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How Is It That I Remember You?

by Mr.RMA

Mr.RMA In the midst of another creative rut, I present a quick little tale about my long-running D&D character, the ranger Norfire. Having used multiple incarnations of this one character over several editions and campaigns, I figured I'd toy around with the concept of him faintly remembering a supposed "past life," from the perspective of him talking to his pet cat, Esme, another character brought over from a past campaign.
Maybe it'll make sense, maybe not, but either way I hope you enjoy it!
You stood out so unusually in that room full of cats, little one. The way your eyes glowed a surreal scarlet; the way you seemed willing to listen to me, willing to trust me.

Why is it that I was so adamant on acquiring that key around your neck? The lock was already picked, there would be no other place for such a thing, despite how much I tried to senselessly claim otherwise. A bluff that I convinced myself was the truth, to mask another feeling that lacked any sense.

A feeling of familiarity.

How so? We couldn’t have possibly met before. You have spent your life in this land of darkness and shadow, detached from Faerun, from Toril itself. You are not the sort of cat that willingly roams the frozen tundra of the north, and yet…

I cannot shake the feeling that our first encounter was not in that room.

Your name sprang up in an instant… A quaint name indeed… Esme… Why does it seem so right a name for you? You seemed to respond to it so quickly as well… as if another had once called you by that very same moniker.

Another…

Why do I feel… comfort at that thought?

I was never your owner before, was I? Yet somehow you knew me, and by some indefinable means I feel I know you. Perhaps then, it is your past keeper that I recall… The one who connects me to you somehow… the one that I feel comfort in thinking about.

No… not just that feeling alone…

There’s warmth also… and happiness… and dedication… when I think of who once named you.

I cannot see them, cannot hear them; I know not their name, nor where they came from, yet this shadow of a person in my mind… they make me feel like I am protected… and I feel I would just as willingly protect them.

How I wish I had a bard’s ability to put these feelings to words of greater beauty than my lowly prose provides. Alas, the Horizon Walkers never felt the need to teach me poetry, and the creatures of the wild have not the tongue for it. Unfortunate indeed… for this shade of some forgotten past would have inspired a lovely song in my heart otherwise. As it stands, I can only do my best to try and account for this mystery.

Master Auglathla did speak of souls returning to the material plane from the afterlife, but those stories told of the spirits of elves who did so by the will of Corellon. I am but a human, and a follower of Lathander, destined to either earn the Morninglord’s favor and guidance upon my demise, or languish as a lost soul. Returning to live anew in this world of mortals was never part of the arrangement for my kind… to my knowledge.

And yet these memories persist… the faintest visions, memories akin to those one might recall from dreams. You, and the one you belonged to, are the most distinct of them, but there are faint feelings of others as well… Of sharp-witted, irritable rapscallions, stoic, steadfast warriors, and childish, but intelligent mystics… but perhaps they are all just what I compared them to… Perhaps they are little more than dreams.

Perhaps you have merely sparked false memories from my tired mind, desperately seeking some imaginative outlet as we remain trapped in this dour land eternally devoid of sunlight. It is the most sensible reasoning, but it brings so much melancholy with it. Why do I feel so strongly about these apparitions that may have never existed? What is it about you, curious feline, that has left me with such maddening thoughts?

It’s as if I don’t want to lose these people… and indeed… the more I dwindle on them, the more I realize these feelings tie so similarly to those I have for our present companions. They perplex me, baffle me, sometimes even aggravate me, a few more so than others… and all the same I would lay my life down for each and every one of them if it came down to it. It’s that feeling… that loyalty… When I look at you I feel an echo of it as if I truly felt it in another life, in another time and place…

How is it that I remember you? It may be that I never find out. Perchance it is all nonsense, and our first meeting was in that decrepit old house, and I never lived a past life adventuring with you and a band of colorful companions… and that person who brings that comforting warmth to think about… perhaps they were never anything more than a fleeting illusion. Though… I think I’d very much like to believe otherwise.

I have dwelled on this matter long enough. It is time we reconvene with our friends, little one. They are still here, as are you, and I must cherish such present companionship, for it all may be little more than yet another dream someday.
  1. JadaDoesArt
    JadaDoesArt
    Bfnqkdbfowkrbglwnt RMA that's a lovely read! <33
    Feb 21, 2021
    ~Rinko~, =Nightshade= and Mr.RMA like this.