Dawn of the Red Moon

Second Missive to "Grandfather" Laik

"Grandfather" Kolom Laik, I Salute You

From the distant City of Baldur's Gate, I greet You. From half a Fist of Moons of Time I greet to You.

Oh, "Grandfather," do not carve my Name from the Gate of the Academy. Let my Story yet be long, and the End of It be better than the Start.

In this Land I have found a Bog of the Mind. Here have I learned how far I have yet to travel before I may be called a Son.

Since last I made Words to You a Species of Filth has clouded the Thoughts of my Mind and caused my Dreams to be black and silent. My Dreams have been as the Grave where the Body sleeps without waking. Yet, even in my Days did my Thoughts fail to yield any Color of Reason.

Here have I first known War. At Home I knew only the honorable Clash of Disputes between Hero and Hero. Here did I come to know that Storm of almost-constant Thunder as the (cursed dragon emblem), Death dominate the dishonorable amon them, have fallen upon the crumbled Bones that once was a City. The mighty Men of the Wolven Moons likewise have mounted Seige — no, have broken in upon the City as Waves upon a Warren of Sand upon a Beach. Fighting has been so constant as to become more as breathing.

In the Tales and Hymns we learn how War may drain the Blood from the Hearts and Minds of Warriors over Time, and it seemed This was also occuring in Me, but having returned again closer to my usual Tower of Observation, I suspect there was more of arcane Tampering than mere Weariness.

For about a full season I found great Opportunity to hone the Blade of my Skills upon the Stone of Battle. In this ravaged Land I found One who recognized your Hand in my Gauntlet and he honored me with his Coin in exchange for my Arm.  So handsome was his Reward I have obtained some few Books and other Objects to lend increasing Depth to the Etchings of my Mind.

But such was the State of my Observatin that I failed to smell the Stench of Bondage. My Patron brokered Workers with other Patrons, except that these Workers were Slaves, "Grandfather." I defended the Works and the Person of this Chainsman, "Grandfather," until only last Evening when a powerful "Cousin" violently assaulted my Mind and the Wind of his Words fanned asside the Fog of bitter Ignorance.

"Grandfather," Wisdom is sweet to possess, but bitter to gain. Your Words remain true, as I testify in this Missive.

My Blood tells me I should have better seen. My Observation tells me I am not the First to be deceived, and even the Greatest knew failure before ever They knew Victory.

In the Midst of my drowned Thoughts I found a human Lad starving as the youngest of a large Family. For less than the Price of a pack Mule I bought this Lad, named Aedvard, from his People, that They and He might better eat. When the Deadalive "Cousin" awakened me to a grim, yet clearer Dawn of Observation, I asked Myself if I had become the very Monster our Kind despises. But Aedvard is only bound to me by his Oath and not by Chains. I treat Him as a Smith treats the very first Form of any Blade, but the Lad complies as his own Lights show him. I say to him, "Feed the Animals," and he does so without my Instruction — lest he asks — and I do not watch him to see that he complies. I have had no Cause to chasten him, as he was starven when I found Him and thus too dull to make Resistance, and by fair Dealings as He fed and recovered he has found the Desire to serve well. He is a Fist of Suns from breeding, and He may not make a Warrior, yet I see for Him a Tomorrow of excellent Service as such Implement as He decides to become. He may not make a Sword, but He has the Metal to be a Hammer, a Spear or other honorable Device.

As this Missive departs my Hand on its Way to you, "Grandfather," I depart yet again under the Auspice of Sir Trink of Baldur's Gate. I have been restored to the Company of the "Cousins" I first met when I landed Here the quarter Sun apast. We return to the decrepit Place where once a Scholar amassed Knowledge of (cursed dragon emblem), the Sword and the Dirt for Those of darkest Hearts. One among us, a human Spellsmith, has shown Respect for Those we hold in lowest Regard, and so I make Room in my Observations for Any that may possess Honor, but never forgetting the capacity for Sin among them, or the Sin that Kind has spilled upon our People.

May these Words find you well, "Grandfather." May the dull and honorless Ground that is the Beginning of my own Romance yet produce a Blade upon which is deeply and well-formed the Name of my "Grandfather," and of my Father and Kin whose Names will yet be restored.

If that One who betrayed our shared Name still lives, may his Days be as Nights of Nausea, and his Nights as burning Noons of Fever, until I return to cool his (cursed dragon emblem) Heart forever and, in doing so, restore even his Name….

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Winterheart

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