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Short Story Goodbye from a Guide

PaperLaur

Spazmatism
[ I am upset tonight so I decided to write a sad thing. And I happen to like the guide. This is sort of meant to be in a situation where The Guide doesn't respawn. ]

Words scratched out on the back of an envelope now lying on a table in the main room as the others cleaned up the ashes and blood, not speaking a word about what had just been witnessed. The letter was unsealed, the top flap simply folded into the bottom. It was meant to be discarded once they came back from their great victory--to be thrown away for the sake of the pages within. It was simple handwriting, simple words, from a simple man who'd seen too much and had never been okay. A man who, in his final moments, had looked the nurse in the eyes, smiled, and told her "I'm free."

Dear Player.

If you're reading this, it's over, I'm gone, and you won. I knew you would. I've watched you build up to this for so long, I've watched you fail and succeed and try so hard. I've watched you train your heart out to be ready for this. And I know you were ready for it, and you're ready for what comes next.

I'm not angry, I'm not bitter. The only thing I am is relieved. Relieved, and so happy that I was able to be a part of this journey, that I got to meet you and everyone else, and that hopefully, I got to help you in getting where you are now. At least, I hope I was of some use to you. I know there were times we didn't get along, or the others didn't care for me--do you remember how they thought I was some sort of demon? I'm not sure if what you've just seen disproves or helps that old story.

I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier. I guess maybe, just maybe, I wanted to forget that it was going to happen someday. The Clothier always knew, of course; if anyone here knows a thing or two about curses and black magic, it's him. And it's not like it was something I can really forget. The truth is, I've been around a long time. Too long, waiting for someone like you who could save our world. I just sort of got used to living like none of them would make it far enough. And I got tired, and I got impatient, and I got into this pattern of trying to pretend that I was just some normal person whose life wasn't tied to a demon. But I always knew I was going to die at some point, just a matter of when. It's not like I'm scared of it, even now as you're probably busy making that hell bridge I suggested and knowing it could be over with one missed shot from you. I've been ready for a long time, I just...don't know what'll happen after this for me, if I'll have to go down there and live out my nightmares because of what my soul was tied to. And I'm scared for all of you still here.

I lied. This isn't just another enemy to face for better equipment. The Wall is a guardian, and I am its balancer. Together, we've kept the light and dark spirits of the world in check, and when we're both gone, as we will be in a few minutes, those spirits will set themselves upon the world trying to consume it. You're going to face enemies and environments more difficult than anything you've seen before, and it's going to be a lot harder to keep everyone safe. But I trust that you're going to be strong enough and dedicated enough to do it. That was the whole point of me having my curse in the first place, and the Wall being so difficult. It's like the Wall wants to give you a final test to make sure you're going to be able to handle what happens once those spirits are released. And the reason I need to go with it is because you're going to prove you don't need me anymore.

I'm so proud of how far you've come. Even though I know I don't have a lot of time, I just can't help but remember everything, from when I woke you up in that field and taught you how to build your first house, to the Merchant moving in, to when you came back from trying to fight the Eye of Cthulhu for the first time practically dead and nearly gave the Nurse a heart attack. How that little house you made turned into something so much bigger so we could all live together, and how other people started moving in and we began to be like a family. You remember how confused you were when the Dryad moved in and how I started stammering like an idiot because I hadn't seen one dressed like that in a while? What about when the Mechanic showed up and pretty much attacked the Clothier--yeah, that was pretty terrible, but at least we can laugh about how awkward that all was now. Really, the Clothier got a lot more happy the longer he spent with us, and I'm glad for that too. Thanks for helping him out with his curse, as you've just helped me with mine. Oh, and then when the Goblin Tinkerer was trying to teach the Mechanic about some technology thing but she couldn't understand him because of his accent and the fact that he was talking so fast? The Painter, Dye Trader, and Stylist getting into that huge argument about the color green? When the Party Girl decided to turn the Blood Moon into a giant rave? The Demolitionist almost setting off the Arms Dealer's rounds, the Witch Doctor starting a garden with the Dryad, and you and me telling the Traveling Merchant who came through town all about the crazy things we'd been through?

I remember how triumphant you were when you finally beat the Eye the second time, and then the Eater of Worlds. When you reached the ocean and brought home the Angler, and the Nurse decided she was going to become his mother. When you went into the Dungeon for the first time, or asked me so excitedly how you could finally make that Night's Edge you were wanting (which by the way, is a material! Keep a good hold on that sword and any other swords you find going ahead, even if they seem a little broken down! Excalibur will soon look like nothing compared to what you can make with that thing!). And all that time you spent making the house look even more amazing, and so much nicer for every one of us. You always seemed to care so much.

When you asked me what was next after all of that, after you'd explored so much of the world...I didn't hesitate to answer. I knew it in my heart and had known it for a while. Even if it meant all this would end, I just knew if anyone could save this world, you could. I did consider telling you there was nothing left but to rule the world...but I know you aren't the kind of person who'd be satisfied with that. You'd get bored, there wouldn't be enough for you to do. The adventure and romance of being here would be gone.

No, you want to improve and you want to try new things. I think you're going to like the challenge the spirits give you. You're going to love being able to have wings, and I think you'd look great in cobalt or palladium armor--the first new ores in your new world. You'll be able to summon more creatures to aid you, find more people to move in, and take on new enemies.

You may even get far enough to beat the celestial horde. In fact, I know you will, it'll just take a lot of time.

I only wish I could've been a part of that journey with you, but like I said, you don't need me. I'm just the guide. When you find the Wizard, he'll be able to help with a lot of things, but I've completed the job I was assigned a thousand years ago, and I'm very, very satisfied.

I only hope you remember me. I only hope you considered me a friend--or at least, a help to you.

I can feel a strange sensation in my gut. You just got one of the dolls, didn't you? I can almost hear you talking, getting ready. Are you carrying the doll by the hand? It's a weird feeling, because it almost feels like you're holding my hand while I'm writing. Don't worry about me. Please don't worry. I'll be okay. I've lived longer than anyone should, and I'm happy for it to finally be done. I'm happy to know someone like you is going to take charge of our world. I'm not afraid.

Please don't feel bad, and know no matter what you won't let me down. I'll watch you if I can. I wish I could see how this story ends, instead of just imagining.

But I'm just some nerd who was always reading at late hours because every time I'd close my eyes I'd see more of Hell than I ever wanted to. Imagining you in that place is unnerving, and I'm wondering if you're scared at all, or will be scared of the Wall. I wouldn't blame you either way. But I remember how much you've seen and how much you will see. You'll be okay. I promise. I taught you well, didn't I?

I need to go and tell them my goodbyes, whether we were friends or not. I miss them all already. Here's hoping they all continue to support you as much as I did.

Thank you for being the best hero I've seen. Thank you for making it this far. Thank you for freeing me. Thank you for making it a wonderful journey. And good luck in everything that's coming up. You're going to do great.

Sincerely,
Your friend, your Guide.
 
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