The Faded Guardian

In the world of the Rise of the First Blight feelings can manifest reality. The concept would be like an object casting a shadow and the shadow’s distortion changing the space around the object. One manifestation can be called the Fade. It’s a place for those who give up on believing things will ever change.

They can escape the place if they overcome their hopelessness. The emotion manifests itself as giant guards who protect a device used for going back. If the people didn’t want a reason for not  returning the guards wouldn’t exist. . .all except one.

This man is a symbol of despair. He lived to help others and learned about life but nothing prepared him for the truth. His respect for others took a hard hit when his hero displayed true colors. The fallen hero told him:

“We all put on a show to protect our prosperity. This success wouldn’t exist without others suffering. So don’t act all stoic, you’re a fake like me.”

The young man refused that. He learned there was truth in his fallen hero’s words but decided there must be another answer. Eventually the man is no longer young and he’s dying. Tears raced down his wrinkled cheeks as he tells his grandson something he spent his life searching for. The truth:

Standing amid light and cheer but darkness grabs
Hold of me. I haven’t seen much just enough
For my heart to never recover. The truth stabs
Me in the gut again and again. It’s rough.

I set off in search of knowledge. Got what I wanted,
It wasn’t what I needed. Fall from hunter to hunted.

What did I find? A well of hope feeding on blood,
The antithesis of everything I’ve been taught –
How naive can I be? What we have wrought
Has become an abomination. Pull down my hood.

To die or to walk. The truth is a scary demon
Clawing at my throat. I look away. I have to.
If I fight what’s in front I’ll never see daylight
Until my last shallow breath releases CO2 in the air.

So I pull down my hood. I’ve seen true despair
And know I’m a shadow to others. A great blight,
Something you face but wish you never had to.

Silence and a stern gaze, “I’m still aware of the good humanity can mend.
For there’s even a light within thee old Garden of Sin that I should defend.”

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