‘’Even though it grieves us to loose such a close kin I believe Wyned died as all Tarrens wish to die: Serving their lord.’’
Padger’s voice rang loudly among the gathered men and women yet I know he’s barely keeping his eyes dry. Now and then his voice grows thick and his eyes glaze over. They all loved the little bastard, some even say my own father saw him more like a son than a ward. In my mind he was as far removed from me as the beast are from men. Whatever Tarren blood had ran in the veins of the little runt must have been diluted to nothingness. Whenever he saw a naked blade he would flinch or edge away like some cowardly animal and the time he scraped up his knee on the rocks in the river he had almost fainted at the sight of his own blood. Never have I met a boy so close to tears and fright in my entire life. Padger speaks the final words of the sentimental eulogy and with solemn movements the assembled knights lift the boy’s body unto the Aegis. My blood boil. Such an honour bestowed upon that foolish bastard! Such insolence towards my absent father! That this weak thing is bestown the same honour as my ancestors just because he died sobbing in battle. When my day come there will be changes; order and dignity once more.
Standing by the opened crypt of my forefathers I turn my gaze toward my brothers and sisters as the lineage men carry the bastard towards his final resting place. Athena and Ariana squeeze each other’s hands as they clumsily try to hide their crimson cheeks and red rimmed eyes, whispering half-heard condolences to each other. Mair is clutching on to Sister Abigail whose dull eyes seems to have ran out of tears. The others are too young to understand what is happening but the infants feel that there’s something wrong today, writhing and crying in the arms of their wet nurses and caretakers. Breichan is the only one who composes himself with any dignity. Hands clutched by his sides and his eyes thousands of miles away. He remains my only rival. Years of running and playing with his other half has turned him brawny and after the loss of Bradwen his brow has become inquisitive. A dangerous rival perhaps. Alone among my siblings he carries the crown I perceive atop my father’s head. A crown invisible to every eye but that can be seen even by the blind; the crown beyond price that speak of manifest destiny and that makes weak men brave. He will have to be dealt with. Perhaps Dion will carry the same crown but by the time he is old enough to hold a sword I should have no reason to fear him.
Sweating and grumbling from the weight the lineage men labour until the boulder finally rolls into place with an earthshaking thud. In the dark, nestled close to forefathers he never knew, Wyned finally finds peace. Family and friends gather in the stone hall of Chillmark to toast and remember a fallen boy who died far from home for a cause he hardly knew or understood. Sitting among others, yet in solitude, a proud young boy dreams about glory and power.