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Fantasy and Legends Organization Message Board Character Journals › Galatyne - The Path of Flame

Galatyne - The Path of Flame

Group Organizer
Newington, CT
Post #: 208
Shadows of the Sword
Original Entry - February 2, 1999

During my short career as a Lyfeian Knight I have seen many combats and have taken more than a few lives. Now, however, as a paladin of Lyfaye, I find that I am forced to question the value of the actions I took then. . . and take now, for I have not laid down the sword.

I had always thought that I acted in the best interest of the Light when I fought. Every life I took was to protect another from harm or, as happened on far too many occasions, to protect myself, for it seems that just wearing a sword invites others to test your skill with it. I believed I was defending those who could not defend themselves and protecting the innocent. Even when I fought as a member of the Lyfeian army, it was to bring down those who would inflict suffering on others, against soldiers who would rape, steal, and murder without a second thought as long as it would bring them gain. Not once did I ever fight a battle I did not think served a greater good.

Why, then, do I now question those actions? The question came when I considered what I was really fighting against. I was, and am, fighting against evil. More times than I care to remember, I have observed the wake of destruction that follows the servants of Darkness -- homes and property destroyed, families torn apart and sold into slavery, and countless lives ended, sometimes for no other reason than that they were there. Now, looking back upon my many battles, I realize that rarely, if ever, did I actually fight evil. Rather, I fought the servants of evil. The evil I thought I was holding at bay was actually hiding in the shadows, watching. . . and feeding; feeding on the strife that its servants wrought. And every time I raised my blade to strike down an enemy, I fed it a little more, for evil cares not who a blade is raised by or against, only that the strife continues. In the end, regardless of the reason I fought, when I lowered my blade, a child of Lyfaye was dead; his journey on the path set before him by the Goddess ended, not by the evil they served, not by Lyfaye, but by my own hand.

But the dead are not the only casualties of the strife evil creates. I have seen green soldiers doubled over on the field of battle, heaving forth the contents of their stomachs and felt sympathy for them, for I remembered my first battle and my reaction to it. I had always thought that it was the response of an unseasoned gut to the gruesome and bloody ordeal that was war. But now I believe that it was not a weak stomach but rather my body’s reaction to what the soul had lost in the taking of a life.

My soul, and I believe that I do have one, is the essence of what I am. My body is merely the shell that it resides in while it is in this world. That shell can be harmed by physical means, but not my soul. Lyfaye made certain that the only harm that could come to my soul would be through my own hand, by the choices I make of my own free will. And every time I take a life, every time I take part in the strife that the evil I despise feeds on, I harden a piece of my soul, sacrifice it to the Darkness so that the next time I kill, the pain will not be so great. Some would simply call this the seasoning of a warrior. But I can not afford to be so simplistic, for if I continue this “seasoning”, I will eventually destroy the essence of what I am. When my body dies, there will be nothing left to go on. My path will end, here, in this world. I will have destroyed what the Darkness could never have touched.

So how then can good hope to win this war where every blow struck feeds the enemy, and nothing I do can protect the essence, the soul, of another? Can good actually win by doing nothing? Yet, if good does not fight back, will not evil then over-run all and eventually claim this world? Or is that the point. Is that the illusion of evil. . . convincing us to fight it in the physical realm out of fear of the Darkness, sacrificing our souls in the process, when in truth the spirit is, and always was free in the Light. . . .

. }|{ .

So what does this mean for me? What is it that I am to do? Must I stand by and allow the strife to rage around me? Do I watch innocents die without lifting a hand? Do I intercede time and again and risk destroying the light of the spirit that Lyfaye placed into my care?

For me, there is no singular, all encompassing answer. At every confrontation I must ask my self those questions, and at every confrontation I must make the choice anew. But, in the end, I know that I cannot allow evil to act with total impunity, leading Lyfaye’s children to bring suffering to one another and to end the journeys of others in this world before their time. Thus I have been forced to accept that there will come those times where my only choices will be to fight to protect the innocent or to walk away. And I cannot walk away. But I cannot, will not, absolve myself of the actions I then choose to take, nor will I moralize the deaths I cause; but, neither will I sacrifice my soul to the Darkness to save lives. Yet, there must be a price for ending the journey of one of Lyfaye’s children. I have been given the gift of healing and can mend most any wound, but I cannot heal death. I cannot return the traveler to the path. . . or can I? That, after all, would be the only way to truly keep my faith. Thus, when I finally leave this world, before I go to serve Lyfaye in Her hall, I am sworn to first journey into the heart of Darkness to bring home each one of the souls I sent there. Until that day, I shall carry every one of those deaths with me in my heart.

