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The sound of trickling water echoed through the cave.


How many nights had it been by now?  Arevthor Tathvir could not determine accurately, but he knew that more time was still required.  A month was the given task, to live entirely within darkness with but a single lantern to offer light. 


There were little threats for him to face.  The occasional insect or wandering soul seeking directions.  The greatest danger to him was boredom.  Boredom acts as a gateway to various other plagues of the mind, most dangerous being insanity.  His mind would wander, reminiscing on the people and events that led him here.


Trial of Birth:


Cute was the first word that popped into his head when he stumbled across the young bird in the Norlandic wilderness.  Gray fuzz covered its body, doing little to protect it from the arctic temperature.  Arev scoped up the young creature into his hands, wrapping it into the loose parts of his cloak to provide warmth.  As time carried on the bird would grow and develop, revealing itself to be a Goose with black feathers tipping its wings. Prenu was the name Arev would bestow upon his companion, who would quickly prove to live up to the name of “Theif”.


The sound of hooves would trod past, awaking Arev from his sleep.  The rider paid little attention to the man or his dying flame, but left behind the trigger of a fluttering memory.


Trial of Peace:


Thudding of a half dozen horses drew his attention first from the gates, well dressed Valah with colorful robes and clothes mounted upon their steads.  All it took was a single question, a request to understand their people better.  Never before had Arev written so much, preferring the value of spoken word over that of written, yet the representative of Yong Ping kept explaining more of their culture and Arev didn’t have it in his heart to stop him.


Nightmares had become a commonality for the ‘Fenn, previously an asset vacant from his life.  Sweat rolled down his brow as he awoke in a fright, reaching desperately for his sword. Visions of assailants, foes and those who would seek harm to his loved ones plagued his dreams.  He knew the threats his home faced, something had to be done.


Trial of War:


Long had the fight dragged on.  Arev barely managed to stand over the creature, a club made of bone clutched tightly in hand.  Out of every game to be found within the Tundra, the Crowdrake has been his chosen target.  Whether by mistake or choice he could not remember, he could only remember the relief after the battle.  Wounds dotted his limbs, many would heal as scars over the years, acting as a reminder of the challenge he had overcome.


Desperation had begun to kick in as the flame’s fuel had run out.  Straw strewn about the cave had already been used, the rotten wood of the bridge proved little to no use anymore.  His robes were found to be an adequate source of fuel, providing the flame with enough to last for hours on end.  Despite his willingness to burn sections of every piece of clothing he had with him, a single cloak remained untouched, a gift that would remain untouched till his final breath.


Trail of Death:


Little was remembered of this experience, the sinking into the lake, the last breath he had taken, and the drift into the darkness.  Yet that darkness did not persist long before being consumed by a blinding light.   Golden in hue and pure in essence, it conveyed a message to the Tathvir that seemed clear as day to him.  He accepted the task before waking next to a fire, Varan Atmorice watching over him carefully.  “What did you see?” Was all he was asked, and Arev could only answer truthfully with a single word…


His eyes opened slowly, requiring little adjustment despite the lantern’s light.  A sigh escaped his lips, followed by a sarcastic chuckle.  Arevthor discovered the true meaning of this trial and why it had been chosen to represent his moniker.  He stood, collecting what little supplies he had remaining, his food rations and the cloaks he used for warmth.  Finally he picked up the floating blue flame of the lantern before walking upwards through the cave away from the trickling water.


A task dependent entirely upon time; this is what Arev had believed when he entered the cave, that his trial was simply one of endurance.  In truth, the goal was for him to truly adapt to his moniker.  


Trudging footsteps carry him up the stone path one foot after another.  The distant sound of a raging storm can be heard from beyond the cave.  ‘This storm’ He thought to himself, ‘Dark mages and practitioners of the forbidden secrets, they threaten my home.  My kin.  My loved ones.  They cower in our shadows, hiding in the dark while they plot against us.’


Arevthor’s vision is entirely obscured by the blizzard as he reaches the mouth of the cave.  Within the blizzard he can see faint figures of apparitions pausing to stare at him as he pulls the cloak tight to his body.  He clutches the lantern tight in hand before taking a step into the storm, thus rising the Vigilant of Light.


‘In deepest cave, in darkest night,

Where evil hides, and spreads its blight,

I bathe it all in white so bright,

I purity, for I am light.”

Edited by Trekwars
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"Timely," utters the Vigilant of Hope, gazing skywards to an endless, churning see of black and grey.

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