After the defeat of the skulls, a celebration was in order. It felt like an everlasting fog had been lifted and purpose had been made clear. There was so much left to do and so many things to learn.
Once things settled down, the minor lords and stewards organized a tournament and festival to celebrate victory over the skulls. Craftsmen, enchanters, and chefs came from distant lands to sell their strange and exotic wares. It was a time of merriment, which I gladly took part of.
After having to take up the mantle of leadership, I had been drowning in meetings and paperwork, always one minor issue after another and it never seemed to end. I decided to take a break from it all and try my luck in the tournaments.
Soldiers and mercenaries from all of the Myth Wood were there to participate. When it was my turn in the ring, I fell on my arse a few too many times for my liking. I was disappointed at how terrible my swordsmanship was and decided I needed to improve it. I just… didn’t know who to ask or where to start. I didn’t feel like I could ask any of the soldiers or mercenaries. I’d be paying a pretty penny for a chance to increase my swordsmanship, but it would also offer a chance to slander my name. Bardic stories of the wrong kind could easily ruin my reputation, which I could not afford at the time. Instead I decided to go back to Grey Arrow to see if there was anything in the library on swordplay or something similar. I don’t remember how many hours I spent in that library, but what I found made every hour worth it.
Deep in the archives I came across some old scrolls tucked away in the back of the shelves. It spoke of special training for young gifted Gray Elf children to create what was called a “Vardr”. The majority of the time, many of the children failed the first trial. The Trial of Gar it was called. An incredibly technical trial of swordsmanship. It required the focusing of an inner “Selbho”or magic power that affected the physiology of the subject. Reportedly, only three in ten pass the trial. Those who didn’t pass had all magical power burned from them, but those who did gained lightning quick reflexes, their eyes changed, and other bodily enhancements were noted. It was a terrifying and disturbing read, but intriguing nonetheless.
If the young elves survived the first trial, they would then move onto another test which is known as the Trial of Weid, which involved the focusing your “Selbho” through the eyes, and allowed for better magical vision, and understanding. Unfortunately, it also resulted in partial blindness to normal sight. There was very little information on the details of the trial, but according to the name it must’ve had something to do with traversing your own dreams in attempts to find an answer to something? Or maybe to confront something to surpass one’s own abilities.
After finding these scrolls, these “trials” have been on my mind ever since. I wanted to find where these “trials” were being conducted, I wanted to find how to use this “Selbho”, and lastly… I wanted to see if it was possible to either train, or even become one. It sounds ridiculous, and it sounds dangerous and idiotic, but I HAD to know.