The Whorl

Game 26 - The Warrior

4,350 XP = Total: 67,070 XP - Level 10

My Lord Yama,

This day's victory is yours, of course, for only your direct involvement permitted the seemingly impossible logistics of coordinating hundreds of thousands of warriors to attack 84 targets spread throughout the Underworld simultaneously. It was a great risk, but worth it.

I admit, one thing does not make much sense to me. Out of all the millions of eternal warriors at your command, why were the three highest-priority targets given to half-strength squads of inner-surfacers?

Please don't get me wrong, Lord. They fought well, putting themselves in the line of fire with the dedication of any of us here in the Underworld would have done. My daughter's squad comported themselves well, despite being rocked by repeated mental blasts from the Elder node and its illithid spawn. They even appeared to destroy the node at nearly the exact same moment the other group at the dawnward node slew theirs, and shortly before the central node was destroyed. You saw the aftermath yourself, riding the body of your… descendant… Vihaan.

But why? Why risk someone of Vihaan's lineage? Why risk the rare miracles that are Laith and Rajeev? Why risk the one Brahma has invested with the choice to doom or save the war? 

That's not even considering the party-composition of the other two groups, both of which contain individuals unique in all the whorl. You have millions of loyal soldiers at your disposal and yet they were the ones thrown against the Elder Nodes?

I have heard the given reasons… a lot of vague words about unique talents and unusual magic that the Elder might not expect having fought us for millenia, and I'm sure there's some truth there, but it doesn't seem… enough. Were you hoping that they would die? The failure of this battle plan would have been catastrophic for you and the entire whorl. Were you hoping their victory would elevate them to a position to guide the fate of us all? They're already there. 

You like to keep your secrets, I know, and I don't really expect you to answer these questions, but know that I am not the only one asking them. Your ways may be mysterious, but I suppose I can always maintain my faith that you know what you're doing.

In any event, your gamble, if it was one, seems to have paid off. The Elder nodes are dead. Of the three inner-surfacer strike teams there was only one (short-lived) casualty. The Elder Nodes will need time to re-establish themselves, time we desperately need. I will spend such time as I may with my daughter. She has been more gracious than I have any right to expect or deserve. I abandoned her at age six to poverty and suffering without explanation. She has every right to be bitter, to hate me, but she has reached out to me. I believe we are slowly building something of a relationship despite all the pain I've caused. It is… a source of joy, unexpected, unlooked-for. Something I never thought I'd feel again.

For her sake, I hope you have a plan. For her sake, I hope you didn't risk her for nothing.

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ardhanari

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