Dear Grignak – Letter 1 Response


It would be simple to spout my own philosophy here and simply tell you that slavery is a state of mind, but how do I best make you understand something that took me a lifetime myself. I was first enslaved at twenty-eight, which is young for a Troll. I knew ‘freedom’ for the beginning of my life, and so when I was enslaved by my actions, I was bitter and wanted to blame anyone other than myself for where I was, and what I was forced to do.

The thing was, I still had the ability to choose the path I would take, even as a slave.

You invoke the name of Gavin, and I will say that I look not upon slavery as the diminutive one did. He sought to eradicate it, as if it were a disease, without realizing that it was simply a symptom of a greater issue.

You see, Masha, we are, all of us, slaves. The gods impose their directives on us. Kings and Emperors weigh us down with laws. Nobles are bound by their duty to those above, as well as those below. I am not, even for a moment, suggesting that your yoke is light. I am simply stating that there are more causes for servitude than the simple ones of being a slave.

If you don’t already know, I was a slave in the Temple of Bast in Caer Itom. The things that were demanded of me, well, those are a heavy burden to bear…unless you chose to accept them. Unless you chose to be that which is requested of you.

Pride will tell you to fight against the constraints that are placed upon you. Pride will tell you that you shouldn’t have to be a slave. While it is true that you shouldn’t have to be a slave, pride will not keep your skin whole, nor will it soothe your soul.

I apologize, I wander in my thoughts.

Young Masha, my advise to you is not the advice that you desire to hear. I say that if you are always doing what you want, then you are a slave to your passions. If you work for money of your own, then you are a slave of gold. If you employ slaves to work in your household, then you are a slave to their well being.

If you hurt those slaves, you are a slave to your own sadistic tendencies.

Each man can be a slave, but not every man can truly be free.

This is not to dissuade you from dreaming. But think about that which you dream. Timiro is not a land of Milk and Honey. You will have to work there for your freedom, probably much harder than you work now. Some say that work is sweeter when it is for yourself, but I have not found it so.

I miss the arena and my Katheryne. What was required of me, while I remained there, was straightforward. There was no need to decide anything. I did what was required of me, and nothing more. Out here, working with CrIsis, I have found that freedom that so many enshire and find it cold and uncomfortable. We walk for days on end. We camp out in the cold. There is beauty to be found everywhere, don’t get me wrong, and I love the surroundings that we find ourselves in, but there is nothing glamourous about walking for weeks on end.

We carry great loads so that we will not go hungry, and so that we always have the items we will need to fight. Fighting happens often, and there is nothing glorious about it. It is simply our duty to end the lives of those who would stop us from assembling the god Osiris.

Oh how I wander.

What do I say to someone who suffers in slavery? Who sees freemen walking around her and wishes to be like them? You will take most of my words to be the platitudes of the master and not the understanding of the philosopher.

I say to you, Masha, decide now who you will be, the person you will grow into, and simply become that person. Don’t worry about those around you who have a different life than you. Live your life knowing that you are Masha, and you are free. As many around you, you have a job. Your job pays you in food and shelter that is maintained and paid for by another.

You can always wish to better you life, or move it to another locale, but if you chose to happily perform that which is required of you, then you have taken a bit of freedom for yourself, however small it might be.


Picture from The Quillcards Blog


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