Detail’s Final Letter

To Me, Whom It May Concern.
To Attention To Detail, Eidolon of the Weaver, with any luck.
To Myself.
To The Future.
Hi there,
I am Speaker James ‘Detail’ Marshall, Blessed of the Weaver, Priest of the Pathfinder, the Lover and the Fool, Least economically useful member of Marshall Enterprises, Builder, Talismancer, Pistolier, Whitesmith & Carpenter.

I’m a living mortal human.

I was born in Shepsbourne, West Malathia in the highest hills of the Lowlands, where the shipping meets the sheep, first son to Jim Marshall, the finest blacksmith the land had ever known. From my first days I grew up on the sheep farm with my extended family until I could start my apprenticeship in the forge, as was my destiny as eldest son. My father’s family had always been Weaver, her love spreads over the family tree like a leafy vine, But my mother’s background was Smith from her native Fidellia, so I grew up between the two houses. The small but dedicated Smith community, and the sparse but loving web of the family’s Weaver faith.

It soon became obvious that I was an awful blacksmith. My inability to stay at one task for long enough, my tendency to focus on the smallest aspects over the broader picture – the tendency that gave me the name from the family to distinguish me from my father, Attention to Detail – failed to help me at all as a blacksmith. But destiny’s die was cast, and for all that the Weaver told them about tradition, stubbornness is as much a family trait. If I could just learn, I could be a smith like my father.

I had more siblings as time went on. Erik and Elan, identical twins, were born only a few years after me, and my little sister Johin some years later. The twins proved able smiths, and I dearly wished I could pass my legacy onto them instead.
And I was engaged. Eliza, who I had known since we were both knee-high, was my co conspirator in all things and my dearest friend, until we accidentally fell in love one cold winter.
It wasn’t winter when she died. She was up on the top of a hill, the very vision of a beautiful shepherdess tending her flock, when five sailors up from the docks a few miles away, drunk on rum and their own stupidity, decided to sample a slice of the country life for themselves, find out how true the stories of what the shepherdesses would do for a lonely sailor up on the moors were. She clocked two of them with her staff before they got her, but there were five of them. I was heading up to the hill with my wedding present to us, a set of two engraved shortswords, the best metalwork I have ever done and will ever do, but I arrived too late. My fiancee was on the floor, bloody and bruised and her head against the rock she had obviously landed on. Dead, and worse.

I do not quite know how the next few minutes happened. I was… gone somewhere, I think. My next memory is surrounded by their bodies with the swords in my hands, bleeding heavily, and aware that I’d just killed five men. I staggered backwards, which proved to be a mistake, as I tumbled down the hill towards the road. I lay there on the side of the road, unable to move my broken legs, slowly bleeding out, and decided this was probably justice for killing people. I passed out.
I was, obviously, rescued. I was taken in by Speaker McLintock of the church of the woven braid in Nordon, who was making his monthly trip around the high parts of the lowlands to take care of our spiritual well being and now, in my case, physical. As I recovered in the quarters of the church house, I got him to promise not to tell my parents or family where I was, that they would all be better without me. As I recovered in the sound of the bells I found my own faith. Not the faith of my family, but my own path though the Weaver. I was taught of the aspects, of the nature of being a priest. The braid – the Nordon version – has always been a church of all the aspects, and whatever aspect is appropriate at the time, and they taught me when the time was. When I suggested that I should go to the new world, join my fabled cousin Stuart and escape this land, McLintock said I could be their representative They gave me the title of Speaker, and I rejected it. I didn’t want to be a priest, in the new world I could make pistols, and find out more of this new magic. They gave me the title anyway, and bought me passage on a ship. When I got aboard the boat, my cabin had an envelope in it with an arrangement with the Rimici Capell to build a new Blacksmith’s workshop in the new world if I could find land. It was signed by my father, who added “Good Luck”. Turns out McLintock told him anyway. Thinking later, I would have done the same thing.

I came to the new world on a ship, and found my cousin and what appeared to be his new girlfriend Fiona, another cousin – Anna – from a far branch of the family as well as Fergal. I met my new family as they trudged off to the quarterly religious festival, Shenanigans, hosted by the Malathian colony, where I got sunstroke and barely left the tent the entire weekend.
After that time speeds up, a bit.

When I met Gin Tang, on the verge of killing my cousin Kyle for wearing black while nobody knew who he was, and ended up discussing the importance of Heresy in the church.

When Speaker Kyle left the New World, declaring the Weaver church in it to be beyond saving, I decided he was wrong.

