I, Thurgood Andress, am wondering where is the fight any more; who are the enemies of the Territory? I thought that it was CrIsis. When they insulted me in Wisdom that it was the first straw of a number of insults that would burn the countryside and that they would pay for their insults. I thought that when they insulted the lord Duke in Llorn and continued being brash that they had shown their true colors even further. My fury and hatred of them burned bright as the sun and I was certain that Lista would bless me to slay them and discover their true intent. I am a Paladin of Lista; I armed my men with insight and wisdom; their training was rigorous and intense. We sought to hunt down the very things that would dare threaten the commonwealth of the collective… but my lust for vengeance never came.
When I was assigned to the games, I gathered my strongest and fastest men; some were paladins like myself and some were the greatest knights I had ever seen on the battle field and on the field of competition. The swine called CrIsis was not going anywhere; they had too much involvement and too much to lose. Every day of the competition I would watch them. The opening day was a slap to the face as Overkill sung the anthem to our country’s alliance; Disgraceful. Those days that would follow I was going to catch them I was going to keep them. I prayed for justice; for vengeance and on that fateful day of opportunity elves would attempt to usurp my authority.
On that day, the Elves of Sulestan showed up and attempted to stop Xerx’ses. Secretly I was smiling almost laughing; perhaps this was the justice I was being rewarded for but I was a patron of the law and was going to have my reward on my terms and with me in power, not these elves. I called for my men to disperse the power grab only to be stuck by some unseen force and rendered unconscious. When I recovered, there was the sun creating a silhouette of my savior standing over me. When my eyes cleared and I could see my hero there was Asher. I shifted my body weak from the spell and there was the foot of Overkill. From the crowd I heard ‘Protect the soldier, Thurgood must be kept safe’. The Kobold and Dwarf nodded in agreement and I watched as Overkill launch himself and kill an assassin.
Seconds passed and I was again confused. Lista, I was confused. Xerx’ses helped me to my feet with a echo of thanks from all of CrIsis extending their appreciation. I was certain that it was still an insult but even Overkill, who had been a focal point, nodded in agreement.
I had to break away. I screamed for about ten minutes. I ordered a sparing matched with five men and beat them all; two were unconscious. I then took a half hour to pray to Lista, touching her sea. I cried and begged for the answers. I was a demon hunter and the demon was within. I couldn’t get it out of my mind; my heart. I raced back to the games only watch the two finalists face each other for the Dueling; Xerx’ses and Indaris. I still was in turmoil. Again those members of CrIsis had control of the games and of the fate of the Eastern Territories. Then the veil that had blinded me was lifted. The priest was declared a cheat and I thought again I was going to get them all, again not so.
My men raced down there to but I called them to slow down. They would all be united when the trap snapped shut. I was not sure to smile when I arrested the priest so I withheld my smile but I was giddy as a school boy catching and destroying my first demon. CrIsis with one failed swoop turned over their teammate without a contest. I was robbed the fight and complete arrest.
I walked away from the whole experience. I wanted to kill myself but my obligation and responsibility… the games… Llorn… the Duke and… his bride. I can’t face myself right now… I can’t face my team right now… I can’t face the Duke right now… I need answers. Why is it that they seem righteous now, and I seem wrong? How can they have found the Light, when I feel so Dark?
I will sit with the Priest of CrIsis, guarded by those I trust near the cell, but away from earshot, and get my answers.
Picture from Tang Yuehui.