(This entry is in reference to Session #26)
So, like, I read over my journal entries for the last few weeks, and they’re all totally lame, whiny bullshit. Worrying about whether or not I’d be able to protect the weaker folks around me, existential bullshit about dying (again, and then again), wondering if I’m a bad-ass enough vessel for the Lord in Iron’s bitch-slaps against all the magical fuckery that’s going down in Tsar, complaining that nobody was putting any serious effort into trying to unite the factions in The Camp so we could have organized strikes and junk…
Like I said, all a bunch of whiny, little-girl-crying-into-her-diary nonsense. I’m not sure what the hell was wrong with me when I wrote it all.
Mayhaps more mystical mojo-minimizing mindfuckery, making me mistrust my more militant motivations? Meh.
Anyway, I burned pretty much everything I’ve written over the last month. I tore out the stuff the Pathfinders will want, maps, notes on traps, and the like, but it’s time I be honest with myself. There’s no way in all six hundred and sixty-six hells that I or anyone else is going to actually survive this war, or that I’m going to be the one to chronicle our exploits and live to be a hero recognized around the world even when I’m an old, weak woman too frail to fall down a set of stairs without breaking. Some kind of time ghosts or whatever have made me look old beyond my years, and I should get a portrait taken before Vang fixes it because I’d put down damn good money I’ll never live to see this face naturally.
No, if I win, the only thing that’s going to survive is going to be the echoing thunder of Krant’s Joy roaring around the world a few hundred times, deafening a generation, and letting the masses know that the mightiest in the world did her damn job. Not out of duty or obligation, not to save their pathetic puny asses, not for fame or glory, and not even because she was the best person to get it done. It’s because it was the biggest battle she’d ever be able to find in her lifetime, and there is no joy better than the best fight.
Or maybe I should write it now? I like the part where I put Orcus’ head on a stick as use that as a morningstar to pound Tsar Baboon’s jewel-encrusted skull into glitter for Cassandra’s make-up.
On the topic of bad habits… After dying against Malerix and General Myrac, I realized a weakness in myself I’d never noticed before: I hold back. I hold back in choosing my battles because I’m worried that some fights are too tough for us, that we’ll be killed and fail to save the world. Why the hell am I fearing fear for the squishy people around me? By this point, they’ve had clear notice of their squishy natures, and nobody’s forcing them to keep at this. If a fight’s too much for them, that’s their problem, not mine.
The last time I visited The Forge, the Man in Metal beat into my thick skull another way I’d been holding back. Somehow, even with the thousands of times I’ve been shot, stabbed, sliced, smashed (Anselme said that block in Kirash Durgaut weighed something like a million pounds, and it just winded me a bit), set on fire or snapped in half, there’s still that tiny little instinct in me to flinch, to jump out of the way.
I’ve tried to fully embrace my Lord in Iron’s lessons that I’m always going to get hit. Now, perhaps as a reward, or because my weakness has diminished sufficiently, he’s shown me that there’s a another impulse, one where I lunge into the blow. I will still always get hit, of course, hit harder even. And with the momentum of that lunge, I swing back. In trading pain for pain, my exchange rate makes the Usurer look downright charitable. Soon (and I mean real soon, these guys seem to learn any new tactics we kick out before we’ve thought of them), every jackass in Tsar is going to be as afraid of hitting me as they are of taking one from the baddest bitch this race has to offer. Frankly, it’s almost too bad that we ended up taking on Myrac before I learned this, things might have turned out so differently…
Well, that’s why I’m looking forward to taking on the Swamp in the lower level of Tsar. Based on what we’ve learned about the forces that run this place, that’s probably a good shot for where we’ll find the black dragon Karkuune. I think back on the first time I saw a dragon and nearly pissed myself, and I want to reach back through the weeks and smack myself silly for being such a coward. I almost had the last bastard, Malerix, but he managed to take me out with a cheap shot, then fell to arrows and fireballs. This time, I want to walk right onto that dragon’s turf, take a big steamy shit right on his front lawn, then shove his pointy head so far up his ass that my disemboweling him also cuts his head clean off.
I want to see this city burning, and leveled flat before we knock it back into the void from whence it came. Draining the swamp and then filling it with the ruins of the next plateau would be a good start, I think.
Ugh, I’m tired of writing. I think I’ll go bust some heads in the tavern before getting to sleep. Long day of kicking ass ahead of me.