A Dragon’s Flight – The Tale of Kerjidt Einhanderh1
The Einhander clan’s legacy is one that cannot be traced so easily. For they are a clan that has faced near genocide countless times. Some claim the clan has been cursed since their origins. Others claim that fate holds this clan in great esteem and others attempt to strike at them out of spite and jealousy. For whatever the reason, the result is the same. Every time in the Einhander clan’s legacy whether it be ten years to a hundred years apart, the clan is nearly wiped out save for one lone survivor. That survivor then embarks on their own quest which usually ends with their efforts rebuilding the Einhander clan.
This tale is of such a time for the Einhander clan.Kerjidt Einhander, son of Lahab Einhander, was preparing today for the rest of his life. He had grown up under the mentorship of both his father and his uncle. His father who is current chieftain of the Einhander clan taught him many things of the world and land they currently inhabited as well as lessons of leadership and such for when Kerjidt was to take over as the next chief. His uncle, Sihir Einhander, taught Kerjidt much in the ways of magic claiming he had inherited his mother’s knack for the ways of magic. Though in Kerjidt’s mind he felt twin brother had a better control over magic then himself.
Athar Einhander is Kerjidt’s twin brother but is sort of the black sheep of the clan. The clan’s oracle had foretold based on her readings of the stars that on the day of Kerjidt’s birth calamity would strike the clan.
Two things happened that day. Lahab’s wife, Koral, gave birth to twins much to the surprise of everyone and then Koral died. Lahab never doubted the oracle before and he wasn’t about to now, yet he could not take the life of his son let alone both of his son’s. Since Kerjidt was first to come from his mother’s womb he was considered the firstborn and heir to the chiefdom. Athar’s birth was not foretold and he was blamed by his father for the death of Koral. So since then Athar has been sort of an outcast with the clan and even his own father, but Kerjidt has done nothing but try to be a true brother to him. He vouched for Athar’s behalf to have Sihir train both of them in the ways of magic even.
Today was the end of childhood for Kerjidt, not just for him though. He would be ending his childhood with his best friend Martel Zweihander. Him, Martel, and Athar had all grown up together since they were hatchlings. Martel was a dragonborn with a fiery spirit and beautiful scarlet scales. She had always mystified Kerjidt even when at a certain point she confessed her true feelings for him. He didn’t deny he always had feelings of the same sort towards Martel but Kerjidt didn’t understand why she felt like that towards him at first. He thought it was because of his birthright or perhaps his aptitude towards magic. But Martel recounted a story from their earlier days of when the two of them were lost because a wild boar attacked them forcing them to run away into the woods. Martel was so scared but she remembered Kerjidt remaining calm and leading themselves out of the woods before the sun had set. It was then Martel knew she would follow Kerjidt anywhere from now on. Even into the eternal bonds that would be marriage.
The day seemed perfect, it was on the ends of the summer season, the crisp cool air that preluded to fall’s approach could be felt on the edge of one’s fingertips. The woods around the village held such the spark of life as wildlife spent their time beginning to prepare for the upcoming winter. Twas a grand time to mark such an occasion for the clan remarked the elders Kerjidt had heard once mentioned. Course for himself he felt a little on edge since today would be the day he would marry his childhood friend and love of his life all while beginning the passing of chiefdom unto his shoulders by his father. As he walked through his village the only thing on his mind was finding Athar. He had named him to be his Right Claw, a title given to those who would be second in command to the Chief of the clan, as well as being his best mate in the wedding ceremony. Course none of such sat well Kerjidt’s father but since both Kerjidt and Athar have done much together for the benefit of the clan perhaps his heart has softened somewhat since the early days.
Kerjidt’s search was stopped short in the village square running into the clan oracle who had a frantic look on her face. Through her fits and bouts she was currently displaying she told Kerjidt he needed to take Martel and escape as quickly as possible. The darkness was coming she screamed, the clan’s ruin was upon us, and it would be worst the clan has yet to face. Kerjidt tried to calm the old dragon down while others ran to aid him but it was too late. Whatever strain she was under, be it from the vision she summoned or the fear that vision parted on her, she had passed in Kerjidt’s arms.
Now Kerjidt grew worried. He left the oracle in the care of some of the clan healers who made it to the scene and took off in a hurried pace looking for Martel. He knew where she would be. It was where he was suppose to be in a few hours. She would be there. He hoped she would be.
