Cleric of The Blood of the Vol
“No!” The shout rang into the empty darkness of my room. “Shut up you stupid girl! You will wake that brute companion of yours!” Not that anyone in the room would have heard those words, Pip’s ruff voice rang clear in my head. This is a common occurrence should you happen to find yourself in the company of a pseudo dragon. “You shut up. I’ll shout if I feel the need to.” I glared into the darkness at his hammock. Of course he was right; Aarson and Shen would both come running. I would have to explain once again, that it was just a dream and I was perfectly capable of taking care of myself. Snapping my fingers twice I illuminated my room, small orbs of light moved slowly about the ceiling. Pip squinted in the light and hissed at me, “Oh quiet! You want to wake the brute?” My room, an assortment of little pieces of my life; my bed covered in furs which I got while visiting Aarson’s father in the Eldeen Reaches, random bottles and different somatic components littering the desk.
Pulling on my soft leather boots and a comfortable outfit of loose red and black pants, chemise, and my leather vest, I slowly opened my door and headed out into our common room; I say our common room because I live with my traveling companions. There is my twin brother, Shen Dai’ StormShard, my dearest Half-Elf companion Aarson Venim, a odd Catfolk, Nira Silvertail, a Elf woman, Larina Valarina, an extremely excitable Halfing, Tycobi Valarina. In addition I travel with a Half-Elf who is apart of House Lyrandar, Viren Icarus d’Lyrandar, and lastly a Kalkashar, Porthos D’Mar. These two do not stay with us in our home, one of them wanted to keep a Pegasus in the house and that caused some trouble.
Well, that leaves me I suppose. Where does one begin to describe their life? I guess I should start at the beginning; the name is Freya StormShard, currently 27 years old, a Half-Elf, and devoted Cleric to the Dark Six, along with a pseudo dragon named Pip. I have been killed on numerous occasions but always come back, perhaps one day my soul will become tired but for now I keep on surviving.
I am Brelish, born and raised in Sharn from a small family of Half-Elves. My mother, Zyvanna and my father, Elya both had been adventurers and fought in the Last War. They owned a small shop, called the Swift Axe, that is of course once they retired from adventuring and decided to have children. We lived a pretty normal life in Cliffside which is in Middle Dura, Shen and I loved hearing the stories of people who came into the shop. When our parents got summoned to assist in the fighting outside of Sharn we were fourteen; Shen and I were decent fighters, as well as being adept in magic, we asked to come along, but our parents forbid it. I suppose at fourteen that was for the best, so Shen and I were forced to stay in Sharn, running the Swift Axe, studying, and training.
My mother had a very diplomatic attitude, but used her small amount of magic to assist her in being a very affective Ranger. While my father had a spitfire attitude which got him into plenty of fights and he was a very good Fighter. Shen has our fathers keen ability to fight, but takes after our mothers diplomatic attitude. Where I prefer to run my mouth, and back it up with my magic, quite like my fathers attitude but gleaming from my mothers magic. Many people would think leaving two twin fourteen year olds home to run a shop would be a terrible idea, but Shen and I did quite well. Shen could sell and explain equipment, while I could stare people into intimidation and explain all magical components. Shen and I would get up early, do our studies, open the shop, close the shop, and go to our different trainers; we did not really talk a whole lot, what was there to talk about besides, you think Mother an Father are alive? Our Mother always looked to use sending to let us know all was well, but somehow twenty-five words just does not cut it.
Finally in early (Month or two before our birthdays) a few months before our eighteenth birthdays our parents arrived back in Sharn, no visibly worse for the wear. Our parents never fell into any specific religion but for some reason Shen and I had both done so in our parent’s absence. Shen follows the Sovereign Host, while I fell in with the Dark Six; the next few weeks were spent in close proximity to one another and informing our parents of everything that had happened while they were away.
Life had gotten back to normal, and our parents had brought back some new friends with them from their battles. One man in particular who was at our shop quite frequently, Shevon Ol’tar, a very pale faced man with clear gray eyes. Shen and I were never comfortable around him, and being our parents raised us to be cautious of new people we could not understand how they could be. I told my father that I was worried Shevon was not all he seemed to be, but was dismissed; as this was a man my parents had fought along side, he was to be trusted. When Shen came to me and expressed the same dislike for the man we took to trying to find out more information on him. But Sharn is a very large city, something about Shevon just did not seem right. He always seemed slightly different to me every time we saw him, but those clear gray eyes always remained. For weeks we looked through books, talked to people around the area, but nothing seemed to lead us any closer.
