Guild of Helina
Her posture is decidedly terrible.
Weapons: Crossbow, Morningstar
Upon meeting Pilar, people usually first notice her height; 6’6". Then, her teeth – among regular, two large tusks protruded from her bottom lip, one on each side, giving her the appearance of a perpetual smile, or grimace. Despite her hulking appearance, there are easily overlooked tells of her nature – her hands are gentle, patient. Her hazel eyes are kind. Her posture is decidedly terrible. She is comfortable with herself, but would rather not stand out, especially in unfamiliar environments.
Pilar is a cleric.
Her strength is support, in bringing out the best in others and helping them to shine.
Her foundations are her community, her family, and the earth. Erastil is her guiding light.
Her domains are Plant and Community.
A young woman of unusual insight and empathy, she has a knack (or flaw) for seeing what is best in others. Unusually perceptive, she is able to feel out what they want
Flaws : terrible liar, shallow in the sense of immediate bias against/distrust for the beautiful and good. Stubborn insistence on trying to save people and on forgiving, to a fault.
She is friendly, in demeanor. She is looking for a cure for her father and for her lost sister. She misses her family terribly. She is incredibly, often too earnest with other people, open to them as a bid for trust. People usually respond to this. However, she is a terrible, horrible liar. Not due to any lack of intelligence, the same words out of most other mouths would convince. Whenever she tries, the words become irrelevant, as she cannot help but stammer and stutter, eyes guiltily averted. Despite this, when not on the stage to speak, she is not easily fooled, and is fairly adept at feeling out intent. Her behavior and powers are tied to a deep empathy for others, an empathy that often leads her to attempt to reach out to those who have been kicked, or twisted. Often, she wants to see the good in people. This could be a flaw. Oddly, this happens most insistently with those who have done evil. Maybe its because she has a hard time letting go, maybe she wants to believe that things can be reversed, that people can be redeemed, and that wounds can be mended. Oddly, upon meeting, she has the most distrust for the beautiful and charming, especially if that beauty seems unnatural. This may have been learned, subconsciously, from past experience.
Towards the party; she isn’t a fool, and was reticent to let them them in. With what they’d been through, though, to Pilar they were a second family. People make mistakes, sometimes they don’t do the right thing, sometimes they hurt each other. She tried to forgive, she knew, or wanted to believe, that something stronger bound them now.
(formatted version on gdrive)
the sort of thing that might occur around a campfire, maybe after a few of Fargo’s beers:
“You want to know about me? Well, sure.. I don’t really have any reason to keep things secret, except when there’s a good reason to.
I guess most of it is my family. I’m not sure if this is exactly how it happened, but it’s the way my dad tells it. It’s a good story, so I like to think it happened just like this…”
The funny thing about goodness, or evil for that matter, is that it doesn’t come out of a vacuum. The goodness of a person comes from the sum total of their experiences. Whether bought or borrowed, by blood or time, it always must be earned, or paid for.
Pilar’s mother’s name is Peony Sycorian. The name was a cruel joke. As the firstborn of the orc chieftain Bajir of the tribe of Kerrigor, she was a disappointment from the start. Raised with iron and steel, her predilection for the healing arts of nature was rejected early. Sired with 11 siblings, not until the 6th was there a male who would be acceptable as the next possible leader.
From a young age, she learned that she would only earn respect through the cold command of violent steel. She was encouraged to train, to harness her bestial nature to dominate, to overpower the other, weaker self. Through this, she rose through the tribes ranks to be legion general, a leader in power, if not in title, for the heir could only be male. When the hundred year war, already deep in, came to the land of Sycorax, it could not have been soon enough for Peony. The tribe, as savages, was distrusted and only reluctantly accepted, out of desperation, by the organized councils of human, dwarf, and elven rule. Even then, only as tools for inflicting damage, as footsoldiers. It was a different time. Peony longed to prove herself to the world beyond, to her father and tribe. For ten years, only male recruits were accepted. It was a long and brutal war. Gradually, recruitment grew desperate as their numbers dwindled. On the 10th of Galeda in the year 405DE, a bedraggled courier came in the night to the village. Bajir’s only son, Angor, was dead. Mad with grief, he cursed the outsiders, the humans, for taking his only heir, and closed his gates against the wounded world. Figuring this would be her only chance, Peony fled in the night, vowing to avenge her brother, father, and tribe against the forces that had undone their way of life. She was 17.
