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Without the Light

Chapter Text

Blinding flashes of light exploded in the violet sky.

The world was teetering on the brink of destruction. Despite Eorzea’s—nay, the world’s—best and most dogged efforts, the Ascians had made it this far. The violet of the void had spread over them, engulfing the sky and everything beneath it, and now only the Warrior of Light and Hydaelyn’s chosen had the strength to fight the horrible creature they had summoned. Ser Aymeric watched helplessly, a deep terror in his gut, at the sight of Tresaie, her closest companions, and a struggling Hraesvelgr fighting doggedly against the horrific, monstrous creature that was protruding from a black rift the sky. Zodiark, Tresaie had explained to them in what seemed like a lifetime ago. The Ascians aimed to bring about the return of their deity—the counterpart of Hydaelyn, who had been banished and split. But now he was whole, or nearly so, and it was he whom the Warrior of Light and her companions were struggling desperately to push back.

They had already dispatched the remaining Ascians—a victory that they hadn’t the time to celebrate, for Zodiark’s head had emerged from whatever plane of existence he’d come from. It was surreal to look across the battlefield to see all of the Eorzean Alliance watching, motionless in their horror, as their heroes fought a battle that none but they could fight. The sheer aetherial power emanating from the battle was overwhelming, and with his proximity to Tresaie and the nightmarish head of Zodiark, it was all Aymeric could do to keep on his feet.

The battle raged on, each of Hydaelyn’s chosen fighting on with seemingly boundless energy—

Until there was an abhorrent scream that pierced through the depths of his soul.

A flash of searing light.

A wave of furious aether.

When Aymeric’s vision returned to him, he froze in mixed shock and horror. Zodiark’s melting head was retreating into the rift, and the violet of the sky was dissipating to reveal a cloudless blue. Soon the rift closed, and were it not for the crystal-scarred earth and the wounded struggling to get up, he would have wondered if a battle had taken place here at all. He cast his eyes towards Tresaie and the warriors and found them in various states of disarray—Hraesveglr lay gasping some yalms away as the White Mage and Scholar struggled to revive their fallen comrades. Vidofnir soared in to attend her sire as one by one, Tresaie’s companions got to their feet.

Except Tresaie wasn’t rising.

The White Mage, now joined by the Red Mage, was struggling—they were pumping her full of healing magicks in between desperate sobs and still she did not rise.

Aymeric’s legs moved on their own; before he knew what he’d done, he was at her side. Tresaie was covered in terrible wounds that the healing magic was struggling to close; bleeding gashes and scrapes decorated her dark, Duskwight skin, and a fragment of her left ear was missing. He reached for her hands as he cradled her head, and his stomach did a somersault at the sight of the bloody stump that was her right wrist. The White Mage stepped back, tears in his eyes as he gasped from the strain.

“Tresaie—Tresaie, no,” Aymeric said breathlessly, unable to halt the tears welling up in his eyes. Deep in his heart he knew what was coming—he’d seen it countless times amongst his comrades during the heights of the Dragonsong War. But still there was a faint glimmer of hope—

“I’m—I—” Tresaie started, before a horrible gurgle escaped her throat and she coughed, spraying him with blood. Her eyelids were heavy, and it appeared she was struggling to focus on his gaze.

Hot tears fell from his eyes.

“Well done. W-well done, Tresaie,” he said softly. He forced a smile on his face; even in the depths of her struggles, she came to him with smiles—she deserved to see one from him. She returned the smile in kind, and the sight of her...Aymeric felt his heart fracturing into pieces.

“I love you, Aymeric.”

The tears fell freely from his eyes, and he pressed his face to hers. “And I you, Tresaie,” he whispered into her ear.

She exhaled slowly.

He held her motionless body tightly.

Aymeric sat silently beside the lifeless Warrior of Light, face buried in his hands.

Lucia had pried him off her body after allowing him a few moments to grieve. What came after was a blur; in a dizzy haze, he had organized the Ishgardian forces and prepared them for the march back to camp, with Lucia faithfully keeping him in line and filling in when his mind was incapable. Tresaie’s companions—those that were able—took it in turn to carry her back to camp, with Eorzea’s forces marching solemnly behind.

