My father wasn’t around. He left my mother when I was very young. To be honest I don’t remember his face. I once knew his name but it has long left me. They were not married. Frankly I don’t know why they got together in the first place. She was a merchant. Not wealthy but we always had enough to eat. I had an overall ordinary childhood.
Although when I was in my mid teens I was accosted by a robber in my own house. My mother was out and I was surprised by the man. He pulled a dagger on me and everything went dark. The next thing I remembered was my hand being on fire but not painful in any way and a charred human corpse on the floor of my living room. I ran to my mother in the market, who promptly closed shop for the day, and accompanied me back to the house. She saw the corpse, and saw my fiery hand and told me to pack my things. I began to ask questions and she cut me off. “Just pack,” she said. So I ran around picking up the little I had and was sent with hired guard to the Arcane Citadel before any constabulary came to find me.
I spent a few years in the citadel but never made it above the novice rank. I was a pacifist and refused to learn any and all forms of evocation. Thus they sent me on my way with a copper medallion and no warm returns. Apparently my face made a nice picture because as soon as I was seen by a legionnaire, I was apprehended for murder and thrown unceremoniously into a gulag. 15 years, they said, if I was lucky. And luckily I was.
I was taught to spin and sew and tan and make clothing, which I was forced to do for 10 hours a day for roughly 15 years. However I got very good at my craft! Nobody bothered me for fear of magic and if the did I would redirect them without injury. I still refused to fight, even for my life. Luckily it never came to that.
After I was released I saw a caravan passing through and asked to join. I offered a clothier and tanners skill and they accepted with a few year probation period. And work for them for a few years I did. I was successful in my craft and brought in revenue and the Winter Court appreciated having me around. I was finally accepted into the caravan in full and given my own craftsman table. It was a very happy occasion.
I did not practice magic much, though I did let the caravan leader know I was capable of it and had a medallion to show for it. I would often take a few of the guards out to help me hunt for furs or guard me while I sheared sheep or the like.
One day I was out looking for elk and wolves for the guards to hunt so I could use the pelts when I was accosted out of nowhere by a gaunt human. He took down two guards and bit into them ferociously with long fangs. He was about to attack a third when he suddenly he ceased the attack and stood back, waiting for something. My final guard was aiming to strike when my mind went blank and a vision appeared. “Stop!” I told my guard. “The Angel Auriel told me he is destined for greater things.” I asked him his name, and he said Toriel. “Toriel, I know nothing about you but your fighting prowess, and I want to help you. Come with me and we can try to find you a cure for your condition.” Begrudgingly he came with me back to the caravan and I took him under my wing.
After a few months and no cure Toriel’s morale finally ran out. I awoke just before dawn one day to find him gone, sitting on a rock outcropping, waiting for immolation. Ignoring my cries to get back to the wagon, I saw the sun begin to rise. As the light touched him my eyes blanked and I felt a light burn across my face. I have no idea what happened but Toriel didn’t burn. His skin regained some color and his thirst was gone. However at that moment I felt the presence of an otherworldly power inside of me. My body began to waste after that moment, and I knew I had been touched by Auriel. I was chosen to be her oracle in Tellus.
From that day, Toriel assumed himself to my debt and I began to lose myself physically to the world. My skin became sallow and sloughed off quicker than it can be replaced. I lost muscle mass and did not gain it back easily, and even my very bone became fragile. I no longer could sell my wares myself, but I continued my craft and tried to improve every day.
Toriel has taken a position as my bodyguard and tries to find penance daily. I help him as best I can, but I am old and frail. I don’t know how much longer I have left in me. But his close company is a comfort. I have lived 97 good years. I have made many friends, lost many more. My children work in the Spring Court as a merchant and a few guards. I see them seldom. In fact, not since The Choosing. They may not recognize me. But I am recognized as one of the venerable and respected members of the Winter Court, and try to keep the peace between the younger more fiery members. I stay in my wagon much of the time now. Getting around is slowly becoming an issue.
DIED 5th Rise of Summer 5013ARF
I, Vedicar Bladespeaker, swear that all that the following is a true chronicle of Girard’s early life culminating in the time that we parted so long ago. If my testimony bears falsewitness may my eyes fail and my body waste away.
Girard Ascalian was born in a small town a weeks journey from the citadel. His father, Hiram, absconded before his 3rd birthday leaving his mother Jessie to support them both. It was a poor but happy childhood. Jessie was a cloth merchant and sold her wares to the locals. When he reached the age of fifteen he returned home to surprise a robber in the house. The man pulled a dagger and after that Girard lost consciousness. He woke to find the man dead and his hand aflame. Curious to him was his hand was unharmed. Jessie packed him off to the Citadel without telling him where he was going.
Girard’s time at the Citadel was not easy. Bullied by classmates and even a teacher he was alone. When I met him a year later the bullying was still in full force. I was targeted as well. Girard used his sharp tongue to fend off three students who were busy trying to shove my small frame into a garderobe. They broke under the verbal assault and since that day we became fast friends. He refused to learn any spells from the school of evocation.
Skullcrusher the Flowery asked me to tutor him in the art of attack magic. I said I would but I did not. Instead we did as we pleased while we were supposed to be studying. One day Sousay, the head of the illusion school, caught us. This incident led to Girard’s expulsion. We did not see each other for eighty years after that.