Background StoryPart One: The Storm
A beautiful melody enchants the neighboring woods as birds and other creatures of the forest come to listen to the rhythm. A beautiful, red-haired woman is found sitting against a tree as she plays her soothing music for the man and their son. Her music overpowers the sound of metal striking earth as the man and his son ready the crops for their harvest. Her music compels them to work, despite fatigue, it compels the curiosity of the animals. From above, numerous song birds have found their way to the branches to enjoy her musical notes, causing the birds to almost sway with her rhythm. The son looks up at his mother as a warm western wind dances through her hair like a lover’s fingertips, and his face suddenly darkens, fear shadowing in his eyes. Her eyes open at the feeling of the wind and then she sees her son’s eyes, those beautiful grey eyes that slowly begin to glaze and her song suddenly stops.
What was once a beautiful summer day, beset by nothing but a warm breeze and blue skies had been replaced by a thing of nightmares. The father grasps his lover’s hand and she grasps her sons and they run. The light warm wind was quickly being replaced by a biting wind; it cut through the trees and the branches, the song birds had all taken shelter in their nests as the skies begin to darken. It is then that the first lightning strikes.
A blinding flash of light and a booming sound of thunder is quickly followed by the heaviest of downpours and after only minutes in this horrifying nightmare, the son finds himself alone and separated from his family. He can hear his mother’s screams for him, but he feels his voice paralyzed by fear as the dark skies and the deafening roar of thunder and rain begin to drown out her screams. The boy does what any boy would do, he runs. He runs until his feet begin to hurt, and even still he runs. His eyesight betraying him as he watches the shadows dancing around him in the flashes of light followed by the cracking of the thunder from on high; he falls.
The impact is heavy and hard, his knee slamming into a rock as he screeches in agony. The cold rain biting at his body down to the very core, he fights to even be able to open his eyes. He sees nothing but the darkness of the forest surrounding him, trees are being batted by the wind and some are even being knocked out of their ever roots. Then he sees a fallen nest, or what is left of one and he is compelled to crawl. He fights every morsel of his body telling him to stop, to stay, but still he moves closer to the nest. When he finally reaches the shredded nest, he finds half a dozen beautiful bird eggs all shattered, all of them gone, save one. Through the biting rain and the crackling thunder he reaches for the egg that is barely intact; he feels a kick from within the egg.
The kick brings new momentum to the boy and he finds his feet again and runs’, clutching the egg to his chest as he darts through the trees and he finally breaches the tree line into the open plains, there he finds yet another nightmare. A terrifying howl pierces through the clasps of thunder as the wind and the rain collide from above, the clouds twisting and forming the deadliest of storms, a tornado. The boy watches as if time was slowed as the funnel connects to the earth with the boy in the center of this deadly storm; then all goes white and silent.
There is no storm, but he can feel a vast movement of wind as the pure white light pierces through his eyes. He fights to open his eyes and finds himself surrounded by ghastly creatures of constant swirling air. The largest of these beings approaches the boy who is still clutching the egg to protect it and himself. He turns from the being only to be forced to face him by indescribable power, and as he looks at the largest of these beings, it reaches out and a funnel is formed from its ghastly figure. The finger that is this vortex taps the boy on his forehead, then the egg and the egg vanishes. Suddenly all is white and silent once more and the boy finds himself on the side of the farmland and the egg is completely gone. The vicious storm subsided, but its’ wake of damage apparent. The boy finds his strength and runs to his home to find it almost completely destroyed with no signs of his parents except his mother’s ocarina, laying at the entrance gate to their small home.
Slowly, he picks up the beautifully crafted ocarina carefully and holds it to his lips and begins playing a tune he remembers his mother playing in the forest and as he closes his eyes, allowing the tears to begin. He thinks of the storm that just took his parents, and a sudden thunder clap draws him out of his rhythm with a jump as he glances at the clearing skies. Confused, he thinks of the thunderclap again and there is another crackle that pierces the skies, this one even louder; it is then the connection is made and the boy’s life would be forever changed. He secures his mother's ocarina and leaves the desolate farmlands behind.Part Two The Warlock in the Highback Plains
Years have passed since that forsaken day when the forces of the elements claimed his home and his family. The boy had moved on and was beginning to understand the depths of the power's now made available to him. Though not true magic in form, the power over the element he was beginning to produce surpassed that of any mage and he was beginning to see where it was leading him. As he traveled the plains within the Dominion of Man, he began feeling a tingle, a poke that seemed familiar and different at the same time. Focusing all of his effort, the young boy was able to pinpoint a man camping near a lake. The boy, sensing no immediate ill intent, approached the man who suddenly seemed familiar, it was then he heard a horrifying thunder clap, much like the one he had come to produce. After his initial reaction, he looked towards the camp and found the man was gone.
