The month of Montresor is named in honor of Adariel (it makes sense in Old Imperial) and the two important holy days of that religion take place in the month. On the fourth and the twentieth I believe but don’t quote me on that. Seeing as today is the first of Montresor I got to thinking about Azul’s say story and him saying that he had lost his faith on account of everyone he knew and loved being massacred by barbarians. You can’t deny the existence of the Gods (well some people do but that’s a whole other thing) and you can’t deny their power, so what does it mean to lose your faith? I suppose what it means is more in the terms of someone breaking faith with you – not honoring their end of the bargain.
The problem with that is that the Gods don’t promise much of anything for our piety. Even Adariel, the virginal kind of prissy queen of niceness and happiness and light Herself doesn’t say things will be fine if you worship her – she knows better than that. As they say rain falls on the just and unjust alike. What the Gods offer is usually some kind of afterlife, which makes you wonder why anyone who devoutly believes doesn’t kill themselves the moment they get in a tough spot. This world sucks, if you’re sure you go someplace awesome after death what are you hanging around here for?
So it’s not really fair when people lose their faith in the Gods because of a horrible tragedy. The Gods never said you wouldn’t be stomped into the mud hard and then stomped some more, that’s just what you wanted from them. No promises were made on their end. Poor, poor Gods, being irrationally blamed just because they could make things better but never do.
Azul saying he’s lost this faith in Adariel is like what happened with me and Martialla. And no, I don’t have delusions of divinity (although many a man has and will prayed over me) what I mean is that our faith was broken. She no longer believed in me, not in the sense of believing in my existing as a thing in the world, but no longer believing that she could count on me. I would say that her expectations were as unreasonable as Azul’s but who’s to say?
As you all know I’ve barely a religious bone in my body (bishop joke here) but I understand why some people cling to the idea. If you’re powerless what else are you going to do? If you’re born poor and miserable and have no chance to do anything by live poor and miserable and die poor and miserable what other succor do you have by the sweet embrace of religion? It’s easy to say that people should work make their lives better, to strike back at those that oppress them, but realistically what can most people do? Nothing. The wheel keeps on turning you know? You can numb yourself with booze or religion or violence. A lot of people take a little bit of all three.
Speaking of violence, it occurred to me that if there’s such a thing as heroes Azul is probably one of them. Someone who goes to war and kills a lot of people is reckoned a hero. Kill a dragon or a gorgon or a minotaur (I’ve done all three, just saying) or something that like and you’re a hero. Sometimes people make some false noise about the real heroes not being violent narcissistic sociopaths and how our songs and stories should be about mothers raising children and people giving food to the poor but that’s just posturing. Our stories are all about violence because that’s what we want to hear about. Some guy working hard to provide for his family? Snooze. No one is going to watch that play or read that book. Some guy ripping the dick off an orc with his bare hands because his family was killed in an orc raid? Now that’s got legs!
We’re drawn to violence instinctually. Some people dress it up with justice or righteousness or what have you, but it’s the violence that stirs us. Bandits ride into down and the marshal turns out with his posse to fight them? That really grabs you by the giblets and gives you a charge. We want the marshal to win and the bad guys to get “what’s coming” of course but it’s the violence that we really want. I think real heroes, if they exist are like Azul – sad mostly broken people who are doing something they don’t want to do because they know it’s right.
Azul offered to escort me to Bryny with his men but I turned him down. I can’t really say why. It’s not logical because this is a dangerous area, why wouldn’t I want a part of armed guides? Not only that but I am really curious about Azul’s men (and one mannish looking woman) and why they’re out here with him. Are they emotionally shattered death-seekers like him or why are there doing this dangerous lonely thing which offers to rewards? I’d really like to know what their motivations are. Maybe they’re outcasts who have nowhere else to go.
But despite all that I told him to continue on his way, that I would be fine on my own. I think I just want to be alone for a while, which is strange because just the other day I was pining to be around people. I hope that I’m not turning into one of those people who always wants whatever they don’t have. Some people are just never happy you know?
Funds: 6642 gold
Inventory: Bag of Holding, +2 Distance Light Crossbow, traveling outfit, Ring of Invisibility, potion case, potions (Protection from Evil, Cure Moderate Wounds x4) Blessed Robes, Vampire Hunter’s Cloak, +1 Mithril Holy Undead Bane Sword-Cane
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane,
Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee, Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag, Baron Saltwheel, Baron Harmenkar, Colonel Tarl Ciarán’s wizard soldier, Victor, Beharri, Cebuano, Mayor Eryn, Chimera Trading Company, maker of the manacles, Calvados Eure, Law Offices of Lampblack and Brimstone, Peronell Missplitter, Nightmare Hag