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Captain of the Guard: Last Words

September 30, 2019

“It is customary to say a few words about the departed.” Cedric put his hand firmly on Raven’s bony shoulder.

“But I don’t even know they guy.” The druid protested.

“Didn’t know. Past tense. Don’t worry none of us knew him.”

“I’ve never done this.” Raven said weakly.

Cedric scratched the stubble of his beard. “Son, you’re the closest thing we have to a priest. Most of my men go to a temple when they can, or when things get bad for them, like most folk, but they’re not dedicated to anything in particular other than themselves and the kingdom. A priest is dedicated to something more, and you’re the only one here that qualifies on that account.”

“Oh, fine. Just give me a moment.”

Cedric nodded and stepped away. If the boy hadn’t agreed to it, it would have fallen upon him to speak for Ro. He didn’t have much to say for the hero. The man was a drinker, a fighter and a braggart. People loved him though. The underworld would get it’s due out of this.

Raven walked up to the pile of rocks that covered the shallow hole that had been dug for Ro’s remains. Everyone gathered around and bowed their heads.

Raven lifted up his hands to the sky as if beseeching, “Oh, Mother, one of your children has returned to your bosom. His time of strife and conflict are at an end. May he find the harmony his life lacked.”

The boy stopped and looked like he was finished. Cedric coughed and motioned Raven to go on. The youth took a deep breath and the words came gushing forth. “It is said that Ro was a hero, that he did many great deeds in his life and slayed many opponents and children of the earth. His life was not harmonious, but the return of his nutrients to the soil is perhaps his greatest triumph, for he has returned what he has taken.”

The men shifted.

“Balance has been restored, at least in this small way. May his final repose be seen as the way life should be, that our love and contact with the mother should be unending. We should not wait for balance to be restored at the end of your journey but find ways of keeping it in our daily life. There is nothing more noble than the change that transforms us from one thing into something else. Life is ultimately about energy that is taken in, consumed and changed, we are all part of that cycle of change and renewal. A cycle that keeps the balance and harmony of all things . . .”

Cedric interrupted before things went any further. He was regretting his decision to shirk this responsibility. “Thank you Raven. May our brother Ro, find peace in his final repose.  Now we go to find the ones responsible and restore balance for the taking Ro’s life.”

Raven frowned at Cedric’s words, like he was working out a puzzle. “You have given me much to think about Captain, thank you for giving me the opportunity to spread the Mother’s message.” Cedric felt a moment of foreboding at those words as Raven wandered off toward where the hound was watching the proceedings.

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