In just three days, I’ll be eighty-five years old. Someone reading this might be human and I’ve come across a wee bit of trouble with this with humans before. Believe me, I’m very bloody young. I know eighty-five seems nearly ancient by human reckoning. My brother’s seen a century and a half. Now think about all the tales I’ve told about my brother. Facing down demons at Mt. Hyjal and the Outlands. Blowing up abominations in Northrend and taking on things I don’t want to think too much about in the basement of Scholomance. Marching right into Icecrown Citadel. A century and a half. Young folks have to have an excellent reason for showing weakness in front of him.
My brother has pushed me to be better than I thought I could be. If I’ve done anything “heroic” in my almost eighty-five years, I’ve done it in the last few and it was on account of him refusing to believe I was able to do any less. If I had a copper for every time I’ve fought my way through a pack of murderous creatures while that bloody git just stood there and waited for myself, I’d be able to get a statue of myself made like that one of Varian Wrynn outside Stormwind Keep. And my brother’s reason for just standing there is always the same… “I knew you’d be fine without me.” Of course, the way he says it’s more, “Ah ken’d ye’d be fi’ wi’ou’ meself.”
I’ve always said I’m not some sort of hero, though, and I’m not. It takes more than just doing heroic things. It takes a willingness to sacrifice everything you want in life, to trade it for a better world. To trade having a family for a world where folks are safe from demons. To trade opening a tavern in Dun Morogh for tracking down and destroying evil creatures before they can track down and destroy someone who can’t fight back. It means asking yourself, “Can I be okay with giving my life away so that someone else doesn’t have to?” and then answering yourself with, “It doesn’t matter if I can be okay with it or not. It needs to be done.”
I don’t have that in myself. I never have. My travels have been an adventure that duty sometimes changed the course of. I’ve resented it when I wanted to be going through tomes in some library but had to go deal with crazed elementals instead. I’ve been angry when I just wanted to take the bears out camping for a night, maybe look around some old ruins somewhere, but I get a message that some elf’s got themself kidnapped or some such thing and they need a competant tracker to find them. Sometimes I don’t much care how many bloody guns are needed for what battle, I just want to work on engineering a safe that’s guaranteed to protect my cheese without losing any of the flavor!
I was rushed through my training with a gun and the survival skills, the traps and nets and all, so that I could be sent back out to Northrend as soon as possible. I learned most of what I know on the way, and I’ll never be one of Ironforge’s elite marksmen. I’m just a friend of animals with a gun. Sometimes a crossbow. Never one of those bloody elf bows! I’m an engineer. I’m a researcher and an archaeologist. I’m not a hero, and I don’t want to be one.
Sometimes I get to thinking I’d like to follow a wee bit more closely in my brother’s footsteps. I have the faith to be a Paladin of the Light, and maybe it’s a life I’d take to well enough. Except for how I don’t so much like being told where to go and what to do. I think the best thing for myself is just to stay home a bit. Maybe ten or twenty years. Not too long.
I’m only eighty-four years old. Eighty-five in just three days. I shouldn’t feel so lost. I shouldn’t worry so much that something’s falling apart somewhere if I don’t go running off to shoot at the problem. I shouldn’t be dragging bears all over the bloody world to chase down sillithids and ghouls and demons. I shouldn’t feel like I have to do these things just on account of me being able to do them.
My brother doesn’t need someone to watch over him so much anymore, and I don’t suppose I do, either. He could use someone to clean his house now and then, what with how the dust starts piling up like snow when he’s away so much. I wouldn’t mind going by to do that after a day spent in the library. And somebody has to look over all these relics folks are dragging in! I saw something sitting in the library the other day some poor draenei was swearing just had to be a rare elven artifact she’d dug up, and I can promise you it was just an old dwarven baby sock.
I’m also thinking of starting a bear breeding program. I’m still bothered by how all the bears disappeared from Dun Morogh after the Cataclysm, and then there’s the mess they’re up to out in the Hillsbrad Foothills. Somebody has to make sure there’s plenty of healthy bears to re-populate Azeroth. That’ll keep me from traveling too much, though. I wouldn’t trust anyone else to take care of the bears.
So this note is the last thing I’ll be sticking in this section of the library for some time. I’ve asked Glorwynn Lightbraid to take over spreading the message about the Khaz Modan Cheese of the Month Club, but I’m not expecting her to be putting up flyers. She’s a paladin, and I figure she’ll just spread the word about the cheese while she’s out spreading the word about the Light. I’ve explained to Historian Karnik that I’d appreciate it if he’d just leave all my reports right here in the library where I’ve put them, but that I won’t be coming in and sticking sheets of loose parchment on the shelves anymore. I thought he looked relieved, but then I figured it must just be what disappointement looks like on himself. He was kind enough not to try to change my mind, though.
I won’t say I’ll never be filing reports on things again. I just wouldn’t bother coming in here and looking for them for some time, if myself were yourself. I’m likely to go looking for Brann Bronzebeard himself one day or something, and I’ll be yelling from the Great Forge that I’m writing a report about it if that happens. And if you’re reading these years after I wrote them, don’t be too alarmed if this one does turn out to be the last one you find. I didn’t die in some horrible battle. Chances are you can just go across the hall there and knock on the door of the house right next to the Tinker Town entrance. Unless they finally do turn that into a big mechanical chicken shop. Then you should knock on the door of the house next to the mechanical chicken shop.
Just look for the red-haired dwarf with all the bears.
((OOC note: Fizzy is a character I have a great fondness for, so I wanted her to have a happy send-off that leaves room for her to return one day. I really am having a lot more fun playing a paldin than a hunter now, though, and it doesn’t feel right to try to push out stories about a character who isn’t regularly being played. If you like, you can read my non-RP adventures in learning to play a Holy Paladin at Heavy Wool Bandage. ))