NAME: Maree Dunnidan
CLASS/JOB: Divine Cleric
ORGANIZATION: Blades of Sol
PLAYER NAME: Amber Kroening
It’s another beautiful day in the countryside…
“Well, that’s not a very exciting way to start a journal entry, Maree,” she thought to herself. But it had been! The wind was blowing softly, some cows were gently lowing, and she was outside sat under a tree, the day the letter came.
Many days had started off like this, in the countryside of Lumaria where her family lived, albeit perhaps with slightly different weather. Maree had grown up here, an only child with a small group of friends, living a rather charmed life. Her parents were farmers with a small herd of cows that they milked and treated almost as pets otherwise. They were not particularly wealthy but had enough to get by and Maree was never wanting for anything. Sensing Maree’s desire to help others, and as new followers of Solar, they saw work as a cleric to be an honorable profession and so were more than happy to have Maree study the art of divine magic under the tutelage of some of the more advanced scholars and clerics of Lumaria. Maree took to her studies quickly, memorizing spells and understanding the concepts of how magic worked, and opening her heart to Solar in the process. She found joy in learning about the light of the Syndar god Solar, never quite feeling out of place as a human worshipping a Syndar deity.
Being born on Mardrun, Maree had heard stories of Faedrun, and the escape to the continent she now lived on. But her parents never dwelled on it much. If it came up in conversation, her mother would gracefully change the subject to whatever they were having for dinner, or what was selling at the market, and her father would become distracted by some chore that needed doing. And, although avoiding the subject of the escape from the old continent may be suspect to some…Maree never pushed deeper into the question. Sure, Faedrun came up time and again in her studies, and was a subject of several lectures, but if her parents didn’t want to discuss something that was apparently so horrific, and ultimately wasn’t affecting them now…she wasn’t going to make them. She had never seen an undead being. And yet, she was curious…
She started hearing about a group of people, joining together with the mission of reclaiming Faedrun. As she heard bits and pieces of conversation while travelling into the city for her studies, it became apparent this “group” was now forming into more of…a divine army, named for Solar. They called themselves the Blades of Sol. Their leader was Elzerith, a charismatic celestial Syndar, who was drawing followers who felt he was chosen by the gods, or that they were led to him by some portent of fate.
She saw some of them in the city one day. There was a tall, jovial looking man, armored and carrying a sword, and though he appeared carefree, Maree noticed he was always keeping watch. There was another man, a towering figure of regal presence. He wore shining plate armor, and a helmet, that when removed revealed flowing locks of long, light brown hair. Then there was Elzerith himself. Tall and golden, from head to toe, he seemed to glow radiantly in the sunlight. He wore a majestic white robe with detailed, gold trim. Maree almost tripped, watching him…
In later days, she continued to hear about other members of the Blades of Sol. There was Bero, who handled economical and logistical matters for the group. And Brenna, who served as an important advisor to Elzerith. She learned the man in shining plate was Voltaire, the leader of their military. And Ghent was the man who was always watching. The more their ranks grew, the more she heard about the Blades from folks around the city, and even extending out into the countryside where she lived. Her parents seemed to respect Elzerith, she learned this when it came up in dinner conversation. Never seeming to want to speak about Faedrun, they nevertheless admired his professed mission to go back to the old world and reclaim it from the legions of undead who had chased them out. Whether myth or fact, Maree heard tales of their pursuits, and the aid they brought to any area embroiled in conflict. They were helping defend towns from bandits, defeating Mordok, aiding outposts along the Shield…their adventures becoming more prolific and more dangerous, Maree had even heard that Voltaire had been stabbed so many times while serving as High Martial, that without the help of some serious divine magic, and a large amount of fortitude, he should have been dead by now. But fortunate for Maree, both the heroes and the stories of the Blades of Sol were very much alive, and a missive had gone out requesting aid on an expedition into the Dirge Swamp, which found its way into her hands on that beautiful day in the countryside.
It would herald one of the most pivotal decisions of her life, but she didn’t know that yet.
“They’re looking for clerics, Maree,” her father had said, dropping the letter between the open pages of her journal.
“Hmm? Who are? Wait..” She recognized the seal on the letter, and knew she wanted to say yes before she even read the words detailing what was needed, and yet something within her was still unsure. This would be the most dangerous expedition yet, the letter warned. Celestial Arragones and her research team had decided to work together with the Order of Arnath and send an expedition into the heart of the Dirge, to find a Hellenstone and search for clues as to why there is one in the center of the swamp. The Blades of Sol had an interest in the recovery of this stone and were joining the expedition. However, the swamp was infested with Mordok, who had a history of building idols to channel corruption magic. This was why those with the gift for Divine magic were specifically requested.
Maree felt her chest swell with purpose, and nervousness, as she realized if she answered this call, she would be serving alongside the valiant heroes she had come to admire so deeply. It was one thing to hear stories, quite another to take part. She thought about the last time she had met someone she admired…one of the most prestigious scholars of Divine magic and clerical discipline. He had asked her a question and she could barely get a word out of her mouth. If Voltaire so much as asked her name, would she be able to respond? If Ghent had need of her reserves of mana, would she be able to concentrate enough to complete the transfer? How would she react if Elzerith himself so much as looked in her direction?
Maybe she shouldn’t go, she thought, swallowing hard. She looked around. The countryside where she lived was free of cares, serene, and beautiful. The wind had picked up but a little. Her father was standing there, as even though a century of thought had passed through her mind, it had only been a few moments since she had received the letter from him. The sun was starting to go down.
“What do you think, Maree? You could serve Lumaria alongside the Blades of Sol. You could serve all the refugees of Faedrun, and maybe we’ll go back someday. You’ve prepared for this, sweetheart. Your mother and I would be so proud.”
As her mother joined them under the tree to discuss the news, equally proud (if not a bit emotional at the thought of her daughter growing up before her eyes), Maree knew what she had to do.
She answered that letter, responding to the call. And thus began her adventures amidst the ranks of the illustrious Blades of Sol.