The Calling of the Seven
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[Paladins' Guild, The Great Chamber] Tapestries and flickering torches line the walls of the circular meeting room. Eight sets of silverwood benches, arranged in ascending rows, face a central speaker's podium. The topmost row, a full three Tog-lengths above the main floor, sits at eye level with a large chandelier that hangs from the ceiling. You also see some brass-bound ironwood doors and a winding ironwood staircase. Also in the room: Corrial who is sitting, Tristtan who is sitting, Guild Researcher Oane, Sir Naelidaan who is sitting, Squire Palorn, and Legendary Paladin Ellsdragon who is sitting.
You see Guild Researcher Oane Hannitraulm, a Human Paladin. He has black eyes. He is bald, with pale skin. He is aged for a Human. He has a thick bushy mustache that droops heavily on his upper lip and a long shaggy beard. He is in good shape.
He is wearing an ink-stained leather scholar's satchel, some brass-riveted jousting plate, a blue linen tabard dyed with the bright green emblem of the lion of Chadatru, a pair of burgundy leather boots lined in soft black wool, a jadeite gwethdesuan, a kyanite gwethdesuan and a black linen bag.
Oane says, "Just a little bit longer and we'll begin."
Oane looks over the podium for its sturdiness. Oane rocks the podium back and forth for a moment before standing behind it.
Palorn moves to the side and behind the podium, standing silently but alert to the surroundings.
Oane asks, "Let's get started, shall we?"
Oane reaches into his satchel and pulls out a worn leather book with dog-eared pages and small notes hanging from the edges.
Oane places the book on the podium and begins to flip through the pages. After finding the desired bookmark, he steps back for a moment and smiles.
Oane says, "Good evening and thank you for coming to the first in my lecture series on the history of the Paladin Guild."
Oane says, "My name is Oane Hannitraulm and I head the research and archiving department of the Paladin Guild. The Paladin Council mandates my job and responsibilities."
Oane says, "Some of you have met me once or twice in the past few years and others are seeing or hearing me for the first time."
A small golden snake slithers to Ellsdragon's chest, coils tightly into the shape of a charm, and grows very still.
Oane says, "Many of you may wonder what I really do for our guild."
Oane says, "Well! Besides sitting behind a large desk with mounds of books and papers, I seek the truth of our guild. I seek to find out how our guild came to be, by whom, and why."
Oane says, "Along the way, I find many jigsaw pieces in our history and try to fit them into the little puzzle that eventually make the big picture."
Oane asks, "What are some of my accomplishments?"
Ellsdragon raises his hand.
Oane says, "While much of what I do is behind closed doors and not privy to the public, the Paladin Council has allowed me to share much of what I've done of the years through book publications and moving forward with certain expeditions."
Ellsdragon gets a mistwood icon in the shape of a watchful lion from inside his deep black greatcloak.
Oane smiles at Ellsdragon.
Ellsdragon puts his icon in his deep black greatcloak.
Oane says, "Enough about me! Let's move on to why you fine people have showed up today."
Oane says, "This is the first in the History of the Paladin Guild Lecture Series. Tonight I'll be covering "The Calling of the Seven.""
Oane leans into the podium and glances at his book.
Oane says, "I felt that it was best to start off the lecture series covering the seven individuals who are considered the founding members of the Paladin Guild, as it exists today."
Oane inhales a great swallow of air.
Oane says, "The guild has historically had its share of turmoil ranging from lack of leadership to poor organization. But I believe that the primary missing piece was just a simple lack of vision."
Oane says, "People have been called to become paladins for as long as history can remember, but these were people here and there. There was nothing drawing those individuals together as a whole."
Raising one hand, Oane states, "Tonight's first lecture is not about the numerous attempts to create a successful organization, but rather focus on the group of people who finally created the guild as we see it today."
Oane lowers his hand and smiles. "It's amazing to think that these people started to shape our guild only four centuries ago. When writing this lecture, I had difficulties choosing what order I should talk about these incredible people but the obvious is chronologically when they came together."
Oane says, "I also wish to apologize in advance that some of the information is sparse. I feel it's important to share facts; however, I will toss in a few of my own speculations at time."
Oane says, "The first person I would like to discuss tonight is a man named Syal."
Oane glances at his notes for a moment and says, "The official history on this man is filled with holes. He is in all respects, the man who is considered the founding member. He is the man who the next six paladins dedicated their entire lives and beliefs to."
Oane lectures, "What little we know about this Human is based on various documents written about him and some from him. We do know that he was lower nobility and that he moved away from that life when the gods called upon him."
Oane lectures, "We also know is that there are documented visions that he shared with people including Baron Falstad of Therengia."
Oane says, "This was... in..." Oane flips through his book for a moment and then looks up, "This was around 8 BL."
Oane lectures, "It appears that Syal's visions allowed little peace in his life. As I mentioned earlier, Syal is considered the founding member of the Paladin Guild and yet, the official council, guild, and guildhalls were all created after his death."
Oane glances around the room, catching your eye for a brief moment before moving on.
Oane says, "Now, I say death."
