I was once heard a teeny, tiny voice in my head that said the following: “Don’t do it you fool, you’ll regret it worse than you did the first time.” Of course, I paid this voice no heed. I really wish I had at least given it some thought.
Again I find myself as Earl Marshall of the Knights Lithmorran, though leading a much different group of individuals than my first time through. Though at their core they are the same bastards as the last bunch, just waiting for me to slip up once so they can pounce upon me and tear what dignity I have to shreds. At least I don’t have to deal Casimir this go around, though both his partners in crime are within my ranks… fun times. I should have just turned a blind eye to the offer, but I didn’t want to have to deal with yet another Earl Marshall coming in an acting like their shit don’t smell.
But alas I derail from what I had intended to write. I could fill codex with my feelings on many of the individuals I’ve come to know through the years, but no one would buy it… well maybe a few out of curiosity but not because they want to actually read it. Everyday as I walk into that office, I look down at a certain dent in the desk, at bottom right corner. It’s a minor dent, barely noticeable unless you are looking for it, but it isn’t the size of the dent that I look at, but the meaning behind it. I once was so… consumed by my anger, towards the latter of my first term as Earl Marshall, that I slammed my fist into the desk, as hard as I could physically manage. Thank Dav the craftsmanship of the desk is so fine, else far more damage would have occurred instead of just my hand being the sole casualty. But back on topic. I look at that dent every morning as I walk in, and I try to remind myself to not become that man again, a man who allowed so many of his actions to be ruled by his anger. A man who could not fathom the possibility of trusting others. A man who allowed his paranoia of those around him to isolate him. I will not be that man again, I will prove those who doubt me wrong. I will not let this position down again.
Why? Why do I continue to exist? Why do I continue to fight against all odds? I have no family anymore, my own brother has forgotten me through means I am not aware of. I have no faith that the mages of Lithmore will be able to put aside their distrust of each other, and with that my hopes of seeing the manus reborn have dispersed on the wind. Even with this body and the pain I have endured, I question why I bothered. Was that pain worth this emptiness? Was feeling like flesh was being boiled from my bones, only to be glued back on by some unseen makers hands worth it? What do I intend to do with this life I have? I mean surely I could seek revenge against those who wronged me, but that doesn’t fill me with the same glee it once did, the same… eagerness to see the pain upon their faces. Even my favorite past time of pranks don’t fill me with joy. Furthering my knowledge of the Arcane and in turn increasing my own power used to send shivers through my body, but now there is nothing.
What good is a mage without their motivation? Their goal? Their desires? What reason do they have to endure such risk by simply existing if there is nothing they are aiming for, no light at the end of the tunnel?
Some say age matures a person, and what they enjoyed while young they no longer find enjoyment in as they grow older. I used to give this no merit, I used to believe I’d always be that devious, daring, and cruel little Tubori girl I always had been. That I would always find joy in the misery of others, that power would fill that void in my being. But I see now that that isn’t the case. Maybe it was because of how young I was when I was awakened… gosh has it actually been 8 years now? 8 years since I was given the greatest gift any ten year old could receive from a loved one. I’ve outlived so many of the mages I’ve met since being in Lithmore. Maybe I outlived them because even though I was cocky, I never abused my power in such a way that it exposed me, never made some grand show of my magic to boost my own ego. Sure stealing the chalice served no purpose than to do something that hadn’t been done, to leave my own little mark in the history books, and damn that chalice did look good when the sunlight hit it just right.
I should not dwell on my past, but instead try and find a new reason to live, something that will drive me for years to come, something that will make me want to stand and fight for my life.
I swear, I never actually expected the Order to put the pieces together. For the longest time I had been leaving subtle hints as to my identity in my dealings with the Order, hoping that maybe they would be smart enough to put them together. Afterall it’s incredibly boring when you do your best to cause havoc, but noone comes after you. It took them five years to finally put the pieces together. And now the real fun begins.
