Andrew Ashling Quotes
“Deal with all this, live with myself, you mean? I honestly don't know. I stand often enough at the abyss of my soul, asking that same question, looking down into the dark crevices where the black monsters dwell on the bottom. They gaze up at me, and I look them in the eyes. “This also you are,” they say, and I almost fall into the void.”
“And then? I turn around and go do what needs to be done. What else is there?”
“A while ago?” Anaxantis asked. “Yes, he raped me a while ago. Exactly nine months and two days ago. What's that? Nine months or nine minutes. It's the same. And it is in the past, you say? Then why is it still happening, every day, every time I close my eyes? Every time I hear someone behind me, and I don't know who it is? How is it that I get an almost irresistible urge to kill anyone who happens to touch me unexpectedly? Tell me, Hemarchidas, how do I forgive, let alone forget, something that is still happening, that keeps happening over and over? How? How do I do that?”
“I will give you a few guarantees of my own, Mukthar. I guarantee that before the sun sets, even if you win, even if my cold, dead body is lying on the field, you will rue the day you ever set foot in the Plains. For every inch you advance I'll exact gallons of Mukthar blood. I guarantee that there will be not one family of the Bear Mukthars or they will mourn at least one of theirs. I guarantee that even if you are triumphant the fruits of victory will taste like dust in your mouth. I guarantee that if you fail to kill me today, you will meet me again. You will meet me at the Ximerionian border. You will meet me at every city, town, village, and hamlet. You will meet me on every Amirathan crossroad, on every hill. I will fight you with every sword at my command, with every arrow, with every dagger. I will fight you with pitchforks. I will fight you with the very rocks of the land you try to conquer. I will never, never, never give up.
~Anaxantis, before the Battle of the Zinchara (May 29th, 1453 aed)”
“Davellon may be a village, but the Davellon House can be anything you make it. Nobility has to start somewhere. It might as well start with you. Let nobody look down on you, for whatever reason, My Lord. Titles are granted or inherited, nobility isn't.
~Tenaxos I to Landar Parmingh, Baron Davellon”
“It's sobering really," she thought, "how easy it is to reduce a human being to the state of an animal. You just take away some paraphernalia like clothing and put him in another environment. I bet that if I were to keep him there for a few months he would simply adapt to the swine lifestyle. A pity, but I haven't got time to experiment. But a few days, well, they are necessary to take his hope away and mollify his spirit.”
“You’ll do,” Hemarchidas thought. “Isn’t this what we always end up with? What we truly want is unreachable, so we’ll make do with what is at hand. I know for you it’s different. I know for you it’s really me you want. You won’t regret it. I’ll love you for that, and for who you are. There is still a little part of me that wishes things could have been different. I’ll never let you know, feel, or even suspect that, though. I’ll make sure at least one of us gets what he truly wants.” He noticed Arranulf was studying his face. He gave him a reassuring smile and a light peck on the lips. “It’ll be all right, and I too will be all right.”
“I wouldn't worry about it too much, son. Certainly not about the peasants and the servants. They don't feel things as we do.”
“Barely. They might as well be another species. What would happen without us to keep them in check? They wouldn't work the land. They would be at each other's throat if we weren't there to restrain them. Face it, they are driven by their instincts. Granted, that is a generalization, and there are some individuals who rise above that. Personally I think that is how the nobility originated. Even today, with the help of the Gods, hard work and some luck such a man can rise above his station. But as a group…”
“But you didn’t mention Orrigar I, the first king of the House of Chaldarina. He put an end to years of unrest and civil strife. Neither did you mention Ronnick II, the one who reformed the monetary system and forbade the Great Houses to mint their own coins, thus stabilizing our currency. At the time it saved Ximerion from going bankrupt.”
“I’m sorry. I told you we weren’t big—”
“It’s not that, Hemarchidas. You remembered the fighting kings, those who brought war, destruction and ephemeral glory. Or those who ended tragically. You forgot the wise administrators, those who kept the peace, those who brought prosperity. You needn’t feel embarrassed, though. So did history.”
Hemarchidas looked at his friend as if he saw him for the first time.
“So, all in all, Hemarchidas, I’d rather history forgot me.”
“Pah…commoners, traders." Ergus made a disparaging gesture.
Traders with money, Ergus. Money they put at the disposition of young Tanahkos," Lmachdan said in a dry tone. "Money that turns into soldiers. Soldiers who are used to extort tribute from us. Tribute that is turned into more soldiers. The warlord has a good thing going, I'll say that for him.”