Originally this was a blog for the setting of a RPG I was running, but after the death of my daughter the game came to an end and I posted about her instead. I doubt I will post anything here again, but I am leaving it open as a kind of on-line memorial.
City Tour: The Residents Quarter
The Friendly Cockatrice
The smallest and quietest of the quarters, the RESIDENTS QUARTER is where the people of the city have their homes. Some of the traders, merchants, workers and artisans live above their shops, the rest living here. Although, many of the people who live here, actually work outside the city, in the outlying farms or the mines in the hills. It's safer, more comfortable, to live within the walls than outside. Expensive though. There's no space to build on the ground anymore, and the council have refused to expand the city for the time being– they made a start on the East side, but stopped when funds for construction ran out– so new builds are built atop older ones, and that costs gold. You can rent, however, and there are plenty of blocks with single room homes in the shadows of the walls. Thy're not particularly cheap either, but if you ever want to settle down in the city, it's the cheapest option.
HOME STREET divides this quarter in two. The East side is where all the local shops and taverns are, as well as a couple of inns catering to visitors who come through the south gate– that's Black Gate, so-called due to the scorched stone, after a dragon took exception to the soldiers' arrows; but that's another story, for another time. The locals don't mind strangers joining them for a drink, so long as they behave themselves. Two taverns of note are the Camel's Hump, known for its imported elven wines; and the Friendly Cockatrice, which does indeed boast a cockatrice that is friendly. It's actually the runt of a litter, with none of the expected petrification powers. The locals consider it lucky if it pecks you.
If you fancy staying a few nights here, the best inn is the Travellers' Rest, one of a chain owned by an enterprising baron of the kingdom. It's nothing fancy, but the sheets are clean, the rooms a good size, and the service both friendly and efficient. They serve pretty decent meals too, but if you want to dine out, I say you should dine at the Aquarium, a fish restaurant that imports its fish at great expense, in bulk and alive, storing them in glass tanks that line the walls. You pick the fish you want to eat.
The West side of the quarter is where all the homes are located, mostly flat-roofed, two or three storey houses or blocks of apartments, four, even five stories high. The more elaborate and expensive houses are closest to the main street, with the cheapest under the West wall. No slums though; these houses are all owned by or rented to employed men, women and their families. The actual SLUMS are outside the city, spreading out from the meagre protection of the lower East wall. You would have seen it as you approached the city along the PILGRIMS ROAD; a dark mess, with smoke wafting above the hovels. That's not part of our tour, I'm happy to say.
Now, if you'll all follow me, we'll go back through the gate and I'll show you the WEEPING CHASM in all its glory.
The funds we raised to dedicate an acre of ancient woodland and a memorial bench has now been completed, and the bench now sits in a wood near my hometown.
These are the maps of its location and how to get there. We won't be able to visit it for a good few months yet, but look forward to doing so.
Good news, for those who do not know, is that we now have a beautiful boy, my son Rohan Robert Forster, nearly eight months old, healthy and strong and amazing. It makes dealing with the loss of Millie easier.
This is him, from a recent outing to some nearby woods:
Happy Birthday Millie.
Love from you mum, dad, and your brother Rohan xxx
Yesterday was the funeral of our daughter. It started by the two of use viewing her body, which was so much harder than I expected it to be. She looked so different, so very much a body rather than the little girl who left us. Although it was difficult, and there were tears aplenty, I am glad we saw her one last time, if only for the sense of closure. The funeral itself was lovely, and it was nice to see so many of our friends and family in attendance, most of whom had to travel a fair distance in order to be there. Some of them we hadn't seen for years, as we'd lost touch with people with all the trouble of the past few years; so it was nice to reconnect, albeit under circumstances that we wouldn't have wished for. Lorraine wrote a eulogy for our daughter, which I thought I would share here. To our dear family and friends,
I just wanted to say a huge thank you on behalf of Simon and I for the outpouring of love and support you've given us over the last year, throughout my …
It is a year ago today that we had the funeral for our daughter, Millie. It was about three weeks after she died, due to the necessity of an autopsy, and it was on the Friday of my first week at work in my new job.
It was a strange and emotional day. We went to view the body in the morning, which I wish we had avoided, as seeing her lying there in her coffin... well, it wasn't our daughter. I could barely look at the body, and my tears flowed freely. I had thought it would give us closure, but all it did was remind us of what we had lost, and with hindsight I would've preferred to remember her as we saw her at the hospital.
The funeral itself was full of people and relatives we hadn't seen in an age. My childhood friend Phil managed to attend, and I hadn't seen him in years. It felt good to see so many faces, and the support they lent us was beyond anything I could've wished for.
I carried the coffin in. I didn't want anyone else to do it. I had to fight back …