[OOG- As some of you are aware a beloved player from years past named Romeo passed away recently. In the same tradition as has sometimes been done before, current players close to him have asked me to write a meaningful ending story for his character so that there can be in-character mourning and closure in time for his planned memorial this weekend.]
The Story of Sir Pluvious the Defiant
In the year 1212, a young man came to Travance looking for the opportunity to help others. He knew that he would need to grow strong, and had heard this was the place to do just that. He was born with a gift, but at the time, he did not talk about his healing powers and he was training to become a stronger warrior. He saw so many fantastical things in his first year that he quickly learned to believe in endless possibilities and that anything could be done if his convictions were strong enough.
A year before his journey to Travance a mysterious woman had visited him and told him stories of might and magic, legends and lore. She never shared her name with him, and after several such visits she finally confessed that she was a Lorestri - a guardian of fate - and had taken great interest in his story. He was taken aback by this admission and wondered what such a powerful entity could have found in him. His face was easy to read and she answered him, “Pluvious, every week when I visit, I share these tales with you to fill your soul with strength; for your own tale will be brief but powerful. You will do so much in the time that is given to you and you will become an inspiration for all those who come after you.”
Pluvious did not know what to say, but he did believe her. The prospect of such a life was thrilling, but why did she say ‘brief’? The internal question furrowed his brow and his expression was once again easily transparent to the Lorestri.
“You will have ten years’ time.” She stated this with such bluntness that it struck Pluvious as if a physical blow.
She continued on. “Do not fear fate, for the body is just a costume for a short while. The real you is immortal and never dies.”
Those words lent him some measure of comfort and her tone was so sincere that any traces of fear melted away in her presence and would again whenever he thought of her words to him.
“I know this is much for you to hear, but you are special and your story will be remarkable. Do not waste your precious time dwelling on the past or gazing at the future. Stay present and enjoy every moment to its fullest, for many do not. This advice is my gift to you.”
The Lorestri stopped appearing after that encounter and he took this as his sign to begin his adventure. His belongings were packed and he took the first available caravan across the rift to the mysterious land of Travance. Within his first year in the Barony, he saw her again in Travance; the Lorestri. She somehow looked different and did not appear to recognize him. When they met, she introduced herself to him as Myxolidia Heartwood. The two would become fast friends, and Pluvious never spoke to her about the stranger with her face. She became Baroness of Travance, and a few short years later, an event took place that solidified his reality. She was taken by the Lorestri - to join them in guarding fate.
Years and years passed. Many of them he spent in Travance, and the lorestries words rang true. He made quite a name for himself in such a short amount of time; first in the province of Ostcliff, then the Barony itself and even Knighthood. Titles and glory were never his goal though, as his true reward was seeing the defenseless defended and the sick healed. He made many close and beloved friends in Travance, but he was called home for a few of the following years to see to a very important mission. When the deed was done, he heard whispers about back in Travance; a brief respite from its troubles, a rare and peaceful time. Perhaps he would journey back soon.
The years continued to 1221, and Pluvious knew that he did not have long left. As he readied for his return to Travance, his old friend the Lorestri appeared to him again and he could not resist asking her this time, “Exactly how does it end for me?” The question seemed to evoke an inner struggle for her.
She seemed to ignore it at first, and then there was just a long uncomfortable quiet. She ultimately found her silence broken, “Great evil returns to Travance and you cannot resist the call. In the process, you become possessed by a great and terrible power, killing someone who you care deeply about. The only way you can be stopped from killing more is for the Heroes of Travance to band together and obliterate you… Which they do.”
Pluvious felt his body buckle and found himself staggering to one knee. Who would he kill? Which one of his closest friends dies because of him? Are there other innocents who die also? He wanted to ask all those questions and more, but he knew no matter what those answers would be it wouldn’t matter. His head reeled in a haze and he knew he could not accept this ending. Ending the life of one of his loved ones was not an option.
“No,” whispered Pluvious, “I cannot accept that.”
He pulled himself up into a chair and he looked at her, a desperation taking over his voice, “Now that I know, I can avoid this. I won’t go to Travance, I'll end my own life if I have to but I will not see my friends harmed!”
She winced at his words and tried to explain, “Fate is a powerful force Pluvious, and you cannot run from it. It will shape the world and circumstances around you to get you where it wants you.” The Lorestry recomposed herself, “It is a fixed moment in time. There is nothing that can be done...”
