The Founder's Chronicles

The Truth Behind Your Eyes

The people of Hafan crowded around the Hufflepuff Household, kept at bay only by the guards. They desired to see the great Beast Master within, who alone tamed a magical beast that would ordinarily take more than ten wands. What was most remarkable was this stranger did it without magic, adding more to the mystery of their origins and background. This person saved the daughter of the Hufflepuff family and any who found themselves in good graces with the masters of Hafan would be well rewarded.

Avalon hissed at the leaf places on the wound to her shoulder.

"Stop making a fuss." Elene sighed, smoothing out the pasted leaf and adding another one while a different witch bended the broken bones in her rips, most painfully.

"You hardly made a sound when she mended your bones, the least you could do is take a few ointments with dignity." The witch said without remorse, "Honestly, I cannot leave you out of my sight for a moment--one moment I'm with Fenrir the next I see him running and hear people screaming. To think you would involve yourself to this level!"

Avalon chuckled, lifting her arm carefully to have another leaf added to her side. She had taken quite a few beatings at the cause of the Granian. Broken and cracked ribs, fractured arm, numerous contusions, a few flesh wounds and bruising--Avalon could have avoided much of this had she fought back. Elene understood that Avalon had used no weapons, nor alchemy and found this to be foolish against a magical beast of such power. Whatever had possessed her to believe she could manage this crisis with little protection was foley. However...Elene found it difficult to be angry for long--at Avalon.

Fenrir rested himself beside Avalon, his ears up and alert every time Avalon made a pained sound. If it her pain reached a certain degree, such as the pain from mending bones, he would come closer and lick her face. Thankfully the most painful part of her treatment was over.

Elene placed the next leaf, but kept her hand over it as she muttered, "I wish you would stop placing yourself in such danger."

Avalon glanced back wondering how to have Elene understand how 'normal' danger is to an Anexus. How could she? Elene lost the man she loved to such violence because of a dangerous situation Falcon placed himself in. She could blame herself, or she could blame Avalon and Falcon's father, but even for Avalon, who lost her understanding of their own laws against sorcerers violence is something normalized. She resents the reason of the law, not its consequence; had one betrayed the clan then they are sure to pay for their crimes, but without evidence, without the true intent of betraying the clan should one have to pay for it with their life?

"Forgive me." Avalon said quietly, when putting a clean shirt on, "It is not something I may avoid. I cannot stand idle by while others are harmed, especially a magical beast who my people are tasked to protect. "

"Such 'is the way of a Wolf of Anexus." Said Heilar as he entered.

Elene and Avalon tensed. The hearing of Avalon's family name could only be expected, seeing as their crest had been inked to her shoulder, marking her as a member of the alchemist lineage. The shredding of her cloak and shirt had seen to its partial display and there was not a witch or wizard in the isles that did not know to run in fear of its sight. The two travelers had done best to keep Avalon's family name hidden, not that her first name would raise suspicion, but to put the two of her name together would certainly cause problems.

"Don't worry 'bout any trouble. 'Side from the goblins, I'm the only one 'dat knows." The wizard said, opening his hands to his sides to show he was unarmed.

Dressed in finer clothes, the wizard wore an attire suited for a noble gentlemen. Colored with black and gold, observed on his left breast side was a black and white badger decorating the fabric. His beard was trimmed, groomed and cleaned and much different that their first meeting when he sold her a bread bowl soup and sat to chat. Had Avalon not recognized his magic any other could have easily mistaken him. He became suspicious of him now, though he showed good intentions, his drastically changed attire caused the warrior within her to tread carefully.

"I do not care about who knows her name!" Elene exclaimed when stepping to the wizard, "I want to know why she was forced to put herself in such danger!"

Heilar's back straightened as Elene pointed her finger and ridiculed the lack of enforcement for the rules. What punishment would there be for the wizards who violated Hafan's laws? Who would be responsible for the near-death of Avalon--why was it a 'child' was more capable of taming the beast then ten wands? Avalon simply kept back, not paying mind to the conversation that was more an apologetic, one-sided, banter than an argument. She eventually went passed the two sorcerers, going unnoticed as she and Fenrir left the room and the house. Having not realized the time of day, especially underground, she found the time only by the amount of people in the cavern--it was mainly barren, a few people were walking from their stalls, having finished the work of the day.

Avalon and Fenrir were slow, more that Avalon was sore from her fight and Fenrir kept back to help her if needed. She went to where the foal and its father were and when satisfied with the improved health of the winged-horse, continued on, meaning to travel back to her inn.

"Alchemist." Said a struggling sober.

Avalon turned to see Master Kloog behind her, motioning, begrudgingly, for her to follow. Back to the emptied Goblin Market, Master Kloog rubs his head and puts away his wine, clearing a chair for Avalon to sit. Clearly he was coming out of a haze of a long-sustained drunken stupor else this politeness would not be seen. She sat quietly, waiting for the hazed-stricken master to collect his words at his own pace.

"When I said you had the same eyes as your father, I mean it as before--you both had the same hunger for power." He began, leaning back in his own chair, "I had seen it many times, many people who use my weapons all had a desire for strength, but Tali...he was the only one who I believed had a true his to use that strength to protect his clan. You are much the same."

