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Posts Tagged ‘D&D’

A Slice of D&D Nerdiness

This is just for fun, and also because I haven’t posted anything in FOREVER!  i’m just not good at fitting in everything I want to do!  And there’s so much I want to do!!!! 🙂  One of the nerdy things (although I’m only calling it nerdy in that self depreciating way you call something nerdy to make it seem less nerdy even though you think it’s completely AWESOME!) I’ve been up to is a monthly D&D game with Andy and some friends. I wrote a back story for my character and thought it would be fun to post it here. If you’re into fantasy novels, read on, but if not, you may want to skip the rest of this post all together. 🙂 I’m also secretly hoping that one of my friends may read this and say, “Beth! I LOVE fantasy novels!” and we’ll figure out a new connection we didn’t know we had.

Anyway, here’s the backstory for my Elven Fighter, Elissadi Dreadwyn. Think of it as picking up a book you’ve never read and starting right at the middle.

 

In all my years of training, in all the battles I’ve fought, on every road my journey has taken me, never have I carried so heavy a weight as guilt. I thought I had moved beyond my guilt. I thought that my deeds of late, the evils encountered and slain, had washed it away. I thought I had begun to change. I found out too cruelly last night though, that I have not changed at all. My lust for blood had merely lain dormant, satiated by our encounters, but when asked to stay my hand and spare the life of one I’d marked a foe, I found I could not. Now three men are dead that might not have died, and no matter how I may try to justify my actions as being for the sake of our safety and the completion of our task, the guilt has returned ten-fold. Moreover, I feel as though I have lost the trust (if there ever was any at all) of my companions. I must explain myself to them, explain my actions and the demons I fight. Will they forgive me and allow me to stay with them, or will they cast me from them as a charlatan, on a journey of redemption that is nothing more than a sham?

I must tell them everything. I will start at the beginning.

It was a Divine warning. I know not what else to call it. A Divine warning that would set forth the course of events that would shape my life–events that would change the customary fortunes of an un-extraordinary elven child from a simple, secluded village. It was the night before summer solstice of my eleventh year. My father, the elder of our small forest community was offering prayers of thanksgiving for the bountiful season we’d had thus far. As my father offered up his solstice prayers, he was struck with a vision–a terrifying apparition of a Drow warrior, one of our most-feared enemies. He was carrying in one hand a bloodied sword, and the head of an elf in other. The dark elf looked up and with menacing grin spoke my father’s name. When his mind cleared, my father knew that God was warning him. It was this warning that allowed the elders to hide me and the other eleven children in the village before the coming attack. Even with the warning, none of the adults survived. When the other children and I crawled out of our hiding places to behold the carnage that littered what was once our home, we noticed three dark elf bodies–certainly a feat our skilled, but simple elven elders could not have performed had the Drow been able to execute a standard surprise attack.

There is was that we sat, crying and alone in our wrecked village, wondering what to do next. I was the oldest of the children, and while I had been taught to use a sword–was quite adept at it in fact–and all of us had been taught basic survival skills, we were broken, unable to pick ourselves up in the face of the murder of our parents. The Divine Hand was on us still, though some might think it was an ill fate that then befell us. The vultures’ revelatory circles above had attracted a small band of Orcs. Had Orcs a more sophisticated palate, they would have eaten the lot of us, but the thought of the gold that twelve young and healthy slaves would bring, with a large meal merely a couple of days old sitting right at hand halted their wicked blades, and once again, our lives were spared.

