As we approached the Temple I slowly started to feel it.
It started like a breeze made of fear and doubts.
It became stronger, and stronger, like a storm.
I started to slowly lose awareness of those around me as I walked inside.
The storm was all around me, I could feel it but I was not moved by it.
Their words became like whispers and then disappeared into the storm.
I could see the flames at the centre of the Temple.
I walk towards them, I can hear something behind me, as if being called back.
I can only see and hear what is before me.
Something was keeping me standing in front of the power of the Lord of Murder.
I approached the flames and I looked into them.
He was there, the one from my vision.
Something triggered in my head, I had to try and reach him.
Some would call it Faith, others would call it madness, but I reached into the flames to get him.
The flames burned my flesh through my armor like the metal wasn't even there.
I can feel my skin and muscles burning but I cannot stop.
If there is one single chance that he is in there, I have to get him.
I reach out, an incredible force throws me away but he is not in my arms.
When I think about death I usually think and worry about others dying.
I have been wondering on the meaning of a meaningful death, as in the Broken God's Dogma.
I have been wondering if my acceptance for that line of the Dogma is genuine.
I have been wondering if I want that to happen to me.
Do I seek death?
I feel that my desire to protect others is genuine.
But I also feel like I need to pay for my past actions.
Is my suffering "Holy"?
Is it sacrifice if I seek to suffer to punish myself? If I seek to die?
Am I doing this to myself in sick attempt to cause my own demise or am I truly moved by the Virtues of the Triad?
What is sacrifice and what is weakness?
Now my mission brings me in front of perils that could make me face death.
I cannot allow myself to linger in weakness and desires of self destruction.
There are lives on the line, I must succeed, this is another trial I have to overcome.
Allow me to be the instrument of your Justice.
I will be your sword and shield.
Yours to command.
Among the three words of the Mantra I see Perseverance as the most representative of the Ilmatari Faith.
Perseverance holds together virtues like Temperance and Endurance.
This is why I came here, The House of The Broken God.
The Grave of Ser Daern of Hawksroost, personal guard of The High Mistress of Worthy Suffering, Althea the Abased.
I am sure he would have been of great inspiration in my path to become an Instrument of the Triad.
Sadly, only cold stones remain of him in this world, and so I am here in prayer hoping to find answers.
I can't go back to Baldur's Gate and keep failing, as I always have.
They speak words of praise, but they don't know what they are saying.
I am flawed, I am sinful, and if I can become a small fraction of what this man was, I will be honoured.
No matter the hardships I face, I keep doing the same mistakes.
No matter how hard I try to annihilate myself, my flaws keep re-emerging.
No matter the support I receive, I keep dishonouring the care I am given.
The last month has been different.
I have spent most of my time reading... debating... considering.
I wanted to do this to find answers but the more I delve into it the more questions I have.
Are we mortals even capable of grasping the idea of justice?
Tiranny and hypocrisy feel so close when administering justice and making decisions on the fate of others.
But I know, I know that the law is what keeps our society standing, there must be someone doing it.
Can we reach a state of mind that allows us to make such decisions with absolute fairness?
Do we need to reach the Divine to find answers?
My path to become a Knight of the Triad feels steep, now that I have no enemies before me, my only obstacle is understanding.
The simplicity of solving problems with valor and strenght cannot be the only part of me, it would be unacceptable.
I don't want to be a brute filling his mouth with words he does not understand.
I have spent the last few months learning, studying.
In a way, it has been refreshing... not to feel the call of the sword for this long.
Do I regret spending this much time away from my usual duties?
I will admit that my mind lingered on this thought... but in the end... I do not.
The well of knowledge in our minds is as useful as our steel.
I cannot say that I have grasped all that there is to grasp, from the Tyrrans.
But I must accept that it will have to suffice, for now.
I have been away from the field for too long.
There needs to be a balance between feeding the mind, feeding the body and follow my duties.
What has been learned will be cherished and nurtured into higher awareness and consciousness.
But I cannot keep myself into the Temple hoping to grasp something that even the highest priests of the Maimed God cannot.
It is time to step outside again.
Whatever mistakes will be made, I will take responsibility.
I am not infallible, I will never be.
Again, descending into the vileness of the Undercity.
The torment of its inhabitants.
The echoes of ancient sins.
