By Isgrimnur

Soren and the Family Morgana.

Born Soren Tonnrud Shortshot. His parents are Isorn & Femke Shortshot. His older brother Isbeorn make up this little family. The Shortshot family live in the edge of the city-state of Altene. His childhood was a happy one. Raised by his mother and brother while his father worked in his workshop/forge and selling his weapons. Tragedy struck him at an early age with the death of his brother Isbeorn. He was killed while hunting deer in northern Tuchea, by a raiding party of unknown origin.

Soren learned the art of staves and other Altene skills from Ostrael. He was a family friend who recently moved into the neighbourhood. Soren and Ostrael fast became friends. Ostrael had returned home, to Altene, from a campaign against Cinera. He was crippled by a blow to his knee, that smashed the knee-cap beyond repair. While walking with a limp, it hasn't seemed to slow him down when it came to sparring with the stave. Soren started learning the way of the warrior from Ostrael.

At the age of 13, Soren felt tragedy again. Ostrael caught a deadly cold. Soren spent every day and night with him, until his passing. Ostrael's last words to Soren where of how he thought of him as the little brother he never had. Soren felt as close to Ostrael as he did to his own brother and told him that. Ostrael motioned for Soren to come closer. Soren crouched near his mentors side. He gave Soren a piece of parchment. As Soren took the piece of parchment, Ostrael exhaled his last breathe. He read the parchment with tear filled eyes. He finished reading the parchment and threw it into the hearth fire.

Soren grabbed the axe from beside the small house and set out into the woods surrounding the city-state. He laboured for 5 hours, chopping and gathering wood for a funeral pyre. Soren returned to the house by late afternoon and did what Ostrael asked on the parchment. Soren found Ostrael's armour and capped stave. Soren dressed Ostrael in his armour and put his Retalq capped stave in his hands.

Soren carried the body of Ostrael the short ways into the forest where the funeral pyre was set-up. Soren placed Ostrael's body onto of the pyre and set it ablaze. Soren stepped up to Ostrael's ear am whispered a few sentences into Ostrael's ear, hoping his soul would hear his words. Soren, at the age of 14, watched as Ostrael's body was consumed in the funeral pyre, sending his friend and mentors soul to Erai'Theran. Soren watched, unmoving with tears glistening in his eyes, as the last flicker of flame died early the next morning. Soren dropped his head in silent prayer to Erai'Theran for Ostrael's soul to be allowed access to Incara.

Soren returned to Ostrael's house. Going into the trunk at the foot of the bed, He opened the trunk as per Ostrael's parchment written will. Soren gathered up the new clothing and armour in the trunk, and layed it out on the bed. A final piece of parchment was attached to the top of the trunk. It read " Soren use this equipment and anything else you feel is needed in your quest to become a warrior son of Altene. Ostrael Naglomind". He then looked to the sky, and thanked his friend for the gifts and made the solemn promise that he would become a warrior for Ostrael. Soren gathered all the gifts and other items he would need to become a warrior. In his search he found a journal. Soren opened the journal, and was shocked in finding that Ostrael knew in advance of the journal being found by him. Ostrael said " Look for Hagareth Morgana, Master Stavesman. Tell him of my passing and ask my Master to become your Master, Soren. sighed Ostrael".

Soren returned home and told his parents of Ostrael's passing. Isorn and Femke said they knew already and had paid there respects to him last night as the pyre was blazing. Soren then asked his parents if in the spring he could go and seek out Master Morgana and ask if he will train me in the Art of Warfare. Both parents were saddened by this question, but gave there blessing anyway, for Ostrael was a good man, and always looked out for Soren's best interests.

The first day of spring arrived, Soren kissed his mother and father good-bye. Soren vowed to return soon after his training was complete. Soren then grabbed his backpack and stave and set off in search of Master Morgana. A few hours of searching for Master Morgana in the city-state of Altene turned up nothing. Soren arrived at a inn and decided a drink and some food was in order. Upon entering the inn, He asked the bartender if he knew of a Master Morgana. The bartender did and knew where he lived. Soren was given directions to a little homestead on the Tuchea border of Altene.

Soren searched for and found the little homestead off the main road to Tuchea. It was in a clearing in side a forested area. Soren relieved and excited about finding Master Morgana's house, ran straight to the homestead, through the forest. When all of a sudden, out came a quarterstave from behind a tree. Soren was knocked unconscious due to the running and the force of the blow to his head. Upon regaining consciousness, He found 5 sets of eyes gazing down at him. 2 elder folks and 3 females, 2 around his age, and looked to be twins and the little girl a wee younger that the other 2 girls. All had the same emerald green eyes. Soren asked the Elder gentleman if he was Master Hagareth Morgana. A puzzled look and a nod told Soren that his search was over. Soren explained why he was here and to inform Master Morgana that his pupil, Ostrael Naglomind, had passed away.Master Morgana nodded and turned to leave. Master Morgana turned and asked him to stay and talk. Soren and the Morgana Family set off back to the homestead. The 2 twin girls whispering and giggling all the way, while the littlest girl clung to her moms hand.

