Horizon at World's End

Raneth's Diary

A confession to no one

What a day I've had…

Look. I know that no one who really, truly knows me, will call me completely sane. But then again, no one really, truly knows me. Who exactly could I tell about the unspeakable things that happened to me and my mother?

And yet, I've had to seek help.

When I speak of my own sanity, I don't mean that I am seeing things. No, I am damn well sure that, at least to some degree, they are true. The after-effects are there, anyway. This is why I can't trust myself in my own home, with my own mother. I can't even say it's her fault, really. That damn Elf drove her to this. After all is said and done, I'm going to find that bastard, and… and…

I can't even say what will happen when I find my father. As if he deserves that title. But it won't be good. For him.

Before I really do lose my mind, let me move on.

What should I make of it? Waking up in places, not realizing how I'd gotten there, blood and dirt caked on my skin… not mine.

But I wasn't dreaming when that man tried to rob me, and this green light just… shot out of my fingers. I ran off as he fell to the floor, clutching himself, so I don't know what ended up happening to him. And I don't care. I don't want to know.

More than that, I saw that thing. Not just saw. It 'talked' to me. Koschei, it called itself.

My sad, stupid mother. For all that she is book learned, she really is a fool. Experimenting with things beyond her power, trying, all her life, to make herself immortal, so she can find that Elf, and make him love her again. So, she calls up some kind of demon, some kind of fleshless horror.

I just can't. If I try to picture it… I'll be sick.

And I fear that this Koschei has entered my mind. I never saw it again, after that night, but I vaguely remember telling it not to hurt my mother, and he (at least, I think it was a he) saying that I would do, in her place. I haven't seen him since then. But she has grown as weak and frail as an old woman on her deathbed. If I didn't have Adelina there to care for her while I'm gone, I don't know what I'd do.

I was never any saint. Just a regular girl. We didn't want for much, since the bastard left us his guilt money, but I never let it make me proud. Which is all for the better, now that it's all gone. I wasn't like my mother, didn't have a head for books and philosophy, but I tried to be responsible, kind to others, cheer my mother, all simple things. I never hurt anyone. Well, at least, not intentionally. Not callously.

But lately, I find myself caring less about my effect on others. I think I'm just worn down. All this travel has made me numb. A woman, traveling alone; I've had to be overcautious. It's exhausting. I must be rebelling against it.

That must be why I let the little halfling talk me into it.

I'm tired of getting picked on. Absolutely. Damn. Tired.

All I want is some coin to send my mother, and an answer to our sickness. An end to it.

And this is why I can't really have friends, now. Because, if they knew the thrill I felt when we tricked that slick-talking, lecherous, greedy little shit out into the alley, when I distracted him, while the halfling of many names proceeded to pierce his skull like a ripe melon, they would be absolutely disgusted. And I'd be hard-pressed to disagree with them. Or care all that much.

And yet now, I think I've met someone who's truly insane. Well, what's that saying? Birds of a feather?

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