Teva: A Compelling Vision
Sun May 21 22:11:07 2000
To: All
I had all but retired from the adventurer's life. Oh, don't get me
wrong, now and then I'd clean and polish my mace, strap on my strong
but surprisingly lightweight armor (so what if it fit a bit more snugly,
here and there, than it used to...) , and go romping around to slay an
occasional dragon or taunt some raving murderer - but it was mainly for
the sakes of nostalgia and a break from the peaceful routine of playing
gardener in Cillidellia. After all, when it came right down to it, what
else was I but a washed out ex-Paladin, a warrior without a cause who
spent her time discussing our decidely different viewpoints on dragons
with Fuego, or putting mischievious ideas in the heads of young elves
and half-elves (primary to my great glee of causing no end of irritation
to those snobbish, prissy sprites)?

Then one day, while awash in the scents of exotic blossoms the elves had
amassed from the known world, I was stricken with a vision. Compelling,
frightening, and stirring, I knew that I had been gifted with something
important. Reality shifted, the flora faded from my view and I found
myself sweating, coated with grime, and surrounded by shouts of fanatic
glee and terror. Kids barely old enough to have fought their way out of
Camp Tolanrael were pursuing anything they felt was weaker than they,
stopping even to murder livestock and intimidate midwives and young
children. One of them saw me and charged towards me screaming some
nonsensical words of rage and as I rose my weapon hand to strike him down
- finding a coriander blossom in my hand rather than my mace - as a
distorted cry of the ancient Nashite war-rally was unleashed, being echoed
and mimicked from spots where the carnage seemed to be momentarily less,
and the Nashite struck down the foolish young murderer with a gleam of
bloodlust in his eye, and the experienced hand of a seasoned murder.

Not having lived centuries from being stupid, I was running before the
crimson blade was removed from between the ribs of his victim. All around
me as I ran, images of terror, domination, and unchecked villainy
assaulted my senses. Here and there I saw what looked to be a hero,
slumped and depressed, seemingly given up the will to fight. Then I
noticed my pursuer. A hauntingly familiar visage of a tiger was pursuing
me, with a strange, evil sense about it. Finally, the animal pounced and
knocked me on my back. As I readied myself to fight or perish, the tiger
leapt into the sky, transforming into an old man, rising up as if unto
godhood, and then into a tiger once more.

I sat there, transfixed and mystified. Images flooded my mind of this man
- this tiger - no, this man leading warriors into battle, down a long,
perilous path. As the first of his troops set foot upon the difficult
path, the winds of the world shifted and screamed, and the great grey
vortex in the sky shifted and shimmered, becoming violent, more
unpredictable, and dangerous - an omen of change and difficulty. I felt
compelled. For the first time in a decade, there was a cause I felt I must
be a part of. I noticed a familiar scent, and saw that I was sprawled in
the garden, crushing a number of orchids and roses, leaving a bit of my
blood behind on their thorns. I stood up, and headed off to seek out this
man, and my destiny. I left an awful mess of the garden. I hoped the
elves would understand, and forgive me.