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Roren Lion 1: Crawl Forth

December 7, 2023
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Like the other chosen Mercenaries, Roren was called at a young age. While many of them were called into trials by fire, Roren was called from one. The story of her early life told nothing of safety, nothing of warmth and nothing of happiness. Hers was an upbringing whose existence many of us would like to deny, spouting nonsense like all humans are basically good, or everyone has a fair chance in life.

Whatever chance that Roren had to survive was hers alone to take, and it would not wait for her to grow into adulthood. She wrote it on her heart and made it her best friend. She could never forget the way the voice first guided her from the clutches of a miserable life, allowing her to crawl out of the flames and begin anew. The voice was deep and authoritative, laced with a peculiar feeling Roren had never known before, a feeling she didn’t recognize as love.

To Roren, the voice became known as the lion inside. It was brave when she was afraid, it was mighty when she was weak, and it was ruthless when she was tempted to walk away from a fight. The Lion gave her will to do things of which Roren alone was simply incapable.

Roren’s story begins with the first time she heard the lion’s voice. In the apex points of her life, the Lion has always spoken loudest, guiding her to her true fate and the greatness that came with it. When she first heard its voice, she was only nine.

Wake up.

Wake up.

Wake up I said!!

Good, but don’t rattle the chains, or you might startle one of the drunkards awake as well. It hasn’t yet been long enough for the rum to steal their senses for the night, but they have been sleeping long enough that they would beat you black and blue again should you disturb their rest.

Listen closely to what I say. Follow my instructions and you will live. Ignore them, and you will continue on this path of certain death.

Look down at the shackle on your left ankle. In his haste, the one you call Rotten made a fatal mistake when he put you away after the evening’s… merriment. You are latched but not locked. Do not make your move until I have fully explained your path.

Tomorrow, leader Horos intends to raid the village of Fotoch on the shore, whose tower has not yet seen their black sails.

The men of Fotoch were recently called to a distant battle, from whence they did not return. Now the women and children are in mourning; they are unprepared to defend themselves. You will prevent the final destruction of Fotoch while saving yourself from the grip of these scoundrels. They have cheated death through the darkest of magic too many times, and tonight their reckoning comes at your frail hands. Those hands will also set you free.

Your right shin is badly broken, so you must crawl. It will hurt.

From the open door of your chamber, to the right is a storeroom with an unlocked door. Inside that room is a small crate of dynamite, placed there by a pirate called Bug who was too drunk to take it to its proper place in the firesafe chamber. It was the same Bug who broke your shin a mere four hours ago with his cane, and the same Bug who sleeps on a mattress padded with sawdust. A fitting series of coincidences if you ask me.

A single stick of dynamite is all you’ll need. You’ll take it with you quietly to the low crew’s quarters, where twenty men lie sleeping restlessly and dreaming of filth untold. Smokestack always puffs one of his stale cigars before bed, and tonight he failed to snub it out on the wet floor. If you move when I tell you, you’ll see its bright burning cherry, and you’ll use it to light the fuse of your dynamite stick.

The men will start to wake up when they hear the sizzle and see the spark, but you’ll already have tossed the stick to the foot of Bug’s cozy bed. It will burn fast and bright, and Bug’s screams will assure that none will notice you on the dark floor. They will scramble to extinguish the flames, but it will be too late.

For your life you will crawl out and up, all the way to the top deck. The witch will also wake. She will attempt to use her spells and incantations to make the flames subside, but I will breathe on them and give them strength; they will only grow, and they will take the ship into the abyss.

A cedar plank awaits you on the starboard side of the ship, and the treacherous waters of the early tide await you in the sea. If you do all I say, these waters will deliver you to the shore and you will be free.

Now, Roren!
Crawl forth!

Roren Lion 2: Swordmarked

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