Aeres:The Age of Redemption
A Half-Elven Warden of the Vale, Sgt. Tarel leads a special military unit called Firebrand
You were born on the 23rd day in the month of Sravana in the 470th year of the Blue Dragon. Sravana is the 17th month of the 24 month calendar and is named for the greatest of the female silver dragons. The silver dragons are legendary teachers and those born in one of the two silver dragon months are seen as having this aptitude as well. Silver is also a precious metal and the months carry with them powerful portents due to the mystical powers of silver as both a conduit for and ward against magik. As a feminine month it denotes a teacher as well. (There are 10 masculine months, 10 feminine months, and 4 months named for the first four Soundkeepers, which are in the middle of the calendar year. In the Dragon Cycle females are the teachers or uncoverers, while males are protectors or conquerors; with the first ten days of a month indicating protectors or teachers, the last ten days conquerors or uncoverers, and the middle seven days are those who tend to express both attributes).
You are the son of a human, a foreigner who was called M’shai Khons of the Majiyar Kingdom, and a wood elf maiden by the name of Betony(188). She is a weaver in the Longfletcher Clan of Elves in the forest of Keyll Cam (The Bent Forest), which the humans call Shepard’s Wood. You grew up never knowing your father and little was said of him. It was clear you were different from your Elven kin but they treated you kindly and taught you their ways nonetheless. You were a carefree child and lived much as Elven youths do though you clearly matured at a faster rate.
On your twentieth (20) birthday, you participated in the Spirit Hunt, in which all young Elves begin a real hunt in the forest but as the magik song they sing begins to take effect the Elves move into that space between our world and the ethereal plane. In this state they see many things and the path of one’s life is often revealed. During your hunt you began to feel a change but it never materialized and you found yourself alone in the forest. It was then that you knew beyond all doubt that the human side in you was stronger and this became a major turning point in your life. Feeling out of place you began to spend less time with your childhood friends and wondered what you would do with your future.
Your mother took this opportunity to tell you of your father. M’shai Khons came from a distant realm to the West called Majiyar. He was a member of some order of monks or mystics there and had been here acting as a diplomat of sorts to the court of the Duke of Ray. Your mother attended the spring fair that year, as Elven cloth is always in high demand, and it was there she met him. He was tall and dark with thick flowing black hair, and she could not help but be locked by his penetrating gaze. They loved through the summer and winter but in the following spring he was called back and though she begged him to stay, he made it clear that he could not. He had betrayed a vow of his order by loving her in the first place and when, before he left, they discovered her pregnancy he grew very despondent. He revealed that his order, called the Monks of the Dark Pool, were extremely strict with regards to their members having children. He feared what they might do if they discovered Betony and his unborn child, so he told her that she must keep her relationship with him secret. He left and that was the last she ever saw of him, though he left behind a curiously intricate spyglass made of black brushed brass. Having kept it all those years she now thought best to pass it to you along with the knowledge of his name and history.
It was not long after this time that you had another major turning point in your life. Wandering in the forest alone, as you had begun to do, you were caught off guard by a sudden sinkhole that opened. After a tumbling fall you found yourself some twenty feet down with nothing but crumbling walls of dirt around you. You feared you may not make it out when a man arrived. He was a Druid by the name of Logan and using his Talismans he brought you up to safety. You began spending more time with Logan and you enjoyed his company but you did not consider the path of the Druid to be yours. Through your friendship with him though you met Laryn vanFortuin, a ranger or Warden of the Vale Fiefs and she was not only beautiful but inspiring. That friendship took on other new dimensions as she became a mentor to you in both professional and personal ways. You were accepted by the Wardens the following year and so it was that as you were turning twenty-three your life had in some fashion truly begun.
Your training separated you from Laryn, which was difficult at first but it was an important lesson in how rangers must live. Three years later Laryn was lost to the blade of an assassin while on a mission. Again, a difficult lesson but you had no desire to let all her love and dedication be wasted, so you redoubled your efforts to being the best Warden you could. Still, this seemed to be hampered by your tendency to rebel against authority. On three separate occasions you were promoted to corporal, only to be demoted the following month for some infraction involving a superior officer. After serving for eight years you were transferred to the covert stronghold of Wolf Timbers, located in the southern portion of the forest by the same name. This was the stronghold just north of the fallen Dwarven fortress of Ruby Spire, now home to Goblins, Orcs, and Trolls.
It was a dangerous assignment but it provided you with one thing you truly loved: the chance to be on your own with very little direct supervision. Of course it also forced you to sneak around some of the most dangerous territory in the Vale, and enter into combat on a regular basis. In your mind though, this was preferable to patrolling the interior or the gods forbid, ocean duty! Your humor took on a darker aspect to it during these years and you began to keep a journal to pass the time on the days when your job was to sit and observe the pass leading to Ruby Spire. The great Dwarven fortress was a marvel to behold even from this distance and many times you would use your father’s spyglass to get a better look at it. It was no wonder that since it had fallen into the hands of the enemy, that no one had been able to retake it.
In the last year you have once more been promoted to a Corporal and have done a reasonable job in not irritating anyone up the immediate chain of command. You get along well with the other Wardens here and your responsibilities have continued to be varied and interesting. In the last week you have been called to the Warden stronghold of Sentinel Point (Considered as the unofficial home base of the Wardens) as you are to be reassigned. Only the gods know what your superiors have planned for you but you can only pray that it won’t be ocean duty!