After couple of terrifying days marching with the Orcs, we were sold to a rather degenerate human slaver who then took us to the port city of Calimport in Calimshan. There, we were sold to various pashas. I and one of my companions went to the palace, to work in the service of the reigning Emperor, Noralain el Pesarkhal.  It was thought that my nimble fingers would serve well for the Empress’ tailors working the delicate embroidery for her gowns. Needless to say, I was less than cooperative. I managed to get a hold of a poker from one of the fireplaces, and I held the head Tailor hostage until they would agree to let me do something I considered more dignified. I received a severe whipping for my trouble, and in truth, might have been killed if not for one of the guards who had been called in to bring this feisty little slave to order. He had liked my tenacity and noticed how comfortable I was wielding my make-shift weapon, so he took me to the weapon master, Willamin Tarmikos, who quickly decided that I was more suited for fighting than fineries, and my training began–not, of course, until after I had been sufficiently “broken”–they couldn’t start training me until they were certain I wouldn’t turn on them again. It is hard to explain what a person can bear in the fight for survival. I knew that I would not survive if I continued to rebel, but I knew that that to really survive, some part of my will had to stay intact, buried deep within. I would have to convince them that I was loyal, while protecting the “true” me? Did I fail? Have I lived these many years believing that I’d salvaged some part of my soul, only now to find that it died in a dark cellar when I was eleven, leaving nothing but a murderous wraith? I’m forced to ask myself this question not for the first time tonight.

The training halls of Norlain el Pesarkhal became my home. The years that followed were relatively pleasant considering my slavery. Mastar Tarmikos was tough, but not unbearably cruel and I excelled in my studies with the various weapons. By the time I reached adulthood, I was one of the best fighters Willamin had ever trained, and I was given my freedom in exchange for accepting a position as one of the captains of the Emperor’s army. The idea of a female captain wouldn’t sit well with most of the great armies of Faerûn, but in Calimport, the city of spies, where females number among some of the deadliest assassins in all of Toril, my gender proved to be of little consequence.

For most elves, living a simple, secluded life in a remote settlement, the time passes smoothly and evenly, as the water in a lake–predictable, if not calmly, with only the surging and tumbling of the inlet and the outlet. For an elf living among humans though, the waters are indeed a tumultuous and ever changing river. Many years passed and many of my former masters, teachers and comrades fell, if not in battle, to time itself, that ever undefeated foe. When Willamin Tarmikos died, no longer my teacher, but now my friend, with my past as a slave all but forgotten, the mantle of House Pesarkhal’s weapon master fell to me.  I served in that role for eight score and three years, training the soldiers of Calimport, defending the city from invaders, protecting a few generations of the nobles of house Pesarkhal, as well as often carrying out the unsavory assassinations ordered by my powerful masters.

When Ralan el Pesarkhal, a vindictive and truly evil monarch,  assumed the throne, I could no longer bear the weight of my duties, ever increasing in their vile nature. I knew not what guided my conscience, I knew only that I could no longer live as I had.  I stood up to the most powerful Pasha in all of Calimport and had to flee the city with no little price on my head. (Almost two score years later, I still watch for daggers aimed at my back or poison in my cup. The Emperor is not a forgiving man, and Calimport, as I said,  is known for its skilled assassins. I fear it will only be the death of Ralan el Pesarkhal that will free me from this constant pursuit. Yet, the short life of a vengeful human is not so long compared to that of an elf, and I can remain patiently vigilant a little longer.)

Where then does that put me now? One night, not long before I left Calimport, my eyes were opened in a dream. I saw my father and mother, the elders of my village, and the eleven children who had been sold along with me. I saw a company of Drow warriors descend upon them and strike them down, all the while my father’s hands remained raised to the heavens in eternal praise to the true God, the Creator of the Universe. I then saw myself standing next to my father, blades wet with the blood of the many foes I’d killed. I dropped my blades and my own hands went up, reaching out for forgiveness and peace.  After so many years of suppressing the painful memories, I remembered my father’s vision, remembered that I was spared for a reason, and I knew that it must be greater than this meaningless, violent life I now lived. For that reason I could no longer carry out the Emperor’s vile bidding. No longer could I raise my blades in defense of the corrupt and dissipated city of Calimport.

I am no longer a weapon master. I belong to no people. I travel now with only my blades and a hope that I can put them to a more noble use, a hope that I can somehow atone for the evils they performed in the service of the Pesearkhal family. I am ever waiting for the God who spared me as a child to guide me. Back to the elves? Back to a heritage long forgotten, to find a home and raise a family? Or I am to forever travel this road, an unending stream of monsters and rogues, with endless goodly folk to be protected, liberated and avenged? I am finding it an easy task to defend the good, but not so easy to have mercy on the evil. This journey perhaps will take much longer than I had hoped.

 

That’s it! If any of you stuck it out with me, thanks for reading. Any thoughts?

 

 

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