Group Organizer
Newington, CT
Post #: 209
Inherent Choice
Original Entry - September 27, 1999

I have been told that I was destined to become what I am, that I was meant to walk this path in the Light, and nothing could have kept me from it. But I know otherwise. I remember the exact moment that I set foot on this path, and I know that I could just as easily have turned aside and chosen another. For that matter, I still can.

Whenever someone tells me that I was “destined” to walk this road, I find myself thinking about my adversaries. Were any of them “destined” to follow the path into Darkness? Was evil thrust on them as part of some greater plan? Essentially, is evil inherent? My former teachers from the Lyfeian chapter house thought so. They taught that some people were inherently evil, the Darkness ingrained so deeply in their being that they could never accept the Light. They taught us how to seek them out and destroy them, for there was no hope of bringing them into the Light and no way to otherwise render them harmless. Indeed, I must say that I have myself encountered many creatures, and some people, that certainly did their best to convince me that they were inherently evil.

And yet, I must ask myself that if something behaves as it designed to, if it is incapable of behaving any other way, can it truly be considered evil? Is it responsible for its actions? It seems to me, that in this instance, the fault, the “evil”, would lie with the creator. Likewise, can a being who was created to do good, and is incapable, through design, of committing an evil act be considered “good” simply for functioning within the constraints of its design? If so, then Good and Evil are not so much moral paths chosen by dutiful followers but rather descriptions of functional design, and all of my struggles, and the struggles of those like me, are for naught, for the road I believe I have walked with purposeful intent and careful deliberation is, in reality, as fixed as a tunnel beneath a mountain.

I cannot accept this -- my path being as meaningful as that traveled by the sword I wield in my hand and my life akin to the existence of that same blade. I would be a mere weapon, a tool, used by someone else to achieve an end, and the eternal struggle against Darkness would be reduced to little more than a game of chess between divine competitors.

A desperate war is being waged, but I am not a pawn, life is not a chess board, and Lyfaye is not merely a player who uses people as tools to achieve Her goals. Far too much is at stake to fight on such a simplistic level. Any tool, or weapon, can be misused, its purpose twisted or misunderstood by a hand other than the one that forged it. And for all that a sword can enable a warrior to bring down a foe, and a hammer can allow a blacksmith to forge a masterpiece, neither the sword nor the hammer in any way brings greater glory or realization of purpose to the bearer by its own merit. Nor can the Light triumph against evil through the hollow victories of sword against shield and man against man from which naught but a vicious circle of destruction arises. True victory will come only through growth of the Light, and Its flame is sustained and brightened by the lives and through the actions of Its followers. But, in order for my actions, or, for that matter, the actions of anyone else, to weigh on the side of Light or Darkness, they must be conscious choices made of free will. Without the capability for both good and evil, without choice, there would be no significance to the path I walk, there would be no enrichment of the Light through my victories, and there would be no hope of overcoming evil.

Consequently, each and every moment of my existence is significant: every thought, every deed, every word. In fact, every moment of every existence is significant. Choice is a constantly shifting road, and people may walk many roads in the course of a lifetime. Many of those people do not know what path they walk, or even that they are on one. Even for those that do, a path can easily be lost. . . but one may also just as suddenly, and sometimes unexpectedly, be found; someone who appears to be heading inexorably into Darkness may turn and step into the Light.

. }|{ .

So, for me, the battle against Darkness has again become more complex. Wherever I see evil, I see also the potential for good, and it becomes exceedingly difficult for me to label those who do not walk a path in the Light as “evil”, for they are not inherently so with no hope of redemption. To destroy them, would be to destroy any chance they had of finding another path and returning to the Light. I would be denying them the gift given to them by Lyfaye, and their only salvation. . . free choice.

