Pascal Game 8 – So When the Buckled Girder

Autumn 608 –

For awhile now I’ve been struggling on accepting the death of my parents – when all that’s left is ashes where a home once stood – when there is no grave, urn, or memorial to them – when our neighbors and friends don’t know if they got out or not – it’s almost impossible to know for certain if they are dead. I was almost ready to accept that they were gone this market – I even prepared an offering for each of them this L’adieu – Now I know that this would have been… premature.

My mother’s message came first – as I mentally prepared myself to say goodbye, Valentin and Isabel asked if I cared to explore a family monastery. In the old days, monasteries meant books, and a Merveille monastery could have some very interesting ones at that so I agreed, after all, what’s the worst that could happen? An hour later and I’m up to my neck in stagnant swamp water, smelling like the bottom of my dad’s worst whisky bottles, I still can’t totally get it out of my dress, apron, and backpack. It’s dark, it’s cold, and ahead of me Sophie holds the only lantern, her voice echoing across the flooded halls as she reads out the scribblings of some deranged man. Behind me a stone collapses onto Corbin, and it’s all Gérard and I can do to free him. Alligators keep sneaking up on us, and Alphonse’s erratic breathing through his… gills I guess puts us all on edge. Finally Isabel manages to get her pump working in a good spot and we can all breathe a sigh of relief as the water levels drop and we can take stock of what we found – while the armor and its gauntlet fascinated me, what caught my attention was the mechanical eye – unerringly its gaze followed mine as I moved it about, artificial viscera still trailing behind it. It was here that I knew my mother must still be with me somehow, guiding me here to this place to find the technology that proves her theory – that perfect prosthetics do exist – that people like my father can be fixed.

My father’s message came later that night – when Aspen answered my call. Given our last encounter, I had no idea on what I might be stepping into, only that I needed more information on what it meant to be a champion, why I was tolerated given my nature of encouraging my circle to adopt new innovations, and why they slumbered for the past six decades. He told me of the duty I must play in the circle to be champion, she answered my questions of her origins, and most surprisingly they seemed to actively support my quest to bring innovations to the Vecatrans – so long as they benefitted not only the community but our circle in particular. In that moment I could feel my father’s single hand sitting on my shoulder, pushing me forward into greater unknowns while supporting me all the while.

I know that they must be alive – somehow, somewhere. My body, mind, and soul know this. When our circle returned from the thicket, we faltered on the bridge – images of sorrow and terror woven into each of my fellows faces. They had seen their beloved departed impaled on the thorns of the briar but I – I saw nothing but the light of the town and the dark of the forest – My mother and my father.

Svart’s Inner Dialogue – Post Game 8

Victor is dead. Executed by the city for selling the Stone Antlers into slavery. Although it seems he was just trying to save their lives before the city went and killed them all since they didn’t want to feed them or risk plague. I’ve heard guards say as much.

He obviously didn’t pay off the right people though. He should have found whoever the Rogalians are paying off. After all, as the Dunns all tell me, despite what they say, the Gothic Empire allows slavery. So, somebody is obviously getting their cut and angry with Victor for him not giving it to them.

That means almost all of my friends are dead or gone. Rolf, killed by an evil priest with dark rituals. Helgi died in the forest fighting the witch and her bandits to protect me. Shanahan hasn’t been around for some time now that I think about it. The longest friend Svart has that is still alive is Cnight Cnut. Perhaps the forces that are working against me by killing my friend will target him next. I will have to make sure he is protected.

He did after all invite Svart to his feast and give me the seat of honor at it. He knows Svart is hardworking and dependable and pulls the slack of the Gothics that have come and eat all our food. That and he and Svart fought together against the undead earlier in the market.

Svart will fight even better once he finishes his armor. Then I can also make armor for all of Cnut’s other warriors for which will get lots of money to add to my treasure.

However, the thing that worries Svart now is the threat of alien trade organizations. The Hestrali are seeking to come in and take all the trade away from Nord crafters and merchants. Svart needs to do something. Svart could become a nord trade organization. He has already talked to the Snow Lions and the merchants that were at court. He could buy and sell items within the Nord lands and outside, and keep the Hestrali out.

Learn to be Humble

The first night of Market was revealing to Severin. He had been hearing lots of people talk about Vecatrans lately. Eventually, it was all too clear that many of those in the village of Luisant were actually Vecatrans. This had also happened after much talking about how a good Benalian should deal with such also. Perhaps now, the secret is out, and perhaps more knew much more than he did as people now openly talked about pagan ceremonies and discussion with crones and spider spirits in graveyards.

