Sacrifice, love, wealth. Those were the choices given to Sparrow. Either she could resurrect those who died as a result of the spire, or she could resurrect her family. The third option, which didn't really consider, would have given her more gold than she would have ever needed. So she was down to two options. Does she restore the lives of the thousands who died at the hand of Lucien? Or does she bring back those she loves. Rose, who she worked so hard to avenge would finally be able to live again. Her faithful companion, Bear, would be reunited with her. The one tearing at her, pulling at her, though, was Rosary. Sparrow's daughter was just six years old when Lucien's men claimed both her life, and Sparrow's husband's. How Sparrow wish she had known what would have been taken from her. How many lives would be lost, because of her. Rosary was a child, and they showed no mercy. Sparrow could still hear her voice, running up to her as she entered her home every week.
"Mum! I missed you so much, did you fight lotsa monsters?" The little girl clung to Sparrow.
"I did. Even defeated a forest troll!" Sparrow responded, embracing her daughter.
"Wow mummy! Are you staying a long time?" Rosary was hopeful.
The hero had to prevent herself from letting her expression fall, knowing she was about to let the child down.
"I'm afraid not, dear. Mummy must go back to Theresa in three days time."
If Rosary got anything from Sparrow, it was resilience. The child tried to hide how sad she would be, when her mother returned to the guild.
"Aw, when will you get to stay forever?"
Forever? Sparrow had always wanted to be able to spend time raising her child, to be more present. Though this quest to defeat Lucien has been going on so long, she hadn't quite realized that one day, she wouldn't have to only make weekly visits to her home. She'd live there, forever. Sure, she'd still do the occasional quest, but it would be her choice. Not a requirement.
"Soon, my little dove. Once my quest is complete, I'm helping the people of Albion."
"Mum, you're so cool. No one else I know has a mummy who's a hero!"
Sparrow smiled at her daughter. Rosary was a happy, optimistic child. She never showed disappointment in how long Sparrow would be gone, often excited to hear about Sparrow's next adventure. It was then Sparrow noticed the absence of her husband.
"Rosary, where's daddy?" Sparrow asked, looking around for him.
"Upstairs, he was reading a book to me, but I think he fell asleep!"
"Let's go wake him up."
Sparrow took her daughter by the hand, and they ventured off to find Sparrow's husband, Bryn, asleep in the study chair, book splayed across his lap. Rosary broke away, excited to wake her dad, and inform him of Sparrow's arrival.
"Daddy! Daddy! Wake up, mum's home!" Rosary shook Bryn's arm, trying to wake him.
Bryn stirred, his face twitching slightly. Sparrow had to keep herself from laughing.
"Daddy!" Rosary was holding his arm and jumping at this point.
This time, Bryn moved his hand, as if to shoo away a cat.
"Five more minutes.." he sleepily replied.
"Hello dear." Sparrow finally decided to interject.
Bryn opened his eyes, to see his wife standing in the room.
"Sparrow! We missed you so much. How was your trip this time, dear?"
"Very interesting, this time round. Rosary, darling, why don't you go play with Bear? I'm sure he's missed his best pal."
Rosary took off down the stairs, excited to see the dog. Sparrow sat down in the chair across her husband, and leaned back, relishing the moment. Bryn studied her expression, wondering what she was thinking.
"Bryn, we're almost done. We just have find one more artifact. After that we will call forth the great weapon, and use it to defeat Lucien once and for all."
"How far have you come?"
"Well, apparently we have to make another trip to Wraithmarsh, which I'm not particularly found of. I'm hoping it will be a quick one."
"Yes, as do I. I don't know if I could handle you being in the spire another ten years."
"That won't happen again."
"I know, dear. I guess I'm just saying that sometimes hero work seems to get in the way of our family. Rosary asks every day you're gone, when you'll be back. She needs her mother."
"Believe me, I would rather be here, watching her grow up. But for as long as Lucien is still alive, and in the spire, nobody is safe. I'm doing this for her future. That tyrant already took one person I love from me, I'm not letting him have another."
"I know, I'm sorry. You really are making a difference for the greater good," Bryn leaned forward, holding Sparrow's hand, "We just miss you, is all."
He kissed her forehead, and Sparrow leaned into him.
