The Chronicles Of Severance
Wandering Knight of the Lost City
Wandering from settlement to settlement seeking work, and often following tales of strange creatures, Faris is often seen as nothing but another disposable sell sword carrying more than his life is worth. Those who are confident enough to relieve him of his life and his burdens are usually not alive long enough to realize their mistake.
He is often accompanied by a strange Jackal like creature, a being that has saved his life on many occasions. This creature has a will and purpose of its own, coming and going as it pleases, avoiding human settlements – yet is never too far from Faris’s shadow.
As old Muad sat half asleep in the shade from the high sun, he was awakened by a commotion outside. He sighed and smiled, that goat herder boy probably got caught with the Tanners daughter again – it was becoming quite the weekly affair. He tried to rest his eyes again, only to have the shouting grow nearer as more voices joined the fray. He frowned; from the sound of it the bastard was really going to kill the lad this time. Not to be a bad neighbour, he got up to watch what was likely going to be quite the spectacle. But before he could reach the door a young man burst in unannounced and out of breath, too flustered to speak. The Goat Boy. So he was going to drag wise old Muad into this was he? No chance.
“Lad, don’t come running to me – you got yourself into this mess, you’re going to have to worm your way out”
The goat boy looked shocked, then confused, before spluttering out something unrecognisable as human speech.
“By the avatars boy, use words – and im not hiding you on my roof again”
The Goat Boy paused, to a few deep breaths, “Uncle found … a man collapsed on the dunes … half-dead, just like he walked from the desert”
Before Muad could compose a reply a group of villagers stormed into his home carrying a man’s dusty body and placing him on the table, with the Goat Boys uncle telling him what had happened, that he had followed a strange Jackal to the man’s body out on the dunes. Muad got to work quickly, fetching water from a jar and bringing it to the man’s lips, who rasped something before passing out again.
Now this was something. A strange man walking out of the desert with nothing but a weapon to large for him and foolish enough to still carry armour. The villagers had not seen something like this in many years; the desert was large, impassable, none who ventured into it were likely to return. Just as the Goat Boys uncle had said, a large Jackal appeared outside the shack that night, sitting serene and patient, eyes like white dots in the dark. When Muad thought to drive it away it met his eyes, watching him, and he quickly thought against it.
The man’s body was severely fatigued and bruised; half his ribs on one side had been broken, and several small wounds had been crudely treated. He applied his medicine as best he could, cooling the man’s fever before he came too again. He was not of these parts, or any parts it seemed, and when he was finally able to talk his dialect was strange but understandable. He told Muad of a lost White City deep in the desert, that there were still people of Izmere taking refuge within its walls – although it was constantly under threat. The man continued, mentioning he was Faris of the Naasar and had been born in this desert city; that he had been lost in the desert for many days, perhaps weeks.
Muad believed little of it, it was ramblings of a man in the throes of fever. Or at least he would have if he had not heard similar tales throughout his many decades; men spat from the desert speaking of a lost city that was a oasis in the wastes. Perhaps this man had also heard these stories, but there was something about this man that suggested what he said may be true. No, impossible – the kingdoms of Izmere were in ruin, only sand and death there now. This man was probably some idiot seeking tales of great treasures deep in the desert. Curse those myths; they have led many a desperate fool to their deaths.
The man, – Faris, if that was his true name – recovered remarkably fast after awakening. His strength returned, and after the fever had passed he was much less talkative. Muad noticed something in his eyes, something he had seen amongst the city plague victims from a long forgotten youth; they were the eyes of the haunted. Yet there was also a fragile calmness surrounding this man, similar to those bitter mercenaries who came through these parts time to time – great wrath and hatred lurked in this man’s heart. Towards what, Muad could not say.
On the second evening he was preparing to leave – packing his few belongings and suiting segments of his armour under a desert shawl, that unwieldy weapon he had hauled through the sands now seemingly a staff and slab of metal slung across his back. Faris was grateful to both Muad and the village, and before leaving placed an impressive necklace of large fangs into the old man’s hands. Muad called out to Faris, asking him if he was returning to his White City. Faris paused, then answered that he would only return if he returned with its salvation.
“Then where are you heading?”
Faris simply replied, “The World”, as he turned to set off into the evening light, followed by the strange Jackal. Confused, the old man glanced at the necklace; grisly flesh still lined the tops of these teeth, as if they had been ripped from some great beast’s mouth several days before.
He watched the man disappear into the cool desert night.
Found when Faris was on the verge of death after being lost in the dunes for many days, this weapon seemed to call to him.
The Jackal led him to the Valley of bones, a place in the desert where many great wars and atrocities had been commited, and it was here, amongst the bones of a great beast that he pulled free the weapon.
The metal it is forged from has endured everything Faris has encountered without a scratch, leading him to think it unbreakable, yet the blade itself is riddled with old scars.