Character Name: Gretchen
First Born Of My Father
Gretchen, Marta, and Lydia Aelfraed born to Magdalen ala’ Molcice and Clint
Father was an Elvin counselor. This is a pretty high position from an
outsider. He was given permission to marry one of the elder’s daughters.
(Honestly I think they were just trying to be rid of her. She was lovely to
see, but a bit backwards in socializing. She enjoyed the mystic arts and
often blew things up in her practicing.) The love for all things mystic
and scientific I am certain came from her.
I am Gretchen, first born of my father. We lived in a small village outside
the city of Yew. Mother trained me in the mage arts, as much as she could,
and my sister Lydia in the arts of science. Many nights we were awaken by
frantic shouts of someone having to douse a fire started by Mother or Lydia.
Marta, the middle sister, was more suited to animals and working with her
hands. She would sew beautiful garments while out in the woods. And she
had an amazing knack with animals. I will never understand how those two
things work together, but she seems to be comfortable with it.
Our childhood was full of innocents and fun. Father would take us out in
his boat to see the worlds around us. Lydia took to the ocean as if she
were born of it, amazingly enough she never blew up her boat. Marta and I
enjoyed our trips but prefer the feel of hard ground to rocking waves under
our feet. We each grew in our skills and gained honor and respect in the
village because of our parents. There was always something lurking in the
background of our minds. There was a force, some looming evil always
present. The day the crier announced the invasion, I heard the rest of the
After having me, Mother was warned never to have another child. The stars
had spoken. The day I was born was bitter cold and menacing, the village
seer warned it was a bad omen, but mother and father did not heed the
warning. Marta was next in line and her birth was something rather special
indeed. She had a clear spring day as her birthday. Birds were singing and
a doe with her fawn were just outside the hut where she was delivered. The
announcement of a third child was another dark day. After Lydia was born
the seer looked on her, touched her forehead and fell over dead. That same
day Marta, Lydia and I were seared with a strange mark on our backs. We did
not understand what it meant and still don’t, but we do know it links us
together in a most unusual way.
Apparently the warning was indeed sound. Several years later our village
was over run by Juka invaders, with no one to protect us we fled. Mother
and Father were killed, their bodies thrown to hideous beasts of the swamp.
Not even the monks of the abbey could help or hide us. Our village seer
gave us a curse and a blessing that day. “Your life is given to you to be
used in service for the King.” We are no longer our own but have been
purchased with a great price. Our lives now belong to serve King and
Country. The mark we bore made us outcasts in our own town. As young teens
we were forced to run the country side searching for help and resources.
I remember days of fighting for our lives against beasts and monsters that
now seem so small. There were days when Marta would find us horses to ride
only to get them and ourselves horribly wounded before we could ever reach a
stable or inn. We also had many long days of gathering herbs and spices
just to practice our chosen occupations. Marta would sheer sheep for wool
to keep us clothed and warm, Lydia would create potions to help heal and
cure us, and I sought those spells that would teach me the ways of my
Mother. Eventually we all became well versed in our skills and also more
capable of supporting ourselves. We lived off fish that Lydia caught, Marta
kept us clothed in pretty good armor and I learned the spell casting spells
that offered a degree of protection and could at times be used to defend.
Marta also acquired several pets that were good fighters, if not some of the
gangliest creatures I have ever laid eye on. They were called frenzied
ostards, to me they look like over grown chickens with serious attitude
problems. In a pack they would tear through some rather large creatures
indeed. I once saw them take on a horrendous blood elemental in very short
order. Not only did they beat the elemental, but they were hungry for more.
It did become a bit of a joke after a while to see Marta come through town
with her pack of frenzied ostards. She has since moved on to larger
creatures, but those ostards I think will always be special in my mind.
Those days seem so long ago, and yet I still remember the effort required
just to make it to our small cottage in the woods. It was a one bedroom
shack with one trunk to share between the three of us. We took our lives in
our hands every time we wanted to leave of come home. Our neighbors were
some of the more ferocious beasts and monsters that we knew of at that time.
In our travels together we made allies and enemies. Those who would do us
harm have run into dread consequences of their own, and those who helped us
have been made stronger and better for their efforts. One of the allies
that Marta found was a man of considerable wealth and influence who looked
on us with compassion and pity. He took us into his home not fearing the
evil that followed us. He swore to protect us. He even married Marta.
Our strong Sir Gilead, lord high protector, gave us the protection and the
resources we needed to carry out a mission he did not fully understand.
When I was asked to start a guild to help others, he sold many resources of
his own so I could fund Called to Serve. To him I owe my gratitude and my
life. And to me he gives freely his loyalty and protection.
In our time with C2S we have had as many enemies wishing our destruction as
we have had allies in our cause. I had a warring guild come in with the
intent of breaking our band of warriors and making it his own. This was not
tolerated and the curse that ‘protects’ us broke that guild apart. Again
our “mark” held true, those who would see us harmed have come to their own
brand of damage. The ones, who help and honor us, receive blessings in
return. We have taken in misfits, and uneducated with the intent of helping
to groom and train them for great service and influence in our land. Those
who have stayed with us are better because of it.
We now have a sister guild, filled with nothing but women so I guess a
“sister” guild is an appropriate term indeed. Outlaw Women was a motley
band of renegade women with the purpose of deceit and manipulation. They
were attracted to us, for some unknown reason, and have changed their theme
to accommodate us. They may still be full of renegades and outlaws, but
they live with integrity to die with honor.