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The Tale of Caladrel Blackfire

In the land of the Elves there is a certain noble family known as Blackfire. A bloodline touched by both the Plane of Fire and the Plane of Shadow, the Blackfire family is known for both their illusion and fire magics. The Blackfire Family earned it's place among the noble families by using these magic to aid the Elven lands against threats for generations. It became expected that those born to the Blackfire family would become master sorcerers, and Caladrel was no exception.

Caladrel was the eldest of the siblings, and also the most powerful. He was far more advanced then any other Blackfire in the history of their family. By the age one-hundred, not only had he shown his magical abilities to be far superior to any other Elf, but he had single highhandedly driven Orc hordes from the Elven lands. By the time he was one-hundred and twenty-five, still young for an Elf, he had married Faunra Crystalspire. The two never really loved each other, but married due to their parents insisting. Even though Caladrel was much more powerful than his fellow Blackfires, he respected the family hierarchy just enough to not dispute this marriage. Besides, the Crystalspire family is known for their beauty and political influence.

Ironically, and to the shame of Caladrel, Faunra was barren. For a century they tried in vain. Caladrel, being the eldest, became head of the family, but without bring able to have any children, his line would die and he would be a mockery of the Blackfire family throughout the rest of history. Distraught, he came to hate his wife.

One day while traveling through human territory he encountered an elderly man being attacked by a gang of vandals. Using his magic, he slew their leader and scattered the rest. The old man thanked him for coming to his aid. "I know of you and your wife's plight" said the stranger. Confused, Caladrel questioned what the man meant, but he only replied with, "I will restore her, and you shall have your children, but the first child shall not have the magic of House Blackfire, instead, she will bear the mark of Heaven. She will be a part of your family, but when she has lived under your house for the first part of a century, I shall come for her, and she will become a weapon for the Lady of Valor" Before Caladrel could continue to question, the man vanished.

When Caladrel returned home several months later from his mission, he discovered Faunra to be pregnant. Swearing to have known no other man under magic oath, the child was declared to be Caladrel's. On a cold winter evening, Adonia was born.

Her Lady Adonia

Adonia was raised as a member of the Blackfire family. She was born with a natural grace that made it easy for her to fit into the high society of the Elves. Both the Blackfire family and the Crystalspire family loved her, and she reaped the benefits of living in both houses. However, she was not like the other Elves. Even as her brothers and sisters were born, she was not like them. The most obvious difference was that of her eyes. Instead of Elven eyes, her eyes were wight orbs, like that of the stranger all those years before, reminding Caladrel, one day his eldest daughter would be taken. Her body stood out as well, as she was not as frail as other Elves, she also lacked their innate agility. Also her ideals were different from most Elves.

Aside from their respect of family hierarchies, the Elves are free spirited people, enjoying their individualism. Adonia saw that the natural chaos that is part of Elven society as wrong, in fact, she hated it. While she was not rash enough to speak of it, she expressed to her mother that she viewed the Elf's chaotic nature as the reason for their suffering, but she also understood that it was part of the Elf's natural existence, and that they would not be able to come out of it on their own.

Upon reaching her seventy-fifth birthday, House Blackfire threw a magnificent party for her. All of the Elven noble houses were invited, and they all attended. As Caladrel expected, there was one additional guest at the party. The stranger from all of those years before stood at a distance, watching Adonia. After the party ended, he approached Adonia and her parents. "I am Ja'el, a servant of Heaven," he introduced himself, and shared the story of his meeting with Caladrel, how Caladrel had protected him, and how he healed Faunra, so that she might have children. "Adonia, you will see your family again, I would not take you from them permanently, but for now, you must come. You were born with a purpose, and you must be trained so that you can fulfill this purpose."

Thinking that she would not wish to leave, Adonia's parents tried to resis Ja'el's request that she come, but Adonia stepped forward, "Mother, Father, a deal was made, and this is our part of the deal. I will not turn my father into a liar, I will go with Ja'el, I shall receive this training, and I shall fulfill this destiny I was born too." While they were at first shocked, her parents understood. She said her farewells, and left with Ja'el.

