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A last conversation between brothers

a journal from 495 by Arcas

    By ways remote and distant waters sped,
    Brother, to thy sad grave-side am I come,
    That I may give the last gifts to the dead
    And vainly parley with thine ashes dumb;
    Since she who now bestows and now denies
    Hath taken thee, hapless brother, from mine eyes,
    But lo! These gifts, the heirlooms of past years,
    Are made sad things to grace thy coffin shell,
    Take them, all drenched with a brother’s tears,
    And brother, for all time, hail and farewell.

Dark is the day and dark is the mind. Dark is the future and without leaders we stand blind. Here I sit on a lonely graveside staring through the rain that falls on my brothers grave. Gone is the sad, pale boy that so dearly want to follow his older brother out into the woods. Gone is the shy, young man who stared at the painted and masked girls on Beltaine, even though his chaplain tried to beat into him that it was a sin. Gone is the squire who tried pleasing everybody even at the cost of himself. Gone is the knight who found his courage and became one of the bravest men that walked this earth. Gone is the lord with dreams of a grand roman heritage for his descendants. Gone is my brother and my dearest friend!

I miss you so much my little brother, my baby brother. I tried as best as I could to keep you safe from the evils of this world. I promised mother that I would. Our father made no such request but I think he knew what awaited both you and me the day we were sent off to become squires. I think he knew that we would in all likelihood die on a battlefield somewhere just like our fathers before us. And now you rest here beside your father and mother and brothers. I hope that you are at peace no matter where you have ended up. I dearly hope that your Saint Alban has seen you safe to a good afterlife whether it be in the land of the young or up in the heavens. If he hasn’t, him and I will have words when it is my time to go, and he will have to talk fast.

All my close kin are now dead. In a way I am glad that mother died last year, I don’t think her heart would have borne it if she had to put you in a grave while she still lived. I wouldn’t have been able to explain how we could win the day at St Albans with you at the helm carrying us through one of the harshest battles I have ever witnessed, yet we lost at the end of the day because we didn’t expect the treachery of the saxons even though they have proven what they are capable of again and again.

If I still had my favor from Merlin I would have called him then and there and I would have asked him to spare you above all others. Before Kings, dukes, counts and barons. I would have gladly ignored them all even if it was in my power to spare them if it had meant that I could save you.

I fear that grief would have struck me mad if it were not for Brangwen’s soft voice telling me to grieve and let it all out. She tells me that it is what I must do and then I must don my blade once again and I must be strong for Salisbury now stands weak and excepting Lord Amig and Sir Maelgwyn, no strong men remain in the service of our beloved homeland.

Brangwen is wise in a way that is beyond many other, be they lords or commoners. She is right. I will leave my tears here in your keeping brother, that and a part of my heart. Maybe one day I will come back and retrieve them. Remember me in another life beloved brother for I will not see you again in this one.

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