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Bad Luck Charm, finale

November 18, 2010

            Fargyle, though, seemed unconcerned.
            Twas a good thing that Cathel had the sword of Gyllanin for his brother held a phosphorus blade.  In the tales, flames ripple along the edge of the blade, but in truth tis more like a sputterin’ and hissin’ mist.  Ye don’t bleed much when a phosphorus blade cuts ye, but the wound burns forever and never heals right.  Leaves the flesh all puckered, red and hot to the touch.
            That moment, when the king thought he was finally gonna be rid of his nuisance brother, there was a rumble that shook the whole buildin’.  Plaster started comin’ down from the ceilin’ like the dandruff of the gods.  Then we heard a crash as major portions of the palace collapsed under the weight of all the water that had been pumped up there for the gardens.  Water don’t seem to weight much, heck it comes down from the sky and all, but ye get enough of it in one place and it gets heavy fast.
            There was a deafenin’ roar as the buildin’ collapsed upon all of the king’s troops.  That just left the close circle of guard.
            Ye think that was a lucky break, don’t ya?  Well, remember Talf ran to the king.  Switched sides, just like Fargyle intended all along.  It didn’t matter that the king abused him too, Talf had thrown in with him and that changed the course of things.
            There was a battle, of course.  Lo’an killed most of the remainin’ guards.  I did me part, but the real fight was between the prince and his brother.  They fought across the room, their blades shinin’ and sparkin’.
            The king mocked his brother, even though things were goin’ against him.  Real style, if ye ask me.  “You’ll always be second best.”  He said to the prince with a smile and  a laugh.
            Made the prince furious, but he didn’t say much back.  Cathel was always more of a dour sort.  Felt he had been cheated in life.  People like that don’t change either.  Methinks he lived his whole bleedin’ life feelin’ cheated, despite havin’ more than most.
            I remember the stroke that ended it.  The prince ran his blade along the king’s sword, the invisible blade nicked the king’s ear.  The king acted surprised at the sudden cut and instinctively lifted his free hand to the wound.  His fingers came clean off at the touch of the invisible blade before it bit right into the king’s shoulder.  Blood splattered the prince.  The king looked shocked for a moment, before smilin’, “Should have know you’d cheat.” 
            Then he died.  Like I said, real style.
            That was it.  The prince became king.  Had his brother’s wife brought to him immediately.  Queen Aileia.  Dainty little beauty, not one of the supposed great beauties of her time, but if yer askin’ me the great beauties ain’t worth the trouble.  They know they’re beautiful and don’t have to give ya anythin’.  Ye pay fer every moment fer the opportunity to be near ‘em, nuthin’ but heartache and misery.
            Aileia had dark ringlets of hair with just the hint og red gold when the light hit right.  Her face was a mixture of sorrow and haughtiness I find appealin’.  Ye ken have your doe eyed innocents.  A slight swell in her belly showed that she was carryin’.  Like I said befere, I find pregnant lasses attractive.  I know all about mornin’ sickness and the moods, but the wonderful mystery of creation, even in miniature, is a powerful allure.  When a woman’s pregnant there’s more than a hint og the mother goddess about her and ye know there has to be a bit og the love goddess to get her there.
            I admit it, when I saw her, I felt a powerful yearnin’ for her and even felt a bit of a draw from her, but I ain’t a fool for at that moment Cathel married his brother’s wife. Segil Sunspeare did the service right quick.  Royalty can get away with behavior like that, if I killed me brother and married his wife, I’d be called a kinslayer and worse.  Me neck would be stretched by a bit of hemp before I could say ‘I do’ at the weddin’.  The prince, they just started shoutin’ ‘long live the king.’
            So Aileia married her husband’s murderer.  I felt sorry fer her.  Cathel claimed the child as his own, since he and his brother were twins who could tell? I heard that Aileia had always loved Cathel.  Very romantic, if a bunch of nonsense.
            Now if I was one of those tragic heros that the young fancy so much, I would have pursued the Queen, despite the consequences.  Found some way into her chambers, either climb her balcony, or disguised meself as one of her handmaids and then wooed her ‘til she succumbed to me passionate entreaties.  Only a knave thinks there’s only one true love though.  There’s other beautiful and willin’ lasses out there that won’t cost me the remainin’ span of me years.
           I’m kind of attached to me head and I had sense enough to know that if I stayed rounf too long, I’d give it a go.  Fortunately, Fargyle ‘n the rest didn’ want to stay long.  See, a king don’t like bein’ reminded he owes anyone, that ‘and the fact that if we could topple his brother, we could be trouble for him.  He’d have imprisoned us if he thought he could.  Such is the gratitude of kings.
           Besides, the memory of what could have passed betwixt the lady and me is somethin’ I enjoy considerin’.  Tis better, I think, than the real would have been, not leastwise cause me time to reminisce has been considerably longer.
          So, the rest of us went off on further adventures when things settled down a bit.
           Talf?  Well, he escaped as bad luck charms often do.  If he was a hero, his luck would have deserted him finally when he was surrounded by enemies and he’d died in battle against incredible odds.  That’s how ‘eros die usually.  But he ain’y a hero.  For all I know he’s still out there sufferin’ his fate.  If he is, I pity him and I pity meself too.  Ye see I’ve spent a lot of time ponderin’ Talf ‘s existence.
            There’s somethin’ in the soul that wants to believe that the universe is a just place, when it ain’t.  We find excuses, hide behind ideas, believin’ there’s some divine plan or justice we don’t see, or understand because we’re mere mortals. 
            Bunch of bunk.
            People change round a bad luck charm.  Some despair or lose faith, because if yer honest ye know they don’t deserve their fate, anymore than anyone else and bein’ near one makes ye see how unjust the world is, takes away yer illusions and ye see the world as it is.
            Some though, learn defiance, which methinks might be the true callin’ of man.  They fight for somethin’, try to help their fellow, despite the forces arrayed against them, knowin’ that the world ain’t fair, that only we can make the world a little better.  That we could have been the bad luck charm.  Sufferin’ is part of the world. 
             Well, that’s it and me throats parched, buy another round and I’ll tell ya Lo’an’s fate, how Fargyle met his end and the Soul Cursed found release.

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