Witch Knight Cutscene

(Just after the fight with the shadow attacker in Hyland hall)

Varkonen slaps Caleb on the back “Well! That was most impressively played! Most impressive! I couldn’t land a single blow on that devilish fellow.”

Caleb winces slightly and staggers under the bigger man’s blow “It’s no failing of yours, Sir Varkonen. Mari here has enchanted my blades so that I can harm the thing.”

Varkonen smiles widely at the witch “Very clever of her. Always thought she’d be a good one. You can see it in their eyes.” points both his fingers at his own eyes and winks at her

Mari raises her eyebrow and glances sideways at Caleb

Caleb smiles indulgently at the other knight “She is a very clever girl. But we should move on, there’s no sense in risking your good household any further with this stalker that trails us.”

Varkonen summons a servant “Well let it not be said that you leave empty-handed from Hyland! No man that can carry a fight in my own hall and leave me swinging like a novice should walk out of this castle!”

Caleb protests as the mighty Varkonen places a meaty arm around his shoulder and leads him out to the yard “Sir… it was merely the spell on my blades that let me carry the fight. You owe us nothing.”

In the courtyard

Two ponies are brought forward

Varkonen gestures grandly at the ponies “A gift! For the clever little girl, and the knight that helped to save my hall this day!”

Caleb shakes his head “Sir Varkonen, I hardly saved your hall… that shadow wouldn’t have been here if-”

Varkonen slaps him on the back again, knocking his breath away “Nonsense! I can’t allow my dear friends to WALK to Kalray, now can I? What would they say? Varkonen is a generous knight, that’s what they should say.”

Mari steps between the men and glances at Caleb as he catches his breath “Tis true, Sir Varkonen. You are truly a generous knight, and we accept your gracious offer.

Varkonen blushes

Mari smiles widely and looks at the ponies “I’ll ride the white one.”

An Interview with Caleb

Q: Tell us a little about yourself… Where are you from, Caleb?

A: I was born in the province of Brenton, raised in the castle there. It’s a province along the border. It’s a little less civilized that the central provinces, but the people are decent. My mother was a handmaiden of the Lady, and my father was a traveling merchant that frequented the castle. Both are dead now. I had no brothers or sisters.

Q: How did you become a knight of the Lord of Brenton?

A: Brenton is a small province, and there is a lack of trained fighters, especially being on the border to the wilds. The life expectancy of a knight isn’t all that great, and if only those of noble birth were allowed knighthood there’d shortly be no knights. I worked hard from the time I was a small boy learning to fight, learning the ways of a knight… At least as much as a knight of Brenton is supposed to act. I don’t hold much stock in the courtly ways of knighthood.

Q: So you trained for it, and when you came of age you were knighted? It’s that simple?

A: No. Even in Brenton only the most skilled warriors become knights. I trained my entire life with the swords I carry and I am the most skilled fighter in the Lord Sanok’s castle. I proved myself on patrol, and the other warriors looked up to me. Lord Sanok rewarded that.

Q: These swords… they aren’t the usual heavy weapon of a knight. In fact you are the only knight that uses such weapons as their primary fighting style, isn’t that right?

A: That’s right. The swords I use are very much shorter and thinner than a broadsword. I use two of them to fight. They allow me to utilize my speed and flexibility to its full advantage.

Q: Do you find yourself at a disadvantage against more heavily armed opponents?

A: Never. Force is no substitution for speed and agility. I can cut a man to ribbons before he can land a single blow with a heavy sword. I also carry daggers for back-up weapons, but it’s rarely needed.

Q: This fighting style also causes you to go under-armored, does it not?

A: I wear lighter armor, a combination of stiffened leather and steel plates. It allows for less restricted movements and means that I don’t tire as quickly as a knight in plate armor. It’s much easier when traveling though, and much less likely to attract unwanted attention.

Q: It also leaves you more vulnerable.

A: If a blow lands, yes.

Q: Now you left Brenton to be a candidate for the Witch Knights… Why was that?

A: One of the Knights came to Brenton and stayed with us for a time. He was greatly interested in my fighting style and in my outlook on the world. He asked my Lord to allow me to travel to the fortress of Kaltesh and become a candidate.

Q: Did you want to?

