To give one’s life to save another is the most selfless act.
To give one’s life for an ideal is noble enough, but ideals are durable. Truth, justice, freedom – these sorts of things can last against the vagaries of Time. They survive in the temples and the monuments, the poetry and the song that lives on long after their inspirations.
People, contrarily are impermanent and frail: they grow old, wither. Eventually, they will die, irreverent of how hard the mortal world has searched and struggled for a ‘cure’. Oh, how we have searched. We have delved deep, forbidden knowledge. Crafted artefacts and woven magicks both foul and forbidden. In our desperation, even sought out the gods and pleaded their mercy.
All for nought, it seems. Just the same now as it was on the first day light shone upon this world, all one can do to tip Father Time’s scales is tear those costly minutes away from themselves and impart them to someone else.
Push them from the path of a wild beast. Leap in front of a fatal stroke. Go to the chopping block in their stead. All courageous, valiant acts – but in spite of them, that fatal clock of theirs will continue to tick, tick, tick down as if nothing happened. Those costly minutes, that precious gift, eroding already.
The ultimate sacrifice buys precious little in defence of one person. But, despite the case building against it in these very words you must believe… it is precious.
What follows is an extraordinary account, seldom to be fully believed in its scope and scale, of two heroes who have come to embody this idea. The epic tale of the Elf, Sehrti and Kolaran, his scaled companion has long been a folktale whispered among both the common Elves and the Lizard-Folk. Yet, it is the hope of this particular author that a version as close to the truth as possible be published.
For the sake of history and posterity, for the sake of their names – and as a case against immortality, lest we lose what drives us to live.
- Ati, the Scribe
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