Friday, February 27, 2009

Farewell to a Friend.

I am not sure if anyone follows this blog aside from our gaming group but I want to preface this post before it is read.

On February 15, 2009 one of our group members - Robert Ste Croix - passed away at the age of 33 after a brief battle with cancer. This post is my way of saying goodbye as I - and the rest of the group - were unable to attend the funeral far, far from here.

Rob is going to be missed by many people. Not the least of which will be the guys who enjoyed his roleplaying on Sunday nights over of the past couple of years. Rob's last character was Jonathon; a battle cleric who dropped everything to assist innocents and the weak. Many times it was to the detriment to the rest of us but it was always entertaining!

Rest in peace my friend.


Jonathon winced as he leaned his head against the rotten stump of a tree. Even had it not been just after sunset, he was sure he would still have had trouble seeing with all the blood flowing into his eyes. His helmet had saved his head from being crushed like a melon but he had been rewarded with a large gash in his forehead where his helm had been forced into his skin. Of course that wound was of minor consequence. The mighty club of the ogre had somehow managed to crush his left side. He was having trouble breathing.

He was in a bad position now and he knew it.
Taking a ragged breath he calmed himself. Had anyone been close enough to assist him they would have heard a quiet prayer of thanks to Dol Dorn. The god of steel and strength had granted him victory over his foe. Most importantly he knew he had saved the boy from certain death. His thoughts drifted to what had just transpired. It seemed like hours ago yet he knew it had been mere minutes.

Some might call happening on the situation pure chance. He knew better. All day he had sensed he would be tested once again. Travelling alone to Flamekeep had granted him the opportunity to meditate a great deal on his teachings and beliefs. Somehow he seemed to have gained a sort of six sense of danger ahead. He surmised it was a blessing from Dol Dorn for his faithfulness.
He recalled hearing a bellow of pain as he rounded a corner of this forest path. As he cleared a large boulder he had come across the scene: an ogre dwarfing a human lad held a raised club in his right hand while he grasped a newly opened knife wound in his left leg. The boy was brandishing a knife as he danced defiantly between the nearby trees. Both combatants were obviously looking for another opening.

With a quick prayer Jonathon had leaped into action. He uttered a challenge to the ogre and set upon him with his sword. The ogre’s large frame offered plenty of target but the huge club seemed to swing as easily as a sapling in the wind. The strength of the ogre was astounding. When Jonathon ducked under a blow directed at his head the club had struck a tree and shattered it into tinder. Time and again Jonathon had managed to wound the beast but never with a blow grievous enough to slow it down. It was becoming a battle of attrition.

That was when it happened.

The boy appeared suddenly on the far side of the ogre. It was so unexpected that Jonathon had been momentarily distracted. It was enough for the ogre to bring his weapon to bear upon the cleric. The club hit the cleric full on causing the massive wounds he now suffered from. Jonathon had been momentarily stunned by the force of the blow. He was sure he would have been killed in the seconds that followed had his ally not struck the right arm of the creature. It had been a well aimed attack. Perhaps a nerve or tendon had been severed. Whatever it was, the effect was immediate. The beast dropped his club and clawed at his arm in pain. In the same motion it had also swung around so quickly that it had caught the boy full in the chest and sent him flying like a rag doll into some nearby bushes.

Seeing a precious opening Jonathon had gathered his wits and drove his sword home beneath the ribcage of his foe. With a shudder the monstrosity had fallen forward never to move again.
Jonathon mind wandered back to the boy. He had no idea where the youngster had gone. A quick search had revealed a small pool of blood in the bushes but nothing more. In his current state Jonathon was unable to follow any trail.

He was getting tired. Most likely lost blood. Even with his considerable knowledge of the healing arts he was unable to do much for what he believed was a crushed lung. Fight as he may he knew in his heart he was too far from any house of healing to have much hope. He resigned himself to that thought and turned his heart to prayer. Soon he was unable to stay awake any longer.

*******************************

Tharunn crept forward through the underbrush. Everything had gone quiet after he had bolted from the battle. Honing his skills in the forest was one thing. Taking on an ogre singlehandedly was something entirely different. In fact, if he didn’t feel that he now owed the cleric a life debt he would be long gone from here by know.

As he crept forward he finally made out the form of the ogre corpse. He didn’t know a lot about the huge creatures but he didn’t think they slept sprawled on their faces on the forest floor. Surely the beast was dead. But where was the cleric? From his vantage point he couldn’t see to the far side of the small clearing.

He was about to stand and move passed the body when soft white light appeared on the other side of the path. Unsure of what was happening, he slowly stood and peered out from behind a young tree. For a moment he thought his eyes were playing tricks on him. The cleric was leaning against a rotten stump and in front of him was a warrior bathed in a glowing white light. The radiant being’s armour had been specially crafted to accommodate the two large wings on its back. Tharunn had listened to enough church sermons in his life to know that this creature could be nothing more than an angel. Tharunn heard him speak.

“Awake faithful servant of Dol Dorn. It is time to receive your reward. You have followed your convictions as well as any man could. More so than most. Your time here on Khorvaire is at an end. Come. Time to meet the other faithful. Take my hand Jonathon.”

As Jonathon slowly took the creatures hand a brilliant flash of light filled the entire area.

When Tharunn’s eyes finally adjusted to the coming darkness of the evening he was standing alone with the corpse of an ogre.

4 comments:

Dave said...

I teared up reading this. Very nice tribute Jay.

I'm going to miss him.

Ameron said...

Truly the way Rob played this character, this game and handled real life. He always followed his heart and trusted his instincts. He was a great friend and I’ll miss him.

Neil said...

Well written Jay, I couldn't imagine a better tribute to Rob.

I will miss him.

skallawag said...

A friend has been lost, but my he find peace in his journey ahead.

I will miss him.

Thank for writing this tribute Jay.