A Farewell to No One.

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Long are these days spent in drink and remembrance.

It's strange to think of how much energy I've spent over the years attempting to remain anonymous. I am a ghost, an encryption, and a fabrication, but never a man. All of it my own doing. My ultimate goal. I am feared and fed by scores of scuttling shadows who would not recognize me if we spoke face to face. I am the wind; only made real through my effect on the world.

And yet, somehow, I find myself unable to overcome the melancholy brought about in realizing that no one will remember me.

It is a hard thing to know that the great majority of intimacy which I have experienced has been the bond between killer and victim, that nearly all the men I can say I knew well only revealed their true selves to me because I was present for their final moments.

You would think, being the sentimental wreck that I am, that I would dwell on those few souls who have actually known me before our paths diverged. Often this is true. Haldren, Kurohane, Netherlyn...a twisted compilation of love, trust, deceit, and loss, but nonetheless the closest thing I have known to friendship. My sister, floating in the unknown for all these years, coalesces from the night mist and walks beside me some nights.

Memories of my brother and twin burn fiercely. I sometimes think that we were born separate halves of what should have been one man. That no matter how I tried, the path of life and light was his alone, cut short as it was by the wretched enemy. In his absence, free from the balancing force of his personality, always the greater part of our whole, how could I have become anything but what I am? If he had lived, if we had grown together, perhaps I would have been something greater. Something good.

Strangely, in recent nights I have been unable to shake the thoughts of an associate who I knew only briefly, and never completely. The Scarlet Scorpid - an ally from the enemy nations. Why did I feel such a connection with a contact I knew as so much ink and vapor? I think perhaps it was the thrill in finding a kindred spirit. The realization that I was not uniquely flawed. The hope that even through the darkest of paths some benevolent destination might be reached. Could we have been friends? Lovers? I only know the shape of the character, never the form it occupied, so who can say? In the end, that thread was cut as all others - suddenly and without hope of knitting. If I knew the Scorpid had died, I would have risked my life to pay respects. Captured, I would have cut through all the world in the name of liberation. Instead there is simply another keen absence to set beside the others on my shelf.

When was young all I wanted was to write. To compose epics and verses on love that would inspire and move. Instead, all the things I have written which bore any weight in the world have been in blood. How could I hope for an epitaph marked in anything else?

I have packed for travel, though my supplies are light. I cannot see this journey extending to any great length. The world shakes, promising great and terrible things for the heroes fit to rise to whatever challenge is imminent. I have never been much of a hero, and so I will surrender the stage.

Remember the Ebon Banner, crisp and snapping in the wind.

Captain Daedraug Nightwing

The writing on the parchment is neat and compact. Holding the letter down against a breeze which never comes is a cloak pin, a silver sword resting on liquid black onyx. It rests on a dust-covered table in an empty room, witnessed only by the spears of sunlight which knife through the window day after day. There it waits, hoping that if it is found it will be by one of those many who never knew the author, and will not be urged to follow.

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