Birthright: Ascension

The Funeral
Mid-Keltier, MR 550

Marlae rubbed furiously at her eyes with the back of her hand. The unshed tears on her lower lashes had begun to crystallize, burning her skin with their cold. For the first time, she was thankful that the nature of the event precluded wearing armor, as her leather gauntlets undoubtedly would have proven less-than-effective for the purpose of blotting tears. Then again, had she been wearing her armor, she might not have cried half so much.

”...though enemies mounted on either side,” Patriarch Hubaere droned. “Our Baron Teried, first of his name, sixth Baron of Roesone, never lost sight of his friends and his allies, drawing them close, sharing the light and the law of Haelyn with…”

“He looks good, doesn’t he?” Daenal whispered. Marlae considered punching him in the mouth, thought better of it, and pinched his side hard enough to leave a bruise instead. “Ow-OW-” Daenal bit down on his yelp and finished, “-ouch. Damnit, Marlae!”

“Don’t speak that way about the dead,” she hissed back.

Death in Midwinter
Eve of the Dead, MR 550

Damned strange weather.

The mutters had sounded in Proudglaive for weeks, fogging on the lips of the dockworkers at Theoren’s Landing, whispered at the River Gate, down Spider River Road to the market at Daensmarch Square, echoing in the halls of Blacktower Castle. Marlae could not argue. The weather had been passing strange for the Southern Coast of Anuire, with a first frost in Sehnir and bitter cold marking the short days of Emmanir. The leaves of the apple and oak trees in Blacktower’s courtyard, ordinarily as ostentatious a red and gold as the sunburst of Haelyn, had browned and shriveled in the chill, and now lay scattered across the flagstones like casualties of a slaughter.


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