Ryland went out last night and did a bit of wandering in the woods, oddly enough the lumbermill was running during the evening and night, not hours that are usual. Just adds to the strangeness. What are these people hiding? While he was out there he heard tale about a strange tunnel in the woods and interestingly enough my imp was able to find it, path was barred by a gate and some kind of shield that prevented him from going any further.
This day has not gone well at all, I keep screwing up and I have no idea what to do.
We spoke with the mayor, he seems to be one of the few unaffected by whatever malaise lies on this town and he seemed to suspect something was going on with the people who “moved away”.
After him we spoke with the former chamberlain, A young woman staying with her parents since the castle had been sealed off. Enrico had tried to sweet talk her earlier but he really messed up and came off as a pretty poor liar. Fortunantly Sylthana noticed the mother had a symbol of Nephitis on a necklace and was able to convince her to allow us to meet with her daughter. I could see them being very respectful of Sylthana and she was soon able to convince them of our good intentions. The young woman produced a key to the castle and she informed us about a sub-basement that none of the servants were allowed to access. This was most interesting and seemed like the best place to find the Crystal. The shell was not due to come down for a while so we sought out the mysterious tunnel suspecting it was an escape tunnel for the nobles of the castle.
Outside of the house Ryland was sitting there looking glum as pinecones bounced harmlessly off of his head. I just grinned and told Ip’Nix he could stop harrassing the big guy.
We located that tunnel, but somebody had tried to conceal it since my imp had found it earlier.
We went in and the key worked on the door. Although we could pass through fine my familiar was unable to. It was warded against extraplaner and teleportation magics so looks like we are on our own.
The path was long and eventually lead us to a large chamber with a balconey and a pair of doors. Everything seemed okay until I saw Sylthana recoiling in horror followed soon after by Braum. Syl callled out the whole room was an illusion and after a few seconds of trying I was able to see through it myself and right away wished I hadn’t.
We were standing on wooden platforms with the actual floor maybe 15 feet below us, if we moved to the edge another platform would flip into place keeping us from falling. Below us were cages and cages filled with skeletons and desiccated corpses. Hidden previously by the illusion was a glowing orb on a small alcove, Sylthana approached it cautiously but that idiot Ryland walked over as it started to glow and touched it.
Instantly all of our heads were filled with a horrible vision.
We saw a small room, made of some kind of white stone and two children were pushed into this room and the door slammed shut. They matched the description of the two children of Margrev. The image flickered, jumping from hour to hour and day to day. The children became filthy, the were forced to use a corner as a makeshift chamberpot. They looked malnourished. Suddenly the image settled on the door opening and Margrev walking in. The children rushed to her but you could see something wasn’t right, she wasn’t joyful seeing her children, she was like a zombie, mindless. Thats when she attacked, you could see her grab the yougnest and start beating her head against the wall like an animal. What I saw… it wasn’t somebody killing because they had to, this was more mindless, she tore them apart literally, beating them against the walls, each other, the floor. Blood was everywhere. The images stopped then and we were suddenly free of its grasp. I barely kept from throwing up. The others were even worse than me, Braum looked the best though I could tell from the tightness in his jaw and tension in his neck he was controlling himself.
Ryland looked like he had been struck in the head with his own maul, Enrico was patting him on the back with a completely stunned look that meant reaching out to Ryland was for himself as well. Sylthana had dropped to her knees and was breathing very heavy, I remembered her daughter, to see a mother do that must have cut her deeply. Ryland was shaking and trying to push Enrico away, against my better judgment I figured he needed contact, he tried and was kinda a failure at stopping me from giving him a hug. He stopped shaking so I left him to tend to Sylthana who also needed somebody to be close.
Ryalnd spoke up, Where we had born witness to the horror he said he had actually felt it. He felt their pain, terror, betrayl. And he had heard a voice, samwell’s voice saying “so the forumula does work”
Sylthana’s knuckles had turned completely white gripping her Scythe and the rage was boiling in her. I decided I needed to give them all time to calm down instead of charging into town on a war path. I directed Ip’Nix to fetch Aderyn. Braum recognized what I was doing and fell back to cover our rear. Once Aderyn arrived I filled her in on what was going on and we pushed forward. I took the lead and pushed us to check out the doors. One was magical but had been beaten up with dents and massive claw marks. The magic on the door seemed to be slowly repairing it though we couldn’t tell if whatever had done the damage had left or was still behind the door so we left it be. The other door led into a side passage, an off tunnel led up to the balcony we had seen earlier. Sylthana and I inspected it, it looked like somebody had been there recently with a table and a pair of chairs. Unfortunantly I recognized the style of engraving as the same as the chairs in the Inn. Sylthana got a little bit pissed off when I pointed this out and before I could stop her she had hurled one of the chairs off of the balcony and out across the open room where it smashed down on the cages with a very loud resounding gong like sound. I cringed at the noise but nothing seemed to happen and it seemed to calm her down a little. She does have a pretty good arm on her and got quite a bit of distance.