Thus, I cannot expect to meet evil in a glorious, head-on attack that seeks to achieve its destruction in one fell swoop. That may be a fruitless, even self-defeating, endeavor. I must instead lay siege; one whose aim is not to punish those who have lost their way, but to help them find it. I must see that as many people as possible have the opportunity to make the choices that will allow them to reach their potential and add to the Light their own brightness. In this way I will be depriving the Darkness of its raw materials and starving it to death; for without its servants, the Darkness will falter. . . and fade.

Group Organizer
Newington, CT
Post #: 210
Scales of Balance
Original Entry - January 12, 2000

When I began my journey as a paladin of Lyfaye, the path before me seemed sure and my purpose clear -- advance the cause of Light and bring an end to Darkness. Since first setting foot upon that road however, I have found it to be anything but sure and clear. Instead, it has been narrow, winding, and fraught with roadblocks, at times barely perceivable amidst the shadows that pervade this existence.

One murky patch in particular has consistently obscured my path -- balance, the idea that good and evil rest precariously on an empyreal fulcrum, each keeping the other from plunging into oblivion. This would suggest that if the world as we know it is to endure, neither side can be supreme over the other. Upset the balance and both sides suffer. Bring down one principle and the other will fall as well. There can be no dominion for Darkness, no victory for Light.

Needless to say, this can be a disturbing concept for one such as myself, for the implication is that by seeking an end to Darkness, I could very well be endangering the Light. Indeed, I have long avoided the question because I was afraid that my calling would prevent me from approaching it objectively. Objectivity, however, is really nothing more than an excuse, for I can never be truly objective about anything. All of my perceptions are filtered through the sum total of my life experiences. There is, in truth, only one reason I ever avoid any question -- fear of the answer. Yet, if I am to choose a path, I must reconcile balance and Light, and I must do so as objectively as I can.

For many people, balance implies equality, stability, and a degree of harmony, but the simple nature of good and evil prevents a stable, harmonious existence. Evil seeks to destroy all that it cannot control, and good will not allow the unchallenged rule of a merciless tyrant who inflicts suffering as a matter of course. All that can be achieved is a perpetual deadlock between two rival powers seeking to destroy each other, and never in my experience has a war, prolonged because both sides were too evenly matched, benefited anyone. Such a condition can bring only greater suffering to all involved.

So, if Darkness and Light cannot peacefully coexist, the war becomes inevitable. As I will not help to perpetuate that war, I must then address the question: What would be the consequences if Light were to vanquish the Darkness? Would Light cease to exist for lack of a defining opposite? Can good not stand on its own merit, instead requiring the presence of venality and depravity to define its own existence?

If a child is born blind and sees nothing but darkness, does the lack of light in his world mean that the darkness he experiences does not exist? Certainly not. The darkness is still there, but the child's frame of reference is different. The lack of an opposite does not negate the reality of what is. Only perceptions and definitions are altered. Good and evil are each their own principle. It is true that without evil the world as we know it would no longer exist. It would be different. But I will not allow my fear of the unknown to cow me into supporting a balance of power. . . a balance that in turn supports Darkness. What kind of person would I be if I needed others to suffer in order to define my own contentment or the wicked to define my virtue? I am, simply, what I am. I am not made by the actions of others. Neither is the Light. I do not doubt that the Light can endure independent of Darkness, yet there is more to the issue of balance than grand definitions and perceptions of existence. To find the true heart of the matter, we must look to a smaller scale, we must look within ourselves.

Many people would say that both good and evil are an integral part of each of us, but I know that Lyfaye created this world, and everything in it, good. There is nothing inherently evil in anything She made. I know also that Lyfaye gave us the freedom to choose between Light and Darkness. I do not know why evil exists. I know only that it does, and, while we are not evil, we do have within us the potential to do evil -- all of us. I, myself, have felt its pull, for there have been moments when I wanted to hurt another or wished to see someone suffer. It is in those moments that I know I am near the door into Darkness, and all I need do to step through it is follow through on those dark urges.

