The Shattered Spectrum: Fragments
Human 2 Rogue / 1 Sorceress
Height: 5’ 7"
Weight: 130 lbs
Eyes: Ice Blue
Hair: Black with White Tips
My eyes snap open at the first rays of sunshine in my window. Today I turn 18. Today I get to open the last thing my mother left before she disappeared. I stretch from the tips of my fingers all the way down to the tip of my toes. I am not a morning person but today I wanted some time to myself before everyone else woke up. I walk over to the small trunk that sits at the foot of my bed. My room isn’t huge but it’s functional. I open the lid of my trunk, dig through it’s contents till I come up with the intricately carved wooden box with no seam to show where the lid starts. The only thing that makes me think it can hold anything is the small key hole on the side. The small box is weighed heavily with the loss of my mother. I miss her so much. I place the box in my lap and wipe away the tear that has escaped. As my hand brushes over the lid I hear a faint click. The box opens slightly and my breath catches. Inside is a blue velvet pouch, a batch of vials with purple liquid in them, and a folded piece of parchment. I pick up the parchment hoping beyond hope the she has left me some clue as to where she is.
My Dearest Charlotte,
Happy birthday my darling! I hope this letter finds you well. You are 18 now and I have missed too many of those years. I cherished every day we were able to spend together, I hope you know that. Now that you are old enough I must share with you the true story of us. I pray that you can forgive me for putting you in the situation you find yourself in.
In the beginning your father and I were very much the happy couple after getting married. However, after a time it became abundantly clear that I was unable to bear any children. I can almost hear you asking me, “Then how am I here?”. You always were the ever inquisitive one. We tried every conceivable method of healing my malady to no avail. After losing all hope of ever having a child I found myself wandering through town lost in thought quite often. One day I was met by an elderly lady who seemed worried for me. She asked that I sit with her and have some tea to calm my mind. After a bit I found myself telling this perfect stranger everything, things I couldn’t even bring myself to tell my own mother. I should have known then that something wasn’t right. After listening to my plight the elderly woman said she knew of someone who could heal me. I, of course, said I would do anything to have a child of my own! She smiled knowingly at me and told me to follow her, and I did.
I followed her right out of town and into a caravan of sorts. Here, I was introduced to a stunningly handsome man who said he could help, after hearing my story. He said their would be a price of course. He would not take payment upfront but one day he would come and collect. Foolishly, I just assumed at the time he meant money. How wrong I was, but I agreed. He mixed up a potion, brought it over to me, and told me to make sure I drank all of it. It smelled terrible so I plugged my nose and downed it. I don’t remember getting home that afternoon but I do remember going to bed that night with high hopes.
Four short months later I started showing signs of being with child. I remember running to your father elated at the news. He, however, didn’t share my delight. He instead demanded to know how this came to be. After some prodding, I explained what had happened to me that day hoping he would be as happy as I was that something had worked. I learned quickly that that was not to be. He knew if I was to stay, and the baby be born, we would be killed on sight for our unholy alliance. He packed up my things and with tear filled eyes told me to go. Please know that under different circumstances your father would have loved you dearly! You were everything we had ever wanted.
With nowhere else to go I went in search of the people that had helped me that day. To my surprise they were in the exact same spot as the day I was brought to them. I now know this was no coincidence. They welcomed us with open arms and, shortly after, we set off for the outer rim and the Free People to start a new life.
The next 7 years were a blur of wonderful moments and hard times. You were everything I had hoped you would be. You were a mix of strength, lethality, and beauty. You had your father’s will to learn and defend in equal measure. Your mother’s ivory skin and the light blue eyes of the dragon who healed me. Yes, you read that correctly. The man who healed me was a dragon in human form. And you my dear are, by birthright, a sorceress. I know this is a lot to take in so please finish reading this before making any decisions.
