Post stories about your character and earn an award!

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Re: Post stories about your character and earn an award!

Post#11 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:06 pm

Excellent! Both Darkanis and Cataca have been credited!
Brian Bloom

Realms of Trinity Executive Producer & Game Creator

Posts: 27

Re: Post stories about your character and earn an award!

Post#12 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:01 am

Damianus dor Dalarien, arch wizard of Alegoria was sitting in his tower room, waiting for his apprentice’s return. He asked Aldaris to collect some special minerals from the forest, as he needed them for his experiment. He really liked Aldaris, this young sun elf, who was always helpful and able to spend several hours on reading a book about a spell description.
While he was thinking about the next step of his experiment, somebody knocked on the door. It was Aldaris with the requested minerals. He was having a big smile on his face.
- Look Master what I have found in the forest! – said excitedly. He put down his bag next to Damianus’ table and opened it. Damianus grabbed his magnifying glass and went one step closer.
- Well, well, look what you have found.
Aldaris put a small obsidian bird statue to his master’s table. The statue was freshly carved, but one of the bird’s wing was broken. Damianus felt strange cold when he touched the statue.
- I am sure, it has got some kind of an arcane power. – Aldaris said.
- Yes, it has. But we need to be careful with this item. We don’t know who made it and for what purpose. Have you found the minerals I asked?
Aldaris nodded his head yes.
- Good. Now go to your room and keep on learning. Try to find an answer how can we identify unknown items easily. It will be your job to identify this mysterious bird.

Aldaris heard a terrible noise a few hours later. He started to run towards the source of the noise. It came from his masters room. Fast! He was gasping for breath when he entered the room. There was a huge demon bird with broken wings there fighting with Damianus. Aldaris felt the power of the arcane energy around his master as he was casting a powerful offensive spell. But the bird was too strong to destroy with a single spell. The demon charged at Damianus and caused a fatal wound with its own wing then broke the window and flew away.
Aldaris ran to his master who started to cast his last spell.
- Alegoria is lost… All… is… lost. You must escape before they find you and train yourself before facing them.
- Who.. master? Who are they?

A shining aura appeared around the sun elf and he lost his consciousness. He never got the answer for his question.

// Well thats the short story of my wizard. Sorry for my grammar, english is not my first language. :)
// Account: Solorien
Aldaris Seleniel
Apprentice of the Arcane Society

Jason de Montfort
Cleric of Torm

Vito the Cold Dagger
Villain from the North

Posts: 2

Re: Post stories about your character and earn an award!

Post#13 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:59 pm

I just wanted to get the backstory I had on my mind out into the open in some way. So here we go.

We are told by our shamens that some men will see great beasts in their dreams. Animals that augment us, work with us, enlighten us. We are taught to be humble, to respect the bear, to tame the wolves, to soar with the eagles, to allow the beast within. When we are aligned with the beast, we are more than just flesh and blood. We are warriors, primal and glorious. To be visited in our dream by one of the great spirits of beasts is a true sign of power, something granted to only the greatest of our people, and to me.

I was not a warrior amongst a clan of warriors, I was a man of the great halls, a teller of tales and songs. I was the living memory of each great man in our clan, warriors who died in battle, to live on forever in our songs. It was joyous, blissful to hear the deeds of great men and to know they are watching us. Then the fire began. The fire of my mind, my body and my soul. It blazed upon me like an inferno, drowning out my song, drowning out our great people.

I fell one evening from a tale of the first man of the tribe, my head a river of sweat, my mind filled with nothing but the flame. I knew this to be a vision of our great spirits, I remembered the start of each of their tales. "I gazed up upon a sea of stars", and I saw that great sea, passing on for an eternity. Burning. I could not breath through the heat, I could not hear through the heat, I only knew fear, and pain. This was not right, I was not right.

I focused my body in my mind on learning the heat, understanding the pain. The fire burned less and it revealed my tribe, I was looking down on my tribe. I must have been looking down on us. I was drawn upwards, into the stars up the mountain. I climbed, step after step, mile after mile, a lone walk I felt to my death or my destiny, or maybe both. Above the world, where surely the gods must look down on us, I entered a cave, like a sun ablaze it scorched my flesh, and I gazed upon a great beast. A Dragon. It looked up at me, up at me and my mind recoiled, tried to cave my existence upon itself to escape, I wanted to scream, but my lungs burnt, I had no air to give.

"Though the bull may be strong, the cat may have it's grace, bear may survive many battles, the owl may never make a mistake twice, the fox may have the cunning to survive and the eagle may be gazed upon in awe, every one of these creatures looks to me in envy. I will be your guide in this world and the real world. Find me, learn of me, help me, and your name shall be sung to the heavens"

My eyes opened, my father over me a look of surprise and horror. My hand around his neck, chocking the life out of him. I was dragged off by our walker of dreams. "A great dream, biggest ever I've witnessed. Dangerous for us here, bigger than us. A great walk has been set for you, one that will last many seasons. I know not what the future holds, but I will attempt to walk with you, too see this dream through".

It was that moment that my skin drew warm to the touch, that the metal of the wold felt cold. It was that moment that the world was not just about it's past, it was about it's future. My future. I have been sent on a quest, I know not where or why. But the great Dragon is watching me. I shall have to ensure I am worthy, and that she is entertained.

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Re: Post stories about your character and earn an award!

Post#14 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:28 am

Great story! Thanks for taking the time to write it and share with the community!

You have been credited!
Brian Bloom

Realms of Trinity Executive Producer & Game Creator

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Re: Post stories about your character and earn an award!

