Most of these histories were taken first hand while the Hero still lived. Doubtless all are long dead by now.
Race: Dark Elf
On the Aalur, the sixteenth of the month of Chrysalis, in the year 1,587 since the Godswar, and year 1,170 of the Empire in a small town in the Crystal Mountains, Aierio was born. He wasn't born into a family of wealth or prosperity, just a simple farmer and his wife. Now the crop that year had been good, and it was looking like his family might be able to have enough food for the winter, but his family was not so lucky. One late night a band of alchemists wandered into their town, and set it ablaze. Aierio's father was slain trying to defend Aierio and his mother. When they left my mother wept for days, and.. To Aierio's disbelief committed suicide She was found hanging from a tree outside their house. With the town in ashes, corpses lying everywhere Aierio left, and went south towards the Sea of Tears.
He went through many hardships on his journey, with only a flask of water which was emptied on the second day and a small black dagger hidden in a sheath at his ankle. Killing to stay alive, already showing signs of a skilled hunter inhis younger years. Eating rabbits, foxes, and other small rodents. When he was nearing the end of his journey Aierio found some tasty looking berries, that in the end he found out were extremely poisonous. So he trudged the last few miles poisoned and exhausted . After what seemed to be weeks, he finally arrived in Rymek. He stumbled a few steps, and finally collapsed near the tavern. A few days later he woke up in a small cot next to a fire. Across the room from him was an old lady, who had obviously helped him and treated the poison. He left that very day, paying the lady 1,000 gold marks all he had. He went to the shipyard to find work.
After a few days of searching Aierio had found a captain named William who would let him work on his ship, netting fish. Now Aierio had been raised on a farm his whole life, so this was a big change for him. But as he found out he would be doing more than just fishing.
On the first day out to sea Aierio got sea-sick again and again. They had started netting the fish when they got far enough out, Aierio having no experience at doing this made himself look foolish and this angered the captain. He said to Aierio, "I give you one more chance boy! Or I'll throw you off the ship myself, no one makes my ship and crew look like fools!" And he stormed away. So Aierio eventually got athehang of this, except that he had formed many grudges on the ship with his fellow peers. Aierio had ripped some of them off at the poker game held nightly. So one day while he was napping they placed some jewels in his pack, and later that night when the angry captain came by, guess who got caught with the captain's loot? The captain was going to execute Aierio himself, but he'd rather see him starve on the streets of Falcion or so he thought. So on a stop in Falcion he was stripped of any valuables and thrown onto the dock after getting beaten.
Aierio, near death practically crawled his way to the Healing Hand in Falcion. There they bandaged his cuts, and fixed him up and sent him on his way. Aierio found his way to the weapon store and bought a small knife. As he looked at his knife, he thought to himself, "I shall steal to earn my keep, and I will avenge my parents death!"
Kyria opened her mouth to scream as she felt the hands of her assailant cover her mouth but thought better of it as she felt cold steel of his dagger against her neck. From the smell of his breath she instantly recognised her assailant, the human soldier that seemed to have been watching her all night in the tavern. Forcefully she was pulled into the alley, overpowered by the warrior's strength.
"No!", came her very muffled cry. Her face smarted as she felt his mailed fist connect.
"Silence, bitch!", he hissed, pushing her to the ground. Effortlessly the dagger sliced through her dress, tearing it to rags.
"No!", she whimpered, tears streaming from her eyes as he raped her. With another back-hand she lost consciousness.
* * *
Kyria never spoke of that night, fearful of what her husband, Sythlis' reaction would be. Whilst he was away doing business in another village, many days travel from their own, she had been frequenting the tavern, against his wishes. It was not that she disobeyed his instructions often but this night she had felt particularly lonely, Sythlis having been gone for a couple of weeks and felt like she needed the company of others.
Two years later, Aylia was born. Few suspected that this child was not that of Sythlis for there was little about her appearance indicative of human heritage. Her early years were spent in this village growing up with all the other elven children. It was not until she reached the age of twelve that people began to seriously suspect she was not his. Some had wondered about the possibility, with Sythlis away as much as he was but few would even dare to say anything with the influence he held. It was one fateful autumn day that her life was about to dramatically change. A group of the children from the village had been out gathering berries in the forest and as dusk fell she became lost without the night vision of the true elves. Eventually she was found, huddled under a tree, drenched by the sudden storm. Brought home to face her father the truth that she was not a true elf wasdiscovered.
Suspecting infidelity Kyria and Aylia were thrown out of the family house and forced to leave the village. After many days travelling they came across a seemingly abandoned cottage. There they lived for a number of years, Kyria working in taverns when she could but the pay was little.
With her mother working as many hours she could just to get barely enough gold for food, Aylia came across a group of rogues that picked on unwary merchants. Recognising her potential, as a perfect decoy she was invited to join with them. She learnedmuch from them.
One day, she came back to the cottage to find it a blaze and her mother lying dead, covered in blood. Not seeing any purpose in remaining she headed for Nexus.
The morning light slowly crept across the wooden floor till it reached Calvin's young face. His eyes shot open and he slipped out of his bottom bunk bed and grabbed his pants. After putting them up he stood on his mattress and peered at the young girl on the top bunk. She mumbled as the morning light struck her face and turned over, pulling the sheets over her shoulder. Calvin crawled up on top of the top bunk and moved inches from the little girls face, then screamed, "Wake up Jessie!!" The little girl's eyes opened at she covered her ear with one hand and whacked Calvin with her pillow in her other hand. Calvin laughed and hopped down from the bunk.
"Hurry and get up, its time for breakfast." And he strolled out of the room. Jessie, obviously mad, yelled and threw a pillow at Calvin, but missed and hit the wall. Calvin quietly crept down the hall to his older sisters Cassie's room. He reached the closed door and lightly turned the handle and peered inside. The bed where Cassie should have been sleeping was empty and freshly made. He opened the door wider to see that his sister had woken up before him and was combing her hair in front of a mirror. He quietly muttered to himself for not having the enjoyment of scaring both his sisters that morning, and closed the door soundlessly. He shrugged to himself and continued down the hall to have breakfast.
As he walked closer to the living room he began to hear some soft sobbing from the kitchen. He quietly walked into the kitchen to see him mother sitting in a chair sobbing into her hands. He rushed over and kneeled next to his mother, "Mom! What's wrong?" His mother looked up from her hands and into Calvin's eyes, "Your Father has deserted us. He left in the middle of the night without my notice. When I woke up this morning there was a note on the table." She knuckled at her eyes and handed Calvin a note with several tearstains on it. Calvin read it quickly and his eyes widened.
Jessie and Cassie walked in, saw their mother and rushed to her side like Calvin did. "Mom! What's wrong? Why are you crying?" asked Cassie. Calvin passed her the note left by their father, and Cassie's eyes too widened.
"Why would Dad leave us Mom?" Calvin's mother shook her head and buried her face in her hands again. That morning the family ate breakfast in utter silence. Several years past and Calvin took on the responsibilities that his Father had left behind. He became the household handyman and helped fix Jessie's toys, and saw less of his friends for he had a new mountain of work to do each day. When he turned 15, his older sister Cassie decided to leave and get married to a boyfriend whom the family had never met. After Cassie left it only made the mountain of work for Calvin larger. For one year Calvin was stuck at home working and his little sister Jessie, struggled to help him and his many chores.
When he turned 16 he decided that Jessie and his Mother would be fine on their own and set out to find his older sister Cassie and hopefully his Father. He knew there was a city nearby and figured that would be the best place to look at the time. As he approached the gates of Nexus a guardsman called from the battlements, "Are you in a guild of this city!?" Calvin, obviously confused, called back, "Guild? What do you mean guild?" The guardsman laughed and hollered back, "You must be in a guild to enter this city! Go to the island of Falcion south of here! Find yourself a guild to get in and -then- I'll let you in!" Calvin scratched his head and turned south and began to walk, soon he came to a boat with several other people he had never met aboard, all headed to the island of Falcion. He hopped aboard and the boat headed for the shores of the island.
Race: Dark Elf
Ah childhood, what a time it was, it set me on the path that made me what I am today. It is safe to say I didn't have the best childhood, my mother used to beat me constantly and I was treated more like a slave then a child. I was constantly doing tasks about the house and in the field; the slightest imperfection in my work would bring punishment. I knew nothing back then, I was not allowed to see or play with other children so I could not comprehend how bad I had it, and I just figured this was the way things were. And so went my early childhood, always laboring over some task while dealing with all the verbal and physical abuse my mother could dish out.
We lived in a small town and as the years went by I began to realize that I was not like my mother or the others that I glimpsed within the field or around town. The biggest difference was that unlike the others I had these two really long teeth sticking out of my mouth. Once and only once I asked my mother about these differences and in return got a fair beating, though I thought I saw tears forming in her eyes. It wasn't long after this that I was to leave the town.
On rare occasions caravans would pass through our towns with merchants and traders of all sorts of goods. It was on one such occasion that I noticed my mother speaking with one of the traders and pointing to the fields in my direction. It wasn't long before I discovered what they spoke about because when they finished speaking I saw the trader hand a pouch to my mother and walk my way. When he reached me he simply said "Come with me child, you are mine now." I just stood there and looked at him, and then down the field to where my mother had been standing though now she was walking back into her house. When I didn't move the man grabbed my arm and dragged me over to his wagon. He told me to climb in the back and when I did not do this I received a solid strike across the face that sent me flying to the ground. He pulled me up and shoved my toward the wagon, again telling me to climb into the back. This time I did as I was told.
Life traveling with this trader on his routes wasn't much different then living with my mother, I still worked constantly and was quickly punished for anything that was not done correctly or fast enough. One thing was for sure this trader could hit much harder then my mother. When we entered towns and villages I was not allowed out of the wagon unless it was for loading and unloading things or other tasks. For a long time I followed the rule of not leaving the wagon within these areas, but as time past I began to slip away whenever I saw the chance. In the beginning I wouldn't stray very far at all for fear of being caught, but the more times I snuck out the further I would go. Soon I became quite able at sneaking around without being seen along with entering and leaving places as I wished without anyone knowing I was there. With these newfound skills, I was able to watch other people and see how they lived. In particular I used to watch the children within these towns. I watched them as they laughed. I watched them as they played. I watched them as they ran happily to their parents and were greeted with a smile and a hug. All these things I saw and more and within myself I felt a great sense of pain.
For a long time I traveled with this trader, going from town to town. All the work that I did allowed me to grow in strength and though they were in no way enjoyed, the beatings that I had received from as far back as I could remember had helped to strengthen my reserve and allow me to bare with pain. At all our stops after I had unloaded the merchandise carried, I would sneak off to explore the area, "borrow" a few things that were not guarded well and watch the people. In one town I took a knife out of a sheath that a passerby had strapped to his belt and disappeared back into the crowd long before he realized it was gone. I strapped the knife to my leg, the raggedy pants I had concealing it from sight, and I figured it would come in handy one day. That day was not too far off. My talents of moving about unseen grew and grew and before long I had become quite stealthy. Everywhere we went I came across children playing happily amongst themselves and living in good and caring families. The sorrow and pain I had once felt upon seeing this eventually turned into anger and resentment. Why did these kids lead such good lives? Get shown so much love? I did not see them get beaten for mistakes they made. I saw them do so many things I had never been allowed to do. The anger and resentment within me grew, but what could I do about it.
We had entered another town, I went through the routine of unloading everything and setting things up in the market area then heading "back" to the wagon. When I knew it was safe I snuck off to have a look around. I knew it would happen someday, there really was no way around it, and it seemed that the gods deemed this to be the day. After having my look around I made my way back to the wagon to wait until I was called to load everything back up. Upon my arrival I saw him, the trader leaning against the wagon that was already loaded, the fear that gripped my mind was near overwhelming. I stood there staring, not having the slightest clue as to what it is I should do. I tried to think, tried to formulate some sort of feasible lie to tell, and then he saw me. He shouted at me to get over there and I did, I ran right over to him fearing what was to come. He started yelling at me, saying how there had been some problem in the market and he decided to leave, he had sent for me only to find that I was not where I was supposed to be. I had never seen him this angry before and I felt myself shaking. He demanded I tell him what I had been doing. I couldn't think, started to stutter something out but before I could even finish the first word his hand was coming down at my face. I'll tell you right now I took the beating of a life time, even when I was down on the ground bleeding it didn't stop he just kept kicking me and kicking me until I lost consciousness. Later that night I was woken up; I was in the back of the wagon my whole body aching and covered with my dried blood. We had stopped for the night and I was to take care of the animals and cook him dinner, I wasn't going to be allowed to eat that night. I could barely move but I did as I was told. I sat there and watched him as he ate, trying to take only shallow breaths because my ribs had taken a few solid hits. When he was through, I cleaned everything up and got ready for bed. I just laid there staring up into the dark of the night for hours, my mind going over all that I had been through and comparing it to all that I had seen. I was tired of being the one people looked down on, the one people used and the one that always took the blame and the beating. Finally I had had enough. My hand reached down to where I strapped the knife to my leg and pulled it free. I sat up slowly and looked over to the trader who slept soundly. As quiet as the night breeze I crept over to where he lay and crouched over him. I put the knife down to his throat as I looked at his face. For a second I thought that I could just leave in the night and he would never find me, I mean I had never killed anyone before. But where could I have gone? I was not as though I had much of anything to my name. So it was decided. I pressed down on the blade a pulled it quickly across his throat. He snapped awake gasping for air that he could no longer take in and I jumped away from him to watch his pitiful attempt at holding onto life. I dug a shallow grave and buried his body before lying down and having the best night sleep I had had my whole life.
The next day I took the wagon and all the trader had with me to the next town and sold off everything I could making myself a fair sum of coin. What I could not sell I left. I bought myself some new cloths along with traveling supplies, grabbed a horse from the wagon I left outside the town and headed on my way. I stopped in at all the different villages and towns I passed and treated myself to nice rooms and large meals. The money I had made off selling the traders things soon disappeared and I was left on the road with nothing. I had to take care of myself somehow and I had a great distrust for people, so what did I do? I used the skills I had acquired; my speed and my ability to move around unseen and unheard, I used these skills to "borrow" things that I needed or wanted off travelers during the night. But sometimes it just wasn't convenient to wait till night to sneak into a campsite and so I became your average road thief preying on small traveling parties. This was not very easy though as even the small groups could put up a fight and at times it was more then I could handle. Now you need to understand that a thief who has a reputation as one who will back down will not make himself any money at all. And so I set about to make a reputation for myself, so the people I came across would fear me as though I was death itself.
I painted my face white and darkened the area around my eyes to make them appear sunken. I then went about sharpening my tusks so they ended in fine tips. I started with small groups of travelers, those in groups of 3 or 4. I would use the terrain to my advantage, hiding in areas that would allow me to sneak up to and suddenly appear within the group. I would kill all but one, and the one that lived never knew it was my wish that he did. I would stab him, but not so deep as to kill him and I would leave him for dead and let him escape back to town to tell his story. As stories spread I began attacking wagons, I would lie in wait and slip in below the wagon holding on until it was in an area that was wide open with no places for anyone to hide. I would then make my presence known, those who brought up the back would see me leaving my hiding place but they were the first to die and so to everyone else it was as though I appeared from thin air. As usual I would let one or two people live and the stories grew larger. Some had dubbed me as being a demon of sorts. Now, small groups or large caravans posed no problem to me. I would appear in front of them and they would hand over anything I wanted.
Once I happened upon a family, husband, wife and their young daughter, they obviously knew of me as I could see the fear in the eyes of the parents. The man offered me everything they had to let him go, even offered me his child as he pulled her from her mother. It was then that I decided to put an end to my time as the demon thief. I walked up to the child and gently stroked her cheek as I looked up at the father. I rose slowly to stand in front of him and made sure I understood him correctly, I had. Before he even knew what was happening I had my dagger drawn and as I pulled the child towards me to shield her eyes I stabbed the dagger into the man's throat. The man dropped to ground and the girl pulled away from me to gaze upon her dead father, tears formed in her eyes and she started to cry. I crouched down next to her and stared right into her eyes. I told her not to cry for her father, not to ever cry for him because he was not worth her tears. I gave to the mother a pouch of gold coins; it would allow her to take of herself and her child quite well.
Perhaps I had overreacted at what the man had done, but what was one other death on my hands. I started to travel far from where I was known, where I had a reputation on the roads. I would still rob people; sometimes take more from them then their gold but for the most part I was just wandering with no sense of purpose until I arrived at a particularly familiar town. I had not been in this place for years and yet it looked [ More ]the same as it had when I was but a young child working in the fields. I made my way amongst the houses in search of a particular one. I kept to the shadows so as to not let any know of my presence, though not a one would ever remember me. It did not take me long to find what I was looking for, but it wasn't time to make my presence known and so I waited for night to fall.
It was a beautiful night, there was no moon in the sky and so the stars shown all the brighter. A gentle breeze whispered to those who lay in their beds, comforting them and helping them sleep. But it was not to be a peaceful night for everyone, no not for everyone. I crept into the house and made my way into the back room where I knew she would be. She slept comfortably and I walked over to the bed and crouched down by her side. I watched her for a moment and then rose and drew my dagger. I leaned over her with my dagger in hand and whispered "Hello there mother... Your time is at an end..." I took a deep breath then. "Can you smell it mother... the scent of death is in the air... it is a smell I have become quite familiar with... Come now mother awaken and see the one who will send you to your death..." I let the dagger slide across her cheek, drawing a thin line of blood and bringing her out of her peaceful slumber. Her eyes become fixed upon my face and I clamped my hand over her mouth as she opened it to scream. I smiled down at her, she had no idea who I was and I believe even without the paint that I wore as a mask she would have never known. "Hello again mother," I said in a hushed voice, "Have you missed me much?" Her eyes widened with recognition and I could feel her fear increase. "I have come to say goodbye to you mother and put this all behind me." With that I brought my dagger up and then plunged it into her heart. I held her down until she gave in to death and then I turned around and never looked back.
I continued to wander the land, never having a set destination, always alone. With my lack of appearances, all tales of a supposed demon thief seemed to wither away. I guess it was only a matter of time and enough traveling before I happened upon the city of nexus. I had never really dedicated myself to a cause before, other then taking what wasn't mine and to be honest I was bored and I thought some fun could be had around the place. I could still practice my trade of theft and death while working to help a few people, it was an interesting idea, and one I felt like trying. I found my way to the island of Falcion where I spent most of my time alone, which was the way I wanted it. I was able to do a lot of thinking in-between my training and eventually came to terms with many of the things that had plagued me for so long. After spending some time on the island I made my way over to Nexus to continue my training. I still spend most of my time alone in the shadows, still wear my mask of paint, but am no longer who I once was.
Delban U'galda, born on Aalur, the twenty-fifth of the month of Wildfire, in the year 1,586 since the Godswar, and year 1,169 of the Empire.
Abandoned as a child by his mother, Delban was left at the church of Aalynor. He quickly learned the ways of the streets, and became quite adept at dodging the guards when he need to "acquire" a meal. One rainy and overcast day Delban was being chased by a group of guards who were sent by a rich noble to retrieve a coin purse that Delban had "borrowed". Delban ran as fast as he could and quickly scaled a wall to the rooftops of Nexus. The guards chased after him from rooftop to rooftop, until suddenly, Delban tripped on a box, and fell off the building.
Hurt and bleeding on the road, Delban felt the life draining from his body. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glimmer of a shadow moving in an alley. The shadow emerged and Delban was shocked to see that this shadow was no shadow at all, it was a man. The man knelt beside Delban and whispered a few words into his ear..."I am here to help". The man dragged Delban down the dark alley and placed him behind some wooden crates. The guards were getting closer, and the man had little time left to help Delban.
He pulled out some kind of a bluish orb and held it against Delban's Body, there was a flash of blue light and Delban was healed of his wounds. "Wait here, I'll take care of the guards" the man told Delban. The man got up and went out into the road and met up with the guards. He spoke a few words to them, and they darted off down an opposite alley.
The man returned to Delban's side and checked to see if he had missed any wounds in his previous evaluation of Delban. "Why were they after you?" the man asked.
"I stole a noble's coinpurse, they weren't happy about that" Delban replied. "I see, you know, you don't have to live like this. There is a place I know where you can be taught how to be a proper thief, and make an honest living". Delban's eyes opened wide and he lifted his head towards the man's face. "There is an Island, south of here called Falcion. It is our last remaining haven, it is where we train our apprentices. I could help you get there".
Delban was very excited about this news. This apprenticeship could mean a new life for him, a better life, one where he could help out his city, and become something more than a filthy purse robber. "Take me there, I wish to learn how to be like you.". The man smiled, and reached into his pocket and retrieved a few gold marks, and then gave them to Delban. He then moved his long black cloak aside to reveal a shimmering sword, and another smaller dagger. He took the dagger and gave it to Delban. "Take what I have given you and head south to the village of Rymek, from there you can find transport to the Island. I will sponsor you on the council and have you approved for training."
The man got up and began to walk stealthily down the alley, but before Delban had realized it, the man had slipped into the shadows. Delban picked himself up off the ground and headed for the southern Gate of Nexus. He headed south, to Rymek, and from there, as the man said, got transport to the Island of Falcion. Delban never saw or heard from the mysterious man again.
