I wonder as I sit in this cell whether or not I truly ever understood how much they hate me before today. Did I hate them just as much? What sort of twisted progeny are we that this is all that we are? I knew my reasons for hating, I nursed them to my breast and held them close for so very long. I did not see far enough pass my own hatred to see theirs. What a desolate lot we are. I do not think, however, that Oberon is to blame, nor our parents. We are all to blame. It is a sin we all share in equally.
They each come and speak their peace, whether it is curiosity like Graham's, or anger like Terridus and Winter. Winter, a man who killed my soldiers, who I must forgive. Terridus, a man whose pain mirrors my own in so many ways, who holds me responsible for denying him his redemption. His redemption. The arrogance of it struck me off guard, and I wondered whether I was that arrogant. I know now that I was. Could he have saved my mother? Perhaps. But that ship has sailed. He is broken, and I do not think any of us will live long enough to see him repaired.
My thoughts go to Alanna, and the Kestrel, to Sir Dan'Vir and Jubei. My allies who are far from these shores, and I pray to the Unicorn that I have not abandoned them to their fates through my own arrogance. I dared the impossible. On some level, I think I almost hoped it would kill me. Then, my tasks would be over. Instead, they have grown even greater. To the Unicorn, I pray, protect them. Give them your grace.
But that is as far as I will allow myself to dwell on my circumstances. I must bring my mind to finish what I have begun, and I finds myself with an overabundance of time to do it.
After you pass the Second Veil, you enter the Grand Curve. Dimly above the very roaring of the fires of the Pattern, you are aware that you are nearing the end, but you cannot bring yourself to hope to reach it. Everything that you are, everything that you must be is poured into each and every step. It is like the First Veil in difficulty, but you hardly have the time to try to figure it out. Instead, you must continue as the Pattern itself fights you. And just when you think that it could not get any harder, you reach the Third Veil.
It is the Third Veil which is your final test upon the Pattern. It is as you pass through the Third Veil that you feel the force of all of the Pattern bearing down upon you. Like metal in a crucible, you are heated clean of any impurities, poured into the molds of your desires, and hammered upon by the very force of Destiny itself. The trick is to not submit, to not simply be reforged. If you let the Pattern have its way with you, you will be broken and you will die. Instead, you must grow stronger than Destiny, and break the hammer as it rings upon the steel of your soul. Only then, only when the hammer breaks, can you find yourself on the far side of the Third Veil. Three steps, a turn, and two more, and you are finished.
I have passed my Third Veil. My trials of rebuilding my grandmother's house, of the challenges I have sought after Dworkin's murder, those were my Grand Curve. I am through my Third Veil, and I felt the hammer of Destiny strike me. Vengeance, I had called it. Hate. Pain. All of it had been mine. I lived a life defined by the most petty of emotions, one so filled with pain that I had to see this pain visited on others. I was once a fool. No more. I choose this path of my own accord, knowing not where it will lead me, but accepting it because it is my path. There are no others quite like it.