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Ss (2014-04-10 at 03.04.20)
With the Blessing of a King is the third short-story in Remember - Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It's written by Mikael Hedberg, and includes an illustration by Rasmus Gunnarsson & Jonas Steinick. It takes place in France in 1558 during the siege of Calais, and follows Johann Weyer as he recovers an orb from an old tomb.

Plot SummaryEdit

Johann Weyer is a weary traveller who is trying to locate an old church in the city of Calais in the north of France during the 1558 siege of Calais. He is approached by three soldiers, who guides him to the church. In the church, Weyer locates an old tomb, and removes a star-shaped soap stone from the wall of the tomb. The soldiers remove the heavy stone block blocking the way into the tomb, but it falls down, crushing one of the soldiers, Sokal's, shoulder. He stays behind as the other two guards along with Weyer retrieves an orb from the tomb. As they return, The Shadow emerges and kills the two guards that were assisting Weyer. Sokal and Weyer manage to escape, and Sokal brings the star-shaped soap stone with him.

With the Blessing of a King - Full Short StoryEdit

Click the "Expand" button at the right to read the full short story.

With the Blessing of a King
It was in the year of our Lord 1558 when Johann Weyer
entered the liberated city of Calais in the very north of France.
Many men with various esoteric knowledges have claimed that
Weyer was responsible for the successful occupation, but little
evidence has ever been presented to support such high
claims. For all we know his presence during this important
period in Calais’ history is nothing but circumstantial. What is
known without doubt, is that the city had been reconquered
by France, and Queen Mary of England would mourn the loss
of Calais until her death later that year.
It was early morning and the sun flooded the city with
bright orange light. Weyer’s horse trotted down the muddy
cobbled stoned streets. It was evident that the city had seen
battle, not because of the ruined houses or the tattered
banners hanging limp from the city walls, it was something in
the air. As if all the tension city-life creates had been washed
away by a storm and left a great void behind.
Weyer stopped and pulled back his hood, revealing his
rugged face. He looked weary and he always did. It was
something he couldn’t escape. It had nothing to do with his
physique and everything to do with the things he studied. He
carried an awful amount of truth on his shoulders and he
wished he could put it down, if just for a moment.
He looked at his map and back up at the skyline. The
watch tower at Place d’Armes rose above the commerce district
to the west and the great cathedral the English had built was
just up ahead. He was close according to his sources.
Salut!
Three French soldiers on horseback, further down the
street, demanded his attention. The short salutation was in
itself friendly – it was the way it was said which worried him.
He waited for the men to approach.
“Greetings.” he said in German.
The three men seemed taken aback by the choice of
language and chortled. Weyer noticed that one of the men’s
uniforms was slightly more decorated than the others. Quickly
it became apparent that he was the leader of the patrol.
“Are you lost, Inlander?” asked the captain.
“So it seems – but not in the way you think.”
“This is occupied ground!” he yelled, not pleased with the
enigmatic answer.
Weyer tried to weigh the situation. He didn’t want to risk
involving more innocent people, but it seemed like he would
have to give in a little. He reached into his saddlebag. The
soldiers quickly unsheathed their swords. Weyer produced a
scroll and unfolded it.
“I have a right to be here,” he proclaimed.
The captain remained skeptical, but guided his horse
forward and picked up the letter. He read it carefully, to not
miss anything which would give him the upper hand. As the
letter ended he was left without leverage. The insignia of Henri
II, his king, stared back at him.
Où est-ce que vous l'avez cherché?” he mumbled frustrated.
“I mean, have you looked around yet, for this church the letter
mentions?”
“I just arrived. I haven’t had...”
Bien sûr,” the captain interrupted, “we will make sure you
find it.”
“Thank you, it won’t be necessary. If you would just let
me...”
The captain looked Weyer squarely in the eyes.
“We will make sure you find it.”

