Karae laid silently in his knapsack, it had been years since he became a knight of Torm, even longer since his brother had died. As he drifted off to sleep, the dreams of the past came flooding into his memories.
There he stood at his brothers bed at the age of elven, "Get up Kress, get up, its your birthday, come on, get up, lets go play."
"Alright, just let me get dressed Karae, do you never tire?" responded Kress, as he got out of his bed. Karae ran to the kitchen of their farm home, not to far from Baldur's Gate. Kress got dressed, and headed to kitchen for some breakfast.
"Where's Karae, Mother?"
"He's allready eaten, he waits egerly for you to get outside."
Reality had came to Karae, as he woke up with the chill of a cold northern wind sweeping across his face, with the sun peaking over the mountains.
"I don't know whos more excited, about my brithday me or him?"
"You know he is going to miss you, he even wishes he was you. He wishes he had the chance to be a knight, like you will be. Remeber we need to go to be at Torm's temple before sundown, for you to take your oath tonight."
"No go out and play with your brother."
Kress got up from the table and walked out the front door, just the second he walked out, he walked back in and grabbed two wooden swords, and headed back out side again.
"Here squirt catch, lets see how good of a knight you are, same rules as allways." Kress tossed his little brother the sword, this was allways Karae's favorite game. The two would battle it out with wooden swords, of course Kress would allways let his little brother be the paladin, while he was the evil orc, ogre, or troll, what ever the day suited, and of course he would allways let Karae win.
"Today Is gonna be different squirt, I'm not gonna let you win so easily, your gonna have to fight for every single inch." Kress responded as he gave a fake battle cry and charged his little brother.
"Oh its fine, the Paladin allways wins, so I know I will defeat you vile ogre!" Karae parried his brothers charge, and the two battled on for about an hour. Both cracking each other swords, each never landing a blow.
'I can't seem to even touch him, no matter how hard I try, there is something different about him this morning.' Kress though as he pressed towards his brother.
"Bows get cleaned up, we have to go soon." Cried out their mother from the kitchen window.
Kress turned his head and yelled back, "Okay mother, just a minute." As his head was turned, Karae lunged and struck his brother, but kress noticing this, quickly moved his brother's sword between his arm, and his side making it look like he was truly hit.
"I win, I told you the paladin allways wins."
The two quickly ran back inside, and prepared for the journey across the river.
Reality came sweeping back Karae, as he woke up with the sun on his face, and a cold northern wind sweeping down upon him.
He packed up his things, and jumped up apon his mount. "Its time, time we go see the high priest."
He headed south towards the Mithril Halls of the Dwarves, but he needed to be further south than that, he needed to reach the desert city of Calimport. He needed to make an oath.
Night had started to fall, he had just pasted the home of the dwarves, and he found a small spot off the trail, to make camp. Gathered some firewood, and he began to cook some dinner. As he ate he crawled into his knapsack and drifted off to sleep, he began to dream of a simpilar time, back at home.
"Come on boys, your father is waiting at the ferry for us. Hurry up!"
"Coming Mother." The boys said in unision.
"Are you excited? I wonder what its going to be like, fighting all kinds of evil, protecting all kinds of people. Get to travel all over the lands, wow." Karae whent on wondering what it would be like to be a paladin.
"I'll never get to be one, you know that?"
"Yes, I'm sorry Karae, Mother and Father will never let you. But you get to carry on our bloodline, and then your first born son will be a paladin then too. Its something equally to be proud of."
"I guess so, but whos gonna play with me in the mornings, fathers allways working, and mom doesn't like to even look at swords, she doesn't even care for the wooden ones."
"I'm sure you will find someone, lets go, dont' want to keep father waiting."
"No, no we dont" Karae said as he managed a smile.
Karae woke up to his mount nuzzling his face, "Your right, we should get going, the sooner we get to Calimport the better. I would Like to get to Waterdeep today, so ride fast, be the wind. The two seemed to fly, as the strode towards waterdeep, nothing stood in their way. As the two rode into the city of splendors the gates closed right behind them, Karae whent to the stable, and then to the inn for a good nights rest. "This will be the frist time, in a long time that i have slept in a bed. Innkeep, wake me please, when the clock strikes five in the morning."
"Will do young master." replied the Innkeep
Karae washed himself up, and settled into bed. Quickly he fell to sleep.
"Wow look at that tent!" Exclaimed Karae, "Arent you excitied?"
"Yes, A little." replied Kress.
As the Rykul family proceeded into the tent, they took their seat, and let the ritual begin.
It was time, for Kress to take his oath, the high priest of Torm from Calimport had came up here for.
As Kress repeated his oath, Karae silently whispered the same oath that Kress was taking, and pledgeing his life to Torm.
The family said their goodbyes to the oldest brother, as he left heading to Calimport with the High priest.
"Young Mater, awake, it is five in the morning." The Innkeep gave Karae a gentle shake to wake him.
"Thank you Sir." Karae started to get dressed as the Innkeep left his room. "Two more days, And I should reach calimport, then I can speak the High Priest, and make an oath to Torm."
Karae unstabled his mount, and he left the city of waterdeep. His mount peirced the through the rain, bolting towards baldur's gate, before the night came, dodging the trolls as the took their blows, never landing one, continuing to ride to Baldur's Gate uninterrupted.
Riding at well after the sun had set, Karae slowly walked to the in, and getting aroom for the night. "Two nights in arow, sleeping in a bed, this is somethin different indeed."
"Do you wish to be waken at any time young master?" asked the Innkeeper.
"No good sir, I have traveled far, and am weary."
"So be it young master."
Karae didn't even undo any of his armor, he just feel into the bed and drifted off to sleep.
"Happy Birthday Karae!" said his mother and father.
"How does it feel to be fifteen?" they asked.
"Same as every other day." Karae replied.
Karae's parents walked away to let their son get up, as the enter the kitchen, "He has never been the same since Kress left." said his mother.
"I know, but he will make a good man someday." replied his father.
Karae walked in, as the family settled down for breakfast. As they where finishing up, a knock came at the door.
Karae's father answered the door, a gangly looking man stood their.
"I bear bad news, your son Kress, has fallen in battle." the man continued on to tell the story of how he fell defending the orphanage, and how he saved all the children. As the man walked out the door, Karae woke up in bed.
He heard a bell ring eight times, "I need to be going." Karae tossed a small bag of coins at the innkeep as he ran out the door. He grabbed his mount and continued to ride again, He was almost their. Almost to the high priest.
He rode hard, till dawn, he reached the Desert city of Calimport. He strode his way through town, and to the High Temple of Torm. He walked right in, and walked up to the High Priest.
"What do you want?" Asked the priest.
"I am here to make an oath to Torm, to become his Knight." As karae spoke all the priest became silent, none could move. An Elderly man seemed to appear out of no where, his face marked with experience.
"You do not need to take an oath twice, knight. For I have been following you all this time, I have never left you, and you have never left me."
"When have I taken an oath to you before?" Asked Karae
"When your brother took his, you also took yours, yes remember? I do, I took it as serious as you did that day. You seek to make it oficial, That is fine by me." As the man spoke Karae began to realize who it was.
"Torm!" Karae cried out, as he feel to his knees.
"Yes, you are right, I want you to be my Knight, be vigilant, ever watchful, allways protecting and defending. Be my Knight!"
"Yes Torm, I will." replied Karae
"So be It." Torm spoke, and then disappeared, and the priest remained silent, but all knew what they had seen was true.
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