"I miss both of you endlessly, dreading the days that I have to leave you two. I wish these visits were longer."
"How long are you able to stay this time?"
"I can stay for three days, and then I have to go back to the guild. I know it isn't as long as usual, but I promise to be back soon, though."
"We will still be here, waiting for you. Come dear, it's getting late and I can tell you haven't slept well. You need rest."
Bryn took Sparrow's hand, leading her to their bed.
"But Rosary needs me right now..."
"You need rest, Sparrow."
She refused to fight as Bryn began undressing her. She sat on the bed, while Bryn removed her shoes, only then realizing how much the lack of sleep was catching up to her. As Bryn pulled Sparrow's night dress out of the wardrobe, she felt her eyelids becoming heavier. Once she was prepared for bed, her husband tucked her in.
It was moments like this that Sparrow was extremely grateful to have her family. After Rose was taken away, she was convinced that the universe wouldn't grant her another chance at family. Sparrow had always thought she was supposed to be alone.
Over the next two days, Sparrow spent much of her time caring for her young daughter, watching her play.
I'm going to bring down Lucien for you. You will be free to live when he's gone.
On the third day, she stood at the steps of her home, holding her little girl close.
"I'll be back in two weeks. You be good for daddy, okay? I love you."
"I love you too, mummy."
Standing up, she embraced Bryn. He kissed her head, before whispering in her ear, "You've got this. I love you, Sparrow."
"I love you too." She whispered back, before letting go.
When Sparrow left, she had no clue that she had just said goodbye to her family for the last time.
"You must make your choice, Sparrow."
Suddenly, the hero was brought back to reality, in the Spire. Theresa stood there, awaiting her decision.
"Theresa, I know what I need to do."
"I lost everything to Lucien...My sister, my childhood, even my husband and child. The pain of losing them is almost unbearable. I am not the only one who's lost it all because of Lucien, though. My pain is echoed by thousands of families. For that reason...I pick sacrifice."
"Are you sure, hero?"
"I am aching to see my family again. I will never stop missing my family, but there are thousands of others who are feeling the same way. I can't let them continue to suffer."
"So be it."
The spire began pulsing at a higher rate, Sparrow could feel it this time. She never really disconnected from the Spire. Previously, she had learned to ignore the rhythmic beat. This time, it kept growing more intense, almost unimaginable. Just when Sparrow couldn't take anymore, it stopped. The wish was granted.
Theresa and Sparrow were returned to the others.
It was silent for a moment, while Sparrow stared at the ground.
Hammer was the first to break the silence.
"We heard everything. Sparrow you sacrificed your family, for the good of others. I don't know if I could have made that choice myself. A most humbling choice."
"Yes, indeed. Choosing the lives of others, even when it doesn't benefit you, demonstrates a great understanding of the greater good." Garth affirmed.
"But your..you had a child! What about Rosary?" Hammer stared at Sparrow.
Sparrow couldn't speak. Another silence filled the air.
This time, Reaver cut in.
"Well, I think it was a foolish choice. You could have had all that wealth! Probably not more than my own of course..."
"Shut it, Reaver."
This was a common occurrence amongst Reaver and Hammer. Reaver would flaunt his wealth, and Hammer would tell him off for it.
"I am just stating what she could have had. Fame, riches, glory, the power to do whatever she so pleased..."
"You are the most selfish, vile, person I have ever had the displeasure of coming across."
"And you are the most displeasing, angry, me-
"Everyone, please stop. Stop talking about it" Sparrow finally found her voice, "Let's just move on, I can't think about this anymore."
Everyone else fell silent, and Sparrow closed her eyes.
"Heroes, the spire can transport you anywhere you please. Where is it each of you wish to go?" Theresa said
Hammer chose to study up north with monks, tired of being the cause of so much violence.
Garth returned to Samarkand, Reaver following. Though Reaver likely misunderstood the entire region of Samarkand, expecting it to be "exotic".
When they were gone, Theresa turned to Sparrow.
"The fate of the world is now in your hands, but this spire, is mine. Now...begone..."
Within seconds, Sparrow found herself under the clock tower, her stomach turning. After sitting a few moments, she started towards her house, the knots in her stomach growing as she got closer to the place she once called home.