Post#15 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:09 am

Part 1
As the Drow surrounded Isang, although she was reaching for her sword, she thought the better of it. Auelmndar stood in front of her with a sneer on his face. She longed for the warmth of his eyes as he used to look at her.
" What do you want?" he growled at her." You have no right to be here! I want nothing to do with you! I have found a home that makes me much happier than you ever could!"
Her face went white. What had happened to him? He was so loving. He was a grumpy old Elf but he was her Elf. All the things that they had done, all the things they were going to do, seemed to be lost. They couldn't be lost! She knew he was in there. She just have to find him! Then as if Alaria whispered in her ear, she remembered " the shining star". She reached into her pack slowly, pulling out the crystal that she had given Auelmndar. Holding it up to the light it shone like a bright star. For just an instance, she thought she saw his eyes warm.
That instance vanished as fast as it had arrived. Before she could clutch the stone tightly in her hand, his hand swung out sending the stone flying. However, she didn't expect what was to happen while he did this. The stone turned red hot, branding Auelmndar's hand with a star and then shattering. As it shattered, Isang fell to the ground on her knees in pain crying out. Auelmndar also cried out at the same time seeing the star on his hand. The Matron was standing amongst the Drow. She, too, looked at it in horror. The stone had held a great magic. She couldn't lose Auelmndar back to Isang. He had become too important to her.
"Oh my Auelmndar" she said seductively, "she is only trying to win you back with trickery."
He looked back at her seductively, letting go of his hand and caressing her cheek. "Yes. You are right my love, but we both know that won't happen." He kissed her cheek.
Isang couldn't and wouldn't believe what she was seeing but the blood inside her went cold. Her eyes went cold. Everything about her had suddenly changed. Not to evil, but she wondered if the bond was broken.
Slowly standing up, she looked at him, his hand still on the Matron's face with the star facing out. As she looked at it, she thought she saw just a glimmer of a glow. No, the bond wasn't broken, but she couldn't stay here to watch him with her. The star was there for a reason. It would do in time what she knew she couldn't do.
She turned to leave but not before saying, "Auelmndar... I love you and one day you will be mine again. I might not be with you in body but I will always be with you. Just whisper Auelmndar! Just whisper!"
The Matron hissed at her as Auelmndar's hand dropped from her face replying, "You will be waiting a lifetime Isang!" Then repeating it, "You will be waiting a LIFETIME!" The star on his hand burned as he shouted.
In a whisper so quiet no one could hear her, "Then I will wait a lifetime." The whisper floated to his ear so only he could hear her. His heart warmed for an instant then it was gone and so was Isang.
Part 2
She knew that he had heard her, but spared no time on getting onto the next boat headed to anywhere. Surprisingly , there were no tears. Her body was numb without any feeling. Weeks later, she found herself at the boat's destination. A dark, lonely place. As she looked around, all she felt was mistrust. She turned back to the Captain of the ship and asked when the next one would be leaving.
"Well little lady, unless you want to go back to Euron you will have to cross this island to the other side to catch another boat out of here."
Going back to Euron wasn't an option for her although she longed to do just that.
"How do I get there? Is there a road I should travel that will get me there faster?" She wasn't scared because she carried the sword she had made with her. It was Elven made. The finest of the swords. She had learned well. Rifts was a good teacher.
"I have no idea except for you to head East." pointing in the easterly direction.
She turned and started walking. She stopped and bought some supplies. They were way overpriced but then what did she expect here. After walking out of town she could feel eyes upon her. She was being followed. She pulled out her greatsword and carried it as if she was just being careful. After rounding a bend, she hid in the trees and waited. It wasn't long before a family came around the bend as well.
They seemed harmless enough although something didn't feel right. The little girl was crying while the little boy was walking along with the saddest of faces. She came out of the trees confronting them.
The man pulled out an old sword, not very well taken care of. "Stop right there!" he shouted pointing his sword at her.
She slowly let her sword down to her side. "I mean you no harm. I thought you were following me."
"I'm hungry Momma!" the little girl cried.
"So am I!" said the little boy.
"Stop your whining! Both of you!" the man obviously having enough of their crying shouted.
"Wait a second," Isang put her pack down and started reaching into it laying her sword down next to her, "I have some apples if each of you would like to have one?"
"Oh YESSS!" the children cried out.
She handed them each an apple. Curious she asked, "Where are you taking your family?"
"We are on our way to the ship on the other side of the island. I am told there is work in a place called Amia." the man replied.
Amia, she heard him say. It sounded so much like Asia, Auelmndar's panther. How she missed that big black ball of fur. That had to be where she was to go.
"How far is it to this ship? Isang asked hoping he would know.
"Another couple of days I reckon. It shouldn't be any longer than that." He looked at the woman while the woman just stared back at him.
"Well how about I start a fire and the five of us can get some rest. I am going the same way and we can all go together."
Once again the woman stared at the man as he chuckled, "That would be mighty nice of you miss."
"Please call me Isang." Noticing the stare but not paying any mind to it although she was getting that tingly feeling telling her something was wrong. How could anything be wrong with such a nice family? Introductions were made and she started the fire.
As they had no bedrolls, she pulled hers out and let the children sleep in it. The adults slept on the ground closer to the fire to keep warm. The next morning the sun awakened her. To her surprise, the nice family was gone and so was all of her belongings except for the bag of apples and the man's sword.
"Oh NO!" she shouted. "Oh Auelmndar would be sure to rub this in. Isang taken in by the nice family!"
She looked at the sword that was left. Picking up a stone she did her best to clean it up as well as she could under the circumstances as well as sharpen it.
"He said only a couple of days. I sure hope he wasn't lying about that."
With only her travelling clothes, a fairly dull sword and a bag of apples, she went in search for the boat. One week later, she found it, but she had no gold to pay for the trip. She managed to convince the Captain to allow her to work for her passage. Work she did. She was never so happy to get off a ship.
Amia didn't seem so bad. It was definitely a lot better than that other place. At least it wasn't so dark. It felt like maybe it could be home.... for now.
Part 3
She knew the whispers were reaching him. She could feel it. Every time she would whisper to him it seemed to hurt him. She could feel his pain. They would always be one. She just had to wait. Wait she did until finally one day a thin, paranoid elf showed up in Amia.
She had found him wandering around. Hiding behind his helmet, he would call everyone that they had past demons. Yet there were no demons there. She led him out to where she would sit under the trees to think about Auelmndar.
"This is my safe place. You do not have to fear anything here. Touch the bark of the tree. You will feel the light within yourself."
"it is a trick! he growled at her. "How can I believe anything you say? You are not my Isang!"
She had told him her name in Amia but he seemed be afraid to tell her his, so she had left it alone. Hearing this she tilted her head, "Auelmndar? Is that you?"
He pulled his sword and extended towards her. "How do you know my name? Did the Matron send you to find me? I will kill you right where you stand!"
Tears filled her eyes. It was him but she had to prove to him that she was who he was looking for. "Auelmndar listen" she said quietly. Then in a whisper, so quiet no one would hear, but within hm he would hear, she said, "I love you forever and always no matter what has happened."
His ears perked. "Did you hear me Auel? Did you hear my whisper?"
He dropped the sword to the ground and tears filled his eyes as she walked up to him and lifted his helm. She kissed him passionately. "I have missed you so much!"
Then dropping on his knees, he began to cry as he said, "Oh my Isang! Everyone is dead but you! I had them all killed. I led them to their death. How can you ever continue to love me knowing that? I do not deserve your love!"
Isang just held him in her arms. "It wasn't your fault. The Matron put a spell on you. The star on your hand almost broke the spell. However, if you found me here then she might as well."
"Yes!" He looked scared. "She told me that she had spies everywhere and if I ever left her she would find me."
"Ah, but they will only be looking for you. If we are together our love will blind her sight. We should leave this place. First you need to rest. In the morning we will leave."
First light they were on another boat. They took several different boats. The last boat led them to Trinity. It was far away from Amia. Isang had earned enough coin for their travels.
Arriving in Trinity, both of them felt a little more secure, but Auelmndar was still ashamed of what he had done in Astoria. Somehow she had to make him forget or forgive himself. Now that they were in this new land, together again, never to have their bond broken, she would help him.

OOC: more to come :)

Posts: 1

Re: Post stories about your character and earn an award!

Post#16 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:54 pm

Deep within the Archwood, amidst a secluded grove of tightly packed duskwoods and towering shadowtops, lived a lonely treant. The treant had forgotten why he was lonely as ages had passed while the lonely treant lived alone in the grove of tightly packed duskwoods and towering shadowtops. It had been ages since a voice other than the voices of the Archwood itself could be heard on the wind or rustling in the leaves. So long, in fact, that the lonely treant did not so easily wake from its yearslong slumber at the cooing and crying of the feychild.

For days the feychild cooed, cried, and subsisted off the magic of the grove while the lonely treant remained in slumber. She made such a racket that invited pixies, sprites, dryads, squirrels, chipmunks, songbirds, and other forest creatures to investigate despite the fear of waking the lonely treant. The forest creatures debated as to what to do with the feychild. Some suggested feeding her to the wolves, others just wanted to leave her be, but in the end it was decided unanimously to wake the treant and run.

