The Edge of Empire

Forged Anew

On the first night of the company’s journey to Evereska, Thrugoth finds time to himself and prays silently to Moradin. Afterward, moving with visible unease, he writes on a piece of paper he pulls from his small satchel

Answers are most painful when they hit closest to the truth. This shouldn’t shock me as it does now, having seen the number of decades that I have. Yet it does, father. For I’m faced with my own cowardice. Facing that worst of demons which can lay a mighty warrior low, or bring question into the most devout of hearts.

I’ve crossed paths with them again. Most likely talked to one, without my even knowing it. Were a cursed creature ever created by the enemies of truth and good, it was this race of changlings. What good could ever come from such an inborn ability? Only ever deceit & deception.

But, is my cowardice any worse? Always did I tell myself that I was seeking this kind, to get answers. When, in fact, I was running from my past. Running from something I had little control over. Had it not been your words, I would not be drawing breath today. And how do I repay this?

And so, facing my cowardice, I run from them again. Yes, I have an excuse. Yes, it may lead to bettering the world for the fair races. Yet, I know I could stay and work at getting an understanding of what happened back then, and, most importantly…why!?

As I run, I cast my lot with this strange band of persons. We are an effective fighting force, that much I can take pride in. However, they do not think like us, except, perhaps the elf (forgive me for saying so, father). His morals are uncomprimising, which I take great comfort in. The human fights with honor & integrity, and I cast my lot with him with pride. But he still sees the world as a human, at least when his sword is not in action. The eladrin is a true creature of the fey, likable one minute, detestable the next. I sit uneasy plying the battlefield with one who fights with no honor, yet, my choices are limited. And the walking pile of gems…this one is troubling. His soul is good, I feel, but his view of this world is deeply flawed…arrogant, even. He must be new to this world, to understand so little of it.

So, here I am, on a path to the kingdom of the elves. Seeing new lands in which I will truly be an alien. Yet, I feel I am an alien to myself. This fear burns bright in my heart, fear that the changlings will meddle in my affairs and turn my world upside-down, once again. And so, in this fear I reforge my heart, my will, my vision. The next time I cross paths with these creatures, it is they who will run in fear. They who will wonder how it is their world is turned upside-down. They who cry in the dark recess of the stone to bring it all back.

Let me be an instrument of their destruction. To this, O Great Moradin, I fervently pray.

Thurgoth carefully folds the letter and places it back into the satchel. He takes guard all night, refusing to sleep or rest, his eyes fixed on the horizon.



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