I goofed hardcore with Saturday’s – it’s there in hardcopy but weddings and D&D and mahjong and hilarious hypothetical slashfic contests with pichy have prevented it from being transcribed. Should be up on Monday. For now, here’s something D&D-related, a letter of sorts from a future character of mine to my current PC. And yeah, trees. Them’s the breaks.
Master Alder, I hope this letter finds you in good health.
I realise it has been some time since I last wrote to you. My training leaves me with little personal time,and much of it is spent simply resting. The daily weapon drill and all of the physical training is quite familiar to me, and I have endured worse in battle; the instruction in magic, however, is truly exhausting. Every day I am required to stretch my arcane powers to the full extent of my limited understanding before theoretical instruction begins. In some ways, this is more difficult than any test of fitness of magical knack I have faced. I am many years behind all of the other students in magic theory, and I do not harbour any illusions of catching up to them. I have no intention of setting out to become a master spellcaster; I do not have the patience for it.
It is strange, really – for all their talent and promise, many of these wizards in training seem to envy my powers – they see them as a shortcut to the strength they desire. I know that for you, the knowledge that must be acquired in order to master arcane power is its own reward, as useful as any spell and far more reliable. They have no choice but to see it differently, I suppose: most of them have never seen a battlefield, and I doubt any have used a sword before they came to this academy. They see magic as a privilege, not a responsibility, and I suppose that such a perspective would indeed see my heritage as enviable. For them, power is something that will make them free: they believe it can give them the ability to do what they want, when they want.
My own experience is different, as you know. I’ve lived by the sword for long enough to realise that power is simply another burden that must be shouldered. When you have held a man’s life in your hands by virtue of being stronger, faster, better armed, or simply luckier than he, you come to realise that power binds those who have it tighter than any who lack it.
When we first met, you told me that I must control my power to prevent it from controlling me – without wishing to sound presumptuous, I feel that it something I already understood before you found me in the temple. I don’t pretend to truly understand life and death, but I’ve always thought of myself as a shield more than a sword.
I hope that your work goes well – I have missed our conversations, and nobody I have met here has your understanding of the demands of service to the divine. My training here will likely continue for the foreseeable future, so I will understand if you are not at liberty to visit, but even a simple reply would be appreciated.
I remain your student and your friend,