Time Shattered [Journal]

The stories and lives of the Grim. ((Roleplaying Stories and In Character Interactions))
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Qabian
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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Sun May 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Mmhmhmhm...

Ahahahahahaha!

I win.

Oh, how I win.

Nothing I can take back to the Grim, of course, but mine is a dangerous ego to stroke, hm?

Taunt me with something you think I can't do that I know I can.

'Oh, no,' I'll admit. 'I could never do that. I'm simply no good at it. It's just not me.'

A little vulnerability, not even mock vulnerability, very real, but a wager in a bet I cannot lose, a little honesty, and just enough arrogance that who I am is never forgotten so I cannot be blamed for any deception.

And fuck you.

I win.

Truth and lies, truth and lies. That's what chaos is made of, yes? And what am I if not chaos? Is it true? Of course it is. Was it lies? Of course it was. Reality is never either or. It's always both.

Little human with broken eyes he needs to hide thinks he's being generous, offering me a chance to put him in his place. You don't need to make the offer, boy. You're already there. Why would you admit that secret of all secrets in front of me? And I'm sure my secret only made you feel worse, hm? You're not special. You're not even different. You're just a broken, defiled version of the real people all around you. Enjoy your misery. I certainly enjoyed giving it to you.

What an odd defect in me to harp on when it was caused by someone you claim as a friend. When what I have done with what I have lost is something greater than I could have done had I kept what I had, am I really even defective? Or have I improved? That's what we're all here for, to get better. I've gotten better. Have you? When you will never feel equal to the people around you because you never can be their equal? You can steal their faces, their friendship, their power as much as you want, but you will always be a pretender, and you will always have to hide your shame, because the day you accept yourself and live as you are is the day you'll die for it.

I have no shame.

I wonder how long I can play the lost bet excuse. We certainly gamble, but even though my win rate is expectedly even with my losses, what I ask for is always for my own greed. What she asks for is always my debasement, not enough to spark my anger or make me second guess, but enough to keep her laughing. I should have caught on to this sooner, especially after her little gift to Syreena. I think I did? And decided the price was worth it, and even a little entertaining for myself. The masochistic tendencies extending beyond physical pain, perhaps. I like it when she laughs, even if it's at my expense, and it's almost always at my expense. Explains too much. I shouldn't think about it too hard.

The wolf's advice is good. I'm always uncertain about plans that require biding, infiltration, masks of sweetness. I can do them to a point. I have my networks and systems that I use to pull on threads hoping they'll bring down the tapestries. But such things are distasteful when chaos will suffice. Yes, I understand the idea behind a little order serving to bring a lot of chaos, but such games are difficult to play and rarely end well. When they do end well, they end very, very well, but the risk tends to be on our side, not on theirs. Still, leading them patiently to their own failure is clearly our best option in the present, regardless of whether the pendulum swings in the way they seem so certain it will.

The violet commander's marital issues have caused a strange sea change. I, for one, don't think that little shift is enough to warrant the sudden acceptance of things as they are. They aren't different enough. I've only met the little warboss once? But I certainly have no faith that she's any sweeter. I blame the turning of the winds with the defeat of the Legion. Everything looks just slightly different, even when it isn't really. Old hurts have been fogged over just enough by time to be put aside long enough for coffee and brunch.

And I'm able to hear things I should never hear, share things that should never have been mine to share. I can sit quietly and let them berate me as much as they wish, speaking only when spoken to, offering only the gentlest of contributions, and still come across as cruel and strange. It's quite enjoyable, really.

I've had far too much enjoyment lately. It's going to my head. But given what led me to be so entertained in the first place, I'll take it.
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Qabian
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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:10 pm

Malygos is gone. Neltharion is gone. Ysera is gone. Nozdormu has never been particularly solid in this time or any other. That leaves Alexstrasza as the only aspect.

They talk about replacing them, but is there any precedent for that? Was Malygos the third, fourth, fifth Aspect of Magic? Perhaps they simply renamed them to Malygos each time?

Or perhaps they were never worth anything to begin with. They are and have always been mortal. They are and have always been pathetic, only moreso than we are because they pretended to have power they did not. The same could easily be said of the Titans.

All we have is who we are. There are no gods. There is no immortality.

Fanyare didn't need to see that from me. No one does. But the more time passes without that swing of the pendulum, the more doubt creeps in and the more insidious it becomes, and the more comfortable I am in someone's presence, the more likely I am to simply let things slip.

