Cirdan’s Note: I’m pleased to introduce to you another installment from our very own spock0528. I don’t know about you, but I’m thoroughly enjoying our journey through the World of Rune! Make sure you’ve read the prologue, chapter one, chapter two, and chapter three before continuing on the adventure below!
They say he died with honor. But is dying really honorable? Is laying there muttering and sputtering, bleeding out and gasping for your last breath really honor? “No,” Eastior whispered to himself. He knew it was not possible to die with honor. He knew there was nothing honorable about dying.
These are the thoughts than ran through Eastior’s mind as he watched the morticians prepare his father’s body. He stood in his father’s study looking out through the window to the courtyard below. He watched the morticians in their ceremonial robes do their work. The stitched up the spear wound in his side and dressed him in the robes of a lord. Two stones with drawings of wide open eyes were laid upon his real eyes making him look as if he were still alive. Was there honor in this? To be dressed up like a doll? To have the wound that caused his demise to be covered up like it had never been there?
He heard Silgafrane enter into the study behind him. She sat down in her father’s chair and did not say a word. Eastior made no attempt to strike up a conversation with his sister. He just watched as his father was transformed into something he had never been.
It had been nearly a week since he had heard the horns blowing. It had been nearly a week since he had heard Silgafrane screaming for him. Nearly a week since she had told him that their father, while out on a hunting trip, had been ambushed by a pack of dark elves. A week since he learned of the spear that struck him in the side. He had come in laid out on a horse, barely breathing. He had died that night, with no idea what was happening. He only moaned softly and laid there as the doctors worked frantically to save him. Alabaster Arganean died with no idea that his children were sitting next to him, praying to the old gods that he would come back to them.
And now Eastior would take his place. Take his place as the Lord of the Elven House of Ranann. It was a position he did not want. He had spent even more hours in the library than usual researching elvish law. He was trying to find some way he could pass on the the throne to Silgafrane. She was the warrior in the family. The one who knew how to talk to the people. The one who could rally and inspire. But there was no way she could become lord. Even though she was older than him by three years he was the son and he would inherit the kingdom.
Eastior was the opposite of what you think of when you think of a powerful lord. He was short for an elf, about the size of a man. His bright red hair went down to his waist and it was never combed or brushed, making it look a wildfire was going through it. He had a bad bout of acne on his face and very bad eyesight (probably from his constant reading). Eastior’s glasses had several different lenses on them and he always twisting the knobs on his glasses so that he could rotate between his different lenses for each range of sight. Eastior was a poor warrior. He remembered when he was just a boy and his father tried to teach him how to use a sword. He had gotten frustrated and had spent the whole practice session getting whacked around with a stick. He was even worse at archery. He could never hit the target, let alone well, anything. What Eastior loved to do was to read. He read books of poetry and books of history. He read the great elven epics and books of law. He spent more time in the library than he did at home. Eastior was not very good at making friends either. No one really seemed to understand him. He was the son of the lord, a great warrior, yet he knew nothing about fighting. To many, the only thing elven about him were his pointy ears. So Eastior spent most of the time by himself. He liked it that way, but now he would have to communicate quite a bit if he were to become a lord of an Elven House.
“What kind of a ruler would he be?” Eastior wondered to himself. But he already knew, didn’t he? He would be a ruler just like his father. He would settle a few petty disputes, go to council meetings, and do nothing to expand or strengthen elf culture. He would be put in the grand masters history book as a lord and nothing more. Just like his father and the countless other lords that ruled before him.
When seven families of high elves had decided to stay here, convinced this was their new homeland, while the other elves sailed on, did they know what would happen generations later? Did they know that their “homeland” was called Ragar, a land deemed godless and forsaken by both the Eastirim and Karkaran? Did they know that the seven families would form seven Houses that would separate from each other so much that not one elf had seen another House in generations? Did they know that while the Zarkaran and Eastirim battled on and the mighty Drake Furror led one final charge against the Zarkaran forces that the elves would sit idle in their towers and that any elf who left to join the fight would be banished from his House? Did they know that lord after lord would sit there as the elves lost their honor and nobility. As they lost all development and culture. As the power that the race of elf once carried slipped away like the finest silt through fingers on the windiest of days.
“No,” said Eastior to himself for the second time that day, they couldn’t have. Silgafrane stood up and walked over to him. There were tears in her eyes. Eastior adjusted the knobs and lenses on his glasses so that he could see her properly. She knelt down beside him and whispered into his ear. “I think you will be a great lord.” But he heard the uncertainty in her voice, saw the slight quiver of her lip and the quick darting movements in her eyes.
As Eastior watched his fathers body being prepared, he had one last final thought: “Yes, there was certainly no honor in death and certainly no honor in being an elf.”
Send us an owl: What do you think will happen to Eastior? Do you agree with his views on death?