I lead the way, unusual for me honestly. But without Ip’ Nix I was the one best suited, my infernal gift had given me far better vision in the dark than I normally enjoyed and hopefully if there was anything in wait I could spot it before it spotted us. I also kept scanning for booby traps but never saw anything amiss.
Eventually we made our way into a huge cavern, the edges of it were at the limit of my vision. The path became broken up as it moved through a small body of what kinda looked like water. I could see huge blue crystals all over the roof and the sounds of dripping water. Sylthana cast daylight and nearly blinded me while I was looking around. Aderyn seemed stunned silent and staring at the crystals. She was in a state of shock suddenly, the crystals as it turned out were a secret of her elvish mage convent. Being a half elf she wasn’t privy to the secrets of their creation and care.
At first I didn’t realize the second thing she said but suddenly so much clicked into place. Aderyn was a half elf, not worthy of her people’s full secrets and knowledge. She had been holding out her hope that Johan had seen something special in her, but as it turned out she wasn’t, he had been using her to get access to her convent and steal the knowledge of the crystals. He had been using her now because of who she was but because of where she was. I could see the slight sag in her shoulders, if we had been anywhere else I suspect she might have found a quiet place to cry, heavens knows I’ve done that before myself.
My first thought was that liquid was some kind of slime again and I wouldn’t go near the stuff. Ryland easily jumped the largest gap in the walk way of maybe 15 feet using a wildshape of a large lion to jump it. He then tossed a rope back and we took a few attempts to secure it. Cheap hammers, now I need to get a new one after mine broke. With Sylthana and Ryland bracing it the others began to clamber across the gap. I had a hard time convincing myself to try, I had throughly convinced myself it was a slime and it was just waiting to ambush me. I hugged the rope close and started across, I almost made it when I felt a sudden vibration and lost my grip.
On the positive side it wasn’t a slime. On the other hand it was colder than longsaddle in mid winter. Ryland fished me out and all I could do was sit there huddled in my cloak freezing. I glanced up and saw a horrified look on Sylthana’s face. I think the rope slipped and she was blaming herself for dropping me. I wasn’t angry, just cold.
We continued and this time I was in the back still trying to regain some measure of warmth when we were attacked.
Ropers, denizens of the underdark, Looks like Johan had left a few more surprises behind. Looking like rock formations until they revealed their beaks and flailing tentacles. I tossed up mirror image and thankfully they swipped at the duplicates instead of me so I was able to pull back out of range although I was then completely cut off and praying there weren’t any behind us. The others were entangled and kept trying to break lose, it was chaotic, I saw Enrico nearly make it clear but that did not last for long as his legs were bound and he started to get pulled in. Sylthana and Ryland both were courageously trying to draw attention and break the others free, the creatures were covered in rocks and I could see the attacks barely doing any damage at all. I did the only thing I could and unloaded everything I had on them. At one point I heard Aderyn scream briefly saw her tossed through the air before hearing a splash but the creature was between us so I could do nothing to help her except use my magic which fortunately proved effective enough, my control was sufficient to get penetrating hits although I accidentally did hit Ryland once. The others were fighting it as well but bound in the tentacles they were having a hard time.
Both soon fell and it was fortunate since Aderyn was nearly half drowned by that time and needed help getting out of the water. Ryland and Sylthana looked half dead and we made our way to what appeared to have once been a guard station with an old firepit and really old torches. We started a fire and sat down to rest and bind the wounds.
Everybody was a wreck, Enrico seemed mostly okay, Aderyn was cold and miserable, plus with her shock I’m not sure all the water dripping from her was from the lake. Ryland, Sylthana and Aderyn were torn to shreds.
