That Way Madness Lies

Swiftly Moves Hárbarðr's Ferry

Sigrún contemplates the cost of wisdom, and despairs.

It comes down to this: I am afraid to give the All-Father what he demands of me.

I have had visions in my dreams, I have read ancient books, I have spoken with a wise woman. I have even seen a man who I suspect is the Wanderer himself, in his guise as ferryman. All incarnations tell me that we should venture into the deep and confront this fearful beast.

But still, my doubts overwhelm me. How can one defeat a thing that one does not understand? What will we do when confronted by its strange magics? How will we speak with the strange underfolk, these Drow, who hold the secret to combating this monster? I need more information. The books collected by Otter and our new companion shed limited light on the subject, and my consultation with the wise woman a little more. But still, we stumble into those caves as blind men and women, not knowing what pitfalls befall us, what snares lie ahead.

It seems a fool’s errand, and here, my faith sputters, almost extinguished. For the first time, the Wanderer’s path is no longer clear before me, and although the All-Father himself is speaking to me, I remain divided in mind. I have no wish to venture unprepared into the Underdark.

But all the same, I fear that the All-Father is calling me to this exact purpose. He is calling me to seek information the way he sought it, and I shudder at the thought, at the pain I know is my lot. The water of Mimir’s well has a high price, and I must be willing to pay it. Must be willing to sacrifice for the knowledge the Wise One alone grants. I must be willing to go to war, to willingly submit to the pain that could indeed be my fate.

This is the only way. This is the path of the Wanderer. How I wish I could turn aside.

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