In that second, I stand on the line between good and evil, and therein lies the balance. But it is not a balance of actions. On the personal level, I refuse to allow some people to suffer or die simply to balance out lives I have saved. On a larger scale, no atrocity of evil can negate one act of healing on my part. Likewise, no matter how many lives I save or how many paths I change, it will not make up for the tears of one small child, cowering alone in the darkness, wondering if the soldiers who killed her parents and burned her home will return. Were I to attempt to find balance in such deeds, it would be, in reality, no more than an effort to assuage my discomfort over the suffering of others. If I experience discomfort from certain acts, I should work to prevent them and solace the victims of them, not rationalize them. Every action must stand on its own merit.

The balance between good and evil is in actuality, one of potential. No matter how much good there is in the world, there will always be the potential to do evil. There will always be choice. Consequently, the risk of upsetting the balance lies, not in the cosmic interaction of good and evil, but in the struggle of the individual. If I were to deny my potential for evil, repress it, it could build up within me and surface unexpectedly and uncontrollably, in much the same way as repressed emotions. The only way I can defeat evil is to acknowledge my potential for it and learn to recognize when it is foremost in my thoughts. Only then can I consciously choose to turn away from Darkness and walk into the Light.

This presents an interesting challenge for me in my war against Darkness, for I no longer have a concrete foe with which to do battle. In many ways, the fight I face is a far greater struggle than any physical combat, and much more is at stake than lives. My mission becomes one of teaching, not one of combat. It is my charge to help people understand that the capacity for good and evil lies in their hands and just how great that potential is, as well as how to use it, for it is through us that the Light will grow and flourish.

My concern with the nature of balance and the consequences of upsetting it kept me from seeing the simple truth. . . there is balance within the Light -- not a balance of power but a balance of spirit. Imbalance stems from and feeds fear and hopelessness, allies of Darkness that allow it to more easily manipulate spirits who have lost their way. I must do what I can to light the darkness and lend courage.

In a sense, I do serve balance. . . . I serve the Light.

Group Organizer
Newington, CT
Post #: 211
Tides of Hate
Original Entry - March 22, 2001

I have spent the last few weeks in Aluene trying to counteract, or at least minimize, the impact the Lyfeians have had on the region. I had not thought my task would be so difficult, but hatred, once planted and nurtured, is a difficult seed to uproot.

While I was in town, a group calling themselves the Pur Cild, or “pure children”, held a meeting at a local inn. They claimed to support the rights of pure-blood humans and denounced the fey, whose blood they said was tainted with dark magic. I suspect they must have paid a handsome fee for the use of the inn, for I know the innkeep was not a staunch supporter of their movement. They encouraged the young people of the town to attend, promising to reveal “truths” long covered up by the fey and their misguided allies and proof that humanity was being subjugated. I, accompanied by Captain Theta Tarn and a company of Illyrian Knights, decided to attend.

I was never to set foot into the meeting, however. Captain Theta Tarn and the knights became involved in helping the town militia prevent a mob of protesters from tearing down the inn, and I had all I could handle with tending to wounded and trying to avert further bloodshed. I have seen enemy soldiers treat one another with more respect and honor then was displayed by the opposing factions that day. I admit that I expected as much from the Pur Cild, but I did not anticipate such violent, directionless anger on the part of those who stood against them. . . our potential allies.

As I watched the protesters, I found myself asking, what exactly do they stand against? I find it difficult to believe that they opposed hatred in general, for their words and acts reflected just as much hate as the Pur Cild. They threw stones and yelled out curses and obscenities. They burned icons - symbols of the “enemy”. They assaulted anyone who attempted to gain entrance to, or leave, the meeting. I watched as they attacked one of their own who was only trying to get into the inn to make his view known. I myself was struck as I attempted to go to the aid of someone wounded by the mob. Not only did they wield hatred, they were blind with it.

What, then, did they stand against? Did they oppose only certain kinds of hatred? Are there different kinds? If so, where does one draw the line, and how do we determine who is allowed to believe what?

. }|{ .

Just as surprising was the number of people who turned out to attend the Pur Cild meeting. It made me realize just how excellent is their propaganda. Very rarely do they tell outright lies. They supply facts and statistics out of context and with a unique slant. They quote “experts” and “religious doctrine” - also often out of context. They indeed have a powerful and well honed war machine, and the unknowing and naively curious are easily lured in and trapped.

