The Tale Of Marion DuLacey: The Origin Of A Hero

It was a small town… the type of place where everyone knew everyone. A quiet valley in the mountains. I grew up in a happy home, content to cause the elders trouble with my pranks and listen to the stories of the merchants that travelled through. I would sneak into the tavern and hide underneath tables. I truly thought I was clever back then, snagging food while the travelers pretended to not notice me.

They told stories about great dragons that breathed bubbles, about sirens that sang about their deepest desires and wizards that could speak to the dead. Their stories were so wild I eventually went to the library. Though it’s stories of far of lands were limited, I found out soon that wasn’t the issue. I couldn’t read… I grew up in a family rich with love but poor with gold and so my parents couldn’t read me neither could I. It’s frustrating… knowing that right in front of you is information, endless knowledge, but I was stopped by my own ignorance.

I went to the library every day and stared at the markings on the delicate papyrus. One day though… something clicked. I noticed the words and they held meaning. I read and read for hours until the kind librarian lightly touched my shoulder and told me it was time to go home. He locked the door and the little gnome escorted me home by lantern light and made sure that my father and mother knew where I had been. I think that was the first night I dreamed…

The gnome was a wizard, by the name of Bilros, and it was under his wing that I truly learned to read and cast spells. My parents were proud. I had an education and some degree of power. I was not a talented wizard but I had an affinity for fire and illusions. Bilros knew we had no money to pay him but the librarian asked only in return that I be his apprentice. Among the duties of being his student I would also reach items from the top shelf and scribe long and tedious copies of rare tomes.

Seven years passed and one day the tiny trade route saw its last traveller and, without traders, the village dried up. Bandits began coming into the town, taking what they please and fleeing into the woods. The merchants took the longer way through the mountains, a way they wouldn’t be harassed by bandits and monsters of myth. People began to disappear, bandits and villagers alike.

Rumors began the spread though out the village that a great evil lived in the woods, powerful enough to lure people out there and steal their souls. Where those rumors came from… I have no idea. I was not afraid of spirits and rumors though and decided something must be done about the bandits. Like I said, I was not a strong wizard but I had illusions and when those failed… I had fire.

I made it my business to defend my village. Under the cover of darkness I would summon fog around their camps. Blazing blue lights made the shadows seem only more menacing and illusions of people and great beasts would drive even the strongest of them away. Once or twice someone would see through these scare tactics but a brief fireball later and they would be running back home to their mothers. It was one of these encounters that I set fire to a great oak tree. The townsfolk noticed and it was then that my parents discovered my absence.

My father waited for me at the village border. I was soaked by rainwater and sweat. My fathers face was soaked with tears however. He said it was not my place to fight for the village. He said it was his… I’ll never forget the look on his face that night. I should never have let him leave… I should have believed in the spirits that haunted those woods.

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