I was found lying on my stomach, under a giant tree in West Ronfaure by an old Elvaan couple mid Crystal Era. Perhaps I had been gone for centuries, or days, it is etremely hard to determine these things, as the space between re-incarnations varies. The astral plane has no beginning and no end, and Time is more of a theory rather then a reality there.
I awoke to find myself in a straw bed in a small house on Watchdog Alley; within minutes walk of the local supermarket in Southern San d'Oria. My head was swimming as I had visions of the past, as well as an overwhelming sense of emptiness and nothingness. The warm summer's breeze blew in through an open window, and I heard the voice of the Elvaan man who found me. "Carautia, he's finally awake." Said Leuveret.
The sounds of the old oak stairs creaking from the woman running up the stairs could be heard from behind me. "Well hello there young man." Said Carautia. I was very frightened by all this as it all appeared to be new and very fast. "Don't be afraid, we're are all friends here" said Leuveret as he motioned with open arms.
All of the anxiety built up, began to subside. The new faces seemed very caring and genuine. Sitting up, I began to take a look around at my new surroundings. There was a painting on the wall to my left that resembled an old straw house on a field. The bed was a rickety old wooden bed with straw for a matress. There was a desk at the foot of my bed, in front of the open window. The old man looked at me and just stood there smiling at me.
"You had us worried that you were never going to awaken" he said. I was wearing my galkan subligar and the quilt that the lady hand made. It was beautiful and had the same genuine warm feeling that the old couple gave me. A big change from the Astral plain.
I opened my mouth to speak, however was unsure if I could say anything at all. I decided I should at least say something or try to rather, seeing how both the man and the woman appeared to be very concerned about me.
"Where am I?" I asked. It was the first thing that slipped out of my mouth before I could say thank you. "Why you're in the Grand Kingdom of San d'Oria my lad" exclaimed Leuveret. You have been here in our home for the past 3 days as we found you on one of our walks out in the forest. They filled me in on the details of the circumstances of how I came to live with them.
Carautia moved forward and said, "It's not every day that we find a Galka unconscious in the woods you know, especially around San d'Oria of all places." It sounded as though she hesitated in saying this. Perhaps it was due to conflict between Bastok and San d'Oria. "Did you flee the slavery of Bastok to find freedom here?"
Then a painful memory of Anticans rushed into my mind! Like a piercing dagger to my heart, I began to feel hot sand on my feet and the sound of thousands of Antican Soldiers storming the golden gates of Quicksand Caves. That stale smell of rotting flesh that always accompanied them was very profound and took my breath away.
I snapped back to reality. The couple still stood there, waiting for a reaction. "I believe I have been gone much longer then what you are talking about my dear woman." I hopped out of bed and began to look frantically for my surcoat. I quickly found it on the back of the desk chair, and put it on, to try and warm up. San d'Oria is much colder then my last life's climate.
I began to explain to them that I had no recollection of anything or anyone, other then the last memory laps of the Ants. They seemed to understand and told me I was welcome to stay as long as I like.
They took me down into the kitchen where I was fed something that I'll never forget; Grilled Hare. The way the woman prepared it, was like most other things in the household, with care and love. It was possibly the most wonderful meal I had ever eatten. After eatting I retired to my quarters for a much needed rest.
The next moring I awoke to find the house empty. So I gathered what few items I had and set out the door to explore my new home town. There were Elvaan everywhere and the city was so beautiful, with its giant stone walls, wraught iron gates, and red banners on every street lamp. This was a city of pride and history!
As I was walking, I put my hand into my pocket and discovered an Adventurer Coupon, that was redeemable at a local shop, so I ventured out to locate this place. I found it in no time, as the Lion's Inn was just across the street. Once there, I asked the local barkeep about it, and he handed me 100 gil, saying that should get me started.
I walked out of the Inn and made my way down the street where I happened upon the local weapons shop "Helbort's Blades". I felt it calling to me, that feeling of cold steel in my hand... another piece of the puzzle that was missing. I entered the store and found the first sword I could use, a Bronze sword. It was lightweight, strong, sharp, and crafted to perfection, much like the Elvaan way of life, to make something to the best of their ability. While it was like a small dagger in my hand, it was exactly what I needed.
After purchasing the sword, I walked outside to almost be run over by the Royal Knights as they maintained their daily patrol "MOVE ASIDE FOR THE KING's GUARD!" The general shouted at me. It was at this point I knew exactly what my purpose to return was! I was to be a Knight of the Round and maintain the order and way of life of my new found nation.
I knew I had to begin training at once... Sword: O, Armor: X. Rosel's Armory Shop was right next door, and I decided that these rags were not enough to protect me out in the wilderness against the vast beasts and foes I would encounter. I was about to enter when I realized I had no more gil, as the sword I bought depleted my funds. Ok, so its a minor stepback. I'll continue exploring the city and find some work to finance my calling.
I did find work, and had many, many jobs here and there, which gave me the gil I needed, but it also taught me the arrogance and distaste for outsiders that this Elvaan race had. I made no friends except for my "parents" and most people kept their distance from me for several years. In that time I did odd jobs at the Blacksmiths, where I honed my weapon and armor making skills. Then with the new armor I crafted myself, and the custom made sword, I set out into Ronfaure Forest to begin my training.
My first encounter with anything was a wild Rabbit. I crept up behind it, maintaining the element of surprise, my past life's experience guiding me to make the right moves. Finally it was time to strike, I felt it in my heart, the rabbit had stopped moving and was in the perfect position for my attack. I leapt at it and swung my sword, only to hit air! The Rabbit spun around and sprayed me with sand in my eyes and I was blinded!