“There is always something that can be done!” he pleaded aloud.
“No force in this world can defy this fate,” she said sadly
“There are forces that exist outside this world… and they can.” He stood.
“It is impossible…” She stated.
“Nothing is impossible!” defied Pluvious, “I thank you for your friendship and everything you’ve done, truly I do. My time now is short and I must get my affairs in order.” His tone was sincere but desperate. She nodded and gave him a soft and final embrace before leaving.
The next four months and fourteen days were a testament to mankind’s ability to focus and persevere. He had gone to see an old monk friend. This monk once told him that the secrets that he knew were not locked behind a door or barrier. He had mused that these gifts did not need to be earned or deserved, that they were possessed by everyone already; that they simply chose not to see it. If his friend had told him the truth, he was determined to find these gifts fast and find some way to use them to his advantage. He had heard that with deep meditation, one could separate their soul from its body and transcend realms. How he would use this he was not yet sure, but he felt that figuring it out would be the best use of his time and his only chance.
For months he trained with a hardened focus and he could now feel his window of opportunity closing. Indeed, he could feel circumstances around him shifting around in unnatural ways, preparing to stop his plans. He had several minor out of body experiences and formulated a plan. He penned several letters to his closest friends, confessing to them his tale and his plans. On his last night, He enjoyed a peaceful evening around a campfire listening to the sounds of nature and everything around him. He took in the beauty of it all and truly appreciated the experiences he had and the other souls that he met over the years.
Pluvius stayed awake all night to watch the sunrise, and shortly thereafter, he laid down, closed his eyes and slowed his breathing. He felt himself rising up and standing once again, but as he did, he was elsewhere. He looked down and saw his body and the tall grass moving very slowly, for time was passing slower back in the prime material plane. He was not in the Spirit Realm, of that much he was sure, and yet he could still see the world as if he was. The energy all around him was thick and palpable. He could feel a connection to it here that he had never felt before.
Just as he feared would happen, the nearby bushes rustled and very slowly a beast, perhaps a bear, began to emerge, leaping towards his body. He knew the beast would not kill his body, for he knew it was being sent by fate. Its purpose no doubt was to jar him from this state, to stop him from enacting his plan. He had to believe this was fate’s design. Pluvious extended the manifestation of his right hand out to grasp something in the air. It was a healing leyline and thankfully it was exactly where he calculated it would be.
The beast was upon his body and just as he had figured, it was not ripping it apart but pushing it around violently. Every push felt like a thunderbolt coursing through his soul, trying to force him back into his body. It pulled at him with tremendous force, but his grip on the leyline was backed by the strength of his otherworldly determination and defiance. He knew that he just needed a little more time. Suddenly he felt it; the rush of healing energies traveling in great mass through the line, passing from one part of the world to another.
As the energy surged through, he gripped the line with both hands and concentrated on it, connecting to it, until at last a small part of his soul caught hold. The smallest part was all that was needed, and the rest of his soul merged into the line and jettisoned across the world and into the beyond. His last thoughts were peaceful, knowing that he had saved his friends of the harm that would have befallen them.
The next day the monk had found him and underneath his body was a gem pulsing with healing energies. While he did not know what it was, he felt a peace in the air and believed that Pluvious had accomplished what he came there to do. The body was buried in a beautiful glade nearby and the gem sent to Travance along with the missives he was instructed to send.
* *. *. *. *
“I don’t understand,” the little girl said as Klarington finished the day’s tale. “Did the Lorestri make a mistake? I mean, why would a keeper of fate give someone the knowledge to change theirs?
“Because she loved her friend,” Klarington closed his book and went on to explain, “Whether she realized it or not, she secretly wanted him to defy his own fate. Love is the most powerful force in the universe, Lucy. The last few moments of her friend’s life were more important to her than the order she devoted her life to, and Pluvious’s love for his friends gave him the strength to do the impossible. That’s how powerful love is.”
Klarington packed up the ritual components and other effects from their earlier practice as he continued, “A piece of him endured to lend strength and hope to those who needed it, beyond the veils of life and death, time and space. The defiance of Sir Pluvious empowered others to also defy fate and ultimately steered the people’s destiny into their own hands.”
The school bells rang aloud again, the sign to them both that their early morning lessons had come to an end. As Lucy ran to reach her classes in time, Klarington pondered the story of Sir Pluvious the Defiant and of his own feelings. “Thank you” he found himself saying aloud. “The worlds were made better for having you in them…”.