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SoS: LUCREZA - PARENTAGE

Updated: Apr 19, 2019

Bringer of light to the elven lands. Her past is marred by a tragedy for which neither she nor her family has yet forgiven her.

(a #swarmofscarabs tale)

Parentage


Once upon a time there were two young elves who fell in love. They met at a feast celebrating the new moon. They courted with the approval of their families. They observed all the proper traditions. One fine day, as the sun set and the moon rose, they were sealed to each other in a small, but memorable union ceremony.


From that day on they lived in a decently sized community of elves(1). The man presiding over the temple there and the woman creating weapons that were more art than functional.


The man, Bartolomai, was a cleric, a high priest of Dol Arrah(2). It was he who led the clan in ceremonies, it was he who upheld the traditions, it was he who possessed the powerful magic of light within himself. A magic he rarely used. He would tell his clansmen that magic was a gift of the gods. It was a mystical thing, to be called upon only in times of dire need. To do otherwise would be to cheapen it, to make a mockery of the gods’ gifts(i).


In all of the clan’s memory Bartolomai only used his powers twice. Once to bring back to life the clan’s child of unity(ii) who had died of a fever after having been hit by an errant orcish arrow one night. The second time was when he cleansed a plagued village. All in the village had died and the water well from the village was discovered to have been the cause of the plague. The only cure was to cleanse everything with fire and Bartolomai was called upon. He fasted and prayed for three days and nights, and on the third night, in his ceremonial robes, at the gate to the village a light shone upon him from the sky as he unleashed a ball of fire that burnt the village’s corpse to a cinder(iii).

“All who saw her remarked at the light that appeared to shine from within her.”

Though rigid in his adherence to his beliefs, Bartolomai was a tolerant elf. He understood that there were many deities, but he also knew that his gifts came from Thoth, and it was to Thoth that he pledged himself in all of his services. Yet he was a good cleric, one who guided each individual in the path they needed to take to do honor to the god or goddess they had chosen to serve.


The woman, his wife, Giula, was a weapon smith, and one of the best dagger forgers to be found. Bored with standard daggers, she began to experiment with different metals and different designs, sometimes creating daggers that looked nothing like a dagger until the owner shifted a piece of metal one way or another. She made other things, swords, shields, crossbows, and the like. But she excelled at turning a simple dagger into an exquisite work of art. 


In time, several hundred years of such, the couple conceived. They gave birth to a girl. Her hair shone like the light of the sun, her eyes the green of new grown fern leaves, her skin pale as alabaster. All who saw her remarked at the light that appeared to shine from within her. She radiated it. After a time Bartolomai and Giula settled on the name Lucreza, little light, for their young daughter.


Soon they found that it was not an illusion of light that radiated from their daughter for as she began to grow she displayed an aptitude for magic, specifically that which dealt with lightning. 


Her mother was the first to see Lucreza in the garden, sitting by the well, concentrating on her two hands that were inches apart from each other. After a few minutes of intense concentration, a tiny spark jumped from Lucreza’s right hand to her left. Giula smiled and praised her daughter. But she also made certain that Lucreza never practiced with her magic when Bartolomai was near for fear his inner terrors would make him stifle Lucreza’s wonderful gift. It was Giula’s reasoning that for a gift to be useful in times of need, it should be practiced with and perfected in other times. But she knew Bartolomai would not agree(iv) and so she taught Lucreza to keep her gift a secret from all while allowing her to hone her powers.


Not long after Lucreza’s sixth summer, Bartolomai and Giula had another child. Another girl. She was as fair skinned as her sister, but with blue eyes the color of the depths of the sea, and hair the color of burnished copper. They named her Eletta and she grew and quickly became her father’s favorite. She felt a deep connection to the gods and traditions and it was evident from an early age that she too would become a cleric wholeheartedly as her father was. She was gifted in creating light in dark places, but she was not allowed to practice or use her power frivolously, as Bartolomai put it.


