Kingmaker - Dawn of a New Age
[James] Lord Emmond the White Mage, Magistar of Stagsheart, Sheppard of Candlemere, Tutelarie of the Southern Kamelands
Human,Male, Arcanist, White Mage, Nethys Priest, Prior of the 4th Order
The life and times of Emmond
Everyone has a hard luck story.
This story is of Emmond Rand Thaco III.
Emmond’s story begins in Oppora.
The capital of The Taldoran Empire!
The Pentacle of Taldan Superiority! The Treasure of Righteous Society!
The birthplace of Emmond, The White Mage of Stagsheart.
The victim of this story was born Emmond Rand Thaco III, first son of Sir Emmond Rand Thaco Jr., Esquire, and Lady Aprila Yomana Duwall. A negotiated match.
Arranged long ago when it was favorable, and within a time that is expected, Emmond III’s birth occurred. And in accordance to the whims and dictates of local and social bureaucracy Emmond III’s birth was seen as good.
It was not love that brought his (Emmond III’s) sires together. It was not chance that this mating took place. It was solely through the will of men and not of any God or happenstance that this coupling occurred. It was truly through the will of men.
The machinations of the Taldor Empire are brutal.
But in the Taldor Empire mercy is known. And that small mercy is known only when the first born of any woman is a son. Is this a mercy or an expectation? Is it duty or self preservation? Or is it FATE?
FATE be damned! A son is born! The next great swordsman of the Taldor Empire! And by course of fate and the heart of a man, Emmond Rand Thaco III has arrived!
And his father loved his son.
Swordsman? No, Emmond III was a sickly boy. Small and weak.
He did not start to crawl until he was over a year old. (though his mother never carried him). He was more than two years old before he could walk on his own. (only his father helped him when he had the time). He never even spoke a single word until he was almost four. (at least any word that was known, spoken or heard in his home) And even when Emmond III did speak, on one listened.
It was when his sister, Almilia was born (Almilia was Emmonds first word that any of his family or servants ever heard – spoken before the girl-child was named) that Emmond began to take true notice of the world around him.
Almilia was everything that a newborn child should be! (other than being a boy – The Thaco’s already had a boy and in accordance to the whims and dictates of local and social bureaucracy this girl was a “keeper.”)
Within two years Almilia outpaced Emmond III on all accounts; (by then Emmond was 5). Almilia was walking, running, climbing and even speaking in broken “baby talk”.
But mostly she cried – a lot!
NOTE- Emmond III NEVER cried! His sister could do nothing but.
Sir Emmond Jr. saw the disparity between his eldest son and only daughter. He knew his first born was special. Special, he hoped, because his only daughter was a banshee!
Almilia soon eclipsed her older brother in all things physical. (This is not a story of her!)
Including and especially crying!
Always Almilia was always in tears! Every scrape or bummed knee or stubbed toe was a cause for wailing and woe.
When Emmond could finally run (age five but almost 6 – very, very delayed and an embarrassment) he would do nothing but run around or with his sister. Doing his best to keep her from harm. (was it because he wanted to protect her from harm or he couldn’t stand the sound of her laments?)
Many a nanny, caretaker or governess came and went over the next few years (both Emmond III and his sister had wet nurses). None stayed longer than a few months. Was it because Almilia couldn’t shut-up or was it because Emmond III was odd or even weird or just a plain weakling?
It seemed that this family was cursed.
The (minor) House of Thaco was in turmoil.
And then to make matter worse, the first born son, Emmond III, became deathly ill.
Poor ill and sickly Emmond.
Bedridden at such a young age (11) by a mysterious illness.
And then left in the care and keep of strangers due to his weakened and embarrassing state.
Visited only by those that ‘knew best’ for him and his illness. Clerics, sages, healers and what-not. They would busy themselves about his bedside. They became his most frequented visitors in his diminished state of powerlessness. More and more time in their presence did he share with them than with his own family.
However, his father would – from time to time and when he could- visit and read to his first born son.
Sir Emmond Jr. would read fantastic stories of daring and dashing princes, of fearless swashbuckling pirates, of cunning geniuses and all were heroes that would save the day!
