Bravery, heroism, loss, sorrow—light.
Leeli made her way through the dogs, touching their heads as she passed and thinking of Nugget. Brave Nugget who had leapt into a company of Fangs to protect her.
When she reached Biggin, she sat on the floor beside her Guildmaster. A resurgence of the day’s horror washed over her as night fell on the Hollows, and her soul was dark with sorrow. She saw the same sorrow in the eyes of her dogs, and heard it also in Biggin’s voice. There had been so much death, so much suffering—and yet, in the face of it, so much bright defiance. So many brave men and women whose stories would be in the hearts of the Hollowsfolk for the rest of time, because they had died for the sake of their friends. It did little to ease the present sadness, but she wept—for she knew her tears were medicine—and she realized that Gnag the Nameless’s best efforts to blacken the world would only serve to scatter light like the stars in the heavens.
“When Leeli closed her eyes and inhaled the pleasant musk of the many hounds and felt their noses nudging her shoulder and shins, she recalled the look on Nugget’s face as he clawed at the Fangs on Miller’s Bridge. His courage was as big as the world, and when he died a bit of the world died with him. And yet here she was, months later, on another terrible day, experiencing a miraculous lightening of her heart’s burden at the memory of Nugget’s selfless act. It was as if a strand connected that day with this one and the Maker’s pleasure was coursing through it like blood in a vein. Then she thought of this one battle, in which there were countless acts of heroism, sacrifice, and honor, which were seen and would be remembered long after the heroes died and became points of light in a dark sky, connected by memories like constellations, each of which painted a picture that all the darkness of the universe could never quench. Light danced along the strands. Gnag couldn’t stop it in a million epochs. Leeli grieved but knew, in a way she couldn’t explain, that her grief would lead to something good.
Discussion: Can you think of any lights in dark skies—stories or people or sacrifices which show that while the dark is dark, the light is lighter? What helps you be brave?
What was your favorite passage this week?
Things to talk about in the forum: Ridgerunners and trolls, doing wrong things for love, Fangness, feelings of guilt. And visit Community conversations for a brand-new game and other friendship opportunities. 🙂
Activity: Leeli tries every kind of song she can think of in her effort to find her brothers: “…Hollish reels, sailing songs, battle songs, sad songs, happy songs, Skreean dirges, soup songs, bacon songs, gravy songs, goat lullabies, songs about the Maker, to the Maker, and even some songs that were so old people claimed they were written by the Maker.” What do you think some of these sound like? Write us a gravy song or a goat lullaby. Share it in the forum. 🙂