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Acheron's Irregulars, Epilogue

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The Great Hippo's picture

AUTHOR'S NOTE:

Hi! I'm finally finished this story. Listen, I understand if you guys don't want to put your hand on this sort of thing - it's big, its unwield, its in desperate need of editing, and it might not be at all the sort of thing you're looking for. But if you do plan on posting it, could you contact me? There are some important edits I should have made before sending it to you that I'd like to make now, if at all possible. You can contact me at The_Great_Hippo@hotmail.com or at 267437392.

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The cemetery is a pleasant one. As pleasant as you can find in a place like Rigus, anyway.It is located on the northern end of the village, far away from the towns, in a small field where wild grass tends to grow. It consists of fifteen or so graves, all of them plain and marked with carved stone.Upon each marker is drawn a name, with the two exceptions being Boric's companions. No one knew what their names were, so in their place there are symbols. One is of an axe, wide and menacing, and the other is of a flower.The most notable gravestone is, however, Jerald's. It is near the back end of the cemetery, in what Jerald (if he were alive) would have called 'the elite section'. It sits on its own at the end of a row, and although it is not the only grave which is regularly decorated, it is the only one to be regularly decorated with monster-masks and wild-flowers as well as the occasional child's drawing.Kneeling before the grave on this particular day is an old man. He was old before he arrived in Rigus, but since his arrival and the subsequent events that followed he has grown considerably older. He wears a long indigo cloak and robes, and carries with him a fine-looking iron sword.He speaks. "The old man explained everything to us. What farmers are doing outside of Acheron, how they got here, why they got here... Even the crumpled hat. I won't go into details, because I know how easy you get bored, Jerald. But to sum it up, they're from Arcadia, and the Aasimar... He used to serve some Power by the name of St. Cuthbert. But... yeah.""This Kizen fellow... I don't know if you know him. Marien and the old Aasimar tell me you probably didn't. But anyway, this Kizen fellow served some sort of Power in Acheron who had been opposed to the farmers being here from the beginning. Except the Power couldn't do anything about it, because they had struck a Bargain or something... Acheron couldn't act against the farmers unless the farmers acted first. And that'd never happen. So Kizen was using the adventurers as an excuse... To try and get one of the villagers to attack him, to act against Acheron, and... Yeah, I'm sorry. I'm probably boring you again.""But it's all right, anyway. The Aasimar says that the Bargain still holds, because they only broke it with one of Acheron's minions, outside of Acheron... So it was broken only for him. They'll just have to be careful in the future. Very careful.""Kizen was a Rakshasa. Like you. Only he was trained from his youth to be a warrior, which, from what you've told me, Rakshasa never do. To serve this Power. Anyway, Marien and the Aasimar told me what you tried to do. You tried to make a deal with the Rakshasa, to save us. You and me and the others, I mean...""We told the villagers the truth. About who we are, I mean. They still think we're heroes. As for you... They think you're a hero, just like us. Hell, the way we told it, you're the biggest hero of them all. They think you went in one-on-one against that Kizen character and took him out all by yourself. Even that kid, with the weird name? Rumor, or something? Even he thinks you're a hero. Old man told him you knocked him out for his own safety, so you could get him out of there quick, or something.""The old man asked us if we wanted to stay here. I told him we'd think about it. Jaer and Jerum are going to leave tomorrow I think, but I don't know about Marien and I. She's still gloomy as hell, but the girls around the village seem to take to her."He turns his head away, a sudden breeze making his eyes slightly wet. "I guess the reason I came here was to tell you I'm sorry. Sorry I wasn't able to hold up my end of our bargain, I mean. I don't know how seriously I took it at the time, but judging from what Marien tells me you were willing to do, you took it damn seriously. Out of all five of us, you did the most gutsy thing of all. You were the only one of us who knew how much danger we were in and had plenty of opportunity to run. And in the end, you were the bravest."The old man shuffles, feeling suddenly self-conscious. Lifting the length of the sword he's brought with him, he reverently lays it across the base of the grave. Rising to his feet, he pulls his cloak tightly about him to ward off the oncoming night's chill.He slips back towards the village in the distance, where the farmers have lit the evening lanterns and his friends await.

The Great Hippo's picture
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Acheron's Irregulars, Epilogue

No. That's one of the plotholes that's fixed in the final version.

In the Epilogue Ben's supposed to imply that Jerald only knocked the old man out as per Kizen's orders (Kizen told Jerald to make sure the old man didn't interfere - So Jerald just knocked him unconscious. In a very vicious manner, judging by the blood)

Jerald and Ben's bargain is left unknown on purpose, but I'm trying to figure out ways to make it a little more obvious that the reader's not supposed to know what the bargain was. Whatever it was, it was enough to make a Rakshasa behave for about ten years, and it was enough for him to put his life on the line (and ultimately sacrifice it) for a bunch of people who weren't other Rakshasa or him.

So it must have been one hell of a deal.

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Acheron's Irregulars, Epilogue

Accidental double-post.

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Joined: 2004-08-30
Acheron's Irregulars, Epilogue

I would've preferred if Jerald had killed the aasimar, especially since Ben is now apparently willing on taking his place somehow. More of a redeeming hero that way, instead of a merely self-sacrificing one.

About the Ben-Jerald deal, what surprised me was the fact that Ben felt he had failed to fulfill his end of the bargain. And I don't really see what it was that he did or failed to do in the story that could've been it.

Option 1 - maintain J.'s secret identity. Unless he told on him personally, that's not it.
Option 2 - keep J. alive and unharmed. This coul've been it, except Ben is obviously much less able to take care of himself and others than J.

Hmm...

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Acheron's Irregulars, Epilogue

Originally, the Aasimar was supposed to die. Then, I realized I needed someone to fill in a lot of the plotholes at the end.

I probably could have done this on my own using some other creative means, but once I saw the finish line in sight all bets were off. I charged towards it with reckless abandon and the old man got a reprieve. I might rewrite his death back in... I'm still pouring over all these lumpy piles of text.

As for the deal, originally it was something akin to 'you look out after my skin and I'll look out after yours' (note how concerned Jerald is to save the entire acting troupe, and not just himself). The specifics are lost upon me of course.

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Acheron's Irregulars, Epilogue

Another double-post. I'm really bad with the refresh buttons, sorry.

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Acheron's Irregulars, Epilogue

Wait... so, Jerald didn't kill the aasimar?

And are we supposed to discern what kind of bargain Jerald and Ben had (which I failed to do), or is that left open on purpose?

(I had more questions, but cant think of any right now)

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