I find it fascinating the nightmares that torture the sleep of others. Apparently the collective fear of the Phoenix Clan was a powerful engine of death and destruction. I find this amazing since the Phoenix are probably some of the best capable of defeating such a creature (except maybe the Fox).
I myself am known as the Nightmare of the Crane – at least in jest and occasional mutters. Does this mean that the Crane fear my very existence, much like the Phoenix feared that creature? I honestly do not know. I would like to think that my family cares for me and takes pride in my accomplishments, but considering they are pacifists and I am one of the most powerful fire mages in recent history probably strains things a great deal. I mean, can you take pride in a child that epitomizes everything you stand against? I do not know. I suspect my parents don’t either.
Indeed, a six year old with the power to destroy cities is usually considered a bad thing. I know most of my playmates (such as they were) would not have very restrained in their actions. I suspect just about any other child with that kind of power would have led to a substantial amount of death and property damage.
And yet, here I am with that kind of power, and I have shown greater maturity with it than most of the adults I have met in my travels.
Yes, I am very talented (precocious some would say). I have more power at my fingertips than most elder shugenja. I am one of the more mature people around I would venture to say. I have personally exchanged spells with Fu Leng himself in a firefight (albeit remotely). I am currently trying to consolidate as much power as I can muster into my own hands so that I am ready when Fu Leng makes his final move. All of this at the age of six.
When I think about this, I begin to wonder. Am I a chosen one of the Kami, sent to ensure that a good outcome occurs when Fu Leng finally tries to take over the empire? Or am I merely the catalyst for Fu Leng’s takeover? Will all of my efforts to stop Fu Leng’s ascension come to naught as he could possess me and use what I have built to consolidate his position of power? Or will all of my efforts become meaningless as he easily overpowers whatever I can throw at him? It took everything my companions and I had to bring down one of Fu Leng’s servants. Even then, I was still overwhelmed and tainted by the whole experience. While this can be healed, It terrifies me as to what the final battle may be like.
Verily, of all the outcomes of this coming battle, the one I fear the most is the battle for my soul. For that is truly the stuff on Nightmares.