The master pointed his long, skeleton fingers to the mold of Berserker.

"I forged that axe fully believing in the honestly of his eyes, but what I could not see what the darkness in his heart. Perhaps it was there when we met, perhaps not, but I do not doubt the man I met back then. Who he is now however..." The goblin's black beady eyes went back to Avalon, "Is certainly different."

The alchemist's eyes lowered, as she listened to know that she was not the only one to notice the change in her father. He was not the young man the goblin knew and he was not the father she remembered as a little girl.

Master Kloog growled, "Seeing as you are the spiting image of your father I believed you would become just like him."

Avalon frowned.

"Until today." The goblin continued, "Your father would not have hesitated to use alchemy, just as the sorcerers were quick to use their wands. But you..." He motioned to her, "Against a magical beast, even at the threat of your life you did not act on your fear; you found a solution without magic. I see man becoming too dependent on the absoluteness of magic, they do not see a way that does not involve--you do."

Master Kloog looked to the long sleeping forge for a time, pondering his next words. He watched Avalon wait patiently, not giving up because of the old goblin's refusal of her. She waited, using her time wisely, practicing reading and writing, desiring to understand things outside of the Anexus view. If people asked the old goblin, he would say there is not enough of such open-mindedness in this age. The world would certainly be better off with more of that around, yet the master recognizes the struggle she would face.

He knows the Anexus well enough to understand they do not have an obsession of their traditions and history, but a loyalty and means of honoring their origins. They are no more backwards than the witches and wizards who fight for the supremacy of their bloodlines. Watching man destroy one another, whether they be alchemist, sorcerer, or muggle, goblins have watched as a neutral party, however Master Kloog finds himself wanting to take a side now. Avalon's side.

The master stood, taking his bottles and setting them in the back, "When you come back tomorrow, leave your weapons, they will only get in the way."

"In the way?" Avalon finally spoke in confusion.

"You cannot work well with all those in the way now can you?" He answered over his shoulder, "If I am to forge you a weapon to best my Berserker, I will not be the only to do all the work."

Avalon woke before Elene, dressing herself quietly in a manner that would not even wake her dire wolf. Looking to the numerous weapons, parchments, inks and treated leather, customized with transmutation circles to allow ease of battle, the longest being fixed on Falcon's axe. Forge Master Kloog said to leave her weapons, that they would get in the way, yet the idea of leaving without them made her feel naked and exposed. Her fingers touched the wood of the handle, a weapon stained with the blood of many foes and yet was used in the defense of their kin. Her touch left the axe and all that remained was the leather bracer gifted to her from Godric, at the very least she would not remove that. She braided her red hair in a simple yet effective manner that had her shoulder-length hair fall between her shoulder blades and out of the way
With a note slipped between Fenrir's paws Avalon left:

'Wnt to Goblen Markit wil retrn latr'

