Who were you before you conformed to the idea other people thought you were?
This question has plagued me over the last decade. Who was I before I transformed myself into this caricature of who people thought I was?
I am Jayce Wellspring. Few things have made sense these last few years. My memory has not served me well.
There was a chalice and a name. Rianna. The end of the world in a chalice of sorrow. I remember slowing it down. I remember a pixie. A warning.
“You can’t stop the wave; you can only redirect it.” I came to on a beach. The waves lapped at my face. The monsters I hunted were no more.
I was no longer Jayce Wellspring the monster hunter. I was dubbed by those who thought the prophecy averted, Jayce Wellspring the Prophecy Destroyer.
They’re wrong, oh so horribly wrong.
You can’t stymie the tide of destruction. All I revealed with my action was that monsters are covered with the flesh of men. Eleven, Dwarven, and Human all are monsters. We seek our own destruction.
Day in, day out, we have searched for new ways to bring about the apocalypse. Now, there are so many ways to take life, but no one could tell you how to live one.
On the precipice overlooking eternity, I was given the ability to change the flow of destruction. All I had to do was choose.
“Pick an ending,” the Chalice called. “You have the power to change what is…”
I chose. In the blink of an eye, I wiped out two civilizations to avert the prophecy. Life was granted to the people I deemed worthy. When it was over, I realized my mistake.
I never should have chosen.
Now, the prophecy continues albeit in a different vein. I sacrificed two cultures to move the prophecy one generation from me. The Chalice approved my choice and gleefully took what was offered.
My head has ached since my choice. “What I should have done is allow the Chalice to overflow and wipe out all life. Then, like Spring follows Winter, life would have been reborn into the galaxy. But no, I had to choose. Now, someone new must shoulder the burden I placed upon them.”
That freaking pixie. She conned me into choosing. Pixies are notoriously devious; they often play upon your insecurities to bring about the ending they like. “Well, she’s freaking happy now.”
I chose to end the Righteous Dwarves and the Shunned Dwarves. Both vanished in the blink of an eye. Before you could shout zing, they were gone. As if they had never existed on this plane before. Humanity and the Elves were the only people left.
We went from 9 billion people to less than 4.5 billion. Half of the population died in the most gruesome of ways.
The Shunned Dwarves were consumed in unquenchable fire. The Righteous Dwarves lived underground. A seismic event closed their entrances to their cities. Three billion Dwarves starved to death. For a while the strong feasted upon the weak, but in the end, nothing stopped the will of the Chalice.
My work though is not done. For the Chalice still calls my name.