I won’t ask you for help, because I know exactly what you’d have to say about that. But I do know that you’ll listen.
Lord Rory continues to prove intractable. I can hardly believe that he is a true believer—his rhetoric slices like a politician’s, and his gold flows like a mercenary’s—but his motives are impenetrable. His position as a theologian-adjudicator means that he rules by fiat and so he can and indeed should remain completely opaque to his underlings.
I intend to meet with him tomorrow disguised as Fiery Val. I hold desperately onto a morsel of hope that forcing him off balance by blasting him with a commoner’s back-talk (Fiery Val’s specialty!) might allow us to peek underneath his theological edifice.
But that’s just what it is: desperation. Boss, you know best what happens when we’ve exhausted our other means. But exhausting our other means has never made us desperate before, because we always had you to make the final call. But how can I make the final call? I’ve killed people, sure. What mercenary hasn’t? But I’ve never given an assassination order. I’ve helped get you into and out of places to do the deed, true. But I’ve never suffocated a man with his own pillow. I’ve never administered lethal poison to a lady’s wine. I’ve never given Caius the orders to do anything quite like that.
You’ve done all of those things. But how can I? My soul recoils against this. I’ve tried writing the words alone, at my desk—the first drafts of a plan to sneak Roland and Key into Lord Rory’s estate and allow them to complete the assassination as they see fit. The words come and the ink dries on the parchment, but when it comes time to sign it and show it to the Company—to make those words mine, my orders, my will—my heart quails, my quill drops, and my resolve sickens.
Is my conscience making a coward of me? Or is my conscience merely warning me off a hasty course of action, like a bone-chilling wind dissuades unprepared travelers from a frigid bog? Perhaps I just do not see the path around. Perhaps we need not murder Lord Rory to ensure the armies of Neverwinter are prepared for an assault. But how long, then, can we spend searching in the weeds? When is it that groping around for the alternatives becomes more dangerous, and perhaps even more unforgivable, than bloodying our hands? And, worse, when the answers to these questions are unknowable, how must we act?
Boss, you should have named Caius to lead the company during your hiatus. I’m not sure I’m cut out for this. But do not fear that I will shirk my duty to the Company and the world. I’m going to soldier and overcome my misgivings if I need to. Because I know that’s what you’d have me do anyway.
Professional Regards (and a hardly-professional level of respect and love that I’m sure you’d roll your eyes at),