Human Paladin

Father died twice. I don't pretend that suffices by way of
explanation, but it will do for a beginning. Or rather, for an
introduction. You'll forgive me, for I'm not one gifted at telling
stories – at least, stories that are my own. The mighty deeds of
Clovis, the trickery of Marshall the Fox, these I can spend an evening
recounting and elucidating the allegories to all and sundry. After
all, since the age of five I was taught how to take apart a tale, and
since I came of age I underwent the tuition of Clovis and fell asleep
to the greatness of his doings. But in all that time, from all my
tutors, I never learned how to speak of myself. So you will forgive me
if I ramble on, or forget something, or relate events out of order.

Father's deaths marked my life, and while this is my story and not
his, without his first death I never would have found my path, and
without his second, I could not tell you that I am Al'xios, son of
Poll'x, aged 40, of Ter'Nathra.

Father's first death came in the year following my third circuit with
him, and as he made his judicial rounds every three years, I suppose I
must have been between ten and twelve. I had always enjoyed those
times away from the hearth, traveling from hamlet to hamlet so my
father could hear the cases and pass judgment, seeing to it that law
and order were kept. I learned much of the law from him and through
listening to the pleas at the bench. In the evenings, he would leave
me with his clerk and I never thought much of his goings. I supposed
he did as all fathers – visiting the stewhouses and the taverns.

I learned otherwise, for he died. Maybe I speak unclearly. He
continued to live, but his steps fell away from the true path. He had
become an adherent of Aereolus Clovis. It was a bad time for him to
make such a decision. My mother, who had come from Minh before my
birth, left his bed and his house. Me he placed in the care of the
temple, where I began my tuition in the mysteries of Clovis, may his
name ever be inscribed upon my heart.

I am not of the Ar'Ethmet school and have long since forgiven my
father for his wavering. Perhaps it was confusion with the law of man
and the rightful law of god that mistook him those many years ago.

I was just preparing for my judgment when I learned of father's second
death. This led to two problems. The priest felt troubled that my
father had never found reconciliation with my mother and had been lax
in his tithes, though his dedication of his only son to their order
stood him in good stead. But it did leave me with a taint. And in the
world of secular man, my inheritance was imperiled. For you see, that
year, missionaries from Ar'Ethmet had found him and did as they ever
do to those they see as against the Law. All of his records they
burned, lest they hold a code to other, as they call them, heretics.
And so was lost all information on my birth, my provenance; all turned
to ash. With these records gone, I could not speak to being of age,
for my mother had no standing in the court. So it was that twelve good
and law-worthy men came forward and spoke for me. Thus do I know that
I came into this world, by the grace of Clovis, the year that the mill
burned down and Rog'r the skinner son of W'lliam the skinner broke his
leg and Johann's the barker sold his oracular orc head to the dim-wit
Benjam'n. So I say that I am forty years of age and have been in
Clovis' merciful service for twenty-two years.

That settled, it came time for judgment to be passed. The priest
issued me with a quest. I was to enter the Wasted Lands and bring
order to all that I might find. My quest was not to be completed until
I could produce five new adherents – one for each feast day.

It took me a long time, and I'm afraid those adherents I could offer
were meager souls, but I am proud to say that I never bribed nor
coerced. Truly Clovis gave grace to my tongue to bring even so few to
his service.

Since that time, I have been a member of the order. I have served most
of that time in the charnal houses. Yet not long ago I felt the call
to elevate the level of my service, for as my years increased I came
to think more on what I could offer to Clovis. I petitioned the priest
and he saw fit to grant me my desire: to become a paladin of Clovis,
to fight for his law and guide others through my example.

I have been sent hither and yon by the priests and I will continue to
follow their will. Last I was in the Wasted Lands, I caught a glimpse
of a mighty, magnificent beast. If I could find it again, and offer it
to Clovis, I thought I should feel that I had truly earned the favour
he has shown me throughout my life. Blessings fell upon me, for in the swamps
I came upon my questing beast, and slew it, to Clovis' greater glory.

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