In hindsight challenging the Ankou was a very foolish thing to do. I can’t imagine what I’d been thinking at the time – and of course, looking back on it I’m not at all sure I did think. The words had slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them, and you can’t take back a challenge like that once you’ve made it – not when you’re dealing with Death himself. Retracting my words could’ve only ended in more disaster for me, but then you see, even if I could have changed what I’d done in my heart of heart’s I know I would have done the same thing all over again. Foolhardy as it may seem, I had no other choice. Erwann was my friend, my only true friend, and I was indebted to him. I suppose that’s why I did it. It was a question of honour, of paying off one’s debts. And of course, of comradeship. I suppose you could blame comradeship on my current situation. I had left home with all the best intentions in the world, but I make a poor knight and as things stand it seems my quest had been doomed from the start.
Perhaps I ought to start from the beginning. I’m not much good at telling stories, but that’s usually where they start, don’t they? From the beginning.
Summary: When Mathieu’s friend Erwann is lost at sea he is presumed dead by everyone in the village – everyone except Mathieu, who has made a link between Erwann’s disappearance and the strange old man that has been making regular appearances around the island. Mathieu discovers that it is that Ankou, and when Death himself can’t seem to find his friend Mathieu strikes a deal in an attempt to save his friend’s life – but can he carry out its’ terms before it’s too late?
Total word count to date: 6,177 words
Name: Mathieu Leroy
Bio: Mathieu grew up in Marseilles, but the after-shock of the 1929 crash causes Mr. Leroy’s shipping business to go bust – he is forced to move to Brittany, his father’s ancestral home. It is there that Mathieu meets and befriends Erwann, and there that he discovers just how far he’d go to save a friend.
Personality: Mathieu is prone to self-doubt and self-dislike; but he is also fiercely loyal with a strong sense of duty.
Name: Known simply by the locals as the Ankou, or the henchman of Death.
Bio: Often portrayed as an old man or a skeleton with a wide-brimmed hat, the Ankou is an integral part of Breton folk-lore. Some say his is the first person of the Parish to die that year, others that he is a son of Adam and Eve – but regardless of his origins he is always seen driving his rickety death-cart.
Name: Erwann Pichon
Bio: Born and bred in Iles aux Moines, Erwann has grown up by the sea all his life and is as familiar with the currents and tides around the South Breton coast as other’s are with the back of their hand. Being a fisherman’s son means he has been working since the day he knew how to swim and this makes him seem much older than his years. He’s spent all his life searching for the lost city of Ys, and when he fishes out Mathieu from his capsized boat, he imagines that he has finally found someone who will look for the lost city with him.
Personality: Easy-going, strong, dependable and determined.
Bio: Queen of the damned city of Ys. According to legend it was her that turned Ys into a den of debauchery, and when the devil rode up to the city gates in red armour she mistook him for a knight and let him in, flooding the city as she did so. Her Christian father, King Gradlon tries to save her, but abandons her when St. Winwaloe convinces him that she is not worth saving.