Pilar’s father’s name is Pol (pronounced Paul) Delphian. Human, he grew up in the underbelly in the grand city of Felgelica. The seventh of seven children, before he came into the world there was not even enough room. Life was hard, his parents had not even love left to give, so broken were they by the constant toil of a thousand debts accrued for daring to exist under the reign of King Belascus. It was a long war, and every measure of resource had to be drained from the thinning yolk, down to every last miserable peasant. Forgotten, Pol was left to roam the city, to wrestle any meal, every scrap of cloth from the small windows of opportunity that exist, if you have to learn desperation, how to look. It was a sunday like any other when the recruitment set up their tents in the square. The man behind the booth was tired, old. Blood and grime creased his uniform, the lines of his face. Merchants hurried by, averting their eyes; there was no glory here. Pol stood at the end of the square.
‘Today is the day’, he told himself. ‘The day I give up on this piss-world, give in to the sweet embrace of death.’
He walked, confidently, scrawny and underfed, to the booth. It was his sixteenth birthday.
The universe has a funny sense of humor. Two years of service, and Peony had yet to see the field of battle. Recognized for her skill in weaponcraft and, ironically (the humor of which was lost on her) for her talent in herbalism (as supplies dwindled, they culled all they could from the land, wild and coerced farmers), she had risen in the ranks to quartermaster (weapon supplier), or, glorified mule. Her peers regarded her with suspicion at best, lewdness at worst. It was a job, and for her, rage had given to resignation.
One day, a whelp came in, soft, barely risen from the teat. Human; weak.
“A sword. I want.. that one!” the pink meat said, pointing to a blade twice his weight.
“The Memento Mori?” The name was invented.
“Right. That one” He said, eyeing her sideways, then drawing himself up with a puff of air that might have knocked him over, in other circumstances.
She winced, grimaced, then finally cracked, letting out a long-held tide of bellowing laughter, laughter that shook the chains on the walls. It continued, until she was dry hiccuping.
Each gasp of air stung, pierced his wounded and long abused pride.
“YES! If you so please, SIR!”
At this, she stopped. Straightened. The genuine delight cleared, replaced by a cooler mask.
“Of course. But that must be earned. You cannot know a sword if you do not understand its craft, is that not right, little bear?”
He eyed her, hurt and pride in his eyes. She had laughed, but her laughter was not unkind. This was different.
“Of, of course. That’s right. Show me.”
“Not so fast. I can train you. But you will do something for me.”
“You will be the apprentice to quartermaster. As such, you will take on house duties, effective immediately.”
“Do you want a weapon? Well… Do you want to know how to use a weapon properly?”
Pol knew a trap when he saw one. But, he also knew mutual self interest, perhaps even more so. For some reason, he said
“Good. We begin tomorrow. Sleep well, little bear.”
And so their contract began. In exchange for his training, Peony was finally able to leave her post, if only momentarily, to taste battle, to feel closer to her dream, her goal that she left home for, two years ago. Pol knew what was up, but he was honest enough to admit to himself that he would have probably died, were it not for the training. But isn’t death why he came here? Wasn’t that what he had wanted? For some reason, not anymore.
14 months later, things changed. Well, as it goes, they had been changing for some time, quietly and without notice. Well, much notice. Pol had grown into his own. Having a craft, with the harsh but enriching air of the road, he had quietly grown stronger, deeper, with a hard exterior but with the supple softness of his youth just subdermal.
Peony had grown, too. In ways she was not ready to acknowledge, Pol had softened her. Him, and the taste of battle had uncoiled her long suppressed self – she became radiant. Strong, but learning the worth of gentleness. They were strong friends.
It was a beautiful day, when the forces were set to engage on the fields of Attolia. Like any other day, Peony and Pol had their morning training. Recently, he had made significant progress, and they had begun sparring with leather armor and steel. In the cold air of dawn, they traded blows on the mossy hillside.
“So, Peo- ug!”
“Yes, what is it, Pasha? Enunciate.” (pasha = a diminutive pet name)
“You told me- urh! You’d found a rep- aghlacement!”
