‘Through the void, in my hollowed out, brittle shell
I am but dust, strangely whole with the cosmos.
A wraith by the wreathe of a campfire
The wind-through-trees which ushers fearful looks.
My eyes are become pitch, jet like heavens
Empty of stars, populated by nothing.
The more I think of her smile, or his
Of their castles and fanes
The more a mirror is help up to my eye
By a cruel jester who says ‘you shall have none of this!
Yours shall forever be storm and fury
Dreams of pain upon pain.’
We all look in from without, we rebels.
We gaze in at the followers and serfs
Whose ignorance enacts great evil every day
And whose compliance feeds every tyranny.
Yet what unites us but out hatred for the powerful
Our wish to burn their palaces and slaughter their lineages?
There is little warmth here, and our unity is fleeting.
We have no culture and no history
We are like phantoms with swords.
Who could love us, we sorry men
Who fight for the will of the true gods
To bring Balance back into the world of men,
Yet lose even when we win.
For our graves will go unmarked
Our deeds will enter no chronicle or tapestry
And, verily, until the final day of His reign
The people we strive to liberate
Will hold spears to our throats
So strong their need to hold on to illusion
So great their fear of freedom.
This resentment shall not fade
Even after the King is long dead, and they long free
Spite they will carry for us
If they think of us at all.
Considering the ubiquity of our plight
In the march of history
I feel Nature is a bittersweet generator
Of great cosmic bastards
The likes of which we are two.’
Gylfanon smiled, grimly.
‘It seems that you see the world swathed in shadow
As reflection of your own tumultuous, exiled soul.
I doubt not the truth of your words, friend
Only that they be but one aspect
Of a much broader truth.
But now it occurs to me
If this is how you see the world
So dark and full of shadow
Pain and suffering so inevitable
Grief caused just by seeing the happiness of others
And yet still you hold on to hope and virtue
Then perhaps you are the boldest of us all, Akiorus.
From a scarred and unforgiving past
You have become a chieftain of magecraft
Born not of high blood or esteem;
The opposite – born of Stygian depths!
Every triumph you have earned of your own mettle.
I am prouder of you this day
Than any of my lieutenants.’