Knightober 2021 – skeleton


May this be the last.

Fate is a capricious, fickle thing, and Liamath seldom felt that so keenly as he did this storm-clouded evening, some hours away from the pleasant hub-village and its market filled with cheer.

How fitting, truly, to have his beloved’s final token delivered on bright wings in time for such a wretched discovery.

Whoever the poor soul had been, what scraps remained of their belongings bore no resemblance to the villagers’ colourful woolens, nor to Urulayan or Ranai fashions, or the descriptions of further lands.  The metal of the thin dagger — a strange violet washed with gold — also utterly foreign.  None of it resembled anything Liamath recognized, or had heard of, so where had the lost hailed from? A newworld, perhaps, beyond the Edge …

The pale bones were far too real to only be some primordia fever dream.

Not that it mattered.

In the end the poor creature went down — trampled under Swift’s hooves, its skull shattered like a broken moon-melon between stout sharp fangs, while Liamath swung a prayerlight overhead like a festival lantern, free hand clamped onto the saddlehorn.

The lamp’s pale-gold light flickered fitfully now, the lacy crystal guttering in its greenivory egg, but that was alright.  The work was finished.  Brushing earth and moss from his breeches, Liamath rose slowly to his feet.

I didn’t know your rites, but I did what I could for you.  I hope that our traditions bring some peace.

May you now find your rest, stranger.

And it was time to move on.

-*-

Prayerlight: A delicate crystal carving of interlocking, lacy curlicues, often stylized ferns, fitted into a protective shell much like a lantern frame.  Once activated, such a lamp will cast soothing light out to 60′, in which mindless undead creatures are slow and sluggish, ghosts may not possess the living, and the dead will not rise.  A prayerlight will last for six hours, which need not be continuous.

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