Startled, the boy called forth his own thunder clap and followed it with a light seeping mist, a cloud of steam he had learned to protect himself. Then the sky darkened and the winds raced, the lightning crackled and the very earth shaked. A lightning bolt struck not five feet from the boy and he reared around to find the man he was looking at earlier, surrounded by three electrical spheres and behind the man stood a being easily twelve feet tall... it reminded him of the beings who grasped the egg he had saved; the connection was made as the boy spoke in a language not native to his tongue, but more fluent than his own."You, you are an Air Elemental?"
The boy asks to the being itself who then looks to the older man. The man has a smirk crawl across his face as he turns to his friend."Is this the boy you had mentioned?"
He inquired, his eyes glancing over to the boy who was standing in awe as the ghastly creature nodded its vaporous head. The man nodded and looked to the boy. "Very well, as per the wishes of my friend, I will show you our ways, my young warlock."
The man begins and it was that moment that all the pieces finally fell into place.
The boy was awestruck and confused, dazzled yet abused. He was unsure what to think with his new found knowledge, and having nothing intelligent to say, the boy nodded to the man who then showed the boy what it was to command the forces of the atmosphere. The boy sat down and watched as with less than a flick of his wrist, the temperature dropped and the winds picked up, the skies darkened and the wind grew to a horrifying sight. Half a league behind the wisened warlock connected a tornado. It's funnel connecting halfway up the air as the main body flowed through the connection, the site was terrifying. With little effort, this man had created a horrifying weapon of the land, the most vicious of storms. He looked to the boy and nodded."This power is yours, my young warlock, you must know how to seize it."
And with that, he became a maestro, commanding the tornado to move from the left to the right, from backwards to dangerously close. The warlock gives a brief look to his elemental ally who nods then turns to the approaching tornado and gives it one vicious upwards slice, the tornado all but vanishing. "The greatest power any warlock has is not that of the elements, my young one, but by his connection to his element. My friend is an Air Elemental, and has full control such as I could never know. But through it, I have an almost unrivaled mastery of the atmosphere. This mastery could be yours. You must dedicate yourself to this pursuit, you must prove you are worthy to bend the atmosphere to your will."
The man says and the boy nods as he continues.
He continues describing what power could be his following with a demonstration. He leads the boy to a great lake where he unleashes a viscous hurricane then immediately quells it. He summons forth electrical balls that float around him, then he launches them like magical projectiles. All the while, his air elemental has not taken its eyes off of the young boy who begins to feel uneasy with its vaporous gaze. So the boy asks about it, he goes to describe his time in the woods, his summoning to the plane of the elementals. He describes the egg and how the elementals took it from him. All the while, the man nods and listens, genuinely listening to his young companion. "I have taken you under my wing because my friends, the air elementals, believe in you. They see something great in you. The egg was taken because you could not care for it's offspring so the elementals sent it home. Commit to this, and I will show you all of my secrets if you are ready."
He begins and the boy nods, formally committing to his new life.
The training and study was hard, the two lived as nomads for years, venturing into towns as needed then departing immediately afterwards. All of the boy's time was spend studying and honing his skills, and his magical prowess. Soon, he was not only able to summon a great cloud of steam or a thunderclap, but he was able to breathe without air and produce a terrifying wind, one that howled like the banshees that haunt the old cities. Soon after he began mastering these simpler air tasks, the older warlock gave him a real test. The summoning of his own elemental ally.
The first try took everything out of the boy and resulting in nothing. No elemental answered the call of this young warlock until a few weeks later. The boy was persistent in his efforts to understand as much as he can and soon enough, he set out a call and a minor elemental answered. It was less powerful than the one the older warlock often summons but still far more powerful than the boy. The warlock then issues out one final piece of advice. "The Elementals of your life sign are your greatest allies. Elementals in general are your greatest allies. They will fight to the death for you, they will protect and serve you until you release them. And release them you must. If you hold an Elemental to your will for longer than a week, it will begin to get resentful and may even lash out. The smallest of elementals are still capable of killing even the mightiest of men, so be wary."
