The Rising Tide
A Paladin of simple means and large axes.
Eberk Glorkas first became aware of the existence of evil in the world at age 11, when his mother went missing from one of the outlying sentry posts guarding their mountain village, the giant slave raiding party having come upon them in the night. The knowledge that they were able to raise the alarm for the village to ready the defenses meant little to him and the others that shared his sorrow from that day on.
Their pleas for help were answered two weeks after their request was sent to the Baron, and striding at the front of the company of soldiers was a figure clad in shining plate armor. Asking permission to enter the village, his words echoed around the township full of strength and still tinged with a sadness of the reason for his visit. La’all Te removed his helmet and stood before the opening gates of another town in need of his service.
That night the township toasted to the coming success of this brave band of dwarves to rid the area of the recent menace, and Eberk watched as the leader seemed to endure this festival as a necessary part of the cleansing that this town needed. He laughed at the mayor’s jokes and flattered his wife and it seemed that Eberk was the only one to notice La’all slip quietly away after the formalities had come to a close. Eberk followed at a distance, full of reverence and awe for this imposing figure, coming to the centre of town where La’all had taken post and was kneeling with head bowed low and an amulet clasped tightly in a gloved hand.
Watching from the corner of a nearby house, Eberk watched intently. Alternating between watching this stranger then gazing into the heavens, he waited, until he felt he was intruding. Turning towards his house he walked a few paces before stopping and turning on his heel to walk beside the newcomer and, taking silence as approval he knelt.
Dawn greeted the two and Eberk was stirred by a rough hand on the shoulder before being helped stiffly to his feet.
“Years of training lay ahead, if that’s what you wish boy.” came a soft voice from within the beard. “Think carefully, and speak to me upon our return if Kord sees fit.”. La’all Te then called for his fellow warriors to ready themselves, some nursing sore heads but he knew all would be ready when needed.
Three weeks and two days later La’all Te was back with the heads of 8 giants and sadly the remains and possessions of the 4 dwarves that were taken from this village, as well as 6 more from the neighboring ones. After arrangements were made for their return, La’all wasn’t surprised to see Eberk standing with his father, in the crowd of mixed emotions. He saw Eberk look up to his father, who answered with a solemn nod.
Five days of hard travel and Eberk had already learnt more from this band than he could’ve imagined, but that day when he cleared the mountain pass to look upon the stronghold of Baron Beloril he realised that he again, knew too little.
The next twenty years saw Eberk study under many masters within those walls, learning crafts with blade, stone and words until he was appointed guard and took his place amongst the walls that kept all safe. His studies continued, learning the deeper ways of religion and melding that with his understanding of the martial training. Five years later, Eberk requested leave to visit his village, and began the journey homeward.
Wandering in he saw familiar sights, and smells brought back memories long forgotten. He returned a wave to the welcoming hands that greeted him and it was a soldier’s eye that looked first to the surrounding walls and battlements that had been raised in his absence. He walked the familiar steps, feeling each stone underfoot and taking comfort from their presence, and swung open the door to his father’s tavern.
That evening Eberk and his father talked long into the night, Eberk happy to play the part of the listener whenever possible, only speaking to stop any pauses becoming awkward. When the fire had burned low in the hearth they both retired, content that many years had not changed the important things about each other. The next morning, the one after that and every day for a week began the same way. Eberk’s father would wake to find his son standing outside to greet the dawn before returning for breakfast. With his curiosity satisfied, Eberk remained for a full week before announcing he had to return to his duties and studies.
Eberk was pleased to be given new duties and soon joined the outriders, a band of guards that were to keep the land safe. Rising to the rank of Lieutenant he was soon leading his group on rallying charges, routing orcs and ogres as they menaced the Baron’s lands. To this end, Eberk was exceptionally efficient, having been part of a larger force that routed the enemies from their mountain strongholds and the lands knew peace.
This peace however did not settle on Eberk, not driven by vengeance but simply by the fact that there were other lands still in peril. He consulted with the Baron and the chief of the parish and with their blessings and good wishes he moved on to continue his way.
That was six weeks ago.