Hue

Hulked up ! Dragonborne Swordmage. Ready for the fight!!!

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The Boondock Saints Part One – Hue’s Story

In the beginning Hue was found as a young dragon borne defending a mother and her infant as a band of street thugs attempting to rob them, beat them or worse out in the street. The numbers of rabble eventually dragged the dragonborn down, and if it wasn’t for the acolytes of the Academy of Expeditions his story would have ended in that Hillsfar street. After being brought to the Academy, Mame Provista accepted Hue as her ward and gave him a place to call home. Throughout his childhood Hue shunned the opportunity to use his size to gain advantage over the other boys, preferring to be alone. Then one fateful morning he stopped the beating of a Halfling named Mal, and in doing so formed a bond that would last him through his adolescence. Hue has a heightened sense of justice when it comes to the weak or unfortunate. Bullies hold a special place in Hue’s heart, and there is nothing more enjoyable to him than to reverse the position, exposing their flaws and insecurities. The pair would continue to protect the “displaced” children of the dock area, becoming known as “The Boondock Saints” to the would be bullies and bandits of the Waterfront District. Although Hue and Mal were always a stones throw away from trouble, everyone expected great things from the duo and knew that to anger one was to deal with the wrath of both. One of the favorite pastimes of the young duo was learning the old songs from Temarin the bard-in-training at the Academy. Temarin would study the songs and the children would sing with him.

Hue and his companion signed on as guards for a merchant caravan traveling to Belfry as a way to see the world after leaving the Academy. Arriving at the town Hue noticed a couple of garishly painted covered wagons in the town square; putting them out of his mind he followed Malachai to the nearest tavern. When the “odd couple” approached the bar Hue noticed a commotion at one of the corner tables. A small rotund human male was swearing at a beautiful woman (Stormsoul Genasai). Hue immediately disliked the slovenly little man but his rage flared when he saw the man strike the woman. Hue quickly crossed the tavern and tossed the human one handed across the table and into the wall, as he moved in to finish this disgusting creature the human cried “Wait!” as he wiped the blood from his face “I’m a man of profit, and I have an offer for you”. Malachai quickly steps in and states “It had better be a good one, my grubby little friend, for if not these breaths will be your last.” The human said “I can see the potential in you two fine gentlemen, and I can offer you both lucrative contracts to come perform in my Caravan of Feats, I’ll even sweeten the deal and allow you, good dragonborn, to work with the Swordmage who’s treatment raised your ire.” Hue turned to the Genasai “Would this please you Milady?”. The women nodded her agreement, then Hue turned to the human “We can see how far this lucrative agreement takes us”.

As the months went by and the towns fell behind the caravan, Hue and Jenda-shan grew closer as his training progressed. Jenda-shan would never tell Hue the reason for her servitude only saying “The Reason sent me here”, although he could see her pain Hue was honorbound by their student/teacher relationship to not press the issue further. To take her mind from the sadness of captivity, Hue would continue to spend time with Jenda-shan even after the days training was over. He worked almost as diligently to bring a smile to her face and he did to master the intricate art of the Swordmage. Seasons came and went and the exhibitions of martial talent in the Cavaran of Feats grew more and more complex. The owner of the Caravan, named Perlan, was increasingly pressed to accommodate the crowds the famous “Masters of the Sword” and “Aerial Acrobats” showw drew at each town. This fame soon drew unwanted attention. After a particularly enthralling display of swordmanship, Hue, Malachai and Jenda-shan were approached by a group of men. Jenda-shan immediately stiffened and let out a gasp of fear “He’s back”, and then fell silent. “Who is here?” asked Hue. “The Reason” Jenda-shan whispered. “Now now Jenda-shan no reason to be shy” exclaimed the mysterious figure “Introduce me to your friend”. Hue strode forward and growled “If you are the one who holds Jenda-shan in bondage, be on your guard for I am setting her free”. As the group of men encircled the two Swordmages The Reason spoke “Be at ease friend, there is no need for this hostility. If you prefer the woman free, perhaps we can make this interesting. Beat my fighter here and I will free the woman and in my good nature give you a prize, but if you lose you will replace her as my favorite servant”. Ignoring the sly look in The Reason’s eye Hue immediately responded “Very well, but remember our bargain for if you falter I will have her freed through your blood”

