The Lead Character in My Own Tale

Winter, 1374

It has been a while since I seriously considered my future. I have been a resident at Glister for more than two years and I’m beginning to grow dissatisfied with the direction my life is taking.

When I first arrived in Glister, in the spring of 1372, my goal was to convince Lord Marbrand to let me study from his grimoires. Misfortune befell me, and the good Lord Marbrand, for he was found dead the day after my arrival. I got caught up in solving the mystery of his death, the ascension of Quentyn Martell to the seat of the unfortunate late lord’s domain, and the vanquishing and imprisonment of a vicious demon.

From that point onward, I became a trusted counsellor to Lord Martell, helped Glister thrive, expand its influence, and defeat its threats. I’ve made career choices for the good of Glister, and crafted a magical container at great personal expense to further secure the imprisoned demon.

I’ve done a lot for the ones around me. I’ve done a lot for Glister and its people. But I’ve stagnated as a wizard. With the exception of a handful of scrolls liberated from the High Pass Keep, everything I’ve learned was self-taught.

I never did find Lord Marbrand’s grimoires.

While I have settled in as best I could, the people around me don’t take me seriously. They see me as a tool. I’ve not made any real friends, or any real connections, nor learned anything that I couldn’t have learned elsewhere.

Quentyn cares only for his advancement as a lord. I’ve been useful enough to him that he allows me to stay at the mansion, but he considers me nothing more than an obedient court wizard whose arcane forces he can apply as an answer to the question on how to further his success. My presence lends his rulership some allure and legitimacy. He completely neglects the work I put into optimising the crop yields, the time I put into working through the ledgers in order to figure out how to integrate the settlers, or what I sacrificed in order to come up with a more permanent solution to the problem of the imprisoned demon.

Truth be told, I hear his Westchester accent and it nostalgically makes me long for home. I have let that grow into a misplaced sense of loyalty. His ambitions of governance were exactly the reasons why I left Cormyr, but these old familiarities drew me to him because they were comfortable and safe. But I do not want to be a pawn in politics. I do not want to be used like a weapon to achieve another man’s goals!

David doesn’t seem to care for anything at all, certainly not my feelings or opinions. He does as he pleases and is as stubborn as a castle wall. In comparison to Quentyn, whom I suspect harbours the same false sense of kinship that I feel for him, David truly sees nothing more than a wizard. As long as my interests are aligned with his we walk the same path, but the instant that changes he’ll set out without me. He has not one ounce of excess sentiment for me. No discussion, no hesitation, he’ll simply keep walking, whether I follow him or not.

David thinks me naive, foolish, dumb or all of the above. He’s so rigid that he takes a dogmatic stance in every disagreement. I intellectually outrank him by a country mile, but I wonder if he realises that. I wonder if he even considers intellect a virtue. I can imagine many situations in which I would help him achieve his goals, but I can’t imagine any in which he’d help me achieve mine.

Jago… I only have good things to say about Jago. He’s kind, loyal, smart, resourceful and caring. He’s been in Glister as long as I have, but he’s entrenched himself deeply among the people of the Hoof. He has become like a brother to Widukin, of enormous value to Quentyn for his ranging and scouting missions and an undeniably good fit among the settlers of Oak Hill.

He has everything a man could possibly ask for in terms of talent and potential, so the only criticism I could have about Jago is that he could do with a little more personal ambition. His aloofness, I suspect, is an attempt to hide his humble and soft-hearted nature. He has had a rough beginning, and I’d wager that a personality like his wouldn’t last very long without the façade on the harsh streets of the cities along the northern Moonsea coast. He reminds me of Olivar and perhaps that’s why I like him so much.

And so I’m stuck with three people with which I maintain unequal relationships. Jago doesn’t care for me the same way I care for him. Quentyn cares only for what I can do to achieve his goals. And David doesn’t care for me at all.

It’s time for me to start playing the lead character in my own tale, rather than playing a minor character in the tale of another. I will try to gather the resources necessary for me to depart after the winter. It will be three years since I arrived and high time for me to find place that either accepts me, or caters to my own goals. Perhaps the great forests of the dalelands, or the tempestuous sword coast beyond. We’ll see.

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