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The Saga of the Master Archer - UPDATE: Luvelle's Undeath

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anand

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Hi Guys,

I've been thinking of re-writing Luvelle's "fluff" for quite some time now, and Raihan's new Fun Point system has given impetus to the cause. Some of the content I've added is reflective of Luvelle's journey and the obstacles he faces. Some other bits will hopefully help you explain why my character has done certain things (Like wear his hood up in Ethe'Loren). Hope you guys enjoy it.



Last edited by anand on Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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anand

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Ever before their arrival into the world, the Swiftarrow twins were already seemingly destined for greatness. After all, they were conceived by Lara Swiftarrow, an Elf whose renowned beauty was eclipsed by an astounding intellect, and sired by Kael ‘Greatbow’ Swiftarrow, War-General of Ethe’Loren and peerless ranger. Seers and Mystics from all corners of Jord came to pay their respects to the would-be parents, and assured them that all the signs showed the twin boys would one day grow up to be powerful and enigmatic figures. With the tide of war against the Undead shifting in favour of the Natural Order, things almost seemed too good to be true for Kael Greatbow. However, a few months prior to her delivery, Lara was struck by a deadly illness. The doctors and shamans examined her condition and concluded that the only way to salvage her rapidly deteriorating health was to kill twins in her womb and consolidate her strength against the illness. If she didn’t, the healers warned, the act of childbirth would kill her. Overwrought with grief, Lara refused to take the lives of her unborn children, despite fierce protestations by Kael. Her great sadness was that she wouldn’t be able to see her children grow up, but she took joy in knowing that they would one day change Ethe’Loren, Jord and indeed, Terra, in a way she or Kael never could.

On the night of their delivery, Kael was at his wife’s bedside, having commanded every religious man in the town to pray for Lara’s survival. He had the best soothsayers and midwives in the region helping with the delivery and had taken every measure to ensure the comfort of his wife. Lara as calm in comparison but her pale face showed the strain that every moment was having on her. Without warning, Lara let out a yelp of pain and the midwives began the birthing process. The first was a long and painful birthing, and Lara looked as if she wouldn’t survive the ordeal. However, eventually the head came out, followed by the rest of her healthy first son. As she the midwives lifted him up, Lara named him without hesitation: Eldrad. To the questioning expressions of the midwives who weren’t schooled in the formal Elven Tongue, she told them, “It means Bringer of Change.” Almost as soon as Kael picked up Eldrad to cradle in his arms, Lara screamed again, signalling the impending arrival of her second-born.

To every observer it was clear that Lara had no more energy left to birth the second son, but observers will later recollect that it was almost as if she drew power from an unseen well. Veins bulged on her neck and temples, and her hands held the sides of the bed in a death grip. Slowly, bit by bit, the baby inched out until, with a final lurch, Lara gave a violent spasm and lay still. Kael screamed in agony and disbelief at the reality before him. Still clutching Eldrad, he crushed Lara in a hug, almost as if trying to force his own life essence into her corpse. So overcome with grief was he, that he initially didn’t even feel a midwife’s persistent tapping of his shoulder to hand him his second son. Eventually, he did rise, and when he did, it was to cast the most hateful and spite-filled glance at his second son. Oblivious to his gaze and still looking at the second twin, the midwife asked, “What will you call him, Sir?”

Unable to compose himself, and thinking beyond rationality, Kael delivered the ultimate condemnation of his own flesh and blood. “Eldrad came through just fine. That thing killed my wife, and I refuse to acknowledge him as my son. Duty obliges me to name it, and I shall, with a name worthy of its nature. That child will henceforth be known as Lucius.” A collective gasp of astonishment went through the room, the occupants unable to believe that their Goodly leader against the Undead would condemn his own son with the name of Slaanesh’s greatest champion.

“ENOUGH!” shouted a deep powerful voice that gave even Kael pause. The voice belonged to Great Elder Calgar, leader of the ruling council of Ethe’Loren who had come to witness the prophetic birth of the twins. “You have erred gravely in cursing your son that name, Kael. Even I cannot change that. Now the vile Prince of Lies will watch his every move and pounce on the slightest hesitation. Tradition dictates he must carry your name, as well, however much you dislike it. In respect to his mother, I will give him a fighting chance in this world and bestow the on him the name, Luvelle, after the famous Elven hero who fought back from the edge defeat to save those he loved from death. Luvelle Lucius Swiftarrow,” Calgar said with finality. Snorting with anger and frustration at the Great Elder’s ruling, leaving Luvelle in the arms of the midwife, Kael left the room still clutching Eldrad to his chest.

