Parents: Both from Nara Pentare
“In a world of loss, art is the first thing forgotten…”
I never saw my home, my true home of Nara Pentare, but I often hear of the colorful cities and beautiful mountains; the way the grass would flow with the wind and how you couldn’t go ten feet without something new catching your eye. I was born in Aldoria, after my parents escaped the undead. The safety didn’t last long though. I remember hearing the screams and seeing the fear in everyone’s eyes, as if it flowed like a river into an ocean and left no room for hope… I could hear more and more the clanking of metal and cries of anger, and less and less of sweet laugher and music. I saw the houses in flames and the ashes dancing on the wind. I try to remember as much as I can, but at the same time I don’t want to. My life became blurred once I saw death.
It happened all at once. At first I had only heard of the undead; my parents were far from the port cities so they had to go over the mountains and across the continent to escape. People said we were safe here, that Aldoria and Vandregon were strong and would save us. I couldn’t tell if they believed it themselves or said it to convince the young. It wasn’t long before things were different, before the stories stopped altogether; along with the art, dancing, and my favorite, music. With remaining culture of the nation’s slowing dying, people lost hope. Eventually the undead reached us, and no wall could stop that. We were lucky enough to be close to a port this time; the journey wasn’t long, but our feet didn’t stop with death nipping at our heels.
When we got there we realized there was hope. The ships were loading up, with people in lines to get on. My parents soon realized that there were limits on how many people were let on. We would not get spots, so my parents did something terribly dishonorable for a Nara Pentarian. They paid a family to pretend I was one of theirs and take me with them. I guess desperate times make desperate people because the family did it, although I don’t think they liked my kind. I hate remembering my past, and I try locking it away in my mind; in a room with the key lost and a keyhole that darkness creeps from, allowing no light to be seen. But the darkness tortures me with the fact that, while I ignore it the best I can, I can still remember my parent’s screams and the sound of their flesh being torn apart.
A time later we arrived at the new home, with the few Nara Pentare that didn’t go with the rest. I became an orphan the moment I stepped foot on Mardrun, since the family that claimed me as their child during the trip wanted nothing to do with me. I lived on the streets of New Hope, finding out what makes happiness in people and trying to get a hold of anything from the old world that I could. When I became of age, I worked small jobs until I gained enough coin to buy a djembe. Pretty much an artifact from the old world at this point, and then took to the road. I don’t like staying in one place, but luckily I wasn’t alone. I made a friend on the road and we traveled as a duo, playing everywhere from semi-grand halls to small town taverns. Life was good, but naturally, it couldn’t last.
One day while traveling a road near the mountains, we were ambushed by bandits. Money or life, my friend chose to fight and I chose to run. The price of survival was his life. Another person for the locked room in my head and I was determined to keep it shut this time. I used my remaining coin to purchase alcohol to blur the keyhole, but it also blurred the lines of my music. Though one day a child, seeing my drum, asked me for a song. It was the first time I denied the bottle so I could bring happiness to the boy. The smile on his face when I played him my song “The Young Boy” reminded me why I got this drum to begin with.
It wasn’t to make money. I became a bard to make sure that we don’t forget where we came from. I do it to bring hope to those who have none, to create light where there is only darkness. I will not let the old world die, with its heroes and history. I am Zeke Ravana, and this is not the end.