Visions of the Arcane
By Player with Edit by DM
Tyler Hawklight was an extremely charming young man, the youngest son of the Hawklight nobles. He was always more interested in enjoying himself than taking his forced military service seriously. Megan Falthir, on the other hand, was a beautiful girl and also quite an accomplished Janthian solder from a long line of accomplished military members. It was a bit unexpected when the charming young noble and the more serious warrior came together to marry, but the appeared to temper one another’s flaws with the strengths of the other. Behind the charm and knowledge of Tyler and the determination/focus of Megan, the Hawklights built up a small merchant business, specializing in the trade of ancient artifacts and relics. Today, they are one of the top suppliers of ancient relics throughout the Janthian Kingdom.
Tyler and Megan had 4 children: Salthir, Jenna, Wilfyre and Rathorn. All the Hawklight children performed their required military duties with some distinction. Jenna was the most accomplished warrior of the children, earning herself a place in the specialized forces of the Hammer’s Sons. While Wilfyre, much like his father, always found himself distracted by enjoying life and other persuits. Wilfyre was more interested in the merchant business than the military. He served out his military service without issue, learning how to use most martial weapons and standard armor, but unlike his sister, the military life just wasn’t for him. He enjoyed using his charisma to barter, trade and otherwise acquire good deals for the family business, something he put to good use in assisting his father’s negotiations.
After his military service had completed, Wilfyre began to accompanying his father on various business deals. The collection of ancient artifacts was always interesting to Wilfyre and more than once, he found something to which he took a liking and asked his father’s permission to keep. The answer, unfortunately for Wilfyre, was always no. As Wil further matured and his father grew more confident in his abilities, Wil was allowed to complete transactions on his own. During one particular minor estate purchase, Wil came across a small collection of trinkets/symbols which caught his eye. Interested in the trinkets, Wil negotiated to have them thrown in along with the other items he was there to obtain. After returning home, Wil spoke excitedly with his parents about his negotiating skills and how he not only got them a better initial price, but also managed to get these small trinkets thrown in as well! Wil asserted that since he negotiated the inclusion of the additional items that he should be allowed to keep something from this collection for himself. His father decided that his son’s request was not unreasonable, but saw this as an opportunity to further teach him about the business. They then negotiated a deal…if Wil wished to keep one of the trinkets, then his father would tell him nothing further about them and Wil would need to spend the time researching and learning about these trinkets so that he would have a better idea of how to profit from his findings.
Wilfyre, excited at this prospect, quickly agreed and picked out the symbol to which first caught his eye and threw it on a small chain around his neck. The pendant hung down far enough to fall just underneath his shirt and out of view. In the coming weeks, Wilfyre spent as much time as possible studying various artifacts and relics, before he eventually came across an old history text detailing the ancient gods and their symbols of power. Realizing that the trinkets were actually a collection of symbols of the old gods, Wilfyre focused his study on various aspects of the gods/religions until he was able to accurately describe each of the symbols. In showing this dedication to his work, WIl continued to gain his parent’s trust, quickly becoming involved in nearly all of the family’s transactions that had to do with artifacts decorated with the ancient symbols of the gods. Seeing this as his chance to further assist with the business, Wil embraced this role and gladly continued to learn as much about the ancient gods and their symbols as possible.
A few weeks later, Wil’s family purchased an old abandoned and crumbling estate on the outskirts of town for a particularly attractive price. Reviewing the contents of their purchase, Wil’s parents and most of the hired hands moved off anything they found of extreme value. Wil and his brothers stayed behind to catalog and transport whatever minor valuable items/trinkets had been left undidscovered. The three brothers spent hours combing through the rest of the estate, finding small previously unnoticed items along the way. While searching through the basemen, Wil stumbled across a secret door hidden near a small alcove. Wil called out to his brothers notifying them of his discovery, but they were off in various other parts of the large estate. After a moment or two of getting no response, he took a lit torch off the basement wall and proceeded into the darkness of the passageway. At the end of the short passageway, the room expanded into what appeared to be a medium sized tomb. A single sarcophagus stood at the far end of the tomb with a slight glowing blue light coming up from underneath it. Lighting the torches on the wall, Wil approached the sarcophagus, noticing the incredible beauty of the stonework and what appeared to be symbols of the ancient gods carved into the sarcophagus itself.
As Wil stood marvelling at the beauty of the ancient stonework and the carving of the symbols upon the tomb, various things took place all at once. Wil’s brothers had finally finished and come to the basement looking for him so they could return home. Noticing the door and light in the small passageway, they called out and headed towards him to see what he had discovered. As Wil turned back to the sounds of his brothers’ voices, a large stone slab came down across the inner doorway sealing off the tomb from the basement. Various shadows throughout the tomb then began to take form and proceed in Wil’s direction. The shadows appeared from all directions except from near the sarcophagus itself filling the tomb. Wil did what most anyone would do with no visible escape and backed away from the advancing shadows, moving himself closer to the sarcophagus. Wil could hear his brothers banging attempting to get into the tomb, although he was far more focused on what was going on around him. When all of the forms finished coming together, 8 shadowy figures slowly approached towards Wilfyre looking to feed on his lifeforce. As they surrounded him, engulfing him in shadows, he was raked by a sharp claw across his chest, shredding his shirt and causing him to fall backward onto the sarcophagus. As he lay there dazed, barely able to lift his head, the shadows hissed around him, taking pause for a moment seemingly unwilling to move any closer to finish him off. Wil began to drift in and out of consciousness, his head slumping to the right causing the symbol on the pendant around his neck to clang off the top of the sarcophagus. The slight ringing sound of the pendant making contact with the tomb caused one of the shadows to lunge forward towards Wilfyre attempting to draw the remaining lifeforce from him. As the shadow crossed the boundary of sarcophagus, the faint blue glowing light beneath the sarcophagus burst forth brightly destroying the shadow and then forming a spirit outlined in glowing ancient armor. The bright of light was so intense that it even momentarily blinded Wil’s brothers attempting to get past the rock door.