A: No… Don’t misunderstand, it is a great honor, but I had duties in Brenton. I had men that needed my leadership and people to defend. Going to Kaltesh was a… distraction. At the time I also thought it was a waste of time, as I never once believed I’d be chosen.

Q: Then why did you go?

A: My Lord Sanok ordered it. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but it was a great honor for a knight of the province to be chosen to stand in the candidacy. Brenton is a small province, and often overlooked for such things. It would bring my Lord some bit of fame among his peers.

Q: So you traveled to Kaltesh, and you met the Witch?

A: I met Mari, yes.

Q: She had quite a reputation in Kaltesh when you arrived, didn’t she?

A: She was known to be… difficult. She is a very gifted Witch, and very headstrong. She had done everything she could to avoid being paired with a Knight. Even the candidates complained about her attitude.

Q: Yet you seemed to get on with her right from the beginning, didn’t you?

A: We bumped into each other the day I arrived, literally, and it broke the ice somewhat. I think that she appreciated my more realistic outlook on life. Some of the knights from larger provinces can be a little egotistical. In Brenton, like many of the border provinces, we can’t afford to be egotistical.

Q: What do you think of the accusations that the two of you “fixed” your being paired together?

A: It’s ridiculous. There’s no way to fake what happened. Every pairing happens differently, and there’s no way to tell what sign will be given. Even a Witch of Mari’s strength couldn’t have summoned that creature, much less controlled it.

Q: What were you thinking when the pairing was happening? When that “creature” as you put it, appeared?

A: I was terrified. Who wouldn’t be? The ground opened up and a creature that could only be described as a demon clawed its way out of the fissure. It struck out squarely at me and we were unarmed for the ceremony. It would have killed me for sure if Mari hadn’t screamed and distracted it. It made the most god-awful noise I’ve ever heard, and it looked straight at me, like it was looking into my soul. Then the morning sun peeked through the clouds and it vanished like fog. The fissure didn’t close up, it had to be roped off and magically filled a few days later.

Q: What did the Witches foretell from your pairing in that manner with the Witch?

A: Well… nothing good. There was a lot of talk about doom and gloom, and more than a few of them foretold complete destruction. Many of them thought it was due to Mari’s “unrestrained” gift and my “undisciplined” attitude being paired together.

Q: There was talk about rescinding the pairing, wasn’t there?

A: A bit. Sir Colvaer wouldn’t allow it though. He said that it was obvious that the pairing was valid. He believed that Mari and I were meant to be paired, that Fate had brought us together for a reason.

Q: Something else happened that day, didn’t it?

A: Yes… Mari was attacked by a specter of some kind. It was after she’d gone off to her room. I had the strangest feeling and decided to follow her, and heard her scream outside her room. When I got there she was cowering in the doorway. I drew my swords and advanced, but the thing disappeared into the shadows.

Q: Has it appeared since then?

A: Occasionally… It terrifies her… It seems to leave her helpless. It appears with no rhyme or reason, and is chased away with barely any effort on my part. So for now I just try to stay close. We aren’t even really sure what it is, but it can’t be anything good.

Q: What is your relationship like with the Witch?

A: Mari. And our relationship is exactly what it should be. She is a Witch, and she has certain duties to perform. I am her Knight, and it’s my job to make sure she performs those duties.

Q: So there’s no romantic relationship between the pair of you?

A: Mari is my charge. Our lives are twined together for as long as both of us are alive. We’re bound by magic. Some pairs become more, some don’t. It’s frowned upon.

Q: Do you see it becoming more?

A: I can’t say.

Q: Fair enough… What about your fellow Knights. Is it true that you’re an outcast?

A: I’ve always been set apart. Mari and I don’t do things like any of the other pairs. Her gifts make her different, and my attitude makes me an outcast. We aren’t particularly welcomed when it comes to group work, as we’re considered somewhat dangerous to have along.

Q: Is there a reason for that reputation?

A: Possibly… Things seem to go wrong for us… Perhaps “wrong” isn’t the word I’m looking for. It’s more like if anything odd can happen, it does. Coincidences. Strange occurrences. The Weird seems to follow us.

Q: The Weird?

A: It’s what Mari calls our luck. When strange things happen to us, she says it’s the Weird.

Q: What kind of things?

