Our world mirrors the world of the gods. We, as they, live in realms populated by heroes and villains, the just and the damned. We, as they, strive to mould the world in our image. And, as it inevitably must, the stark fist of righteousness ultimately triumphs over the wicked. As Abadar is the Judge of the Gods, so we act as judges in the mortal realm, and the blight of the lich Vordakai has, once and for all, been erased from Golarion. One step forward for justice, one step forward for civilisation.
As I stood in the dank hole, gazing on the battered remains of Gideon and Magister Vul, staring over the mutilated corpses of the citizens of Varnhold, I shed a tear for our losses. Our joy is muted by our sadness. But it is this end result—the defeat of Vorkakai—which is the most important. Through this, the fears of our nation are defeated, Varnhold will be rebuilt, and the progress of civilisation furthered. We will mourn our dead, but we will not lose sight of our achievements here. Such is Abadar’s way. Gaeren and I have had heated debates about this, under the stresses of the dungeon. Gaeren sees some of the actions committed in the name of Abadar—just but not kind—and discards the Master’s philosophy as short-sighted or cold-hearted. And yes, there are certain among Abadar’s far-flung Church who I would rather see bring a more kindly approach to their pasturing. But they, too, serve Abadar’s greater goals, and I cannot begrudge them for that. Sometimes it does seem, regrettably, as though the cold-hearted path is easier or faster than the kind-hearted one.
We all, in our own way, walk this path. Gaeren is a good man (and I think that he knows that I know this), and a talented one, although his reckless nature could bring unintended danger for us if not checked.
I have worried for Lem. Katya has told me of his feelings of guilt, and I know he has suffered greatly. He has been struggling in his faith, although I glad that he turns to the light of Iomedae. Will our victory heal his wounded soul, I wonder? I hope so.
When we are done with this place, we shall return to the Nomen, to Varnhold, and then to Tuskendale. We will be reunited with our families—how I miss Katya and the children—build anew, and grow. There will be new challenges, but I will lead as we face them. I am the Duke of Ursundova, and we shall endure.