The Beauty of The Spark
Reflections on Aisling Individuality by Kasmanan D'Arth
Summer, Deoch 17

I sometimes sit and watch the young aislings in Mileth march back and forth, eavesdropping upon their varied conversations. It is amazing to listen to the different opinions and sometimes bravado that burst forth from these eager young aisling minds. Each seems to have his/her own take on their role in Temuair, and many times I hear boastful "I'm going to be.." and "I just..." tales coming from all directions. It is to these same young aislings that I direct these reflections in philosophy, as I am hopeful that perhaps the slightest nudge of direction may help to guide these aislings further upon their chosen paths. To these aislings, I would say take my words at their face value, and if you find value in them, do what you may to apply them to your everyday lives. You are the spark that keeps us going...

Many "classes", or occupations, of aislings feel very much that they, and they only, are truly the chosen among the aisling population. While certainly there is no harm in taking great pride in ones work, all too often far too little respect is given to the other aislings that "behind the scenes" shape and mold Temuair each and every day. It is an all too familiar story: Each feels that they don't really "need" anything from other aislings, except perhaps a bit of support when the going becomes rough. Fighters may feel that rogues sit in the background with their trappings, and take the lazy path of least resistance, playing a small role in hunting.. Rogues, on the other hand, may feel that were it not for the terrible magics that many "high insight" monsters present, they could handle the job of hunting in Temuair virtually single-handedly. And behind this all stands the priest, who knows his role to be invaluable, that of healing and sometimes (such as in the mines of Kasmium) providing potent offense to boot. And the Monk, many of whom feel that through their skill and knowledge, combined with brute strength and fortitude, they are a force that far outshines everyone else, in combat and otherwise.

It is not just in the separation of classes that such thoughts prevail. Many fighters will often directly compare themselves to other warriors, believing fully that he who has the higher strength is indeed the better man. Rogues often snicker at those among their population who have chosen not to become expert gem smiths or blade smiths, instead preferring to perhaps excel in trapping, or even a rescuer of other aislings who are in such need deep within the deadly dungeons of Temuair. Priests and Mages both are very often heard asking "Do you possess this spell?" and proceeding to boastfully laugh if the answer is no. Many monks believe that those among their numbers that do not devote all of their attentions to the furthering of their strength and internal fortitude, or constitution, are weak and useless, irregardless of what other skills they may possess.

So in all of this, what harm is there? Certainly many would argue that a fine line exists between pride in ones own accomplishments, and overbearing bravado which does not endear you to you peers. Many a proud aisling may see themselves as the greatest champion of the lands, while many mutter and whisper behind his back that he is naught but a big talker, and hold little true respect. Perhaps the cure to all of this is to come to the realization that each individual aisling does indeed possess the spark of individuality. It is what separates us from the mundanes. One does not necessarily need to match or exceed the accomplishments of other aislings in order to be consider a success in his/her own endeavors. To think in such a manner is pure folly.

It saddens me sometimes as I look around to think that perhaps we are growing further and further away from this spark. Many aislings see themselves as little more than tools to be modeled and shaped into instruments of ever-increasing power, with little need to explore the finer points of the world around them. Perhaps it is time that we all stop and think a bit harder about the roles each aisling plays. The vast majority of us have at some time found great use from an item or items that other aislings have found. It is rare that one stops to question exactly what all skills and talents went into the acquisition of that particular item, be it a weapon, staff, or other item that we hold dear. Perhaps a rogue that you personally consider quite lazy was actually the original finder of that dark belt that you so proudly wear. If this is true, that can it not be said that this same rogue has played a role in your continuing survival? Maybe you bear proudly into combat a Holy Diana...have you given thought to the individuals efforts that caused you to actually possess this staff? Even when we are able to find such items through our own endeavors, it would do each of us well to remember that we have been constantly aided and supported every step of the way by other aislings.

So many aislings, young and old, seem to feel that they are "required" to follow a certain path that has been set forth and written in stone prior to their awakening as an aisling. Let that not be the case; each of us is an individual, and within each of us lies the ability to create and further our own lives, and in doing so, enrich the lives of other aislings around us. Individuality is a trait that no amount of gold or treasure will ever be able to buy. Just ask a mundane if you doubt me. Cherish your gift....your spark. Use it well, and use it wisely. Live your life the way that you see best, and live and learn with your mistakes. There is no absolute many aislings need to stop striving for it, and seek to simply make themselves the best that they possibly can, by using the gifts which they have. When another criticizes your actions, learn to stop and differentiate between helpful and harmful criticism. Many aislings seek no more than to genuinely help you, but there are some that would seek to mold each and every other aisling around them in their own image, to further support their own egos. Don't fall victim to this...simply smile and continue upon the path that you have used your spark of creativity and individuality to create. And in doing so, you will set a far greater example to the other aislings around you that you could ever hope to otherwise, and awaken yet more sparks in this beautiful world around us. To that end, I will leave this subject be, lest I become longwinded and bore you. I hope you are able to find strength in my words, and enrich yourself and the aislings around you. Be well and be safe...