Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition
A Chelaxian explorer, bound to her shield and kin.
I am Aviel Firan Taithrosima and it is upon the event of my twentieth birthday that I have decided to pen a biography so that in the event of my passing, my legacy will be remembered.What you are reading is a draft set down to form the framework of a larger, more detailed work covering my life.
I was born in the town of Tevron’s Shoals to Marrisa and Tilrost Taithrosima.I was the youngest of three.My eldest brother was Goldurim Arastim Taithrosima and in the middle was Tethris Stivin Taithrosima.
The story of my family before Godurim was born was unremarkable.Both of my parents were sailors making a middle class living working as crews on the many ships that plied the waters.Though both my mother and father were smart and ambitious, their backgrounds had left them without the funds or contacts to capitalize upon their plans.That changed when a prominent lord made an offer to the residents of our town.He required several consenting women to bear for him half orc children to be used in a special unit of his army.The details of the plan are unclear and of no importance.The point of note was that the women needed to be willing and he was ready to pay a handsome sum to those who accepted.
There are those who, upon reading this, would be repulsed at the idea, however it was a pragmatic and calculated decision that led to my mother accepting, and it was thus that Goldurim was born and the fortunes of house Taithrosima began to grow.
Goldurim was raised by my parents until he was 10 years of age whereupon by the terms of the agreement he would be transferred to the lord’s care for training and evaluation.My parents treated him as they would eventually treat Tethris and myself,strict discipline and ensuring that everything we did was done to further our futures and our family name.
While others frittered away their windfall from the arrangement, my father paid the local blacksmith to take Goldurim on as an apprentice.This was done to help strengthen him for his role as a soldier and give him a valuable skill that would secure his future.
Tethris arrived two years later.As he grew he proved to be a shrewd merchant, able to spot and exploit opportunities whenever they presented themselves.My father ensured that when he was old enough Tethris received a job at the merchant’s guild maintaining the guild’s hall.From this lowly position he would eventually hone his natural abilities and his hard work and keen eye did not go unnoticed.He was eventually taken under the wing of a mentor and learned much about the art of the trade.
I am the youngest and final child, born 4 years after Tethris.As I grew, I had a difficult time finding my role in the family.My defining trait seemed to be my strength, a feature that was occasionally attributed to a lingering trace of Goldurim’s blood.I was never quite certain if it was said in jestor disdain, but that is irrelevant.
When I was 4, Goldurim joined the lord’s special forces and I was eventually given his job as the blacksmith’s apprentice when I was old enough.During this time, the thing of most importance was that the foundation for the future of house Taithrosima was set.
Six years passed.Father had given Tethris a sum of money to start a very modest trading company.It was not expected that the company would thrive, the purpose was to give Tethris a platform upon which to learn.Again, every action was done to further our chances, the thus the family’s chances for success.I was just turning ten then and had spent the last two years working for the blacksmith, still uncertain of the role I would be playing to help further the family.At that time there was talk of the possibility of an arranged marriage in the future.
It was that year that the lord who Goldurim served fell to some kind of intrigue.The specifics of his fall are unimportant, only that his properties, including the half orc unit were divided amongst a host of interests.When mother and father found out, they spent considerable time and effort to learn of his fate.They found that his new master had no interest in having half orcs in his army and had thus consigned the unit to slave labour.
There was much discussion on how to proceed, in the end through shrewd bargaining a deal was made and Goldurim was purchased out of slavery.Although it had cost the family much, Godurim was back home.Some may wonder why my parents had even bothered, Goldurim was not my father’s son by blood, and he had served his purpose in establishing the family’s fortunes so why risk them retrieving him?As always, the answer as provided by my parents was that they saw the opportunity to get one more step ahead, but I suspect that they were not as calculating when it came to family as they let on, and he was still their son.
With Godurim back, there were big changes.Mother, father and Tethris were all eager to learn of the names, contacts and information that Goldurim had learned about in his time serving under the lord.There was much knowledge to be had and a new plan emerged.
Goldurim’s time in the service of the lord had given him an extensive list of notable names, places,intrigues and other valuable information connected to the military.Unfortunately his orc heritage ensured that he would never be able to fully capitalize on this knowledge.The people of Cheliax are not known for their tolerance of half bloods unless it happens to be infernal blood.
A short while after he returned, Goldurim was tasked with teaching me the art of combat.The plan was simple,having already followed in his footsteps, Goldurim would teach me the art of fighting.Thus, when I joined the militia I would stand out amongst all the other recruits and ideally be selected for a more prestigious position in a lord’s army.There, using the experience and contacts that Goldurim had developed, I would be able to capitalize on the opportunities that presented themselves.Military service was a valuable credential in Cheliax, and inside information on military matters and contacts would be invaluable knowledge for Tethris to exploit.And thus, the course of my future was set.
For the next five years I trained intensively with Goldurim. Although his teaching style would be considered strict by some standards, I was already accustomed to it by my upbringing.I was a quick learner, but could never match his level of offence, and so I focused on and practiced defense, much to the frustration of my brother, but it served me well.
At 15 years of age, I joined the militia as planned and excelled beyond expectations.Within the year I had been selected by a lord’s captain for inclusion in his own army.My aptitudes made me well suited for more intensive training and I was soon chosen to attend a prestigious war school.There, Goldurim’s teachings on the inner workings of the noble’s world was invaluable.