A young human man sat in a dark corner of the Muddy Muskrat tavern in Falcion. Dressed in a black trenchcoat with shirt, shoes, and pants of the same color. He sat at the gloomiest table in the tavern, sipping on what looked like the remains of a zombie, and the drink also had a disgusting odor to go along with its frightful appearance. At that moment, an older man of about 40 years walked into the tavern. He was wearing the clothes of a scholar, which seemed to be the case, as he looked uncomfortable being in such a place. He cautiously walked up to the barkeep and echanged a few words with him. Giving a short bow he then turned and began to walk over to the man sitting at the dingy table. The man sitting at the table seemed not to notice the scholar, but as he got within a few steps, the man kicked the chair from the other side of the table, glanced up and said "Table's full." The scholar ignored him and continued to the table. "Begging your pardon sir," said the scholar, "but I have been sent to collect the history of one Durrin Durista, might that be you sir?" The man at the table looked up and replied, "You gain a few tiers and suddenly people want to know about you," he paused for a second then said to the scholar, "go on sit down." The scholar pulled the chair that Durrin had kicked back to the table and sat down. "First, sir," began the scholar, "what is that you're drinking?" Durrin chuckled then said with a grin, "To tell the truth, I don't really know. But let's get to the point, you came here for my history, here it is." Durrin took a deep breath and another sip from his flask, then began, "Well I was born... a long time ago, in Nexus. To the parents Durax and Devonia. As a child I would sit in my father's shop, he was a weaponsmith you see, I would watch him make the weapons and sell them to his customers. From watching the sales I became quite good with counting money and doing simple math. As i got a bit older, my father let me work as a clerk in his shop. But even with this important job, I couldn't help watching my farther making his weapons. He must have noticed because one day he decided to show me how it was done, he then had me give it a try. I actually made an okay sword," Durrin paused for a moment to take a sip from his flask, then continued, "to practice with anyways, I don't know anyone crazy enough to take that thing into battle. Well a few more years passed and my father had to close down his shop due to lack of customers. I now had to find a new job, and something to do with my free time. As for the job part, i found one as a messenger for those that thought the mail was too slow. In my free time, I would sit in town square and listen to stories of the defenders of Nexus. After hearing many of these stories I decided I too wanted to become a defender, So i packed up my bags and headed to Falcion where i found my way into the thieves' guild. From there i just trained, trained, trained and here I am now." Durrin stood up from his seat, taking a swig of his drink. The scholar looked down to make one last note, and when he looked back up, Durrin was gone.
*Wanders into Kalim's tavern stopping to smile and exchange words with Kalim and pass a few gold coins for a Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream. Searching the crowd of distratced faces Elayna's eyes fall on the scribe sitting quietly in the cornor. Moving slowly over to the table, stopping at most all of the tables between to gives smiles and quick hugs to friends. Sitting down smiling brightly at the cleric, he returns her smile with a friendly nod.*
Elayna: So it seems they tell me I should place a few words in your care for the future citizens of Nexus.
Scribe: Yes.. we do like to keep a record of all those who fight to keep our city safe and where they have ventured from. So that lost cities and villages will be remembered and perhaps old friends or neighbours will find a clue to their lost ones.
Elayna: Well I was born and raised in Nexus by my parents who also were from this city. They were members of the old Assassins guild and so I followed in their footsteps until we joined the thieves guild many many years ago. They unfortunatly were killed while trying to hunt down a band of raiders who were robbing the local merchants.
Scribe: I see you have brought your daughter along, she must be a large part of your life now.
Elayna's face brightens with a warm smile as she glances at her daughter chattering away with Kalim.
Elayna: Of course, how could she not be? I thought it would be more difficult when we returned after 10 years away, as many knew she was the daughter of Astaroth. Those who did not know found out quickly when he kidnapped her, but I have found nothing but love and support from my sisters and the citizens of Nexus. As he has now been killed it has become even less of a worry that she will be come to some harm because of her father.
Scribe: You spoke of your sisters, do you wish to say something for the record about them?
Elayna: My sisters are the most amazing group of women. We began the sisterhood to offer friendship and support to women who came to Nexus and had no family. It has grown to be a family for all of us, we remember all who have been lost and welcome anyone who seems to need us. I love all of them a tremendous amount. Only second to my devotion to Pandora, and my dedication to my daughter.
The scribe begins to ask another question as Elayna raises her hand smiling.
Elayna: please, if anyone wishes to know me, I will happily speak wo them and share anything and everything I can. To have my entire life written down to appear so simple as a pile of words on a page, I cannot bear to think of that. I do hope that this will help to appease any passing curiosities to my past, anyone with a true interest is welcome to seek me out. I am always willing to enjoy a Hot Chocolate and sit by a fire to chat. Thank you scribe, for your time and effort.
Elayna stands, smiling and bowing to the scribe as she moves to gather her daughter and is snagged into another conversation at another table.
Race: Dark Elf
Entrahti rose from his plush bed, stretching away the weariness as his amber eyes slipped from the infrared spectrum, the dim faerie-fire illuminating the room with a soft, dull glow. A glance back to his bed revealed the slender, sleeping form of a serving girl, her ebony skin glistening in the humid air of the underdark. With a look of resignation, Entrahti's nimble fingers darted to his head, pulling back his alabaster hair and slipping a darkleather cord around it, securing the ponytail in place. He pulled the silken sash of his robe around his waist, drawing it closed, just as a soft rap at the door drew his attention. He swiveled to face the house weaponmaster, clad exclusively in the full battle regalia of House Zoquar, twin adamantite blades hanging limply in darkleather sheaths, worn thin from centuries of being carried by the same proud owner. "Vendui, jabbuk Entrahti" the weaponmaster spoke, bowing low, just as a scowl crept across his face as he noticed Entrahti's robed form. "You have heard the summons from matron Sabrae?" the weaponmaster signalled in the silent hand code of the drow. Entrahti looked at the weaponmaster curiously, following his line of sight to the nude form of the serving girl. Entrahti smirked slightly at the weaponmaster, and he nodded, pulling a gleaming darksilver medallion from beneath his robe. The star sapphire in the middle of the medallion was glowing a deep crimson to match the hue of the weaponmaster's own House Emblem. With a brief nod, Entrahti signalled to the weaponmaster to wait outside, stepping lightly across the soft tigerskin rug to a massive, ornately carved teak cabinet, warded with many runes and glyphs. Speaking a gentle command word, Entrahti allowed a slow smile to creep across his features as the doors swung open, revealing a suit of darkelven chainmail, crafted by true masters of the forge. Disrobing, he began to dress in the armor that was his birthright. Moments laters Entrahti slipped from the room, tapping the weaponmaster on his shoulder just as the click from the closing door could be heard. The weaponmaster's normally stoic demeanor was replaced by a faint look of surprise, his eyes appraising Entrahti and his armor. "Shall we?" was all Entrahti could say, his amber eyes betraying no amount of emotion. The weaponmaster gave a grim nod to Entrahti, and with a shake of his head began to stroll effortlessly down the intricate spiral tunnel to the chambers of matron Sabrae Zoquar. When Entrahti finally stepped from that chamber, a casual observer would have noted the slackness in his face, the apparent loss of color to his ebon form, and a slight unsteadiness as he walked back to his own chambers. Gathering his things, his mind went to the words of his mother of a short time ago. "Qu'ellar Zoquar zhah thalack" she spoke in halting phrases, then pointed to Entrahti "dos phuul alurl wund lil veldrin" she said with a hint of pride in her tone. With a sweep of her hand, the candles in the grand chamber were extinguished, the blood red lines leading to the altar the only things visible. Entrahti's eyes returned to the infared spectrum as his mother continued "Ragar z'ress dosstan wund rivvin ust, lueth darthiir drada" With a sneer she glared at Entrahti, "z'hin wus ssussun" she spat, "lueth z'hin velkryn" "Go to the town of Falcion" she said, her voice taking on the honey scented draw of greed. "Do not return without having learned the ways of those who battle the horde in the eternal war". You have one century to complete your mission Entrahti, failure means your death." With a casual flick of her wrist she dismissed Entrahti, turning her attentions to a stocky drow male, Entrahti's younger brother. Turning on his heel, Entrahti left the chambers in shock. Sighing, Entrahti stepped from the sloop, tossing a not-unheavy bag of coin to the captain as they docked along a beach outside Falcion, city of apprenticeship. Looking down at himself, he could not help but curse his mother for refusing to allow him adequate equipment. Only some flimsy cloth armor and a stiletto as dull as a jelly knife were in his possession. After the prices the sloopmaster charged, Entrahti was unsure whether his remaining coin would even afford lodgings of note. Slipping past the guards at the gate with practiced ease and stealth, he padded lightly down the streets, his amber eyes narrowed to slits as he observed darthiir, rivvil as well as many of the other races mingling freely amongst the area around the Fountain of Dreams. With a final curse upon his mother for her commands, he sneered, stepping from the shadows into the blinding sun of the night above to begin his training in Falcion, to begin the life amongst the light.
Eri was born. This much people remember. On such a beautiful day that they hid her from the suns, so that she would not shame them with her face. On such a beautiful day she broke her mother's heart, without a word, without a sound. On such a beautiful day her family taught her how best to protect the family honor from the shame of her existence. On such a beautiful day she learned to hide herself, so that the beautiful day would not be marred by her ugliness.
People pretend to forget whose child she is. It is a favor for old friends. People pretend to forget she has a family. People pretend to forget she exists. People pretend to be pretending.
No-one is happy to see Eri. Just looking at Eri makes people sad, or sometimes mad. Eri makes life easy for them. Eri is not seen often. When Eri is seen, she is easily ignored. Sometimes people see and talk to Eri, but don't quite realize it, and they forget completely. Sometimes Eri takes things, or moves things, but no-one notices. No-one sees Eri. They are happier that way.
Eri moves through the back-corners of the world, seeing but not seen. She hears the lies in their truths. She sees the crime in their virtue. Eri learns that she is not the only thing that is ugly. She is not the only thing that is hidden.
Eri swallows their secrets. She hears much and much until she is all filled up with the ugliness of the world. She cannot open her mouth for fear something monstrous will spill out, pouring endlessly into the open, revealed at last. She is sick with secrets, but she cannot let them go.
Eri never went away. She had been gone so long by the time she left, that people forgot that she wasn't really gone. So the day when she was, was really a day like all the others. When nothing had changed.
It was a beautiful day.
Ghas was born the of the month of Midnight, in the year 1,638 since the Godswar, and the year 1,211 of the empire to a family of an ogrish clan known as the Nogr'tus, a semi nomadic tribe that wandered the wastelands to the far north. The Norg'tus were greatly feared as their customs were fierce and their warriors very skilled. It was tradition that the male ogres as soon as they could stand on their own two legs would be given a blade which they would use as a toy. Many of the young died because of this.
Phyiscal training, starvation and hard labour were used to strengthen these young. Blood and pain were not made stranger to them, fights were encouraged amongst the children. They were taught by words of elders. Most often a tribal shaman who shared stories of the exploits of their fiercest warriors. These warriors were very different then that of their tribal counterparts as they used cunning and fierce strikes along with guerilla tactics to subdue their enemies. Speed, endurance and the ability to remain silent were abilities held in high regard and Ghas showed a great deal of potential and it was noted by his elders.
"Ghas, you know Nogr'tus code of battle. You will be warrior if you show strong and have success in test" the words echoed through the head of Ghas (who was now 8 years old) as the tribal chief, the mightiest of the warriors proclaimed this honour upon his head. He would enter a ritual to become one of the elite warriors in the tribe. This ritual was not a common occurance and many of those who successfully passed all parts of this challenge were often to become the chiefs and leaders of the clan. This first part of the test, Ghas was to wander into "The wastelands" and was to gather two hands separated from the arm at the wrist. These were to be the hands of other ogres and also the hands of enemies of the clan. The hand would have to be of a warrior. These ogres were not necessarily to be defeated by Ghas himself but the hand itself had to be fresh from a corpse recently slain.
Given meat from his mother, cooked and dried, with a large waterskin, Ghas wandered into the warzone that is now known as "The Wastes". A large gathering of goblins had encamped there and many chieftans had gathered around to bring death to this group of warriors. Ghas watched for several days and saw the goblins crushed only to witness the ogrish clans turn upon each other and shed the blood of their own kind. The battle continued. One morning a large cry was heard from the two camps as two mighty ogrish champions garbed in battle-armor came forth wearing bright colours and wielding massive serrated blades. 10 other warriors followed them to the centre of the field and witnessed a most impressive battle. The two champions went ahead of the groups and they were taken immediately by the rage. They fought for what seemed to be many many hours untill one of them fell and a large cheer came from the side of the triumphant ogre. The other party looked upon their fallen champion with shame and promptly crushed his skull and insulted the corpse with their spit as they walked away. When the two parties had departed, Ghas ran batting away the carrion and removed the hand of the fallen warrior.
He then wandered many days out in the wastelands and found no prospect to complete his training so he returned to his village secretly and lured his mother out into the bush where he brutally murdered her taking her hand. To remember her by he took her skull and it was bleached and remains still at his side. This was acceptable to him because of his upbringing. He knew no better. He took the hand to the village shaman and by use of scrying magic the truth was made known to all.
Ghas ran from home as he had failed his test and many of the men from the tribe threatened his life as their favorite whore was killed. At the age of 10 he wandered the streets of Nexus and was eventually found by a group of rogues who lived along the Tothese highway. They were excited at the prospect of raising an ogre with such brutal habits. He then was used as a servant and taught minor tricks with a blade. He was also used in raids on merchant caravans. This is where he found a beautiful painting that he keeps in his room at the castle Zerak. The caravan raiders were then thwarted by Nexus heroes, in a swift brutal battle. Ghas was 12 years old and was taken by the heroes and they expressed a desire to recruit him to become one of their protectors.
Having nowhere to go and a desire for combat he decided to follow along hiding his brutal ways. He later found his home amongst several warriors of what is now the clan Zerak.
Race: Dark Elf
A figure stirred in the shadows of a ruin. Smell of fresh blood wafted in the air as the figure shifted its position, accompanied by a suppressed groan. The pained sound, however, was drowned in the usual noise of the evening activities just a stone's throw away. The figure slowly crawled out, on her hands and knees, (it was unmistakably a female, from the body shape) from under the rubble of what looked like remains of an old building. The starlight revealed a dark visage topped with gleaming darksilver hair. A drow. She made her way to another spot, slightly further from the source of the noises, slumped from the effort and panted heavily. She touched the her lower back, brought it around to take a look, grimaced at the sight of the ample blood on it.
"Well, this time I really done it...." she said out loud, almost amused. "Right in my kidney. This'll teach me to try to steal from a ...." Her words faded into another painful groan. She closed her eyes and listened to the muffled sound of hideous laughters coming from a building a few paces away. "Curse the damned Goblins... " She slipped into troubled sleep, half wondering if she will ever awake again.
The drow opened her eyes with a start, then squinted at the candlelight. Instantly reaching for a jagged dagger she always kept on her side, she felt some cotton tunic, thin and soft from many a wash. In alarm bordering panic, she sprang up into a crouching position, frantically looking around. An innocuous, cozy room, lit by a single candle, met her eyes. Still wary but at least perceiving no immediate threat, she relaxed a little, then realized that she was no longer in pain. Carefully feeling her back, she confirmed that the wound was gone. "Huh..." She stepped down, barefoot, onto the dirt floor from the elevated straw mat she found herself on. Moving about the room in sinewy silence, she quickly found her boots by a small door and her clothes in a wicker basket. As she reached for them, the door opened and a small wrinkled woman stepped in with some bundle in her arm.
The old human smiled at the drow, who sprang back and took an offensive stance. "Ah you awoke. Good, good. I knew Pandora would help you, but it's still good to see that you are all well now. Now relax, girl. You have nothing to be afraid of from this old body, and you know that." Completely nonplussed by the wary and hostile air of the drow, the old woman shuffled her way to a crate that served as a table and emptied the content of the bundle onto it. "I brought some food for you. I'm sure you are hungry." At the mention of the food, the drow suddenly realized that she was ravenously hungry. Slowly, she dissolved her combat stance and approached the crate.
The old woman smiled. "Good, I knew it. Oh.. by the way... I am Lendari. What is your name, dear girl?"
The drow snorted. "I don't have a name. What do you need one for, anyway?"
Lendari unwrapped some crusty bread. "Oh, everyone has a name. Or needs one, if she doesn't. I'm sure you have one?"
The drow shrugged and searched her memory, wondering why she's even obliging. "I guess. Iannis, is my name. I think." Honestly, she wasn't sure. No one wanted to know her name, let alone called her by one, for many moons.
"Ahh well, Iannis girl, have some bread. I'll find some wine."
The bread was fresh, and the wine wasn't sour, which was more than Iannis had for a long time. A full stomach loosened her tongue. "So... you brought me here and fixed me up?" She eyed the frail old human dubiously.
Lendari chuckled. "Aye. Weak as I might be, with Pandora's help and a little magick, I can do a lot on my own."
Iannis gave her a skeptical look. "If you say so. Gods never did a damn thing for me. I don't think they ever care or even know I exist."
The old human chuckled again, which irritated Iannis. "That's because you don't care or think they exist."
Iannis shrugged and took another swig of the wine. "Where are we?" she asked.
Lendari did not answer, and instead responded with a question. "Do you know that this place used to be a splendid city?" She continued as fond memory lit her eyes up. "I was but a little girl... the glorious port city of Bandenar... the gateway on the Northern Sea, the streets were filled with peoples from near and afar, beautiful things in store windows..." Her tone turned somber. "Then the Goblins came. They killed half the city and took the rest of us for slaves..." Lendari fell silent.
Iannis searched her own memory. Digging through the recent memory of slinking in the shadows and stealing items from the Goblin barracks and food bin, she awoke a long forgotten days of childhood, miserable, always scared, starving, scavenging for food every day. But at least she was free. Now, why was she here? For as long as she can remember she had been here. She must have had parents. Who were they?
"Care for more wine, dear?" Lendari's voice broke her musing. Iannis shook her head. "I guess I'll be going soon. Thanks for saving me, though I don't know why you'd do something like that." Lendari peered into the drow's face with a surprisingly forceful stare. "Go where? Back to skulking and hiding and running? Back to forever living like a sewer rat?"
Iannis' cheeks turned slightly darker as anger flashed in her eyes. "A sewer rat? who are you to judge me? Just because you patched me up you think you can talk to me like that? I live as I want to. I don't need anyone, and I fare just fine."
Lendari did not flinch. "Oh, as you want to, eh? How about those boots with holes on the sole? And the dirty ripped shirt you were wearing? And always looking over your shoulder to see if those Goblins would come and get you. Is that how you like living?"
Iannis fumed silently. What the old human said was true. She wasn't much better off than the sewer rats.
Lendari leaned in and laid her wrinkled hand on Iannis' clenched fist. "I have escaped my shackles ten winters ago by pure fortune. I have been hiding here, always hoping to be truly free of the evil Goblins. But I am too old. I can't travel far enough to be free and safe. I will surely be either found and killed trying, or perish to the wild animals in the forest. I have Hoped and prayed every day since the Goblins came, that one day we defeat them, and restore Bandenar to what it was. I have come to understand that this is all by design. I escaped the shackles and yet I am stayed here for a reason. It is for people like you, Iannis girl."
Iannis looked at the old woman and asked, "You mean to get me out of here to go... where?"
Lendari's eyes gleamed in conviction. "Nexus, dear girl. The City of All Races. It is far to the south from here. I hear they still stand free, and fight to defeat the Goblins. You are young and strong. When I found you, you were so badly injured that you should have been dead. But you not only lived, but recovered marvelously even considering Hope's grace. You can make it down to Nexus. Train with them and help us be free once more."
Iannis shrugged. "You're crazy. Anyone with half a brain knows the Goblins can't be done away with. There're just too many of them."
Lendari shook her head. "That thought is what keeps them there. Go to Nexus, girl. You will see."
The drow snickered. "How do you know? You've never seen it. All this could be a fairy tale."
Lendari smiled mildly. "You believe only what you see? Then why do you believe the Goblins can't be defeated? You haven't seen anyone try." Before Iannis could retort, the woman added, "Besides, I -have- seen it. Pandora showed me a vision, and I know it to be true in my heart."
Iannis looked at the frail old woman with more pity than anything else. Poor addled thing, hanging on to unreal dreams, she thought. But Lendari's words had some strange power. Her thought took a turn. Maybe I'll go see what this Nexus place is like. Can't be worse than here.
As if she has read Iannis' mind, Lendari said, "Even if you don't believe me, what have you to lose by traveling there? I will help you travel safely. It's a long way, but Pandora tells my heart you will get there."
The old woman slowly got up and lifted a flat stone by the door to reveal a hole in the ground. Bending down, she retrieved a crude hunting knife and a leather backpack, obviously of a Goblin origin that has been mended carefully after it was discarded for its wear and tear. She picked up Iannis' boots and clothes and returned to the crate. "I was going to mend your clothes but I had no thread. You had nothing else on you." She handed Iannis her clothes and the hunting knife and packed some bread into the backpack.
Iannis tried to protest that she wasn't so crazy as to travel for days just because this old woman said so. But the words somehow stuck in her throat as she watched the old woman pack for a journey matter-of- factly. She put on the dirty pair of pants and the beat up boots. Her old shirt was unwearable, bloodied and ripped too badly.
Lendari reached under the straw mat and pulled out some wolfskin, large enough to wrap around one's body. She handed the backpack, full with whatever food and herbs she could spare, and the wolfskin to Iannis and nodded. "Nexus awaits you." As if hypnotized, Iannis took the backpack and wrapped the wolfskin around her shoulders.
Lendari produced a faintly glowing stone from the fold of her patched skirt and held it up in front of Iannis' face. The light pulsated weakly in a slow rhythm. She took Iannis' hand and put the stone in the palm, folding Iannis' fingers around it. It was warm to touch. "This stone will guide and protect you. Pandora sends me one whenever I meet someone she knows deserve it. The light will flicker faster when you face the right way toward her temple in Nexus. The light will glow stronger as you near Nexus. Do not doubt, or it will fail you."
Iannis looked at the stone in her hand. The light had grown fainter than when the stone was in Lendari's hand. She shrugged. "I trust my nose more." Lendari smiled and said almost to herself, "you'll see... you'll see."
Lendari ushered Iannis out the small door into the darkness before the dawn and closed the door behind her. Iannis looked around and recognized it to be the western edge of the old ruin. Glancing back, she saw nothing but some rubble where she knew the door to be.
