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"The Birth of Light and Truth."

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"The Birth of Light and Truth."

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:03 am

4709

I’m home. It’s only been a few years since mother’s funeral, but it seems like longer... It’s hard to believe I’ve spent so little time here since Gustavous’ wedding. That was the day that had changed my life so drastically.

It was the day I met ‘Tambor the Swift.’

Tambor was a Knight of the New Dawn. A paladin in the order of Sarenrae. I was still young at the time... only 16, but even then that introduction felt... important somehow. A turning of a page in a book I had barely read.

I had always been athletic. My skill with a blade had always been a sharp focus on my mind. My goal as a child had been to become one of the fabled Swordlords of Aldori. When my sister Lili married Lord Zelkon Aldori (previously Lebeda) of Restov, my hopes had soared. My own dreams of wielding a dueling blade danced in my young mind. Though they were not to be.

To my own credit (despite Zelkon’s insistence) I did make the trip to Restov on my fourteenth birthday. I learned quickly what he had hoped to spare me. I was not cut out for that life. My skill with the blade was decent, but even for a young boy I was clumsy, awkward. The way the other candidates danced through the movements shamed me. I was quickly dismissed from the training, and returned home in personal shame.

My parents took it with stoic grace. I suspect they knew that my chances were slim... and did their best to comfort me. Mostly in vain. Despite the knowledge that only the very best become true swordlords, and that most applicants are dismissed without shame, failure had never been an option for me.

Ahhh the mentality of the young.

The years that followed had left me adrift, unknowing how to make a mark in the world. The Medvyed’s are a proud and noble house, but as the third son, my place was questionable. A house can only have one leader, and I had known from a young age that it would be Coranious. Should anything happen to Coranious... Gustavous would inherit the titles and land.

My own fate was mine to make.

This was the state I was in when Tambor had found me. A relative of a relative of the bride, his appearance at the wedding of Gus was quite unexpected. Truth was, nobody on our side even knew who he was.

A large man with a deep laugh, he was fun to listen to. Obviously a warrior, but a warrior with a higher purpose. His stories of battle and redemption were the like I hadn’t heard before. As was his goddess.

Sarenrae. The sun goddess. The Dawnflower.

Naturally I had heard the name before, but worship of Sarenrae was few and far between in Brevoy. Here it was mostly Abadar, Gorum, Pharasma... Erastal was my family’s personal preference. Something about the tales he told, and the bearing with which he held himself impressed me more then the hundreds of sermons I’d heard in my life. When Tambor left that night, he left me my first copy of Sarenrae's holy text. "The Birth of Light and Truth."

The paladin nearly became a common sight for the next few months around the estate, and by the next spring, I had made a decision. Tambor eagerly accepted my request to ride with him and learn more of this Goddess.

My training came fast, but I took to it well. While my speed and agility were never remarkable, with a shield and armor, they quickly became unnecessary. My mentor taught me how to use a blade and shield in ways I hadn’t imagined... but more importantly when to use them.

Watching the man work opened my eyes in ways I hadn’t imagined. I had always seen Paladins as slaying machines... Destroyer of evil, and righteous fury on horseback... Tending the sick, helping the injured... these thoughts had rarely crossed my mind. Though for Tambor they were second nature.

Though, there was smiting too.

Tambor was a jovial, happy soul... though when the need came he fought harder and more righteously then any swordlord I’d ever seen. ‘Fight only when you must... but then fight for all your worth.’ A lesson that served me well on a couple occasions.

The years passed quickly, until word reached us at a temple in New Stetven. Mother was dying.. We both rode back quick as we could, and I still had the dust of travel on when the funeral began. It was a decent service... but I noticed new tensions between me and Cor.

Sarala informed me that my oldest brother has been taking over more and more of father’s responsibilities since mother got sick. I think the pressure is getting to him.

Sarala on the other hand, was a bright spot on the otherwise mournful visit. I was shocked at how much she’d grown... but her soul still seemed the same. She was still my little sister, and just as mischievous as ever.

Her... abilities had grown too. As her only confidante, she was eager to tell me all that happened. As I watched her float to the ground and saw the breezes that seem to swirl around her I was again struck by how subtle the effect was. If she hadn’t brought it to my attention when we were younger, I most likely still wouldn’t have noticed it. According to her, the rest of our relations still hadn’t.

