Bëonir of the Field
Hope’s Hollow: The quiet agricultural town of Hope’s Hollow is an hour’s ride along the eastern road from the city of Cassomir in Taldor, through the Blackwood Swamp.
Cassomir: Cassomir is located at the mouth of the Sellen River, and is the second largest settlement in the empire of Taldor. It acts as a major trade city, and through its ports enter goods from the Inner Sea, as well as from nations to the north that utilize the Sellen as a trade route. Cassomir is also home to the greatest of Taldor’s imperial shipyards, even though the majority of the fleet itself is stationed in Oppara.
Born in Hope’s Hollow, Bëonir lived his entire life in the shadow of the rich and sprawling metropolis, Cassomir. Like his ancestors before him, he worked the fields and produced some of the highest quality and finest flours the kingdom of Cassomir had ever known. In spite of the prejudices the predominantly halfling population felt for the small group of Elves and Half-Elves in Hope’s Hollow, Bëonir’s prowess in the field was unparalleled, and his reputation was known all over.
As is natural in situations of drastic differences in power, rebellions formed within Hope’s Hollow, and Bëonir quickly found himself as a spearhead figure within one of the local rebellion groups. In a daring mission within the walls of Cassomir during one an annual catering event he would oversee, Bëonir lead a group of Elves and Half-Elves to storm the School of Sigium. In a haphazard and poorly-planned event, they made off safely with a tome which detailed research into powerful Arcane magic.
Retreating back to the safety and perceived innocense of their lowly huts in Hope’s Hollow, Bëonir spent all his waking hours the following weeks studying the tomes. Try as he did, nothing seemed to make any sense; even the basic introductory spells wouldn’t work. The Glossary listed
spell components, but none were available to such a poor person in such a poor place. Bëonir’s appetite to learn more about Arcane magic could not be sated, so another mission was necessary to progress further.
The second mission, almost a full year later, despite meticulous planning, was not nearly as successful, and the weight of six casualties weighed heavily on Bëonir’s shoulders. But the object of the mission had been fulfilled: Bëonir was now in possession of a glowing Arcane Fruit, plucked hastily from the gigantic tree of Arcane energy in the centre of the City. He baked it into the finest bread he could make, and it came out of his clay oven crisp and steaming.
Under the moonlit sky that evening, he studied his old, stolen tome and relished in the flavours and delight of the Arcane Fruit delight. That night, he slept fitfully, as his mind was filled with nightmares of crackling lightning, distant, howling mountains, and a deep blue light that seemed to draw him in and speak to his very mind.
Bëonir woke with a jump just as the sun peeked over the horizon. Crumbs littered the floor and his clothing, but the croissant was gone—he’d eaten it all. He stepped outside to bask in the morning sun and think about his work for the day.
Life continued for a few weeks as Bëonir toiled the earth, planted and harvested grains, and milled the grains into flour. His evenings were spent studying the tome and trying to figure out how to manifest the power he knew that, surely, he must now possess, but he couldn’t figure anything in the book out. Soon, he grew weary of his failed progress, and resumed life as normal, the tome collecting dust on a shelf by the door of in his small, modest home.
Sooner or later, Bëonir wooed a like-minded and equally-rebellious young, Elven girl named Idris, who baked the best croissants he’d ever stuffed into his greedy face. Their reputations made them the most beloved couple in Hope’s Hollow, much to the chagrin of the judgemental townfolk. They wed soon after, and moved into Bëonir’s home together, quickly acclimatising to each other and living happily, their love for each other unquestionable.
One fateful, overcast morning, a few months after their jubilant but moderate wedding, Bëonir awoke with again with a jerk.
Time for work, I suppose,̦ he thought, and, in the darkness, crawled out of bed. He quietly got himself ready, but on the way to the door, looking at the familiar counter where he kept his prized possession, Bëonir turned white. The tome was gone. He dashed to the bedroom, but Idris was not in bed, nor was she in the bathroom. He tore to the front door, threw it open, and fell to his knees in shock.
Outside were five Cassonir guards and a purple-robed Gnome woman who seemed to be in command of the guards. Upon hearing the door whip open, they wheeled around and raised their spears to inches from Bëonir’s face.
Toying with tomes, are we? This is most disastrous for you… Bëonir? You’ll of course notice your partner is already gone. We’ve taken the liberty of shipping the two of them off. Far away. You’ll continue to work here, under my very direct supervision until your days end.
Never, Bëonir growled,
you bring her back or someone will have to bring you back…
Hah!! Kneel to me or fa—
Bëonir leaped backwards and slammed his door shut in front of him. Dashing to the kitchen behind him, he rummaged frantically around for something to defend himself. He wouldn’t go down without a fight. For everything he ever stood for. He couldn’t let the lives on the missions spent selfishly on himself, in the end, go to waste! For his fallen comrades! For Idris!
Just as he started wheeling a crusty rolling pin around, the door crashed in, with a splash of blue light.
Do not cross me, you filthy slave!
And with another flash of blue light, Bëonir was thrown against the ceiling and crumpled into a lifeless heap. What of Idris… and their child…?