(The first pages have been torn out, scribbled with caricatures of the people Morgan has met, as well as lists of things he's had to remember. As such the entire front of the journal is an utter mess.)
I saw Smoke.
I guess I was expecting something more. For all his reputation, for all the chaos he caused, I suppose in my head the figure appeared larger than life. But the reality is he was just a man… well a man that was made of smoke and had a weird god complex but a man none the less. And while he put up a hell of a fight I couldn’t help but feel empty as he died, I’d never been wronged by Smoke. I’d been wronged by the people he’d wronged, maybe, but I’d never even met the man. And as they surrounded his limp, defeated body and butchered it, I wondered how it had reached that point. How did Smoke do it? Why?
Well Isolde certainly rambled on about this and that, mistakes, obsessions. The man himself said it was for research, but I still don’t quite understand it. It still doesn’t make sense to me. By all accounts everything he did was… nonsensical. Why start a coup? Why turn some random person into an enchanted killer? Why anything that happened with the Silver Host? Well I guess it doesn’t matter. He’s dead, and soon enough, he’ll be forgotten. People forget, it seems, no matter how many times their lives are threatened. I can’t blame them for that, sometimes I wish I could forget.
Now I don’t know where I stand, though I never particularly do. I don’t like the Autonomists, first I thought they were stupid, then I thought they had a point, then I realized they don’t. But I don’t particularly like the royalty either, the only thing I hear about the King is that he’s nice, which to me is a bland, rather uninspiring trait for a leader… is he at least good at ruling? Nobody ever tells me these things. Herald Fisher, well they say he’s good, but all I see is a man blinded by his own bloodline. I suppose I am overly cynical, or a prick, it depends on how you look at it and how eloquent you speak. At the end of the day I don’t have a place to stand.
And I guess I no longer care.
Smoke is dead, some mad diviner is out there and he’ll die too. There’s an old demonbinder skulking about and I don’t understand what he wants. There’s dragons, always fun, and a cult of dragon worshipers which is a nice thing to have as well. We’ve got some sort of… war? A war with a place I’ve never heard of before, it seems to be brewing, and a town got slaughtered. Surprisingly none of this bothers me as much as my sarcasm indicates it does, it’s all very normal. And I think that bothers me, that it doesn’t bother me.
It feels like the threats never end.
Well it’s not like I have much in me. If Helm doesn’t smite me for a sarcastic line gone too far, or some thug doesn’t shiv me in the back of a dock alley, I’ll be lucky if I can keep fighting for much longer. I’m tired, not exactly physically, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep going forward. It’s hard to find the drive to fight when you don’t care. It’s hard to stand for a cause when you start to lose interest in that cause the moment anyone in it speaks. It’s hard to defend a place you hate, and protect people who never wanted you to protect them.
I wonder if I was a good guard.
Probably not. I think I was an asshole, I think I still am, I will be until I die. I tried my best though, even when they made a mockery of the uniform I loved, even when they put some Defender above me. Even when the man who gave me hope turned out to be a lunatic whose “coy quirks” turned out to be insanity. I still tried, and that counts for something. Or maybe I’m just saying that because I have to hold on to the hope it counts for something. It’s true I probably tried for the wrong reasons, and I tried hard for the wrong thing, but I suppose one could argue it’s better than never trying… well… I don’t know. Maybe it’s not.
I find it hard to remember all the people I’ve met in Narfell.
There sure are a lot of them. They’re all pretty annoying, honestly, and some of them are downright nonsensical, but I suppose most of them are good people. Garen, he is an interesting fellow, I’ve never seen the place he hails from but if they’re all like him… well shit they probably don’t emote much. But he was willing to die in the place of another, and I respect that, it’s not an easy thing to do. Jonni… I don’t really understand why the Ceruleans hired a man who can’t use the Art but hells, I’ve seen stupider decisions, at least he seems to want to do the right thing. Sometimes I think that’s all you really need, a man who wants to do the right thing.
On the surface Nate is a man I want to punch in the face, but he’s got depth to him I think. I think Nate plays a far bigger fool than he actually is and I think he’s far more observant and cunning than I gave him credit for. Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit. Either way I still want to punch him in the face. Who else? Erurk. Erurk is a psychopath, and he’s going to start eating children, mark my words… Erurk’ll be the death of us all. Speaking of psychopaths, Vick Blake is an oddity, I can say with confidence “Vick Blake is a good person” so long as I follow it up with “and also a really bad person.” But Vick, I think he defends the city in his own way.
I mean I still wouldn’t let the guy house sit for me but… well.
If Isolde gives one more overly dramatic speech I’m going to side with whoever we’ve come to kill, I’ve never seen someone so intent on making everything into a big deal. That’s bards for you I guess. But she’s a good person. Rey’s an idiot. That’s basically it. But again, at least she’s trying to do the right thing… I think. I don’t actually know now that I think about it. And I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting. Other heroes of Narfell and petty adventurers alike I’m forgetting, but whatever. I think they come and go, really.
Well all in all I suppose I came to Peltarch because I wanted to do good. Have I done good? I guess it depends on who you ask, I certainly don’t feel like I’ve done anything, I’ve just been around when others have. And in a way I think that’s all Helm wanted me to do, right? To make sure what they wanted to do… is done. And to stop them being killed by some crazy cultist or demonic cube of slime. If I look it at like that I suppose I’m proud, I hope Helm is, because if he isn’t I’ve put a lot of effort into a particularly dead end, eh?
Soon I’ll leave, I’m sure. There isn’t much of a place for me in Peltarch anymore, not because others haven’t tried to make a place for me, but because ultimately the place itself is something I cannot accept. And as things change, not often for the better in my eyes, I find myself straying further from the place I swore to protect. But I don’t think it’ll collapse just yet, soon maybe, but not just yet. Without me it’ll continue to exist, and it’ll continue to change. I don’t know how it’ll keep changing, and I fear the end result, but it’ll change no matter what.
I hope something good comes from it.
Soon I’ll leave… but for now, I suppose I’ll just take it one day at a time.