Brother Alahendu

Brother Alahendu was born Geoffrey Taylor to a family he now seldom thinks about. Geoffrey lived a fairly normal childhood in Baldurs Gate. His family was not rich but not poor. They were good people and they raised Geoffrey to be a good person. Geoffrey attended school and when he reached the age of 18 he started working to make a life for himself. He did fine as a tailor apprentice for two years and was fairly happy with his life.

One drizzly night on his ride from the textile factory he came across an unusual situation. He was riding his horse Buttercup at a walk. Geoffrey’s home was on the edge of town, rather a poor and “dangerous” part of town, “as dangerous as any part of Baulders Gate could be, which isn’t very” thought Geoffrey. Just then a man came running up the empty street behind Geoffrey. “SIR! PLEASE SIR HELP ME!” shouted the man. Geoffrey stopped the horse and looked to the pleading man. “Let me on and hurry away from here, towards the stockade or anywhere where we might find men of law!” “What’s going on?” asked Geoffrey. The man was already trying to climb up onto the horse now. Geoffrey grabbed his arm and hoisted him up into the saddle behind him. “JUST HURRY, THEY’D KILL YOU TOO JUST FOR SEEING THEM!” screamed the man now near hysteria. Geoffrey then saw at least half a dozen men come with torches and weapons drawn from the direction the man had just come. “GET THEM!” shouted one of the men. Startled into a daze Geoffrey sat still for half a second before the man behind him dug his heels into Buttercup’s flanks and shouted “YAH!” Buttercup took off at a sprit and Geoffrey quickly regained himself and started to steer. Unfortunately Buttercup was not fast enough to outrun the bolts fired from the crossbows of the men behind them. The man behind Geoffrey took several and was already dead by the time he hit the ground. Buttercup took enough to cause her hind legs to buckle. Buttercup, Geoffrey and the man went skidding across the ground. Geoffrey was beat up from the fall and now suffering from foggy vision as he saw the blurry glow of the torches approaching him. “We’ll show you what happens to those who fuck with the Vipers.” The first hard strike to Geoffrey’s head knocked him unconscious. He did not feel the severe beating which ensued.

When Geoffrey woke up he hurt all over. He had bruises, lumps, cuts, scrapes, and gouges all over his body. He also felt as though several of his ribs were cracked or broken and his head was swimming in a combination of pain and dizziness. The memories of what had happened to him before he lost consciousness were nothing more than a fuzz of confusion. He looked around him and saw that he was in a rather vicious room. Though it was only about 12ft by 12ft there were several devises of torture. An Iron Maiden, a rack, a splitter horse, on a wall was a vast array of sinister looking blades and hooks. Geoffrey himself was lying naked, strapped to a stained wooden table that smelled of blood, shit, urine, and sick. The room was scorching; a fire burned in a stove along the wall and even though it was a small stove it was far more than needed to heat this small room of vile deeds to a degree hotter than any human could find comfortable. Then through the one and only door to the room walked three men. Two were shirtless, muscularly built fellows with black masks over their faces. The third was a wiry looking little guy. He was short, not much over five feet with dark hair, dark eyes, and the kind of dark skin Geoffrey knew to be a sign he was from far south.

“Hello” said the short man in a smooth even tone. “Now I don’t know you, you don’t know me, but I think you knew that fellow who hopped on the back of your horse last night, do you remember that?” “Not really” Geoffrey said quite honestly. “Now” said the short man “I think Charlie here believes you” he gestured towards one of the large shirtless men. “I even think Bruno believes you” he gestured towards the other man. “However I’m not so convinced.” With that the short man started speaking a language Geoffrey didn’t understand, however Bruno and Charlie seemed to know exactly what he was saying. They set to torturing Geoffrey. Geoffrey had always thought of himself as fairly resistant to pain, but this was insane. He didn’t know anything could be so agonizing. All the while the short man asked questions of Geoffrey in an ever even and steady voice. Geoffrey screamed whatever he thought the short man wanted to hear hoping he would tell Bruno or Charlie to grab an axe off the wall and end Geoffrey’s suffering. He shouted inane confessions to things he knew nothing about; all of this seemed to entertain the short man immensely.

The trio now seemed to be running out of non-lethal things they could do. Their final threat was to take a red hot forked and pointed piece of metal out of that little stove and sear Geoffrey’s eyes out of his head. Geoffrey pleaded but to no avail. The last thing Geoffrey ever saw were the figures of three warriors clad in brilliant gold armor bursting through the door, two men and a woman. Just then the sharp, hot iron seared into his delicate eyeballs and his world was consumed by the feeling of pain, the sound of his own screams (his hoarse voice now finding new life) and the smell of his own burning flesh, then darkness.