In a circle of Reason’s men, Hue and the barbarian fighter stalked each other looking for an opening. After the first exchange of blows it was clear Hue was the better swordsman and continued to more than defeat the savage. Throughout Hue’s dominance Reason’s men made as if to assist the barbarian, however a smirk from Malachai and the statement “Step into the ring and I will unman you“ kept them from interfering . After wiping the blood from his blade Hue turned to The Reason “Your fighter has paid with his blood, now it is your turn to fulfill the bargain”. “So be it, Jenda-shan is free. And I have not forgotten you” Reason said. Drawing a rusty blade, he tossed it at Hue’s feet “Enjoy your prize then dragonborn, I grow bored here” and stalked away. Hue sheathed the rusty blade behind his back and turned to Jenda-shan “Milady it seems you have your freedom, I hope this will ease the burden of sorrow that you have borne for so long”. Malachai approaches with a wry grin “Some prize, that jackal gives you a rusted blade. But never fear for my nimble hands have taken something of value from him in recompense” Laughing Mal pulls a silvery ring with a large green gemstone on it from his pouch “Would you care for it Hue?” “No thanks, I do believe that my hands are a little large and besides you are the one likes the pretty baubles” chuckled Hue. “Thanks then and congratulations on your victory, Jenda-shan I am elated that you are now free to decide your own path” said Mal.

Upon arriving at the caravan, the trio are immediately approached by Perlan. “Jenda-shan come to my cabin, it seems I have now come into your sole possession”. “What do you mean by this Perlan. Jenda-shan is now a freed woman, and will never again serve another man” spoke Hue. “Free!?! I’ve paid good gold for her to her former master and now she serves me” exclaimed Perlan. Hue spoke with a deadly quiet “No Perlan, I’ve paid in blood to her former master and now her freedom is unquestionable. You do not want to test this assertion”. “I want you out! All of you! You threaten me and steal what I’ve rightfully paid for! If you are here in the morning I will seek the magistrate!” shouted Perlan.

The trio gathered their gear and walked a little ways from the camp. Jenda-shan turned to the duo “Where do you go from here? I would accompany you if you wish it, or I will go find my family of the Stormsoul Genasai and take my rightful place among them”. Hue and Mal exchanged glances, and Mal nodded to Hue. “As much as your company would honor us, your quest to find your family should be your first priority. My sword-brother and I will find our own path.” Malachai gave a cheerful grin “As intertwined as our lives have become, fate will surely have us upon the same road again, this is not goodbye only goodluck with your quest. Please take this lovely pearl I found in Firestrom Watch to remember me by” Jenda-shan smiled with tears in her eyes “Mal you and your baubles, so many trinkets you’ve given me that you “found” in our travels to brighten my day. You should find someone special to lavish your attentions on. And Hue, you have been the rock that I have rested my weary shoulders on when the load has gotten too heavy. You two have protected my life, my honor, and my heart these seasons together, never allowing me to give in to grief or sorrow. Two sword brothers acting as a shield to the harsh world and I have given you so little” Hue and Malachai both try to interrupt to tell her what she has given them, but Jenda-shan presses on “I would give you something to exemplify that bond, something that will always bind you together” Jenda-shan begins to sway and chant in a language unknown to the two travelers. Radiant light begins to emerge from her chest and lightning strikes all around them. “With this bond you will always be able to feel the others call, you will be both shield and blade to each others foe, you will never stand alone in times of need, and you will be stronger together than either of you alone” She then took Malachai and kissed him along the jawline behind his ear and said a phrase in a flowing language, turning to Hue she looked into his eyes and then moved forward to place another kiss in the same place. Hue felt an electric shock from his neck to his feet, not altogether unpleasant but powerful at the same time. “Farewell and know that you take part of me with you, Hue”, Jenda-shan then turned and walked away. Malachai breathed heavily “Wow. . .” he said, “Exactly” agreed Hue.