A: All sorts. Dying men find us in the wilderness. We stumble across artifacts in the streets. Weather grounds us near wondrous caves. Our campfire attracts strange beasts. Godlings stop to ask us for directions. We’ve had more odd things happen to us in the short time we’ve been together than most people would experience in a dozen lifetimes.

Q: So what are your current duties for the Witch order?

A: We are… exploring. We are given things that keep us away from the fortress, keep us out of the public eye. We’re kept out of the way.

Q: How does that feel?

A: We don’t mind. Neither of us enjoys the company of our peers. We’re outcasts, and being cast out suits us. Sir Colvaer finds us now and again to keep up on what we’re doing, but for the most part we’re left alone, and that’s how we like it.

Q: How about the people you meet? How do they react to you?

A: They don’t react well to Witches and their Knights in the best of circumstances. Witches are a nuisance, but a necessary one. We hide our natures from people if we can get away with it; it’s just easier that way. When we can’t, people react mostly with distrust, sometimes disgust. Once we were nearly stoned in a village on the border.

Q: Doesn’t the order have laws in place to deal with things like that?

A: Law arrives late, if ever, in the border provinces. We take care of ourselves. I have more experience than most Knights out there, so I have some advantage.

Q: What is in store for your future?

A: Violent and painful death, most likely. It’s the usual end for Witch Knights. That or madness if their Witch is taken first. Nothing about this life is heroic or glorious, despite what the candidates might think when they’re all lined up like pets on parade. I know death awaits me; it’s just a matter of when and how. All I want is to make sure that Mari is kept safe, everything beyond that is trivial.

Witch Knight Dialogue Example

This is the preliminary conversation that unlocks the first response in the next segment. (The unlock in this segment comes from having already defeated the beast before this NPC is encountered.)

1. Caleb: Hello there! (goto 2)

2. NPC: Hello stranger. What brings you to these parts? (goto 3)

3. Caleb:

a. Just traveling. (end)
b. I think I’ve just found it. If you have a weapon, you might want to get it out. (fight) (reaction -5)
c. I’m looking for work. Times are hard for travelers. (goto 4)
d. We’ve come to your town looking for some services. (5)

4. NPC: Well there’s always jobs to be had round here. We post them in the tavern… These days we’ve no shortage of them it seems. (6)

5. NPC: We wouldn’t turn away good business. What’re you looking to do? (7)

6. Caleb:

a. Where’s the tavern? (8)
b. No shortage? Is there something going on around here? (9)

7. Caleb:

a. We’re in need of a healer. (8)
b. We’d like to trade, do you have a merchant in town? (8)
c. I need an armorer. (8)
d. My blade is getting a bit dull; do you have a good weaponsmith? (8)

8. NPC: Let’s have a look at your map and I’ll point the way for you. (end)

9. NPC: There’s been some strange happenings outside town, and people are getting real nervous. (10)

10. Caleb:

a. Odd. Well I’ll head to the tavern for a look at those postings. (8)
b. What kind of strange happenings? (11)

11. NPC: There’s been farmers and trappers coming in from the forest, sayin there’s some kind of… wild beast… loose in the woods. It’s got the people here so nervous they don’t want to leave town. And tack on it’s bad for business. (12)

12. Caleb:

a. Is there anyone I can talk to that’s seen this… beast? (13)
b. Maybe I’ll have a walk into the forest and see for myself. Good day, friend.(end)
c. This girl is a witch, and I’m a knight. We’d be willing to help you out, for a price. (14) (reaction -2)
d. My friend here is a witch, and I’m her knight. Is there any way we could help you with this beast? (15) (reaction -1)
e. (unlock) I’ve seen the beast and I’ve defeated it. You no longer have anything to worry about from THAT particular issue. (end) (reaction +2)

13. NPC: You could likely find someone down at the tavern who’s seen it. And for a mug they’d be more’n happy to tell you about it. (16)

14. NPC: We aren’t too fond of those types here. You might do best to wander away. (17)

15. NPC: Well… I’m not at liberty to be making any deals for the town. Maybe you could talk to the guard? (18)

16. Caleb:

a. Where’s the tavern? I’m always happy to sit and have a drink with friendly folk. (8) (reaction +1)
b. I’m a bit spare on gold right now. I think I’ll pass on this one. (end)
c. I’m not interested in taverns. Is there anyone else that could tell me about it? (19)

