The Ferdiad Cycle
Alignment: Neutral Good
1. Introduction – Of how he came to Clydewell and became a mac Dorwynn
The folk in Clydewell still remember that cold fall day 27 years ago. It was just few days before the Night of spirits, Naeslinn, and people were busy with preparations for the upcoming ceremonies. Late in the evening, when most of the peasants and townsmen were starting to return home, came a caped couple from the southern road holding a baby in their arms. The travellers seeked shelter and payed handsomely for a room in the Shamrock Inn.
Barthog mac Thòmais (father of Rooney), the owner of the Shamrock Inn, later described the couple with these words:
The man was finely dressed and seemed like a well educated fellow with a heavy coin purse probably from the southern parts of Aenoria. Might have been an important one who knows, but what really sparked my curiosity was the young woman he was travellin’ with. She had piercing ice cold blue eyes a bit tinted like the Dengalians are said to have and her skin was of a darker sort, but still fair as milk next to her raven black hair. She didn’t say a word to anyone during their short stay, but occasionally whispered something I couldn’t understand to the baby she was holding tightly against her chest.
Tired from the exhausting day of preparations for the Naeslinn, the people at the Inn would probably have forgotten the strange couple if their stay at Clydewell had not ended so drastically. It was still early morning when the man went to the stables asking if they had any horses for sale, when he was confronted by a group of six dark riders claiming to be servants of the virtues of Corwynt and demanded the man to surrender. The stable boy witnessed as the man tried to run back to the inn but was caught in a spiked net that was thrown at him. As he stumbled to the ground and tried to break free from the net he was beaten unconscious by the now dismountet riders. The raven haired woman barged to the street as she saw her man being beaten and tried to help her love. Her charge was cut short by a short sword through her gut as one of the riders turned to confront her. The stable boy watched as the riders tied the man and lifted his body on horseback while the one who had impaled the woman simply pulled his sword off and left the body to the street.
As soon as the riders had arrived they left with the man. The baby was found sleeping in the couples room. There was a dispute among the townsfolk about what should be done about the baby. Some wanted to deliver it to the Shomhairle monastery and some just wanted to get rid of it altogether. In the end the baby was adopted by the towns blacksmith, Trevoir mac Dorwynn, and his wife Alnora. They already had a two-year-old son named Marl, but told that another future apprentice couldn’t hurt. They named their new son Magnus.
The raven haired woman was buried in a nameless grave in the town cemetary. The only memory left for Magnus was a black quartz pendant held in a silver socket with a face carved into the quartz similar to the faces carved into the ancient soul trees. Trevoir and Alnora took Magnus to their home and vowed to raise him as best as they could.
2. Childhood – Of how he became an apprentice of steel and had to leave home
Magnus had a rough childhood in Clydewell and soon learned to fend himself against bullies trying to tease him because of his strange background, strange pale blue eyes and thick black hair. At the age of seven, he began helping his father and brother at the blacksmith as an apprentice, and at the age of ten he surpassed his brothers skills. This did not imbuke feud between the two brothers because it helped Marl to persuade his father to let him get an education from a private trade scholar in the south. The schooling was expensive, but Marl promised his father that it would pay of. Marl got his way and left leaving Magnus as the sole blacksmiths apprentice.
Not long after Marl’s departure a company of cernish soldiers arrived to Clydewell. The Grendir’s Spear they were called and were led by a young aspiring captain called Thorman. They were temporarily garrisoned to Clydewell’s region because their regular garrisons, a bit north, had been rendered unhabitable by forest fires. This brought tons of work for the mac Dorwynns as they were the only blacksmith nearby with the skills to produce weapons and armour. Considerable sales were made for the company and young Magnus got to know the soldiers quite well.
Two years passed and the company stayed recruiting new members for the company. The rebuilding of their previous garrison had been tasked to a northern group of builders, but their work was constantly delayed by bandits and brigands. The captain of the company was helpless as he was ordered to stay garrisoned in Clydewell. All he could do, was to send small scout groups to defend the builders.
During this two years Magnus made friends within the soldiers and often visited the battle cleric Onslow who followed the company. It was Onslow who first sensed the forces that surrounded Magnus. At first he didn’t believe that Magnus could be the source of these powers because Magnus, who was already 12-years old, was an unlikely candidate for magic. However Onslow had to believe it when he heard that Magnus had accidently smashed an anvil to pieces with his hammer.