We had tried to keep in touch, though letters were few and far between on both our parts, and we spent the better part of my first day back reminiscing. We visited the old glens where we used to play when young. This time was different though. Though the pixies and occasional dryad had welcomed our presence as children... Fey had short memories, and now we were adults. What allowances they may have made in our younger years apparently no longer applied.

Our calls for our old friends sadly went unanswered.

The last fey I had seen with my own eyes was the brownie that our cook had bartered with to keep the kitchen tidy. Just a glimpse, and Sarala always claimed it was a mouse I’d seen, but I knew better. The kitchen was always ‘too’ clean, and there was always that little cup of cream for a cat we didn’t have.

Still, the cook denied everything and the brownie itself never showed itself. Still I’m sure I saw him the last time I was here.

Now, I’m back again... for the same reason I suspect. Though this time I’ve come alone. My mentor has said that I’m prepared for what’s coming next in my journey. His own is to travel south to the great deserts... to meet some of our more militaristic brethren. My journey leads me here, and from here, I don’t know...
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Re: "The Birth of Light and Truth."

Post  Colin Marcus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:29 am

4709

************************************

I'm still in shock.

Father was dying. Little by little each of his children said their goodbyes privately. None of us spoke afterwards. Coranious came out looking gaunt with the world on his shoulders.

He was the Baron of the Medvyed estate now, including all that entailed. I almost pitied him, having the responsibility for all those under him... all in the midst of the every threatening Civil War of Brevoy. I imagine Father had given him a final lecture on all the other nobles and what would be best for his people.

Gustavous, I have no idea what he was told. He came out puffed more than usual, but the tears in his eyes were real, of that I had no doubt.

Finally it was my turn. I stiffened my spine the best I could, and strode in the best I could. The sight there stole some of my resolve. Baron Olivarious, my father, was always a strong man. A bit overweight, but he had handed me first blade and taught me to ride my first horse.

This shriveled old man lying before only made clear the years I'd been gone. The time lost. I was speechless as he struggled to speak.

"Thaddeus...." The weak voice reached out to me. "Sit."

I sat in the chair closest to him as I listened to his final words of wisdom. What I heard surprised me.

"Would that you were the eldest... You've grown into a fine young man. You would have made a fine Baron. One to make me proud..."

"But.. Cor." I answered weakly. I had not expected this. In our family it was always the oldest that took the reins. Always. Sarala had told me before she wished I would inherit he title... but I had long made peace that it wasn't my path.

It had never occured to me that Father had felt similiar.

"You lead with your heart. People Like you. They always have... I want you to help Coranious however you can... Though frankly that may be too strenous a task even for your new status...." A weak chuckle turned into coughing and I clutched his hand in comfort.

"Your brother is stubborn, but he is a good man too. Help him as you can... but there is another task I must beg of you."

My eyes widened at that. My father had never 'begged' in his life.

"Sarala... Protect her." I was nodding as he caught his breath again. He shook his head vigorously. There was more to the request.

"She is... different, Thaddeus. You don't understand what we've done... Listen first... Listen...

"You know of the Fey that live in our woods. Mischevious... devious... troublesome creatures. You must be careful when dealing with the fey folk son... very careful..."

"I remember Father," I confirmed quietly. All Medvyeds knew about the fey in their lands. Ancient knowledge passed down through the generations. Arrangements made, promises kept. The Brevoy woods were teaming with them. It seemed any kind of harvest or logging required endless agreements and leaping through hoops in order to accomplish.

For Years the Medyveds had lived in relative peace with them... but it was always a tenative peace as every child in the house ws taught.

"They... they stole Coranious when he was but a lad... My first born son... only twelve at the time."

My eyes bulged at that. This story I had never heard about.

"Who took him father... what do you mean?" I pressed for information, but whether he heard me or not, I'm not sure.


"They took my boy... I raced the woods, tracking with hounds and horse... I summoned every ranger in my employ, but found nothing.

"Your mother was frantic, I did everything I could, but I failed... When they contacted me!

"I made a deal that day... They agreed to return my child... but in exchange, they gave me another child. Your sister."

"You mean... She is fey?"

"No! There is something different about her, but what her heritage I don't know... Nothing I'm familiar with... Never did learn... If she was fey born, or some other child they'd stolen and grown bored with...

"Fey minds... nearly impossible to know for sure...

"I took the child home, and your mother cared for her as if she were our own. Nobody knew the truth... Even Sarala doesn't know where she came from..."

But she did know something was different... Thaddeus had long been the keeper of her secret. That something in her blood made her different from her other siblings. Adoption hadn't been considered... They had decided she must be a sorceress of some kind. As a youth it had terrified her, but Thaddeus had always been a shoulder she could lean on.

