Once the party has completed their latest adventure, and in addition to his recuperation, Sarvalor performs his daily rituals. Since the party has known him, he’s always performed his morning prayers. Lately though, he has also included meditation sessions before bedtime.
After a few days of rest and relaxation, Sarvalor announces to the party that he has been called upon and a task must be performed, and by him alone. With little background or explanation, he sets out.
Roughly a week later, Sarvalor returns to the group. When pressed for a telling of his whereabouts, he pulls a wicked looking glaive from his back and says, “I was sent to retrieve this.”
Sarvalor gracefully twirls the weapon around as if almost dancing with it, and then sits down with it in his lap and recalls his adventure.
“I’ve not shared much of my past with you, most of it actually is rather dull, though one particular event many years ago came back to haunt me.”
As Sarvalor retells his tale, the party cannot help but get drawn in. The party has witnessed Sarvalor’s effect on people and creatures alike, his soothing voice or commanding presence. And this is no different. The background noise and goings-on start to fade away, all that is there is Sarvalor and his story.
“When I was but a child, a band of Iuz soldiers came upon our village. We had the briefest of warning. My mother, the elven side of my lineage, volunteered to take the youngest of our children into the forest where her kin would help protect them, while the rest of us stayed to receive our intruders. I put on a brave face and said I’d stand with my father.”
“The band of soldiers was much larger than we initially thought, and they quickly began to harass and plunder our tiny village. My brave facade quickly vanished, and I’m embarrassed to say, I hid from them. As one of the Iuz soldiers, a menacing Orc, rummaged around, he came within inches of my hiding place. One of the women shouted at him, telling him to leave this place. Fortunately for me, he stopped his search, though horribly unfortunate for her, he focused his lustful interests on her. He grabbed her by the hair and started dragging to a near-by barn. A few of his crew attempted to join, though he barked out some orders in his foul tongue (I did not yet know it to know what he said). He must have been pretty high-ranking as the men backed off. He pulled her into the barn and slammed the door. Her screams of pain and desperate pleas for help still haunt my dreams.”
“I couldn’t move. I couldn’t will myself to defend her. I felt so small…albeit I was small. I was frozen in place.”
“Now since this Orc’s orders were obeyed, the other men went elsewhere to pillage. And so when they were able to, a half dozen of our women slipped away from their own hiding spots and/or moved when the attackers were not looking. They grabbed farm tools, shovels, hoes, picks, and slipped into the barn. The Orc, engaged in his foul acts, was oblivious to HIS attackers and took a swift blow to the skull, stunning him. The women made quick work of him from there.”
“He was far too large for them to move him, so they dismembered him and took his severed limbs and his gear and dragged them to a tree not too far away. They were able to dig a shallow hole and disposed of their half-felt victory, if you could even call it that.”
“The women then came back for their friend. She was battered, bruised, and in shambles, but alive. She was the one that actually spotted me from my hiding place. She was the one to gather me up and brought me up in her arms. She soothed me. Comforted me. Told me that everything would be alright. Me. All I could do in response was cry, heavy, violent sobs. I was not the one beaten. I was not the one raped. But I was the one being comforted.”
“From that day, I vowed that I’d never be that weak again. I’d never allow myself to let the weak be preyed upon by the evils of this world. And I’d seek vengeance towards those that deserve my wrath.”
“It’s that event that called me back. I traveled back to my childhood home. Back to the farm, back to the barn, back to the tree. To find this,” and Sarvalor presents the party the glaive, the weapon that has been sitting on his lap, almost forgotten as the attention was on the telling of the story.
And then as quickly as the glaive catches the audience’s eyes, they are snapped back to Sarvalor as he continues.
“I arrived at midday. The house was slightly different. The barn was new. The foundation of the barn as I remembered it, the remnants of a fire scarred it. A new one stood not too far off. But the tree, the tree was still there. It looked diseased. Blackened. Rotten. I scanned the area and saw the crops, the scarecrow protecting all that it sees, the smoke from the house, but no people. I decided to find a hiding spot and waited until nightfall.”
“Little changed as the sun dropped past the horizon and I made my move.”
“I went to the barn to gather a pick and shovel. As I exited the barn, I noticed something was amiss…the scarecrow was no longer at its post. And it was that lucky catch that alerted me, and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the initial attack!”
