Hamartia the Tragic Muse
Legacy Name: Jeremiah Peacekeeper
The Custom Nightmare Pherret
Age: 10 years, 9 months, 6 days
Born: November 3rd, 2009
Adopted: 8 years, 3 months, 4 weeks ago
Adopted: April 11th, 2012
- Level: 203
- Strength: 238
- Defense: 238
- Speed: 209
- Health: 227
- HP: 227/227
- Intelligence: 41
- Books Read: 41
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Underpaid Art Student Intern
If ever you travel to Estonia, keep it in mind to chat with the locals. If you're lucky, you might get to hear the story of The Peacekeeper. I was one of the lucky ones...
I carry an old leather journal in my travels so I can remember the things that seem important, otherwise most of it slips my mind. I don't travel to the well known vacation spots, I like the lesser known, hidden jewels that one finds by accident. Even without the journal, I would never have forgotten the story the old Estonian woman told me that day. I wasn't in the city proper, but somewhere out where there were fields of grass and trees and dirt roads. I had driven from the city, pulled the rental car over, got out and just walked. I never know what I'm looking for, but I always find something. On this particular day, I found the old woman sitting on her porch. She was sitting in a rocker wearing a faded sundress, watching me as I walked past. I stopped and asked if I could take her picture. She motioned me to come up to the porch and sit with her. I did. She said her name was Ulvi and she had been waiting for me. She had a story to tell me. She said she had worked at the old Kolga Manor house a mile up the dusty road for many years and she used to be the caretaker.
It was haunted, she said.
I had asked her, how did she know?
Well, she'd seen him, she told me, she had seen The Peacekeeper with her own eyes!
The Peacekeeper, I had asked?
That's what they called him, she'd said, the towns people. His real name was Jeremiah and in life, he lived in a small house by the river, and he had a special gift. He could bring comfort and peace to people in turmoil and emotional pain simply with his poetry. People would come to him from all over and he would look into their eyes and sing softly, the beautiful poetry he had written. They would find peace and strength within themselves and they would go away with new purpose, their sorrow having somehow been lifted. His name was mentioned far and wide, "have you heard of this Jeremiah Peacekeeper?" the people would say "He can help you, go to him..." and the people would come, and he would help them.
There was just one problem, Ulvi had told me, when he helped them, their sorrows would become his burden and he needed to seek solace to relieve himself of their pain. He would go away, sometimes for days, and come back renewed and energized after having written again in his small leather journal, the soothing words that would pour forth from his burdened soul until he was once again The Peacekeeper.
Legend has it, the old woman said, Jeremiah went on one of his solace seeking treks near the end of winter wearing only one long coat, a scarf of feathers and a top hat. He had not expected the fierce, end of winter storm that seemed to brew out of nowhere, causing him to lose his bearings and become lost. He had found the manor house closed up for the winter and found his way inside to wait out the storm. The walls of stone barely helped; it was still freezing cold. He searched and found a cupboard upstairs big enough to hold him and he climbed inside and curled up trying to retain his body heat. It was of no use and the freezing cold air claimed his life. They found him two days later and buried him under the willow tree by the river.
But that was not the end, Ulvi had said, his story continues. You see, his spirit had to remain in the manor and to this day, if someone with a heart heavy with pain enters there, he still helps them. Some have said that once they enter, if they are in need, they only need to listen and believe and they will hear a soft, ethereal voice seeming to come from nowhere, singing a heavenly melody. A very few have even claimed to have seen him or his shadow on the walls. When asked to describe him, their only replies have been to say they've seen an angel.
I was completely transfixed by the old woman's story, and I asked her, what happened next?
"That's up to you," she whispered, "he's waiting for you. There needs to be a new caretaker. I'm old and will soon leave this life, but he needs to go on. Go there now and don't leave until you find it; it needs a new caretaker."
And with that, she had stood up from her chair, walked into her small house and softly closed the door.
Can you guess what I did? What would you have done? Ignore the ramblings of an old woman who probably didn't have her wits about her? It was a fine ghost story indeed, but surely just a story, right?
I walked a mile up the road, somehow knowing what I would find. There it was: an old, crumbling manor house that was hundreds of years old. Ulvi had been its caretaker? It seemed no care had been taken for a very long time. And why would she think that I would be its new caretaker? I was just a visitor in this country. Regardless, I had walked up the steps and reached for the door handle, thinking it would be locked anyway, but not only was it unlocked, it was open just a crack. "He's waiting for you," Ulvi had said. I felt a chill go down my spine. I slowly pushed open the door and crossed the threshold. As I stepped into the foyer of this once grand mansion, the door closed behind me. Startled, I had quickly run back to it and tried the handle. Unlike most every horror movie I had ever watched and had expected here, the door opened. Breathing a sigh of relief, I closed it again. I released a nervous laugh and once again, walked into the mansion proper.
