Saturday, 10 April 2010

Kyr - a brief introduction.

Kyr sighed deeply and looked at the pristine sheet of parchment in front of him. He gripped his pen hard, hard enough to turn his knuckles white and started to write. Within a few minutes the parchment was covered in writing and Kyr's fingertips were stained black from the ink. He wrote with great speed, almost fury, paying little attention to presentation and, if previous efforts were anything to go by, even less attention to accuracy.

Kyr had been so proud the day that his parents had woken him early and announced that today he would meet with the scryer. Finally, after years of seeing his brothers and sisters march off with his parents, and come back later that day, brimming with joy, secure in the knowledge that they now had a path to follow, it was his turn. Whilst Kyr's parents weren't wealthy they had provided well for the education of each of their children. Kyr's father ran a tavern in an outlying village, and his mother, whilst declining to work behind the bar, had always kept the place clean and welcoming, and was happy to cook food for hungry clientele. Barmaids of a variety of races had made the bar more popular than it might have been, everyone knows that the first duty of a barmaid is to smile and be interested in the mundane lives of the customers and whilst having many points of note, the blood elves are not renown for either their tolerance and interest in the other races of the Horde, or for their interest in the petty flotsam and jetsam of peoples lives. Growing up int he tavern though, had ensured that all the children were used to being surrounded by the Horde as a whole, not just by their noble blood elf kin. (Kyr, as a result, could swear fluently in both Troll and Orcish, and was able to mutter unpleasant sounding curses in Gutterspeak...)

Kyr had risen quickly, dressed as he was bid and left the house with his parents. He didn't even know where the scryer lived. As they walked further into the Woods, and the path turned into a track and then into nothingness he began to worry. What happened if he (for the scryer must be a man, to have visions such as he had!) was unable to see a future for Kyr? Would that mean that he alone amongst his siblings had no affinity? That he would have to work in the tavern with his parents for the rest of his life? His thoughts were interrupted by his father pointing up a small hill, "You need to go up there alone my son. She'll know who you are and what you are here for." Kyr started - his father had said "she". So the scryer was a woman? His was expected to trundle off up the hill and what? She would magically appear before him? How would she know who he was? However he voiced none of these thoughts and after hugging his mother briefly, and being clapped on the back by his father, he began the ascent to the top of the hill. When the incline levelled into flatness he realised he was at the top, but there was no-one to be seen. He turned a slow circle, but saw nothing and no-one. As he stood there, feeling slightly foolish, wondering what he should tell his parents a melodious voice came from behind him.

"You must be Kyrlarian, please sit and relax." Swinging round he saw a nondescript woman, clad in a plain robe. Her hair was a dull shade of brown, she had no notable features whatsoever. She gestured for him to sit, and not knowing what else to do, he did as he was bid. The scryer knelt down in front of him and took his hand in her small, grubby one. From a pocket in her robe she produced something similar to a small hand mirror, but with the glass painted in matt black.

"Please," she said smiling, "just relax, this won't hurt at all and will take but a moment." She held Kyr's hand lightly and stared into the mirror for a few moments.

"Right," she said, standing up and dusting off her robe, "All done. Go to your anxious parents and tell them to unearth the robes they have stashed away in a red trunk somewhere. They'll know what to do."

Kyr frowned. "Hang on, I thought you were supposed to tell me my destiny, my affinity! All you've done is held my hand for a few seconds and looked into that... that thing. And now you won't tell me anything? You send me back down to my parents with a riddle?"

"Your parents will know exactly what I mean," the scryer replied, "and I do not make a habit of repeating myself." The air seem to shake for a moment, and the scryer vanished.