When I watched the Church of the Loom attempt to mass up against one of the greatest forces in the world at the time, and fail and run into hiding.

When I decided the church was worth saving.

The next few years are a blur, where I got to know people, where I tried to make people talk to each other. A blur of initiations and reputations, of failures (many, many failures) and successes.

You helped unite the Weaver church in the new world. Eventually.

I fell in love again, eventually, with Amelia. I helped eidolons come to terms with eternity to such an extent that I longed for it myself.

I lived. My friends died all around me. I was loved, I was betrayed, I forgave and I hated in good measure.

I am human.

In front of me as I write this letter is a bottle. Two bottles, actually. When I set so many people sourcing the potion for me, I should have been slightly less surprised when two of them succeeded so very shortly after I had given up.

The potion, I know, will kill me. So the letter exists so that you can read it, so that you should keep it, so that you should know who I was. With any luck, who you were. Unless you are not the one who I was.

Because there are two choices. Either this kills me and I fall into the waiting arms of my lady, or I fall and I keep falling,

and my friends will not be able to save me if the Weaver doesn’t catch me.

For the great secret is this: I don’t have faith in the Weaver. I believe that her path is the best, and I believe that her embrace is the closest and finest, but I’ve never been able to have faith. I have faith in her believers, and in my friends. So now I take a leap of faith, my first, where I do something in the hope that my goddess will catch me.

And the letter is so that I remember who I was.

And the letter is so that if I fall, someone understands why.

To understand why I have faith in people, you need to know who I had faith in.

Detail’s Sermon Library: Hope

The cathedral doesn’t dominate the landscape, but the gem does. The cathedral is hidden behind a fog of swirling mists and tendrils of smoke that protect the cathedral inside from the armies camped around it, ready for the signal, waiting for the charge. The gem seems to float above, sparkling in the sunlight of high noon. Away from all of them, on a hill that overlooks the battlefield, Speaker James Marshall, known generally as Detail, stands ahead of his trembling flock of villagers and other local inhabitants, puts his back to the mess behind him, and continues.

“Where there is darkness, we need hope. We gather around one person’s hope like moths heading to a candle and – like the moths – we start to carry the flame ourselves. Hopefully, our flame of hope is less fatal to us than to the moths. Hope is not like a bottle, to be passed around until its empty, or hoarded for yourself. Hope is a flame, that catches to everybody else, that is not extinguished unless you neglect or kill it, that can spread forever if you nurse it, and that lights up the world.

If people tell you that hope is easy, they will be lying to you. Hope is hard. When the rains of failure damp your soul, when the tides of fate lick at the edges of your island, when the water around you is rising and you cannot keep your hope aloft, then you will lose hope, and the only way to get it back is to find someone who still carries the flame within them, and light your own taper. For the good of your own fate, then, for the good of your own happiness you should keep your hope alive, and spread it to those around you, so that when it dies your friends and your family can pick you up, even if your own strength has failed.

Where there is hope, there is order, or its possibility. There are the foundations for the things you need to build, for the things you need to learn, for the tasks you must undertake to get from where you are now to where you must be. With the fire of hope spreading as far as you can fan it, tasks become more trivial, help becomes easy.

Where there are people with hope, there are people who cause despair. There are those who will take your hope from you, who will work against you, who will restrict your endeavour, who will attack and kill your dreams and yourselves. Defend against them, by all means, but make them fear the consequences. Make sure they know what will happen when they break your rules.
And I could go on, for a long time. I was given the title Speaker before I came to this land, and it was not without consideration. I could tell you of the aspects of the Weaver, how the fire of hope licks against the feet of all of us. I could spread my wings out to the rest of the faiths, stretch the foundations of hope and learning all the way from the Builder to the Teacher, stretch the doing of what must be done from the Midwife to the Smith, Stretch the justice and darkest hours from the Spider all the way to the Huntress.

But I’ve never felt that’s the most important thing. What you do is important, how you do it is even more so. If you do the best good in the world, but you do it on a road constructed from the corpses of everyone else, your good is tainted. As so do I feel about the doing of anything without the thought behind it, doing the thing that must be done because it’s the thing you thought of first, rather than the thing that fixes the problems best.”

Forgive and Forget

The roads aren’t safe to travel alone anymore, so he walks behind a caravan. They like having him around, as a priest, even if he’s something of a strange one. At night, he goes away from the fire into the forest, beyond sound’s reach of the fire, and he digs five holes with his hands.

