Kingmaker

Lem vs. Introspection - Round 20

Lem Contemplates the Balance of Power

Hey Journal,

So while we’ve been wandering around out here I’ve been thinking a lot about evil, specifically, why there seems to be so much of it to go around. I guess I’m feeling a little discouraged. After dealing with the Spriggans and a couple of…somethings…that could take other people’s faces, we’ve decided to head down south to the valley of the dead to see if we can find out what happened to the Varnholdians. According to the centaurs, the place we’re going is the resting place of Vordakai, an ancient Cyclops necromancer who was so evil that…well…let’s just say that he was a super evil guy. He’s totally evil and very dead, but not so dead that he can’t try to resurrect himself thousands of years later from the middle of a giant necropolis of his own design. The Nomen have warned us that Vordakai’s surrounded by undead minions hungering for our flesh. Our only way to Vordakai is to kill them all.

And I guess that’s what’s I’m upset about. You never hear about the ancient GOOD temple that has somehow endured through the centuries to leave a scar of health and well-being on the land. No, it’s always that something evil has survived, or is hiding, or has risen, or has yet to rise but is on its way and boy should you be ready when it gets here.

So what is it about ‘Good’ that makes it so transitory? Why doesn’t it endure like evil does, setting up great empires, secret societies, or sprawling temples? Why is it that ‘good’ people are so often corrupted, but ‘evil’ people are almost never redeemed? Is it that ‘good’ is simply not as powerful? Is it that ‘evil’ has some kind of fundamental advantage? And if it does, what does that mean for us?

Maybe my experience is skewed. Since coming to the stolen lands I’ve killed a lot of bad things and quite a few evil people. Most of the time I’ve felt pretty justified doing it. I’ve also met my share of really good people, but the ratio between the two is probably at least three to one on the side of evil. Now given that most of the evil souls I’ve met didn’t survive the encounter with me, you would think that we’d start seeing a shift towards the hegemony of good. But if anything, all our work has just seemed to invite greater evils take a look at us. Brevoy’s getting antsy, Varnhold’s gone missing, and random weirdos are sending armored owlbears to wreck our town. And now we’ve got undead cyclopes (cycolpii? cyclopux?) to worry about. It never ends.

Where are the good forces to counteract the bad? Where are the metallic dragons? The archons? The warrior-poets? And why do I believe that even if they were here they’d just end up fighting among each other over whose version of ‘right’ really is right? I mean, we can’t even have the fey on our border without tempting them to war. Shouldn’t we be able to do a little better? I’m not asking for an army of Sashas, Dyimis, or Antons, but I want more than the handful we have. Why is it so hard to find people who just want to do the right thing?

I guess (maybe naively), that I assumed that once Ursundova was set up and people started realizing what we stood for that we’d be inundated by the ‘good’ folks of the world. I thought that if we could just get a foothold, a light on a hill for others to see, that the righteous of the world would rise up to meet us. But now, even with the beacon lit back in Tuskendale, it’s still just us against the endless hordes. How long must we fight before the battle is joined?

I can accept that someone has to fight this evil, and I can even accept that one of those someones should be me. Hell, I want to do it. I want to fix this and go home. I want to plug ole’ Vordakai right in the eye with a bolt from Springsnap. All I’m really asking for is a little parity in the fight. We’re going out to fight ancient evil tomorrow. Is it so wrong to want a little ancient good on our side?

I’m sorry journal, this entry may have descended into whining. I really don’t mean to, and I’m really not ungrateful for what I have. Between Gideon and Lani I’ve got two of the most honest-to-goodness saints on the planet to show me the way. I know I’m lucky to have the friends I have and a good home to go home to. And I even feel lucky in a way that I’m here to face Vordakai and his minions. Not everyone gets to put evil in its place. Not everyone has the chance to fight back.

My father used to tell me that all goodness was was ‘not giving in to evil.’ The way he saw it, every kind of evil was just a kind of weakness. And he’s right. It’s easier to be cruel than kind, easier to despair than to hope. It’s easier to give up than go on, easier to hate than forgive. It’s easier to wait for someone else to fix the world than to do it yourself. It sure would be great if there was someone here to do the right thing for us. But there’s not. So we’re going to step up and do it ourselves.

Sorry for the heaviness journal, I guess I’ve been feeling a little pensive of late. Next time I promise I’ll aim for something a little lighter. Maybe it’ll end up being about what a push-over Vordakai ended up being and how much fun it was to bullseye cyclopses right in the noggins. More likely though it’ll be about how the battle goes on, and how we can never let ourselves give up.

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kitsuki Bookkeeper

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