The Tahneddra Chronicles
A valiant crusader of Helm, defender of the city of Kalaas
Tyton Ton'ath was raised as an orphan in the church of Helm. He has spent his life surmounting the various obstacles that lay in his path, and has found strength in the tenets of Helm’s church. He has left the abbey on a mission to discover a new breed of weaponry, but is far more excited at the prospect of discovering big-city life in Kalaas.
Left at the Pelicun abbey as a suckling babe with nothing more than a nametag sewn onto the blanket wrapped around him, it was a miracle that Tyton even survived the first few months of his life. The abbey had no wet nurse, and Tyton was far too young yet to eat even mashed foods. But somehow he managed to keep down Abbot Gonesk’s mixture of goat’s milk and porridge, blessed by Helm’s will, and quickly grew to be a very strong and stocky boy.
His youth was much like that of any orphan of the church, and there were quite a few of them in recent years. He was raised as a novice in the church, but the beliefs pressed upon him didn’t stick, despite being an obviously intelligent youth. The other youth would tease him about his failures in cruel ways, as children are known to, and he would get into many a fight to defend his pride. His size and strength worked to his advantage in silencing these comments, but he found himself having a hard time fitting in with the other novices until his teenage years.
As the abbey was overflowing with orphans, he never got to spend much time with his tutors and had no one to really confide in until his teenage years. Morgan, one of the novices a few years his elder, would often come to his defence whenever he would be picked on by a group of bullies. Morgan was a decent brawler in his own right, and the two fast became friends. Novice Lillian would often spend time with the two boys, as one of the few girls at the abbey, she had grown fond of the measure of protection the two boys offered her from the others’ attentions. She was very much the little sister of the group, always tagging along and getting in the way, but with her charming manners she would always be forgiven.
The two boys had ambitions to join the order of paladins of Helm, while Lillian simply wished to learn the healing arts to tend to the wounds of those unable to obtain care for themselves. Lillian immediately showed aptitude for calling upon Helm’s power to heal, but the two boys had difficulties reaching their goals. Morgan was a capable enough fighter, but simply could not abide by the rigid ideals of the order, for they could be too cold at times for his generous soul. Tyton saw him struggle through these challenges, but couldn’t really relate to the problem as he had devoted himself to the tenets of the order, and was willing to follow them to the letter.
Tyton’s brimming confidence unfortunately wasn’t enough to carry him through the rigorous paladin training. He spent much of his teenage years in crisis of faith. Though he was well cared for, he felt an outcast in the abbey. He kept feeling as if he didn’t belong. The boy had developed into a strong warrior, and could keep up with even the most promising novice paladins, but he could not call upon even the most basic of divine magics despite all efforts. He found solace in his friendships, but felt abandoned by the Watcher and alone in his misery nonetheless. It wasn’t until the age of 19 that he finally set upon the path that would guide him through life.
Morgan was away, engrossed in his studies one day when Tyton and Lillan went out for a day’s walk. Tyton brought his sword along for protection, since there had been reports of attacks from starved wolves at the nearby farms lately. Lillian though it was silly, and teased him about his big sword all day, but he simply laughed it off, and kept on walking. The weather was pleasant enough that day, though when the sun disappeared at times behind the clouds the brisk wind gave him chills.
The day’s plan was harmless enough; a quick walk through the forest to reach Lake Feash, where they would stop for a bite, collect some plants and mushrooms for Lillian’s healing poultices, and they would be back on their way to the abbey, arriving shortly after dusk. They soon discovered that fate had a different plan for their day.
Upon reaching the lake, they found that there was an atypical dearth of medical herbs where they would normally find them in great quantities. They decided to eat first and then search the nearby area for other patches that might have grown-in since their last visit. They sped their way through their meal as clouds were now covering the skies, combining with the brisk winds to make both of them feel cold and unprepared for this weather.
Upon finishing their meal, they began their search for the herbs, but even after a few hours scouring the area, they were left empty-handed. Just as they were contemplating abandoning their search, Mother Nature hastened this decision with a torrent of rain which soaked them through in little time. Both of them agreed that the wiser course was to immediately abandon and make haste for the comforts of the abbey.
They raced back through the darkening forest, trying to keep to the trail they knew well but finding it harder with every passing minute to do so, as the path was being washed out and their vision hampered by the downpour. Tyton knew they were lost after about an hour of running, as the familiar forest he had long known was nowhere in sight – they had stumbled into an open field, flanked by forests on two sides and mountains on the others. He knew that following one of the mountains would lead to the Pelicun abbey, but he was unsure which direction they were headed, and which mountain they should follow. Lillian suggested a direction to proceed and he quickly agreed, wishing to at least find shelter for the evening.
