I look at Dyric, wondering what to tell him.
What use is there in hiding the truth? Heroica is dying anyway.
"I can't say things have been well since our last quest together.
"First, I was called to participate in a mission by the Paladins of Eubric against a sort of rogue Paladin movement. What I saw in that mission...it just wasn't good. By the end, we put down the organization, but I was left wondering whether we did the right thing. They almost seemed more righteous than the Paladins.
"The Paladins aren't what they used to be. They're working alongside all kinds of less than savoury creatures. They probably say that it's because they don't have enough regular volunteers, but it leaves one wondering, did they start dying first, and then have to resort to compromise to stay alive, or did they start compromising first and then start dying. Regardless, I do not have much faith left in the Paladin cause. It is all but dead. I'm not sure if they even know who Ennoc is anymore, much less what he stands for.
"If that quest made me lose my faith in the Paladins of Eubric, the next quest made me lose my faith in everything. We went after Baba, I'm sure you must have heard of her. She's a wicked sorceress/mindflayer. Anyway, somehow, she got into my head. I will spare you the details, but it was a frightful experience. I betrayed my party...left them all almost for dead. It was horrible, to be used in such a way. It destroyed any faith I had in myself. I could not believe it. Why me, of all people? I who should have been the strongest amongst the party?
"I was taken to the Wolf King's lair and he made a bargain with me. He told me that if I would pledge allegiance to him that he would banish Baba. What a choice to make! But I had already betrayed my party, I wanted to at least in some way rescue the quest, so I pledged my allegiance to the Wolfgang (slew my conscience in a sense by siding with such criminals), but at least Baba was banished. It's still a far cry from killing her though, but if I see her again, if I don't find myself fleeing in fright, I would stop at nothing to grind her head, her whole body really, into a pulp. I've never felt such raw hatred running through my veins, and yet I've never felt so powerless before either.
"Regardless of my success in banishing the witch, my party could hardly look at me afterwards. They were as forgiving as they could be, I must say. I cannot fault them. But how could they trust me after my actions?
"In a mix of other simpler quests, we had another one where we went to Goethia. Quite a quest, that one! We more or less had to go through a whole castle and slaughter demons and rescue people. It was magnificent! Now that is the kind of quest I came back to Heroica for...but it seems like such quests are fewer and farther between. These days, half of the quests seem to do with one house vying against another.
"The divide amongst the houses with the Sungold Alliance and the Crescent Union hasn't helped matters in the slightest. Heroes are divided. Most are more loyal to a particular house than to Heroica. Many don't even seeing the heroing side of being a Hero at all. They think it is a business. Instead of looking at the reward of a quest done well as a token of gratitude by a grateful person, they see it as a payment for a job, any job. I think the houses are guilty of encouraging this behaviour and the greed of men...it knows no bounds.
"These days, I wonder if there is any point. Will Eubric ever change? It seems to only be getting worse despite all of our good deeds. I don't want to give up on Heroica now when it needs heroes most, but I also don't want to waste my time on a city that is perfectly content in being stuck in its corrupted works.
"I'm not sure what to do. Either way, I feel drained. I just don't feel that I can stay out the course much longer. Seeing all of the heroes whom I used to respect leave as well has not been encouraging. You know that Lord Lawrence Boomingham was elected King of Eubric by the Sungold Alliance, but what has it changed? I doubt that they even let him darken their door. It was a political stunt. I haven't even seen him around since.
"Guts was a hero I could have rallied behind, but I think the enormity of the task got to him. The closer you get to the problem the more of a tangled mass you find it is.
"If I leave Eubric though, I will find myself a quiet village where my presence can actually make a positive difference. That was the life I lived before returning to Heroica. When I heard that Heroica was up and running again, I felt compelled to return. I have done much good since, then, but...sometimes the quiet life calls me.
"I'm sorry, I don't wish to bore you with my troubles..."