She knew this had been coming. Ever since their bargain, he had asked, furtively then insistently, as his prowess grew, to be back on the frontlines, alongside her. As his abilities grew, so did her attachment. She had dodged it, but finally had been strong-armed by a superior who, unfortunately noticing their training, finally reassigned them both, and a newblood to the quartermaster position.
“Yes. He starts today”
“Grr-great!” he exclaimed, parrying. “Finally.”
She dropped her guard, his blade bouncing off of her breastplate.
The air was thick with blood, sweat, and dust. The battle had gone on long, too long. It was impossible to tell, anymore, who was on which side. She had tried to protect him, but in the confusion, they had been separated.
There was no sense, no direction, except for forward, cut through, cut beyond, survive, make somebody proud.
We lost something, that day. Some of us. Peony almost lost her life. Pol found his.
Deep, too deep into their territory, she was lost. It was slowly dawning, but she hadn’t fully accepted it yet. Being out of her element was nothing new, being totally fucked was.
Pol coughed. Peony’s darkvision was of no use here, but for him, this was his birthright – struggle, strife, small human victories, micro organisms of human struggle saturated the air. Without sight, he could see. Something was wrong.
Fear, that was new. Something in front of her, something was coming. Vibrations in the air, sonar, energy, physical, she could no longer tell, and she was afraid.
“Come at me, you shitbeast! I am not afraid”
This was a lie.
Through it, her voice cut, garbled, tossed. “Peony” he screamed, ragged. No use.
Then, a shadow, big, too big to tell. Around her, on her. She turned, and again. In the ground, a dip. She tripped——-
and fell, towards it.
A great intake, an exalted expansion, anticipating, descending from the precipice -
“NO – "
He ran. Beyond sure, beyond reason, forward, to the great need, the moment he knew would happen, the moment of extinguishing.
As he ran, drawing his sword, the mori, finally earned, untasted to blood.
In his mind, a plea….
The steel met with pure electricity. WIth a force that was not human, that was not natural or planetborn.
Through this, it cleaved. Forward, and forward, and forward, into the core, the sweet secret base, nestled between plates and walls and spells. He cut into it, and it was filled with the light that penetrated its sweetest depths, that rended it, that eviscerated its core.
The air was full of stars.
Like that, it was over. By luck or design, the presence was gone. Its compatriots drew back, suddenly afraid. They did not know, this had not happened before.
The air was still.
In tears, Pol collapsed, beyond exhaustion.
Peony was still, had been still. In her moment of vulnerability, she expected death, had expected it. It had not come. She looked up. There, he was.
He looked up.
“We made it. I -” her voice cracked “th- thank you”
Face wet and red, he looked at her, bewildered, then with relief. They embraced.
Of course, this is no hero’s story. The war did not end with Pol’s victory, or with that battle, for that matter. Thankfully, there were practical amends during wartime. One of them was for desperate underpopulation. With marriage, came a several year grace period, in which either (or both) parties were excused from active service.
They knew what horrors the world held, what brutal unkindness life could deal. Because of this, they understood how much it cost to wrestle from time and the world a small acre of happiness, to build a home. To create a bastion of love, no matter how temporary.
They had three children.
Padovar, Pilar, and Pitri.
Padovar was a proud girl, restless, like her mother. She wanted to explore, to flex her power against the bounds that constrained it.
Pilar was gentle, with an affinity for the trees and plants.
Pitri was curious and sly boy, like his father in youth. Always getting into trouble.
Between Pol’s business experience and Peony’s sufficient talent and experience, they started a herbalist/apothecarium out of their home, on the outskirts of the town of Rheingold which was nestled in the hills between the city of Gladura and the woods of Bromine. They were by no means sought out, but times were hard, and they filled a need.
Outside, the war raged on. In the world they had built, they were content. It couldn’t last.
“Pleeeeeeease, mom. Please mom. Puh-leeeaze puhleaze please MOM mom om om mom.” Padovar swung her chair back and forth, agonized. She was 11. As she began her fourth round of daily pleas, Pol interrupted,
“Maybe you should take her. Give little bear a chance, yeah? It’s been quiet for awhile.” he said, tussling her hair, looking at Peony significantly.
They exchanged a long look.
