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On the anniversary of the calamity, a well tanned highlander stands just outside the Gate of Nald, glancing towards the setting sun. His clothing clings to damp skin and aching muscles. He had spent a hard day at the forge, as always, and his entire body longed for a chance to rest and relax, but he had other duties.. obligations.


      "Cidwell.. your parents received the stipend again. They still hold out hope that its you sending them the money. Your death took them hard, and they still can't accept it, but they will be taken care of. Stouttree, your daughter is getting taller. She'll be as big as her Pa was soon enough. Ten years old and can already lift an axe. You'd be proud."


      He sighs and pauses for a moment before he continues, appearing to address the setting sun with his words. "Yangzee's wife caught me slipping the stipend into her mail. She was rather pissed to see me there after telling me not to come back. Damn man, but your woman can hit. I think she cracked a tooth. She threw the coin back at me, but after she left I gave it to your son.'


      He continues for some time, speaking to people who simply aren't there. Finally, as the last light slips away, he stands and salutes. "Sultansworn... your watch is over. I relieve you. Rest in peace."


      Gratus turns and heads back into the city, his path set for Quicksand, a hot bath, and a cup of ale raised to friends who can't raise their own.



Gratus Stormbearer

Retired Sultansworn


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