Startled by having its limbs shaken and pinecones shed, the lonely treant woke from its deep slumber far too early - the warmer decade cycle was still years away. Flailing its limbs about and with a subsonic shout, the forest seemed to come alive. The songbirds, squirrels, pixies, and other forest creatures scattered nowhere to be seen and left the not-so-lonely treant within branch grasp of the cooing feychild.

In a wink of a bark-lid, the feychild grew to much longer that when it first appeared that disturbing eve. It now even walked on its own feet as opposed to simply floundering about and fussing when not on a bed of soft leaves. The not-so-lonely treant liked having the feychild running through the grove, climbing on its branches to rustle its leaves or whisper in its bark-ear, and even telling stories of all the other creatures in the woods.

That was all a memory to be forgotten in ages to come. The woods grew dark. The feychild told the soon-to-be-lonely-again treant of her forest friends disappearing and of terrible howls in the night. Fearing for her safety in the now darkening woods, the soon-to-be-lonely-again treant scooped up the sleeping feychild one night and delivered her outside the woods near where he could hear noises of other beings that walked and sounded like her.

The lonely treant returned to his grove to sleep through the coming darkness.

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Player: Celmeriean Taelisiesti

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Re: Post stories about your character and earn an award!

Post#17 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:53 pm

Zhao Zhou Part I: Evolution of a Healer

This baby started life like so many others in their village, born into a family that already had more mouths than there was food. And, like other infants, this little boy was brought to a nearby monastery once his mother's milk ran dry.

The monks of Ilmater were a secluded, self-sufficient order of about 1000 men and boys. Their lives were regimented and quiet. Their activities were focused and their lives were simple. Surprisingly, the strict rules of conduct and the extreme structure allowed for wonderful freedom. The monks and trainees were not burdened by choices or by preferences. Instead, their minds were given the space to explore the subtleties of existence, the nature of life, the silence and emptiness behind all phenomena. With this freedom of body and mind, the monks were able to develop various aspects of themselves. Some men grew their wisdom, with insight that penetrated the nature of reality to a depth that other minds could not touch. Their presence, although easy to overlook, brought calm and stability wherever their feet carried them. They moved like water and passed like a spring breeze, refreshing those they touched and removing the anxious chill of winter's end. Other men developed their bodies; their hands were hardened into steel hammers and their feet molded into iron anvils. They moved with the speed and agility of a jungle cat and the strength and momentum of an elephant.

Zhao Zhou (pronounced Jow Joe) was a monk of the latter group. Ordained when he was an adolescent, Zhao, like so many other boys his age, was in awe of the warrior-monks he grew up watching in the courtyard. Their legs were like tree trunks that, in the blink of an eye, could uproot and crush a stone pillar then return home in one swift arc. As a fish swimming upstream, these men could effortlessly leap through the air while dodging arrows that came in waves of hundreds. Their sculpted bodies were strong and lean and their gaze steady as still water. Zhao began his formal training with the warrior-monks the day after he made his vows.

The first few years were tough—Zhao's body was brought to the brink of death. What he and the other boys had not seen in the courtyard was the training at the heart of the warrior-monk's ability. Zhao's muscle and ligaments needed to be remade. With a system that had been developed and refined over the centuries, Zhao and others his age were starved, stretched, broken, burned, chilled, cut, formed and reformed. These were not phoenixes that were put into the fire once and came up anew from the ashes. These warriors were slowly crafted, piece by piece, hardened, carved, sanded, and polished. They were warriors whose armor was their own thickened hide and whose weapons were calloused flesh.

After 5 years of daily training, Zhao and others in his class were promoted to novice warriors. Zhao was a strong and cunning fighter. In his sparring matches he was free and fierce. His mind was not tied to any particular style of fighting he had learned and his body flowed without attachment to drill or habit. He was often chosen to represent his class of monks when matches were organized across age groups. Some contests were won and others lost, and his brother monks won and lost with him. They did not belabor a miscalculation or over-celebrate a narrow victory. Their minds were focused on the contest when their was a match and on the training once it was over. It was an incredible time of growth and development for Zhao and the other young men. That is, until the sickness came.

When Zhao was 20, the first monk was infected, an elderly brother of 93 years. Although some originally said 'Old' Lin merely suffered the consequences of such a long life, a few knew him better. Lin Jie was of perfect health when the cough started and his skin began to turn. Greenish blue blotches began to bloom on his back and neck while his lungs and throat weakened from a debilitating cough. After a month of steady decline, Lin Jie finally passed. Because most had merely believed 'Old' Lin had not been sick, he was not quarantined from the rest of the monastery and his brothers were invited to pay their respects before his pyre was made. However, the day many of the monks and trainees gathered to say farewell, that same cough was heard echoing through the courtyard. Although untrained ears could have easily let such a circumstance pass without noticing, the attention of some of the senior monks was piqued. After just a single round of that specific cough, the senior monks' eyes met, and with wordless but full deliberation, went into motion. Da Jian, the abbot of the monastery, rose from his seat overlooking the heart of the monastery with calm eyes but a racing heart and announced, “Brothers. Ilmater has claimed a wise and strong member of our order. He suffered and silently served our monastery for most of his many years among the living, and now he will serve at Ilmater's side. As he had done while among us, I ask the same of you now. Go back to your dormitories without spending any more time here before the ceremony and wait for announcements to come from a senior monk. I am sorry for the break in tradition, but an explanation will come later.” Without a word, the monks and trainees bowed their heads, turned on their heels and made their way to their quarters. The older monks who had not heard what the most sensitive had were obviously annoyed with the abbot's announcement but did not protest publicly.

The events that followed were swift and devastating. Although the senior monks moved quickly and mindfully during those first few days after Lin Jie's death, the damage had already been done. Within a week, one quarter of the monastery began to show symptoms. Within a month, only a third were free of the molten spots of color. Those who showed any signs of the sickness would die. There was no cure that the brothers could find. It was during this month that Zhao Zhou was recruited by the healers of the monastery as a runner and harvester. There were many traditional herbs and soils that were used in the medicines prepared by those monks trained in the healing arts, and Zhao Zhou was sent to gather them. The sickness was deemed completely natural but still unaffected by diving magic, therefore, it fell on the monks to seek out natural means for its cure. Zhao was sent to gather the root of a particular plant at a certain age growing in a specific place during an exact time of day or gather water from a special pool that had to be at an appropriate temperature. Zhao was trained in the art of precision and subtlety, two lessons that he had started learning as a fighter but now had to refine in life for the sake of his brothers. The senior healers recognized his powerful ability in observation but had no time to recognize or praise him; they just didn't have the strength. One day, while shaving the moss from a rare fruit tree, Zhao Zhou's attention was brought to a flower that he had never seen before. It had a striking orange-red color as if the square-shaped petals were on fire. The flowers were growing on a treeless slope at the mouth of a cave. This cave, because of the topography of the interior and how different caverns were warmed, cooled, filled and drained, was constantly drawing air into itself; it was an endless inhalation. The thought came to him in a flash. These flowers were the key; he didn't know why, but the feeling was unmistakeable. He harvested the entire grove and ran back to the monastery.

