PATHFINDER

Pathfinder

You were a seed, planted. You came as purity from the womb, untouched by the diseased hands of the human race. Though you don’t remember, with your arrival came your war cry, echoing triumphantly, rattling your skull. When you opened your eyes for the first time, the blurred light was frightening and confusing, so you cried some more. What else could you have done? After all, you were an infant once—helpless and dependent, but much has changed.

Your parents—your guardians—looked upon you as a gift, their eyes beaming with relief and joy. You had voyaged across the threshold into the world of the living. They gave you a name and bid you welcome, but instead should have begged your forgiveness, for you were born into a world thick with burnt cities lying amongst the rubble of weakness.

As you grew, you were influenced by a pestilent society who encouraged you to celebrate the victories of others rather than your own. Those you cared for and trusted taught you what they thought was right. Somewhere in your maturing mind you knew they were wrong, but as you watched on in silence, you were too young to express it through words. You knew you had dreams, but others told you to stop. They said it would never work out—as if the desire to be more than a battery running the cogs of the machine is an ideal to alienate and desecrate.

So you listened. You didn’t want to disappoint them. You heeded the opinion of others, telling you what and who you were supposed to be, assuming they knew what was best for you. No longer did visions of grandeur act a play in your head as you fell into a deep slumber within the darkness of your bedroom. No longer did you desire with all your bloody, bleeding heart to live the life of the Pathfinder, walking and wandering the way of life with purpose and driven determination.

The road to oblivion is thick with the pulsating thorns of regret. It will age you far faster than you think, and as you grow old and gray, creased with stress and hate, your moment of awakening will occur where light meets dark for the final time. It is then that you will be taken, left to rot in the ground, or wallow in a limbo of “should haves.” You existed with the sole purpose of pleasing other people. You didn’t live at all.

This shall not be your fate. It cannot.

There is a burning swell within your being. It is your soul, cursing you, screaming at you to let it free. You can’t ignore it, for Oblivion Road awaits you if you do. The mission to become the pathfinder is too strong to ignore and you would not have it slip through your fingers.

In claiming this identity, you pick up your armor. It’s layered with years of forgotten dust, and it groans as you wipe away the past, preparing it for future battles ahead. You fit it to your powerful torso, knotting the leather ties with rough hands. The leather shines, free of scars and cracks, but you do not desire for it to look like this forever. You want it to rip and bleed with you, the wounds proudly displayed as decorated honor achieved in raging wars of grit and glory. 

You know the next step. Turning to your door, your heart races. Your skin grows cold in the knowing of what lies beyond. You reach out with trembling fingers, touching the brass knob. Taking a deep breath, you grasp it with an iron grip, tearing open the door. The light is painful. You cross the crooked step, leaving the Old behind, celebrating your rebirth.

Journeying into the wastelands, you walk with fear and uncertainty—gifts, unopened; experiences beckoning you to bravely seek out new directions and opportunity. You will encounter marauders, leering ravens and chasms of the dark abyss. You will race to seek shelter before the cobalt twilight arrives, its deadly storm of frozen stars raining down upon you. But as you sleep in your crumbled roadside shack, the magic of your childhood will return. In your wake, you will take the steps to put your dreams into action, casting aside the reaper biting at your heels. The pathfinder does not fear death. He fears a life not lived.

You are the pathfinder.