Were you expecting Diarmuid with the teaser when it wound up being Fionn? It’s almost like I designed it to be some sort of spook.
This one felt harder to write for me. Probably a combination of things. Less sleep, busier schedule, and a rather straightforward and simple problem/solution were among them.
It might have seemed strange to come to use Fionn to conclude a longstanding issue with Diarmuid, but I felt it was best portrayed from the lord’s point of view. We know Diarmuid is troubled. We know he’s regretful. Yet, Fionn’s FGO lines clearly state he doesn’t mind his older self’s memories, nor wishes to guilt Diarmuid with it past very awkward jokes.
But we also know Fionn doesn’t quite understand how much of a hand he played in the event himself, and that’s the angle I wished to play with. It’s the longstanding idea that throughout fragments, Fionn’s been making jokes and casually fighting alongside Diarmuid, but their past had never been resolved properly. Many just assumed all was right again and left it at that.
So I decided to flesh that out more. Everyone would already know Diarmuid was living with regret and shame, but I wanted to paint Fionn’s thoughts on the past year. The readers had been shown he was calm and accepting of what was, but no one really got the full picture. Just enough to, just like the servants, assume all was settled and well. But it wasn’t. Fionn left an ambiguous hole Diarmuid sat in, and it was only compounded with his Saber form’s Memorial Essence.
Thus, I painted Fionn’s feelings of a year of soul searching. You didn’t get to see much of any of it prior to his fragment, but it’s the culmination of a year’s worth of silent thinking. An acknowledgement of what has been, what caused it, the truth, and what is, which, ironically, is something he couldn’t understand even with the salmon. He needed to eat another salmon of sorts: Chaldea.
So to cap it all off, a vacation fragment was chosen. What better way to show moving on while leaving the past in memory than by showing how Ireland did just that? I also included a passing OC who laid her own flat opinion from an outside perspective to conclude Fionn’s own thoughts. So while it’s a mix of wanderlust as usual, it’s also the final stage of soul-searching with the conclusion of a final, definite statement of forgiving Diarmuid.
Hopefully it came across as a nice sort of healing segment. It likely felt like it came out of nowhere, but I’ll point out, that’s just the nature of the Celts. Their problems aren’t as deep and lasting as the others. They’re more straightforward about it than most, and usually settle grievances on the field of battle… or with lots of celebration and drinking. It’s obvious which they chose for this fragment.
Fun final tidbit: In legend, the Dord Fiann would be blown to signal the return of Fionn and his knights. It wasn’t quite the way anyone expected, but Shea’s French horn was definitely an allusion to that.
Teaser: Even after years walking the earth as a servant, her harsh beliefs remained. She was hardened steel. Harsh and cold like a Russian winter. Gluttonous like an American. Straight to business like a German. She’d been called so much by many, and though she softened little, it was because they accepted her almost tyrannical disposition, just like she had come to accept them. For on the field of war, some may see them as weapons, but the bonds forged in secret battle reached far deeper.