As the months went on, we just kept a watchful eye on Shevon. The next few months were peaceful I threw myself into studying my magic which frequently caused a commotion within our house. Shen and I went out to a city festival one evening, it was a cool evening, the mist hung thick in the fog as we retuned home. Shen grabbed the shop door handle and the door swung open, my stomach turned. We both pulled out our daggers and swiftly moved through the shop, nothing seemed out of place, but it was so strange that our parents would have forgotten to lock the door. The two of us headed back to the stairs that led up to our home, we could see the door was broken as we rushed up the stairs. Our mother lay on the floor covered in blood, I ran to her side but the life from her eyes was gone. Shen slowly went towards the hallway of our home, our parent’s door flew open and Shen ducked past my father’s blade and caught him before he fell to the floor. Tears poured out of my eyes as I ran to his side, Shen asked who did this, Shevon, but his real name was Charku. Our parents had adventured with him in their young age, the man had wronged their party and they had left him alone in the Valinar(sp) desert, he made it back to take his revenge. Our father coughed as blood slid out of his mouth, he smiled at us and sighed as the light faded from his eyes.
Numbness settled over me, combining with the rage of being unable to help my parents. The Sharn Watch came and asked their pitiful questions regarding our parent’s deaths. They did an investigation…laughable at best; they were after a Changeling, that is if they believed our story. We spread our parent’s ashes off the edge of Sharn into the Dagger River. After missing our parents for four years, we had them return only to lose them within a year. Shen threw himself into training, I tried to keep the shop going, sleep evaded me as nightmares gripped me. A few short weeks after our parent’s death we sold the shop, our home, and all of our belongings; neither of us wanted to be there. I took my mother’s spell component pouch and my father’s dagger, reminders of their presence. Shen and I said our goodbyes, he was going off to find some guy to train under and for the first time in my entire life, I was left alone.
I decided to enroll in Morgrave University, and expand my knowledge of magic so I would not be left helpless to watch people I cared for die. Well, you can only fail so many classes and get into fights with so many students before they kindly ask you to leave. Two months, is all I lasted, pretty well for a grieving teenage girl. I started taking odd jobs for various houses and from different taverns, anything that got me out of Sharn and away from my memories. The Broken Anvil Inn in Middle Tavicks Landing is where a good deal of adventurers made their stay, I was no different the dark stale air helped keep my mind numb.
It was around this time that I fell deeper into the Dark Six as I found a Cleric who offered to teach me. I jumped at the opportunity, and we set about working the lower levels of Sharn. He was a fantastic teacher, and apparently I was a fantastic student, maybe a bit too fantastic. I woke in a panic as his hands were closed around my throat, trying to scream proved useless and I panicked at my lack of swift magic. A pupil of his stood in the corner, watching as I was slowly being killed, I kicked and hit him as best as I could. I felt a burning on my left arm and suddenly I was standing where the pupil was, their surprise was as great as mine. I grabbed my pack and ran, as fast as I could run, I refused to cry but I needed to leave Sharn and now.
My arm continued to burn as a red and black mark began twisting its way into my skin. I threw my cloak on to ward off the mist and continued running until I found the lighting rail station. I’m sure I was an odd sight, barefoot, out of breath, with hand marks worn into my neck; regardless I got my ticket and headed to Thrane. I was nineteen years old, and my reckless behavior drove me to keep moving. Changing my pace frequently for months at a time, I moved through Thrane and Aundar. This all seemed to help the loss of my parents, and my brother who wandered off to some place with little contact. I would pay to sending him every few months, but rarely did I get a reply back. I went back to Sharn twice the first year I was on my own, once to swing into the Broken Anvil to check for messages (Shen had left me a necklace for our birthday, I had completely forgotten) and the second time to assassinate the Cleric who taught me my skills. The assassination went well; it is an easy task when you have spent time with a person.