Lucreza and Eletta were close as sisters came. Lucreza loved Eletta and did her best to teach her younger sister and guard her as she grew up. Even from early on they shared many things together, despite their age difference, and spent many long hours singing the songs of the rivers and wandering the trails of the woods together. But Giula had warned Lucreza to never tell Eletta of her secret powers. Giula could see the person Eletta was growing into and knew that should Eletta ever find out Lucreza’s secret, she would tell Bartolomai without a second thought.



There is a certain tree which only blooms when it is struck by lightning. Lucreza had seen it bloom many times for she had made it bloom after she had seen it struck the first time, but Eletta had never seen the trees magnificent purple/blue flowers. The day of Eletta’s eleventh year arrived and Lucreza took her to the lightning tree, making sure none followed. She told Eletta that she had a special present for her, and released a bolt of lightning that struck the tree. Immediately it burst into bloom. Lucreza turned to her sister, but rather than seeing the smile of wonder she expected, she found Eletta’s face contorted into a mixture of shock and horror, staring not at the tree, but at Lucreza instead.


A moment later and Eletta had turned and fled from the scene. When Lucreza arrived home she found her father, mother, and sister assembled and in conference. As she stepped through the door her father turned to her, his countenance was unreadable. But when he spoke, Lucreza knew he was not happy. He was displeased to find that Lucreza had hidden her gift, and even more displeased to find that she had “played” with her gift. 


To Giula’s everlasting credit she defended Lucreza. The end result was a compromise that allowed Lucreza to still use her power. But it had to be strictly guided, thus Lucreza was also to become a cleric. For she had been blessed with rare powers from the gods and Bartolomai was going to see that she become educated and use them only as needed. So Lucreza went to temple, learned histories of the gods and their workings in the world, and most importantly to Bartolomai she learned all of the traditions and ceremonies of the various gods of their region. 


For many years Lucreza was happy, for now she was getting structured knowledge. There was another cleric with gifts similar to her own and she was given over to his tutelage. She learned everything she could of the gods and the powers they bestowed upon other beings, and she learned of her own magic and of the deity she suspected of having given her her powers(3), with a voracious appetite. 


It took a very great time, but finally Lucreza became tired of her glut of knowledge. She was ready to practice her magic again, but was forbidden it except in times of need – for the clerics all seemed to share her father’s view – and she found that there was very little need for lightning magic. 


Time passed, and Lucreza did her best to hide her dissatisfaction with the status quo, but she had inherited her mother’s creativeness and it began to show. Very tentatively she made friends with some she suspected of thinking as she did. In time her suspicions were confirmed. Of her four friends, one was a cleric such as herself, and he introduced her to the leatherworker, the cheesemaker’s daughter, and the gnome tinkerer. 


Of all of them, it was the gnome, Kirya, that Lucreza made the deepest bond with. He was curious, he was clever, he invented things, and he had fantastic ideas. All of them had ideas that bucked tradition. However, in their village, which was large and moderately powerful, they were not allowed to do more than talk about plans and different uses for magic than traditional ones.

More time passed and each of the friends decided to do more than talk. So, with the help of Lucreza’s mother – whom they had taken into their confidence – they found an old home that had belonged to Giula’s elderly cousin who had journeyed on.


Approaching adulthood, Lucreza took the home as her own and turned it into a makeshift laboratory for herself and her friends. 

In an interesting move, when the time came for Lucreza to choose her adult name, she kept the name she had been given at birth. She felt that it not only fit her, but also that it honored the wisdom of her parents in choosing it for her in her infancy. It was the one choice she made that touched her father’s heart. That was his most cherished memory, and he took his feelings of that moment with him to his grave, never letting even his mate of hundreds of years know how much it meant to him.


