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The History of Aenar, the Nightwing Sword

Early Life

Orphaned at a young age with barely any recollection of his parents, a young boy called "Dodge" became content with living in an orphanage which was well-maintained and run by a kind elven woman. However, when the seedier aspects of the city took over his childhood neighborhood, Dodge found himself going from enjoying his time outside to dreading the streets even in the light of day for should he take one wrong wound, it would be the end of him.   It wasn't until he had fought back tooth and nail to protect a friend did the dormant part of his bloodline wake up. Never needing to rely on his heritage, the young Dodge hadn't a need to reveal his true self-- but on the verge of bleeding to death and surrounded by tormentors that never intended to stop, his Trueborn nature took over and surged through him, and he turned the violence back on those that tried to kill him and another. As the violence had been between children, it was overlooked by both sides of the law, but enemies had been made that day.   As he grew, Dodge and his friends skillfully took back a piece of the neighborhood from the gangs that had "claimed" it, almost countering the criminal influence but with a similar way of doing things. However, his protection of everyone without reward, his fairness and unbowing principle to never play favorites, and the adoration of others drove a close and trusted friend of his to jealousy. Through a brutal and horrifying betrayal, Aenar found himself once again on death's door with everything around him burning, and this time, his natural abilities weren't enough to save him.   As Fate would have it, a retired member of the Telda'Velahrn had been crossing through his favorite city and had followed his sense of danger eventually discovering the fire and rescuing the Trueborn youth, carrying him off to a nearby Temple to be healed. While Dodge wished to be healed completely so that he could enact vengeance on those that had killed and destroyed what little he had tried to protect, the soldier- Eohnn Kahnomé- saw the path that lay before him and though he understood where the rage and vengeance came from, he didn't wish to see the youth fall down that path and become what he hated.   After being convinced that he needed to improve and gain the skills to help him take down small armies, Dodge's death was faked by Eohnn with help of the Temple of Kerythae and a new name was given to him by the healer that had saved his life: Aenar.   Over the course of the next year or so, as the city began to crumble and get eaten from the inside out, both Aenar and Eohnn moved through shaodw and night as vigilantes of the city slowly gathering criminals that were known members of the gang and then killing the most dangerous that slipped past the law. During this time, Eohnn and Aenar formed a strong bond of brotherhood and Aenar began to slowly forgive himself for his "mistake" of trusting another, but Eohnn saw how close Aenar was to just becoming what he hunted as they got closer and closer to Aenar's revenge against his former confidant and kept a close eye on him.   As they worked against the criminals, letting the city heal the areas that they had cleaned up. Aenar realized that the power lay at the top with the City Captain and that was a seat where real change was possible. At that, Eohnn siezed his opportunity and told Aenar that a life of vengeance wasn't going to get him there, however, Aenar too had noticed his mentor's watchful eyes and had been keeping himself in check the whole time. He revealed that he had plenty of opportunity to kill the person that destroyed everything for him, but instead, he just set it up so that his own crimes would have him imprisoned and eventually killed-- with Aenar showing himself one final time.   While he was impressed by his abilities, ambition, and attitude, Eohnn was then blindsided when Aenar asked to be recruited by the Telda'Velahrn... a choice that could cost him his life. It was now in Eohnn's hands once again to help shape his path. While Eohnn had his own ambitions of becoming a counselor to the king due to his actions, he had expected to go to court with Aenar by his side. However, even though he explained it would only be a year and should he even survive, Aenar would never be the same person that left these city walls nor would he look upon the world the same way again. Either way, the boy that he knew would die and someone else would come out of the Spine.   With only a slight hesitation, Aenar chose to be recruited into the Telda'Velahrn with his goal being to come out and take the position of City Captain of Corrin and another to see his dear friend once more. The two parted on their separate paths and a new life began.  

Nightwing Agent

After placement and a rigourous two weeks of training, Aenar was placed within the Order of the Talon deemed skilled enough to be a Nightwing and battle with some of the fiercest night creatures of the Spine. The group he was assignted to was deployed within a matter of days into the depths of the Spine to track down a deadly camouflaging beast. After two scouts fell, their communications going out and the leader of the group getting frustrated at the lack of information on their quarry, through the pure use of following his instincts, Aenar had broken one of the main mandates of training and tracked down the beast on his own in the area. Through clever use of cantrips and barbed arrows and knives, he managed to engage with it and injure it to the point to allow the others to hunt. Though the creature was revealed in the end to be a warped and wandering fey beast, it was noted to the ruling council that it would have escaped the group's patrol were it not for Aenar himself.   Over the course of the next year, Aenar's exploits and skills drew the attention of many of the higher ups in the Telda'Velahrn. They had considered sending him to another institute to learn more battle magics, however, Aenar had already decided on how he would be spending his retirement. His plan to return to Corrin solidified once he realized that it was the one city that requested a replacement every year.   As the Telda'Velahrn served Arvanoc more than its own interests, it withdrew their offer and allowed Aenar to leave upon completion of his service.  

