Excerpts from the diaries of Urtho, the Mage of Silence; Translated by Karna shena Tale'sedrin, Kal’enedral and Scrollsworn to Kata’shin’a’in
Final entry, several days before the Cataclysm
I wish there were magics that might let one take back the past, and do it over.
There is no such spell; this is my bed, I have made it and I must lie in it.
I think now it was a mistake to let King Leodhan push for war. Perhaps it would have ended so all the same, and with Tantara in a weaker position as the unprepared defender – and yet, I sometimes think that if it had, it might have been over more quickly, mercifully, and with less bloodshed on either side.
What is wrong with me? War has left me so weary, I catch myself wishing that my worst enemy might have won sooner.
I never wished to call Ma’ar my enemy.
Perhaps I made a wrong turn sooner, and in some other world I might have salvaged my young student, and guided him to a kinder and less destructive path. Perhaps in some other world, we work together now, as allies and friends. I long to step out of this world and into that, and of course I cannot.
I am a sentimental old man, it seems, and unsuited to commanding an army.
This is not how I wished it to end, and I am sure Ma’ar did not wish for it either. Even now, he sends letters, and tries to broker an alliance that I can no longer offer him. He has strayed too far. The atrocities of this war are unforgivable.
No matter what comes, he must not take the Tower, and the powers that lie within my sanctum. I am glad beyond measure that I never spoke of this to him, though I revealed far more than I should have. I trusted him more than I should have.
And so it will end as it ends, as we tear apart each other’s armies in fiery destruction, and perhaps history will remember a foolish old man who misjudged his greatest enemy.
I wish it were otherwise.