Paladin Niscar, Killer of Kings

Discussion in 'Recurring Characters' started by Paladin_girl, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    (I would ask that you do not attempt to copy or redistribute this character.)

    Unfinished – I still need to correct the grammar and context / time line.

    Any questions, PM me.


    'Die for me? No, Gellard. I expect you to live for me. I was chosen as your leader in good faith. Live for me. But die for me? No, never.'

    Niscar Trantor

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    Night had sifted into the silent tower, bringing with it the sound of crickets and a comforting veil of blue. Above, the moon seemed to glisten like a white dish held to light, shining down to create strange shadows amidst a cadence of trees.

    Amidst them, the citadel stood like a silent sentinel, walls as white as marble and as ancient as the nearest star. The astrologers who stared at it would have talked about how solemn the star looked, discontent with the way that the world spun today – some argued however, that it was one land in particular with whom the galactic lantern had trouble with. Whilst many would have found this sceptical, for once the philosophers had to agree, bowing their heads with shame.

    The great lands of Cad Agalathor had given a fateful shiver.

    Tonight, one of her ruined prisons held one of the deadliest captives ever encountered.

    He was a magician-turned-necromancer and for reasons unknown, had been driven mad.

    Before, once upon a time, before the battles in the City of Light, he was one of the heroes to save the land from darkness.

    He now sat silently and humbly, appearing no older than twenty, but his eyes had lost their youthful spark, staring dully into the cobbled corners of his eternal dungeon. It was lonely here; lonely, dark and cold, a punishment which he willingly accepted before he descended into complete insanity. In his saner moments, he always wondered, hopefully, whether or not he could have become a reclusive madman instead of an inmate in a magical dungeon.

    In his dreams, he saw a forest, filled with sunlight and pine trees and a wooden hut, with smoke coming out of the glassless windows, carrying the scent of stew. There would be no glass to allow the smell of flora into his home and the hut would stand humbly on stilts to allow a river beneath it to flow. Of course, this is when he would wake up from his slumber, laughing at his strange thoughts.

    His white robes were now grey with age, too tattered and distorted to portray any pattern that was once embedded within them. The embellishments were deliberately frayed where he had taken a knife to them in boredom. He was staring at the exit from his silent prison, as if willing them to open.

    There, if one looked carefully, they could sometimes see a ghostly flicker of colour, belonging to small, ethereal strings which kept intruders and curious eyes at bay. For the imprisoned necromancer, this was the second thing that reminded him of things that were bright and beautiful.

    The first stood before him; sharp, dark eyes illuminated by the soft glow of candlelight, which showed bitter disappointment.

    He expected no less from her; she had come, just as promised. Her pale skin was like satin in the light and her solemn eyes were challenging his every move, as if nothing had changed in the years that separated the two, silent beings. That was almost true, for she had come here for only one thing: to claim her prize. No vengeance escaped her lips, no weapon in her strong, calloused hands and no rage to spurn him away. His tired mind wondered why then was the pain in his heart was so bad.

    Her cloak fell, showing years of battle scars on her body. Slowly and softly, she advanced towards the strings and without struggle, they let their bare creator through, parting like soft winds against fine curtains. He stood up slowly, his trembling fingers brushing away the cobwebs and insects on his robes, paying no heed to them as she came closer. He didn't move, but a small tear had formed in his eye. She touched his face.

    For the first time in years, he uttered her name.

    And together, after ten years of silence, he found solace in her arms.

    Three hundred years passed...

    And before Niscar Trantor ever became a legend, all she ever thought about were her vineyards.

    Paladin Niscar Trantor, Killer of Kings.


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    The girl was born with the sword in her hand and blood in her palm.

    At fifteen, she won a great, but accidental victory against Svjoren, the War-King of Erd Gregorith, who had terrorised the land of Emal, razing villages, massacring all and threatening their Empress Feravine. In her declining health and growing fears of war, she had summoned the paladin troupes of Cad Agalathor to arrange a diplomatic solution to cull the growing tide of violence. A month had passed since their arrival and no messenger sent to Svjoren had ever returned.