The next thing that was unsurprising to Severin that others obviously had known was that the beavers and the Naiads were fighting each other over an artifact that somebody in the village has. Seemed to him like it might be of a major importance to the village, but everybody treated such news as if they not only known it before, but that it had no bearing on the community. At this point, if nobody else was getting worked up about it, it was to the point that Severin was beginning to think everybody must know and he was the last to find out.

The new morning at least brought some semblance of normalcy to his life. Meeting up with Etienne to go look for resources and make the survey map of where they were for the community. It was fairly normal, at least until Valentine fell down a hole. It went down into the darkness and without a rope, there was nothing that could be done. Etienne would have his map and then we could rescue Valentine.

This was all well and good until the map was completed and people split up and Severin found himself fallen down a hole in the woods while getting some mining done. Luckily, Milo was there to use his magic to slam Severin up against a wall as he fell. The other option was to fall into an orifice embedded into fleshy tunnels which was filled with a pile of ‘deep meat’. Being slammed against the far wall was by far the better option. Then he met Valentine, Cadence, and Milo who were already wandering around in the tunnels.

The tunnels were a maze of confusions and obstacles. They were not all fleshy tunnels like the ones ventured into during the previous market. Some were indeed stonelike in structure. They were all fairly linear and featureless except for occasional symbols carved into the walls which made it difficult for Valentine to map. To add to things, there were pits of acid, supposedly from the digestive features of the fleshy tunnels, and half human rats, supposedly either humans, rats, or the descendents of both, that had entered the tunnels by some means and subsisted upon the ‘deep meat’. These rats were not only fighting with sword and shield, but also had their own wizards that attempted to make people change sides through mind control as well as cast spells. The rat wizards also exploded into caustic pools of gore once killed.

Eventually, another group fell into the tunnels consisting of a large party of people. Banding together, the exploration of the tunnels continued and the symbols started to make sense. Members of the new group seemed to be able to draw upon other sources for information. Eventually, after many attacks by rats, the group exited the tunnels at the shrine that had been created last market by the malefic knight after the assault on Chiroproctor.

Once back in the village, things seemed to settle down a bit. Severin’s son, Yves, showed up with the family dog, Bijou, saying the dog was hungry and needed to be fed, when, in reality, it was the son that was hungry and needed to be fed. Severin had just broken out the meat and cheese when court decided to start up around them. There was a disturbance between Cruxmore soldiers acting as guards and the orders of Lady Delphine. Mostly because they were being carried out by Theo, who the guards attacked, most likely on orders of their imprisoned old commander. They also happened to attack Henri which was generally seen as a bad idea by everybody else in the village. In the end, the guards were commanded to leave the valley and go back to their own lands.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. At least it was unconcerning. There were various folkwise festivals, including the beastwise festival. They went with little complications that Severin saw other than nobody being on his side of the Beastwise game of capture the flag was in any condition to run. In the end, it all came down to the other side being able to dodge better. Dinner wound down with various groups talking about what they were going to do that night. One being a journey into the “thicket” to rescue a spirit that had apparently helped the village on the assault on the tunnels the previous market. Severin however was not a part to any of that and a quick nap turned into a night’s rest.

Almost anyway. He did wake up sometime later just in time to run into the village getting worked up to go assault the tunnels he had been trapped in earlier that day. There was a lot of people discussing the objective in groups and building up hype. They came to him as well as others and discussed if we were a community, if we would rather work together than fight, and how we should band against the rats and this wizards in this effort. Severin, having seen the rat wizards joined in the cry that rang through the village, “Fuck the Rat Wizards!”

WIth that oath on their lips, the village headed back to the tunnels together. They ventured down into them past where they were before earlier in the day. They sought out the meat tunnels and the rats for a grand melee. Then everything went to hell.

Chaos reigned. The group was attacked in both the front and the back. A magic wall sprung up in the middle of the groups separating them and preventing them from aiding each other. Rats came through the walls and attacked people who were expecting to be defended by those in the front or back of the group as a whole. Those fighters in the front and back were being tested by much stronger rat fighters and wizards than had been faced earlier. One came through a hole in the wall almost too small to see, stood taller than Severin at his tip toes, and struck him down before he could even begin to move his blade.

