In the darkest corners of the Slums, where light seldom touches, there once stood two trees.
One tree was strong and vibrant, roots deep, its branches reaching towards the heavens.
This tree had seen countless storms and had endured the brutality of nature, yet it continued to grow and flourish.
It embraced the struggle, the suffering, the pain, using it as nourishment to become something truly awe-inspiring.
Feared by many, but ignored by none.
The other tree, however, was a twisted and corrupted thing. Only known to those who came within its grasp, it sought to inflict pain upon others.
It drank greedily from the blood of its victims, its roots entwined with the very essence of violence.
Yet in its malevolence, it held a certain allure, a temptation that could easily ensnare the unwary.
There are those among us who have chosen the path of the twisted tree.
They revel in the pain they inflict upon others, in the destruction they wreak and the suffering they cause.
Jasper Redgrave is one of these twisted ones. A so-called “artist” who creates his “masterpieces” using the blood of his victims.
To Redgrave, pain and violence are simply tools, means to an end, as he seeks to clutter his canvas with his twisted ideals.
The little eagles that get wrapped up in his branches will never see the world as he does, yet Redgrave believes that through inflicting pain and torment, he can make them see the world as he does.
But in his artful quest, he fails to recognize the true power of pain.
The power to endure.
To become something greater.
Just as the strong tree thrives through embracing its pain, so too do those who embrace their own struggle and find meaning in it.
Because pain is a crucible, forging strength and resilience.
But Jasper Redgrave, blinded by his own twisted desires, has chosen a path that leads only to darkness and despair. His “art” is nothing more than a reflection of his own inner emptiness, a desperate attempt to fill the void within him by tearing others apart.
I am the strong tree, a living symbol of the power that lies within each of us when we choose to embrace the pain.
Redgrave is the twisted tree, a cancer upon Arcadia, only persisting through the blood of his victims.
But no matter how many little eagles are swallowed by his branches, the Artist will never be fulfilled.
In the machine of death, there must always be another corpse to take the last one’s place.
Just as cancer, when his paint bucket of blood runs dry, Jasper Redgrave must find a new victim, a new key to power.
Because in the end, it is not death that holds the key, but life itself.
It is only by choosing to live, by choosing to endure and overcome pain, that one can plant the deep roots of the strong tree.
So let the futile pursuit of Jasper Redgrave be a lesson to us all.
Reject his art.
Reject the twisted path.
Embrace the pain.
Embrace the Grimskull.