Many years passed and the five friends made significant progress in their studies. The leatherworker had been gifted with many powers over life and death and had developed many antidotes as a result of his studies. He also had learned to create poisons, but for each of these, he also created an antidote both magical and physical. The cheesemaker’s daughter found that she was adept at healing, so that when any of the others accidentally wounded themselves in their experiments, she was ready, willing, and able to heal them. The cleric’s gifts centered upon nature and coexistence, so he sought to create spells and incantations to draw on natural powers as well as to combine spells with other spells to enhance their effects. Of all the friends, he was perhaps the least effective in bringing his ideas to fruition. Lastly there was the gnome tinkerer whose ideas were the catalyst to spark the creative fire inside Lucreza. They often worked together, Kirya trying to harness the lightning that Lucreza could produce, and Lucreza trying to produce more directed bolts.


One day Giula dropped by and looked about the laboratory, impressed by what she saw. And then, the idea struck her. If lightning could be harnessed, why not augment a weapon with it? Thus, she became the sixth member of the “Experimental Society” as they had dubbed themselves.

“Then the day came to try out their creation. They had been awake all night. But none were the least bit tired.”

They worked tirelessly at night on their experiments, just as they worked tirelessly during the day at their respective studies.

After much research and work, Kirya, Giula, and Lucreza developed something they called the Electricity Blaster. It was a weapon that turned lightning into small projectile charges that could be shot at the user’s will much like a miniature crossbow.

Many long months were spent in developing the containment structures for the charges. Then in designing something that would steady the minute lightning charge so that it actually travelled in the direction it was aimed in. There were issues with making sure that the direction of aim was the path of least resistance so they decided to create a small mechanism that would shoot a small amount of compressed air a millisecond before the lightning was released.   

      

Because lightning was so dangerous they had never tested the electricity blaster while they were making it. They deemed it safer to wait until they had checked and rechecked all of their figures. Then the day came to try out their creation. They had been awake all night. But none were the least bit tired. Lucreza and the others had built a see-through crystal wall and stood behind it. While Giula took position in front of the wall with the Electricity Blaster, since it was her brain child, and aimed at a gnoll painted on a large leather hide. All simultaneously took a deep breath. 


That was when the world exploded. Shards of metal flew through walls before the sound wave knocked everyone down. Then came the shockwave followed by large bolts of lightning streaking from the gun in Giula's hand. The hand that was no longer attached to its owner. The lightning tore through what was left of the building reducing it and several of the houses nearby to rubble. Animals shrieked and people screamed   They screamed for their own injuries and for the injuries of their love ones    

When the dust settled the sight that was left was not pretty. Skeletons of houses jutted up in the air. Their innards laid bare for all to see. Bodies lay in the streets caked in blood and fine dust, parts of other bodies lay interspersed with it all. All told 23 adults, 8 youths, 5 children, and a good many animals lay dead. The injured numbered three times that amount. The leather worker was numbered among the dead while the cleric had lost a leg below the knee.  Kirya's face would be horribly scarred and the cheesemaker's daughter would never hear again. 


Lucreza did not emerge unharmed. She had covered her eyes with her hands at the last moment and an errant bolt of lightning had burnt them horribly, it had also burnt her all the way down her neck, her sternum, her abdomen, and down her left leg. The skin, blistered and raw, would pain Lucreza even after it had healed. 


It was not long after the explosion when the town's officials determined its cause. The surviving founders of the experimental society were brought before the town leadership. They were accused of gross negligence and sentenced to 36 lashes of the whip (one for each of the dead) and summarily banished from the land. 


Neither Lucreza's father nor her sister spoke to her again and she was denied the ability to attend Giula's funeral. She left the town with nothing but the bandages on her body. She had no will to survive. She wandered aimlessly barely feeling anything. Kirya, faithful friend to the end, walked with her. They didn't talk really, but he was there. After a time he began to nudge her in the direction of the capital. She followed him blindly, still numb to the world. 

“I did not die because I gave up. I died because I tried.”