I quite like this Grand Inquisitor. She is clever, but also not quick to jump the gun. She mildly plays along with my antics, even as I mock her while revealing key information. Not many are this fun to toy with. Though as I tell her, her knights are incredibly disappointing. They’ve made no effort to find me, or at least evident effort. But to be fair to them I am quite good at hiding and blending in. Hopefully she takes my words to heart instead of just the mocking of some mage.
On the topic of mocking, I can’t stand this magnate at all. Every other topic it’s either about how adorable he is, or how brave he is for facing the trials of this position at a young age. If I wanted to only hear of cuteness I would spend my days in the orphanage. But prior it was tolerable, but now after hearing about how he supposedly killed a ‘shadow’ demon with one shot to the head… Now he’s on my list. I know when a mage is putting on an act, and that little stunt of heroism screams act. I’ve never heard of a demon who only takes one shot to kill, even lesser ones aren’t that weak. This sounds like a mage in shadow form, afterall skilled void mages can manipulate the shape of their shadow form. My belief is the Magnate paid off a mage to act as a ‘Demon’ for publicity, and to gain favor with a certain noble. And if there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s mages using their abilities for publicity.
I’ve always liked to consider myself a defender of mage ideals. This includes assisting in the takedown of mages who put other mages at risk, or those who manipulate their abilities for the interest of mundanes, essentially betraying magekind. Afterall look at Hotae, he was a reckless mage who put many other mages at risk with his rashness. Though it’s a bit sad that he dragged down Sterling with him. Not many water mages exist in this city, and we lost yet another.
Well I’ll leave this here for now. Afterall I’ve got an apprentice to train. Since I have the whole city after me, I might as well make sure my secrets and knowledge don’t burn with me.
Why? Why do so many fall to their arrogance? Do mages truly believe that just because they possess a power others don’t that this somehow makes them invincible? All Powerful? I swear I’ve seen far too many mages succumb to their own ego, spouting their revenge even as the pyre flames consume them.
The worst part about this is there is no helping them. You try to make them realize their arrogance, and they just ignore it, claiming you are just jealous, weak or other such nonsense. I really wonder why I never went through this stage. It seems to occur most often during that initial year of their awakening. Though I can possibly see where the feeling of near ‘godliness’ would come from. Receiving such potential power so quickly, and without prior preparation… I see how it could inflate one’s own self worth. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t alone in my magery that I didn’t succumb to the ego. Afterall I had certain individuals in my life who would smack me if I started to act like that. Though it could have also been due to the age in which I was awakened. Children do afterall see the world in a far more simple manner, their heads not already filled with visions of revenge and hate. I may have to study this further and see what the defining factor is in this mindset.
I truly do not like having to turn on my fellow mage, but alas one must also know when it is better to cut off a limb then let it rot and infect the rest of the body. I tried to reason with him, and I even made him quite aware that should he put me at risk, or get in the way of my plans, that I would see to his death… I don’t make idle threats, so noone can say I didn’t give him fair warning. At least his comrade saw reason, and separated himself from the salamander. I truly would have hated to see two mages have to be disposed of.
But alas that is life is it not? Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned and sacrifices must be made.
It is done. I completed what I set out to do. Yet stealing the diamond chalice from the cathedral is but one step really. I mean yes I managed to pull something off that not even the manus was able to pull off at their peak, but alas the theft of the chalice is nothing without the steps that follow. Without them the chalice is but a trophy, a trophy that I can never allow to be seen, and really what use is a trophy if it can not be gazed upon by others.
No. This chalice is far too important to serve as a simple trophy. Not only shall it serve as a beacon, setting the foundations for something greater, but it also serves as an integral part of a great mages research, which sadly has been lost to time. I do not believe I will be able to complete what Averius von Luthin set out to do so many years ago, but I will certainly try. But before I even attempt to continue his research, I must complete another integral task.