Kerjidt had arrived through a path through the woods into an open meadow. There she was, wearing the pure white gown for the wedding, standing in the center of a field of white flowers. Her scarlet scales caught the light and shimmered as he began to walk to her. He was about to call to her when he sensed something coming. He turned before a sudden strong force knocked him off his feet onto his back. When he began to get up and regain sense of what happened the forest around him was ablaze. Winds blew across his face carrying the heat of the blaze and white petals from the flowers around him. He quickly arose to his feet and turned back to where Martel was.
But she was gone. What stood in her place was his brother Athar wearing strange black robes and floating in front of him was a glowing blue crystal. Kerjidt knew what that crystal was or rather he could sense what was inside of it, who was inside of it. Kerjidt let out a roar as he charged at his brother. The rage and confusion in his mind couldn’t let him focus any magic while charging but he didn’t care. He had no weapons except his own bare hands which he hoped to strangle out some sort of answer from his brother to what was going on around him. Athar didn’t even seem to move while Kerjidt closed the distance between them.
It wasn’t until Athar was within Kerjidt’s reach did he do something. It happened quickly but in the next moment Kerjidt was bleeding out from his chest on the floor with his brother silently standing over him. In Athar’s hand was a black scythe wicked looking in it’s design yet pulsated with a burning hatred that could be seen glowing like cracks along the whole thing. The wound on Kerjidt’s chest felt warm as he assumed his blood was flowing freely from it.
Kerjidt made a desperate struggle to hold on to life. He tried to reach out and grasp at Athar’s robes that were within reach. Athar didn’t say anything nor did he move. He just stood there and watched as his own brother laid there dying on the ground at his feet. Kerjidt almost felt himself slipping away for good until at the last moment a sudden surge of searing heat on his chest brought him back. Athar took the bottom tip of his scythe and placed it to Kerjidt’s chest wound. Kerjidt felt so much fiery rage and pain on his chest wound he let out a cry he wasn’t sure was whether pain or sorrow. After a few seconds Athar removed the tip from the wound and Kerjidt was left with a now cauterized wound which would surely leave a scar on his chest.
Kerjidt was awake but in shock, he could barely move nor make a sound. He could see clearly though as he looked upon his brother. The forest and their home ablaze behind Athar, in the background flames began to form what looked like a demon. Its face had a grin that held such malice and hatred while Athar’s face didn’t show nor betray any emotion. He said one thing, one sentence before he vanished through some sort of magic.
“Even I cannot kill my brother…”
When Athar vanished Kerjidt blacked out. He felt adrift, lost in thought almost, in his own mind. It felt really hot at first. He surmised that the fire was expanding and grew closer to his body. He tried to comprehend everything that happened in the last few events. The big day. The Oracle’s last words. Martel in the meadow. The blazing fire. Athar standing where Martel was. The blue crystal. The black scythe. The demon in the fire. Athar’s last words.
It felt very hot now and Kerjidt wondered if Athar stopped his bleeding just so he could be consumed by the fire. As if in response to that thought it began to feel suddenly cooler, like the fire was going away. Kerjidt’s mind could feel small things falling his body. Rain? He also felt something warm in his left hand suddenly. It was enough to draw him out of his unconscious state. He slowly opened his eyes to a gray sky with raindrops falling upon him. His body felt sore all over that Kerjidt had trouble making it move. He took care as to not agitate his new chest wound for he wouldn’t have anyway to seal it up if it reopened. He looked at his left hand which had been cupped over a small white flower while he had laid on the ground. It was like he was trying to protect it.
Kerjidt felt a sudden surge of magical energy emanating from the flower. It surged forth like a spring well gives forth water. The area around Kerjidt suddenly flooded with mystical fey energy. Despite the destruction caused by the fire this meadow began to glow like some otherworldly plane of existence. Kerjidt wondered if he had died and perhaps his soul was now crossing into the fey. It truly was a sight to behold. Kerjidt had been looking around when he stopped at where the path through the forest was. He saw something coming from the woods but it wasn’t coming from the woods but rather the fey itself. A slender form came into view, her skin pale white like snow, wearing shimmering robes luminescent with a greenish tone, and her beauty was unlike anything of Kerjidt’s known plane of existence. Yet he felt nothing towards this woman. All he could feel was an emptiness inside his chest like his heart was gone, it was like he could feel no emotional response to this beautiful woman walking towards him.
