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【书籍搬运】Knightfall 骑士陨落

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原文:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:Knightfall

翻译:aurax

故事发生在收割的前一个月,Farmantle Glens干枯的田地上找不到半点像样的庄稼。72户饥肠漉漉的人家向他们公正的爵爷寻求帮助。他不以铁腕统治人民而以丝绸轻抚般的仁爱。这就是我的主人Farmantle的游侠Garridan Stalrous。

我伤心地看到主人没有考虑自己微薄的存粮却望着外面枯萎的田地,他咒骂命运使天空变得污浊,不下一滴雨。他所管辖的人民不能熬过Jerals流域北部的寒冬。他自己的存粮快要被分发得一干二净,几乎无法供他度过以后的几个月。我知道如果主人还有粮食,他一定会慷慨地与人民分享,并允许他们在任何时间,以任意方式归还……在某些情况下,他们无偿地把粮食给迫切需要它的人。我们必须采取措施,而且一定要快。

Garridan不吝惜钱,他请来了他能找到的最有智慧的圣人们,用剩下的钱买从周边地区买下尽可能多的粮食。一个月过去了,没有任何好转,冬天凛冽的寒风会袭卷Farmantle Glens,绿色将消失。人们不得不挤在火炉边取暖,并分Garridan给他们的一点粮食,我可以看到Garridan巨大的忍耐力,他穿得很单薄。他告诉我他正考虑买掉他的城堡、他的收藏…任何东西,只要能使人民活下来。只要田地能收获更多,人民就有救了。

后来,似乎Mara听到了他的祈祷,一个圣人来到了Garridan的城堡,并带来了希望。传说有一种叫永流之壶的容器能倒出无尽的水。有人说是圣灵亲自制造了它。不管它在哪,Garridan知道机会来了。主人随圣人指引去寻找永流之壶来解除Farmantle Glens的干旱。

我们花了多日来到这一地区的入口。穿过一段蜿蜓的小路,我们终于到达了标有奇怪符号的偏僻小门,主人把霜盐涂在门上,门开了。我们进入了一片丛林,丛林的中央有两个奇怪的巨石,是个祭坛,似乎其中的光线就来自永流之壶。这水晶壶是我见过最美的东西。水充满了壶,像传说中一祥,水不会因倒出而减少。Garridan太急于回自己的领地了,他把壶拿在手里。

突然大地开始震动,好像群山愤怒了。天空从阳光明媚变为阴暗的灰色。丛林的树木向祭坛相反的方向弯曲,好像怕什么东西到来。随后,一块石头毫无征兆地崩裂了,我吃惊地看着丛林的守卫,心几乎掉到了地上。一个用与壶相同的玉石雕刻出来的巨兽走来向主人咆哮,空气变得极其寒冷,似乎怪兽出生在北部山脉的冰川上。它是活生生的冰,会呼吸的冰。

Garridan大喊叫我离开,一只手拔剑,另一只手中依然握着那壶。他用力击打怪物。当剑砍中怪兽要害,它没有受一点伤,既使最坚硬的石头也不会这样。主人毫不胆怯,一次次砍向怪兽,每一击都被弹回。怪兽—拳将主人打倒。他的剑滑走了,他倒在地上,从怪兽水晶眼睛中看着自己。冰寒巨兽举起手臂,向主人发出最后—击。

我不知他为何那样做,也许是本能,也许是瞬间的失误。主人保护性地用壶格挡,并起身呈半跪状。怪兽打中了壶,我听到清脆的一响,随后是水花向四处飞溅和结冰的声音。液体覆盖了主人和冰寒巨兽和我可怜的主人。他们似乎被永久地冻结了。我不知道自己当时是怎么想的。我在恐惧中看到他们被包在了真冰的墓地里。我能看见,Garridan的脸被冰封前的样子,我发誓他在哭。几滴他的泪珠结冰了并落在他脚下的地上,像水晶一样。他知道自己失败了,他的人民会挨饿,他有责任。冰雪覆盖了丛林中所有的一切,树木、岩石、土地,一切东西。

不久,我意识到我周围的空气开始冻结。开始天气像深冬的夜晚,随后很快变得更糟,这种寒冷变成了一种冻结的热量…它开始燃烧。我的喉咙变得干燥,呼吸变得困难。我的手臂和腿失去了知觉,视线变得模糊。我必须逃出这寒冷的丛林,并告诉人们Garridan的故事。这是我能为这样一个伟大的人所做的一切。我用尽全力,从这冰火丛林中逃出,险些丢掉性命。

我伤心的回到Garridan的领地。我心情沉重,思绪被痛苦包围。他是个好人,是我见过的最伟大的人。这样一位值得尊敬的骑士,不该像那样死去。我终于到达了Farmantle Glen的郊区,农民们正在那里等着我。我正准备告诉他们那个悲伤的消息,人们却大声地欢呼,他们告诉我就在一星期以前一场淡蓝色的灼热的甘露降临在他们的田地上,第二天作物正常地生长,就像从来没有过旱灾一样。一星期前正是我的主人被冻在那个洞穴的时间,他被冻结的眼泪变成了淡蓝色的雨滴,及时地降临了。我仰望天空,闪闪的星光突然给了我极大地安慰。我感谢Mara后回家了。

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The Legend of Garridan Stalrous
Excerpt from Knightfall, Tales of Heroism and Chivalry
by Jaren Aethelweald, edited by Kirellian Odrenius
The Legend of Garridan Stalrous