The mages of this city are so torn. They look at each other not with potential for what could be, but with suspicion. They refuse to work together out of fear, fear that has been created by the order. I read this history and I see a time when mages could work together as brothers and sisters without suspicion of one another, even after the consolidation, yet I see no trace of this in any of the mages I have met in this city. How have we fallen, as a community, so far after the downfall of the manus. Was the safety that the manus tower provides all that kept that group working together? I’d like to believe not, I’d like to believe they worked together because they shared common goals, a desire to remind the world of just what magery is capable of. I read back and I can see a time when the manus was spoken about with fear, when magery in general was spoken in fear. Now… Now magery is nothing but a shell of it’s former self, no one fears it anymore and merely laugh it away like a child’s antics. Did the fear the manus and magery inspire really just disappear when they did? Or was it our own actions and inability to work together that lead to this.
So many fledgling mages lost to flames because they lacked proper teaching. Are our hearts so numb to our fellow mages that we just look away at what could have been? Is it not the duty of the experienced to train the inexperienced, to pass on our knowledge to those just beginning… but instead we just allow them to be fed to flames, all the while comforting ourselves with fallacies. This is not what the great mages of the past would have wanted, mages allowing other mages to fall because of our own insecurities. And I will not allow myself to turn a blind eye anymore. It is time that I take a stand and try to regain what has been lost in this city… Trust. They will be hesitant at first, scared even of the notion of working together, but I hope they will see reason and realize that we are stronger and capable of so much more when we are able to trust our fellow mage.
It was not the tower that made the manus, but the people in it.
I do not know if you shall ever actually receive this letter, but I like to believe you might one day.
I met a fine young man today. One close to my age surprisingly, take two years though. That’s not to say I haven’t found other men my age, but most of them are brutish, idiotic or focused on one thing and one thing only. This one was different. He seemed to have a good head on his shoulders and I enjoyed having such a thoughtful conversation with him, which is so hard to come by these days.
Though while smart and respectful, he was so easily flustered. I mean I could smile at him and he turned a brighter shade of red than I thought possible. I miss being that innocent that having a conversation with someone of the opposite sex would turn me into this shy little thing. It’s funny really, I kept thinking about how he would react if I were to throw him into the Peacock. Those girls would eat him alive just because of how adorable he was. Even I couldn’t help but tease him a bit.
I’m sorry brother I ramble. You likely have no interest in this but it’s just been so long since I truly enjoyed such interaction with another my age. I honestly felt giddy and somewhat… normal.
Well I shant make you endure this any longer brother. I hope you are doing well, wherever and whenever this letter may find you.
Magery… A single word with a world of effects. For some it is a word of fear, for others it is a word of power. It truly changes from person to person.
However for me it’s meaning is something simple. Amusement. I have no interest in killing or maiming. No, my interest lies in simply keeping myself entertained. Whether that is tormenting someone through the use of my magic, or perhaps even using it in such a way that it benefits someone else, as long as it keeps me entertained I am content. Though that isn’t to say I will not resort to killing. Afterall I don’t tolerate anyone getting in the way of my plans.
Though I derail from my intended purpose of this journal entry. I have begun laying the foundation for my next big act. Attacking the Daravi camp disguised as a bear, well that was incredibly simple and lacked the response I had wanted. I mean yeah it forced the order to take protecting the Daravi more seriously, but alas that’s all it did. There was no manhunt for this ‘bear’, nor were there citizens shouting in the streets… if only they knew what they knew now, they would be grateful that I tried to slim the Daravi numbers down a bit. But alas no one can tell the future…. yet.
For my next big act, I intend on stealing something precious and irreplaceable of the orders. Something that too my knowledge has never been successfully stolen before. Should my plan succeed, it will be a mighty strike against the morale of the church and it’s faithful, if severely misguided, worshipers. I shant say what it is for fear that this journal may be found, however unlikely that may be, but should it be found, and one is smart enough to follow the clues I have laid, they will find what it is. Whether they can prevent the theft or not is a completely different story.
