I open my mouth and my father comes out.
Not prefectly, he was certainly more passionate and practiced with his lecturing than I am, but he is there none the less. They started early, as soon as it became clear that I was gifted. Such a small thing, to call light into the darkness, but as a child I was delighted by it and did so at every opportunity. In retrospect it is a good thing that I had no friends for I would have been beastly in lording my newfound ability over them. Father’s reaction was … mixed. He was proud of me and helped me to master the gift so that it came reliably, but he also seemed … sad, or perhaps worried? And the ‘discussions’ began.
Just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean we SHOULD.
That was the first, a lesson which grew in complexity over the years. Having the ability does not equal having the right. I learned to temper my use of magic. I used it, and frequently, spending many nights reading by a steadier magical light rather than by candle, it was both more convenient and safer. It was used with a purpose. With conscious thought instead of on a whim.
Our actions have consequences, and power always comes with a price.
Most would separate those into two points, but I feel they are so intertwined so as to be almost indistinguishable.
Nothing is free. There is always a price attached and it is best to pay the cost of things up front rather than borrow trouble for tomorrow. I couldn’t fully appreciate this one until now. I guess in the past I’d always associated cost with money, and currency and I are still not very good friends (I’m almost certain we have it worked out now though, go team).
He attempted lessons of short term gain vrs long term payment, but nothing ever stuck, but as I watched my companions pry gems from the runed walls of this long forgotten outpost something clicked int place.
This is what he meant.
That they are valuable is undeniable. Any gem merchant would trade good money for them, any mage or arcanist even more. Their sale will no doubt bring my companions much-coveted weaponry and armaments… but at what future cost. We have meddled with powers and forces that we cannot define let alone understand or reason with. What ripples will be caused by reintroducing these things to the world? Do they bother to ask themselves these questions? And if so do they just not care about the answer? I’m not sure which option I prefer actually, either makes me doubt the solvency of this tentative accord we’d found ourselves in.
It is actually a fair even split. Myself and the cleric seem far more cautious, while the human male and the other arcane magic wielder show almost reckless abandon when it comes to gathering spoils and power. The monk and the dwarf are somewhere in the middle … which to be honest surprises me. I’d thought that monks set themselves apart from worldly wealth? Perhaps it is only some of them? Or maybe that’s a thing that only happens in stories. But surely the dwarves above all others have learned the lesson about the consequences of greed and ambition? It is possible the accounts I’d been given were wrong, or perhaps these tendencies are innate and he cannot help himself?
The cycle of humans rising and being corrupted by their greed is also a prevalent one through history. The ruin that we stand in is a testament to that. Admittedly I know little about Thassilon, it was so very long ago. Stray mentions by my father (in the midst of previously mentioned lectures mostly), that they were humans whos ambition consumed them, twisting what they’d built into something dangerous and ruinous, leading to some great uprising … Maybe? I should have pushed harder for details I guess, or been more interested in the very ancient history that he seems to have studied somewhere. I can only hope that at some point I am in a position to ask him these new questions …