Beneath the willows

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Quintus, Gorton, Quick and Mara put their fallen comrade on their shoulders, and moved solemnly through the fields of corn to the north. Tetch floated close behind, followed by Linus and the stone elf.

The blind man spoke the ancient words.

“Time and wave
sun and wind
night and fire
moons and stone.

We walk through the world only once.
Only one life is given by the Nameless.
It is a gift, a burden.
A challenge, a duty.

To not waste it.
To serve the Highest.
To the end of the Path, with our honor intact.

This path has ended.
We return our brother to the earth,
in trust that his soul kneels now at the feet of our Lord.
His gift returned.
His burden set down.
His challenge answered.
His duty fulfilled.

By the Swords of Faith, in respect and honor we stand for Elijah Croft.”

The hunter’s words led them to the broken stone road that ran east to west. Mara and Quintus spotted a grove of willows, and nodded in unison. They lay Elijah’s form down, and took great pains folding his arms carefully around his weapon — straightening each piece of armor, and buffing clean any mark of ash or dirt. Elijah’s plain face was still, his red hair seemed darker under the shadows of the willow branches.

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