So you, my youngest son, have chosen to become a warrior. Your brothers and your sisters have chosen the plow or the whip, tending fields and livestock. They are content to raise families as farmers. But I see in your face that there is no way to change your decision. I hoped that you would remain with us. This is not just because you are family. You certainly are, and it is most certainly part of the reason. It is not because of the risk to your life, out there in the wider world. You have a strong will and a sharp mind and a body trained by hard work in the fields. I know that you will live a long life. And, should you choose to return to us, we will welcome you. There is yet another reason that we would rather you remain here. What I intend to tell you does not have to be said. If you decide to stay with your family, I won't place this burden on your mind and soul. It is a story that is meant to protect you from harm, as evil as it may be. I know, in my rational mind, that you are a capable young man, able to handle anything that comes at you. But my heart still fears for your safety. And that fear will not be abated until I am absolutely sure that you, my blood, are protected, no matter what the cost. What I will say will ensure this. So, I ask you one last time. Do you truly intend to leave us? Do you truly intend to enter the wider world to become a warrior?
Slicing Attack: Superior
I can't tell you. I mean that I must tell you. You have taken the oath. But it hurts so much to know that you have. I will begin slowly. Do you see that sword that has always hung above the fire? Take it with you on your journeys. You don't have to use it. In fact, it would ease my soul if I were guaranteed that it would never have to be touched by the blood of another. But that is not possible. Treat it as a holy thing, nonetheless. It was forged long before the wizards first tried to take our country. Before even my birth. The time before then is inconsequential. The sword's true history began when the cities and kingdoms of the country fell. A trader gave it to me for a way out of our island town, nestled between the veins of a river delta. I needed the sword so that I could marry your mother over it. My hand struck down several evil people with it after that day. But you already know this and I ramble like a fool. You have seen it used in the weddings of your brothers and sisters. When you find a wife, marry her over this sword like I married your mother. If you don't return, we will have to make do with some other tradition. (a pause) I must tell you. You will always be safe.
I will tell you of something that happened seventeen years ago. When the old coup ended and the wizards had all been slain, it was a chaotic time. There were bandits. Your mother and I thought that, if we cleared the forest and made a farm in a place near few roads, we would be safe from them. And so they attacked us unawares. Our stores were plundered and eaten. Our home was taken over. Your mother and eldest sister were raped. The rest of the family were kept in the stables. Me, you, your two brothers, and your two other sisters, too young even for those monsters. I forced your brothers and sisters to take the same oath that you had just taken. I placed a strip of cloth over your eyes and put straw into your ears, yourself being but an infant, then, only able to cry and reach for your mother's teat, should it be available, and certainly unable to swear an oath. I told them what I will soon tell you. And then I recited a dark prayer. I will whisper it to you, so that no malicious ears can overhear it... Remember the prayer, for it may save your life at some future time. It was then that the demons rose from the ground. They slaughtered every person in sight who had never taken the oath. Every person.
- Area Affect
- Double Damage to l6v:Senshi Training
I was only your age when your mother and I made the fatal mistake. Months before, we had parted with the man who gave us your sword. Don't interrupt. It is your sword now. We wandered through the wilderness, avoiding all vestiges of civilization. The cities and towns, the ruined kingdoms. We knew that those would be the most dangerous places to be, where the citizens, no longer inhibited by the rules of their old masters, drove themselves into a kind of insanity. It was Autumn, and the rains fell near constantly. The shelter of a cave, that single day, was all that we could find. The cave was the home of an ancient demon whose name may only be mentioned in a whisper, for it is the fact that nobody knows his name that he can be sure of his safety. I tell you the demon's name now... I am sure that others have, one time or another, wandered into the same cave, and spoken to the same dark creature. They are not alive anymore. We saw their bones. The old demon king's court, for he was a king of sorts, ruling over a large clan of demons, was where we first swore our oath. It was the only thing that kept the king's subjects' claws from our flesh. But, then, we went a step further. The step that cursed us. We told the demon king, with arrogance in our voices, that we would yell out to the world his name if he did not protect us from danger. They are indeed evil filthy things, but they still have a code of honour. We did not say the king's name, so they could not hurt us. And so, they agreed to protect all who had made the vow, so long as the dark prayer is recited. Your eldest sister did not have a chance to swear to it. She died with the bandits. Your mother would have died of a broken heart, had she not seen us all walking unscathed through the carnage. We nearly died of broken hearts when we learned what had happened to them both.
Environmental Awareness: Standard
For an entire year, you were forced to keep your eyes covered. You learned to walk before you ever had the chance to know where you were walking to. And, constantly, the demons teased us by remaining near you, always threatening to take off your blindfold, or whisper into your ear some blasphemy, or just give you a gentle touch on the cheek. Anything that would alert you to their existence. For that year, the demons helped to bury the dead bandits under our farmland. Their flesh has long ago become part of our soil and the food that we eat. As for you, after the last demon disappeared back into the wilderness, your growth was slightly different from our other children. In the nights when the moon is dark and the stars give not even enough light to see one?fs hands in front of one?fs face, we would hear you slowly padding to the latrine outside, never bumping into anything, never stepping on a sibling or a nephew or niece. Your one year of blindness has given you a sense of things around you that the rest of us lack. You can thank the demons for that, and for your life. But you need not feel grateful. They are still evil things that would not hesitate to end your life, given half the chance.
Body Armor: Superior
Know this, my son. Whoever your compatriots may be, whatever army you may join, whatever armour or uniform you may wear, you will always be safe. You have the dark prayer now, and you are shielded from its effects. But also know that the prayer will end up destroying both your enemies and your friends. By the constraints of your oath, you may not extract the oath from them, and you may not tell them the name of the demon king. And, should you find a woman who you love with your entire heart, marry her sooner rather than later. If peril strikes and she dies, either by the hands of a madman, or at the claws of a demon, you would be the only one to blame. Do not use the prayer lightly, at any opportunity. Protect yourself in other ways and beg the demons for their help only as a last resort. The taking of life is their greatest pleasure, and a happy demon is a bad tiding indeed.