Era's End

It's over.

Everything.....the threat to the world, my reign at the Guild, the era of the Four's all over. It's all coming to an end.....if it hasn't ended already. And I....I honestly don't know quite how to feel.

On the one hand, I'm happy beyond measure. The world is safe, and my daughter has been a part of it. She saved the Guild, and the world, and I've never been more proud of her. She's so strong capable and brave. Such a far cry from the shy, frightened girl who used to hide behind me during public ceremonies. I always knew the day would come when she would take the reins of the Guild from me, and I prayed that she would be strong enough to do so. Right now she's stronger than I ever thought possible, and I'm proud to relinquish control of Vane to her.

But....there's also a part of me, a very small part, that mourns the passing of my own reign, and of this era. It's normal to feel this way, I matter how good the changes are, you can't help but feel a little tug when your life changes so much. Sorrow,'s common enough. I've been feeling this for a while now....I realize now that I lost the Guild long ago, when Ghaleon betrayed my trust and replaced me with that....witch from the Vile Tribe. The glory of the Guild was already tarnished, long before Vane even plummeted from the skies. It was my foolish, naive trust in a man I thought was a dear friend of mine that truly brought it down. In the end, I caused Vane more harm than he ever did.

I....I think that that is the real source of my mixed feelings about it all. My unwitting part in Vane's downfall....and the loss of a beloved friend. I....I know it was his choice to do what he did....but I feel the deep ache of loss all the same. He was one of my best friends....I have so many good memories....and now there's a stain on those memories that can never be wiped away.

Especially....the memory of one fateful night so long ago. There'd always been....something between us....lurking deep down....that we'd never conciously acknowledged to each other. A....passion we kept buried. Until that night.

It was wrong....I was married then, to another instructor at the Guild, and we knew we were risking our friendship. But we....I....couldn't hold back. So we gave in....and regretted it afterwards. We knew what would happen if anyone found out, so we agreed never to speak of it again, not to anybody. I've kept that promise all these years.

It was hard not to speak to him, though, when I discovered I was pregnant. I knew, for a certainty, that it was his and no one else's. That she was his. I knew I couldn't tell anyone else, though....I was the married leader of the Guild, and one of the Four Heroes, and to reveal that I' would shame not only myself, and Ghaleon, but the Guild as well. I couldn't do that. So I kept up the pretense that it was my husband's, and carried on with my life as if nothing was wrong with what was going on.

My husband died nearly a year after Mia's birth, claimed by an illness one winter. After that, Ghaleon began to take an active role in her life. I don't know if he knew....but I was grateful for the help all the same. It was just after Dyne and Althena....did whatever it is they did....and he'd begun to change, to withdraw. I was worried about him, and it calmed me somewhat to see him warming to her, caring for her. To think that he tried to take her life recently, and that she had to kill him, albeit without knowing of his true identity, hurts me so much I can barely breathe when I think of it. I can't ever tell her this secret of mine....I can't hurt her like that. It is better that she never knows.

I know....I know that at heart, he isn't truly evil. He just got caught up in his own idealism and cynical view of humanity, and lost sight of reality. His were noble intentions....he just wanted to protect the world. He chose the wrong way to do it, though....and that's what caused his downfall. Himself. He was his own worst enemy.

Did I love him? Maybe I did at one time. It wasn't mere lust that created Mia, not on my part, anyway. I loved him dearly as a friend....and for a short time as more than a friend. I trusted him completely....and he abused that trust, completely. He took advantage of my trust to twist and pervert the Guild, to use it as tool in his terrible plans. Losing my memories, although temporarily, and my position at the Guild, not to mention the trust and support of the people of Vane, is the least that I deserve for being so blindly trusting of him, and allowing him to use us all. I should have known that all wasn't right....I was the one who knew him best....if I really did at all.

I....I feel like I didn't really know him at all. All I knew was the part of himself that he chose to project to the world, and to me. I knew what happened with Dyne and Althena changed him....but I didn't know how much. He fooled me so completely....fooled me into believing that he was still the kind, warm-hearted person underneath the cold, withdrawn outer shell that had replaced the outgoing friendliness he'd possessed before. Or maybe that person still did exist, but he's had to destroy it in order to live with the way he is now. So cold, cruel, and ruthless. I....I don't know. I don't know. There's so much I don't know....about him.....about everything. So many questions....and so few answers.

I don't suppose I'll ever know the truth about him. I can't ask now, and he'd never answer me anyway. Closure is impossible. But if there's one thing I know, it's that he can finally rest now. I sincerely hope that it is in peace.