Zaelphion Devress - Mind of The Watcher

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Zaelphion Devress - Mind of The Watcher

Unread post by Zaelphion » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:18 am

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It happened again, the nightmare I've been occasionally doing since I left Waterdeep the first time.

I am with Holgard, Nora and the other knights, they are talking to each other and I can hear them.
I try to say something but my mouth doesn't even open.
They laugh and talk lightly, but I cannot intervene, I have to follow and listen.

Then they all disappear, suddenly, and I'm in the woods, in the mist.
I can still hear the echo of their voices but I am alone.
I can't even see the sun above my head.

"This is not who you are, Zaelphion."
I hear a voice behind me, but no one is there.
I recognize it, it's my father's voice, I can't say anything still.

"You can't break our father's heart like she did Zaelphion."
I hear a voice on my left, but no one is there.
I recognize it, it's my brother's voice, I can't say anything still.

"You can't be like me, you have to find your own path, Zaelphion."
I hear a voice in front of me, but no one is there.
I recognize it, it's my sister's voice, I can't say anything still.

"Why are you here, what's your goal, Zaelphion?"
I hear a voice on my right, but no one is there.
I recognize it, it's my master's voice, I can't say anything still.

I want to scream, I feel lost, I can hear them but I can't find them.
I feel powerless, I run in the woods but there is no end to it.
I stumble upon something, it's Nora's body, covered in flowers like the day of her funeral.

"She died for nothing, is that what you want?"
I hear my father's voice again, I want to scream.

"Come back to the manor Zaelphion, I can give you purpose."
It's still his voice, I feel the urge to scream rising stronger withing me.
The woods are becoming hotter, I can see some lights in the mist.

"Come back, I said! You are just a naive young man that wants to play the valiant knight, you will fail, LIKE YOUR SISTER!"
His voice is rising, the woods are now on fire, I can feel the heat on me.

"YOU SHUT UP!"

And I wake up, and it's over.
Last edited by Zaelphion on Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Zaelphion Devress - Candlekeep Watcher
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Re: Zaelphion Devress - Mind of The Watcher

Unread post by Zaelphion » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:06 pm

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I made the decision to walk away from Candlekeep for a time.
Not too long hopefully, I felt weird asking for names and reasons at the Gate.
While at the same time, people was fighting against an undead plague.

Forgive me Father, but I had to do this, I will be back at the Keep soon enough.

So I travelled South.

Nashkel must have been a lovely village, if it wasn't for the recent crisis.
Amnian soldiers and Helmite Knights patrolling the roads, sad faces, no kids playing chase.
I could smell the fear in the air.

I saw a small crowd gathered for a funeral, five men lost their lives in a recent battle.
I stayed there to pay my respect, but when everything ended, a boy remained by the graves.
I walked closer, he wasn't crying, he was clenching his fist almost hurting himself.

"They will pay."
He said, his tone was clearly angered, but calm as well, if possible.
He was filled with a thirst for revenge, but he was only a young boy.

"Anger is a frail bridge, it will bring you exactly where you want to be, in a fast and convenient way. But the bridge might collapse, if you walk too fast. Anger can give you purpose, but it can also kill you, let it show you the way but maintain control, you decide how fast you can walk."


This is what I said to him, this is what my master Holgard used to say when I was angry and wanted revenge.
Anger is a well of power, but it is hard to control, losing control of it means rushing into an early death.
The boy hardly listened to me, so I decided to make a deal with him.

I gave him my old sword, magical, worth a lot of gold for a boy, I said:

"If you decide to take this sword you will have to offer yourself as a squire to the local knights, train, learn to control your rage, not rush in the woods looking for revenge. The other option is, I sell the sword, you take the coins and use it to travel away from this village and find a job somewhere else, since you have no family left here."

The boy decided to take the sword for himself and join the knights.
This crisis is making a lot of people suffer.
I am no hero, I was a squire non even a year ago, I can't even say what I want to accomplish by being here.

I will try my best to make life easier for the people of this village, since I can't solve the problem myself, I will support them.
This is not like one of those books I read when I was a child, I can't rush against the evil overlord and save the day.
It is complicated, and every life that is lost is lifechanging for those who remain, soldiers aren't just scenery.