Once back at camp, a tent for Tresaie’s body had been set aside; Lyse Hext had the foresight to station a guard at the entrance to prevent the entirety of Eorzea’s forces from trying to enter. Aymeric had stood numbly in a corner of the tent, receiving words of condolences or silent pats to the shoulder from Tresaie’s friends and Eorzea leadership. Even Lucia—it wasn’t often that Lucia touched him, but once they were alone in the tent, she had pulled him into a tight hug. It was then that his stoic veneer broke away: he had sobbed uncontrollably into her pauldrons, and though she said nothing—what really could be said?—her presence meant more to him than she knew. And when his tears were spent and he pulled himself from her arms, she gave him a sympathetic look, a tiny nod, and turned to leave.

“I’ll take care of things outside, my lord. Please take all the time you need,” she’d said.

He exhaled slowly.

It was common knowledge in Ishgard—perhaps less so in the rest of Eorzea—that he and the Warrior of Light were very much more than friends. Tresaie, in her infinite empathy, at one point had attempted to call it off out of concern for his position in Ishgardian society. What would the Highborn say if it got out that he was with the Warrior of Light, she had argued. She knew how some regarded her with fear—she who slew Primals and dragons and their Archbishop—and some with disdain at the grey-blue shade of her skin, and she worried her reputation would poison the Ishgardians’ opinion of him. Her fears were true to some extent but he loved her deeply enough to work through those problems, and truthfully, what could any Ishgardian have done about it? If Nidhogg himself had fallen to her hand, what hope did they have? Their only saving grace was that Tresaie would have found it distasteful to kill those who could not defend themselves.

She had visited him often, sometimes to spend a few days with him and sometimes to simply say hello on her way to some adventure, and he treasured every moment he spent with her. She was constantly in danger and it made his stomach churn each time she spoke of close calls with Primals or pirates or Garleans or the like. Most days the smile never left her face, but as time went on, it became clearer and clearer that her role as Warrior of Light was taking its toll in more ways than one. So to give her some small comforts, whether it was a warm meal or a night in his arms—it was all he could do.

He cast his eyes over her still form. The dead never looked dead , not unless they were horribly disfigured. She looked like she could be sleeping…

Pain gripped his heart.

But he couldn’t stay in here forever. His people needed him, and it wouldn’t do to leave everything to Lucia. With a deep breath, he got to his feet and pressed a trembling hand to Tresaie’s cheek. His whole being screamed at him to stay with her, but he knew he couldn’t—he slowly, painfully, pulled his hand away from her and turned to leave.

He could feel eyes upon him as he emerged from the tent. Drawing himself up and squaring his shoulders, he strode purposefully toward Lucia, who was coordinating the Knights a short distance away.

“My lord,” said Lucia in surprise when he appeared at her side. “Are you —”

“I’m fine,” he said firmly, and was eternally grateful that Lucia did not argue. Instead, she simply nodded and launched into a short summary of the recovery efforts thus far.

The casualty count was not nearly as bad as Aymeric had feared going into the battle. Fifteen dead and forty-six significantly wounded, Estinien among the wounded; though the losses were terrible, as they always were, it was a sight better than having entire squadrons of Knights decimated as in the dragon battles of the past. He felt for Ul’dah’s Flames—they had been hit hardest of all and it made his heart ache to see their dead being lined up just outside camp. Marshal Tarupin was doing an admirable job, but wore a face of war-weariness that Aymeric knew all too well.

By the time night had fallen, all forces were accounted for and organized, and were ready to begin the march to their respective homes in the morning. The terrors of their long battle were slowly getting overtaken by song and laughter at the campfires all around camp—they had won, after all, though Aymeric felt as though he’d lost a part of himself. He had made a visit to Estinien earlier and was relieved that his best friend’s wounds were not life-threatening; he felt he was like to collapse if both Tresaie and Estinien were lost to him. He’d wanted to hide in his tent, but being a leader meant keeping up certain appearances; when Lucia had hesitantly informed him that they had been invited to have a celebratory drink with the other leaders, he couldn’t refuse.

Admiral Bloefhiswyn was the first to greet him when he arrived at the tent; she gave him a brief sympathetic look and a small pat on the arm before handing him a tankard of ale. “Glad you’re here, Ser Aymeric,” she said. He nodded wordlessly—he wasn’t sure that he had the wherewithal to speak—and found a seat beside Alphinaud at the wide table, once bearing the maps and figures they had pored over incessantly in the previous days. The Leveilleur twins looked absolutely stricken, though Alisae perhaps slightly less so; this was not the first time either of them had experienced such loss, but Alphinaud hunched over his tankard as though the weight of Eorzea was pressing upon him.

“Aye, to see us all here in one piece—it’s a bloody miracle,” said General Aldynn.

