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As the fortifications began their construction the following day, our party awoke with a considerable dread. Monty, up early as usual had to restart his morning bread twice due to hysterical sobbing which he feared tear drops may have fallen amongst the flour. The dawn had once again shared its advice with the forthcoming day and lit new opportunity, adventure or in this case sorrow for the forthcoming adventure.

A sombre breakfast was shared amongst the party with very little to be said between the regularly cheerful and sometimes loquacious half-lings was simply met with a red eyed agreement and particularly audible chewing. There at the breakfast table, neither Halfling daring to break the silence as to postpone the reality only a few moments more, Dahlia stood and cleaned the table. The mere gesture was enough to send Monty’s hard gaze into his morning tea, a studied glare to hold back the tears running down his cheek once more.

“I guess it’s time Monty...” Rudy said, standing and giving a comforting pat on the shoulder of his grieving friend.

Monty bit his lip with as much effort as he could muster and stood following Rudy as he stuck his head out the window, compiled himself and shouted to the townsfolk. “Funeral time! Everyone at the make shift grave yard where we buried Gronhiem!” It wasn’t subtle, nothing Rudy does ever is, but that’s simply how Rudy conducts business... Not with subtlety.

Monty and friends slowly, sorrowfully made their way down to the gravesite where Rudy and Owen Lott’s son, the new stable master dug a hole the night previous. Composure was the only thing he had focused on as he stepped near the bundled cloth beside the plot, simply refusing to believe that it could be anything more than that. Reality would once more emerge like a stab to the side as he glanced out to look for Vall, as he usually did whenever he spoke. Something about elves calmed him, usually because they were aloof to the goings-on of what was around them and blissful ignorance can be calming to a man who thinks too much. But there had been no Vall today, simply a pile of cloth awaiting burial.

“People of New Pinefarrow, we are gathered here today to lay rest to another forefather of this settlement. Vall Nailo was a great many things: kind, brave, really strangely attracted to damp places. But above all else he was a friend, one of the best you could ever ask for. I speak here today because I’m one of the lucky ones to have known him since I was just a boy. Let me tell you that even as children Vall would always be the first to dive into lakes, climb tall trees or test the luck of all of life’s uncertainties. He was the first not to show us all his bravery, but to look out for any forthcoming danger that may harm the rest of us. We bury him here today, not as an end to anything, but... so that he can scout the afterlife and ensure that we may follow him safely one day. Thank you.”

And with that Monty climbed down from his small mound and graced the ceremony with a very tear-filled Halfling-highfive with Rudy, as the burial commenced. The two Halflings excusing themselves early to gather what was left of their things and compatriots to set out for the tower of the Witch King to ensure that neither Gronheim nor Vall left this world without purpose.

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