Amnesia Wiki
Advertisement
Amnesia Wiki
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 was written by Mikael Hedberg and includes an illustration by Rasmus Gunnarsson and Jonas Steinick. It takes place in the Pale of Calais, a small part of the region of what is now northern France, in the year 1558 CE, during the French Siege of Calais, and follows Johann Weyer as he recovers one of the Orbs from an ancient tomb.

Plot summary[]

Johann Weyer is a weary traveller, who is attempting to locate an ancient church-house in the Hauts-de-France city of Calais, held by the Kingdom of England, during the 1558 siege by the Kingdom of France as part of the greater Habsburg–Valois War. He is approached by an amoral French captain and his two soldiers, who guide him to the church.

Inside, Weyer discovers an ancient tomb, and removes a star-shaped symbol constructed of steatite from the wall of the tomb. The soldiers remove a heavy stone block which is blocking the passageway into the tomb, but it falls down, crushing the shoulders of Sokal, one of the soldiers. He remains as the captain and the other guard, along with Weyer, retrieve one of the Orbs from the tomb. As they return, the Shadow emerges and slays the captain and the guard. Weyer and Sokal manage to escape from the area, with the latter bringing the star-shaped symbol with him.

Full short story[]

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.

References[]

Navigation[]

Advertisement