“Not all of us,” Alphinaud interjected hotly. “And it wasn’t just some miracle. It was all Tresaie, and and ” Alphinaud was too overcome for words, and Aymeric thought he could see his eyes glistening with tears.

General Aldynn held up a hand. “Peace, Alphinaud. The price of victory was steep today. And we would not be here had Tresaie not paid it,” he said solemnly. He bowed his head. “It cuts deep.”

Aymeric clamped his jaw shut as his stomach threatened to empty itself, and he could feel the warmth leaving his face.

“A toast, then!” said the Admiral suddenly—perhaps she sensed Aymeric’s and Alphinaud’s increasing distress, and was mercifully moving things along. “To a new era, and the friends who gave their lives that we may see it.”

Subdued affirmations filled the heavy air, and Aymeric found himself nearly unable to lift his tankard—the wine wouldn’t go down and tasted foul in his mouth.

Lord Hien raised his tankard once more when they had all taken a sip. “And to Tresaie, the Warrior of Light—she who gave everything and more for us.”

It was too much for Aymeric—his hands were weak and he felt sick to his stomach. He handed his tankard to Lucia and nodded to everyone with his eyes to the ground. “I can’t—please forgive me,” he muttered hastily before vomit escaped his mouth, and quickly swept away into the darkness of the evening.

His feet carried him to the treeline at the edge of the camp. He sank to his knees in the shadow of a tree and leaned back against the trunk, looking up to the heavens through the canopy of the trees. Hot tears fell from his eyes when he clenched them shut, and he struggled to stifle his voice—he was acutely aware of the camp behind him and despite the pain rending his heart, he didn’t wish for anyone to bear witness to his weeping.

It wasn’t long until the familiar clanking of Lucia’s armor approached. She said nothing as she sat down next to him, her eyes forward as she almost offhandedly extended a handkerchief to him. He took it gratefully and wiped the tears from his face before letting out the breath that he had been holding in his chest.

“Thank you,” he said hoarsely.

“Think nothing of it,” she said simply without turning to him.

Thankfully Lucia wasn’t one for platitudes—they sat in a tense but welcome silence. Though the weight in Aymeric’s chest only seemed to grow heavier, the quiet of the night soon calmed the churning of his stomach.

“I think it would be best if you tried to get some rest, sir,” said Lucia finally. “If you can.”

Aymeric exhaled slowly.

“Yes, I think you’re right. Thank you.”

Though he was exhausted to his core, the only semblance of rest he got was the hour he spent half-asleep in his tent. But that had been short-lived; as soon as his mind neared the oblivion of sleep, a shade of Tresaie had appeared in his mind’s eye and immediately he had jerked awake, only for reality to quickly come crashing down. Aymeric forced himself to lay with his eyes shut despite the tears escaping them—the march home to Ishgard would be tiring, and he knew he needed every onze of rest he could get.

When the slightest hint of dawn’s approach appeared in the crack of his tent flap, he rose to get dressed. He emerged from the tent into the calm of pre-dawn and breathed deep the cool Shroud air as he took stock of the camp. This time of morning was always so tranquil, and the encampment of the battle-worn Eorzean Alliance was no exception. Those soldiers who hadn’t tents lay deep in slumber around the ashes of their campfires and didn’t stir as Aymeric passed. The faint sounds of the Alliance cooks drifted through the air, already in the midst of their preparations for feeding the Alliance before their march home.

A miqo’te was dutifully standing guard at Tresaie’s tent, and immediately snapped to attention when she caught sight of Aymeric’s approach. “Lord Commander,” she said, standing aside to let him pass.

Aymeric felt his stomach clench when he entered the tent and looked upon Tresaie. Her skin—already dark from her Duskwight heritage—appeared even more bluish than it did in life. He slowly approached and gingerly—apprehensively—put a hand to her cheek. The feel of her cold skin against his fingertips was like a punch to the chest, and a sob escaped his throat.

It felt like hours as he stood at her side, tears slowly streaming down his cheeks.

“Lord Commander, sir, the Scions are here and wish to speak with you.”

The sound of the guard’s voice brought him back to reality. “Please enter,” he called, hastily wiping his eyes with a handkerchief.

The whole of the Scions—even the tearful Lady Tataru, who must have arrived just this morning—quietly entered the tent with Lucia in tow.

