|The Restoration of Hope|
Hello, my name is Dal Sedlang. I’ve decided that since we have been doing such great works recently that I should begin to keep a record of my story so that if we succeed it will be a record of how we achieved our goal, and if we fall in battle or to disease there will be a history that may inspire others to hope. If you find this on my dead body and you are up to the challenge of bringing hope to the world then I give you all that I have to help you in your quest. If you do not believe in the cause of hope then I ask you leave what I have for someone who does, and if you choose to take them anyway I vow to return from the other side to take my revenge. This all being said… this is how it all began.
I was born into a small village that worked more like a pack than a community. There was a sense of community but the self was always set higher. Fighting for food was common in scarce times, but sharing was common in times when food was available.
Since there was so much death and so little food children became communal instead of belonging to their parents. Everyone took care of them, some with stronger ties to the past even putting the children before themselves. Sadly, these people had all died out by the time I was old enough to form strong memories.
As I grew older I began to show special powers. This gave me an advantage and caused me to get some of the best food, and items in the village. This only amounted to a well made shield, (Darkwood heavy wooden shield,) some well made tools (Master Work Artisan Tools), and a few mundane items... but they were better than most had. In the times between attacks I was also able to afford the time to learn my trades, tattoos and tribal crafts, to be used to decorate myself for battle.
One day a caravan came to town, which was a rare site. This caravan was run by a very charismatic man, Wren Fosterman, who brought stories of civilization and the possible future of the world. He introduced concepts that I had never imagined before, like working together for the greater good, and cities. This seemed like an amazing goal worth working towards, especially coming from someone so convincing. I decided to pack up what little I had, and join him.
Wren’s past was rather dark. He was apparently an orphan on the continent to the south. He and the other orphans were raised by a very nice, hard-working woman named Haley. She raised them the best she could, but supplies were always low, and there were always dangerous men lurking about. Wren was one of the older boys, and wanted to help Haley. One day some men broke into the poorly built orphanage. It seemed they were going to steal what little the orphanage had, and were probably going to do horrible things to Haley. Wren told me he couldn’t stand knowing that was happening. That’s when his demonic blood rose to the surface for the first time. He killed or maimed all of them. Wren’s weapon seems to be some sort of strange magic that I had only heard of in stories from elders that I assumed were just trying to scare children.
Though Wren thinks Haley feared his power, she taught him respectfully never to use the power unless he absolutely had to, and even then, to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering. When Wren was 15 one of his friends was raped and killed. With her death most of Wren’s friends fell into despair, and slowly drifted away from the orphanage. Wren was left alone helping Haley raise the orphanage. Less than 2 years later, she died of disease. Wren took over the orphanage for 5 years, until all the children under his care were hit by a fast and horrible illness which killed them all. Even after all that, Wren believes that there is hope in the world, and through it young children like the ones he took care of will be able to survive happily.
While I traveled the world with Wren, I learned that it was large and scary, filled with monsters everywhere. Soon I had the ability to throw the weapons I created, and I quickly became better with them. Between the two of us we were able to defeat most of the creatures that attacked. Those humans who were more powerful than us were usually easily calmed by the tongue of my new found friend.
It was shortly after we met that two men, we later learned they were brothers, jumped us. They were both slightly weak with hunger, which helped us quickly subdue one of them. The other, his brother, begged us to spare his life. I wanted to kill him, but before I could Wren asked the man to explain why they were attacking. It turned out the two were farmers before the war. Apparently farmers are people who grow food… I’d never met one before. It turned out these men were just desperate and not bad men. Instead of killing them we decided we should help them with their problem, and make one of these so-called “farms.” We were able to find a spot of land that was decent enough to hold a farm, and the four of us dug a well. Being so strong I did most of the work, but I wouldn’t have had any idea where to dig without Wren’s help. It was amazing seeing how happy this one little thing made these two men. I was told that in time this could be the start of a small village. It’s strange to think I was part of that. As a reward the two brothers each gave us their rings, which apparently had magic powers of protection (Ring of protection +1) On my left hand I tattooed the farm with two brothers.
We took some time to travel the land, spreading the message of hope from village to village. It was amazing how different each village was in their ways of life. I didn’t think there could be so many different views on life. It was during this time that I learned about religion and of the Gods. They were never mentioned during my youth; perhaps too many were hurt in the war of the Gods to care anymore. I found one that I thought fit well with the world and became a man of religion. I gave myself a tattoo of his symbol… I was proud of it and wanted it to be visible to the whole world, so I placed it on the side of my neck.
While we traveled we taught many cities of ways to improve themselves… Better defenses, better food use, things of that nature. One time, however, we directly saved a small settlement that could obviously not protect itself. A large number of giant vermin swarmed the city shortly after we arrived. The village elder was their protector, but he was growing old and weak. I think the village would have survived without us, but with more casualties. The elder disagreed, and decided to gift his armor to me. It was the lightest armor I had ever seen, but gave me amazing protection. (Mithral Breastplate) I tried to teach a few of the villagers better fighting techniques, but I’m not sure how well that worked since I’m not a very good teacher.
As we continued on our journey we came across a dried up bog. This place seemed safe, so we set up camp here. Before we fell asleep a strong wind came and uncovered a hole that looked like an entrance, which we explored. In the depths we found the corpse of a woman wearing druid like clothing. I wanted to leave, but Wren explained that we needed to burry the woman properly. He decided to keep her amulet. I didn’t think he would approve of taking the properties of the dead who had done nothing to us… but he said “This way she might be still helpful in a world without nature.” I decided to tattoo her grave with a large tree above it on my leg to remember.
This area was very dry, but Wren believed the water was still there, underground. It was good that he knew this as we soon came across a village having trouble with keeping their people hydrated. We taught them of the water underground, but this time the village was able to do the work themselves. It was amazing seeing an entire town working together when it wasn’t an attack. It gave me great hope for the future. The leader gave me the most amazing ring… I no longer needed food or water, and only needed to sleep two hours per night. This was a great relief as it shortened the time I dreamed at night… less time for nightmares. I covered my hand with a tattoo of flowing water to commemorate this joyous event.
The next group we came along was one of the most amazing I’ve met yet. It was a group of bandits we had heard of. They had recently killed a priest and had two powerful items… apparently they held the magic to heal wounds. (Wands of Vigor) I got prepared for a fight, but this group was too strong and large for us to take out. Wren told me had a plan to get the items back. I was prepared for a fight the whole time, watching everyone for hostile moves. All Wren did was talk. On the way there he had me make two stick look a little fancier than normal and he put them in his bag. He said if anyone asked they were made by a tribal shaman. I didn’t really understand at the time, but apparently he had a plan. As we approached he accused the men of stealing the wands from the priest. The men immediately became defensive but he assured them there was no threat from us. He explained that he was a trader in antiques, and that he would like to do business with them. The wands they had, he explained, were useless relics from before the War of the Gods. The wands held no magic value, but were worth quite a bit to a collector of such relics such as himself. He then took out the sticks and explained they were powerful magic wands that could shoot magic. He pointed one of them at a tree and a dark streak came out and blasted a hole in it. I was rather impressed since I had just made them and had no idea he could put power into an ordinary stick like that! The bandits were quick to trade us the wands, and we quickly went on our way. When I asked him about what had just happened he explained that they were bad men, so he lied to them. The sticks were really sticks and the magic was just his, and the relic wands were real wands with the power to heal. He’s quite an amazing man. I tattooed myself with a set of wands, the real and the ones I made, crossed over each other to mark the event.
And this brings us up to today, the day we entered Endale. This is one of the largest cities I’ve been in, and I look forward to meeting the people here.