The Promise

Introduction


Approximately 10 years pre-Exodus.


The sandstorm was well into its third night and the Company was fighting desperately to keep the tsera from collapsing under the weight of the sands.  Several had already been lost.  A man, suffering numerous wounds and burns, arrived with two young, terrified children.  He used ancient and arcane Society pass-phrases to get past the pickets and be delivered to the command tent.  Debinani had just been named Ataman, and he, Anmoch, and ancient Ralben conferred with the man in private for many hours.  When dawn came (and, coincidentally, the end of the storm), the man had succumbed to his wounds and died and both children were presented to the Company as charges.  They were not, however, trained as soldiers of the Company and were instead educated almost entirely under Ralben’s tutelage.  Their presence with – and not within – the Company has been a source of some speculation – but the command staff has been tight-lipped and will reveal nothing.


Though few know exactly why, or indeed who began referring to them as such in the first place, the two children are referred to by the Company in general as “The Promise”.


The Whole Story


Approximately four hundred years prior to the curse, the Company found itself in the employ of Lord Erik Stormstone, one of the mightiest clan chiefs in Cimmeria.  The Society served the clan faithfully for two generations and indeed some intermarrying occurred not only among the enlisted men and the commoners, but between some of the NCOs and officers and the clan family itself.  During a raid by a rival clan, the Company became cut off from the rest of Erik’s force.  Erik sent his eldest son, Cirrus with a company of heavy horse to break the Society out of the snare, essentially rescuing the Company from complete and total decimation; but Cirrus was killed in the dramatic charge.  Captain Lucas Arryn of the Society, who in their years together had become like a brother to Erik, swore that the Company, his family, would one day repay the sacrifice of blood that Erik had made that day – sacrificing his son to save the sellswords.


Four hundred years later, Wulfgar Stormstone still presided over one of the largest and most powerful clans in Cimmeria, however their lands were very near the Vanir tribal borders and the fighting was incessant.  No one is entirely sure what happened the night the Vanir came in force, but it’s suspected that there was treachery behind the raiders clearing the walls and proceeding to wipe out the entire clan.  The only known survivors of the assault were three of Wulfgar’s children and his younger brother, Cregan.


Wulfgar’s eldest son, Garid, fought his way clear of the slaughter with his very young brother Aurelion and sister Arja in tow and rapidly found that not only would none of the other clans shelter him, some actively sought the death of he and his siblings.  However, neither the Stormstone clan nor the Society had forgotten their promise.  Garid, pursued by assassins hired to end the Stormstone line, crossed the lands with his siblings and sought the Society in their desert exile.  He charged the Society with the preservation and restoration of his line.  Blood for blood.


The Society gathered upon breaking ground on a new city and these details were revealed to the Company as a whole.  Arja chose to name the new keep Revenant Keep, and the gathering chose to name the city Storm’s End.

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