I am... sufficient, but the Grim needs more than sufficient. The Grim needs inspiration. The Grim needs to be shaped. I cannot do either of those things. I know myself, and I know my strengths, and they are not here. Being merely sufficient is suffocating, but unless we find ourselves a shaper, sufficiency is all we can hope for.

Umbral is correct. She has been nothing but obedient. She will follow the Mandate until it kills her. Her problem is that she is not capable of respect, on many levels, but is that really something we demand? She is not an intellectual. She works on instinct, and it has carried her far with us. She follows orders, mostly, depending how drunk she is. Unfortunately, you cannot order her to stop being an idiot, just as you cannot order someone to simply stop their thoughts.

I cannot even convince her to equivocate when it's in her best interests. The reason Grainger was surprised at my humility was because I knew how to lie to get what I wanted. Why does something that seems so simple and so obvious escape so many? Just lie. You don't have to lie all the time and try to keep track of multiple stories. Just lie when it's important. You won't forget you've done it.

I remember a Grim where puppetry and boot licking were frowned upon. Tradire remembers that, too, it seems. But my memories are unpleasant to say the least, making me consider perhaps a structured, orderly Grim would be more useful. Unlike Umbral's accusation, I am not an anarchist. I have no interest in dismantling systems. I simply want to abuse them to my own ends. That's not anarchy. That's narcissism, maybe psychopathy. The more order there is, the easier it is to game.

In that case, however, someone else would have to take my place, and unless Awatu does it himself, I'm not sure we have anyone willing to insist on order. Perhaps I can simply force myself to place more importance on structure than I naturally do.

Syreena and I have a lot in common, but where we differ will prevent us from ever trusting each other. Where I want to draw out the truth in someone, to find out that their heart lies with the Mandate or to convince them through their own incentives and desires that it should, that for them to live their best lives it must, she instead wants to force it on them. She wants to strap them down and shove the Mandate down their throats until they choke on it, and when their pale, breathless body is resurrected they'll have no choice but to do as they're told. In that, apparently, Awatu agrees with her.

I don't care. Not really. But it's not my way of doing things. I want to poison them with words, not crack their skulls. If skull cracking is what they want, maybe they should be on the lookout for a skull cracker.

She also thinks we shouldn't leave each other behind. She puts weight on loyalty that I don't and never will, and I believe she means it honestly. I don't think we should leave each other behind, because a toolbox without tools is empty and useless, and the illusion of loyalty is efficient for convincing people they need something they may not actually need. But she veers dangerously into family territory. She wants something from us that does not exist, but it's the closest she's capable of finding anywhere in this world, so perhaps that is enough for her.

Tradire has her shield and demands nothing else. That is for the best, at least where I'm concerned. But she needs more than a simple shield. She needs someone who responds to her and drives her to self-improvement. I'm not capable of those things, and she knows that now, or she should, but I suppose she's finding value in the shield alone.

It was good to finally meet Fanyare, to have her become something more than an occasionally quipping presence at an occasional meeting and the one who dragged Tradire up out of her grave. She is, though, it seems, similarly bad at equivocating. Or perhaps simply doesn't care what others think of her. She's no supplicant. She has no one she needs to convince of anything. She can be brazen with her arrogance the way I am with my falsehood.

The temptation to call the other back is high, but the longer I put it off, the stronger I feel. The temptation is there to call her, to show her things no one else will ever see, and then cut her throat. That would be endlessly satisfying in that single moment, but then that moment could never be retrieved. Drawing it out is better. I think. What we have is nothing if not drawn out, and I am nothing if not self-indulgent, right?

Of course, the temptation to look up at the sun from the bottom of the Elrendar is there, too.

"Learn to live with it," he says, as if I haven't already done that.

There are rather a lot of things that should be preventing me from "living with it", yet here I am, and confident enough in my capacity to do so to take the place of any Grim in duress, yes. I wonder if that means anything to her at all. I wonder if that makes her feel better about her decisions. I wonder if she's even capable of regret. I don't think she is, and that's probably why I like her.
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Qabian
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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:40 pm

She has her claws in too many aspects of my life as it is. Now her brother? At least, he seems unlike her in most ways, but it's just another connection where there are already too many.

I should... not have gone there, but I felt like I had no choice. Not that anyone but myself was forcing me, but... After everything, simply... staying away... was not something I could do, not without at least making the attempt. I was lucky it was only Damian around, although perhaps if he hadn't been there I could have been and gone without waking her.

