From Tales of the Fatherless
When he woke it was to a strange living vision of Vaelore. He remembered himself in miraculous detail...saw himself standing beside the Scarlon Manor, hidden in morning shade, watching the summer sunlight draw lazy stripes across the front road. How ignorant, how hopeful that boy had been. He should have known the fall was coming, that the great walls would crumble, that everything would perish. He had only been playing a game, hadn’t he? Obsessed with retaining his wealth, with becoming a man of distinction. Had he lost the meaning of that, along the way? His expensive clothes and refined tastes could be seen in any person raised in the high city. There was nothing distinguished about it. His passion went only skin deep, didn’t penetrate the muscle.
What had been the point of it all?
And then, afterward...when everything cracked and broke, and he lost those dear things he had cherished like a child--when he had lost even the right to his wealth...maybe then, he had found some real direction--! To restore honor to his name. His family’s name. But had that been anything more than frustration at losing the wealth? If he restored the name, but remained penniless, would that suffice?
Had nearly starving in the waste, freezing on the endless, lost road, taught him nothing, save to be afraid?
He was a half-thing, an almost-person, before Vycean.
Before the Temple.