Every single one breath, think, and live like me.

Heroism is not easy.
Last edited by Zaelphion on Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Zaelphion Devress - Mind of The Watcher

Unread post by Zaelphion » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:44 am

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Right after the meeting with the Avowed, Edelgarde had a message from Hoppy.

Nashkel was soon to be attacked.

We left immediately.

As soon as I stepped into the town I could smell it again, Fear.
I know that smell clearly, because I feel it, everytime.
It is what makes me bark and act in this situations, like a dog.

I see the townsfolk walking toward the Temple of The Watcher.
Men, Women and Children, their faces showing infinite shades of fear.
A baby, crying in the background, the shouts of the soldiers at the wall.

As I walk with Edelgarde, Karen and Tristam toward the Temple I can't help but thinking...

There is no epic tale truly capable to describe fear and despair, I can't hardly do it myself.

We joined the commander Wai Li after meeting Hoppy, they both went with the team chasing Clyde, the necromancer.
A choice I can hardly understand, should a commander leave her own town and men at the orders of outsiders?
Probably there are motives I do not know, and I will not judge any further than this.

The men have been given orders, I have been given the task to guide a small group, just four: Me, Edelgarde, Karen and Tristam.

So we march to the foothills to make our first stand, and it all starts, we all fighting our own fears in a different way.
I look around myself while taking the centre of the formation, the fight against fear has began far before the battle.

I need to motivate them, show them that their leader would stand and defend them no matter what.

The first wave comes, the front stands.
The second wave comes, the front stands.
The third wave comes, the front stands.
Un undead giant comes, the front stands.


Than they swarm us with their main army, we have to fall back, I shout to Theodoric, running behind the walls with my men.
We now have to defend the northern bridge, while Theodoric and his men are defending the southern one.
We are not many, but I dont expect a lot of undead rushing into our bridge.

I am proven wrong almost immediately.

We stand for what we can but the line falls quickly, I see my allies dropping on the ground and that fear grows into me.
It growls like an hungry beast, the more I look into the enemy the more I feel overwhelmed by it.

"I need to run, I am going to die once and for all."
Than I turn back and see them, Edelgarde, Karen and Tristam on the ground.
"No you can't, no one is to be left behind."

As I grab their bodies to bring them to safety I feel the growling beast transforming.
It's still there, but it is now howling, and that is giving me motivation.

What is Courage?

I lose my survival instinct to save my allies.
I rush into the enemy to take them away.
Is this idiocy or courage?
How does fear turn into it?
Does courage even exists?

I have no time to think about this during the battle, when I go back to the bridge I expect to see the undead walking through it.
But we had reinforcement from the other group, the sight of new allies fills me with energy, and I rush back into the battle.
After a few more waves the enemy dissolves into shadows, they are called back by a greater power, and the battle is over.

Nashkel is safe, for now.

No news from the offensive group, any attempt to contact them fails.
And now what is left is hope, if they fail the town is going to fall.
The walls are down, we lost many soldiers, if they attack again Nashkel will be history.

For now we can only hope and celebrate this victory, a precious one.




Thanks to DM Foresight for the event!
Last edited by Zaelphion on Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Zaelphion Devress - Candlekeep Watcher
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Re: Zaelphion Devress - Mind of The Watcher

Unread post by Zaelphion » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:48 pm

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I stand out of the gate.
Looking at the stars above me.
The noise of the waterfalls is my only companion.

Than I look at the last letter my father wrote to me, I always keep it.
The one he wrote to tell me about his last wish.

Why do I keep reading it?
Why do I need to make a dead man proud?
Why did I run from my master?

I read it and I realize, the first time in my life, that everything important that was taught to me was somebody else's decision.
Almost everything, I have always wanted to be a fighter.

So what is my own initiative? What is part of me?

Being a knight? That was my sister's wish, and I wanted to imitate her.
Being an Helmite? That was my master's wish, and I learned.
Going to Candlekeep? That was my father's wish, and I obeyed.

So I am now in the present, and I have to make a decision for myself.
What do I want to keep and what do I want to leave and forget?
I need to put everything on the table, everything, look at myself on the mirror and see how I really look like.

