It has always been a habit of mine to reflect on my life every so often to help myself realize where I have been and where I want to go. It has been many years since I have done this but I believe now is as good a time as any. I sit in my office in King’s Rest going over countless shipping orders, trade and personal disputes, requests for help or forgiveness from the people of King’s Rest, and any number of other odd documents to sign or approve. This work is frustrating. The King has been out “hunting” for many years now and while he did leave the kingdom in the capable hands of the Jarls and myself, I am coming to resent the life he has given me. I am compensated well by the people of King’s Rest and have grown used to a soft bed and a warm hearth to sit by each night. I no longer scavenge for food or need to steal for my next meal. But I feel that some part of my spirit has dwindled during this time. The spark of Riven has grown dimmer with time and the duties of my post. It seems that the days of running in the Woods, free of care or responsibility are over for this Brigand turned Ranger, now Steward.
Let it be known that I am not looking fondly on the days that the Daemon Lord wreaked havoc in the Myth Wood, or that tragic time when my body was stolen from me and the Game of Keeps divided the Wood. But at least I was able to feel alive. Not knowing who was with me or against me. Having seemingly omnipotent Gods controlling my former friends and enemies in a conflict that looked to have no end.
No, I do not wish to return to those times. I am forever grateful to Rokai for doing his best to secure the freedom of the people of the Myth Wood. But I do long for adventure and the thrill of victory. There is no call to action for me to rally behind. My anger toward the Game of Keeps has faded and I am left with a hole in my soul where it once helped me move forward. I cannot forget the time when I was lost and not in control of my own body, it haunts me to this day. Without that anger to fuel me, I am not sure how long I am destined to remain in the Myth Wood.
I am reminded of my youth and my training in the Art of Misdirection by Silvertongue. She was a master of the craft at a level that I will never be able to attain. Those are the days to which I wish I could return. I had nothing, no allies, no enemies, no money, and no goals beyond surviving another day and learning how to use my Voice as a weapon. There are times when these skills have given me great trouble and now the people of the Myth Wood read into every word I say and assume a double meaning or a secret scheme is always behind what I tell them. I wish people realized that I do not have a thousand plots in motion and am not covering lies with more lies to mask the truth of my intent.
Sadly, I know even this letter will be considered “another of Riven’s schemes to confuse the people” but I have come to accept that. Not every situation can be handled correctly with steel and sorcery. Some situations require a more subtle touch. The adventure that comes to mind first involves the First King of the Myth Wood, Dirk McCormick, and how I was given the title of Lord.
Many have heard the tale that I kidnapped our first King and forced him into giving me a title in exchange for his life. This may be how it seemed to outsiders but the true interaction between the King and I was not as one-sided as this leads people to believe. But that is a story for another time… For now I must return to my endless paperwork and squabbles between the citizens of King’s Rest.
Like all denizens of the Wood I felt the stirring of these new Gods, but they seem of no threat to us at this time and may even be the forces that allow us to continue our existence here. For now I am bound by duty to continue at my post until the King returns or I thrust a quill into my brain from frustration and hopelessness. However, I fear that Eir would frown upon this course of action so I will carry on in hopes of finding a new purpose beyond being the Steward of King’s Rest.
Lord Riven, Shadow Stalker
Steward of King’s Rest