“Agh… but is it safe…” She wilted slightly, hardness softening under his eyes, as always.
“They need to be able to defend themselves, Paeonia” he said, kissing her gently on the brow. “It’ll be fine”
“I know, but.. Yes, you’re right.” she grumbled. Harnessing up with a soft wooden blade and shield, grabbing another set for Padovar. “Come on, little bear. As you like.”
“Really? Really mom? Hot dog!! Let’s go!”
“What about meee?” whinnied Pitri.
Pol laughed, “In a couple of years, pitri. Paddy’s got seven on you”
“Be careful” Pilar pleaded with her eyes.
Peony smoothed her hair. “Always, my love.”
We still don’t know what happened that day. Pitri got sick around noon, which never happens. He has some kind of sense, so when he started throwing up blood in the bile, papa got pretty scared.
Peony did not come back. Around 1am, Padovar did. Shaking, bloodied, she could not speak. Did not, would not.
“Tell me what happened, where’s mom?” Pilar, uncharacteristically violent, shook her by the shoulders. Padovar looked down, and away.
Pol fled into the night. Outside, the wind and dark beauty did not betray its secrets.
Inside, Pitri began to cry.
The next day was grey. Desaturated of meaning. Pol was quiet, Padovar quieter still. Pitri would not speak.
In time, he found his voice, again. It took Pol a little longer. For months, he was a shadow. Pilar did not understand, beyond unspoken loss. In this stagnancy, she tried to rebuild their home.
In time, it came to be. The night raids, desperate last efforts of the resistance, abated, and again the land was peaceful. Life moves on. Sometimes, we manage to catch up. (5 years)
Without her, Pol learned to live again. To be the father his wasn’t. With them, to make a family, again.
Gentle Pilar reminded him most of her, in her odd way. They had grown close. She was soft spoken, but had begun to come into her own, through her passion for the healing arts of nature. In this, they were able to pour their energies into exploration of the land and growth of their small herbalist business. Before long, they were known in the small province of Cornwall as a necessity for travelers and adventurers.
Pitri had become her shadow. Without a mother around, Pilar had taken on that role.
Padovar had receded, alienated by guilt and pain. She spent most of her days on contract work, hunting, returning only with the money of her bounties, only to depart immediately after.
Peony’s disappearance had affected them all in different ways. Padovar grew sullen, tempestuous. She was convinced Peony was out there, that she needed help. Whenever she was home, she and Pol fought constantly about this.
“Just let me go, i’m not a child! She needs us, how can we abandon her like that?”
“Padovar, the world outside is no place for a half orc child! Peony is a capable woman, but what would we do if something happened to you?!”
“I’m sixteen now, how old were you?”
“This discussion is over, Padovar.”
Privately, Pol thought she was dead. To his credit, if asked, he would smile, tiredly, and give a line about that old battle hound making her way back to the homestead. For a time, he was a bit of a lost man. Perhaps sensing this, and with empathy for the solo father of three, he was embraced into the community as one of their own. Reingold was a simple town, mostly farmers, a few craftspeople. What tended to draw people to it was their warm and tight community, centered around the rituals of the harvest, of abundance and companionship. Their god was Erastil, and his tenets revolved around respect for the land, of the goodness of nature and folk. Through this, they were able to find a foundation, a new family. Pol smiled, now. Even Pitri began to talk, again.
Things fell to a comfortable routine. For a time, they were happy. Then, the hurricane seasons came. As common, with the additional moisture came the immense growth the nearby flora, which included a number of deciduous sporing Belladon plants. The output of these were carried far on the wind. Ingesting these, the nearby communities often fell to sickness, nothing too serious. Such happenings would take the very old or very young, and sickly, but it was a natural part of the cycle of Erastil, of the growth and death of life.
This year had been a little different. Only the hardiest had made a full recovery, and while a large population was in bed, trade began to suffer. Pol and Pilar had been working overtime, late into the nights, trying to figure out what made the illness so resistant to the usual treatments.
What made the people glow with heat and light, like candles, through their sallow and tired skin? Why was their mucous turning black? Blessedly, they had yet to fall ill. Padovar, a self exiled outsider from the community, did not seem to notice or care.