What she said about Sylvanas is... her problem, not mine. Or it should be, but anyone whose focus turns to her, after they take out her family, will inevitably find those connections. Given what she spoke about sounded like paranoia, something I'm highly familiar with, I know the path that can unfold from there.

There is no way that I am willing to stand between her and Sylvanas' minions if there's any truth to her presumptions. There's also no way I just stand aside and let her die. Or is there?

On the one hand, I know what I should do. I should stay away from her entirely.

But now her brother.

Awatu wants us to pay attention to Genn, but I wonder if Anduin isn't stronger than we're giving him credit for. Yes, he's an idiot child, but I'm not entirely certain he's an idiot child entirely bent to the will of the adults in the room. I think he's too opinionated and has too much power to simply do what everyone else says without asserting his own ideas.

Umbral has her tabard, at my insistence, essentially. I went where I needed to go and made my arguments and got my approval, such as it was. It feels like desperation. When she turned over that journal, we should -- and again, doing things I know I should not -- have cut her throat immediately, no hesitation, no compromise. But much of what we do feels like desperation these days. The pendulum never completed its swing. Will it ever? Will we have to force it?

Yes, she worked hard. She "earned" the privilege by completing the tasks set for her. Several times over, in truth. But she is so deeply flawed that she is utterly untrustworthy. And it's not because she lies. It's because she won't, so she floats her flaws on the surface where we can all see them, and yet rather than destroy her for them, we are forced to take them in stride. We had to give her the tabard to make sure that hard work of hers doesn't turn against us, not because she is what we need.

Now her brother.
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Qabian
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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:27 pm

War for peace. War for peace. War for peace.

And no one sees the irony.

No one.

I love it.

Hit them while they're bleeding. Yes, we're bleeding, too, and risk everything in making the strike, but...

But if we win this now, we can force acceptance and servility for centuries.

Really? How has that worked out historically?

If you insist.

If there's one thing I'm never going to argue with, it's scorched earth. Scorch it all.

Especially Lordaeron. The Windrunners have had their claws in human scalps their entire lives. Sylvanas was only too happy to find herself gifted with the power to hold human lives in her hands and have them worship her for it. Nathanos isn't just any corpse.

I hope she regrets what she's done. I hope it saddens her to see her people, her human people removed from the home they bought with the blood of their families. That pit was disgusting before they turned it into a literal sewer, and it's disgusting now. Leaving it unusable for generations is all it has ever deserved.

I hear the rumors trying to pin Malfurion's escape on Saurfang. Maybe so. That might explain his little failed death wish drama. To return their hero to them is a crime that cannot go unpunished. But was Sylvanas not there? Shouldn't she have seen it done?

While everyone else bemoans the lack of honor in murdering hundreds maybe thousands of civilians, I'll be over here wondering why they failed to cut the head off the snake.

Keep leaving nothing but ash and blight in your wake, Warchief. I certainly don't care how many innocents on either side you take with you in the name of some sort of necessity or survival. This is the annihilation we've been preaching for more than a decade. This is what we live for.
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Qabian
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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:53 am

What... have we done?

I have never seen such...

So much...

These islands bore me, but Azshara's voice is audible here as it was on the other Isles. I do not fear what she will do. I fear what she will fail to do. I fear she will become just another setback that we will overcome, when the history she holds should mean so much more.

History becomes meaningless in the face of the Bronze and the Titans. They strip the value from our stories and endeavor to make us worthless. They will succeed if we do not hold them at bay.

Alphaeus asked if I had ever done anything selfless in my life.

My immediate response, and the correct one, was an obvious no.

But then it occurred to me, and because I enjoy the sound of my own voice, I even revealed that I have evidence to the contrary.

Perhaps it is a singular event. No, not entirely singular, but definitely rare.

I am capable of selflessness, but if you want it from me, you have to earn it by doing something that means a great deal to me and absolutely nothing to anyone else.

In the grand scheme of things, I am capable of no such thing. I have no need for selflessness under the Mandate. The Mandate encompasses my self and every narcissistic action I take furthers its impossible cause. It is best not to dwell on stolen moments that suggest I have the capacity for any real sacrifice.

I know that what matters most to me is my self, so I had pieces of me carved away, my ear, my name. But knowing that hardly seemed enough, I tried and failed to do more at the time. In the many months since, I think I have done enough, and look forward to earning that future place of respect without continued sacrifice.