One of the local guilds from Sharn needed a relic from the Silver Flame, so I departed for Aundar to see about getting this relic. Everything went really well and I was soon on my way back from Aundar, I asked a local merchant in a small town if there was a shorter way back to Sharn from there. He told me to go west through the Eldeen Reaches and that was a much quicker way. So off I went, let me repeat that I was nineteen and reckless this was defiantly not my most prized moment.
Well, to put my journey simply I got lost, and what should have been a week or so was going on about four weeks. I had no idea where I was, it was woods, woods, and more woods. I never ran across a town; never saw people, just animals and trees. Sleep came easily in the woods because it was so quiet, but one evening I woke because of a swift kick to my ribs. Standing around me were three Shifters, I could hardly understand them, but from what I did understand I was on their land and they were going to kill me. Sure, why not, sleeping girl in the woods kill her! As I moved to stand one of the Shifters moved behind me and brought their club down on my head. I really was unprepared to deal with three Shifters who clearly had the upper hand. I fell forward from the blow to my head and grabbed onto the Shifter in front of me, and released as much negative energy as I could into him. He countered by slamming his club into my chest, I fell to my knees as the Shifter behind me moved to smash me in the head again. Just then a man came out of the woods sword glowing and slashed into the Shifter behind me. I tried to get to my feet but the third Shifter was waiting and slashed deep into my side, I fell to the ground fighting to stay conscious. I heard the other Shifter fall and the one in front of me ran off into the woods. The forest got quiet, except the footsteps coming towards me, I tried to ready a spell but I loosed it well before the man reached me. He knelt over me, he was a Half-Elf, “My name is Aarson, I won’t hurt you.” Was all he said in Elvin as he carried me off.
When I awoke I was in a small hut, I sat up and quickly looked around, where the hell was I? How did I get here? Where is my stuff? Panic was gripping me as I fought the urge to run. A voice broke my panicked thoughts, “You’re awake.” The Half-Elf was holding my pack at his side. “Who are you?!” I demanded, “My name is Aarson, you don’t need to worry Freya.” My head pounded and I felt bandages around my side, how did this man know who I was? Well my confusion must have shown on my face, “I found your ID papers in your bag.” Aarson stated. “Oh…well yes, well thanks for your help last night but I really need to be going.” I started to get up but Aarson was at my side in an instant pushing me back onto the cot. “You are in no shape to leave.” I argued that I would be just fine and could take care of myself, Aarson stepped to the side and I stood up from the cot. I got about one step before I fell to the ground weak and in pain, Aarson laughed, “see I told you” as he swiftly picked me back up and put me on the cot. “Fine. can I at least have my things?” Aarson handed me my belongings and I began tearing through the bag, dumping pitons, potions, wands, and daggers on the cot.
“Can I ask what you are doing?”
“I’m getting a potion, I need to get moving.” I replied angrily
“I’ve never seen someone who is so excited to get away from people before.”
“Look, I don’t know you. I’m thankful you saved my life and all, but I will pay to get rid of that debt. I need to get back to Sharn.”
“You don’t need to worry about paying. Call it a favor from a friend.” Aarson smiled
“You are not my friend! And you will name your price, I refuse to have this hanging over my head!” I rushed to stand as the world went dark around me. I really had no choice but to stay with Aarson, as I healed he told me about his life, I met his father who lived in a different portion of the house. Apparently I was way off course in the Eldeen Reaches and should have stuck more to the edge, instead of cutting through. Lesson learned there. Finally, I was ready to be on my way, Aarson insisted on following, and since he saved my life I was obligated to allow it. We headed straight back to Sharn and thankfully the guild I worked with had another job waiting. Aarson and I took it and did not even spend the night in Sharn.
The more we traveled together the more Aarson talked, and the more I slowly opened up. I told him about Shen, and that I grew up in Sharn but that our parents had died, though never how they died. We took a great deal off odd jobs from different people and stuck mainly to Thrane and Breland. After about a year of traveling together I decided it was probably time I got some jobs from Sharn. So I took Aarson for his first true encounter in Sharn, being from the Reaches he was not used to the bustle of a big city. We headed straight for the Broken Anvil of course, where there was a random message from some random people and two from Shen.