The church looked old, much older and smaller than the
giant spectacle the English had erected. Weyer estimated it was
from the 12th century, but it had been repaired extensively
over the last few hundred years. A heavy double door of oak
stood untouched by the violence which had plagued the city.
Weyer pulled at the handle, but found it locked. The captain
pushed Weyer aside and pounded the door yelling in
undecipherable French. He put his ear to the door and
listened.
L’Anglais,” he said quietly to his men and moved around
the church. Weyer kept his distance, not knowing what to
expect.
Suddenly the French soldiers breached a side door and
rushed inside. There was a lot of yelling. Weyer couldn’t
understand, he heard the captain demanding surrender and a
couple of voices pleading for mercy. He reached the door and
looked inside. Two men sat on their knees on the church floor
begging. One of them was a priest and the other one an
English soldier. The captain ordered his men to look for
others.
“There are no more,” cried the priest. The soldier kept
eyeing his sword just a few feet away. Weyer stepped into the
church and looked around. The captain’s men seemed content
– there were no more hiding inside the church.
“Do you have any use for them?” asked the captain.
“No. It would be better if they weren’t here.”
Vrais.
The captain quickly stabbed with his sword into the
soldier kneeling in front of him. The blade thrusted down
through the shoulder all the way down to the abdomen. The
soldier looked shocked and confused. As the captain pulled his
sword out, the englishman collapsed on the ground. Weyer
held his breath as he stared at the dying man. No matter how
many strange things Weyer witnessed, he never found anything
so abhorrent as the acts of a common man. The spontaneous
cruelty and the indifference when making life altering
decisions for others was incomprehensible to him.
“Don’t kill me, please!” cried the priest.
Weyer knew what the captain would do – so he did what
so many others do when faced with cruelty – he closed his eyes
and walked away.

The crypt was unusually large for such a small church, but
Weyer was anything but surprised. He studied the space
carefully. The statuettes by the walls had been removed
completely. The zodiac centerpiece, most likely a bull, had
been replaced by a single waist-high tomb aligned with the
length of the room. The ceiling was bare, but plastered,
effectively hiding all evidence of the room’s true purpose. It
didn’t matter, as long as the orb chamber was intact. The
protruding stone slab in the far end wall gave every indication
that it was so.
The captain and his men descended from the stairs.
“Are you going to tell me what is going on here?”
Weyer tried to think of something clever and walked over
to the tomb.
“This is... was a very important man.”
He brushed the dust off with his sleeve so he could see
the man’s name.
“Pilgrimage? Is that your story, Inlander?” The captain
came closer. “You wait a few years in hope that the city shall
fall into French hands, so you can use your connection with
the king to get permission to visit a tomb?”
“He was very import...” the captain grabbed Weyer by the
neck and pushed him onto the tomb.
“Look, Inlander, you better start talking. Do you think I
care if you steal something from the church? Hell, I just killed
a priest!”
“What... what do you want?” gasped Weyer.
“I want my share.”
Weyer looked into the captain’s fierce eyes and saw
nothing worth saving. He then looked at the other two soldiers
and tried to weigh their worth. Will I die, he thought, if I do
nothing? Can I save the other two somehow?
“All right, but you will have to help me.”
The captain released Weyer from his grip and laughed.
Avec plasir!

