Sir Charles Brigham

“Kneel” said the king in a deep voice. Charles Brigham complied and lowered his head to the venerable royalty before him. “Cleric, and servant of Pelor; your deeds of bravery and courage have not gone unnoticed” began the king speaking through his beard of grey. “You have served my kingdom in my name and in the name of your God. You have displayed honor and valor. You have demonstrated to the people who know you that you are a man of virtue, a man who can be trusted to do what is right. What you have accomplished through your wisdom and strength has brought you before me today. You entered this Cathedral Charles Brigham.” With that king gently touched the shoulders of the kneeling man. The tip of the sword delicately tapped a metallic sound as it encountered the shining silver shoulder guards of Brigham. “Now rise, and hold your head high as Sir Charles Brigham, Knight of this kingdom and Servant of Pelor.”

Sir Charles rose to thunderous applause. As he looked out at the hundreds of people who had come to witness his knighting he thought back on the path that had led him to this place, and what he had done to earn such an honor. His eyes rested upon his parents whom he saw seated with honor at the forefront of the lavishly upholstered balcony.

Charles Brigham was born to wealthy aristocrats. His parents, Peter and Claudia Brigham were well liked in the kingdom. Both of them had come from powerful families. Peter was heir to royalty. His father was the king of a neighboring state. Peter had two older brothers who were ahead of him in line for the throne so Peter headed to the State where Claudia resided. With him he brought wealth with which he began forming and running businesses. He dealt mostly with trade on the water. He employed artisans of all sorts to create the finest sailing vessels the great seas had ever seen. He created ships for militaries, nobles, and traders.

Claudia was the daughter of a logger. Her father ran the logging industry which fueled all the wood to Peter’s shipwright industry. One day Claudia’s father had sent her with a message to Peter, what the message was about is long ago forgotten nor is it important now. What was important was the meeting of Peter and Claudia. Peter was a handsome young man. He had a defined facial structure and light yellow locks that wisped like silk. Peter was not an overly tall or large man. In fact Claudia stood just slightly taller than him.

Claudia was fair skinned with light freckles that had not quite faded with her childhood. She was slender and graceful. Her hair was dark and straight and hung short for a
woman of those times and in that area. It came not even quite to her shoulders. Her eyes were bright blue, the color of the sky as Peter always thought. The two met eyes and the connection was instant. Less than a year later they were married and quickly became some of the most wealthy and powerful people of the area.

A few years after her union with Peter, Claudia became pregnant with child. She gave birth to Charles Brigham. By the time Charles was 10 years old there were already several dozen nobles offering their daughters for betrothal. The dowries presented were quite splendid and valuable. Yet Peter and Claudia accepted none of them. For them it was only love that could decide who one should spend their life with, not gifts.

Charles attended the finest schools where he learned skills of all sorts. He excelled at many of them but showed passion for none. He received the highest marks in every class he participated in. Mathematics, reading, writing, philosophy, even at fencing and others games Charles was above average. Yet he seemed to care about none of it. There was only one time a week when Charles seemed truly involved, riveted to what he was doing. This was at church. Charles loved church and could recite hundreds of passages from the book of Pelor.

Charles could have had great wealth. He could have married a beautiful woman and had a fine family. He could have owned land and businesses. He could have held political office or even just run around enjoying his life without worrying about working. Yet upon his graduation into maturity Charles chose something that only his parents and close friends saw coming. He joined the church of Pelor and set himself to learn the ways of a cleric. All of the fathers hoping to marry their daughters off to Charles were greatly disappointed.

Charles was schooled in the ways of religion. He learned about humbleness and humility. He learned all the traditions and practices of the church. He learned how to lead others in worship of Pelor. He learned how to pray. He also began to learn how to channel the divine powers of the world. Clerics to the church of Pelor are not only leaders of religion, but healers and servants to the good people of the world. Charles learned the arts of combat and how to defend those who cannot defend themselves. He learned how to cure the ailments of the body, how to regenerate lost blood, and even how to help prevent death. By the time he was only 28 Charles had already become the most powerful cleric in the kingdom.

“Come speak with me Charles” said Bishop Merelle. Bishop Merelle was the leader of the church to which Charles had been the servant for the past decade. “Charles you are a great cleric. I believe it is time for you to leave this church.” “Leave the church? The church is my home” said Charles. “Yes, but you are a strong young man. This church is a safe place, for old men like me.”

“Charles, I’m going to ask you to do something” continued the Bishop. “I shall do as you command me” said Charles. “This is not a command my son, it is a request which you may heed or disregard as you desire.” The Bishop paused to read the reaction on Charles’ face. He already knew that no matter what he asked Charles would not refuse, yet he asked it anyway. “Charles the light of Pelor burns less brightly on this land than when I was your age. Will you, Charles Brigham, go out into whatever land needs you and spread the light of Pelor?” Before Bishop Merelle had even taken a breath upon completing his sentence Charles replied “Yes Bishop, I will.” “Do you understand what is meant by this?” questioned the Bishop. “Yes” replied Charles. “I understand. To spread light the darkness must be quelled. Yes I understand what you are asking me.” “Very well then” said the Bishop. “You will have one week to ready yourself for journey from this church.” “Such a time is not needed; I can be ready to leave in but a few minutes and would prefer it that way. I have but one question.” “Ask my son” encouraged the Bishop. “Where am I to go?” The Bishop paused considering to himself how he should answer. “Where you are needed” he said at length. “Go where you are needed, wherever that may be.”

An hour after his conversation with the Bishop Charles was gone from the church. He rode for days until he was in a land he did not know. In this land he searched out any darkness that might be imposing itself upon the innocent and good. When he found this darkness he dealt with it and when he was done the darkness knew nothing but the light of Pelor.

For three years Charles wandered the lands searching for people in need and helping them in any way he could. Charles gained much from the evil creatures and people he slew but gave almost all of it away to the citizens of the area he was in. He kept only enough to keep himself fed with some fashion of roof over his head. During this time Charles performed many acts of bravery and courage. It was these acts that had brought him the Cathedral of his King where he now looked out at his parents.

The applause continued as Sir Charles Brigham strode, head held high with strength, not pride, down the aisle through the crowd. Charles spent some time in his old town. He visited with Bishop Merelle and his other friends at the church of Pelor. He spent time with Peter and Claudia (who by now employed almost a quarter of the town’s artisans). After about a week the time had come for Sir Charles to leave again. This time he picked a new direction and rode for twelve days before stopping in a small town called Fallcrest. “Well” thought Sir Charles Brigham, Servant of Pelor “let’s find some shadows in need of a light.”

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