He gazed at the pale white scar on the palm of his hand and remembered the blood pact that he made on the day she'd told him. It had hurt more then he'd expected, but he never regretted the relief in her scared eyes the day she'd revealed her secret to him. Whatever strange blood flowed through her, was in him too... and despite this new secret... She still shared Medvyed blood. A wry grin appeared as he reminisced.

"She is my sister, we're family."

"YES!" he wheezed as he struggled to finish his tale. "The creatures told us to care for her till they took her back... but they never did... or at least haven't yet!"

"Why haven't you told her?" I insisted when he rested a moment.

"We lied for so long... And the fey are fickle. Your mother and I hoped they had long forgotten about her. I wanted nothing mentioned anywhere that could remind them...

"And we loved her... She was as much our daughter as Tharali. Your mother and I lost many nights of sleep wondering what would happen if they came back...

"I leave this secret to you, Thaddeus... Protect your sister. Tell her nothing till I'm gone... I can't bear the look of betrayal... not the last time I see her..."

"I swear I will. She will have all the protection I can give." I agreed as I squeezed his hand. "By the Holy Light of Sarenrae I swear it." A look of peace drifted over him as he drifted off to sleep. I sat there for some time trying to process this new information. Finally I composed myself and left him to his rest.

It was the last time I saw him alive.

***********************************************


Last edited by Elric on Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : NO LAY ON HANDS AT 1st level!!)
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Colin Marcus
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Re: "The Birth of Light and Truth."

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:20 pm

4710

My hand shakes as I write this... I haven't been this furious in my entire life.

My brother... That stupid pig-headed brother of mine... I can feel the bruise over my left eye starting to rise up, taste the blood of my split lip. We haven't fought like that since I was 14.

Part of me is ashamed of my behavior... Perhaps I should have found a way to talk more... but honestly, he deserved a smack. Of course big brother could still give as good as he can take. When the servants broke up the fight, I think I cracked the door frame as hard as I slammed it.

I can't believe he'd do this... Well, that's not entirely true... He 'means' well. But he's still a jerk.

Since father's death, I've been doing what I can to help Coranious run the barony. My advice is rarely accepted. In his eyes, I'm still his little brother, and he doesn't want to show any sign of weakness. He's trying to prove that he's the baron that father was, and the results are disastrous.

Father held the respect of the neighboring nobles, Cor does not. Every day I fear Brevoy comes closer to the civil war that's been brewing since the Rogarvias disappeared.

Now Cor is trying to forge alliances of his own, at the expense of his family. Lord Surtova's eldest and heir Dominic... He's been a guest here many times this past year, but I haven't paid him much attention.

The Surtova's are filthy stinking rich, and that's all Coranious sees. That and their political power in the south. A joining of our houses would be a boon should the Civil war ever break... but not like this. Dominic is fourteen years Cor's senior... and this will be his second marriage.

Correction WOULD be. Cor sprung this on us at dinner last night, and Sarala turned two shades even paler then normal. THEN she turned a bright red and with fire in her eyes explosively called Dominic a "fat oaf with garish tastes and slow wit." Quickly followed by Informing Cor in no uncertain terms that she would 'NEVER marry him."

Cor informed her that the household was his to manage, and like usual... "This is the way it was!"

It took every ounce of diplomacy to see the meal finished without any bloodshed on any side... But today I hoped cooler heads would prevail.

No such luck.

Coranious has had his power go to his head. Arranged marriages are fairly common amongst our class and father had done the same with Lili years ago. I insisted there was a difference. Lili had been smitten with the handsome swordlord from the moment they met. They were a GOOD match. Father would never have insisted on something like this... especially against the express wishes of the daughter in question.

Then followed a long discussion about what was his 'right'... versus what WAS right... and punches were thrown. I seem incapable of changing his mind, but I'll not stand idly by while he sells off my sister to the highest bidder. I can feel a change coming... something drastic.

A few days ago, word reached the estate that there was a new expedition heading south. Away from this estate, out of Brevoy proper all together. Something about the Stolen Lands, a place notoriously dangerous and known to be ripe with bandits waylaying decent traders.

Sarala suggested that something like this would be a good place to make a name for myself. Me, I think it might be a good chance to make the world a better place. If i can be of no use here, I probably should go where I CAN make a difference.

I have a feeling Sarala would be as eager to leave as myself. I'll ask her tomorrow.
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