Kirya had been born there and still had family there, a couple of cousins, who agreed to lodge the two of them. The little family had a small workshop basement and Kirya would often disappear inside it and reappear with small mechanical trinkets he would make. Little by little his spirit began to return just as Lucreza's continued to wither. 


It was a cold winters day, Lucreza, wounds finally scarred over, had taken ill with a persistent cough. She was weak and tired. She began to sleep as Kirya did rather than trancing because it dulled her pain even more. After several weeks of this she had the dream:



Lightning flashed, the wind blew, the sky was dark with clouds. Lucreza stood on a promontory point on the edge ready to let herself fall dashing herself against the rocks below. A voice struggled against the wind. At first Lucreza tried to ignore it and the wind grew stronger. But she knew the voice was there, intent on being heard and insistent. Finally, before she jumped she decided to listen. In an instant the storm died out and she could hear clear as crystal the voice of her mother. 


"I did not die because I gave up. I died because I tried."


She awoke, the pain of her grief washing over her anew. Kirya entered to find Lucreza screaming in agony into her pillow.  She cried until her throat was raw and her eyes would produce no more tears. And then she slept. 


The next morning she awoke and emerged from her room for the first time in months. She was still weak, red-eyed, and suffering from an agonizing headache, but she desired to see Kirya’s workroom. Guiding her down the narrow stairs he led her to a heavy wooden door, took out a large pewter key, and unlocked it. She walked in and saw a well-lit space set up with tables and tools and gadgets, torches and lamps burning merrily along the walls. And there, at the center worktable was the electricity blaster. Whole. In one piece. 


She should have been angry. She should have screamed at Kirya for saving that cursed thing, but instead she walked towards it, calmly, composedly, and picked it up to inspect. It wasn’t the same. Some of the markings were different and the weight felt off. Then she noticed the central cylinder, it was made of a different material than before, it was darker, you could barely see lightning flicker inside it.


She turned to her friend, his expression was worried. She looked down at the gun in her hands then back to her friend. She knew then that the feelings she felt now about continuing and perfecting her mother’s work, Kirya had felt from the first moment he had recovered physically from the blast. Lucreza nodded to her friend and the two of them set to work. 


Eventually, they tested the EBII and found that it failed to do anything more than emit a small spark at its tip. It was at this point that Lucreza then began to spend most of her time remembering and redrawing the plans for the first gun. Once she had reproduced the blueprints to the best of her ability she compared them with Kirya’s plans for the EBII. And then the friends set about one more time to design a device that would work as intended.


Lucreza especially buried herself in her work. Whereas before her grief consumed her, now she directed its energy in to her work. She was tireless and fearless in her experiments, eventually creating a lightning storage container that seemed to be able to contain a large charge of electricity. She worked so often that she burned through massive amounts of torches and oil. It was at this point she got frustrated with constantly having to refill the lamps and created another storage container that could be used in conjunction with a light emitter - which the two friends also created -  to light the room with a consistent glow.


It was then that she received the news. Sasanna, the cheesemaker’s daughter, was in ill health. She was beginning to lose her sight now in addition to the hearing she had lost in the accident and no one was willing to support her. It was an extremely limiting disability as Sasanna relied now upon her sight to read lips to understand what was being said around her. What made it worse, many clerics and healers had tried and failed to cure her sight.


After news of another such failure, Kirya made the decision to bring Sasanna to his home and Lucreza agreed. After a short time, Lucreza was struck with an idea. Light allowed one to see. She could store lightning in a container that brightened the room. Why not harness the power of the light to grant sight back to her friend?

“He proceeded to recount the tragedy of Matera and looked directly at Lucreza, motioning towards the EBII. 'That was you, wasn’t it?'”

Very soon, however, she began to run into limitations. Her tools were not precise enough, Kirya’s lab was not equipped well enough, and she needed things to conduct experiments on. Her problem, she lacked funds. Being cut off from her family she had nothing of value and no income stream. And though Kirya received money from his family, it wasn’t much more than what was needed for food and basic supplies. 


