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Faithful Companions

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Zerai awakened his Aura early in his life and was pushed into the life of a Sage by his proud parents, who expected more from him than he could reasonably provide at such a young age. Taken into an Enclave at fourteen, he was deemed a Sage at sixteen and rather than leaving to pursue the path of an errant, he chose to remain at his enclave and instead focus on alchemy and mysticism. Though he expressed an interest in these trades, his reason to stay was partly to keep from returning home, where he knew his parents would pressure him to use his talents to show off and gain them recognition. Maintaining communication through letters, he studied for another two years before finally deciding he was out of excuses and had to return home. Upon doing so, he was paraded through his community and showed off by his parents like a prized trophy. He hated the attention, and more than that he hated the fact that his Aura was the only reason his parents were excited about him. Soon, he fled. He did not intend to stay away for long; only long enough to rest from all the attention.

In a neighboring region, Xioli had been thirsting for adventure and action for as long as he could remember. Discovering his Aura proved to fuel that thirst even more, and the local militia gladly welcomed him when he enlisted, hoping to experience thrills. There, he got his training as a soldier and every year for the duration of his enlistment traveled to a distant Enclave to hone his Auran gift and talents. As the years went on, however, he realized that the action he craved was becoming more infrequent as the army cleansed the land (and those of its allies) of strife. Around that time, he and his fellow soldiers accepted a mission deal with a horde of roving bandits that was growing dangerously quick.

During his travels away from home, Zerai came upon a village under siege by a gigantic horde of bandits. Tents completely surrounded the village, which was walled and on an elevated hill. The fox felt a calling to help, knowing this was why Sages did what they did. He snuck in and managed to blend in with the bandits, staying within the shadows and away from crowds. He soon met and befriended a horse he assumed was a member of the horde, Xioli. Xioli certainly had the personality to fit in with the bandits, though Zerai noticed he also had a particular nobility and benevolence that seemed out of sync with a group of plundering raiders. The two hit it off rather well, in spite of the company that surrounded them. After studying the situation for a couple of days, Zerai advised Xioli to remain near the outskirts of camp. The fox then gathered nearby supplies from the surrounding forests and, with the aid of his Auran power created a tremendous explosion that devastated the first ranks of bandits who had set camp near the village’s gate. In the confusion, numerous bandits turned on each other, slinging not only accusations, but weapons. Zerai had initially intended to stay out of the camp, but then realized Xioli may have gotten caught in the scuffle and rushed in to make sure the horse was okay. As everybody was turning on each other, he noticed many of the bandits were wearing ornate, patterned armor under their cloaks. They were part of a local militia! Apparently, a nearby army had snuck into the horde to gain information on the leaders and structure of the horde and possibly figure out where they would be keeping their plunder.

Zerai, not having the armor, found himself turned on by both factions and was forced to draw his Verrocite weapon. The soldiers backed away, unsure about facing a Auran but not sure he was a Sage. The bandits, however, rushed him. Zerai defended himself the best he could, though sustained injuries in the process.

He suddenly found a soldier lunging at him. He threw his weapon up to defend and realized it was Xioli, wielding his own Verrocite weapon. Xioli was a Sage! The two Aurans froze, staring at each other in shock, then parted and fought against oncoming bandits trying to surround them. Xioli relished the opportunity to unleash his prowess against these savages. Living among them for a few days had shown him how horrible they were, and he had no remorse as he cut them down.

When the battle ended, the bandit horde was devastated and the army (and Sages) were victorious with the village saved. Xioli had a chance to explain that he was a Sage under the command of a regional army. The two chatted for a while and Zerai, preferring Xioli’s company over his parents, decided to travel with the army to their home region. There, he got treatment for his injuries sustained in battle all while Xioli watched over him. In the following weeks, Zerai and Xioli grew closer and became inseparable friends, sparking a deep relationship that only intensified as they spent time together. During this time, Xioli listened to Zerai’s tales of errant Sages told to him during his time spent training in his Enclave. At learning of all these grand adventures, the stallion decided that wandering the land in search of thrills was much better than staying around the barracks waiting for something to happen. The two friends set off on their own shortly thereafter, both in better spirits than before.

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