I felt that something was different.
Having more with us didn't put me at ease.
Something was there, watching... waiting.
Her voice spoke the prayers but the silence, this time... answered back.
Blood began to flow from the walls into the room.
We gathered ourselves around her.
And then it came, arising from blood and darkness.
We had His attention, and He sent His Servant to slaughter us.
One by one, everyone around me fell.
A vile painting made with the blood of His enemies.
All was lost, it was the end.
But right when I was about to abandon Hope, my heart was shielded, my courage restored.
It was me and Sean, the bodies of our friends and allies around us, the enemy before us.
The only way out was to take what was left of them and run from that pit of darkness, and we did.
We ran back to the surface, covered in blood, my armor falling apart.
The Lord of Murder made it clear, that he will not allow any further disrespect into His own House.
If we are to do this again, we will have to be beyond ready, one does not take chances with the will of the Gods.
For now... I am just glad that they made it back alive... that they breath.
Glad that she is still with us, ready to do this again.
The Triad be our witness, we will not concede, we will not bend.
We will succeed or we will die trying.
Blessed be Triad.
I keep struggling on grasping the balance between mercy and retribution.
I lack structure, I feel like walking in a dark room.
Testing my steps one by one, hoping not to fall in a pit.
I simply cannot continue doing this.
When is mercy deserved?
When is it just a manifestation of my own weakness?
When is it me, finding excuses not to strike?
I cannot afford being merciful to everyone crossing my path.
But what then?
How do I understand?
My instinct surely cannot be enough.
I cannot do this without offering the same chance that was offered to me.
If it wasn't for her... I would feel alone in this sentiment.
I look around and I mostly see people ready to kill and punish.
I see it so much that I start to question if what I am doing is what I am meant to do.
But... I have to stick to my cause if I believe it is right.
I will offer it, the same it was given to me.
I cannot deny this to others, it is beyond me.
If the Triad finds me at fault, I will honour their Judgement.
One chance... take it or leave it... I cannot afford giving more than one.
As much as I would like to forget it, the sword also has its place.
In the teachings of the Triad I have found much comfort.
I was pulled away from my old mindset.
It was difficult to see anything worth fighting for in this world.
Now... I am facing the opposite issue.
I found something to fight for, something I believe in sincerely.
But what is the immediate consequence of that?
What is the price I am paying for faith, comfort and purpose?
My mind sees the same things... but from a different angle.
The constant failures of men were granted, for me.
The world was a constant show about the failures of mortals, perhaps even some of the Gods.
My faith was lacking, if non existent, I just had hope... hope for something to change.
Now the same things do not give me that sense of... sadness and despair.
They give me anger, instead of backing away from it I want to set it aflame and rebuild.
So much corruption... selfishness... hypocrisy and greed.
We look outside of our city walls like we know what's right.
"Stand ever alert against corruption. Strike quickly and forcefully against rot in the hearts of mortals."
The Dogma, the Word of Torm Himself.
The more I approach the Triad and its teachings... the more I see the rot.
We cannot hope to fight it in places like Darkhold until we oppose it within our walls.
Now that I am responsible for the growth of a young man... I have stopped to look back.
Stopped to look back at my past... to find answers.
What made me who I am? What should I teach him?
What worked with me and what went wrong?
If I look back... Alexander Holgart has many faces and identities.
The troublemaker child that would not listen to his carer.
The boy who wanted to fight for glory and become like his father.
The terrified and weak young man, devoured by war.
The fighter... the murderer... the bodyguard.
And then... the Knight.
The last one is what I want to teach him... but I am also all of the others.
People would say that I am strong, dutiful and reliable.
But I am a victim of my own anger, unseen by most.
People think I am wiser than I actually am.
Most of the time I am clueless... I just act by instinct... I am barely making it.
Though for some reason they keep telling me that I'm fine and people look up to me.
They are wrong... the faith and my shiny armor don't make me any special...
I am a clueless man... walking the path of faith... hoping to make the right choices.
How can a clueless man raise a young man like Jonathan?
I will have to do as I have always done... follow my instinct... and hope for the best.
The only thing that's changed... is that I cannot throw my life away anymore.
Not as easily as before... that boy relies on me... he has lost enough.
I can't let him down... but I am a clueless man... I might fail.