One day, Pilar and Pol were out in the familiar woods, to replenish their standard stock of root alloys. Sighting a particularly rare breed, Pilar ran ahead. Pol was older now, and had trouble keeping up.
“Pietá, wait now..” (Pietá = a pet name)
with heavy footfalls, he tracked behind, until –
– he fell through the underbrush, into an uncharted clearing.
Coughing, he struggled to stand.
“Papa, is everything alright? What happened?” She knelt, alarmed, by the new hole.
“Pilar, it’s incredible, you’ve got to see this.”
Pilar winced. Braveness was not in her nature. She loved to explore, but only within the bounds of the known, the safe. Loss had taught her that much.
She slid down after him.
The inside of the cave was beautiful. The air was moist, but warm. The walls were mica schist, and glimmered, irradiating out the soft light filtering through the moss, salt and amber crystals above. It was undisturbed, almost sealed.
“C’mon, pokey puppy!”
As they ascended into the cave, it grew colder. The light was dimmer. Pol stumbled, Pilar grabbed and held his hand tight. With darkvision, her as his eyes, they made their way down. The air hummed, a monaural tone from within, the source of a great power.
The air grew thick with plant matter, moss and planktonites.
“We should go, come back with help, dad.”
“This place wasn’t here before, though. This power isn’t native to these woods. If it is an enchantment, we found it because it revealed itself to us. With others, i’m not so sure. I think.. I think it has something to do with the sickness. Maybe we can find a cure, here.”
“Like an antivenom?”
“Let us hope not, Pietá. Or ingredients for a salve.”
As they walked and spoke, unnoticing, the walls had begun to even out, to become smooth. They were warm, pink and marbled, and gave slightly to the touch. Ahead, pale, diffused light.
At the end of a long hall, a dead tree grew. It grew into and out of the walls, it’s rich bark rooted deep and wide, extending rhizomatic patterns above and around their heads, in and out of the pink walls.
In front of the tree, was Peony. She was still, preserved. Petrified.
With a cry, Pol ran to her. Before her, he paused, hesitated, before reaching out to touch her, to hold her. Falling to his knees, he pressed his face to her torso, sobs wracking his body.
Pilar stood on the other side of the room, frozen.
After a moment, the sound of joints popping, too quietly for either of them to hear. Peony’s hand flexed, gently, carpals shifting with the slow grind of marble columns. Peony was not here, and what moved the hand was not her mother, not his wife.
Pilar stared hard at her. Peony looked up, and smiled, lovingly. Her eyes were wet, translucent balls that glowed white. Behind that glow, smaller things squirmed.
“No.. no.. no no no, no, no it’s not right, something’s not right this isn’t right.” she mumbled, raising in pitch and volume until her panicked voice cut across the hall, echoing back into the cavern.
Peony’s hand waited next to his face, patient, still.
Pol looked up into the eyes of his love. A sad smile. Closing his eyes, he leaned gently to place his cheek in her hand.
The poison that had grown from this place, into the town, halted. Sensing a new vessel, it withdrew from the townspeople. The stench of root that had hung over Rheingold dissipated in the morning air. Suddenly unplagued, they stood. Tired spouses and parents awoke by their bedsides, wonder and warmth in their eyes. Grateful and loving, if confused.
Pol bent over, as if kicked in the gut. The walls had turned purple, darkened by black things that squirmed beneath them, pushing, pulsing. The figure before him no longer resembled Peony. Light burst from it, painful to look at. It was very cold, and very beautiful, poreless, sexless. Rows upon rows of translucent wings shimmered behind it, almost unreal, like fairy fire. It looked at him, impassive, unseeing.
Pol was turning colors, bruises blossoming internally across his body, eyes jaundicing. With a desperate cry, Pilar, weaponless, hurled herself at the statuesque form. The avatar tottered, then fell, smashing to the ground and shattering into a thousand latticed shards.
In these, she knelt, the shards cutting her legs, unnoticed. Pilar took her father in her arms and held him, listening. He was still breathing. She was afraid to move him. Also, she was fourteen, and though larger than a human child, was not sure she could bear his full grown weight. She looked around, tears beginning to sting at the corners of her eyes.
In this hour of need, Erastil came to her, in the form of a great white stag.
