The Coin and the Dagger
Guardian of the wilderness, torn between two worlds
where wrath enough to fill the void is fine / finer still is the winding way the mind takes finding all those empty corners dead ending / rage stymied to a crudely whittled wit’s end is the godwrath [bog-gnyav] / the godwrath is the terminus of logic tunneling the void through thresholding passages / finding one’s way around one turn only to lose one’s way around the next / constancy at the cost of impermanence / reason at the cost of madness (I., i.).
—Knigata na Gneva Razkri, The Book of Wrath Revealed
My clanmates are fools. Herded by Baphomet. His frothing rantings seduce the minotaur mind, bent as it is already to the winding ways of the labyrinth.
Only I found a way out (but whispers still call me back).
Now I see things more clearly. There is a blight upon these lands, an evil more deeply rooted than Baphomet. Debu led me to the oldest trees in the Copse of Shadow, the Ancients. They remember a time before the meteor burned through the sky. They shared with me a glimpse of the future, and their magic is in my blood now. My life is one with the worldspirit, and I see with new eyes.
Humans fear me. I do not blame them. My clanmates are rabid beasts. But, today, I befriended a half-elf, Chendera, a follower of Avandra, a keeper of the Old Faith, and a resident in a nearby human settlement. She saw me for what I really am: a guardian of the land, not some marauding monster. She said the keep’s new ruler was bent on waging a war against the foul creatures of the Chaos Scar, a war she wanted nothing to do with. I didn’t say so, but I think the idea’s not half bad.
Today I met an odd couple lurking in the woods: a drow and his pet construct. I startled them, without meaning to, and they attacked me. Debu stood on his hind legs and let out a thunderous roar, which gave us all pause. I used the moment to offer a truce. We were all outcasts, it seemed. Shunned by good and evil alike. We could band together. Find strength in numbers. They saw reason in my words, somewhat stunned, perhaps, that I could talk.
As we talked—I discovered that the construct could talk too and was surprisingly intelligent for a golem—we discovered that we shared one ideal: coin. Of course, we don’t want gold and gems simply to have them; that is folly. But we see the need for coin for advancing our various interests. For the time being, we will work together, selling our swords to the highest bidder. If we do some good along the way, so be it.