- Character Biography
I have lived a full and interesting life over these last six decades. No greater existence could I have asked our Ancient fathers and mothers for, than to protect that which they left behind for us, and to serve the city we've built to honor them.
As I grow older, I do feel questions begin to gnaw at me as I look upon fair Valenntenia from atop the tower they constructed in our infancy. The world outside has changed so much, entire civilizations born and withered to ash. Races and species thriving one generation, and then nearly extinct the next. Nothing in all the lands is as it was when I was born.
Nothing except this city. This tower. They have stood for as long as anybody living can remember, and any dead have bothered to leave behind record of. They defend this place, and us along with it. Our streets are happy, food rich and with modest wealth. From somewhere they must be safeguarding us, I'm sure of it. We are their children, inheritor of what they forged in blood. It only makes sense.
So why do they still entrust us with the care of The Sixteen? If they can protect our city, surely their power extends to The Runestones. Is it a test? A centuries-long project to see how long we can maintain our virtues before succumbing to greed and desire? Perhaps we have a different purpose, one not discovered yet, that will become apparent in time.
Nevertheless, we are here. Sixteen of their children, each forever bound to a Stone of their making.
Whatever goal is placed before us, I look upon these Guardians and know that they will attain it.
Solomon slowly flipped the hard leather cover of the book shut, leaving it on the stone table lit dimly by the candle hanging from the wall. Outside it was only minutes past midday, and yet the inside of the tower was almost always dark and moody. The few rooms with windows were placed so high upon the structure that The Absalon scarcely bothered. A small chuckle came from his chest-- The Absalon, the great Solomon Regis, shying away from a few sets of stairs. How the mighty do fall. What would his father say?
Of course, he would tell him to stop daydreaming and prepare. This was a day of great importance: Thrice each year, The Guardians of The Rune, men and women who travelled far and wide to spread the gifts of the Gods and to learn better their wisdom returned home to both pay respects to the Ancients, and to celebrate another year of success and triumph.
In a few hours, the entire city would be lit up with festivity and cheer. Even this very tower would be alive with merriment. Emotions did tend to run high when the heores of Valenntenia returned to their loved ones.
There was more to the homecoming than prayer and joy, of course. The tradition was also one of necessity: The task the Sixteen chosen faced was one not just anybody could handle. The magic of the Ancients was powerful, and to the mind of a mortal it could be corrupting if not monitored and cared for. After a short period during which they would be permitted to see their families and friends, all of the Guardians, excepting Solomon himself, would report to the Somners.
Each would be spoken to, and each would report their adventures and experiences over the last year. Should doubts arise regarding their mental or physical well-being, rehabilitation would be offered. Should rehabilitation fail, reassignment would be their next option.
Solomon traveled through chamber after chamber, Somners busying themselves with preparation, members of the Vanguard ensuring doors to sensitive areas of the tower were secured and under supervision. The first time Solomon had been Absalon during the homecoming, he'd been nervous. Now, it almost seemed routine.
The white robed elderly man swung open the door to the entry chamber at the tower's base, and emerged at the platform where two long, winding staircases running along each wall met. The massive doors that led outside were made of the same stone as the Runes themselves and even when opened would only let those of Descendant blood enter, though this could be circumvented if one carried a Runestone.
Already Somners began to ligner beneath him, rolling out thee long emerald carpet that would run from the door to the large stone pedestal on the opposite end of the room, beneath the platform Solomon stood on.
On this pedestal rested a large slab of stone, etched with an unreadable symbol and glowing faintly. The Sixteenth Stone. Life and Death. Usually it rested at the top of the Tower, but during homecoming it was placed on display, albeit under heavy guard.
Lining one side of the carpet were fifteen smaller pedestals. Each Guardian would place their rune on the respective pedestal and stand aside their Stone as The Absalon welcomed and addressed them.
Gathering breath in his chest, Solomon's voice boomed off of the walls of the chamber.
"Open the doors! The Homecoming begins now!"