I am Alphonsus, Cleric of Everwind. Speaker for Castan.
This is my title. I wear it with pride, despite the fact that I am fully well aware that Castan does not, in all probability, exist. His existence is irrelevant, however. Castan is really about principles: honor, valor, justice, wisdom, and, above all, truthfulness. These principles are very real, and their practice has a very real effect on one’s life.
In Everwind, I have found myself playing a central role in many of the adventures, and not simply because I am there a lot. Indeed, I have lately been finding myself spending the majority of my time in Huin, working on the mermaid pool and stream, talking with my friends, and making our first tentative plans for my marriage to the Princess. (We have been partnered from the beginning, but this marriage is a celebration of our love and a statement of our dedication toward one another. Additionally, it is a great excuse for a party.)
My time in Everwind has been limited, but, because I seek knowledge and justice, I find myself in the middle of things quite frequently. I have healed the fallen, battled pirates, have helped steer others away from the path of darkness, and, most recently, was instrumental in brining about the banning of one of the more well known drow. Her crimes were actually rule violation–violations of a brutal, sadistic nature, and were appalling even to the drow queen. The transcripts used to justify her ban are actually sickening…I shan’t share them. But I am glad she has been brought to justice.
And, somewhat to both of our surprises, I have found myself traveling with my animator in the real world, much as the Princess took a vacation with her animator. I have been sharing in his adventures, such as they are. He has, admittedly, some disadvantages over me. I am quite proud of my hair. He tries to maintain pride in his hair, but there is simply not much remaining to maintain pride in. Custom does not permit him to wear a white, flowing robe or a solid gold lion on his chest, something that does change how one feels about oneself and the respect that one is automatically afforded. The tie and the sports coat he wears simply do not carry with them the same majesty.
He does not have my physical conditioning. While he is far from “fat”, he is a bit overweight, and his muscle tone needs some serious definition. This is something I have been blessed with through very little work on my own, but for him, it is a constant struggle. His desk job and disappointing lack of pirate attacks keep him from getting the physical exercise that comes so natural to me.
Still, when I am out in the Real World with him, I know that I assist him with his self-confidence. When he walks slumped over, I remind him to stand straight. When asked to make decisions, he does not feel the pressure to come up with an immediate response. Truthfulness–the inability to tell a lie–has changed me considerably, and it is beginning to have an effect on him as well. Not that I ever considered him to be an inherently dishonest person, but the concept of never telling a lie, or even a mis-portrayal of the truth, causes a subtle shift in ones brain cells. The requirement of honesty is without compromise, and this honesty applies not only in the words we speak to others but in the words one speaks to oneself.
Honesty is both humbling and soothing. I firmly believe that in full understanding comes forgiveness. Full understanding, however, is not possible so long as one allows their subconscious to berate oneself. Saying that a lie is never acceptable is still something that my animator needs to work at, and I am far from saying that I, myself, am not perfect in this regard (Castan, forgive me), but we are guiding each other, and he already feels a small change in his core.
So the future looks interesting and exciting: a marriage to think about, new stores to open, rental properties finally coming on the market, and in Everwind, well, who knows?
So, light and love to everyone, safe paths, and may all of your tribbles be little ones.