Who am I?
I am a fool.
then I must be a savant.
If there is one thing I know...
It is through times passage...
One can truly know the breadth of their ignorance.
But most of all...
Freed of one Shackle
Only to be under the yoke of another.
If failure equates to sagacity,
Valerna was a slave from birth, predestined to grovel under the yoke of others. From a young age, she was stripped from her mother's bosom, forced to tarry and wallow within the darkest recesses of society's depravity. The master/mistress she served changed, and with it, the languages she spoke and customs she swore fealty to rang insipidly. With each new post, the mind grappled, clawing desperately to assemble some semblance of purpose-identity, that one commodity and luxury took for granted by so many was never bestowed to this auburn-maned beauty. Uprooted without culture, the unassuming child had to fashion her personage from the somber pits of her thraldom.
It was through the utterances of her tongue, the way she spoke, that punishment could be diverted. This awareness sowed a seed, one that would take time to germinate. Words, while immaterial, held power exceeding that of the whip- the hearts and souls of men could be bent with just a suitable series of subtle pushes. Those perceptive amber eyes, peering beyond the mask her overlords wore. Her saga of woe, while perpetual, would expire and turn a new chapter. While most might solicit strength through their muscles, inferring that the sacking of cities and the butchery of their foes were the pinnacles of power, Valerna reached a wholly differing conclusion, recognizing merit in the pursuance of a contrary route.
One's tools, if so finite, were destined only to crumble in due time. The Giantess didn't dispute the necessity for such savageness- no, instead, she queried if their over-prescribed nature was judicious? Language led to knowledge, and it was through reading, the true scope of her world gradually slithered into view: Any chimp can crush a skull; any fool can ransack a hamlet; even a modest mage can set an establishment ablaze. What was it that the former Matrons lacked, what made a good queen?
Faith? Umbrea had belief in their old ways that ushered in cultural stagnation.
Courage? Well, Arezenna bravery led to many miseries, often clouding her judgments.
Holiness? Brittana was known for her devoutness that led to radicals commandeering positions of power that only fueled the unfurling of their hold.
Justice? Yungburg was just, loved by the common folk and nobility alike- of course, it didn't take long for her to be assassinated for rocking the boat.
Strength? Jurlenvah was powerful, mighty indeed- she fought off the Toadlins; she then sat on her rear and drank herself to an early grave. Leaving the jungle in a sadder state than she had received it.
Wisdom was what they all lacked. And what is wisdom? Knowledge, and its proper application. The capacity to ascertain when to push, speak, tread carefully, or even sow seeds of chaos within one's ranks. In Valerna's eyes, the purest form of dominion isn't the sword at the throat to make men bend their knees. But, persuading them to fling themselves onto the blade, only to be grateful during their expiring breath.
"I do not know what happens after death. And while I have stood at the bedside of many passings and witnessed the ghost escape from one's vessel innumerable times. I never once considered the concept of an afterlife. No, we only live on through the memories of those we leave behind. And to be forced to tarry onward for perpetuity, that is a fate that weighs more onerous on one's soul than facing oblivion."
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