I Am Ready

--by Saned

I have lied to you.

It was not any fault of your own, but my short comings. I pretended to be something that I am not in order to hide the truth. It has been over the last few weeks that I have come to terms with my existence and have begun to make a mends. The first step of which is to tell you who I am. I have taken the name Saned as a nickname of sorts, but that is not my name. It is who I am now. Saned. The madness has left me. It is time to begin again.

My appearance is not how it has always been. I have been set free from the Scourge, but before I could have been set free I was raised from the dead. Before I was raised, I died. To know who I am one must know who I was. Hearing my story will answer some questions and undoubtedly raise new ones. For now, I will share what I wish. You may ask your questions if you like, but I will decide which I answer.

I was human once. I lived in a small home near Southshore. My family didn't farm. My father was a merchant. He made a living buying and selling goods from traders who used the docks as a point of distribution. Menethil was a larger harbor, but Southshore was more out of the way and certain clients of his preferred it that way. His living meant that my mother didn't work; she was able to stay home and care for her two sons; my older brother and myself. We were brothers, close in age, the best of friends and always in competition. We were different though, despite our similarities. He was more of a fighter, physical, strong. I was more of a thinker, creative, meditative.

As the wars around us raged, we knew that one day he would join with the guard and go to defend our people. I, however, was better suited to a life of study. He chose to become an expert of the sword and shield, and I an expert of the quill and parchment. That was how it was.

Over time father had asked me to deliver papers to the town hall and the magistrate. He trusted me with this job more than my brother and it gave me pride to know that he respected my abilities. I had been into the offices of the magistrate often, but this day someone new was there; the magistrate's daughter. She was beautiful. I couldn't help the feeling that I was meeting a person that would change my life. I immediately wanted to know more about her. I was infatuated, more than that, I was in love. Suddenly all of my studying was worthless. All I wanted was to know this person more. The magistrate saw me come in, motioned to me and then to his daughter. He grinned. It was apparent that they had been discussing something. She approached me, smiled, and slowly asked if I could arrange for her to meet my brother.

I didn't know what to think, how to feel. I understood instantly though. I tried with all my might to not look disappointed, and agreed to arrange the meeting. I then delivered the papers and went home. That evening my brother met with the magistrate's daughter. She was completely consumed by her emotions for him. I could see that there was no chance of my ever having a relationship with her, so I stayed out of the way. Their relationship grew and eventually they were engaged to be married. I was to perform the ceremony myself. As a newly trained priest my brother felt that it would be honorable for it to be this way. I agreed, even though I still had feelings for her. I wanted her to be happy most of all, even if it meant that she married my brother and not me.

I was relieved however when shortly after the engagement my brother was called to war. His training meant that he was ready to march in the infantry against the Scourge who were encroaching from the North. Yes, I said I was relieved. Relieved that my brother would not be able to marry the girl I loved, not that he was to march against unnumbered foes in a battle far away. Before he left, there were promises made. He swore to return to Southshore and marry. He made me swear to perform the ceremony. She swore to wait for him. I swore to protect her and the family in his absence.

Months passed and we heard little news. We waited for some silver of hope that his return would be soon. I kept my word. I watched for her, I helped her family, I guided and supported our family, I helped my father in the markets. I studied. I studied as much as I could find. Merchants would bring parchments and scraps of books from far off abbeys. I studied those. I studied anything I could get my hands on. I studied healing, meditation, the power of the light, and how to defend against the shadow. I knew that there may be a day when I would be called into service of the King and need to battle the Scourge. I studied their shadow magic to see how to counter it. I admit it now. I did not admit it then.

I was returning from the town hall to my own home on an evening when I noticed that at the magistrate's house a horse was tied. I decided to walk past the house just to be sure that everything was alright. I heard her voice. It was raised and sounded grim. I heard another voice as well... a man's voice. It was the voice of my brother. I recognized it instantly. Joy filled my heart that he had returned, and then dread as I would soon have to marry the girl that I secretly adored to my own brother. The voices were not joyous though. He was yelling. "Tell me who" he yelled. " I have been gone far too long".

I was angered. He was yelling at her. Then I heard a sound that I remember to this day. A cracking noise, one smack. It was as if the world has split apart. I threw open the door to the house and saw him standing over her. She was on the floor crying, a red bruise rising on her face. She looked at him, terrified, and then at me, shocked.

I don't know why, or how. The anger I had felt was too much to bear, for years I had admired this girl from afar and allowed my own brother to engage her, and after waiting for months for his return from battle he disrespects her, and me, in such a way. I couldn't stand it. The words started flowing from my lips as though I was reading them on a page. The anger was consuming. The blackness was engulfing my spirit. I realized it all at once, striking my brother with the darkest magic I knew. Hurling all of my hatred and anger at him. I had not thought about my actions, I only reacted in complete disregard of the consequences.

I fell to my knees, drained of energy. I saw him. Dead. Sprawled out on the floor, a look of shock and terror across his face. I looked up and saw her. She was terrified. Too terrified to scream. What would happen? What about my father, my mother!? The magistrate, the town, how could this be remedied? How could this be repaired? I had no answers. I only had fear. I couldn't think. I couldn't breathe. I stood up, turned out the door mounted my brother's horse and fled.

Tears streaming down my face, I fled. Riding in any direction. The day had ended and night was falling around me. I just kept riding, as fast as the horse would carry me I rode. I was thinking about my brother, my family, my beloved... I had lost them all. I had ended my world in such a way as to never have it again. It was my fault. I did it. I could not return. I had to flee. I rode blindly. I left the road so as to not meet any guards, I didn’t' want to have to answer any questions. I rode through the woods as fast as I could navigate the trees.

This was my mistake. I should have planned a path, but I was driven by fear, and blindly I rode straight into a camp of Scourge. It is apparent that I was killed. I have often wished that they would have left me dead.

I have denied my past long enough. It is time that I face it. The events that lead to my own death were of my own making. If I would have acted differently I would not be here today. For better or worse is still to be determined.

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