When this realization hit Lucreza she stopped working on her experiments and she began to take long walks throughout the capitol, often leaving Kirya’s home before the dawn and returning well after the sun had set below the horizon. During these walks, she meditated on what she needed and how she could come about getting the coin to continue her labors. It wasn’t long before she stumbled upon the solution. She was passing a section of town known to house government officials and she saw many lights flickering in windows. One night she saw a candle light flicker, go out, and saw it return brightly. She deduced that someone was working late and had burnt through one candle and lit another. The solution struck her like a brick through a plate glass window and she rushed home to make her preparations.


Recently in the capitol there had been a paradigm shift. The elves there still believed in the gods, but they focused all their energies into the betterment of the people around them. They were open to new ideas, magics, and inventions.  It was the perfect time to be creative.


It took several weeks to gain an audience with the Master of Welfare, but Lucreza was patient. She could tell when she walked in that the Master and his assistants expected the meeting to be short. She demonstrated her methods of preserving lightning and creating a steady light source. They were interested, but not intensely so. She saw one assistant come in with a small bag of coins. She knew immediately it wasn’t enough. She had planned for that eventuality, though she loathed what it meant. Pulling out the Electricity Blaster mark II she demonstrated its effect and potential capabilities.


She could see they were impressed, but not really enough to grant her the gold she needed. And then, by the grace of the gods, one of the assistants jumped up and shouted. The others in the room looked at the assistant sharply. He proceeded to recount the tragedy of Matera and looked directly at Lucreza, motioning towards the EBII. “That was you, wasn’t it?”

Lucreza nodded. Once.


The Master’s impressed visage changed to amazement. He began to interrogate her about the details of both the EBI and the EBII. His manner was not antagonistic as she would have expected, rather it radiated an intense curiosity and excitement.


Hours passed, the Master, Lucreza, and the assistants moved to the dining chamber, ate a hearty meal, and continued to talk. Talk progressed from details about Lucreza’s experiments to terms for funding. Eventually it was decided that things could not be completely decided overnight and that further meetings and planning was needed. But the short of the matter was that Lucreza had secured enough funding and labor for the lab she needed. The requirement was that she bring all of her inventions before the Master of Welfare so that he could determine where they would best be used, that she teach others to make the items the Master deemed useful, and that she continue work on the EBIII. She was allowed funding and time for her “pet project”, but she had to show that she was also progressing other inventions that the Master deemed more useful.



It's funny how the simplest things that seem insignificant turn into the most profitable. While the Master of Welfare wasn’t quite as impressed with the light emitters as with the electricity blasters, the rest of the nation disagreed. They quickly bought into the idea and money soon began to stream in to the government and by way of royalties to Lucreza as well. Towers began to be built which could shunt off excess lightning but direct the rest to be stored in capacitors and batteries which then had cables run and woven and sung into the trees to light their interiors. The trees served as additional insulators to the cables and provided a means of hiding them so they were not an eyesore.


The trees that housed the lightning towers were the tallest, often enhanced by magic to send one stem up higher than the rest to serve as a lightning rod. Each tower also needed a keeper who could focus a beam of light through a lens to create a path of least resistance for the lightning in the sky to follow to hit the tree tower. This beam’s heat is so intense it creates an ionized column of gas which has less resistance and even draws errant lightning bolts towards it. Thus the keeper was always on the watch for clouds that brooked lightning and initiated and focused the beam in that direction as well as making sure nothing caught fire or putting it out if it did and effecting repairs.


The government did not implement these towers and changes overnight. But they did happen rapidly over the next several decades. 


Wanting to see a return on their investment and not just watch her rest on her laurels, the government did encourage Lucreza to work on the next version of the electricity blaster once the lightning tower details had been perfected. So, she and Kirya did. Decades passed and they finally came up with a central cylindrical container that held the lightning and a way to allow a small amount to be released that would be fatal to whatever it was aimed at, but not injure the user.