“Lord Aymeric, we thought it wise to discuss the matter of—of Tresaie now,” Y’shtola began, and Aymeric was grateful that she had the prudence to get straight to the matter. It was surely a discussion that needed to happen now before the Alliance dispersed to their homelands, though it was one that he’d been dreading all night.

“Yes,” was all he could say.

“We thought that Mor Dhona might be an appropriate resting place for her,” she continued. “Somewhere not beholden to any city-state of Eorzea. Though certainly not the most hospitable place, I suppose, nor one with the best history.”

“No, I think you have the right of it. Have you a place in mind?” Aymeric said quietly. Tataru was sobbing quietly behind Lyse by Tresaie’s head, and though he did his best to momentarily ignore it, he felt that his chest might be crushed by the weight.

“There are some cliffsides overlooking Lake Silvertear that would be quite nice,” said Y’shtola with a small smile. “Perhaps odd at first glance, what with Midgardsormr’s body in the distance. Though I’ve no doubt that the great wyrm would not object to the company.”

This was true, but Ayermic couldn’t bring himself to smile. Still, it made sense for Tresaie to be laid to rest there, rather than Ishgard or any other city-state.

“I—I must see the Knights back to Ishgard. If the Scions take her to Revenant’s Toll, I will immediately make way once everything in Ishgard is sorted,” said Aymeric.


“Alphinaud and I will pay a visit to the Eorzean beast tribes and various other people Tresaie has befriended and inform them of the news in the meantime,” Thancred said, taking a small step from behind Y’shtola. “The Dravanians as well. Alisae will handle Othard. It’s best they hear it directly from us, rather than whatever the news will morph into by the time the hearsay reaches them.”

“Take this linkpearl,” said Y’shtola, rummaging in a sack at her waist before holding out her hand. “Do contact us if you need anything. We have thaumaturges on hand, should you need the time.”

Aymeric clenched his jaw. Thaumaturges on hand for ice magicks, no doubt... “Thank you. The journey to Revenant’s Toll shouldn’t be long on a fast chocobo.”

There was an uneasy, heavy silence—all seemed reluctant to leave the tent for the work that faced them outside.

“I must make sure my Knights are ready to march,” Aymeric said hoarsely when he could no longer stand the silence. “Thank you, Scions. Come, Lucia.”

He emerged to a camp that had awoken from its slumber in the short time that he had spent in the tent. Many of the soldiers were devouring their breakfasts, while the rest were already breaking down their tents and packing up their personal supplies. “The Knights will be ready to march in an hour,” Lucia said as they weaved their way through the increasingly hectic camp. “Handeloup is organizing the wagons now. All that is left is for our cooks to pack up once everyone has been fed, and the Knights will be ready to go”

“Thank you. I don’t know what I would do without you and Handeloup,” said Aymeric, giving Lucia a grateful smile. She gave him a small nod and the slightest smile of understanding.

True to her word, upon the next bell most of the Alliance was packed up and awaiting orders. The Dragonkillers and wagons, three bearing those unable to walk and two bearing their fallen, were hitched up to their chocobos and ready to march. When Handeloup confirmed their readiness, Aymeric and Lucia found their way to the Alliance leadership tent—or rather where it once stood, as it was now packed up and nowhere in sight. Admiral Bloefhiswyn was in the midst of preparations with Lord Hien: it appeared that the Doman forces were to accompany the Lominsans back to Limsa Lominsa and allow their people a chance to rest and recover before the long voyage back to Doma.

It wasn’t long before the rest of Alliance leadership arrived. Aymeric was relieved that all were as eager to return home as he. There were no idle pleasantries—their people were too weary, hungry, and hurt to waste any more time at the camp. Due to their position along the border of the Black Shroud and Gyr Abania, the Ishgard, Ul’dah, and Gridanian forces would march toward Gridania together, while the Limsa Lominsans and Domans, whose ships were moored just off the Rothlyt Sound, accompanied the Ala Mhigans.

“‘Twas an honor to fight alongside you all!” said General Aldynn once all their affairs were in order. “May the Twelve see us all safely home.”

Aymeric had afforded the Knights a night in Gridania to rest and make merry, but he wanted nothing more than to simply melt into the ground. It was a monumental struggle to hold it together long enough to keep his people organized and out of trouble so as not to leave Gridania in ruins, and he was only just coherent during dinner with the Elder Seedseer. He was eternally grateful that Kan-E-Senna had also invited Marshal Tarupin, Y’shtola, Thancred; while he was more or less functional, it was a deep relief to have the others around to hold the conversation. And it was an even further relief that the dinner was not a drawn-out affair—Kan-E-Senna sent them back to their respective camps once they had eaten their fill, insisting that they rest to prepare for the days ahead.

