Everything was ordinary for an early evening in Waterdeep on Delzaren Road. Several adventurers were coming in and out of the stores, stocking for the next day’s travel. The occasional clang of swords could be heard outside the warrior’s hall from the guild master training new apprentices. A child tugged at his mother’s hand and pointed toward the bakery shop, breathing in the smell of pastry. The town crier shouted the latest gossip. Elite guards scouted the road intently looking for any wrong doers. Everything was normal with one exception.
The grassy park.
Across from the Warriors Guild, was a grassy park that was almost always barren of visitors. Today though, in the middle of the park, was a barbarian kneeling in front of a pool of water.
Mikar was a tall barbarian with long black hair and dark soiled skin. Several scars covered his face, but an unusually deep one stretched the length of his right cheek. He wore a green suit of dragon scales covered in soot and dust. A large black sword with etchings on the hilt was hanging from his back hidden by a steel sheath. A cool breeze wisped through the barbarian’s cloak of shimmering dragon scales as he looked at his surroundings. The barbarian watched in amusement as the fall leaves moved in a hypnotic circle -- the colors of brown and red and yellow touching the grass in the park only to be tossed up again by the swirling wind that rose up off the surrounding buildings. The wind was unusually harsh for the Month of the Rotting, but his soiled black tresses that covered his neck and upper back seemed to provide adequate shelter. Mikar ignored the sounds from the passing shoppers and travelers of Delzaren Road. He was absorbed in his thoughts of recent battles and by troubled feelings of wariness and a growing tiresome. Setting down his dragon-gut bag next to his side, the barbarian cupped his hands and filled them with water from the pool. He took a drink of the cool clear water. Suddenly the barbarian was struck with awe as he caught a reflection of himself in the transparent water. It had been some time since the barbarian had looked at himself in a mirror. What he saw gave resolution to what had been troubling him.
Something was different.
It was his eyes.
For years Mikar had traveled with a burning, a fire in his eyes. The thrill of adventure and battles. The carnage and death of his foes. But as he gazed into the reflection of his own eyes, the fire was gone. What remained was the eyes of a tired old man who had grown wary of adventures filled with squabbling thieves and mages arguing over newly acquired loot.
Mikar knew what had to be done.
The barbarian grabbed his belongings and headed down Delzaren Road towards Edarak’s Supply Shop. Edarak greeted Mikar having becoming accustomed to the barbarian’s business over the past few years. The barbarian filled his dragon-gut bag with as many rations and flagons of water as he could hold, handing the shopkeeper 2000 p for his supplies. Edarak looked with surprise at Mikar, but quickly dismissed his thoughts, knowing that Mikar had led legions of adventurers before and must be preparing for a long battle.
But on that 4th day of the Month of Uktar in the year 284, it was to be the last day Edarak or any inhabitant of Waterdeep would see the barbarian, Mikar.
The savage man made his way northeast of Waterdeep, far into the Pharr Mountains. He found a secluded cavern that he soon made home. The barbarian spent several years in seclusion – avoiding the occasional traveler, hiding from sight.
The word quickly spread that Mikar had disappeared from Waterdeep and many wondered to his whereabouts. Some speculated he had finally met his maker at the hands of a frost giant or jarl. Others believed him to be killed in his sleep betrayed by those closest to him. Speculation continued for years and as the years passed, the speculation became lore. But the question remained, would the barbarian ever return.
In his seclusion, Mikar often wondered the same thing.
One day as Mikar was checking on a rabbit trap he had set the day before, he was startled by a small child sitting at his trap, wrapped in white cloth. The boy had fair skin with long brown hair and hazel colored eyes. His fingers and toes appeared extremely long and thin and his right hand was tattooed in black ink with vines and etchings that Mikar could not make out. The human who by Mikar’s perception could be no older than 8, was removing the dead rabbit from the trap and placing it in front of him. The child started meditating and as he finished, raised his hands over his head and started uttering a chant. A deep white aura began to glow around him rising up from his body to his fingertips. With a flash, the energy disappeared from his hands as the rabbit twitched and began to breathe. As the rabbit rose to its feet and darted off, the child brought a glow to his body as he started chanting again. As he finished his utterances, a bolt of flame flew from his fingertips and struck the rabbit, dead. The young boy giggled to himself.