The young monk, out of breath, told the remaining senior healing monk what he had found and the confidence in his discovery. He listened to his story and saw the sparkle in his eyes. He knew Zhao had been touched and immediately saw the parallels. “Ilmater brought you to that dell Zhao Zhou and brought your attention to this cure, the yang we have been looking for.” Zhao was puzzled. Since his beginning at the monastery, he never felt Ilmater DID anything but receive the worship of his fellow monks—Ilmater was a watcher, not a participant. But for the first time, he thought it might be a possibility. The senior monk went on, “This flower is sure to counteract the symptoms of this disease as it is the antithesis of what the disease brings; bluish-green circular blotches undone by red-orange square petals; the cough, a quick exhalation, undone by their location at the cave's mouth. This will work Zhao Zhou.” And it did.

Only two dozen monks and trainees were left after the sickness had made its rounds. Even the abbot had fallen to its effects. There were just a few healers, including Zhao, to actually make and distribute the concocted cure, and all of the other pockets of the monastery had been equally decimated: a few warriors, the abbot's third chair, the meditation instructor, 2 trainees, and a handful of senior, mid-level, and novice monks remained. When the brothers were finally gathered in the courtyard, where they had last met just 6 weeks prior, they hardly filled a corner of the grounds. The now-abbot took his former leader's seat and spoke to the remaining skeleton crew, “Brothers. We have suffered greatly during this dark time. We have lost those we loved most, but such is the nature of existence. It was Ilmater's grace that led us to the cure, and it will be Ilmater's grace that allows us to rebuild our numbers and persevere through the difficulties ahead. All here will be asked a great deal of in the coming months as we must all grow to fill the void of our fallen brothers. However, Ilmater will grant the strength to do so. Of all here gathered, it is Zhao Zhou who will need to grow the fastest. There has never been one so young to take a seat with the senior healers, but his insight and grit during the last month has proved that no one is more suitable as we rebuild.” As he spoke, he turned his gaze to Zhao. The instant their eyes met, Zhao's heart went from practically beating outside of his chest at the announcement to a mild pitter-patter that he could hardly detect. He could again feel the ground under his feet and the slow breeze moving over his freshly-shaved head. Zhao was still. This was the power of one who had attained the way, and Zhao now had a new perspective on all that he would need to do to attain it for himself, for everyone.

Login: Boddhin
Character: ZhaoZhou

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Re: Post stories about your character and earn an award!

Post#18 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:08 pm

I really like what you did there! Not bad at all! I will credit your account now. Thanks for submitting/sharing that with us!
Brian Bloom

Realms of Trinity Executive Producer & Game Creator

Posts: 110

Re: Post stories about your character and earn an award!

Post#19 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:20 am

(Warning: This is quite a long read, sorry in advance, but once the story flowed, it was like a tide)
I walk alone.
It has mostly always been so, and shall likely remain so until the time that Darkness takes me unto his side for my final rest.

* * * * * * * * * * *

It began almost at birth, my mother having to continually place me aside as she continued to slave at my fathers will. I don’t think that being cast aside as a youngling is ever something one truly recovers from.
I was born less than a weeks walk from the city of Saerloon, almost an irony that destiny would be proud of.
My parents were farmers, the backwards country folk that work from sunup to sundown with no thought of expanding their horizons, merely existing to eke a living from the land, pay their taxes and take what little joy they could derive from their own personal idiosyncrasies.
I was the tender age of three when my sister was born. I was deemed ‘fit to work’ and began a life of monotonous drudgery, fate pressing me to follow in the footsteps of my father. I have few memories of that time, none of them pleasant. Not for me the shining happy memories of my mother throwing me into the air with joy or my father ruffling my hair. Perhaps these are things that shape men; if that is so then some deeds that are attributed to me may be more understandable.
Life continued on its sad allotted path for me, with the barest of joys. I learned to read on the one day a week I was absented from farm duties, sent to the local church for ‘religious instruction’. After a period of several weeks, the learned priest, one Father Bartholomew, sought out my father hoping to press my sharp mind into the service of the clergy.
My father told him unequivocally no. From then on, my schooling was performed by an irascible old tinker that lived nearby. He, like me, had dark hair and bright blue eyes.
I rarely saw the woman that birthed me for longer than a half hour of each exhaustingly long and punishing day, and my sister almost not at all.

One thing can be said for farm work. It is intense physical labor for a small child, and my musculature grew to be formidable. As I began to grow at an astonishing rate, the tasks I was set also grew. Felling trees, cutting the trees into useable lumber and then transporting that lumber became a part time job that my father had me do for the tinker. I never knew if my father was paid for my labors; money was not something I had ever heard of. I was not to know the jingle of coins for quite some time.
That kindly old man turned my life around. It was him I first got my first glimpse of magic, from him that I learned of the Heart Rune.

I was barely twelve when I first saw him use magic. It seemed inconsequential at the time; one does not always think of how fires keep alight when one is working in the fields. We had returned to his cabin from a particularly brutal morning of cutting trees, and the entire place was cold. Ice sat in the kettle as I refilled it, and by the time I had managed to fill it with the ladle, my hands were blue and I could not feel them.
My ‘employer’ bespoke a few words that I did not understand and the fire began to roar. I will admit that I leapt in surprise, almost cowering.
I was curtly informed that it was but a fire and it must have flared up from a draft, and that I should warm my hands up before they fell off.
I looked towards the old man, dubious of the reasoning but knowing better than to argue with an adult. It was then that I noticed two things for the first time;
Firstly the painted drawings on the tinkers’ hands were strangely interlinked.
Secondly that these drawings were glowing with an inner ‘light’.
He gave me a conspiratorial smile and bid me closer. As any child, my curiosity burned, overwhelming any fear that may have been present and I went unto him as a moth drawn to flame.

My father, an angry and jealous man by virtue of his nature became suspicious of my continual work for the tinker. I am unsure whether it was the actual work, or the fact that I seemed to return from there almost happy, a condition that was conspicuously absent within my home.
He often asked what the tinker had me do as labors. I answered as I had been schooled; my chores were the more menial tasks that the tinker did not wish to do himself; cleaning the chimney and pig-sty, clearing brambles and so forth. Though he complained at me that it should not have been taking as many hours as it was, to my knowledge he did nothing about it. My father may have been angry and jealous, but let us not forget his inordinate greed.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Thinking back I wonder if he thought me the mans catamite.

* * * * * * * * * * *

In my time at Jeremiah the tinkers’ farm I learned a great many things that were not essentially 'work' as my father would consider it. He taught me the correct way to hold a sword, how to use all of my growing strength to power swings, both of an axe into a tree and of a sword into flesh, should the need ever arise. He taught me to always think for myself, and not always believe what I was told by others. I learned to not only use a blade, but how to repair one if the need arose, and from there how to repair armors of all types. I learned of history, of the fall of Myth Drannor, the rise of Cormyr and Zhentil Keep and numerous other subjects. Religion was a favored study of his, and I learned the names of the Gods, not as a curse, but as a personification.
It was also there that I learned of the concept of money. And that my father was being paid for my services rendered. In the quiet times of the day, during meals, I often glanced at the tattooed arms of his, but never again had I seen the tell tale glow on them.

