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Old Jan 21st, 2014, 01:45 AM
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Tread253 Tread253 is offline
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Calathes Adventure Journal Prequel

Grey and bleak, the clouds over Kenabres seem to smother out the sun. The silence is palpable, despite the large number of people attending the morning service. An honor guard of crusaders stands at parade rest, swords and armor seeming dull in the early morning haze that blankets the square. Near the honor guard, a priest of Pharasma stands on a hastily constructed riser at the front of the crowd.

Calathes resists the urge to take his father's hand. Instead, he stands in the elven way, back straight with hands clasped in the small of his back, his head bowed in a respectful manner. His eyes roam the crowd searching for his mother, but he knows that she has still not returned from the search. He tries not to squirm, but the formal elven mourning attire is uncomfortable on his five year old half-human frame.

The crowd parts as a huge warhorse in full parade armor trots towards the riser. A knight bearing a large standard sits astride the great steed. For just a moment, a warm breeze blows through the square. The banner blows open, revealing the proud crest of the Silverkin family. Behind the mount, four paladins of Iomedae cradle a small casket between them. Calathes knows that the casket is empty, and in his five year old innocence, he wonders why it takes four men to carry it.

A man and a woman follow behind the casket. They are both dressed in full ceremonial armor, but are draped with black sashes. The woman stumbles and falters, but the man quickly gathers her in his arms and helps her towards the riser. The honor guard snaps to attention as the casket is placed near the Pharasman priest. The crowd shifts their attention to the priest of Pharasma. As the priest opens his mouth to begin the consecration of the dead, a woman towards the back of the crowd screams out in shock.

The crowd turns as one, shocked at the sudden interruption. Whispers and murmurs begin to travel through the crowd, carrying the name “Frostmane” to where Calathes stands with his father. His father starts as if struck, and begins to push his way through the throng of people to the rear of the crowd. Calathes tries to keep up, but he gets separated and begins to panic. He calls out for his father, but the only answer he receives are the murmurs of the crowd and....the cry of a baby?

When Calathes finally stumbles clear of the crowd, he sees his father running towards a kneeling stallion. The stallion is Kelthalas, his mother's mount! He would recognize that carrot loving monster anywhere. He does not, however, recognize the rider who is carefully cradling something in her one good arm. She has red hair and the entire right side of her face seems to be missing.

Calathes' father slides to his knees next to the stallion just as the rider tumbles from the saddle and into his father's arms. A woman comes and removes the bundle, a screaming baby it appears, and rushes off to the priests with it. Is that his father crying out? Calathes runs to his fathers side, desperate to see who he is holding. As he approaches, a lock of the woman's, blood soaked falls away from her face, and Calathes is staring into the single lifeless eye of his mother.


Calathes starts awake, sweat pouring off his body and soaking the bedclothes. The dream again. Every single night for the last 18 years, this dream has awoken him from his slumber. The death of his mother is a part of him now, and he has long since come to accept it. Yet, still the dream.

Climbing out of bed, he makes his way to the nightstand. The room is small, but he was lucky to find anyplace at all to stay with the Armasse happening today. When Calathes walked into the Defender's Heart, he almost turned and walked out in despair. The inn was packed to the rafters with crusaders and mercenary companies. If only he had not been delayed in his travel from Kyonin. Just his luck that he did not arrive until the day before the biggest event of the year. Fortunately, the innkeeper caught one look of Calathes, and he quickly cleared him a space at the bar. Eighteen years later, and his mother's legacy is still remembered. The innkeeper, Kimroth Otai, told him that the only room he had was a small servants quarters near the kitchen. Calathes readily accepted the room with thanks.

Calathes hastily scrubs his face with last nights wash water and stares at his reflection in the cloudy mirror. The smooth pale skin, almond eyes, and pointed ears of his father stare back at him. The long, shining white locks of hair are the legacy of his mother. Frostmane...a paladin already famous for her deeds against the demons, became almost legendary on the day she saved the Silverkin child.

Peering out the window, Calathes can tell that he overslept. The sun is already rising. Quickly donning breeches and a shirt, he makes his way out the back door of the inn. Just enough time to work the forms with his sword in the stableyard before breakfast. Then it will be off to the Armasse opening ceremonies.
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