While their new heading did not provide a visible trail or familiar sights for either of them, they did stumble upon the open mouth of a small cave in the mountainside, where they decided they would wait out the storm. Near the mouth of the cave they found a roughly laid-out pile of old and dry branches, which they decided would serve them well as a torch and kindling. Tyton pulled out a piece of cloth from his bag, wrung out as much water from it as he could, then, attempting to be discrete, pulled out a small flask of liquor he kept hidden on his person, unbeknownst to anyone but Morgan. He knew Abbot Gonesk would not approve of him having such a thing, but not knowing any other way to make fire, soaked his cloth with its contents. He quickly hid the flask back on himself when Lillian approached him, asking him what he was doing though she could clearly smell the alcohol that had been poured out. Uncomfortable with revealing his secret even to her, he quickly changed the subject and had her help him look for stones in the area. Their search turned up a few, but he could not produce a spark from any of them.
They made their way deeper into the cave, feeling in the darkness for more stones and finding many, but a long time passed before they found one that finally produced a spark. Emboldened by this discovery, Tyton energetically and emphatically slammed the rock against another until the sparks finally lit the alcohol soaked torch he had created. The joy on Lillian’s face was plain to see as he handed her the torch and told her he would go gather more of the wood at the entrance so they could make a campfire and dry themselves up a bit further into the cave, away from the glacial winds.
A sudden scream brought his work to an abrupt halt. Dropping the dry pile of wood, Tyton quickly turned around and ran deep into the cavern, towards Lillian, to see what had caused such a scream. This didn’t sound like it was yet another of Lillian’s icky bug screams…
Rounding a corner into view of the torchlight Tyton saw the cause for concern. There stood a big black bear, raised up on its hind legs, lunging aggressively towards Lillian. Tyton quickly considered his options; he could turn and flee, hoping Lillian would do the same, but he didn’t feel there was much chance for her to make it. Then, the one true path was revealed to him: his mind cleared of all other thought and he knew what needed to be done.
Having little time to do anything else, Tyton immediately lunged towards the bear. Focused on its frightened prey, the animal did not see him coming and was knocked off balance by the novice warrior’s tackle. Tyton hoped this would buy him enough time to draw his sword and let Lillian get away. The sword was halfway out of its scabbard when the bear’s powerful claws dug into his flesh. The beast had regained its balance faster than he had anticipated. Lillian was frozen in fear, and was thrown to the ground by the bear’s other paw.
Suddenly inspired and trusting in the power of Helm, Tyton allowed his faith and intuition to guide him through this battle. Flashes of Helm’s Might and Will flow through his body, guiding his arms, his blade striking true, cutting through the thick fur of the beast. This mighty blow renewed his vigour for battle. Adopting an intimidating stance, Tyton stares down the bear, silently letting him know that further attacks on Lillian will not be tolerated. The bear strikes at Tyton with both of its front paws. Tyton ducks under the first attack, but leans unwittingly leans into the second blow. Pain streams through his body, but he refuses to let it slow him down. He lunges out at the bear with all he has left, piercing straight through the wild beast’s dark black hide.
The hulking animal collapsed on the warrior, and for a moment Tyton wasn’t sure he’d be able to pry himself out from underneath the beast, but his struggles eventually lead him to freedom, so he could tend to his friend’s wounds. Ignoring his own wounds, he wanted to make sure that he had been able to protect her from danger, to know that she would be able to continue practicing her art, caring for those less fortunate. Lillian stirred back to consciousness, relieving him of his worry. She saw the carcass nearby and Tyton standing over her, and right away knew that she was safe. She quickly grew concerned about the wounds in Tyton’s chest, still bleeding profusely. She called upon the power of Helm to close his wounds and hers, and they spent the rest of the evening huddled near the entrance of the cavern trying to spark up another fire to keep warm.
They made their way back to the abbey on the next day, once the skies had cleared up and they could find a trail. While they were both disappointed that they never did find the herbs they were originally after, both of them were elated to know that Tyton had found his path. He would fight for Helm’s values, using his strength to protect those who would come calling, and he would cherish his newly discovered relationship with the Watcher.
He knew then, beyond any doubt, that the Watcher was looking out for him, and would grant him the strength to fulfil his protective duty.