Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day Six-Thirty-Two: A Farewell to Hommes

We held a funeral for Edmund and Desmond today.

None of us knew Desmond. He was just a guy. A nice guy, a helpful guy, but he was a face. We didn't know anything behind the face. We buried him with as much dignity as we could muster, and I said what I could over his grave.

Ed was different. Ed was one of us. In a much more fundamental way, he was the best of us.

When I first met Ed I immediately noticed his wandering eyes. That was Ed's thing: he was a lady's man. He loved women. To a lewd extent, yeah, but he also worshipped the female form in kind of an artsy way. Tried to hit on me behind Dragomir's back a few times. I rebuffed him pretty violently. Figured he was just a perv. (Which he was.)

Then I watched him sing to a group of children in the western bailey, back home. They asked; he obliged. He crooned to them for half an hour, not letting up until a message came demanding his presence in the castle. Those kids loved him.

He crooned until the fall of the castle.

He crooned to all of us in the Hole. He kept our strength up.

He crooned to me, hell, he sang a lullabye to me, mere hours after my husband had died.

He crooned to my belly. To the boy who would later kill him.

He didn't do anything of fantastic importance. Bards seldom do, in my experience. They're just meant to be there. And Ed... Ed always was. He was one of the supports in our group, the guy who always had our back, and we'll never forget him for that.

I hope his grave survives the winter. I hope people find it and wonder over it, maybe telling stories of who might be stuck in the ground. Ed would like that. 

After we'd finished the burial, Grylock pulled me aside from the mourners. He's remained unusually sober since we were released from Grayson's control, and he's been fantastic in getting the Dauphine repaired. We still have a lot of work to do.

"Hey." He patted my hand. "Ye okay, lass? Not ailin' too much?"

I winked a tear away. "Y... yeah. Yeah, I guess. You?"

Grylock sighed. His tiny little body trembled, reminding me of just how old he is. "I'll cope. Men pass, 'n there's nary ye can do 'bout it but move on. Edmund was one of the finer souls."

"Yeah. You guys spent a lot of time together, I kinda realized."

"Aye. Drinkin' buddies to the end." He raised his poisonheart in salute to the grave, a small, unremarkable headstone. "How's Dragomir copin'? Didna see him. Nor your boy, for that matter."

Anger flared. I had to remind myself that he meant Fynn, Fynn. "Ehh... they're... they're back in our room. Fynn's tryin' to cheer his dad up. Hit Dragomir pretty hard."

"I can imagine." Grylock stuck the poisonheart into the snow at his feet. Purple poison oozed into the white. "Killin' yer first man is no triflin' moment. Especially when ye've killed two, and especially when one of 'em's a mate. The whole world starts te crumble 'n fade, and if yer lucky ye can steer through armageddon and walk out the other side."

I studied the goblin's face. I couldn't see his sunken eyes peering out of that stern, wrinkled green, but I knew they were looking into the past. "You've done this all before, haven't you?"

Lingering one moment longer in the mists of time, Grylock smiled. His toothy grin will never look friendly. "Oh, aye. More times than I care te count. Wasn't always an ambassador, ye know."

"You're barely one now."

"As true as true can get."

I expect we'll have the Dauphine up and running again in three days, tops. Our apparently crazed antics mucked up my baby's innards pretty good, but none of us gummed up the works or damaged the gears too badly. Whether Dragomir still wants to see his journey through to the end... well, I guess that's another matter.


Libby the Mechanic


  1. Damn you. Poor spoony bard.


    (It's safe, I promise. A tinyurl of an image).


    2. I took 'em and I liked 'em.

      Thanks for never making Edmund a powerful figure. I hate that in DnD and the stories it inspires.

    3. I toyed with Edmund have bard-esque buffing magic for a little while. Eventually he just settled into being one of those flavour text NPC bards. I'm glad he stayed that way too.

  2. Tears. Sadness. Oh, Ed, you will be missed. You were such a great friend.