City Captain of Corrin

Upon arrival, he noticed how drasitcally things had changed in the year since he'd been gone. Even though to him the year in the Telda'Velahrn felt more like seven, he had expected not much to change in the city he grew up in. However, the more and more he explored, the more he realized that it wasn't the city that had changed drastically, it had been him, but he took on the challenge to complete the promise to himself to see the city change for the better and his first challenge came up with the arrival of the Traveling Festival.   As soon as word of the Traveling Festival came to him, he was met by members of the Church of Anoraen and their leader Orivistas, their request being to continue the ban upon the Traveling Festival and keep the city of Corrin pure from their corrupting ideals of engaging with the enemy (Räehalians) and celebrating the most minute things. Not seeing an issue with this, Aenar instead allowed the festival continue as the travelers had requested and had the fairgrounds cleared.   It was at these fairgrounds that Aenar eventually caught the glimpse of Saelyhn, the White Phoenix who was simply known as "The Enchanting Lightweaver". The two would eventually cross paths after Orvistas took his vendetta a step too far, beating and dragging back a young boy that had wandered off the fairgrounds to purchase small gifts and a keepsake for himself at the market (as he had heard rumors that this would be the only time they would visit).   As Saelyhn wove a wall of white fire around the fairgrounds that seemed to burn mob of people that had been gathered, Aenar who had arrived by wing had stepped fearlessly into the fire and tended to the boy, healing him before publicly declaring that the travelers of the fairgrounds were welcome within the city regardless. While this earned him both some public distrust, Kazi Medoa spun the tale so quickly and wrote the poem "Blade of Justice" and quickly the tale spread like wildfire to nearby towns that came for the performance that he had worked with the theatre to put on, and instead, Aenar had gained popularity.   Over the course of the next few weeks, Aenar invited the Traveling Festival to make Corrin their home as many of their caravans took off as he wished to see them have a place to stay. While the Festival took up his offer and began to set up homes, his rift with Orvistas worsened and many of the Temple district came into the streets to oppose him. However, while many in the city didn't mind, there were violent riots on occasion that Aenar himself had to show up to in order to quell.   It wasn't until Saelyhn helped expose Orvistas as a man possibly guilty of eldritch deities that the Church of Anoraen lost their grip on their followers little by little and Aenar secured a victory over what he had figured to be the cause of so many Captains choosing to retire and relocate. However, this victory was short-lived as soon after the Traveling Festival's home grounds were set ablaze by what looked to be elven raiders and mercenaries.   On that night, carriages and houses were burned and almost half of the festival peoples that had decided to take up residence there were slaughtered with almost all the remaining being physically assaulted or scarred. In what was looked back upon as a coordinated attack, one which called Aenar and many of the guard to investigate a threat on the other side of the city, the attack on the Festival would have wreaked even more havoc had not Aenar arrived- after warning from Kazi via Sending via wing and unleashing his own brand of magic he'd not displayed out of the Spine.   He was quick to find a drugged Saelyhn, who was being abducted, and strike down her attackers but was unable to wake her before attending to evacuating everyone else. He landed her by the leaving caravans, found Kazi, and bid farewell to her, leaving her his ring with only Kazi as a witness. After leaving her and evacuating everyone else, he set about to rebuilding the farm lands and capturing everyone else.   Through his investigation and use of magic, the captured raiders eventually gave up enough clues that led the group to the Church of Anoraen and Orvistas once again. As Aenar passed down an order of execution to the higher ups of the church, all but Orvistas were arrested as the man had simply disappeared from within the church.   As time went on, the yearly mark for a City Captain came and went and Aenar became the first city captain to retain the seat. However, as time went on, he barely received any messages from Kazi, but he heard the songs and some people of the Traveling Festival eventually came back to resettle their home. He had never heard from Saelyhn, nor was Kazi forthcoming about her in his messages and Aenar didn't want to push.   When the announcement came that the Traveling Festival would come home, Aenar and Corrin saw to it that the peoples received a warm welcome as most of the city had missed having the people there. While excited, Aenar realized that life could have changed and braced himself for the worst, but Saelyhn was nowhere to be seen and neither was Kazi.   Later that evening, he was met by Kazi and spoke to him, learning more about Saelyhn's adventures over the year and what she came across. He confessed everything to Kazi, wondering whether or not he had made the right choice, not resigning to go after her. At that moment, Kazi burst through the door with women on his arms revealing to Aenar that who he was speaking to was someone else-- revealed to be a disguised Saelyhn.   The two lovers are reunited, but only for a short couple of weeks.  