    The troupes had many names, from the cold Gehiel to the strong Yawaroth, but above all, led by Vivitar Keorth, was the Gavorel, the first of the Watch. They were sworn to have no faith but that in mortals, for it was their duty to protect them. Though all but one were extremely young, they showed intense promise. Currently, they consisted of six:

    The berserker Aoalbrandr of Midgard (Brandr to his allies), Initiate Gellard of Cad Agalathor, Captain Vivitar, Mantrata Estella, Mantrata Kite and barbarian Orus of the Njords.

    The Gavorel spearheaded the strategies, but were caught unawares by the vicious barbarism which Svjoren inflicted, driven mad by his need for bloodshed.

    Caught in the centre of the chaos was Niscar, who at the time, was little more than a travelling bard and occasionally gave villages an extra hand for the autumnal crops. Hailing from nowhere, her eyes seemed to whisper deep knowing of the land, but more obvious than this was the gaze of pride and solemn wisdom in her countenance, surprising for a young girl of her age.

    Coincidence played its part as Svjoren and the half-elf crossed paths, with Niscar drawing her sword to defend the escaping villagers, the blade being the only remnant of her unknown family. Named Al-Quel The'los or “Blade of the Lost Ones”, it was clearly elvish, with markings and engravings that showed previous use. With it, her talents and her own wit saved her, the bout barely lasting more than a few minutes, ending when Niscar jumped onto the War-King, plunging the sword into his chest, not pulling away until he emitted his final breath.

    When the others found the King's corpse, they retrieved his body and swiftly fled Emal to squabble over leadership. Word of the notorious 'Killer of Kings' spread quickly across Erd Gregorith – but for Niscar, it was simply another story to tell. It was not modesty which had incurred her to leave, but the intense grief of killing a man.

    When the Gavorel discovered what had happened, the villagers pointed to their fleeing heroine – and so it was that the young woman was recruited into the troupe, despite all protests.

    Captain Vivitar shrugged them off, telling her that it was her wit that mattered, rather than how she killed. His second-in-command, Gellard however, brutally agreed with Niscar, believing her method to be cowardly. Of course, this led to unsurprising love-hate bouts between the two, but both held stern respect for one another, leading to a close friendship across the bulwark.

    Realising that Niscar held the bard's talent of the silver tongue, Vivitar put it to the test by sending her across battlefields, trying to put a halt to a battle before it even started – she was almost always successful and if she was not, she would always return unscathed and with a solemn face.

    Her bloodied blade told another story entirely.

    To hide it, the alter-persona 'Shrike' served as the merciless fighter, the helmet deliberately designed to be daunting to emit the darker side of the Paladin's ability. She became angry at herself. With no training, she was still able to pick up her sword and fight, no matter what.

    Shrike:

    [​IMG]

    And for that reason, she did not repeat her mistakes, save for one, which she did not regret, even to the end.

    A year after her initiation after parting ways with one of the troupe, Aoalbrandr, Niscar came across a boy who was about to attack a group for insulting him. Something about him seemed almost... pure and innocent, as if he had little knowledge of people, but enough to know the world.

    His name was Yakura – and he was a key in the unsuspecting paladin's life.

    Despite all the tales she had spun about love, she had never felt the pangs until now. It meant that amidst the pain and violence, he was her peace.

    Another figurehead in Niscar's life was the Mantaris Dain Arinanst. She had made a name for herself by being a mercenary, but her actions, beliefs and strength of will were highly regarded by the initiate. It seems ironic that the two later met in battle, first against one another, but then later as comrades. Both held respect for each other thereafter. Some observed some underlying similarities between the two battle-maidens and so it is no surprise that Niscar is nicknamed “Dain” as an in-joke.

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    Five years after this, many battles were fought, one reclaiming the besieged capital of Cad Agalathor. Captain Vivitar fell late into the battle and Niscar took up the reins unwillingly, leading the troupes into a final, bloody battle against the necromancer Talmut. She was awarded the title of Knight-Commander. She did well with the divine magicks of Hezul, specialising in healing rather than battle-magick, but served well when fighting against the undead hordes of Talmut and the demon soldiers summoned by his warlocks.