But to suggest that anything could matter to me more than I do is heresy of the highest order.

Isn't it?
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Qabian
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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:41 am

The sound of my own voice never fails to start trouble. Thankfully the number of people who have ever realized this is small. Better not to be interesting.

I do a lot of truth telling for someone who is an avowed liar. I wanted to bemoan the place I'm in. I do not mold and encourage and develop people. I can test them, but I do not create them. We could, plausibly, have someone in this role who could create new Grim from troubled souls who find their way to us. I am not such a person. At best, I assess. Even then, I find assessment exhausting. People are... tiring. Destruction in and of itself is much more sensible than people.

Not only that, but I am, in fact, a terrible Grim. On the surface, I'm not, but anyone who has been forced to trust me for any amount of time has a sense of it, even if they cannot define it. Awatu does, I'm sure. Syreenna definitely does.

The actions I take to keep myself from giving in always have an edge of treason. Never against the Mandate, but often against individuals. Not because I hold the Mandate particularly highly, but it is a ludicrously easy path to follow and not one that actually requires a great deal of rules. People, however, are complicated.

I was surprised to hear Awatu mention Loa in such a manner, but perhaps he has ideas I do not. Ideas I tried to contemplate aloud, but of course not. That and... I don't know just how well any given power can obtain souls with so much competition for them out there.

There are things I shouldn't speak of. I miss my didactic preaching on the subjects in the time before, when people were simpler and easier to use. I have fears now I did not have before the Scourge, not of the dead, but of weaknesses I then did not realize I had.

Every once in a while, those weaknesses make themselves known in places where the doors have not been closed. I should keep my mouth shut, or pretend the last fifteen years didn't happen. One of the two. Instead, true confessions with an insistence that I talk too much rather than an implication that at least half of it was false.

No, none of it was false. I have been monumentally stupid. I will likely continue to be whenever weaknesses come to light, but I will not be caught. After all, I already am.

Where's Tradire?
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Qabian
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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:07 pm

Oh no. Oh no no no no.

I just realized. The other possibilities.

None of this is good. None of it. I think I can keep it from... going entirely off the rails? But it's a mess.

Don't they know nothing comes of this? I learned my lesson. I'll play the games and say the words all I want, but it's going nowhere.

Besides, behind closed doors, I'm worse. In every possible way. Mm, almost every possible way. They have no idea how much worse I really am.

There's only one place I go for truth.
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Qabian
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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:19 pm

It should be enough.

It should be enough just to hate. I shouldn't need reasons. Garithos was the reason I offered whenever a reason was demanded. He was reason enough, too. I shouldn't

She doesn't understand.

Hate is easy. It is warm and strong. It protects from all manner of harm. I didn't need reasons to hate. We were just predators, preying on the weak, the lesser, those who would grow and learn and die too fast to remember the techniques we could focus on for decades. We didn't need reasons.

Yes, they gave us reasons, but we didn't need them.

They weren't my friends. I didn't lose anyone close to me. Not to them. The only thing that killed them was the Scourge, and the Scourge was what? A disease of the world? Arthas and Kel'thuzad can take a lot of blame for being weak and lesser, for falling for trap after trap after trap. Dar'khan can take some blame, for being power hungry, a grand failing of our kind, and his sweet little mutant children overrunning Stormwind now are what happen when you open the gates for death.

But even though they weren't my friends, I was too close to what happened to them. It changed me. It changed what made me hesitate. I was always more violent than not, and though I was never demanding, I resolved I never would be. I would never be like them. I would never take the way they did. I would only destroy.

She doesn't understand. How could she? Who does understand? A wolf without its pack is prey, and I've been without my pack for too long. The Grim stands in for them, but the Grim failed me. I was prey. More than once. I've learned not to rely on them. The Grim feed the hate, but they do not understand it. They don't need to.

I shouldn't need to.

She shouldn't need to.

Hate should be enough, in and of itself. It does not need reasons to exist. It only needs to burn. It only needs to consume everything in its path. That's all it needs.

She is an obsession, a dangerous path with no way to turn from it. Even if I try, I'll always find myself back on the same road. And I have given her everything. Of my own free will. Everything. Prey again, without my pack.

The other needs to ask better questions. I don't think she wants to ask better questions. I don't think she wants what she says she wants, to do something for me, which is good, because she won't get it, but I'll get what I want, words and questions, the sound of my own voice, amusement at what nothing can cause.

