Nochet, 1616ST, Fire season.
“My… My lady…. What can I do for your pleasure ?”
“That’s not for me, scribe, but for my mistress… I want to know everything about… about… What’s his name, Mirava?
“Aendel, my lady.”
“What an absurd name, isn’t it Mirava? So tell me what you know about this student, scribe.”
“For sure, ma lady, may I ask the reasons for your request?”
“That is not your business, scribe. Do what I order, don’t think.”
“Yes, yes, madame, of course. Please wait just a few minutes in the lounge over here, I will return to you shortly. I will have our best wines and exotic dishes brought while you are waiting. It … it is so warm today.”
“My Lady? I have gathered the required information.”
“Do not make me wait another second. Please hurry, I want to leave this uncomfortable temple quickly.”
“Of course, madame, of course. So, our records report that Aendel the Sartarite arrived in the great temple in 1603. He was entrusted to us by his… supposed… uncle (unfortunately, the name was removed), who praised his nephew’s intelligence and curiosity.
Oh, how strange, the barbarian uncle suggested to us to teach him the philosophical magic without giving any reason, but a hypothetical potential.
After some tests and discussion, we decided that the Charterists should drive this boy along the wisdom path.”
“Wait a minute, the white-robed are not characterized as being particularly supporter of any dangerous and impure magic.”
“You are absolutely right, madame. How brilliant is your mind! That is not written, but I remember that, at that time I was a young boy too, and Aendel was very interested by this path, but he finally rejected this knowledge. It was probably some remnant of his traditionalist culture, if culture could denote barbarian society, of course...
In 1604, you may not forget that the temple faced an important incident, when one of our students, a Hendrostos Leftdoor, almost died, but was saved by Aendel. He succeeded, alone, with a kind of wood sword he made himself, to disturb a Thanatari apprentice, trying to take the head of the miserable Hendrostos.
The guards finally succeeded in killing the intruder. The case produced an outcry, not because Aendel was defeating the murderer, nor because the stranger successfully entered the insides of the temple, but because Aendel attacked and beat up the guy who dealt the final blow, arguing his honor was in question, and that he had to deliver death himself, without any help of some cowardly, slow, unskilled guards (those were his words).
Later, our investigations determined that the Thanatari’s killer was, in fact, corrupted, and allowed him to penetrate our sacred space.”
“In 1606, the Charterists considered Aendel too irritable and irritating to fit with them. The Council decided to keep him in our ranks, as he did a lot for us, after all, and placed him under the Grey Sages authority. After all, he came from this savage land and had faced a very hard situation for just a boy.
The Council, to manage Aendel’s temper, decided that he had to receive some martial training, and obtain from the Death temple a tutor to teach him some lessons - mainly to learn discipline.
It seems it was a good idea: we have no salient points in the records during the next two years.”
“In 1609, Aendel started to prepare his thesis and participated in an expedition to Hendriki territory, under the leadership of Jarstakos Gold Quill. While exploring a ruin, the expedition found some relics about the Wyrm Empire, but was attacked by broos. Jarstakos, his guards, and some other students were killed. Only, Aendel, Illiro Gustbranson and five servants survived. I never understood how this fat Illiro managed to survive and was not eaten by the chaos monsters - but that’swhat happened. The servants witnessed that Aendel joined in with the mercenaries in the battle and was wounded, but finally was able to lead the survivors out and brought back the relics.”
“After that, it seems he was traumatized, and was infamous for hanging out late in taverns and other nightlife; to drink with his few friends (those whose lives he saved, Hungry Illiro and Hendrostos Two-Mouths, notably) and woo the women he found in these places of debauchery.
Still in 1609, there was an altercation with a young Esrolian nobleman of House Farastar who was mocking the weight and past of his companion,which inevitably led Aendel to a duel to the first blood. In just a few passes, Aendel defeated his opponent. The companions of the vanquished, angry that an intellectual could defeat a warrior, decided to avenge him. Aendel hardly withstood the repeated assaults from his three opponents but managed to wound two of them before a patrol stepped in and prevented the worst.”
“As you can imagine, it was a negative precedent between the temple and House Farastar. The temple paid for the House’s health care and Aendel, Hendrostos and Illiro were punished severely: they were placed in isolation for more than one year, with only few scrolls to study.
No news until 1611, when he completed his thesis, and the council granted access to our initiation rituals, then… “
“Wait, what was the thesis subject?”
“Oh sorry Ma lady, I did not want to waste your time with such minor details, but you are right, it may have some interest for…”
“It may? May?! Again, scribe, stop your superficial analysis, and answer.”
“I Apologize, oh how shame…ful… I… am… Of course, quickly. The subject was "Military Logistics and Strategy during the Second Age".
But the most intriguing and exceptional event in our temple was his initiation failure. We have no idea what happened, and Aendel has been absolutely dead silent. Well, few were fool or brave enough, or maybe both, to ask him anything. But he gave no answer, apart from the promise of some violent action. A few days after, he disappeared from the temple.
Then the record ends”.
“And you did not try to find him?”
“Oh great lady, we sent his two friends. They investigated the docks and other drunks’ territories but we lost them too. Well, to be honest, many of us were happy to close this chapter and hopedwe would never see them again.”
“A last question, before we can escape this place… Is it usual that student fails their initiation?”
“No madame.The thesis process guarantees us a very large success rate. Accidents may happen, of course, but one a decade, perhaps.”