Lendari smiled at her bewilderment. "I have a little magick." She winked. "Now, travel south into the woods. Better get there before the suns show their faces." Iannis nodded unassuredly, and took a few steps forward. She looked down at the strange stone pulsating like flickering wings of a bat. When she looked up from the stone, she was alone. The old woman was nowhere to be seen. Shrugging slightly, Iannis started on her way south, still wondering why she is even doing this. "It can't hurt." She thought to herself. "Maybe I'll have a few gold pieces in my pocket and a nice meal, and..." Her steps became lighter as she melted away into the shadows of the forest.
A young man with blonde hair and blue eyes came up to me not long ago and asked of my past. He was very kind looking so I decided to share my history with him. We found a quiet little table at the back of the tavern in Falcion and he offered me a seat. I smiled and began my story..........
I was born into a happy home from my point of view, though my sister's view is a bit different, though I cannot blame her. I had a mother, father and an older sister. I loved being the baby of the family. My father gave me whatever my heart desired, though I did not let this go to my head. I am a very modest person. My sister tended to be rambuncious and quite wild. Many times I would hear her getting beaten, though I thought it was because she had been naughty. I grew to love my family very much I was very happy there and had no ambitions of ever leaving home. I was underdeveloped for my age and quite shy, as I still am. Felicity and I grew up together, I had one other friend, McKenzie De'murs. We would often play in the woods. Our favorite pastime was probably hide n seek. I was an excellent hider, though Felicity was great at tracking she would always find me. This is how my childhood was spent until I was 15 years of age. One night my sister ran away from home. I was never told why until I came to this island. I grew very anxious wondering why my sister had left without even saying goodbye. I knew she was tough and could handle herself, but I still worried about her. Finally my curiousity could contain me at home no more. I packed a few things, told my mother and father goodbye and I ventured out in search of my sister. I wasn't on the road long when I happened upon a city called Nexus. This place was new and wonderful too me. I heard my sister had traveled here not long before and a ranger had showed her the way to Falcion to begin her training. Eager to see my sister again, I quickly thought over the noble professions of the city of Nexus and chose thief, because of my great sneaking and hiding skills. I was quickly sent to the small island of Falcion to begin my training. At first I was very scared and wondered if I had made the right choice. I was very shy and many of the men were very bold with their flattery. ...............
When I finished my story I looked up at this young man. His eyes were very pretty and I couldn't help but notice how attractive I had found him. I asked him his name and he replied "Mordakie Lee Willows" He began courting me and now I am very happy to announce a year later that we are wed and are expecting our first child in the month of Dawn.
Julene Marie Willows
Race: Dark Elf
I was born not in the shallows of the Hal'oath like most drows, but up top with the surfacers. My mother a proud dark-elf with flowing white-hair that glinted a silvery shine when a source of light shone on it, was exiled for her thoughts of peace with the surfacers. She had strange dreams that we should live in peace with them, and these talks of peace as she tried to show her light, her own people cast her out along with her thoughts, while still with me in her belly. They said that they took mercy upon her, because she was carrying a child, so did not kill her instantly, but left her to die. But my mother, a woman of quick wit, knew a few things of survival. She made shelter out of sticks and dried falling leaves, and dug a hole in the ground as a storage compartment and gathered berries and all sorts of edible things she could find and placed them within. Our new home was sturdy and could survive the harsh elements, oh she thought.
One night, as she gathered wood to make a small fire, the air became cold, and dead. Fog began to cover the earth like a white blanket; my mother began to make a fire, using a rock and broken hilt of a sword still holding some of the broken darksilver blade. She struck the blade against the rock over some sticks and dried grass, and ignited it. She started to feed the fire, but as she did, she began to notice and listen over the crackling of the fire for disturbing sounds. In the distance, faint sounds of ... metal clashing ... mother curious about the sound, wondered if it was a battle close by. My mother picked herself up off the ground and approached the noises with curiosity and caution. My mother came upon a ledge, and the clashing had reached its peak, and was harsh on the ears. Peeking over she found a city belonging to surfacers; our brothers and sisters, the elven and their tiny yet happy town ... well, not happy at that moment. Scanning the area, she glimpsed that it was a small band of goblins commencing the onslaught. She saw a heavily built man swinging his hammer, bashing skulls left and right. My mother being drow looked on with pleasure, at the bloodshed.
The battle continued, swinging, and slashing, and death cries echoed loudly throughout the forest, which could be heard a good distance. Mother getting curious as the battle began to thin a bit, moved her small, quick frame closer to the action. She climbed down from vines hanging over the ledge and hid behind some goblin and elven corpses piled about four feet high. She continued to look on with pleasure, watching the incredibly built elven warrior, bringing his heavy hammer up over his head, and bringing it down with precision and power. The man swiped across his body spinning around smacking a goblin across his face, which sent him flying about ten-feet spinning the whole time till he met the earth, and lay motionless. My mother grinned and continued to look on, and saw that the man, had only stunned the goblin savage, and my mother saw that he was recovering and ready to take his ground again, and was about to back-stab the elven warrior. My mother using her quickness, grabbed a dagger from a fallen warrior and ran quickly, screaming what seemed to be a battle cry which pierced the ears of everyone, and they turn to see where it came from. She leaped and tackled the recovered goblin before he could lay a finger on the warrior. The elven man turned and grinned, and turned quickly back to the goblin he was fighting, who was distracted by the scream, he moved quickly and got off a critical strike on the goblin. He struck the goblin across the temple, which sent the goblin crashing to the ground, sending the goblin into a seizure before he died.
My mother wrestling with the goblin that recovered, rolled him over and slit his throat and she grinned again with pleasure as she watched him die. He tried to call out, but couldn't say a word, air bubbles spewed from his open neck as he bled to death. My mother satisfied, looked up and saw the man extend a hand, in appreciation and helped her up. She smiled at the man, and he smiled back. Then all of a sudden, a barrage of fist size stones hurled across the air, striking my mother in her chest, and a snap could be heard as she toppled over. The man turned and looked upon some goblin strikers from about a hundred yards hurling those stones with accuracy and one struck his hammer snapping it at the base. The man growled and tossed his weapon, and raised his hands in front of him and began to concentrate. The strikers reloaded their weapons, but they were in for a surprise. As they began to swing their load, the man sent his. The earth began to tremble and shake fiercely. The strikers in pandemonium, of what was happening, screamed like women and children crying for help. The man grinned evilly, and spread his arms apart, closing them really quickly. The earth split from underneath the strikers and engulfed them into a pool of malting lava, then closing their screams to a silence. The man looked at the rest of the horde, and they freaked, and ran for it.
The man spat and turned towards my mother lying there in pain and agony. The man raised a hand and waved it over my mother, trying to heal her. But she was already too far-gone for magic to work, and her soul began to fade. My mother gasped for air, and got half a lung full, and said without hesitation to the man, "Please ... save ... my child ... and protect him ... like I did you ..."
She smiled for the last time and the fire in her eyes vanished, and turned into a cold tear, which ran down her face. She became limp, and cold. The man couldn't do anything for her, except live up to her request. The man worked quickly and lifted my mother's robes, and pierced her belly carefully, not to hit me with his knife. He made a long slit under my mother's stomach and lifted me out. I came into the world as any ordinary child, naked and crying. The man held me, like I was his son, and looked down upon my mother and couldn't help but cry. He looked down and saw my mother's last name knitted into her robes. He could read the name Vel'ty'iss ... The man looked at me and sat for a few moments, wondering what he should call me ... He finally decided after much debate I should be called my last name and some other name. He named me Komorek Vel'ty'iss. He kept my last name to honor my mother and keep the name alive.
This man, under the request of my mother who saved his life cared for me. I grew up within the walls of the elven village, as a surfacer. I looked at myself as a surfacer, as an equal, but I was looked upon as a drow. My significant others really made a name for drows being blood thirsty savages. Even called to be as bad as the goblin hoarde. Many years I lived with this man, who was known as Bal'lidrik to most, but I called him father. Many years of trying to find out what I wanted to do, I tried to follow his line of work, as a cleric. I was good at basic healing with herbs and potions, but could never master the basic skills of magically healing someone's fatigue or wounds. This made me depressed, and lead me to a whole other path. I began to sneak around, and spy on people, easily dropping on important things. Before I knew it I was in a whole new profession that I was good at, but I still was in a bit of depression, for no one would utilize my skills. Till one day, I wanted to go to a city called Nexus the City of All Races and seek a job. After hearing Nexus called the City of All Races, maybe, just maybe, I would actually be accepted into a society and my differences looked past. I decided to stay for a few years more and acquire some basic skills on how to survive out in the world, and began to work on my skills to hone them just in case of any dangers that may lie ahead.
After so many years, I finally set out on my journey, and gave my dad my farewells and love, and to those who helped shelter me during my beginning adolescent years. I began to my long walk towards the city. I was told the fastest way there was to walk along the beach, until I reach another patch of the forest and then follow the activity of wagons passing that were heading towards the city. I did as I was told.
It seemed like I'd walked and followed wagons forever, it was about two days walking non-stop, because I was excited to see this city. My eagerness got into the way of my health, and I had to stop and scavenge for food. I ate anything I could find, edible berries, mice, until I was satisfied and my belly was full again. I remember finishing eating and being about to turn in for the night, when a black wolf jumped out of nowhere, and pounced on me, ripping my jerkin to shreds. I tossed the wolf aside and got up, fearing for my life, I was left in shock and didn't know what to do ... the thing stared me in the eye and knew I feared it, and fed off it. Then from nowhere again, a man dressed in dark black vest and leggings, jumped from the shadows impaling the wolf with his dagger in the vitals, instantly killing the beast. I looked up and fell over in fear, as I looked up again at a man with a pale face, and looks that were hard to recognize and keep in memory hovered over me. He extended his hand as an offering to help, and I accepted and got up and dusted myself off. He said that he was watching me, and said that I was quick reacting to the beast when it leaped. I said, "Oh," questionably and confused. The man introduced himself to me; his name was Radjeck Tholms. He examined me and asked if I would like to work with him. I'm guessing that my skills were to his liking. He was a drow as well, as I was surprised to find out. I asked where he came from. He said that he was from the elven village about northwest of where I lay camp, and it was ironic. I asked him to join me and we talked the night away. In the morning I agreed to work with him. He grinned and nodded. I watched him and soaked up everything he taught me and did. Teaching me how to use my skills to the best of my ability. Over many years, we became close, and we ran into his brother sometimes; his name was Col'hirat, he was half-elven, a long story which I care not to tell. I watched and followed Radjeck for many years, absorbing all I could.
Till one day, while protecting Nexus from attacks, he lost his life, and he was brought back by the people in the Healing Hand. His trainers began to look down upon him and stripped him of tiers and a bad luck streak come upon him. This made him go into a state of depression, and soon into insanity. He gave up Hope ... gave all his stuff away, and began to go on a wild spree of endless exploring. When he couldn't go on anymore, threw himself upon his sword, and decided it was time to be with Tilnar. His last words to me were follow my own path, and so I did, to honor his words. So I applied for apprenticeship on the mystical island known as Falcion and began my own path, and followed my friend and mentor's profession to honor his teachings and him ...
(at the bottom a word seems to be smeared because of water dripping into the ink)
... Hope ...
Race: Dark Elf
Hannes, the newest scribe to the Nexus Library, jumped across the muddy puddles quickly growing across the city streets. He contemplated the days events over in his mind, recalling the streaks of sun streaming through the towering clouds in the morning, signaling another warm day. Yet just moments after the glorious sunrise, black clouds blew in from the west, blotting out the sun's wealth. Hannes had reluctantly left the warmth of his home's fireplace and wife's embrace to seek out one Kyona Ssinss'elghinn, and judging by the name he doubted it would be a friendly confrontation. However, he did need the money he would be paid by the library to bring them her past history; hopefully she would not be as tight-lipped as he had found most Drow to be.
Hannes continued down the growingly muddy streets, thinking back to the time when he was asked for money to pave the dirt roads. He had denied them the few gold it would've taken, and now he can see his mistake. Dashing under an overhang, he paused to wipe his face dry with the hem of his robes, muttering and cursing to himself for being out on a day like this. A thick wooden sign inscribed with the insignia of the Drunken Orc was hinged to the side of the building and clattered against the walls; seemingly daring anyone smaller than a half-giant to enter. Just as he was about to give up and return home, a short elf caught his attention. She wore simple green clothing, and her face was covered in scars. She avoided eye contact, and spoke in a deep, raspy voice, directing him inside. Hannes entered the dimly lit room, waving his hand before his face to clear the air of what seemed to be dust, yet he thought better of it to ask. Seated near a fire sat a tall, slender figure dressed in black attire. The other inhabitants of the tavern seemed to avoid her presence, some even nervously glanced over their shoulders to be sure she still sat there. She turned slightly to greet him in her native tongue. "Vendui' rivvil."
Hannes tilted his head to the side and leaned forward, obviously showing his ignorance of the Drow tongue. The woman's eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared slightly in distaste, yet she decided to put up with this foolish man. The young elven woman quickly went to the woman's side, and added, "She says, greetings human." Hannes nodded in understanding - the woman seated by the fire must not speak his language, and this elf would do the translating.
The young woman spoke in broken English, struggling over pronunciation, and soon Hannes understood this was the woman he was to interview, Kyona Ssinss'elghinn. Kyona pointed a slender figure to the chair across from her, and leaned back in hers, exposing a waist riddled in dark silvered scars. Her face had the usual sharp features of a Drow, yet her slender lips never parted in a smile, and unlike most of her kind, her hair appeared nearly blue in the dim light of the tavern. She uttered a few words to the elf beside her, who smiled pleasantly and offered Hannes a drink. He refused, explaining that he needed all his wits about him to properly record this. All the while the young woman explained Hannes' words in clumsy Drow to Kyona, who simply snickered and nodded. Kyona kept her face within the shadows, yet the fire threw stripes of light over her sapphire eyes, reflecting off her irises in a dazzling array of yellows and irridescent orange. She watched the scribe intently, aware of every movement he made.
In a near whisper, Kyona began her tale, the translator by her side stumbling over words in a vain attempt to keep up...
"Khaless climbed and descended root stairs, bruising his bones in the dark, scratching his eyes, and lashing his body. The rain's cold feathers clothed his nakedness and danced about his friend. Khaless ran through the knives of hedges and crashed across streams with the night between his teeth. Time and again, he would reach for the band at his throat, and each time he would scream his grip free from the curse put upon him."
"Jiv'elgg lueth jiv'undus phuul jivvin." Kyona added quickly. The elven woman paused, glanced at Kyona and muttered, "Torture and pain are fun..." trailing off to a near whisper likened to Kyona's own voice. She then explained that their Matron had onyx bands fitted on each of her House's children, and these bands were the source of constant pain. As children, these bands were used for fun. Pain was pleasurable - or so they were told. Only the light of the sun would destroy the curse.
"Ilharessen zhaunil alurl, p'luin jall." Kyona nodded slightly, almost imperceptibly. The elf smiled. "Matrons know best, after all."
"He wanted to die as a warrior in battle, not like some cow split in half to cool in the rain. So he plowed the night with his body, running through the dusty rocks of knives and arrows out of the Underdark and into the clear air - until suddenly a hand big as the wind grabs him.
"Clouds open and display the glassworks of constellations. His head swings wide with wonder to take it all in, and he sees the black God above him, darkness traveling across his attire like a falcon. "So, you have returned home to us, my child." Rothe speaks gruffly, stepping out of the trunk of a sycamore tree. And around him Ilythiiri rise up from the earthsmoke like the dead.
"Chaparral grass and dwarf willows sway, listening to the under night filled with lights. Kyona gazed up with naked awe at the starry heavens of the Underdark, wondering how the blotched moon and these misty starwheels could be visible down here inside the veins of Altin. She calms her beating heart, reminding herself it is simply an illusion put on by some House wizards to give the illusion of beauty and keep the slaves happy in this horrible place. A distant scream echoes through the caverns, and Khaless is soon beside her, panting for air. Kyona and he clamber through the curly boughs of a giant black tree and perch high among its silver, clustered blossoms, hoping to see the secrets of this inner sky. Craters sleep in the ashes of the walls. The whirlpools of stars fling feathers through the lavender void, and the amplified images of the pure night open new mysteries, almost pointing them towards the tiny, pinprick of light at their destination.
"Watching from above the tiny chaparral lakes, where the sunlight streaming through the exit shrivels the grass to whorls of powdery gray mold, they can see all of the Underdark and her horrors. As their Matron rushes toward them from the distance, they stand perfectly still at the edge of terror. Khaless watches the searing daylight from the upper world bruise and sour the delicate flora of the Underdark's roots, reducing the shrubs around him to coral shapes of ash. Slowly but perceptibly, the exit hole clogs with soot and shrinks.
"Khaless and Kyona stumble into the sunlight, protecting their eyes from the glaring light. They tumble down a hill into a black tarn where white herons glow like paper lanterns. Among blunt rocks, they wash their garments and dry them in the sun, each glad to be away from the rotten stench of the Underdark. Kyona curls up in her robes, hides her face in her wide-brimmed hat, and sleeps - Khaless watching over her in the cinnamon light of the forest mere.
"The hollows of the night woods echo with lorn owl calls, and Khaless lies down at his friend's feet and waits impatiently for sleep. Rest does not come. His desperate heart beats in the swamp grass with fearful vertigo for the namelessness of the depths he has escaped; he knows his Matron will send someone to search for them. At the first touch of sun, he rouses the torpid Kyona, and they slouch away among hanging vines and brown, dusty rays of sun. By noon, Khaless leads Kyona out of woodland into the rolling pastures and dotted meadows. Among the lonely ruins of once splendid villas of the old heroes, thatch-roofed farmhouses and crude hamlets cluster close together.
"Clouds heave over the forest hills and budge against the dawn, promising rain. In Khaless, Kyona had found her champion, who could help her reclaim her life. And for him, she was the home he could win for himself by displaying the best traits of his heritage - by daring, martial skill, and strong spirit. Throughout the night, while Khaless plaited for himself a grass kilt under a sky choking with stars, this is all they spoke of. Their faith in each other required no Matron, no clan, no magic but their own sole desire to take back what the world had taken from them. They recognize themselves as counterparts of one destiny. Khaless speaks first. "I want to go with you, to the Nexus - just exactly as we discussed when we stood together in the Underdark, when we could not see each other, only our dreams." "It is day now," Kyona says, and glances at the blush of dawn. "Dreams must prove themselves in this clear light - or fade away." Khaless takes her hand in his. "I will not fade away."
The elven woman looked back to Kyona, who seemed to be struggling with something. For once, her face nearly betrayed her thoughts, yet she quickly corrected this and calmed herself. Her eyes sparked momentarily, and she stated in a rushed voice, "Ussta ilhar zhahus dal l'El'lar d'Ssinssrigg. Il orn naut tesso ussa vel'uss ussta ilharn zhahus. Ji usstan uil natha fa'la zatoast dalhar dal natha ssindossa qu'ellar xuil ussta abbil, Khaless." The elven woman blushed a violent crimson, and began translating for Hannes.
"My mother worked in the House of Pleasure. She will not tell me who my father was, so I am the bastard child from a whore house along with my friend, Khaless."
"Usstan.." Kyona's voice faded completely, then came back with force. "whol ussta ilharn whol mzil jhal usstan gumash naut ragar ukta. Usstan zhahus natha rothe whol l'qu'ellar mzilst d'ussta dro." The elf stepped in, translating with ease this last part. "I searched for my father for many days, but could not find him. I was a slave for the house most of my life." To this a small smile played across Kyona's lips as she chanced a look into the elf's eyes, who seemingly shared this secret with her.
The elf leaned forward and spoke in a rushed whisper. "As punishment to her mother for becoming pregnant and shaming the House, her daughter was taken away from her at birth, and made a slave for the Matron until she was of an age to ... work ... with the other older men and women. However, she chanced an escape and won her freedom through the fates before this punishment fell upon her or Khaless."
Kyona looked up at the elf, annoyed by her trepedition to share these secrets with a stranger.
"Rothe sent Golhyrr to the new home of her escaped children to ensure that the insolence ended once and for all. To accomplish this simple deed, she wore a sturdy bezoar ring spring-loaded with a fine gold needle sticky with poison. At the young man's door, she presented herself without guile as the niece of Brorn, who had toured a faraway land and was told to seek out Khaless, an old friend of his. Before she could go to him, a one-armed soldier blocked her way. Dressed simply but immaculately in crisp blue tunic, a short sword at his hip, he inspected her with a genial smile on his thin lips and a hint of disdain in his arched nostrils and flexed eyebrows. "A bezoar ring!" With a swift, deft swipe of his fingers, he slipped the ring from her and held it up to his discerning eye. "This particular bezoar stone has been regurgitated from a camel. A legendary but, alas, ineffective antidote to poison. Ah, but my lady, I assure you on my life, there are no poisons to infect you here. Please, do come in. My friend will be most eager to hear of your travels in this land." The man smiled pleasantly to Golhyrr and slipped the ring back over her finger before departing.
"Night shone feverishly with the luminosity of the blazing chimneys and the sweeping rays of silver light crisscrossing off the surrounding fields. In the salmon orange glow of the candlelight, Khaless sat on a small wooden chair, waving Golhyrr in to join him. He explained that Kyona had left to care for a sick friend.
"Despite herself, Golhyrr found that she liked the young man. She had met numerous personages on her far-flung assignments for her family, and all had had a sameness about them, some imperfection of the heart, either greed, cruelty, or fear. In talking with this boy on the terrace of his house and sharing sweet roots and elecampane drinks, she learned of his childhood as a servant in a whore house, and his oldest and dearest friend, Kyona. He had acquired humility at a young age. And he had been trained to fight and offer himself in sacrifice for those greater than himself - in other words, he would die when his Matron ordered it.
"Golhyrr took a last sip of the elecampane brew and rose, offering her hand. Khaless took the woman's hands. "How can I thank you - for these tales you have brought to me of the land I cannot see." Golhyrr smiled wryly, and with a slight twist of her hand, activated the switch on the bezoar ring. In an instant, Khaless felt a small pinprick upon his left hand and promptly stepped away from the woman. Golhyrr apologized prophetically. "I am sorry, my Lord. It was a simple accident, these rings.. they do not make jewelry such as this as nicely as they used to."
