A Commentary on the Conversation with a Renegade, the New Malphur Lore
There's a lot of strong opinions about The Man with the Golden Gun and his current counterpart, the Drifter. In my time on here I have tried my hardest to argue for Shin Malphur and his cause. Much of the subject of these arguments have been theoretical at best, but now, through the Draw Quest, we have a first hand look into the life of the Renegade.
So here are some prime excerpts and my commentary on them. Because if Shin Malphur can not argue his case well, then who can?
[quote]This is what I want—need—you to understand. Your path is not your own. It is shared. It has impact. It carries consequence and creates wake, both obvious and unseen. And the path you're currently walking is… concerning. For yourself, whether you see it or not. More importantly, for others. For those you may—those you will—influence. Collisions yet to come. New paths unimagined. Collateral impacts beyond the narrow view of your own life. Have you considered this? I ask not to sway you; you will find your way, and I will hold off judgment until judgment is necessary. I ask because we are at our best when considering the fallout of our intentions—good or bad, grand or small. That's all I'm after, here and now…
Of the deeds left behind. And deeds yet to come.
Who do you claim to be? Who do you hope to be? And how do the ripples of those answers expand to touch the lives around you?
Think on your life and your actions. And continue ever forward.[/quote]
Many people believe Malphur to be a rogue, killing machine who shoots without thought, leaving dozens of dead Shadows in his wake. This speech proves otherwise, in it we see how he has a deep preoccupation with knowing the outcomes of actions, not the trait of feckless killer.
[quote]My name is Shin Malphur. And I believe you, Guardian, are the hope I was told was a lie.[/quote]
This quote shows that Shin is a man of faith, faith in humanity. Not in our deeds or nature, but potential.
In this next piece pay attention to how he views Dredgen Yor. He details Yor's weapon and at the same time unveils his own beliefs.
[Quote]I knew a man once. Some claim he was a monster, and I agreed for a very long time. Anymore, I refuse to honor him with the power such labels imply. "Monster." "Beast." "Other." Terrors meant to frighten—meant to weaken, meant to control. There are no monsters. Only the broken and the misunderstood. Still terrifying, sure. But knowable. Conquerable. Unworthy of the power they possess. This man, clad in black and misshapen by the weight of his sins, professed to wield hope as a weapon, to offer it as a crutch, a beacon he saw as false promise. "Nothing dies like hope," he'd say. And was right. The loss of hope stings like no other. But he knew something else—a truth he would not share, a truth muddied by his words and deeds and the grim menace of his presence. And that truth?
Hope is eternal.
It may fade. It may get lost in the pain and suffering of existence. But it's always there. Somewhere. Hidden maybe, in plain sight or far from view.[/quote]
Now many of you are still having trouble seeing Malphur as anything but a vengeful, rogue guardian bent on killing anyone related to the name Yor.
Well, Shin Malphur agreed with you, once.
[Quote]How did it feel? Hunting the Crow—tracking him through the tangled wilds of the Reef? Hunting the Barons—one-by-one, stalking the cutthroats who killed your friend? Was it righteous? Or pure, anger—vengeance driven by a lust for "justice"?
I know the feeling. I know the sensation—loss, followed by a hole so big you can't fill it with anything but retribution. I've felt that hole twice. First when everything I'd known was turned to ash. I was just a child then. No way of knowing when, or if, the pain would end. A man—Jaren, my third father—helped redirect that pain. Give me purpose. Taught me to hunt. Taught me to survive. Taught me about vengeance.
It felt good—like a fire inside. Or so I thought. In truth, the "good" was just a dulling of the pain—a covering up of the burden of my loss through the redirection of my focus. Why be sad? Why be broken? When you can be angry. And so I was. For a long time.[/quote]
[Quote]My anger defined me. As did yours. For a short while. [/quote]
Below is his question to us: are we fighting for justice, or we really only in the ring for revenge?
[Quote] What are you fighting for now? Does your anger define you?
If yes, if no—what are the consequence of either? Honestly. Truly. Ask yourself…
What are you fighting for? And can you feel a fire—even a spark—welling up inside of you?[/quote]
This next one is a perfect response to those who believe that Malphur kills without trying to turn the Shadows back. In it we see that not only does he prefer to talk them down, but that he has succeeded in doing so before.
