Shroud of the Avatar – Cult of Spears Lore – Chapter 2: A Man So Fair
Good Evening Friends! Tonight we have chapter two of the Cult of Spears lore. Arrun leads us on a journey to meet two important individuals who will continue to play a huge role in the future chapters of his writing: “The Mistress”, as she is called, and Dippy. While this chapter lays the foundation for much that is yet to come. I hope you enjoy the images that Arrun tries to convey as he works to bring all of us on this journey.
Chapter 2 – A Man So Fair:
In all my journeys, I have met two outlanders. One a strong otherworldly woman, of whom I have met no equal when it came to magic. The other was a fascinating gentleman who enjoyed music and the world around him. His thirst for knowledge surpassed even my own. These two became two of the most important people in my life. The start of their influence in each others lives, however started far before I had met either…..
“Ugh, what is it, Toki? Why did you wake me?” The blueish grey skinned maiden swung her legs over the side of the bed. “I am sorry, Mistress, but it has happened.” “Are you certain?” “Yes, Mistress, a new one has appeared.” As she wrapped herself with a blanket, Toki blushed when she realized why Mistress wrapped a blanket around herself. “Gather our sisters; it is time you fill them in.” “Yes, Mistress”. She bowed and turned. “Oh, and no need to wake Sari, I will take care of filling her in myself.” Toki bowed, turned, then turned back and laid a blanket over Sari. After Toki left, Mistress walked out onto the balcony that looked over the mountains. She looked to the sky and her black eyes turned bronze. “Finally, it has been far too long.”
Gathered in the dining room, sat dozens of young women, each dressed in flowing robes of a soft crème colored fabric. Toki looked at her sisters and smiled. “Thank you all for your time, I know we would all rather be asleep right now, but I have news from our Mistress.” Those who were slumped over in their seats instantly became upright. “An outlander has arrived, and Mistress needs us to not only find him, but gather intelligence on him.” The women smiled as they had heard of outlanders coming to various lands. They were curious to meet another such mythical being, for the only one they had ever met was their mistress. She was a being of great love and power, and it was with her that for the first time, many of them had felt truly safe and if they had hope.
“Sisters! Remember, there is much honor in those of the Darkness, well is this known. Hear now the words of our Mistress. There is great need for the strength of unity. Let not the paths separate the people from that need. Go to them, say unto them, Behold! We stand as one. We will not let the agents of those who wish to destroy the world break us apart.”
A group of townfolk stare a young man in his teens at the edge of a forest. Muttering and shaking their heads is the most popular reaction, as an older woman checks him for injuries. Her hands trembling in both hope and fear…
“Who is he?”
“I don’t know, but look at him, he definitely is not from around here.”
A communal sigh was heard. “Let’s just bring him to town until we can sort things out.” The young man woke up to see a small room. As he looked around he was surprised to see he was in a fully furnished bedroom. “Well, I see you are awake.” An older woman walked into the room carrying a tray with a kettle and two cups. “I was afraid you weren’t going to wake up.” “Where am I?” “Evergrove, a small village on the Novian side of the continent. My name is Gladys.” “Novian?” “Yes the 2nd largest continent, to the West. I assume you are not from around here.” “I don’t remember.” As the two spoke, it became clear the young man either amnesia. Gladys offered to let the young man stay there until he could gather his thoughts and hopefully memories.
As the months passed, the young man became friends with many of the townspeople. Gladys always smiled to see him rush out the door to help townspeople with various tasks each day. She thought a lot about her husband and how they wished they could have had kids. Since his passing, the small cottage was never the same. With this new soul around, she felt refreshed and if she had new purpose to her life. She took to teaching the young man along with the help of others.
The townsfolk took to calling him “Dippy” because of his sense of humor, his constant amazement with magic, and some of the words he would say while trying to understand this new world he had found himself in. Words that the townsfolk had never heard before and that Dippy had no clue how he knew them. He just had this feeling that they meant something. The terraced homes for small personal gardens, the windmill, and so many other features of the town felt familiar as if he had seen them before. He strove to learn all he could. The hours spent in the village hall’s library with Gladys were especially special to him. Travis, the town blacksmith, was especially surprised with the ingenuity he showed when it came to tasks he would give him… The use of a waterwheel to power a new bellows for the forge, the use of dyed parchment to soften and color the light of candles during the winter carnival, and most of all the creation of a windmill not for grain, but for cutting lumber. Every task set before Dippy would find its completion, even if it did take multiple attempts.
Many of the nights he would spend time with a few of the other young men and women his age. Nights on the beach, in the tavern, and in the fields with his new friends began to take the pain away for Dippy, as he realized he had a wonderful life here, in this new place. People who cared for him, safety and shelter, and those willing to teach him as he hungered to learn all he could, to help his new family. The pain he saw in the eyes when he heard of the great tragedies that befell the world and its lands fueled his thirst for knowledge all the more. The years passed and Dippy would soon learn that his arrival was not an accident, but rather a part of the tragedies that were mere stories to those he spoke with.