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Shaldür's Story

      "You can either stand up for what's right, or fall for what you believe. The choice is yours."

      I was a street rat. They called me Rath. First thing I can remember was learning how to snarl at others and watch them run. It didn't take me long to learn that my size and... race were a better way to work food and money out of the other urchins. Others were scared of me. My jutting teeth, grey skin, and physique  even at a young age were intimidating. I began to hate the way they all looked at me, even when I was scaring them into giving me whatever I wanted. 

      One day, I picked a fight with the wrong person. I had bumped into a stranger on the road, some pampered kid no older than I was, who looked at me with... revulsion. Next thing I knew I had my fists around his throat, and everything was red. His guards pried me off him while I howled and barked like a mad dog, my rage overriding everything else. I only stopped when I felt cold steel against my throat. 

      A man was traveling with the boy, clad in glittering armor emblazoned with scales and a war hammer, which I would later learn was the holy symbol of Tyr, God of Justice. His eyes were the color as my skin, but they were the same as everyone who had ever looked at me. They were judging. Shadows covered his face framed by black hair, and for a moment I thought he was Death, come to take me for all the wrong I had done.

      He asked why I had attacked the boy, and I replied that he thought me his enemy, I had seen it in his face. The man said it wasn't so and I called him a liar. I felt his blade press against my neck, but only a moment after he lowered it. He told me people would always look at me that way. Like I didn't belong. Kneeling down in front of me, he pulled a necklace from beneath his armor. On a simple leather cord was the hilt of a broken dagger. He told a story all to similar to my own. A tale of life on the streets, doing what he could to survive. He had done things he wasn't proud of in the name of survival, but always felt wrong for it. One day, he stood up for a younger orphan who was being beaten by another street rat. He took a knife in the ribs for it. I asked him why he did such a thing. He knew the way of the streets. Why would he risk himself knowing that it would surly happen again and again? He stood and tucked the hilt back into his tunic. 

       "You can either stand up for what's right, or fall for what you believe. The choice is yours."

      I was offered a choice. I could go with the man, and make up for what I had done, or I could be brought back to town and face justice for my crime. Despite the race i still felt within my heart, for the first time in my life I felt like I had a choice. I went with him. 

      The man, whose name was Ermin Cauldwell, charged me with being the noble boy's protector. Rellis Astermeyer, the boy, hated the idea at first, as did I. But with time all things change. We became... friends. I was taken from my life on the street and given a blade, and was taught by Ermin to use it. They educated me, fed me, clothed me, and treated me as one of their own. Over the months and years I stayed with them, Rath the street rat, the thug and bully washed away. He was honed down in the same way that Ermin had been, and became a Paladin of Justice, under the watchful eye of Tyr. On his coronation, Rath was given the greatest gift he had ever received; a new name. Rath the urchin was no more. Shaldür Astermeyer, Paladin of Tyr was born. 

Roh's Story