Under Grey Skies, Part 1
The first morning after Aethon’s death is the dawn of Midsummer. It is an overcast, miserable day wherever there are souls to see the sky. Clouds gather, a murky grey to promise a rain that never falls.
Celebrations planned for weeks are left abandoned. Decorations adorn the Cathedral of Aethon in Starkholm, erected the previous morning. Nobody has had the courage to take them down. Banners flap in the cold breeze, a golden sun bright against the grey gloom. Not defiant, but mocking.
Sir Theodoric Koehler, Knight of the Golden Sunset, must explain to a gaggle of wide-eyed children that there will be no games held today. His voice breaks when they, innocent and disappointed, clamour for explanation, and as he struggles for words his legs give way from under him. The children run, panicked. The Vaiteran priest summoned needs two more men to carry him to his bed, where he stares at the ceiling and speaks no more.