Koln - 992 YK - Shadow Marches

3 Barrakas, 992 YK

William Koln is thirteen years old. His mother is Anika Koln, whome he has been told was once beautiful, even by human standards, and healthy as a horse. That was before he was born. As long as he can remember, one side of her face has been a mess of scar tissue; that part of her face is ugly even by orc standards. As long as he can remember she has been sickly, catching every illness that passed through the village, and he and his sister, Asta, have always spent more time caring for her than their family could really spare.

He lives with Anika’s husband, and Asta’s father, a big orc named Hogar. Hogar is employed as a labourer by House Tharashk, digging out the geodes that contain Eberron dragonshards in fields prospected by the Finder’s Guild, and hauling crates packed with the raw shards for transport downriver. Hogar seems to have a lot of friends in the House, particularly within the Velderan clan.

William’s mother still has nimble fingers, and when she is well enough she also works for the House extracting the raw shards from the geodes. He understands that she used to be a member of the House. That is strange to him, since he has never heard of anyone leaving the House unless they were excoriated, and William’s mother is always treated politely by the House representatives.

William knows that his grandparents died before he was born, and he has never met any other family, or even another member of clan Koln. Krepis, his friend, told him that nobody has even ever heard of clan Koln.

The village is small and there are few children William’s age. Even though he is new to the village, William is probably closest to Krepis Farrunner, the apprentice of the druid who moved to town a few years ago (Crukul Madwar). William used to hang out with a jhorgan’tall girl named Ket Velderan but they seemed to drift apart a few years ago.

One dark evening, when the clouds hid the moons and the Ring of Siberys from view, William was led into the swamp by the venerable orc druid Urlev Torrn, where he underwent the test of Siberys. Torrn left Koln there along with the simple instruction that he was to find his way home, and advice as to how he might help a dragonmark to manifest to help him. Torrn told William that the village was to the east, but because the night was too dark for William to see his path, and the sky was too cloudy to see the sky, William had no idea which way was east.

With no food, no flint for fire, and only a simple blunt weapon that was of little use as a tool, William made camp as best he could. The first night passed uneventfully, although despite his efforts no mark manifested. The next day, however, William was attacked by a drake and slew it. Knowing the animal must have attacked for a reason, he searched for its nest and found a clutch of eggs.

The druid had chosen the time of the test well, for it was still heavily overcast and he could not see the sun to find where north was. Fatigued from cold and lack of sleep, slightly ill from living on brackish water, raw meat and tubers, and having taken injuries in the battle with the drake, by the third day William was getting desperate, and it was with a great sense of relief that he felt a burning sensation on his skin and a sudden realization as to the direction of true north.

William passed his test, received his mark, and headed home. He sold all of the eggs but one, which he kept to try to hatch for himself.

Commentary
Return to Koln – Prologue – 979 YK – Karrn
Return to Adventures of William Koln
Go to Koln – Vult 995 YK – Shadow Marches

Koln - 992 YK - Shadow Marches

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