Much has happened since the events at the monastery. The most important thing, besides the fighting of Chaos, is the aid I have brought to a group of goblins.
We found a total of twelve goblins within the deeps of the monastery, but unlike the rest we encountered, these twelve were devoid of ego, will or desire. Their minds were blank, and they showed no signs of aggression, let alone motivation.
As typical with most of my companions, their first reaction was to kill them. I find it amusing that those who espouse to have faith and goodness in their hearts, when faced with a situation they fall back to killing. If this is the “holy light” of Tangadorin, I must ask is this god nothing more than a tool of evil? Those espousing their faith seek to destroy, regardless of the evidence they see before them.
If it was not for my actions, and those of Balto, these innocents would have been murdered. Much to the chagrin of our companions we rescued the goblins, and took charge escorting them out of the monastery. Once the in safety, we feed and made them comfortable, and returned the side of our companions.
The events within the monastery are not important, we still have work to do. What is important is the goblins.
I took them in my charge and guided them to Turgan’s temple to Meesha. Though Turgan wanted to help, the residents at the temple, did not want to bring the goblins aid and sanctuary. It was then that I took matters into my own hands. I remember it clearly, and the words still linger within my mind…
“I hear your words and know you to be a believer.” Turgan said. "But sometimes the faith of these others is less about Meesha and more about their collective interest. This might prove to be too much. What would you have me do if they choose to not let them stay here? I may have to choose between goblins and Meesha’s flock.”
I looked at the man, who has become my friend, and someone I respect greatly. I spoke him simply.
“Turgan my friend, I understand your fear and worry. I understand the fear and worry of Meesha’s flock. Not only do I understand it, but I accept it.”
“However, think on this, we have a chance to be different. We have all come to this place because we have heard a calling. Perhaps this is a test, a test to judge if we will take the stream that shows anyone has the power to change.”
Excusing myself, I walked to the center of the temple complex. In a flourish, I demonstrated my skill in the martial arts. I worked the forms with staff, glave, fist and feet.
Water flows over the mountain, to Ice Breaks Upon the Earth, into The Rain of Spring Rebirths, into Ice forms into Spear_, then into Wave breaking the shore_, and finally into Pebble creating ripples. I did this to mediate, and gather my thoughts. Working the forms, and there were many more then those, helped clear my mind and strengthen my resolve.
I finished with a leap into the air; driving my glave blade down into the earth. It stood straight and true, quivering with the aftermath the display. Standing there, next to the glave with my arms crossed, and my arms in my sleeves. I spoke. Like a torrent the words flowed.
“For most, you know me. For those who are new, I am Ja’Kar, the fist of Me’she, the Defender of the Stream, Protector of the Weak, Guardian to the threatened, Disciple of the Balance, and now Warrior of the Iron Staff.bq).
In my time here, in Enonia, I have done my part to bring balance to this land. I have fought enemies, I have aided in the over throw of the orcs of the fort. I have rescued those in danger at Icea. I have lived my life to the tenants of Shuǐ zhī lù, or in your language The Way of the Water. My order believes that life comes from the water, and that all who live, travel their own stream, following the currents where it takes them.bq).
At times this stream runs straight and true, which represents the good. Other times it might be a fast moving river tumbling over rocks,. drowning all in its rapids, this represents chaos. Still, at times the stream is a combination of both, it is neither too straight and steady, or too twisted and rough, this represents Zhōnglì, or in your tongue Neutrality.bq).
My order works to insure Zhōnglì, we do so because unless the balance is maintained, life is threatened. If there is too much Law, then the concept of peace, love, creativity, and the like is threatened. Law is about order, order that is imposed upon you. bq).
If there is too much Chaos, there is no change, there is no peace, and there is no life. Everything is destroyed, or enslaved. Chaos is destruction.bq).
You need both Law and Chaos, and it is Zhōnglì, which keeps the balance between them. It is because of Zhōnglì that you have free will, you have art, you have life, and you have love. bq).
I say this in order to explain to you why I believe in what I do. Life is Zhōnglì, and Zhōnglì is life.bq).
In each one of us, we have the potential for great good or great evil. No one, man, woman, orc, ogre, goblin and the like, is born good or evil. Their stream, or life, offers them a journey of uncertainty. It is how you sail upon this stream, that determines who you are, not what you are.
For example, you walk through the village and see the person in front of you has dropped their coin purse. Your stream has now forked.bq).
