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Bad Luck Charm, part six

November 15, 2010

       “Why do ye stay?”
       Lo’an pointed to his scars.
       “Saved yer life?”
       “Not as simple as that.  He cost me my life each time he saved it.”
       “Then what?”
       “You saw him heal.  A healer shares the pain, but it makes them a little less empathetic each time.  Bringing someone back is vorse.  It gets harder each time.”
       “Why?”
       “Part of you doesn’t vant to come back and there are things out there too.”
       “Things?”
       “Can’t describe them, call them vatchers or hounds, but they keep things between this world and the next.  They get your scent the more you’re in that place between and the faster they come after you.  Someday the vizard von’t come back.  If he’s villing to risk that for me, then I’m villing to take the risks.  Ve all have something ve vant.  Right now it’s the prince’s turn, but soon it vill be mine.”
       “Why does Fargyle do it?”
       “Vhy don’t you ask him?”  Well, I never did.  Fargyle wasn’t one fer bein’ asked things, especially questions like that.  Everyone had a strong reason for bein’ there, except mayhap me and Talf.  I did find out why eventually, and I didn’t like the answer then, though I understant it.  That’s another tale though.
        The prince wanted the throne. The Soul Cursed wanted an end to his journey of life.  Lo’an wanted vengeance for his clan, I never really understood Whisper’s reasons but I found out from Lo’an part of the animosity between Whisper and Fargyle.  The two of them got in a dispute over the proper course of action once.  Whisper wanted to flee and Fargyle didn’t because of the fallen comrades.  It’s not as cowardly as ye might think.  Everyone was dead and Whisper didn’t like the way things were goin’ when Fargyle tried to force the issue.
        I’ll skip the travails of our journey and the little things that kept goin’ wrong along the way.  Tis enough just to say they happened and Talf was much disfavored as a companion.  If he cooked, things burned, the fire went out.  Durin’ his watch all manner of beasts and outlaws would attack, as if drawn to us.  Which, they were.
       We gave him the last mornin’ watch, cause at least we had the early light to defend ourselves and as much rest as we were gonna get.  I tried to get the watch right before his, so I was dressed for whatever came upon us.  The others had me tap their shoulder before I went to lie down and pretend ta sleep.  To a man, they woke up alert and quietly assessed the situation, true fighters they were.  A man couldn’t find more reliable companions, even if ye’d be reluctant to call some of them friends.
       So, with everything, the others treated Talf poorly and he was havin’ a miserable time.  I felt sorry for him, but I’m ashamed to admit that whenever I considered makin’ a friendly overture, the image of those three little graves would come to mind and it didn’ seem like a good idea.  Twas a cowardly thing, but there it is.
      Finally, we come to the general vicinity of the hogshead in the country of harth where the long sword of Gyllanin is supposedly buried with the hero.  It should have been a skull-like rock formation, that’s traditional, but it looked like a big hog.  Not a boar – a hog.  I suppose it’s fair enough since Gyllanin’s enemies couldn’t kill him and he died chokin’ on a temptin’ bit of pork.
      Not very heroic, but not much in reality ever really is.  Some claim that the pork was poisoned by his enemies.  Don’t believe it.  I’ve seen enough of the world to know that it was just a piece of meat with more gristle than he could handle.
       The story of Gyllanin tells of two magic swords made fer Gyllanin and his brother Ajolis by the Magi Caryamberlain.  When Ajolis died, his sword was broken and the magic came back to his brother’s blade.  Twas the remainin’ blade that the prince sought before seekin’ his throne.
        Before we started our search, Fargyle spells our blades so they’ll cut any creature of the unseen world if we come to face one, which was likely.  Mundane creatures don’t last long locked in a tomb.
       So we’re lookin’ for an entrance to the tomb when Talf falls through a weak spot in the earth.  The kind of thing happens to heros all the time.  Ye think that’s good luck fallin’ into a place where some demon or other monstrosity has been cooped up for hundreds of years waitin’ for a chance at a little revenge?
       No the good luck comes in after.  The hero kills whatever’s in there, usually with some magic sword which just happens to be lyin’ around waitin’ for the hero because the previous owner was too incompetent to use it properly against whatever killed ‘em, or the monster’s too stupid to use it.  Then some faery princess comes along and falls in love with him and helps him escape.
       Course, the faery lass’ Da ain’t too happy with his daughter’s choice of beaus, which is the bad luck on the upswing, which forces the hero to go prove himself to win the hand oh his new love.  It all comes down to luck.  Most of us just sort of have none, heros have the same amount, it just bounces from good to bad.  
       Talf just had one side.

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