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Paragon Forgotten Chapter 15

Image by Ideall Cutler

There are some mistakes that can be cured, can be forgotten, can be repaired; a simple word, a bow of the head, a smile and an embrace. There are some mistakes that can’t.

- Copied from a headstone with the R’th God Astorous’ name on it.


The hammer and iron spike worked nicely.

The human man hacked away at the headstone with his tools, successfully blotting out what a hand had carved there recently beneath his name: There are some mistakes that can be cured, can be forgotten, can be repaired; a simple word, a bow of the head, a smile and an embrace. There are some mistakes that can’t.

A shadow fell over him. He stopped, arm poised to hammer the spike again, already knowing, somehow, who stood behind him blocking out the cold sunlight.

“Why are you desecrating your headstone?” Shollomoon asked.

He cleared his throat. “Someone,” he said, putting emphasis on the word, “has already desecrated it. I am un-desecrating it.”

“You’re making it look worse. There was nothing wrong with it.”

“I’ll erect a headstone for you and carve false accusations onto it. It will say, ‘Shollomoon; A humble servant who has no intention whatsoever to impress the Paragons to become a goddess’.”

“Just make it poetic like I did yours. And at no point have I made false accusations against you,” she said, though he could tell he’d reached her by how her voiced pinched. “Why do you care so much about your tombstone anyway? You’re not actually dead. The mortals only gave you a headstone so they could anchor you to a place where they could pretend they could find you.”

“So stop desecrating it!” He dropped his pike and hammer and finally stood to look at the cleric, her white hair plaited in its long, usual braid. “What do you want?”

“To check on you.”

“You check on me once a year as it is. I’d like a new liaison. One who actually gives me some direction instead of bantering about what I choose to do in my spare time.”

“It’s not my job to give you direction.” She snapped her fingers. “Just to update you on events. Were you aware the Dreamer has been discovered by human hands?”

A vibrating shudder coursed through him, mounting into gasping sobs, and then hysterical laughter. “Thank the Paragons! I will not be here for eternity!”

“Not the reaction I expected,” Shollomoon saw fit to comment, “since you’ve only been looking for the Dreamer yourself for eight hundred years so no one else could find him.”

“I’m sorry. I did search for him. Did so for three hundred straight years. It became a task too impossible for me. A tree could’ve grown over the cuff, for all I knew. So I will rejoice over the fact he has been found by someone else.”

“You act like the worst of your mistake isn’t about to manifest itself. True, it’s getting closer to when you can rectify your mess and return to Eternal Earth. But the continuing damage all before that…” She trailed off, allowing him to fill in the blank.

“It wasn’t my fault.” He folded both arms as if the argument concluded upon his statement.

“Then why are you here, Astorous?”

“I…” He stopped abruptly. Swallowed. His “mistake” wasn’t as black and white as everyone wanted to believe. Mortals were broken, and the Paragons needed a scapegoat to blame the failure of their creation. He wanted to tell her all this, like he’d told the Sovereign Gods, like he’d pleaded and cried as they threw his soul out of Eternal Earth and he arrived in birth as a mortal baby who’d just be born again upon death. Over and over.

The Sovereign Gods did this to him, because when they petitioned the two Paragons to pass judgment, they couldn’t be reached, and the council got impatient and acted in their stead.

“Never mind. Don’t bother answering.” She spun on her heel and walked away. Astorous watched her go, not certain there was any better way to end the conversation.

“Oh.” She turned around. “A human boy by the name of Cohthel Faunt will be given Cinder Dream to hold onto when you’re ready for it.”

“In which century?”

“This one. This year. Soon.”

“What do you mean, soon?”


Astorous slapped both thighs and looked at the sky, expecting the universe to fall on him because, why not? Everything else was. “Why? You know the agreement you, me, and Nevercease made.”

“I do. I disagreed with Fate, but she foresees a future in which she will be unable to hold her end of the agreement, so she will pass the sword onto a kindred whose future, she foresees, will line up just fine for the sword to eventually come back to you.”

“I sure as knuckling damn hope so.”

“And a funny little tidbit…the boy’s father named him Evermore.”

“What?” Astorous pulled the word out of his head from where he kept every unbelief. It made him dizzy with the void it left. “No, wait, wait, how did the boy’s father even know about the legend in the first place? If you and I are only capable of agreeing on one thing, it’s to scrub any and all records of Evermore and Nevercease off Mortal Earth.”

“The Dark Elves. Nevercease could never access their records.”

Astorous pressed his face into the dirt. Grabbed his hair and screamed.

“Stop being so dramatic. Like you said: the Dreamer has been found so your sentence now has a deadline.”

She was right. Astorous rocked back on his heels. Before, his sentence was timeless. Now he could see the end through a pair of high powered starscopes.

Shollomoon walked away, for real this time. Astorous picked up his pike and hammer and hacked at his headstone again, finding it ironic humans did not know how correct they’d come in giving him a grave with his name carved into the headstone.

For he had already died a thousand times before.

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