Take Karle, for example. Quite possibly the BEST example of The Foolish Wizard He was ridiculously slow to suspect Jayce. Even when I uncovered the awful truth of his actions, Karle's first question was "did you find out who it is?" We knew Jayce to be evil and insane, but the depth of this ... it's overwhelming. Torture, sacrifice, captured souls, opening our world to these horros of the past few years - I didn't know what to do. I still don't know - thinking too much about what has been done makes me feel sick. If there's any remnant of the original souls in the items he has created, they need to be set free. Jayce needs to be stopped, porbably fatally. Perhaps if we place his remains in Hallowed ground, we can keep him from coming back?
I'm still learning so much about these friends, these people whose fates are intertwined with my own. Dru and Allanna kept the undead remains of a former enemy around for years, just so that they could "kick him"? Allanna said "I kill people at the drop of a hat". Before I go back to them, I will have to put some serious thought into how I can help these people away from the lure of their own cruel desires and ruthlessness. We cannot afford to do evil in the cause of fighting evil - once you start down that path, you may as well enlist in the Blood War, helping one side of evil to fight the other. Channeling any kind of power INEVITABLY changes who you are - a lesson I should keep firmly in mind.
Allanna has usually been the wisest of the lot. Generally, I like her - not the obsessive romantic fixation Sestian has, but she usually has my respect and I used to be fairly confident that she would do the right thing. Now ... I've seen a new side of her. Now I've seen her shrinking under the table, acting like a child less than half her age. I've learned something of the cruelties she is capable of inflicting upon the cruel. I don't expect her to revere life like I do, but I thought she at least respected it.
And I, I think I've outdone these examples. In my arrogance, I refused to see the tree as an immenent threat. I tried to integrate it in to nature, make it healthy and wholesome and compatible with it's environment. By my very presence and my attempts to direct it, I may have turned it into a tool for Abomination. Is it now a conduit, a tree with roots in all of life, reaching out to Nightmare?
If anybody knows how to stop this tree, it will be the elves of Volaresca. The bloodthirsty, xenophobic elves of my homeland, who skin humans that intrude into "their" forest. I might have a chance of talking with these insane elves - if a sane elf helps me.
And if she refuses? I may have to go into the Volarescan forest alone. If I die, it will only be penance.