The sombre mood quickly turned to one of respect and adoration, as one by one, every occupant in the room turned to regard Lara’s body. In death, she seemed more serene that ever, and seemed to radiate with an almost divine beauty. The midwives would later gossip that, in that moment, she looked the spitting image of the Goddess Melora.



Last edited by anand on Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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anand

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Despite the tragedy of their birth, and Kael’s condemnation of Luvelle, the Swiftarrow brothers were inseparable. As identical twins, the children were indistinguishable in appearance, but polar opposites in character. Eldrad, blessed with his father’s good wishes, grew up revelling in the attention that only a child of nobility could enjoy. He was never ashamed of speaking his mind, and his eloquent and charismatic demeanour won him as many admirers as jealous peers. Disarmingly handsome, even by elven standards, he enjoyed his youth and was forever popular with the females. His amazing intellect, inherited from his late mother, marked him out early to the elders in the village. Still, more than one eyebrow was raised when he began his wizardry training far early than was usual practice. However, such was his popularity, and the dedication and confidence of his new tutors that the concerns never rose above quiet mutterings in local taverns.

It was the worst kept secret in Ethe’Loren that Luvelle also carried the name of Lucius, and no one wanted to risk being in the company of one named after a champion of Chaos. For that reason, Luvelle loved Eldrad in a way only a brother can, for being the only one to look past his name and past. Despite the small difference in age, Luvelle always looked up to Eldrad as an older brother. He was quiet and introverted since infancy, and never grew out of the phase due to the stories of his birth. A loner, through and through, Luvelle found life difficult growing up among the normally cheery and passionate wood elves. Still, his ceaseless adoration of his older brother, who in turn took every measure to look after Luvelle, made Luvelle's childhood and youth much more bearable. Even on the frequent occasions when his father lambasted him in public, Luvelle grief never lasted long, as Eldrad inevitably came to console him. However, there were still times when the two brothers simply could not be together. While Eldrad was skilled with word and mind, Luvelle's strength's lay more with the traditional wood elven talents of bow and nature. Such was his skill with the bow and in the wild, that even those that disdained his behavior had grudging respect for his ability. Though none would admit it, they spoke in whispers of how he showed potential to eclipse even his great father as a archer and ranger.

To Luvelle, none of their admiration meant anything to him. His greatest joy was earning respect and recognition for his endeavours from his elder brother. One morning, on the eve of his 50th birthday, Eldrad spoke to Luvelle of his current work. He was nearing the end of the process of designing a brand new spell. One with such destructive force that Eldrad hoped it would be spoken of in legends, when people talked of the war between Undead and Nature. If there was one thing that troubled Eldrad, it was the unnatural nature of his mother’s death. Possessed of immense spirit and elven constituency, she should not have succumbed to a mere illness. He was convinced that she was inflicted with a magically incurable illness, the masters of which were the Undead. Although hardly rational, for the Undead had never entered the Enchanted Forest, Eldrad still dedicated his fearsome intellect and studies to the elimination of the Living Dead. He was going off to continue work, in hope that it would be ready for their birthday the next day. As he headed off, leaving Luvelle in the forest, Eldrad turned back and called to his brother: "You better not stop practising with that bow, Lu! You're going to be as famous an archer as I will be a Wizard. Till tomorrow!"

Beaming, Luvelle picked up his greatbow and set off into the wild, keen to do his brother proud. That night, as Luvelle returned from the forest, he was disturbed to hear bells of mourning. His heart leapt to his throat, and he ran in the direction of the wizard's tower, fearing for his brother's health. His worst fears were confirmed when, upon arrival, he saw black smoke pouring out of the rubble that remained over the tower. An elder elf, wailed as Luvelle approached, "I knew he was too young to be accepted to the order! Too impetuous! He could have been the greatest, if they had given him more time!" Luvelle pushed his way past the crowd to where a body lay still, and unmoving. The body was charred and burnt beyond recognition, but the face was unmistakable. Even in death, Eldrad looked beautiful, and Luvelle let out such a wail of mourning that the entire wood elf town felt his sorrow as keenly as if it were their own.