17. Caleb:

a. And you might do best to draw your weapon. (fight) (reaction -5)
b. No harm done. We’ll be moving on, good luck with your beast. (end) (reaction +1)
c. Like I said, we’re looking for work, and you have no one else to turn to. I think it’s in your best interests to strike a deal with us. (15) (reaction -2)

18. Caleb:

a. I will. Could you point the way? (8)
b. I don’t think so. You can deal with your own problems. (end) (reaction -1)
c. I don’t really want to talk to the authorities. Is there anyone else that I can talk with? (19)

19. NPC: Hmm… I suppose you could always try Old Man Withers. (20)

20. Caleb:

a. Where is he? (8)
b. Who? (21)
c. I’m not here to cater to the elderly. You people can deal with your own problems. (end) (reaction -1)

21. NPC: Old Man Withers… he’s a hermit sort that lives at the edge of the forest. Really wise old man. His place smells of rotten meat though, really sickening if you stay too long. (22)

22. Caleb:

a. Can you tell me how to find him? (8)
b. I’ll have nothing to do with anyone that has “Old Man” at the beginning of their name. Thanks anyway. (end
c. On second thought, the authorities would probably be a better option. How do I find them? (8) (reaction +1)

Caleb’s goal in this next segment is to find out where the beast is so they can fight it. The old man’s goal is to get a bit of attention and to be annoying.

1. Caleb: Hello there! (2)

2. Old Man: What do you want? (3)

3. Caleb:

a. (unlock) We’re looking for information about a wild beast that’s been seen roaming the woods. (4)
b. We’re travelers that are passing through and are wondering if there’s any news you can tell us about this area. (5)
c. Nothing. Sorry to bother you, sir. (end)

4. Old Man: So you’ve been into town, have you? They send you up here? You tell them I’m not crazy, I’ve seen the beastie myself. (6)

5. Old Man: News! The whole area is thick with danger, boy! Surely you’ve seen the beastie? (7)

6. Caleb:

a. To be honest you sound pretty crazy to me. And they were right about this place smelling like something died in it. Fitting that it be your final resting place as well. (fight) (reaction -5)
b. Crazy? Who said anything about crazy? I think you’re very wise… That’s why I’ve come to you looking for information about the beast. (8) (reaction +1)
c. Now calm down, old man. They didn’t say anything bad about you, just told me I could ask you about the beast. (9) (reaction -1)

7. Caleb:

a. Uhm… no? Maybe you can tell me about it? (9)
b. If I knew about the happenings around here, would I have asked? (9) (reaction -1)
c. Why no, we haven’t! It must be Fate’s hand that brought us to your door. Please, tell us about this… beastie. (8) (reaction +1)

8. Old Man: Well… I am very wise… and you’d do well to heed my words, young man! There’s a beastie that roams these woods. It’s been here for months now, eating a farmer here, a herder there… there’s no one safe from its hunger! (10)

9. Old Man: Humph… Ungracious youth these days… I’ll tell you about the beastie! It likes to eat rude young men like you! (11)

10. Caleb:

a. That’s terrible! (12) (reaction +1)
b. Probably serves them right… farmers and herders tend to be of the stupid variety. (13) (reaction +1)
c. Can you tell me a little more about the beast? (14)
d. Surprised it hasn’t come here yet, what with the odor of carrion that hangs about your door. (15) (reaction -1)

11. Caleb:

a. You’re right. It was very rude of me to speak like that to you, sir. I apologize, and we’ll start again, shall we? Please… tell us about this… erm… beastie. (8) (reaction +1)
b. I’m sure I taste better than a stringy old goat such as yourself. (15) (reaction -1)
c. I can imagine. But if it likes to eat men like me, maybe if you tell me where it is then it’ll eat me? (14)

12. Old Man: It is! And I know all about it! They all come whining to me… “Withers, help us! Withers, do something!” Pathetic! (16)

13. Old Man: Hahaha! That’s right! You’re a bright lad, aren’t you? (16)

14. Old Man: Humph… Always wanting this or wanting that… I should just let it eat you, then you’ll know well where it is. (17)

15. Old Man: How dare you! Insolent boy! Do you know that I could blast you away where you stand!?!?! (18)

16. Caleb:

a. What can you tell me about the beast? I’d very much like to face it myself and I need your advice. (19) (reaction +1)
b. Well I’m going to kill it. What can you tell me about it? (19)
c. Let’s just cut to the chase and you tell me where to find it. (20) (reaction -1)

