Adria: Sword and Sorcery
"Wait a minute... Are you a... Werewolf?!"
He was found on the side of Godstone Hill, a hill covered in titanic runic symbols and faces that depict the war before time. The man who found him was Strego Vuduin, an elven Bison-herder working out of Gerardo-ranch on the Vast Steppes.
After falling into a deep subterranean cavern while playing ball with some some of his friends, Castien was stuck underground for several weeks. He was forced to learn the ways of the upper Underdark, of stealth and guile. It was during a worst time of need when fleeing an elusive and relentless red-furred canine that he was saved by the Hunter, an old hooded man wielding a magnificent bow.
Castien never got the name of his friend, who always seemed to be there when he needed him most, coming with advice and warning. With the stranger’s advice Castien finally turned hunter into prey as they found and captured the elusive beast. It was through tutelage he learned to tame the beast, whom he came to call Gaeilwheyr [Gallow-where], a companion whom would be with Castien through many hard and good times.
Ten summers and nine winter had passed when Castien made his way up into the Overdark and finally out onto the surface once more. He felt the bite of cold and saw snow and cried in happiness. He had grown from a boy to a teen while in the darkness and had seen many horrors and hunters of the dark. It had come to be his home. It was on the urge of the Hunter, who left him in urgency, that he make his way to the surface.
Castien traveled the Great Plains for almost two seasons before finding his father Strego and the clan, who seemed to have had a few hard seasons. There were gaunt faces anda lot fewer of them than Castien remembered. They seemed frightened at first, for who was this monster of an elf whose eyes burned with the intensity of hell and the warmth of a summer sun? When he spoke his name and asked for his father the people rejoiced, for a lost son had come home.
Castien plied his hunters craft in effort to help his clansmen, but times were though and there wasn’t much game. Out riding on one such trip he came across a human merchant-train that had come under attack by a ghoul and its pack. He engaged without fear, for after years together with the Hunter in the dark tunnels of the Underdark he had seen his fair share of the undead. As the fight raged on he managed to save a young human child at the cost of his companion and friend Gaeilwheyr, who shielded him from a nasty ghoul-bite and later died from the necrotic poison delivered through such a bite.
As it turns out the child was the daughter of Dervius Titus, a traveling and landless noble of some wealth and renown. As a reward, each of the elves in Castien’s hunting-party were gifted with all the food they could carry. But for Castien there was only the sorrow of loosing one of his oldest friends. Seeing his pain, the noble gifted him with a fabulous longbow, a longbow of the very same design that Castien had once seenthe Hunter wield in the darkness of the underworld. When he pressed for information he couldn’t find much, it had been in the possession of his family for several generations and that it had been aquired from some priest in a land far away, across the seas.
Many decades passed and Castien grew both tall and strong, taller and stronger than any elf in living memory. He often ventured away form the Great Plains and into the kingdoms of men, but his alien appearance and the racial stigma of “elven savages” made him not learn much in the ways of their culture and ways.
When he returned to the Plains after one such adventure he saw fire on the horizon and rode his horse for all it was worth. He was too late to save anyone. Ghouls had raided his clan’s camp. The only living being was dying rapidly, his father Strego. With his dying words Strego told Castien how he was not Castien’s father and how he had been found on Godstone Hill. Castien then had the grim task of re-slaying his entire clan as they began to rise as undead, fed unnatural life by the vile ghoulish poison.
Castien wandered after that, but kept mostly to himself. There came to be a legend of the titanic “Burning Eyes” who would come out of nowhere to rescue travelers in need on the Plains, killing monsters with supernatural strength and grace. During his travels he would end up saving a fairy from a gremlin and being granted a blessing of skill-at-arms, though he has yet to understand any of its meaning.
One night while camping under Godstone Hill Castien had a most peculiar dream. In it a voice told him to travel north, across the seas to meet the “Hairiest Shield” and the “Oldest Young Sword” and the “Warrior Shade”, for only if he met them he would know the answers he has been searching for for almost 5 decades.
Who were his parents?