As he left the bounds of Gridania, he stopped at the makeshift infirmary the chirurgeons set up just outside the Blue Badger Gate, where they and what healers the Gridanians could spare were caring for the wounded Knights. He peered inside one and found a familiar—but no less gut-wrenching—scene; Knights were moaning and whimpering in pain, some swathed in bandages and others with nasty wounds that looked partially closed via healing magicks. But Aymeric felt some small measure of relief at the subdued movements of the chirurgeons and healers. Their lack of urgency meant that most of the wounded, though they were in pain, made it through the worst of it.

He spotted Estinien towards the rear of the largest tent, along with what appeared to be the rest of the injured Dragoons. Aymeric felt a weight leave his chest when he saw Estinien awake, and he immediately made way toward him.

“Estinien,” he said, smiling when Estinien caught sight of his approach. “Full glad am I to see you awake, my friend. How do you feel?”

“Like shite,” Estinien said, though a small smile spread across his lips. He glanced to his left at a small crate next to the cot, then back to Aymeric expectantly. It took his exhausted brain a moment to realize that Estinien was telling him to sit.

“I heard the news,” Estinien said quietly. “How are you, my friend?”

“I —” Aymeric began, but he found the words caught in his throat.

“Ah. I—’twas a thoughtless question. Forgive me.”

He couldn’t bring himself to look at Estinien, least not with his eyes welling up with tears. But he felt a hand on his arm and looked to his friend in surprise through bleary eyes.

“You are not alone in this, my friend,” said Estinien. “Whatever darkness may lie ahead—I shall be there with you.”

Aymeric was overcome, and he managed a small, tearful smile.

“Thank you.”

Sleep eluded Aymeric that night as well. The exhaustion was no better than the previous night, but the events of the day prior replayed incessantly in his mind’s eye and prevented him from slipping into slumber.

The fierce battle with the Ascians’ thralls and shades.

His Knights falling to their brutality.

Zodiark’s head emerging from the rift.

Tresaie, and her last breath—

A small sob escaped his throat.

Two days of hard marching—as hard as the Knights were able—saw them back to Ishgard. The Knights were as eager to be home as Aymeric, and they had let out a cheer when the familiar Gates of Judgement came into view. He’d sent a messenger ahead to inform the city of their impending arrival, and indeed, when they reached the Steps of Faith, they found what felt like half the city eagerly awaiting their arrival.

As they entered the city proper, cheers rang out from knights and civilians alike, as they ran to embrace their families. Aymeric couldn’t help but smile at their joy, though the feeling was tempered by the sight of those who did not see their loved ones among the Knights. This was regrettably a familiar sight as well, and one that was always difficult to behold—their sobs always pierced right through his heart, and this time—this time more so…

Though his entire body was begging for rest, it took another few hours before he, Lucia, and Handeloup could finally take a seat at the large table in the Congregation. They sat in a weary silence as attendants brought out the food and drink that they had been refusing since their arrival; the three of them had desired nothing more than to finally get all their dodos in a row before finally taking a rest.

“You both have my deepest thanks,” said Aymeric, raising his goblet to them.

“No need for thanks, my lord,” said Handeloup. “Get some sleep and that will be thanks enough.”

“I’m afraid I must impose upon you both for a little while longer,” Aymeric said. “When I get the word from the Scions, I must make way to Revenant’s Toll, for—for—”

He couldn’t complete the sentence.

“I will accompany you. There’s no way you’re going alone,” Lucia interjected with a disapproving frown. Handeloup nodded in agreement.

“Don’t worry about the Knights. You leave them here in good hands,” he said with an understanding smile.

Aymeric nearly teared up at his words.

“Yes—I know. Thank you.”

Tresaie’s body was chilled in a coffin full of ice magicks in the center of the Solar.

Aymeric exhaled slowly.

He’d managed to push the feelings back in order to remain functional, but now—now he couldn’t even stand. Tears rolled down his cheeks at the sight of her and her purpled skin and his shoulders were wracked with sobs. It was real now—it was too real—Tresaie was dead and gone and cold—

He buried his face in his hands to staunch the tears.

But eventually his tears were spent, and though he felt as though a lance had run him through, he straightened up and dried his face.

He put a trembling hand to Tresaie’s cheek, drinking in the image of the peaceful, lifeless form of his love.