Luvelle was inconsolable for months after his brother's death. He only found solace in his bow and would spend all his waking hours training with it, hoping against all rationality that it would bring his brother back. Through it all, his mind was so disturbed that it conjured up unwilling visions of power and debauchery. In one particularly sadistic moment, he saw himself pinning his father against a tree and scraping and eating all the skin from his body. However, the dark visions were matched by visions of peace and nature, where all of nature roamed free and co-existed with one another. He saw that the animals, fey creatures and the like looked to him for protection and guidance, and it was a blissful feeling.

One night, as he stumbled across the first hunting ground where he and his brother had first trained with the bow (before Eldrad decided that the weapon wasn't for him), he was overcome with such despair that he sought to end his life. As he picked up his dagger, he was received by a vision from two beautiful spirits of women. One, on his left, was the goddess Melora. Clad in a simple white tunic, she radiated natural beauty and peace. She held in her hand a laurel wreath and held it out towards him. On his right, was a woman that he couldn’t identify. She, too, was beautiful but in a lustful seductive way. She was barely clothed, and held in her hand a beautiful greatbow that seemed to be screaming in silence. She too, gestured for him to take it. Flanked by two beautiful goddesses, both enticing his with different things, Luvelle knew he was in a moment of destiny. Without hesitation, he reached out and touched the laurel wreath, and met Melora’s smiling eyes. The woman on his right screamed in rage and frustration and her face contorted into the mask of a demon. Before It left it called out, “You have escaped this time, but I will be back, my champion!”

His fear vanished almost instantly, as Melora touched his shoulder. She spoke to him, in her divine wisdom and guidance, convinced him that he had a higher purpose in life. She reminded him of Eldrad's last words to him, and how he should honor his brother's memory by becoming a Master Archer. She left him with an amulet of her divinity; it was concrete proof of his new mission. With renewed belief and determination, Luvelle picked him his bow and meager supplies and headed out into the world - an adventurer. He hoped that when it came his time to meet his brother in heaven, Eldrad would welcome him proudly.



Last edited by anand on Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:11 pm; edited 4 times in total

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anand

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If you've made it this far, Well done! As you can see, I've tried to explain why Luvelle had such a bond with his brother, that bordered on idolatry. I've also touched on his troubled family past, and why he doesn't feel welcome in Ethe'Loren. I've explained his troubled relationship with his father, and why his life has been one of interest to both Melora and Slaaneesh.

Took me a while, so now I'm off to rest. See you guys on saturday! :)

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Well done Anand. This was a fantastic read and thoroughly deserving of the FUN points that will soon be awarded (in another thread).

This story is a good benchmark for future player background stories with regards to depth, characterisation and themes.

Thanks for writing this.

-Raihan DM

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Cool! I begin to understand the Eldrad/ Luvelle bond a bit better now. The Melora and Slaanesh part reminds me of the Greek story of Eris asking Paris to give the Golden Apple to the most beautiful Goddess in Olympus.

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anand

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In my mind, I'm imagining an elf, reincarnated by Chaos would look something like this:




Prince Nuada from Hellboy :D

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And, I'll play a Tiefling Battlemind and we'll wrestle on rooftops :-P

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anand

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The plate flew through the air, making a sickening sound as it contacted flesh before it crashed to the ground. Silence deafened the dining hall, as brother locked eye with brother. The tension was palpable in the air, and even Princess Arlyin's chambermaids dared not move to see if their lady was alright. Eldrad lifted his injured hand, and pointed at his brother. In a voice dripping with disappointment and pity, he sighed, "Really? Has it come to this? After all we've been through together? After all the times I've supported you and protected you? Even when your own companions would cast you down as a pawn of Slaanesh?"

He looked down for a moment, and when he raised his head again, Luvelle saw true fury and anger burning in his brother's eyes. "YOU CAST ME AWAY FOR THIS WHORE? ON WHAT? THE WORDS OF COMPANIONS WHO ONLY DAYS BEFORE TRIED TO MURDER YOU?" He shook his head again, and spoke softly, though the anger remained in his eyes. "You are no brother of mine. The next time we meet, we shall be enemies!" With that, he stormed out of the hall and walked off into the night.