Sokal tried to swallow, but his nerves had made his mouth
dry, and this tongue felt swollen. He could not understand the
language the captain and the stranger, Johann Weyer, spoke.
The two seemed to reach an agreement and the stranger
gestured him towards the stone slab in the center of the far
end wall. Sokal followed the silent order. The stone wall looked
ordinary enough, he thought, and tapped gently with his
fingers on the surface. What was he supposed to find?
The stranger approached and started to speak. He studied
the edges of the stone. A faint decorative border of
semiprecious stones, fitted into the wall, framed the larger
stone slab. The stranger traced the border until he happened
upon a strange star-shaped soapstone. He picked at the edges
with his nails, but to no avail.
“Help him, you fool,” said the captain to Sokal.
He remained in the dark. All Sokal knew was that they
were about to desecrate holy ground. It couldn’t be helped, the
captain wouldn’t accept him talking back. We are at war, for
God’s sake, he will have me charged with treason – unless he
kills me on the spot.
Sokal sat down on the floor to get a better look at the star-
shaped soapstone, unsheathed a knife, and began to peck at
the edges. After a few moments it came loose, dropped out of
its place, and into his hand.
The stranger thanked him and pushed him aside. Sokal
studied the peculiar stone in his hand. He felt a tremendous
link to history, imagining himself standing on the same spot,
thousands of years ago, without a trace of civilization to be
found.
The stranger imitated a lifting motion and pointed at the
stone.
Si'l vous plait,” mustered the stranger.
The french soldiers looked at each other and laughed.
They couldn’t possibly lift the stone by themselves.
Non, non, de rien,” he said and continued to speak in
german to the captain as he gestured toward the hole he had
been tampering with. The captain nodded towards the
soldiers.
Sokal and his compatriot lifted the stone without effort. It
shifted with the same ease as lifting one side of an evenly
balanced scale. They smiled triumphantly and looked back at
the pleased captain. The stranger still looked full of doubt and
pulled something from his robe.
A metallic wail came from inside the wall. The stranger
called out to the soldiers as the chain holding the
counterweight snapped with a sonorous crack. The stone slab
came crashing down, striking Sokal’s shoulder. He fell to the
ground, almost passing out from the pain.
“I can’t move my arm,” cried Sokal.
“Walk it off, child,” the captain denigrated.
“Look, he is securing it right now,” he continued.
The stone slab had stopped half-way down. The stranger
had managed to place a metallic wedge between the wall and
the stone as it fell. He produced another wedge from his robe
and secured the other side as well.
Sokal leaned back at the side of the tomb. His broken
body ached, but resting helped a little. He watched the
captain, the stranger, and his compatriot enter the opening.
Sokal was left with a lantern and he tried his best to see what
they saw. He followed the torches’ burning glow as the men
ventured further into the thick darkness.
A faint glimmer appeared. Sokal got excited, what was he
missing in there. He could hear their distant voices.
Un sphere? Magnifique!
The blue light was beautiful. Sokal wanted so badly to see
what could be the source of such wonder.
“What is it? What’s going on?!” he called.
There was no answer to his question. He could hear them
talk all excited. Except the stranger. Why wasn’t he as happy?

Sokal felt uneasy and struggled into a stand. He limped
over to the opening and noticed the star-shaped soapstone on
the floor. He reached down and grabbed it. That’s when he
realized they had gone silent.
“Hey, guys!” he shouted.
The room exploded in blue light and a torrent of sound.
Sokal saw the captain holding an orb in his hands, it pulsated
violently with light. They were all smiling, except for the
stranger. The stranger remained at the side making strange
signs with his hands.
“Sorcery?”
The orb forced a tempest of light and sound inside the
chamber. The light was rich burgundy and the sound was like
the lament of an old forgotten god.
They all cried out in a maddening chant. The light took
form of a bloating and pulsating mass which dug into their
flesh. Weyer, the stranger, pulled the orb from the captain’s
hands and stormed off towards the entrance.
Sokal had tears running down his cheeks, he couldn’t
control himself. In fear he watched his friends disappear into
the brooding abomination.
Weyer came into the crypt and pulled out the first wedge.
The second one was seemingly impossible to move. It was
fixed to the architecture and simply wouldn’t let go. The thing
inside grew and pushed towards the entrance.
Weyer screamed in frustration as the wedge wouldn’t
release. Sokal unsheathed his sword and pushed Weyer to the
ground. He swung the sword around and struck the last wedge
with a massive blow. The wedge shattered and the stone slab
slammed into the floor – sealing off the chamber.
Sokal fell to his knees exhausted. He looked at Weyer,
pleading with his tear drenched eyes. Why would you show us
this?
“I am sorry. Je suis désolé,” said Weyer.
Sokal cried, still clenching the sword in his one good
hand. Weyer picked up the legendary orb lying next to the star-
shaped soapstone, headed up the stairs, and stepped out into
the recovering city of Calais.
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