Well met. My name is Taalen. I was given this name by my mother, who had told me that she had chosen the name for two reasons. One, because it sounded strong and resolute, and that she hoped the name would lead me on a destined path to become a man, strong and resolute in character and action. Two, because my birth, coming only 2 days after her father's death, was similar enough to honor him. She had told me, and I soon learned even years after my grandfather's passing, that he had been a highly respected and law-abiding man. One whom people loved and followed freely. He was the man my mother wished for me to follow as an example.
I took on the self-proclaimed title 'the Paladin', solely to guide myself and give me constant inspiration toward my nearest goal, and ultimately toward my destiny. My mother often spoke to me about what she had foreseen as my destiny, but as a child I could not fully grasp the meanings of all that she relayed. As I grew older, toward the age that a human achieved adulthood, I felt a pull, a gravitation toward something I could not yet comprehend. To say that I have all the answers even now, would be a bold-faced lie. I am merely content to meander down this path life has chosen for me, but I am determined to do it honorably. To honor both my mother and my family name.
I am full blooded Human, as both my parents. I stand 6 feet 2 inches tall with a lean but muscular build. I have shoulder length brown hair that matches the color of my tanned skin, and light green eyes.
I am determined to earn my way into a Paladin's Guild membership in due time. I know that first, there is much for me to learn.
I am the sort that does not make, or take, alliances lightly. I am trusting, but not overly or foolishly so. The ones I let in close, to know me personally, have to earn their way in.
I truly believe my ultimate destiny is to be the next Ruler of Kings. Though one thing is for certain, I shall never give up my honor along this path. As the last to carry on my family name, I now start this journey of life and adventure.
A Sentimental Value
Before leaving my childhood home I took one last walk around the small plot of land that contained my family's simple home. By midday today, it will be a home that will be waiting in silence, alone, for my father's return from war.
Still grieving after having lost my mother to a sudden sickness only a few days earlier, vivid memories flooded my mind as I wandered around in thought. The sense of emptiness that enveloped me was unlike anything I had ever felt. I had known sadness from time to time in my life, but that was to be expected, as I missed my father who was always away fighting in one campaign after another. But this was something different. I knew that this hole, this emptiness that I felt, was something that had been permanently torn from me, and it was something that could never be returned. I knew deep down, that It was the presence and guidance of my mother that I sorely missed. I could still picture her forcing one last smile for me, as she fought through the agonizing pain that she would eventually succumb to later that evening. I was wandering in thought, as I haphazardly kicked something that had been leaning up again the shed at the back of our house. The object toppled over and landed with a metallic ring as it firmly hit a rock. The ringing immediately snapped me out of my thoughts. I looked down to see my father's old Kite Shield laying there in its usual saddened state, worn and knocked after many years of misuse. My father and I had used this shield in practice since I had become strong enough to lift it properly. It was an old friend, and seeing it lay there now, I knew I just couldn't leave it. A little hard work and I was sure I could patch it up and make it useful once more. Without further delay, I hefted the shield onto my back and set off into the unknown.
Seeing Thomas across the way, attempting to be sneaky in order to stay out of my sight, I could not help but laugh heartily. The old man's shoulders slumped as he realized he had been caught. He made his way out of the shadows and appeared to be a little slower in step than I last remembered. I watched as he strolled across the rutted road towards me. The years and rough life were obviously catching up with him after retirement. Thomas had once been a stout, assured, Captain of the Guard in a neighboring town. The man before me now was but a mere shadow of his former self, but still not one I'd want to tangle with.
"What are you doing here Thomas?"
"I, uh… well I came by to check in on you Taalen. Surely you know your mother made me promise to see to your safety until your father returns from war."
"See after me? You do know I'll be leaving town soon, right?"
"Either way, a promise is a promise", he said, as he looked me straight in the eyes.
I knew at that moment, seeing the resolve in his eyes and posture, that he meant to keep the promise he had made to my mother before her passing. Regardless of how I felt about it, who was I to keep a good man from keeping a promise to a dear friend. "I'll be fine Thomas. I'm just here in town to do a little work and gain some coin before moving on to greater adventures. Look in on me anytime. It'd be great to catch up." With that, I strolled off down the road, leaving Thomas fidgeting in the middle of the road, wondering what he should do next.
House of Sorrows
Good sir, If I understood all that you had just relayed so eloquently, then I must begin by introducing myself which should do good to further the understanding between us. I am Taalen the Paladin, and I must say, that the sorrow in your story has weighed upon my soul this day. I too have had to face the realization that this world in which we reside, is exactly as you say. It is Cruel, unfair, and far too unforgiving with the righteous souls that wish only to do good while going about their humble way. It seems there is not enough good left in this world to fight back against the growing tides of evil and corruption. I know for certain that Evil will surely succeed if good men stand by and do nothing. I for one sir, have vowed to do what I can in this battle, a battle that is far greater than the lot of us. I knew as a young child that this was the path that I was destined to be on, the path of a Paladin. One who fights for good and fights even harder against evil and injustice. I believe in the divine, but being a mere man, I often think that I may put too many expectations upon that which I cannot possibly fully understand. It is for this reason that I had followed my path to seek you out here this day. And I assure you, you are not alone in this world. The burden that has been placed upon your shoulders, I feel was chosen with purpose. For those of far greater understanding knew with certainty that they could not leave your boys in the hands of others. Your boys are far too special to have been left in the care of those who would certainly fail them. Anxious may be a handful and may not be able to focus on one thing for very long, and Gailen may have issues dealing with his emotions, which cause him to lash out as your arm bears witness to that fact, but as his name suggests, he is a rare soul indeed. To know that the divine has placed these boys in your care should swell your heart with pride, for is shows the trust it has in you. The burdens that try you daily, may just be your one and only express ticket to a far better place one day. The Insolitam you mentioned, is that of which I had just spoken. It is 'Unusual'. It's unusual in its methods, and as such, we are unable to determine any pattern in its reasoning for doing what it does. Its power binds you, Anxious, and Gailen into a bond far greater than most could possibly begin to comprehend. Having said that, I also must mention that I sense a retreat within you. A retreat from the divine, out of frustration. A frustration brought on by being unable to reach a definitive level of understanding. A level that you had placed upon yourself, and have grown to fear that you may never achieve. As a Paladin, I too fight this battle within myself daily. I tell myself, If I don't fight for what I believe in, then what exactly will I be left believing in. That answer I do not want to leave to chance. I'm afraid I must be going now, but I will visit often and do what I can to ease your burdens. Stay strong friend. Always remember, you are the creator of your own destiny, and all those that you meet along the way are merely along for the ride within the chapters of your life.