Rest in Gwynon
A painting depicting the white cliffs of Powys
Father Griffith of Gwynon stood above white cliffs of Powys overlooking the northern sea of Aeldin in the summer morning. The breeze went through his golden sunshine hair as he pointed in the distance- over the vast and numerous waves- in the company of his friend and last companion, Daemeon Belcourt. The two kept silent and, for a mere moment, they perhaps even caught a glimpse of their Fjordem’s island city of Austbo. But even if they did not, the waves bouncing against the cliffs drowned out much of the worry that had come over them. Not that there was much to be said, at least, for they comfort in each other’s silence.
The land they stood on was a modest plot that went through Father Griffith’s family’s line for many years. After his ancestor, Nikolaus, left the Kingdom of Oren in hopes to find a new and brighter future within this distant land, he finally found rest within the Duchy of Gwynon. Griffith wondered the same for himself and his child. His son, Nafis, had already braved the journey to care for their modest plot as inheritor of the land. He tended the land for several years already and his hands became coarse and rough from many hours of toil. It was never a dream of Griffith’s to have his only child becoming a farmer. He wished more for him like knighthood or clerical studies. Maybe it is better this way? He thought to himself, My child can find the peace I never found through this humble abode?
And just like that, the priest’s thoughts were overwhelmed about the self-pity he had for himself and regret he clung on to. Griffith was truly anything but a selfish man within his heart. He melancholically pondered of those who he treated as disposable but passed on from his life: Fatma, Juan, Seraphim, Arthur, Pelagius. But most importantly Vaeri, the priest innerwardly wept to God, you took her from me. His thoughts were filled with evil, he knew it to be true as he cursed God’s name, but he felt these wicked thoughts all the same.
“Valerica must be coming up from the city now.” Daemeon said, breaking the silence. On que, the two spotted Valerica coming towards them from down the hilly slope. She was carrying some Gwynonese jewelry (if you could call jewelry from a humble side of duchy consisting only of farmers jewelry) and smiled deeply to them. “The spend-thrift blowing through our money in the first week of our honeymoon! She didn’t even pay a dowry!” he jested quiet enough for only the priest to hear.
All three chatted some silent words as they began to walk towards the home. Griffith noticed some structural improvements and visual improvements in general like the new coat of paint while walking up. It seemed to him that Nafis had been hard at work taking care of much of the land and was very diligent in his craft when the group walked by some barley stems. As the windy path took a turn, one thing stood rather blatantly out. A crack went down the side of the house. They walked on through the windy path and at last found Nafis tilling the land.
Nafis looked up from the ground and stared blankly at the company before dropping his rake and running towards Griffith to hug him. The priest instantly was taken back by this, but embraced his child all the same. “Baba! I missed you so. You did not tell me you were coming! And who are these peopl-- oh! Your friends! You wrote so much about them. Valerica and Daemeon?” Nafis spoke. Well, he did not speak only that, speaking much and more about happenings. Griffith’s parents passing at last into the Seven Skies according to his son and the Duke of Gwynon was hosting a tournament of sorts and there was a brawl he witnessed a few days ago and the priest there was becoming more Akritian in natural and, and, and. His son spoke well into the evening.
When the sun began to set, the Belcourts took their leave and retreated into the far side of the house to rest. Father Griffith and his son sat quietly on the porch in their chairs, looking towards Fjordem. “Baba, why did you come?” Nafis asked, looking at his father’s ghastly face with a side glance. The priest offered an excuse for the honeymoon trip but Nafis could always see through his lies. “Why are you truly here…?” he asked again. And the priest finally answered.
“I am here to see my last kin and I shall not leave until I atone my sins I have committed against you.”
Father Griffith of Gwynon offered no words after those spoken. He peered towards the waters and hoped his son would take it as truth. And to his joy, his son did, looking at the waters with him. His son would never know the true reason his father left was because his father was a coward, escaping from his fears as always.
Though many letters were drafted, only one was sent from the city of Powys.
To Father Pius of Sutica, my brother,
When this letter is received by you, you will have known what has happened by then. I am in my homeland now, as you can likely see from the address. This humble land has often offered me much more comfort than the plague of Imperial modernism has ever brought.
I write this letter to you to ask for your forgiveness twice. First for causing you to worry. I did not know how to speak these words to you before I left Arcas. It was selfish of me, I know, but I hope you can forgive me. Second, I want to ask for your forgiveness for not returning. I have forsaken my calling to lead the grand city of Helena and wish to never see that cursed land again. It has only ever brought me ruin. I hope, in my stead, you and Cardinal St. Julia shall guide it to be the grand city of God it should have always been.
I hope me asking for forgiveness shall not be too much of you. You were always a light within that wretched and dark land. While pain troubled me, I took comfort in your advice and letters. Please, by the grace of God, forgive me.
Your friend and confessor,
Griffith of Gwynon