My father kept up his almost casual brutalization of me into my early teen years, punishing me for failing to gather enough wood, or not cleaning the barn thoroughly enough. Having received his beatings for my entire life I was almost immune to them, as I was immune to the torrent of verbal abuse that seemed to continually spout from his wretched mouth.
My fifteenth year was momentous for several reasons, not the least of which was I was to become a man.
It began as any other year, working the winter out in the fields. Winter deepened, becoming the worst in remembered history. Wells froze solid, trees exploded as their sap froze and expanded, livestock died in the hundreds. Predators prowled farms, and rumors abounded that they were not mere wolves, but the ferocious worgs and werewolves.
During one such storm I was helping Jeremiah to gather his erstwhile sheep which had decided, in their sheepish wisdom that they would fare better outside in a snowstorm than within a warm sheltered barn.
We had been getting the last of the sheep back towards the barn when a loud crack echoed across the landscape. I turned swiftly, and saw a tree branch falling towards Jeremiah from above, its bough heavily laden with snow. In a moment I saw my future flash before me; Jeremiah dead in the snow, killed by the branch, me returning to my fathers farm to live the squalid life he hoped for me. Despair boiled in me, I pointed to the branch and called a single word.
The remembered pain of that first calling burns me still, even after all these years. I cannot coherently remember what happened, but Jeremiah later explained that I had used magic to stop the branch hitting its natural target by simply disintegrating it.
From Jeremiahs account, both then the snow that had formally graced the branch and I followed the laws of physics, collapsing upon the ground.

When I awoke I was within his home, laid out on a bed, my fathers enraged voice echoing through the house. My chest ached abominably, my breastbone felt as if it was afire, and I was swaddled in bandages from my hips to my armpits. Slowly I came to understand what my fathers shouting was about; he was demanding recompense for my injury. He cared little that I was apparently near death, only for the loss of coin that this might entail to him. In a moment of silence, I heard a soft weeping. Knowing it was not my father, I tried to gain my feet, but only managed to let out a weakened groan, which I quickly stifled.
“Jaek?” came a soft voice, the weeping subsiding momentarily “Jaek, are you alive?”
I glanced around the dimly lit room, seeing for the first time the small form of my young sister, her lithe body already beginning to thrum with the beginnings of womanhood.
“Elli?” I whispered, using a name I knew for a person that I saw little of, but loved all the same
“Oh Jaek, please tell me you are alright” she sobbed, moving closer. Her grimy face was partially cleaned by the trail of tears that had streaked down her face, her hair matted and disheveled.
I took a breath, testing my chest. Pain ripped through it unmercifully, cutting my breath short
“I will survive” I said stoically, “though I am very sore right now”
Elliandra burst into a fresh bout of tears
“Hush now” I said feebly “It will be ok”
The row in the other room seemed to have died down, only the occasional noise could be heard, always an outcry from my father of “not enough!”
“Jaek what happened?” Elliandra asked, taking my large hand in her smaller one.
“I don’t know Elli” I replied, speaking the truth “Jeremiah was in trouble and I did something, I’m not sure what, and it hurt me”
My sister accepted my story and crawled next to me in the bed, snuggling in close, as she used to as a smaller child in the winter, letting us combine our blankets and body heat.
“Jaek, I’m so scared. Father keeps hitting Mama now that you are away more, and keeps saying strange things”
My whole body tensed with dread at these few words, but I forced my voice out past the lump in my throat. Jeremiah had educated me enough in the ways of man for my stomach to churn at her revelation
“Oh? What does he say, Elli?” I asked softly through clenched teeth
Her voice was heavy with sadness as she replied “Only that you’ll be dead soon, and then Mama will go away, and it’ll be him and me. He calls me his ‘little Mama’ Jaek and I don’t like it. I want Mama to stay”
I shuddered at the impact of these words, my thoughts spiraling dizzily
“I’m glad you’re awake now Jaek” Elliandra continued “It will make everything better, I just know it”
“Elli?” I asked “How long have I been asleep for?”
Her small head looked at me and she spoke softly “A long time. I’ve been to day school three times”
I slowly shook my head in disbelief. Three weeks. Three weeks of being unconscious, near death. No wonder I felt thinner, and more than half starved.
My fathers’ voice cut through my thoughts, his shout cutting through the silence
“Elliandra, time for us to go home”
My sister stiffened beside me, almost burrowing into me.
“Elli, it’s ok” I whispered “tell them that I am waking up”
My sister slid from the bed, leaving the room. Her voice carried back to me as she told them that I was waking up. I heard Jeremiahs voice, full of joy, praising Elliandra, telling her that she had been right, that she would be able to help me recover. My father did not seem so pleased; his only words were along the lines of “let’s see how long it will be before the bastard can work”

It was but a day after my awakening that I arose from the bed. Jeremiah seemed surprised at my recovery, even a little awed.
“What happened?” I asked simply, as we sat for breakfast
“I have told you of the Gods, and the miracles that their true priests can call upon” Jeremiah answered “But that ‘magic’ is not the only type that exists” He cleared his throat, almost self consciously “There is another type of magic, Jaek, called Arcane, that some folk have the power to manipulate.”
I looked at him, my mind as always grasping small facts and setting them in their logical places.
“You can do this” I stated.
Jeremiah nodded slowly “Yes. Yes Jaek, I am what is known as a Wizard”
I nodded slowly, absorbing and recalibrating my thoughts.
“Is it catching?” I asked “This power, did I catch it from you?”
The question seemed to take Jeremiah by surprise; he opened and closed his eyes rapidly in succession as his face flushed red then white then red again. I blinked, surprised at his normally placid face giving so much away from a simple question. My mind, always quick with leaps of logic proceeded down a prior-to undiscovered pathway of thought at astounding speed.
“You lay with my mother, I am your child” I stated calmly.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I had often wondered, growing up, why my father seemed to both hover over me possessively, yet hold me in an almost uncertain reverential hatred. I now knew.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Jeremiah took his time with explanations after that, telling how he had come to our village fair years ago, and met my mother, who was already betrothed. They had been caught up in their own passions, and had secretly begun trysting. Days before the planned wedding Jeremiah had found out, through his magic, that my mother was pregnant. He immediately ended their sordid relationship, though did not tell her of her condition. In due time she was married, and 8 months later gave birth to a strong, healthy, swarthy skinned, dark haired baby boy, that bore little resemblance to his light haired and pale skinned father.
Jeremiah stayed well clear of both child and woman, hoping to allay any suspicions, but unable to leave a child of his without knowing it’s full potential.

* * * * * * * * * * *

He now knew, and was glad that he had stayed. I am also sure that he hoped to one day be able to reclaim his lost love.

