I’m on this new twelve step program.
It’s called the Hero’s Journey.
Step one is the Ordinary World: the status quo that the hero lives in. For some it’s an ashen world, or even another time.
Step two is the Call to Adventure: a wrench thrown into that world. Maybe they get a visit from a robed zealot, or they learn of magic crystals.
Step three is the Refusal of the Call. The hero rushes out to spend their time partying or spend their time writing in a book.
Step four is Meeting the Mentor. Sometimes that same robed zealot comes back to teach them or the hero befriends a fate-obsessed witch.
Then for step five, they Cross the First Threshold. There’s no turning back now, the hero has chosen what he fights for.
Step six: Tests, Allies, and Enemies, where the hero finds allies and wards off their foes.
Step seven is the Approach to the Inmost Cave. Their creator has imparted wisdom on them. They know where they need to go.
But first, they have to face their Ordeal. Step eight. The ultimate goal is in sight.
Overcoming that leads to step nine. The Reward.
All that the hero has fought for comes to fruition.
My Gold Rush opponents see themselves on the precipice of winning the World Championship, of earning their Reward.
But they’re all stuck elsewhere on their Journey.
Deathnote Refuses the Call of his father.
Bellator and Renault have just Met Their Mentor.
TGK has just Crossed the First Threshold.
The Impaler has made his friends, but he has not faced down Tests, Allies, and Enemies.
Vigour is no closer to the Inmost Cave than he was when he learned of the Ashen’s approach.
Sigil has not faced his Ordeal yet, still lacking the final crystal.
But me? I’ve done it all.
A naïve girl, put into a coma. Awakened to the destruction of my whole life.
I ran until I met Simon, who mentored me. I made allies in bMf, enemies in Alice, and faced many roadblocks.
I believed I had come to my full power until I was defeated by Grimwolf at Ring King one year ago.
But I overcame, won Invasion, and faced my Ordeal.
At Ring of Dreams, I took my Reward. The World Championship.
Everything since has been step ten. The Road Back.
Dealing with Zero and Storm, confounding my Gold Rush foes. It all leads to this.
The final test.
Step eleven: Resurrection.
At the site of my greatest defeat, I will earn my greatest victory. Putting every lesson learned to the test.
Simon’s smarts. Zero’s confidence. Storm’s tenacity. All of it rolls into me.
The culmination of my entire Hero’s Journey.
Then comes step twelve.
Bathed in blood, I will be reborn anew as a Phoenix, STILL the World Champion.
Cloaked in fire. Laden with gold.
When the tale of my Hero’s Journey is told, they will not find an Epic.
They will only find death. Fire. Blood.
A Pyre to all those who stood in my way.
Because I am All That Remains…