From the white canvas bag at his hip he takes a stone bottle, empty save a last few mouthfuls of a thick liquid.

“Karen. I’m sorry I couldn’t help you, and I wish the only one who could is far from this world. For all it’s what you seem to have wanted, your new peace falls badly with me, and your voice will never leave my side or my heart. The last of the peppermint vodka is yours, there will be no more. I’ll look after them as best I can. Builder bless.”

He places the bottle in the hole, and fills it.

“Carol. Your smile in the darkness, your wit in the night, your comfort when the blackest depths of the sea were drowning me. You are worth more than you ever realised, and your lack is a hole in the world. I have nothing of yours to return to you, and your soul is beyond any reach I have. This is the ribbon of the festival of the lover I was given five years ago. You will never know it is yours, but it is. Spider watch you.”

The hole is covered over again, hidden as if it had never been.

“Sethet. What a time to switch sides, just so you can stand on the walls instead of in front of the gate. I’m glad I knew you, if not so well, and I hope you get what you want. I made this myself. The steel isn’t good, but the blade is sharp for now. Solider keep you.”

The glint of a dagger, then the packed earth remains.

“Patrick. To survive the blight of Malathia only to die at your own hand. I’m sorry for what we lost, but I’m glad that I met you. Some ky, for your journey, and may the Weaver bless your path”

There is only one hole remaining, now.

“My lady. So many have died that I do not name, and after so long these little memorials must line every road I’ve travelled on. Gifts for the future, perhaps, if there is one. This last one isn’t for the dead, though. This one is for me. Her memorial is in the lives she touched, and the site she died. And to the latter I won’t return, and the former seem to be moving on. I think it may be time to let go of my own failure for a bit, see how that goes.”

The priest unties a green and white woven string from the hooks of his jacket, lays it in the hole, and covers it with the wet earth.

“In the name of the fool, I throw away things that are of value to me. In the name of the pathfinder, I hope that one day someone finds them, and makes use. In the name of the builder, I recognise and build on these foundations towards a better life. In the name of the Weaver, I lay these memories to rest.”

He goes back to the fire, and later to sleep in his small tent. When he wakes, the world is brighter, and he can’t even remember which direction from the fire circle he walked last night, and doesn’t try too hard. He trails behind the caravan as it leaves, lost in his own reflections, until one of the off-duty guards drops back to talk to him.

“Speaker Marshall? You mentioned last night how the first protection from the undead is devotion?”
“Sounds like something I’d say, yes”.
“Could you tell me about the Weaver?”

“Well, Faith is like this hat…

A man with a hammer

There are very few things in this world quite so very satisfying to the overly stressed and extremely frustrated than an elongated opportunity to hit things with a hammer.

Each wooden plank, heavier than even the strongest man could lift, was soundly rammed into place personally.

Every single nail a thought.

Every wedge a memory.

Every angle, every measurement, every step on the plan.

A. Detail Marshall.

The A standing for Architect.






The slaves quickly adapted to their latest master, taking his strange obsessive compulsion to oversee every operation himself as just another crazy tic of just another crazy master. The stone base was laid quickly, and the beam framework went up within a few days, a small building in a simple Malathian style, and the careful construction of the walls continued, wooden slats filling in every gap, rough tiles interlocking over the roof. Every side, every angle, measured twice, cut once.

Within a fortnight the basic building was complete, and work on the inside began, in carving and stonework, furniture and fashion.

Not a beam went in without the architects final tap, not a slat was installed that he didn’t check the grain on.

For the ages, we build beauty. For the future, we build well. For those around us, we build strong, and we build things worth looking at.

For the ages, and the Builder.

With every nail, an element of the buzzing in his head is cleared. A fly, screaming of paths untaken, is swatted. A worm, burrowing though memories looking for things we should have seen, is crushed. A distraction is diverted. With every pew – Ah, Pew – installed, the burden gets lighter.

And less than three weeks since the bare plot of land lay under the sun, the building is completed, and the keys to the bolts handed over (“A gift, as far as you can accept it”), the architect walks away from his commission, his troubles worked out through the beams, and realises that if anyone were ever to know how focused he could be if necessary, he could be in real trouble.

The more obvious work of the Builder done for the time being, it was time to go make people think, if only for a moment.

And Again

The hillside was dark, and it was raining blood again.

The daggers in his hands cut scored his skin, sharp at both ends, digging further in and adding his life to the sticky, sodden mud around him.

Sure it didn’t used to be this vertical, he continued, pulling himself up by digging the knives into the hillside (Which screamed every time).