Every book brought and read by his father was left for Emmond III in his room. A reminder of their time together… a reminder of the gift of story, the gift of reading the written word, and ultimately the gift of knowledge. These precious moments were a stolen gift for them both.
But during the day many a cleric, healer or sage did what they could for Emmond III. They would do what they could if the gold was right.
And so Emmond III would lay in (what should have been his death) bed.
All the while his illness was an embarrassment.
Both father and mother should have produced more than sickly man-child.
But at least a better woman-child in Emmomd III’s sister, Almilia, was produced.
Thankfully Emmond was sparred of the arguments of his parents. He could not hear them because of his sequester in his “infirmary.”
The only contact beyond his sickbed to the outside world was the small and heavily shuttered widow in his room. And from there, upon occasion, when he found the strength, he would climb to the window. From there, only just beyond the window’s ledge, could he behold the world he could not be a part of.
From his solemn perch he could see his mother and sister out and about in the lush gardens of the estate below. From there he could see his sister and her friends playing in near-by fountains.
From his lonely window Emmond III could watch the joy of his family in the unreachable lands below.
They would have fabulous tea parties. Luncheons with fancily dressed guests. Celebration of the holidays and festivities of family communion.
He watched as the world around him shared the gift of each other.
His only contact of love was his father.
His father …
His father would visit on a regular simi-basis.
His father would bring books or toys on every visit.
His father would bring warm blankets and bed-wear to ensure that Emmond could make it through the cold nights.
Emmomd, Jr. was the only one that sat with Emmond III. The only one that he knew (and loved) on a near daily (or weekly) basis.
Sure, business kept father away from time to time… Too much of the time…
And unfortunately, during the time that father was away, Almilia would creep in.
Creep in to steal the books and break the toys and in other ways to harass and vandalize Emmond III’s small world. Creep in to just to be… well…, be evil… evil upon all that father did for Emmond III.
But every time father came back was a special time for Emmond III. It was if it was as a gift in itself.
And over time the gifted toys or books and whatever Emmond could have for himself in his sickbed were everything that his sister stole or spoiled.
But not everything.
Emmond III learned to hide some of his fathers gifts. Not to hide the toys, but to hide the books. They were the easiest to conceal. And so Emmond III always had the books.
But when he was caught unaware with a book in his hand they were stolen by his sinister sister Amalia. And then as a joke she would replace his cherished books with other books.
Books with only words and without pictures. Books that she thought were boring. Books that she thought were a joke.
Books with (unbeknownst to her because she could not read) real knowledge and fables and stories. Books from anywhere and everywhere. Just so long as they didn’t have pictures. Books about the knowledge of the world. And even a book about Magic.
And because of her was the best joke/hurt Almilia could conceive. Because through her malicious trickery was Emmond III able to come in to possession of THE “Book of Magic”.
And because of this acquisition Emmond III learned to hide. Not just to learn how to hide the books. But how to hide himself from the harm of his sister. And learn how to to hide his sorrow and pain from her as well. At least from time to time.
But as his mind and spirit strengthened his body did not. Emmond III became weaker and weaker in health and body. More and more tired. More and more feeble.
And then another child was born to his father and mother…
A sibling he did not meet until years later. And even then just briefly.
For at the moment of that birth of his younger bother Emmond III went to sleep. A deep, deep sleep. A sleep everlasting. A sleep near death.
Years later Emmond awoke.
He was alone in a strange place.
As Emmoned III slumbered in his unknown bed in an unknown room he himself was know as a “cursed guest” and was not to be disturbed.
So undisturbed (and cursed) was Emmond III that for many years he lay a torpid state. He slept for over 8 years(?!).
And when he finally did awake all was horrific.
No part of him could respond. No action or movement could he make. No ability of will to his hands or arms or legs to make them respond.
He was all too weak.
Only were his eyes open and all he could do with his eyes was see. See the darkness around him. See something or somewhere or someone…?
So weak was Emmomd III he could not call out to for anyone to hear.
Helpless in this strange place…
Awake in the dark. Awake and aware…
No one knew who Emmond III truly was.
He was alone.
All that was known (to whom?) was that he MUST have a room here. (where?)