He states as the boy looks to his new friend who boys before him. The boy returns the sentiment and the older warlock says softly "Good, you understand. Your next test will be much harder. You will have to find me to conduct and complete it, take this and good luck."
The man says, handing the boy a piece of parchment with a few names and pictures shown in it. The boy then looks to him, his body begins to grow transparent and gaseous until the man is hardly visible. Then he rockets into the more western clouds and the boy vows to find him again.Your test to reaching mastery is seeking out Cephestrecel, in so doing you will find an ally for life. Another is needed to further your quest, it is found in the northern mountains. There you will find me, but you should not go unprepared. If you come prepared and are worthy, you may leave with more than just knowledge.Highback Plains, the path to Hadrian's Cove: An unexpected ally
The boy, who was now a man was determined not to give up. Acquiring a steed in a game of chance, he set out across the plains traveling westwards, away from Haven and towards the city of Kaash and further on Hadrian's Cove. He travels for days and nights, endless hours on horseback or down by the rocks playing with the wind. His affinity for the elemental magic growing as he began to produce dark clouds of fear and anguish, he realized the power of the atmosphere was much more than just wind, it was the manipulation of the very air that every living soul breathes. His desire to know more increased as he travels further.
Day 36 of his travels after his mentor left him, he hears an unusual rustling in the forest and before he can react, a figure is seen on a mount rushing past him, darting into another collection of bushes as the man looks to the area where the figure darted into. Then he hears the sound of hoofs thundering down the road, no less than a dozen different sets and soon the man can see what is happening. A contingent of armed men race down the track from the direction the figure darted from and when they spot him, they circle him with weapons drawn. The man remains calm, remembering his teachings as he speaks."Is there something you want from me?"
He asks to no one in specific and very quickly a armored man answers."Have you seen a female around here, she would have just come by. We mean to bring her in.""For what does it take several armed men to bring in one stray?"
The Warlock asks, his patience losing its grip at common mercenaries."Our business, what is yours, stranger.""Mine? Self-discovery and knowledge."
The Warlock says seriously and the man laughs, followed quickly by his cohorts. The warlock levels his eyes at the man and places a hand on his steed's lower neck to calm it. Then the sky crackles and a large bolt of lightning strikes one of the men. His horse flaring and rushing away as a the man keels over, his body smoldering but still moving. The man gets up barely and flees as fast as his legs can carry him as his allies respond in fear."A Wizard, fall back!"
The first man shouts, and he didn't correct them. Better they didn't know he was a warlock, he thought. The figure long gone, even if it was a fugitive.
He continued along his path slowly, rather content with his ability to command his life sign and the strides he has made, it is then he realizes he isn't alone. A woman is seen near him, watching him and he slows to a stop. "I do not care what they say you have done, they had a smell to them. You are welcome to travel with me, milady."
The Warlock says and begins moving again. It is some time down the road before he hears an unusual trotting come up from behind and he finds a darker skinned woman riding a mule behind him. He nods and slows down to accommodate the mule and they begin traveling. Expecting no response, he will initiate conversation."My name is Zephyr and I am headed towards Hadrian's Cove, then Llorn thereafter. You are welcome to accompany me until your path leads you elsehwere."
He states and continues on and not to his surprise, she continues and slowly a trust is formed between the two. They never talk about their past or their origins, though she can assume of his magical affiliation, he never outright says it, and he never prods her for details on her past. They two just become traveling companions who formulate a trust in one another, anonymity is their ally in this strange time.Hadrian's Cove
The warlock made his way to Hadrian's Cove as he had initially intended, stopping briefly before reaching the city limits. Ensuring he was alone, he proceeded to initiate the summoning of his elemental ally, for he have become much more proficient in the task than before. It was but a moment before the winds picked up and he looked up to the being now standing before him. It's body gaseous in its form with only pearl eyes readily visible. It looks at the young warlock and nods to the man, and the warlock in turn bows to the elemental, speaking in its native tongue."My friend, I have arrived to Hadrian's Cove in search of my mentor. Will you aid me in my search here and beyond? I shall endevour to to send you home before long."
