1866-10-31: Three Empty Plates
Three Empty Plates
Summary: Tiadora contemplates Spirit Day
Date: 1866-10-31
Related: Various re: Spirit Day / Normont

Spirit Day’s public celebrations were over. The Gerrell manse held a quiet gathering for friends and family – a very small gathering indeed considering both the qualifications. There were candles, burned offerings of hair and poetry, and small cups of mare’s milk and potent herbs for the very brave. The ritualistic blood offerings were not given; they may be descended of barbarians but they were no longer.

When the gathering departed, Tiadora had the family shrine brought in off the street. It had a painting of Paul Gerrell in his prime, noble and confident – done by her own hand. It was wreathed in the traditional garlands and red and black roses. A few small offerings were left in his honor. As the shrine was placed back in the private chapel, two smaller miniatures were returned to their places- two images which would certainly not be welcome in public view. Only a single candle burned before the pair as opposed to the half-dozen set before Paul.

The dining hall was cleared of all guests and the servants conducted the very last of the cleanup process. Tia swept silently through to stare at the high dais table. As before, a high place of honor for Paul set at the center with two smaller settings alongside. There should have been four set on the high table, but there was no way Tiadora or any of the Normont nobility could have known that. Nonetheless, the sight of the empty places for her dead family sobered her. Usually Spirit Day was full of joyous remembering. She only smiled briefly when the songs sung in honor of Paul’s last stand were performed. Her parent’s deeds were certainly downplayed. They were the reason FOR Paul’s stand. Something she was not proud of.

As she watched the servants clear away the plates and snuff the candles on the chandelier, Tiadora started to cry. She missed Paul. She even missed her parents, for all their misguided villainy. She missed her brothers and her sister and the safety of her rooms and books. For all that her young life was spent sequestered in her rooms, they were at least familiar. Every day the same and immutable, like the lines of sacred text.

Tears streaming down her plump cheeks, Tia went back to the shrine and knelt in prayer. She would end Spirit Day honoring and missing the dead, both good and bad.

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