* * * * * * * * * * *

My bandages were removed that day, and no injuries were apparent on my frame, except a freshly puckered scar over my heart about the size of my palm.
“What is this” I asked, poking the scar gently
The tinker peered closely at my chest and drew in a sharp breath “Look in the mirror” Jeremiah advised me.
One of the things that had fascinated me from a young age was this mirror, the ability to see the world in reverse, see yourself as others might perceive you. I had often watched things in the mirror, both myself and other things, both as a study and as a casual pastime.
I was not disappointed; my face looked slightly haggard, a pale, unhealthy sheen to it highlighted by darkened circles under my eyes. My body was painfully thin to the point of emaciation, but what drew my eyes was the scar. It seemed carved into the skin delicately, an intricate marking. As I ran my fingers over it I could feel it pulsing, and when my fingers moved away there was a small flash, almost lightning like, from my fingertips to the rune.
“That, Jaek, is a heart rune, It will be the source of your power, if you so wish it.”
To say I was stunned is an understatement. Here at my very fingertips was something that I had only read about as a legend.
“Will it hurt me every time?” I heard myself asking
Jeremiah shook his head slowly “Only when you draw energies far beyond what you yourself can carry do the Gods punish one for the use of Arcane magic” he replied.
I started “Punished by the Gods?” I asked, disbelievingly
Jeremiah nodded solemnly. “Aye, some of the Gods see magic as a bad thing, beyond their control” he said “it draws on the powers of the Beyond, and therefore is uncontrolled by the Gods themselves” he continued.
My mind, which had been aflame with images of me wielding arcane power to serve the good of mankind slowly closed in on itself.
“Do you only use magic in emergencies then?” I asked
The old man shook his head “I used to use it for the pleasure” he replied “but it is almost like a narcotic, Jaek. Once you start to feel it infusing you, it is a difficult thirst to slake”
I stood there wide eyed, suddenly afraid of this power that now seemed to infuse me.
“Then I shall be a warrior” I declared.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Life is full of irony, and youth is full of wise decisions that are unheeded by an older mind. Perhaps this was one of those, perhaps not.

* * * * * * * * * * *
The next day I headed back to my own ‘home’, though in truth it was far less than that. It was a place where I was uniquely imprisoned, enslaved and tortured.
Elliandra was delighted with my return, mother in her usual way was completely apathetic but not so my father, who was verging on hostile.
“You ready to get back to work boy?” was his greeting.
I was bone thin, emaciated from my three weeks with only dribbled broth for sustenance, yet he sought to work me already. I nodded, not trusting myself to talk through the haze of red that suddenly filled my vision. He must have sensed something then, some form of danger, for his next words were not near as foul as I was used to hearing.
“You’ve been missed about here son, it’s been a tough winter without your strength”
My rage subsided at the pleading look I received from my sister, forcing a smile, I lied through my teeth and spoke
“It’s good to be home”

I had recovered remarkably well, but winter dragged on interminably, forcing my family into the small confines of the home. With my return my mothers odd bruising seemed to abate, my sister growing more cheerful. We finally got to know each other, for now, more than any other time in our short lives, we had little to do. Only so much firewood was required each day, and there is a limit to the amount of clothing one can dirty if they only have two sets. Little was required outside, the animals were secure in the barn, but a door away from us, and all of their foodstuffs were inside.
I took that time to reflect upon what my life had taught me, and to make some decisions on where I wished to go as a man. I ate as well as I could, slowly regaining the weight I had lost.
My natural musculature returned, and I practised Jeremiahs exercises in the barn, leaving me in peak physical condition. The thought of my upcoming manhood excited me, almost as much as it frightened me.
After my 16th birthday my father would be obliged to pay me for my labors. Nothing had been said, but I knew that it was heavy upon his mind too, for I often caught him staring at me, brooding.

I also practiced with my heart rune, drawing small sparks from it, and concentrating on holding them in the palm of my hand. With practice, and believe me I had a lot over that winter, I became more proficient, being able to call forth a small globe of power and use it to light my way to the outhouse in the dead of night.

Spring finally began to show itself, none too soon for my small family. Squabbles were occurring with regular monotony. I am sure it was only the large supply of ale that kept my sot of a father drunk most of the winter that prevented him causing more trouble than he did. Towards the end of winter and the end of the ale barrel, we were all bruised from his excessive abuses, my mother at one time sporting two blackened eyes and a broken nose. Elliandra seemed to shrivel inside of herself during the times of violence, and I would hear her praying under her breath to one of the Gods. I forget which it was, but regardless of her prayers, they were never answered.

A semblance of normality returned as the cold weather finally passed, and work returned to the farm. I spent the first week fixing fences and such on our own property before my father once again rented me out to Jeremiah.
As an aside, in his own conceited way my father was an astute businessman. He knew that I would soon have to be paid, and that he would not do so, therefore he sent me off of the farm to earn extra coin which he would need to provide for himself in the coming months.

Jeremiah was unusually introverted as we began our work, not exactly unfriendly, more pre-occupied. Times where we would normally chat were spent in silence. After a few days of such, I approached him, asking what was wrong. His curt reply was that soon I would be a man, and perhaps then I would understand.
The unusual and irrational behavior of my tutor bothered me more than I liked to admit, and I was often surly upon my return home. This was exacerbated by my fathers continual insults, telling me that I would ‘never survive as a man on my own’, and that I was as ‘useless as tits on a bull’.
It came to a head three days before my birthday. My father, drunker than usual, returned from the local Inn after a night of spending too much money that we didn’t have spare.
His first action as he walked in the door was to bawl for my mother to fix him some food. Mother, tired from her constant drudgery, was slow to react and my father decided that it was fine idea to once again beat her senseless.
Elliandra began her whimpering cry, setting my father into a deeper rage. A few punches later, with my mother unconscious, he ascended to the loft where both I and my sister slept, his drunken rage growing with each misstep on the ladder.
Finally he reached the landing, and moved towards the cowering form of my thirteen year old sister. His drunken stench reached my nose, fueling my own anger at this invasion. He then reached for Elliandra, speaking softly in the dim light.
“Time for you to become a woman in a real mans' eyes my girl” He slurred. He then ripped at her nightdress.

Anger coalesced into pure rage within me as my father began to paw at my naked, screaming, squealing sister. I leapt from the bed and moved behind him, grabbing a fist full of his hair and pulling him bodily off of Elliandra. It was with some astonishment I noted that I was taller than him. His drunken, lust filled eyes turned to me, and fire filled them.
“You little cu-”
My fist smashed his mouth, cannoning him from his feet, right over the railing of the loft onto the bench below. I leapt after him, landing on the kitchen floor as he groggily got upwards from the ruins of the bench
“I’ll kill you for that” he hissed, grabbing a large knife from the sideboard “I’ll kill you and then have both of these bitches in your blood before you are cold”
His threat was laced with malice, almost sixteen years worth of it, and he moved towards me.
I reached back, groping for something, anything to defend myself with, Jeremiahs lessons bursting into my head.
I found a chopping board.
My father swung the knife like a broad sword, a wide blow coming in towards my shoulder. I danced backwards, and threw the large piece of timber like a disc at his face. It smashed into his mouth, shattering teeth and spraying blood across the floor. He fell as if pole axed.
I walked forwards slowly, my mind racing, options bursting open inside my brain.
I knelt over the prone form of the man that had abused me since before I could crawl, emotions warring inside of me. Slowly I reached for the knife still clasped within his unconscious grip. The timber handle felt strangely cool within my hand, years of use by my mother having worn it smooth as silk. I looked around, seeing my unconscious mother being tended by my half-naked sister, her night dress pulled hastily over the tears and rips, and again my anger surged. I could end this agony for them now.
Almost of its own volition the knife descended towards my fathers’ throat.
I held it there, in place over his jugular for a time.
Slowly he regained consciousness, taking in his situation in a blurry glance.
“Get off of me you little prick” my father whispered through his shattered mouth, his eyes on my face. “We both know you don’t have the balls to kill a man”
His green eyes looked vivid with rage in the dim light, their gaze locked onto mine. With morbid curiosity I searched his face for a hint of fear or sorrow, but hatred and loathing was the only thing apparent. Looking at him, it was obvious that he believed his own words, never considering my intentions more than mere speculation.
“You are wrong” I replied calmly, and plunged the knife down.
Dawn was still far off as I took the corpse into the trees and began to dig.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I know that if I had stayed my hand, I would now be part of the Gods great ‘Cycle of Life’. I’ve never held a moments sorrow nor regret for the death of that man.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Elliandra treated mother with great care over the next few days, for she was unable to even get out of bed. Her jaw was broken, as was her nose once again, and even one of her arms. Most of her body was bruised, yellow-brown bruising overlaid with fresh purpled blotches.
Elli did not ask about our father. I am sure she saw what happened, but neither of us wanted to voice the fact that I had murdered our own father in the coldest of cold blood.