When he came back around, he was being bandaged and the battles was still going on. He was in the front group and many had gone forward, into a large acid pool by leaping from the islands of uneven flesh that made up the tunnel walls, floor, and ceiling which that rose above the acid. Shouts of a pregnant rat queen came back down the line along with accounts of rat wizards attempting to turn people of Luisant back on their own. With a cry of “Fuck rat wizards!” Severin rose and pushed forward. At times he had to jump onto the islands in the acid just to give those behind him room to fight the creatures that came through the walls. Then to jump back to give the warriors ahead of him more room to maneuver. In all of that, he had a hard landing and his sword slipped from his grasp and fell into the acid beyond his reach. Then another rat came through the wall and wall, sent him flying against the tunnel wall. Severin hit the wall hard and fell to the ground. The rat continued on to threaten others, not even bothering to notice if he was still alive.

Severin felt as if he had failed. His martial skills were pitiful. Without his bow which he did not have time to fetch nor the arrows to use, he seemed more of a hindrance to the group as a whole than an aid. He just laid there telling himself he was no good unless he can gain more martial skills. Eventually somebody came to his aid, and he told them he did not need help and rose on his own. There, defensless, he sought to do nothing more than take an additional blow instead of somebody else, who would continue on the fight just a little longer.

Then with another cheer of “Fuck rat wizards!” it was announced they had killed the defeated the rats, rat queen, dropped the wall preventing the groups from rejoin, and were leaving the tunnels in victory. Severin did what he could to help carry those who could not walk out on their own, and returned to the village with a more realistic vision of his current abilities.

Souls like broken glass

Five times now she’s flinched at the sound of foot steps.

Twice now she’s moved away when someone approaches.

Constantly she’s looking around.

Twice now he’s just stared into space. Looking at the woods.

I wonder if he knows how many times he’s spun that bolt.

No more private meetings. Probably a good idea. Sad as it is to say. Untill this business is done. I don’t think it can be another way.

Vernon looks like he’s lost all hope. His face is covered in worry. I think I could string a bow with the weight of sorrow his heart holds.

Something is going to happen. And he’s sick his words might damn another. It’s hard to have hope when you can’t see a path to the light.

Like broken glass the cracks are showing.

What will next forum bring? Two more deaths?

Just maimings?

I fear our souls will all bear the cracks.

Two knives. And not one thing they can do.

I wonder if this is how Vernon feels watching, not knowing what to do.

Watching souls shatter like broken glass.

Gods it was easier when I didn’t care.


Solfyre packs her things, swaddles the baby, tucks the tiny girl against her chest and under the cloak for warmth, and leaves. While it was unlike her to leave in the dead of night, she had had enough for one market. Her heart hurt, her disappointment mounted, and she was growing weary of the people at forum.

Leaving the forum proper, Solfyre trudges out into the wilderness to find comfort amongst the familiar paths and scents of the wilderness around Runeheim. Not long into her walk, she could hear the shuffle and grunts of a ghoul not far off. Glancing at it, she sighs, not in the mood to fight it off and wake the baby that was sleeping quietly beneath her cloak. Solfyre turns to meet the creatures eye’s and glares. Solfyre stills, waiting for it to catch up.

“Well, come on then. If you’re going to shamble my way, I’m going to put you to use,” she says aloud as the malefic growls hungrily. It stops rather suddenly as it is psychically assaulted and then shambles forward, staggering and falling to its knees in front of Solfyre.

Solfyre takes off one of her packs while being careful not to jostle little Calanthe too much and places a bag around the malefic. If a ghoul could look confused, she imagined this was what that looked like. The ghoul looks up and just watches her. Yet again, another psychic assault, and the creature’s disgusting, lifeless eyes glaze over with a sense of admiration, perhaps more.

“Come, come. I don’t have all night and honestly, I could use a good walk and talk—you know, before I put you down,” she grouches.

The ghoul groans and shuffles along behind her like a pack mule.

“Ugh…Tell me about it. Everyone is like ‘Solfyre, please give us influence’, ‘Solfyre please buff the towns people against the oncoming invasion’, ‘Solfyre, please, could you buy this sword for me?’ And you know what? I always say yes. Why? It’s so thankless and if something happened to me, who would shed a tear? They hardly like me if they do at all. They take what I have given, turn around and ask for more, all the while they accuse me of killing babies or being so untrustworthy and—get this—mercurial! If I were mercurial, based solely on the value of my services I have rendered to people of this town, you’d think I’d be wealthier! When the fire guild is hired, it is often at a cost. I work for free and you fucking know what?? Does this baby look dead to you?!” Solfyre turns to the ghoul and brandishes the sleeping infant. “No!”

