkway caught him with his shield down and punished him for it. After that, his impatience with the very first crossbowman paid off with two crossbow bolts in his chest and a dirk in his back. The next time he reached the fifth encounter, he engaged too quickly and was felled by firebombs he could not dodge while fending off dirks with his shield. The first soldier undid him again, indirectly this time, as he couldn’t mount an effective defense and was pushed out into the hail of firebombs on the walkway. The next time he reached the seventh encounter, he forgot to slay the crossbowman, so a bolt caught him between his shoulder blades and was immediately followed by a spear in his gut.

Finally, after summoning the last of his patience to take the fights slowly, Nak reached the high stone wall atop which he did battle with the Taurus Demon. He found a ladder behind him, which led him up to the turret where he could neutralize the pesky crossbowmen. He climbed down and was ready when the THUMP, THUMP announced the arrival of the huge demon. He watched closely as it advanced and hefted its huge club overhead—that was obviously the key to this battle; even a demon with muscles its size couldn’t swing that massive leaden weapon quickly enough to catch a practiced warrior. He watched his distance carefully and felt the ground rumble underneath as the club ruptured the stone inches in front of his toes, and then he barreled past. The demon raised the club just as Nak was slipping past its armpit. In just a few paces he would be past the demon, with plenty of room behind him to keep his distance…

The demon swept around with his club, and with a metallic crunch, hurled Nak off of the wall.

Nak died.

Nak stared blankly at the warm bonfire for a while. When he had finally quelled his adrenaline and rage, he put his sword, spear, and shield aside and went to sleep.

The Taurus Demon would still be there tomorrow.

Previous | Next