I sat by Sylthana trying to reach out to her but she seemed lost in her own thoughts so I figured I would quickly write a few words here.
I tried to buoy their spirits, remind them that we were fighting for the people and what the vanguard represented as its ideals. I kinda flubbed it however, I tried my best but unlike the stories I didn’t see them energized and renewed with purpose. Although how much of what we go through have I ever heard of in the tales? Stories always seem to gloss over the weeks camping in the wilderness and in the cold weather and rain. Most heroic battles do skip over the chaos and terror and how much it hurts to lose somebody.
Maybe all those tall tales are just that, tales and heroes in the stories are cold and scared as well.
This day just keeps getting better and better. We kept going up and eventually came into a crypt. Skeletons or something all over the place. One of the others noticed some kind of veins or something over the bones. Some sort of trap so we didn’t disturb them and quickly got out of the room. Evidently we didn’t set off whatever trigger and they remained dormant.
The next room was actually a massive shaft. We were at the bottom and stairs along the edges lead up to the next floor. Looked to be maybe 5 landings all the way around and I couldn’t get a good view of what was above. A stone bowl in the middle filled with water caught our eye but upon further inspection was just a bowl of water.
The two blind idiots snuck off ahead of us rather than letting me scout ahead
Sneaky bastards, I could barely see their light, least until we heard the banging.
Each level had cell doors all around the circumference of the shaft. Little sliding windows gave a view inside where they were either empty or had what looked like a dessicated corpse having tried to claw its way out. We were all quick to realize these rooms were identical to the room we saw in the vision.
Up on the third floor we arrived and Braum and Enrico were trying to break the lock of one of the doors before we began trying to stop them. I looked inside and what I saw was horrifying. It was a woman but she was filthy with her eyes stitched shut and only making strange noises. I could not tell if she was actually alive or if this was some kind of undead we had never seen before.
While we argued about what to do with her we heard a strange noise from above. Like a storm, above us at the top of the shaft was a lift platform that was starting to sway and the sound of the wind began to get louder. The woman in the cell began making crying and keening sounds and fled from the doorway.
The creature that suddenly came down was like a windstorm, an air elemental and it didn’t waste any time before it attacked, This thing was damn big, probably twice my height and its first attack picked me up off my feet and hurled me into a nearby wall, I think Sylthana was also hit but she was able to hold her ground. Well, I got up and began casting bolts into it until I saw it pick up Sylthana and hurl her directly at me. I had about a second to realize what was happening before I got slammed again into the wall. Got untangled and dazedly found a different spot. My head was seeing stars after that but I got some good shots into it which of course just pissed it off. I wanted to yell and those others shooting arrows and things at it, its a blasted air elemental, did they really think an arrow would hurt this thing? Ryland kept trying to swipe through it but was having a hard time finding purchase, at least he was trying.
I could see Aderyn’s sphere floating in the the open floor, think she was trying to keep us from falling. I really hurt the creature then it got in my face, everything after that was a complete blur, I felt something slam me hard, then as I blacked out I felt like I was flying again.
I came to with Sylthana standing over me and the most god awful headache. They managed to kill the creature, guess I had been bounced off of a wall then thrown through the air again to bounce off of Ryland before collapsing on the floor. I hurt like hell but Enrico was doing that weird music healing thingy again so I could feel the injuries clearing up.
Braum went back to trying to open the cell and I tried to stop him but then Braum shocked the hell out of me with his outburst. He was sick and tired of not being able to help anybody and damn it he was going to help this woman. Usually Braum was so stoic that to hear such forceful passion and frustration from him made me take a step backwards. All I could do was accept it and step back with a spell ready defensively. Turns out Braum was right and I was wrong again. She was alive, a woman from the village of Dunbar, Enrico was able to calm her down and made some general communication with her with writing.
We couldn’t just leave her here, not that Braum would let me, I was all for putting her somewhere safe and rescuing her afterwards. I reached out to Ip’Nix and I was able to find Denam. Oddly enough Denam was looking right at my imp, didn’t take long to realize he could see it even though he was invisible. I spoke through and he was a bit surprised to hear my voice. I was able to convince him to come and extricate the woman from the prison. Ip’Nix accompanied him to guide him as far as the grate. Now we just have to wait for his arrival.
Well, Denam arrived but the woman was freaking out so I saw him use a friend spell on her to calm her down and an enlargen spell to become large enough to pick her up easily before he headed back on out.
