Narrative: Fall, CY 613 – And so it begins

Fall, 613 CY, Cryllor, temple to Pelor

“And so it begins.”

Brother Conrad finished putting the last bandage on the arm of the teamster and was explaining the need to keep the dressing dry and clean when a knock at his door interrupted him. He excused himself, walked to the door and opened it. Outside was a tall man dressed in the robes of their order standing in the flagstone hall. “Father Bartholomew, please enter.” said Brother Conrad as he swung the door wide, bidding him to enter. He first met this man here, shortly after he arrived after the Time of Troubles.

Brother Conrad furtively watched Father Bartholomew as he finished with his patient. He saw Father Bartholomew study the furnishings, books and the small golden icon to their god, then gaze out the small window with his one good eye, seemingly impatient. Brother Conrad finished with the teamster, led him to the door, and returned to his guest. “It is good to see you Father, will you be here long?” Brother Conrad was fond of Father Bartholomew, enjoyed his stories, and wished to see the lands like he did. But Conrad’s talents lay in the healing arts, not the conversion of the masses and his order needed that more than converts now, especially in a city filled to the brim with people.

“Just a few days Brother Conrad, I am here to see the Lord Abbot. I have news, wonderful news.” Conrad saw the joy in the one good eye as he studied the face of Father Bartholomew. It was a joy he had not seen in a very long time. “Our lord has seen fit to reveal a glimpse unto me.”

“The light is returning.”

Narrative: CY 611 – The Search Part II

Autumn, CY 611 CY The Search Part II

War, pestilence and starvation had plunged the Sheldomar Valley into a pain and suffering almost too great to endure.  “How could I feel this old in less than two score years,” he wondered aloud as he walked through the crowded market. A few of the shoppers nearby gave him strange looks as he talked to himself. The market was alive with the haggling and shouting of the vendors, but it was a merely a shade of what he remembered from his childhood.

Even the resilient citizens of Cryllor reach a point where they break and would never be forged anew. “The crucible needs to refine the metal, not destroy it, if you want to make a sharp blade or sturdy hammer.” That was the advice given by a surly dwarf met in this same market all those years ago.  It seems the very thought of that dwarf and our companions still brings more joy than sorrow. Will the crucible of these times destroy these good people or forge them into a bastion of strength and resolve?

Everywhere he went he saw hunger and disease, pain and death. The remnants of the Times of Trouble still echoed loudly even after all these years. “Not a long period of time for a dwarf or an elf, but I have too few summers left to see if the seeds I plant will grow into the heroes who can restore peace and deliver prosperity for future generations,” he mused.

His thoughts were broken by a tug at his sleeve. “Will you want the usual, Master Clearspring?” It was Sandoval the Bald, his usual wine merchant.

Absently he responded, “Yes, and have it delivered to my shop, payment on delivery as usual.”

Sandoval paused a moment, and then continued. “A question, if you don’t mind; you have a small dry goods store, no family to speak of and yet you buy wine by the hogshead every fortnight. Do you swim in it?” A quick laugh and a smile was all that was needed to deflect such curiosity. Wine was one of the most useful ways to loosen the tongues of those who would be heroes, doomed to an unmarked grave or those who had the potential to be the sword or hammer the kingdom needed. How many start to seek fame and fortune only to find they serve a higher purpose for the greater good?  A question only the gods could answer.

The handbills posted in the local taverns, guilds, refugee camps and the city gates always brought out a crowd. The mere mention of adventure, fame, and fortune (with a free glass of wine) made the curious and the brave come out. For nigh on three years these meetings had withered to only a few who possessed the skills required to survive the adventuring life. Those who showed potential were either old campaigners long in the tooth or those too young and unskilled to survive an encounter with an angry bar wench, let alone orcs, trolls, or worse.

His shop was small and unremarkable from the outside. Always cautious, the door locked and shutters closed; a quick hand gesture and a few minor words of arcana would reveal any magical auras. The only emanations were on the expected items. Unlocking the door, he entered, and quietly relocked the door. With a word he moved through the ether between places to a warehouse on the outskirts of Niole Dra.

“Welcome back, my friend.” the scowling Dwarf exclaimed. “We have serious matters at hand. When will you give up on these fishing trips?” In his mind, “Never” was the answer.

“Where are those the kingdom will need?  When I find them, I will guide them, prepare them, and forge them for the future.”

Narrative: CY 610 – What Once Was

What Once Was, Fall, 610 CY, The Axewood

Kimbertos knelt amongst the thinning bush and sited down the arrow shaft timing the movements of the deer he took aim at. The creature was thin, but it was the most promising target that he had found all day. Game was becoming harder to find in the Axewood with all the competing factions struggling to survive now.

“Slow breath in, slow breath out.” he murmured quietly to himself… and loose. The twang of the bow string seemed to hang in the air.His target, a thin deer, bucked and leapt off through the brush. Kimbertos rose slowly and made his way to where the buck had been standing. “Blood trail,” he thought, “Well, that’s a good sign.” He followed the trail through the brush a few yards and found the creature laying still, an arrow protruding from behind the right leg. Dropping his bow and quiver, he drew his knife to begin dressing the animal.

“That’s a fine prize,” he heard from behind him, “Enough for everyone to share.” Looking over his shoulder he saw a young man dressed in woodland garb perched on a rock outcropping.

“Why, yes it is.” he replied. Turning back to the task at hand, “If you would care to help, I am sure that we could both benefit.” Kimbertos said.