The next morning the friends struck camp still in a reflective mood due to the events of the previous evening. Hue drew the rusty sword “At least the balance is good, feels like an extension of my arm”, he started the one of the many practice drills he learned from Jenda-shan. As he came to the crescendo, a overhand strike to split the skull of a foe, the sword was consumed in flame “Argh, it burned me!” shouted Hue, letting the sword fall standing point first in the turf. Still on fire, a authoritative voice spoke from the sword

“Not until your return Home will you know my true name,
Not till you return Home will you befriend me,
Not till you return Home will you know your place as one of us Dragonborn.””

“Um, Hue. . .what just happened? That’s an awful lot of magic in the space of less than a day” Malachai said softly. “I don’t know my friend, but there is only one place that either of us could ever call home, and the only wizard I trust in Mame Provista” replied Hue. Taking the sword and sheathing it carefully the two brothers in arms decided to make Hillsfar, and the Academy their next destination.

“Hey Hue. . .ummm, I’m not sure how to say this but I can’t get this ring off”

The Boondock Saints Part Two -Malachai’s Story

After being found in a burned-out rowboat washed against the docks of Hillsfar, Malachai was taken in by the good wizardess Kiera Provista and raised as a ward of the Academy of Expeditions. His name was given to him because of his green eyes with gold flecks that reminded Mame Provista of malachite. At the Academy, Malachai earned the title Swifthand among his peers, showing an aptitude for magic tricks and games of chance. Somewhat of a loner, Mal nevertheless excelled in the tutoring available at the Academy. He was unusually bright and built a reputation for being boisterous and witty. Able to charm strangers into favor, or turn a common insult into a phrase resembling poetry Mal used his gifted tongue to his great advantage among the acolytes and instructors at the Academy. “Never call a man a coward when you can insult his entire lineage for cowardice” was a quote made infamous by Mal when he was still a child. Unfortunately this sharp tongue also drew the ire of many of the older boys. As a smaller than average child and having the refined features of a halfling Mal was beset upon by many of the other children at the Academy. This somewhat brutal childhood taught him the value of speed, stealth and the ability to bluff himself out of tight corners. While being chased by one bunch of particularly tenacious boys Mal came across Hue, the aloof Dragonborn, on the riverbank. Without pause the dragonborn leapt into the group, seeing an ally Mal turned and waded into the fray as well. After the bullies were scattered Mal and Hue became close, if oddly matched, friends. The pair would continue to protect the “displaced” children of the dock area, becoming known as “The Boondock Saints” to the would be bullies and bandits of the Waterfront District. Many times over the next few years into young adulthood the friends were tested, forging a powerful bond of trust. Eventually the pair allowed others into their circle of friends but the two always knew that in times of peril only each other could be counted upon. Now fully grown, Malachai was a little taller than average for a Halfling. He had his namesake eyes, with hair the color of the raven’s wing and a tan complexion. With the coming of age, the two decided that they would travel the world and seek their fortunes together knowing that while the other breathed his back would be watched.

The pair signed on as guards for a merchant caravan traveling to Belfry, this seemed as good a direction as any. Along the way Mal and Hue entertained themselves learning and singing the old songs, Hue’s bass and Mal’s tenor making a complementary duet. As days became weeks, they noticed that if they were singing together and had to separate, upon returning they would be singing the same part of the song due to the many hours of practice. They would use this ability to time patrols in the future, knowing that singing two songs would be long enough for a circuit of the camp and if the other wasn’t back by the last verse that trouble had come. This method worked well to surprise many a would be bandit. When Mal and his companion arrived at their destination Mal immediately spotted a tavern “My tall friend let us get an ale and here the news, maybe I can get into a game”, Hue assented and they moved on to the tavern. Upon entering and approaching the bar, Mal noticed his companion was alerted by a commotion at a corner table. Letting Hue take the lead, Mal quietly moved to the side of the small human making the ruckus. When the human slapped the woman he was arguing with Mal thought “Well that was the last mistake of this poor fool’s life”, and readily enough Hue intervened. In an interesting turn of events the small man Hue almost killed offered the pair a contract to perform in his travelling Caravan of Feats. Hue would study under the woman who was revealed as a SwordMage and perform exhibitions of arms, while Malachai would perform as an acrobat and perform sleight of hand for the children.