It’s funny how sometimes when one’s mind is at their most turbulent that they can look back and appreciate some of the finer details they may have missed. For me that is looking back at my time as Earl Marshall. After a recent dispute with the current Earl Marshall about how she came into the position, I went back and compared my three year term to her current term as Earl Marshall. It was then I realized that for some unspoken reasons, mages never targetted me. I often find myself having to read reports about how some leader or another was stricken by a magery spell, be it that awful breath-restricting spell or something else. Yet during my entire time as Earl Marshall I never experienced such a thing, heck I even witnessed some of my own troops be the unfortunate victims of said spells… but never first hand. Never did I have thieves or murderers make attempts at my life or threaten me. Damn if I have to be honest the biggest threats to me were not mages or the brotherhood, but the influential people of Lithmore.
Most would just be happy not being the victim or target, but of course I find myself looking into it deeper than I should. Why were the mages and thieves so lenient with me? Was it out of fear or respect? I personally suspect it was the latter since I wasn’t one to boast my power around like some expensive hat. But if it was respect why the mages as well? The knights while not exactly their mortal enemies, are but the servants of their enemy, the Holy Order of Dav, would it not make sense to strike at the one who leads those that hunts them? Yet never once did a mage, or group of mages specifically come after me with intent to harm.
I suspect I’ll never truly know the reason as to why, but perhaps I am better off that way.
It’s finally over… After all this time, all this suffering, Aldair is dead. The man who has caused so much of my pain, so many of my struggles has finally met the fate he deserved to encounter nearly four years ago. I wish I had access to reeve files to know the extent of what he revealed to them, what crimes he committed that were not made known. Yet even without that access I can sleep peacefully knowing the man shall no longer cause pain to anyone. I did not hide my glee at his hanging, infact I made it very aware. So many in the crowd showed remorse, or regret… it made me sick to see this. These fools who allowed themselves to be swayed by the silver-tongued serpent that was Aldair. I won’t deny it, that man had a way with words. I imagine if we had unleashed him onto the daravi sultanate, he would have been able to end the war by words alone, or he would have become the next leader of the daravi, it’s really a fifty-fifty situation.
I wonder how many people in this city looked back upon hearing Casimir’s crimes and realized what a fool they were for buying into his lies. Since the day Grand Inquisitor Guy dul Fitzwillyam felt it proper to spare Casimir’s life, under the assumption that the man was free of taint, which we know now to be a complete and utter lie, I have been one of the few who actively spoke out against Casimir Aldair and tried to warn others of his treachery and that he was no different from when the demon Rexus Azadar possessed him. So many of the current city officials called me paranoid, that I was merely trying to tarnish Aldair’s name, that I was holding a grudge… so many excuses for their own ignorance were given. Yet now I can look at them, knowing that while they may not like to admit it, that I was in the right, that I did not get played by Casimir Aldair, that I was one of the few not swayed by his words and that I saw through his ruse. It may have cost me my position as Earl Marshall, but as Dav as my witness, I finally have my revenge. I only hope now that those who called me crazy will have the decency to admit they were wrong.
But even with the sweet taste of revenge upon my tongue, I find myself tasting something bitter as well. By Casimir dying I’ve also lost a major driving force in my life. My hatred for Aldair was perhaps the most prominent thing keeping me motivated, giving me a reason to continue fighting despite what everyone said. With him gone I find myself questioning what to do next. I mean I’m still a knight but being a knight only gives so much motivation, you can only fight so many mages and demons in the name of sacred duty. At the end of the day what does a knight have to truly fight for? For me I had the will to see Aldair pay for his wrongs… that motivated me to keep fighting, and to ensure I lived long enough to see it. And alas I have lived to see it, and it was a glorious thing, but it has left a void that needs to be filled inorder for me to be at my most effective.
I tried. I tried so hard to live up to the examples of the knights I came to respect, Sir de Roldan and Sir de Abn’Zahi. Two knights who examples lead me during my time as Earl Marshall. Yet even their examples could not prepare me for the betrayal within my own ranks. A single man’s manipulation cost me everything. A man whose allies are slowly being revealed for what they are. Le Orban called my theory nothing more than paranoia based facts, yet now that theory is beginning to show some merit. I need only wait now, wait for the rest of the pieces to fall in place.
Even if I must die. Even if I am just remembered as a man who gave into his paranoia and lost all grip on reality, I will have my revenge.