Being a knight.
I am not technically a knight, yet, but do I want to be one? While I admire knighthood and all it comprehends, becoming a knight means that an order has to make you one. At the moment, I feel that no order is close enough to me or I admire enough to take that step. So I am not a knight.

Being an Helmite.
I say the words and prayers, talk about faith, but do I really have faith? I repeat what I was taught without ever really stop to think, was this really my choice? I do certainly agree with Helm's teachings but that is not enough to talk about faith, there is so much more in life that I love, strong opinions that I have. Perhaps I shouldnt just stop to Helm and open myself?

Being in Candlekeep.
This is curious and unexpected, this was the thing I expected to question more, but this is probably one of the few things my father did good for me and I am not really sure he expected this outcome. I feel at peace in Candlekeep, maybe even too much, the people around me can make me happy. I still feel that guarding the gate is not enough for me, I'd like to do more and more, but I cannot rush.

So what am I now?
This is hard to outline, I am a young man that loves swordfighting, strategy and history about battles. I am enclined to follow knightly values but I still cannot think to myself as a knight, that is similar about my faith to the Watcher. Perhaps I will read and talk to find out what more I could bring into my life. Last but not forgotten, I am definately a Guard of Candlekeep.
Last edited by Zaelphion on Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Zaelphion Devress - Mind of The Watcher

Unread post by Zaelphion » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:27 am

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Tempurian.
Isabella repeated that a few times.
When I was talking about my ideas and opinions.
Tempurian...?

What do I know about Tempurians? People say they are violent men, war is their only purpose.
Am I one of them? Is my soul really driven by the love for battle?
You told me not feel joy, for using violence, Holgard.

But I cannot lie anymore, I shouldn't have lied to you.
Even if my mind tries to push back that emotion, my soul is a fire that cannot be completely estinguished.

I draw my sword and I feel... the thrilll.
I hit with my sword and I feel... satisfaction.
I sheath my sword and I feel... renewed.


I have chosen to find my own road, so I have to let my soul go.
Does this make me a violent man? Am I violent?
I don't think so... I like fighting just as some people like to play cards.
I dont think that makes me a violent person.

So I decided to look more into Tempus and other minor deities close to him.
I dont want to find a new faith, I am looking for inspiration.

Then I read this:

"War is won by those with the best planning, strategy, and tactics, regardless of the apparent odds. Any fool can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with fortune's aid. Only a master strategist can ensure lasting victory. War is a series of battles. Losing a battle does not necessarily indicate the war is lost. Seek out your opponent's weaknesses and recognize your own; avoid an opponent's strengths and play to your own. Only by focusing one's own strengths on the opponent's vulnerabilities can triumph be ensured."

The Lady of Strategy's dogma.
Only a master strategist can ensure lasting victory.
A master strategist.

Maybe I can be more than just a soldier, I can actually read something I like, all the time I want, for the first time in my life.
War can be my own field of expertise, in every sense, on the field and at a war council.

How does one become a master strategist?
And I hear my father's voice, like thunder.

"Knowledge is the key to open any door in life, I hit you with this book because you didn't -know- I was coming. You know, you can predict. You can predict, you can achieve."

I am literally guarding the biggest library known by mankind.
I can achieve anything I want.
Maybe this is it.

I will be a master strategist.
Last edited by Zaelphion on Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zaelphion Devress - Mind of The Watcher

Unread post by Zaelphion » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:03 pm

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I've been thinking about myself for many years.
Which is funny.

You spend years trying to master a fighting style that is meant to protect others,
and you end up only thinking about yourself.
How selfish of me.

Now that I am part of the Avowed and I slowly walk toward my goal, to study strategy and war history,
I have time to breathe and think about how lucky I am.
I've been thinking about my own internal struggles but in fact life has given me things most people can only dream.

People suffer outside of the keep and I am here, protecting one of the safest places in all Toril.
And I have good food, a good bed and I am surrounded by incredible people.

I think I've been around them long enough to call them friends, at least on my part.
I don't care much if they don't feel the same toward me but I can definately say that I consider them as friends.
By them I mean Edelgarde, Isabella and Jalib.

The people that has been around me the most.
Each one of them has something that I strongly admire.

