Tales of Shore Blossom

Letters to Ayli

Part 1

(Translated from draconic)

 

My dearest Ayli, Will of the Eternal;

 

I miss you. I miss our childhood. As we grow, simplicity loses its edges. Remember back when the three of us would sit in the gardens and talk about everything? One particular night comes to mind; You and Jonna convinced me that the world beyond the Dragon Isles was kind, honorable, and compassionate; that the clarity of what was honest and good was distinctly and vividly set apart from the evils of the world. I believed you… I want to believe you still, yet, now being so far away, I suspect the two of you were wrong. In my travels beyond the monastery I’ve come across questions and concerns that I feel the temple had not prepared me for. I feel lost more than anything. Master Eternal always said that I was “wise well beyond my years”, yet I feel as though I do not have the strength of spirit to ponder the dichotomies that I have encountered in my travels. I fear as though the very core of my thoughts are broken.

Not long ago I killed a heretic kobold in anger. He was a heretic, yet I killed him for slighting the First Dragon. I was vengeful and full of rage to the point that I even denied this heretic the grace of redemption through Aion’s cleansing fire. This is not who I am; or so I thought. I did it. It was I who denied the creature’s soul the mercy that was not mine to deny. I’ve been merciful to so many of its brethren, yet not this one. And for why? Was it anger? Was this justice? Had he not proven himself unworthy of the touch of eternity? These questions I asked myself after the act. It was an action done in spite. The questions, although relevant, came at a time that would suggest that they were a way to justify my guilt.

I helped others murder a troll. This was murder. You know me. I do not attack without provocation. In the face of this monstrosity though, I attacked first. We opened the door to its home and it simply defended its hearth. Is that dishonorable? Any of the goodly folk that I know would do the same. I was assured, after its death, that these creatures are inherently evil and that we did a good thing. Yet isn’t destroying evil in an evil way an evil act? We later found evidence that the beast did, indeed, have a nefarious motive, yet that was weeks after its death. Does the evidence exonerate such a breach of honorable conduct? Are we not sworn to slaughter the servants of the Dark One without need for probable cause? How is this any different? If it isn’t; then why do I lament with such intensity over it?

I chose not to help my traveling companions slaughter a truly evil goblinoid creature as a result of the troll’s unethical end. I had no evidence of its malicious duty and I would not engage. It did not even have the opportunity to attack before one of my cohorts maliciously cast a spell into its back. From behind! I was horrified! The others of the group joined in. It was… I have no words. This was the most cowardly and malicious act; yet, this very action set in to motion a ploy that could save hundreds, if not thousands of lives; lives that I have sworn to protect. I take no pride in the manipulation or lack of honor, but I can’t help but smile at the resolution. To add to the turmoil of the situation, the human-elf that put this murder in to motion committed the highest form of heresy to do so. I find his actions appalling, however, the end, I fear, completely justifies the means. I hate that I must admit that, but I will not lie. Am I losing me in the turmoil of the outside world? Is this what Master Timeless wanted me to experience to find my "true self"? Is finding my “true self” worth losing my finite depictions of what is moral and ethical to what achieves the best result for the common good? I can’t answer these questions. If I do… I don’t know. You have always been more intuitive than I have been. I miss your clarity of reason. I want you here. I need you here. I fear that once I return to the order I will not be the same person that I once was. Perhaps that’s what Master Timeless demands of me.

 

Oh! And I wrestled a black dragon to the ground and as my friend, Eucarion, would say “kicked its ass”… the world outside the monastery has its perks. You see, kicking something in the hindquarters is embarrassing, so, in common, we say that to imply that it was an embarrassing defeat to the opponent.

 

Your most beloved friend in past, present and future,

Kodu, Fist of the Infinite

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