Shortest Vigilante in Town

A story about a role-playing character, the Gnome Silas Hennilon.

Raised on the streets, a strong sense of right and wrong guided his hand. That same hand though, that had issues with what was his and what was not. Never knowing his parents, he was raised as an orphan, roaming the streets with his fellow rascals. That is, until he learned the trade of thievery, and ended up expanding his family to include one of the minor thieves’ guilds in the bustling metropolis. This became his home for several years, where he quickly gained a reputation for his quick wit and even quicker reflexes.

It all changed one day, when the guild got involved in a job much larger than anything they’d ever encountered before. Tasked to assist one of the larger guilds, a minor task turned into serious trouble for our young hero, who could not hold his tongue and voiced his concerns to his leader. Serving as lookout and causing distractions, the end result would be the kidnapping of a wealthy noble, albeit leaving several bodies in the wake. His protests fell on deaf ears he thought; when in fact they did not, and resulted in a heavy beating the evening before the big coup, despite his best efforts to fight back. Although mainly committed by strangers, his so-called “family” stood aside and let it happen.

Once he regained consciousness, the coup was already underway and he was tied down to his bed. Fearing for the future, which indeed looked bleak, he managed to free himself by using a knife hidden in his bed, and promptly fled town. Still young and inexperienced, he dared not return to his home, the same home that no longer welcomed him. Alone on the road, he managed to get work with a band of traveling troubadours, where he spent the next few months, feeling alone, not daring to let anyone into his heart again. Then one rainy evening, their small group was attacked by bloodthirsty orc raiders. Once more he ended up unconscious, but this time with a fatal wound to boot.

When he awoke, he found himself in a strange place. Coddled in the finest silk and in a soft bed, he had been found in the forest and carried to a furnished cave. His wounds healed, upon exploring the premises, he located a rich library as well as several other rooms all inside the cave. Most surprising however, was the room with a running stream of water and a beautiful naked silver haired elven maiden. Once he overcame his curiosity and embarrassment, he called out to her. When properly dressed, she told him the story about how she had stumbled across him in the night. After seeing to his injuries, she had tracked the orcs down, but sadly none of his companions still lived. Not wanting evil bandits to roam the area, she had attacked the orcs and disposed of them.

Mesmerized by her story and beauty, he begged her to teach him to fight, so he could defend those around him. At first she turned him down, instead offering him to stay and regain his strength over the next few days. During this period, she came to know his heart, both through conversation (she loved his wit) and several tests. In the end she decided to allow him to stay and train with her, but was somewhat shocked to learn of his meager talents in the areas of reading and other basic skills. She decided that in order to help him, she had to start at the beginning. And thus began a long period of her teaching and him learning, and both of them becoming great friends.

She taught him to read and write and he quickly fell in love with her library, which he consumed eagerly. He read stories about great heroes and noble deeds, inspiring himself to strive to become a better man, and also assist those in need. She also taught him how to wield a blade, as no hero should be defenseless in the face of evil, and in this area he excelled, helped on the way by his incredible reflexes and speed. And speaking of love, well, she forgot to teach him how not to lose his heart to her. Despite him being torn between staying and leaving, he knew that he had to travel out into the world, not only to help those in need, but also in order to prove himself worthy of one day confessing his love.

Returning once more to his hometown, he feared that some of his old acquaintances would recognize him, so he disguised himself in order to travel anonymously. Parting ways, his friend had given him a sizeable sum of gold in order to help him in whatever place the road took him. He decided to invest it in a bookshop, playing the role of the meager librarian by day and exploring the city and learning its dark underside by night. For although he was small of stature, he was big of heart. Some say he was too good for his own good, but that’s a story for another time.

Speech is Silver, Death is Gold

A story about a role-playing character, the assassin Silver.

Existence is a trinity; birth, life and death, beginning, middle and end. So it is for all mortal creatures. Many a time I have felt the icy embrace of Death, but then again, I have also felt the fierier embrace. Some people find ways to cheat Death, but in the end they all fail. Death cannot be cheated, only postponed. The living dead are by my reckoning, the only ones who have succeeded. And why is that you might ask? Embrace. They have embraced the thing that we all fear. I try to convince my mind of the cleverness I have shown, to adopt the same strategy as these unnatural creatures. But try as I may, the irrevocable fact still exists. It was fate, always fate pulling my strings. Why else would my youth be filled with the teachings of killing? Why else would her path cross mine? Why else would misery keep coming back, knocking on my door…?

I scarcely remember my childhood. Years of bitterness and loneliness have washed away the memories, leaving only the corns of sand to be blown away by the wind. And so is the tale of my life. Sand corns that lie still for some time, only to be abruptly stirred, spread all over the world, never to be brought together again. My mind it remembers only loneliness and sorrow and yet it truly doesn’t erase anything. It represses. My life can be divided into many parts. Each part is separated by a period of travel, with reflection and loneliness as my only companions. But always, in her many guises, Death is by my side…

As far back as I remember I have been alone. Even though love is scarcely, if ever, passed between my kin, I often wonder why I had been abandoned so? It is a question I have stopped searching an answer for a long time ago. It no longer bears the same weight as it did in the beginning. I have made arrangements to other sides, and these have also been broken, much to my discontent. Love is fickle and not so different from hate. It is something one should never strive for. As I write these words, I cannot help but smile at the irony in this statement. Love is fickle and not worthy of pursuit. Oh how good it feels to speak lies, how it heals the wound that have never fully healed. How it makes me strong…

Time has passed before my eyes. A century alone, another in the company of my foster father, yet another alone, a fourth with her, a fifth battling the demons within and a couple in search of something, anything to recreate that special era where I felt something other than coldness within. I have experienced many times the most wonderful thing in the world, and yet at the same time, it is also one of the things that people find to be the most horrible. I have looked into the eyes of Death, I have laughed with Death, oh beautiful Death…

Ten Is My Number

A story about the background of a role-playing character, the witch hunter Ten.