Pilar huddled at the end of the hall, slumped over the inanimate form of her father, in her arms. With the great shatter, the walls had gone still, drained of color. After a time, there was a quiet sound, and the shifting of a few pebbles from the tunneled path, into the room. Pilar raised her wet face, hostile, bracing for a new threat.
It came down the cragged path surely, without impatience. As she watched, it entered, and crossed the room, to her. Its steps did not disturb the shards. Before her, it stopped. She stared at it, the magnificent and gargantuan beast. Its almond eyes were soft, and reflected her own. Stooping, it nuzzled her chin, and then sat before her.
Tentatively, she stood, supporting what she could muster (about the top third) of Pol’s weight. At this, the stag leaned towards her, in suppliance. With some effort, she hoisted Pol up on its back. Together, they left the cavern.
At the outskirts of the village, the stag gently lowered, to allow its burden to be relieved. Its wet nose gently touched Pilar’s forehead. She understood, it was a sign of what was given, what must be earned and repaid. Turning, it ran, eating up the path in great footfalls, disappearing back into the woods.
People noticed them, and rushed over to help.
Later that night, Pilar and Pitri sat by his sickbed.
“Is papa going to be okay?”
“I don’t know, little bear.” Delicately, Pilar was removing the long slivers of the shattered thing from her legs.
“What is that?”
“I’m not sure. If it seems important, we can find out later.”
Pitri watched for awhile.
“The color.. mom liked that color.”
Alarmed, Pilar gave him a savage look, then remembered herself. It was a strange thing to say.
“If you say so, Pitri.”
Classes are funny. Sometimes, you’re able to take the time to try things out, to dabble. Other times, people are born knowing what they want. More usually, we grow up around need, around roles that must be filled, and, if you’re lucky enough, the role suits you. Things fit. Somehow, you’re able to take the natural, jagged edges between things and smooth them down, to make them work together with minimal friction.
For six years, things had been like this. Pol was still sick, but through sheer will and patience, Pilar had researched, ventured, gathered, stored, mixed, burned, ionized, boiled, and concocted every last damn kind of plant in the surrounding twenty mile radius, never going further. She had become the local authority on all things healing and botanical. As a product of her efforts, Pol had been able to hold on to the land of the living, barely, sometimes even to go out, to feel the warm sun of Rheingold on his hardening skin.
Slowly, they figured it out: he was cursed. She could stave it off, tooth and nail, but it was a long battle, and his sickness was beginning to adapt to her herbalism.
Pitri had begun to come into his own. He was now 15, old and strong enough to do nearly all of her tasks, only requiring help with the fine details of alchemy, temperatures and times and such. Together, they kept the business, and their father afloat.
Padovar was gone, she had left soon after Pilar and Pol returned that night. Before she rode off, they had fought bitterly.
“I told you, I told you she wasn’t gone, I told you she needed our help and something bad had happened” Padovar screamed, her face constricted and wet with rain and tears.
“Are you even listening? That wasn’t her. Don’t you get it? Peony’s dead! Wake the fuck up! He is your family, we are, not some dead orc!”
“FUCK YOU” she shoved Pilar, hard. Pilar fell into the mud.
They looked at each other, stunned. After a moment, Padovar’s beautiful blue eyes, wide, narrowed and hardened. She looked down. “This is my fault, you don’t know. I’m going to fix it. I don’t need your help, I don’t need anybody’s help. Stay out of my way.” she swung up on the horse, and, kicking its sides, turned and galloped away, into the torrential downpour. Pilar watched her, silent, and finally began to cry.
s. That night was six years ago. Six years now, just the three. Pitri was growing up so well, she was proud of him. He still said strange things, sometimes. He had a kind of sense, but it didn’t show or tell him more than shreds, pieces. Neither of them quite understood it, so she never pushed the matter. She was 20 now, an adult for all intents. The community regarded them with kindness and respect, with sympathy for their ill father.
After many stops and starts, it became clear that Pol was not getting better. Of late, his health had begun to decline rapidly, though with a magnitude of effort Pilar and Pitri were able to stabilize him. It was becoming clear that she needed to go. They had talked about it, before. First, lightly, wary of the outside world. Then, it became an old joke, she would imagine the adventures she would face, Djinns and orc princes and fearsome rabbits with seven heads. They would tell stories together, taking turns, late into the the night, as Pol would occasionally wake to listen and smile.