Her muscles ached from her injuries, but she paid no mind to them. She was excited, eager that the weeks of frustration and patience had at last bore fruit. The first step was being taken, the first of her path where she would gain the power to surpass her father and save her clan. Others of the market were slowly rising, the true early-risers now filling their stalls with the goods to begin the new day. Avalon continued on, walking fast as she passed the sweet fabrics of the far east, the sands of the middle world; to the dragon's mark that carved the wall of the cavern she did pause. If not for this place, for Hafan she would not have this chance, if not for meeting Elene she would not have learned of a world and life outside the village--if Falcon had not died, would she be on this path? Her father once told her that it was well to remember the past, but it was wise to let it go. That was a different time however, a past man he once was, but no longer--Avalon would not cling to the memory of a dead man.
In the Goblin Market she found Forge Master Kloog stepping from his shop wearing a groggy expression as he continued to recover from his drinking.
"Much too early for this." He growled, setting a few tools on the bench, "Go get us breakfast, I will finish here. I just have to find..."
Looking around the goblin goes back into his shop, leaving Avalon for the time. Upon her return, having brought an assortment of foods from the goblin kitchen; though her presence as the only human did not raise open verbal distaste, it was expressed once Avalon left afterwards. Master Kloog and the alchemist sat together indulging in goblin cuisine Avalon was not familiar with.
"It won't bite." The master said with a mouth full of food, "You must eat, I have no need of an assistant who falls over from hunger."
Without argument Avalon bit into the unknown meat and found it quite salty, yet the sauce that covered the mushroom was savory and balanced it out. With more instruction from the goblin, Avalon dipped the meat in the sauce and ate the meat and mushroom together creating an even more delicious consumption.
Curiously, Master Kloog spoke up above the mystery, "That band on your arm, I find it hard to believe your clan would have created an enchanted item. Where did you get it?"
"My friend gave it to me." Avalon swallowed and looked at the leather bracer fondly, "A wizard I befriended when I was younger."
The master took another bite, "Is this wizard still with us? Or had Tali seen to it he would not be?"
"His father and brother came as did mine, I was able to stop them from fighting, but..." Avalon's expression was saddened, "For an Anexus and a Gryffindor to be was fun while it lasted."
"Allowing your father to determine who you call friend and here I took you for a rebel of his decisions." The master huffed.
"It is not that I do not want him as my friend...if I did my clan wold not stand for it and my father would surely kill him." The young alchemist said quietly, tracing the embedded spell with her fingertip, "If he is seen as 'just another wizard' father will not go out of his way to kill him."
Forge Master Kloog finished his meal, but did not press Avalon to quicken her pace. A sick assistant is as much a useless person as a hungry one. It was not long before the two were full and ready; the goblin motioned for Avalon to bring her seat and to listen carefully to his words for he would not repeat them. Taking the quill, Master Kloog dipped its edge in ink then hovered it on the side of his parchment.
"So! What weapon are you most familiar with?"
Avalon did not hesitate to answer: sword.
The master was off, his quill steady drawing the blade of a sword, glancing at Avalon, instructing her to stand and hold her arm out; grip a model sword with one hand, then two; swinging and taking her usual stance.
"The sword will be longer and heavier than your normal weapons, but can be wielded with one hand." The goblin explained, "As your mind and body grow you will be able to wield it better. Do not lose heart if you have difficulty in the beginning and must use two."
Parchment was crumbled up and burned; after a time of many changed designs Avalon was instructed to keep inside the shop and wait for instruction. She looked to the numerous drawings and tools, pieces and items with a thick layer of dust covering them. Some pieces seemed to be moved today, others not in years, but all displayed skill in their craftsmanship. There were few books, to read titles from, therefore Avalon had herself look to the different and peculiar tools. Never has she seen such complicated, yet delicate instruments of craft, at the village there were tools designed only to forge weapons. Weapons created by alchemy were short-lived, weak, and impersonal, their use was only in intimidate combat and the Anexus had a master smith, a veteran of the hammer who was primarily responsible for the repair and creation of weapons, nonetheless smiting was a skill everyone in the village has at a minimum a basic grasp of. Still...nothing they created could compare to that of a Forge Master Goblin. The Anexus were warriors, not craftsman.
The back of the shop was more livable than the front, likely to be Master Kloog's personal area. Avalon ensured to keep away, desiring to remain in the goblin's good graces, or at the very least off his bad side. Sleep took her, having fallen prey to it on the floor against the wall, between a bookshelf and a corner wall. Despite appearances she was comfortable in this spot, a warrior's instinct the remain hidden and shielded on numerous fronts, regardless of the cornering of movement.
The goblin finished for the day, having lost the concept of time, which meant little to he and his kin, but to humans it was different. He called her a few times, without response, but found her cuddled up and without movement. She was still, inhumanly still that one could believe she dead had the patterned rise and fall of her chest not existed. This was not a natural position, this was trained, ingrained into her from a young age as the art of war was forced into her. To evade a battle, to survive a battle, then to win a battle. For the goblin who had seen much in his long life, it was still difficult to see child soldiers, to know a fourteen-year-old girl had fought in battle, had killed numerous people and could not even call someone she treasured friend.
Master Kloog pulled a blanket from his bed, though small, it suited her balled up and child-size figure. He placed the blanket over her, deciding against ending the work for the day and instead moved his work into the shop, setting up at the table next to the bookshelf.

Avalon opened her eyes to standing on a mountaintop. Though the winds blew and the snow blanketed the area around her she felt no chill, rather she felt warm. Looking to her surroundings, the alchemist found behind her was a massive valley and in its center stood a tree nearing the mountain's height. The valley it resided in was vast and green, full of trees, hills, streams and waterfalls. The sound that came was felt within the ground, pulsing throughout and filling Avalon with its rhythm--a heartbeat. The beat pulled her toward the tree, its vast branches of green stretching its arms to welcome all who would beckon its call. She heard that call, without words she heard the call, felt it within the depths of her soul; somewhere deep in her memory she knew the way to the tree. She followed that which drew her in, a deep seeded urge so powerful that she did not question it or fight it; she longed for it.
Further and further down the mountain her speed was unmatched yet it felt though she only walked. Down the mountain and in the valley, Avalon saw the circling of ancient beasts, the masters of the five elements who occupied the skies in their own ways. Into the forest the alchemist ran, finding creatures and beasts never seen before and yet knowing who and what they were. The light in these woods was bright, despite the Great Tree above much continued to break thru without blinding or heating one too quickly.
The clothes Avalon wore, those of the waking world, broke away revealing a white pants and shirt, decorated with the crest of the Anexus, her body was painted with the ancient words and markings of warrior of old, her hair escaped its constricting braid and flew free in the wind. She could run in these woods forever, the freedom, the energy and life she felt melted away the weight of what she carried. The wood-lined ended and Avalon found herself in view of hundreds of villagers, caped under the canopy of tree. They dressed in the same clothing she now wore and noticed her arrival. An elder man, wearing a face similar to her father, smiled and offered his hand the the young Anexus. Avalon reached and was blinded by the light of the sun and was back in the waking world, lying in a corner of a goblin master's shop with a blanket draped over her.

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