Mikar was in awe. In all his travels, he had seen many clerics, but none with such a skill level at this young of an age. Even the master of the cleric’s guild would not take new apprentices until the age of 17.
Unable to help himself, Mikar emerged from his hiding spot and said, “Well how and the hell am I supposed to eat that?”
The boy turned around, startled, and eyed Mikar cautiously. After several seconds, the boy grinned and spoke in a primitive tongue. “You no fraid?”
Mikar grinned mischievously. “No, I am not afraid. Curious though. How did you learn that and what are you doing here?”
The boy spoke. “I don’t know. No one knows. My parents thought it the work of the dark Gods, and did not want to fall in their favor, thus abandoning me.”
Mikar replied, “Sounds a similar tale to my early days. And what shall I call you, boy?”
The boy responded, “I am called Chami.”
Mikar laughed heartily. “Chami? What does that mean? Sounds like the name of a girl. Ahh well, and where are you heading now Chami?”
The boy shrugged sadly. “I don’t know. Where my travels take me.”
Mikar was intrigued by the boy and after thinking a moment, said, “Well you are more than welcome to stay. . .food was almost ready.” Mikar snickered to himself and returned to the cavern as Chami followed.
Chami was in awe as he entered the cave. The barbarian was in plain clothes. . .a worn garment with a leather belt. Chami had believed him to be a sheppard or nomad. His eyes glanced quickly at the pile of plats, the lava pendants, the grey-green bracers, and warlord crown. Intricately crafted armor filled the cavern.
The boy asked in amasement, “Who are you?”
And with that question, a friendship was born.
Over the next several days Mikar spoke for the first time in years, telling the boy the story of who he was and why he had left. The boy seemed quite intelligent and able to understand most of what Mikar spoke of. He listened intently with such an interest that Mikar could not help to tell more. As the days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months, Mikar began to teach Chami many of the strategies of combat and war that he had so long ago used. The child did not take well to any of the weapons, preferring to meditate on his own and practice his clerical skills that he had been learning on his own from childhood. But he was absolutely fascinated with the strategies of battle and stories of war that Mikar shared.
Mikar became a father figure to the boy, teaching him as much as possible to prepare him for the adventures he may encounter. The two left the cave, and began to travel the Realms, as Mikar mapped out much of the lands of Sojourn for Chami to learn.
In the year 313 of the Month of Uktar, nearly twenty year since Mikar had left Waterdeep, he fell ill. His son, Chami, lay at his side watching him breathe heavily. Mikar looked over at the book Chami was reading and in a rasped voice said, “What is that you have today?”
Chami responded, “It is a book of names”. I found it in the abandoned shack we came across a few months ago.”
“Anything of interest?” said the barbarian.
“I had often wondered why I was called Chami. According to this book, it translates as jasmine. Not a very fitting name, eh?” The boy flipped through the book. “Mikar. It means the blessed.”
Mikar laughed loudly as he began to cough.
“Listen boy. I don’t have much time left. You have a gift. You must learn it to your fullest ability. When I am gone, there will be no more side stepping towns and hiding from others. You must walk into the splendid City of Waterdeep with your head held high. Visit the guild master of clerics. He will teach you what you need to know.”
Tears in his eyes, Chami spoke again “Mikar, you are my true father. Can you grant me a more fitting name. I want a name I will be proud to hold, not one from the parents who abandoned me.”
Mikar spoke again in a slurred voice. “In my most fiercesome days as a warior, my men called me the Darkraven. A name that may still be recognized in the towns. You are no longer a jasmine. You are the blessed one. You are the Darkraven. I pass my name on to you.” With that Mikar smiled evily and closed his eyes forever.
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