As the seasons passed and towns rolled behind them, the duo found their places among the caravan. Hue would train with the Jenda-shan the SwordMage, while Mal would practice with the other tumblers or work on his sleight of hand which was of great enjoyment to the crew. Then Hue, Jenda-shan, and Mal would spend the evenings together in easy company. Through these evenings Mal learned the basics of Jenda-shan’s unhappiness. She was in bondage of some sort to Perlan, the caravan owner, but when pressed on the issue she would only name her owner as “The Reason”. Mal and Hue decided that his extraordinary woman would only receive support and protection from them. In the towns where they performed Mal often slipped away at night to practice his “other” skills. When the sun rose in the morning and the crew would leave town, Mal would walk up between Hue and Jenda-shan usually with some pretty bauble; a scarf, an earring, or a trinket of some sort to coax a smile out of the haunted SwordMage. Laughing, the other two would berate Mal for his foolishness but Mal would always explain that he only took from those that needed to have their purses lightened anyways. “Didn’t you see that fat Earl’s son? The one with the four rings and the silk shoes? Surely even you two puritans cannot say that he didn’t need me to make room in his jewelry box for more trinkets and I’m sure the mother of the six that I entertained yesterday will use what I left her well.” Mal didn’t steal for greed; well not much anyways he only kept a bauble now and again, but to help those around him. The hardest part of working the caravan for him was watching the poor children he entertained with sleight of hand have to go home hungry, while the nobles in the covered boxes feasted. One night after the sword demonstration, Hue, Jenda-shan and Mal were approached by a group of men. Hearing Jenda-shan’s exclamation that the leader of these men was “The Reason” Mal readied himself to slip into the crowd and slit this man’s throat. Before he could make his move, Hue growled out a challenge to the cloaked man. Mal watched as his friend agreed to challenge a strange fighter with the wager to be his own freedom, and by consequence Mal’s, for Jenda-shan’s. During the fight Mal watched Hue’s back, letting the rabble accompanying The Reason know the repercussions of trying to interfere in the duel. Mal’s pride in his friend grew as the dragonborn dismantled the barbarian showing how much he had progressed over the course of his training. When The Reason presented what seemed to be an insulting prize, Mal took the opportunity of The Reason’s distraction to slip a hand into his embroidered purse. Among what felt like coins there was a ring, made of a highly polished silvery metal and set with a great green gemstone. Neither of his companions showed any interest in the item, so Mal deposited it into his own purse to be studied later.

Upon arrival at the camp it was shown clear that The Reason had pulled another trick on the trio. He had already sold his right to Jenda-shan to Perlan the caravan owner. Hue refused to recognize his claim on her and in doing so barred their re-entry to the caravan. Packing their belongings and moving off a short distance the triad had to come to some hard decisions. Jenda-shan turned to the duo “Where do you go from here? I would accompany you if you wish it, or I will go find my family of the Stormsoul Genasai and take my rightful place among them”. Hue and Mal exchanged glances, and Mal nodded to Hue. “As much as your company would honor us, your quest to find your family should be your first priority. My sword-brother and I will find our own path.” Malachai gave a cheerful grin “As intertwined as our lives have become, fate will surely have us upon the same road again, this is not goodbye only good luck with your quest. Please take this lovely pearl I found in Firestrom Watch to remember me by” Jenda-shan smiled with tears in her eyes “Mal you and your baubles, so many trinkets you’ve given me that you “found” in our travels to brighten my day. You should find someone special to lavish your attentions on. And Hue, you have been the rock that I have rested my weary shoulders on when the load has gotten too heavy. You two have protected my life, my honor, and my heart these seasons together, never allowing me to give in to grief or sorrow. Two sword brothers acting as a shield to the harsh world and I have given you so little” Hue and Malachai both try to interrupt to tell her what she has given them, but Jenda-shan presses on “I would give you something to exemplify that bond, something that will always bind you together” Jenda-shan begins to sway and chant in a language unknown to the two travelers. Radiant light begins to emerge from her chest and lightning strikes all around them. “With this bond you will always be able to feel the others call, you will be both shield and blade to each others foe, you will never stand alone in times of need, and you will be stronger together than either of you alone” She then took Malachai and kissed him along the jawline behind his ear and said a phrase in a flowing language, turning to Hue she looked into his eyes and then moved forward to place another kiss in the same place. Hue felt an electric shock from his neck to his feet, not altogether unpleasant but powerful at the same time. “Farewell and know that you take part of me with you, Hue”, Jenda-shan then turned and walked away. Malachai breathed heavily “Wow. . .” he said, “Exactly” agreed Hue.