Jeremiah came by four days after the incident, seeking news on why I had not been attending his homestead. I gave rather vague excuses, something about my father not having come home from the inn several days past.
He gave me an odd look, asking after the rest of my family.
Elliandra sought his help in healing mother as soon as she heard his voice.
I could see his hesitancy in seeing the woman that he had once loved, and intuited that he still did.
His awkwardness disappeared almost as soon as he gazed upon her ravaged face.

* * * * * * * * * * *

To this day I have not seen a mans love rekindle as fast as it did right there.
I do not consider myself able to judge thoroughly what love is, but the look in Jeremiahs eyes was enough to enforce the belief that for him, she was it.

* * * * * * * * * * *

He instantly forgot any other issues as he questioned my little sister about my mothers’ condition, and what remedies she had been providing.
He nodded, listening intently and smiling encouragingly at the small girl that was fast being thrust into womanhood.
Jeremiah made a few suggestions, and then told Elli that he would be back later with some poultices.
As I walked him from the farm he took me by the arm, turning me and looking into my face
“Jaek, this has to stop. Your mother has almost died at the hands of that mad-man that she married. I intend to go to the council and have him punished.”
I looked into Jeremiahs eyes, the mirror of my own.
“He now lays is beyond punishment” I said with a dreadful finality.
A tear rose in Jeremiahs eyes as he gazed at me, interpreting my words.
He nodded once. “My poor boy” was all he said, gathering me into his arms, expecting an outpour of emotion. I stood awkwardly in his embrace for a few moments, then bid him farewell, entreating him to hurry back to care for my mother.
Jeremiah became a permanent fixture in the house from that day forth.

Almost no one in the village asked where my father had gone. A few of his drinking buddies made pointed enquiries of me one day when I was in town to gather some supplies, but I played stupid with them, simply replying to their questions that “Pa din’t come home one night”.
I stood by looking stupid as they discussed this, and left as they all agreed that my father must have finally grown bored with the “stupid bitch” and moved onto greener pastures.

Jeremiah sold his homestead and moved into my mothers’ house, at first bunking in the loft while my sister stayed in my mothers’ room, but finally moving into her room when it became apparent that the flame had been rekindled by both parties. I did not begrudge him this, nor did Elliandra.
I continued to do my work on the farm in the mornings, and every afternoon was spent in training.
Under Jeremiahs tutelage I became proficient in handling a blade, the staff, and the dagger. He taught me the weapons of warfare, and how best to use them.
I saved as much coin as I could, and with a large gift from Jeremiah, finally bought my own suit of chain mail armor.
It was bulky and when it rained made me smell like a rusty bucket, but after time became like a second skin. I wore it as I did my chores, and again when I practiced my weapons. Jeremiah crafted me a shield from an old tree that fell down in the paddocks, and this too became part of my training regime.
Night times were spent whittling and crafting, learning from Jeremiah the intricacies of smith-work, of leather working and even fashioning crude blades.
“You’ll get better with practice” he told me one such time.
I occasionally ‘felt’ him tamper with something magically, my heart rune almost singing to me when such occurrences happened.

As I approached my 16th birthday I started seriously considering my future. I had amassed the skills of an untested warrior. No matter how often Jeremiah and I dueled, there was always the certain knowledge that no fatality would occur. I surpassed my teacher in skill now, and he often commented on my extraordinary ability to defend myself.
“You have a gift for defense, Jaek” Jeremiah told me, you seem to be able to anticipate where blows are coming from, and either block the blow or simply not be there when it arrives. I see a great future for you in the guard” He smiled then and clapped his hand onto my mailed shoulder.
I returned the smile and slid the ancient short sword that I practiced with into its’ sheath.
“We’ll see” I replied.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Even at that stage of my life I had greater ambitions than to become a mere guardsman. There is nothing wrong with them I suppose, but they seem so... well, boring.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I awoke early on the day of my ‘manhood’, filled with anticipation and a buoyant hope for my life. My future was largely unwritten and I stood upon its’ threshold, peeking outwards.
The sun shone a glorious blue, not a cloud marred its endless expanse. An old spider had woven its intricate web in the eve of the house and I gloried in the mathematical perfection of its pattern. With a smile I began my daily chores, moving through them rapidly. The cow herd picked up on my exuberance and became quite frisky, making me laugh as they danced around their yard. Our dog too leapt about like a thing possessed, its tail wagging furiously as it chased a daring rabbit that had been scratching in the vegetable garden.
Everything was perfect.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Fate is such a cruel mistress sometimes.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The afternoon began with the age old tradition of learning to shave. Jeremiah walked me through the procedure, chuckling as the blood began to flow from my numerous nicks and cuts.
My pride, however was unwounded, my face clear, the light dusting of downy fluff long gone.
We then ate, and ate well. I passed on the offer of ale, seeing as how it had corroded my father. That was a path I would never walk.
Next came the gifting. I must admit that I was sorely awaiting this part of the day, but the build up to it was half of the enjoyment.
From my mother I received a small silver ring on a chain. It had the image of a full moon graven in it, the moon looking mysteriously like an eye.
From my sister I received a tooled battle harness of leather, warrior style, from the hide of one of our own steers recently slaughtered.
The leather was dark, almost black, with brass buckles polished within an inch of their lives.
Jeremiah brought out his gift meticulously wrapped in an old cloth. I took it with a smile, wondering what it was, even as I opened it up. The shimmer of steel flashed in the sunlight as I unveiled it, a five foot straight blade atop a silver inlaid mother of pearl hilt. I gasped even as I thrilled in holding such a magnificent weapon
“I began crafting that blade sixteen years ago to the day” he commented idly “I sort of hoped it would go to my own son.” He winked “I guess you’re close enough”
“I... I don’t know what to say” I murmured
“You don’t need to say a thing,” he replied. “but you do need to know that it is not a normal blade. It will never dull nor break, nor get caught within an opponents’ armor or flesh”
My eyes widened at his declaration, as did the eyes of my entire family.
“A princely gift” my mother stated, moving forwards to give me a hug.
I returned the hug awkwardly, and then clasped Jeremiahs hand tightly.
Elliandra then threw herself into a wild hug, one that I could reciprocate with feeling.
I was a man.
The rest of the afternoon passed in a blur. I remember cavorting around with my new blade, vigorously attacking, and shattering the practice dummies in the barn, but asides from that, little memory of that afternoon stays with me.