A decade passed, and the top of the hill was there.

Eliza’s corpse lay, again, in the centre of the plataeu at the top of the hill. Johin’s corpse. Amelia’s corpse. The rain curtained off around the top of the hill, a dry circle you could cross in a second or hike over for the rest of your life, and his corpse was in the middle of it. He stood.

Unarmed, he was surrounded by four victims and murderers. Sailors and governors and fathers and teachers and priests and well meaning friends and ill meaning relatives and brothers and cousins and everything and everybody and his life and his god. In four people. With the words they attacked him (“Can’t you do anything?”) so sharp and well placed (“At least get something right”) that (“You’re destined to be a third rate failure”) he can’t tell he is bleeding (“A poor student”) until he slips on his own blood (“shows no attention”) and tumbles off the mountain, though the steel rain to be a lifeless ruin on the road below (“to detail”).

and again.

The hillside was bright, and the sky was blue.

The words in his heart couldn’t be completely translated, but they scored the minds of the people he spoke to, digging in and adding more thought to the people before him.

Sure it didn’t used to be this easy, he concluded, Closing out the themes with the words of another from a small yellow book, which worked every time.

The moment passed, and the crowd was still there.

Eliza’s corpse lay, again, in the centre of the plateau. Buried under the earth she’d been killed over, under the church now built here. A church you could see all of in a second, and help people from for the rest of your life. He preached in the middle of it.

Unworried, he was surrounded by friends and family. Traders and governers, princes and fathers, Teacherites and Huntress followers. Well meaning priests and ill-meaning subversives and everybody and his life and his god. In all. With the words they asked him (“Did I do good?”), as if his opinion and thoughts (“You’ve been a real help”) were of any value at all (“I’d like you to be my priest”), and his time not totally wasted (“if you’re in any trouble, run”) on the work he did (“to Detail”).

and again.

The hillside was dismal, and the cold drizzle cut to the bone.

The worries in his mind shot though him, spinning and unraveling, shouting and screaming, rendering rational judgement impossible.

Sure life didn’t used to be this frantic, he sat, pulling his mind together into some semblance of logic, which took quite some time.

A tremor passed, and the top of the hill was moving.

Eliza’s corpse lay, again, in the centre of the plataeu at the top of the hill. Around them more boiled out of the mud. Raoul’s corpse. Erin. Tormaline. Gwen. Canashir. Tac. Jig. Jin. Tami. Amalie. Ansillina. Amelia. Kala. Dreamer. Ishtar. Hame. Patch. Will. Jacob. James. Stepan. Brent, Marcus, Sha, KP, Kass. More and more. Stuart. Fiona. Ferris. Piling high until they couldn’t all fit and started tumbling down the hillside, a mountain of corpses you could cross in a day or mourn for the rest of your life, and on the edges of it, he stood.

Unafraid, he was surrounded by victims and murderers. Friends and family. Fighters and planners. Righters, Writers and Riters. Corpses of everything and everybody and their lives and their goals. In hundreds. With his words he returned them (“My lady please look upon me as I serve you”), in places railed and preordained (“I am unworthy of speaking of their life, but they were important to many people”) and in others chaotic and rambling (“but then, the only people who can speak of them with truth”), but always with heart and feeling (“and so, I recommend that you ask them yourself”), the most that he can ever do (“as I lay all my friends to rest”).

and again.

Final Words

My lady, I have a gift for you.

I do not want to give it, and the world would be a better place if I didn’t have to, but if a soul is going to have to leave this mortal world, I can think of no better place than with you.

I want to tell you of this man, of his hopes, and his dreams. His successes in the face of adversity, his defeats from the safety of his assumptions. I should tell you of the family he raised who love him, the enemies he made that respected him, and the dog he fed that worshiped him.

All of that, though, would be a waste of both our time. You knew him far better than I did. You didn’t need to hear each of these people as they anecdoted him from the living into the remembered. You were there. I am but a third act bit part in this play, sent to orchestrate this final ceremony.

One of the least pleasant roles I have in this world is to be the final point of departure for a soul, but I am always proud to do it, and I learn of people more than if I’d ever met them alive. We seldom tell people why we remember them, they way they touched our life, shaped it, changed it. Dug a new channel for our experiences to flow down, seeing them in a new context and a new light.

And the ending of a life provides a new lense we can examine ourselves in, and reaffirm what they taught us.

