PLAYED BY: Jake Segor
CONTACT INFO: Cardica1@aol.com
CHARACTER NAME: Cific Watchwolf
AGE: Near thirty
Resources: gather information
BIO / BACKGROUND HISTORY:
-The following writings were scribbled out on parchment placed above scrolls, books, and small trinkets in an unmarked box-
I am writing this in late May of the year 268 because after various events I have come to realize how frail and short life can be.
If you have found this cache, I pray that you use its contents for the good of Mardrun and its people. Enclosed are various documents, artifacts, and other forms of unearthed lore, most of which was found in the last three months. My purpose for keeping these has been to study them and uncover the true nature of the secrets they held, for I am, or at least was, a Truthseeker. My name is Cific Watchwolf and at the time of writing this I am 27 and have not held the title of Truthseeker for very long. Below I will share my personal story in hopes that it will help you grasp the worth of the documents enclosed and the worth of the sacrifices made to obtain them.
I was born in the winter of 241 to a small family residing in the middle of the Watchwolves of Luna’s territory. My father was a carpenter and my mother had mastered various crafts from seamstress to basket weaving, whatever needed to be done at the time. I have an older sister, Gisela, who is very protective of me. When I was born, I came too early. I’ve been told I was very small and didn’t scream or put up much fight. Because of this I was not a strong child and developed slower in my infancy than others, this lead to my mother and sister’s protective natures toward me, my father detested it. At the age of 4 I still had trouble walking on my own. I would often trip or become tired, my earliest memories are of my sister holding my hand and arm to make sure I wouldn’t hurt myself. And of my father yelling at her that I should be able to walk on my own.
By 7 I was far more mobile, able to walk and sometimes run but not able to keep up with other children of my age. They would often mock me because of this but my mother would always tell me that I would grow still and not to be discouraged. She was kind and gentle, always there to help myself or Gisela. I spent most of my 8th year bedridden from a sickness to my chest and it was rare for her to be away from home for too long during this. While I couldn’t leave the bed, she taught me the basics of how to read and write. It was tedious but with nothing better to do, I had latched on to it. She even found me a book of my favorite story of the Sun Horse and Moon Horse, which I have also left in this case of documents. After some time, a Daughter of Gaia with knowledge in medicine visited to attempt to heal me. She was able to supply some medicines to ease my breathing but said that my chest may not have developed fully on the inside. Her suggestion was to move somewhere with cooler air, preferably to the coast. My father did not like that.
We did not move then, my father established himself as a carpenter in the area and would not give up all he had built. At this point in my life I could tell that he hated me. When he would drink, which became more and more common, I would hear him talk to others about how he wished he had a real son who could carry on his trade or bring some type of honor. His words hurt worse than my young deformed chest. I wanted to know why Gaia would permit for someone to be born like me and I wanted to prove my father wrong. Though I was only a child I wanted to toughen myself and become stronger, but any attempts I made at this were futile. I still couldn’t keep up with others, after almost a year in bed I felt even further behind. He saw that I was trying to be tougher, or at least he saw that I was failing at it. One night he came home in a drunken stupor, I was home alone as Gisela and our mother were out helping with some project or another in our village. He came home as I was reading my favorite book, and that disgusted him. He never spoke to me much but that night he felt he should tell me that I spent too much time reading, that I wouldn’t become a good son that way. His words brought me to tears. My tears brought his belt across my face. And then his fist. And then he said he would fix me. Then the door opened and Gisela tackled him. I still have a scar on my chest from where his knife met my ribs. We moved out to the coast the next day without him and to this day, I do not know his fate nor is it something I’d care to learn of.
We left abruptly but found a good home with other Watchwolves. I don’t know if they knew our story and held some form of empathy or if they respected my mother traveling with almost nothing but her pups. Once we had settled one thing did become clear, the sea laced air was freeing. It labored me much less and I could move more freely. I spent every day walking the coast, even in the winter months when the water droplets would freeze to my clothes like small beads. I was inseparable from the water and learned to swim as soon as summer came around. My mother had crafted a net for me and told me to collect fish if I was going to be away from home this much. Fish are incredibly swift, they proved nearly impossible to catch but I refused to let her down. After weeks upon weeks of attempts I had finally caught a small trout in a river that lead into the sea. And days after that I caught a bass, and then the very next day I had caught another.
Over the next 10 years I would continue doing this, only now I would bring home baskets of fish and even cook them. At some point an older Watchwolf who had seen me out every day taught me how to use a spear. Spear fishing was different, to this day it makes me feel like a crane wading in water quietly before plunging its beak in to catch a frog. Aside from fish, I would spend my time continuing to read, write, and study. I became engrossed in the stories of other Watchwolves, those on the coast had kept their eyes toward the sea to watch for the Great Calamity that was prophesied to come. I grew more curious with each story that I heard. When lore speakers would visit I would ask them so many questions about stories of old, fabled heroes, mythical creatures and places like horses and the Outlands. At some point during this time, I knew that reading and studying wasn’t enough and that I wanted to find these things out on my own.
