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Our Brave and Honoured (Un)Dead

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Post by Fr. Francis Saint-Antoine on Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:05 pm

[Time stamp for Sunday afternoon after July game]

"Hup!-"
A handful of earth is flung from a shallow hole in the ground, landing on a growing mound of soil and rocks beside it. The source of the flying dirt is the young priest wielding a shovel. It's a hot and humid afternoon and Francis is starting to sweat. But he doesn't stop. He has much to do. He's standing in the middle of a half-dug grave; its shape off-square and its walls lopsided. It is not by any stretch of the imagination an "attractive grave," but then, what is?

Content with this humourus thought, Francis climbs out of the grave, and plunges his shovel upright in the ground. Wiping the dirt off his ripped pants and bare knees, he spots a red blur in the distance.

"I wonder what Pierre's doing? Probably Starting to fix up The Citadel. Damn, I wish I had time to help him..."

He leans on his shovel. His mind wanders over his mental checklist, and he begins to mutter to himself.

"... And I still have to gather... And write the... And I have to..."
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Post by Fr. Francis Saint-Antoine on Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:17 am

Startled out of his daydream, Francis smiles at the sight of a friendly face.

Leaning on his shovel, he responds, "Oh Torvalis! When I saw some red mass coming towards me I figured it was either you or Pierre. Ah- but to answer you. Question; yes absolutely! Ive been meaning to talk to you about that, actually. I figured you'd be a little more adept at cremation than myself."
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Post by Fr. Francis Saint-Antoine on Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:31 am

"Don't let me slow you down then, you clearly know what you're doing!" Francis stands up straight and wrenches the shovel back out of the ground. "Maybe after I finish digging this, I'll gather some twigs and whatnots for kindling?"


Last edited by Fr. Francis Saint-Antoine on Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Fr. Francis Saint-Antoine on Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:16 pm

As Torvalis! jaunts off, Francis remembers one last detail.

"Don't forget to keep the ashes!" he shouts to his departing friend. Then turning to look back at his half-dug hole, he sighs. "Guess I'll get back to it."

A few moments later, piles of dirt begin to rhythmically fly from the hole once more.

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Post by Gurok on Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:42 pm

"Father where's my body?" Gurok Suddenly appears next to the hole.
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Post by Fr. Francis Saint-Antoine on Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:07 pm

"Ah! Oh, Gurok, you startled me. It was in Hassan's cellar when I left it. Torvallis! has probably started draining it by now. Why do you ask?" Francis leans on one of the grave walls.
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Post by Gurok on Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:18 pm

Torvalis is doing what now
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Post by Fr. Francis Saint-Antoine on Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:52 pm

"Well you told me to cremate your body, yeah? Well I left Torvalis! In charge of it, they were happy to do it cleanly and respectfully."

Sent from Topic'it App
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Post by Gurok on Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:20 pm

*Exasperation apparent on her face, gurok says No..*Gurok turns around and starts to sprint back to the inn*- "Just...no..uuhhg" and hurridly closes the door*
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Post by Gurok on Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:49 pm

A few minutes later, Gurok returns, holding her own bald, armless body. She looks distressed. carefully laying her corpse on the ground, she says to Francis-"Tovalis was unable to do anything usefull. We've got to do this the regular way." " I'm going to collect some wood for the pyre. She walkes off into the woods, and you hear two large crashes, before you see Gurok coming back, dragging two large dead trees. Pulling out her axe, she starts to chop away at the wood. Between swings, she asks "Francis? *HUFF-CHOP* If you-*HUFF-CHOP* Finish- *HUFF-CHOP* Before *HUFF-CHOP* Me could-*HUFF-CHOP* You go*HUFF-CHOP* Get Pierre? *HUFF-CHOP*
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Post by Gurok on Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:01 pm

After about two hours (with occasional beaks for food and water), Gurok has managed to chop the two trees into a sufficient pile of long splits, then goes to the shore to collect large rocks. She return shortly with four smooth beach stones, just larger than her head. She repeats this action five times before dark. Then, exausted, she walks sorely to the Citadel.
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Post by Gurok on Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:27 pm

