During a brief lull in between the excessively destructive, apocalyptic scale assaults from the Burning Legion, Janderius found himself sitting down in the dormant grass a few miles away from what remained of Sentinel Hill. Dark, ominous clouds continued to hang thick over the region, accompanied by hints of the sinister green hue which indicated the gross abundance of fel magic.

The unnatural weather changes didn’t just end with the cloud cover, though. Violent dry thunderstorms continued to rattle the land without ceasing. Persistent green wildfires spread across the plains, taking out buildings and crops in their path, highly resistant to most conventional methods of fire extinguishing. The fel magic itself seeped into the ground wherever the demons tread, destroying the hard-earned fertility of the soil and mercilessly killing all hopes of life being able to flourish there again anytime soon. The land itself was being repeatedly violated in a relentless, one sided massacre.

On top of all that, the endless hordes of disposable demons took great pleasure in ending every life they could sink their hideous talons into as well. Every crop, every home, every innocent life. They did not loot,  they did not take prisoners. If utter annihilation was their only goal, they were certainly well on their way to achieving it.

Westfall could not catch a break. Its defenders continued to do everything they could to stem the tide, but two weeks into these invasions, their hopes began to falter. The war was being lost.

“When it rains, it pours…”

Jander sighed and scratched out the hammy, over-the-top, cringe-worthy words that he’d decided to open his latest journal entry with. After pausing to adjust the black band tied around his arm, he took a deep breath and tried again.

I’m tired.

Loud cursing followed as he scratched out that attempt as well.

I’ve got so much shit falling down around my ears right now I can’t even do it justice with a few self-important words on a page. My body is beat to shit, my mind is fucked, I have a long list of very important things to do, but all I can do is sit here like a sad sack and stare at the damage.”

The ghost of a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth as he looked down at the page. That was better.

I’m sitting here in a ruined field, on dead grass, looking at the remains of the farm. Our farm. Fucking demons walked all over it. It’s been my home for pretty much my whole life, and now look at it. A pile of god damned trash. Even if we did move out of it years ago, it will still always be the Reed family farm. It made it through the defias uprising, the cataclysm, the second defias uprising… but apparently the fourth time was the charm. The new tenants were holed up inside when it happened, the poor bastards. Took days before the bonewagons from Darkshire could make it our here to collect them.

Mom and Dad are still safe up in Lakeshire, but it’s been a few days since I’ve last visited them. I should go check in on them again. All the more reason for me to be grateful that they decided to move up there.

When I’m not fighting the demons, I’m giving everything I can to help all of these poor folks who’ve been able to survive this long. It’s been like this for two weeks now and I’m so god damned tired.

On top of all that, half the damn Templars are fucking disappearing! I’ve had to scry the locations of missing persons every other day since all of this started happening. They love to come to me just for that specific service, but nothing else. And it’s fucking exhausting! Takes hours, and it uses up everything I have in the tank.

It’s either that or the god damned portals. “Make me a portal, mage! Scry my missing lover’s location so I don’t have to go looking myself, mage! Conjure me some food, mage!” Fucking ingrates, can’t even get them to come help me with the refugees without begging for it at every turn.

The King’s dead… the Justicar’s super fucking knocked up when we need her the most… my friend still rots in a cell… God dammit, everything is so fucked!

I have to put on a brave face despite how enraged all of this shit has made me. Even Mina, Unaara, Jamethera… I have to be strong for them. The Templars too. Fuck all of this shit. I’m so upset, but I just keep smiling and over-exerting myself to help at every turn, like it’s no problem at all.

They don’t know.

And another thing! All of this shit that happened last night! What a god-damned shit-show! An entire platoon’s worth of warlocks and demon hunters can’t even kill one fucking demon?!? Are you kidding me? I wish I could have ignored Esreiella’s requests for my help. It was all just more mage specific shit anyway. Should have got one of the many arch magi to help her instead.

I’m so tired. I need to rest, but I also need to find the poor girl who was dragged off by the demon that those walking failures couldn’t take care of.”

He sighed again, setting the journal down so he could rub his face in a vain attempt to stave off the weariness.

All of that ranting aside… the Templars need me to be at my best. It’s what I’ve shown them so far, so that’s what I’ll continue to do. The feral, misguided Phantom Legion battle mage is long gone.

Pops used to say… true courage doesn’t come from being fearless. It comes from stepping up and pushing back when it would otherwise cripple you the most.

My complaints can wait. Remember your training, Jander. Anger leads to sloppy incantations and failed spells. It’s time to get it together and show them the man worth looking up to.

Author Jander
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