David's Darkmoon Deeds
"I hope that one day I can put down my sword - until then, I'll keep my killing edge sharp."
Ellen’s Backstory… by Me.
As is often the case, growing up different can cause a lot of unnecessary troubles.
There’s a small village on the road from Brastlewark to Alvis, which didn’t get many visitors to begin with and even less after they levied a tax to improve the road. Improvement apparently means skip Briercrest entirely. First thing to go was the old Garrison, dating back to when the little lump that could hardly be considered a hill was first used for its vantage point; many centuries ago, when Aspex the Silver-Tongued Devil corrupted Cheliax and they broke from Imperial Rule. The local tavern lost it’s best customers, most of the inns had to close their doors, and the Merchants all but left. It was all before my mother’s time, but she’d remember fondly the early days of spring when my father and grandfather would sit out on the porch and chat about the good old days, wisps of conversation and smoke passing through the open door. She was young, then, and impressionable.
Briercrest should have been far enough from the mountains to the north, or the forest to the east, but there were always desperate bandits – or more likely brigands from Cheliax disguised as bandits. The story goes that Mionnødel, my father, was wounded on the road by such as these. A few desperate highwaymen he could handle, you see, but soldiers want the copper of your blood. The women of my family have always had kind hearts and gifted hands, so my mother saw to his wounds, and… well, that story is as old as time. He settled down, got together with a few like-minded men in the village, and the Militia was formed. Twice anyone’s age, he was the clear choice for the first Captain.
I was barely four when my mother remarried, so I never really got to know him, but the men in town old enough to have served under him always treated me with the respect he had earned. When they thought I was out of earshot, some were honest enough to say that even a brave fool deserves a hero’s rites. Those first few men earned a reputation, to be certain, and we enjoyed almost twenty years of peace thanks to their duty and sacrifice. Time passes, though, and Humans are quick to forget.
The men grew careless and lazy, and the Militia didn’t stand for what it once did. The new generation thought the stories were just that, and when they got pushed they just stopped training. About two years back there was a hard spring storm, and most were too worried about themselves. Repairs on the roof, late planting, stunted crops – and when they got told to train like their lives depended on it they just put down their swords. That autumn the bandits came back, hungry and desperate. It was terrifying, utterly barbaric, and by the time most could pull their shields out from behind hay bales or under beds they were upon us and most of the local men were already bleeding out in the streets.
There was little need for a midwife the following year, as most of the women had to rely on an extra blanket to keep them warm over the winter. They never did like me, whether from mistrust or misunderstanding – some hated me for being an elf, others for the way men treated me. Rumors had always followed me, small words from petty women of what I must do to earn those smiles or clearly the men all knew I was a hussy and that’s why none would court me. A curse, over and over, these ears. Truth is, most of the men liked me because I served my time in the militia. Shared moments of blood and beer, as they said. Those that survived that night, so vivid in my memory but in some ways a lifetime ago, remembered the trail of corpses I left in my wake and the glimmer of the Divine in my eyes.
Even if we spent our whole lives growing up together, it was clear I was nothing like them.
So I left.