Kalil yn Kalann el Dumein: Righteous Fury

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Kalil yn Kalann el Dumein: Righteous Fury

Post by Eira » Wed May 15, 2019 7:43 am

They came for us when the moon was shadowed and clouds covered the stars so you could hardly see your own hand in front of your face. It had been my mother’s saying that the only good death was one sought in the midst of battle, and though I was far from a man, I believed it then that my death had finally reached me. So when they leapt out of the trees and ran with screeching howls towards us, I was there with my little axe to meet them in battle. It was hardly more than a woodcutter’s hatchet, but it was the weapon my mother had pressed into my hand and so I took it up with a ferocity to make her proud.

I woke hours later, choking on blood and gore, sure that I had died and was going to Warrior's Rest with my mother and the rest of our people. When strong hands grabbed me, I went limp for them to more easily carry me up to my god. But a man shook me and slapped my face so I had no choice but to gasp and open my eyes and accept that my death had arrived- and it seemed, passed right over me without a second glance.

His name was Kalann and he was my father.

The first fact he said to me as he dragged me away from our tribal stronghold, a mutter that I would have missed had I been able to focus on anything but him. The second took me longer to figure out, and when I confronted him with the answer of my parentage, he only shrugged. He hadn’t thought it was relevant to tell me; even if it had been the reason for him to save my life. At least, I had thought that was the reason. Our conversations up until then were short and dissatisfying. Why had he saved me? Because he could. Why did he come to our village? Because he did. Where was he taking me? I’d see when we got there.

He refused my request to return to the site of the battle and tend to the bodies there. And when I tried to run off, he swept me up and threw me over his horse’s rump to ride off anyway. And so I went with him. He roughly tended to my wounds, cuffing me if I cried out in pain. After a time, one particularly nasty gash festered and would have rotted its way through me had he not burnt the infection out of me. But, despite the Lady of Poison’s best efforts it seemed, I would survive.

I asked if he was a holy knight. He only laughed at me. I figured that was enough of an answer; though he certainly carried himself as a knight would. He wielded a great axe and his armor carried a sigil of some god that I did not recognize though I studied it often. My mother had taught me of the gods enough for me to know the ones I should avoid. I knew the cruel and evil ones, who wanted to control the world and cause fear and suffering and pain. But the sigil Kalann carried was none of those.

By the time we reached Calimport, I no longer tried to run away. I realized this was the land my mother had spoken of, though she never told me why she had left. I suspected that the life of our people had appealed more to her, where her prowess of hammer and muscle could be tested among other such warriors who fought with fierce passion and answered to no one but the strongest. Not so much here. The people were shifty, the blades small and hidden. Power was in silver tongues and silver coins.

But my father did not seem to fit here either. He took me to a building that he called a court, and I was eager with anticipation of perhaps seeing a king. He laughed at me again, saying there were no kings in Calimport. And the building he called a court was nothing but a room with a man bound and two others standing over him, waiting for us. He spoke with them and then with the bound man. I was so distracted looking around the room that I almost missed when my father drew that great axe and cut off the man's head.

And so, from Kalann, I learned the meanings of justice and order and law. Gone were the days of bloodcurdling screams and fighting naked in the night with my hatchet and white paints of war. He taught me of Hoar and how it really didn’t matter what was right or wrong, just that the law was kept and justice was served. I stopped questioning him on the why; for he never answered, and learned the how. And I made sure to suppress that simmering rage my mother had given me, keeping it hidden and under control. Anger was not the way of justice. If I could not follow my father’s example, I would be as useless to him as a blunt blade of his axe.

I was past the age of a young adult when he finally deemed me ready to ride out alone. Age had not dimmed his vigor in the slightest, and when he left me behind, I could see no difference in the man who pulled me away from my death and the man he was now. That was part of his code; irreversible and unchanging. He had given me the knowledge and tools I needed to survive in this world and carry out Hoar’s will. All I had to do was exact justice.

And so, that was what I would do.

I rode back north, into the frostbitten lands of my childhood to find the ones who had done this to my people. The justice was swift and bloody and before it was over, I screamed my rage into the tundra as I ripped them asunder. Justice needed a calm head. But only vengeance could be stoked by fury and pain and anger. And as firmly as Kalann had tried to dampen my mother’s fire, I was by every right as much her son as I was his. She had borne me with her spirit and my father had honed me with his discipline.

The land was much in need of vengeance. I only needed Hoar’s guidance on where to deliver it.
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