The Anvil was extremely crowded because we came to town during the Aureon’s Crown festival; it used to be a Sovereign Host holiday, but has turned into more of a city wide celebration regardless of your religion. We found a table and ordered some drinks, I was happy to be back in a large city, where people didn’t notice me. Later in the evening a very intoxicated human male stumbled over to our table and in a not so honorable fashion inquired about my services for the evening. I declined and made sure it was oblivious that I was armed, he continued and moved to grab me, Aarson threw the table over and had the man by the throat. “Perhaps you don’t understand common.” I grabbed Aarson “This really isn’t worth getting the city guard involved.” Aarson threw the man towards the door. We didn’t stay in town long, just long enough to show Aarson some sights, stock up on equipment and hit up the local guilds to find work.
We found work, one of the guilds sent us to get information from a spy they had within the Silver Flame, and being it was a local guild I thought it would be local. I was wrong, their spy was in Thrane. Aarson and I got them to pay for the cost of the lighting rail and we left the next morning for Aruldusk in Eastern Thrane. Aruldusk is right by the Mourn Lands, and the closer we got the quieter the train got, people naturally just do not talk about the Mourn Lands. Aruldusk is a really touristy city, and full of people from the Silver Flame, but thankfully it is not to large. Within a week we had found the spy we were looking for and the information was safely locked in a journal covered in explosive ruins. On our last day in Aruldusk we were forced out of town to take an earlier train. While pressing our way through a crowded bar my shirt sleeve had been torn; we were walking the streets when a man, who looked to be apart of the Undying Court, stopped us. He asked to look at my arm; I looked to see my torn shirt and the red and black mark twisting slightly in the sun light. I still had no idea what this mark was, it never did anything, but it did shift and move. The man grabbed my arm and looked intently at it, his face filled with fear as he released my arm. “You’re a cursed soul, and a curse upon this city!” He grabbed his mace and swung it at me; Aarson thankfully saw him going for the mace and blocked it from me. The man stumbled backward from Aarson’s blow and we turned and ran; the man yelling after us, “The Aberrant mark! Within our city! Stop them!” Thankfully the fact that it was the middle of the day gave us a slight upper hand; we got a good distance away I wrapped my arm and threw on a cloak, making it through the city in amazing time to jump aboard the lighting rail, about a day ahead of schedule.
Aarson at this point knew when it was best to not pester me with questions I had no answers for. He waited a whole day before asking if he could see what was wrong with my arm. I was so irritated, “nothing is wrong with my arm! It is just a mark, a mark I got when my mentor tried to kill me in my sleep.” I showed Aarson my arm, I had never thought of it before. But the more I looked at the mark the more it looked like a Dragon Mark, but mine wasn’t the beautiful blue grey, mine was dark and red. “Well I guess I have to look into this now, we’ll head to Morgrave when we get back to Sharn an see what we can dig up.” Thankfully Aarson let it go at that, what else could I tell him that wouldn’t continue to make me crazy, who tries to kill someone because of a mark they have?
Our trip back did not go as smoothly as the trip out, our train came to an abrupt halt as the driver had noticed a severely damaged hub in the rail. So they were sending for assistance and we rode some carriages to the nearest city, where we bickered for a refund and walked the rest of the way. Well walking took longer but we got a good sum of money out of it. Late afternoon we were just reaching the outer edges of Sharn we were surprised to find three men waiting along the road, they didn’t even hesitate and went straight for Aarson. I figured out one of the men was a Wizard and I focused my spells at him, Aarson had badly injured one of the men and he fell to the ground. Suddenly I noticed a Changeling, it was Charku’ he smiled, I screamed and stumbled backward, this wasn’t real, it was a spell. I regained my composure as the image walked right through me. Aarson’s sword ripped smoothly through the second man and he spun to face the Wizard, who promptly vanished.
