All stories must come to an end. As an adult, I know this, but it doesn’t make it any easier. As I noted in my last entry, it was something I hated when I was a child, when mother would read to me, or, when I was able to read, when we would read stories together. Mother knew this, and sometimes, if it was not too late of the evening, we would, together, imagine what might have happened next. Did the band of plucky adventurers settled down and raise families, or did they seek out new adventures, new quests, and new journeys? There is no what happened next for Faermorn, of course. She is gone to whatever passes for the hereafter among her kind, along with GwythyrGwynn. For her, this was definitely the end. And, in the end, it was what she wished. Her story was long and complicated. I knew only those parts that Valene and Aoibheann told me about, and, of course, those parts of the story in which I played my role. It was my honour to be a part of that story, more so that my part bought some light to the story, I hope, but that is all now at an end and I have to say goodbye to all that and to her.
My daughter, Bronwyn’s story, on the other hand, is just beginning. With Faermorn’s passing, she is freed at last from the threat of GwythyrGwynn. She has her own tale to tell. I would hope that Gwyneth and I, as her parents, will have a major role in that, but, if what I read from her thoughts is true, maybe her place is in Faerie and possibly with Lord Mornoth, or should I say, King Mornoth, as his Queen. Only time will tell. With her help, Faerie will endure and we will still be part of her life.
As for my story, I do not know where that goes next. This place, this world apart from the one I knew, has become increasingly strange to me of late. So many people have come and gone. Sophia, Giada, Dorina, Helene, Horace, all seem to have found their way through the mists to somewhere else. All the fae that I counted as friends are gone. Maric is gone. Valene is only a passing presence in my sleep. My other children, Wren, Drysi & Elian are elsewhere. And now, my wife, Gwyn, has abdicated the Seelie throne and retreated to her own time in the 21st century. A part of me is tempted to join her, and if there were some way of still being able to fulfil my oath to Maric, I would do so, as there is very little, beyond my oath, and the friends I have made among the villagers, to tempt me to stay. It would be good to lay down my burden, as Gwyn has done. For both of us, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. If only I could find a way to do so and still fulfil my oath. I could not lay down my burden without passing it on somehow, as Maric did to me.
My options are limited. Maric’s former queen, Teuta, is no doubt capable, as a leader and a warrior, but she is but a ghost, and I do not believe the village could be ruled by a ghost. I suppose, with much study of Maric’s notes, I could pull off the same trick as Maric did with Vedis, and make a bodily vessel for her, but that is a long shot. Even if I could, would she want that? She might appreciate a purpose, but, perhaps, after all this time, she just wants to pass to the beyond and join her love.
Kustav is a fine military leader who I would want by my side in any battle you could care to name, but I don’t know if he is an administrator. My stewards are capable enough for their individual duties, but, I do not know if they are ready for the burden I bear. Perhaps, between them they could manage, maybe with a leader that the people chose. Is Mysthaven ready for democracy? That, I do not know.
Then there is Aoibheann. As Maric’s widow, she has the status, but I do not know if she has the wherewithal to be a leader. That she is strong, I have no doubt. Her efforts in defeating the thornwyrms is proof enough for me, but a leader? I do not know. Besides, I felt that her home was in the Weald, among the trees. She has not been back to Mysthaven, so far as I know, since Maric passed. Perhaps it is as alien to her as she seemed to me when I saw her last.
As I said, my choices are limited, but I must make one. I must fulfil my duty before I can fulfil my wants, and unlike my daughter, those two do not coincide. But, I will find a way. Assuming I could find some way that I could depart this realm in good conscience, there is still the matter of where to go. Can you transplant a man from the late 19th century to the early 21st century? I do not know. But, when I go, that is where I must go, to join my wife. She is all I have left now. Together we can make it. After all, what’s 125 years between friends?