I’m on an unexpected detour from everything.
So good news is, I’m engaged. As soon as I crawled up out of the hole in Shrikewatch I found Nina and popped the question. I suppose it could have been a little more romantic, I mean, most girls probably don’t picture their man covered in bits of ash and ooze when they get asked the question. Still, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I guess I should thank providence that Isadora intercepted me on the way out or else I wouldn’t have even had the ring. Nina just laughed about it when I told her. As I’m sure you’ve realized, she’s a helluva girl.
I figured the next step would just be a formality. I needed someone to preside over the wedding, and given my recent conversion to the Church of Iomedae, I thought I should seek out the highest ranking member of her church in Ursundova. True, I hadn’t spoken to Herodes in several months, but I figured that by now he would have forgiven me for a few slips of the tongue. It seemed that he had (despite a few disdainful grimaces), because he agreed to officiate in Iomedae’s name. Then came the question of the test.
Test? What test? Well of course that’s the test of faith, required to prove your worth to Iomedae. But why would Iomedae care if you got married? Because Iomedae CARES.
You’re right journal, I should have thought this through. There was no way a cleric of Iomedae was going to marry someone off in the name of the Silver Lady without some kind of righteous demonstration of piety. I mean, I guess I knew that, in a theoretical sense. I’m sure I read it somewhere. But I thought Herodes would ask for something…I don’t know…symbolic. I thought he would have me fast for a week or give me a quiz on the acts or something. I figured I could knock that out, shine up my chainmail, and be married up by the weekend.
But Herodes looked through his books and suggested something a little more demanding…a trip to the Worldwound…to fight the demons that spawn there…for a year.
Let me let that sink in You got it? No? That’s because that’s pretty insane, right? I’ve been recruited to leave Ursundova and the woman I’ve just pledged to spend the rest of my life with to go kill random demons at the worst place in the world. I must really love Iomedae…or hate myself.
The weirdest part about it is that Herodes acts like this is no big deal. Well, I mean, he has given me a dozen lectures concerning the importance of facing death with courage and the heavy responsibility of honor, all of which felt like old hat to me after hanging out with Sasha and Dyimi. No, I’m talking about that fact that a man with a family and kids just uprooted himself to go to war because some random screw up (me) asked him to officiate at his wedding. He didn’t hesitate a second.
So that’s left me feeling a little wanting. I’m trying my best to bring myself around, to shine myself up in Iomedae’s image, but I’m nowhere near where Herodes is. I’m not nearly selfless enough, not nearly brave enough. Herodes treats a crusade to the Worldwound the way most people would treat a weekend with the in-laws. It barely seems to inconvenience him. That’s not me at all…at least not yet.
I wouldn’t admit it to anyone but you, but I’m really scared. From what I’ve heard, the Worldwound is no joke. I’m going to be fighting all manner of horrible things. If I’m lucky I’ll probably end up with nightmares that will make my memories of the Troll Hole and Vordekai’s crypt seem like pleasant daydreams. If I’m not, I’ll probably end up as a bloody stain on some demon’s boot (or hoof, or whatever demons do with their feet). Nina would probably never even know how I had fallen.
So will this all bring me closer to Iomedae? Gods I hope so. Because if it doesn’t nothing will. Will it make me more like Herodes? Or Sasha? Or Dyimi? Maybe? It’s hard to say who I’ll be when I come back for my wedding. I don’t think anyone in my shoes could predict that.
All I know is that I’ve got to do this now, while I still have my pledge to Nina to keep me moving forward. They say that the most dangerous men have nothing to lose. Well it’s probably also true that the bravest men have something they’d do anything to protect. That’s the man I want to be.
Wish me luck Journal, I’ll keep you updated.
P.S. It looks like Nina is going to be filling in for me as Champion while I’m away. Just when I thought she couldn’t get any hotter…