In the name of the lover, I send a gift of your follower to you.
In the name of the midwife, I help the ring of life and death turn again,
In the name of the traveller, I send a new experience for you.
In the name of the fool, I know I will join him some day.

In the name of the weaver, I lay this soul to rest eternal by your side.

Faith is like this hat

Faith is like this hat.

This is my hat. It’s a tricorn, which is pretty traditional as a hat worn by a malthian goes, but it’s nice, it fits me, and I’ve tried other hats, but this one works best for me.

Your hat? Can be whatever you like. Mine’s a tricorn, and my faith is of the Weaver.

This is not my original hat. Every so often, something happens in my life that causes me to lose my hat. In one case, I lot of people died in the place i was in, and I lost my hat for a while. Soon I had a slightly different hat.

I show my hat to other people, let them try it on, see what they think of themselves in my hat, if my hat is the right hat for them. Some of them are convinced that it is, and get a hat somewhat like it. Others find a new style of hat – more severe, better balanced, more pointy – and I am happy to help them on the path to the right hat. Others wear no hat at all, which is a shame, because the world is warmer with a hat on.

My hat would hardly be recognisable by the person who sold it to me, now. Wrapped around it is a red ribbon of the Lover, given to me by someone who knew better. In the ribbon is a feather that I didn’t earn, which represents something I didn’t do. It is a foolish feather, though, and so I keep it. The hat is covered by the dust of the road as well, where the world conspires to rip my hat from my head, and I have to go back and fetch it. it is crumpled, dusty and the wrong colour, but it is my hat, and it has bent to fit me.

However, you have your own hat. Your actual hat is nothing like mine, dashing though it is, but your metaphorical hat can be the same as mine as you join the faith of my lady.

Could you give me your True Name, please?

Stop the Clock

There are good reasons to run away.

My life is a thing I’ve never had much control over, save to pick and choose which bits I run away from. I ran away from the consequences of defending my fiancee, from being a blacksmith into the arms of the Braid. I ran from the expectations the Braid had of me into the new world, where I ran from shiny new thing to shiny new thing.

Then Kyle ran away, because he felt he wasn’t having an effect, and at that point I decided I needed to step in. The New World needed weaverites with a grip on the future, and if I could, I’d be that. That was two years ago, more or less.

I wasn’t a good blacksmith. Did I mention that? My father’s a good blacksmith, and more. My brothers can craft the finest tools from the roughest materials, but it’s never been something I could do. I ran from home because I couldn’t live up to what everyone wanted to me, and so, when the feeling came to me in the New World, I recognised it for what it was: Cowardice.

I can justify it. With me gone, someone will try to take over what I do, or what they think I do. Someone else can be the voice everyone agrees with but nobody listens to, someone else can shout into the darkness hoping for a reply. Someone else can be the focused target to blame for a thousand decisions he hasn’t made.Someone else can fail by degrees.

So, I made a plan. Set a schedule. Decided that was too official. Set a timetable, and decided that a timetable with one thing on it was not a timetable.

Set a deadline.

Told nobody.

It was simple. I would continue shouting into the void for nine months from the start of this festival. If my lady decided not to answer? if it really was an empty void? I would assume she had abandoned me, and vacate so that someone could try something right. Go back to normal life, making clocks for the millenese or something. Stay in the new world, but leave the events to Amelia.

It was Amaranth who got there first. The gods were listening. My lady could hear me, and wanted me to do this thing, and had sent down not just an eidolon, but all the eidolons who could hear her to help.

My reaction may have seemed odd, to those outside my head. I fell over laughing. My lady could hear me!

Unfortunately, it was for something I could do nothing about at this festival, nobody was here to answer the questions I had. My lady wanted me to do something, and it was beyond my ability. A position I recognise, but I have a different solution than just to run away again.

It’s time to get better.

Fifteen years apart

A glorious Shepsborn summers day, the occasional cloud drifting across the blue sky like a stray sheep, mirroring the flocks milling around the hillside. Somewhere up there was Eliza, watching and waiting, taking over the Vigil while her sister panics over the wedding tomorrow. Det would be with her, but for this class McLintock decided they needed. Speaker McLintock could be convinced to end early if the class seemed to have got the point of the lesson, and if so, he could make it up there just in time to escort her home, via somewhere nice, and out of the way, and if it took slightly longer to get home than strictly necessary, who would know?

“Master Marshall, do you have somewhere you would rather be?”

Yes, sir. “No, Sir”.

“Then you can answer the question Master Sornworth has been so very stumped by. If your house was on fire, what would you take with you?”

