Shadows of Gold
Elian of Dagport
Master Swordsman and Journeyman of the Golden Mystery
At first glance, Elian’s thin body and wrinkled skin betray him. The receding wisps of grey hair on top of his head suggest a man who should confine himself to a comfortable chair in the lowlands. Any period of observation, however, will correct this assumptive misconception quite forcefully. He gestures with the powerful control of a spring mid-wind, and his polished eyes interrogate each feature they encounter with the harsh intensity of a master going about his work. He maintains a rigid posture, suggesting the cane he carries with him is more for enacting his will than enabling his walk.
He has two features which do truly suggest the age he has attained, and he carries both of them angrily as he walks about. The first is a cough that shakes the air in the space around him. It comes suddenly and is racks him thoroughly until it passes. The second, equally sudden and all-encompassing, is the brooding silence which overtakes him mid-conversation. He will become intensely quiet, focusing all his energies on a point in the air, and will not respond for minutes on end. When either has passed he ruffles up angrily and continues on with the great purposefulness that usually occupies him.
The chapters of Elian’s life sit varied and vague behind him. When a person is able to pin him to the subject of his upbringing, he tells the story of a shepherd boy who became fully consumed with the teachings of The Goddess Siel. He fell in with a group of free knights during his pilgrimage and learned the arts of adventuring as a protector of the weak on the Bridge Path.
Others claim that Elian is of noble birth, that he is the forgotten son of a grand duke, that he won the blessing of a wood-witch at the age of 14, that he slew an entire war party of gnolls single-handed at Jutner’s Ferry on the red-moon’s eve thirty years ago. The most outlandish claims about him paint him as an assassin of a mysterious order, hiding out in Dagport for the crimes he committed in his youth.
All that is truly known of Elian is that he came to Dagport 20 years ago, settled in with the bridgeman, and declared that he had retired from his previous profession of adventuring. As a Journeyman of The Golden Mystery, he is well respected within the town. At strange hours of the day and even during training sessions, he will suddenly need to excuse himself, holding unscheduled meetings with mysterious strangers and members of the town elite. The contents of these meetings, however, are well concealed from the uninitiated.