Be careful giving words too much power. They don't have any of their own. The cat disagrees, but also puts a point on the possibility that the only power they have is mischief.

I need to spend a week in Suramar to remember what we should have been, but Feralas calls.

I don't need brothers, but I'm glad of them, nonetheless, if only for the hope they give. Yes, hope. I like that people assume I know nothing but ruthless cruelty. I like knowing I can drive hate so easily. That doesn't mean I know nothing of things outside hatred.

What do I know?

I know more than those who worship at its feet. I know more than those who wear it on their sleeves and on their banners.

I know because I run from it and it hunts me down. I know because I do not want it, do not need it, and yet I have it.

Killing me with kindness would be much more difficult than even the ridiculousness of the cliché implies. Boring me with kindness might be manageable. I suppose maybe you could bore me to death with it? But even then, either you're the sort of kind hearted person I either destroy or walk away from, or you're not a kind hearted person and I take the opportunity to dismantle your kindness, find the motive in it, make you regret ever having plied me with it in the first place.

Or you're the kind of person who's better at playing my games than I am. There aren't many of those, so I don't fear them though I probably should.

The team building silliness at least takes my mind off the menacing truths running deep under everything I do these days. I would definitely prefer to watch from the sidelines, but that's better managed when other people are on the dais than when I am. And if it makes them stronger, then so be it. I'll take my loss of dignity and chalk it up to forging bonds or some other useless lie.

That Eye is pointless. It saw the obvious but not the dexterous. You can tell the truth and not tell the truth at the same time, and how can one device detect that nuance? You can tell the truths that don't matter and neglect the ones that do.

There is a way to get every truth from me, and it is actually quite simple, but who actually finds that much value in truth?
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Qabian
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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:46 am

What am I supposed to do with a real cat? I could feed it to the other one. It might even actually eat it.

I could give it to the boy. He could feed it to his manasaber.

I could give it to Reinna. She'd probably dismantle it and make a mechanical version with its skin.

Maybe I'll just let the girls decide what to do with it. I'm sure one of them will take to it and then I don't have to get blamed for failing to remember it exists.
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:19 pm

I said too much, gave away too many truths.

There was a lie anchoring it all, though. Nothing wrong with that. I'm honest about who I am. She knows I can't be trusted.

What disturbs me about that lie is the whiteness of it. I could rationalize, make my excuses, that I needed the lie for some other blacker, more sensible reason, but the whiteness of the lie is behind the gifts, too.

Maybe I shouldn't have toyed with her, but curiously, I don't regret that at all. It might make her kill me in my sleep, but she wouldn't be the first to try, and good luck guessing where I am any given night.

I have my freedom. I never relinquished it. That would be a line drawn that I refuse to cross. However, my curiosity to see how the game plays out, intense as it might be, is nowhere near sufficient.

She has earned things from me enough. She has earned abridged tales of tables she could turn. She has not earned me.

I suppose, if she were determined, she could make the attempt, but better to break her of that hope at the expense of the game, better to make her think I'm something else, better to make her turn away. Better for everyone. Better for the Grim.

I've chosen treason. Treason keeps me loyal. I like how that works.

I wonder if she'll hide now, or if she'll make good on her threats, vices and silence. Her problem. Not mine.

And the rat lives. She thinks she killed her heart. Hilarious. I don't remember telling her that, but it does seem like something I would do. I wonder if I can get her to admit that in front of Syreenna, have Syreenna add a heart to her ear collection.

I should have killed her the moment she showed her face. Instead, I showed her history and gave her hope. Since when am I an agent of hope? There is chaos in it, I suppose. Hopefully it'll direct itself away from me. I'm failing to do rather a lot of things I should do, not enough to blow up in my face yet, but that is a distinct possibility, growing more distinct by the hour.

I spoke with the boy's mother. I don't know what I thought would happen. Maybe I thought I could fix an old problem with a new solution. She thinks she was once broken and is now fixed. I think she was once fixed and is now broken. The best thing for her now, and everyone involved in that tale, would be the quick release of death.

Yes, even the replacement. The things we do are objectively harmful, and we will just keep doing them, won't we? Because we want to, and we are selfish.
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Sun May 19, 2019 3:02 am

What am I doing?

What am I...

There aren't regrets. Not per se. There was never enough there to make it worth questioning the decisions I made.