The following morning Mal was in a pensive mood. Still unsure what Jenda-shan’s words meant, and how this would affect them in the future he inspected the place in his shaving mirror. Not a blemish or mark, yet he could almost feel a ghost of her lips brushing his neck. “Must be my imagination” thought Mal. “So where to now, Hue?”. “I’m not sure Mal, any ideas would be helpful” replied Hue “Let’s see what this rusty blade looks like in the good light of the sun”. Hue drew the rusty sword “At least the balance is good, feels like an extension of my arm”, he started the one of the many practice drills he learned from Jenda-shan. As he came to the crescendo, an overhand strike to split the skull of a foe, the sword was consumed in flame “Argh, it burned me!” shouted Hue, letting the sword fall standing point first in the turf. Still on fire, a authoritative voice spoke from the sword

“Not until your return Home will you know your true name,
Not till you return Home will you befriend me,
Not till you return Home will you know your place as one of us Dragonborn.”

“Um, Hue . . . what just happened? That’s an awful lot of magic in the space of less than a day” Malachai said softly. “I don’t know my friend, but there is only one place that either of us could ever call home, and the only wizard I trust in Mame Provista” replied Hue. Taking the sword and sheathing it carefully the two brothers in arms decided to make Hillsfar, and the Academy their next destination. As the duo started their long walk home, Malachai pulled the appropriated ring from his pounch. “Pretty stone . . . probably bring out the color in my eyes” thought Mal. Slipping it on his middle finger of his left hand, Mal noticed a peculiar sensation but no noticeable effects from the ring. “Hmph, well at least it’s good looking” grunted Mal, starting to remove the trinket from his hand. Or at least trying to, pulling and twisting the ring wouldn’t budge. “By Sehanine’s hair, what now!” thought Malachai.

“Hey Hue. . .ummm, I’m not sure how to say this but I can’t get this ring off”

Epilogue-Three Months Later

Hillsfar was within sight distance but nightfall and the ensuing storm halted the progress of our weary travelers. Sitting in camp with lightning flaring in the distance, Mal noticed something on Hue’s neck. “Hey, Hue” Mal called over the wind “You wearing an earring?”. “No little brother, you know I’m not” replied a confused Hue. Mal moves towards the dragonborn “Well something is on your neck, wait I don’t see anything now. Must have been a trick of the light” just then a rather large lightning strike flared in the night. “There it is again!” exclaimed the Halfling “It looked like an outline of Jenda-shan’s lips!”. “Look away from me so I can inspect your kiss also” stated Hue, as the lightning crackled “You have the same, but I can’t see it when the lightning stops”. Mal whispered “What has our Jenda-shan bestowed upon us? Are we forever marked by her love?”. Hue answered “We can ask the Mame when we see her, along with the questions that prompted our return”. “Answers in good time then? Very well, tomorrow we’ll seek to resolve these mysteries” stated Mal in a resolute voice “Tomorrow feels like a new beginning”.

Hue

Travelar: The Darkened Age Hue