The big priest was still in a bad mood three days after he met with the council. “Look at you.” “Dressed in your armor, and your weapons.” “The Riftmaster would be displeased with you.” Keyholder Gregor had said as much in front of the others. He called Brand a liar, and a fool for chasing myths and legends. Brand walked out of that council chamber utterly deflated. It was all for nothing. None of this mattered.
When Brand left the church to go out and seek the truth of all of this, he had done so with the eyes of a child. He saw the best in people. He gave them the benefit of the doubt. He would always try and do things the right way. The way his father would have done things. However, when he returned to tell of his deeds, and seek the approval of his seniors, he left that council chamber with the jaded eyes of one who sees the world for what it is. Full of cowards and greedy men. Nothing but liars and disappointment.
He had single handedly discovered one of the greatest legends of not only his church, but of the Church of the Landlord as well. What was his reward? Being called crazy and a liar. Being branded as a heretic and one who doesn’t worship his god the right way. Did these old priests forget about balance? Did they forget that the great Riftmaster requires his servants to strive for balance in ALL things? This is why he devoted himself to steel as well as fire. This is why he dressed the way he did. This was the reason he studied the art of combat as well as magic.
Maybe it was the adventure itself that was taking a toll, but Brand could feel it. He could feel the unease and the tension in himself. He could feel the jovial, always smiling nature slowly being discarded. He could see how he was becoming harder. Colder. Odom didn’t seem that bothered by all of it. He was still as headstrong as ever, and his heart was still in the right place. Who knew what Diogenes thought about all of this? The druid was as hard to read as anyone he had ever met.
Flynn had lost faith in him. That was clear. He talked to the Bard many times about his condition, and tried his best to convince Flynn that he could fix it. It didn’t matter in the end. Just like all things in this world his friend had been corrupted. Turned into one of those gods damned creatures they were fighting so hard to rid the world of. They spent a month or more in that hellish place of skulls and death. Cursing it. Destroying it in the end, but not really accomplishing anything at all. For all that they had done, Flynn still chose to go over to that side even though Brand had assured him that it could be fixed. After all they had been through, and all the talks they had, Flynn, in the end, didn’t trust him, and chose to go it alone.
It was becoming all too clear to the big priest. Trust was not something anyone in his world was interested in. The priests of his church were corrupted, or didn’t care. Flynn was no longer Flynn, and Brands activities in the church got him nothing but scorn. His father would always say that “good guys always win.” This was a man who had never seen anything outside of a small town in Brandobia. Of course he thought that. “I am glad you never got to see any other parts of this dark world old man. At least you left it with your spirit in tact.” Brand was done with his classes for the night and walked wearily to his chambers. He fought sleep for a long while that night and couldn’t push the thought from his mind. “In this world, maybe good guys don’t win.”