    At twenty, she was already a veteran fighter and extremely loyal to her companions, who had all returned home, apart from Gellard, who remained at the Commander's side to ensure the peace was kept throughout the Cad no matter what. Most believed that the peace would be ever-lasting and that the brutality of the necromancer could never be repeated by any. The citadel was rebuilt, the corpses laid to rest and finally, everyone could taste the scent of freedom and the rush of joy in their tired veins. Every time Gellard spoke of peace, Niscar spoke doubt. In more ways than one, she knew that her end was coming.

    It arrived in the form of Exyzm, Yakura's blade. Amongst the devastation and confusion, Niscar was wounded as she tried to defend a group of escaping citizens. While surviving the blow, Niscar felt betrayed, the wound on her chest comparing to nothing against the wound in her heart – and ultimately it seemed, closed forever to the boy she loved.

    It was never clear whether Yakura gave Niscar the final blow or whether she was left for dead on the edges of the army rampaging in the cold citadel. The next place she found herself was in the Whitelands, where she remained for at least two to three years. Outside, Kilsen, leader of the Gehiel, took her to the cold mountains near to a Haven, covering Niscar's body in ice to protect her. It was formed with the pure water which flowed naturally there and with its properties, enabled a strange, but incredible healing process.

    This was not without cost, since the body was frail when brought to the landscape, just as the Paladin was not meant to be alive. As a price, her magick was to sustain her, rather than to assist others. Therefore, to use it placed the young woman in grave danger.

    Discovered by the White Paladin, the mound of ice, with Niscar within, was brought to the Haven and preserved until such a time that the half-elf decided to emerge. From her cocoon, she emerged with a slight twitch of her hand – and shattered the glassy cage with her memories and body intact – but her feelings were forever changed, broken with the ice.

    She forsook everything - her name, her status and her past. If any asked who she was, there was only one thing she would refer herself as:

    “Paladin,” she would reply, “my name is Paladin.”
     
  2. Doc

    Doc Grouch Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Still have trouble coloring inside the lines XD
     
  3. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    ... That's just legendary! XD Lmao!

    >_> This means war.
     
  4. Doc

    Doc Grouch Staff Member

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    It was self-defense! >_<

    Also...

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    I think I see a family resemblance.... XD
     
  5. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    You're doing it wrong.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Update 05/03/2011: Nothing special, just added an image of Shrike.
     
  7. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Niscar's Tales - 1. The Sting of Manae's Thorn

    Before the time of the Whitelands - and before the belly of Great Etrok was aglow in the centre of our world, there was a beautiful, white witch named Faerith, who possessed the most beautiful of roses. With it, she brought life to the Thirteen Shadows, which were fierce and strong, but beautiful and complex. Within them, she manifested what we know to be the first Gods. However, she was unaware that the rose too, had received an avatar, known as Manae, Goddess of Love.

    One day, Faerith created the Races, ranging from the smallest gnomes, to the mightiest giants, all living together in complete bliss under the grace of their maker. Grateful to Faerith, the races agreed that the witch could choose a partner from their ranks.

    Many promising suitors were displayed before her, but the witch refused them all, for within their eyes, there spoke desire for other women. The kind witch gave them her blessing – she understood their needs well, for her heart too, was already set upon an individual.

    She chose Myron, a human man, for his eyes spoke neither needs nor desire.

    He showed no sign of how he felt, no openness to anybody and showed little sign that he partook in the bliss of his fellow people. His complicated nature had left the beautiful witch all the more curious about him.

    At night, she haunted his dreams. He called them nightmares. By day, whispered softly to him in the wind. He claimed that he could hear nothing. Faerith was becoming anxious, for her pursuits seemed as if they were in vain.

    Hearing her call, Manae whispered gently to Faerith through the rose, telling the pretty witch that should one of her thorns ever shed her beloved’s blood, then he would fall deeply in love with her.