Kalana had taken out the shield but had immediately collapsed from the raw power she adsorbed? Aderyn told me Kalana was more than just a sorceress, she was a spell eater and could absorb a spell although this barrier was more than she had ever done before. Evidently why Johan had wanted her, never heard of spell eaters before though and neither had Aderyn.
We continued on up and came into a small hall at ground level. A fire place was there and we heard a voice calling out that he knew we were there with samwell’s voice. Since there did not seem to be any point to hiding we stepped out and found some strange necromantic simulacrum there burning things in the fireplace. He had evidently been at it a long time for the hall was mostly stripped of anything that wasn’t furniture.
Ryland just went berserk on the simulacrum. I held back even saying he needed to get this out of his system. He just kept going at it until it seemed to kind of pop and a greenish mist blew out. Ryland seemed a bit staggered and was growling odd so I came over and tried to calm him down a bit.
Thats when he hit me. Never saw it coming but he spun around and his maul slammed into my side with a sickening crunch that hurt like hell. Good thing I was so close that he didn’t get the full power behind it. I staggered back and we all watched in horror as he wildshaped into some kind of half bear half demonic creature. We would figure out later that it was a direbear. He came after us and torn me up pretty good, Sylthana also got bit pretty hard. I fled around the corner and tossed out my mirror images again but this time it was a bit of waste. Aderyn began knocking him around with that sphere of hers (I so need to learn how to cast one of those) which knocked him away from me and both Braum and Sylthana got right up with him. I saw braum just go nuts with smashing Ryland repeatedly in the head with his hammer. And I think Enrico was messing with him pretty good, at one point I heard Denam outside which drew Rylands attention but figured out it was Enrico pulling that one, I know the minor illusion spell very well. Ryland tried to make a run for the gate but out in the open he didn’t last very long and we finally knocked him out. After a few lengths of chains and some very clever knot tying by Enrico we have Ryland restrained completely.
A quick check with Denam revealed he was almost back to camp but he had never heard of anything like this so we continuing to move forward blind.
When he comes to we will see if he is with us or if we have lost him. I don’t relish another fight like that and all of his wounds seem to have healed up.
I went over to inspect the simulacrum, it was still alive but just barely. I could hear it mumbling. I could feel my blood run cold as I realized he was repeating a phrase over and over again. “When the sleeping king awakens, so too shall my body rise”
This was a paraphrase of the phrase that was engraved in infernal in that temple of Ayora from the second age. we knew there was a connection between Johan and the Night sisters but we thought it was tenuous and an alliance of convenience since if Malgav came through he would take over everything but this seems like there is a stronger connection between the two groups than we realized.
It was holding out a key to me and as I took the key from it I could hear its last words were “Thank you”. I rejoined the others but it seemed odd such a creature would thank me, perhaps the fulfillment of his duty?
We are all messed up pretty bad, we need to get some sleep, we should recover before going forward, damn it, not this nonsense again.
After we woke up, after we finished our rest and preparations after we woke up GOD DAMN YOU NOT THIS NONSENSE AGAIN! Really evil lair of an extraplaner being and you still pull this nonsense? And why in my journal of all places?! Stupid gods and rules, seriously fuck you all.
Ryland has been cured. It was a magical curse that was put on him by the sphere. Oddly enough his memories of the last hour was completely different than what we had experienced.
Anyway, we headed into the main keep and in there we saw three pairs of floating eyes, Being better able to see in the dark I couldn’t see anything else either. We could hear Samwell’s voice. He was threatening the town if we didn’t give him what he wanted. He seemed to be playing a game with everything and our presence changed his objectives. Now he wanted the horn. He seemed to be very aware of who we were and what we had.
I retorted to him that Johan had tried the same thing. He just laughed and told us to pull out our pocket avatar if we had one. Stubbornly I still refused him. He mocked us again. Then the fireball hit us.
The small room we were in became awash in flames, I was barely singed but some others got hit hard. Again I was thankful I am a tiefling and fire barely hurts me. Around the corner a Chimera of some wierd kind appeared. I had read about Chimera’s from some of Algis’ books but this was something else entirely, it was some kinda necromancer construct with the parts stitched together like a poorly made quilt.