“Oh, I think I have a better plan in mind.” he heard as Kimbertos felt the sword blade touch his shoulder and neck. Kimbertos froze, and then slowly looked up to see several others had now arrived, some with bows drawn and trained on him. “When I said ‘enough for everyone to share’, I might have had a little something different in mind.” The man removed the blade from Kimbertos’s neck. “However, we thank you for the meal and for that we will let you live. How’s that for a benefit?” The man’s friends laughed at this. One of the group stooped over to pick up the deer while the others kept watch.

“Taking a man’s kill is a dangerous game nowadays.” Kimbertos said while he gritted his teeth.

The man looked at him with interest. “What once was yours is now mine.”  With a wink and a bow, the man added, “You could say that about a lot of things now, couldn’t you?”

Narrative: Autumn, CY 612 – The Search

Autumn, CY 612 – The Search

War, pestilence and starvation had plunged the Sheldomar Valley into a pain and suffering almost too great to endure.  “How could I feel this old in less than two score years,” he wondered aloud as he walked through the crowded market. A few of the shoppers nearby gave him strange looks as he talked to himself. The market was alive with the haggling and shouting of the vendors, but it was a merely a shade of what he remembered from his childhood.

Even the resilient citizens of Cryllor reach a point where they break and would never be forged anew. “The crucible needs to refine the metal, not destroy it, if you want to make a sharp blade or sturdy hammer.” That was the advice given by a surly dwarf met in this same market all those years ago.  It seems the very thought of that dwarf and our companions still brings more joy than sorrow. Will the crucible of these times destroy these good people or forge them into a bastion of strength and resolve?

Everywhere he went he saw hunger and disease, pain and death. The remnants of the Times of Trouble still echoed loudly even after all these years. “Not a long period of time for a dwarf or an elf, but I have too few summers left to see if the seeds I plant will grow into the heroes who can restore peace and deliver prosperity for future generations,” he mused.

His thoughts were broken by a tug at his sleeve. “Will you want the usual, Master Clearspring?” It was Sandoval the Bald, his usual wine merchant.

Absently he responded, “Yes, and have it delivered to my shop, payment on delivery as usual.”

Sandoval paused a moment, and then continued. “A question, if you don’t mind; you have a small dry goods store, no family to speak of and yet you buy wine by the hogshead every fortnight. Do you swim in it?” A quick laugh and a smile was all that was needed to deflect such curiosity. Wine was one of the most useful ways to loosen the tongues of those who would be heroes, doomed to an unmarked grave or those who had the potential to be the sword or hammer the kingdom needed. How many start to seek fame and fortune only to find they serve a higher purpose for the greater good?  A question only the gods could answer.

The handbills posted in the local taverns, guilds, refugee camps and the city gates always brought out a crowd. The mere mention of adventure, fame, and fortune (with a free glass of wine) made the curious and the brave come out. For nigh on three years these meetings had withered to only a few who possessed the skills required to survive the adventuring life. Those who showed potential were either old campaigners long in the tooth or those too young and unskilled to survive an encounter with an angry bar wench, let alone orcs, trolls, or worse.

His shop was small and unremarkable from the outside. Always cautious, the door locked and shutters closed; a quick hand gesture and a few minor words of arcana would reveal any magical auras. The only emanations were on the expected items. Unlocking the door, he entered, and quietly relocked the door. With a word he moved through the ether between places to a warehouse on the outskirts of Niole Dra.

“Welcome back, my friend.” the scowling Dwarf exclaimed. “We have serious matters at hand. When will you give up on these fishing trips?” In his mind, “Never” was the answer.

“Where are those the kingdom will need?  When I find them, I will guide them, prepare them, and forge them for the future.”

Narrative: Fall CY 603 – Evil Intentions

Fall CY 603, Hookhill, the Gran March

The room was dimly lit as he entered his grandfather’s room.  His grandfather was very old and everyone in the family knew he didn’t have much time left. Everyone gathered around his grandfather’s death bed. The room was silent except for a soft whisper. A sense of fear washed over him as he stood in the doorway and everyone in the room stopped what they were doing to look at him. The silence broke when his grandfather said,” Ahh, young Rourik; come and say hello to your old Grandfather so he can wish you a happy birthday.”

It was Rourik’s 16th Birthday and he was now old enough to join in the family business, which was always kept a secret from younger members of the family and anyone who married in. Rourik felt two hands on his shoulders as his father gently pushed him into room. Rourik slowly walked into the room and continued until he was standing right next to head of the bed his grandfather was lying in. His uncle stood beside him, a man he had not seen since he was six years old.

He leaned down next to his grandfather and gave him a kiss. His grandfather looked up to him and said, “Welcome to the family.” With some help from two of the other family members the old man in bed sat up, and after letting out a raspy cough he addressed the family. “We are meeting here today for two reasons. First, we are here to welcome in a new member of the family. Young Rourik is now old enough to take part in the family mission that was set by my grandfather almost a hundred years ago after the great betrayal that nearly destroyed this House. It was my grandfather who then made a promise to make those responsible for our family’s destruction and exile pay for what they had done. It was then through a divine power our family was granted a boon to make sure our revenge was achieved. Unfortunately such a pact requires a sacrifice.”

At this moment Rourik who was full of fear was grabbed by his father again, but this time much firmer than before. Rourik’s uncle and another family member grabbed his arms and bound his wrists behind him. At this moment, scared of what was to come next, Rourik looked at his grandfathers as he said, “I am sorry my son, but the Litharian family requires you.”