The Great Swordsman
A family history of service – 44 BPA
A great celebration was held at the coronation of the new King Miro. Delegations from all over Planet Eternia gathered in the Royal City of Eternos to give their blessings to the newest leader of the Royal Family.
A Noble from the island of Anwat Gar wanted to explore the lands surrounding Eternos, as he had never been away from his homeland before. Acting as a guide was Garren Klops, a young Lieutenant in the Royal Guard, and widely regarded as a master swordsman. During this excursion, a pack of Shadow beasts attacked, unusual for this close to Eternos. Garren proved his reputation that day, single-handedly dispatching three of the beasts, and with the help of the Nobleman’s personal guards, scaring off the rest. In a special seremony to celebrate the lieutenant’s bravery, the Noble presented him with a family heirloom, a magnificent sword. The Nobleman requested that Garren accompany him to Anwat Gar as a bodyguard. Miro agreed that the diplomatic possibilities were worth the loss of such a skilled swordsman. Garren gathered his wife and newborn son, Garren II, and moved to Anwat Gar.
The Klopses were welcomed as members of the Nobleman’s family upon arrival. Garren, as well as his young son when he came of age, increased his swordsman skills by adding the fighting styles of Anwat Gar. During his personal time, he also earned the secrets of Gar metallurgy, and became a respected swordsmith.
It was while Garren and his ten-year-old son were at the forge when the attack came. The sounds of the forge drowned out the sounds of battle, and by the time they heard the alarm, it was too late. The Nobleman had been assassinated, and now Klops was considered Ronin, or masterless. He and his family wandered Gar for a year, but no other Nobleman would hire him.
Return to Eternia and birth of Trey
Garren and his family took a job with an Eternian trader to work for a year as his blacksmith and cook in a small but prosperous trading village as payment for travel on his ship. After his time of service, Klops chose to remain in the village. Garren Junior also remained, and after ten years, took a bride. Two years later (20 BPA), Garren III was born, nicknamed Trey. He soon showed that martial prowess was genetic, as he inherited his father’s and grandfather’s skills with both the blade and the smith’s hammer.
One night, when Trey was twelve, raiders attacked. Apparently the raiders were quite familiar with the Klops reputation, and the layout of the village, for the first house they attacked was Garren’s. Taken by surprise, Garren II was quickly dispatched, but for some reason young Trey was blinded rather than killed. Trey was taken in by a family friend, but became a sullen boy. Other boys in the village, no longer afraid of his fighting skill, took to picking on him. It was a great surprise, to both Trey and his bullies, the day Trey blocked every punch. Trey’s other senses had been compensating for his loss of sight, and the impetus of stopping the bullies honed then to razor sharpness. It was with great enthusiasm that he requested his father’s heirloom sword and began practicing again. Soon thereafter, Trey chose to make his way in the world as a hired swordsman rather than rely on his adopted family, and to search for the raiders that killed his father and blinded him.
Trey went to the next village and offered his services to a caravaner. The merchant laughed at the notion of a blind swordsman, not to mention the lad’s young years. Trey persisted, and demanded a test of his skills. The merchant reluctantly agreed, and told his guard to take it easy on the boy. That plan was soon reversed, however, as Trey was taking it easy on the other man, soundly defeating the other swordsman. The merchant agreed to hire Trey as a guard. It wasn’t long, however, before Trey realized that he would find no information about the raiders, and he took his leave. Over the next two years, he built a reputation for his skill with a sword, and his price for service grew quite high. Having little luck in finding his father’s killers, however, he decided to return to his old village to gain some measure of rest.
He arrived to less than an empty village. In his absence, it had been ravaged. Foundations and husks of buildings were all that remained of the once prosperous town. This was recent too; he could still smell the charred remains of the fires that destroyed his old home. As he screamed in frustration, he felt a presence nearby. He whirled to face this intruder, sword drawn.
“Hello there, boy,” said a charming voice. “What business do you have here?”
“This village was my home,” came the tense reply. “My business is my own. What are YOU doing here?”
“I am leading the investigation of the attack on this village. We captured the raiders that did this…Say, aren’t you the legendary Blind Swordsman I’ve heard so much about?”
Trey couldn’t help the pride he began to feel.. “Yes I am.”
“But you’re barely a man…”
“I am fifteen. And old enough to sell my skill.”
“Very well. But are you truly blind, or do you use that blindfold to cause your opponents to underestimate you?”
Trey removed his blindfold, and looked at the other man with dead eye sockets. “What do you think?”
“I see. I must apologize if I have offended you. Your reputation must be very well founded indeed. I’m no slouch with the sword myself, but I have no doubt that you would easily defeat me. By the way, my name is Keldor. I am Prince of Eternia.”
“Prince Keldor? And you have the men responsible for this?”
A slight smile hinted its way onto Keldor’s face. “Why yes, my boy. Would you like to speak with them?”