Watching the protesters rail against the Pur Cild, I had to wonder, where are their anti-siege engines; where is the counter propaganda? Protesters turn out in droves to condemn, shout and fight, but not one of them offers a single word of compassion or enlightenment. Instead, they breed a different shade of hate, anger and fear. They do not fight for a cause; they have a cause so they can fight.

The enemy has orchestrated a masterful strike. He has set us against ourselves. We are losing the war, and our shores have not yet been invaded. We seek to fight, to perpetuate the conflict, when instead we should be tending to our gardens. The gardener does not weed a garden by standing at its edges, shouting and pummeling the weeds with stones. The gardener weeds a garden by crawling into it, digging into the earth with his hands, and replacing the weeds with flowers and nutrients.

It is our duty, not to simply state our opposition to the enemy, or even to silence him, but to truly oppose him. We must destroy his momentum - his war engine. We do this, not by playing his game, but by exposing it... by educating the people about his methods. We must cultivate the seeds of good values. Those of strong character and spirit will not easily fall prey to the enemy’s propaganda. Then, we can fill his meeting halls with strong souls who will not be swayed by his words of fear and hate, and there will be no ground on which to sow his seeds.

Group Organizer
Newington, CT
Post #: 212
Shards of Honor
Original Entry - June 17, 2001

Honor is a virtue that many whose company I keep hold in high regard. It is a trait that is sworn by, fought over, lost, won, sought as a prize, and offered as proof of character. Yet, for something apparently so central to life, the exact meaning of honor can be very elusive. Most definitions include integrity, honesty, loyalty, respect, and adherence to ethics. It is considered to be a unifying virtue that transcends physical borders and cultural boundaries.

For most of my life, I too have held to these tenets and valued my honor as part of me. But like all else that I was and am, I have forced myself to re-examine it, question it. Rather than trying to define honor, I began by studying its purpose, its effect. Honor would appear to serve two functions. It represents a broad code of ethics by which we qualitatively assess and define the nature of others, and it represents a narrower personal code derived from our own ideals and against which we measure ourselves. Without these as a backdrop, the virtues of loyalty, respect, courage, and prowess in battle mean nothing.

With this framework in mind, I set about evaluating how I view honor myself and how it influences my actions, reactions and expectations. In the end, no matter how much I rationalized and justified, I could come to but one conclusion. . . . Honor is an illusion. It has been a crutch that has allowed my ego to hobble through life with a sense of purpose and superiority. It has been a chain by which I have allowed myself to be led in pursuit of the respect of others. And it has been a blindfold that has kept me from truly looking at others and seeing them for who they are. . . .

As a means for assessing the nature of others, honor is subjective at best and, more often than not, deceptively misleading. A chaste monk condemns a sultan for keeping a harem of wives. A hunter is insulted by a vegetarian’s refusal to eat the meal he has prepared while his guest is offended at the destruction of life. A pacifist, who has sworn never to raise arms, is appalled by the warrior who loyally follows his battlechief’s command to put the enemy to the sword. In each of these cases, honor lies in the eye of the beholder.

Should I judge the honor of others by their adherence to my ethical codes or their own? If their codes require them to take an action that is in violation of what I view as ethical, are they dishonorable? Does my sense of honor require me to act against them, and if so, do I then become dishonorable in their eyes? This is how wars begin -- each side fighting for their ideal, their definition of what is honorable.

If I judge others as honorable for following their own tenets without taking into consideration the merit of those tenets, I indirectly endorse their beliefs. I left the Lyfeian Order because they saw themselves as superior to other races and sought the extermination of those races. Can I still consider them honorable for adhering to their doctrine? If I answer ‘yes’, then honor has no ethical value. It becomes a statistic defining consistent behavior.

It is also unrealistic for me to judge the world against my ideals and beliefs, for I would be expecting everyone to think as I think, to act as I would act. . . to essentially be me. Yet this is exactly what I have done, and it is no wonder that I have often felt let down. Worse, is the fact that by expecting to see my ideals and myself in others, I completely miss seeing them for who they really are. All I see is my disappointment in their failure to match up to my ideals and the shadow of the fear that I might not fare any better than they.

This brings me to the second purpose that honor serves. Most of us who revere honor live by personal codes that we have built from our ideals. We then use those codes to choose our actions and analyze our reactions. Our personal honor stems from a sense of having strong ethics and ideals and our success at living up to them.