"He feigned a gentle smile at the woman and excused her from his room. Golhyrr, however, remained by the door, peering in intently to see that her job was completed. She peered into the dark bores of his widening pupils as he died, poisoned as much by her beauty as by the toxins she had delivered. As silent as the forest's breath, she quickly escaped down the long side streets, smiling politely to those she encountered until she was far into the darkening woodlands - she would not bother with the girl, she decided.
"Kyona lay by her dearest friend's side, whispering words of love to him. He began to fade, a mirage of spindrift. Sorrow followed her as she parted from the man who had won her heart by his bravery, his virtue, and his physical beauty. She reached forth to touch him once more, this man she had not expected to love.
"Kyona spent the following week in a small temple dedicated to the two Brothers, working with priests by day, helping to repair storm-damaged roof tiles, driving the daily wagon of prepared meals to the local hamlets to feed the sick and elderly, working with the priestesses and scribes as they toiled together in the busy gardens around the temple. Kyona did not share her past with any, even those she felt she trusted most. Even time does not heal all wounds, as she well knew.
"Eager to get to Nexus, Kyona left the temple and traveled by night through the surrounding forests, slowly heading toward the City. Following a stream, she spotted an ivory shaft of platinum fletch feathers standing in an offset brook, the golden, twilit water unfurling around it. Kyona approached, being wary of her footfalls - the arrow moved deeper into the narrow stream and away from her outreached grasp. She splashed after it, and it coursed upstream, cleaving the bright current before it. Her naked feet sloshed through the cold water, slipped on the mossy rocks, and she thwacked her head against a rock. Stars dazzled her vision, and through their spun light she spotted the arrow and seized it. It stuck from the back of a large fish that thrashed in her grasp, then lay still, its mouth wagging as if drinking in the river. The fish continued to thrash in the muscles of the water, but Kyona would not let it go. She lay with her cheek on a slimy rock, staring into the agate eye of the fish. "I cannot release you. I am on a mission to complete a promise," Kyona held the fish to her face to continue, but the finny creature had already died, its mineral eyes glazed over. She cut open the fish to remove the shaft, and a large, irridescent pearl rolled out. Kyona quickly tucked the pearl away in her tattered robe's pocket, and set to skinning the fish.
"Before she turned to find kindling for her fish roast, the sound of a creaking cart and horse hooves emerged from the chill forest. The friendly face of a half-elf decked from head to toe in gleaming silver armor greeted her from atop the wagon. The heat exerted by the horse warmed her body, a welcome feel on these last cold days. The half-elf did not speak, he only extended a large hand, calloused with scars and marks from long battles past. Kyona stood up, and bowed as gracefully as her battered body would allow. Somehow, this man's eyes inspired absolute trust, their crystalline surfaces flecked with silver and sparked with blue. She accepted his hand, reluctant to trust a tu'rilthiir, and climbed up to the seat beside him, smiling in thanks. They rode on in silence down a dusty path, and ahead glowed a deep agate yellow above the forest. The man simply turned to her and smiled. "Nexus." Kyona smiled slightly, and stared toward the rising gates of mithril in awe. Never had she imaged a city such as this, above ground.
An easy look covered Kyona's face as she muttered these last words just over a whisper and replaced the black veil over her face. Her translator relaxed visibly and wiped the beads of sweat from her forehead. Kyona stood from her seat and stared deep into the fire, the shadows danced across her sharp features and lit the irises of her sapphire eyes. With a small gesture, she tossed a thick black band into the fire, which promptly exploded into flames about her and burned in the heat. She uttered a quick word in Hannes' ear before silently departing into the oozing shadows flickering across the room. The sparks from the fire which had landed on her still glowed, and as she passed by Hannes, he could see her skin burning around the small flames.
When Leif was very young, he lived in a settlement of pure Sylvans. The house he and his mother occupied wasn't very big, in fact, it was probably one of the smallest shelters in the settlement. Leif didn't like it there very much, for the children and sometimes the adults would tease and degrade him and his mother for having human friends previous to living there. Leif often got into scuffles over this and would come home beaten and battered. He marvelled at how his mother handled being ridiculed, for she always kept her composure and never let her temper flare up. One night, Leif and his mother fled the settlement, to hopefully leave behind a life of being ridiculed. They went for approximately a year without a place they could call home, sleeping in the branches of trees and scavenging for food and water. They found many towns during the time, but none that were much different from where they left. Finally they entered a city by the name of Tel'nares.
Leif adored the city from the moment he arrived, for the people were very kind and willing to help him and his mother. Within days, Leif had been offered a job at one of the busiest bars in the city. He did custodial work, cleaning up the place and whatnot. Sometimes he served drinks as well. When there wasn't much to do in the bar, he would listen to the thieves tell their tall tales of thievery and sometimes they exchanged valuables as well. Amazed by the art of stealth they spoke of, Leif pursued the art, and began stealing minor things within the city, nothing of great value, as well as picking pockets. He wasn't very good at it at first and was caught numerous times. His boyish looks bailed him out of trouble for the most part as the people would let him go unpunished, mistaking him for a child. After many months of trying to perfect his new hobby, Leif decided to venture out to a different city, as he didn't want his mother to find out about his thieving. If she became aware of it, he would surely be scolded so he told his mother he wanted to be on his own and felt he must depart from the city. The next day Leif set out from the city and was on his own, meandering aimlessly for several months, until he stumbled upon the City of All Races, Aalynor's Nexus.
The rest of his life shall unravel in this new city. He will hopefully make a name for himself and build up enough courage to return to Tel'nares and let his mother know of what he has become.
Born screaming in the back of the High seas inn lockler begun his life.
His mom Lisa Davron was a barmaid at the tavern. Poor and worked all day and most of the night, yet still barley making enough to survive. holding the new born child she cursed aloud the father for giving her this new burden. unable to think of a name she gave the child the same one as his father.
His Father Lockler was a member of a merchant ship.. well.. actually more of a pirate ship. They traded goods but often managed to steal back a good portion of these items before sailing off. Locklers fathers ship came into rymek one night and the crew went off into the tavern. After quite a bit of drinks his father grabbed Lisa and took her off to the ship. There he forced himself upon her and quickly kicked her back to the tavern. His ship left the next day.
Roughly one year later the child was born to her. The child wasn't something to be loved, it wasn't a great form of life... it was just another mouth to feed, one she could barely afford to do.
The child grew wearing rags and any small thing she could find to dress him in and then when he turned 13 she kicked him out. She could find no love for him and didn't want him to be a burden any longer.
And so he walked, out of the town of rymek, and into the forest searching for anything that could be considered food. After a couple days eating berries and stealing what he could off passing travelers he was attempting to steal a few scraps of bread out of a merchants pocket. Upon hearing a sudden thump he quickly looked up to see an arrow sticking straight through the merchants chest.
Quickly he jumped back life scared out of his mind and he fled into the bushes watching. Out from the trees jumped around eight black clad men all wielding daggers and short swords. They quickly surrounded the remaining merchant holding their blades to his neck demanding gold else he would turn end like his friend.
Without a second thought the merchant threw down a sack of gold and a good deal of precious stones and the men granted him safe passage. The bandits quickly headed off into the woods to split their cash.
Lockler seeing the riches they had earned followed them, sneaking as silently as he could till he reached the camp. The men were too busy celebrating to notice him as he quietly picked up anything he could; a hand full of diamonds and sack of gold. Now overcome with greed he was not even trying to be quiet. The young boy grabbed as much as he could shoving it into his sack.
As he starting on his way back, a heavy hand fell upon his shoulder, and spun him around revealing the wide grin of a bandit. With a loud yelp of surprise the boy stumbled backed back but the bandit made no move forward. He merely chuckled watching the boys fear. The child backed up tripping over an object on the ground, he quickly scrambled to his feet and picked the object up.
It was a dagger, although to the young boy it was big enough to be a Short Sword, so he did the first thing that came to his mind. He lunged at the bandit swinging the dagger like mad. The bandit laughed dodging the blows with great ease and grace until the child did an unexpected dive to the left with an upward slash, catching the bandit in the arm. The smirk gone and chuckles faded the bandit with one fluid motion threw up his cloak and knocked the blade out of the child's hand with his sword.
As the blade clattered against the ground the boy backed up, tripping over his own feet. Slowly the bandit approached raising his blade to the child's throat. "What's your name boy?" "l-l-l-l" was all he could utter as he stared at the blade, inches from away from a killing blow. "Answer me if you wish to live!" "L-Lockler sir!" The bandit scratched his chin eyeing the boy with little regard for the cut on his arm. "Where do you live boy?" "Nowhere sir, live been in the woods since i was kicked out of home"
The bandit grinned as his sword fell, smashing the boys head with the hilt. Lockler soon lost consciouness, his last sight being two bandits lifting him and the cold slam of a gate.
Lockler's eye stuttered open and he peered hazily around his new environment. Quickly his keen eyes adjusted to the dark, his elven heritage true to him. He was trapped in a cell.. a tent of some sort and the sound of laughing and drinking could be heard and through a small flap. No light entered through the flap so he knew that it was night. A plate of food was near him which he quickly ate hardly chewing. Then he sat alone in the dark alone, with only his thoughts. Finally after what seemed like days later the same bandit that caught him opened the tent and dragged him out.
"Alright boy, seems like your worth no ransom to nobody" Lockler whimpered slightly, fearing what he thought to be his end "But, I figured since you no know nobody wouldn't hurt ta train ya to work for us. Ya think you could keep up? Oh, and the alternative is death. Its your choice" Not even bothering to think what he was agreeing to Lockler nodded his head quickly. He was willing to do anything to save his life.
So it went.. every morning his was taught in combat, with a wooden sword and the arts of stealth. As time went on the bandit leader became amazed.. Yes, amazed at how horribly one kid could do after months of training.. Lockler would trip in the shadows and his fingers slipped out of pockets. The only thing the kid was good at was with a blade, but most the time the missions were that of stealth so little help he could provide.
The leader only extended his training, making Lockler train day and night till he would collapse to the ground with exhaustion and from there he would be woken in four to five hours. With this tough training Lockler improved greatly. He became more of an adept with the necessary skills. Soon the leader of the bandits began to check his pack whenever he saw Lockler walk by. Finally three years later he knew the boy was ready for actual raids.
The raids were simple enough, circle the carts, hold weapons up and demand the gold. Lockler and the few other trainees, not friends for in this kinda life you quickly learn that there are no friends only work partners, would make games of seeing how much they could steal before the merchants were held up. Despite his occasional trips and fumbles Lockler remained at the head of his group.
Life was good for the most part; his group was wealthy and his skills were ever improving. To Lockler there was nothing wrong with this life style, after all, they weren't hurting anyone.. only borrowing a few marks here and there from the few who had a little extra to spare. Over time he looked to the leader as a role model, a savior and even a god. Life continued easily until one day during a raid...
These merchants seemed intent on keeping their cargo, they drew their blades as did the bandits. Quick as a flash the bandit leader ran up drawing his blade to the main merchants throat, and yet still the merchant refused to give up their cargo. Lockler peeked into the caravan and eyes widened as he saw heaps of jewels and gold, understanding why the merchants were putting up such a fight.
The merchant ordered his family to hide inside the caravan and his wife and four kids hurried inside. As soon as they were safe the merchant made his move and ran toward to the bandit leader aiming his blade for hi heart. The merchant had taken four steps then he was met with the cold blade of the the bandit leader. Easily he swung around and jabbed his blade into the merchants back. Coughing up blood, the merchant fell to the ground and his weapon clattered on the rocks.
One of the guards of the caravan leapt forward slashing at the leaders arm and instantly found himself next to the merchant, dead before he hit the dirt. The other merchants backed off realizing this was a fight they could never hope to win and they threw the gold and jewels down from their pockets begging to be spared. The bandit leader ordered his men to collect the gold. Lockler smiled glad to see this ordeal would come to the end and few would have to die but his smile quickly faded as he heard a sharp yell and the sick sound of blade rending flesh he quickly turned his gaze to see the leader pulling his blade out of the merchant.
"WHY!!? Why did you do that? They surrendered!!!!" The bandit leader merely smirked at this ordering his bowmen to fire flaming arrows at the covered caravan. In a flash the caravan was ignited, the screams of the women and children echoed in the night. These cries haunt Lockler's dreams even still. Lockler looked around unable to believe what he was witnessing.. He was alright at first with the stealing as no innocents were being killed. But this? This needless death? The pointless killing? His very group were murders.. How did he not realize this? How had he been so stupid to not see this coming?
With that he fled into the woods ignoring the screams from the other bandits to return and ignoring the arrows as the flew past trying to stop him from running. He ran far back to rymek, the city that had rejected him. He hid under the docks thinking, crying, afraid.
"Why......Why, did they kill them?...They were..innocent" He wiped his tears and stood up. "I need... to get the hell out of here before they drag me down to this, or something"
He walked around the city he had thought of many ways to help make up for what he has done and so far the only idea that could be done was to help out in the war, to fight the goblins protect the cities. Then one day when he is strong enough go, and fight the bandits to get revenge for those that were innocently slaughtered.
All he needed was a way to start training.. He had heard from passing heroes talking (while lockler was taking their food) of Falcion a city where he could train learn to fight, and the art of stealth. All he needed now was a way to get the marks for the sloop. He scanned crowds looking for the most vunerable people around, ones who couldn't stop him from robbing a few marks. He quickly saw his targets, to mage bumping into everyone and everything looking lost and confused. Lockler carefully sneaked up
"Which way brother" "The map says the sloop should be around here somewhere" "Let me see that map" At this point lockler crept up and start picking marks from the mages purses. "..Arclite....this map is upside down you idiot" "It is...oh! Well what would you know" ".......Idiot" "Hey it was a simple mistake! Anyone could have made i......HEY!" Tripping over a crack in the floor Lockler was jolted forward into the mage. The mage looked at him noticing the hand in his hand in his pack, he quickly chanted a small burn spell blasting the thief and chasing him around the city.
"Hey!" Lockler dodges the fire "I wasn't doing anything!!!" "Like hell you weren't, you were trying to steal my gold, now burn!!" The mage answered while continuing to fire away
A few moments later the mages magic ran out and grew tired from the chase, lockler also began to pant slowing down.
Realizing he was getting nowhere he stopped running, and walked to the mage handed him 300 marks. "Here, sorry...take your coins" "Damn right your *pant* Sorry, sheesh you *pant* run fast" With that lockler chuckled and extended his hand "Lockler Davron" Raising his silver eyebrow slightly the mage shook his hand "Arclite, and my brother Morphious is somewhere around here" "So where you headed arclite?" "Falcion, im gonna train and become an arch-mage one day, you?" "Same if i can ever get some money" With that the mage tossed the stolen marks back to Lockler "I don't need them anyway"
The next day the two boarded the sloop to nexus and after almost getting thrown off (Lockler had a little problem with one of the ogre passengers) they arrived on the island of Falcion. As they got off the sloop Arclite turned to Lockler "You ready? With a nod Lockler ran of through the gates carrying two sacks of gold. The mage smiled a moment before reading his name labeled on the second bag and quickly ran after the thief.
Race: Dark Elf
OOC Note from the Gamemasters: Lope's player has requested that this history is NOT to go into the Library. His reasoning is understandable. He is willing to have it put on the Webpage as this is an ooc site and the knowledge should not be brought in game.
A loud hissing noise reverberated around the room moments before a thin yet sturdy staff slammed across the back of the young drow standing bare-chested in the room. A flash of pain echoed on his face for seconds before he regained his composure. Keeping silent he waited for the next question and inevitable beating he was to receive upon answering the question.
The rod flew through the air toward the young drow's abdomen. A loud cracking noise accompanied the dull thud this time as the hollow rod shattered. A small noise escaped the young man this time along with a slight hunching as the shards bit into the soft flesh of his belly.
The face behind the rod contorted in anger at the lapse in control. Old and wrinkled the face still inspired fear into the adolescent with its slightest sign of displeasure. The old man could bring any amount of pain and torment to him for the slightest failure.
The hunched old figure spun in a huff, and stormed over to a rack filled with a large assortment of weapons. His thin arms reached for a rod similar to the now broken one, except with thorns covering the majority of its length.
"You will remain silent."
The poor fool in front of him was not even aware that it was about to be his last day. A drow hunched over in the shadows behind him sat motionless. Breath slow and steady, garments held tightly about him. The lower half of his face covered with the ritual cloth proclaiming his profession. One of his arms was held wrapped around the waist, and gripping something hidden in the back of his shirt.
After watching the target make its rounds five times. The figure was certain he had the guards patterns memorized. So he was patient, waiting for the time he had determined most opportune for the task. At the right moment, he uncoiled like a taut spring, and entangled the guard. Whispering the words, "House Elghinnin delivers its vengeance" into the man's ear, he drew a thin, flat, narrow blade from his back sheath and stabbed between two vertebrae, severing the spinal cord. The body crumpled lifeless to the floor, a small amount of blood soaked up by the uniform.
Silently, the figure slipped away into the shadows, up to the rooftops, and across the city to report the success of his mission.
"The current Hand of our house is getting old and feeble. The matriarch is starting to think along lines of acquiring a new member to replace this one should something happen to him in the near future." The royalty garbed figure paused for a moment to run his finger along silver runes etched into the dark-wood table. "There are not many that could fill in this position. Only a handful have been serving the house long enough to be trusted to be placed in such a trusted position."
The young drow shifted his weight slightly and frowned. Knowing too well what would happen to him if the wrong Master Assassin were chosen to become the Hand. With the prince's back turned, the drow slowly fingered a scar that ran from the bottom of his ear to the tip of his chin, and grimaced. Could be very bad indeed if the wrong drow was chosen.
"I'm sure you know which I would rather have be chosen. And I think this is one situation where you and I have the same goal." Walking closer to the charcoal garbed young man, the prince lowered his voice to a near whisper. "In your next training, coat the tip of your blade with this poison. Be wary! A mere scratch will be fatal, and there is no antidote. I'm sure you will know how to handle yourself do to your training."
Looking into the red eyes of the adolescent before him, the prince nodded in satisfaction and quickly hurried from the room.
Holding the small ceramic flask between his thumb and forefinger, the young man stared vacantly at it, plans already forming in his head.
Deftly jumping to the left, the young man narrowly missed a pair of shuriken that had been sent toward his head. Rolling out of his tumble he darted forward for a stab at the outstretched arm of his opponent. He stumbled slightly as he missed a solid blow and merely scratched the underarm. Spinning on the ball of his foot to face the foe again, he shifted his weight.
A moment of assessing the enemy passed as each combatant tried to judge the other's status. In mere seconds it was over, and the older man made a lunge at the younger.
Finally seeing the opportunity to bring his plans to fruition, the adolescent stepped aside just enough to disperse the full energy of the impact and to not be wounded badly by the others blade. Pinned to the ground, he felt the dagger start to slowly work its way to his neck. Desperately he groped about for the secret pocket sewn into his pants for the vial of poison. With a flood of relief, his fingers closed about it and withdrew the small container.
Pushing with all his might, the young man rolled the older man off. Leaping up to gain the advantage, the teen stealthily ran the edge of the vial over his enemy's blade. Here, he realized, started the true fight. Wrestling with each other, both men tried to cut the other with the blade, only one realizing the finality of the struggle.
Looking down over the body of his teacher, the young man wiped sweat from his face and chest. He then placed the vial in the opposite hand of the dead body. Nodding to himself in satisfaction, he ran threw a shirt about himself and ran for another teacher.
Whispering softly in the first one found, he led them back to the training room.
"I just sliced him with his dagger as we wrestled for control. It shouldn't have killed him."
Bending over the body, the teacher examined the wound and blade, and then eyed the student skeptically. "It was poisoned. The vial there in his hand is probably what it was kept in. I will inform the matriarch."
"You're being sent out on a mission. The heads of our house have decided that you are to be our Hand for an important mission. We do not know how long this will take, or where it will take you. You will be given information before you leave and directions on where you are to go.
"We are certain that with the training you have received here you will be able to survive. This is your first target outside of our world. You must think on your feet and be open to every opening you have to take out the target."
The Hand looked down at the young man and crossed his arms. After narrowing his eyes, he nodded slowly and dismissed the teenager from the office.
An elven man laughs merrily as he yells to the bartender, "Give me 'nutha drink." He was there celebrating his best friend's wedding and was carousing with some friends. They laughed and told jokes for nearly six hours until they decided to leave. He crept outside the tavern swaying back and forth grinning from ear to ear, "This is t-the best I've felt in years," he said with a hiccup. Everything was wavy and swaying in his vision and he came upon a human woman. They smiled at each other and gave each other their names. The woman introduced herself as, "I am known as Miriadi, the human commoner of Syramin," and the man responded, "I am known as Mukirlo, the elven lord of Wiythinil." At this the woman curtsied to the man until he said, "A-arise young lady, I need no formal attitude," he said with a woozy face. The lady seeing his drunken figure invited him back to her place; "Really?" he asked, "I would love to." They set off over hills and through forests towards the ladies house, this was all a dream to Mukirlo, for he fell unconscious over the third hill and the lady carried him back.
The morning sun glistened upon Mukirlo's face as he opened his eyes yawning. Miriadi entered the room carrying buttered rolls and fresh eggs. Mukirlo smiled at her and asked, "Are these for me?" She nodded compulsively. His smile broadened and said, "Sit down, and let's share." At this request she sat at the edge of the bed and he beckoned her nearer him and she slowly moved up the bed. When she got close enough to Mukirlo's liking he took a strawberry from the plate and attempted to feed it to her; acting upon impulse she backed away with a curious look. He just smiled and said, "I won't hurt you my dear, no need to fear." And again she inched closer to him minute by minute and ate the strawberry he was dangling in a seductive manner. She smiled at this accomplishment and kissed Mukirlo. Befuddled by her sudden act he returned the favor. She slowly crept into the bed removing his clothes.
