I met with Eli, Lil, whathave you today. She, once again, bestowed wisdom upon me. It amazes me the clarity with which some think. She spoke of philosophical topics as well, and I contributed slightly, but I am no philosophist. I know people, I know habits, but I am no great thinker. Tactics? Sure. The habits of a man being hunted? Unfortunately. The inner mind of a woman, withdrawn unto herself and losing faith in the world around her? No, I cannot say that that is a skill set I ever picked up.
However, while I spoke to Eli, and heard her words, I looked down in thought. What did I see there? A face, my own, and yet another's too. I saw the face of my father. The man who went down fighting, he never gave up. Why was I? His strength was in honor and his dedication was supreme. He had courage, confidence, and conviction, and yet I received a true test of these qualities of myself as a man, and I failed. My courage, quickly waned. My confidence? Utterly lost in the bottom of a bottle. My conviction? Flagging in almost all aspects of my life save one. It was then that I realized a spark within my eyes. I looked and I saw the past.
I saw my father, raising me. I saw my father, leading the militia in training. I saw my father, readying the men to repel the Trolls again and again. And then I saw myself. My dark memories, my trip south, my first true kill, my time as a Hound, my time as a Guard afterwards, the Legion, and now the Templars. My morals have changed, shifted. There have been points of great change, and periods of slow change, but they have constantly shifted. I want to see no more blood, and that was when I realized the truth of everything.
Despite my anger, despite my resentment for his methods, I would still have died for the Baron. Monroe was what everyone claimed him to be, but he was needed in this troubled time. Compassion and mercy would eventually lead to ruin, but with one hand stern and the other outstretched in aid, the people of the Alliance served better. Should someone betray the aid given, the stern hand would beat them. Should the stern hand cause too much agony, the outstretched hand would again give aid. An endless cycle that was disturbed by a third hand. That which remains hidden and plots, the cultists of the Twilight's Hammer prove to be a troublesome foe, and yet we must grow stronger and unite again in the righteous cause of stopping Deathwing, and surviving against the Horde.
While my reasons for submitting and becoming a 'follower' to Velhari as she terms it are long in the making, I believe the Baron's assault pushed me beyond anything. I reacted badly, violently. I was lost, so blind to what I was doing. I struck Velhari. In a moment of trial, I failed. But in failure, I will yet learn and pray for success. I write this on gryphonback, and I have a plan.
With Eli's words of wisdom, and these braids of my father, I know now what I must do. I must not give up, I must not lay down like a beaten dog. I am Sielic Trugran, I love Velhari Demare, and I will show it to her again, as I did in the beginning. She suffers greatly, and at my own feet lies much blame, but I will make it right. I will ease this pain. It will take time. Much, much time. However, it was worth it before and I truly believe it to still be worth it.
Father, though I will not be wearing your braids much longer, I honor you always. I love you, and miss you everyday. I know I have your blessing in my heart, and I will prove that I deserve your pride and your blood flowing through me.
I am not done yet…
Once again, I find myself alone in my house. I will not be hearing them anymore, I suppose, and yet the silence is louder than any noise I could make. For a time, they were like my own parents, lost to me so many years ago, and it was relaxing to have people to talk to, if it was a bit sparse and did not mean much, but I still grew to care for them as if they were my own. And now they're gone.
I suppose they will be safer being moved, but good feelings and suppositions does not fill the silence with noise. I was planning to stay at home for some time merely a week ago, and now I cannot bear to remain within these walls. The town still hustles and bustles, but there is nothing in my home for me any longer. It has served its purpose, maybe it is time to be rid of it. Memories remain, but they will not fill the silence left either.
These days were a welcome diversion from everything happening, but it seems my vacation has been cut short. Though I was not idle, it is time to become more active. There are people to see, potions to brew, and ideas to pursue. Two more names will be added to the list of folks I miss, and I am sure many more will be added shortly, but all I can do is remember and miss them, the same with my own folks.
I live on, and it is time to get moving. After I sell this, maybe I can move somewhere colder. I always hated the hot summers here anyway.
