Santos's Journal - Year 4
Fourth year is far more interesting so far; we are learning about the dangers of Shadow and Darkness. The clergy, especially Primate Ruger, believes that now is more a time than any to know what we will be up against in the future. I think maybe they got tired of us trying to use magic. I hear Mages use Essence to do their magic, but the clergy say that is evil and we must rely on faith alone. It’s tough. Primate Ruger says that many of the Templars have to leave to fight the Mages, which means we have to start to learn to defend ourselves. Father Liam also left to fight the Mages. Before he left he gave me an amulet though, he said it would fortify me against whatever would come my way. I miss him.
We learned about Shadow today, the wife of Light…who is also Darkness’ wife, which confuses me. The clergy say it’s because Shadow takes pity on Darkness. One of the clergy took on the role of a Shadowtheist in one of our classes and we had to try and convert her. It was the most aggravating and frustrating things I’ve ever done. She wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say and she keeps saying that I was blinded by Light. I told her that Light has opened my eyes, and she just said no. How do you convince someone of faith? If we are supposed to go out into Majeria and convert people, it is going to be ridiculously tough.
Combat training has increased since some of the Templars and Father Liam left. I’m beginning to think that Father Liam was always a Templar and only became a clergy member for some other reason. Primate Ruger seems to think highly of him for going off to defeat Mages though. Training is certainly one of my strong suits. Mine and Victor’s actually. He is much more offensive than I am, but I can take a lot more hits and wear down almost anything that I come up against. When we get to spar in teams Victor and I always team up, and almost every time we are successful, except for once we were pit against a group of dire rats, Victor blamed me for getting in the way, even though I took a nasty bite on the shoulder for him. We go down into the dungeon almost every day now.
I’ve been noticing lately that kids in our year are starting to “flunk out” or “lose the faith” as Primate Ruger says. They simply don’t come to class the next day. That worries me a bit because if things really are that bad outside the monastery, then where are these boys going? I guess they are going to start whittling us down. I’m pretty confident I’m one of the top acolytes, but you never know when they start throwing the abstract questions at you. Victor says they’re gearing us up to fight the Mages. I don’t know if I’m ready for something like that.
There is a full out war against the Mages going on in Majeria is what most of the Templars are saying. Some say they have a job here, some are angry they can’t join the fight. The monastery gets wounded soldiers from time to time to heal. Sometimes they look good as new; sometimes I don’t see them again. The older boys and I help sometimes, and the soldiers always give us these strange looks as if they know something we don’t. Some say that the Mages are impossible to defeat. But I have to believe so, if not, why are we even training in the first place. The clergy consistently tell us we’re not training to fight, but that we’re studying to bring the word of Light to Majeria now that he’s returned. Feels like training to me though.
I will say one thing, I am starting to understand the Tenets more and how they apply to my life. I hardly miss my parents anymore, although I still do sometimes. I no longer wish for new things, I am fairly happy with what I have. I am more interested in all facets of mind, body and soul now. Before I could only really focus on physical results, but now I can actually feel myself growing spiritually. I feel more powerful when I am speaking the words of Light. Victor says it’s just a mind game and that he doesn’t buy into it. I told him to keep it down though, because the clergy aren’t going to like that kind of talk.