This is the other story I've written about Graham Drakkon. I'll also note that it's very short as it was written as a teaser for the character who would be fleshed out in the New World RPG. It was the first story I'd written about one of the Drakkon family members which wasn't taking place in an alternate timeline (although the New World is a possible timeline it does follow on from what has happened in the main For Honour and Glory time period).
The man looked at the bottle which sat before him on the desk. He muttered his typical refrain “The bottle’s a curse, the drink’s a prison. Better off without it.” The words were spoken like a chant, like a religious phrase long memorised. They seemed hollow to him now. It was as if the words had been uttered so often they had lost their power and did not raise his mood like they once had. Maybe just the one drink, what could it hurt? A bad question he was sure, and a worse answer he was in no doubt.
Quietly, with a rough voice like granite, the man said “I don’t need it, even if I think I want it.” Tentatively his hand reached out for the bottle but found itself dragged down to drum aching fingers upon the smooth wooden desk. Mahogany was the wood used to make the desk. It was finely crafted; some sixty years ago it was built. Not for the man, he was not that old, even if he felt it. There was a scratchiness in his throat, and the drink might help that. It had not helped anything else and certainly not the man, but it might help that. Could he really delude himself like that? The answer was an obvious no, but he still felt the need to ask the question anyway, just to see. The man just had to see if one day he would give a different answer.
The hand reached out for the bottle again. The man did not stop it. He picked up the bottle by its neck, felt its weight, heard the contents sloshing about, and felt the cool glass surface of the bottle. Refreshing. And why not? Why should he not drink? Everything was gone, hollow, and empty. The man had lost that which had been most important to him, the one person he had put second to his career. After all they had had their entire lives once he had finished with his career. That was a mute point now. She understood. His wife was dead, but at least she knew his priorities. He hated that most of all, along with all the simple words the man had not taken the time to say. He was a good husband, a good father, but the man had not been as good as he could have been. He could have been better and that made him bad in his mind. That was the logic the man was coming out with.
The bottle moved closer towards the man in his smart uniform and polished boots, sitting in the creaking, wooden chair. There was a knock at the door and the man said “Come.” Even as he did so he opened a drawer, slid the bottle inside, and closed it. Perhaps the refrain still had a bit of power left.
The soldier who appeared saluted “Major, it’s time, sir.” The soldier was dressed in the typical uniform. His blue open-face coat was neat and unwrinkled, as were his white shirt and trousers. His boots, much like his commanding officer’s, were polished to a high shine. A cloth, a touch of boot polish, and some elbow-grease was all the soldier required to look presentable. Drilling the men until everything was second nature was what had elevated the Army to its status as one of the world’s pre-eminent military forces. The uniform was completed with a black shako placed firmly on the soldier’s head.
The man, the Major, stood up and straightened his jacket. He picked up his tricorn hat, black as well, and positioned it expertly on his head, smoothing his hair back as he did so. Calmly he said with his gravely voice, the scratchiness gone now “Good, let’s get this over with.”