The young warlock asks the elemental being and he can feel its body shift as the air currents rotate. A gaseous hand is formed and is held out for the warlock, and he takes the hand and shakes it with his friend. "Thank you for your service, for now I ask that you follow alongside me as I enter the city, coming to my aid as needed."
The Warlock states and the being nods, vanishing into the sky.
He resumes his position on his steed where his ally is waiting and they make their way to Hadrian's Cove. Upon entering, he realizes how vast the city truly is, the intricacies of the work put in to make this town flourish into what it is today is apparent. His mind twitches and he feels the sense of not one or two, but multiple of his kind wandering the city, many are far more powerful than he is and he can feel it. With this many in the city, he knows there must be a brotherhood of Warlocks in the area and he strives to find it, and find it he does. The brotherhood consists of roughly thirty different warlocks, ranging in life signs from fire to water to earth to air. He knew someone must know the man he had come to call his mentor. He approached the gates of this brotherhood and they opened without a second glance, bringing him into their fold but locking his ally on the street. He knew he wouldn't be long so he paid it no mind and continued on.
Within minutes, the young warlock was greeted by four different warlocks, all wearing different colors to represent their life sign. All of them looked as wisened as the man he had come to call mentor, he bows before the four men who return the gesture in kind, with the fellow Air Warlock placing an arm around his shoulder."Welcome, what brings a young newcomer warlock to us this day?"
The Air Warlock asks in elemental, the young one surprised but not confused, answered in elemental and disclosed his knowledge to the four. It is then they introduce themselves in Eastern "That was a test, my dear boy. I am Master Aeolus. With me are Masters Ardeo, Naicus and Terra."
He speaks, pointing at the Red Warlock for Ardeo, the Blue one for Naicus and the Brown one for Terra. "Do us the favor of describing the one you called your Master."
The boy nods and describes him as best he can, everything from his apptitude with Air and his knowledge to how he taught. The way he looked and how he talked, and while the young Warlock spoke, he noticed that the other four nodding in knowing, as if they recognized who he was talking about. "You speak of Grand Master Caelum. Few have mastered their art to his level. He was said to have been on a pilgrimage to the far east. It is rare he accepts students directly."
Aeolus looks to the other three and they nod. They agree to help him find the Grand Master to further his training for none of the four wish to intervene directly on his teachings.
His time in Hadrian's Cove is brief as he does what he can to learn about the warlocks from within their guild, soaking up the knowledge so he is not so lost in the future but his time in the Cove is cut short by a fellow Warlock, a young fiery one named Jin. Jin seemed annoyed at the notion that this young Air Warlock who had no formal training could eventually surpass someone who has spent their entire life with the guild, as such he issues a challenge to the young air warlock, who accepts. They move to the outside of town and it is apparent they will duel to the death. A quick trot is heard as he sees his ally appear with his own steed but he raises his hand, claiming this to be his battle and his alone. The Fire Warlock smirks fires a fireball towards the ground in-front of him, summoning a lesser fire elemental. "Your first mistake, no warlock fights alone."
The fire warlock calls
There is a sudden whistle in the air as a rain of fire is sent towards the young air warlock who does his best to avoid it before the skies darken again and a magnificent bolt of lightning strikes the lesser fire elemental. "Your first mistake was assuming I was alone."
The Air Warlock replies and takes the offensive. He surrounds the Fire Warlock with a miasma and then instigates an immediate darkness, his Air Elemental darkening the skies as he does so. Then there is three balls of electricity that circle his friend as he fires them into the darkness. The Air Warlock nods and launches his own lightning arc into the darkness and a shriek is heard. With the blink of an eye, he dispels the darkness and the miasma to find the fire warlock scorched and on the ground, crawling. He approaches the warlock who tries to crawl away and he apologizes. "I am sorry it had to be this way brother, but you have made it clear that one of us cannot live with the other. Find peace in your element."
He calls and summons a final strike of lightning that causes the body to seize and then stop. He kneels next to the fire warlock and shakes his head, closing the dead warlock's eyes.
He returns the body to the Brotherhood and explains the situation. None of them are pleased, but none of them are angry for today it was discovered who the true warlock was, and with that, Zephyr left Hadrian's Cove, following the trail to the city of Llorn, his ally near him and his friend following in the sky.Part Three: Llorn
Last edited by Zephyr
on Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:40 pm, edited 6 times in total.