The Miracle at Arabella

The sound of ultimate suffering split the dawn. It was coming from a masked figure, all in black. It raced across the courtyard and knelt beside the dead man. [Roberts arrives too late (64, Dawn & 15 sec)]

“Inigo!” The cry bridged the gap between night and day, living and dead. Out of respect for her grief, the dawn left a cloak of shadow around them. The blade lay dull on the stone. [Mercy Stops the Dawn (65, Dawn & 26 sec)]

Faria raced to the courtyard. “Please, he is at peace now. His suffering has ended.” Faria, openly weeping, rested a hand gently on the figure’s shoulder. [Mercy in Mourning (66, Dawn & 30sec)] Rosaline pulled the mask from her face. Her hair cascading free with her tears. She took Death’s hand in hers. [Grief Unmasked (67, Dawn & 37 sec)] The survivors gathered in the arch ways of the arcade surrounding the courtyard. [The Wake Begins (68, Dawn & 40 sec)] Hugh’s smudging was deafening in the stillness.

Faria could feel the anger bubbling within Rosaline. She was quaking. He looked to Hugh on the balcony. Hugh nodded, they could move him. The eight survivors, those fools who tested their skill, read the silent conversation between the brothers. They moved into the courtyard. Rosaline stood slowly, her jaw clenched. The beatific face turned to stone though her tears never stopped. She stepped in front of Inigo. She was fury. These men owed a debt. They challenged when they should have observed. Their hubris hastened this moment. Inigo gave them life, he spared them. How many seconds of his life did they steal? [Fury Confronts Selfish Bastards (80, Dawn & 28 minutes)] These reckless men who stepped into his circle for their own glory. Children daring each other to poke a dangerous animal. Recklessly squandering the lives of their mothers, wasting the gift given to them. Never thinking of the life, only of the conquest. She hated them in this moment. She did not remember picking up the six-fingered sword but it was in her hand. The blade demanded vengeance.

No words were uttered. The tension in the courtyard began to crackle again. Macphearson’s approached first. Hamish appeared to skip lightly forward, his kilt barely moving. He knelt before Rosaline. Her eyes flecked with lightening, eerily cast shadows to the edges of her bones. Hamish thought he was a Master. He wanted perfection. Last night he was part of perfection but did not pay the price. Inigo paid, twice. He owed Death a Life. Without words he agreed to the terms. The blood in him required it. His life, his blade, was hers now. It was all he had to give, he knew it was inadequate. He offered her everything. He did not bow his head, but met her gaze so she could read his vows. She accepted the offering. The blade flashed.

One by one, they offered their blade to the Wizard’s Proxy. [Requesting Forgivness (82, Dawn & 30min)] Rosaline accepted their blades. She lifted each one. [The Offering (83, Dawn & 31min)] The penitent rose and Rosaline extracted payment. The blade flashed to the left cheek. Blood joined the tears streaming from their faces. [Unforgiven (84, Dawn & 32min)] Their blades clattered to the stone. [Penance Begins (85, Dawn & 32min)] Hugh ran to the courtyard and sketched the final three using Faria’s back as an easel. When all eight swords were at her feet, the acolytes tenderly lifted Inigo and carried him inside. [Death Laid to Rest (115, Dawn & 1h)]

Rosaline stacked the blades where Inigo had found his peace, beneath the reliquary arch. She sobbed, suddenly overcome. The six-fingered sword caught the light but no longer glowed with its own. She grasped the naked blade in her hand. It bit into her. Her vow written and was consecrated. The pain focused her. She placed it in the reliquary arch. Her blood shining ruby against silver.