Preface: I’m using this blog to practice my writing, so I want to try and write the recap with a storyteller style. This is a backstory i wrote for a character I want to play.
Zae slaps the trainee’s sword out of his hand with a quick parry.
Zae laughs, “That’s enough for today.” Cal turns around and heads back into the quarters. He’s good, but needs more experience, Zae thinks.
Zaedriel, the head of the Aubade, Queen Azure’s elite guard, oversees recruitment and training of her special protection team. He had been with her since they were children as he was born into the role and the queen considers him her best friend.
He scowls as he sees the council’s attendant cross the courtyard to him. It was a bright sunny day, with an overcast quickly approaching him. Out of breath, Tarek stops and stands at attention.
“At ease Tarek, what is it?” Zae asks.
“Council’s requesting your presence at the inner meeting this afternoon. General Arloc is specifically requesting your plan for escorting the Lady through the Fey Wilds.”
Zae sighs. Why would the council need that?
“Alright, I’ll be there, this is my official response,” he says, “and Tarek, breath once in awhile”.
The portly elf grins, nods and runs off.
Entering the queen’s hall, Zae lets out a breath as he looks upon her. He had fallen for her a long time ago and she still took his breath away.
“Zae! Are you done with your training today?” she asks as she crosses the hall to him.
“Yes” he replies “I’ve been requested at the inner meeting.”
She frowns. “Boring. Try not to fall asleep on your feet. And return quickly to me, my champion.”
The Inner Council is the light kingdom’s governing body. They enforce the laws and lead the people with a lawful, balanced hand. The queen fits in as more of a public figure then being involved with anything political, however, she does have the ability to sway the public support, as she is revered and loved by the people. The Aubade keeps her safe from any outside influences.
Leaving the Inner meeting Zae gets a strange feeling in his gut. They had asked about a routine trip into the Fey, something the queen does quite frequently. Is this part of the storm that he’s expecting?
“I love this part of the forest,” Queen Azure says, “reminds me of winter.”
“It just seems cold to me.” Zae says.
“You have no imagination, Zae, you think everything is plotting something.” she says.
“Well, it’s mostly true. I always follow my instincts.” He says.
“Yeah and that’s your problem.” She says.
Zae always enjoyed these trips. Serving and protecting her and what she stood for seems like a great life. He wondered how long it would last.
“Sir, the way ahead seems clear,” Col says as he approaches the queen’s carriage.
“But I did notice these things in the air.” He holds out his hand and shows black feathers in his palm.
Zae scowls “These are…”
The hiss of an arrow cuts through the calm air and the sound of pain from behind as one of his men goes down.
“Get down!” he yells, “Ambush!”
His men scrambles into formation, but before they could a bright light flies from the forest and strikes the middle of his small band of protectors. Fire explodes and consumes half his men as others are thrown through the air.
A wizard in the Fey Wilds?
Magic, though common in the Fey is usually natural and not in a controlled manner, especially not enough to be made into a fireball. Only a trained magic user could pull off the feat. They were definitely getting ambushed and he had only brought a small handful of men with him on this trip.
“Az, my love, I’m sorry, I need to send you off. Remember what I taught you.” He pulls out a scroll from his bag, a scroll of teleport he had made.
“Zae, you’ll return to me,” he had expected to see fear in her eyes, but instead he saw fiery passion. “And when you do, they will pay the price.” She kisses him as the spell scroll activates and she fades away.
“Now,” Zae says as he draws his sword, “Let us see who’s behind this.” He disappears in a cloud of mist.
He reappears in the forest through another cloud. An arrow whips past his ear as he runs forwards. He quickly ducks as another arrow wizzes by and he flicks his sword in an arc to cut down the bowman. Another arrow flies past him on his right. He can hear the sound of his men in battle on the trail he left. Zae darts into the brush and flanks an attacker. Blades flash and Zae easily parries a dagger offered to him and he sinks his sword under the rib cage of his opponent. He rolls over the elf and prepares a firebolt cantrip in his mind and hurls it forward has he flips over the dying elf. It flies ahead of him, striking another in the brush and he rushes in to finish him off with his sword, right through his liver.
“Enough!” a booming voice thunders through the forest. “If you like your men alive, then come out.”
Zae pulls his sword free and curses. Why were they targeting the queen’s regiment? Who was behind this? He walks out of the brush.
Captain Eoren grins. “I’ve always envied you, Zaedriel, always taking advantage of the queen’s kindness. At least now she’ll be mine.” He says.
Zae doesn’t reply. He sees almost half a regiment and guesses the other half in the surrounding woods. His remaining men were rounded up in the middle of the trail. Cal stares knowingly at Zae.
Zae had expected this. His network had provided him with information about a rising political shift, he just didn’t know who was targeted, or what was planned. But he did have time to prepare. And now he knew the Queen’s regiment was being targeted.
“Captain Eoren” Zae says, “Who’s holding your leash, I wonder. I didn’t pen you as the type to take orders.”
“It’s not orders if you had a hand in planning the extermination.”
Ah, thought Zae, there are others. Only half of Zae’s expertise included protection, the other was information gathering.
“I’m sure the Inner Council reveres your role, Captain.” Zae muses, “A dog at the dinner tables is still a dog.”
“You know nothing. I don’t give a gob’s ass about the IC, I have bigger plans. Now tell me where your beloved queen is or you and your men will be dead.” He brings his sword up to Cal’s neck.
“Fine, I have the return spell in my bag.” Zae starts reaching into his bag.
“Stop.” Eoren says, “I know your tricks.”
Zae sighs and holds his hands up.
Eoren motions a soldier next to Zae.
“You. Grab it,” he orders.
The soldier reaches into the bag and gives a confused expression, and his arm starts shaking violently, followed by his entire body. The shocking grasp on his bag activated.
Zae pulls his other hand free and brings out his ace. Literally pulling a deck of cards from his bag he flicks them one by one to each of his men’s feet and lastly his. He sings out an incantation and six dimensional doors grow from his cards.
“Go!” Zae shouts as he falls into his door. At the last second he sees Eoren’s blade sink into Cal’s back.
“No Ca-,” he yells and he falls.
Zae’s plan was to scatter the Aubades. He had figured if things started to point against the Queen then there would be nothing that he or his regiment could accomplish on their own and that they would need go into hiding. The dimensional door spell would send them to random locations around the world, except for the Queen, who was sent to a secure location. All of his members were given a card and once it was activated, they would all activate at the same time.
It has been a year since the incident and Zae has been taking random mercenary work in the realms, and trying to find out more information about what happened. He, however, is very far from home and can only communicate through magical means, if at all.