    And so, with rose in hand, Faerith stole into Myron’s bedchamber – she watched him in silence, both being in the same room, close to one another, at the same time. Carefully, she pressed the spiked stem against his pale skin and watched scarlet specks seep from his wounds. Before he could fully stir, Faerith fled from the house, remaining nearby to watch the effects of her work.

    The next day, Faerith once again haunted his dreams and whispered to him in the wind, but to her disappointment, Myron seemed unaffected.

    Manae was clever; she knew that Myron had fallen in love with the witch, but never had he had the opportunity to tell her, for they had never walked side-by-side. He could only admire her from afar, for the witch appeared elusive. Faerith had never shown her feelings – and the man felt tormented by his own affections.

    The Goddess’ price for the prick of her thorn was this: the unvoiced struggles of Faerith and Myron would be embedded into the souls of the witch’s creations. For each race, they would be susceptible to the sting of Manae’s Thorn.

    Fear, anticipation, uncertainty – it was to give all creatures a purpose in life. In love. A purpose in feeling, rather than a sense of decay; Manae’s price was not so that races would suffer under their doubts, but rather fight for them, unlike the uncertainty which held the witch and her beloved in suspense.

    To feel the sting of Manae’s Thorn is to feel the sensation of love – but with it comes the difficulties and complexities, varied by the size of the thorn and the pain of the sting…
     
  8. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    That Horrific Strength

    It was the curse of memory which had brought the darkly-clad paladin to the edge of a ruin; the destroyed remnants of a barbarian village.

    She had placed memory before Shrike, despite the attack at her home.

    The trees rustled with ominous winds as she trudged towards it in silence, listening to the roll of thunder which snarled between the blackening clouds. A storm was approaching. In the space of only a few years, the green fields and active crops which had encircled the village were now desolate sands, destroyed by neglect and abandonment, which had ravaged every corner, shadow and precipice of life.

    Everything was gone.

    Held in the paladin’s hands, the Shrike helmet glared at his owner with contemptuous rubies; the half-elf could only stare back, her fingers softly caressing the harsh spikes of the thorny headpiece. After placing it over her head, the paladin gripped her two swords, unsheathing them to hear the bladesong rivet its crystalline sound through the air.

    It was time.

    There was no returning to her ruined home.

    A few moments longer and the dark armour stood in the centre of the ruins. Her eyes swept across to find pieces of shattered, white-silver armour which protruded from the ground like the ominous fittings of a trap. Encrusted within the destroyed fragments was the blood of its owner. Paladin knew it well, for it was her blood which marred its beautiful, white sheen, a blasted space of twisted metal curling out of the breastplate where her fate had been sealed.

    The necromantic cult had ruined everything – starting with the slaughter of the innocent lives of the ruins which she now stood within. The insult would not end there – Captain Vivitar knew, Gellard knew; the Hieral knew – but Paladin had refused to. Not when they had told her who else may be involved in the massacre.

    Her memories were blurred by a sudden crunching sound at her feet.

    From the ruined soil, a rotten hand had emerged, grappling her ankle as the drooping features of one of the dead villagers surfaced, his jaw crooked and his eyes plucked by the long-since-fled carrion crows. Before the destroyed monster could strike, Paladin split its skull, rending the black-blooded limb apart. She swerved, planting her second sword between a pair of quivering hands nearby, waiting until they finally twitched into stillness.

    Each swing of her blade, every pirouette that kept the bladesong alive, the crimson stare watching the black blood of the living dead corrupt the edge of her swords in blighted splatters.

    She pivoted on a foot, her back running into an abomination, driving her swords into their stomach, tearing their entrails onto the ground, turning to behead the monster.

    Within her armoured form, Paladin felt tears coursing into every crevice of her mask, dulling her vision, yet the ferocity continued, her mind giving into the blind sublime that haunted her doubts.

    It was all gone now; the open hearts, the sweet tenderness which had linked them together was corrupted and gone. Whatever reason there was to keep them loyal to one another had vanished with him – because there was nothing left. To face her past once again, to watch as he asked to reclaim that sweetness and light – as she slaughtered the result of the cult’s doings, she wondered if those poor souls would ever accept that again. Where he had conscience, he did not use it. Where there was regret, he did not use it. Where there was reason to return to this dead place, he did not use it. And how could she accept forgiveness, where there was none to ask for the wretched souls here? How could she forgive the man who could have stopped it?