And so it came to pass, that on the first month before the harvest, nary a decent crop could be found in the drought-ridden fields of Farmantle Glens. Twenty-seven families, their bellies sunken and empty, turned to their lordship who had been so fair to them in hard times before. The man ruled not with an iron gauntlet, but with the soft touch of silken kindness: my lord, Garridan Stalrous, Knight-Errant of Farmantle Glens.
I watched sadly as my lord Garridan looked out at the withered fields before him from his meager stone keep and cursed the luck that tainted the skies and stopped the rain from falling. The families in his charge would not last the winter, which was always bitter and cold in the northern reaches of the Jerals [sic]. His own supply of grain was already picked clean; there was barely enough to sustain him for the months ahead. I know if my lord had the food there, he would have shared it gladly, allowing his charges to pay him back in whatever time or manner they could afford... and in some cases, to those in dire need, give it to them without costs. Something had to be done; and it had to be done soon.
Sparing not a drake, Garridan paid for the best sages he could find and used the rest to buy as much surplus grain as he could wrest from the neighboring domains. A month passed, and nothing surfaced. Winter's icy tendrils would soon creep across Farmantle Glens, causing the green to disappear from the landscape. Families would have to huddle close to their hearths, keeping warm and rationing the bits of food Garridan had given them. I could see Garridan's patience, which was immense mind you, wearing thin. He told me he'd considered selling his keep... his belongings... anything to keep his people alive. If only the harvest would yield more, they'd be saved.
Then, as if Mara herself had answered his prayers, a sage entered Garridan's keep with the answer. Legend told of a vessel of sorts from which water would pour endlessly known as the Everflow Ewer. Some said the Divines themselves created it; others thought perhaps a powerful sorcerer enchanted it. Wherever it was from, Garridan knew this could be his chance. Following the directions from the sage, my lord and I set out to recover the Ewer and rid Farmantle Glens of the drought.
It took days to reach the entrance to the place. After we passed through a winding passage, we finally came to an odd door covered in mystical symbols. As the sage instructed, my lord touched some Refined Frost Salts to the door. The ancient stone door opened, and we proceeded into the glade. A cave cut into a hillside led into a small glade of trees. In the center of the glade, flanked by two standing stones, was a stone altar. On the altar, seemingly glowing with inner light was the Ewer. Cut from crystal, the vessel was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. Water filled it to the very top, and as legends held, would never diminish as the liquid decanted from it. Eager to return to his domain, Garridan grasped the Ewer in hand.
Suddenly, the ground trembled as though the mountains themselves were angered. The sky changed from sunlit blue to dreary grey. Even the ring of trees forming the glade seemed to bend away slightly from the altar, as if fearing what was to come. Then, with no warning, one of the standing stones cracked and exploded! My gaze froze and my heart fell as I looked upon the guardian of the glade. A huge creature seemingly cut from the very same crystal as the Ewer stepped forth and growled menacingly at my master. The air around it became very cold, as if it was born from the glaciers of the northern mountains. This was a being of ice... living breathing ice!
Garridan shouted at me to run as he drew his blade. Still clutching the Ewer in one hand, he gave a mighty swing at the ice creature. When the forged steel struck home, it gave a resounding ring and merely chipped the beast as a spike would when driven against the hardest of rocks. Never showing fear, my lord swung again and again, each blow being harmlessly deflected away. Then, a single and mighty blow from the ice creature knocked my lord down. His blade slid away, and he lay on the forest floor looking up into the crystalline eyes of his death. The ice creature raised its arm again for the fatal blow, and brought it down hard at Garridan's prone form.
I don't know why he did it. Perhaps it was instinct, perhaps a moment's lapse in judgment. But my lord lifted the Everflow Ewer defensively as he got up to a kneeling position. The blow from the creature connected with the vessel, creating an ear-splitting crash. There was the sound of water splashing and a horrible cracking noise as the sundered pitcher sent waves of freezing water in all directions. Even as I watched, the liquid covered the ice creature and my poor master. They seemed suspended in place as if frozen solid. At the time, I didn't know how true my thoughts had become. As I watched in horror, they were encased in a tomb of pure ice. I could see Garridan's face as the ice overtook him, and I could swear he was crying. A few of his tears froze and fell to the ground at his feet like beautiful blue crystals. He knew he'd failed his mission. His people would starve, and he was responsible. Frost and ice covered everything in the glade now... the trees, the rocks, the soil... everything.
It was then I became aware that the very air around me began to freeze. It was like a cold winter's night at first, and then it rapidly became worse. The cold was so bad, it turned into a sort of frozen heat... it began to burn. My throat became tight and breathing became difficult. I began to lose feeling in my arms and legs, and my vision was beginning to blur. I had to escape this icy glade and tell Garridan's story. It was the least I could do for such a noble man. With every bit of strength I could muster, I ran from the frostfire and back through the cave. I barely escaped with my life.
My journey back to the domain of Garridan was a sad one. My heart was heavy, my mind clouded with misery. He was a good man, the greatest I'd ever known. To die like that was no way for such an honorable knight to end his life. When I finally reached the outskirts of Farmantle Glen, the farmers were waiting for me. I was ready to tell them the sad news, but they raised a cheer of great joy! They told me that only a week ago, a strange, bluish glowing rain fell on their fields and that the next day the crops began to grow as if there had never been a drought. A week ago was exactly when my master was frozen in that horrible glade... and his tears froze like bluish raindrops frozen in time! I looked up at the heavens and the twinkling lights suddenly gave me great comfort. I thanked Mara, and headed home.

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