Though this journal continues, the author’s entries become less cohesive, and whereas a well-read historian familiar with the period in question could—not without some difficulty and guesswork—parse a narrative from the subsequent passages, the directive of this publication is to present to the common reader an accurate account of the Nameless Hero, his membership in the Seven, and his death at the Sacking of Caltroon; with this in mind, the following chapters are added so as to present a fictionalized narrative based off of rigorous research.
But before the presentation of this narrative, the assumptions should be addressed, some unfortunately controversial, and some facts should be asserted—in our sad intellectual climate of cheap skepticism, these facts may be the more controversial of the two.
Let me assert the warrant of these assumptions: none were made by necessity, but are logical inference from fact. To put it another way, I as a writer—and my faithful associates who time and again provided the harshest criticism so nothing but truth and probable truth remained after their assaults—left nothing in the following of a personal bias. I myself, enthralled in the story I craft, did not direct the action towards the simplistic cohesion of fantasy, nor did I attempt to stoke the intensity of a situation, a vagabond showman’s want. Against such dishonest implications I cannot but assert my case, and challenge the one who thinks such is found in the writing to prove his point. He cannot.
But assumptions were made, and in the listing of them a clarity regarding their reasonableness should emerge without my explanation. Yet my pen will not be bridled; I’ve known unreasonableness, and would no want of a defense be found. The primary assumptions revolve around dialogue. We have some knowledge of how these people spoke, and to present old verbiage, though a more accurate depiction of the language employed in their time, would do nothing to improve the work, and indeed be a barrier to the reader. The dialogue is fiction; what is said is not.
To help distinguish the Seven, we have exaggerated certain known qualities of the individuals. The Monk, for instance, will often quote biblical passages while in dialogue with other characters as he was known for memorizing large portions of the New and Old Testament, sometimes entertaining crowds by reciting Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.
Captain Anderson, by all accounts, was something of an authoritarian. In the next chapters he will sometimes demand proof of loyalty. Whether or not he ever did this during the Sacking of Caltroon is uncertain, but some letters by soldiers speak cagily of an unnamed Captain, their descriptions of the strange exercises correlating to other accounts more certainly attributed to Anderson.
John the fisherman, as far as we know, was illiterate, he definitely never wrote anything, and as such all accounts of him are by his peers. These accounts all agree upon his peculiar humor, what Anderson regarded as, “a tactless façade, disguising common rudeness.” His dialogue is meant to capture this.
Marie the Nurse, and her sister Andrea, anachronistically referred to as the Courtesan in popular retellings, may be the source of the greatest controversy. Anderson and Andrea were never married, that is fact. This was not uncommon, and in no way was the center of scandal writers selling cheap thrills imagine. The social climate of our day should not be confused with that of 200 and more years ago when marriage, as recognized by the Church, was the exception and not the rule.
There is little doubt Marie herself was part of the Church, the recent movement to have her canonized baring witness to this fact. There is just as much evidence, however, that her sister and Anderson remained staunch pagans, a fact leading to Andrea’s representation as a witch, a misunderstanding compounded by her and her sister’s extensive pharmaceutical knowledge.
The image of Andrea as a cunning seductress utilizing what may best be described as love potions to ascend the social ladder is laughable to any educated person. However, this image has become inseparable from the person. It does not help that a feedback has changed the common conception of what is a witch. The modern idea is one primarily rooted in the historical person of Andrea.
These writings, therefore, will not try to remove the similarities, but let them stand. The fact that she and her sister used the same education and methods to tend to the sick and wounded yet one is lauded as a saint while the other is whispered a devil, is a great irony.
More should be said about Maria before moving onto the subject of David. Whether or not Maria performed miracles during the Sacking of Caltroon is not the purview of this work. On top of that, her more celebrated, and accepted, miracles happened later in her life. No historical argument exists for her having healed armies by the wave of her hand, or regrown the limbs of soldiers as some tales tell. These fancies detract from the truly inspiring life she lead, not one of an imagined goddess, but the humble achievement of one who unreservedly gave herself to God.
Now to David the Bastard. The youngest of the Seven, and one of the more prolific chroniclers of our subject, will be portrayed as he is best known, being one of the few historical characters to be accurately represented in modern culture. Though not part of our story, his suicide should be addressed. His own accounts, and others, showcase his troubled mind. If anything, modern depictions of David water down these eccentricities. More than once David would have faced the executioner had it not been for Anderson’s influence. His more widely used title of David the Madman, though accurate in description, was never used during his lifetime, and as such I have chosen to present him with his more historic title.
The last member of the Seven, the Unnamed Hero, we need not review here, as he is the subject of the work before and the work following this chapter. However, another, so far unnamed, should be addressed. This Journal is written as a confession to, and a will inheriting, one believed to be the original founder of the Order of the Black Circle, the fellow student of the Unnamed Hero. He is, unfortunately, also unnamed. As he is something of the antagonist to our Hero, symmetry would suggest calling him the Unnamed Villain, but such would betray the Unnamed Hero, mocking the very heart of his work. I will then use a less than historical term, but one suited for the task. This adversary shall be called the Ninja in further chapters.
Though I write all this, already I know whatever I inscribe will be assailed, reproached as propaganda. I cannot stop these assaults, but urge all to with open minds read. I have in times past referred to myself as the compiler, but beyond this point I am the author.
I would be remiss if I did not address that in Anderson’s writings he mentions a “sweet and bitter brew the color of blood,” which Andrea made for him. Common academic consensus on this matter states this was an aphrodisiac, a strong case can be made that this was a pagan marriage ritual, and some scholars argue that it was both. Whatever it was, it has no bearing on this book’s matter.