My companions and I had just finished our conversation with a city watchman, though we were scheduled to see him again soon at the Dragon’s Head Tavern. I hope our conversation with him goes better than in our initial encounter. He was most insistent. There was a great deal of talk about things I apparently know very little about, such as my childhood, a time in which Lady Cidra insists that I was scarred, and the fact that I was sheltered, though I looked around and could see neither a roof nor an awning of any sort above my head. Perhaps the tall buildings of the alleyway provide some cover from inclimate weather?|
As we turned to leave I noticed that the fluid had stopped seeping from wound. I had received it in our recent combat with my damaged brothers… though I now seriously wonder at their relation to me. If I am a construct, and those two beings were constructs, then are they not as I am? If so, then why did they seem so full of purpose yet lacking free will of any kind? They were like a hammer that could move itself but had no mind as to where it should go; it simply performed a function without thought, like an animated tool.
Is this, then, what I was? Was I nothing more than an object, an automation? I found the idea frightening. Indeed, it was terrifying to think that I was made entirely of crude matter such as metal and wood and was lacking… something, whatever it was that made the others who they were. It wasn’t their clothes or their tools or the particular type of poisonous fluid they chose to imbibe at the tavern. It was something else, something more… but what?
It was then, when my mind was clouded with fear and I began to despair, that I saw her again.
Alaria, the bright lady: the angel who had saved me from the fire. Without her the fire would surely have destroyed me. Had I been so destroyed I would not have been able to wake the lady Cidra from her rest and escape from the burning wreckage of our family’s house.
She was there, a face amongst the crowd that had gathered to witness the fight. She was not alight with silver this time, but rather looked as plain as anyone. Yet, still, her eyes pierced through the veil of my despair and I was lifted. I saw her staring at me, and as I lifted my head to regard her more closely I beheld a smile. A small one, slight and crooked, but a smile nonetheless.
I felt, at that moment, that I knew what it was that I had that those… animated tools did not.
It was a soul.
I felt suddenly more aware of the world around me. A sense of grace passed over me; a feeling of peace in knowing that I was a creature of the universe, a child of the heavens. Even if I was forged in a workshop rather than born, I knew then that I was on my way to realizing a special destiny.
I was forged an automation, but someday, if I held to my purpose, I would perhaps be truly alive. I would be more than I was now.
We continued to walk, away from the crowds and away Alaria’s revealing eyes. We were due to meet again with our inquisitor the next morning. That night, while the others slept and I stood awake, guarding my only family, I knew what it was that I had to do.
While these others eyes were closed and quiet fell throughout the Inn I would kneel in the light of an open window before the stars of the sky and ask for guidance. There was one star amongst them, I felt, that would hear me and answer my plea.
That night I would pray.