End Game

When I die…
I have lost friends, lost my father, my mentor, to the greatest of mysteries called death. I have known grief since the day I left my homeland, since the day wicked Malice informed me that Zaknafein had been given to the Spider Queen. It is a strange emotion, grief, its focus shifting. Do I grief for Zaknafein, for Montolio, for Wulfgar? Or do I grief for myself, for the loss I must forever endure?It is perhaps the most basic question of mortal existence, and yet it is one for which there can be no answer…

Unless the answer is of faith.

I am sad still when I think of the sparring games against my father, when I remember the walks beside Montolio through the mountains, and when those memories of Wulfgar, most intense of all, flash through my mind like a summary of the last several years of my life. I remember a day on Kelvin’s Cairn, looking out over the tundra of Icewind Dale, when young Wulfgar and I spotted the campfires of his nomadic people. That was the moment when Wulfgar and I truly became friends, the moment when we came to learn that, for all the other uncertainties in both our lives, we would have each other.

I remember the white dragon, Icingdeath, and the giant-kin, Biggrin, and how, without heroic Wulfgar at my side, I would have perished in either of those fights. I remember, too, sharing the victories with my friend, our bond of trust and love tightening — close, but never uncomfortable.

I was not there when he fell, would not lend him the support he certaintly would have lent me.

I could not say “Farewell!”

When I die, will I be alone? If not for the weapons of monasters or the clutch of disease, I surely will outlive Cattie-brie and Regis, even Bruenor. At this time in my life I do firmly believe that, no matter who else might be beside me, if those three were not, I would indeed die alone.

These thoughts are not so dark. I have said farewell to Wulfgar a thousand times. I have said it everytime I let him know how dear he was to me, everytime my words or action affirmed our love. Farewell is said by the living, in life, every day. It is said with love and friendship, with the affirmation that that memories are lasting if the flesh is not.

Wulfgar has found another place, another life — I have to believe that, else what is the point of existence?

My very real grief is for me, for the loss I know I will feel till the end of my days, however many centuries have passed. But within that loss is a serenity, a divine calm. Better to have known Wulfgar and shared those very events that now fuel my grief, than never to have walked besides him, fought beside him, looked at the world through his crystal-blue eyes.

When I die… may there be friends who will grieve for me, who will carry our shared joys and pains, who will carry my memory.

This is the immortality of the spirit, the ever-lingering legacy, the fuel of grief.

But so, too, the fuel of faith.

— Drizzt Do’Urden

The Legacy, R.A. Salvatore

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