Well, we knew going into it that the Demon wouldn’t be the hard part. God am I not looking forward to the hard part.
The challenges were what we expected. Insane, deadly, and almost impossible, but relatively straight up. We all won through ours ok, but it definitely hurt. And on a related note, fuck Demons. Fuck them and all the magic shit that people pull trying to get power they haven’t earned. I’m getting sick of this, first Tremaine binding one for a damn software upgrade, then Vicks and his damn lackeys worshipping this one, and now the Warden from High Desert came out of fucking nowhere and seized half of town. This won’t stand. The tower obsession and people so hungry for power they take and magic they can get is how this whole mess got started. The tower’s a powerful weapon, and a marvelous thing, but if we’re still pulling that shit then obviously we’re not ready for it.
Oh yeah, I should probably mention the tower. I’m writing this in Doushiro, moored at the docks of the broken tower. I know there’s a strong chance this will be my last entry. If it is, and you’ve found this, it almost certainly means we failed, or I’m dead. Guys, if its one of you reading this, I hope I went out well. Ondrej, remember our pledge, and you’re going to run this town eventually if you ever learn to be slightly less of an ass. With me gone it won’t be as much fun anyways. Wren, you got love in this town, but it won’t leave if you do. Since the day I met you, I knew you’d have to fly the nest eventually, but it was worth it to be your family. Masa… Remember your priorities. I know you love Frederick, and I know how valuable having him as a friend could be, but he’s just a hob. If you come out of this, break that key. If you don’t, you choose to let all those people stay trapped, stay enslaved, stay… taken. You won’t do that. Dirge, break her heart and I swear to God I’ll haunt you. If you have my body, don’t burn it. Don’t give me back to the fire. Bury me in the ground, out in the desert, and let me fall to dust like a normal man, or dig up whatever’s buried in my grave and put me there, so my family can come and see me.
If you’re reading this and you don’t have the slightest who I am, then know this. On June 14th, 2011, five changelings from the four courts of the freehold of Las Vegas and the ambassador of the great freehold of Milwaukee ascended to the broken tower, to save a pledge that shields a city and to stop a madwoman from seizing its power. If we failed, hopefully the impact was limited enough that this is the first you’re hearing of it. If not, then I’m sorry. But no matter what damage it has done, I still hold that it is no tower of hubris, its very existence and the shadow of its former glory prove that. It is the tower of betrayal, because broken pledges brought it down. It is the tower of greed, because a monster with a philosophy to justify her madness threw it open again. It is the tower of sloth, because like everyone who goes in for that kind of power, she didn’t do jack to earn it. But it is not the tower of hubris.
I was recently told something by… well, not a reliable source, but I believe this. Our destinies, those of all the Lost of the United States, possibly the Lost of all the world, were lost when the tower fell almost a century ago. Destiny is powerful among us, even more than with most, that cannot be allowed to stand. But reviving this broken tomb is not the answer. A day will come when the changelings of America are once again strong and unified and virtuous enough to build something that wondrous, but it must be something new. If you wish to see that day, then work for it.
To any who still finds the shortcut appealing, who wish to ascend to the tower and take what they have not earned, be warned. My name is Red, as in the crimson of Summer; I have banished a demon, ended a Monarch, and outran the fires of Hell itself. No matter how badass you think you are, I promise: you can’t take me. And if you’re reading this, I almost certainly died in that tower. I don’t know exactly how it works for us after we die, but if I have a say I’ll still be there, waiting for you. And its a long drop.