Korda

 

When I think of all that I have accomplished thus far as an Aisling, I canít help but think that none of it would have made my parents happy. Having a true Aisling would have overjoyed any other family, I would imagine, but mine would only be satisfied if I were a politician, like my father. I knew they loved me regardless of my lack of clout on Suomiís residents, but I had to sever all ties with them in order to advance my life.

I was born into an affluent family in Suomi, 25 years ago, and even then my father was not there for me. It was only my mother, Siobhan, and the local doctor that saw me in my first moments. Manus, my father, was out (like always) fulfilling his duties as Suomiís representative in one of the many Temuairan meetings he had to go to. His exact office changed from month to month, but the townspeopleís respect was always with him, and as such he was always the one elected to stand for Suomi. I suppose I canít really complain too much about him; after all he kept food on the table and money in our pockets.

Regardless of his constant absence, I still loved my father. Manusí high ranking allowed me to get out of trouble that any other boy would have had his ears boxed for. I remember this one particular day that still sticks in my mind. That day, a great warrior passed by my house, and stopped at the smith for some repairs. I stared at him in awe, and thought to myself that I could be just like him someday. He was a strong warrior, and could go through goblins like lightning no doubt. I watched from the door as the man dropped off his armor at the smithís. The warrior went to pick a few grapes while Torbjorn, the smith, stepped into the back room to do the repairs. Now was my chance to don a sword and be just like this valiant gladiator. I snuck behind the counter and stole a claidheamh so I too could hack my way through monsters, or at least the rats that infested the shop. I made some feeble attempts to actually pick up the sword, but much to my chagrin, I could hardly drag it around. Well, after a few minutes of my feeble attempts, I heard Torbjorn coming back into the room. I hastily ran out the door of the shop, but in my haste I forgot to put the sword back in its holder. I watched as Torbjorn stepped on the sword I misplaced and cut his foot. He saw me peeking into the door watching the spectacle and began swearing at me. But then he realized who I was, and apologized to me for swearing. I didnít know it then, but being my fatherís son had saved me some embarrassment both with my friends and at home. Torbjorn needed my fatherís support for his own political ends, as did a few other townspeople, and didnít want to hurt his career over this.

As lengthy as that story is, it is a good example of how it was through much of my childhood. People wanted to stay on my fatherís good side, and I guess they did so by being nice to me. From the moment I realized why everyone was being so amiable to me, I knew I had to follow in my fatherís footsteps. I felt the hunger for power that he felt. Only the powerful could literally command respect like Manus did. I would dominate Suomiís political arena someday, I thought. It wasnít until I was 18 that I decided to follow these ambitions. I decided to become a respectable citizen. My father backed me up all the way in my decision to go into politics, and this position, we both knew, would be the stepping stone I needed to enter my fatherís world Ė a world I had yearned to be a part of. After weeks of campaigning around the town I found that I had almost no supporters. What I had considered fiery rhetoric that addressed the issues the public had apparently seen as tripe. Alas, my dream was not to be. My father was enraged, for good reason I suppose, and threatened to disown me. He didnít want a son who couldnít even be elected to a small title such as respected citizen. The only reason I stayed with my family was because of momís pleas on my behalf. Iím sure she agreed with my father, but regardless I am grateful to her for what she did that day. Somehow, my life went on, and I was without something to devote my life to.

I spent the next 4 years of my life working for Kirin, Suomiís wizard. I mainly ran errands for him and helped him as much as I could in his arcane research. I was only able to pick up a few tricks from him Ė at least as much as a mundane could hope to. The best magic I could muster was only strong enough for practical jokes, like making it rain on people or shocking somebody as they walked by. That was enough for me at the time. I changed my dream of becoming a warrior to one of becoming a wizard. Sadly, as much as I wanted to be a full-fledged wizard, I knew it would never be.

Just as the fall changes the world around us to brilliant colors so did that fall, in Deoch 2, change my life. I woke up one morning and the world looked different to me. Not just different because of the passage into winter; everything around me shined with a new energy Ė an energy that I could feel. All of you Aislings reading this know what it felt like, that first day, to experience everything again for the first time.

However, when I awoke to that different world, I was at Kirinís place. I had fallen asleep while trying to research for the wizard. The old man had apparently closed shop with me insideÖ I suppose he didnít want to wake me. As his assistant, I had a key, and I let myself out and began my sojourn home. It was a normal enough walk home, like every other dayís, but then I began noticing somethingÖ peculiar. The world was suddenly soÖ alive. It was as though I had been seeing the world as a flat piece of artwork my whole life, and now suddenly those drawings had begun coming out of the canvas and surrounding me in their colorful glow. Kirin had explained to me about the transition before; what it was like for mundanes to become Aislings. There was only one explanation for this strange turn of events, then. And, it was then that I began thinking of all the responsibilities that Aislings had. My parents had told me elaborate stories of them vanquishing the horrid dubhaimid, and of finding long lost treasure in deep crypts where unknown creatures lived. That would be my life, I thought. I also knew of the different paths that Aislings could take, and decided to honor my mentor, Kirin, by becoming a wizard myself.

When I finally reached home I found that my parents were not there. That was for the better, I told myself, since I didnít want to tell them what I had also decided on the way home. I knew my parentís attitude toward me wouldnít change even if I was an Aisling. Hastily, I wrote them a note and left it on the table. It said:

Mom and Dad:

I know that youíve always wanted me to follow Dadís example and lead the people of Suomi after he passes on. But I think we also know Iím not made for a life of politics. The only hope I have to make a niche for myself in this world is to leave Suomi and begin my own life, free from the influence of our family name. I hope you can understand why Iím doing this, and Iím sorry that I could not tell you in person.

Your son in blood only,

Korda

Oddly enough, I was not sad that day. To me, it was a day of new beginnings in my life. I purposely left out my new Aisling status; it wouldnít have made a difference in my decision and I didnít want to make my parents think that it was my sole reason for leaving home. I havenít seen my parents since the day before I left, and have no desire to. My life has moved on, and I have no regrets about what I did that day. I can only hope that they saw it as an expression of love Ė as it was meant to be. And, after spending nearly three years as an Aisling now, I can say that I am truly happy.