The ghoul grunts. And looks at the baby. It starts to reach out for it and Sylfane baps it hard in the snoot while simultaneously hitting it with some magic. It recoils and so does Sylfane, shaking her hand. Like it hurt.

“No, bad ghoul, anyways, they’re just objectively rude and no matter how much I offer or sacrifice, it never feels like enough…”

The ghoul lets out a long groan.

“EXACTLY. And there is just No respect, no reciprocity, no acting in good faith. I Fed like a thousand people and the town comes knocking at my door for three copper. Three copper despite me getting the city food. The church told me it was something they really wanted but no one could pay. I could, I did, they basically forgot the word they gave to me that they would at the very least make some mention of my contribution since I wanted people to know I am on the side of the people. Nahhhh. I Paid the mages’ taxes before and, holy shit, instead of a thanks—the complained that they shouldn’t *have* to pay taxes—well, they didn’t, I did it for them. a couple weren’t even in my guild. Good faith. Ha, For fucksake. Sven said it would be nice if warfare got the fire mage units back and I felt bad for Hans for losing his men and our comrades, and so I worked for like six months to get those men back on the warfare map only for Ser Sven to do nothing but complain about me to the nobility, side eye me, huff and roll his eyes every time I speak, and tell me it’s not enough because the mages aren’t under *his* command. I’m not perfect, but I’m not worthless.”

The ghoul groans.

“I know, thank you, that’s so validating. Well, I have Hans… He reciprocates at least. But I see him only when he is around which isn’t frequent honestly. My own company threatens me, lies, and takes things away and hides them from me… very welcoming, really. Perhaps next time I get spice I shouldn’t share. Perhaps next time I have influence I shouldn’t feed the town and selfishly buy a tome or something instead. Perhaps next time a ghost merchant offers to increase my innate magic that no one anywhere can tell me about aside from the person who abandoned me, I will accept it and *not* help the town resolve him. Fuck it. What do I have to lose? Wulfric turned me down for tressertag and seems so distant, Caito left me and never returned with my heart he stole, my own mother abandoned me, I gave up my sister to Vindicta who I have been dedicated to who dismissed me with a hand wave as though I was an annoyance, my best friend left me and died—for a love mage I certainly have a terrible track record. If only I were willing to MAKE people love me… but… I don’t want that. You know? Have you experienced heartache like this when you were… you know… not…. well… ugl—I mean, dead?”

The ghoul grunts and then groans.

“Terrible, isn’t it? I have been trying to drown myself in my work. People get in the way of that too. I think I need to reach out to my mamì about coming here with papì. They could set up shop around here and at least I would have some company that I don’t feel wants me out of their presence. Have you ever worked in food business?”

The ghoul groans, grunts twice, and growls.

“Hmm, yeahhhh… [obey] tell me more about that,” Solfyre says and with that, they continue into the deep forests around Runeheim.

Labora et Ora 3: Paying the Price

Hexxenacht. A time to turn your back to the door, to refuse the velvet hush of night. Yet even when warned, when argued, when pleaded they choose to walk with him. His chilling presence, like a cruel ray of moonlight, unsettled every step. His alabaster robes a draw out the long shadows weighing heavy on all our bones.

Petya watched in mute horror as he moved among those who can not see. Our heroes, our hopes, our hearts, ignorant of their hooded attendant. The fragrance of his impassive consideration hung in the air, a lullaby that clung to souls he marked for his embrace. The nightmare played out in the recesses of Petya’s mind. Ruined and broken bodies cast aside. It leaves Petya with an unbearable weight.

His approach was subdued, an owl to whom we all await. His favored, unbeknownst to them, to became his children. Ordinary folk, innocents, and warriors alike, unaware of the fate that was their sheppard. The horrors of war, of monsters and traitors, had already claimed too many lives. Petya recoiled at the thought of innocent souls sacrificed to feed such sinful perversion.

The darkness of our situation deepened, like the ceaseless nights of war. His presence grew constant, fevered, Petya knew that he would not remain idle. That he would snatch any who were too close to sinners, innocent or otherwise.

Wards against malevolent influence, to distract and save the lot of them. A decision, painful, like cutting out ones own heart. Petya searched among the ranks. Petya prayed until he saw the evils that clung to their soul, the fractured artistry of their façade. Petya weighed the sins within their hearts.