Ryland charged forward shifting into a bear as he went and tried to lunge on top of the monstrosity. He missed but everybody quickly scattered, this unfortunately led to us discovering that he had other surprises such as acid breath. The fight got crazy, I held back to get my mirror images up and took a shot at the thing, I definitely got its attention because it flew up into the air over Ryland and lunged after me and torn several huge gashes in my protective leathers. I extended out my darkness ability and tried to move around it but it kept following me, damn bastard could see right through magical darkness. Braum was trying to get its attention but with my darkness up he couldn’t see much. Luckily for me it’s interest soon wandered and I saw it lunge back into the main chamber and blast yet another burst of corrosive acid out and heard a yell from Aderyn and Sylthana as they were burned. I quickly moved out and into somewhere less enclosed and I heard Braum begin yelling that it had turned invisible. I hide behind the walls for a moment when it reappeared to again blast Aderyn and Enrico, I saw Aderyn’s defenestration sphere dissipate which probably meant she was pretty badly hurt but I couldn’t see with her on the other side of the room. With the creature airborne it was hard for our fighters to get into it so as Ryland charged past I darted out and used a fly spell on him. In all the chaos the look on that bear’s face as he lifted off the ground was just hilarious. He didn’t waste any time though once the initial shock wore off and flew forward to continue to harass the monstrosity I managed to get off a few more shots before it swooped in and blasted that hideous acid at me and Sylthana. It definitely hurt but my next shot was finally sufficient to finish the monster off ripping the acid breathing head apart and its own acid proceeded to consume it as it crashed to the ground. I could again feel the creature’s essence drawing back towards me like a warm embrace.
We heard Samwell’s voice again, mocking us, saying it didn’t matter and that the deed was done. It started to fade and then was gone.
I got in contact with Ip’Nix and found out the camp had been attacked as had the village from Denam. I don’t know how bad it is yet but it seems to be pretty bad. Everybody took that news hard. One more sin on my shoulders, if I had just given up the horn how many people would still be alive? 100? 200?
I pulled myself together and pushed them. I told them we couldn’t stop what had happened, that we had to finish it. I hated myself for it but if what we heard was true it was already too late, the damage was done, we needed to salvage something.
Eventually we found the hidden basement level, Closed up with an arcane ward sealing it, similar to the one Algis used to have on the home I grew up in. As kids we all had a simple little trinket that would deactivate the wards allowing us in like a magical lock on a door but far more convenient. Took a while to find a key that would work and I saw Enrico and Ryland come back even more scorched up than before with a broom that radiated magic. When discussing the broom I mentioned it was probably just for sweeping the floors and evidently that was the magic word and it began sweeping the hallway. Powerful mage’s hideaway and we find a lazy mages room sweeper.
Eventually we got in and down even further we found the crystal. It was massive and misshapen, all the time growing without care was evidently taking its toll. Sylthana suddenly approached it and began speaking to the crystal, at first I didn’t see it but once my attention was there I could see a ghostly figure trapped within the blue crystal. A man, old, he spoke to Sylthana, said his name was Malvo. We suddenly realized he was one of Johan’s former companions, the one that Algis couldn’t find. Evidently he had been trapped here powering the crystal.
Sylthana released him from his cursed prison and we could see his spirit flow out and fade away. The crystal itself shattered into dust
I realize afterwords we should have asked him questions, found out more but it is too late. I’ve asked Ryland and Braum to get the gates opened up, figured it shouldn’t be hard for those two.
Denam got word to me about how bad it was. The woman we rescued, she was a trap, she exploded with a poison mist that drove some of the troops insane and they turned on the others. Kalana was right at the epicenter and is missing now. 25 people are dead from the dragoons. Sounds like only a few survivors from the town, what have I done.
Goddamn that asshole Gaspar. First Ryland comes in and makes something that might have been an apology if it wasn’t so blindly stupid as though nothing had happened, then when I leave Gaspar comes in chiding us for a lovers quarrel and yells at me to come back. Then the bastard says its an order from my commanding officer. I of course retorted that the vanguard had no chain of command and he persisted. Even spoke that we were a mistake joining the vanguard. I called him an asshole and told him to fuck off before casting fly and finding a quiet spot where nobody could reach me.
Commanding officer? Is there more to the Green Vanguard than I thought? Makes sense, nobody is so selfless, lip service to a cause but a pocket army of Alphonse. Is Parn using us or being used? He’s always written back to me but it has been 11 years, he wasn’t telling us everything, do I even really know him anymore? What game are they all playing?
