I think that there comes a moment in every man’s life when he has to take stock of what he has done, what he is doing, and those plans he has made to do things in the future. Some people are lucky, as they go through this in their youth. Others are a little less lucky for they endure a long life before they take this long hard look at themselves.
For me, this happened after my life was over.
I haven’t yet begun to live.
In the past few weeks I found myself receding further and further from the world. I was playing my flute at every inn or tavern I could find, hoping that something would happen. I was hoping to truly feel something again other than anger. I was angry at the world. I was angry at CrIsis. Mostly, I was angry with myself. I hated who I had been, and I hated who I was becoming.
I hated that my goddess had forced me into this path. Or so I thought. I felt that she had crafted me into her marionette, her puppet, to dance on her strings and lead CrIsis into the path she felt it should go.
So I played my flute and hated everyone who tossed money up on that stage. Couldn’t they see that they were just giving to someone who was dead. They had poverty around them. Even the people who sat there and listened to me play could have used that money more on themselves than on me.
King Avramson even found a pretty young woman who could play the flute trying to draw me out of the funk I was descending into.
I’m stopping for a moment to explain something here: When I say she could play the flute, that isn’t a euphemism for anything. She was a flautist.
Her skill with the instrument put my own skills to shame. I quickly found myself in a contest of skill with her that neither of us actually won. She was the more skilled player, but I had more emotion to bring to my performance, and I bled all of my anger, and shame, into our session.
I think I truly left her disappointed at the end of the night, as I am thinking that she was hoping for the euphemism.
Even there my funk did not end. It seems that you can’t ever vent those dark emotions, because there is no bottom to that well.
I think we might be doing wells a disservice in thinking that emotion is like one. If you draw enough from a well, it does run dry. It gives of itself completely. No, dark emotions are more of a monster, a dragon if you will. When they are born, their fire is but a little thing. Not enough to even warm your boot, let alone roast your person. They are fragile and could easily be snuffed out.
But we don’t ever snuff them out. Owning a dragon makes us feel special. You bring it out to terrify your friends, saying, look, here, I have a dragon. As it grows, you soon cease to have friends. It’s flame is now hot enough that it warms you in the winter. You tell yourself that it is good to have a dragon. Without friends, it keeps you company. It warms your house and your body. It keeps you alive when the world would destroy you.
The problem is that one day, the heat of that dragon will consume you body and soul. Your anger and hatred will consume you.
My anger got me killed.
Once again, I was playing in a tavern. The name doesn’t matter, as it is not deserving of your notice. I died there, but that should neither serve as a hindrance nor a cause for your patronage.
Assassins sent by the enemies of the light set upon my companions and I, targeting the fool in the spotlight first. As their arrows pierced my body, I thought of how much of a fool I had been. I thought of the night I had spent with a wonderful woman at King Avramson’s home, and never once let her be herself. I had her play with me.
I was a fool because I never even asked for her name.
I would have laughed if the poison coursing through my veins would have let me. I would have cried if I could have found the tears. All action was denied me, and I watched as my companions tried, futilely, to save my life. I wanted to yell out to them to allow me to die. Chip and Tyvernos did not need to sacrifice their lives for my sake. I was gone.
Imagine my shock when I awoke in the field and looked up to see my goddess.
As she usually does, she chastised me in the most loving way possible and told me to live my life.
I woke to Tyverson blowing in my face telling me some cock and bull story about the ‘breath of life’ or some such. I swear that gnome will be the death of me…again.
Posted by Rell on the 1st day of the rest of his life.