Kain: Upon His Return to Baron Castle

Note:  I based this on the events from Final Fantasy IV, which for years intrigued me by by its plots and characters.  However, many years after I wrote this, a sequel to this game was released.  While I haven’t played it yet, I do understand that the events that I depict in this poem contradict the ones in the game.

The dawn, in sudden burst of red, as though
The thin layer of clouds, now bleeding o’er
The morning, swallows up the single moon.
The sun, in his great brightness does expel
The Queen of Night, and she, without dispute,
Is gone.  The morning dance is at its end;
The lonely moon makes way for day.
’Twas once a time, a time that I recall,
When Queen did have a King to stand
Beside her in the night.  They watched, a pair
Of eyes, but one has now been pluckèd out.

’Twas thirty years now passed, yet every night
I look upon our single moon, remember
Better that, those days long passed, than what
Occurred just yesterday.  Oh, will I not
Now shake this ghost and shed it off my skin?
But no, I’ll not forget the saddened eyes
Of Cecil when I turned my spear at him,
My greatest friend.  And better still the look
He gave while setting my rebellion down.

The cold remaining moon does watch me as
A cursèd eye to e’er remind me, night
To night, of all I did so long ago –
A summer month a score and half again
In years now passed.  But though the moon won’t
Forgive, perhaps, in Baron, Cecil will.

The cloud upon the cave of mist remains,
And yet the beasts within have long been slain.
’Tis now an active road from Baron, north,
And many men in every hour will come
And travel to or from the town of Mist,
Just past the other mouth.  But none will think
Of what had once resided ’tween these walls,
And none can know, while passing through this mist,
About the man who lives upon their path.
I sometimes watch them, ever out of sight,
And wonder if they’ve heard the tales before,
Of how that path did two men walk, that path
That changed the world in time, and for the good.
And if they have, I wonder still of what
They say of he, the second of the pair,
The hero unheroic, uncontrolled.
But yes, the days have trapped me in the mist,
The cloud has hidden me within its wall
Of white – a cloak that rides upon my skin.
And in that cloak I cower, hiding from
The men who travel through this soggy cave.
The days I sleep within this house and in
The evenings climb atop the mountains, look
Across the open plains to Baron.  Her lights
do shine to even here.  And at that spot
I’ll stand ’til dawn, and then retreat again.
When I was thirty years more young, I thought
That such a life would help me gain control.

No, let me lie no longer to myself:
Not even then did I believe that I
Am here to learn control myself again,
For what had once controlled me now is gone.

I live within this cave to flee from him:
It’s Cecil’s gaze I feat to bear again.
’Twas in this mist my mind was last my own,
And here my soul was last untouched by soot
Of sin against the innocent and good.
For after this was I the vessel in which
Was sent destruction.  With that message brought,
My will was battered, pained by screams of scores
Of people, burnèd by the bomb which I
Had so unknowingly brought.  That one remained –
The green-haired girl with power thrice her size –
The ghost of Justice sent upon its foes.
She called upon her beasts, all magically brought,
To slay the cold assassins.  To have died
At that, for I had so much farther to fall.

The battle ended sooner than begun,
And I was thrown against the rocks and left,
Assumed for dead, perhaps not unwisely.
My body broken, shattered, my armor bent,
My mind was weakened, my spirit low.

So weak – so easily was I controlled.
So easily, in shame do I admit it.
But beaten once in body, I was then
Too quickly overcome in mind as well.
There once again did magic pummel me.
There once again was I proven weak.

My years of training had been long and hard,
And I excelled myself above my peers,
The shining example of what Dragoons should be.
I thought, by skill and strength unmatched, that I
Could not be bested in the field of battle.
How foolish was I proved, for just a word
Of magic turned my thoughts against my friends.
How weak had all my training made me then.
The power of Golbez curdled my spirit sour,
And in so doing tacked these puppet strings
Upon my limbs and made me dance, dance.
When first I fought ’gainst Cecil, there I thought,
It is not I who strives against him now,
But Golbez through me speaks.  But no.  It was
His hand upon my head, but still ’twas I
Who did the evil deed.  I twice betrayed.

’Fore long I shook the spell, and Golbez too
(For in it all, he also had been overcome).
At last I joined with the line, my friends,
To stand beside them, not betray them ’gain.
Yes, I was there, an ally of the light,
Upon the second moon in battle ’gainst
The evil that did dwell beneath the ground.
Good Cecil once forgave me there, but I
Would not accept, and once returned I fled.
I pray his love for me does linger still.

I wandered long, through fields and over seas,
And came upon the place where Cecil shed
His dark shadow and put upon himself
The cloak of Holy Knight, and so the same
I sought unto myself on Mount Ordeals.
Alas! I never even saw the shrine
That stands atop the peak.  Those forces there
Who stand undead, o’erwhelmed me, sent me running.
They rose from out the dirt, the acrid stench
Burning in my nose, the rhythmic clanks
Of rattling bones so fell upon my ears,
And so I quaked.  I fought the creatures off,
But not for long.  They formed in lines, the ghouls
Stood there and zombies there, then all the men
Of bones in front, and all advanced with groans
And screeches torn upon my ears from death.
I wept in fear and pressed no more.  I fled.

I fled, and came again into the mist.
’Twas in this cave I last was proved of worth.
The last of all my life that vict’ry found.
I have become a soldier ’out a land,
And it was here that all my world did fall.

Can I this day reclaim what here was lost?
Perhaps these thirty years be far too long
A time to turn at last upon my path
And know I went too far.  I long returned
To here, the place that last I lived, but here
Is not enough!  And even though I step
Upon the very dirt I carelessly crossed
Three decades back, I do not feel the same.
So thus I walk now back, and thus emerge
In morning from my home, as a ghost appear
From out the mist, but is not crumbled by
The light of sudden dawn, but is welcomed by it.
The sun does fuel my steps, and as I go
I look and almost see my footprints in
The dirt, now agèd counted moons and turned
The other way.  I step against those prints
And onto Baron, rising ’fore the dawn.

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