Aymeric pressed a kiss to her forehead.

“I love you.”

He mouthed the words against her icy skin, before exhaling slowly.

With one last, tearful look, he forced himself from the Solar.

Quite the assortment of people had congregated in the Rising Stones while he’d been inside. Hien and Yugiri, who arrived from Limsa the night before, were chatting with Lyse, who’d just arrived from Ala Mhigo via Aetheryte. The whole of Garlond Ironworks was present, Nero included. Aymeric was shocked to see the Sultana; neither Admiral Bloefhiswyn nor Kan-E-Senna were in attendance, but here was Nanamo in incognito attire at General Aldynn’s side. When Aymeric asked Alphinaud about the Sultana’s appearance, he explained that the Sultana considered herself friends with Tresaie in a way that the Admiral and Elder Seedseer didn’t, and so was attending for personal reasons rather than diplomatic ones.

There were several people that Aymeric didn’t recognize. He was familiar with her closest comrades, as they sometimes joined him and Tresaie for a meal or drink, but the others were unknown to him. Alphinaud gestured toward the musclebound Ala Mhigan standing alone in a corner; he was a monk who was Tresaie’s martial artist mentor. A young Gridanian girl who couldn’t have been more than fifteen summers old was apparently a friend from the Conjurer’s Guild. The Au Ra in sinister armor and the young Elezen with him, however, were unknown to even Alphinaud—he only knew of them because he had happened upon Tresaie speaking to them in the Forgotten Knight. Evidently, nobody had actually invited them; they had shown up at the Rising Stones claiming to be friends with her, and would have been turned away if Tresaie’s companions hadn’t recognized them and welcomed them inside.

When it came time to begin the journey to Tresaie’s resting place, a somber silence fell upon them. Four of her comrades solemnly carried the now-closed coffin from the Solar—Lalafells included, though they had to use their shoulders. Y’shtola put a hand to Aymeric’s arm as they passed and gently pushed for him to follow them from the Rising Stones. They loaded her into the empty and uncovered merchant wagon waiting outside, and when Aymeric hesitated, one of the Lalafells held out a hand.

“Come up, Ser Aymeric. And Lucia, you too,” she said, a small smile on her face. He returned the smile in kind and took her hand, clambering into the wagon.

The sun shone brightly upon them as they made their way to Lake Silvertear.

The Scions had chosen a spot some distance off the path—it was just far enough from the path that passersby wouldn’t realize it was there. Someone had already come to dig a pit, and an unassuming tombstone had been placed at the top. The view of Midgardsormr and the crashed Garlean ship from there was awe-inspiring and also somehow calming in its tranquility. Y’shtola had chosen well.

Tresaie’s friends moved to lift her coffin from the wagon. Aymeric looked to them and put a hand on the lid. “May—may I help?” he asked softly.

The Roegadyn let out a deep laugh. “Don’t need to ask us. ’Sides, would be wrong if you didn’t, wouldn’t it?”

They made room for him, and together they lifted the coffin from the wagon. He felt his heart clench as they slowly walked it toward the pit, and he was unable to keep the tears from welling up in his eyes. Her friends made no effort to stifle their tears and sniffles as they set her down at the foot of the pit, across a set of ropes that the Scions had laid on the ground.

“Thank you all for coming,” Y’shtola said to all those gathered. “Tresaie was—she was never one for reveling in accolades so I shall keep this brief.

“The Warrior of Light and her friends stood between us and certain doom that day. She gave herself for us, without a moment’s hesitation, as she did countless times before. I hope that she may rest knowing that her sacrifice saved us all…” Y’shtola turned to look at the coffin, her expression softening and her ears lowering ever so slightly. “I know I speak for everyone when I say that we will miss you, Tresaie. Full glad am I to have known you in this life.”

There was a murmur of agreement—and a hearty “Aye” from General Aldynn and Tresaie’s Roegadyn friend. Y’shtola nodded to the Scions, who took hold of the ropes and lifted the coffin toward the pit. Aymeric and Tresaie’s friends each stood behind a Scion and took hold of their ropes to steady them, and together they slowly lowered her into the pit.

Aymeric felt his breath leaving him as the coffin descended deeper and deeper.

He let out a silent sob when he felt it reach bottom.

An Elezen thaumaturge stepped up to the pit and dispelled the ice magicks.

A Scion stood ready with a shovel.

Y’shtola nodded.

The soil hit the lid.

Aymeric let out a sob.