Friday, April 03, 2009


The cold light of an overcast winter sky glints off my armor as I stand before a massive wall.  In the wind I can hear the faint whipping of my tabard, the same one worn by the countless soldiers behind me.  It is a dark purple, almost black.  The front of it bears a vibrant colorful image of a sun rising over a mountain, the dark night of the tabard being split by the glorious rising of the morning star.  The soldiers all wear this symbol proudly, as do I, but I know that I am the one who carries the symbol forth.  There are all stripes of soldier, there are phalanx, and archers, and dragoons, infantry, and siege engineers hanging off their massive engines of war.  There are many of them, but there is only one of me.

This is why I stand before the wall.  They are soldiers who follow the light into the darkness.  I am מאיר (Meh'ear), I am the lightbringer, I am a Paladin.  I am the morning star piercing the night that emblazons every one of our chests.

The wall is unspeakably massive.  It stretches on forever unto either side, there are no gates, there are no turrets, no parapets, there is only dead black stone rising up impossibly high.  It isn't proud.  It could almost be said to be defiant, but only those who have a purpose can defy.  The wall is bitter.  The wall stands in bitter spite of everything that moves, everything that lives and breathes and feels.  It doesn't keep things in, it doesn't keep things out, it only exists to hinder and impede.

It is the cold stark evil of this thing that I have to defeat.  I have to defeat it, because I am the paladin, the champion, the hero.  With faith and strength I charge, and I strike with all that I have against this monolith.  Splinters chip off, a brief cloud of dust, but before the vastness of stone it is nothing, the painful ringing of my sword in my hand only serves to drive the point home.  My faith is shaken, and somehow I know that this is the first time that it has ever been truly tested.

Breathing deeply I turn, looking back at my crusade, and what I see is more devastating then my failure.  In the eyes of those men I see the pure might of the human spirit.  The hope and faith that they have placed in me.  They were so willing to give of themselves because they had faith as well.  They had faith in me.  There are so many of them, and they have followed me to this frozen waste, and for what?   How can I tell them that my strength is not enough?  That the light was not enough to pierce the darkness.  That they had given me their faith and I had not been strong enough.

The wind blows over us in the tense seconds of my epiphany, I can feel the beginnings of tears as I look down at my chest.  The morning star, defiant against the night.  The light was my strength.  Without thinking about it I correct myself, mentally reciting the correct version "The light is my strength."

I would like to say the sun split the clouds that moment.  That in some way the world knew my sudden insight, but there was nothing.  I simply saw the light that was always there.  There are many virtues that those who bathe in the light of the morningstar strive to.  The morningstar is the courage to fight an unbeatable foe, the love to give freely to those who may never know what you have sacrificed to give, but above all else the morningstar is the breaker of chains.  The light is freedom, the light is free will, the light is the power to belong only to yourself, that you will not have to answer to any tyrant or king.  In that moment I truly understood freedom.  The crusade had put their faith in me because they had the freedom to do so.  They had followed me not because they had to, but because they had chose to.  They were not bound, they were free.  They were free to choose their leader, to choose their champion, and they had chosen me.  They had given of themselves without thought of repayment, that they might bring up arms against an unbeatable foe.  They gave their faith willingly, and as mine wavered, I finally had the strength to know that I had the right to take it.

The cold light of an overcast winter sky glints off our armor as we stand before a massive wall.  The voice of the champion echoes against its black stone face, followed by the roar of the crusade and the vast crashing of siege engines.  The light is my strength.  Their light is my strength, and with it I will pierce the darkness.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This could be the beginning of a great story.

7:48 AM  

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