A few hours later she awoke from a blissful dream staring Mukirlo in the eyes. She smiled and laid her head upon his chest as she gently poked and fingered his chest. Mukirlo was puffing on a pipe watching her with great interest. She asked, "Was that to your liking?" Mukirlo nodded.
(For the next few months, arguing was natural between the two, and they seemed to never have a day without an argument, and it looks as if the fire that was once in their relationship has diminished from its final flicker.)
In another one of their arguments Miriadi burst forth "Thanks to all that beautiful love making," she exclaimed sarcastically, "I'm carrying your child." Mukirlo's loathing expression vanished and was enticed into a look of hatred as she grinned. "You knew this would happen you…you..!" he exclaimed, but couldn't finish his sentence. She was beginning to cry; she pointed to the door and said, "Leave."
Mukirlo grabbed his belonging ands headed out the door without a word. He walked six long fathomless hills till he met another person. Mukirlo came across an old human dotard trotting lazily on his horse. The man stopped the horse and dismounted. He walked to Mukirlo and begged for a few marks. Mukirlo eyed the man, but flipped him a few mar ks. "Oh thank you oh honorable elf, thank you," said the man. Mukirlo merely shrugged and continued to walk forward. The man called from behind, "Is there something you wish to know or see young man? For I can predict the future with outstanding accuracy." The elf looked at the man and said, "Alright." The elf noticing that he was bleeding at the feet knew he needed a rest anyway, but might as well have company while he rests. The man deep in meditation a few minutes later groaned out a few in illegible, "Death…son…thief…"
Mukirlo stared blankly as the man's head dropped into his hands. The old man began to cough in spontaneous manners. Mukirlo walked over and kneeled down before the man grabbing his shoulder, "Are you alright?" he asked questioningly. The man just kept coughing compulsively.
Day was coming to an end, and Mukirlo would not allow himself to desert this man. He searched the area for pieces of bark. He scrounged up a few pieces of rotten wood, and dumped them into a pile and began to rub them together.
A few minutes later he had a large fire going and crept over to the still-coughing man. He grabbed him underneath his arms and slowly dragged him nearer the fire. Mukirlo then took a rag from his satchel and dumped it in cold water and placed it over the man's forehead. He grabbed his cup and filled it with water and placed it over the now roaring fire.
Moments later the old man screams out, "What's going on!?, What's happening and where am I?!" Mukirlo nodded to the man and began answering his questions, "I am taking care of you for I noticed you have a terrible cough, and you are on the path towards Kolithin." The man nodded and sighed in relief, "Thank you sir, I have come down with a serious sickness of some sort, I begin to cough convulsively and cannot stop. I forget my entire whereabouts and just seem to black out, I am sorry for burdening you with my care and my problems, If you wish I shall go."
Mukirlo shook his head irritably, "No you shall stay. I shall see to it that you are pampered throughout the night." The man nodded and began to drink from the cup of warm water. Mukirlo then had an idea, "You know when you gave my prediction of the future to come, what is it that will happen? Who will die? And what does my life have to concern with thy son's?"
The old man sighed and said, "I am sorry I do not know any of the sort, when I read I also forget everything, for it takes a lot of concentration and understanding to preach these doings, I am truly sorry." Mukirlo sighed and nodded. He took the quail off of the fire and fed some of it to the man.
Later that night as Mukirlo lay awake dazing at the stars, he couldn't help but question the reliability of the old man's words.
Eight months later Mukirlo lies awake dazing at the stars from his hut still wondering what the man meant, "When will this happen? And what of my son?"
A few moments later there was a knock at his doorstep and the faint sound of a cry. He ran to the door pulling on his breeches, "Who's there he called from behind the door?" but there was no answer, so he opened the door and look around: no one was out there, then there was a cry from below his vision. He looked down and there on his doorstep was a child. The child was a boy, and the man cried tears of joy.
A woman came from behind him and rubbed her eyes, "What's wrong Mukirlo?" she asked. "Nothing is wrong, we are blessed with a baby boy my dear Quino." Quino ran to his side and began to cry along with him as she pressed the boy to her chest, "What shall we call him Mukirlo?" she asked.
"We shall call him Muggetha," Mukirlo responded. "But what if the humans do not understand the meaning of his name?" she asked. "Then they shall not understand, he is known as Muggetha to us in elven, but common shall him Malcolm if they wish." She nodded and began to sway with the child in her arms soothing his cries.
A young half-elven child scurries through the house as his elven father chases after him. "Bring me daddy's tool Muggetha," his father called as he hid in a cabinet. Muggetha ran by and his father pounced on him chuckling heartily as the child tried to wrench himself free of his grasp.
A young human woman entered the room smiling. She placed her hands on her hips after wiping them on her apron and exclaimed, "Get him Muggetha!" As the elven man looked up he was jabbed roughly in the jaw by the eccentric child. He laughed and pried the hammer from the child's hand. He got to his feet and turned to the still-smiling woman and declared, "I believe it's time we wed, don't you agree?" The woman withdrew her hands from her hips and charged the man embracing him in a hug. He slipped a mithril-studded ring upon finger and kissed her.
He kissed her for a long time and would of kept kissing her were it not for Muggetha's interruption, "Yucky! Smooch Smooch!!" he screamed. They laughed and turned to the boy looking at his face; they laughed harder and proceeded towards the child with outstretched hands muttering, "Smooch." The child ran from them for close to an hour screaming nothing but "Ewe! Smooch! Ewe!"
"Ah Muggetha it is time to go to sleep," the lady said. "Indeed it is Quino, Muggetha say goodnight to mother," said Mukirlo. Muggetha ran to Quino and hugged her yelling, "Goodnight mommy." She smiled and nodded, "Do you want me to tuck you in?"
"No!" yelled Muggetha, "I am a big man, I don't need to be tucked in." Quino giggled and nodded, "Alright then, goodnight." Muggetha ran to his room and fell asleep. Every few moments Quino would go and check on him. "What is wrong Quino?" asked Mukirlo. "Nothing is wrong, it's just I care about him a lot." Mukirlo just nodded slowly.
Quino and Mukirlo were happily married and Quino felt as if Muggetha were borne to herself for there would never be a moment where she would not of enjoyed the company of Muggetha and Muggetha the same. During the next six years Muggetha ran around the house with nothing to do, "Mommy why can't I go play with the other children?" He would ask. "I do not want my child becoming a hoodlum out there, you shall stay and keep your mother company," would always be her answer.
Muggetha turns toward his father, "Why are we leaving mother?" His father glanced toward the rising sun and then to the forest that separates them from his mother, "It is time that we leave her son," he grabbed his shoulder with a paternal grip, "You are currently nine years old, and you have never experienced anything outside of the cottage. Your mother was going to bind you to her till the day she died. I wish to open up your opportunities." Muggetha was barely paying attention for he was shedding tears. His father released his shoulder and slung his pack over his shoulder. "Are you ready?" he asked. Muggetha nodded as he grabbed his pack. They wandered through the woods till dusk.
Muggetha threw his pack at a tree stump and laid down on the pack. "Ugh father…how much longer must we travel?" Muggetha asked as he fought to stay awake. A few more days, tops" replied his father as he attempted to light some wood on fire.
On and on the routine went, day after day until finally they approached the outskirts of a barren farm field. Muggetha was almost asleep as he stumbled awake, "…Father!! Look it's a house!" His father chuckled and nodded, "Yes, now the journey is almost over, let us pray they shall provide us with food and shelter for the passing night."
They strode merrily through the field talking about what they hoped to expect. Finally they arrived at this farmhouse. The house looked grungy and beat up with little signs of occupants. His father approached the oaken door and shuddered compulsively as a blood-curdling scream emanated from the house. He tore into the house searching for the whereabouts of the scream. Muggetha followed him in and saw his father rear back in fear. "What is it?" he asked. His father stuttered in response, "G-get out of h-h-here n-n-n-now," he whispered viciously. Muggetha ran out of the house and down an adjacent path. As he ran he heard his father's cry for help. He halted and turned around crying. He wiped his tears, took a deep breath, and returned to running.
"What could I of do?! What if he's still alive?" All sorts of questions went through his mind. He glanced back and there was a large amount of smoke coming from the house's direction. He paused and then walked to the stream that also flowed in his direction and sipped some of the water as he mourned.
After a few moments of silence he heard a scream for help. He peered through the corn stalks anxiously. It was a darkened skin half-elf by the looks of it. Muggetha hissed, "Over here!" The boy stopped abruptly and eyed the stalk, "W-Who's there?" he asked. Muggetha elevated his head above the stalk and motioned for the boy to come here. The boy dove in silently and joined Muggetha as he walked back down to the stream.
"What's wrong?" Muggetha asked the kid, "I just saw a person slaughtered by this beast."
Muggetha turned to the kid with a stunned expression, "What did you say?" the kid began to cry, "I saw a dwarven child clawed to death by this cloaked beast! I was walking down the path I just came from and looked to the west and there in this field was it! It was hovered over the dwarven body. The beard wasn't too long so I assumed it was a child." The kid halted his weeping and looked at Muggetha, "Why do you lie so deep in the stalks? You look as shooken as I am." Muggetha startled by the questioning sputtered forth reluctantly, "Nothing, I merely wished to quench my thirst." The boy noticed his spastic twitched and shrugged.
"Alright, there is a town ahead called Wiythinil where we will head. Please follow me. Oh! Excuse my manners. I am known as Jovian, and yourself? What are you called by?" Muggetha shrugged and said, "I am called Muggetha."
Jovian eyed Muggetha and then shrugged innocently, "Let's head out." They set off at a fast pace, but that slowly diminished. They reached Wiythinil at a quarter to midnight. Jovian was smiling and said, "Here's my home city." Muggetha nodded and turned to Jovian with a suspicious look, "Why are you so joyful after witnessing an innocent dwarf mauled to death?" Jovian was taken aback at this accusation, but nodded, "This kind of thing has been happening for a few years now. I personally have witnessed four attacks." Muggetha just nodded slowly lost in thought.
Jovian motioned towards all the signs: Boxc's Shoe-making, Whipler's Tavern, and Scorn's Blacksmithing. Muggetha sat in awe watching every sign as he passed. They continued walking through the market and Jovian pointed to a building with a crystal orb on the sign labeled "Seer" and commented: "This woman claims she can see into the future and give you predictions or advice, but the whole town believes she is just a hoax." Muggetha stared at the sign even till he was well down the road.
Jovian brightened up as he saw a run-down cottage over the hill, "That's our house." Jovian exclaimed. Muggetha peered down the path and asked anxiously, "Who's out?"
"My family of course," Jovian chuckled and began to run, "Come on!" he called back to Muggetha. Muggetha just sighed heavily and trotted after him.
A few minutes later Muggetha arrived and watched as Jovian was greeted by a shaggy looking human and a well-dressed elven woman. The woman embraced the child with a worried look of joy upon her face, "Where have you been?" she exclaimed frantically.
"I was walking home from the pond and I saw the best and this…"began Jovian, but the woman interrupted, "Oh no! Is my baby alright?"
"Yes mother I am fine," said Jovian, "but…I came across this other kid. His name is Muggetha, he's right there." At this Muggetha turned around to meet the cold stare from his mother, "What is it you are doing in these parts?" she asked. "My father was killed by this beast on our way here, and I don't know…" Muggetha said, but couldn't finish; he began to cry. The woman gave him a compassionate stare and walked over to him also embracing him, "It is alright son, everything will be fine. You can stay with us until things get worked out." Muggetha looked into her eyes and began to cry more, "Thank you," he sniffled.
For the next few years Jovian and Muggetha were sent to training camps. They were pushed and pushed towards excellence and Muggetha became like family to them all. They all treated him as one of them and there was no exclusion from activities.
Muggetha stayed with Jovian's family for quite a few years, but he finally wished to leave, and fulfill the dream of his father. At this Jovian was stunned, but the family understood and sent him with parcels of food and clothing for his journey.
Before Muggetha left town he went to the seer and requested her to predict his future. The seer was greatly impressed, "You have a bright and talented future, I cannot tell exactly which profession you shall take part in, but allow me to tell you that you must be meticulous and wait…you wished to know of your future correct?" Muggetha nodded. "In your future you shall visit our cemetery and once in there you shall find what you look for," she finished, but right before Muggetha could hand her the gold she went into a trance and kept moving about screaming, "Where the lantern lies an evil lurks..." over and over again she said this until Muggetha grew weary of trying to sustain her he placed the marks on her table and left. All that night he thought of visiting the cemetery, but decided that tomorrow night he shall venture within.
A dark figure creeps flawlessly through the shadows of a putrid graveyard. The character halts to a stop as if frozen in time. A notorious chant emanates around him, never in the same place. The hiss was barely audible, "...ss over here...hahaheh...assassin...worthless." The shadow glanced around meticulously as he fearfully rotated his head. He eyed every inch of the desolate location with a paranoid facial expression. He involuntarily clenched and opened his fists. Sweat trickled down his forehead. He quickly wiped it off. With another glance around he pulled the hood of his cloak over his head and leaped to a tombstone. He drew a dagger from his ankle sheath. He peered around the corner of the tombstone: A lantern lit with a blue flame sat in the middle of the graveyard. "Where the lantern lies an evil lurks..." flowed through his mind over and over again. He paused and took a deep breath. He emerged from the shadows. There was a mysterious figure standing behind the lantern, "Come here bastard elf, now" demanded the voice. The man trudged closer and closer to the figure till he was a few feet away. He picked the lantern up and threw it behind the figure. The figure flinched as a dark blue circle enveloped him and the man. The man still clenching the dagger tore off the cloak only to reveal he was dressed entirely in black. He roared out, "I am Muggetha de Van Fres Lorkenal and I shall damn thee to the pits of Tilnar's realm for the murder of thy father. May the gods shine pity on your darkened soul!" Muggetha leaped to a branch and then to another and then he stealthily concealed himself into the tree above him. The figure on the ground strutted to the flaming edge of the circle and attempted to step over the flames. The flames magically leapt up and became more ferocious and thick. The figures cape caught on fire as he withdrew his leg from the searing heat. He removed his cape. Muggetha almost fell from the trees. The figure appeared to be a scaled minotaur. The beast below began chanting and two huge balls of flames seemed to be conjured about his head. With a quick word they raced toward the tree. The tree instantaneously began to burn and smoke was emanating from every branch. Muggetha fought to breath and maintain his composure. He cut off a piece of his leotards and strapped it around his nose and mouth. Seeing his present dilemma, Muggetha leaped out of the tree swinging and slicing viciously. The dagger did much damage leaving deep gashes in the beasts stone like skin. The beast countered his second attack with a vicious clawing backhand to Muggetha's face. He was thrown immediately to the far end of the circle. He wiped his cheek and groaned in pain. Sniffing the air he picked up on the indefinite aroma of poison. He looked to his arm and saw the mixture of blood and green liquid. He spontaneously ripped at his skin trying to remove the poison. The beast chuckled and walked towards him. Muggetha seeing his chance leaped into the trees and dove at the back of the minotaur with his dagger extended. The tip plunged into his skin and was followed by the handle of the dagger as the sound of flesh ripping shrieked through the graveyard. He twisted and turned the dagger as the minotaur yelped and howled in pain. Muggetha let go of the dagger and stumbled back. The beast tripped and fell into the flames as it attempted to remove the dagger. Muggetha fell forward and clutched his head. The poison was setting in and then...black.
"Wake up!" yelled a mysterious voice. Muggetha rubbed his eyes and looked up into the eyes of this man. He jumped back in fear, "Who, who are you?" he asked and the man responded, "I am doctor Pholin, and we are in the Refhig clinic." Muggetha sighed and nodded. "What's happened me?" he asked.
"Well we found you walking down the path to our city. You barely seemed to be living it looked to be," the doctor responded.
"What? I was walking down the road?" asked Muggetha as the man nodded. "Indeed you were son, and we found a large amount of poison in your system, it took a lot of anti-venoms to restore you to health."
"Thank you said Muggetha, but now how far am I from Wiythinil? That's where I was poisoned."
The doctor stared at him, "Wiythinil? That's about a six days walk from here." They each exchanged worried looks until Muggetha said, "Alright then, thank you, and now how long shall I have to stay in the confinement of this clinic?"
"You are free to leave if you wish, we have patched up the wound upon your right cheek there" as Muggetha rubbed it he finished, "but there will be deep scarring from the appearance of it."
"Well I shall be off then. Are my clothes around?" Muggetha asked and the doctor nodded picking up his black cloak he handed it to Muggetha. Muggetha nodded pulling the cloak over him.
Muggetha walked to the door and bowed, "Thanks again doctor, hopefully I wont have to see you soon." The doctor nodded and waved. Outside the clinic Muggetha looked around eying all the merry people walking around him, "What am I to do now, I have no place to stay and no means of earning gold," he thought.
A few nights go by as Muggetha lives on the street feeding off of stolen food until one night he gives in to the temptation of thievery: "We all need to live," he thought and just at that very moment an old lady strode by with her purse at her side.
"What's an old lady to me," he thought as he crept up behind her, "Well I can just rip the purse from her clutches and run, she can't catch me." At that point he had made up his mind to steal it and run. "One, two, three," he said silently to himself. He lunged at the purse and ripped it from the ladies hands and began to run, "Thief! Thief! Guards Thief!" he heard yelling from behind him. Muggetha kept leaping forward grinning, "Easy money," he thought, "Easy money."
A few moments later two guards leaped from behind the buildings in front of him clutching him underneath the arms. Muggetha scrambled attempting to free himself. "Let go," he yelled. The guards just chuckled and began to walk in the direction Muggetha was coming from. "Where are you taking me?" he yelled again. The guards beginning to get irritated yelled, "You are going to jail for the crime of theft."
At this Muggetha hung limp in their arms and just seemed to be thinking elsewhere.
A few days later Muggetha was sent off to the jail of Refhig. The jail was so far away from the city of Refhig they sent him in a wagon bound to two guardsmen. A few hours later the guardsmen in control of the wagon called back to the others, "We have a few hoodlums up ahead on the road, I may need assistance." At this the guards tied Muggetha up with a rope and left the compartment. A few minutes later a hooded man came to the back and cut Muggetha's rope. He growled and pointed to the adjacent path leading to the waters, "Go there now. Do not come back, there your life shall start." Muggetha just sat perplexed staring at the man until the man hit Muggetha did he come to comprehend what was said, "Alright, I shall, thank you." Muggetha ran from the wagon and down the path looking back every few feet. It was a long run, but Muggetha seemed to not care for nothing could stop him; he was invigorated by the gods. He came to a pair of huge gates and read the lettering of "City of Apprenticeship." At this he walked in the gates amazed at what he saw..
Not much is known about Natalya's early childhood. She was taken in off of the streets by an assassin's wife, Farea. As far back as Natalya can remember, she had seen blood, and learned the ways of a cutthroat. Her father always took her on simple tasks, from burglary, and kidnapping, to assassinating, or blatant murder, never actually taking part, but always watching. Cion never spoke of his work to Farea, and Natalya knew never to let her mother know of her father's activities. He did what he did in his love for Farea, as he knew no other skills. As far as Natalya knew Farea lived in the dark knowing what Cion actually did for a living. When Natalya turned thirteen, she finally came to a point where she could assist her father in his antics, and soon after that, was being hired by people in Ontence to do some dirty work. Cion expressed his pride for Natalya to her, always, and she was content, knowing her father was proud. One night, with a full moon, Natalya and Cion came home from a simple burglary, only to find her mother dead, with a note penned in blood on the table: "My wife has died by your hand, the time has long past that you reap what you've sown." the signature BC. Cion had no idea he was hired to slay Bicknell's wife, when he was paid to kill what he thought to be a common harlot. She was, just that.. a harlot and Bicknell must have been oblivious, as he spent his time and money closing down brothels.
Cion and Natalya left Ontence, one day to return and avenge Farea's assassination. Luckily departing every town before a hoarde pillaging. The two hopped from village to town to village, taking in small jobs, to earn enough gold to travel to the next town. Finally arriving in a seafaring town of High Port, Cion and Natalya stumbled upon a bar The Seagull and Mug. After asking the bartender if he knew of any devious jobs, he pointed to a shady man in the corner. Cion approached the man in the corner, Natalya following close behind. After asking the man for work, he just gave a slight chuckle and motioned for the two to sit down.
After hours of talking, the shady man, Horazim, made a proposal to the two, and without hesitation, accepted. Now as new members of Shadelords, they were shown the areas frequented with other clansmen. Returning to the Seagull and Mug, they were shown to the back of the bar where all the clansmembers are to turn in their payments from tasks. When in the main office, Horazim explained the laws of Shadelords, members of above all, no betrayal or death.
It had been almost a year since Natalya and her father, Cion, had been part of Shadelords. Horazim had congregated all the members one evening, explaining that a rich woman had offered her entire fortune, her home and property to slay a clan of goblins, who had pillaged a nearby town, killing her son, daughter-in-law and her three grandchildren. He didn't want to take the job without every members consent, but urged us all to vote yes. Under the leader's influence, all agreed and they spent the next two days packing for their journey. Horazim approached Natalya explaining that it would be very dangerous and to make sure to use caution in everything she did, as he wanted zero to minimal losses. The Clan of the Red Hammer was well known in the area for their plundering. Two days later the Shadelords had set out to annihilate the Red Hammer Clan. After seven months of travel the clan had followed the Red Hammer's trail of pillaged towns, they came across the City of all Races. Natalya was confronted by Cion and Horazim, as she was asked to stay behind in this city, due to her seemingly always putting the group in danger. Her only choice was to agree, as they said they would come to get her when the task was complete. She awaits for her comrades to return so she may return to High Port, and be one with the Shadelords again.