* * *

They won’t.



Romance dragged me here, to the grand colonial meeting of “What do we do?”, and now I have my answer. We will talk. We will argue. We will accuse each other of stupidity, of not listening (While not listening). The people I serve and assist, famous for their ability to talk around a problem rather than act though it, have absolutely nothing on this fetid dank swamp of politics. Evidence is presented, things that chill me to my very soul are told; and the line between “Do the right thing” and “Something must be done, do something” is thick with the mud from boots of two dozen arguing voices. We leave. We will ask the Lady, while themagicians attempt to move a physical volcano and deal with the metaphysical one later.

The supplication has happened, someone came to both the conclusions the meeting did at the same time, and instead of the large act of sorcery whilst others supplicated to see what else we could do, instead decided to supplicate to see if the sorcery would work.

My lady is not known for her clarity. She had been hinting at us all weekend, and now she spoke to us directly, such that none could avoid her words or her thoughts, and this is what she said to us:


I couldn’t. I had one more task, and I moved across the field as fast as my tired legs could carry me until I saw the shape of her in the distance. The only item I could not leave the island without. As Amelia and I joined the flood of people, we saw our friends and loved ones in their own attempt to rescue all they could. “Are you leaving?” I asked them. They were all leaving, or finding someone and leaving.

We got to the Marshall’s corsair, and eventually left with the last of our group. We’d left the tents, though Stuart and Fiona had grabbed the money and most of the stock that hadn’t been already stored on the ship. Fiona had also picked up the paperwork and heresy pamphlets, and we sailed from Coyote island, hoping our friends could do the same.

Watching the flock

It’s a Malathian Tradition.

Pretty much everything is, in the end. Fighting, drinking, loving, worshiping, eating, drinking, toasting, boasting, drinking. Any one is a Malathian Activity. Any two are a a Malathian Tradition. Any three are Malatian Cultural Values.

Especially Drinking, Drinking and Drinking.

I’m not drinking, not right now. Not for almost three months, and I’m pretty sure that the last drink I had was at New Years, when I was wedding people, and that’s so very far from a Malathian tradition that my friends back home would pour whiskey down my throat until I repented. Repented and threw up, at least. Traditions are important.

Everything’s a Malathian Tradition, and no thing in any world has as many Malathian Traditions around it than a Traditional Malathian Wedding, combining every single element of the list I began with, and every single element combined with every single element. Tradition upon tradition upon tradition. This isn’t a Traditional Malathian Wedding, because I avoid being Traditional when it will make my life more complicated, but there’s one tradition I’ll keep.

(Several, actually, but this one today)

Everyone near where we grew up is either a shepard, or knows one. Most have shepards in the family somewhere. The entire family is expected to muck in and help, someone has to be up on the hill at every hour to make sure everything’s fine. This means that someone in the family must be watching the sheep while the wedding’s going on, and miss out on the party. To atone for this, the people actually getting married will, shortly before the wedding, do a complete day’s shift. It’s called the Vigil, or Watching the Flock.

Some folks do it as a family event, the entire clan up on the hillside for a (sober) pre-party family get together, but we’ve always done it on our own.

I find a spot atop a hill sometime early afternoon, lay down a blanket, and watch.

I don’t keep sheep. Nobody in this new world does, as they don’t survive the crossing. My flock these days is a little less literal, the people whom I brought into our faith, or for who I am their adviser on theological stuff. I can’t watch them from my hill, not personally, and I’d not expect them to all be in one place. Some of them – too many – can’t, being beyond my flock and within the green fields of my Lady, but I think of them, and I pray for them.

My Vigil is different from anyone elses, I think. I’ve spent two months working on blighted land, blessing it over and over again to remove the oppressive taint, and now I wander the lands of Amun-Sa Over Ocean as a favour for a scary bastard I regard as a friend, watching over his land, looking for traces of an evil we hope banished.

There are specs on the fields, tilling the land, preparing it for a good years crop, and I watch them for hours until the sun goes down.

The land is still ravaged. Recovering from the terrors that were leashed upon it will take time and work, and there are still many lands left to go.

My small fire will last the night if I feed it carefully, giving me light to think by, and keeping away anything that’s frightened by it. Anything else may have to be introduced to my sword or my gun, as I protect my life and what I need to.

I watch over all of it, thinking of everything. My family, my friends, my soon to be wife, and this entire new world.

Tomorrow, we head for the festival, and there will be more action and less sitting and watching the world.

For tonight, I stand vigil.