    How…

    How could it have all gone so wrong?

    The noble intentions were corruptions now. Mockeries of each other.

    She screamed, joining the symphony of the surfacing cries and shrieks of the damned, the movement of her limbs attempting to sunder their cursed flesh, tearing them to pieces so their long-sought rest could finally be found, finding the filth of the soil to be nothing more than a bed for their ravaged bodies.

    Devour me, she thought, devour me and eat me into the earth. I can’t go back. I won’t grovel any longer… I must leave. Disappear.

    Won’t you let me return to my resting place…?

    There is nothing left.

    In her grief, she had failed to see the approaching mass of limbs, of a mass of bodies wrapped against each other, forming an abomination, its tendrils charging to tear her limb from limb.

    They never came. There was a loud crack from behind her, the sound of the tendrils being cut from their origin, before the beast itself was rent into pieces by a long blade, jagged and dangerous, gleaming with malice in its intent. The torso of the terrible creature gradually fell apart, revealing its killer, who pulled the halberd away with a sweep, creating a bloody circle at her feet.

    The glowering, violet eyes of the Mantaris came to meet the wide, brown orbs belonging to Paladin. A carmine stain dripped from her shoulder to her fingers, touching the ground with soft pitter-patters like rain.

    Her violet eyes bellowed rage.

    “Are you out of your mind?” Dain snarled, her face was masked by a large, black material and her dark hair wrapped roughly away from her face by the same cloth. Her long hair was tied back, falling beyond her waist. Weariness had placed dark specks under her eyes; yet there was still that fire within them. Only now, there seemed a greater resolve from the lone warrior. She still didn’t look at her feet, as Brandr had always claimed, but the aims were higher. A burden had shifted from her shoulders. She casually stabbed down an undead villager with her halberd, twisting it harshly to put it to rest, silencing the horrific hiss of death. She didn’t look at it, but remained on the scarlet glare of Paladin’s helmet. She was waiting for a good reason for her disappearance.

    Paladin looked away, remaining silent. What could she say to her old friend?

    There was a growl as Dain turned away. Have it your way, she thought, emitting a battle cry as she joined the fray, a blur of cards slashing the undead like ribbons, her weapon cutting through them like wheat.

    Together, the two warriors fought hard to stop the cult’s torment, the legacy that had been left behind after their own deaths.

    And to cease the horrors which corrupted Paladin’s memories.

    The dead faces which bore fear when they were alive were broken, their ruined jaws exhaling corrupted air from their bloated lungs, acids and bile dribbling green as they tried to sink their teeth into the living flesh.

    Dain didn’t allow it.

    And Shrike wouldn’t either.

    The battle was sombre and violent. The bodies of corrupted babies, children and mothers-to-be quickly put to rest, made into abominations which were strewn across the ruins, their shrieking faces and bloated features horrific to gaze at. Their strange, metal-and-bone tendrils emerging from their bodies like maggots, trying to fend off the living and feed. Watching their bodies strewn across the ruins, Paladin wanted to be sick.

    What had they done…?

    The carnage was finished, decayed blood dripping from Dain’s halberd and from Paladin’s swords. At the edge of the ruin, the Mantaris stared at the jagged form of Paladin’s armour and narrowed her eyes before picking up a long piece of ruined wood, setting it alight with a card. She held the torch out towards Paladin with one, grizzled suggestion: burn your past.

    There was a clatter, as the she-warrior watched as the Shrike helm landed onto the floor, followed by a rutted pauldron, a spiked, twisted breastplate and blackened gauntlets. A bare hand softly pulled the torch from Dain’s grasp and threw it onto the mottled huts, the flames instantly licking away the dead wood.

    As she listened to the sounds, Paladin closed her eyes, waiting for her burdens to lift from her shoulders. Slowly, she sank to her knees – thinking of every frightened face during the terrible disaster.