When Wil woke, days later, back home, he was told of his missing moments by his brother Rathorn: They had covered their eyes at the light from the tomb door’s recesses, and then a cave in started after the brilliant light waned. The tomb door collapsed outward, knocking Salthir backward. Rathorn recognized the danger and ran in to save his brother from atop the sarcophagus. When Rathorn came out dragging his brother, he noticed Salthir was pinned by the tomb door and would be unable to leave the now collapsing structure on his own. Rathorn tried to help his other brother but he could not with the burden of Wil. Salthir told him to run, and Rathorn did his best to drag Wil to safety out of the failing structure. That was the last anyone had seen of Salthir, Rathorn said. Wil’s parents were, even now, at the collapsed site trying to oversee hired hands to clear the rubble and find out, for certain what remains of Salthir.
As the months past, and Wil was recovering from his ordeal in the tomb, the family received no comfort for Salthir. His body was never recovered. Wil’s thoughts and actions became more focused on trying to remember what happened in the tomb to fight his guilt about feeling responsible for his brother’s disappearance. He also felt a sense of urgency to learn more about prominent symbol in the tomb, the same one he wears around his neck: the symbol of Jan’Tyr, former patron god of the Janthians. Since his near death experience, Wilfyre’s nights are quite often filled with strange dreams, and sometimes nightmares, none of which provide him much insight as to what happened that day in the tomb. Each dream is slightly different, some involve a warrior bathed in light fighting off various creatures of darkness, some show a figure hunting or finding spectacular artifacts covered with the symbols of Jan’Tyr, and yet others have his brother in the role of the warrior, or even an attacker. While each dream is different, Wil noted that there are three specific themes around which they all revolve: an ancient and glowing sword, brilliant shining plate armor or a stout shield, all covered with the symbols of Jan’Tyr, the blade and the scales.
Lately, Wil has been having slightly different dreams, centered around the area in Garulia known as Arcadia. With his would finally healed (except for the scar on his chest), Wil decides that it is time to set out to follow these dreams to determine if they hold the answer to any of his questions. has. Speaking with his parents, Wil relays a plan to accomplish this. He will sail to Arcadia and then proceed south to the dwarven stronghold of Cairn Talasar, securing a trade route for the Hawklights with various merchant families along the route. His father has spoken of wanting to expand their trade across the sea for a few years now and this would provide the perfect opportunity. They argue the point of safety and practicality before Wil’s skills of persuation eventually convince his parents of the importance of this trip, both for the family and to him personally. In an emotional goodbye with his parents, Wilfyre informs them not to expect him back until he has determined what happened and the source of his strange dreams.
Packing for Arcadia, Wilfyre equips himself as Janthian might for a journey into the unknown, donning a suit of chainmail along with a standard longsword and shield. An uneventful sail to Arcadia is filled with more odd and strange dreams filled with flashes of strange locations he doesn’t recognize. After a week spent securing multiple agreements with the leading merchant families in Arcadia, Wil purchases passage on a caravan heading south to Cairn Talasar. As the caravan travels south along the road, much of the surrounding area starts to look more and more familiar to Wilfyre, before he realizes that some of the locations are from his latest dreams. As the caraven sets up camp for the evening, a scream comes from the other side of the clearing where a young girl is backing away from approaching skeletal figures. The caravan guard rushes to their aid, fighting off two of the skeletons but the others continue past him toward the young girl. Seeing the young girl in danger, Wil quickly leaps to his feet charging forward calling out a cry in an attempt to get the attention of the undead. What happened next was most unexpected as the skeleton to which he first pointed crumbled with a small flash of white light while his sword strike on the second produced a similar spark of light as it also fell. During both of these actions Wil felt an unrecognized force flowing through him. After dealing with the skeletons Wil felt an urge to continue pressing onward into the woods until he reached a location from which he surmised the skeletons had come. A singular item lay on the ground, an old suit of plate armor, which Wil took back with him to the caravan.
Wil’s dreams that night were much clearer than they’d been in the past. In these dreams, the figure hunting and gathering the artifacts as well as smiting the various creatures of darkness possessed his face. He had visions of himself in the plate armor and how to fight in it. The next morning, Wil switched from his chain armor into the old plate armor which felt quite heavier/restricting than it did in his latest dreams. Over the coming days, Wil eventually became comfortable with the new armor with his body reacting just as if he’d had a lifetime of training wearing it.
Unfortunately, the caravan never did reach Cairn Talasar….