Greetings and Farewells

Originally published on Guild Wars Vault on 2007-10-26

Greetings and Farewells

Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.
– William James


Belzan’s childhood was pretty average. He played with the town kids and completed chores for his mother. He knew responsibility early and took to learning alchemy naturally. Lavian taught him all about Dwayna and instilled in him the ideals of helping others and being respectful. Belzan was an inquisitive child who wanted to know how things worked and where things come from. It was the how that drove him more than the why. It is for these reasons that he didn’t ask his mother about his scar or his father until he was about six years old. She told him that the scar was a birthmark and nothing more. She had lost hope of Kail returning and told Belzan that his father was simply not with them anymore. Kail’s return only confused things further.Lavian and Kail remained distant. She was angry with him for not coming sooner and he could give her no reasons why other than he was needed in Lion’s Arch. He was not introduced to Belzan as his father, but as a knight who was a friend of Lavian’s from long ago. Despite Lavian driving a wedge between Belzan and his father, Kail was determined to make up for being absent and immediately took to spending time with Belzan. He taught him how to fish, how to work leather, iron and cloth to make clothing and weapons, and how to fight with a sword. He may not have been called his father, but Belzan treated him as if he was. As the years passed, the two built a healthy relationship of respect, trust and friendship. But as Kail’s relationship with Belzan strengthened, he became more and more distant from Lavian. Belzan, it would seem, was the only thing holding them together.

A New Life in Beetletun
A New Life in Beetletun
(picture courtesy of Guildwiki)

Belzan enjoyed spending time with his mother as well. She taught him compassion, love and faith. He became a follower of Dwayna’s teachings and eagerly sought to gather knowledge in life. So many questions nagged at him and he often had long talks with Elder Hezron about subjects ranging from the weather to crops to pondering the meaning of events such as life and death. It was Elder Hezron who told him about the Children of Grenth, and it was that very day Belzan confronted his mother about his birthmark.

As the snow covered the hills by the cottage, Kail, Belzan and Lavian sat eating a stew in the warmth of their home. Belzan asked his mother about his birthmark. Lavian replied “it is simply a birthmark and noting else.”

“You’ve been telling me that for years, mother,” Belzan challenged, “but I want the truth. I’m as old now as you were when I was born. I am old enough to know the truth.”

Lavian sighed. “That is -” she began, but something stirred outside of the house raising a large fuss. Kail opened the door to see three Ettin roaming around the house.

“Douse the fire, there are Ettin about.” Kail commanded.

Lavian did as she was asked and Kail drew his sword and shield and left the cottage to ward them off. A melee broke out and growls and crashes could be heard. Lavian peeked out of the door to see Kail being assailed by two Ettin, with a third lying dead at his feet. She watched in horror as Kail was knocked to the ground unconscious with one swift swing of the Ettin’s club. Lavian rushed out of the door to his aid, for he was at the mercy of the Ettin. As she came in range, she cast her healing spells to aid her fallen knight. Belzan watched in horror from the doorway, just as his mother had done moments before. As Lavian bent over Kail, Belzan watched the Ettin raise its club high over its head. He cried out “NO!” but could do nothing to stop it. The club came down with all of the strength of the beast and hit Lavian over the back. A loud snap echoed throughout the valley as Lavian fell to the ground limp; her spine shattered.

Hungry Ettin
Hungry Ettin
(picture courtesy of Guildwiki)

A surge of heat came over Belzan. A power welled inside of him itching to get out. The scar on his cheek burned as if it was on fire. In a fit of rage, he stormed out of the cottage and over to the fallen Ettin. With a wave of his hand the corpse came to life and began to attack the Ettin. His scar burned and his heart beat fast. He turned and affixed his gaze upon the second Ettin. As their eyes met, the beast fell lifeless to the ground and Belzan felt rejuvenated. Turning to Kail, who had managed to make it to his feet, Belzan waved his hand and healed the knight’s wounds, before falling to the ground exhausted. Kail chased off the remaining Ettin.

When Belzan awoke, he found the Ettins and Kail gone and his mother breathing her last breath. He came to her side, tears streaming down his face. She looked up at him; her breathing very labored, and smiled a sweet smile.

“You are a special boy, Belzan. Dwayna has smiled upon you. If it is the truth you seek about your scar, travel to the Nolani Academy in Ascalon. There is a library there and sages who can offer you answers.”

Kail returned to find Belzan sitting at Lavian’s side. She looked grave. Belzan stepped aside to let Kail speak with her. The two gazed lovingly into each other’s eyes, love that Belzan rarely saw between them. The words they spoke were their words alone, for the wind blew and hid them from Belzan’s ears. Kail kissed Lavian sweetly and she passed. Lavian was buried in the flower garden behind the cottage. Neither man spoke to the other; both shed tears for Lavian Furu. The next morning they set out east toward Ascalon. Belzan was determined to learn the truth and find his purpose. His newfound powers scared him, and he hoped that the words of Elder Hezron were false.

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