Soon Onslow arrived to the mac Dorwynn’s home and explained the situation. Magnus had to get a schooling for his talents or else he would become an outlaw hunted by the society. Onslow told that it would probably take ten to twelve years to train Magnus and only after that he could return. Trevoir was not pleased to hear these news as Magnus was the only apprentice he had, but there was little choice left but to say farewell to his son.
3. Schooling – Of how he became a cleric, fell in love with Irdana and returned home
Onslow saw it best to take Magnus south because he was not in good terms with Orrin, the head of the monastery. He travelled together with Magnus and personally saw through the tests to reveal the alignments of Magnus’ talents. Onslow was pleased to find out that Magnus held the talent for white magic because he had planned to participate in Magnus’ training with the monastery’s shield brothers and guide him to become a battle cleric of Morrigna. However, this was not what Magnus wanted. Instead of becoming an apprentice for Morrigna, he saw more close to his heart to become a cleric of Teutanis due to his love for crafting. Onslow was disappointed but saw that there was no way he could change Magnus’ mind and left the monastery.
At the monastery he was a popular student, being the oldest pupil in his class with most of the others being four to six ears younger than him. He progressed fast and learned to master his skills with ease. It was soon obvious that Magnus would graduate in ten years together with the best quarter of his class. Within this quarter was another talented student called Irdana. She was four years younger than Magnus. Three years before graduating, when Magnus was 20 and Irdana was 16, they became romantically involved. Sheltered within the clergy school they secretly met each other during night time and occasionally escaped the dormitory to explore the city they weren’t normally allowed to visit.
Three years passed and finally came the day Magnus and Irdana graduated. Magnus made his final decisions and chose Teutanis as his deity and Irdana chose Morrigna, the deity Onslow had wished for Magnus. As Irdana devoted herself to Morrigna, she also enlisted herself to serve as a battle cleric for three years. Magnus and Irdana betrothed and tattooed the first letter of each others name on their ring finger and agreed to meet again at Magnus’ home town, Clydewell, after Irdana had served her tour. With grieve they said their goodbyes as Irdana headed to a garrison far north and Magnus headed back home.
4. Home Again – Of how he waited, heard dire news and seed his mother to the grave
During the ten years Magnus had been away, his home had changed. His brother Marl had returned from south and taken control of the family forge. Their father Trevoir, an old man already, had retired soon and hired labour replaced him. Soon Trevoir died to a heart attack during a Feast of Ormic. Despite of this the forge prospered. Marl had a knack for trade and business and managed the hired smiths with fair leadership. After the Grendir’s Spear company left Clydewell, Marl made deals with trade caravans and other acquaintances he had made while studying south. These deals allowed Marl to expand the forge and hire more labour. By the time Magnus retured home, Marl had four blacksmiths and six apprentices working for him.
Magnus was welcomed back home and was given a job at the blacksmith and a small house for him to live. There he worked and waited for Irdana and looked after his mother Alnora, who was suffering from rheumatism. His brother Marl was often away on business trying to form more contracts with southern thanes.
Three years passed but Irdana didn’t arrive as planned. At first Magnus thought that bad weather must have prolonged her journey to Clydewell, but as time passed he started to worry that something was wrong. It wasn’t until six months had passed, when Magnus heard news from the north. The local hunter family, that used to travel between the northern wilds and Clydewell, returned and knew tales that the company, Magnus knew Irdana was assigned to, had been utterly destroyed by a greenskin horde in the valley of Uth Kronag. The almost certain fate Irdana must have faced terrified Magnus.
Trying to forget his sorrow, Magnus focused on his work at the blacksmith and his sickly mother. However, Alnora’s condition soon worsened so that Magnus had to leave his duties at the blacksmith and take care of her. While he watched her mother slowly wither away, he grieved for his loved one. After a year of grieving Magnus was finally able to bury his mother and with her the sorrow he had carried.
5. Freedom – Of how he decided to look for a new start
Alnora had died during winter and the emptines that Magnus felt was crushing. He had problems to feel connected to the small town he was living in and the job at the, almost industrial, blacksmith didn’t satisfy him. It was as if the meaning of life had died within the all too familiar home town. Magnus started to desire for more and soon he began to plan his departure. He didn’t know where he would go, or when, but the urge to leave grew stronger and stronger as the spring cleared the roads from snow. He thought that he could feel free once he left and have a fresh start at life.