Ten is my number. How do I know this? The voices inside my head showed me.

I was born a single child into a loving elven family, having inherited my mother’s dark hair and green eyes. She used to read to me, nurturing my sense of wonder with various tales about fantastic places she dreamed up, filled with strange creatures and mighty gods. I recall us together with a man, my father probably. That’s all I remember about him, and despite having her image clear in my mind, I can no longer recall my mother’s name. Each passing day I’m losing more of myself, yet becoming more than I was.

Ten is my number. The man died in an accident when I was ten years old.

After that things changed. My mother no longer smiled at the world, only at me. Her stories became grey and lifeless, the magical forests turning into dark places filled with dangerous creatures and whimsical gods. Now that she had to support us alone, I got left to my own devices, playing in the streets. I listened to tales of faraway places, and roamed the outskirts of town, shooting sticks at trees with a crude bow I got for one of my birthdays. Little did I know that this was not so different from what the future would bring.

Ten is my number. Day turned to night under the eclipse when I was twenty years old.

The eclipse came and darkened the world. It was followed by the creatures from Otherworld, that turned the world something darker than black. Some say that the biggest loss that day was the fatal injury of our king. I say that was nothing compared to the loss of my mother, who was slain before my eyes, shattering my mind. In an instant my whole world was gone, replaced by a living nightmare I could not awake from. The next decade I spent in an asylum, mending a broken mind. But I was not alone, even with her gone.

Ten is my number. A modicum of sanity returned to me when I was thirty years old.

After several years, the cracks in my mind lessened. Still, through the cracks they had come; soothing, shouting and seductive voices. I almost killed myself several times, but in the chorus of them all, I learned that the darkness was festering inside me, waiting to be released and herald eternal night. I started honing my physical body, which combined with meditation, forced the voices to the background. While I was better mentally and physically than I had been in many years, my release into society was not for another decade.

Ten is my number. I conquered the maze that was my mind and got released when I was forty years old.

Still literally fighting my inner demons, I was drawn to the field of academia, allowing myself to be absorbed by reading and studying, trying to make sense of the world, barely sleeping. It was hard at times, playing catch-up and keeping my concentration, with the voices following my every thought, but I needed to win. I was naturally drawn to the occult, studying the eclipse and whatever tidbits of demon lore could be found. Despite slowly forgetting myself, I found that whatever I read stuck, with me being able to recall it to the smallest detail.

Ten is my number. I found my calling when I was fifty years old.

There was little I could glean from scrolls and theoretic debates about Otherworld, and even tales from travelers, never yielded anything. That is, until I met the right traveler, the one who initiated me into the ranks of the witch hunters. The coming years was spent with her teaching me everything she knew about magic, the occult, fighting and love. We were on track to change the world together, until one day when my concentration broke down, and I joined the nine voices for a while, drowning her in her own blood.

Ten is my number. I shouldered my sorrow and braved the world when I was sixty years old.

Rigorous training and studying the past many years left me much different. I was no longer the ignorant child, I possessed knowledge. I was no longer the weak child, I possessed strength. I was no longer the lonely child, I possessed friends. I was, no, not friends, enemies. Several times they’ve helped me, faking friendship and trying to win my trust though advice, both helpful and insane. But while one voice speaks of friendship, at the same time another speaks of betrayal. I must fight the dark. I must fight the dark. I must fight the dark…

Ten is my number. Another great event will pass in my life when I become seventy years old.

Rumors of the most powerful artifact in the world reached my ears, something that surely could be used in the fight against the Otherworld, both outside and within me. Something in ten fragments, just like my mind and the nine voices. I’ve been on the hunt for bandits that are rumored to have possession of a fragment. Once I catch up to them, they will reveal what they know, one way or the other, and then they will die. No loose ends, nothing to alert the creatures of the Otherworld. For we are coming for them.

Ten is our name. And for all the mothers in the world, another eclipse will not come to pass. This I swear.

Crimson No More

A story about my exit from Crimson Alliance, my primary World of Warcraft guild.

We’re all exhausted. We’ve been fleeing all night and only now allow ourselves break from the wild flight. The Paladin is a stoic guardian, keeping our camp safe while the girl sleeps in my arms.

The assassins wearing the Crimson colors keep coming, and had I been alone I might have succumbed to the onslaught. I thank you, my enemies, for opening my eyes and making me realize what I can and what I cannot do. Had this been 800 years earlier, when I was still young and haughty, I would have been dead for sure.

I am surprised nonetheless, for the danger that we face lies in numbers and not ability. No truly skilled assassins like Farha or the Ratcatcher have come to stop us, but maybe it’s because they fear us more than we fear them? No. The Old Priest is smarter than that. He foiled my attack on his life and sent us running, but I worry not, for Solomon’s demise is assured as soon as his God falls.

It’s been over a month since I shed my tabard, but as it is with all those hungry for power, He does not forgive so easily. Or is it fear I sense?

I remember a day so long ago, when I spoke to myself, laying all of my life, my entire world, bare before my eyes. The list was started and ever since, They have tried to stop me. So far it has all been in vain, but several millenniums are still ahead before my revenge is due.

As I promised the Guardian, should he not keep up his part of the bargain, our deal would be ended. And I tire of waiting, so I added yet another to my list. But maybe He knows? Was this nothing but a ruse to keep my mind busy and keep me from gaining more allies? If that’s the case I cannot wonder if He failed, for now the girl and the Paladin fight by my side. But yet again, are they as all before them destined to die in my service?

The Druid girl knows of a portal that will take us away from this realm, but no matter where I go, danger awaits.