Being Chapter 1 from Part 3 of "The Armed Forces" by Jan C. Zločin.
Ostuda Press, Brünn, 1942.
Now in the public domain.
This excerpt translated from German by the Targu Mures Historical Society.
Despite his family name suggesting Swiss or Austrian origin, Ingo Schweitzer had always been (and ever would be) a Prussian in soul and heart. Indeed, his body was cut from that firm and strictly northern stock that in more ancient times so terrorized mighty Rom herself.
A weathered, leather-bound notebook (which I acquired in what is likely the muskiest of all bookstores in temperate Europa) bears his name on the first, second and final page. Its narrative ends on these words:
I have traveled the ever-expanding recesses of this state since its modern inception and never have I felt more lost than I am now.
How does it begin, you ask? In time you will know, but for now we must step even further back and examine the somewhat peculiar circumstances that would later propel Mister Schweitzer onto his unfortunate wanderings. To properly admire a painting, I find, one should always start with the frame.
Ingo suffered through an unusually slow and long adolescence in an unimportant town of exactly average size. At 17, he refused to follow his father Aloys (as Aloys had once followed his own father, Johann, and as Johann had followed his father, Martin, and so on) in the moderately prosperous family business of tailoring and cobbling. Instead, Ingo opted to join the local regiment in the city of Elbing. Aloys passed away two years later; with him crumbled also the family business and, ultimately, his stubborn branch of the long Schweitzer lineage. Content with being a disappointment to his kin, Ingo never returned to his hometown, instead focusing all his youth and effort into a budding military career. Ingo stood tall, a young man in flower, but all that shines must dull in time.
At the age of 21, Ingo was expelled from the Akademie for reasons that have never have become quite clear. Explanations and rumors among his acquaintances varied wildly: boredom, involvement in some petty crime, even an unhealthy interest in the occult. Some suggested the expulsion as something of a mutual agreement between the senior staff of the Akademie and Ingo himself. No matter the motivations, we know that in the very same year, one Ingo Jakovius Blestemat Sweitser purchased the estate Mare Gramada near the city Targu Mures (now in Hungary [Translators note: Romania since the end of the second world war]) from its previous owner, Igal Migdala, head of the recently impoverished Migdala family.
The local populace did not at all welcome its new citizen (“Lord”, some mumbled bitterly). Tensions were high in Europe at that time, as they are today, and a German controlling one of the primary estates of the region was not at all agreeable to the stubborn inhabitants of the Mures valley. Claims were made, some say fabricated, that the land was stolen from Migdala, or that the initial negotiations had involved some kind of trickery, and even that Blestemat had the aid of supernatural forces and intended to use Mare Gramada in ceremonies of sacrifices to the heathen deities of the old north; the mighty sky-gods once worshipped in his homeland, long before the Baltic crusades: Nerthus, Wodanaz, Kurim Jakos, and that Ingo was loyal to Widewuto, mythic king of the Pomesanian clans.
While wildly imaginative and greatly exaggerated, we can not deny that in these rumors there is a kernel of truth, albeit obscure, an almond enshrined or entombed in protective bark-like layers. Among the vague scribblings of the first pages of his notebook we find a prayer of invitation in old-Sudovian, beckoning Kurim Jakos and his host to visit the world of mortals again:
Beigeite beygeyte peckolle
Kails naussen gnigethe
Beigeite beygeyte peckolle
Kails naussen gnigethe Kurim Jacove
We will find that even though Kurim might not have visited ours, this plane of base physicality, Ingo certainly did visit Kurim’s. For better or worse, for doom or salvation, Ingo was to be a man both possessed and possessing.