The Forging of a Sword

Ja'el took her to far from the land of the Elves, to a temple filled with armor and weapons of gold. Inside a man named Ragnar took her in to train as a warrior for the goddess of their temple, Iomedae. Several years were taught learning, learning of valor, loyalty, honesty, and honor. Only after she learned these traits, was she allowed to wield a sword.

She was a natural, but she was no match for Ragnar. "I will forge you into Iomedae's perfect weapon, you shall be a sword of valor for the Lady of Valor to wield in this world," he would tell her every morning before training would begin, and every evening after training was over.

Throughout her training she would visit lands as a squire to Ragnar, who would push bandits out of areas and slay monsters harming the innocent. She saw the pain and the suffering that a lack of order can cause, and he views on order and anarchy was only reinforced by this.

It was on one such trip, in fact on her finial mission as Ragnar's squire and apprentice that she would encounter her first demon. A horrible, green creature who cared nothing for life. Ragnar had slain things like this before, and she had her sword. Together, they could defeat this monster, she knew it. But it would not be so. The monster slew Ragnar and threw Adonia to the side, knocking her down and snapping her sword. "Remember this name Lawbringer," he said as he vanished with Ragnar's body in his hands, "I am Apollyon."

Beaten and without her master or her sword, she returned to her temple where she recounted what had happened to her and Ragnar. The priests there told her that she could not have done anything to save him, yet, none of them knew who Apollyon was.

One month later, after she had recovered, Adonia was to swear her oath as a Paladin of Iomedae. Before the high priest of the temple she knelt, placing her hand on the blade of the priests sword. As she said the words, Apollyon's image crept into her mind, she was reminded of stories that Ragnar had told her, about a place where demons lived on the Mortal Plane, a place where chaos and suffering were abound. As she finished her oath, she gripped the sword harder, drawing blood from her own hand, "Not only do I swear these things, but I swear this: I shall go to this land that Ragner spoke of, the land where demons walk in the mortal world, and I shall drive them out and bring order to that part of the world! This I swear." She stood, a weapon forged to serve Iomedae, a weapon to be used to drive out the hordes of the Abyss and return order where they brought chaos.

Home

As she traveled for her destination she made a single side jounrey. She went home to the Blackfires, home to the Crystalspires. There, she spoke of the past three years to her parents, and of the oath she had taken. Her parents tried to talk her out of her plan to die in those distant lands, but she refused to listen. Caladrel understood. Adonia would not break her promise. He told her to stay a few months with them so that he could have a set of armor built to protect her. He employed the best Elven smiths to forge her armor, her shield, and her sword. Symbols of her body were carved into the shield and armor. And on her sword, the symbol of both House Blackfire and of House Crystalspire on the blade, and in the hilt, the gems of the Houses, an onyx with a fiery red core and a purple crystal.

Adonia's Code

• I will learn the weight of my sword. Without my heart to guide it, it is worthless—my strength is not in my sword, but in my heart. If I lose my sword, I have lost a tool. If I betray my heart, I have died.

• I will have faith in the Inheritor. I will channel her strength through my body. I will shine in her legion, and I will not tarnish her glory through base actions.

• I am the first into battle, and the last to leave it.

• I will not be taken prisoner by my free will. I will not surrender those under my command.

• I will never abandon a companion, though I will honor sacrifice freely given.

• I will guard the honor of my fellows, both in thought and deed, and I will have faith in them.

• When in doubt, I may force my enemies to surrender, but I am responsible for their lives.

• I will never refuse a challenge from an equal. I will give honor to worthy enemies, and contempt to the rest.

• I will suffer death before dishonor.

• I will be temperate in my actions and moderate in my behavior. I will strive to emulate Iomedae's perfection.

• I will spread the order of law wherever i go, so long as the law is just; I will not serve as a tool of tyranny. I will fight vigilantly the servants of chaos.

• I will never suffer a demon to live if it is in my power to destroy it. I will banish fiends I cannot kill. I will purge the evil from those possessed by fiends.

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