All at once, and for only a matter of seconds, my vision went dark and when it returned, I was in the mansion as it was hundreds of years ago! Beautifully papered walls, shiny marble floors and hanging candle chandeliers making dancing shadow flames all around me! I turned in a circle, staring in awe and taking it all in. Then there was a loud cacophony of noises all mixed together; voices, banging, yelling, even singing, but I could understand none of it. I clapped my hands to my ears and dropped to my knees, "Stop!" I had yelled, and it did, as suddenly as it had started, and the place became eerily quiet.
Then from behind me came the most beautiful and soothing voice I had ever heard; the voice of an angel.
"Oh, it's you," the voice said, only I heard it in my head, not on the open air but I somehow knew the source of the voice was right behind me. I slowly turned and there he stood. "I've been waiting for you," he had said without moving his lips at all, except to smile, "sorry about the scare, sometimes my mischievous side likes to come out and play." he looked around, "I do believe I'll keep the decorations up while you're here, this looks much better, wouldn't you agree?"
He turned to look at me and all I could say was... absolutely nothing.
"So you're the new caretaker then?"
I was shocked into silence by what I saw and I had simply stared with my mouth hanging open. It was Jeremiah Peacekeeper and he was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. He was tall and lean, wearing dark clothes and the scarf of feathers and top hat that Ulvi had told me about. But she hadn't told me about his face, pale and beautiful, with the most striking blue eyes staring back at me. I felt I was being hypnotized.
"Aren't you?" he had asked again. My mouth had gone dry and I could only stutter, "I... I don't ... what?... no, not me..."
"But of course you are, I've been waiting for you," his voice repeated in my head.
I found my bearings and asked him, "Are you the Peacekeeper?"
His smile grew wider, and I heard, "you've been talking to Ulvi. Yes, I am Jeremiah Peacekeeper, and if she sent you to me, you are indeed the new caretaker."
"But... but you died," I had whispered.
"My body died, I did not, but I still could, if there is no caretaker."
I stared at him and realized that I could very vaguely see the room behind him, through him.
"I can't be the caretaker," I had said, "this house isn't mine, I'm only passing through, I'm sorry."
He had simply laughed in my head and said "come with me..." and he disappeared into the air.
Startled once again, I said, "Where are you!?"
"Over here, come with me..."
I turned to follow the voice in my head and I saw his shadow on the wall, going up the stairs. I followed the shadow. When I had reached the top, he was standing there again, "can you please not disappear like that? It frightens me," I told him.
"My apologies," he said laughing, "I rarely get to play with anyone. In here..." he said as he went into a room and led me to a cupboard built into the wall.
"Ulvi was a fine and trusted caretaker, but she is old now, and it has to be passed on. If it's not, I will surely die and I won't be able to help people anymore. I am needed here. If this is destroyed, so shall I be."
"If what is destroyed?" I asked.
He stepped aside and I saw inside the cupboard. It was his top hat. The very hat from when his physical body lived.
"When they found me," his voice said quietly in my head, "they took me, but they didn't see my hat and it was left behind. It's the only thing left of me and it keeps me alive. As long as this very hat is safe, I will remain here and as long as I am here, I can help people. It's been passed down from caretaker to caretaker for so many years that I've lost count. But it needs to be returned here each time before going to the next one. You need to take it, and in many years, you will return it and it shall be passed on again. Once you touch it, you will be bound to it."
"But what do I do with it?" I had asked him in a whisper.
"Just keep it safe... keep me safe... for the caretaker of the hat is also the caretaker of me."
I slowly reached in to take the hat and when I touched it, I could feel its warmth, the warmth of a living Jeremiah, and the ghost before me shifted and for a moment, he flared as bright as a star and his eyes blazed like perfect sapphires. I pulled the hat from the cupboard and the specter regained his ghostly appearance.
"You really need to keep your mischievous side in check," I had told him breathlessly.
"My apologies," he'd said with a wicked grin.
That happened many years ago, and I bring it up now because soon I will be heading back to Estonia, back to Kolga manor and back to Jeremiah. It's almost time to pass the hat on to the next caretaker. I often wonder how the caretaker is chosen and who the next one will be. I have dreams sometimes, of Jeremiah calling to me, or maybe it's not a dream, maybe it's his voice again. But he's calling to me, asking me come and stay this time.
When I return the hat, I will be staying with Jeremiah and he will bring me peace for all of eternity.
He's waiting for me...
Credits: Profile by: Ringo
Story by TaterSalad
Pet overlay by Rathoren
Jeremiah art by Christina KellySee Jeremiah work his magic...
Since you've read this far, I will tell you a secret. The top hat of Jeremiah Peacekeeper is very real and I am, in fact, it's caretaker. I met him in July of 2013 and he passed the hat to me himself in October of that same year. The next caretaker has already been chosen...
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