Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Siege of the White Mountain, Vol. 3: Due to the Dead--Part 25

Sir Sylvester Erelim watched as the line gradually got itself into order under the unmasked Flagellants' direction.  "Quite impressive," he said quietly to Sir Georges.

"Considering their previous state, yes," sighed the Acting Archon.  He glanced at the Kizaks assembling up on the hill, under the grey skies.  "But far less than what is needed for this situation."  He gave a nod.  "Still, enough to at least die well, if nothing else."

Sylvester coughed, and gestured to several of the troops.  "Sir..."

Georges rolled his eyes.  "I very much doubt these men have any illusions about what is shortly to occur here, Sir Sylvester.  And neither should you."  He shrugged.  "I met you a squire.  I leave you a knight.  And likely meet you again."

Sylvester glanced away.  "Sir, I would..."  He shook his head.  "Perhaps a song.  Those would often cheer when I was a Sa... boy."

Georges smiled at him.  "A sad boy, doubtless you meant."

"That I was," agreed Sylvester.  And it was the truth.  He was.  He'd missed home terribly, when he'd been a Sacristan.

In another life, it now seemed.

Georges nodded.  "Yes, yes, your right," he said quietly.  "A song is just what is needed."  He glanced at one of the Flagellants.  "You there!  Do you know the Hymn to Uriel in Adversity?"

The man stared at him, slightly puzzled.  "I... vaguely sir..."

"Well, if I sing it, do you think you could see along?" asked Georges, smiling.  The man nodded.  "Excellent."  The Eremite cleared his throat, and began to sing.  "When my way groweth drear, Shining Lord, linger near--when my life is almost gone!" 

Sylvester blinked.  While Sir Georges had a lovely voice, this song did not exactly seem cheerful to him.

But Sir Georges continued with it anyway.  "Hear my cry, hear my call, hold my hand, lest I fall!  Take my hand, Shining Lord--lead me home!"  And then to Sylvester's surprise, the Flagellant joined in.  "Shining Lord, take my hand!  Lead me on--help me stand!  I am tired!  I am weak!  I am worn! Through the storm--through the night--lead me on to the light!  Take my hand, Shining Lord--lead me home!"

Sir Sylvester stared as the men up and down the line began to join in.  "Shining Lord, take my hand!  Lead me on--help me stand!  I am tired!  I am weak!  I am worn!"  And then despite himself, Sylvester found himself singing along as well.  "Through the storm--through the night--lead me on TO THE LIGHT!"  And then there was a sudden gasp from the men, as the clouds parted, and Sir Georges was bathed for a moment in sunlight. 

"A miracle!" whispered one of the men.

"Seven be praised!" cried another.

Sir Georges raised his hand.  "Take my hand, Shining Lord," he sang plaintively.  "Lead me home!"  A great cheer rose from the men.

Sylvester smiled at him.  "That was..."  He shook his head, joyfully.  "Perhaps the Seven will provide another miracle."

"I think they've done enough," said Sir Georges, drawing his sword.  "The rest lies in our hands."

1 comment:

  1. Obviously, credit is owed to the great Thomas Dorsey, whose word have echoed in this universe.