Modus Vivendi

Part I: Gold

"You can't change the past. But you can ruin the present by worrying about the future."

There had once been a time where everything in the world had come to an end for him. His dancing was not as vigorous, his eyesight just a little blurry, his skin the tiniest bit wrinkled. Indeed, for Reaver, as his true name, his real name has been buried in Oakvale along with countless others, his everything was beginning to come to a standstill.

He was beginning to die. True, it wasn't just him, everyone was beginning to die. Every passing second was a second they would never get again. Those seconds dragged on to minutes, which dragged on to hours, which continued seamlessly in days. It was all time they would never get back. As the man, still as handsome, as fiery as he was in his younger days, approached his thirtieth year, there was that nagging thought. It was like… a weed that had grown in the back of his mind. And, despite attempts to root it out, it stayed there, stubbornly, overtaking his mind until the mere thought of time, of youth, became a wild obsession.

Reaver was dying. It was a feeling, a thought that he would never get used to. Such imaginings, such fears of death… they had taken hold of the man with such a vice-like grip. His fearful thoughts had seized him, pillaged his mind. They haunted his every sleeping moment, gripped his waking hours.

Until he convinced himself that there had to be a way out of death, a loophole that he could exploit.

Anything, anything at all…

Reaver stood in the middle of a field, working tirelessly under the sun. The lean muscles underneath his shirt rippled slightly, and Reaver grew annoyed with the gaggle of giggling girls that were sitting underneath an oak tree, watching him with unwavering interest. If he'd been the same man as the one nearly three-hundred and fifty years into the future, he would've indulged those village girls, played with their hearts and toyed with their affections, knowing full well that he felt nothing for them and only saw them as something that could be used.

However, this was a man who had not been changed by death, debauchery and dealings with the Shadow Court. This was a man who feared death, and sought to do something about it, unknowing of the consequences his actions would cause.

He stood up, and wiped his forehead slightly with his sleeve, his brown eyes narrowing as he caught sight of the sun's rays. Around him, the barley moved slightly with every whisking breeze, and the girls underneath the tree giggled some more, their laughter piercing the air.

Oakvale was vibrant, full of life, vivacious, whatever you would call it. The people in it no longer remembered the Hero, Chicken Chaser, or Twinblade, or Scarlet Robe. Any scars it bore from the attack by Jack of Blades had faded long ago, with the death of Albion's savior, Chicken Chaser. All that remained were unlikely tales in history books, and a faded statue of a Heroine in the graveyard, who had wielded an axe and slain Balverine upon Balverine.

There was no forewarning, no thought that the little town of Oakvale would soon come to a dastardly, horrid fate.


Reaver stood up, fully this time, and turned his head, the widest of smiles spread across his face. Along the path, a basket held in the crook of her arm, was a woman whose visage was of the angels. Her eyes were as bright as gleaming stars in the night, and her hair as golden as the field in which Reaver stood in. Her nose was dotted with tawny freckles, her smile dimpled and patient. And when she walked, she glided, and her voice was like that of a flowing stream, slapping across the rocks.

Oh, how the man had longed to see this angel again. This seraph known only as Sibyl.

Time had eroded what little else they said, but he could remember plainly sitting down beside her, eating sandwiches and speaking of the future. Those who looked upon the couple did so with envy, for there were no two people in Oakvale who had been happier or more content than them.

And yet, thoughts of death haunted the man whose real name was six feet under the ground. And a woman who watched from the shadows, a woman with a pale, vapid face and blind, unseeing eyes saw right through the man's feigned contentment.

In her hands, she clutched a worn book of Old Kingdom make, and the future waded in front of her.

Theresa cared not for this man's happiness with his love, nor of the destruction that would bereave her former home. The bloodline was flourishing elsewhere, and Oakvale was naught but a small loss compared to what could happen if Reaver died in this timeline. The Hero of Skill had to be born, and it didn't matter if he grew into a hedonistic life, filled with depression and a desire to fill Sibyl's place with whores and bordellos.

Reaver looked over his shoulder, the feeling that he was being watched too great for him to ignore. Sibyl continued to chat on about making improvements to their home.

There was no one there.

Sibyl, noticing her love's discomfort, placed a thin, pale hand on his cheek. She rubbed the beauty mark on his cheekbone with her thumb.

"Is everything alright?" She looked over to where Reaver had glanced.

"Yeah," He answered. "Just thought I was being watched."

Sibyl, cocking an eyebrow, leaned forward and kissed him.

This is part of a short story idea, surrounding the origins of Reaver and "her", who I've dubbed Sibyl. (Anyone who's read Avarice might remember mention of her! :-D) I've always liked the idea of Reaver having loved a single person, and turning into the deviant we all know and love after her death. I'm going to delve into some psychological aspects in this story. This story will span from before the destruction of Oakvale to Reaver's rise as the Pirate King, in short, brief segments.

Feedback is appreciated!~