Bardinc Chestnuts: Laertes of Elsinore

My name is Laertes of Elsinore.  I was in transit from my home in Denmark to France when I learned of the murder of my father, Polonius.  Naturally I rushed back forthwith to the castle to avenge the most heinous act.  I discovered that my once friend had murdered my father and with the help of the King I schemed to attain vengeance.   However, I soon discovered that something was truly rotten in the state of Denmark, as the King was a duplicitous liar who tricked all of us.  Sadly, my envenomed blade struck true not only to my fair weather friend but also did wound me.   I fell into the depths of death’s embrace quickly, watching the whole of the royal court poisoned as I faltered away.

To my surprise I awoke some time later in the bedchamber of the Thane of Cawdor.  Following him into a great battle I was cut down yet again, only to arise later in Verona, this time I was in the House of Capulet.  I was accepted by this house and sent to fight in a brawl not on the field of battle but in the streets themselves.  Our rivals, the Montagues, it seemed fought hard to bring our house shame.  So as with the masters of the house we would be sworn enemies.  

I was taken aback by a hefty rock to the head, but I once again awoke unscathed.  This time it was different; I was alone in a field.  It was no matter, for I discovered my fate long ago.  I am an immortal.  Neither blow from any woman born nor beast of the land or sea may fell me.  I may for a time be halted, but I will without doubt return to life yet again.  

I was lost for days without food, water I collected from the morning dew.  Then my salvation was found, a campsite in a small cave.  I made my way into the crevice and discovered that the owner of the campsite had been slain by some beast. 

The man’s supplies were meager and much was eaten already, but there was bread and dried meat enough for me to sate my pangs.   Then I heard the growl of a beast deeper in the cave.  I took the armaments from the man’s belongings; clearly he would not need them.   As fate would have it, the breastplate and lower cannons were a perfect fit!  The lower greaves I left for the time, but grabbed the saber and net to protect myself from whatever I was to find. 

As I went deeper into the cave, I found the source of the growling.  It was a large black beast, greater than a dog but less than a wolf.  I had never seen such a creature.  He bore a spiked collar and was pinned underneath a rock.  As I approached, the beast snarled at me – but as I tossed him some meat from my salvation I noticed a slight shift in his temperament.  Yes, he too was starved for sustenance.   The beast begrudgingly, and not without some warning and teeth baring mind you, allowed me to tend to his impairment.  His leg unimpaired by the rock, the beast fled my presence without further incident. 

I returned to my fallen benefactor, made haste to find any remaining food and supplies that I might need.  A storm had come upon the region, so I made fire and camp in the cave.  Then I took a moment to rest.   I awoke in the night to the sound of heavy breathing.  Across from me was the same black beast.  He was staring at me, as if simultaneously threatening and threatened.  Yet he had to compulsion against warming by my fire.  I threw to the creature an additional portion of meat.  By morning, we had an understanding.  He answers to Iago now.

Posted on February 8, 2017 .