Originally published at: https://gemsofwar.com/lorekeeper-i-epilogue-swords-edge/
Amira slowly regained consciousness, tired and sore.
There was a sharp pain behind her eyes, as if somebody was trying to pop her eyeballs onto a kebab. Ahh… Kebabs. It reminded her of Leothasa. If she had a choice, beef was preferable to eyeballs though.
She lay there with her eyes closed for a while and felt the floor moving beneath her. She realized she was on a ship.
She let consciousness slowly wash over her body. She wasn’t bound or restrained, which was good. She could still feel manacles on one wrist though, a reminder of the battle in the courtyard of Darkstone.
She took in a deep breath. There was salt in the air, and something delicious… Bacon! This felt more like she was in a galley than a prison.
She also smelt wine.
Slowly she opened her eyes, and the world came into focus. She was on a bed. Brian was sitting on bench next to her, grinning fiercely, a cup of wine in his hand.
“You’re awake!” He yelled excitedly. “A toast! To Skulley, the God of Head Injuries!”
“I wish I wasn’t awake,” Amira tried to sit up and failed. “And there is no such thing as a God of Head Injuries.”
“Is too,” Brian shot back. “I should know.”
Amira sighed. Everything in the world changed except Brian.
“What happened?” She asked.
“After…” He choked on the words.
“After Luther and the Dragon… Yeah,” Amira replied.
“The archway exploded,” Brian looked sad. “I never saw what… what happened to…”
“That’s okay,” Amira said softly, “But after the explosion. What happened then?”
“Oh,” Brian looked up. “Something broke my chain, so I got free. I still had cuffs on though, but I ran up to see if you and… well… were okay. I carried you out, and then this nice blue Giant and his two Dwarf friends helped us. The Dwarves seemed to know some other Dwarves at the dock, and we got out on this ship. Everybody was fleeing the island.”
“What about Torgan though?” Amira asked. “The big Daemon in the middle of it all?”
“I don’t know,” Brian said, “though the Giant seemed mad he couldn’t fight him.”
Amira nodded, and they sat in silence for a while.
Finally Brian raised his cup. “To Luther,” he said. “The best… The best… Just, to Luther.”
Amira turned her head towards him and saw tears rolling down his face.--------- o ---------
It was six weeks later when Amira and Brian finally sailed in to Sword’s Edge, on the Iron Reach. They’d had to hop ships a few times, and they worked their passage on the last two as they had little in the way of valuables, apart from Luther’s amulet, which Amira steadfastly refused to part with.
The letter and amulet allowed them passage into the Palace of Queen Ysabelle, though they were subject to much questioning and a numerous searches by the Knights Coronet before they were finally allowed to approach the throne.
“Your Royal Majesty”, Amira finally greeted the Queen, and handed over the letter and the amulet. Both items were filthy, scuffed, and had a considerable amount of Luther’s blood on them. Amira hadn’t been able to bring herself to clean it up.
The Queen looked at the amulet, and her face grew sad.
“These are from General Luther?” She asked. “He would not have sent these back, unless…”
“Yes, your Highness,” Amira lowered her head. “I’m sorry.”
“As am I,” the Queen said.
Amira looked up, and could have sworn she saw the Queen brush away a tear.
“I owe him my life,” Ysabelle continued. “He was a great man.”
“We both owe him our lives too, your Highness,” Amira nodded.
“I see,” Ysabelle regarded both of them curiously. “It seems the General left us a final message though.”
The Queen broke the seal and unfolded the parchment, reading in silence for a minute… Then two… Then three…
“Your Highness,” Amira ventured. “If there’s nothing else?”
The Queen looked up.
“You would be Amira, yes?” Queen Ysabelle asked.
“Yes, your Majesty,” Amira replied.
“Let me read the final paragraph for you, then.”
“It is my final wish that the Order of the Dragon Knights continue under a new General. I induct Amira of Maugrim, the bearer of this missive, into the Order and name her as my successor. The Amulet of the Dragon General shall pass unto her, as shall all rights and responsibilities of that title. She is wise, worldly, and skilled in battle, in ways I never was. She will rebuild the Order, and I firmly believe she will build it stronger than it ever was before.”
The Queen looked up at Amira.
“It seems General Luther thought highly of you.”
Amira just stood there speechless. She hadn’t expected this. Her? A Dragon Knight?
“I take it he never discussed this with you, then?” Ysabelle smiled. “Luther was a man of few words.”
“No, your Majesty,” Amira finally managed. “I had… no idea.”
“Well, Amira of Maugrim - and companion - friends of General Luther are always welcome in this place. Sleep on your decision. Think it through. If Luther thought you were worthy, you have my full support. But it is a mammoth task he’s asked of you. Regardless of your final decision though, you will always be welcome here in Sword’s Edge.”
Amira and Brian bowed deeply, said their farewells, and left the throne hall.
As they walked through the castle, Amira looked around. This didn’t seem such a bad place. All palaces were dangerous, but this didn’t feel like Darkstone or Leothasa. There was something inherently good here, something built by people like Ysabelle and Luther. She felt Brian’s eyes upon her, and glanced over at him.
“I’m going to need a squire,” she whispered. “Do you know one?”