I've really fallen out of the habit of writing in my journal. Maybe it's because it feels like nothing good ever happens anymore. Well, that might be a bit overdramatic. But it was easier to write when things were, well, easier.
We haven't lost ground in Highmaul, at least – though now there's the Blackrock Foundry to take. We need greater numbers if we're to make any progress. But Sanctuary isn't a guild one joins lightly, and the pool we can draw from is limited. That we've been able to mount these assaults at all is more than I expected at the start. Still, we could do more if we had more to join us on these forays. We've gotten by with finding mercenaries to hire and have had some success in the Foundry so far relying on them.
And on other fronts… well, things haven't been so great.
Grimal decided to lecture me on sending Naheal to scout Aerie Peak. It was the last straw. I really let him have it. It's easy to judge from the sidelines, or even better, after the fact. I'm pretty sure his coping mechanism in life is to believe he's unappreciated and that's the cause of all his woes, but I'm not going to indulge it any longer.
I'm not one to try to demand respect… I know it's earned. But I won't tolerate disrespect. I'll listen to dissenting opinions. I won't listen to someone who plainly thinks I have no idea what I'm doing, and condescends after I explain my reasoning. I spend my every waking moment looking for the best course of action for Sanctuary. Show me someone who cares more than I do, and then I'll set aside my own opinion.
Getting the same kind of treatment from Naheal, though, one of my own guildmembers… That was disheartening. I'd thought, when he first joined, that I sensed the same spirit in him. I thought I could tell when someone believed. Truly believed. But I was wrong.
This conflict is making it all too clear that not everyone is cut out for what Sanctuary requires. It requires everything.
For awhile at the start of this, when I was presented frustrating scenario after frustrating scenario, I was starting to think that maybe I was being unreasonable in some ways. Maybe I was being impractical, and it would endanger everything I aim to serve and protect. Playing by the rules when the other side doesn't is crippling. And, as Jinsai said, you can't help anyone when you're dead. But then I stood before the Grim onslaught… and if I'd died there, I realized I would have no regrets in the afterlife. Even if living meant I could have saved a hundred more innocent lives, I could never have lived with myself had I sacrificed a dozen to do it. My job is not judge or arbiter. It never will be.
I don't begrudge those who decide that this path isn't for them. People have the right to seek their own safety and happiness first and foremost. But the moment you start believing that the ends justify the means… that's the moment you've lost the path you claim to follow. That's the moment you start becoming everything you fight against.
I should speak to Vilmah or Nojinbu soon… I need to hear from someone who understands. And maybe… check to make sure I'm not losing touch. I am so sure as I write these words, surer than anything else in the world, but there are many who have more experience than I do and it wouldn't serve Sanctuary if I didn't seek their advice. I wrote the oath that tells us to set aside our pride and this is the least I can do to live by it.