Those who had transgressed would be require much attention, he would be forced to care for his broken child as they are ferried into the abyss. It may occupy his attention long enough for God’s light to return, to warm the hearts of humanity. One can not ask forgiveness of such a task, only acceptance. If he came to collect the sinner and demanded Petya as well, there would be no protest, no bargaining, just rest.

Petya had learned in the monastery that the path of righteousness was often paved with thorns. The weight of Petya’s actions, the sin, nearly drove the will from the body, but it was a stone only Petya could carry.

The last bit of dirt fell from his shovel. All that is left for Petya is to work and pray, to seek redemption, knowing that there is no forgiveness, only acceptance. “I swear before the Archangel Lurian, bearer of the fallen, and before the Almighty Lord God, to never harm thee, to protect thy body and thy soul, from this day, until my last day.” The countless, silent graves offered absent gratitude.

Speaking the names of those he remembered Peta felt regret not knowing the letters across some of the graves. The graveyard of Runeheim was already too tragic, too large, too full. In a pleading whisper to his alabaster companion, “In the aftermath of these times, gaze upon the work that Petya’s hands have wrought and wondered who has been my guide.” Their gaze rose and landed on a pile of recent overturned earth out in the forest, a child of Lurian had been plundered.

War Journals 8: A Little Bit of Poison

This world could be a paradise.

If not for the wretched influence of the demons worshipped as the Old Gods.

They offer up to us, and we protect them. United under the light of Benalus.

Much weighted on his mind. The North was an unforgiving place. For every boon it granted, it took something away. It was the way of things here. For the last fifteen years, he had yearned to found an Imperial Order dedicated to the pacification of the North. His home had a stark beauty, but it was fractured. Corrupted. Perverted by the worship of these demonic things.

Solace had had a theory. Prove their false gods powerless and they will turn away.
Ingvar had a different theory. Kill them. They weren’t God. They could die.

Sven liked the knight’s approach better.

Before him lay the corpse of a horned figure. It had been a man once. The muscled bulged grotesquely. One eye was red, the other yellow. Sigils and runes were carved into its flesh. Even dead it seemed fearsome.

One hundred of the Sons had repelled four-hundred of his men in Spring. He had returned with seven hundred this time. There had been no quarter.

“My Lord,” Troels said, rousing the highborn from his gazing. “We have received word the Saenger fort is about to be raided.”

Sven nods. “Right on time.”

“Shall we engage?” his right hand asked.

“They are too far,” the knight replied absently. “We evacuated as much of the populous as we were able. The Saengers are aware of the hopelessness of their remaining position.”

Troels clears his throat and nods, waiting for orders.

“Crucify the survivors,” he said after a long moment. “String these twisted remains up for the world to see. Cut off each one of these fucking runes.”

“That will take time, my Lord,” he answered.

“Have the bulk of our Force erect the palisades and set a parameter,” the knight continued, wondering if the unnatural rage that had infected his soldiers from the Hollow Song had lingered in him. Even crucifixion felt… too kind. “I want to see this done properly. In a few weeks we will ride South and engage the Doghearts. Cowards that they are.”

Troels gave a confused look, “Not the Stormhammers? Won’t they fortify through the winter? And in striking distance of the settlement?”

Sven shrugged. “Can’t be helped. We might be able to push them out. But not before the first winter snow.”

The knight looked up once again, “These Southerners are good at killing, but soft as cheese. How many would we lose to the ice of the mountains?”

Realization dawned on Troels, who struck a sharp salute and nodded before turning and going to issue orders. Lord Sven álfrblóð Brynjar turned and strode towards the men collecting the carving knives and rope. The long nails forged for a single purpose and the long handled hammers to swing them properly. Standing stock still, cloak flapping slightly in the wind, he watched as the men started collecting the brand of the Ulfrandr. As a small collection started to pool at his feet, the rest of the last market filtered through his mind.

A letter from the King saying the very thing Sven had dedicated his life to was about to come to fruition.
A very dear friend called away forever.
A charming walk with pleasant company.
One of the most trustworthy warriors tossed dead at their feet.
Stealing something back from under the nose of the Sons.
An unfortunate series of murders.
This glorious slaughter of the Sons of Ulfrandr.

It was enough to give a person motion sickness. The hammering of vulgar iron through flesh, bone and bark sounded in its oddly muted way through the trees in flapping fading echoes. Further south, he could hear the phantom cracks of cannon, and a part of him wondered how Markus Fafnir was faring against the dwarves on their third front.