Around dusk one of the neighbors’ children came running in to spread news, stating that the Frozen Heart were in the village, questioning folk.
Not much was known of the Frozen Heart. It was rumored that they were a band of mercenaries-gone-good, led by a paladin. I took the gossip inside to my family.
Mother and Elliandra were interested in the news, but as I told them what I had heard I saw Jeremiahs face go white. He feigned a smile, as the women grew starry eyed about ‘Heart Warriors’, and soon after asked me if I could help him gather some wood.

“The Frozen Heart,” Jeremiah said, unconsciously taking a scholarly tone “were founded about twenty years ago and is lead by a zealous paladin named Anasath Zesiro. They revel in the destruction of anything Arcane; items or practitioners” His eyes suddenly had a hunted look in them.
“They rarely travel abroad from Saerloon city unless they perceive some threat to the Church,” he continued “And they are said to merciless in their God sworn duties”.
Jeremiah started swearing softly to himself.
“Do you think they are here for you?” I asked, seeing his distress
“Possibly. They normally only attend somewhere that the Veil has been breached, but I have been very careful ever since I arrived here to do no such thing.”
I looked at him questioningly. “What is a Veil?”
He looked up at me suddenly, his eyes narrowing. “The Veil, or Weave is the boundary between this world, and The Beyond, where powerful magicks are formed” he explained. “Powerful Wizards can pierce the Veil to draw these magicks through and utilize them, but in doing so it can alert others that watch for these signs, as well as injure an unprepared Wiza…” he finished his sentence staring at me
“Jaek, you need to go” He said. “They are tracking you”
I blinked in shock and surprise “Me?” I said “Why me?”
Jeremiah was gathering gear already “Get your armor on” He said tersely “And get your sword and shield. You have about five minutes to be gone, if it isn’t already too late”
To say I was numb with shock is an apt description; nevertheless I did as I was bid, donning my chain shirt and battle harness, strapping my blade across my back and hefting my shield.
“Go and say something to your Mother and sister, Jaek” Jeremiah ordered.
I ran back to the house, babbling to my mother something about me going on a camp-out in the woods for a day or two to celebrate becoming a man. She hugged me tightly and kissed my forehead.
“Have fun” was all she said.
Elliandra hugged me fiercely and told me to be careful of wolves, and then I left.

Jeremiah had a pack filled by the time I returned and strode towards me purposely
“Good luck my boy” he said, handing the pack to me “May Wyvernspur guide your feet.”
I nodded and began to walk away. Stopping I turned around to find Jeremiah staring at me “Thank you for everything Jeremiah” I said, and gave him a smile.
He raised his hand and then walked back into the house.

I walked steadily away from the house until I reached the tree line, and then turned back as I heard the thunder of hoof beats. Mounted warriors milled around the house, some few hundred yards away.
I stood behind a tree, watching carefully. Though I could see Jeremiah talking to the warriors, I could hear nothing from this distance. Half a dozen soldiers dismounted and entered the house, returning several minutes later, shaking their heads. I could quite clearly see the leader of this group, a female with white hair and darkish skin, who leaned forwards and slapped Jeremiah. Vague yelling could be heard, and almost imperceptibly my Heart Rune began to tingle.
“No” I whispered

Flames erupted from Jeremiahs hands, fanning outwards into the warriors, and screams rent the air. Elliandra ran towards the barn as my Heart Rune again flared, and more fire erupted near the house, a large detonation throwing men from the backs of their maddened mounts. The leader of the guards seemed to be untouched by the magicks now pouring from my true father, scything through soldiers like a sickle through cornstalks. My mother leapt at the female warrior, who casually ran her through, the blade bursting from her back in a sickening red plume. I felt a shuddering through my whole body as my mother fell to the ground, but this was suddenly eclipsed by the coalescing power expanding from my Heart Rune as I saw first hand what Jeremiah had spoken of earlier that night; the rending of the Veil.
The sky turned red as boiling rocks plummeted towards the ground at my fathers’ direction, smashing the guardsmen into the very earth with their impact. Even from where I was I could feel the impact, and the noise was almost beyond bearing. I watched with detached fascination and wonder as the flaming balls smote the guards.
Moments later, through a break in the devastation, I saw Jeremiah beheaded.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Watching a man being beheaded is a strange thing. The nervous system will hold the body upright for several moments as the arteries spray their goods to the world. The body doesn’t even know it is dead for a second or two.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I collapsed where I was, having seen both of my true parents cut down within seconds of each other by the white haired woman. I was torn between charging towards the remaining guards and pitting my sword against theirs, and fleeing into the night. Guilt assailed me as I recalled Jeremiahs words
“Jaek, you need to go, they are tracking you”. I finally understood why;
The time that I saved Jeremiahs life by destroying the branch with magic had torn the Veil, and it was noticed.

Eventually I recovered my senses, and came from whatever delirium had encompassed me, and my way haltingly back to the house. A couple of corpses still decorated the yard. Obviously the soldiers had left them behind and slung my parent over the slain soldiers’ horses as they left in a hurry. I took the time to check them over, making sure they were all dead, though how anything might have lived through such an inferno was beyond my comprehension.
The soldiers were all dressed similarly, and they had a white heart motif graven into their armor.
“The Frozen Heart” I murmured softly. I suddenly remembered my sister fleeing to the barn, and hurried there.
The door was broken, staved in, and I moved in fearing to see the corpse of my sister. Instead there was nothing amiss. The animals were still penned, and seemed unruffled. There was no sign of blood nor a struggle.
My sister too was gone.

I spent the next few hours of darkness searching in vain for tracks that Elliandra had escaped, but found none. I surmised that she must have been taken by, or given herself over to the Frozen Heart.
As midnight approached I gathered what I could from the house, supplementing the supplies that Jeremiah had gathered. I took a couple of daggers from the dead guards, and replaced my wooden shield with one of light steel and took one of the crossbows that I found that was undamaged.
I stripped the mail from their corpses, reasoning that if I couldn’t make something useful from it, I could sell it later on down the line.
I took the small bundle of coin that had been secreted in a hollowed wall in my mothers’ room, and with a final glance at the house, walked away, never to look back.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Truth be told, I had never been attached to that house. It was never a Home, merely a place where I dwelt.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I have no idea where I wondered for the next month. I merely awoke and walked, crossing rolling hills dotted with the occasional clump of trees as I headed west. Far to the north I could see a forest, and a mountain range. I bathed in gurgling streams and drank from still ponds where fish frolicked. The occasional farmstead I saw I avoided and I saw no other travelers. A time or two I saw mounted patrols in the distance, though whether they were seeking me or not I never asked, I merely moved into shelter and continued on my way. I ate my way through my supplies and survived on the occasional deer or goat brought down by a well placed bolt from my crossbow. Eventually I reached the bank of a swift flowing river. To the north the swampland was now visible, and beyond that still towered mountains, to the south the land seemed clearer, to the west a great hillock was visible, towering over a small forest in the distance. I chose to head north, and after two slowly meandering days I began to see signs of civilization.

It was soon after this that I discovered the road east, and following it brought me to the gates of a city. Subtle questions brought about its' name.

Character name: Jaek Kalentine
Jaek Kalantine

Boltzar Nightsfury


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Posts: 3228

Re: Post stories about your character and earn an award!

Post#20 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:04 pm

Wow, that's an intense story, Necrosphere! Thank you for putting the time into that and I credited your account with your reward! Thanks again!
Brian Bloom

Realms of Trinity Executive Producer & Game Creator

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