30th Day of the Reed, Year of the Crown
What course should await us now, after these tumultuous days?
For two hundred years I have pursued the Great Quest of the Circle: to preserve and safeguard the Flame of Therilor above all other goals. In the past day that goal has been thoroughly upended, only to finish roughly where it started yet somehow hollower.
Often in these past months have I questioned the truth or sanity of Maegwir’s mad scribblings, but never in this time did I question the validity or sanctity of our highest purpose among The Circle. Never before until now, that is. I have spent months in the grips of a nagging doubt — that somehow, one of us who swore a binding oath to protect our charge had betrayed that oath, to the detriment of a world of souls. Moreover, that two others (or more!) had conspired to assist that betrayal: in short, that our Circle was forever tainted with an indelible stain.
Do not mistake me: without any doubt I am relieved to find that, by my own finding under the benefit of a Zone of Truth, not one of the members of our order had ever intended to break their sacred oath. Throughout the events of all that has transpired, the actions of every Telcar have been in the pursuit of that quest that binds us. This fact lifts a pressing weight I hadn’t known I felt straight off my shoulders. In a sense, I am freer now than ever I was before, though the Flame’s whereabouts are now more in doubt than perhaps ever before, since the dawning of the Circle.
Yet all is not whole. Relieved am I, but changed as well. It is good to know that all meant well, and that none meant to do wrong. But our oath that once seemed so doubtless, so sacrosanct — the oath that defines what it is to be a member of the Circle — now seems clearly and fundamentally doomed. If we cannot agree on what it means to hold the Flame and what is to be done with it, then what purpose can there be in belonging to such an order?
This morning, I threatened to leave the Circle at once and for all time. It was no empty threat: I was prepared to do so if the Circle were proven to be a hotbed of deceit and, for all we knew, evil — and I should never have looked back if I had done so. Now my righteous vitriol has been replaced with bland fruitlessness.
I fear I have outgrown the Circle.
Surely, if the Flame presents itself with a new claimant and the Lost rise once more, I should again take up the quest to do what the world may need of me. But for now, I find I have no interest whatsoever in searching for it. Wherever it may be, who am I to say it does not belong there? Or to say what else it should do?