Aldûr: The First Age
Edmond Du Valain
An Arcanist noble, black sheep of the Valain family. Second Son to a Cadet branch of Gilden's House Valain. 43rd in line of succession.
Edmond is tall and skinny, with stiff movements. He stands about 6’1", though he weighs only around 165lbs. Typically he looks like a normal Gildaen noble, however much of Edmond’s body is scarred as a result of a. . . misunderstanding with a dragon three years ago.
Edmond is an Arcanist who uses a dragon fang dagger as his foci. While Edmond is good with the theory of magic (as it currently stands) he is very heavily oriented towards fire magic.
Despite what many commoners think, the life of a scion of a noble house is not easy. If one is born a commoner, it is expected that one will follow in their parents footsteps. If they prove to have a proficiency elsewhere, it isn’t much of an issue. Merchant’s sons become blacksmiths, blacksmith’s sons become masons, and the like.
Not so if you are of one of the high houses of Gilden. The first daughter is expected to manage the household. The second daughter joins the military, the third the Temple of the Light.
The first son studies the Arcane arts, the second and third sons help to fill out the ranks of City Militia.
So what happens if you are a second son who is skinny, and gawky, and small? What happens if you have a talent for the Arcane, but not much for wielding a bow?
What if you are a first son, who is slightly less magically sensitive than a brick?
Edmond’s father, Ricgretor, was the second son of Krudagn, the patron-father of house Valain. Much to the annoyance of Ricgretor, The household has produced only sons. Edmond’s mother, Alusaadi du Shevae, was the third daughter of Ophedra of house Shevae, and a Mistress of the Temple of the Light. Alusaadi bore two sons to Ricgretor, though both deliveries were difficult. Alusaadi never fully recovered from Edmond’s birth, and died when Edmond was a mere 3 years old.
Ricgretor, being a second son, is an officer in the Gildaen militia, and one of the strongest archers in the city. Ricgretor was quite pleased when his first son, Tristan, expressed interest in combining the arcane arts with archery, and by his 14th birthday Tristan was quite capable of outshooting his father, and any other person in Gilden.
Edmond, born a mere 11 months after his older brother, never showed any talent for the bow, much to the disappointment of his Father. By Edmond’s 14th birthday, his father had given up on him ever bringing any honor to the family through his martial prowess.
As Edmond lacked any martial talent, Tristan lacked any talent for the arcane arts. Tristan, a happy-go-lucky youth, was Edmond’s only real friend and ally in his youth. Tristan would share his studies with Edmond, and Edmond would do likewise with Tristan. As such, Edmond learned the arcane arts vicariously from his brother, and Tristan many martial arts through Edmond.
For several years Edmond and Tristan kept their studies secret. This continued up until it became time for Tristan to forge his own personal arcane Focus. It was tradition that one would craft their own personal Foci at the age of 17. It was widely expected that Tristan would craft himself a bow made of the wood of a Inferno Yew.
In fact, Tristan did forge a bow from the mythical inferno Yew. It was actually less difficult than expected; Tristan and Edmond had made a pact: Edmond would help Tristan forge his bow, and Tristan would help Edmond find a suitable foci of his own.
The pair spent a couple weeks hunting for the elusive Yew, found only in recently burned areas of the forest. Having found a suitable tree, the pair set about forging a bow unlike anyone had ever seen before. Edmond used his knowledge of mechanics, pullies, and levers to make a composite compound bow. It was not magical, but it certainly LOOKED it to anyone familier with longbows and recurves.
During their search for the Inferno Yew, the pair had found an abandoned dragon lair. They decided that a discarded dragon claw of fang would be a suitable foci for Edmond, something that he could pass off as being a Martial weapon, but would serve strongly as an elemental focus for Edmond’s fire magic.
Unfortunately for the pair, the dragon had returned to its lair, and dealt with the intruders in the manner dragons are wont to people that invade their territory.
Edmond and Tristan called up their training, and attempted to nullify the dragon’s fire. Inferno Wood naturally converts fire into cold, however Tristan was not up to the task of maintaining the concentration needed to withstand the dragonsbreath. Edmond took up his brother’s bow, and maintained the shield until his own strength gave out. He had the misfortune of watching the shielded area slowly shrink, and the fire slowly consume his elder brother. Just as he passed out, his clothes aflame, the dragon sensed exactly who it was it was torching.
The dragon’s name was Maglynn, and she was a fairly young member of her race. She had the misfortune of controlling a domain that bordered on Gilden, and as such was familiar with the culture and rites of the Gildaen nobility. As she was torching the pesky beings invading her lair, she was surprised at how long the humans were able to withstand her fire. Just as Edmond succumbed to the fire, he cried out for help and succor from the Priestess of the Light, Daelin.
Maglynn halted her assault a moment too late. Edmond and Tristan were dead.
But. . . death is not the end of the story.
Edmond and Tristan found themselves in the land of the dead, face to face with a young girl, missing her head. She poured tea for the brothers, and explained that they had died. They had died, but one of them was not yet promised to her; Edmond was to go back, walk the world longer, and make his mark upon the landscape.
Edmond did not want to wake up, but inappropriately applied healing magic left him no choice. He opened his eyes to see a beautiful and fretful young lady, hands glowing with energy as she attempted to heal him.
“Edmond. Edmond, do you remember me?” asked Maglynn.
“Oh Edmond, why did you have to sneak into my home like a thief? Oh My my my.” Maglynn explained that she had been a friend of Edmond’s mother, who had traded knowledge of firemagic for healing magic. Unfortunately Edmond’s mother had died before the lessons had been completed. Maglynn had enough ability to bring Edmond back from the Brink, but not enough to fully heal him, or get rid of the scars.
Edmond spent a week in Maglynn’s cave, recovering. He explained his mission to the young dragon, who gifted him with one of her 2nd generation eyeteeth, which she helped him forge into a dagger. She also penned the tattoo of the dagger from her own blood. After a week in the lair, Edmond was strong enough to make his way back to Gilden.