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Posted by on 1999 Jul 12 |

The Young Bravado

(5 Uthmor 358 SV: 8 of 19)

Dear Reader,

My objective this evening was to face the Gypsy Marauders, but instead I found a lesson on the definition of bravery and honor.  The creatures can wait one more day for I feel this incident to be more relevant to the true objective of the Quest.  It has led me to question on what bravery is and where, exactly, does it reside.

It began with Damaria and myself upon the western side of the wall leading to Ke’leor.  We were running through the usual check list of making sure all the straps on the armor were tight and I had not (once again) forgotten to put on helmet and handguards.  From the dusty road leading westward, a figure in dire need of assistance stumbled.  It was an elf by the name of Cyerion and he was clutching the savaged and bleeding stump of his left arm.  He managed to say one word…”Help…”

With quick skill, Damaria stabilized his condition and kept him from the brink of death.  As soon as he was able to speak again, his story came out.  A swarm of Marauders and Morah Vines had overwhelmed him and at least one other hunter.  He had seen the fellow fall in the midst of combat but could not do anything but manage to escape in the hopes of finding help. For his credit, Cyerion was ready to return to the fray as soon as his body was made whole again.  We followed him as quickly as we could with the desire to render aid.

The body was still where the warrior had fallen as Marauders have little desire for the loot we carry and the vines had tasted their full of him during combat.  His name would turn out to be Ivance, and he was a Prydean Paladin.  The killing blow must have been to his neck for he was bleeding fiercely there.  Damaria took to healing his broken vessel in hopes of making the dead knight whole enough to bear life again.  Cyerion ran to look for clerical assistance.

Ivance’s spirit still clung to the corpse and its voice could be plainly heard to those who listened.  With little holy mana available to offer in harnessing, I positioned myself in front of the empath in case any monster made an appearance.  I then set about soothing Ivance’s soul with calm words to keep him from departing until help arrived.

The feline warrior was rather upset, and I could tell his soul regretted the fight he had stumbled into.  It seems he had just recently made the fourth circle of the guild and was anxious to test his mettle.  It is only unfortunate that he choose such difficult creatures to do so.  “I did not know…” was an oft repeated phrase by Ivance’s ghost.  I tried to encourage him by commending his bravery and that “Knowledge is based principally upon experience.  Now that you have experienced this…you’ll know the next time.”

BrotherCyerion returned with one Brother Dragonhawk who at once began to rejuvenate our young knight.  We pulled the body to where Holy Mana flowed freely for the good Brother to work.  I should mention here that a person who dies in Ke’leor must be cared for there or be prepared to depart as the road eastward is too difficult a journey to even start dragging a body down. Within but a few minutes Dragonhawk had preserved Ivance’s memories and, as I drew a Banner of Truce upon the area, he then pressed Ivance’s spirit back into the now whole body.

“That cost me a favor, Ivance.” The Brother said as he rose from where he had collapsed.

“He had no favors?!”

“No,” and then Dragonhawk did the bravest thing I’ve seen in a long time.  He smiled at Ivance.  I was prepared to harangue the young paladin for his foolishness, but Dragonhawk’s willing sacrifice made me swallow that.  It made me realize that bravery means doing what is difficult…even at the risk of self sacrifice.  Yelling at Ivance would have been all too easy.  The Prydean was very sheepish and thanked all who had helped.

I offered to help him get the favors and he accepted.  We headed back to Therengia Province, and took the Northern Trade Road south to Langenfirth and the wharf .  The coins I had gained from selling the WolfSpider eyes went to the Prydean’s pockets for fare to Riverhaven  The amount of knowledge I had to pass on to him was enough to cause shivers.  He had never had a favor, and did not know the proper names of the Thirteen in order to get them.  I could not fault him though.  It was not he who had failed, but his elders, myself included, in failing to teach him these ways.

I gave him a detailed description of the Mausoleum where he could petition the gods for favor, and offered the name of Chadatru until he had chance to read The Immortals in order to decide himself.  I was prepared to journey with him, even though my Quest was pulling me back northward as if I had been geased.  My gratitude goes out to an honorable warrior mage by the name of Chartaine who sent word ahead for somebody to meet Ivance across the lake.   It is good to know that such selfless kindness is not absent from the land.

What lessons have I drawn from this encounter? Just that bravery is a good thing, but unless it is coupled with knowledge it becomes an act of foolishness that risks both yours and other’s lives.  Youthful bravado must be tempered by the knowledge of the elders who have gone before them. Ivance did not do wrong: he was acting as his youthful nature dictated. Experiences must be shared and this is especially true for Paladins. Remember that not only are Paladins warriors but preservers as well.   I charge you, good Reader, to go out and preserve the knowledge and wisdom within you by passing it along to a youngster.  This way they may learn from your successes and mistakes without the lesson being permanently fatal.  May the Thirteen preserve you, Good Reader.

Zygmund

Zygmund Volfritter