Many people have been wondering how I got this far, given that where I started and the culture of my kind would preclude me to seek a far more pedestrian life. I thought I would wait until my life was almost over before I started telling the story of how it began. Now that I know how long I have, I shall relate my tale for those who care to know. It seems that I have always been guided by that most obvious of my characteristics: my reckless disregard for safety in the pursuit of my ambition. I look back with great surprise, though, that I should have risked death so early, but such was always my way; even now, I continue to seek greater heights even with what little strength remains.
It all started at the young age of nineteen years old. I had left Kava’s cautious gaze and infectious laughter at least a year ago. As he requested, I continued to find as many new experiences as I possibly could. I took up a job as an orator, debating for or against laws in a small town. I worked for awhile as a messenger, delivering what I could manage between the small villages in another area. Even now, as I take up quill and parchment for the very first time, I continue to open myself to new experiences, hoping for that spark that will ignite the storm within me once again.
The latest new experience at that time was joining the Guard. A proud, noble tradition, the Guard are sent out into the lands to protect those villages and towns that cannot protect themselves. This can be anything: escorting caravans of goods, standing guard over a city, or even going out into the wilderness to strike back at those that would attack the settlements. I had noticed a draft for a new squad being formed in the last place I delivered to, so I sent word back with another messenger that I was joining the Guard and applied on the spot.
I didn’t know it that day, but that decision would change my entire life for the better. The people I met in that squad would affect me in ways that I still don’t entirely understand. I still call a few of them close friends: people I would call upon in time of need who would rush to my side, just as surely as I would do the same for them. I almost wonder if that was why Kava had advocated in new experiences so strongly: one does not find one’s closest friends in the same places one always goes. And I have certainly lived a full and interesting life.
Despite being bullied, ridiculed, and having to work in clothes one size too big, I made it the entire way through the rigours of training to emerge as a member of that squad. I don’t believe there was a single person during Training who expected me to make it, but I never thought giving up was ever an option. I tore the clothes so they fit me as best as they could, and my time spent as a messenger had prepared me for long, arduous tasks. It was with no small amount of pride that I left with my squad for our first task: that of protecting the Village of Blenheim.
This village, surrounded by open plains full of crops and close to a river, was being subjected to frequent kobold strikes. In order to be able to survive the winter, the village had requested our help, promising what little they had as payment for our services. The squad agreed, eager to prove ourselves in the real world and to begin earning.
After ingratiating myself with the locals and a delicious meal, I decided to take the second night watch with a curious Tiefling Warlock. We took watch upon the roof of the blacksmith’s and kept an eye out for anything suspicious. It was during our watch that evening that the kobolds decided to strike. Hearing the sound of our ladder being removed from the rooftop, I immediately sent a beam of light into the courtyard to identify what we were up against, and to hopefully rouse the others from their slumber.
Before us were around twelve to fifteen kobolds of varying skill in battle. During my first combat encounter, I killed three of them alone (a feat I was very proud of at the time). It was also during my first combat encounter that I nearly perished. I admit that I panicked. I could feel my blood rushing out of my body from the various wounds I had sustained. It was only due to the quick actions of Razza the Golden and Zephir that I am sitting here today. I know not how they affected me, but I suddenly felt the life rush back into my body. I felt the wounds close up. I no longer felt the cold presence of Death approaching me.
As I said in the title: the rumours of my demise were greatly exaggerated.