Luvelle stood there stunned, as reality sunk in. He betrayed his own brother. The one person who had championed his cause since birth. The one person whom he should have believed over all others. A vile feeling rose in his throat and he vaguely remembered emptying the contents of his stomach. His mind was in a daze, and the sudden cacophony that broke out in the dining hall did nothing to help his concentration. He should have realized, when Eldrad pointed his hand at him, that there wasn't any bruising or even a mark, where the plate he threw hit Eldrad's seemingly delicate hand. He should have wondered why Eldrad, master wizard, decided to walk out of the hall, rather than teleport in trademark fashion. He should have realized all of this, but his mind was still numb with his betrayal.

He straightened, and began to run. He brushed off grasping hands, and weaved through the fray. He ran out of the door, to follow tracks that even the dim-witted Mordenkrag would be hard-pressed to miss. Rain soaked through his cloak, and slowed him down, so he cast it off. His quiver of arrows jangled and bounced as he moved, so he dropped it too. His helmet was heavy, and it obstructed his vision, so he discarded it. In this way, he ran and cast off his armor, gloves and boots, till he was left in his small-clothes and held only his bow, his soul.

He came across his brother waiting for him in a clearing in the forest. His back was turned, but Eldrad seemed to know he was there all the same. He turned around, and looked at Luvelle. In the darkness and rain, it seemed to Luvelle that Eldrad was crying. He must be, Luvelle reasoned, for he must be overjoyed that I've seen the folly of my ways and come to beg for his forgiveness.

Eldrad gestured with one hand, and Luvelle dutifully moved forward. As Luvelle came within two paces of his brother, he fell to one knee and begged, "Please brother, forgive me. I erred, and the vile beings that called themselves my companions tricked me into believing their lies. I was weak, and -"

"Enough," Eldrad interrupted. "I foresaw all that you speak of brother, and you are not to blame for what has happened. You were weak, but you always have been. You lack the resolve and will that came naturally to me, so I shall not fault you for it. The important thing is you've come now. That is good, for I must tell you of the future."

Luvelle stared at his brother wide-eyed, awed at Eldrad's prescient power and waited for Eldrad to speak again. "First, Luvelle, I have a confession. The plague did not mutate by chance, to affect the feywild. It was always my intent to have the plague mutate and spread to all living beings."

Sensing the doubt in Luvelle's eyes, Eldrad raised a hand to forestall questions and continued, "For too long have the living raped and pillaged this world. Forests are burned for timber and housing, animals killed for consumption and even the tree hugging elves have done nothing to protect their beloved Gaia. Wars are waged over the passions and emotions of individuals, and millions die for their folly."

"I ask you to look to a future, where everyone and everything co-exists with one another. There is no need to fight over territory, or food or water. Conflicts borne of racial disputes will be no longer. The passion and emotion that once provoked war will no longer exist. Gaia will be happy, as she deserves, for there will be noone savaging every inch of her. I ask you to look to a future, where the plague has consumed all, and the world lives in Undeath."

With that, Eldrad gave a threatrical flourish off his staff, and a puff of smoke enveloped his body. When he reappeared, he was skeletal. Yet, somehow, he looked even more powerful and foreboding. 6 other Liches materialized in the air behind, and in that moment Luvelle epiphanized that his brother was not only a Lich, but the Lich King. Luvelle should have been repulsed and angry at his brother's betrayal of the natural order and, for a moment, he was. However, logic prevailed and Luvelle realized that everything his brother said was true. The world was destroying itself because of the weakness and needs of the flesh. It wasn't their fault, Luvelle decided, to be living, but they would never know the error of their ways until they were shown the light.

As if reading his brother's thoughts Eldrad reached out a hand to Luvelle, glowing pale blue, and asked his brother "Will you join me in this quest, brother? I need you at my side, to be my greatest general and lead my armies to victory on the field? I need you now more than ever before. Will you be my Bone Fletcher? Will you turn me away?" Luvelle stared again at the blue hand, glowing pale and he knew without doubt that this was his destiny. He didn't need to say anything. He grasped his brother's hand, and embraced undeath.

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Thanks for writing the story update Anand. As usual, it was a good read. See you at the end of the year.

Regards,

Raihan

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