Gothryd - RIP
A hail of elf arrows ended his life.
Tall but slightly crooked figure, wearing very old plate armour, a mosaic of different styles, mostly bulky and their surface scratched and dented, patched heavily with many leather straps and covered up with material. The face is aged, hair thinning and grey with the original black colour still barely visible in his beard. Walks heavily and has a solemn look and little to give away his profession and years of learning that only come out when he speaks in his monotone and soft voice, not fitting for a warrior. Your eye is immediately attracted to the spear, its tip towering over his head. Even though it’s strapped expertly to his back it gives the impression someone has given it to him to hold it only for a moment given the stark contrast between his bedraggled gear and the pristine and almost otherworldly appearance of the spear.
Born to common craftsmen in Breylak, out in the sticks where people still lived in accordance to old traditions and beliefs. The One True Faith has not yet arrived amongst the commoners there. This proved a slight discomfort when he was drafted for service at the manor where priests were present doing their best to uproot the antiquated beliefs they happened upon. But you cannot look into someone’s mind (at least those priests couldn’t) and being raised a pagan he secretly held on to the faith of his fathers’.
Discovered for his sharp mind he had been taken on by an old warlock serving Sir Beaumont’s father. Learning about the mystical powers present in the world made him even more convinced of his pagan beliefs which seemed to make perfect sense in the context of the knowledge of the mysterious he was uncovering. During the following years he often left Breylak for years to learn his profession’s craft in cities from other warlocks but never thought about leaving his home for good.
After his teacher’s death he took his place at the side of young Sir Beaumont, becoming a loyal servant often trusted with important missions. He was no stranger to battles and violence but as his mind aged it seemed to become more emotional and less calculating and seeing his homeland pillaged has started a fire that even if extinguished by revenge will leave a permanent mark.
Spear of Goodwill:
When Gothryd was away on one of his scholarly expeditions he had been interrupted by a messenger bearing grave news. His teacher, Kyon, was dying. Unfortunately such was the distance that before Gothryd’s return, hasty as it was, he had already passed on. Upon arrival Gothryd was handed a letter from the chief guard. He didn’t need to ask, he immediately knew who it was from. He headed for the library, where their quarters had been, whilst beginning to read.
We knew each other well, and there is little left I wanted to say, other then to wish you good luck. I have no advice to leave you with. What I haven’t already imparted on you during the years is probably unlikely to convince you now. I wanted to leave you something behind, alas, all I leave you is a burden."
That sounded unlikely to Gothryd, his teacher was not the kind of man to allow any loose ends left if there was anything he could do about it. He finally arrived at the door and went in, sitting at Kyon’s desk to continue.
“I want to ask you a personal favour. I know a man’s dying wish is unlikely to be refused but I only want you to accept it if you think it’s right.
You know the spear hanging in the library?"
Gothryd came up to it and took it down. It immediately struck him how warm it was to the touch, as if it was handled by someone else just a moment ago.
“You once asked about it and I told you it was not mine. In a way, it was. It was my debt that I didn’t even realise I had. To explain, I need to go back many years and though my memory is fading that event is still easy to recall, the scene vividly fresh before me when I close my eyes. For that day I ought to have died.
Young, foolhardy enough to adventure alone, seeking hidden knowledge in abandoned places I have been exploring ancient pagan ritual grounds. I knew I was done for when I was accosted by an Oni, his disguise not fooling me for a second. I was not about to give up. Despite the hopeless odds I stood my ground and put up the fiercest fight of my life but to no avail.
I was down, depleted of all my powers and truly spent. Suddenly a wholly unexpected reprieve appeared. The Oni’s body pierced from behind with this spear. I never saw the man wielding it, I only heard him say “return it” with a foreign accent. When the Oni’s cadaver dropped there was no one behind him.
I grabbed the spear and looked for any trace of my saviour and found none. Over the following years I tried researching the spear trying to find any clues to its owner. It bears no markings and I only managed to find out its design is more common in the desert lands of Zhenir. It’s a pretty exceptional spear and weakly magical, though probably not unique enough to be traced to anywhere. The metal is oddly slippery – the leather bindings have been added by me for I could not hold it securely otherwise. As far as I could tell the metal was resistant to rust but probably not by means of any magic though no blacksmith here could tell me anything about it."
Indeed, the metal was almost like china to the touch but dull grey with little shine to it.
“The really important thing about it is though, that it’s not important at all.
Instead of researching the spear itself what I should have done is reflected upon the circumstances of that day. Now I understand whoever helped me, didn’t mean for the spear to be returned to him. I am dying with a debt unpaid and that is my regret.
Please, take it with you, and when you see a man needing it more then you, return it for me.