7 years, I learned, was all I was to have with you. I found that the payment that would be asked of me, would be me. He has come back and we will be leaving soon. The reasons why I do not know. But please know that if I had had a choice, I would have never left you! He is at least allowing me to write this before we leave. I have also learned of the reason you were brought into this world. He informed me that the family you have grown up with wish to use you as a breeder. They wish to make an army of sorcerers against The Grand Imperium. You were to be the first. That was his deal with the gypsies. That is why I can not take you with me.
I am sure you are wondering how this could be true, you have no powers to speak of. They figured out a tonic that suppresses your abilities. They make you drink it every night before bed and you have no idea, telling you it’s medicine to keep away the illnesses. They told me it was so that the reapers would not find you. At the time I thought it was a wonderful idea. I cannot begin to tell you how foolish and naive I was with all of this.
It was never my intent to put you in harms way my darling baby girl. I did my best to scrape together what I have before we leave. In the pouch, there are 15 gold pieces to help with whatever decision you choose to make with the information I have given you. As well as a few vials of the tonic that suppresses your magic, just in case. This box has been enchanted so that only you, my dear, can open it.
I am sorry there wasn’t more time to explain. My last suggestion to you would be to get out and go to the Paladin Temple in The Grand Imperium and seek out your father, you remember his name I hope. He may, at the very least, be able to point you in the right direction. I do not know what his reaction will be but hand him this letter and let me explain it to him. I pray with every fiber of my being that if he can not help you, you will find someone who will be sympathetic to the plight I have put you in.
He has just informed me that it is time that we go. I do not know where he is taking me but I do hope that our paths will cross again one day. Until then I wish you all the happiness the world has to offer and the safest travels you could possibly have. Be strong.
Your Mother, Adria
I sat stunned for what seemed like a lifetime. Could this be real, me, a sorceress? I put the parchment neatly back in the box. I opened the velvet pouch and counted the gold pieces, 15. I shook a couple of the vials. The purple liquid sloshing about inside. This was supposed to suppress these magical powers I have? Seemed unlikely but, mother had never lied to me before. I quickly put everything back in the box and closed the lid. It sealed back up like it was before, with no line indicating that it even opened. I needed to leave, but how? I put the box back in my trunk and went about getting ready for the day.
We were in a new town this week. I never did bother to get the names of these places anymore, it didn’t matter. I went about the rest of my day in a bit of haze, replaying the letter over and over in my head, plotting my escape. I knew I could no longer stay. Even if what my mother said wasn’t true, I now had more information on her and I needed to find her. As the sun begins to descend I start to get ready for the night. I rub coal on the white tips of my hair so it matches the rest of my raven black locks. I was always told people would not respond well with my differences. I dress in my finest entertainers outfit, a long flowing dark blue skirt with a light colored shirt and a dark brown corset to cinch in the waist. I can almost hear the eldest mother speaking the first time I wore this particular outfit, “You won’t even have to take their money, in that getup, they’ll be giving it to you!” I was to dance at the taverns hoping that no one would notice me making their pockets lighter. If I wasn’t dancing then I was reading people’s fortunes for money. My art of choice, my tarot cards. I have yet to know if my readings are ever accurate or not. We are usually onto the next city or town by the time someone realizes what we were. Not the most upstanding line of work but whose to say my readings don’t come true.
But tonight I would not be reading fortunes or making them money, I packed a bag with my leathers, weapons, and all my essentials along with the wooden box. I snuck out and hid my things in the underbrush of the nearby forest close to town. As I was walking back to the caravan I was met by one of the older men who seemed suspicious of my whereabouts. I flashed him a big smile and told him I took a much needed walk and asked him to escort me back to camp. He bought it, like they always do. Everyone went about their night like usual. When it was time to head into town I walked ahead of the crowd, “To draw attention”, they’d say. The night was full of dancing and watching my “family” get drunk enough to not notice me slipping out of the tavern, alone. Once outside I make a run for my things. Staying to the shadows as to not draw attention. Once I find my stash I quickly change into my leathers, slipping my other clothes into the bag. I don my hooded cloak, gather my things, and head to where the airships are docked. I look for any ships going to The Grand Imperium, it would be the last place they would look for me. Also, it may give me a chance to at least see my father, Thomas McKenna. Did I remember his name, oh mother, how could I forget? You talked of him so often; I sometimes felt he was there with us.
