Distant Mage with Large Bears

by Thorin Klosowski

Hello Gran,

How have you been? I feel like it’s been too long since we’ve caught up. I’ve been okay, I guess, but I’ve been feeling that thing again.

Some days, I just want to change into an animal and leave here forever. I could transform myself into one of my bears and disappear, nobody would ever know. Nobody would ever care. I could live life as a bear. Or I could turn back into a human, live out my days in some distant place.

I know how I sound. Another white mage, complaining, even though I have access to some of the most powerful magic in the world. I’m well-respected, well-educated, and I’ve had consistent, good work for a very long time. Look, I know there are those who are worse off than me. Of course there are. I’ve seen the destitute in the Goblin Caves of Ash and I’ve spent plenty of time wandering through the torture chambers at the Ranger Camps of Fire. But I’m distant, unhappy, and I desperately need change. I can have everything and still be unhappy.

You know Gran, I’m coming on 20 years as a white mage, all of it in the service of her holiness, Athena. Don’t get me a wrong, she’s a fine wizard to work for and I have a lot of respect for her. I’ve been with her since the buyout, when she took me under her wing and taught be everything she knew. Now I’m one of the best mages in the land.

I’m unhappy because I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel like the constant 20 years of magic work, combined with tending to the bears, has led me to become an empty vessel, someone who, sure, is great at their job, but who doesn’t have a hobby to speak of. When I have free time, I usually just magic it away until I have something to do. It’s pathetic.

Last week, Athena and I rounded up several skull men and sent them back to where they came. She came up to me afterwards, joy and confidence in her eyes, so proud of our accomplishment. I felt nothing. Not that I said that, I hid it as best I could. I smiled. I tried to show pride as we ransacked the skull man tombs. It’s all just so routine now. I’ve been here hundreds of times before, I kept thinking.

The bears can tell something is off with me. Isa and Ulsa both refuse to leave my side, even when I shoo them away. Ulsa even tried to climb onto my cot last night. It’s nice, I’ll admit, but doesn’t get us anywhere. I’m worried they’ll be enveloped with the same sadness I have.

I’m sorry I’m just complaining, Gran. I swear I started this letter with the intention of telling you everything was fine. Oh, I also want to see if you want to come to the cauldron festival with me. Mine’s do for an update, and we always have such a good time. Let me know. I’ll go ahead and just grab two tickets either way.

sincerely,

xxxx