Documented by Alendar
Ripp was standing in the shadows of the place that the Nexus-heroes called the campfire. He was well hidden, and he was waiting very patiently . He was holding the tooth of a creature called the Gar, this tooth worked very well as a weapon. He heard some noises and he saw a small figure walking towards him. The creature stood almost next to him, and he could easily see that it was one of the goblin ground troops, a soldier. It did not smell very good but Ripp was used to foul smelling beasts ... thinking of it he was practically one. He waited until the creature stood next to him and then he looked inside the Goblin's pockets. There he saw a rather nice ruby glinting. Fast as a snake he stuck his hand inside the Goblin's pocket and seized the ruby. He then left the "campfire" and started walking towards Nexus whistling a nice tune.
His mother had been a extremely bad paid Orcish prostitute, after all she had been an orc and her most "guests" were orcs (and sometimes a very odd human). One night she had been raped by an Orcish sailor from Rymek. As a souvenir from that night Ripp was born. His mother hated him and used to beat him. As he turned seven she was strangled by a drunk "Guest". Ripp was really sad ... for about ten minutes. He had joined a gang of thieves and street urchins, They stole from old ladies and from empty stores at night. The gang took good care of Ripp and with their help he survived. One night he and two other friends were standing in an alley, waiting for somebody to steal from. After about ten minutes they saw an old man walking through the alley.
The man was dressed in a long robe, and was holding a staff. One of Ripp's friends walked towards the man and tried to take the man's purse, but the man suddenly moved fast as a snake and hit Ripp's friend over the chin with his staff. Another of the street urchins was holding a knife, he raised it to throw at the old man. The old man raised his arms and chanted with a powerful voice: "Thy flesh ignites with magical flame". In a matter of seconds Ripp's two best friends were burning with large flames licking their bodies. Ripp fell down to his knees and started to sob.
The old man looked at the two burning corpses with a smile and turned towards Ripp. "What is your name, you useless pile of excrement!?" the man asked. "My name is Ripp sir." said Ripp. "Ripp ... I will give you two choices. One : I will turn you into an inferno of burning flame until you plead with me to kill you ... or" "Or what?!" said Ripp in a terrified voice. "Or you will go to Falcion. And learn how to become a real thief," said the man. Ripp nodded and almost fainted with fear. He looked at the man and said : "Excuse me sir what is your name?" The man looked at Ripp and said: "The name is Darkiln."
After that Ripp went home and packed his things (the wizard Darkiln still standing beside him with his staff pointed at him.) Darkiln walked with him to Falcion (the whole journey with the staff pointed at Ripp's back) And left him there ...
There Ripp began his training and met new friends. He became quite skilled in stealing and lurking in the shadows. One day he heard that Darkiln had been executed for the murder of Nexus guardsmen.
And to Ripp's surprise he felt sad.
Race: Dark Elf
Sitting on the edge of his bed, Salvin turned his newly finished carving over in his hand. This small wooden spider was third in his collection of carvings. He nodded with approval at his newest creation and lay his knife on the table near his bed. Satisfied with his work, he stood and approached the shelf where his other two wooden creations sat. He smiled slightly as he placed the spider between the gnarled hand and the small rat. A few footfalls outside his door drew his attention. He quickly picked up his knife and ran quietly over to the door.
Opening the door slightly revealed only an empty hallway. Deciding to find out who was up at such a late hour, he started off in the direction of the footsteps. He peeked around a corner and could see a dwarf toting a large bag.
Salvin yelled at the dwarf in Common, "You there! What do you have in that bag?" The dwarf nearly jumped out of his shirt and Salvin was on him before he had time to drop the bag and run. Salvin drew his blade and pressed the point into the would-be thief's neck just enough to start a trickle of blood.
"You must be new at this. I could hear your footsteps from within my room with the door closed. If you weren't going to die in a few moments I would suggest refining those skills."
The dwarf only shook and stared back at Salvin. He opened his mouth to speak but no words would come out.
"I suppose you are going to try to explain yourself," Salvin stated after noting the fear in his eyes.
"I ... I ... I was o ... only taking back what you st ... stole from my family."
The dwarf continued to shake slightly but didn't move enough to place the knife any deeper into his throat.
Salvin glared. "So you are both a thief and a liar, eh? These items are ours." The dwarf closed his eyes and accepted his fate. He would not live to see his family's valuables returned to his home. "Intruders in our House are dealt with swiftly," he continued. "I will be greatly rewarded for dispatching you and returning your ... our treasures to where they belong."
With one slight hand movement, the dwarf lay dead at Salvin's feet. Turning to the wall, he took a broadsword from where it hung. He sneered at the dwarf and mumbled in Drowish, "Your family will learn from your mistake. I will make sure they do not attempt this again." In one swing the head was severed from the lifeless body.
Hearing footsteps behind him, Salvin quickly spun around to see his older brother approaching. "Excellent work, Salvin," Merran said sarcastically. "This is the perfect opportunity to get rid of you, seeing as how you've been plotting to murder me when you had the chance." He only grinned and added, "I will just tell them that I was too late to save you from the dwarf, but was able ..." Before he could finish, Salvin had tackled him to the ground with a dagger at his throat.
"But you won't be able to tell them with no tongue, now will you?" Salvin gave Merran a wicked grin only to be caught off guard when Merran tossed him to the side with ease. Scrambling to his feet, Salvin readied himself for the fight.
Merran dove for Salvin's legs and knocked him to the floor. Within moments, Salvin was staring down a dagger with his brother pinning him to the floor. "I think I'll have a little fun before I finish you off." With that Merran cut a path of blood framing Salvin's left eye. He tried not to struggle knowing that he needed to wait for the right change in his brother's weight to gain the upper hand. Just as the thought finished passing through his mind, his opportunity came. Merran pulled back just enough for Salvin to toss him to the side and climb to his feet. With Merran still reeling from the tumble, Salvin grabbed the broadsword he had lost during the struggle and whirled around, nearly slicing Merran in two.
With the battle won, Salvin spat on his brother's corpse and threw down the blade. He then retrieved the head of the dwarf and returned to his room, leaving someone else to deal with the bloody mess. He had another carving to work on.
Salvin, now elderboy of House Malyrr, set off a few days later to return the severed head to the dwarf's family. His Matron was pleased to find out that he had taken care of the thieving dwarf that had murdered his brother. Now he was off to make sure they never returned to cause more trouble.
As he had recently visited the dwarven home not too long ago to steal the items the deceased dwarf was attempting to recover, he knew the way fairly well. While approaching their home, he noticed quite a bustle in and around the house. Salvin thought to himself, "Leaving so soon?" He only chuckled and looked down at the sack that contained the carved up head of their kin. "They'll be so happy to have him back. Perhaps they could even take him along." He snickered softly and continued quietly approaching their home in the blanket of shadows.
Upon reaching a good hearing distance he could hear many crying. "I tried to convince him not to go," one woman sobbed, tears streaming down into her beard A man next to her stroked her cheek and replied, "Once we reach the City of All Races we can be done with these horrid Drow. I've heard that only those pure of heart and ready to defend the city at any cost are allowed in ... even the Drow." He offered her a smile and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. "Now, let's finish packing."
Salvin nearly gave himself away laughing but no one seemed to notice with all the noise. "Pure of heart?" he thought to himself, still laughing quietly. He quickly made his way around behind their cart and tossed the sack he was carrying inside. He left so quickly that he didn't have time to see the expression on their faces when they noticed the disembodied head. He had to get home to pack some things as well. House Malyrr had been declining ever since the Matron had taken ill. His oldest sister was not smart enough to take over and he knew that they would fall as soon as another lower House got the ambition. This was his chance to leave them behind and go exploit an entire city of surface dwellers.
The Orcish Whipmaster wiped the sweat from his hands - he was nervous, and had good reason to be. Already several hours behind schedule, he would be the one feeling the whip if he did not hurry to make up lost time.
Her dark grey skin helping her to blend in with the shadows around her, she moved through the night undetected. Keeping the caravan in sight, she slipped through the forest alongside the road, gaining ground and remaining undetected. After another hour of stealthy pursuit, she was finally upon it.
The caravan came to halt, though just for a moment. The Whipmaster turned, sure he had heard something. His mind focused on his deadline, however, he quickly dismissed the sound as a product of the winter winds, and urged the caravan on.
Walking quietly into the kitchen, she first noticed the table. Set for two, as always since father died, and it looked as though someone had been expecting company for some time now. The sound of a door closing brought her attention back to the doorway, in which stood her mother, a look of disappointment on her face.
"I feared for your saftey Sarina, I sent you to buy us food nearly-"
"I'm sorry mother... it took a little longer than I thought."
Dropping her backpack on a chair by the table, the young half-drow girl produced many items wrapped in thin cloth and bound with hemp string. A smile crosses her mother's face as she unties the items, and realizes they'll have food this night.
Sarina carefully hid the money her mother had given her to buy food with - what she didn't know couldn't hurt her.
Due to it's remote location and small size, Laebryn lived in peace, its existence unknown to the Hoarde.
One thing that did reach Laebryn, however, was word of Nexus, and its struggle. Though they couldn't spare many, the elders decided to send someone to aid in the fight.
"Sith'lin wait up!", Sarina yelled as she ran across the field. She was upon him in no time, her feet carrying her fast as lightning.
"Hey there Sarina," replied Sith'lin. "I couldn't find you earlier so I told your mother to tell you bye for me"
Sarina arches an eyebrow, "It'd have to be you to go looking for danger when it's so quiet at home..."
Sith'lin glanced around at the all too quiet landscape, "At least this gives me something to do, I'll be back - I promise. Aluve' Sarina"
After a kiss on the cheek, she watched as her childhood friend left their quiet home in search of danger and excitement. At first she was upset, but that feeling soon turned to envy - it was rather boring at home.
Sith'lin was only gone for a month when our scouts found them. Goblins. Hundreds of them. Word was sent to Sith'lin to return home. Using the training he'd undergone in Falcion, he slipped past the Goblin War Camp easily, and sought me out immediately.
"You have to go in my place Sarina", he told me. "This is merely a battle, and will be over soon, but Nexus fights a war. Nexus fights for far more than the city itself, it fights to defend all of Altin, and cannot be abandoned."
"Go to the city of Falcion, find the one named Kragesh. He oversees the training of the apprentices bound for Nexus. Next you must seek out the House of Shadows, and join it's ranks. I will return shortly to fight alongside you once again.
Scared and alone, I headed out to Nexus, trusting in Sith'lin's judgement that this was the best course of action.
The location of Falcion would elude me for some time to come. I wandered upon the city of Rymek, and spent many days there hidden in the shadows, gathering what information I could. It was then I found the information I'd been looking for - one seeking training there could book passage to Falcion directly from Rymek for a mere 100 gold marks.
I had five marks to my name.
I spent a few more days stealing from merchants and fishermen, and though I did not like what I was doing, I had no choice, and had always been good at it.
Ninety-five marks later, I was aboard the transport sloop, bound for Falcion.
Keeping to myself, thinking mostly of Laebryn, I trained alone at first as I usually had back home. I found out fast, however, that there was strength in numbers. Alongside many other apprentices, and under the watchful eye of Kragesh, I achieved the rank of fourth tier.
Feeling I was ready to join its ranks, I sought out the House of Shadows.
I was interviewed and approved by the Elven Nightblade Elayna, who told me of the horrible past endured by the House, and the actions taken to bring it back to good standings.
I trained alongside those from other guilds as well, striving to better myself that I might aid the cause against the Hoarde.
Hunting Giant Crabs one day under the Icewine River Bridge, I finally recieved news from Laebryn.
I snuck up behind the crab, ready to land the killing blow, when my mother's voice, weak and fading, entered my mind.
"Laebryn is lost Sarina... *cough* everyone... slain. I love you my ch-"
Then there was nothing but silence...
Laebryn... Sith'lin... my mother... everything I've ever known, gone. Nexus was my home now. After a short lapse, I resumed my training, focusing on the bigger picture - the Hoarde. I went on small hunts every now and then, spending most of my time in the training hall at the House of Shadows.
I was there, atop a balance beam, when I sensed his presence. Almost falling on my arse in the process, I ran from the Guildhouse directly to town square, asking everyone in my path if they'd seen anyone matching his description. Sitting in Town Square, I had almost lost hope when I finally picked him out of the crowd.
"SITH'LIN!!!", I yelled at the top of my lungs. I couldn't believe it, he wasn't dead!
"I promised you I'd come back didn't I?", was all he said before I tackled him to the floor.
I have a mission for you, my young scribe. Find the one named Saumer. He is a master thief of Nexus and I believe it wise to have a recorded history of his for our archives. I know I know…Orcs care not to talk of their past, but try to get as much information as you can. Ask around the Taverns and look to the shadows… Now be off with you!”
Soon the young scribe came across the information he was searching for. Saumer it seemed, was renting a room below the Drunken Orc Tavern. All that the scribe had to do was wait near the bar for the one that matched his description. Many people came and went and the scribe was getting restless. Night was long underway. Just as the scribe was half way out the door a tall figure, dark with a hooded head stepped in front of him, blocking his way out. "Uh ... er, excuse me, let me pass?", squeaked the scribe. The tall figure laughed merrily, stepping aside. "My apologies, young scribe. But am I not the one you seek?"”The figure bent down, removed his hood and winked at the Scribe. "Saumer!" exclaimed the scribe. "Yes, that is my name and I hear you’re looking for me." said Saumer.
The scribe explained to Saumer his mission and what he needed. Soon they were sitting near the fountain outside the Drunken Orc talking beneath the stars.
"I will tell you of my coming to Nexus and a little of my family. But that is all! I came to Nexus long past in my early teens, nearly ten years ago. Why you ask? Well, my family, er tribe as you might call it was doing quite well. We had all the possessions we needed to live and live comfortably. Yet I longed to adventure and my simple life was growing very boring. I decided to leave, so I snuck away and said goodbye to my younger brother, Delray. My little brother, now a Nexus citizen himself wanted desperately to come with me. I told him he was too young and that he’d be better off staying. I didn't say goodbye to my other family members, regrettably. But they would have tried to stop me if I had. So I left a farewell note near the cooking pots where I knew my mother would find it. Many adventures I had along my way, some wonderful and some very dangerous. Those are another story you can perhaps write down some other time. When my supplies ran short I would sneak through camps and steal the things I needed. Or pick the pockets of creatures I came across. The roads were very dangerous for me to travel at day, so I stuck to the path by the light of the moons. I learned much and experienced much until one day I found myself walking along a road, longing for shelter and a safe place from the world around me. Nexus welcomed me in with open arms. I was told if I could lend my services I was welcome to stay and fight the good fight. To my surprise I was told of a guild that toned and sharpened those who were nimble of foot and quick of the hand - something that fits me like a glove. And well lad, I've been here ever since! And that is all I have to say."
The scribe smiled and finished the last of his notes. Nodding to himself he stood, as did Saumer. "Thank you very much. My master will be very pleased with this." "Many thanks" said Saumer. "Now my name, as long as the histories are intact will live on and on." They both said their farewells and departed. A new day was just beginning as the twin suns began to rise.
Race: Dark Elf
Alduous entered the tavern, grumbling about the arrogance and vain pride of some of Nexus' so-called heroes. Round of stomach and short of leg, the elder scribe was not well suited to long walks or physical exertion of any sort beyond the sharp strokes of his quill. He adjusted the thick spectacles that perched precariously on his broad nose and tried to pierce the smoky, hearth-lit common room of the Drunken Unicorn. Rosehelm's only tavern of note, the Unicorn was busy despite the unseasonably chill and wet weather outside.
The historian's ears finally brought him what his myopic sight could not. From a darker corner booth came the sounds of feminine laughter and the occasional quiet cry of delight. Knowing this to be the proper time and place, and having a firm grasp of his appointment's reputation, Alduous shuffled to the curtain that separated the booth from the taproom, his tan robes clinging about his ankles in muddy disarray. Flanking the sides of the booth stood what appeared at first glance to be two humans not yet into adolescence.
As Alduous drew closer, the lad on the right spoke up. "Hallo, gov'. Afraid this booth is a bit full at the moment. Maybe you'll have better luck at the bar?" As a small hand presented a crossbow from beneath the fold of a ragged cloak, the scribe saw beyond the warm smile to the feral light in the diminutive figure's eyes and knew the deception for what it was. These were not human children but a pair of Hobbit rogues set to catch any unwanted company unawares.
Trying to maintain his composure, the grey-haired historian adjusted his ever-slipping spectacles and stood up straight. Unfortunately, the crack in his voice belied his posture's bravado. "I am Alduous, a senior Historian of the Nexus Library and I have an appointment with one Sirendele Olath'sol. Is he here, presently?"
Before the fierce little Hobbit could spit out whatever curse seemed perched on his lips, the dark velvet curtain was drawn aside. A soft, sibilant voice like that of a snake slipping across dry leaves drew the analyst's attention to the booth's interior. "Be at ease, masters Brick and Brock. The good clerk does indeed have an appointment with me." Adjusting to the dim light, Alduous made out the forms of a pair of scantily clad blonde women, one of whom was helping lace up the bodice of the other.
Blushing fiercely, the scribe attempted to stammer something about coming back at a more opportune time but that soft voice cut him off with more strength than the volume would seem to lend. "Ladies, if you would excuse us. I will meet you at the suite in an hour and a half." As the two young ladies slunk out of the booth, they cast Alduous a pouting glower. Their looks brightened noticeably when the voice called to them, "Tell Nigel to have a basket at the rooms. And Rachel, bring that green-eyed friend of yours; we'll introduce her to the candles."
Grinning lasciviously, the fair-haired maidens swayed away. Blushing even more fiercely at the thoughts those softly spoken words inspired, the scholar forced his mind back to the task at hand. Raising his eyes back to the darkness of the booth, Alduous finally set his eyes on his subject. Slender and lithe as a dancer, there was an air of danger about the dark elf that offset his stature. Sirendele reclined on one side of the table and swirled a glass of blood red wine absently but the historian could feel the Drow's dark gaze scrutinizing him.
After gruffly refusing a few hospitable offers of wine and stew to warm himself, Alduous arranged his writing tools and steeled himself for his interview. He was a senior Historian and knew well how vague and difficult Drow tended to be, let alone Drow thieves. "If you please, I would rather have your story so that I might return back to Nexus as quickly as I may."
With a mildly disconcerting grin, Sirendele said, "Then a story you shall have."
* * * *
Alduous looked over his parchments under the light of several candles in a surprisingly plush room at the Drunken Unicorn. The night's storm had grown more severe and Sirendele had insisted on buying the scribe a room and provisions for the night. Resigned to his task, he set about proofreading the document and preparing a final draft.
* * * *
"My tale begins in the halls of Har'oloth, in a city whose eldritch beauty was matched only by the deadliness of its denizens," began the soft-spoken Sirendele. "I was born to a House of nobility and taught the basic precepts of Ilythiiri-" here the Drow translated for my sake, "of True Drow beliefs. My place was taught to me with lively and enthusiastic lessons. My sisters took great delight in the teachings."
"Would you elaborate upon these lessons?" I inquired. I was quite shocked to hear of the ritualistic beatings, flesh-engraving, dismemberment followed by painful magic regeneration, and other more mundane abuses. But even more disturbing than the tales of the atrocities themselves was the quiet calm he told them with. No fierce light of hate or thoughts of revenge seemed to strain his soft voice or light his cold, amethyst eyes.
"Suffice it to say that I have died a hundred deaths at the hands of my own family and I have seen things dark enough to drive a human mad and bring a Demon to tears." His matter-of-fact tone gave me chills and left me with no doubts as to the veracity of his claims. "My time with my family was shortly lived, however. My House fell in a masterful assault by a rival in the hierarchy of status and rank and I alone survived of the nobles."
Here a rueful grin twisted the Drow's darkly handsome features. "I survived by a fortunate turn of fate. I was found beneath the body of one of my sisters." I was left wondering which part he found ironic but he continued before I could ask. "Her blood covered me so that my first discoverers thought I was dead as well. It was only when one of the assaulting House's priestesses passed through to check the dead nobles that my ruse was discovered."
Sirendele went on to tell of being taken in by this priestess of Kyorl as little more than a slave, his life bound to her whim. "Too pretty for the sculleries, too frail for manual labor, and not trusted enough to wield magic, my mistress found another niche for me soon enough. I eventually found my way to El'lar d'Ssinssrigg- the House of Pleasure.
"There, I used my superior talents to rise through the ranks of the Ssins d'Aerthen- "professional entertainers" if you will. I used my position there to gather information from those Matrons and Daughters who sought me out. I quickly became the most demanded Ssins d'Aerth in all the city and the demand for me grew.
"Lulled into a false sense of security, powerful females would often divulge useful information. Especially when prompted by the various intoxicants kept on hand. I brokered my knowledge to mercenary bands, other daughters, mages, and of course my mistress. My life was relatively comfortable. I received gifts and wielded more power than many males- and some females- in the halls." I could only guess at what dark intrigues he had his fingers in, what deadly games he had played with such powerful and capricious figures.
"That changed one darkness when my mistress decided I had outlived my usefulness, that I had grown too bold and too comfortable. Fortunately, the assassin she had sent to slay me was an associate of mine and a member of Bregan d'Aerthe." Seeing the puzzlement in my eyes, Sirendele elaborated. "They are a group of mercenaries and rogues, almost entirely male, who hold allegiance to no House. They are involved in nearly every conflict in the city, usually on both sides. They had employed me several times and thought my services too valuable to waste."
"It was eventually decided that I should head to the surface." I noted that he seemed to purposefully leave out what his intentions were or whom it was who made this decision. His tale went on to tell of his arrival on Falcion, though he gave no details as to how this came about. With his natural grace and tendencies, he quickly adopted the Thieves' Guild as his new employer.
It was not long before he became embroiled in the politics of Nexus and the exile of the Swift Hand. In the midst of his work on the surface, he discovered his mistress had not given up her hunt for him and that his pursuers closed. The Drow took a hiatus from the lands under the suns and returned to the Underdark to, as he said, "sever old ties and bind new ones."