“My Lord,” Troels said, holding up a note. “Word from the East. Ragnar Stoneskin’s forces were decimated.”

“Does Stoneskin live?” Sven asked.

“No word, sire.”


The pebble that dared to beseech the mountain

Approaching the mountain, once moved and back again it’s proper place, Clemens swallowed hard.

He had a suspicion who lived… No, who owned this mountain. Semira and Sygrun all but confirmed it.

This mountain belonged to a Archmage of the Earth Guild.

Hakon led the front, Rosto just behind him, Sygrun and Clemens in the middle of the formation, Sigi a reassuring and steady hand at the back.

But the dread was still there. He hadn’t really considered what he would say to the Archmage.

What does a pebble ask of a mountain? Why would a pebble ever deserve a favor from the mountain?

He was worried that this trek, far from Runeheim, was a folly. Nothing to be gained, but everything to lose.

But he had to try. He couldn’t turn back now.

Rosto, despite nearly being brought to death’s door by Hakon’s nightly condition was lending his eyes and crossbow to this endeavor.

Clemens couldn’t abandon such sincerity and willingness to trust even the man who nearly murdered him.

Clemens couldn’t abandon his closest friend, the one who gave him the courage to get this far to begin with.

Clemens meant it when he would do anything for Hakon when questioned by the Archmage.

Clemens didn’t care that the Archmage found his willingness to do anything for the life of a non-mage “worrisome”

Hakon had bowed before the Archmage. Hakon does not bow before men who simply ask.

Clemens knew that the wizard in front of him only saw Hakon as a curiosity, an potential experiment.

No different from the malformed animals and human bodies on the side of the trail his crew and carved through to get here.

The Archmage offered Clemens a challenge. “Scale my mountain, and maybe I can see if I can help your… friend”

How does a pebble demand a favor from the mountain?

The pebble scales the mountain, and proved that determination within will make him something more than just a pebble.

This mountain belongs to the Archmage.

But one day Runehiem will be a towering city that stands in defiance of the harsh lands the pebble calls home.

The earth mage may see the people and animals of Njordr as nothing more as stock and cattle for his experiments.

But for Clemens, the people of Runehiem would be his cherished flock.

He would do anything to see them live in peace and flourish.

He would do anything to cast out the wolves, monsters, and men of cruel ambition who dared to threaten his flock.

Finally a taste of strength, but an itch to prove it

He could still feel the vines that grasped at his throat, the stones that clenched his leg, and the voices that laughed at his feeble attempts to grasp at strength beyond his understanding.

Twice he had failed. Twice had had been cast down.
Twice he had nearly succeeded. Twice he had used all the strength his body could muster.
A failure thrice would be the end of him and his story.

But he had to try again. He had to stand once more and declare to all the powers that be that he would succeed or die trying.

But this time… It worked.

Something changed. The world seemed more clear. As if the schematics of reality were always around him in clear view. His eyes ran red with his blood, his throat hoarse and weak. But Clemens had never felt more in control of his fate.

He finally could truly do something. Could truly put himself between innocents and those who would harm and exploit them. He could do something worth remembering.

“But were any of your heroes… Mages?”

That last lingering question of those disembodied voices…

A warning?


For Clemens it was a challenge.

He is now a mage.

He will be remembered as a hero.

The contest of Faiths

Humanity calls to humanity. I wonder what that feels like. Do you sell your soul in one big chunk, a deal with malefic as they say? It seems that way with the dark forces. Trade away your humanity in a lump sum for nearly limitless power.

Feed the evil, and as the night grows darker, malefic forces drive you. Strengthening your flesh. Melding yourself with death, twisting the minds around you.

How tempting it must be to have the price of the exact thing you want within your grasp, carrying you easily, hewing gouts through your foes and preventing your harms from slowing down.

God asks us to take the high road, the hard path. I can feel him falling further away with each terrible choice I am forced to make. I know he still guides my hand, he carries me through situations no man should be able to survive, as a parent protects their children and the army carries its commander.

I see her. Shes warped and twisted already, spitting venom and becoming more powerful with each passing moment. I’m terrified of her.

The worst part is I helped make her. Dozens of my choices led to the death of her family and I can almost understand how she felt this was her only recourse. I carry so much shame for those choices, and find it impossible to not feel terrible over it.

Perhaps if she can find the deserved release I can find some modicum of peace.

We both have our gods guiding our hands.
Let us see whose is stronger.