[Quote]I've hunted Guardians. You know this. I've hunted Guardians on the path you now tread. Not the same path—their own. But similar—of a kind. Some have seen the error of their ways sooner than others. I'm not a murderer, but I have—when necessity dictated a drawing of arms. I prefer the alternative. I prefer less finite measures. But I've found most who choose this life—a life in search of answers mired in shadow—rarely grasp the extent of their actions. Few reflect. Few actually understand. I've seen the damage done by those who would control the uncontrollable. I won't allow it to repeat. To the best of my ability, I will stand against the corruption and challenge all who let the whispers in.[/quote]
Gray. Black and White. I hear frequently that Shin Malphur deals to far in absolutes, here below we see that he is open minded. In fact, throughout the text, Shin Malphur hints that as long as we do not use it for evil, he does not "mind" us having Malfeasance.
[Quote]Yet, here we are. You, a Guardian worthy of legend, dancing ever closer to the edge of an abyss. And I, one who stands against those who would tempt such a fate. Yet I, for the first time, haven't moved to stop the music.
This is something new.
That you and I could share these words is something new—there's something in you, something about you.[/quote]
[Quote] If I played any hand in expanding your consideration of the people and worlds around you. If I've helped you take better stock of all you are and all you are capable of becoming. So be it. But it was all—all of it—already inside of you.[/quote]
If you think that this Renegade comes off high and mighty by "telling you how to live your life" and spewing philosophical wisdom, well, Malphur addresses that too.
[Quote]Right now, I imagine you are questioning your true nature, "Who is this 'renegade' to define me? My thoughts? My actions?" Could be you've been warned about me. Could be, maybe, you're a little scared. After all, "the man with the golden gun doesn't play well with others." I leave all that nonsense to you. But by way of a quick word in defense of my intentions…
If they were anything but in your best interest, this conversation would've been had with lead, not words. And it would've been your last.
And while you have dark thoughts, and are no saint, we are all far from pure. It's not the lack of sin that makes the best of us, it's that the best of us feel the weight of our deeds, and do not succumb—to the weight, to temptation.[/quote]
Here again he admits to not always having the purist of motives.
[Quote]My drive has long been clear—seek the shadow and your future is forfeit, seek the dark and I will end you. It's not personal—not anymore, though it surely started that way and stayed as such until one day on a lonely ridge. [/quote]
This last one is important and powerful. It gives the underlying tone of the whole conversation, that Gray does exist, it's only very, very rarely that anyone doesn't go from gray to black. But it can be done.
[Quote]My life has always been about absolutes. There is Light and there is dark, and I made my purpose to defend against the whispered corruption of the shadow's calling. I've seen no middle ground, though maybe I've always known it exists. I've also seen many "heroes" tempt that sinister fate and the dire consequences born of their ignorance, pride, selfishness. I've put many down. More than anyone knows. More than I'll ever confess. Seeing you. Watching you. I don't feel I was wrong in my actions. But I now know I was wrong in my core assumption—my core belief.
To me, there was only ever white and black—good and evil. In you, I see blinding Light. I see a hero among heroes. I see the hope you inspire shining through.
But I also see, for the first time—maybe, just maybe—a little bit of gray.[/quote]
As you wield your new gun, THE gun that was used by Shin on that Ridge long ago, remember that the Renegade is watching you. Not to kill you, not to judge you (unless it is absolutely necessary), but hopefully, waiting to see if we are the ones to end this game of life and death, of sorrow and vengeance.
This is why he gave the Last Word to you...
[Quote]And with it, an end to last rites and final words.
[spoiler] I hope you all enjoyed my commentary on the newest lore in the game. Whether you stand with or against the Renegade I'm sure you'll find this story interesting. I know I do[/spoiler]
[quote]I am no fan of Shin but giving a closer look at the shadows motives is greatly appreciated. Often time, one is confused on what the Shadows end goal is. To harness the darkness not to be consumed by it. This is something that many guardians miss...
-Dredgen Aku [/quote]
[spoiler]If you claim to hunt the Shadows aren’t you too a monster...
There is a thin line separating the two...[/spoiler]