Have you ever felt the true pulse of another? When the heart is driven only by impulse and instinct? Perhaps when pressed close, by happy circumstance or mutual exertion. Has your own heartbeat quickened in response? If not, then stop listening. This is a tale of throbbing and intrigue, not fit for dainty ears. Read not on. I was forged in unimaginable heat, and once worn I take on my wearer’s burning. I lie close. It has to be so. Warrior Thanes cannot wear loose-fitting raiments. They can be grasped or held in battle. Fatal. Nay, I am a collar, and a protector. Fit flush to the neckline of chainmail, and my tips are made to be sewn in place. I protect my lords. I am armour, not ornament.
For as long as my mistresses grant them protection, that is. The Chain of Cawdor, folk call me. Worn by the Thane of Cawdor. To whom, I am the Bane of Cawdor. Created by witches, for their own amusement. I have lived a charmed life, and began my days in a Blacksmith’s forge. A craftsman created me, but he worked under duress, at the mercy of three creatures that bent him to their will, as he warped me to his. With hexes and witchcraft they poured their thrice-cursed malice in to my form, and so made any Thanes of Cawdor a puppet for their desires. So it is that a loyal servant of this Scottish throne could join arms with a Norweyan lord, and know naught about it. At least, until his chain of office was removed from his shoulders. You see, the wyrd sisters hold absolute power over all who wear their blessed creations, from their very investiture to their dispatch.
Cawdor has always been a wayward, warlike state, and so none ever question the bloody intent of their leaders. It lies as a borderland beset by invasion and skirmish, and as such is well-placed to have mercurial, unpredictable leaders. Oh, I pitied Macbeth. I sensed his love for his lady from afar, and knew that pitched against my powers he would be helpless to counter her ambition. Her words in his ear and my insidious influence proved a powerful concoction, and I felt him sicken and sour. What choice had he, when my influence seeped in to his feverish, nightmare-ridden skin? I was tied to him closer than his wedding band. My tips teased his jugular. My mistresses filled his mind with scorpions.
© Tom Tide 2016