After several years of work with the Council and other thieves, Sirendele and a few other rogues were successfully able to establish a new Thieves' Guild of Nexus, the House of Shadows. A brief stint as Guildmaster was ended by another return to the Underdark. What business he had there this time, he did not say. Whatever it was, it took him the passing of four seasons to complete.
Penned by Alduous Carpunte', a Senior Historian of the Nexus Library
* * * *
Nodding as he sprinkled sand over the drying ink, the scholar gathered his things for the ride back to Nexus. He knew the mysterious Drow had left out more than he had told but the seasoned scribe had expected nothing less.
People ask me how I got the name, Smoke. When I was a child, my village was raided and burned by goblins. Only luck and my parents' last desperate act of courage and sacrifice spared me. I remember crawling from beneath their charred bodies after the goblins had left. The air was thick with acrid smell of burnt flesh. The smoke was so thick I could hardly see, and the tears streaming down my face...must've been the smoke in my eyes...or something. There were four other children who survived the massacre. I was six then, and I was the oldest. There was no food...no money, no adults, all we had was the clothes on our backs.
I was kind of the leader cause I was the oldest. I never wanted to be leader. What I wanted was my parents back. Only thing I could think of doing was checking the dead bodies for maybe some coins or...something that might help us. We found a few small bits of value, and traded them to the trader who lifed in a cave in the hills nearby.. That's how we stayed alive...we followed the goblin raiding party, and every time they attacked a place, we scavenged the corpses. We were always hungry, dirty, often sick but we were alive. One day when I was eight, I found a rusty old dagger in a dead man's boot. I sharpened it on a rock till it was bright and shiny and sharp...REAL sharp!
That night, I stole into the goblin camp. I was quiet, on small terrified feet, but I sneaked around till I found their sleeping quarters. I slit his throat, easy as cutting cheese.
The first one was the hardest. After that I killed one or two a week, and emptied their pockets. They searched for us but never found our little hidey place...it was just too small for them to believe anything that tiny could hurt them.
One night, when I was ten, I heard a goblin guard talking to another. They were talking about the invisible assassin who was decimating their ranks...silent, untraceable, they had built a whole legend around me...thought I was some demon...They called me Smoke.
None of the other kids made it...they died, one by one till only I was left. It wasn't exactly my fault, but I feel a bit guilty about it anyway, I mean, I was the leader.
I was still following them when they raided your nexus...Except this time, the Nexus wariors & mages and such killed most of the goblins...I figured it was a good place, so here I am. It seemed natural that I become a thief.
The mother of Syntis, Sahlana, was the wife of the Elflord of the village, Asendurr. A quiet couple, they often stayed in their beautiful and peaceful 'palace' (which was no more than a building, several stories taller than the regular ones in the city).
Due to the village legends and restrictions, Sahlana wasn't allowed to have children until the 'Age of Maturity', or fifty-five years old. Being five years younger than the requirements, her and her husband refrained from having children.
One day, a few of Asendurr's supposed childhood friends, from another barbaric village, came. They were insanely barbaric. Wielding heavy spiked clubs, and in a berserk rage, they smashed stores and houses. Asendurr came out of his palace and managed to calm the group of barbarians down. The savages explained their story.
Jahsah, the leader of the barbarians, spoke. "We were kicked out of our village after having lost a battle with a nearby drow community. We seeked revenge on all elves after this. We did not know that this was a lightelf village. Even if we did. We did not know you were in command of this village, Asendurr. We apologize and will help rebuild, if you allow us."
Asendurr allowed them to help rebuild what was destroyed. Everyone in the village was told what happened, and they finally allowed the barbarians to rest in peace. They were offered to spend a night in the palace, but then they must leave to wherever, before sunset, or they shall be punished.
Spending the night in the village palace, nothing that was going to happen was expected...
During the night, Jahsah, woke with a horrific nightmare. Suffered with insomnia afterwards, he walked the halls, pocketing a few pieces of mithril here and there. He heard soft breathing from a bedroom. His curiousity got the better of him, and he peered inside. On the bed was the elflady and the lord, sound asleep. Mesmerized by the woman's beauty, and full of jealousy, a burst of adrenaline rushed through his veins. Smashing his fist through the door, the woman and man woke with a start. Sahlana attempted to cover up the small bit of clothing she wore, but Jahsah was in a furious rage and failed to take notice of the lady anymore. Growling, he leaped over to the elflord, and smashed his fist into his jaw. The elflord was knocked back by the force of this and was weakened, blood trickling from his jaw. The short ruler was no match for the large human barbarian. Jahsah punched and clawed at the elflord, until he was barely clinging to life. Being savage, he spit on the lord, picked him up and hurled him against the wall, letting him die a slow on painful death. Slowly coming out of his rage, he looked at the lady and smiled at her, his eyes wandering over her body and making comments about it. He walked over to the sobbing woman, ripping off the small bit of clothing she had on. She gasped and screamed, but went silent as the barbarian's hand smacked her hard. She silenced herself, knowing what was going next. The barbarian shoved her down on the bed and raped her that night.
Sahlana never toled anyone that she was pregnant - save her elfmaiden - with a halfelven child. Half elves were despised in the village, and she was going to have a child against her restrictions.
Exactly two years after her husband's death, she gave birth to a young half elf. Her faithful Servant was the only one who knew about the birth, and was there to deliver the child. She did not know that the child was halfelven until it was born. Taking a glance at the child, the maiden looked at the elflady. "You...you dirty slut! You ran off with that barbaric bastard and decided to have your own!" Sahlana burst into tears when she heard this. The maiden handed the child to her and fled from the room.
Word slowly spread through the village. People despised Sahlana and her child. After Sahlana told the village she had a halfelven child (not telling them how he came about), everyone gave her a dark and baleful glare, and the Council decided to permanately exile her from the city. A few people who did not care, gave her a bit of money and food. Sahlana set off to another place.
Travelling from village to city and back again, she could find no one to accept her and her child - now 13 years old - that she called Syntis. He stayed with her for a while, to protect her and never let anyone hurt her again.
Several years later, Syntis' mother was getting a bit weak. She was resting out in an open field, when a bandit walked by and growled at Sahlana. Syntis could see that she was going to be mugged. Trying his luck and sneaking into the shadows, he took everything his mother had, to prevent them from losing it. Finding the lady to be indigent in his eye, he decided it would be best for her to de. Being torturous, he slit the woman's wrists and stabbed her a few times, to make sure she died slowly. The bandit pushed the woman over and kicked her several times, then began to walk off. Syntis watched, with tearfilled eyes, as his mother slowly began to die. He turned to the bandit, and yelled, "Stop!" The bandit looked around and saw nothing. He shrugged and began walking, but Syntis leaped from the shadows, thrusting the knife he had through the bandit's heart with amazing accuracy.
Syntis, seeing he had no one left in his life, sat there, and for several hours, cried. After he was done, he looked around and tried to wake his mother up in vain. He finally realized she was dead, and decided to bury her. After he did, he prayed to any deity to listen, and then he prayed a special prayer to Tilnar, to forgive him for the murder of the bandit. Syntis wiped the blood from his knife and looked eastward, to the City of Nexus. He was able to see the tip of the Ivory Tower from where he stood. Several days, he found himself lost, wandering through the Tothese woods. Finally, he found the Sloop to Falcion. The captain saw him and nodded. "Aye, I'll let ye pass, fer free today. Ye continue trainin' and protect us, ye hear?!" Syntis nodded once and boarded the Sloop...on his way to Falcion.
Race: Dark Elf
I would like to say beforehand that most of this history is unknown to Thgink. The story you are about to hear is not the best ever written, but neither is his life. And so, let the story begin…
Thgink was born on Dilur, the twenty-first of the month of Blossoms, in the year 1,582 since the Godwar, and year 1,165 of the Empire. Born to a wealthy family in the Drow Community on Tilnar's Vein, Thgink was a sad child. He always knew there was something missing from his life, but just didn’t know what.
For a while, he lived a normal life, studying the arts of magic from priests and priestesses within the society. Thgink did not like this one bit, but seemed to learn how to control the weave as if it were his nature. Lots of attention was brought down on Thgink and his family due to this, attention Thgink did not want.
On his 26th birthday, Thgink finally popped. He was forced to perform in front of crowds what he had learned from the priests and priestesses, and all the attention seemed to pierce at the young man's soul. He lashed out magically, with a force that no one there had ever seen before, slaying his mentors and family in one swift blow.
Thgink, knowing what he had done quickly fled the village, hoping to escape the persecution he faced. None of the crowd moved to stop him, all stunned by what had just occurred.
Running swiftly through the forest Thgink ran and fell into a faerie ring. Coming across a small grouping of faeries led by an even smaller man named Biggles. Biggles and his small grouping of Fae folk took Thgink in, as he was just a child, and raised him like one of their own.
Thgink quickly forgot about his past, and all he had learned, and took on a more outward look on life. His demeanor seemed to soften, and he slowly began to conform to the ways of the Fae folk. Soon, he was just a large Faerie, and no one could tell them any different.
It was on his 60th birthday that tragedy struck. (this is where Thgink loses his memory also)
The small village he had been living in was situated through a magical portal. The portal was a small circle of mushrooms, commonly known as a faerie ring. The particular part of the forest he had been living in had been untouched for quite some time now, no one had wandered through these parts. That is until this day.
Biggles and the rest of the Fae were celebrating Thgink's birthday when a loud thunder began approaching. Thgink, naturally accustomed to the shadows, slid through the portal unseen to see what was wrong. Much to his amazement, large armies of green men were trampling through his beloved forest.
Goblins! Even Thgink had heard of these foul beings.
Thgink quickly turned around to warn the others of the grave danger, only to find that the ring had been trampled and no longer existed. That was his only portal back to his new family. Enraged, but not knowing how to handle the vile creatures, Thgink embraced the shadows and headed toward the closest known town.
After arriving in Rosehelm, Thgink met a very peculiar man. He offered Thgink a small sum of money to serve tables at a small tavern on the island of Falcion. The man's name was Doc. Thgink, knowing little of how to speak common, agreed to serve tables on one condition, that Doc would teach him how to defend himself.
Doc, knowing a little of the ways being a knight (though a thief himself), agreed to set Thgink up with a man who could teach him more than he could ever want to learn. Intrigued, Thgink agreed, hoping to learn enough to take revenge on the Goblins.
Doc introduced Thgink to a large man known as Kragesh. Kragesh saw Thgink's natural ability to conform with the shadows, and his talent for theft, a skill which had kept him fed during the last hard year.
Thgink began training as a thief, to serve in the fight against the Goblin Hoard, and his memories quickly fled his mind. To this day, he still has no recollection of anything before his training began.
Race: Dark Elf
Born in the harsh world of the Underdark, Traxis was born to a family on the lowest wrung of the social ladder. In a society dominated by women, Traxis's house was an exception. His mother, despite the drowish norm, was a caring and devoted woman, thus she was considered weak in the eyes of the other drow. Traxis's father sensed this weakness in her and immediately latched on to her, perceiving the opportunity to actually dominate a woman.
Dominate he did, subjecting both Traxis and his mother to savage beatings for the least transgressions. During his early years Traxis was sheltered from his father by his devoted mother. Under her care he too developed a sense of caring and love not seen in the world around him. However, as Traxis grew, his father found uses for him and tried to pull him away from his mother.. He would send Traxis out into the city to pilfer money, food, and other items. Sometimes he would even force him to sneak into the noble houses to steal, threatening to kill his mother if he did not comply. Luckily Traxis proved to be a gifted thief and avoided detection.
Over the years Traxis learned to hide his caring side and to put on a veneer of callousness. He trusted no one but his mother and quickly dispatched any who stood against him, except his father who controlled with through systematic beatings and by torturing his mother. This system of control went on for decades, until one day Traxis's father went too far. In a rage over a botched theft, Traxis's father beat his mother mercilessly. Out of control the man killed her.
Traxis, silent witness to the incident, finally broke the yoke of control his father held over him. Driving his blade through the stunned man's kidneys, Traxis killed his father with a single stroke.
The years of abuse and the loss of his mother soon drove Traxis away from the Underdark and Drowish society. Slowly he found his way to the city of Nexus to make a new start in a freer and kinder society.
Race: Half Elf
"You did great, Neen. By the Gods, listen to that child roar."
"Don't you at least wanna hold him?"
"Yes, yes of course, I just…need a moment."
"Heh, little fella. Little fella ain't much of a name. What should we call this howling wolf?"
"Verile? Where'd ya come up with a sissy name like that?"
"It was my father's name. It's from a human word, virile. It means masculine...vigorous of power."
"Ah hmm I'm sorry. It's a good name"
"No, it's alright. My father should keep his own name."
"Okay. So how 'bout Traer?"
"No! Come back little bird! Wait! Oof! *sniffle* Ow oow. uuuww!"
"Ha! That looked like it hurt. Wha'cha get for not lookin' when you're runnin."
"*sniff* I was lookin'. Jes' up at the sky, that's all."
"Well, leas' ya stopped cryin' quick. You hafta be tough here, like me."
"I'm tough. Dad told me I'm tough and I'm gonna get even tougher."
"Good thing he didn't see ya like this then."
"Hey, c'mon now, I was just kiddin'. You're the little Traer kid, arn'cha?"
"Hey. I'm Jake."
"Mama, can you tell me about Grandpa Verile?"
"Oh, child, your grandfather would have just loved you. None of us growing up ever really cared to listen to his stories, but you."
"Please, Mama! Just this last time."
"That's what you always say."
"All right, I give up. Let's see your Grandfather Verile. He always used to tell us that he couldn't spend his life in one place, that it would just bore him out of his mind. He always compared his life to a cloud. He traveled with the wind at his back, and poured his wrath on anyone who was unfortunate enough to be in his way with a belly full of ale. But come the next morning, he'd always rise up again, carefree and light-hearted, ready to meander aimlessly again."
"I wan' that."
"I wanna be a cloud."
"Hm. Your grandfather was something else.…There really wasn't much that he couldn't do. Traer wait here a moment."
"Mama! Finish, I wanna hear!"
"Patience, Traer! Will you never learn that?"
"I am too being patient! I've waited a whole 30 seconds!"
"Ah, here it is. This flute was your grandfather's. It was his greatest skill of all. The music he played was so beautiful… And unlike his stories, we could listen to him play all day. My sisters and I always sang to his music. Come to think of it, he was always sore at us when we started to sing. Though he claimed to love it, I think he was jealous, since his own voice was so gravelly."
"Filthy Mongrel! Dirty Bastard!"
"I'm warning you. Papa used to say, 'Jes' give 'em fair warnin'. And if that don't work, give 'em ragin' hell!'
"Traer! Cut it out! Get off him!"
"Leave me alone, Jake!"
"Stop it. Dammit, I said get off him!"
"No! He's getting away! Get your hands off me!"
"*sigh* Kid, when'll you ever learn?"
"Learn what? I did real good that time. Only got caught in one eye this time."
"Ya threw your punches just fine, Kid. But ya gotta learn to pull your punches too."
"They were making fun of me."
"Yeah, I know. Whaddya think happened to me growin' up? We're the same, you n' me."
"I could of made sure he'd never bother me again."
"Nah. Keep 'em guessin'. That way, they'll never know what to expect when you really have no choice. That's when you let the axe drop."
"Her lips are blue."
"It's alright, Traer."
"She's pale and cold."
"It hap'ns, Kiddo."
"What?…Why this? Why her?"
"Everyone's been catchin' it. Can't be helped."
"It's not fair."
"Jake. Where ya goin'? Hey, wait up!"
"Shut up! I have to do this. I have to get him."
"Do what? Get who?"
"Him. That damn murderer."
"Huh? What're you talking about?"
"Him. He killed everyone with that experiment! He let loose that...that thing!"
"Forget it. I'll see you later, Kid."
"They're all gone. They all left me."
"I guess it's my turn to go now."
"So what do you call this place again?"
"Nexus. But you're only allowed in if you pass apprenticeship on Falcion."
"So let me in. I can do it easy."
"You don't even know what you'll be doing."
"Well, I'll find out then, won't I?"
"Can you fight?"
"And what's your name, Boy?"
(What does he care? Well...It's a new start for me maybe.)
"I said, what's your name, Boy?"
"Verile. Yeah...just call me Verile."
From Tilnar's Vein a boy Virtapth was born into the world. A boy who finds that life is hard and brotherhood, friendship, and respect are each values that are meant to be kept at hand... So begins his story...
63 years ago... a boy was born. He was named Virtapth. A drow. At the time he had no brother and no place. He was different. His parents each being dark eyed drows. This boy was with light gray eyes. So light that in certain lights it looked as if the boy had no color and just a pupil. Of course the boy still held the cabability to see in the dark. And the dark skin. But the boy had nothing truly special about him. He had no interest in magic. Or in fighting. So he was considered useless to the drow kind. So they gave him only enough to live for he did not benefit them. Yet the boy grew accustomed to stealing what he wanted. And he became quite good at it.
Now that you know him. Let's find out about his past.
When Virtapth was three his birth parents gave birth to another Child by the name of Deriseus. This boy was talented with magics and became a great brother and friend to Virtapth. The boys lived together and grew together. But they lived in separate worlds. Deriseus was a boy with heights in magic so he was truly great to the drows but Virtapth meant nothing. So they slowly grew apart after several years of friendship. On Deriseus's 60th birthday he left the vein to join nexus. And left Virtapth all alone. Virtapth did what any boy could do to live with out a friend. He became a thief. He stole what he needed and snuck around in the depths so the drows could not notice him. Then he snuck away. For several weeks Virtapth wandered about the Blackwood forest. Stealing berries from animals and running from the goblin hordes. Until he found the City of Nexus. He had heard much about this city but had never ventured there and never cared to try to find it. But here it was. So he entered. He met very few people and he wandered about aimlessly until someone noticed him. It was his brother, Deriseus. His brother told Virtapth all about Falcion and then paid him the fees to get there and apprenticed into Falcion. Virtapth was overjoyed. He now had a new aim, a goal. To protect Nexus against the evil that threatens it and it's people. Virtapth grew to know several people. And found help in friends. And he returned the favors when asked.
Now Virtapth goes about his daily work. Stealing from Nexus' enemies. And hunting with other large parties. He includes himself in group functions and enjoys the company of people. And is happy to be a contributor rather than an outcast.
Tiny flakes of snow fell upon the ground, it was mid fall. A slight breeze came from the south, giving Vithar a slight chill as he scurried up the dirt path through his village. Looking ahead of him the ogre turned into a small thatch hut.
Entering the hovel, he was immediately welcomed by the warm glow of the fire. The house smelled of roasting flesh, looking at the spit he smiled happily at his mother. "Don't ya think we eat hobbit too much?" he turned to his mother.
"Quit catching them then." Reaching down she removed the roasting flesh. Placing it on the rough oak table, she quickly brought out a knife, fleshing it from the spit. Lazily Vithar pulled his burlap sack from a cupboard. Wrapping the flesh in cloth, he quickly stowed the pieces into his sack. Tossing the sack over his shoulder Vithar strode out of his house humming a tune as he went.
Walking down the path towards the woods, Vithar stopped suddenly. Cocking his head to the side he listened intently for something. Eventually a very rhythmic gallop could be heard, he even felt the pounding emanating from the earth. Wondering what this could be he returned his eyes to the path before him, where 5 figures atop massive wolves were riding towards him. The figures were reddish in color, holding large lances lowered level to the ground. Their mounts covering 10 yards in a single stride, their teeth bared it seemed that they had been starved.
Vithar's jaw dropped. What had he done, he thought. As the goblin's made huge gains Vithar stood still, not quite believing what was happening. When the Goblin's were nearly upon him someone bushwhacked him, sending him reeling into the side of another hut. Gathering his senses Vithar looked up just in time to see his mother being impaled by the lances and her body be torn and mauled by the Wolves.
Emitting a low growl Vithar jumped onto the back of one of the wolves, reaching for his dagger he quickly rammed the blade into the Goblin's lower back. A shrill cry arose from it's chest. Tossing him from the wolf Vithar, tried to grab a hold of the wolf's reins. The wolf quickly seized the goblin and began to maul him. The Goblin's comrades turned to see this small Ogre atop the wolf. Laughing amongst themselves, one quickly brought his wolf to the side of the other, cracking Vithar on the head and tossing him across his lap.
As Vithar awoke he saw a raging fire in the distance, he found himself on something extremely furry. Pushing himself up, he quickly felt a thump upon the back of his head. Falling back into his dreams, Vithar would soon wish he had been killed.
Torches flared around him. Arching up from the cobblestones Vithar leaned against the cold gray walls. Trying to focus his eyes, he squinted at his wrists; latched onto them were black iron shackles cutting his wrists with every movement. Glancing around he surmised that he was in a cell of some sorts; he could see faint figures, large like himself. Straining to gather himself he fell into a heap on the ground again. A guttural whisper warned him, "Don't move, they will pick you if you are strong."
Taking heed to the warning Vithar rested waiting for movement from outside the chamber. Eventually drifting off to sleep he slept like a lo g. Regaining his energy with each passing hour.
A swift kick to his side awoke Vithar. Peering up he found a Kobold standing over him with a pallet of food. "Uh, what? Oh.. " Ferociously he lunged at the Kobold with both arms, grabbing the creature he quickly snapped its neck, tugging at the chains connecting him to the wall. Suddenly there was a rumble of laughter coming from outside the cell. The whisper in a much more gentle and consoling voice came to him, "Pray to your Gods now, you are about to lose all you know."
Peering after the voice, Vithar scooped up the food ravenously stuffing it in his mouth. Looking over the corpse he silently searched for a weapon, finding nothing he scowled loudly. Rubbing his wrists he gathered some dust from the ground. Make a paste he lifted the shackle, it had worn his skin to the bone.
