I’m just going to put it bluntly: The Royal Ranger was a terrible portrayal of events that occurred in my life. So I’d like to try and clear up a number of things. You may want to grab a chair because this will be almost as long as a BBC special or Ken Burns documentary. Don’t ask how I know about those, either. I want to fill you in on some things that happened in the last sixteen years which may explain The Royal Ranger a bit better.
First of all, Alyss was the strongest person I will ever know. She was one of the most skilled couriers this kingdom has ever had. With me as the Ranger commandant we worked together to design plans for an international intelligence service. She was always there for Will, who throughout his life suffered from depression and had several major relapses due to his warmweed addiction. Alyss was also a wonderful mother. Yes, that’s right. She and Will had a son named Alan a few years after they were married, and another, Francis, a few years after that. Alan was always more of the studious type and he is currently in Touscana studying with great philosophers or something there (probably just picking up chicks). After Alyss’s death Will fell even more apart and admitted he couldn’t take good enough care of the boys for a while. Jenny took Francis under her wing. As you may recall, Will visits Jenny quite often in the Royal Ranger (that’s why).
In this book it makes it seem like Jenny and I are still in a relationship. Bitch, please-we split up about fifteen years ago and the ongoing proposal is now just an inside joke gone wrong. I assure you, we’re still on great terms (thank god, because her cooking is AMAZING).
About fourteen years ago while visiting my maternal side of the family in Indus for one of the first times, I am proud to say I met the love of my life. I stayed an extra week, which turned into an extra month. We probably sent a kazillion letters back and forth, but I am happy to announce that my partner and I are now cozy and settled together in Araluen. We have twin daughters that just turned eleven, a son who is eight, and another daughter who is six. I love having such a beautiful and wonderful family. Roaming and wild nights were fun, but being a goober of a dad is also rockin. I guessed it’s also mellowed me out BUT ONLY SLIGHTLY!
I am eternally ashamed by my decision to apprentice Maddie to Will. It was a huge mistake on my part, and to make it worse I knew it wouldn’t work. I know Will. I know about depression and other terrible psychological effects of our work. I was not going to apprentice her to him. But I was confronted by Halt. He’s a great man, but he intimidates the shit out of me, and he’s terrible with relationships. Bless Pauline! I think it originates from having such a dysfunctional family. Anyways, he bullied me into doing what he felt was right once again. After talking to Will and Maddie I decided that this situation wasn’t working. Maddie is still apprenticed as a ranger, but her mentor is now Ranger Owen, a former apprentice to Crowley. Will has agreed to be more open about how he feels. We as his friends want to help and support him. His boys have also been spending more time with their dad. I have a lot of hope for Will. He certainly holds a special (read: VERY SPECIAL OMG LIKE A LITTLE BRO OR IDK MORE ROMANTIC just kidding) place in my heart.
Duncan, although very ill, remains a hardcore hipster. He still insists on wearing flannel and galaxy skinny jeans and starts each morning with a specialty brew coffee. Truly an inspiration.
Cassandra has been very stressed the past year because of her father’s declining condition, not to mention angry Gallicans. She even canceled some of our tea party meetings. For those who don’t know Cassandra and I every so often have tea parties where we gossip about other people and eat fancy things. Perks of being a bit crazy and friends with a princess. Horace and I are still buddies, and he’s a pretty great dad I think. P.S. I’m still the better swordsman. I think most of the change you see in them in the Royal Ranger comes from living a changed life. They’re no longer the kids I sat around the campfire with in Celtica. However, I’m pretty much the same kid.
And now something hard to talk about for me personally. Crowley was one of my best friends. He was a truly amazing person and I’m so grateful to have had him in my life. I hope to be at least half the commandant and man he was. Okay, I’m tearing up way too much, moving on…
We are characters shaped by the world we live in. We’ve always known war, conflict, and duty. Something that has bothered me in particular as an adult is how I really had no childhood. I started training with McNeil and my father when I was five. As a child of the nobility I was always taught to act pretty much like just a miniature adult. I’ve rebelled by being a kid now. Some do not cope quite as well, like Will. Compared to other children of our time he was pretty sheltered when he was little. Then consider he was thrown into one of the most brutal jobs. It’s no wonder he’s depressed and Horace has anxiety issues.
The reason Will didn’t have apprentices for most of his career was because he worked on piloting the international affairs of the Ranger Corps. I mentored my first apprentice around the time of The Emperor of Nihon-Ja. Since I’m one of the most skilled and fabulous in the corps, I’ve had several over the years, as well as tutoring a few battleschool apprentices now and then. It’s a good thing I’ve got a lot of energy and a reliable coffee maker. I’ve really loved being a mentor, friend, and dad (a cool dad, mind you).
If you have any more questions or concerns, please please come talk to me. What else is a Ranger friend good for? Well I guess also if you want me to make sure your neighbor isn’t a highwayman…
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