17. Caleb:

a. They were right about you, you ARE a very wise and powerful man. I’m sorry I doubted them. Please tell me about the beast? (19) (reaction +1)
b. At least that would be entertaining for you. Do you know where I can find it then? (20)
c. Just spit it out, old man. We don’t have all day. (15) (reaction -1)

18. Caleb:

a. Why don’t you just try it then, geezer! (fight) (reaction -5)
b. You really are wasting my time. Forget I even stopped. (end) (reaction -2)
c. You’re right, my apologies, sir. (14)

19. Old Man: The beast lives in a clearing about a day and a half into the forest. You should be able to find it relatively easy. Just follow the edge of the forest to the east until you find a creek that enters the woods, and follow the creek to the clearing. You can’t miss it.(21)

20. Old Man: Insolent Pup! Fine! You want to fight the beast!?!? Go along the edge of the forest to the west. When you find a huge rock with a tree growing out of a large crack in it, there will be a trail that runs next to it into the woods. Follow that trail for half a day and you’ll come to the beast’s lair! Now off with you! (22)

21. Caleb:

a. Thank you. You’ve been a great help, sir. (end) (reaction +1)
b. Thanks, old man. (end)
c. Thanks. You really should get that odor taken care of. (end) (reaction -1)

22. Caleb:

a. Thanks for nothing. (end) (reaction -1)
b. Bumbling fool. (end) (reaction -2)
c. Thanks. That’s all I wanted to know. (end)

This encounter can end in four ways, actually… The first and most boring is that they leave the conversation and Caleb just keeps going. The second is that Caleb angers the old man enough that there is a fight. (Requires a reaction total of -5 or more.) The third is that the old man gives Caleb the location of the beast. And the fourth is that the old man gives Caleb the wrong location, leading him far away from where the beast actually lives… With this conversation, reaction determines whether the NPC gets hostile and decides to fight the player. The player’s answers determine reaction and also whether the old man gives him the right or wrong answer.

This way of using dialogue will cause the player to consider his responses more carefully, knowing that if he gets enough bad reaction he’ll end up in a fight. It will also teach him that his actions in the game have consequences. By playing to the old man’s character, he gets the answer he needs, but if he smarts off, he can be led astray or he can even end up in a fight. (And we all know that you STAY AWAY from grouchy old men in fantasy settings!) Maybe the player doesn’t care if he rocks the boat; after all he could be led to an even grander adventure. But if he wants to complete the quest, he knows he needs to use tact.

An Interview with Ventrovius

Cop: So what was your name again?

Ven: Ventrovius

Cop: Ok… How do you spell that?

Ven: J-O-H-N

Cop: Very funny. What’s your last name, Ventrovius?

Ven: That is my last name. It’s my only name.

Cop: Right. What’s the name on your license? Your birth certificate?

Ven: I don’t have either.

Cop: Ok… Let’s just skip the formalities for now… Can you tell me what you were doing in a cave in the middle of Mr. Beshida’s ranch?

Ven: Sleeping.

Cop: So you’re homeless, or what?

Ven: At the moment I suppose you could say that I’m homeless. I doubt very much that my last home is still standing.

Cop: Why wouldn’t it be?

Ven: It’s been a rather long time without being cared for.

Cop: Why leave it?

Ven: I no longer felt at home there. I wasn’t welcome.

Cop: Why not?

Ven: I’m a somewhat unsavory sort, and that annoys most folk.

Cop: You’re a criminal? Is that why you aren’t giving me your real name?

Ven: I am giving you my real name. I have no reason not to. But no, you will not find me in any of your records.

Cop: So you’re a criminal.

Ven: Not one of yours.

Cop: Then whose? Where are you from, Ventro… Ventruv… Ventrov…

Ven: Call me “Ven” if you’d like, officer.

Cop: Ven… where are you from?

Ven: Originally a small village that no longer exists.

Cop: Village? You’re from some third world country?

Ven: Not as you know it, no.

Cop: Ok… let’s try something different… How did you get into Mr. Beshida’s cave?

Ven: I was put there… Imprisoned…

Cop: Who put you there?

Ven: An angry mob that disapproved of my… methods.

Cop: Methods of doing what?