I found the ship I was looking for. I boarded it without being seen. I was able to stay hidden for the first day. But unfortunately I was not able to stay awake for the duration of the trip. I was caught and dragged in front of the ship’s captain. Just as I thought I was about to be thrown overboard it was halted by a booming voice. The voice was apparently named Ethan, at least I assume the Captain would call the men of her crew by their accurate names. As I followed the sound of the voice I came face to face with one of the most handsome men I think I have ever laid eyes on. He was tall and I would say fairly athletically built. It was a little hard to tell with the robes he was wearing. He had semi long dark brown hair that fell just over his ears, a goatee, and eyes like small sapphires. He informed the Captain that anyone on the ship was his patient and that legally she was not allowed to throw me overboard. The Captain looked absolutely livid, apparently not used to having someone pull rank on her. I was then left in his care until we landed in The Grand Imperium’s docks.
After a night in the city, Ethan guided me to the paladins sanctuary. I wandered into the grandiose building, taking everything in. Ethan trailed behind. I was greeted by one of the patrons of the order and he asked if he could help me. I told him I was there to see Thomas McKenna. The man took on a very solemn look and said, “I am sorry, He went out on a mission about 6 years ago, his group was attacked and he never came back. Although his body was never found.” My world was crushed. As we talked the man had lead us down a hall that was lined with paintings of the paladins that had walked these halls. We stopped in front of a painting, the plaque beneath read “Thomas McKenna, High Inquisitor”. I looked up into the face of a man I had definitely seen before. I gasped as the memory overtook me.
It was the summer I turned 12. I was just starting to learn the tarot cards. As I was sitting by the campfire drawing and redrawing my cards a group of men came into our camp asking to share the fire. The men looked very important and I overheard some conversation of trying to broker peace between The Grand Imperium and the Free Peoples but I was only half paying attention. One of the men that sat closest to me started talking with me. He asked me my name, and when I told him, he smiled and said that that was his mother’s name. The man seemed familiar somehow but I couldn’t pinpoint why. He was tall and broad shouldered. He had jet black hair, hazel eyes, and a kind smile. He then asked if I would read the cards for him. I smiled, excited that he would be my first fortune telling outside of the family. I had him shuffle the deck for me. He obliged and gave the deck back. I began to pull the cards and place them like I had been shown. I looked at the cards and frowned. This couldn’t be right. I picked them back up hastily and asked him to shuffle again. He looked at me rather confused but, again, he obliged. I pulled the same cards. I looked up in this man’s eyes and asked him to take his men and turn around. The cards were showing me that this mission of his would only end in tragedy. His smile faltered a bit but he assured me that they were highly trained and ready for anything. I sat quietly watching them, every so often I would catch the man scanning the area, like he was looking for someone. Never seeming to find who he was looking for. After a time the men packed up their things and were ready to move on. As they were leaving the nice man came back over ruffled my hair and thanked me again for the warning I had given him. I smiled weakly up at him and they left. I never saw them again.
I could not describe the sadness, anger, and agony that ripped through my body. I had met my father. He had found a way to check on me and he had been looking for my mother that night. And I had foretold his downfall. The room suddenly felt like it does before a thunderstorm. The tiny hairs on my arms started standing on end. I suddenly felt strong hands on my shoulders guiding me away. I couldn’t quite make out what Ethan was saying to the very confused looking man through the tears and sobs racking my body. I felt the power of Ethan washing over me. He was trying to calm me. After a time, he finally got me calmed down and we decided we both needed a strong drink. So we headed down to the local tavern where he said I would be safe.