When she was closer to Kerjidt she stopped and looked upon him. Kerjidt tried to stand but at best could muster a kneeling stance. It was at this moment he realized he was still alive because surely his soul would not bring such weight and anguish upon himself if he was not of the physical world anymore. He looked up and the woman had knelt down in front of Kerjidt to be at eye level. It nearly caught himself by surprise but he managed to catch himself from collapsing into himself.
What followed was an explanation as to what transpired in this forest up until this moment. The spirit before Kerjidt is a fey creature known as a Forlarren, her name being Kyndala, has lived in this forest for many centuries. This meadow was her main spot to commune with Kerjidt’s plane of existence but that was during another age. For now she was content with just watching the world just turn on its own. The other main reason she stayed in this forest is to watch over the sealed demon within a cave near the waterfall. Kerjidt knew what cave she mentioned for the clan knew to stay away from it. Unusually strong monsters tended to come from that cave. He had talked with his father about efforts to seal the cave for good which now Kerjidt wished he had pushed for sooner than waited till after the wedding and ceremony.
Kyndala explained that she worked with a powerful warlock ages back to seal the demon away inside the cave. It cost the life of the warlock to which gave Kyndala great anguish so she became a sentinel to watch over the forest and the cave. Kerjidt asked why she wasn’t here sooner to help if this was the work of the demon. She said she didn’t sense the demon until the very end meaning that Athar had made a pact with the demon. She had assumed at first that Athar was acting alone in all of this. Kerjidt at first took this as a sign that Athar might not have been acting of his own accord but Kyndala said that it wasn’t the case.
To make a pact like most Warlocks do has to be done willingly by both parties. The sealed demon of course would make a pact if it meant his freedom and he must have enticed Athar to make a pact for power. That is all it is though, a pact of power, not influence or control by the demon. Athar’s actions following making the pact were his and his alone. Again despite this news Kerjidt felt nothing, no rage or anguish. He felt confused as to why Athar would do such a thing like sealing away Martel inside a crystal but it explains at least how he performed such high level magic.
Kyndala continued to explain that Athar had wiped out the rest of the Einhander clan. Kerjidt’s father and uncle tried to stop Athar but with the new fire demon powers they were no match for Athar. He set the village ablaze and then began to head through the forest. When he saw you had found Martel before him he acted by knocking you down and getting to Martel before you. She didn’t need to explain what happened next as Kerjidt himself knows how the rest of the story played out.
Kerjidt asked first why he felt strange to which Kyndala explained that the wound Athar gave him affected him deeper than a fatal wound. Kerjidt’s own heart has been damaged and when Athar used the demon fire to try and stop your bleeding some of that magic remained and lingers now in your heart. It is currently why he felt no emotions.
Kyndala said that if he could kill Athar it would take away the curse now on Kerjidt’s heart and also free Martel. Kerjidt needed to become stronger which is why Kyndala is here before him now. She offered Kerjidt a pact so he could call upon the powers of the feywild. To become a warlock. She explained that Forlarren have a strong sense of vengeance but also guilt if their actions or inactions harm others. Kyndala feels responsible for not aiding Kerjidt or his clan in their time of need especially now that she knows this was part by the hand of the sealed demon. So she will once again forge a pact and help to right this wrong she has witnessed before her. Kerjidt doesn’t hesitate a moment and takes the pact. The energies of the fey began to flow into him and he could stand up once more.
He walked through the ruined forest into his now destroyed home. Gathering what supplies he could salvage, he found his uncle’s quarter staff. Even the fiery inferno couldn’t destroy this sturdy staff nor ruin its ornate carvings. The fire dealt with the corpses that all Kerjidt found left of the villagers was ash everywhere. Still he used some of his new found fey powers to conjure a strong wind to take the ashes into the sky. He felt that may they find rest in the afterlife and know the Einhander clan will survive once again.
And so Kerjidt set off on his quest with his new found ally and powers for answers and vengeance. His travels have been guided at times when he could sense the crystal Martel was trapped inside and at other times he was just being an adventurer trying to make a name for himself and his clan while honing his powers. Kerjidt struggles with achieving his true goals at time though. He has had to leave behind beautiful places that could become a new home for the rebuilding of his clan. Other times his brother has given him the slip more times than he could count. Yet Kerjidt still carries on…