Knot of Borrowed Strength
by Andrew Borck | @bfriendlygiant
A knot you can tie with one hand, for when you cannot intervene yourself.
(A Bowline knot with a cross of two flower stems)
From the personal journal of Monk Jameson:
Entry 1: I have seen his abuses firsthand. A member of our own city watch, tasked with our protection, and he raises his hand against his own boy. I’ve seen him stagger home from the tavern, which is right across the street from the Abbey. The next day the boy has bruises, cuts, sores. He is afraid to tell me the truth; he says he got them playing in the forest – but I know he is no Lookout.
My vows are very clear: I cannot fight for this boy with my own body. My hands are tied. But maybe I can ask for help from another.
Entry 2: I quietly inquired with the Mayor, who brushed me aside – the man in question is in line for Head of the Guards, and is not to be trifled with. This is the last straw. If you take away all options but madness…then madness is what is left to be done.
I will summon the Thornwatch.
Entry 3: A loop, a line, around and down; make a cross without a sound.
I heard a crackling behind me; out of a grove of briars stepped a man with a wooden mask hiding his features. His eyes glowed a faint green, and in a gravelly voice he growled, “Where.” My arm shook as I pointed to the boy’s house. As he walked through the glade the trees seemed to lean out of his way.
“Please,” my voice called out before I could think, “please don’t kill him. Then the boy would have no family.”
The Thornwatch looked over his shoulder, and stopped. “I will do what must be done. Go back to your Abbey, Monk.”
Entry 4: In the morning, we found him tied to the fountain in the town square with ropes made of thorny vines; covered in bruises and scratches, and with one leg pointing the wrong way. “Abuser” was carved into his back with a blade. When my priest saw him he pulled me aside and hissed, “What did you do?!?” in my ear. I opened my mouth, but nothing came out at first. When I finally did speak, I found the Thornwatch’s words coming out.
“I did what must be done.”