Kyr walked down the hill, kicking stones, roots, plants, anything that was in range, as he went. What was wrong with her? Was it too much to know what was in his future? And what on earth was he meant to tell his parents? Surely when his brothers and sisters has visited her then had known exactly what fate held for them. Or had they? They hadn't really discussed the scryer though, because he had though 'she' would be a 'he'... and they hadn't told him what was said either. But robes? What did that mean? Actually it could be a good sign, after all two of his brothers had gone off to their training wearing robes and ok, in fairness the family didn't see much of them anymore because their minions tended to make the tavern's customers uneasy and of course there was the slight 'issue' of having demonic taint but still they were warlocks. Maybe that was it. Wow, that would be spectacular... Of course, his sister had worn robes as well and she'd been called to Cloisters for instruction with the priestess... That would be less spectacular. But his brothers who had been called by the Light had been paladins! But paladins wouldn't wear robes would they...? Kyr was lost in thought and didn't realise, until he heard his parents calling excitedly, that he had almost reached the bottom of the hill. He ran the last few paces and threw himself into their waiting arms.

"Well?" his father said, "Do you have a message for us then my son?"

Kyr nodded, "I'm to tell you to unearth the robes you have stashed away in a red trunk. Does that make sense?"

There was a stunned silence. "In a red trunk," asked his father, "are you sure?".

"I'm hardly likely to make it up am I Father?" asked Kyr. "I didn't know what she was talking about and anyway she wasn't exactly what I was expecting; the whole thing was a bit of an anti-climax really, and...Mother why are you crying???"

Kyr's mother shook her head and walked over to him, throwing her arms around him she sobbed "I'm so proud. We haven't had a magus in the family since your great-uncle passed over, I can't believe it."

"A magus?" echoed Kyr, "as in a mage, a magician you mean? That's what she meant by the robes thing?"

"Indeed," boomed his father, "we must get back home and get you packed. I will need to make some enquiries and find a suitable magus for you to learn from. And son, this is a great opportunity for you. Make us proud."

Unfortunately, Kyr was not thrilled and honoured like his parents had expected. Kyr did not view his potential, his destiny, his affinity with anything that could even charitably described as 'positive'. Rather than being a warlock, a paladin or even a hunter like his favourite siblings; learning on the go, travelling, getting into battles, coming home with tales of daring and bravery, he was stuck indoors, surrounded by tomes, having to write and memorise spells and incantations. To make the whole business worse there were virtually a classful of students apprenticed to the magus, presumably this was how he ensured his robes were of the highest quality and covered with golden embroidery - Kyr had heard his parents discussing, with low, anxious voices, the 'donations' expected by the magus and if the amount his parents were giving was similar to the other ten or eleven students the old boy must be swimming in gold. Not that it did anything for his temper or his apparent belief that all students were untrustworthy imbeciles.

To add further insult to injury, Kyr knew that soon each apprentice would be called and the magus would instruct them which school of magic they would focus on. These schools, he knew via gossip and students who's entire family had been magi, for as far back at they could remember, were quite defining. Although all students were trained in all schools of magic and when (if!) they had proven themselves sufficiently in their primary school, they were allowed to study further in another school, the primary school they were instructed in had a certain hierarchy associated with it, and no amount of exhortation by the magus that "all schools are equally powerful and dependent not on ability but innate traits" changed the fact that everyone wanted to specialise in frost magic. There were students (whom Kyr actively disliked) who breezed through this assessment happily, secure in the knowledge that they would be nothing other than frost as their family had been... for generations... etc (yawn). Then there were the offbeat ones who knew that they would be focusing on the arcane magics. Whilst most of the students mocked them for this, they merely smiled quietly to themselves and held the eye of anyone who made fun of them for fractionally too long, until the jester decided to find easier sport elsewhere. Then there were the fire specialists - the 'pyros' as the students referred to them as. Kyr had more than a suspicion that this was where he would end up. Whilst in theory, and in rationale, this should have been a school with a certain respect; after all, would you really mock someone who can shoot flames from the tips of his fingers, the reality was the the pyros were a rag-tag bunch, lacking both the style of the frost trainees and the devil-may-care, 'come and have a go if you think you'll win' attitude of the arcane bunch who were looked down upon by all the students.

Kyr threw down his pen in disgust. It was a bloody forgone conclusion, he knew it. No matter what he did, how well he wrote, how many questions he answered correctly, how much insight he displayed, he was going to be a pyro. Kyr was utterly pissed off.

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