The World Of
I have been asked to write these last words, to explain the actions that have led me to my death for treason tomorrow. I am no writer; I do not write this to get a stay of execution because I know they won't give me one. I don't know writing, but I do know politics -- and they both have proved to me that words can make people bleed. But I have shed enough blood to know that my sword is real, while all words are lies. Even these ones.
So why do I write this? It is not for redemption -- there is nothing to be redeemed, no crime for which I have not been forgiven. The king -- long may he live -- and likely the nation, would disagree with this, but it does not matter. I know what I know, and knew even when I began that the rebellion would fail, that Namdara would survive her greatest general rebelling. It is not something that can be put into words, but is more an . . . understanding. In the north I learned many things, about strength and evil and who I was. I learned of evil fighting the armies of Galrin, in an expansion we should never have begun . . . and, after the war, called to the ruins of Alden, I learned that there are some things that should never be done, that to defeat an evil is to become it.
But I run low on paper, and on words. I don't expect this to change anyone, nor to be understood, unless Shar reads it. It was this dwarf from Kadre's Fall who taught me the futility of actions -- that some statements need to be made, some actions done, even if they achieve nothing. What we did when we expanded to Galrin was wrong, and my rebellion against the king -- long may be his reign -- was doomed to failure, but it was a statement that had to be made. The king was wrong to invade the north.
There is no room left on this parchment, and I have no way of knowing if it will be burned or kept, or if anyone save the king will read these words. But I feel no regret . . . my death is also a statement that must be made by the king. But my death, also, is futile -- it will not make me a martyr yet it will not end what I have begun. The people now question the ruler: I have made then ask why, and that not futile. For to every question there is an answer, to every good and evil, to every light . . . a dark.
- The last words of Nor'dahs Jerduni, Namdaran General, who won the war against Galrin in 23 360 BY, on the eve of his execution 23 364 BY
The words you just read are very hard to find, reader -- Jerduni's words did inded survive his death, and even prove him to be a prophet of sorts. It even holds mention of the mythical dwarf Shar. Why, you might be asking yourselves, would I begin your lessons in Verise's history with the words of a Namdaran traitor? It is not because I have lost my mind, though this class might accomplish that: tt is simply because he provides a strong commendation of Namdaras relatively recent expansion to the north four hundred years ago. In his words you can tell of a man who found one truth and was trying to find more. He asked why.
That, as you will begin to learn, is indeed the most dangerous question. Especially if you apply it to obvious historical truths, but even more so if you believe that you have the answer to that why. To summarise the course, here is a brief understanding of our world:
Verise is, and has mostly always been, in a state of perpetual war. Felden, a philosopher from Indar, which is also called Durlan in the north, once remarked that peace was once a pause between wars. He also said that the pause was necessary for breeding new killers, but that line is seldom quoted. Indeed, Felden is the most reviled philosopher in history -- he brought down the entire nation of Indar with words, telling them fighting was evil and the nation was killed. But you will read on this yourself later, students, and may decide whether the fall of Indar was the ultimate proof of his ideas or not.
What else is our world? It is limited. The ice of the north and south, the desert of the east and the ruins and desert of west limit us and constrain us. Some have even argued this make our land is like a prison, and is the reason why we war. Tomorrow, I would like an essay from each of you on the subject of imprisonment and its effects on war, and if it can be applied as largely as to the entire known world.
The only thing I will forbid in your essay is mention of magic. For magic does transcend the limits of this world, changes them, alters the world for good or ill. But lessons on the nature of magic and how it effects the world are for advanced courses, for now we will dwell on the mundane, on lands at war that have never known true peace. . . . And the haunting question of whether we, who have know war so long, could survive an age of peace.
(signed) Adrones, chief librarian of the Old Namdara Library
Intro §World § Campaign