Grinning slightly Vithar quickly patted the paste onto his wrists. Turning back to the Kobold's corpse he snatched it up and savagely ripped into its leg; shredding the flesh from the bone rather quickly. Kicking the corpse in the groin he popped the femur from its socket. Snapping the kneecap off, he removed excess flesh from it. Slowly he began to grind the bone into the cobblestone floor. Within an a half hour it began to take a sharpened shape. Smiling crudely he worked feverishly to sharpen his make shift shard. An hour passed before it became as sharp as a spike. Tossing the blade into his right hand he slammed the shard into the chest of the Kobold. A loud crack sounded while the bone plunged through the breastbone of the corpse. Yanking the shard from its resting place there was another crack, pulling the shard from the chest Vithar scoffed at its brittleness. Kobolds were always so weak, even in death. Laughing hardily he reached for the corpse again.
Suddenly the squeal of the ironbound door startled Vithar, looking up he saw two goblins bound in mesh mail and carrying long swords in their sheaths. Before they set their eyes on him, Vithar clutched the ghastly sharp broken shard ramming it into his inner thigh covered by his sackcloth clothing. Yelping in pain the guards quickly looked at the blood covered Ogre.
A sharp terse voice chattered, "Looks like we've a cannibal on our hands."
"The Torturer will be delighted to have something to tease him with." Replied the other Goblin.
One of the goblins exited the chamber and quickly re-entered with a long pole with a noose on one end. Lassoing Vithar around the neck the noose quickly became quite taut as they drug him out of the cell. As he came plodded out into the hallway Vithar noted a small kobold at a desk writing a few things down. Just as he was about to turn away the kobold snapped at him, quickly spitting in his face. Stepping towards the desk Vithar soon found himself reeling towards the wall. He hit it with a distinct, Thump! Reaching up he found that his face was drenched with even more blood and his nose was crumpled. Grumbling at the guards his he turned back down the corridor.
Soon they came to a T section, to the left there was a refreshing breeze coming from the outside. To the right the air was still, death lingered in whatever rooms there were down that hall. Cries and screams of agony echoed down the hall, chains thudding against flesh, and a few maniacal laughs came from there. Chuckling to himself Vithar turned left, only to be half strangled by the guards and thrown down the right hallway. Vithar muttered, "figured."
Upon entering a doorway the ogre was greeted with what seemed to be a slaughterhouse. Corpses lay built up on the side of the great chamber, ravenous creatures cried out in agony quickly finding a chain whip brought to their faces. Walking around the chamber with confidence and determination was an exquisitely small goblin. As the goblin found one ogre, exceptionally large and muscular, lashed to a table by leather straps, he suddenly hopped atop the ogre and plunged a small metallic tube into his abdomen; quickly he poured a vial filled with acid into the cylinder. A thunderous bellow emanated from the ogre as his face contorted with rage he pulled at his straps with all his might. Another goblin stood by the ogre's head whilst chanting an incantation. The ogre soon flared his nostrils and lied there as docile as a child.
Vithar's jaw dropped in awe. ''How in Altin am I going to get out of here!!' Vithar thought. An overwhelming sense of fear came over him, he strained at his noose but it was no good and he knew it. That huge ogre had failed to resist them, Vithar had no chance. Moaning softly, he lumbered in the direction his noose took him.
Being drawn to a bond fire he was made to turn around and lay down in front of the fire. His legs were clamped into a stockade while his arms were chained to the floor. Two feet were firmly placed upon his shoulder blades completely immobilizing him. Vithar soon heard the sound of metal dragging on the cobblestones. Straining his eyes he caught the faint figure of a tiny goblin with a red-hot poker in hand scrambling towards him. Vithar struggled with futile results, clambering atop him the goblin could be heard giggling quite contentedly. Searing pain shot through Vithar's body causing him to writhe in agony. He slowly felt his consciousness leaving him gripping his restraints Vithar managed to keep awake, although he feigned unconsciousness. When that was over they removed him from the shackles and placed him against a wall. Slumping over on other corpses and living creatures in the shadows, Vithar slowly pulled himself towards the door.
"Bless the gods!" Vithar whispered into the floor. Glancing at the doorway he saw a kobold standing guard by the doorway, next to him were satchels. He was handing them to Ogres that passed through the door, checking first their brands upon their backs. With another stroke of pure luck Vithar quietly stepped in line with the ogres.
Clenching his jaw Vithar made slow progress in the line. His stomach felt as if it were going to burst, he even felt lightheaded as he made his way towards the door. Finally he came to the kobold and did as the others had, bowing with a straight back he felt the kobolds furry hands upon him. A snort came from the Kobolds chest and before had time to utter another sound, Vithar snatched the satchel in his hand quickly opened it and sacked the kobold's head. Swiftly bringing the bone shard into play, he rammed it between the kobolds chin and throat instantly killing him as well as spraying blood all over Vithar and his sack. Before the Ogre in back of him knew what was going on Vithar had snatched corpse up, tossed his satchel over his shoulder and bolted out the door.
With gigantic strides Vithar easily out ran the first sentries. Looking down the corridor he saw two sentries with blades drawn. Charging forward the guards cowered back a bit, looking at the apparent deathrall in rage. Just as Vithar was passing between them they came to their senses and rendered two magnificent strokes with their swords as Vithar rushed through. As the blades came arcing down upon Vithar he quickly tossed the corpse of the kobold at the blades and leapt beneath them tumbling towards the archway.
Just as soon as corpse was being shredded into 3 pieces Vithar was racing up the stairway soon he came to find himself on top of tower of sorts. Peering out over the edge he saw endless forest before him. Groaning softly he turned north and saw mountains, strutting forward he stepped on the edge of the tower. The trees below him were not very far off, 10 or 15 feet Vithar thought. "Halt!" a goblin shouted behind him. Just as the steps neared Vithar plunged into the treetops below.
Once he had made it to the ground he was covered in scratches from the tree limbs. Looking back to the towers he saw goblins pouring out into the forest. Gasping for breath, he turned back to the north and began to jog towards them.
Eventually making his way to the base of the mountains he could find no trail or path of any sorts, so he turned eastwards. Another couple days and still no path Vithar muttered to himself and walked on in search of civilization. After a few days of running Vithar came to a river, he had already passed one but that one had a bridge. This one was flowing steadily and did not seem that wide. So Vithar crossed, it swimming the entire length.
A slight drizzle was making the day a bit gloomy. Making his way southeast he saw a massive body of water. His mouth gaped in awe. "What is this!?" he gasped. Searching the beach he found a boat, hopping in the boat Vithar hoped that he would soon find someone to help him. An island not far off seemed inhabited; there were structures in the jungle as far as he could see. With nightfall coming soon and the drizzle turning to a downpour Vithar made his way to the island. Just as the suns were setting he found a cave right next to where the boat had landed. It was too dark for him to explore right now but he would sleep in here until day. Crawling into the fetal position Vithar soon found himself drifting off to sleep.
(2 years pass between this time)
Stepping back into the cave Vithar spotted a figure in the shadows "yer de'd!", snarling he leapt towards it only to be greeted by a cave wall. Grunting loudly he picked himself up the ground and looked into the emptiness of the cave. Before he had another second to move a cold steel blade was at Vithar's throat.
"Don't move." A voice commanded beside him. Vithar snorted trying to make out the figure. It looked like an elf but it was different, he had never seen something like this. It didn't matter; he was going to kill it. Swiftly bringing his fist to where the voice came from, his world instantly turned black. Whenever Vithar would regain consciousness it would immediately be taken away from him.
"Good gods! What in Tilnar happened to this fellow? A voice gasped. "Alchemist." Was the terse reply. "Alchemist? Are you sure? Shouldn't he be dead?" "Whatever, is he trainable?" "Yes.. we will revive him and set him up for training."
A shuffle of movement and a door creaks open.
"Oh Verile! You forgot this book."
A grumble is heard, then something being stowed in a sack.
William Jerome was born on the 13th of the month of Twilight to parents Jonathan and Katelin Jerome. He was born in the city of nexus where he lived until he began his training on the island of Falcion. This is the story of his life so far, as told by him.
"I was born here in nexus to a semi-wealthy family, they were merchants. And so I grew up in the world of merchants, everyday seeing new items, that's probably where I got my love for shiny things. I was fascinated by the items and wished I could have them for myself. Sometimes I got lucky and my father bought it for me, other times I didn't. Life was pretty easy back then, I didn't have to worry about anything, I always had my parents to look after me. I lived like that for a long time, until I was around 14 years old. At that time I began to grow bored with the easy life, and I wanted to do something new and exciting. So I set out from my home, leaving a note instead of telling them in person, because I thought they would be angry. I went out of nexus and I lasted for a little less than a month outside. After that time I had no choice but to return to nexus, however, I didn't want my parents to know I was a failure. So a spent a day or two trying to look for money on the ground that I could use to buy food. I was very unsuccessful at that, I ended up using what little money I had left in those two days. The second day though, when I was about to give up hope and return home, I met someone. He was a young man just a few years older than myself. He asked me if I would do anything to survive, I said yes and so he took me with him. He took me to a dark alleyway where we met up with some other people. There he told me what this was all about. He was the leader of a group of common thieves in nexus, a small group numbering no more than 10. He asked me if I would be willing to join them. I agreed part out of interest and part out of fear of what would happen if I had said no. It turns out that I was actually pretty good at some of the things they asked me to do. I had a natural ability to be swift and crafty. They had taught me how to pick pockets like a pro. One night I asked the leader, Drakor, if he had ever wanted to do anything more in life besides being a commom thief in nexus. He told me that he had had dreams about joining the Thieves guild, so that he would not have to be a petty criminal for his whole life and so he could become a warrior-thief, who would be respected and treated well. He said he just needed to find someone to replace him as leader of the group, he chose me as that person. I took the job wishing him good luck in his adventures. I didn't talk to him very much after that and decided that perhaps I could also join the Thieves' guild and become a noble warrior for nexus and perhaps find out what happened to my friend. Shortly after joining the guild I was sorry to find out that my friend had died. I heard that it was because he had so much pain in his life, and felt that he couldn't go on any longer. From that point on I have tried to make people happy, although sometimes I have trouble being happy myself. I made new friends though, while moving my way up in the Thieves guild, soon I was able to make the rank of nightblade in the guild, currently I am of the thirteenth tier in the Thieves' guild and i hope to one day become one of their greatest members. And that is just about it up to now, perhaps if i ever do become a great thief i will give you a more up complete history of my life. Until then, have a nice day, and remember, always be optimistic, try to have fun, and always laugh at my jokes."
Race: Dark Elf
Written on the scroll was this:
The History of Zakainen of House (This part was unreadable)
Zakainen was born to a very powerful House in the Har'oloth, the Underdark. A place where the very land itself was just as treacherous as any of it's denizens. His House resided in a city that was far from the furthest Drow settlement in relation to Nexus. And unlike many Drow communities this one was not a complete matriarchal or even female dominated society. Patrons held as much sway as Matrons in some Houses. Both sexes were treated with very little respect until they came of age. Although, those of noble blood knew a slightly easier life when it came to this and Zakainen was definitely of noble blood.
His House was ranked Fourth upon his birth. Their ranking was very secure at the time and was becoming a definite threat to continue rising in status. A couple of things that made them formidable were the several Priestess's in good favor with Kyorl and a small collection of Dark-elven Wizards they had in the family. The Patron himself was an Arch-Wizard. He was known to lead the House but in truth it was the Matron, Zakainen's mother, that ruled him from the shadows. Of the parents, he bore very little resemblance to his father but greatly favored his mother.
Zakainen was currently the eldest male child of the family. He had several older sisters but no brothers. He eventually had two younger brothers but one died before reaching adolescence. That brother died when the children had escaped the watchful eyes of the House Guards and ventured out into the wilds of the Underdark. Rumor contended that Zakainen was somehow responsible for the incident but nothing was proven.
Of all the children, the Matron paid special attention to Zakainen's upbringing. From the beginning she started to influence and guide him personally. A far deal more than what most Drow parents normally would in the raising of their offspring. One of the first things she accustomed him to was death...
Before he could walk, he was in her arms while she sat in the stands of the Gladitorial Pits. As he grew older, he would accompany her when she had to discipline a slave. These disciplines normally took the form of torture or death. On the day he was able to pick up a shortsword and hold it, she had him kill one of the Goblin slaves to get him accustomed to killing for himself. He beamed under his Matron's approving gaze. He learned that the strong ruled over the weak and that was just the way of the world. She slowly molded him into a Drow who saw killing and pain as something natural. He also viewed these things as something that pleased his mother as well.
Over time he began to see his father as being unfit to lead the House as Patron. Zakainen thought the Patron held back too often, that he was too cautious when opportunity was obviously presenting itself. Too many wasted chances to increase the House's assets. He began to think that the House would flourish better under his mother's rule or perhaps with a little time... even under his own. His mother tried to subtlety teach him that ruling from the shadows had its benefits but this teaching was lost upon him. This would be the first lesson that Zakainen would break away from and begin to start weaving his own plots.
He started to view things in a slightly different way after this. He began to pay more attention to the House intrigue within and without. Everyone he had any contact with or met from then on was evaluated as a possible ally or threat. His foremost competition was the only brother he had left and he posed no threat in Zakainen's now prideful eyes. He made sure to take every opportunity to keep his brother in check and let him know how things were going to be. The situation looked very promising once he could establish a foundation for power. All he needed was time and more experience to replace the Patron. His chance to learn more was indeed close. Because as soon as he became of age, he was immediately enrolled at the Melee-Magthere, the Academy of Warfare.
His training went well at the Academy as he readily immersed himself in his studies. Although all students here were supposed to be treated as equals, station and House rank did matter. Because of that, Zakainen led a more 'comfortable' life here than most. From his quarters to food, he had beyond what the normal students were allowed. He was taught by only the finest Instructors of the Academy. He was also made a Captain of one of the many patrols the school sent out into the lawless lands around the city. Any of his carnal desires were satisfied by the ssins d'aerthen or 'professional entertainers'. Even the occasional Priestess visited his room. Excuses, for a few days leave, were arranged now and then as well, at the request of his House. Coincidentally each time he took a leave of absence his House soon became involved in taking another House down or defending against a rival. Despite all of these favors and blessings of nobility, Zakainen would sneak down to the lower quarters of the city. His Instructors knew this of course but decided to look away and pretend that they did not.
Amongst the thieves and mercenaries he continued his studies of a different kind. Each moment in this section of the city was spent refining his reflexes and honing his shadow skills. He learned the art of information gathering and stealth. Asides from that these dark streets proved an invaluable resource as almost anything could be had for a price.
This paid off when he got wind of the Second House's plots to raid his own. His family quickly prepared and attacked the other House first, catching them completely off-guard. This strike went unusually well and their casualties were negligible. Zakainen tried to convince the Patron that now was the time to go on the offensive and take down more of their enemies. No one would expect another attack so soon was his reasoning but his father refused. Another example of the Patron being unfit to lead is exactly what Zakainen thought to himself. He could do nothing but keep preparing and wait for just the right time. He threw himself deeper into his studies hoping that moment would come soon.
So for 10 short years this was the life he knew. Training at the Academy and learning what he could from the shadows. Until one day, while walking down the hallways of the Academy, one of Zakainen's classmates beckoned him from behind one of the many statues of famous Drow warriors that lined the walls. His fellow students eagerness was very evident and he soon learned why. For Graduation, this class would venture to the Lands of Light for a surface raid on the Darthiir, the Elves...
Upon entering his quarters and closing the door, a wicked smile played over Zakainen's lips as thoughts raced through his mind. After the surface raid and upon his graduation, he would be Blooded and be a true Dark Prince of the Har'olath. Then he could start gathering his resources and replace his weak father as Patron of the House. Laying down and folding his arms behind his head, he eventually fell asleep and dreamed his dark dreams of power.
A little over a week later Zakainen's class was informed that they were indeed going to the surface to 'visit' their cousins. And a few days later, after listening to hours of propaganda on the Darthiir, preparing their provisions and packing their gear, the raiding party set upon their quest to the Lands of Light. The journey through the Underdark met without any incidents. Obviously it was a sign of their future success they thought.
Only moving under the cover of night, the raiding party made it's way to an Elven village. The location was made known to them before they had left by one of the City Bazaar's Merchants that traveled to the Surface occasionally. Scouts were sent ahead and they soon returned after confirming the village was nearby. After hearing what reconnaissance they had gleaned, the party started to make their battle plans. The Instructors that had made the journey along with the class allowed Zakainen, the Patrol Captain, to devise the strategy they would use. Having already done so while listening to the report he laid out his plan. The Instructors made a few suggestions and then the group set out into the woods.
There were not as many Elven sentries as they had thought they would have to deal with. It almost seemed that several members of the village were missing or perhaps out hunting, so entry into their homes went smoothly. The attack started quietly as the Drow took out the first few sentries and the occasional villager performing a chore. While rounding a corner after getting some water, one of the Elven villagers stumbled upon one of her neighbors being murdered. She had just enough time to cry out an alarm before Zakainen personally shot an arrow through her heart. Then the night filled with the sounds of the raiding party in full melee. Darksilver longswords rose and fell, hand crossbow bolts whistled through the air, and spells were hurtled mercilessly upon the Elves as the Drow began to cut them down.
Zakainen's squad consisted of his younger brother and two other classmates. As they entered one of the homes, they got more than they bargained for as a fully prepared Elven mage cast a Lightning spell and used a Bloodboil wand on the first two of them to enter. Luckily these two were his classmates. An Elven Priestess stood slightly off to the side and behind the mage. She had let loose an arrow from her warbow just as the mage used his magics. The arrow glanced off of Zakainen's buckler as he maneuvered directly behind one of the still-standing corpses of his classmates. Using his momentum he drove his shoulder into the charred remains of the one that was hit with the lightning bolt and shoved the body into the mage, bowling him over. As his younger brother leaped upon the mage and drove his sword through him, Zakainen cut cleanly through the Priestess's bow with his own blade and then raised it high above his head in one motion. Continuing the swing he slashed downward with his longsword, ending the Elf's life. All his killing in the village had been done in the darkness up until now. Here, in this well lit room, he paused for a moment as he watched this Elven woman's eyes slowly lose their sparkle of life.
His next sight was a explosion of color as someone hit him in his head from behind. Laying on the floor, his vision slowly started to fade to black. Before he fully lost consciousness he could hear his younger brother speak. "Foolish, very foolish and careless of you... -brother-," his sibling said that last word with as much contempt as possible. His brother then smirked and walked away, most likely telling the rest of the party that the Elves had slain him.
Not quite a day later, well after the raiders had left, the remaining members of the village returned to the slaughter. As they moved about and cared for their dead they came across Zakainen still lying on the floor. His long black hair covered in blood from his brother's strike. The Elves in their outrage took Zakainen's unconscious form deep within a part of their forest rarely traveled. There, before a suitably long dead tree, they prepared to hang him. Throwing a rope over one of the tree's limbs, they then stood him up and put the noose around his neck. Glazed red eyes fluttered open and Zakainen began to shake his head as if to clear it. Finally focusing and realizing his situation, he could only turn his burning gaze upon his captors. Before he could even speak a curse upon the Darthiir his body jerked upward and the rope began to cut into the flesh of his throat. Gasping for the air that would not come and slowly having his circulation cut off, he finally passed out with his last vision being the Elves turning their backs on him and wandering back toward their home.
Zakainen's eyes snapped open and he found himself staring up at the tree they had hung him from. Drawing a sharp ragged breath he sat up and clutched the bleeding wound across his throat. Untightening what remained of the noose, he then pulled it up and off of his head. Staring down at the rope, it was clear that it had been cut and at this point Zakainen did not care by who or what. Death had stayed His hand twice now for whatever reasons in a very short time and that's all that mattered. Still dazed, he tossed the noose away from him and staggered to his feet. He began to walk in the only direction that came natural. The direct opposite way those Elves had left in...
[Little is known of what happened to Zakainen after this. Rumor has it he made it to a beach on the Sea of Tears and found passage on a ship. It has been said that around that time he tried his hand at piracy. Eventually his travels brought him to Rymek and the stories of Falcion intrigued him. Here he learned of the Thieves' Guild of Nexus being burned down and the thieves being exiled. Whether it was for profit, power, a challenge or something else, he set about to either help restore the Guild of old or begin something new...]
So, Zakainen Apprenticed on the Isle of Falcion and began his life all over again.
Hello. I am Zanarian Swi'lik. I was born around here in a great city called Nexus. Perhaps ye've heard of it? Ye have? Well then, this makes my story much easier.
During the summer of my sixty-third birthday, I was out doing my normal mischief (stealing things, annoying the guards) when I saw a strange man walking around with flyers. I went up to him, and he jumped. I think I scared him *shrugs* but he explained to me that a group of young people were to be taken to Falcion to begin their training for defense of the city. My ears perked up at this. I took a flyer and ran home to my parents. We talked about it for a long time. I packed up my necessities (a small knife, some clothes and some food and water) and said good-bye to by parents. I met the rest of the young apprentices and we boarded the sloop.
On the sloop, everyone was issued a set of armor pertaining to their class. The clerics were issued some scrolls, as were the mages. The rest of us (except the monks) received weapons of our choice. We were all given a small sum of gold to aid in our training. Upon arrival in Falcion, we departed from the sloop and headed into the city. We were all very excited and could not wait to begin our training.
One year later
One year after my arrival in Falcion I had achieved the sixth rank. I had also made very many friends (and enemies) and found many useful items. It was one day, which a young human fellow came with an envelope for me. I smiled and opened the letter, which read:
I am very sorry to inform you that your father Fusilis Sticky Fingers Swi'lik has been injured severely in battle against the Cloud Giants. He fought bravely to defend Nexus, but has sacrificed his health to save the cities. He shall be honored with great valor. I wish you the best of luck with your training and will provide a special escort to bring you home to spend with your family until he recovers.
Sincerely, Xavier, the Hand of Death
I shed a tear and folded the parchment. I stuffed it in my pocket and packed my belongings. I was going home.
Two years later
I have just returned to Falcion to achieve the seventh rank. I had missed a long time being at home with my father and mother. I must train hard to cover the ground that I have missed. With my good friend Gardef, I set out to complete this mission