So Journal, guess what?
Well you wouldn’t have guessed it anyway, so here goes—I’m sorta in charge of a country now.
Yes, great Ursandova—Land of the Bearowl—the best imaginary country ever to be carved out of a bunch of hills and forests that no one else wanted. I am now its Grand Marshal, in charge of many things…some more apparent to me than others. Somehow Sasha has become a Baron, Katya has become a High Priestess, and Dyimi—of course—our Major General. Very impressive titles for each of us, don’t you think? We’re quite the royal court all on our own. And we’ve managed roped a few others into our play: Oleg as Treasurer, Kesten as Master of the Grumps, I’m pretty sure Svetlana is chief of something. We’re the impressive leaders of a very powerful fiction that is somehow meant to be taken as fact.
No Journal, I’m not on shrooms. This is real…or at least mostly real. It’ll probably take me a few paragraphs to explain. Bear with me.
We stormed the Staglord’s fort as we had planned. Our coordination during the battle was not something I think we can be very proud of—I nearly died, Sasha really nearly died, and I sorta killed the one guy we were explicitly told not to kill (only because I’m such a good shot). The Staglord’s owlbear got away, but we managed to kill the Staglord and capture several of his minions.
Oh yeah, and we rescued a baby from the basement! Well, to be honest, Sasha and Katya were responsible for the baby rescuing, I was all like, “Why should we rescue babies? Babies love basements!” They disagreed—quite emphatically. About the time I thought they might go without me, I asked Cayden what to do. He told me to roll the dice. Turned out to be a good bet. I might try that trick more often.
So anyway, we killed the Staglord, reformed his henchmen (sort of), and then happily marched back to Fort Oleg. When we got there, we met a fop with a lot more gold then he knew what to do with. He gave us a very strange letter. It read (and I’m paraphrasing here):
Thanks for all that stuff you did. As a reward for you hard work, why don’t you found your own country with all this money we sent you. Hundreds of people will be arriving shortly to depend on you. Don’t mess it up.
-Mr. Fancy Pants
P.S. We promise we’re not setting you up to fail so we have a good reason to invade.”
And that was it, suddenly we were in charge of a new country of our own making. No really. Really really.
So what was the logical first thing for us to do? That’s right, we drank. I guess it was a celebratory drink, but no one but me seemed to be getting the joke. Sasha, Dyimi, and Miss Katya all seemed to feel that the weight of the world had just landed on their shoulders. Me? I’m pretty sure the punchline is right around the corner.
But as long as the money was here right? We started spending. Sasha wanted a castle, and I wanted Sasha not to skin me for disagreeing with everything he said, so we started building a castle. We actually built it right on the Staglord’s old place…sort of a fixer-upper opportunity. Next we started a house, leased out some farmland and well…
…well I got distracted by this shiny badge they gave me.
Theoretically, I am now the ‘Marshall of Ursandova’. Basically, my job is to keep the Kingdom together outside of the city—catching bad guys, killing monsters, saving cats in trees…stuff like that. I’ve decided to take the job a little bit seriously (out of character I know), and start a group called the ‘Way Watchers’. I’m training them to be like me…or maybe better. If things go according to plan, they’ll wander around like I do, fighting evil and saving the world.
Surprisingly, it’s been a little difficult to find my recruits. There’s a couple of big hurdles. First, almost anyone with any skill in this kind of work is at least twice my age. They’ve all been very polite to this point, but I feel for them taking orders from a guy who could be their son (or their son’s son). I’ve also had a hard time getting the charter right. I don’t want this to be just another group of guys with swords pushing everyone around and claiming they’re doing the Gods’ work. I want them to be useful…not just to us, but to everyone.
So I’m not tying them to Ursandova’s flag. I’m not giving the legal authority. I’m not making the swear allegiance. They’ll do what they think is right. The code I’ve made up goes something like this:
I am a Way Watcher.
I travel the roads and walk in wild places.
I am a shield to the weak and a sword for the defenseless.
I am a light in the darkness and a guide to the lost.
I am a friend to the earnest and enemy of the wicked.
I will not flee, I will not cower, I will not despair,
I will watch and listen, and then do what is right.
Sometimes it’s a little longer or a little shorter depending on how many I’ve had before belching it out.
But you know, strangely, I am a little proud of it all. I’m not exactly burying myself in the responsibility machine like Sasha and Katya are, but I am making something important—or maybe I should say potentially important. It’s certainly not something I’m used to. Who would have thought I could enjoy it?
Honestly, it’s weird having people looking up to me. I’m not saying I was ever adverse to it, but maybe I never thought I was deserving. Now people seek me out—they ask for me—and they know me when I get there. They know I’ll try to help them even if I can’t, and they appreciate it. Even if this whole thing falls apart in a week or two, at least I’ll have that.
Alright, that’s enough honesty for a while, time for you to go back in your dust jacket. It may be a while before I get to you again Journal, but I promise I will. Cross your imaginary fingers for more good news to come.