Ven: Everything really. Most notably how I was influencing their princess, however.

Cop: Princess?

Ven: Yes. Princess Evanam, third daughter of King Cardoren of Beshida.

Cop: Mr. Beshida’s relation?

Ven: Doubtful. This occurred several thousand years ago, before the last fall of man.

Cop: Right…

Ven: It’s likely that the name carried down in some form, however. Possibly a descendant of the warriors assigned to guard my tomb.

Cop: Right… your tomb…

Ven: Obviously I’m not dead, though, so tomb isn’t really an appropriate term.

Cop: Let’s move on, shall we? What do you do for a living, Ven? You seem to be an intelligent sort. Been to school? Have a career?

Ven: I’m a necromancer. I’ve held various positions on the side… Advisor, Tutor, Exorcist… but mostly I’m a necromancer. I learned my trade from many others that came before me.

Cop: Is this some kind of cult?

Ven: Hahaha… no, officer, I’m afraid not. Cults are for frightened and easily influenced people looking for an easy way to solve their petty little problems.

Cop: Indeed… Tell me again how you ended up in Mr. Beshida’s cave, Ven.

Ven: The people of Beshida grew fearful of the influence I had over their young princess. They didn’t see learning necromancy as a suitably… princesslike… endeavor. I was declared a scourge upon the land, and the king had me condemned. They decided to bury me alive in that cave.


Ven: If you would like to know specifically how I got there… I was escorted with a full detachment of the kingdom’s best warriors, a score of priests of the White God, and even more old women spitting curses. I was brought through the town, to the cave, which was at that time an opening in a gentle hillside. I was left to walk in on my own, and the entrance was caved in and sealed by divine magics.

Cop: I see… you know, I’ll play along… How did you survive the time you were sealed in the cave?

Ven: Sleeping, obviously. While I am unaging, I do need to eat and drink and breathe, just like any living being. But I am also the most gifted necromancer that has ever lived, and I have power over life and death. I placed myself into a deep sleep, intending to let centuries pass while I slept… and hopefully I wouldn’t dream…

Cop: Ok, so you were in a sort of… coma, or something… and then the alarm clock went off and you woke up yesterday afternoon?

Ven: I was awakened once before that, during the destruction of mankind’s last age. I decided to go back to sleep.

Cop: Understandable… So then you next woke up yesterday.

Ven: Yes.

Cop: And you decided that you wanted breakfast, and butchered one of Mr. Beshida’s chickens?

Ven: I was very hungry.

Cop: Obviously. You’d been asleep a few thousand years, right?

Ven: I haven’t figured out exactly how long, but it was at least that, yes.

Cop: So you woke up, killed a chicken, and ate it raw?

Ven: Not one of my most appealing moments, but I was VERY hungry. I do much prefer my food cooked, I assure you, but I needed the blood. Blood is life, and I had drained my powers considerably keeping myself alive.

Cop: I see. Because you’re a necromancer.

Ven: Well, yes. I wouldn’t be able to do so if I weren’t, now would I?

Cop: I suppose not… So, you eat a chicken-

Ven: Actually I just drank the blood, I didn’t eat the flesh.

Cop: Right… So, you drink the blood of a chicken, and then you break into Mr. Beshida’s house.

Ven: My clothes were somewhat tattered, and I wanted something to eat that wasn’t raw chicken.

Cop: As would any decent necromancer.

Ven: Well, any civilized necromancer.

Cop: Tell me, Ven, what are you doing here?

Ven: I haven’t decided yet.

Cop: So you came to town and, for lack of anything better to do, broke into Mr. Beshida’s ranch and drank the blood of one of his chickens.

Ven: I woke up there, officer. I didn’t exactly choose who lived above my tomb when I woke up.

Cop: Have you ever been in a mental institution, Ven? Some kind of hospital?

Ven: You think I’m insane.

Cop: I think that you are confused, or lying.

Ven: Let me show you something, officer…

Cop: What are you going to do? Raise my dead grandmother from the grave? Haha!

Ven: Not quite.

Cop: What is that?

Ven: Your death, officer.

Cop: What in the hell are you talking about? What IS that?

Ven: That… is how you are going to die. It’s a simple spell really.

Cop: How did you do that?

Ven: I told you… I’m the most gifted necromancer that has ever lived. I have power over life and death. Yours is but a small thing…