It hurts to think I’m being used again. Johan, Malkor, now the Vanguard and it sounds like even Beleneth. And is she actually my mother or is manipulating things? I see Sylthana and how much she worries about her daughter and I think if Beleneth really was my mother I wouldn’t be refereed to as “insurance” like a trinket or object, although thats even assuming shes referring to me, she appeared in dreams to Luci, not me.
I have a lot of blame now. Every time I try to do better I screw it up so badly.
First mistake was trying to take the lead, everybody was in a state of shock and I thought it best to keep moving, but because I did that Samuel had a chance to escape.
Second was contacting Denam and getting him to rescue that trapped woman that Braum rescued. If I hadn’t done that those 25 men back at the camp would still be alive and Kalana would not be missing.
Third was not giving him the horn, I don’t even want to think about how many people in Dunbar died because I wouldn’t give in…
How many is that dead because of my decisions? 150? 200? How many more will die because he got away?
I find myself wondering if I should have listened to Sylthana that night.
Well, I was sitting on the roof of the keep where nobody could bother me, I knew the 8th guards were sweeping for traps and investigating so nobody would be let into the keep.
At least so I thought into a crossbow bolt bounced off a tile and came to rest a few feet from me with a note attached. It was from Sylthana let me know there were orders that we needed to go over. I cast Fly again (wonderful spell, I need to use this more often) and floated on down to where I could see Sylthana and Braum waiting with the guards posted by the door. Sylthana was handing the crossbow back to the guard when I floated on down and tossed the guardsman his bolt. They seemed surprised, I don’t think they expected anybody on the roof.
We had been asked to head into the village in the morning to investigate and assist with the funeral rites. I just sighed and returned to our encampment.
I had screwed up so much. How could I face the others, I knew they would blame me for not going after Samwell right away. Gaspar had been right, my joining was a mistake, guess he will have a consolation prize when I leave
Denam. I hadn’t given him too much thought before today. I knew about his association with the catspaw and that he was a professional thief and the vanguard’s quartermaster. He himself has never made any secret of that, even carries his symbol of being a former member of the catspaw openly on his belt as though daring people.
Gaspar had returned carrying Kalana. She was a complete mess and one of her arms was completely missing at the elbow. He took her to the infirmary and the others followed. I had just began packing up my tent when I hear that smug little guy asking me what I was doing.
I tried to ignore him and brushed him off with “what do you think I’m doing”
He was persistent. He asked why and I told him because Gaspar was right, we should never have joined. If I hadn’t joined I wouldn’t have made such a mess of things, and my best friend would still be alive. I told him everything I had screwed up in the last 24 hours, how we could have stopped samwell if we had turned back, if I hadn’t called him to rescue the woman which lead to Kalana’s capture and how my refusal led to an entire village’s death. I just kept going, how if we hadn’t joined somebody more experienced would have dealt with Belmora. Denam really got on my case, that we make choices not knowing what is going on, that we do what is right and yes, innocents will be hurt, but that many more would be if we didn’t act. He also told me Gaspar IS a complete asshole and even tells Denam that he should never have joined. He also gave me a few new curses to call Gaspar.
I guess I needed and deserved being taken to task like that. It wasn’t easy to hear but I had been taking the bad of everything that had happened and making it my own fault.
He revealed something to me, that he had made some messed up choices for gold that lead to too much blood on his hands. That was why he left his position as the leader of the Catspaw. He told me why he kept going and I was surprised. I didn’t know what to think. Something so selfless from him just seemed like I didn’t really know him, that I was seeing a mask he was wearing. He started to walk away when on an impulse I stopped him. He had revealed his secret to me, so I asked him if he knew where my powers come from, He had kind of guessed but I confirmed it to him and he seemed satisfied with that. He didn’t seem to have any problem trusting me even knowing that I gained them through a demon. I put my pack down and went with him to the infirmary.
I look at him and realize he’s not a hero from the stories who can do anything and knows exactly how to save the day. None of them are, Not Kalana, not Gaspar, not Parn. They do what they can and keep their hope that it is enough.
I’ve had a hard time understanding why they accept me so readily when I myself am afraid of it. They too have made their share of mistakes and so they are willing to accept my vulnerabilities and lapses in judgment as long as I keep trying.
Guess I’m staying after all.