Do you quickly grab the purse and keep it for yourself? Or, do you pick it up and give it back to the owner? bq).
Each fork has consequence. bq).
Taking the purse as your own, someone could see you, and seek to have your arrested. Giving the purse back to the owner, you discover it belongs to a wealthy merchant, who is so touched by your decency, he tells you to keep the purse, and he offers you a job.bq).
Zhōnglì. Pínghéng. Yīnguǒ bàoyìng._ bq).
Or to put it another way. Neutrality Balance. Karma.bq).
These goblins, are innocent. Their stream has been cut, severed. They are helpless. Yes, you are frightened, yet put yourself in their shoes. What if this was you? Devoid of self worth, docile and lacking free will. Would you want someone to treat you with kindness? How would you feel, if instead, someone choose to kill you, either by weapon, or by abandoning you?bq).
You are now at a fork in your individual streams. Do you do the right thing, even though it is uncertain, and show kindness by giving these goblins shelter? Or, do you do the easy thing, and kill them, staining your souls, and slowly leading you to Chaos?bq).
If I thought these goblins were evil, or a threat, I would have killed them right away. Doing so would help restore the balance somewhat. Instead, seeing their plight, and seeing their helplessness, I realized that it is by kindness and compassion the balance is titled away from Chaos. bq).
I ask of you, look into your hearts, look past your fear, and embrace the chance before you. You can show Enona, that your faith is different, that your act of mercy and kindness is what will help tilt the scale away from Chaos.bq).
Know this as well, if you choose the fork leading to the death or abandonment of these innocent goblins, my stream will diverge. No longer will I look upon you as allies and friends. No longer will I view you as servants of Zhōnglì.bq).
I leave my weapon here, as a reminder that I am always here. It serves as the fulcrum which you now rest upon.bq).
Give these goblins shelter, and you will serve as an example of what true faith is.”bq).
Once finished. I stood there, waiting for their reaction. My expression was like rock, neither happy or angry.
The reaction I received brought much joy to my heart.
Turgon’s mouth was agape as he watched my speech and the effect it had on the assembled. Although some grumbled, they agrees to accept the goblins, “As long as those critters don’t act up or turn on us!” A couple of the followers were more enthusiastic than the others in their acceptance.
Turgon taking me aside after the goblins are lead away, spoke. His words still fill my ears.
“I did not know the depth of your spirit or belief, truly you are called by Meesha. It could be that you are to become her champion!”
“Mistake not someone who is quiet, humble or lacking of pride,” I said. “Faith does not require you to speak loudly or be boastful. A lot of my companions are clerics and paladins and all they do is boast of their god, and put their needs in front of others. Let your actions speak for themselves. Live your life with purpose and dedication. This will show all how solid your faith and belief is in Meesha. bq).
We are still learning about this goddess. We honor her in what we do, not what we are. You have done a brave thing my friend, and I know it is not easy to accept the goblins into the group. I know you look at me as if I am strange when I mention my friend the kobold. Again, his stream is different, and all of my dealings with him have been rewarding. He might be strange, but I sense in him great potential.
I will never bring harm to you or the others.”bq).
I walked around the shrine area, talking to whoever I see, and introducing myself and learning their names. I thank those who are helping the goblins, and I ensure the ones who remain skeptical that there is no hard feelings I understand their fear. I tell simply told them:
“Your fears are understood. I know my actions might confuse you. I harbor no ill thoughts, or ill will toward you. Treat the goblins kindly and put away your prejudice. In time you will see that what has happened here is not only the right thing, but the honorable thing.”
Entering the shrine I meditated.
As I mediated within in the shrine, I sensed someone watched over me. Words filled my ears, and the voice of that could be no one else but Me’sha. She offered my kind words and I got the impression that she was pleased.
I thanked her for her kind words, and a promise of a boon she offered me. I told her that I want for nothing, and there is no greed or selfishness in my heart. I also told her, that I might not be the most typical of those who come to her, but I respect her. I also see her as needed. Chaos and evil flourish, and the more good we can bring into the world, the more the balance will be restored. Finally I tell her when I call myself her warrior, I mean it. I might be the unlikeliest of followers, but I will ensure her and her followers have my staff protecting them, as well as fighting for them.
I leave the temple with hope and sadness within my heart. Sadness because I find much peace and tranquility there. Hope, because I feel the right thing has been done, and I feel that these actions have helped tilt the scale slightly away from Chaos.