Campaign of the Month: January 2008
A Deadly Affair
Nadina’s story begins before she was even born, originating with her conception. Nydelim, Nadina’s mother was traveling through the wildlands with Liangrad, the man who Nadina was raised to call her father. Their naive nature lead them into great peril as they were ambushed by a group of demons. Her mother always said that she did not recall much of what happened that day, but as Nadina grew older she believed that her mother didn’t have the heart to tell her the true story of what happened that night.
Though coming into the age of puberty is often an odd time for a child, times were even harder for Nadina. It was becoming harder and harder for her mother to hide the once subtle features which attributed her demonic heritage. For the next several years her mother did all that she could to keep Nadina away from the other villagers; however, as Nadina neared the age of 17 curiosities arose among the boys of the village.
Nadina was certainly not the most attractive in her town, but was not worse for wear either. It started with a note left outside her window, and from there a relationship began to grow. Audoven was a boy often rejected by others himself and there was a certain affinity between the two of them. For months they snuck each other messages back and forth occasionally getting the chance to glance at one another through the glass partition which separated Nadina’s room from the outside world.
On their six month anniversary, Nadina and Audoven planned to meet at the towns end in a small patch of trees. Nadina knew the spot well. She had often climbed those trees as a child, before her mother began keeping her hidden away. She grabbed her hood and covered herself up well, by now her horns where easily visible and she did not want to raise alarm. As she snuck out the window that rainy night she hoped her mother would not be angry. Afterall, she had no hateful feelings towards her mother. In a strange way she always knew her mother had her best interests at heart. Had she known the full repercussions that night would bring, Nadina might have never left her room.
Her feet sunk into the mud as she landed down to the ground and began her journey to the edge of town. When she arrived she could not see Audoven anywhere and momentarily thought she had journeyed out for naught. She was just about to turn back when Audoven came running down the street. He had a little bit of trouble dodging his ‘old man’, but made his way none the less. The two sat and talked for sometime. Nadina mostly asking about the other children in town. It wasn’t long before Audoven leaned in and kissed her. It was her first kiss and the the only kiss she has ever known. She became so lost in the moment that her thoughts were a blur and she completely forgot her secret…
In the passion of the moment, Nadina’s hood fell back. In the darkness Audoven did not see, but the rain had well soaked the two by now, and Nadina’s hair was falling over her face. He reached up to brush her hair aside and he became perplexed by what he felt. Audoven pulled away from her in a concerning manner, thinking perhaps it was a lump from some sort of injury. His face turned to terror as he realized what he had felt and he saw the nearby torch light glistening off her horns.
Nothing was known of Tieflings in the village; all that had ever been told were stories of the demons in the wildlands. Most children had thought of them as mere scary stories used to scare them away from the wildlands, but Audoven could not discredit those stories now. He saw the horns protruding just the way it was often told and his childhood fears came back to him. He rushed off into the night without a word. Nadina called after him, but he never once looked back.
As she stood there amongst the trees, her tears mixing with the rain running down her face, she heard her mother’s voice. It was faint and in the distance, but every child knows their mother’s voice. She ran in the direction of her mother’s voice still not thinking of her current state. There were not many villagers out that night, but those who were looked on in shock and began yelling to those they knew. Even her mother stood with a face of horror as she ran to her and wrapped her arms around her.
Her mother embraced her tightly, knowing what Nadina did not. This superstitious town would never allow for her kind to exist among them. She quickly turned her away from the onlookers and pulled her back into the house. Nadina lay in her room that night. Several times she heard crashes outside the house and her mother arguing with neighbors. She had heard them talk so jovially in the past, but now their words shot daggers.
Before the night was over her mother had come to her and told her that they would no longer be safe here. Nadina tried to speak, but her mother quickly squashed any talk of staying. They took only a small amount of provisions and a single horse. It was a full nights ride until they finally arrived at a small village on the outskirts of the wildlands. They rode into an inn, and her mother paid for a single room. She told Nadina that she would have to leave her. That if she wanted peace for the two of them they would have to be separated. It was a decision she understood then, but one she sees as selfish today.
Her mother left Nadina a small amount of food, clothing, and coins which she had hastily packed along with one other item. She pulled it from the bag and placed it in Nadina’s hands. Nadina didn’t need to be told. She recognized the blade as her father’s scimitar and the one she can only assume her mother used to escape with her life the night Nadina was conceived. Her mother kissed her on the head and road off into the night. It didn’t feel like it at the time, but that was the day when her life truly began.