Festival of the Lion
Ranger for the Kingdom of Mordent
Ranger lvl 8
Masterwork Composite long bow(str +3)
Masterwork Great sword
“Garonis! Come here boy!” says a familiar voice from the courtyard. I rise and stroll out to the courtyard to meet my father, like I have done many times previous to this one. I seem to know what is in store for me and I accept it with honor, yet I know that one of these days my father will no longer be in this world due to his profession.
Gar’s father is a low ranking officer in the militia of Mordent. Recently, he has been assigned to rid the forest area around Mordent of the Orc presence. Many men have not been returning from these assignments, yet the missions are very important to the country because these Orcs must be put down!
Gar knows that his father, once again, lost one of his men to the Orc raids. Whenever this happens his father goes into a rage of bloodlust and must take it out. The nearest outlet for that rage is his son, me. Needless to say, I will be nursing some pretty bad bruises, maybe a broken nose, and many cuts and scrapes from being thrown and beaten… “You called father?”
“Yes Boy! Get out here and stand at attention!”
All humans are the same. They go through the motions and then go to sleep, wake-up, and do the motions again. This is just another motion for me. Since I have been about 6 years old this has been going on in one form or another and I am 10, now. Maybe tomorrow will be the day that his belly will be sliced open by one of those Orc battle axes that loom in the forest…
A familiar figure stands before me with a somber face. It is the man they call Jaryn Swiftbow, my father’s best friend and royal ranger for the kingdom of Mordent. A glimmer of hope is sparked in my mind for the coming news. “Garonis, I am sorry but your father has died in battle. He was fighting off 2 Orcs that had surprised our regiment. I have been charged with taking care of you since your mother and father are no longer in this world.”
Keep the elbow up… See the target… Visualize the hit… Is there any wind? I let go of the bow string and the arrow flies straight and true. THUNK! It sinks deep and dead center into the target with flawless precision.
“Very well done Gar. Do it again, but faster!” Jaryn commands! “You will become a Royal Ranger sooner or later. Just remember there can only be 5 Royal Rangers at a time and we do not die that often. So you must train hard and be ready to accept the task whenever it arrives!”
“Congratulations Garonis! You have been accepted into the ranks of the Royal Rangers! You now will serve your country with Honor and Dignity. You will Protect the people from all injustice and hunt down the enemy with your Bow and Sword! It has only been 5 years since your father has died, yet you have grown so much since that time. You are the youngest Ranger to be elevated to the title of Royal Ranger in Mordent History! At the bright age of 15 you will do great things for this magnificent country!” The King, Francis Landando, beckons you to rise and accept the seal of the Royal Ranger.
My hands are shaking with perspiration. Can this really be happening? Did I overcome all other rangers in the country to earn this great honor?
It seems time has crawled to a stop. I can see Jaryn, my teacher and mentor, to my right along with the three other royal rangers. They seem to be amazed at the Kings decision to elevate me to be the next Royal Ranger. The eye’s of the people that are watching this ceremony are stunned with shock and awe, not one is blinking.
I extend my hand and accept the seal of the Royal Ranger with confidence! This will forever change my life!
Staring at the dirt in the ground, I can make out the shape of a metal boot that had passed through the area approximately 15 minutes ago. It must be the Orc that I have been tracking for the past 3 days. Pressing on is the only option now. I am fully invested in catching this low life.
As I follow the tracks down the goat path, I start to hear a scuffle up ahead. I step up my pace to get there faster. Through the brush I see Jaryn and my fellow Royal Rangers tying up this human. We had split up to cover more ground in hopes of catching up with this, so called “Orc”. As I approach they greet me and then turn to the human and string him up against a tree. Taking turns, they start pounding this human’s body into a pulp.
This is very unusual to me since I have never seen a Royal Ranger, much less Jaryn, show such disdain and hate for a captured criminal. This was very unlike them. Jaryn approaches me and says, “your turn. All new Royal Rangers must learn that these criminals can not be shown any mercy.”
“No Jaryn! I will not further hurt this man. He has already been detained. He must face charges in Mordent facing a jury. They will give him judgment, not us! This is not right!” I continue to shake my head in confusion.
Jaryn then grabs my neck and slams me to the ground. I can smell the stink of his breath on my face and feel the dirt in between my neck and his right hand. “Boy, you will join us! Or prepare to learn this lesson the hard way.”
Shaking my head, I stare right into Jaryn’s eyes and see the insanity that has stole his mind from reality. I look into the eye’s of the other Royal Rangers and see this insanity as well. Are there no good men in this world?
Shifting my free hand, I slide my belt knife from it’s sheath. In a fluid motion, I heave Jaryn off my body and slice his neck, which starts to gush blood. The other Royal Rangers, seeing this occurrence, stop pounding on the man and run for their weapons. Taking up my bow, I shoot down the others with 3 swift arrows, which hit each ranger squarely in the head.
I then see the fear in the criminals eye’s. He is shaking and trying to talk even through his gag. I ready an arrow and prepare to fire. If I allow this man to live he might talk about what has happened here today. Time, once again, has slowed down and I find myself weighing my options.
The arrow flies and hits the man in the chest and sinks in deep. He twitches and then the head droops down.
Burying the bodies is the hardest part. No one can know that I killed my fellow Royal Rangers, even if it was for self defense. Tearing off the Royal Ranger Seal from their clothes, I start to make my way back to Mordent.
Striding into the King’s study, I throw the other Royal Ranger Seals on the King’s desk and state, “the job is done sire, there were some casualties. The other rangers were killed during the scuffle. I was the only one to come back alive. And sire I do not want to have their places on the team replaced, I can do the job myself.”
“Are you sure Garonis? Do you want to do this job your entire life? Never get a family started or have a stable life?”
“No sire. I am happy to serve my King and country!”
“Very well Gar. Your request is granted and you will do this job alone.”
“Thank you Sire.” I pledge to myself, that I will never again kill an innocent person for no apparent reason. This promise I swear on the dead bodies of my family and Jaryn.
20 years have past since my pledge has been made. The Damned Festival has been going on for some time. I have heard rumors that the arena event has ended and a new jackass, oh sorry, champion has been crowned, well about fucking time. The shouts that I heard coming from the arena where for some fucker called “Lady Corinthas” or something. Maybe a lady has won the tournament this year?
Guess Samson got what was coming to him, bastard.
People piss me off…
The Archery tournament has forever banned me from competing, good riddens if you ask me. They claim that I win every time, which I do, and the crowds are getting sick of seeing it well they can shove it! However, the King has given me a mission. He has had reports from outlying farms that there is an Orc encampment close to the city and I need to investigate this for him.
No one has seen Orcs around Mordent for 15 years. What could this mean? Time to go hunting…