He was alone
His room was prepaid anonymously.
He was alone.
No special need was called for in order to care for him.
He is alone.
He needed no changing of bandages or of bed pans.
He needed no feeding or care.
It seemed that he needed only a bed and a room. And a secret.
“Some one help me!”, Emmond III’s mind cried out!
It took many days or weeks (far too many and all a madding blur to Emmond III) for any in his new ‘home’ of the sanitarium to notice that he was finally awake and aware again.
And that it took so long was a blessing in disguise.
Had any others notice his conscious state his story and Destiny may have been different than what Fate had in store for him.
But by the hand of the gods (Neythus?), a White Mage named Nondi was the only one to notice that Emmond was again aware once more.
Provider. Healer. Teacher. Savior.
By her grace was Emmond able to begin his recovery and awakening.
Strengthened by her for his journey yet to be traveled in a Stolen Land.
All so far away and yet so near…
Through the care of Nondi Emmod III could breath without labor. Through the care of Nondi, Emmond could eat whole food again. Through the love of Nondi Emnond could again speak. Through the teaching of Nondi, Emmond could speak simple words of Magic.
And then, through the magic, Emmond could move things with his mind! –- (mage hand)
Months Emmomd III spent in that place while awake yet unmoving. Months Nondi spent nursing and teaching Emmond. Months filling his mind with all it could learn and the magic of ‘mage hand’ and more. Nondi providing that which he could not lift by hand or magic. His friend and mentor, Nondi, to provide anything else needed. And always in secret.
Over time (how long?) Nondi would bring, give and teach more and more. Nondi to be more and give more of herself.
Thank Nondi, she brings Emmond to Strength with Weakness.
Thank Nondi, she brings Emmond to Knowledge with Ignorance.
Thank Nondi, she brings Emmond to Hope with Doubt.
Thank Nondi, she brings Emmond to Acceptance with Rejection.
Thank Nondi. she brings Emmond III to Key… and… Lock??
Thank Nondi… she…?
…she found Emmond’s ‘family’…?
…Thank Nondi… for she found and ensured that Emmond’s mother must to come claim him…
Oh the fake show by Lady Aprilia when she arrived at the sanitarium. “My lost boy found in that ‘temple’ that I know not of (and no one else cared about)… yada yada ya thank you motherwhatever lost someone found… blah blah blah.”
Emmond left the sanitarium.
Thank Nondi for the door to the truth?
Emmond (III) never saw Nondi again.
- Thank Nondi for the Pain—-
The weakened Emmomd III was somewhere new. Again.
To Home? To Father?
Sir Emmond Jr., Esq. had died years ago.
-about the same time Emmond III became comatose—
The return of Emmond III to his long lost family was not only bad for the “new family” but bad for the inheritance that was the rightful trust of Emmond III.
And not only did Emmond III have a younger brother but an even younger half brother too! And not just a half-brother but a full cousin in the same!
Emmond’s mother married and bore the child of the brother of Emmond’s III father!
To this the weak and eldest Thaco boy returned. Returned to the House of Thaco.
Returned to a Merchant House.
A House of Pluses and Minuses.
A house of Ways and Means.
A house of Appearances and Falsehoods.
A House of Greed and… Murder??
This was the new House of Emmond Rand Thaco the III.
And here Emmond III was finally “home”.
He had a room upon the estate. Occasionally maids would be by but they never did anything to make the recovering yet still crippled Emmond III think he was really at home. Even less to make him comfortable. He was truly ignored. Again ignored. Ignored without Nondi.
Emmond III had nothing but his wits and his mind. Not through the strength of his legs or the sound of his own voice could he have meals brought to him. It seemed that the Asylum was better.
Emmond III had so much to to understand where he was.
Emmond III soon learned that his return to House Thaco was an embarrassment. An Accursed had taken residence again!
Even the servants complained that because Emmond III was home there weren’t as many lavish parties. Fewer merchants, traders, solicitors and dignitaries would visit. He even overheard his stepfather/uncle complain “business” meetings had to be held elsewhere because of his presence on the estate.
Emmond III knew he must take action. Action beyond the transmutations of his mind.
He must learn walk on his own. So he did learn. Even learned run in short bursts.