From out of the knights camp comes Gurok, Looking a little disappointed. She returns to Gather Fancis and starts setting out the stones in an oblong formation. She sets out the wood on top of it, lengthwise, and fills it in the gaps with dead bows of the nearby coniferous trees, as well as some long dry grass. She sets out the next layer of wood perpendicular to the first, and fills in the gaps with similar tinder. She works in silence, with carefull repetitive motions. She repeats this untill the arangment is about waist height, and lays her bald and armless body on top of it. after fetching a few large buckets of water, as well as a container of lamp oil, and a torch from the Inn, She returns, seeming ever more down-trodden. She dutifully drenches her body and the pyre with oil, then lowers the torch to her body, and watches as it busts into bright flames, Illuminating the field with an orange glow.
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Post by Verbena Domitia on Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:36 pm

"Thank you for informing me ahead of time about your cremation," Verbena calls softly as she approaches. She stands at Gurok's elbow, looking fixedly out over the water with an impassive expression. "Rather unceremonious, don't you think?" The firelight throws Verbena's features into sharp relief, emphasizing the dark circles under her eyes, the subtle tautness of her lips.

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Post by Gurok on Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:00 pm

*Not looking up, Gurok recognises the voice, and replies in a careful, but grim tone.* "I'm sorry. I  just didn't think it was all that important, considering I came back. I didn't want to make people uncomfortable by making a big fuss of something I did to myself. It was a selfish and cowardly mistake, and I don't want to dwell on it."
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Post by Verbena Domitia on Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:07 pm

"Well, last night proved that things that aren't important to you may in fact be of importance to others." There's a bitter edge to Verbena's tone. She takes a breath and her next words are more measured. "Regardless. You took the hair, I see. Sensible."

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Post by Gurok on Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:40 pm

Is this important to you, Verbena?
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Post by Verbena Domitia on Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:54 pm

"Why shouldn't it be?" Snappish. Fingers twisting together behind her back. Then, softer and colder, "No. I suppose it shouldn't be." Verbena gives a sharp exhalation and turns on her heel. "Goodnight, Gurok. Enjoy the bonfire."

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Post by Gurok on Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:13 pm

"Verbena, please."
Gurok finally looks up and in the firelight, you can see that her expression is not grim,
as you might expect from her tone of voice, but is actually one of soft pleading.
"We need to talk. There is no point in avoiding it."
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Post by Verbena Domitia on Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:20 pm

Verbena doesn't respond for a long moment. Her shoulders move with slow, controlled breaths. Then she turns sharply to confront Gurok, face flushed. "Now you want to talk? Now? After all that, this is the time? No, that time is past. Any words you have belong to that corpse, much good may they do it. Burn them, and move on."

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Post by Gurok on Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:42 pm

"If that's the way you want it."
Looking down again, she sniffs, then stumbles on, through ill-concealed tears.
"I'll be leaving at dawn, feel free to join me should you change your mind."
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Post by Verbena Domitia on Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:51 pm

"At first light then." But Verbena doesn't move. A long moment passes, punctuated by soft snuffling from Gurok. Abruptly, Verbena gives a brittle half-laugh. "Wouldn't that be nice? Wouldn't it, Gurok? I wish, but... no. You hold all the cards here. And I've learned more than you give me credit for."

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Post by Gurok on Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:33 pm

"Firstly, You hold the entire deck. Don't act like you don't know. your contacts, your wealth, you could destroy everything I have ever loved.
And beyond that, You have the to power hurt me in a way not even Teek could. And you have.
But you're allowed to make mistakes. You're allowed to do whatever it takes to make to pain go away and have your actions met with sympathy when things don't go the way you wanted.
But I'm not. My mistake endangered no-one. Your's PURPOSELY endangered everyone in holdfast, plus everyone on those imperial ships.
I read your cruel heartless letters, I saw the malice behind those words, and yet I remained your friend, I was never angry with you. Not once. Even when you were aligned with the empire I treated you with kindness and empathy. When you felt you were above all others, that we were nothing but savages to domesticated, I never raised my voice.
Do you know how long I was enslaved? TEN FUCKING YEARS VERBENA. From the time I was nine years old, I was the *Propriety* of imperials JUST LIKE YOU, to do whatever they want with, and believe me, they did. and yet i befriended you, tried to defend you. Do you want to know why I walked you out of town? because i wanted a chance to see you just one more time. to say goodbye, in my own way. Had I not believed that the fate of every single person I knew, (Including my family and my child!) rested on the fact that volk was allowed to carry out his orders, I would have fought him until I was bleeding to death on the ground. You have NO right to be angry with me for my suicide.
Don't you DARE turn around and leave me because I was Tired.
Don't you fucking dare."
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