My name is Damian. I live in this fort. I do not know how I got here, but I remember life before and after I was here. One thing I do know, is that I have been here a very long time. In the before, I was known by many names. A few you have heard of I’m sure. I was a hero in those times, but those times are no longer. I do not use those names anymore. I have restricted myself to my birth name. The old times are no longer relevant. The world has changed. My father was here with me, but he died a long time ago. I do remember that. Before my father died, we would play chess to keep our minds agile. Chess is a very complex game, yet simple at the same time. My father and I would play chess day after day. But then he was not there. We could not play chess, because my father was gone. There was darkness when my father was gone, a darkness so deep that you were lost in it, and couldn’t find your way out. There was much confusion and denial in this unfathomable darkness. But then he came back. Not physically, but spiritually. I learned to speak to my father again. He is dead, but living as a spirit. Now my father and I continue to play chess, day after day, to keep our minds fresh. We play chess, we take care of the horses, we speak with each other, and he tells me stories of the before times. I was just a boy in those times, and do not remember much. He tells me stories of the bad people who struggled to defeat us, but we always pulled through. He tells me of the man with the scars, who painted his face to hide them. The stories of that one are my favorites. Now I am not a boy, but an old man. There is no child to inhabit the fort when I die, although I don’t seem to age in this place. I have remained this old age for many years. I sometimes can see my father. We focus, and sit very still for many hours, and I can see him, in the dark clothing he wore in the before times. I can see the dark armour, the billowing black fabric of his cape, and sometimes, if we focus very hard, for a very long time, I can see his helmet, with the dual spikes on top, a symbol of peace and justice across the land we used to live in. To focus, sometimes we look at things in the castle. We see how many steps it takes to get down a hall, we count squares on the chessboard, we count items in murals on the walls. There is a big mural, with lots of things. We count this one often. It has 196 people, 73 horses, 40 cows, 124 chickens, 48 carts, and many other things. I like to stare at the horses, I could count the horses over and over again. The more I focus, the more I can see my father. My father, like me, was a hero, one known by even more people than I was, but that was then, and this is now, the world has changed. Now, we focus, we play chess together, we ride the horses of the fort, and we talk. There is no sense of time, only before, and after. The world continues to change on the outside, but on the inside of our fort, it remains unchanged.