To the Friends He Leaves Behind
I thank Kaal that I was born a fool, for if I were born wise, I wince at the horrors and sins I might have accomplished in life. But, if you are reading this, I have died. Hopefully, it was an honorable death, but it would be my ultimate punishment and justice to be struck down in much the same way I have struck down others, through treachery and deceit. But, I will simply assume the best, as I will assume I’ve been peaceably lain to rest.Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
I am going to start with my most beloved and work my way down. I hope I incur no offense by the order I select, seeing as that would be exceedingly selfish. As far as funeral arrangements go, simply give me whatever is practical at the time. No big service, no dramatic tears, just something small, succinct, that will provide comfort to those who need it. Nothing more.
To my son, Gwyn Bezalel Dredson, I bequeath to you my sword, Karma, along with the fifteen thousand gold keshra I have in the Bank of Windsong for your education, and upon completing that, your useage as you see fit. I would request that Aerisaen uth Braegon be the holder and distributer of this sum of money until the time that he sees his education complete. And, if he is unwilling to take this task, to find someone who can be trusted to take on this task.
To my dearest love, Souji, I know you want nothing material from me. So, I will not do you the dishonor of leaving you such (though I could not stop you from taking some memento of me from my various possession not otherwise distributed). Instead, I charge you with the task of taking Kihala to the Chapel of the Flamebringer in Windsong and ensuring that it is safely kept until another seen worthy of wielding it is found. If I have fallen and Kihala unretrievable, it is imperitive that she not be destroyed again, so your mission from me, my love, would still stand.
To Dame Astrid Bernhard, for you will always be my Knightly mentor, I cannot think of a thing to leave, so I leave you with something to remember me by. Through your own trials and tribulations, you never hesitated to guide me… And I know you well enough right now that you’re blaming yourself. Stop that. In my desk is my journal, which is yours to keep and peruse at your will. It chronicles the events of my life from my indoctrination into the Order of the Flamebringer until my death, presumably. Read it, know it, and carry a piece of me with you always. I love you,
Astrid. Never forget that. Please.
To Berwyn, my good friend and comrade through thick and thin, I leave you my two rings, which have served me well in my time. The Ring of Fierce will can protect you against the strongest of mental attacks, something that even a big, block headed Northlander like you might need. And the Ring of the Father Flame… I hope it serves to remind you of what we are doing here, what we are fighting for. Now you must be the heart of this operation and the hero that this war needs. I hope to see you at Kaal’s table one day, brother. I await your story.
To Aerisaen, whom is simply lost in the dark, I leave you something that I hope can guide you through the times ahead. In my personal study in the Edge of Dreaming Hotel, which Xandra can lead you to, are four book drafts, each of which are theological expositions I meant to publish some day. I make you their executor under the condition that you peruse them yourself. While I know you do not put much stock in gods, I hope that you might one day find something within yourself so that you might move forward from where you are.
To Arathys, whom I consider both my pupil and my mentor, I leave you some things that will, no doubt, help you on your path. Never have I seen a man so driven, so destined to be something greater than I could ever achieve. I know from experience that out of the darkest corners the brightest lights are born. And to guide you on your path to being that light, I leave you with the key to my personal study. Xandra holds it and can take you there, where you will find my personal notes and investigations into the happenings of the last twenty-seven years or so. I believe in you fully, Arathys. Remember that.
And finally, speaking of pupils, Leana. I can hardly offer you a material good that will outweigh how I failed you as a mentor. Know that I never blamed you and was never disappointed in you for turning away from the Knight’s path. Wherever you lie, wherever your life’s path takes you, know that anywhere I would have been welcome, you will be welcome. And for this, take my Signet of the Flamebringer to wear it as long as you carry honor.
As for anyone else, I hope that you can forgive me for not including you. Aedan, you know what I leave you, and I hope that it guides you in the years to come. We have always walked the opposite path, brother, but I love you no less for it. As a matter of fact, our love was what fueled our hate, and only now do I wish I’d been less of a fool to you.
Friends, we stand on the precipice of the end of the world. The end of reality itself looms on the horizon, a black cloud of smoke in which dark lightning flashes and thunder roars. We stand as the Vanguard against this, and now I am not with you to stand by you. But know that I did not die in tragedy, but triumph. Know that I lived as a man should live, died as a man should die. And I did not live in vain as long as you stand fast. I know these ideals to be as true as the air I breathe and the flames I wield, for I was able to perform a miracle in their name… A miracle to perform a miracle.