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Canlde In The Window

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#1 Guest_Lord E_*

Posted 01 March 2004 - 12:59 AM

It was late at night, the darkness already fallen over Bytopia, when I arrived at my cabin. How I loved the scent of the orchard that seemed to intensify in the warm, humid night! The mere scent of the apples intoxicated me almost as wine made of them. The herbs, too, I could smell, and hear the crickets. I removed my boots in order to walk barefoot, to feel the grass under my feet.

I felt melancholy and somehow sweet at the same time, which was faintly irritating. Again one of those vague emotions that are really hard to classify. I habitually analyze the emotions by their probable function, and in most cases it works pretty well, but this is one of the exceptions. What is the purpose of this sort of emotion? I have no idea. Still, the evening is too beautiful, the day satisfying enough to trouble myself about it overmuch.

There was a faint light in the kitchen of my cabin. I frowned. Surely I didn't leave a lantern or a candle on - I was meticulous if anything - and even if I did, it would have extinguished by now anyway. Suspicious and on edge I stepped into the kitchen, and saw Lord Ilmater sitting there, his face contemplative in the candelight. I felt awkward - after all I had gonreto see the gnomes in order to avoid him after that embarrassing overdisplay of emotions.

- “What are you doing here, lord Ilmater?” I mumbled, trying to sound polite but distant.
- “I was waiting for you. It is a big plane, and frankly I was a bit worried of you,” he said.
- “Bah, you are a god of intermediate power, allied with Tyr and Torm. Do not tell me you could not divine the whereabouts of an elf at your homeplane,” I said dismissively.
He smiled, but there was something sharp in his eyes as he started to talk. Apparently he wanted to teach me something now.

- “Indeed, Jon, I have enough powers to find you quite easily. Gods do have all sorts of powers, that is part of the job description so to speak. But just because a god has a power to do something, it is not always the right or wise thing to do. Had the situation been dire indeed, I would not have hesitated to scry you, but in normal circumstances like this I chose not to. You are not a toy of mine to push and pull at my whim. Your privacy, like the privacy of any sentient being, should be respected and protected, not invaded unless there is a more compelling cause to do so. So I chose to do like a worried mortal - light a candle and wait for the loved one to return.”
- “Mm.Well, I wasn't even remotely in any danger...” I started acerbically, but my voice trailed off. I had never thought about it that way. That was why us villains traditionally wanted to become gods, wasn't it - an immense power to do as we please. But he was reasoning much as a mortal would - when it is appropriate to do what is within one's powers and when not.

- “Has anyone ever waited for you to come home when you have been late, Jon?” he ased. He had stood up and was pouring tea for us. He had kept it ready and warmed for me, and for some reason noticing this made a lump suddenly appear in my throat.
I shook my head.
- “The people I associate with have always been the kind who have known me to be more than able to take care of myself,” I said stiffly.
- “Even your parents? When you were a child?”
- “Well, yes. I am not bragging, merely stating a fact, if I say that I was the most talented young wizard the city had ever known. It was not just the ability to learn quickly from the books - it was also ability to make rational decisions in a new situation based on the data at hand,” I said. A trace of pride had crept into my tone, and I frowned in irritation as I realized this.

- “I am quite aware of your talents, Joneleth,” Ilmater smiled. “But still you have been vulnerable, lonely, disappointed, scared, sorrowful and all that, I am sure. After all, would you have been so thirsty to get your soul and your infatuation with the elven queen back if you didn't once know all that? Perhaps your talents that have made people admire you so, have also been your trappings. Trappings I want to set free. To make you feel that you can be failed, scared, unreasonable, not living up your own standards, and I will still be there to take care of you. Waiting for you with a candle in the window.”

There is some profound truth in what he says. Indeed I have always thought that the admiration and talent is a good thing, and a gift. But there was this downside. Always, wasn't there?

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