The End of Magic’s Dignity
by Alan Mittag
The rain captured the mood. Dignity was somber, defeated. Despite their victory. They lost one of their own, a promising young lineman name Garnon whose teammates had given the title “Magic”.
The team was not unfamiliar to these situations, Magic was the third they lost since their start on The Farm, but according to Tenacity, “Losing a friend is something you never want to get used to. If you lose that, you lose yourself.”
All ten surviving members of Dignity, Coach Sestonn, Dignity’s two official High Mages, and Dignity’s other coaching staff were gathered in the rain to share stories about their lost friend, and to say their goodbyes. The rain hid away any tears, but I wouldn’t have been surprised to find not a dry eye in the courtyard.
Coach Sestonn took the lead. “Today, we come to honor our lost friend, our brother. He had become a pillar of our defense, and a surprise weapon to our offense. The title, Magic, seemed to fit him from his first day on the field…”
Physique shoved his way through the rest of the team to stand face to face with Dignity’s new apothecary. “You let him die!”
The others separated them. The new apothecary looked away, ashamed. It was a bad first match for him, especially after hearing how well the previous apothecary had done for the team. There had already been calls for his dismissal.
Coach Sestonn said. “I told the Doctor to save his medicines. It was early in the match, and as much as I loved Magic, several of you are more important elements of the team.”
Physique launched himself at Coach Sestonn, burying a right fist into the Coach’s face. Sestonn fell hard, and if not for Royal’s quick reflexes, Physique would have piled on. The elves held him while Eccentric helped the Coach rise to his feet. Through grinding teeth Physique roared, “It’s your fault he’s dead!”
Sestonn swept the rain from his body, resetting himself. He responded with perfect calm, “No, it’s yours.”
“How dare you….”
“I told you,” Sestonn said. “I told you to remove the Morningstar’s peasant linemen to get us an early numbers advantage. Instead you continued to focus on Ser Dagobert and the other Bretonnian Knights.”
The truth of those words struck the rage right out of Physique. His mouth opened but no words came out. His shoulders fell. And after a couple seconds, his brothers released him.
Sestonn said “They got an early numbers advantage because you wanted A Worthy Challenge.”
Tenacity said, “He is who he is, General.”
Sestonn sighed, closed his eyes and turned his face up to the falling rain. “I realize that. Our team aches for synergy. We aren’t a team, not yet. We are individuals trying to make a team.”
Tactician, holding onto a gold and silver etched wooden crutch, said. “Not like the team you are used to.”
“No,” Sestonn said. “The Truth were a team from their very beginning.”
Eccentric, perhaps the most individual of all, climbed onto Magic’s casket and rose his hands to the sky, letting the rain shower over him. “Brothers! We have already given up our family names to be part of this new family. From this moment let us be cleansed of self indulgence. Let us be cleansed of eager individualisms. Let us be a team. We are one mind. One Dignity.”
The rest of the High Elves followed Eccentric’s salute, opening their arms to the wash: Royalty and Tenacity. Tactician and Physique. Stalwart, Jester, Fortress, and The Lion. Even the Mage twins Teloran and Kelowan as well as the new apothecary. All of them cleansed in unison, “One mind. One Dignity.”
Somewhere on the other side, I’m sure Magic was proud of what he had done for the team.