FOREWORD BY THE AUTHOR
Note to new readers - the story up to the last finished chapter can be downloaded as PDF - the link is in my signature. No need to wade throught his thread to catch up on this tale.
Well, as I had originally intended, the Klausens are going into a break for the moment till I have gathered enough plot to go on. And the re-write of chapter 3 is still waiting, too.
This AAR idea came up when it was suggested I should try first person narrative, and I admit that the discussion of authors and lies is also an inspiration of this new AAR. Some of the more seasoned readers might find this AAR reminiscent of An English Heart in premise, and I hope the tales will not be too similar.
Difficulty/Aggressivness: both normal
Patch 1.05, no mods.
Country: It will vary, depending on where the main character is. We will be starting in Prussia, though.
The father's tale will be in white, the son's commentary in skyblue
NOTE: This story is influenced by various horror themes, various comic stories, and memories of other related material. The text can contain graphic violence and horror elemts at times, although I attempt to keep them in good taste.
Greetings, dear ladies or gentlemen, whoever is holding this book at the moment. I thank you for taking the time to read these lines that I have the honour to preface my father's diary and memoirs with, my father being – I am using his most common name – Jacob of Higher-Hattington. You, the esteemed reader might as well know him as Jakob Hochhuth, Jacques de Chapeau-Montant, Giaccomo de l'Alto Cappello, Jakob van den Hoge Hoed, or Jacobus Altus Petasus. He carried a number of aristocrat titles, some warranted for, most of them not, I will spare you of them for the moment.
I do not know for what reasons you decided to take up this book into Your hands and maybe even pay some of Your hard earned money for it. Perhaps a good friend of Yours recommended reading this humble work. It could be that You were looking for a decent book and came across these writings by chance. In either occurance, I hope You will not regret investing a small amount of Your short time on this earth in reading this book. For even when life seems long, and we always seem to have enough time left to do whatever we please, death is the one thing that all humans share and that puts an end to our hopes, dreams, pains, and joys.
My father was aware of the finality that death meant for all the efforts of his life. And I think – ovserve, please, that this is but my own humble opinion – that these memoirs of his were his way of attempting to achieve immortality and conveying a message to those who would come after him.
Who was my father?
As you have seen, he conducted his travels under many names, and the list I so boldly shoved onto You, my, no, our readers, is far from complete as You will soon be able to find out.
My father, let me call him Jacob of Higher-Hattington for now, was a handsome man. His age is not quite certain, but he certainly looked a lot younger than he was. So has claimed my own mother – God bless her soul – and so have claimed almost all persons I have come to meet who had had the pleasure to encounter my father.
It is not quite known where he came from, but signs point to his German heritage. He spoke many languages fluently and with great skill, but all of them with a peculiar accent. Chance has it that he came originally from Bavaria, or a Swiss Canton. Through all my travels, I was unfortunately not able to find his true home where he was born. At the start of the story, he must be between 18 and 25 years of age with the likeliest guess being that he was 22 years old.
What sort of man was he?
It is amazing how difficult we find it to grasp the character of a man, any man, in few words, or words at all, for the spirit the envigors our bodies is far too complex in its animations, schemes, and purposes, that mortal humans could ever hope to endevour successfully in describing anyone's soul in mere words. Not all the words in all the languages would suffice to encompass the breadth and depth of one person.
Yet, if I was forced to use but three attributes to describe my father – and understand, I have never met him in his lifetime, and have heard about him only from the mouths of others and from his own writings – these attributes would be luck, charms, and narrative skills.
His charms made him friends anywhere, and won the hearts, especially of the ladies, wherever he went. His strong inclination for the fair sex has also caused him grief on some occasions when a man's friendship was easily wasted because of his affection for that man's wife, or daughter, or sister. This is where his second attribute, his luck, did him a lot of favors. My father seems to have had more luck than most other men who walk God's Earth. I will not spill too many details of this attribute, for I fear that it might spoil the narrative of his that lies ahead of You, the dear audience. His narrative skills will be on display in the work that You hold in your gentle hands. However, they also displayed in the invention of various stories and histories that he related to the people he met on his travels, and that on occasion saved his neck from a quick death or a long time in a dark dungeon.
Some of his inventiveness also went into his memoirs, where the occasional exaggeration can be found, and where some events pccured quite differently in reality than he wrote. I don't think, however, he introduced these devices on purpose. Instead, it seems, he wrote his memoirs in several stages, always using hindsight. I suspect that he even didn't begin writing it before he was in his forties. And we all know how blurred memories that go back over twenty years, or even only one year are. What was terrible at the time seems far less so once we've lived through this period, and what was joyful seems all the more so once the less joyful details have faded from memory. However, I will nevertheless leave my father's story unaltered, and add to each passage a commentary with what I found out on my travels about the procedings. I hope You will not judge my father for his inaccuracies, and that my interjections will not disturb Your reading this tale too much.
Those of You who fear – or hope – that my father included in his writings many candid details about his numerous amourous adventures I must inform that my father indeed was a man of decency. While the experienced among You readers might be able to paint the pictures in Your heads here and there, I assure You that no obscenities are contained within this work, and that it would mean no harm to neither Your pure wives or virgin daughters to read this tale.
However, there are accounts in these memoirs that might be unsettling to the unexpecting reader. My father was a rather squeamish person I would guess from his writings, and he never went into great detail, but sometimes what is not written can be more gruesome that what is explained in great detail.
How did I become my father's heir, and how did his memoirs come into my possesion?
My father almost always carried a testament with him for the eventuality of his death. In it he ruled that the female he was with at the time – he always assumed that he would be in female company when he would die – would be the heir of all his fortunes, which, at the end of his life, were considerable. It was ruled that this lady's son was to receive the diary of his and do with it as he would see fit. My father met my mother when she was 25, an impovered Countess, last of her family, in the lands that lie between the Highlands of Scotland, and the Midlands. When my father died of a horribly strong pneumonia shortly thereafter, she was carrying me already inside her womb. The fortune she inherited rid her of her debts, and she was able to reclaim many lost lands. I was raised as becomes a young Count, and when I came of age, I decided to claim the title of Count of Higher-Hattington, laying to rest the old family name of which I will not write anything and bearing proudly the name of our benefactor.
When I came of age, I also received the memoirs of my father which became my favorite reading, a book I could not tear myself away from. And so it was natural for me to follow my father's footsteps, to seek out those who had had the chance to meet him, to see the many lands he had visited, and also to find out more truth about my father. Some of it was discouraging to the point that I was about to retire from this quest, and maybe even lay down my possessions I and my mother had received from him, incldung the title and name which I had claimed. However, overcoming internal struggle, I decided not to give up on my task and legacy, and to continue my search.
With this I will now cease stealing Your time that You could be using to already read the story that my father's life was.
Thomas, Second Count of Higher-Hattington
Higher-Hattington Castle in the March of the Year of the Lord 1781