This aching pain in my limbs when I try to get up. It’s driving me crazy – and still, it’s what keeps me alive, what keeps me from letting it all go – from finally leaving this world. I still have a purpose – at least that’s what I’m telling myself every morning.
It’s been a long, long time since I talked to anybody about this – maybe I won’t talk to anybody ever again. That’s why I’m writing this with my old and rusty hands – trembling and shaking with the effort. Some things just need to be done – and it took me damn long to understand this. Now, at the age of way too many winters – I’m passing on my knowledge, not knowing if someone will ever find this or read this. This is my last wish and my last effort to try and do something meaningful.
Names are unimportant – because they don’t define who you are.
Titles are unimportant – because they don’t define how you are.
Races are unimportant – because they don’t define what you are.
You are important – because you define what, how and who you are.
I am old now, but I was young once – young and full of dreams. Then I left my parents home to look for adventure – to leave my mark on this world, to become a known man – to fulfill my dreams. I tried to get known as a honest man and found a job at a smithy where I started work as apprentice. I learned a lot and my hands were swift and talented in preparing the leathers for the different armors we made for the soldiers in the towns garrison. When I started smithing myself, my master taught me how important balance is. So before I could forge my first sword, I had to learn to use a sword – to discern a good from a very good weapon. And because I was ambitious, I wanted to forge the best weapons with the best materials available. A well balanced sword is what makes a good sword fighter an excellent one – while a bad balanced one can easily cost you your life. My first few swords weren’t masterful, but they were good enough to be sold for a fair price. The master was pretty stingy with praise, but I was able to see the pride in his eyes, when he told his wife about my efforts. After a few years of practice and hard work, my swords were known to be the best one could buy with money. Only the kings personal blacksmith made better swords – mostly due to the higher quality of metal – I was sure. With the years, I became arrogant and self-centered. When the old smith retired with his wife, I bought his smithy from him and felt like a god. I used to drink a lot these days – had more than a good share of the towns ladies – married or not – and killed most of my time with stupid drinking games. I worked when I felt like it and because I still knew my profession, my swords were still going for a very good price – and by keeping a low production, I was able to increase the price for a single sword. So I made one or two swords in a months time, where I could probably have made three to four times as many – but charged four times the price I was asking just a few months earlier. I can’t say I am proud about what I’ve done – but those were the days of the young and foolish. It took me quite a while to realize how foolish I was. And it nearly took my life – but that’s stuff for another night…