RTW's character stories
by, 30-08-2006 at 04:09 (683 Views)
1050 AE, season of the Scion, a child is born in a small log cabin deep in the woods of Regent Valley. The proud parents name their third child Preston.
As the years pass, the young boy showed great interest in his father's work. Leonard Swiftnight was a simple trapper and hunter, skilled enough with a bow to kill game. But when it came to combat, fear would freeze him in his tracks. He never joined a guild, and never fought in the Guild Wars. This was all well enough for him, Leonard was content with supporting his small happy family. If hunting animals for food and hides were all the skill Melandru would bestow upon him, he truly felt blessed for it.
When Preston was eight, his father gave him a gift. A starter bow. Preston was quick to shoot, if a little reckless at first. His first day with the bow, he flooded one of the outside walls of the cabin with arrows. Not one of them hit the target he had drawn, which was little bigger than his fist. On his first hunting trip with his father and brother, who is five years older, Preston's inaccurate shot and impatience scared away all the animals. The only quarry they brought home on that trip was the caged animals from Leonard's traps.
Over the next few years though, Preston honed his ability with the bow. He picked up on the tricks his father used to hunt and to trap game. At age eleven, Preston and his older brother could do the hunting and trapping by themselves. With the boys doing the physical work, Leonard turned his attention to his daughter. Though only a year older than Preston, she was very intelligent and observant. Leonard taught her the art of bartering. Bringing her to Fort Ranik, Foibel's Fair, Piken Square and Ascalon City to trade hides. Before long, the three children were doing all of the hunting, skinning and trading. The two parents couldn't have been prouder.
Life seemed sweet for young Preston. But at age twelve, it would all come crashing down. Coming back from a long trading trip to Rin, Preston's older brother noticed something was amiss. He smelt smoke in the air. He hushed is younger siblings’ bickering and strained his ears to hear laughter in the distance. He knew too quickly it was coming from the direction of their small log cabin, and immediately assumed the worst. Leaving the cart of traded goods behind, the three children slowly crept up to the sight of horror.
Seven men stood laughing as Preston's home burned in a blazing inferno. Bandits. But worst of all was not what could be seen, but what was heard. Trapped inside the fiery house, Preston's parents screamed, left to burn alive. Having had enough of the torment, Preston drew his bow in rage and charged into the clearing. Blinded by anger, he did all he could to try and kill the men before a hammer blow to side of his face knocked him out cold.
Preston awoke some time later in a bed. A large bandage had been placed over his face where the hammer had struck. Looking around the room, Preston saw his older brother in the corner with a scowl on his face. He was covered in bandages, badly bruised, and his arm was in a sling. On the other end of the room, Preston's sister was crying in the arms of Sarah, one of the healers of Ashford Village.
Shortly after Preston came to, a guard from the Ascalon Army and another unidentifiable man entered the room. The guard asked Preston what had happened, and Preston explained that they had just gotten home when it was already ablaze, and he attacked the bandits with his bow. The guard then told Preston that a few of the guardsmen in the area had seen the smoke, and headed out to find the source. They found a girl, Preston's sister, running towards Fort Ranik and questioned her. She told them what was happening and showed them the way to the cabin. When they got there, two of the bandits were dead and the other five were taking turns beating Preston's older brother. After the guards disposed of the bandits, they brought the children to Ashford Village to be treated. He then mentioned that the guards would return to the cabin later to find what they could, and that their parents would be buried in the Ashford Abbey.
Then, the mysterious man stepped forward and asked Preston if he knew how the two men had died. Preston hung his head and confessed he may have killed them with his bow. The man laughed and mentioned that, unfortunately, none of the men had even been hit by an arrow. The man then introduced himself as Oberan the Reviled, and said the source of the men’s death was a force of Grenth, necromantic powers conjured through Preston. He told Preston he had great potential, and suggested he take up education at the Nolani Academy.
The next few days were filled with sorrow. They stayed with Sarah's family for the time being, and a funeral was held for their parents. Talk of what was to be done with the children quickly arose, and plans for splitting them up and sending them to orphanages were made. Though the plans were quickly discarded as a wealthy traveling merchant said he would adopt the three. The man was the father of Preston's friend Susie Dear, who had pleaded with her father to help them.
After a few months of living in the large manor in Ascalon City, Preston began to think about what Oberan the Reviled had told him. The next semester was about to begin, and one of the house maids suggest Preston should get an education at the Ascalon Academy with Susie, since the boy was near thirteen years old and still could not read. When Preston said he would rather attend Nolani Academy to study necromancy, Susie's father said he would fund his education, and sent him on his way.
School was difficult for Preston. He was always behind in his studies, spending his first year struggling to learn to read. But when it came to practical application of necromantic arts, he excelled rather amazingly. He began to change as he furthered his studies. His hair turned an unnatural shade of green, his skin paled, and he viewed his scar as a badge of power rather than a disfigurement. Though he took his new trade very seriously, Preston never forgot about the hunt. He often times went out on hunts with other young rangers from the surrounding areas. He was never very welcomed amongst them, but no one made him leave so long as he didn't scare away the game or perform any of what many of them called creepy voodoo.
Shortly into his first semester at the academy, Preston received word that his sister would be joining Susie's father and his caravan as they traveled to Kryta and Orr to do trade. When the caravan returned a few months later, they brought news that while in Orr, she had gone missing. Preston felt a little upset over the ordeal since he had always been a little mean to his older sister and never got the chance to make up for it.
About a year later, Preston's older brother left without saying a word. He just left the manor with a few of his possessions and never returned. Preston got two letters over the next few weeks. The first was from Susie's father, which in a borderline cynical tone said that he would continue to fund his education as long as he didn't decide to disappear like his siblings had. And should he leave, it would almost be considered a robbery on his part how much money was invested into him and his siblings, just to have them run off. A clear threat.
The second letter was from his brother. It had a similar borderline cynical tone to it, saying that he grew bored with the life his baby brother had provided and was content with. It then said he wished to go back to the life his real family had planned for him, and that he was going to start by traveling the wilderness until he found his way to Orr in attempt to find his sister.
The harsh words did not deter Preston from his life now. He continued at the academy until his graduation. Eighteen years old, he followed the traditional naming convention of his family and now goes by the name Preston Nightdeath. He stuck around Ascalon City, furthering his abilities in the Catacombs and providing support to his friend Susie Dear, who had taken up training into the Ascalon Army at Fort Ranik.
In two years, The Searing would happen. Preston watches again as his home burns down to the ground. In a year after that, Preston hears of The Cataclysm and can only help but remember his brother and sister, both last known to be in or heading for Orr. The rest is a whole other story…
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