Then the calamity may have came. Boats from across the sea landed on our shores. Tensions became high as these new beings, soon to be called Humans and Syndar took to our lands. It was encouraged that anyone who could learn to fight, should, in case you needed to defend yourself. I thought myself unable to, but was surprised to find that over the years of swimming and running on the shore, my chest didn’t ache in the ways that it used to. Maybe Gaia had planned for this all along. I still could not keep up with trained warriors, but I also didn’t drag behind others for once.
The rest of this story is well documented in other places, so I do not feel I need to tell all of it. When the wars broke out, Grimward had taken our land in a way. They respected the Watchwolves of Luna and our culture and allowed us to continue the sacred duty of watching the shore in exchange for our favored neutrality. Words eventually spread that the war between Ulven over the fate of the colonists was over. Other words found their way in throughout this of how dishonorable these colonists were. Males who would cast magic, greatly selfish individuals building cities, and so on. It was rare to see them on our lands because of the reach of Grimward’s territory, and when they did they were guests with purpose. Many deemed that they were not the calamity we had been watching for, but I think some still wonder if they are. I may have thought that until recently as well.
Years continued to pass by. More words travel in and I continue to listen to them. They no longer come from lorespeakers. Instead the words tell that the lorespeakers lied to us, hid our own history. For the first time the waves can’t calm me. The ideas that I had built my life and identity around suddenly have lost their credibility. Even my favorite childhood book might have been no more than some type of diversion from the truth. One night, I swore under Luna’s light that I would find the real truth and spread it to all of Mardrun
My calling was that of a Truthseeker. I spent more time reading, preparing myself for travels. The thought of leaving this coast that had given me so much life was frightening. Gisela was the one to eventually push me, she has always had a way of reading my hesitations. Word had been spreading that something big would be happening come spring, and so I rushed to gain the mantle, and to my surprise I was allowed it with very little hesitation.
I’ve become a Truthseeker and on this day I wear the Thorn rune over my right eye, praying that Luna may protect my path. A noble and scholar of New Hope, Arragones, had divined spots worth investigating to find the true nature of the Dirge. She claims that her people had been here before as well. I do not trust her words, but they are necessary.
I was given a great honor to hold onto an ancient relic, vital to opening a cache of lorespeaker information. Keys to facilitate the tablet were hidden all over, we required help to find them so many were granted guest rights to come on our lands and help search.
Our camp was full of humans and syndar. They dressed, looked, and acted odd. Remembering their presence that day brings back feelings of sickness to my stomach. Of these visitors only three are Ulven. Two from Grimward eased my anxiety that the colonists would do harm, one Grimward warrior could cut down ten of them. At least that’s what I thought then. The third was another Truthseeker by the name of Audhild Spiritclaw. She must have been guided by Luna herself to be here, my mind was at ease quickly after we met. She told me stories about many of the colonists who were there and why I could trust them. I took her word and it proved true. She introduced me to many, notably Alestear and his group. I also met one of the most curious people to date, her name was Shin and she was a scholar for this Arragones, she was incredibly excitable but still intelligent. Even though she was a syndar, the care in her eyes was so clear, just like my mother’s eyes.
All of them aided the cause, even the Rangers, who earned a poor name with our people, proved reliable. I wish I could say the same for my own.
I could feel the tension in the other members of my pack. They trusted our guests less than I did. When the first search mission went out, they turned and attacked them from behind, breaking guest rights, breaking their own honor. A man named James fled from that fight with use of magic and told us that they took on a new honor, that of the lorespeaker’s oath. My stomach sank. The guests returned and Audhild handed me the key they found. I had no way to process this. I couldn’t trust my own pack, I had to put my full trust into complete strangers. I wanted a lorespeaker back alive, to question them, and to prevent their death. That didn’t happen, they chose suicide over capture. Had it not been for Gisela watching me, I would have gotten sick at that word.
The keys were found, the cache was unlocked, three mana stones were recovered, and many lorespeakers died. My mind was put into a squall of sadness and rage. This was worsened when the cache itself was found to be not an ancient Ulven artifact, but instead Syndar. And inside was evidence that they had brought their gods of the Sun and Moon to us, and that they had commit various atrocities.
That night I packed all of the things I needed and left my home, the sea shore just didn’t smell the same anymore.