It's not about what's right. It's not about morality. What do I care about doing the right thing? It's about the value of what I have. It's worth too much to put at risk, so I draw my lines where I need them drawn.

I can't help but wonder, though, if I'm falling apart. If the lessons the Bronze imparted have not stuck. I am weak and vulnerable, and I have been preyed on yet again.

Have I?

I question myself more since then, since everything. It makes me more honest, oddly enough.

Still, no one should believe anything I say. They should know better. They should always know better.

I've never been comfortable with this, but who else can do it correctly? If someone else tried, I would chafe and want it fixed, want it done my way, so perhaps I need to simply stop fighting.

I am more stable when I'm lying. When I'm honest, I am crumbling. Be wary when my words ring true. Falsehood should be reassuring.

She wants what she cannot have.

We always do, don't we?

I don't even know what I want anymore. I want quiet, and that is unlike me.

I don't have friends, nor do I want them. Strange things happen when people call themselves my friends if I fail to disagree. Keep them all at arms' length.

Am I proud? Beyond narcissism, at least? I take pride where it's earned, but it seems earned so rarely. I think I expressed my ambivalence. I am proud of who we were. I am proud of what we are capable of, should we actually make the effort. But am I proud of who we are at the moment? I don't know about that.

All the best of us died to the Scourge. Those of us who were passable then followed Kael'thas and died with him. Only the idiots who left him for the Scryers survived. The idiots and the double agents. Dar'khan steals from us to this day, long after returning to ash. The sin'dorei I don't find vastly unimpressive are few and far between. Lor'themar has so little ambition he hardly deserves to be called a regent. The Windrunners all chose the humans over their own people long ago. Only Rommath keeps me from giving up on us entirely.

If she needs pride to see her through, I hope she finds it stronger than mine. Given what she's said of the situation, I doubt there's anything in it to be proud of, but I wouldn't put it past whatever serves for justice in Silvermoon today to fail me utterly and give mercy where it's undeserved. Our nation is ruled by the pathetic.

But I've never been a good example. Even when I had the pride, I toyed with it in others to get my own way. I have always put my self above everyone and everything else. I still do, though my methods have taken on different subtleties.

And still I wonder. Have I squandered the gift of the Bronze? Have I fallen too far to avoid drowning? Is that why I'm so tired?
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:27 pm

When dreams hold more logic than reality, what recourse is there but to sleep?

When those leading the charge fail to grasp what is good and what is necessary, what recourse is there but to withdraw support? When their ideas are good but their tactics are so flawed as to be harmful, what good is it to follow them? It is easier to follow a Warchief whose ideas are worthless but whose tactics are strong than the opposite it seems. However this plays out, the throne must give way to someone new in time, either in body or in action. Perhaps when that happens, there will be reason to step back into the fight.

The Regent-Lord fails his people and no one has the strength to replace him.

The Mandate will continue. For all its many interpretations, it seems immutable at its core and indestructible in its concept.

And there is no abandonment this time. I follow no one anywhere else. I follow only myself into the shadows. I will stay close, but I will stay quiet. I am a child of blood and fire, but every fire burns itself out and the sparks must find new tinder before it can blaze again.

There is no fuel in Nazjatar. There was a time I would have given everything in my power to walk Her halls in peace that we now walk in violence, and seeing them from this perspective has shattered every hope I once had for us.

I remain Grim, but Grim in my dreams, until I can call on my own fire which has been smothered by this failure of a war.

I was never suited to this anyway. I was far better than nothing, yes, and I made it my project and priority, but I was never inspired to it. I know what is good and what is right, but if I cannot impart it with words, I have no other way to convey my knowledge. Convey the truth with violence and pain then? No, that is not my way. All that I am capable of conveying with violence is death, and death of our own does nothing for the war.

She understands us well enough to keep us strong as long as she has the bodies to guide. And she has fire of her own and a bloodthirst that far outstrips mine in the here and now. I don't know if the Mandate can hold her up. It weakens under Sylvanas' faltering steps. But in the time she has, she will do well. She is inspired to it in ways I never was. If only those the Mandate needs can find it before it's too late.

I have someone to hold my truths. They will grow with her until I can put them to use once again. For now, they have no place outside us. Not anymore.

Things fall apart.
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:33 pm

I wish she weren't right.