Honor in this sense is little more than pride -- pride in having set ideals and pride in unfailingly adhering to those ideals. The desire to possess such honor drives some individuals to set low ethical standards simply to make adhering to them easier. Others profess to have high values yet make little effort to exemplify them, believing that simply having a noble ideal is enough to bring honor. Such pretenses are worthless and few are fooled by them.

Unfortunately, honor does not account for our ability to fool ourselves. In fact, honor encourages it. Honor based on pride does not look kindly on being wrong. Being wrong means either a blatant violation of a code or an error in the original ideal; either one results in a perceived loss of honor. Such a loss honor redirects our energies, wasting them on self-beratement, self-pity, and a futile attempt to regain what we feel we have lost. Anyone who has experienced this knows that nothing redeems such a misstep in our own eyes, and years can be wasted in the attempt.

In an effort to avoid a loss of honor, we have developed a very sophisticated defense. When faced with a moral dilemma regarding our actions, whether it be with regard to actions already taken or with those we want to take, we have a tendency to rationalize our motives. We recast them so that they appear to support our ideals.

Every time I draw my sword to defend myself or others, I violate a basic tenet of my belief -- that it is wrong to cause others to suffer. Yet I justify my actions by telling myself that I am preventing greater suffering, or that my ethics require me to stop others from causing suffering, or that by walking away I would be indirectly supporting the existence of suffering.

Such rationalization is one of the devices of pride and can be the first step on a dangerous path. Each time we rationalize an action, we skew our ideals ever so slightly. Eventually, the original ideals can become twisted almost beyond recognition, and our entire sense of being can be completely deformed. This change is so subtle and gradual that we might suddenly find ourselves falling from a great height without ever realizing that we stepped off a precipice -- after all, we were following our ideals. . . .

. }|{ .

Whenever I draw my blade, regardless of the reason, the end result is the same; additional suffering is wrought by my hand. In order to avoid a fall, I must stop rationalizing actions to match ethics. Nor can I allow failures to lead me down a path of self-retribution and self-pity, for then I can neither grow nor help others to grow. My ideals must be able to change as I learn. But in order for them to change for the better, I must be mindful of my thoughts, motives, ideals, words and actions. I must be diligent in my evaluation of my stance and my direction. Only then can I keep my balance on the edge of the precipice.

If such a thing as honor exists, it must not be based simply on the nature of our ideals and our adherence to codes, but on how our philosophy of life grows and changes as we are exposed to things that call into question those ideals and codes.

So. . . do I have honor? What definition shall you use, and whose word shall you take? Mine? My friends’? My enemies’? I care not, for with our limited understanding of the nature of our being, any definition or judgment must be based on but a shadow of the truth.

Group Organizer
Newington, CT
Post #: 213
Original Entry - May 22, 2010

It’s been two years, to the day, since Falana and Stalzer found me. None of us have spoken to the others of our journeys. I don’t know that there is really much to say. This wasn’t a stepping through a gate to another realm or even a leaving of our bodies to visit another plane of existence. We died… I, in the fight with Rangrel… Falana and Stalzer, trying to find me. Each of us took that path with intent, and I wonder if the walk is different for those who are trying to hang onto life in their last moments. Even now, I can’t find the words to describe my own journey to myself. I feel death always. I think she’s always been there, but, as mortals, we aren’t aware of her imminence. Oh, in our minds, we recognize we will die some day, but we do not know it with our whole being. We live as if death is infinitely far away. Perhaps that allows most people to function. But, I feel death as I feel the sun or wind on my face, and when everything is quiet and I close my eyes, she comes to me and sits by my side.

I say she, but I don’t know that death can even be personified. It is my interpretation of the feeling, just as I think of Lyfaye as she. It’s sometimes easy to forget that everything is filtered through the senses of the body. On the other side of death, I know it is different. You meet what you believe and you understand…. But I am no longer equipped to interpret that experience, and so I am left with this feeling of she. I wonder if it is the same for Falana and Stalzer.