Time to make some noise, nothing else will.
To continue this Legacy of mine… Training was a constant. We were always running, working, sparring. We acted as thieves, brigands, bandits, highwaymen, assassins, mercenaries, and sellswords. No matter the title given the job, if it involved blades, morally concerning activities, and gold, we were sent on the task. As I wrote many pages back, I killed very few people. Assassin contracts were rare, and usually handled by more experienced men and women than the people on my level. I spent many days in the beginning robbing people blind as they travelled. I finally managed, after some time, to gain an approximate headcount on the people in the camp and realized how off my numbers were. I was overwhelmed by the activity, but there could not have been more than seventy or so people. Most people were broken into rings of ten folks or so and one 'veteran' of the brigade was always chosen to oversee the ring.
Our veteran was missing four fingers, three from his left and one from his right. He wore an eyepatch on his right eye, and had a scar travelling across his scalp, hair refusing to grow back through the scar tissue. His scars did not stop, anywhere. His face was crisscrossed with them and his body was almost literally covered with them. One man in the group, I never knew his name, spoke up one day and asked how he got all those scars. The veteran did not reply, and we continued with our duties, but the man was not there the next day and no one knew for sure what happened to him, but we all knew the veteran was the cause of it.
I vividly recall an assignment we had. There was an assassination contract placed a local Lady's head. Apparently, she recently came into a nearby settlement and the local Lord was quite taken with her so he wed her. Rumours abound on how forceful the Lord was, but the women who had been eyeing the same Lord for some time could not take 'no' for an answer. They hired us to deal with her and orders came down to our ring. The nine of us, no one ever replaced the missing man, and our veteran were to handle this. The nine of us would infiltrate the compoud and handle the local militiamen and guards of the building, while the veteran was to kill the woman. Simple enough, and the blood would not be on my hands, so what did I care?
At night, we proceeded out. Our footfalls were quiet, and padded as we slipped down the alleys of the city and they climbed over the walls. The mission went off perfectly, and the guards were soon taken care of. Some had slit the throats of the guards, but I had managed to get the drop on mine and knocked him unconcious. He would never know the kindness I gave him that day, but at least I could remember. The veteran proceeded into the inner chambers of the house, and we heard a body fall. Afterwards, he brought her corpse outside. To 'reward' us for our accomplishments, we were allowed to look through the rooms on our own and return to camp before dawn. Anyone caught would be on their own and would, undoubtedly, answer to all the crimes committed there.
I was in no hurry to return and so I proceeded into the building, gazing around the room. Something glinted in the moonlight and I stooped over and picked it up. It was a small, unadorned ring. I turned it over in my hands, but could find nothing on the outside. The inner band seemed to have some writing on it. I held it up to the moonlight and barely caught glimpse of the words, before I recognized the inscription. I almost dropped the ring in horror and disgust at what had happened, and only managed to stay standing by leaning heavily against the wall next to me.
The ring's inscription read 'Keep smiling, and live proud. ~ Kirelle'. This was the inscription my mother put on the ring she gave my father as a gift. I had seen it hang around his neck many days while I was a youth, and always asked about it. My father always told me he would tell me one day, but I never learned. I knew that when he went into battle, he always left it in her care and on one level, I wished that I did not know what this ring being here had to mean for my home, and yet I knew. I clutched the ring tightly to my breast, before concealing it on my person. I looked for the Lady the contract was out for. The veteran had taken her hand, literally, to prove death and that he caused it and I kneeled over her body looking into her eyes for a long while. I wept for her for hours, until the early rays of light began to creep across the ground. Here she laid, never again to make me smile or laugh or embarass my father or tend to me. Kirelle. I whispered one word on the wind before I left. I did not return back to camp. Dawn had come, and the bandits had grown complacent, trusting of their hold over all of us. I was much further south than I had ever travelled, and I did not know how to return home, so I set out in the opposite direction from the camp, wanting to put as much space between them and myself.
I keep that ring with me still. Always.