“She heard stories of valor, stories of lost loves, stories of amazing treasure. But the story that caught her attention was the one a blonde-bearded dwarf was telling about the strange lights in the sky.”

They made the handle out of non-conductive hardened porcelain. There was a concave metal plate at the front of the blaster where the electricity was released. Its function was to draw the inevitable side sparks of lightning to itself so they did not shoot out wildly and injure the user.  They dubbed this the Electricity Blaster Mark III aka EBIII and it was a hit with the Masters of both Welfare and Arms when she demonstrated it.


But life never seems to run as smoothly as one would like. The two friends brought their invention back to their new lab and went out for a celebratory dinner. They came back to smashed windows an unbolted door, and a lab that was in shambles. More importantly, the EBIII was missing. 


It was a serious setback. The good news being that she had shown the government her prototype, and they had granted her more funding because they had seen a physical item that was an improvement over the previous version they had seen.

She kept reading the news and listening to any stories she heard at taverns to see if anyone had used her invention. For a long time, there was nothing. Then, of all places, she heard of its being used on the continent of Zhakara. It was little more than a rumor, and since she had all of the notes and designs she and Kirya used for its making, Lucreza decided it was best not to leave to hunt down a rumor.


Instead, it was time to focus on Sasanna’s condition. The world for her was getting dimmer and dimmer and conventional means and magic still showed no ability to improve Sasanna’s sight. Lucreza began to study the eyes of creatures, sheep, giant spiders, squid, anything and everything she could get her hands on to look at the variations and determine how they worked and if she could do the same. There were many differences, but there were also many similarities.


She figured if she could create a glass orb container with a long filament inside stretching from one end to the other that would be a start. There had to be a way to get the light to swirl around in the container and then get channeled down the filament. There also had to be a way to approximate an iris. Some sort of semi rigid material that could be stretched and loosened depending on the available light outside.


This was not a job she could do on her own. Enlisting the aid of a glassblower, she had Kirya study with him and learn his techniques. Then he was to tinker and create a machine that could do the same thing but without flaws and in smaller, more precise shapes. The emphasis was not to eliminate the glassblowers’ art, for it truly was beautiful and often the glass was enchanted as it was made. But delicate as elves were, they could not make things so minute and so perfect as to adequately approximate an eye.


Meanwhile, Lucreza began to work with the larger orbs that the glassblower would make. But she found they would shatter when she placed lightning inside. It was frustrating because she couldn’t have the glass much thicker or it would obstruct the clarity of the image, and she could not find a way to reduce the amount of lightning she put into the orb. 


She had grown accustomed to walking around the city when she was stumped. Now she wandered the streets, glancing at the eloquent houses, listening to the wind whistle through the deadwood stumps, the melancholy notes echoing her lonely thoughts. It was getting cold. She was getting hungry. There was a tavern nearby, The Burnished Boar. Lucreza entered, ordered a bottle of mead and a shepherd’s pie, and sat down in a corner. For a while she ate lost in her own thoughts. Time passed and the noises of people talking and laughing began to poke through her own noisy thoughts.



She heard stories of valor, stories of lost loves, stories of amazing treasure. But the story that caught her attention was the one a blonde-bearded dwarf was telling about the strange lights in the sky. Apparently in the northern reaches of the world the sky lit up and crackled at night. Shades of blues, greens, pinks, and yellows. It was an energy to be sure, but it appeared to be a gentle one, one that the peoples of the place enjoyed as those here in Thalasia would enjoy a sunset. The fact that the sky crackled when these lights appeared piqued Lucreza’s interest. Lightning crackled when she unleashed its power. Perhaps these sky lights were a mild form of lightning, something that could be harnessed. Maybe they were just the thing that would even allow her to bring sight back to her friend.