This time when Geoffrey woke up he heard the sound and smelled the fresh aroma of running water. He was lying on a very comfortable bed and all his pain was gone. It was such a complete contradiction to where Geoffrey had been when he lost consciousness he literally started laughing out loud. “This must be the afterlife, not so bad, though you’d think they could have fixed my eyes” he muttered to himself. “Haha, no, you’re not dead yet young man” said a low, elderly sounding man’s voice. Geoffrey flinched dramatically at the sound and rolled off the comfortable bed and landed with a thud on the hard wood floor. At this the voice he had heard let loose a tremendous laugh that seemed to shake Geoffrey’s head. Geoffrey reached up to the bed and felt his way back onto it and with the man still laughing with jollity Geoffrey began to feel his body for all his wounds. “I can’t feel any of my wounds, I’m not in any pain at all, how long was I out?” he asked. “You’ve been in a coma for about three months now, you are at a temple of Ilmater, my name is Remour and I am a healer. You are in a ward for severely injured people. I know you can’t see them, but around you are beds with 5 other people who are in comas. I was just in here to grab some paperwork, this is also our file storage room, I was a little surprised to see you awake; not that I didn’t expect you to recover, just wasn’t expecting it just now.” “Why aren’t I dead? I mean…” “I know what you mean” answered Remour before Geoffrey could finish. “Three of our soldiers, a cleric, a paladin, and a fighter if you really wish to know broke into that room right as you were loosing consciousness I believe they said. They slew your captors and brought you here. As I said you are in a temple of Ilmater. The cleric and fighter are soldiers of ours and the paladin was of the local temple of Tyr another of the Triad. Do you know of the Triad?” asked Remour. “No” replied Geoffrey. Remour gave Geoffrey a long summary of his religion.

When Remour was done Geoffrey had made up his mind. He was sure he wanted to give his life to Ilmater. Though he liked the sound of Tyr (especially since Tyr is a blind deity) Geoffrey was very enticed by the way the soldiers of Ilmater were encouraged to protect that which is good and pure regardless of what the laws of men said. The followers of Ilmater answer to a higher law. Though Geoffrey knew he would never be fighting anybody as a blind man (he was no God like Tyr) he still found the idea of purging evil with righteous vigor enthralling.

Geoffrey signed up to be a monk and became Brother Alahendu (elvish for ‘without eyes’). He figured he could still sew without being able to see, especially if he was just set to repair tears and rips in the garments of the hundreds of residents of the temple. It turned out that he was right and for several months he repaired the robes of the monks, the vestments of the priests, and any other fabric that needed stitching up. In fact he was quite good at it for a blind man. One day Brother Alahendu was called to a meeting with the head monk of the temple, Brother Elmudel. It was there that Brother Alahendu’s life was changed forever. He was led to Brother Elmudel by Remour (who had become his good friend) and was stood in front of the head monk. “You are to be a warrior of Ilmater” said the monk plainly and without a hint of humor. Brother Alahendu was taken aback. “Brother Elmudel, with all respect and humbleness; how am I to fight when I can’t even find the toilette without sticking my hand in the water?” asked Brother Alahendu. “Through the power of Ilmater great things are possible, we cannot regenerate your eyes, but there are other methods of sight.” answered Brother Elmudel. Brother Alahendu then felt a very soft piece of cloth, a blindfold really, being placed over his vacant eye sockets and tied behind his head. All of a sudden the world Brother Alahendu had left in that hot little room with his eyes was back. He was still in darkness, absolute and complete, but new worlds were opened up. He heard a fly buzzing; he could tell that the fly must be about 20 feet away. It landed on something warm; Brother Alahendu could feel the warmth of someone 20 feet away. Then he could feel the wisp of air movement that was created when the person brushed the fly away. Brother Alahendu dropped to his knees, he heard the echo this made and was given an unbelievably clear picture of the room around him and he began to weep dry tears. “You have the heart of a warrior, I can see it in you” said Brother Elmudel. “You will receive tattoos today. Red blood smeared under your eyes so everyone who looks upon you will know that your eyes were taken in violence and in violence you will show them the justice that is Ilmater’s.”

Brother Alahendu’s training began the next day. For 6 years Brother Alahendu received training in the ways of a combative monk. He learned how to use his visceral new sight to great effect. He learned how to fight with nothing but the clothes on his back. He learned how to dodge swords, catch arrows, and use his body as a weapon of great power. Now it was time for Brother Alahendu to go out into the world and do what he had been trained to do, what he had been born to do. To protect the innocent, and to bring justice to those who would do evil; and Brother Alahendu’s justice is swift.

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