"Pain and loss. So much pain and loss and wickedness. Is this the nature of creation its own destruction" I cried these words to Lorithia in despair standing there that day so long ago. Her response was classic Lorithia, calm yet pained.
"Not if there is success. I would prefer to lose not one. Do as you know that you must. Forget never that you are part of that creation"
"Yes! That very same aspect of self-destruction it seems. I am tasked with bringing that I lament."
"The irony is not lost, but you are selective. Should it be in the hand of the dictator of the moment. What makes it right..."
"Your questions lack answers the only objective thing is power itself."
"Which you have been given and earned in abundance. Do what you feel is correct. Do what you know in your heart to be true. Do not waver."
"Your plan to forget me will bring us to blows."
"If I do not forget you I might hesitate in my own part. It is more then mere forgetting. I must blind myself utterly to the truth for a time. I cannot color your action. No question may remain. It must be you and not I. To do otherwise risks the great unraveling."
"And so I have found Xilar and so it begins. This is goodbye."
"Yes. For ages perhaps. All things must come in time. Look for the signs"
She kissed me then. Our last kiss.
How far away that seems, and yet like an infinity. The progress of the first war is known. It was recorded in part by Xilar's own cousins and their relations. They have gotten it wrong of course. Seen only what they wish to see. Still the outward details are evident enough. For my part a reputation that inspires dread may serve some purpose. I cannot say such pleased me, but it was necessary. They have hidden away, and believe that such is what deterred me. As if I could not sense them. As if walls could keep me out. They have gotten it wrong, but they had showed the sign agreed upon and so we moved on. I doubt more though. I have seen a glimpse but even it is tied to other things and wrongheadedness. Corruption shall have swelled in new forms among the Kruath'ri by now of that I doubt little. Just as it did among the Derenians ages earlier. Tjeli was cast into the sea but the seed of corruption is choice itself. Yet also here the seed of redemption. I plod on. It has been what time since I last saw her, 500 years? Still I plod on.
It was Xilar who brought her to mind. He among the last of a species reborn. Xilar who finally after centuries gets it, in part.
"Why surround ourselves with such Lord. These filth cost innocents their lives. These filth are the reprobate. Is it not them we seek to eliminate."
"Very little is ever so clear. Very few so disposable. It is part of the fire lesson. It was not just that the chaff fertilizes the soil. It is that only when touched by fire do some things ever show their true majesty. There are trees that need wildfire to ever grow at all... did you know that"
"Yes but that does not really explain your position. It is enigmatic at best." He answered. His to the point demeanor refreshed me. I had forgotten how differently my mind ran then that of some.
"Simply this. I have been told to do what I KNOW is right. It will not do to do what I THINK is right. Only what I know to be so. Sometimes that means I WILL have to act in an unfortunate manner for a better good, but ends rarely justify means."
"But your people use just those such means. If their actions are so defiled then clearly keeping them about to do more damage is folly. They will wreak havoc in your name and despoil those who are good"
"Would they not anyway? They are what they are Xilar. Ends do not often justify means, but for something the only justification that exists is choice itself. I do not make them what they are I gather them. While they might still do great mischief they might do it guided. While choices may be made that are wrong at least they will be choices."
"But their choices cost innocent lives. They lead to destruction."
"How is that fair."
"Free will is not fair it is only just. Others come to me too, for the right reasons. I rarely turn away. There will be times I am more directed but I must KNOW clearly. I too will make errors on that path. I have to have that flaw for my actions to be valid you see."
"But why concentrate so much on them. The dregs, the very things you hate."
"They need me more then the pure. They are far more lost."