Zeitgeist - The Gears of Revolution
Laerdir of Runewood
Laerdir was born in a small clan of elves in a small forest in Risur, called Runewood. The first few years of his life were enjoyable living in his clan’s dell, but he was unaware of the struggles of his little clan. With the years, Runewood’s border were receding and was home to a particular type of highly prized wood. The clan knew it was only a matter of time until they would lose their home. Anticipating what would be coming, their brokered a deal with loggers and the government to allow them to perform selective logging of the Runewood, except for their sacred sites, and in exchange, they would finance a relocation of their clan to Elfaiven were they could start their own colony in the ancient Eldrin woods.
And so, the Laerdir and his entire clan moved to Elfaiven, except for a few elders who stayed behind to look over the Runewood, and settled part of the woods near a small lake to create a new Elven encampment away from the other colonists. They lived in peace in their new home, living off the woods and trading with other Risuri colonists or with the few Eldrin enclaves that trusted their cousins from Runewood. Even when the war between Danor and Risur resumed once again, they felt safe from the conflict… or so they thought.
One day, a Danoran squad of Tiefling’s stumbled upon the hidden encampment, and not wanting to be discovered on their covert mission to spy on the Risuri colonist, they attacked and slaughtered the whole village using firearms and bombs. Laerdir’s parents, seeing the carnage hid their 10 year old son in a hollow log close to the water and led the Danorans away. Hours later, an Eldrin patrol found the weeping boy in his hideout and carried him away. No others had survived.
The young elf was taken in by a nomad tribe of Eladrin Vekeshi followers lead by an Eldrin Matriarch and was raised as one of their own among the few other Eldrin children. He quickly took to the teachings of Vekesh which helped him through the lost of his parents and clan, but deep inside, an inner struggle raged between the teachings and the hurt he felt. He was also trained with the other warriors to use the spear and bow, and when old enough, he was even sent with the other warriors on the scouting parties where he saw the first horrors since his clan’s eradication. A secret war was happening in the Elfaiven, pitting colonists against colonists, enclaves of revenge-minded Eldrins against everyone, and Ber raiders come to plunder the colonists. But the Eladrin never raised a finger to help the senseless violence that occurred, only watched and avoided, which did not sit well with young Laerdir. The young elf brought it up to the tribe’s matriarch who beamed at him saying, “I knew you were special.” Before Laerdir could ask more about that remark, she explained that this was done for the safety of the tribe; they needed to avoid being seen and never leave any traces of their passing. With an unusually long hug, she bid him to retire.
That night, they came for him.
While meditating, strong arms covered his face, drugged him and carried him off. As he came to, he saw he was in a cage in a damp pitch-black cave. A voice from the darkness talked to him… “We shall see if your Matriarch was right young elf. Survive, and you shall do great things…” He was only fed tainted water and poisoned food for days, and made to relive the fall of of the great goddess Srasama’s death, day after day, but Laerdir found the strength to survive by meditating through the pain and sorrow of his daily existence. His last day in the cage, four Eldrins dressed in ceremonial feathered robes came to stand around him. Thinking, he had succeeded, he stood up proud and looked to the Eldrins. The robed figures raises their hands and chanted incantations just before a column of flames engulfed Laerdir. He had never felt pain such as this and screamed and writhed in pain in his cell. He thought he had been in the cage for hours when the column finally dissipated, but it had only been minutes. An Eldrin woman then stepped forward and healed his blackened skin and told him… “You have survived and shall forever be changed.” before he fell unconscious.
He awoke in a comfortable bed with the Eldrin woman sitting at the foot of his bed. “Welcome a Vekeshi Mystic. You are now one who defend those who wish to live their lives in peace and correct wrongs when no other have the power or desire to right them. But we do so wisely, when the time is right and for the good reasons. You shall learn.” He spent a few years with his mentor, discussing Vekesh’s teachings and growing in Wisdom which helped him to let go of the fear that never had never quite left him since he was a child. He also learned how to control his anger and know when it was coming. When they burned him and healed him, the heat stayed within him and anger released it. With concentration, he learned how to channel this and send it out of his body when his anger overwhelmed him.
After a few years, he was called upon to accomplish a simple mission within Crisillyir. “Your unique heritage allows you to go places we cannot. We are sending you to join the paladins in Sid Minos. Learn from them and use their resources to learn more about humanity and their Clergy.” His mentor looked deeply into his eyes. "But remember who they are and the corruption of what they consider “good”."
And so, Laerdir moved to Sid Minos and was accepted as a Paladin of the clergy. He quickly rose within the ranks of the initiates due to his maturity and Wisdom, and one of the Grand Paladin took a liking to him. He invited Laerdir to his mansion outside the paladin academy and showed him his collection of rare animals. Laerdir was shocked to see an Eldrin woman as part of his collection and felt his heat rise, but controlled himself. After returning to the academy, he quickly sent word to other Mystics about what he had seen. They assembled a team, donned their ritual Eladrin armor and mask and sneaked into the mansion at night. They quietly dispatched the guards and freed the woman before going to the Grand Paladin’s chamber. They surprised him in his bed and three of Laerdir’s comrades held him down, while the senior Mystic handed a ceremonial knife to Laerdir. “We must send a clear warning.” Laerdir shaked his head, refusing the knife and went to hold the Paladin’s head between his head before releasing his anger, burning his head alive. The Elder nodded and put a hand on Laerdir’s shoulder. "It needed to be done. You are now free do go where you will, but I would suggest Risur. We have had reports of strange occurrences happening in that polluted abomination of a town they call “Flint”. Join that Royal Homeland Constabulary they created. It would be good fit for you." With a nod, Laerdir faded into the darkness outside the mansion to find passage to Flint and his new adventure.