Rook

"What would you have of me? That I should shed my secrets like a wench does tears, or a drunkard coin? Secrets are as blood, spilled in heat and rage, or slowly seeping from wounds that do not heal. They are a thing of the heart, without which we are nothing.

No, no; My secrets are my own." - Rook

I had a brother once. We were twins, borne of a human mother, the bastards of an unsung elven father. I was the firstborn, he the second. He was as our mother, and I, I took after our sire.

She did not live long after the birth.

She had come to the Bern Wood in search of her love’s family, so that we might have been cared for. Who they were, we never knew. She died, alone, in the village of Kin'ra, and it was there we were raised.

We were held in common trust, our childhood shared by the village and all its families. We had no blood kin but kith we had in plenty, a seemingly endless parade of uncles and aunts took us in in tern, and all the children of the village were our brothers and sisters. We happy, we were loved.

But it could not last. We of the half blood …we age, faster than those of the pureblood. By our ninth winter we knew the pain of difference. Bearing more of my mother’s blood, my brother grew more different by the day, his once silver hair darkening to dirt and his sparkling blue eyes turning the color of black olives, whereas I stood out only by my sudden maturity.

It only grew worse with time, he grew tall and gangly, a lithe teen seemingly all elbows and knees, at once too old for the childhood games of his friends, and yet too young by ages for the rest. He … came into adolescence alone. I learned quickly to pass within the community, downplaying my difference so that in time they saw me as an elf, not a half breed. I was to them like my father.

He could not do the same. Beloved as he was of our mother, he could not. And for all the love borne him, we knew not how to know him.

His disappearances began around his thirteenth year. He would vanish for a few hours at first, then days, and soon he would spend weeks at a time without being seen. He would come back smelling of dirt, dust or mold, sometimes ill and pale for want of food. Once he came back bloodied, his arm in a sling. He had fallen, and had to reset his shoulder alone.

Sometimes, I would see him during his times away. I would wander abroad at night on some errand and would see him silhouetted on a rooftop, or darting from shadow to shadow, following one of the hunters on their rounds about the village.

Things … worsened, when we came of age. I had the fortune of being taken into the household of the hedge wizard as an apprentice, but he, he still was passed from household to household. Until he stopped coming home entirely. He would do his part in the village to be sure, perform chores, play games with the young ones, attend to the elders and the prayers, but where he slept no one knew.

With the discovery of the fairer sex he began acting out. The stunts we long suspected were performed for us, at the slightest provocation, in the light of day. He walked roofs, snuck into houses, found ways about the town no one knew. He also began to steal, trinkets mostly, which he would then leave as gifts to impress some girl or another. No one ever saw him do so . . but they knew.

The quarrels of our youth escalated, the strained relationship we had since I began my apprenticeship reached a breaking point and soon we ceased speaking altogether save for trading barbs and bile.

I do not know how things would have gone, had she not taken an interest in me. The wizard’s daughter, a minor sorceress in her own right, well, she and I… I cannot explain how it happened merely that it did.

My brother loved her, I think. Of all the girls in the village, she had never treated him false, and often I would find them talking, with her listening in rapt attention to his exploits and his dreams of life outside the Bern Wood. She was his best friend, perhaps his only one.

But she loved me.

As is the way of youth and the hot blood engenders, the thing came to blows. I had never known how angry he was until that day, or I think I had not wished to see.

I cannot say who won that day. He struck me down, and the scars I have from that fight I still bear but he, she saw him then, the anger, the bitterness, everything that he wished he would not be.

And she chose me.

To my knowledge he has not set foot in the Bern Wood to this day.

I … hear things, sometimes. I ask after him with the traders and the merchants who pass through the Bern.

I know that he joined a caravan to Tekel, of this I am certain. Someone very much like him was said to have made it to Tellura in the winter of the following year. After that, it is merely rumors. I have heard that he briefly apprenticed himself to an enchantress who was later sought by the guild, and had a death warrant put out on him for a theft from the same. I have heard that he was bound by law in Ma Cab. I have also heard that he had his throat cut and bleed to death in a festering alley in Aereolus.

But I do not hear much, anymore.

The boarders are closing as the plague is drawing near. I fear his way home is now forever barred from him.

I do not think that I shall see Na'ran again.

- Ty'r Kin'ra, Hedge Wizard of the Bern Wood

Character Sheet as of Last Appearence

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