I was not well. It was my chest. This day I wear the Algiz rune reversed. I will admit now that my mission was clouded by anger for the lorespeakers and the syndar. The illness in my chest was not my breathing, it was my anger.
We had heard of walking ghosts in the great forest and that another location was divined in this spot. Gisela came with me, probably the only reason I maintained some composure. Alestear, Shin, James, Aethelwulf, and other familiar faces were there. Most of which I found some form of trust for, weather it shown through my anger or not. I did not understand most of what we were doing that day, it involved mana and it’s flow, concepts that are foreign to me. Shin attempted to explain it but talked too fast, so eventually Alestear made it more understandable. He seems different than he did a month ago, humbled almost. We talked personally and for a moment my anger faded. Weather I knew it or not then, my opinions began to change about many things that day.
We found the point we were looking for and sent many of the walking ghosts on their journey. The point was a thing called a pylon. Some type of convoluted magical device that was not working properly. I wanted it studied, taken from that spot so we could learn about it. My anger clouded my judgment, in hindsight it needed to be destroyed right then. In the moment I was furious that my lead was destroyed. Later that day in my anger I was cruel in conversations with Shin and her scribe Elegast. Shin’s eyes looked sad, that look will haunt me forever. I am not my father.
I wandered for a good amount of time. I asked Gisela to go back home and check on our mother. I found myself wandering to New Hope, to Key’s Crossing. The city was different than anything I had seen. I spent a week there interviewing people, asking the stories of Faedrun. These people have seen so much worse than we have.
As I write about this, the wounds are still fresh. My chest hurts worse than it ever has in my life. I have not slept in 2 days and when I do, all I hear is the scream or the sobbing or his voice. Rialvis. He never said that was actually his name but I refuse to call him otherwise.
I wear the Ehwaz rune on this day, extending my trust and accepting it in turn. We took a boat here, the fact that I got on it was a showing of trust alone. On deck I was happy to see Audhild, Alestear, and others, though I did not have what you would call sea legs yet. Out of fear of getting ill on a friend, I stayed below deck until we landed. Gisela once again traveled with me, and while I appreciated having someone to aid with my seasickness I continued to worry that I was putting her in harm’s way. Once there, I shared many greetings. So many were willing to put themselves on the line to find the cache of information that was here.
We wasted no time in going out and finding the Luna cache, which shortly after, lead to finding him. He seemed mentally ill. Speaking in circles and making demands. He knows things and his knowledge is alluring. I did not want to admit how much I wanted to give Rialvis so that I could learn the things he would speak of. And I’m thankful now that I didn’t.
We bartered with him. He wanted to come to our camp until nightfall. I did not know how to act around him, all I could think to do is to offer him food. He spoke with many, and made dark deals with some. His presence brought out sides of us we had never looked at before.
Audhild. Alestear. Shin.
I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know. My body and my mouth moved on it’s own at times. At a later date, I’ll write a journal with more specifics on the events that day. I found more truth than I was looking for in that moment, but it took until the next day for me to realize that.
We opened the Luna cache. But at what cost.
The next day we begin hunting for the clues to lead to the Sol cache. I wore the dagaz rune for many reasons that day. My chest was not the only one unwell that day. The guilt we all carried was palpable. Each clue we find contains information in it, notes from ancient syndar. Personal notes. They thought so highly of themselves, as if they were gods. Each one infuriates me. On our final trek we’re set upon by mordok. The conditions are harsh and as time burns away, tensions grow. James tries to flee with magic in the midst of a fight, Audhild curses him, a man from New Hope is chased down by mordok, my bow is broken, another man almost loses his leg. Everyone is hurt, and the search is abandoned. The walk back is tense. I try to offer support to Audhild who is angered over the loss, but I’m just as distraught on the inside. Then James comes over. He has words with Audhild and pulls his blade out. I try to talk him down. He swings his blade towards her I realize the truth I’ve found in the swamp, and step in front of his blade.
That truth was two part. It was that we will never be able to grow and learn if we stand divided. And that along these three months home stopped being a place, but the people I was with. As his blade cracked my rusted chainmail and cut my arm, I could swear I smelled the sea.
Now, as I finish writing this I have decided on my next paths. Questions that must be answered.
Who gave the Watchwolves their task? Was it the ancient syndar? Have we been nothing but tools for them this entire time? I will find this answer.
What connection do the lorespeakers have to all of this? Why would other Ulven want this concealed? I will find this answer.
Arragones made dealings with the demon Rialvis. He had said that she had common interests with him. I will make her answer for this. And for Shin.
Three months ago I never would have written this, and would never have trusted an unknown recipient with what I am about to ask. If I am no longer able to answer these questions, I am trusting that you will take the life I have described into consideration and finish them in my stead.
-Cific Watchwolf, Truthseeker