Chapter Twelve – Conclusion
I journeyed across the vast ocean to the land of the elves, now given permission by a somewhat grateful Jessalyn. There I sought my mother, for a prophet told me that she dwelt there. Sadly, he was wrong. There was no sign of her, and though that land was beautiful and holy, I found nothing there to soothe my wanderer’s soul. Across that vast continent I wandered for many a year. Time did not pass there as it does in our lands; that place was slow, the days flowing together like sweet honey, the elven citizens of the lands so at peace and relaxed that they hardly noticed me. There were no wars there, and no monsters, yet no love and no passion. It was a place for the dead, not the living. The luxuries were ever-present, but I knew that I cannot live for luxuries, for I cannot live without struggle. After four years I left that place and returned to our lands. I thought about going back to Lockinton and becoming a statesman, but I could not. I felt no connection to my country, and I didn’t think that the people needed someone like me during times of peace. With the search for my mother fruitless, no love in my life, no driving quest nor urgent mission, I was at a loss. My life, or so it seemed, was going to gradually fade away into a mind-numbing and quiet oblivion. I journeyed back to the central continent then, where there were still monsters about, where the occasional war still flared up. There I became a mercenary for hire, a soldier in many a battle. I slaughtered hundreds of men belonging to tribes I never learned the names of. I battled ogres and trolls, kobolds and lizard-men. Ignoring the vast treasury I had back home, I lived off of the meager money paid to me, not caring one bit about it, just trying to drown myself in the deaths of my enemies, hoping that something would come along in those years that would give me some kind of purpose. It came one day as a message from home, from Lockinton.
Latheric had mysteriously disappeared. Nobody had heard from him in a year or so. He was gone, possibly dead. I arrived back as soon as I heard, desperate to leave my pointless life. Soon I contacted Gaspar, still practicing the life of a paladin. Together we spoke on what we should do, discussing out plan of action. Soon we spoke to Mu as well, and I found that in these years, he had truly become old. It seemed that he had less than a year to live, and his quest for immortality had been unsuccessful. Just then, Agamemnon arrived back in town with a new companion: a mysterious dark elf named Shadow, who supposedly had a message for me. This message was from Jacob Tabber, concerning some inter-dimensional portals that were springing up in various places. Supposedly, if I wished to see Latheric again, I would have to check on a portal not far from Guardia. According to Shadow, Latheric had gone through this gate to a place worse than hell. Not trusting this message one bit, me and my companions nonetheless decided to at least investigate this occurrence. We traveled to Guardia City, looking for this strange portal. It wasn’t hard. In the tavern, we received news from a band of local dwarves that demons had slaughtered all their fellow miners. Their leader, Ingar (or Ingrid as we came to call him) was looking for a band of heroes to fight these demons. Obviously, this was the place. We volunteered to help the dwarf, and while they prepared for the journey I busied myself with another job, a mission to stop a gang that had been burning buildings in town. When we arrived at the dwarven mines, we found no dwarves, nor demons. A single mad wizard lived at the bottom, an old enemy of Mu’s who attacked us with his evil magic. We easily slaughtered him and Mu investigated the book he was guarding. Our portal was not far away, a rip in the fabric of reality that lead straight to the Abyss. Gaspar ran into it, and so did Mu. Suddenly, Latheric appeared before us accompanied by a glowing ball of light. He was back from Heaven, or so he told us, with a message from the gods. Something called ?The Saints? War? was about to happen, and some dragon of some sort was about to be released, and the end was near, etc. Supposedly, a demon was loose on this plane, and if we didn’t change that, more would be. Latheric’s light ball, some kind of angel, went through the portal and brought back our friends, sacrificing its own life in the process.
Then we began to look for this demon that was supposedly loose in our plane. We soon discovered that it had something to do with my little gang mission, that the gang was actually a cult, a cult dedicated to an entity named Jubilix, god of slimes and oozes. As we were researching we uncovered more clues; pointing me towards a tomb beneath the old Jade Coin base in Lockinton. There I found a grave, a grave of some kind of leader. Writings in the tomb suggested that we look for some kind of artifact, an item that could turn transmute anything into gold, that it was the key to accomplishing our goal. Mu knew how to find it. His friend Raine had once had it; and was now turned to gold himself, atop the tavern named for him. With a wish we managed to bring him back. A greedy little dwarf, Raine no longer had the wand, his friends having buried it with a secret treasure deep under the earth. We went to look for it. I was turned ethereal, and descended down below the ground, to where this treasure was buried hundreds of years ago. (Where it was I shall tell nobody). There, amidst the boxes and chests of it, I found the wand, the wand of gold. The man named Shadow had it. At first I expected a fight, but he only wanted to talk. He told me things; about how the grave under the Coin headquarters was his, how he was the founder of the Jade Coin, how he had created the organization as a way of watching over the world and making sure things went right. He appeared to be a villain and rogue, to be sure, but in his heart his purpose had been noble. Immortal and undying as he now was, Shadow said that he was getting old. He was growing tired. He needed someone to take his place, to complete the work that he could not. He told me about the cult of Jubilex; a group of mind-flayers that dwelt in the underdark, and gave me some other important bits of information. Then he turned his own body to gold, now petrified forever.
It was at that point that I knew what I must do. I would continue Shadow’s work. I would protect the world, taking up the name of the Jade Coin and making it good again. Yet I decided to go further than Shadow ever did. I knew that it was in my reach to save the world, to save it from every manner of terror and evil, both inside and out. I was never a paladin, and I never could be a paladin; I would become a champion of the real people, the workers and the smugglers, the prostitutes and the beggars; everyone out there who needed hope, needed something to make their lives a little less bleak. I would become the barrier keeping people like Asmodeus out of our world, keeping asses like Tabber from getting out of control, even putting the good guys in their place, because sometimes even those who think that they’re good go too far. Thus I have written this memoir, to give you people out there a bit of hope, a bit of faith in yourselves. Sure, the world can be a hellish place. It’ll kick you in the ass. Kick it right back. It’s in your power to do it. Not some king, not some god. You. All of our races were meant for something better in the end. We are not mortals. I have seen enough death to know that it’s never permanent. There is no such thing as death. I’ve felt it in myself and seen it in other people, and I’ve realized that we can be better than what we are, maybe even the equals of what we call gods, maybe better. If a street kid like me can end up owning two cities, defeating the Tarrasque and saving the world multiple times; so can you, readers. Just remember, that in your worst moment of struggle, you are not alone. I’ll be there to help you get through these hard times, no matter how bad. I’m there to guide you and to protect you; not to coddle you like the gods do, but to make sure that you’re prepared, tough, hard-core enough to face the challenges ahead when the time comes. Thus, with those words I end this memoir and wish you all the best of luck.