The school was attended by the sons and daughters of nobles and though my middle class upbringing was a hindrance, my knowledge of courtly skills served me well and I soon learned the right things to say as well as the right ways to act.This combination of martial skills and a willingness to learn courtly graces caught the attention of a young nobleman named Damien Baskell.
Damien was a remarkable man, I could go on at length about him and in my expanded biography likely will.Suffice to say that my memories of my time with him are fond ones.He taught me many things about the lives lived by nobles.The school taught me how to survive on a battlefield and Damien taught me how to survive in court, among other things.But that is unimportant for now.
My time at the school was not without its pitfalls however.Damien had a rival, a young enchanter named Percivus Actius III.Percivus became interested in me after it became apparent that Damien and my relationship was becoming stronger than mere friendship.He was very persuasive, with practiced words likely enhanced by his arcane specialty he drew me away from Damien.Damien warned me about Percivus but my mind was clouded.I will be truthful, even without his magic Percivus knew exactly the right things to say and could not say for sure if I would not have made the same choices even with a clear mind.
Regardless, after it was apparent that he had won me over, Percivus claimed victory and immediately lost interest in me.The betrayal was quite shattering.It would take some time for me to recover, but I am strong and this was simply another learning experience.That being said, however, I had a need to repay his unkindness.
It was well known that he used his magic to seduce ladies at the school, and while his family’s position did allow him to do so with those beneath his station, it was strictly forbidden to practice magic on your peers.This did not dissuade him however.It was merely a matter of time keeping a close eye on him until I was able to catch him in the act.This by itself, however, was not enough.By right of his position, he claimed a trial by combat.So confident was he that he chose to represent himself in the trial.I had my doubts about my ability to overcome his magic in the ring of trial and so I chose to pursue a solution typically employed by nobility.
Even as I write this I smile despite myself.I feel somewhat wrong to be proud of my solution but I have no guilt in having done it.The night before the trial I obtained a soporific and managed to poison his drink.How I did that is not important, but the result was that at the trial he was slow to react and took a face full of heavy shield before he even muttered a syllable.Although I cheated, he was laid low in a trial of his own choosing, and as such was shamed in front of the school and punished for his flagrant use of magic.The fact that I was below his station and not a magic user made the victory all that much sweeter.This whole experience coloured my perception of magic and its practitioners, but it did encourage me to pursue specialized training in countering wizards and sorcerers.
After that day, I never saw Percivus again as he was expelled from the school.Damien was impressed with my accomplishment and I was able to mend our relationship.Even after I admitted my guilt in the poisoning his admiration only grew.Though our love blossomed, we both knew it was not meant to be.
By the end of the schooling, we said our goodbyes.He was from a noble family with a prestigious name and I was from common stock which had yet to prove itself.There could never have been a future for us together.Neither of us had any regrets upon our parting ways.We still remain in touch and our families have both benefitted much from our close ties.
Now eighteen I returned to my military service and performed admirably in my lord’s service.The contacts I had made in the college and in my new post were invaluable and my family flourished in trading supplies and equipment for the military and noble houses.
By this time my parents had enough money to have bought their own ship and were now regularly playing the trade routes.They would ship out Chelaxian goods and return with foreign goods.Goldurim would put his considerable skills as a metalworker and soldier to good use appraising the foreign equipment and determining its worth and Tethris would arrange shipments, negotiate prices and anticipate new markets.
For two more years my whole family worked as one enterprise and we flourished.Our fortunes grew and we were becoming a well known name.Then, seven months ago from the time I am writing this account, tragedy struck.On a final journey South, my parent’s ship was attacked by pirates from the Shackles.We received word from the Chelish navy that by their reports the ship was taken and the crew either pressed into service or put to the sword.Though their bodies were never found we all knew that our parents would never have surrendered.
Shortly thereafter I resigned my position to help more directly with family affairs.After a period of mourning my brothers and I gathered together to plot our future.It was decided that I would take my parent’s roll in scouting new opportunities while Tethris and Goldurim continued to take care of business matters until we could get back on our feet.Along with the loss of our parents the loss of our ship and its cargo was a substantial blow both financially and to our reputation.
We decided that there would likely be many new opportunities with the relatively recently settled lands to the North in Varisia.Tethris suggested that my talents in diplomacy and dealing with nobility would be useful in currying favour with the ruling class and that I might apply my martial skills in helping deal with any threats the common folk might be facing.Varisia was still a wild land filled with savages and beasts and any help I might provide to relieve them of these threats would also bolster our name in the region and potentially open new opportunities.
And so it is dear reader that I come to the present.I am about to step of this ship tomorrow in a port called Sandpoint.While Magnimar or Korvosa would have been the most obvious ports of call, Tethris believed these markets were already saturated, but he had heard rumors that Sandpoint, a barely known fishing village had a nascent glass blowing industry that produced exceptional goods and decided that we should investigate the potential.
Questioning the crew I have heard that the town is having problems with goblins and a creature known as the Sandpoint Devil.I am preparing to help deal with these threats and win the favour of local nobles and merchants alike to facilitate any trade agreements there are to be made.
And thus ends my first entry into this chronicle of my accomplishments.