A young half elfish warrior looking to learn about the world.
I was born on my parents homestead at the edge of the Rostland plains, deep in the shadow of the southern forests.
My father, an elf, was passing through many years before on his way south, to Kyonin. But a fateful stop in our local village induced him to stay. He met my mother, and though he has never been able to explain just why, there was something about her that drew him to her and compelled him to stay.
My mother had an inner light, as my friends would say. She felt deep compassion for all around her and spent much her time selflessly helping any who needed it. She convinced my father to set up a homestead, to the south of town and on the edge of the forest. Here they lived many years, my mother gathering medicinal herbs and attending those in need. My father, trying his hand at farming a small plot of land, but, truth be told, if not for his prowess at hunting in the forests to the south, the homestead would have failed to provide for them. He became the de facto warder of the village, warning of, and at times eliminating, threats arising from the forest, a task that the people of the village greatly appreciated.
It was the gifts of the thankful villagers to both my parents that, allowed them to live a comfortable life, happy in their little corner of Brevoy. However, there was a bit of a shock, a couple decades into their union, when they ended up with a child, having accepted that it would not be, many years before.
Growing up in this household was a blessing, both parents attentive and loving. My personality took after my mother, feeling compassion for those around me and having the desire to help however I can. Physically, there was no doubt whom my father was. My elfish features were strong and my attributes much like his.
They both taught and guided me as I grew. Spending equal time with both, I learned what each had to offer. However, as the years slipped past, my mother aged as all humans do, growing tired more quickly. This resulted in more of my free time being spent with my father, wandering the woods, him teaching me more of woodcraft, hunting and the rest of his lore.
Further years went by and life was good. I grew into a young man, taking on more and more of my mother’s responsibilities as she grew less physically capable to carry them herself. She passed on to me her love of Rostland and of the people within it. It was easy to do, seeing the people’s respect and sincere warmth they held for my mother.
Then, in my 22nd year, a bitterly cold winter proved too much for my elderly mother. She developed a deep cough in her lungs and despite all efforts of me and my father; it grew worse and worse with each passing night. I could see the grave concern on my father’s face as she slipped deeper and deeper into delirium and fever. She hung on to life for a full week longer. Then, in the middle of the night, as my father and I sat by the hearth, each in deep thought, her voice called to us from the bedroom.
Upon entering, we saw her, sitting up in bed, smiling serenely, her eyes clear and focused on us. And though I had heard it said often as I grew, and at times felt I had seen it myself, there was now no doubt that she had an inner light.
Overpowering the single candle left at her bedside, the soft light emanating from her reached into the corners of the room, bathing father and I in its warmth. We stood there in wonder and awe, realizing the warmth was my mother’s overflowing love. Her love for us and all.
She called us over and we sat beside her, hopeful that the sickness had past. However, as she hugged each of us, we could feel the sickly heat of her skin and our hopes were dashed. She spoke for several minutes of her feeling for us and thanking us for the life she had led and our parts in it. She bade me soft, sweet goodbyes before asking me to leave her and my father alone.
I waited in the common room, pacing nervously and in deep sorrow. Several minutes later, looking up at the sound of the bedroom door, I saw my father standing there. Before he said anything, I knew from the faint light of only a single candle behind him that my mother had passed on.
Her funeral was the largest gathering the area had seen in many years. People travelled long distances, despite the winter, in order to pay their respects. The men in town spent several days digging a proper grave, many taking turns chipping away at the hard, frozen earth in order to reach the right depth. As the celebration of the life she had led went on, more and more stories of the things she had done for others came to light, many things that she had never spoke of. While it was hard to lose her, it was heartening to know she had truly led the life she had wanted.
She had insisted that father and I accept and carry on, so that is what we tried to do. With heavy hearts we continued to live. I tried to fill my mother’s place, helping those that I could. However, my skills, particularly in the healing arts, was lacking so I often became frustrated at my limits. My father spent more time wandering the forest, at times leaving for days on end. I could tell by his expressions that his thoughts were elsewhere and elsewhen.
He tried to return to normal but a year later, following a deep discussion of his reasoning and feelings; he informed me that he needed to continue his journey south. He tried to convince me to go with, to meet the family that I was part of, to explore and embrace my elfish heritage. I was torn, I so wanted to go but my love for the lands I grew up in was as strong as my mother’s. I felt I could not abandon it and the people, though in truth, it may have been more that to leave would have felt like an abandonment of my mother’s memory.
So, that spring, with a heavier heart, some concern and promises to visit each other, I watched my father shoulder his pack and begin heading south once more. The lands south had grown more wild and dangerous in the fifty odd years that he made his home here. I felt confident that he would be able to make his way safely to Kyonin, yet my love for him left me with a point of dread in my heart.
After he left, I threw myself even harder into my perceived responsibilities. I now patrolled the forest, taking my father’s role as warder as well as continuing to partially fulfill my mother’s place. For two years I worked hard, often at the expense of my own well being, doing what I could for the people in my area. Their gratitude was heartfelt and their smiles genuine as I performed my self imposed duties, however, as time went on, I began to see worry in their eyes and hear concern in their words.
Finally, after a particularly hard week where my efforts had been thrown into many directions, a small delegation of the village elders and Jacob, the village headman, came to visit. They opened up to me of their concerns, that they see me striving to do too much, of immersing myself into my duties at the cost of having a life of my own. They insisted that they could not, for the sake of my mother’s memory, allow her son to consume his life before he has had the chance to live it. They felt that I needed to get away, to grow and learn about myself and Rostland before settling into any lifelong commitments to duty. Jacob brought out a piece of paper describing the charters placed by Rostland. Charters that Jacob felt would be a benefit to all the people of Rostland. Charters that would allow me to experience so much more then what I have had so far.
At first I refused to abandon them, saying my place was with them but as the night grew long, they lead me to understand that to leave, if only for a short while, was truly the best thing for me. Upon acceptance of their thinking, they surprised me with gifts, a well tended chain shirt and longsword, having known that my father had taken the only sword for our house on his journey south.
I could feel the excitement build within me as I felt the weight of my duties lift and the thoughts of experiencing new things grow. Quite quickly I made my arrangements. I gathered the few things I would need, including my new chain and sword. I then gave my family homestead to a struggling family from the village, with the only stipulation being that they tend my mother’s grave as if she was of their family.
With that, I headed to Rostland’s capital, with a letter in hand from Jacob. Apparently he was known in court many years before and his name was enough to allow me to talk to one who was associated with the charters. He informed me that there were two groups that would benefit from my skills and knowledge of the forests. The first was a set of mercenaries, hired with gold and promises of hidden wealth in the wilds. The second was a group of adventures, led by a young paladin. “The second” I said without hesitation. For the first time since my mother passed, I felt a sense of contentment with my words.