Mark’s Tales of the Unremarkable no 19 – by Vyrin – narrated by Asclepius
Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a great story from Vyrin, entitled
“Mark’s Tales of the Unremarkable, No 19″
Joining me in this podcast are
Brian Manown as Guard-Captain Dreyfuss,
StaticGrazer as Lord Enmar, and
sarg as the stablemaster
Background music “Ethetes”, by Smartsound.
Mark’s Tales of the Unremarkable, Number 19
The Same, Only Different
Day 132, post adventus
It takes a lot to drive me from my cottage. However, some days the traffic in and out of Owl’s Head is so heavy, that the meandering sounds of humanity come uncomfortably close. Today, a parade of braying beasts, squeaky carts, and raucous conversations drove me south and east, toward quieter hills. It’s a pleasant area where one quickly finds a secluded overlook opening onto the river valley. As I crested a steep rise, a stand of trees and dense undergrowth came into view flecked with gold and rust. Here, I realized, there would be a Fall. Back home, the early red sumac nags you with the reminder that August won’t last forever. Here, the effect was reassuring. Things aren’t always as different as they appear.
Yesterday, Lord Enmar had summoned me to dictate some letters. Mid sentence, Guard-Captain Dreyfus ran up the stairs.
“My liege, pardon the interruption.” He struck his fist to his chest in salute.
“What matter brings you here?”
“The stable boy everyone calls Bit was killed just now.”
“Did you summon a healer?”
“Yes, but they could do nothing to return him.”
“Well how did it happen?”
“He was exercising one of the horses. It was spooked, threw him, and then trampled his rib cage.”
“That’s strange. Those at the stable are quite careful to avoid spooking the horses.”
“The people at the scene told me that it was an outlander who did it, with magic.”
“Well then you better take a few men and clear out the people from that area. Find out what you can.”
“Sir, I already have Brent looking for any sign of foul play.”
“If this was malicious, I want hard evidence, not rumors and innuendos, do you understand?”
“Now I know poor Bit was an orphan, and the stable master took him in. Please inform him that you will dispatch a guard to prepare the body, dig the grave and secure a marker. Please also convey my condolences and that I will attend whatever memorial he deems appropriate at sundown. Return with what he decides.”
When he had sealed the last of the letters and handed them to a guard to deliver, he turned to me. “Do you think you might come to the memorial tonight?”
“I didn’t really know Bit, and have only seen the stable master from a distance.”
“I think it might be good to have an outlander there.”
It made me uncomfortable to be cast in this scene at such a tense moment, but of course I’m too softhearted too refuse.
“I greatly appreciate it.”
As sundown approached I had no idea what to expect. I hadn’t observed much in the way of religious custom here, and had only heard remotely of the passing of townsfolk. It turned out to be a small gathering, circled around the open grave and Bit’s shrouded body. A group of teens peered out from behind trees at the edge of the graveyard. As we gathered in silence, I felt a strange sort of resentment. Immortality made most outlanders very callous about life, especially the lives of the natives here who weren’t so fortunate.
The stable master looked down. “Bit never had much in this world. Wherever he goes, I pray that he’s happy. He did well in this world by me, and by a lot of people. If that counts for anything, let it count for him now.”
Lord Enmar clasped the stable master on the shoulder. Nothing else was said.