I wonder if they also feel disconnected from everything that made this existence home to them or if that is unique to my subsequent path rather than a consequence of experiencing death. When they found me, I was ministering to the towns and villages around Harakti Tor, working to counter the darkness that was rising despite Seeledrache’s fall. I remembered nothing of my former life, my family, or my friends, but Falana and Stalzer knew me; so, in at least that respect, our journeys were different. I remember everyone now and what I was… before. But I am not the same Galatyne that left to fight the dragon cult two years ago. I am still a paladin of Lyfaye. I give glad greeting to my friends and enjoy their company. I still serve Illyr as a councilor and envoy. But… something is different.

I had found my calling. I knew my purpose. Now, everything is uncertain. Home does not bring comfort. The circles I once moved in feel strange and distant. I do not think others see what I am becoming. I am not sure I see what I am becoming, only that I am not what I was and that I cannot go “home.” Perhaps that is the nature of the quest. When one objective is reached, the next rises up. The setting, no matter how familiar is not the same because I see it, feel it, interact with it, differently. Nevertheless, I am at the beginning of the quest again, and that, in itself is invigorating. With new life comes new possibilities….

. }|{ .

Seeledrache and, I now suspect, Rangrel, are not the true root of the evil. They are only manifestations, vessels. I am not sure there is a root of evil. The people are the key. Kittarina opened that door as well. She touched the women of the Tor, and the Passeridae were born, rising up to fight for who they were. To destroy the minions of Seeldrache would have been to destroy a good, hardworking people who held within them the strength to stamp out the beast’s dark fire. Evil is self-consuming. Destroying what it inhabits fulfills its goals, hands it a victory. I cannot fight it on the field of battle with former comrades in arms. My weapons cannot be my weapons of old. Just as I feel death, so do I also feel the darkness… a whisper, a caress. And just as death is not separate from life, so darkness is not its own thing. What happens when you cast out a part of a whole? If I were to remove only one eye, I would still be able to see, but I would lose my perception of depth. So it is with all the pairs of opposites we create. Somewhere, therein, I believe lies my new path.

Group Organizer
Newington, CT
Post #: 214
A Shadowed Path
Original Entry - May 21, 2011

Death visited me again, today... visited the entire clan, actually. I have experienced what I consider to be avatars of life force; in many ways, that is what I feel the faeries to be. I have never particularly thought of death as something that could manifest, but why not? Death is, after all, a part of life. If the active, energetic aspect can manifest, why not the other aspect? I do believe it to be a very rare event, because death is not something we can relate to in these living bodies. Indeed, most people saw Death in different ways. Hoot exclaimed how beautiful she was. Others saw something ugly or familiar or foreign. Perhaps that has more to do with our perspective on life… or with where we are in our lives.

I don’t remember exactly what I saw at first. I think it was a blend of beauty and terror. I remember only her touch and entering a labyrinth of shadows. For the first time since… since Seeledrache… I remembered this place. I was between. I suspect the crossing is different for everyone. For me, it is a forest of shadows, each one something I don’t understand, dotted stars, points of light that I do understand. Last time there were only a handful of lights. This time, there were more. One in particular was the portal to the other side. Before, it was the deepest shadow. But I knew that way, now, and it glowed with a faint nimbus.

But that wasn’t my way, this time. I searched through the shadows and soon found something familiar, the faintest of lights, one gold, one a deep purple. I parted the shadows around them and saw Stalzer and Lorelei standing over me. Death, which I saw as only a hole, had moved away. And then I awoke.

. }|{ .

Death is not a separate being. It is one part of life. What I believe we experienced was all of creation taking a form we could relate to as the transition that is death in order to focus us on what is coming. And what is coming? Death said a great darkness, but that does not necessarily mean evil. The shadows of my crossing are dark, but not evil. They are unknown, uncertain. Death said we would have to work with our enemies, some that we have labeled as evil. But just as life and death are each only part of the whole, so might good and evil be perceived simply as aspects of that same whole. I think that is why I do not sense evil as I once could—I cannot sense it because I am not sure I believe in it. Perhaps Lyfaye set me on this path to battle evil for just that reason… so that I could see that it did not exist. My question now is, what is it that she is preparing me for?

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Newington, CT

Founded Feb 23, 2014


Galatyne, Aranek, Clianna Clearman Ferngather, Lorelei, Medva

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