“The swings of its animated straw arms, ending in unnaturally sharp claws, came quick and fierce. Though its claws were wicked, it was its presence, its aura, that was truly frightening. It was due to my training and resolve that I was able to shake off its hideous gaze. I was able to quickly drop my digging tools and brandish my sword before more blows came. I was able to return attacks, but looking as if I may be outmatched, I released Pelor’s radiant might through my true aim, and evened the odds. Back and forth we went. One of its attacks found a gap in my defenses and scored a cruel strike against me. Not only did the claws easily slice through my flesh like a hot knife to butter, but its evil enchantments started to bend my will. Digging deep into my soul, I was able to snap its hold before it could take effect. And, with another scored hit of my own, again infused with Pelor’s smite, I vanquished my attacker, breaking the animation and turning it back to something only to be feared by birds.”
“After a quick survey of the scene for another attacker, I breathed a sigh of relief, and I healed myself. I then grabbed my tools and headed for the tree.”
“Standing before the tree again, it brought back all those terrible memories. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried again remembering my fears and inability to help. But I’m no longer that scared, weak, little boy. I’m strong now. And I’ll never be in that position again.”
“After that moment of reflection, I got to work. It didn’t take me long to dig down to where I struck something solid, something not of earth and stone and tree. I found a rusted old shield, and then a belt, and then a sword, and then…”
Sarvalor quickly sprang up with a roar, so quick and sudden, all of the on-lookers are taken aback.
“And all of a sudden erupting out of the shallow grave and knocking me prone on my back, was the very same Orc that attacked the woman of my village!” Sarvalor slowly sits back down, bringing his voice down with him.
“It’s the Orc, but not as I remember him. He’s now rotten with age and decay. A grotesque Wight now, somehow reanimated and reassembled, but all wrong. One of its feet was on backwards. And one of his arms, just below the shoulder, too bent in the wrong direction. Also many of the reattached segments were misaligned. It was these errors that thankfully gave me my edge.”
“I had the briefest of moments to compose myself and get in the first strike. I actually started with a Hex to inflict some further damage in addition to releasing the last of Pelor’s smites to start things off. The Wight in turn, reached down with his good arm to grab his sword and attempted to slam me with his awkward other limb. The misaligned arm was easy to dodge. My Patrons guided my hand and I was fortunate enough to also dispatch the undead monstrosity after a handful of lucky strikes by me and narrow misses by him, without suffering too heavy a price. And then, just barely visible, I spotted his glaive.”
As the party looks upon the weapon, almost forgotten, they see that it is as vile as the story. At one time it must have been quite impressive, though now a mash-up of misaligned parts. It looks to have been broken in half when buried with the Orc. Now, it looks as though when it was halved and then remade, the butt-end was fused with the break from the bladed end, leaving the now far end of the weapons a wicked, jagged, splintered tip.
Sarvalor picks it up and with a piece of cloth, attempts to clean it. Upon closer inspection, the blade is blackened and it is covered and stained with dried blood. As he rubs the cloth across it, the blood does not disappear. To a perceptive onlooker, they get a hit of pain and revulsion from his offhand, and he nonchalantly rips the cloth in half and uses each piece to handle the weapon. For the briefest of moments, when Sarvalor scrubs the glaive, a hint of silver inlay and runes appear, and Sarvalor continues.
“It seems that my calling is to right the wrongs this weapon has been used for. It once was a beautiful creation, for good and light, but as it has been in the wrong hands for so long, it has been tainted. It is now my mission to bring it back to its previous glory.”
“In the few training sessions I’ve had with it, it should provide me benefits in battle, but at a cost. It compels me to engage my enemies. It will be a battle of wills if I am needed to be diplomatic whether on purpose or by disguise. It should not be an issue when attempting to be intimidating and forceful when questioning and/or attempting to pass through a checkpoint or altercation. Diplomacy, may not be an option. I also believe that I may follow Kesh’s battle tactics…become enraged. And. Just. Smash.”
“I hope that the pros outweigh the cons while I fulfill this mission of mine…” Sarvalor trails off as he seems to get lost in thought while trying in vain to cleanse the weapon.