She spoke to Kirya and made preparations for a journey to the northern reaches of Arthenia. Fully geared she traveled to a port town, sailed to Arthenia, hired a guide, and traveled north on the moose caravan used by the local peoples. Her guide showed her how to live on her own in the snow, how to build an igloo, how to build a fire in her igloo, how to hunt seal, how to process the seal, and so forth. Much of her first months in Arthenia’s northern reaches, Lucreza saw the lights, but could do no research as she was busy with the process of learning survival. 


Time passed and she eventually was not only self-sufficient, but also able to devote time to her studies of the sky. Try as she might, she could not store the energy contained in the sky. She could not even hardly catch it with the materials that she had. She determined that she needed a container that was resistant to electrical energy on the outside, but also had an attractant on the inside along with the battery that was being used to store the charge. The advantages she saw were great, however, as the nature of the sky lights meant that she could start and stop the charge when she chose and none of it would be wasted. It would just remain as a skylight until drawn upon again.


There was something that worried her though. Would the lights disappear if she drew too much power? She wanted to harness the power the world had provided without harming the world or taking away these lights of great beauty, for they were beautiful. It gave her much to ponder on as she left her northern abode and headed for home to research materials and create a better storage container. 


She was brooding on these thoughts when the Black Rose entered the harbor in Nala.


Footnotes

  1. Matera

  2. Goddess of sunlight and honor

  3. Onatar


Endnotes

i. As a youth Bartolomai had several playmates that he spent all of his spare time with. Each of them was imbued with magical powers, one in particular, was a sorcerer. They would spend many days wandering the woods near their homes and each tested out their powers. But one day something went terribly wrong and the sorcerer’s flame was set loose in a manner that none of the young elves could control. Soon the golden flames were eating the beautiful summer woods. The air was alive with the sounds of dying animals and plants. By the time rains came to stop the fire, two small villages had been burnt to the ground and all within were dead. Deeply scarred by the dead bodies he saw, Bartolomai severed his friendship with the others and refused to use his magic again unless the need was of the utmost extreme.


ii. Child of unity: An ancient custom. Many thousands of years ago, when the world was ancient and elves less peaceful, tribes often fought against each other with great losses on either side. After a time, there was a bold chieftain who surrendered his infant child to his enemies. He stood on a bridge in the pouring rain, arms outstretched, child squalling. The opposing chief’s wife comprehended and rushed forward with her own infant and traded with the chieftain. Then was an unspoken treaty created: As long as both children lived, there would be no war between the tribes, they would each return to their own lands and live in peace. To break the treaty or to kill the child of unity or allow it to die would incite all of the surrounding tribes to massacre the offenders. Word of the act spread quickly and all tribes adopted this method of peace. It was not infallible as it required someone to be willing to give up their own child from each tribe, and many times there was no one willing to do so.


iii. This event reminded him of his youth only ninety-seven years prior. His trances from that day forward were haunted by visions of the corpses of the plagued village he had to cleanse along with those of the ones that had burnt down as a result of his friend’s carelessness in his adolescence.


iv. Bartolomai’s view is that the gods will grant you the perfect use of your power in times of need. To try to practice with it any other time would be to exhibit a disbelief in the gods’ abilities. Therefore, to do so would be a slap in the face of the gods and anyone who did so would be deserving of their divine punishment.


{Next installment In the Swarm of Scarabs series}


Credits

  1. Lucreza Amakiir, all her family and friends, her hometown of Matera, and her story are my (Rachael Murphy's) creations.

  2. Thalasia, Zhakara, all the rest of the lands named, and Zappy Zappy are creations of the Swarm of Scarabs GM: Jonathan Edwards

  3. The Black Rose was named by the player Christopher Rondeau (check out his D&D Podcast Website: Wyvern's Aria)

  4. Onatar, Dol Arrah, and any other gods were used as written in the Dungeons & Dragons 5e Player's Handbook

Keywords to Spark Your Interest

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