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The teachings of Divad, of Abah, of Kalam, and of Satameh tell us that while a warrior may hone his craft to perfection, or sharpen his sword to where it may cleave stone and steel as though it were air, the true worth of a swordsman is denoted by the quality of the enemies he draws to him. I find myself idly wondering if the great Forebears would reconsider this philosophy if they could see us now, and witness our enemy, the Prince of Daedra known as Molag Bal.
At first, I thought to write that my training did not prepare me for this, but after hours of meditation and the counsel of my once-emperor, I have come to realize that this is exactly why Kasura and I trained and studied for so many years. The sword-singers of old Yokuda were said to be more than mortal, possessed of focus and skill far beyond what other men might achieve in a dozen lifetimes. While I cannot claim to have reached such greatness, perhaps my final test was not to wage wars alongside emperors, but to bring righteous steel to bear against the foes of all life.
I harbor some doubts about whether I am ready for the coming struggle. I did not break under the tortures of the betrayer, but I did not emerge from the Halls of Torment unscathed. Torn flesh knits under the ministrations of my lord's healing magic, and my savage dreams are soothed by Snow Lily's warm voice in my ear as I startle awake in the dead of night, but still I am not whole.
Tharn and I speak at length over games of skill and strategy while I recover, and I have spoken plainly about my worries. His contempt at my perceived weaknesses serves as a much-needed counterpoint to Snow Lily's tender words. I endure and accept it, for a warrior without humility is as flawed as a sword blade forged too rigidly. His words harden my resolve and keep my wit sharp.
It is difficult to set aside the many deaths at the Abbey of Blades, and though we did what we could in the wake of the attack, it will be many years before Kasura is ready to train more students in the way of the blade and the mind. When all of this is ended—should we survive, of course—I would very much like to return there and help rebuild.
Perhaps I will ask Snow Lily to come with me.
|Chronicles of the Five Companions|
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