A Moment's Rest (Sir Bedivere)

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A Moment's Rest (Sir Bedivere)
Date of Cutscene: 18 August 2014
Location: Dun Realtai
Synopsis: Sir Bedivere enjoys a brief lull in the reconstruction efforts in Dún Reáltaí.
Cast of Characters: 482

In spite of what would have been summer anywhere else, snow still lay heavy over Dún Reáltaí's plains and hills.

Without supernatural influence, it was a place whose weather was not unlike Camelot, a vast green valley caught between distant mountains. This land had not been green for a very long time, though. Still, it was a comfort to know that it would be, again. The people here had need of that hope and normalcy.

The unexpected lord of the land sat just outside the castle's gates, leaning against the fortified wall separating the castle from the village. It was hardly dignified, and any other lord would scarcely have given a second thought to lowering himself to such depths; to say nothing of spending time with the people that served him.

That, however, was the fundamental difference. Sir Bedivere of Dún Reáltaí served the people – not the other way around. That was why he had been put forth to watch over these people, and that was why they had responded to him with such loyalty and hope.

He paid no particular attention to the workers at their tasks, though he heard the occasional scuffling sound as they stopped to bow when they realised he was there. Arturia had forbade him from any heavy work, unwilling to let him risk overworking himself; he had contented himself with watching from the castle wall.

Eyes half-closed, he bowed his head to the autumn sun. Though the day may not have been warm by most standards, it was warm for what he had seen of the area. He lay against the wall with his hands upturned, not minding the dig of his armour into his shoulder. The sun felt warm, to him; he could not remember being so content.

Time seemed fluid as he drowsed, content to let Dún Reáltaí's life pass him by.

At times he could feel Arturia's presence as she came and went, hauling supplies or helping villagers with more difficult tasks. She did not speak to him, perhaps to let him rest, but he knew her presence as surely as he felt the tingling at the back of his left hand. He could sense her proximity through their bond; felt her presence as an oddly reassuring sensation when her work took her closer to the keep.

Distant voices behind him told him of Saint Jeanne's progress with the church. For days now, she had been directing a small crew and reassembling the building from its own rubble. The cross that would finish it lay apart, a huge Celtic-style cross hewn from a single great stone. It will be a good church, he decided drowsily. Rebuilt and blessed... by a living saint. It will be a symbol of hope for the people. They have desperate need of that.

Other times, he thought he'd heard Gawain's heavier tread, and the cheerful whistling of a tune, or his distinct voice as he chattered with villagers. Although Gawain had his obligations as a Servant, that had not stopped him from visiting the king and the marshal. Taxing as that good cheer could be at times, Bedivere appreciated those visits. Gawain's loss in Camlann had been a terrible toll.

Sometimes, though he thought he dreamt it, he could hear music – the delicate notes of a shamisen, plucking. Those sounds were less comforting; and at times he wondered what that particular guest was plotting.

The contentment outweighed his suspicions, though, and he could not recall feeling such contentment. For once, no threat lay over the water of raiding, and no shadow of war lay over this place. He had no need of the cold and impartial mask he had worn as the Left hand of the King. While some part of him would always try to protect Arturia's honour and reputation, it was not the same, here.

Bedivere opened his eyes slowly, regarding the village and castle, cast in the gold of autumn light. he had lived in Camelot, but he had never been truly comfortable there. He had been an outsider; a foreigner in King Arthur's court, worse even than a commoner. If it weren't for his self-control, he would have seemed uncomfortable in his own skin, there. Only one thing had compelled him to stray from his more northerly home; only one person who had moved him to swear his fealty and serve there for over twenty years.

That same person he could sense in the village below, and he could imagine the smile on her face at doing such simple work. The mere thought of it brought out his own half-smile. They were alike in many ways, king and knight; he sought out such simple things, finding fulfillment in work most nobles would have considered below their station. So too did his king – helping the people directly gave her no greater joy.

Perhaps this isn't so bad, he decided, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. As she said. It is an opportunity to help these people rebuild their lives, and to lead them through the Virtues...

He would not mind that so much, here. In Camelot he had held to the virtues and his conduct had been an example to all, noble and commoner. That had been who he was; he had certainly not been putting on airs for the sake of his reputation. Yet here, such things seemed to come to him even more easily.

This place felt comfortable, to him. He found he wanted to indulge in those small kindnesses to these people who had lost so much. More than that, he and his king had been cast adrift for so long, after the fires of Camlann... the people needed a lord, and he and his king needed a home.

Home. He tested the unfamiliar term, savouring it, as one would a fine wine. Even Camelot had not been a home to him, burdened as he'd been in upholding its safety and stability. It could not have been a home, not as Dún Reáltaí could.

Eyes closed, he smiled, turning his face up to the autumn sun.

Aye. This is home.