The Void

One morning, Aenar had been summoned by the seer of the festival who had seen something disturbing and had hoped to share her divined vision for council. The seer, who had been a good friend, was one that he had trusted, but the meeting had been a trick and Aenar found himself drugged into an oblivion that would have lasted for the next few days had Kazi not found him.   Realizing that Orvistas may have returned as the trio had realized that Saelyhn had become the target of his obsession, the remaining duo stormed the church and investigated it once more. But this time, Aenar seemed to have put the pieces together, discovering a portal towards the side abbey.   With Kazi, the two journeyed into the Spine of Arvanoc through a bridging portal and ended up in what looked to be a temple buried in the mountains. As the two ventured forward, cloaked in shadows and magic, they found the church worshipping in a cult-like formation, what looked to be a fiendishly formed altar with a black pool and a suspended Saelyhn dressed in a near sheer white outfit hanging above it.   Running short on time and out of ideas, the two are forced to watch and observe until they were able to sneak into the ritual, dressed in similar robes. At some point, Orvistas finally makes his appearance with fiendish wings now of his own. He flies up to Saelyhn and speaks to her, but the others are unable to hear. After the woman clearly spits on him, he backhands her and commences with the start of the ritual, by making a blood sacrifice... and orders his people in the center to sacrifice the outsiders so that he may claim the phoenix for himself.   In that instance, both Aenar and Kazi fight off their attackers with Kazi able to slip past them all and reach Saelyhn and cut her down, freeing her to then aid in their battle. Aenar is near gravely wounded but once reunited with Saelyhn, she displays the full strangeth of the Phoenix Fire within her and completely heals not only his wounds but hers and Kazi's as well who was caught up in the fire and completely unharmed.   After the bloody battle, Aenar and Kazi had defeated the cultists and Saelyhn had killed the higher ups of the cult as well as Orvistas himself.   However, their victory was short lived when the creature from the abyss awoke to the taste of blood and reached out for the strongest beacon of power it could find, which turned out to be Aenar when he had pushed Saelyhn out of the way.   Dragged into the pool which turned out to be endless once wrapped in the tentacles, Aenar was witnessed to something in the dark titanic and devilish-- hungry and ready to devour him. While fear caused him to use up his oxygen, he discovered that in this plane, he could breathe the water and that he could still escape as he did not belong as evidenced by the fact that the doorway above him was still open and he could see Saelyhn and Kazi struggle helplessly to open the portal to him. Realizing his connection with them, he channeled his highest circle of spells and overchanneled them into his blade to break free which wounded him in the process. Once free, he utilized the last of his power to propel him up, but he found himself unable to reach through, separated by the realms and the magic that trapped him in there.   As the tendrils wrapped around his ankle, both Kazi and Saelyhn their hands wrapped in fire, reached in through the waters to grab hold of him and they both pulled him out and onto the brick, sealing the portal off as the next they peered into the depths, they just found a shallow pool. They left the temple to the elements, to be buried once more after sweeping through to make sure no cultists were left to continue the summonings in the future.  

Fate

While the remaining parts of his exploits were told, there were many that Kazi had either failed to chronicle or purposefully left out.   What is definitely known is that he served as Corrin's City Captain for at least two decades with Saelyhn establishing the Traveling Festival. The two were formally married in the Temple of Valkeryth by Kazi shortly after Saelyhn's rescue from the Spine-- even though technically Aenar had accidentally started a marriage ritual that Saelyhn accepted upon her return.   After two decades, he reconnected with Eohnn Kahnomé, who broke it to him that he was the heir and Crowned Prince of Arvanoc and that his time to assume the throne would be drawing near as the previous king ailed. While he was unwilling to leave at first and Eohnn had given him the choice, stating that they could do what they did when he was younger and fake his death-- Aenar and Saelyhn eventually chose to take up the crowns.   Aenar and Saelyhn's farewell to the others was a heartbreaking event as they knew they could never return as who they were. They successfully sold the story that is sold now as the darkness catching them and left with only Kazi knowing the truth and eventually following to the capital.   However, while the story of Aenar ends here, the tragedy of Khlyom begins...

Cover image: by Canva

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