There are ways in which she isn't, but

If she were anyone else, I would be disturbed. I might play along, but I would not

Instead, I

I don't like the idea that I may have had anything in common with them. It frustrates me to even consider such a thing, let alone concede it. The only nature I've accepted was theirs is narcissism. Everything else, the cruelty, the intellect, the power, I built with the help of those like me who never shared my blood. They get credit for nothing but selfishness. Yes, I respect the selfishness, enjoy the selfishness, but that is all they gave me, nothing more, and they used that gift so poorly for themselves.

And yet.

If there is space for me to act without it, perhaps they did the same, set it aside for something they wanted.

I still hate the idea. I would rather be right.

It's not like I'm going to fight this. It's not like I want to. But it has to end badly. There is no happy ending. You would think by now that I would be used to wanting things that aren't going to turn out well for me, that I would be used to chasing the present, the hedonism, that I would be used to considering the consequences and weighing them and deciding the future is a price worth the present.

But this is such a different game from those I am used to playing. I am used to the cruelty being the song, not the silence.

We have never answered to the leadership of the Horde. We answer only to our ideals. We have sometimes, often, failed them, but they have never failed us.

We knew as well as she did that this moment wouldn't last. I made certain to ask every one of her loyalists that came to us what they would do when she turned on the Horde. I made certain they acknowledged this possibility.

And yet, while she no longer stands for the Mandate, for the Horde, she has turned on us in nothing but words. Lordaeron frightened some, but what she did seemed natural in the pursuit of victory. And everyone else who has fallen at her hands turned against the Horde first, turned toward the enemy.

She can no longer be followed, no, but perhaps she can be used? Not as a tool. She cannot be directed. But perhaps if we follow where she walks, where she makes her deals, there will be opportunities to be the destruction we crave. As long as we shield ourselves so that her violence is directed ever outward at others, she could still bring peace in her wake, the soft, ashen peace of Teldrassil.

But it's a dangerous proposition, if what she says is true. Why would she bother with our trust? I don't think she needed it, and yet she had it, not from many it seems, but from some.

We have been here before, no matter what decisions they make, at least as a whole.

Silvermoon has not been here before. Silvermoon has not been without the Prince and the Queen both. Silvermoon has never been entirely at the mercy of someone with as little strength as Lor'themar. He has always marched to the tune of others, and now we need a king and have only a traitor. Rommath has strength, but I do not think he has the will to make things right.

I have considered leaving it entirely, but there is always room in the shadows. Where would I go? In Dalaran, I need the shadows. Even in Suramar, I need the shadows.

She can be my shadows.
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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Re: Time Shattered [Journal]

Unread post by Qabian » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:32 am

I cannot be "of the people." I do not have any people. I put myself above all others and always have for as long as I can remember. Any I could once claim as mine were erased at the hands of Arthas. Any people who were both of like mind and understood me are long since dead.

There are some -- two, at my count, perhaps three -- who understand me, who know me, but they are not of like mind. The Grim, they are of like mind, but they do not understand me.

The Grim are not my people. The Grim hold similar ideals, but not identical. The Grim open the path to endless violence, accepted and encouraged. They know and appreciate hate that consumes all. I wonder how many of them actually hold the Mandate closest to their heart, though. How many of them actually hold the Horde on the pedestal the Mandate demands?

Their Mandate is a strong banner. It is easy to follow, durable, a strong moral core to uphold the violence, difficult to crack short of the crumbling of the Horde itself, but we all seem to fall under it for different reasons, none of which are actually the Horde. For me and I believe for Syreena, it is the humans. For Awatu, it is the dwarves. For most, it is likely one or two individuals who need to die, or the ephemerality that is love for chaos itself. For all of us, it is the death we need to bring to a few or to many. We accept Horde protection and supremacy as a stand-in for what we truly crave.

But the way the Mandate is written, it survives despots and lunacy. It should also survive the fragility of being led by a company connected only by treason.

How often does one have to betray the people one claims as their own before they realize what they have become, before they understand their truth? You have no people. You are all you have.

It will not be for the elite, no, but it will be exclusive and I will decide who can have it. Wealth is an insufficient indicator of acceptability. It is a good one. Those who have amassed large amounts clearly hold themselves of highest import, but they do not necessarily have sense as well.

With the rumors I hear, Northrend may be the only place I can stand to be awake without walking back into the clutches of the Bronze, a place I can survive while the Horde decides if it even wants to exist in the future, or if our precious factions are as meaningless as those who believe themselves heroes would like to claim.

I know who I will bring here, and they are not the Grim. They are not my people.
"While our enemies remain, peace is not victory." ~Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner

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