I never considered my life a curse in the beginning. Living past the age of a normal man, being able to travel more lands than any get to see in a life time, seeing the world grow over hundred year spans. I felt pity for those around me as they shriveled and eventually turned to dust in what seemed mere weeks to me. Man always grabbing at another day, another moment, another breath. I never considered that my will to live would decay faster than my body.
It was hard for me to stay in one place for very long. There is so much to see and do before my hourglass empties. However, I was infatuated with the salty sea breeze of Kiam. So much so that I ignored the blinding sun day after day and the searing heat reflecting off my skin. “Hey! Look at you! Are you… actually getting a little tan?!”, Naive joked as I lay in the shade of a nearby palm tree. Naïve… The essence of a sun goddess. Sun kissed skin, always smelling of citrus. Untamed golden hair as wild as her curiosity. Bright blue eyes as gentle as the morning waves as they roll onto the shore. “I have to do something to try and keep up appearances next to you,” I replied revealing my best seductive smile. “Well, you’re going to need a lot more than just a tan,” she slumped herself against the tree next to me. I’m not sure what it was that drew her to me. She was by far one of the most desired women in the nearby village of Tarnack. Perhaps the fact that I was a stranger to this land and even stranger in appearance to those around me attracted her. Seems the oddity that I am worked in my favor this time around.
Days turned to weeks, weeks to months, months to years, and I stayed in Tarnack. It was a beautiful place but couldn’t compare to my Naïve. My whole being moved and lived for her. She knew this and still never took advantage of my passion for her. Our loyalty to each other knew no bounds and with each passing day I found myself more and more entranced with her. I was sure there was no greater existence than the now, nothing could be grander. Then I became a father. I had no greater love than for my queen until my two princesses came along. Naïve gave birth to twin girls, Akala and Akeese. A spitting image of their mother complimented by my midnight black hair. My luck seemed to have no end. To be blessed with this seeming everlasting life, a ravishing wife, angelic daughters, and a home next to the most amazing views one can imagine. I envied no man.
Nothing ever slowed my Naïve. It seemed as though motherhood only made her more ambitious, and every bit of her spirit rubbed off on our girls. Time was never a thing that bothered me. It seemed endless to me, but the more I spent with Naïve the more I began to fear and even hate time. Every sign of aging on her was a constant reminder that the inevitable was to come. Knowing that I would have to watch it happen and there was no chance I would go before her killed me. She carried her beauty and grace as the years passed. Thousands of years could have passed and I still would not have been prepared for that day. She passed quietly in the night. They all said she lived a full life, but it wasn’t enough for me. Clutched in her hand was her locket she wore every day. Decorated with the markings and engravings of Pelor on the outside concealed the pictures of our girls, one on each side. On the rare occasions she would ever feel fear or doubt you could see her clutching that locket. Whether she held it looking to Pelor or the girls for courage I will never know. I was never the same after that, and never stopped wearing that locket. Akala and Akeese were just as devastated as I with their mothers passing. However, they were much stronger than me and found themselves constantly looking after my well-being.
Even more time passed. I dreaded each second knowing it would prolong my existence and force me to grieve and watch those I love pass around me. The sun and warm breeze no longer sung the song I once loved. It just reminded me of what I lost, night was my new siren. I stayed close to Akala and Akeese through the years, usually having family dinners in the long hours after the sun set. They had beautiful families of their own, their mother’s genes run just as strong as she was. They cared for me just as they had Naïve despite our drastic differences, and I loved them for it. Their families, however, did not share in that same caring and understanding. The small village of Tarnack that once accepted what I am soon began to die off with the following generations. Instead of smiles and kind words that once met me on the streets, whispers and rumors lingered in the alleys and doorways. As Akala and Akeese grayed with time I knew what little pain I sowed from their mothers passing would be reaped when they met the same fate. I was 151 years old when my girls died. Both passed in the same month. What little light I still enjoyed in life went with them in death. Blackness was my only comfort. I still had half of my life to live and I didn’t want to make it another minute. Everything I had learned to live for was gone, and I wanted to go too.
I left Tarnack, even Kiam altogether. Memories and grief was only going to hold me back. I headed for the elves, known to be wise to all magic of the new and old. North in the forests of Meheln Serin I sought answers for this gift turned curse. An elven alchemist, Ahnaton, took the time to hear my plight. Whether it was pity or curiosity, he agreed to help me. Over the years he taught me everything he knew about alchemy, potions, brewing, and the arcane. I walked in one morning to see him behind the counter, unusually looking at me and not with his nose deep in a book. It was look I knew well, pain. Ahnaton did not stumble when he spoke, but you could hear the ache in his voice, “Evra, we have been through all the text books. From elven magic, to dwarfs, to those of the dragons and gods and we have yet to find no answer. The answer you seek may not lie with me, but-“. “I will not stop Ahnaton!”, as I cut him off, “I will not take no for an answer. There is a cure for this disease, curse, whatever it may be! We will find it!”. His eyes lower to his hands. Following his gaze, I notice the papers in his hand. “What you seek is not here. This I am certain of, but I do believe it is out there.” He handed me an old weathered piece of parchment, it almost feels like cloth. “I found this in a book of old lore about ancient monsters in the night. I cannot decipher it all as it seems to be a combination of several languages, but it does speak of “tainted blood”. Whether it pertains to your situation I am not sure, but it is all that we have.” Staring at the paper I mutter, “Then I shall leave. I will find a scholar, historian, anyone who can read this to me.” Ahnaton nodded his head and began to hand me another paper, this one a letter. “This also came for you. Directly from the King, Lord Ernest Wentworth III himself from Windom. He seeks your audience immediately, even has sent out a cart to take you there directly that is currently on route here.” Puzzled I ask, “Who? I came straight here from Kiam and barely spoke to anyone. How could this king know of me? And what does he want?”. “I do not know, but whatever it is perhaps it will allow you to find one to help you on your path,” Ahnaton sighed, “I will not lie; your presence will be missed here. I have grown fond of our friendship. Please remember that the world is not your enemy.” I, too, had grown comfortable here. Life was almost tolerable, but the comforts of friendship were not enough to erase the pain of the past. Grabbing his shoulders from across the table, “Thank you my friend. When this is all and done I will visit you. Hopefully as gray haired and wrinkled as yourself”. Ahnaton couldn’t help but let out a chuckle, “Never thought I would hear a man ache for the main of a silver fox. Take care Evra.” With a wave I left. Barely a day passed when the cart arrived at the edge of the forest where I waited. Veiled in my plague mask and cloak, I climbed aboard to see more confused and unfamiliar faces. I hope what this king has in store for me leads me to my salvation. One way or another….