    These people, she thought, were caught in something that they knew little about. They were sacrifices. They were punished, even though they had done nothing wrong. Nothing.

    So why, Paladin thought, after absolving them from this suffering… does it feel as if nothing has changed?

    Her fingers softly brushed across her bare chest, the dark line of her past having mottled the pallor of her skin. It was a permanent reminder of her failures, her death and the massacre.

    Am I like those monsters…?

    She didn’t absolve these innocents for herself, despite the latent wish that it was. There was nothing for her to feel, apart from dejection for the innocent lives taken away. The tears fell to the destroyed ground, the half-elf raising her hands to gently press them against her eyes, the tears flowing, even though no sobs followed them.

    A sturdy hand softly gripped the paladin’s bare shoulder. She didn’t move from Dain, but could only wish that it was an embrace.

    Dain silently watched her old friend for a while, before looking up and glaring at the flames that destroyed everything around them.

    “You chose to do this,” Dain murmured, “but being you, you chose to do this for a selfless reason. Your burdens will not shift unless you do something about yourself.” Her violet eyes dropped to watch the strewn abominations eaten by the flames. Those within the huts wailed and shrieked, some cascading through the doors in ablaze. She looked back to Paladin’s grieving form. “Apart from the Shadow-man, you’re the only one left to feel anything, but you don’t even give yourself that. Not even now. Fool.”

    “You say that as if it was easy for you, Dain,” emitted a faint murmur from the Paladin, her fringe hiding her eyes.

    Beneath the cowl, the Mantaris’ lips twitched as if to smile, but instead looked away.

    “I didn’t shake off my entire life,” she replied, “in a single battle. I still live with it. I simply didn’t have the emptiness which you’re feeling right now. I was able to go back to something – to know that in my personal reasons, I helped … someone… who helped me get there.”

    Paladin looked up, struggling to smile. “How did you find me?” she asked.

    “Your cottage was completely fucked. The insides looked like a bloodbath. Allyan was annoyed that you’d just left him on the edge of the forest… and I was annoyed that you’d just disappear. You left yourself a lot of crappy false trails, Pointy.

    “What the hell were you thinking?”

    Silence. Niscar tried to meet the cold glower in Dain’s eyes, but her masked features were simply a blur. “Why do you wander, Dain?” she asked, as if she didn’t hear Dain’s question.

    The she-warrior gritted her teeth in annoyance, but the question had a ring to it… a suggestion of intentions. Oh yes, she knew – but she refused to believe that the half-elf had put so many abominations to rest for the same reason that Dain had travelled such impossible distances.

    “You’re not me, Pointy.” The grip on the half-blood’s shoulder gently tightened, “Your design can’t be the same when your job demands the complete opposite. I won’t die, but I try, because I have lost reasons to be alive – but … I am now searching for that reason.

    “And, judging by that look in your eyes, you’re only lying to yourself, Niscar. And frankly, you’re crap at it.”

    A soft, involuntary intake of breath shuddered through the half-elf. The blunt, honest words had once again riveted into the softness of her soul, tightly seizing her heart for sheer moments, cutting deeply. The directness of a Midgardian.

    But what reasons could she find in keeping order, when she could only see hypocrisy?

    Dain creased her eyebrows in thought; had she said too much? She inwardly sighed – the little girl hardly changed, despite everything.

    “Get dressed. There is nothing here for you. Not even memory. Find reason in your madness, Niscar – but don’t remain here.

    “Now dry your eyes… and start walking.”
     
  9. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Elven Tradition 1 - The Worry People

    In the terrible times of Imorkis, the Elven Eradication, the Sundered Elves gave their children tiny, elaborate pouches with handmade people inside, made from barley, cotton and oats. For every fear that a child had, there was a different name for each handmade person. The more worries there were, the more people there were in the little pouch.

    In adulthood, the last of the Sundered still carry their pouches, giving them only to the people they trust. If that trust is every broken, the pouch is set alight and the remains buried.
     
  10. Paladin_girl

    Paladin_girl Between the Chapters of a Dream Staff Member

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    Update 28/02/2013: Finally added the image of Paladin and fixed up a few grammatical errors.