Silas Ophrana was a good man. He believed that if people would band together and use their talents to complement each other's weaknesses, that we could arrive at a well-structured environment. He always strove for the betterment of others and forever cared for the less fortunate. I was very proud of my father, but I couldn't understand his reluctance to tell me of my mother. Although, I was encouraged to question on any topic—I always shied from speaking of her.
My father and I lived a short distance from Carradoun in the direction of the Impresk. A large ogre tribe lived farther on and made their abode on the shores of the lake. The ogres would periodically raid Carradoun, but before they could arrive to pillage the town, they passed within several hundred yards of our home. I would occasionally notice an odd gleam to my father's eyes before the ogres came. He would look to his palm to the ring that I never saw. From the back of his hand, the ring seemed small and well worn, but before I could ever see his palm, his fist would curl or his hand turn. It seemed that his ring was telling him that the ogres were rampaging.
After noticing him smile to himself our dog, Red, would come barking. She was warning us that the ogres were approaching. We would gather our weaponry and run to our points. Together, my father, myself, and Red, were a frightful team. Maybe something within the breeding of our dog, or a harshness to her bark, I've never known, but somehow, she was able to corral the ogres in our direction. Without fail, they would recoil from her advance.
My father had prepared me extensively for such times as this. As we waited for the ogres, we would prepare our crossbows and take our positions. After several rounds of quarrels taking flight, Silas would drop his arbalest and taunt the ogres. I was set above, and I would lay down my crossbow and prepare my rope. Beforehand, we had rigged extensive traps throughout the trees. Although, the chances were slim that an ogre would trip any of the snares, I placed them diligently in understanding that one less ogre was a small victory.
As the ogres tore through the trees toward us I would see my father mutter a quick prayer and draw his mighty battle axe. I would feel strangely content and slightly more destructive. With my lariat prepared, an ogre would step below. Dropping the lasso about his neck and heaving I attempted to distract the beast. My father would charge and finish off the foe. I would drop down and draw my long sword to fight beside my father. With Red herding the ogres towards us we would finish off the pillaging party.
My father had taught me many things. Together, we had learned the art of fishing, and if the gods were willing, able to catch much fish. He showed me how to properly instruct dogs and I quickly began to train my own. My dog Aloria, never seemed as ferocious as Red, but she seemed more intelligent. As we traversed the forest and traveled through the mountains he disciplined me in the skill of understanding animals. He showed me how to observe the actions of the animal and its' behavior to comprehend its attitude. Through this study I then learned to imitate the calls of many animals.
The evenings were very lonely. We only had each other; for we weren't welcome in Carridoun. Silas wasn't much for alcohol, other than wine, so I followed suit and never drank either. My father was respected for his talents and we would exchange our bounty of ogre ears for the supplies we needed. For many years I never understood the harsh glares of other men and the lustful looks of the fair women as we traveled through the town. When I asked Silas, he laughed and explained that women found any man of the Ophrana family very appealing. He then laughed harder to my increasing embarrassment.
As I grew I was very inquisitive. I questioned my father on many things. He discussed foreign lands and taught me the proper titles of important people. He showed me the appropriate greetings for various races and taught me the dwarven and elven tongues. I learned to write in Common, but I've never attempted any other language. Silas taught me many card games and various other gambling devices. I became very familiar with these and even eventually learned to cheat. This became the first time that I was ever harshly rebuked by my father.
I had never bested my father at chess. I was a very slow player, as was my father. Some games lasted several days. Silas had left to check my snares for any catchings and while he was away I added a captured piece. When he returned I presented my move and went about preparing the meal as he pondered his next play. Eventually I mated his king and gloated with a triumphant smile. He asked me if the game was played honorably and I hastily answered yes. He asked again and I then told him the truth. Silas seemed disappointed and asked why I had lied. I confronted him and told him that I would do anything I could to win. He then raised his hand and slapped me harshly across my face. He left the house and didn't return for several days. Him hitting me didn't hurt, what truly hurt was the disappointment that I had caused.
When my father returned, I made a vow to myself. I would be as my father was—honorable and noble. I would stand firm for everything that was right. I would maintain morals and ideals that would be unshakable. I would be just as good and lawful as the our foes, the ogres, were evil and unpredictable. This seemed very important to me and I made Silas aware of it. He looked so defeated and he just looked away. It seemed that within the last few days, I had seen such an intense and extreme swing in feelings in my father. It wasn't until later that I began to understand.
Several ogres had passed through our area and my father and I were badly hurt. We sent Red loping toward the town to warn the villagers. As we retreated to our home, my father clapped me on the shoulder and laughed. He told me that we had done the best that we could do and that the town would be able to finish the rest. I was very reluctant to not ride into town and help but my father restrained me. He said—he said that I had become a real man.
The ogres returned and had many townsmen in tow. Whether their fate be as prisoners or food, no one knew. I scurried after the ogres to see what their intent was with the villagers. They had captured seven humans and a dwarf. As I crept closer to where they had stopped, a light blue-colored ogre dropped before me. I temporarily froze, for I had no weapon other than my stiletto and daggers. I drew a dagger from my boot and held my stiletto before me. He danced about and waved his arms and I then was frozen in place.
As I stared at the ogre mage, he came closer and examined me. He took the dagger from my hand but let the stiletto drop to the ground. He bound me with twine and vines and soon I was trussed from the trees. He had blue hair and black nails. His eyes were frightful and there was a stark contrast between his teeth and tusks and his skin. He harshly grunted for me to stay and then off he ran. I don't know what he intended for me when he returned, but I was able to loose myself from the ropes and head home.
When I returned from following the ogres I told my father what I had seen. He asked if Red had returned and then a sharp pang seemed to hit him. It was later said that one of the men from Carridoun had seen her and shot her for he thought that she had herded the ogres into the town. After my father healed we replenished our weapons at Carradoun and were met with many venomous greetings. They felt that we hadn't done as we should and protected the town from the ogres.
I'm not really sure why we traveled to the ogre tribe, maybe to redeem ourselves or salvage our honor, but we snuck close to scout the surroundings. Unfortunately, we were stumbled upon by an ogre guard and carried to the pens. Here, with the captured villagers, we planned our escape. Many of us were to be used that evening for a celebration on their raiding of Carradoun, but we were prepared. In our escaping my father was mortally wounded and had no chance of living. As he died, he requested that I take the ring from his hand. The ring was very small and would not be removed from his finger. Even as I splashed blood upon his hand, the ring would not move. I removed his finger and took the ring.
He told me that the ring was my mothers. He told me that she had died at the hands of another, but he had been blamed for the crime. Once his innocence was proven he was allowed to return as a paladin. He made a vow to find my mother's killer and his fellow paladins requested him to not. They said that the greater good for the region would be achieved if he stayed and protected against further invasion. His status of paladin was lost when he left after the mage. He eventually avenged my mother's death and returned to raise me.
Silas told me that the ring was proof of my royal heritage, for my mother was of noble descent. He said that our name was Reonis and not Ophrana, as I had originally believed. He died shortly after and I gathered no more information of my past. I traveled to Carradoun, but they weren't able to help me either. So, gathering my meager belongings I travel into the world to live my life. What the gods will give me, I know not. What roads I will travel, I know not. I only know that I must travel.