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019 Tribute to Philion

Let anyone who takes note know that I pay tribute to Philion, my devoted friend.


Though death takes us all, either to oblivion or to some status unknown, it would be far better if it took us all together. It divides us, cuttings us off one from another. Surely death did not need to take you when it did[1], leaving me to wander and you to depart into darkness. It could have waited and taken us later.


Nevertheless, it did, so our hopes ended. You were needed here, and many a time since I would have come to you for help. Life, if lived, ought to be lived, and life without you is less than full life. Thus your absence is nothing but a waste, a cruel abuse by death.


You did not need to be the brother of a king[2] to flourish and would have been a man of great honor in the smallest of villages, living there contentedly and without ambition. Your virtue would have sent light onto those around you. Indeed, I even wonder if you would not have joined us here eventually, going with me as we had gone many places before. Here you would have found peace, for of all beliefs, only the people and friends of Kireca are blessed with possessing no power and no need to wield it.


The birds grow old quickly, as do their children. Many among them come to untimely death, but they seem to forget quickly. However, human memory lingers long, and sorrow lasts. What is lost is not forgotten, and its destroyed potential remains in our mind. We live life considering what it would have been like had the dead remained, and the contrast is ever before us.


I shall not forget you, and I carried on without you, tending to the affairs of life in your absence[3] while acknowledging that power was never to be yours or your family’s.


To a wise young man I pay tribute, and I cannot do otherwise. Your light was known to me, and its memory does not fade. Your life was fruitful; your death was pointless. Nothing more can be said. What has happened has happened. For this, I weep.

[1] Renent’s decision to personify death here is probably significant. He does not blame King Renliar’s Jaipnic army for Philion’s execution, as Renent does unreservedly in the Chronicle. This probably indicates that he intended this document for immediate distribution while the Chronicle was not meant for public consumption during his own lifetime.

[2] As King Grelesten’s second oldest son, Philion would not have become king himself but would have been his brother’s close advisor, as Grelesten’s own brother had been while Renent was in the court.

[3] In a real sense, Renent did replace Philion as Raitrialla and Tyclent’s older brother, acting as their guardians until they were well established in the Velian Plains. Philion would likely have performed this duty had he been exiled rather than executed.