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Building a Frame Saw
Forging a Copper Kettle
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Forging and Fletching a Bodkin
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

As Brothers We Were Born

Stand fast, brothers. Stand fast and remember that we have failed one another as we will one day fail ourselves. By the sword we live and whether through it or our own end, we will all perish. Nameless thousands have fallen upon the field of battle, and we mourn their death. Thousands wither from the slow decay of time, and we mourn their death. By sickness and plague, so many fall, and we mourn their death. Look now upon the face of our brother who has fallen not by the hand of his enemy but by his own. See the black hood that covers his face and know that it will never again be lifted. See his body and remember him, for remembrance is now all that remain of a better time.
            He was one of us. He was our comrade, our brother in arms, a piece of our lifeblood that has been shed. So grim and solemn a reminder may it stand of the evils of this world which compel us towards an unnatural end, that we may be strong but if we are not there for each other we will fall. Even the mightiest of men cannot withstand himself. Let sorrow fill your hearts as it fills mine. Let you bear the weight of what has happened in our midst, for it ought never have happened. Let your minds reach out to our fallen brother, for in life we failed him.
            Family or friend or acquaintance by arms, it matters not. Humanitarian or dictator, it matters not. Enforcer of justice and bringer of peace or corruptor and cheat, it matters not. He was one of us. He was one of us. We are our brothers' keeper. Gaze upon the faces who stand beside you. Take them as your charge as they will take you. We are our brothers' keeper. A great tragedy has come upon us, and never for a beat of your heart may you think it otherwise. In my life I have watched as family die. I have watched as war makes corpses of kings and lesser men. I have watched as time brings its lace of decay and lays it like a veil of the mighty and the weak. I have watched as the winter frost burns out life from once fertile lands and as the burning fires of creation renew rotten fields. I have stood beside my enemy and stricken him down as my enemy strikes my brothers. We are our brothers' keeper.
            This man before us was not one of them. This man before me was not one of them. I knew him well, I knew him not at all. I will never come to know him beyond what my memory serves. Let the trumpets of war sound over our enemy as the bitter songs of grief fill our hearts. He was a hero. He was a patriot. He was one of us, and as one of us he shall be remembered.
            Until the bitter end may we remember this day. Until our own time has come, may we remember this day. Remember those who have fallen and those whose lives were ended by their own hand. Let the tears of sorrow wet the earth and you know that we have failed. We have failed. I have failed every one of you, but most of all I failed him. I was not there; I was concerned with things I thought higher. In war we lose sight of humanity, send it never happens again. Lift up his spirit, to the heavens and beyond. I am sorry, friend. There are no words to describe this loss. There are no words to paint this tragedy nor to tell you I have failed you for the final time.
            For some, this may take time to understand the weight of this news, and for others sorrow and confusion, anger and loss may come more quickly. It is our nature to seek the answers to questions we do not wish to ask. It is our nature to respond with hurt and isolation. A man may see death a thousand times in his life by the sword, but this is so very different. Questions arise that may only be answered on the other side. No one need tell what they know, for that choice is their own to make. Seek if it will pacify you, but this is of no fault of yours. War makes dead men of us all. We have failed, but there is no bringing back the dead.
            Take a moment, I beg of you, an hour or a week, and be strong again. Such loss cannot come closer than this. We are brothers in life, and in death we will not cast them aside. Take a moment and remember him as he should be, in peace not war. In peace with himself and with you around me, in better times and in good company. No man shall die alone.
            Each of you here holds an immense duty. A weight that we alone must bear. You are valuable, to the last, you are. If you do not see it that way, who else will take this charge? If you do not believe it, I will tell you again that I need you, your kingdom needs you, your brothers need you. Someday this weight will lift and our lives return to the way they once were, but we need first find our way. Our enemies count such dark hours as a blessing, and for that I will not stand. Alone in the dark we shudder huddled with only our past and each other to rise hope in a prospect future. Alone we stand, but it need not be. As brothers we were born and as brothers we will stand. Without you, without you we cannot stand. Without you, we stand alone. Alone, we fall.
            Death, the most dreaded  and hated of all faceless evils, is of no concern to us as mortal men; for while we exist death hath no power over us, and when death is present we no longer exist to know the difference.

            Lo there do I see my fathers' hall.
            Lo there do I see my mothers,
            Lo there do I see my brothers strong and sisters fair.
            Lo there do I see my people proud
            Back and back and back to the beginning,
            Lo do they call to me.
            They bid me to take my place amongst them,
            In the Halls of White and purest gold,
            Where the brave may live forever.

I held it like a dream, like a dream I lived, and like a dream watched it slide between my fingers into the shadows of the past. Farewell, old friend, it is a damn shame I never got to know you.


  1. The old ways will return brother!

    1. The shadows no longer cloak what has been lost...keen words lifting the veil of our indifferance ..Gone..Gone...Beyond the Beyond ..All Hail the Goer