|“||Help me up, eh, Furious? I got a friend to bury.||”|
Chapter Summary Edit
Lord Marshal West confronts the cost of victory as he walks through the battlefield, with Sergeant Pike by his side. Poulder reins up beside them and reports that while The Union casualties were high, Bethod’s forces were convincingly routed. The Union have 5,000 Northmen as prisoners, but Bethod not among them. The Marshal orders Poulder to care for the prisoners with respect, and continues toward The Dogman’s encampment. Along the way, he finds his old friends Brint and Kaspa, the former weeping, the latter dead. West walks on feeling immense guilt for the decisions he’s made.1
At the gate, Black Dow recognizes his old pal Furious. The rugged warrior is surprised to learn that West now leads the Union Army, but is happy to show him his recent work; three swinging blackened corpses – Named men who fought on the wrong side.
Inside the camp, Dogman is getting a wound in his shoulder treated by the tender hands of Harding Grim. As he notices West approaching, Dogman thanks him for finally turning up; better late than never. He adds that Tul Duru is dead. West then asks him if he knows where Bethod is. They quickly realize the war isn’t over. Bethod will have headed to Carleon, and so must they. But first, Dogman has a friend to bury.
At the funeral for Tul Duru, Logen stands apart from the others, the men eyeing him warily, just as they did during his time with Bethod. He can’t remember the details of the battle the previous day, and whether he actually killed Tul Duru, but he can guess at the truth. To everyone’s surprise, Black Dow speaks the words over Tul’s grave, declaring himself less with the giant dead. Logen wants to cry, but finds he can’t. He wants to care, but he doesn’t. If you go back to the same old ways, what else can you be, but the same old person?1
|“||Tul Duru Thunderhead. Back to the mud. The dead know, we didn’t always see things the same way, me and him. Didn’t often agree on nothing, but maybe that was my fault, as I’m a contrary bastard at the best o’ times. I regret it now, I reckon. Now it’s too late.Tul Duru. Every man in the North knew his name, and every man said it with respect, even his enemies. He was the sort o’ man… that gave you hope, I reckon. That gave you hope. You want strength, do you? You want courage? You want things done right and proper, the old way? There you go. Tul Duru Thunderhead. Look no fucking further. I’m less, now that he’s gone, and so are all o’ you.||”|
|Collem West||Black Dow||Bethod|
|Logen Ninefingers||Harding Grim||Lieutenant Kaspa|
|The Dogman||Crendel Goring|
|Lieutenant Brint||Tul Duru Thunderhead|
Locations and Terms Edit
|The North||First Northern War||The Union||Northmen||Union Army||Carleon|
- This is a chapter of accepting who you are. West, who fashions himself a good man, who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps and a little luck, is increasingly accepting that he has a ruthless streak. Logen is beginning to lose touch with the man we've known who is trying to be a better man, and is becoming the man he always has been.