Eventually he had the strength to be noticed. Strength to be seen and heard. Strength to be a nuance.
Soon he had the strength to learn more.
And so school was finally the way his mother and step-father/uncle could make him leave the estate that was rightfully his own as the first born son.
It didn’t matter. Emmond III was happy to leave.
His step-father/uncle declared that he must go “the finest” school and that meant the school at White Hall. A school for boys to learn how to become a man. A boarding school.
Emmond III’s body was no match for the healthy young upstarts in any school for fencing or swordplay. Emmond III lasted less than 3 hours at the Lion Academy.
Again Emmond III was an embarrassment. Again, The Laughing Stock of House Thaco.
This left Emmond his one and only opportunity.
To study Magic!
To be rid of the weak upstart and heir apparent, Emmond III’s step-father/uncle (by the way his name is Laceaus Basri Thaco), arranged for Emmond III to audition for a less “manly” pursuit at the Kitharodain Academy. A fake grand gesture with a very real dismal result. Emmond III is no Bard.
Emmond III’s epic failure at the best of the best Bardic academies did grant him a chance to audition at the second best, and even less manly Bardic academy, The Rhapsodic College. Another Epic Fail.
Emmond could “see” the magic but not the read the “note”.
Emmond can feel the Magic! Magic beyond the melody!
“It’s just right there!” – “Magic is more than music! Magic makes music! I can see it!”
Same results. Another Epic Failure. Emmond III is still no Bard.
Magic makes Everything! To a Wizard School then!
This lead Emmond III to return to the White Hall and to an apprenticeship at he Crown Circle.
(to his credit, Emmond Rand Thaco III was the first and only White Mage Arcanist of Neythus to ever study in Oppara! Although he didn’t know it at the time)
“I will show them! The Word, The Will and The Way are just right here!”
Unfortunately, by this point, Emmond III had unknowingly ‘squandered’ (been robbed of) his inheritance on his education. Damn Taldor Law!
Emmond III was now, somehow and someway, completely disinherited. –-Damn Taldor Law!
And to add to his suffering, his dishonor and expulsions brought accolades to the House Thaco under the rule of his step-father/uncle Laceaus Thaco. Because Emmond was finally cast away, House Thaco had beat the ‘Curse’. —-Damn Taldor Law!
Emmond III was confused.
Only the First Born may lead the House. —-Damn Taldor Law!
Emmond III was destitute.
Locked out again from what was rightfully his home! –- Damn Taldor Law!
Emmond III was angry!
Taldor Officers turned him away from his family estate by force!
- Damn Taldor Law!
Emmond III was betrayed!
My Father would never allow for this!
- Damn Taldor Law
Emmond III was alone.
Alone? Emmond has Magic!
- Praise Magic!
Emmond IS an Arcanist!
This BOOK OF MAGIC is mine! –- Praise Neythus!
Through a bit of luck Emmond III was able to purchase and through his now genius mind able understand a book of Arcane spells.
(that and Emmond III’s time in the Bardic Colleges and Whitehall are another story)
With his unique understanding of magic (and by the will of Neythus) Emmond III was easily able to return to (infiltrate) his family home and claim (steal) his rightful inheritance.
With what was rightfully his (stolen), Emmond III headed up to the North.
To the land of Galt. A shamed Taldoran heading to the land of Taldoran shame.
Chance called to Emmond III.
Emmond III traveled further to the North.
Fate called to Emmond III.
Emmond III arrived in Restov.
Destiny called to Emmond III.
Emmond III ignored the offer of Sworldlord Tavius Mettleton to journey with Megar Varn and start a new colony in the Stolen Lands.
Neythus called to Emmond.
Emmond met a rag-tag group of would-be adventures in Restov.
By the Will of Neythus…
Two days later Emmond and what will become his new (and still un-trusting) family defend Olegg’s Trading Post from bandits.
By the Will of Neythyus…
Two years later Emmod Thaco The White Mage is The Magistar of the Realm of Stagsheart and Master of Pyrotechnics at the Desna’s Day Festival in Ashhaven.
Neythus called to Emmond.
Emmond answered “yes”
Emmond wishes his father were here.