We made came a few miles up the road and Aarson cooked dinner, we didn’t talk much the adrenaline from battle tends to dull the senses. Aarson broke the silence, “What did that Wizard do to make you scream the way you did? All I saw was a black shadow.” I was quiet for a long time, “It was a man…a Changeling…it was the man who killed my parents. But I was weak then, I couldn’t save them! Apparently I am weak now, being tricked by such a simple spell.” My hands were shaking, why on earth would I say all this to Aarson, the one person who was fine never asking about my past. Aarson stared into the fire and I sighed and threw myself back into the grass to look at the moons and stars. My emotions started to calm and Aarson lay back next to me, “I’ll help you find him.” I laughed, “thanks, as long as Shen doesn’t mind, this is his battle too.” Aarson scoffed, “Where is this brother you seem to care so much for? Why isn’t he here helping you?” “Shen will help once we agree on what to do, otherwise we’ll just bicker.” “Sounds like some brother.” I pulled out a dagger and rolled to face Aarson, I raised it to his neck, “I will never ask again. Do not insult my brother; you do not know him or our life well enough to scoff. Now, once you meet him, you two can insult each other, but until then…” Aarson smiled, “You know I could take that dagger from you so fast. But my apologizes, it won’t happen again.” “Shut up I know! Regardless I’ll message Shen an tell him to meet us at the Broken Anvil, we’re only about three days away.”
The next morning we continued on our way to Sharn, I finally told Aarson how my parents died, and more about my life when I was growing up. We got back to Sharn a few days later, and got the rest of our payment. Then it was back to the Anvil to secure a room and find some warm food for once. When I got back Matron Tara came over to our table and gave me several messages that were written in a mess of Dwarven and Common. She told me that a Dwarf had been in and out for the last three weeks looking for me or Shen. I paid her and thanked her for keeping my messages safe and we ate a delicious stew.
As the night played out a Dwarf came bursting into the Anvil a few hours later, he looked around quickly and marched over to our table. “My name is Bo’Dok and I am looking for a Half-Elf I believe is your brother!” This Bo’Dok went on to explain that his master had sent him here to look for a man with short hair an a neatly trimmed goatee. Well it sure sounded a lot like Shen. “So!? Where is he?!” I looked perplexed at the Dwarf, “I don’t know.” I have never in my life seen anyone’s jaw drop so far open, “What do you mean you don’t know!? I’ve been waiting!?” I laughed, “Dwarf, I am not my brother’s keeper. But he will show up eventually and when he does, perhaps I’ll introduce you to him.”
The next three weeks drug on, thankfully Aarson entertained Bo’Dok with many stories of fights and what not. I wandered my misty home city looking for Shen and blending into the crowds. We bicker a lot but I love my brother and was really missing him. Bo’Dok kept asking me over an over everyday if Shen was coming and I would shrug and walk away. I enjoyed calling him Dwarf because it got on his nerves, “BO’DOK! Call me Bo’Dok!” It was a very long three weeks. Shen did finally come to town, Aarson an I were sitting outside the Anvil smoking our pipes, it was a extra misty an foggy evening. A quiet evening, I heard the air being split and a dagger landed right next to my head. Aarson threw his pipe and jumped up drawing his sword, as I jumped from the ground into Shen’s arms. “Ha’no! You’re home!”
Aarson looked extremely confused, “What? You…you’re…you’re Freya’s brother?”
“Who’s your friend Ne’sa and why does he look like he wants to strike me.” Shen laughed.
“You’re her brother!! You threw a dagger at her head! WHY!?” Aarson was still holding his sword, and I feel that if I was not standing between them he would have cut Shen open. “Aarson, relax. Shen this is my friend Aarson. Aarson this is my twin brother Shen Dai’” Even though Shen an I are twins, we really don’t look much alike, aside from the same eyes. Just then the door to the Anvil flew open and Bo’Dok came running out Axe in hand, “I heard a commotion!” “OH and Shen this is Bo’Dok he’s looking for you.”
We went back inside and caught up, Bo’Dok finally got to talk to Shen. The rest of us caught up in Elvish much to the Dwarfs annoyance. Suddenly the room went quiet and all I heard was, “ Your services are requested. Bring your companions to Kern’s Rest and Revelry tomorrow morning to discuss arrangements. Be prepared for travel. A house Sivis service.” Aarson grabbed my arm, “Freya, Freya! What’s wrong.” Shen knew what had happened, I had gotten a message delivered from house Sivis. I explained what happened to Aarson, “I think I found our next job.”