A local White Mage was passing by and cured my blindness, as most of Vana'diels White mages are more then happy to help a stranger in need. I swung back at the rabbit, cutting it down in mere seconds. My first battle had been won. Things progressed from there.
Years had passed, and my training had continued. I finally made it to 18, and was still training, making myself stronger to prove my worth to my country. Speaking with many of the locals, I found out the way into the King's Army was by enlisting in the ranks and working my way up.
One of my earliest missions was to infiltrate Davoi and locate a missing squire from the Temple Knights. It was a dangerous road to the Orcish stronghold, traveling across the la'theine Plateau, and through the dangerous Jugner Forest. I made it there alive.
Once inside the stronghold, I headed east, along the crevase in the mountain, across a bride and deep into enemy territory. After searching for hours, I found the knight pacing back and forth, trying to find his way out. He was completely lost and obviously disoriented.
The silent oils and prisim powders I had cast on me began to fade as I walked up to him. They wore off just as got behind him. He turned around in sheer terror, pulled out his sword and was about to swing at me! "I'm sorry good sir, I thought you were another orc sneaking up on me." Said Quemaricond.
Surprised myself, I appologised and told him my mission. He explained to me what he was doing there and handed me a note for the prince. I told him I could escort him out, but he said his platoon was going to be coming for him shortly, so I decided to make haste and return to the city at once.
Just past the bridge, I was ambushed by an Orcish Trooper! He waited till I had passed him and then swung his mighty axe into my back. It left a huge gash, stunning me, and caught me completely off guard! I turned around to see a giant Orc looming over me.
The orc wound up to swing at me again, only this time my reflexes took over, I dove under his swing and thrusted the sword straight into the Orc's exposed midrift! I must have hit something critical because the orc collapsed onto me, throwing me to the ground underneath him. Everything faded to black.
When I awoke next, I was bandaged up, in a giant room with shields and swords hung on the walls, royal silk surrounding me on the massive oak framed bed. I went to get up, but the gash in my back had not fully healed and made it impossible for me to walk. Then a woman Elvaan in white armor entered the room.
The woman was tall, with flaming red hair and an eye patch over her one eye... she appeared to be the same general who shouted at me when I was first wandering around South San d'Oria. "My name is Curilla, General of the Temple Knights, and you are here, in Chateau d'Oraguille, the King's Palace, so watch thine tounge or I'll cut it out for you!"
This time I remembered my place and manners and quickly responded with a "Thank you" I was still trying to figure out what I was doing here, when she began to fill me in on what had happened.
"I saw you take down that orc in a single blow, even with that massive gash on your back and losing blood faster then the local gambler can spend his gil. Naturally I was intregued by this, so I decided to collect you and bring you here, so that I could interrogate you!" she said. I was dumbfounded by all of this... was I in trouble for killing that beast?
"What is your name?!" I had nothing to say... no one had ever asked me that before, and I never really stopped to think about it. Much like most of my memories, one name came rushing to my head, with that same piercing feeling to the heart. My breathes grew heavy and an image of this massive lightening bolt jolting through my body by the Antican Mage across the room, my Subduer like a giant Lightning rod, my feet the easiest grounding connection between the sky and the earth. It was that Burst of energy that extinguished mine in the first place, I could hear one of my friends screaming "Masamonae! NO!" As my lifeless body hit the ground.
"My name is Masamonae, ma'am" I quietly said. "Are you an adventurer or something? You sure as hell aren't a Knight! Enough with this, GUARDS, take him to the Bostaunieux Oubliette! Let him rot down there, I've had enough with this Galkan Flesh stinking up his royalty's quarters"
4 Guards in red chainmail hastily dragged me through the halls, down some stairs, and into the black abyss. I could barely see from the lack of light and the stink of sewage was almost unbearable. I was thrown into a tiny cell with moss growing on the walls, a rotted bunk, and a heavy iron door. I blacked out again from my injuries.
When I came to, there was a man standing at the gate, wearing a dark robe, his face almost as black as the darkness itself, only his red eyes glowed. "I am Novalmauge, and you are in the San d'orian hell that is the Bostaunieux Oubliette. The King's prisoners are brought down here, to be forgotten. I am the keeper, and what facinates me about you is the fact that Curilla specifically told me to make sure you stay alive. Now why would she care about a Galka? Hmm?"
Then I remembered the note I had on me for Prince Trion. I reached for the piece of paper in my back pocket only to find it had disappeared. Curilla must have found it on me when she was tending to my wounds. Returning my attention back to Novalmauge, I asked him what he wanted from me. He replied, "it's simple really... I want what you want." He was surely more dead than alive, as his flesh appeared to be black and hard as leather, similar to that of a southern mummy left in the hot sun for too long.
How could he want what I want? I asked him what he meant by this. He explained that he had been sentenced to eternaty down here to guard the beasts and foes that once were men like us, after attempting to kill the king for immortality. He said all he wanted was a little bottle of Fiend's blood, or his "special medicine" as he called it.
Fiend's blood is fairly rare in these parts, but the Aution House ought to have a supply of it, I figured. I told him I could get him some, if he were to spring me from this hell hole. He took forth his big ring of keys and unlocked my cell. He pointed me towards a sewer grate down the hall and cast a spell of invisiblity and sneak on me. He handed me a map and told me to run as fast as I could. The path would be dangerous, but ultimately it'd lead me out into West Ronfaure.
To be continued... again
Edited, Jul 21st 2008 9:16pm by Masamonae