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Review of Roadwarden

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miyakuli on 2024-04-15
ReviewI'm a poor, lonesome roadwarden

I'm a long way from home. My footsteps have led me to this mysterious and dangerous peninsula. I've been asked to explore it to find out more about the locals, so that I could guarantee a commercial exchange with my customers. I only have a few days, and my future meetings and decisions will be decisive.

❤ The history of this region is truly rich. Each village has its own history, customs and beliefs, and even its own dialect. So each visit will therefore be enriching as the locals place their trust in me. Each of them has more or less stormy relations with their neighbors, and I'll do my best to manage any conflicts. But these lands also abound in places that are difficult to penetrate or hidden, so I'll need to be patient to reach them, and who knows, they may reveal new knowledge that will help me in my quests. So many things to discover!
❤ My past is my heritage and I decide my future plans for myself. My skills are my own. As for my social relationships, I'll decide in due course whether or not I'll adapt to the person in front of me. I'll make my own choices according to my own morality and circumstances, but I doubt that everyone will come out a winner in the end… even me. Who's to judge anyway?
❤ The landscape around me is minimalist but striking, and I enjoy observing the different architectures and admiring and fearing the nature that surrounds me. Certain things don't always appear in my field of vision, but I can easily imagine their outlines because they've been sufficiently described to me.
❤ Sometimes I close my eyes to appreciate the sounds around me; I can hear the wind blowing, the rivers flowing, my faithful steed grazing beside me, the cries of creatures in the distance keeping me alert…and sometimes silence, which is never a very good sign. I wonder if there isn't a traveling bard, because I often hear soft music above my head, often melancholy but very pleasant. I'm hoping to ease the tension in this place, so maybe next time I'll hear more festive music…

+/- I feel the weight of time passing, I have so little of it given all the tasks entrusted to me, and I have to evaluate for myself the shortest and most advantageous routes to achieve my ends. I've almost become a tactician. However, I regret my arrival in this region, where my physical condition and lack of wealth and adequate equipment, as well as my unfamiliarity with the area, made me waste precious time. It was very brutal and almost punishing. Of course, I could always come back some distant day and be ready to deal with it, but my first visit will always be the most memorable, and I'm sad to leave when I had one of the peninsula's biggest mysteries right at my fingertips. How frustrating.
+/- I feel very free in my actions, which are not always dictated by intrusive thoughts. I can ask locals about places and people on my own, just by mentioning their names or sometimes even a simple description…but it seems that sometimes, my field of possibility is too wide to act, especially for people like me who don't master the local language. I don't necessarily have any clues, and my words and gestures will often have to be extremely precise, as any other alternative won't be accepted.

✖ My encounters were certainly significant, but I don't think I'll keep very fond memories of all these people. The atmosphere was always very austere, which I can understand given the tense situation in this region, but I didn't manage to get attached to many people. And even the friendships I made at the time seemed cold and distant. Only Eudocia managed to touch my heart, despite my solid armor, and she'll always have a place in my memories. I hope she's doing well.
✖ I've never been able to maintain a decent level of hygiene throughout my entire journey. As much for my hunger, my clothes and my magic, I always managed to find a good balance. But finding a place to bathe and sufficiently remove the grime from my body was a priori my nemesis. The locals often stared at me with disdain and I too often struggled to gain their trust because of my filthy appearance. I vowed never to set off on an adventure again without first buying a bar of soap!
✖ Even when I was very well armed and equipped, some monsters resisted me because a single choice could be fatal. Losing a big chunk of my armor just because I thought of dodging a monster rather than jumping on it, sometimes undermined my morale, and I admit to having used my "save" spell at times, which allowed me to relive my confrontation. And I don't like to go through all this for a single error of judgement. What's the point if not to strengthen my physical condition and my weaponry…

In the end, my short excursion didn't reveal all the peninsula's mysteries, and I left intrigued, wanting to see more, to learn more. At least my visit brought a little something positive, but unfortunately not for everyone. I'll certainly be back to revisit this faraway land,
Over mountains and over prairies,
From dawn 'til day is done,
My horse and me keep riding,
Into this settin' sun.
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