As it became closer, it was harder to take it as lightly. On the morning of the day, they packed supplies. Both were quiet, lost in thought. The old house, built by her parents years and years ago, where she had grown up, was the same as ever. The same floorboards (ochrewood until it ran out, the last third in a much darker oaknut), the same beams, the same window with the loose hinge. On each bedpost, carved notches for heights that continued to the wall behind, as each of the three children grew past the normal height of humans.
Pitri broke the silence,
“Maybe you’ll even meet a smelly guild and strike it rich! We could have a palace. In the woods, I mean. A woods palace.” Against the teachings of Erastil, his unquenchable curiosity had led him to dream of the world of men, of their crafts and beauties. Of their grand and glorious architecture, of the hidden secrets of their beautiful machines. She was the one who never wanted to leave, who would have been content to live and die on that plot of land, safe, at home. Yeah, the universe had a funny sense of humor.
She couldn’t help it, and cracked a smile. “A woods palace? Who lives there? His highness, lord bearrrrrrington, I presume?” with a growly rolling of ars, she bowed to him, teasing.
“He-EY!” he pouted, drawing himself up like a little lord. “I’ll have you know, subject, that stay in my palace is an honor, not a privilege, and taxation laws decree-” he was cut short by a round of wet, wracked coughs coming from the bed. They rushed to Pol, smoothed his brow, applied cloths. He was still asleep, his breath ragged, flushed.
“I should go.”
“Yeah. I know.”
“I’ll miss you.”
“I know. Me too. I mean. Come back soon.”
“I promise.” she leaned over and kissed him on the brow. They hugged for a long time. Then, she left.
Pitri had all of the supplies and knowledge he would need, to take care of Pol. Anything he had not memorized, she had written in three separate books, for him to reference. They did not know what would happen, but all they could do was try. The family would make it, somehow.
And then there were two.
Peony was a weapon focused fighter.
Pol was a rogue.
Padovar is probably a ranger
Pitri is likely an oracle, or a horizon walker.
Pilar is a cleric.
-Sycorax – A hard land, with hardened people. Many outcasted. The location of the tribe of Kerrigor.
Felgelica a grand and opulent city with a large class division.
-Attolia – The name of a series of wildlands between domains, the site of a great many battles. Once beautiful, years ago the lands were razed and now nothing grows here. They say the dirt, filled with clay, became red with the blood spilled on it.
-Rheingold – the town Peony grew up in, her home. Part of the province of Cornwall.
-Gladura – The closest major city near Rheingold, it is midsized (just large enough to be a trade destination). Mercantile and prosperous.
-Bromine woods – A deciduous forest bordering Rheingold. Pilar’s world, growing up. Expands rapidly during the wet season, during which caution must be exercised due to traveling Belladon spores.
-Pangaea Curatives – the name of Peony and Pol’s herbalist/apothecary shop.
-Orc tribe Kerrigor: origin of Peony, first born and daughter of chief Bajir.
Kerrigor’s gates closed to the outside world 26 years ago, with the death of her brother Angor. No word if they’ve since opened. 10 (11) siblings, no contact.
-Belascus – (ex?) King of Felgelica.
-The memento mori – an ordinary sword of incredible significance to the family. It remains above their hearth.
-Latticed marble shards – Coaxed from Pilar’s thigh, the from the broken statue. She carries them in a small pouch in her bag, to have them looked at by an appropriate expert. They remind her of her mother. As such, she has been putting this off.
-The elemental, a creature of the war, employed as brute force by both sides. A failed experiment, it caused as many friendly casualties as foreign.
-Erastil – Pilar’s god, and the god of the people of the town of Rheingold. His herald is the grim White Stag. Further info on pathfinder wiki.
-Winged statue, dead tree – ?
388 DE Peony Born
390 DE Pol Born
405 DE Peony Enlists
407 DE Pol Enlists
408 DE Peony and Pol are married
409 Padovar born
411 Pilar born
416 Pitri born
420 DE 3 children, 2 parents, Peony disappears
425 DE 3 children, 1 parent, Pol falls ill
431 DE 2 children, 1 parent, recent events.