Life of Valor, Part 8 — The Mourning

Eberheart perched at the head of the new resting place where the Guardian and the Diviner had laid his master. He sang his song over and over but received no response from the Scholar. The little bird’s heart fluttered a sorrowful beat in his chest — overwhelming anguish filled his being, although why he did not understand. He flapped his wings and settled in to rest and wait for Authorious. It was early morning and the little dove knew the great man would visit before heading off to fulfill his duties for the town.

It wasn’t long before the Guardian appeared. His body was hunched, as if in pain, and when the man looked at Eberheart, his troubled eyes bespoke his disconsolate spirit. In his hands he carried a candle, which he placed before the monolith which marked the head of Soddgauble’s burial mound. The flame danced merrily in extreme contrast to the somber attitude of the man and the dove, but reminded the Fighter of Soddy’s playful spirit. Authorious sighed heavily as he sat on the marble bench in the early morning mist of Banyon Cray. The sun did not permeate the swirling mists of Reignfether Necropolis, almost as if showing respect for The Ones who lay in silent repose. Feeling a hand on his shoulder, Autorious turned his head to find the rotund and balding Diviner standing over him.

“Sit, old man,” the Guardian said. Mosver eased himself onto the bench and clasped his hands around his protruding belly. After a few moments the Prophet raised a trembling hand and wiped a lone tear from his face.

“So much life departed from The Cray when Soddgauble passed on. He was imbued with joy. We were so fortunate — you and I — to call him Friend.”

“The cottage is dead without him. Nothing makes sense, Mosver. Nothing. I know naught of the cooking or the gardening  — his herbs are wilted –and the bird sings desperately to me, but I cannot understand him. I fear for Honor — her whereabouts are unkown. I have become a worthless old man without the Scholar,” Authorious bemoaned.

“Bunk! You must wait for the path to Honor to be revealed to you. Patience has never been your strong suit, Guardian.”

“I’m tired, Mosver, but I shall never give up the search for Honor. These old bones of mine desire nothing but to find and once again protect her.”

“You will, Paladin. Before your spirit leaves for the Kingdom, you will see Honor’s face again. Trust that — and walk by faith.”

The men sat silently, honoring Soddy and his memory, before they eventually parted company and resumed their solitary lives.

She stumbled for days across the dry and barren river bed. The salt from her tears had dried and crystallized, making her path more difficult as her torn and battered feet picked their way across the craggy, stinging wash. When finally her bloody feet alighted on the cool, feathery-softness of delicate spring grass, Honor wept with relief. She spied a large sprawling tree a few feet away and pitched her crippled body forward, falling against the rough bark of the trunk. Sinking to the ground in exhaustion, Honor offered up a whisper of gratitude before she sank into a deep, deep slumber.

Far above, the raven circled, casting his shadow repeatedly over the hunchbacked form below him. He followed her endlessly from a distance — he did not wish for her to know his location. Ghrim’s purpose was clear but he had one more objective before he could continue to lead the woman to The Place where she belonged. His great wings lifted him higher and he soared on a current that would lead him to his next mission which would surely be filled with two of his favorite things: blood and destruction.

Life of Valor — Part 7 — New Direction

Life of Valor — Part 6 — The Revealing

Life of Valor — Part 5 — Isle of Despair

Life of Valor — Part 4 — The Separation

Life of Valor — Part 3 — The Collision

Life of Valor — Part 2 — The Foreboding

Life of Valor — Part 1 — The Severance

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