Keldor led Trey to the pen set up to hold the raiders. He ordered the leader to be brought before Trey. The young man leaned in close, taking in his scent. “You took my eyes. You still have the same stink.”
The raider looked at Keldor, fear in his eyes. Keldor told a nearby guard, “Give the prisoner a sword.” The guard handed the raider a sword, after which Keldor said to Trey, “His punishment is in your hands.”
Trey took his time, slowly bleeding he raider to death. When he was finished, Keldor ordered the rest of the prisoners to be brought before Trey one by one . At the end of the day, Trey was covered in blood, totally exhausted, and at last, his vengeance sated. As the young man sat on a field chair, catching his breath, Keldor approached him once more.
“You have done well, Trey. My kingdom is blessed to have such a great warrior as yourself. I would like to make you my personal lieutenant. And I may be able to restore your vision if you wish. I am quite learned in the mystical arts.”
Trey barely managed to stand and bow. “I would be honored, my lord.”
Keldor brought his new protégé to his fortress with him, but kept him away from all others. For several months, Trey’s only companions were Keldor’s personal servants, although he occasionally could smell three distinct others: a briny presence that sounded moist, a musky odor with a heavy, plodding guttural sound, and most exciting to him, a pleasant perfume, matched with a light step that told him it belonged to a beautiful woman. Then, one day, it happened.
Keldor entered Trey’s chambers, accompanied by the perfumed woman. “I have a present for you Trey,” said Keldor. “Here is a helmet that with our magicks will return your eyesight, with a few bonuses.”
Keldor handed Trey the helmet. Quivering, though whether from excitement or nervousness, he wasn’t entirely sure. He felt a rotating cylinder around the helmet, with three equally spaced gems set around the outside. He placed the helmet on his head.
“Sit here.” The woman’s voice excited Trey as much as her scent. He did as he was told, and the two magicians began to chant. Trey could feel the mystical energies surrounding him, something he had never before experienced. Suddenly, pain poured into his dead eye sockets, and all he saw was a bright whiteness before he passed out.
When he awoke, he felt a tingling sensation in the middle of his head. His eye sockets hurt, as if he had just walked into a bright area from the darkness. His world blurred, and then slowly began to focus. He could see! He had no peripheral vision, but once again he could see. Looking around, he noticed a woman clad in purple. She was more beautiful than he could have imagined.
Turning toward him, she said, “Our young patient has awaken. Here.” She handed him a mirror. He was now wearing a round helmet, green to match his armor. Where his eyes would be was now a single blue eye-shaped gem. “Hold still,” the woman said. She grasped the rotating cylinder around his helmet and spun it. Trey’s world went black again momentarily, and then he could see again. His eye-gem looked slightly different, and how he could only see in black and white, but it was very bright. And now he could see to his right, in normal vision. “This is your dark vision,” explained the woman. “Even in darkest night you will be able to see clearly. Hold still again.” She spun his eye-wheel again, and when he could see again, it was in strange shapes and colors. “This is your heat vision. The brighter the colors, the hotter the object you are looking at.” The woman was easily the hottest thing in the room. “Over time you may be able to develop this much stronger, and you can train yourself to use this to see objects and people beyond walls. Now,” she said as she sat down to face him, “try to rotate the eye wheel yourself, without your hands.”
Trey didn’t know what to do, so he tried concentrating on looking to the left. All he received for his effort was a headache and frustration. His anger began to build, and the woman noticed a glow within his gem eye. She dodged just in time to avoid a blast of energy from the gem. “Interesting,” mused the woman. “It seems you received more than Keldor and I expected. You can use your anger as a weapon. Now, it may be disorienting at first, but you can see out of all your eyes at the same time. As long as all your eyes are open, nobody can sneak up on you. Now perhaps if you imagined the eye wheel rotating…”
Trey closed his eyes and did as suggested. Slowly, the wheel began to rotate. When he opened his eye again, he could see normally. The woman took a look around him. “Good. You’re learning control. Keldor said you would be a quick study.”
The door suddenly opened, and Keldor strode in. Trey beheld his benefactor for the first time. “You’re a Gar.”
The Prince smiled. “Yes, I am half Gar. A fact that has not gone unnoticed by many of the other nobles.”
“I meant no disrespect. I just expected…”
“An Eternian. I understand. Now that you are awake, perhaps you should meet the rest of my companions. You already know Lyn.”
Keldor and Lyn led Trey to another room. Inside were three creatures - a fish man (Trey had encountered a few trading in his old village), a creature that seemed part spider, and a monster that seemed part beast and part man. “This is Mer-Man, king of the fish people. He has the ability to command the creatures of the sea. That is Webstor, and the hulking brute over there I call Beast Man. Gentlemen, I present to you the greatest swordsman in Eternia - Tri-Klops!”