At the homestead, Soren was introduced to Lady Jocelina Morgana of the Lioness Fist. Master Morgana introduced himself as a Member of White Shark Fist. Next was the twins Jolee and Shalini both alike, but yet so different. Jolee was a stave user like her father. Shalini was a gladius user like her mother. The littlest Morgana girl, Rhiann was a stave user, but liked to unlock doors and chests with what ever she could find.
Soren was also informed that his dash through the forest, had startled Jolee and Shalini. Jolee being the stave user, meant to trip you up, but your speed and her slow arc in the sweep, caused you to hit the stave on the top of the arc. He asked Master Morgana if all his family was as trained as Jolee. Master Morgana beamed happily and said "Aye".

Over supper, Soren explained the months he spent with Ostrael, and his training. The discussion lasted into the wee hours of the morning. Master Morgana, with respect to Ostrael, agreed to continue Soren's training into becoming a Altene warrior.

Months past into a year and Soren came to find Master Morgana as much of a friend as he found Ostrael. Soren, Jolee and Master Morgana spent there time training together. Occasionally Rhiann would join, but she spent most of her time picking locks with odd bent wires. Shalini and Lady Morgana spent there time training in the art of gladius fighting. Ever so often, Soren would cast a quick glance at Shalini, to find her quickly turn her head and continue her training. On a crisp summer morning, Master Morgana came to Soren and the twins and told them to pack for a week long expedition into the wild forests of Tuchea by themselves. Five days into the expedition by themselves, The little group bumped into a small band of Cinerian soldiers. The band looked to be on the edge and sported various wounds and injuries. Talking amongst themselves, the 3 discussed tactics. Jolee and Shalini would move around and flank the four soldiers, as Soren ran into there midst.

With an Altene battle cry, Soren had heard Ostrael use on many a sparring match, He rushed into the vale. On his right, Shalini burst into the vale with her gladius raised. Jolee did not appear. Ten minutes later, both Shalini and Soren sporting new cuts and bruises, the fight was over. Shalini the worst off with a twisted knee, as the last Cinerian soldier fell hard onto her leg. Soren leapt up and stormed off to the forest on his left, in search of Jolee. He came across Jolee a short distance into the forest. Jolee was unconscious on the forest floor, a Cinerian soldier drawing his knife and walking to Jolee's prone form. Soren shot through the forest, raising his stave and uttering an Altene oath at the Cinerian. As the Cinerian turned to seak out the new threat, Soren brought his stave down onto the side of the Cinerians head with a wet smack!.

The Cinerian dropped never to move again. Soren scooped up Jolee into his arms and returned to the Vale and Shalini. Much to Soren's surprise, Master and Lady Morgana and 9 other Altene warriors, that Soren recognised as members of the White Shark Fist, where also in the vale. A worried look graced all the members present, a healer rushed towards Soren as he emerged from the forest. Soren placed Jolee onto the ground as per the healers instructions. Master and Lady rushed to Jolee with Shalini limping along, using a stave as a crutch. They saw Jolee move and groan, and knew she was alright. Master Morgana approached Soren, looked him over, and put his big hands on his shoulders and thanked him for saving his Jolee's life. At Jolee's call Master Morgana knelt at his daughters side as she whispered into his ear. Master Morgana nodded and rose, helping his daughter to stand. Jolee moved towards Soren and offered her hands, palm up to him. Soren took Jolee's hands, but Jolee grasped his forearm. Soren grabbed Jolee's forearm. Jolee looked into Soen's eyes and pledged Sifara to him. Soren following the ancient tradition, pledged Sifaro to Jolee. From that moment on Jolee and Soren were as much brother and sister as two blood siblings are.

Soren continued his training with Master Morgana and his Sifara Jolee. Shalini and Lady Morgana continued with there gladius training. After a time Soren, Jolee and Shalini where told to fight as a unit. All three sparred with White Shark and Lioness Fist members of equal or better training. Rhiann spent her time with Josua, a Tuchean Master Locksmith. The three warriors in training became so evenly matched they seemed to be an extention of one and other. Each knowing what the other was planning and going to do.

One night, a knock on the homestead door, announced a visitor. Master Morgana answered the door and saw a sharp dressed man standing there. The man introduced himself as Camaris Mungwolde, a travelling bard and minstrel. Camaris asked if he could seek refuge in the Masters home for the night as he was travelling to Tuchea. The weather had turned for the worst on his way. Master Morgana agreed, but as payment, a story was to be told in the den to his family. Camaris grinned and agreed to the terms and joined the Family Morgana and Soren in the den by the great stone hearth. Camaris told of the great city of Iridine and its republic of the same name. Full of life, adventure and many ways to earn a living for yourself. Camaris told of recent battles between Cinera and Iridine and each of there Allies. Great battles won and lost on both sides. The bard Camaris left the next morning and Soren asked to walk with him for a while. Master Morgana agreed. Soren walked with Camaris for most of the day, asking questions of Iridine and its great battles. Camaris told all he knew of the war between Cinera and Iridine. Soren returned to the Morgana homestead after sunset, having spent most of the day in though in the woods. A week passed and Soren still thought about life and adventure in Iridine. One day, Soren approached Master and Lady Morgana and advised them on his plans to leave for Iridine, to fulfill Ostrael's last wishes. Master Morgana had already guessed of Soren's plans of leaving and asked when Soren was leaving. Soren said on his 16th birthday, which was a few weeks away.

The few weeks passed and Soren had learned all he could, in the time remaining, from Master Morgana. Soren was ready to leave on the day of his birthday. After 1 year and 7 months with the Family Morgana, Soren Tonnrud Shortshot decided to see what this city of Iridine was all about, and what it had to offer. The rest is well......continuing

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