Edelgarde has a peculiar innocence that is like a glass of water in the middle of the desert.
In a world so full of evil, corruption and dangers, seeing her smile has that refreshing feel that I will never be tired of.
It's because of people like her that I always enjoyed the idea to protect and serve.

Isabella gives me the same feel of safety that you have when you made a mistake as a child, and you go to your parents in tears asking for help.
I know I can count on her support even when I did something wrong, and I know she will tell me what needs to be fixed.
It's weird to think about my superior as a motherly figure, but that's what it feels to me.

Jalib is just pure force of nature, I admire his seemingly endless source of energy.
I admire his drive so much that I started thinking "What would Jalib do now?" in some situations.
But still, even if tempting, his ways can't be taken as example all the times unless you want to get in trouble.

I am lucky to have people like them around me.
I hope to grow strong and capable enough for them to admire me as well.

I should think about others more.
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Re: Zaelphion Devress - Mind of The Watcher

Unread post by Zaelphion » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:11 am

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He is gone.
I hoped to see him again.
There will be no chance now.


You have been like a father to me, Holgard, and I left you.
I could have been there for you, I might have been able to do something.
But I was here, watching Candlekeep's gate and talking about nonsense with my friends.

I hoped to show you how grateful I am for your teachings.
I hoped to show you how much I have grown.
I hoped to show you my new life.


But you are gone, and all is left of me is the young squire who went away.

Your teachings will never be forgotten.
Your ideas and philosophy are part of me.
Your memory will keep me focused on my path.

I would pass on your teachings to somebody else, but the coast is chaotic.
Not many are interested into following your ideas.
People are drawing swords every day for meaningless reasons.

In the middle of the storm I'll remain calm and vigilant.

I will not fall into temptation and anger.
I will not use violence to solve problems unless it's the only option left.
I will not join the bloodbath.

I will fight with words more than swords.
I will keep my composure even in front of my worst enemy.
I will keep my word and my vows.


Now that both my fathers are gone I have to walk by myself.
I have to treasure the experience you gave me and carry on.
Everyday I feel like I am discovering more and more about myself.

I am not a boy anymore.
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Re: Zaelphion Devress - Mind of The Watcher

Unread post by Zaelphion » Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:07 pm

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Something changed.

I am free now, everything should be back to normal.
But there is something different.
It's not normal.

At first I could not understand what it was.
When the adrenaline of running away was over, everything was dyed in a different shade.
Like a thin layer of black on top of everything.

I can't understand what's wrong with me.

Is it anger?
Is it sadness?
Is it both?


They have done something to me that is much more than torturing my body.
They must have broken something inside me.
And no, it's not some kind of spell, I feel it.

I am losing composure and sense of purpose.
I feel ashamed by how easily they managed to capture me.
My own opinion of myself is far too generous.

Maybe I am not worth the ambition I had inside me.
Maybe standing at the gate asking questions is the only thing I can hope to be good at.
Maybe I should stick to that.

I don't want to be tortured again.
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Re: Zaelphion Devress - Mind of The Watcher

Unread post by Zaelphion » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:06 pm

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And so, the day has come.
Zaelphion Devress, Watcher of Candlekeep.
Time will tell if I deserve the honor.


Responsibility has now fallen on me.
From the very moment I'll give an order any consequence of that order will fall on my shoulders.
I was given leadership over guards that have served the keep for many, many years.

A young man from Waterdeep suddenly joins the ranks and after some months he is leading men.
My biggest challenge now is to gain the trust and respect of those that might see me as...

Too young...
Too incompetent...
Too fragile...


There is one way to do it.
To exceed expectations in any front.

Combat prowess.
Leadership.
Planning.
Everything.

A young man from Waterdeep suddenly joins the ranks and after some months he is leading men.

You ask why?
Because he exceeded every expectation.

An military officer can't go anywhere without the trust of who is around him, both top and below.
That's why they can't see my fear and my doubts.
I can talk myself into being perfect all I want, but I still lack experience.

No one will follow an officer into facing death, if they see the shadow of doubt in his eyes.
I must have this fight with my inner shadows alone, if I want to succeed.

I wonder if I can win this fight.
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