From the personal journal of Gareth the Nethermancer dated 16 Borrum 1499 TH
The Discovery of a Pupil
The De Bie family formerly was a quite wealthy family until Wolfgang de Bie VI and his remarkable gambling problem. While it might be considered a gift to those who are ignorant of the true workings of the spirit, old age for an Ork with a habitual need to donate his wealth to the un-needy, proved to be a strain on his family. His son, Wolfgang de Bie VII, and his wife Simone, were relegated to miserable and degrading tasks to provide themselves with an income. Wolfgang the seventh worked with the name-giver and livestock waste and Simone a domestic servant to many of the wealthy families who she used to be close friends with. Though humbled, the new De Bie’s were overjoyed with the birth of twins, the elder Alyssa, and the younger, my apprentice, Wolfgang de Bie VIII. Under normal circumstances this would be a warm a loving start of a close-knit and struggling family who would have to overcome the poverty and ridicule of their past to be fine upstanding members of the community as a whole, but favor was not a strand that is easily tied to my apprentice’s nor his father’s threads.
Simone was one of the beings that were taken in the most recent sickness that was trapped in this bottle, leaving Wolfgang de Bie VII with two four year old twins and his father’s old debts. I remember her service not because of any benefit of this worthless ceremony, but for the reaction of her son. While the husband and daughter were filled with the traditional and mind-numbing tears that present themselves with the uninformed fools in a situation like this, Eighth (my nickname for my apprentice) was separate from the droves of mourners and at the pit where I harvest the bacteria that will dissolve the flesh of the dead.
I said to him, “Boy, why are you not at your mother’s service?”
“Because she’s dead.”, a simple and profound reply.
“Did you not love her? Do you know what happens after someone dies?” I needed to understand what he was thinking.
“Of course I loved her ma’am, but I don’t know what happens after death.”
“Well, after death, the carcass of meat that used to hug and kiss you is emptied of its spirit, which travels across the astral realm far away from where she’ll ever see you again. Then the body rots, so the face that used to smile at you only holds a grimace, eventually becomes thin, falls off, revealing the skeleton beneath.”
“So mommy’s spirit doesn’t rot?”
“No, it’s quite well.”
“And the body rots?”
“Well, yes, but I destroy with the bacteria you are looking at there so it doesn’t.”
“Oh, good.”, he breathed a sigh of relief.
“I have to say I’m glad you are not crying right now. Normally when I tell a child this information they cry and their parents tell me that I’m cruel.”
“No ma’am, you’re not cruel. You’re the nice lady that keeps my mommy’s body from rotting and you know where she is going.”
“Well, that is just the simplified version of this, but yes, I am nice aren’t I? Maybe you should come back when you are older and I can train you to see such things yourself.”, for the record, I wasn’t being serious. I was talking to a four-year-old and had no expectation that he might return.
Wolfgang de Bie VII proved to be worthless after his wife’s death and drank himself into a stupor daily, serving as an extreme and excellent example to Eighth not to mourn the dead. Alyssa and Eighth both followed their mother’s path (into service not death) and worked for the same employers. A short amount of time passed for me, but a longer time passed for the Orks. Alyssa was married off to a violent Ork by the name of Gunther Brokebone and soon afterward conceived a child. Wolfgang de Bie VII moved in with his daughter and turned a blind eye to the contemptuous actions of his son-in-law. This change in life prompted Eighth to seek me for training. I had my reservations at first, considering I made the offer initially only in courtesy and not with any true degree of sincerity, but he has proven himself over time an apt pupil.
Today as I write, it is the anniversary of an event that propelled Eighth into his first circle. The event took place after a night of excessive drinking when Gunther and Wolfgang de Bie VII returned home to a pregnant Alyssa (only halfway through her pregnancy). What follows is the witness of the deceased as seen by Experience Death and reported to the Captain of the Watch:
Alyssa saw Wolfgang de Bie VII and Gunther Brokebone return drunk and singing with Gunther holding a chicken. Wolfgang de Bie VII was too inebriated to stay conscious for long and retired across the dining table while Gunther sat in the pantry area attempting to pluck the chicken clean. Upon failing at his endeavor he yelled at Alyssa to finish plucking “this fine duck”. Alyssa, taking the chicken to the counter with her back toward Gunther, began to complete the task at hand while informing Gunther that it was in fact a chicken and not a duck. She then heard Gunther, in an enraged tone, berating her as a “stupid woman” and “don’t you think I would know what I bought”. Alyssa was shoved forward, with her hands and on the counter in the plucked feathers and her face in the chicken itself. Suddenly, pains from her womb shot through her that didn’t feel correct. Gunther commanded her to look her in the eyes and apologize or she would “get what’s coming to her”. Alyssa, unable to move, simply said that she couldn’t move, but she did apologize while crying into the chicken. She then received a substantial blow to the back of her head that ended her life.
Alyssa and her baby both died, and Gunther is still being held in custody, though Eighth confirmed to me that correcting Gunther was in fact a gahad of his. As soon as Wolfgang de Bie VII awoke and saw what events had taken place, hanged himself in his son-in-law’s house and died as well. In creating his Grimmore, Eighth used flesh from Wolfgang de Bie VII, Alyssa de Bie Brokebone, and nameless baby Brokebone, and in disposing of their bodies I am pleased to say he didn’t show any needless display of emotion, but maintained an accurate view of death.