(dead) Zachary Elwood Coleman of Nietz
A boy hoping to prove he is somthing more
Hey, This is me
Well, that’s not entirely true, that’s who I will be, someday, I hope… this is who I am
I guess there is a bit of a story with that…. here it is….
I was born almost ten years after the war of skulls. My father died in my 6th year, we could not afford coal to heat out home and the coughing sickness took him. My youngest sister Laina passed later that winter. As you know in Nietz the dead must be burnt not buried, and the onus is to the family to do so, what little we had left in money went to my father’s burning, the cost took what little we had for food, my sister was not strong enough to last the winter, and we lost our home to pay for her burning. We ended up living in a small tent city on the edge of town, it wasn’t much, but the folk there helped look out for one another, we got by, for awhile anyway.
On my 11th birthday my older brother Kenz joined the militia, he had only turned 15 that year, but the militia promised food and heat, and he could send the coin he made back home to mother. She was never the same after father passed. For a long time it was just me and my little sister Roslyn looking out for Ma. Ma couldn’t find much in the way of work cept for laundry, everyday she’d march down to the militia, pick up the uniforms from the men, silver a piece, carry it down to the river, scrub and dry all day, fold and bring them back. On a good week she might make a few gold pieces, made what Kenz sent us seem like a fortune. Ma always swore to me that I’d be the one to change things… that I could make the difference for the family. Every day she’d take a gold and put it away, say’in it was her investment to the future, to mine and Ros ’.
Ma hired a tutor, don’t know how she got the coin together, I told her not to, but she said it was done… I was taught my letters, taught my history, taught my numbers… I still helped her every day after studies, I made sure I was there to help Ros and her carry the loads to and from the river. I often argued with Ma, told her that we shouldn’t be spending money on lessons, lord knows the winters were cold in the tents. Every time Ma heard that she said that all I had to do was put my mind to it, try my very best “the lords are accepting the common folk for knighthood now, you’ll need to know your letters to be a knight. A knight is paid hundreds of gold pieces of week, that could buy us all a bigger house then before, and we’d all be happy” I studied hard; I knew I could do it.
On my fourteenth name day Ma had somehow managed to get me squired to a Sir Dustin Guthrie. He taught me the play of swords, the right end of a horse to ride, he pushed me hard. He’d often have “private meetings” with Ma, to “discuss my progress”. How I hate him, but it wouldn’t be long, just a few years and I could earn my Knighthood, then Ma would never have to work again, and Ros could do whatever learning she wanted. Kenz died in a skirmish that year, the Lady Vincell sent 50 gold pieces and a Ham sayin’ how sorry she was for our loss, I’d have preferred my brother back.
On my 16th name day I was set for a test of Knighthood. Sir Guthrie and Ma were having another “meeting” when Ros came home, I told her not to go in there, but Ros never understood and didn’t listen. Sir Guthrie hadn’t appreciated the interruption; he thought he might “meet” with Ros for awhile there… it was more then I could take, I rushed in the room and tried to put a stop to it. Sir Guthrie was more than a match, he backhanded me across the room, Ros smashed the clay vase over his head, it only made him madder. A smack sent my sister tumbling, and then I got mad.
I don’t know how but a bright blue light shone down, and the most beautiful women I had ever seen stepped out, she was tall, and had blond hair, uncommon for these parts. She wore a suit of platinum armor with gold inlay, her helm curved up and formed the shape of a mighty silver dragon as her royal blue cape neatly fell to the floor behind her. I knew then that her name was Moraell. She turned towards the Knight and in a voice akin to song spoke
“Leave Knight, and never return to these people lest you feel my wrath!” never had I seen Sir Guthrie scared, but he was scared then, he gathered his clothing and fled the tent. I turned to thank her but she was gone. I ran to Ma and Ros, both were ok but Ma was sobbing. She was angry, angry that everything she had done for the last few years were for naught, mad that we would all “Die in this tent”. I tried to talk sense to her, but she’d have none of it, she told me to go, and not to come back, no one would knight me now. I argued that another knight would understand but she wouldn’t hear of it, she turned on me with such anger “GO! Don’t come back until you’ve earned your Knighthood GO!” I left.
She was right, none of the Knights in Nietz would touch me, I wasn’t sure what Sir Guthrie had said before he left, but it clearly wasn’t good, and between being a commoner and possibly cursed, no one would give me a chance. I left hoping perhaps another town would provide more options. I do odd jobs along the way, I send the money back to Ma and Ros when I have some, it hasn’t been much so far. But I will do it, I will earn my Knighthood, I have to.