I was born in Altene to a scout in the Altene army. I was trained to kill rabbits and such with a short bow from a very young age. My father was Iridinian
and my mother Altene, knowing that the bow was not the weapon most commonly associated with and Altene Warrior my mother ensured that I had
been trained in the use of a stave as well. My childhood was filled with happy memories. My father would come home as often as he could from scouting
at the front. I remember listening to his stories of the great battles with the Cinerians and how on one occasion he had killed a cinner officer with an arrow to the neck. He told me of the high arcs that the seas of arrows made as they fired over the swordsman's heads deep into the enemy ranks and how much
the men of the Altene army appreciated the bowsmen that they did have. His stories never failed to fill me with the desire to join him. As I grew up I
trained harder and harder, however I was impatient and still not yet old enough to join him in the field of battle.
It was the summer before my 16th year that I decided to go out and see the world and what it was about before I joined the Army with my father to learn the ways of tracking. I packed a sack and quiver one night, sat down with my parents over dinner and began to explain to them how I felt. ? I need to see the world, travel and train. You both have taught me to be honorable and just I began. My father only nodded and watched me with interest as he chewed. I'll come back and join the army as soon as I am old enough? I offered.
By this time my mother's silence was making me nervous. My father said he understood at the same moment my mother burst into tears. She got up and hurriedly started clearing the dinner dishes even though the meal was far from over. I just sat there silent not knowing what to say. Finally, my mother nodded and looked at me, ?May Ereal bless you then, she said resignedly.
The next morning when I woke there was porridge and fresh melons on the table. I sat down and quickly began eating anxious to get on my way. Before I could finish, in walked my father, I could tell by the look on his face I should have skipped breakfast. My heart leapt to my throat, as I thought about trying to convince him, and how hard it would be. Grazen before you go there is something I need you to do. He said. I knew by his tone, this was no ordinary request, but an order to be followed to the letter. Somewhere in Iridine there is a girl named Kylara she is?. he coughed and paused, the air catching in his chest. Before I came to Altene, I was married and had a child, Kylara is your sister. The words spilled out of him in a rushed breath, and hit me like a wall full of arrows. I have a sister, in Iridine? Did I have any other family there? How old was she? The questions came in a rush to my mind. All I could say was Kylara??. My father nodded and said slowly, Find her and send me word of her welfare I have gone far too many years not knowing.? With that he walked out the door, and I left speechless pushed my half-eaten porridge away. I stood up still dazed by this new idea and walked to the Village Square. My mother had spoken to Durnik, the village blacksmith, about my traveling to Iridine with his trader Radik of Bocktor. As I approached with my bow in hand and my chest held high, Radek grinned and half laughed as he said well what have we here, a young man who will protect me and my goods on the long journey to Iridine.?
Over here boy!? He shouted, Let us not hold up these weapons for the good folk of Iridine. I got on well with Radik; he told me of the people I was a to meet and outlandish storyies about earthquakes, spirit shadows, and the entire strange goings on of these Iridinians. I have to admit though, by the time we reached Iridine his stories had gotten so unbelievable I had decided they were no more than fish tales.
When I arrived at the great city my eyes were wide when we rounded the high hog's backed hill and I gazed for the first time the city of Iridine in the late afternoon sun. I soon found a band of Archers and odd sorts in a guild they called the Birds of Prey. They were my life I was so loyal to the guild leader that he was already thinking of a promotion for me even though I was so new. I never did stop thinking about what my father had said about Kylara. It took me a month before I even ran into her. I met her in the torch shop and to my surprise she recognized me. She and I talked about our father and I smiling told her I will be here for you, you have never had the family I had, I mean to make that up to you.? Truly?? Kylara beamed. Truly. I repeated, half laughing at her excitement. Our father must have changed a great deal.? She said softly to me. Oh really?? I asked. She nodded to me To have raised such a man of honor, he would have had to.? As she turned away I wondered what she meant, but before I could ask I heard Cassie?s thought ?Hello Grazen. I left to meet Cassie in the bandit woods. As I walked so much was going through my mind, about Kylara, about Cassie. Cassie had taught me so much, she showed me the city, took me bandit hunting for the first time, and eventually I grew to love her. This love I felt for so long was for naught, however. For unlike my promise to Kylara, this love for Cassie would not prove to be?