Oane leans forward on his podium and says, "But there have been many debates over what really happened to this man."
Oane says, "As I said, I can speculate but my theory is no more educated than the next person."
Stepping to the side of the podium, Oane says, "We do know that Syal sacrificed his own life to save his friends but what we don't know is if there was a body or a grave. There has been really crazy conjecture that the gods transported him somewhere else."
Oane waves his hands in a dismissive manner and says, "While I would love to believe that the gods saved our founding father, my realistic brain tells me that he simply died and that his friends did not wish to share the location of his burial site."
Oane quickly steps back to the podium and flips through his book. He smiles and says, "The next person I will talk about today is Syal'looks best friend and mentor - Hraige."
Oane lectures, "Some of you may have seen his journal in the Forfedhar guildhall. If you have not, I really do wish to stress that you do. Hraige was one of the first official councilors. Hraige was already a middle aged Dwarf that gave up his retirement and family to follow Syal." Oane's eyes gleam for a moment as he says, "We do know that Hraige was a master blacksmith before he even met Syal."
Oane's left eye twitches for a moment as he continues, "We also know that he forged most, if not all, of the group's armor. His last set of armor was donated to the council; however, it is not available for viewing at this time."
Oane says, "Studies on the properties of this set of armor have been in the works for as long as I have been a researcher."
Oane inhales a great swallow of air.
Oane lectures, "If you read Hraige's journal, you will learn how he saw many changes in the guild from when became a councilor. While Hraige was not much for politics, ironically we learned much of early guild politics through many of his notes and private letters."
Flipping through a few more pages, Oane removes a bookmark and places it on the podium. "Csilla is the next person I want to cover today."
Oane lectures, "Like Syal, we have very little documentation on this Elven lady."
Oane lectures, "In a temple of Chadatru, Syal and Hraige found her half-mad. It is unknown what caused her madness. But we do know that she was already called to be a paladin and Syal and Hraige helped her through whatever tormented her. "
Oane furrows his brows and says, "Nothing about her past has ever been revealed. It is speculated that she never told anyone where she came from."
Oane lectures, "Even her death is unknown. When she felt her time was up with the council, she left on a sabbatical and there was no documented sighting of her again."
Oane says, "I still hope to find more information on this woman."
Oane stretches his arms out and adjusts his spectacles. "Let's see," he starts.
Oane lectures, "These three would travel together for five years before they found other followers: Jerthay and Jenton. "
Oane lectures, "These two were twin brothers. The younger of the two, Jerthay, was called to be a paladin first. But his fear of separation made him hide and reject his calling until his brother was called. In most documentation, you will find that one name is usually associated with the other's."
Oane places both hands on the podium and says, "In fact, it is believed that they were so connected, that when Jerthay died of a plague, his brother did not live long after that."
Oane lectures, "We actually have many letters between the brothers. Early on, there were some campaigns that Jenton went on while Jerthay could not. We learned much about the other councilors from these letters."
Oane says, "Only two more that I will be covering today."
Oane licks his finger and flips through a few more pages in his book. Pulling out another bookmark, he says, "The next person is Dreldan."
Oane says, "He is definitely not what people think of a stereotypical paladin."
Oane lectures, "In fact, when we have discussions about him, one of the inside jokes is that he is a perfect example of a paladin not called by the gods based on his personality."
Oane snickers to himself for a moment and then regains his composure. "Jerthay was not the only one of this group who rejected his calling at first. Dreldan also did this for many years."
Oane lectures, "He was a mercenary for hire but the gods did not give up on him. We aren't sure exactly what made Dreldan "see the light." But we do know that he befriended a priest at some point and finally accepted his calling."
Oane says, "Another fact we know about Dreldan is that he ended up being the first guildleader in Crossing."
Oane nods and says, "Yes, we've known this for years. Please don't ask me why this information was never made public knowledge."
Oane lectures, "Dreldan's time there was short-lived as he was already an old man, but since he had overseen the construction of the guildhall, it was only natural he headed it up."
Oane says, "The final councilor of the original council was Medern."
Oane looks through his book before lifting up the book and snatching up a page.
Oane lectures, "Though he was the last to join the group, Medern was the first guildleader in our history."
Oane lectures, "He headed up the Theren guildhall during its original construction until its untimely demise. As many of you know, a true guildhall does not currently exist in Theren."
Oane says, "I couldn't say why it was never rebuilt; I only know what happened to the first one and only one. However... I digress. "
Oane lectures, "We do know that Medern was a follower of Syal before he was even called upon the gods. He followed Syal and his group learning of Syal's teachings until he was then called by the gods to serve as a paladin. We have no reason to not believe that Medern was Syal's first squire."
Oane lowers his voice and says, "Although Medern lived to an old age, his murder led into a dark time in paladin history... Yes, murder."
Oane says, "And there you have it. Our original seven councilors."
Oane closes the book on the podium and places it inside his satchel.
Oane says, "Do we know more about these figures? Yes, we do. However, again there is only so much one can share regarding who they were and what they have done."
Oane asks, "Are there any questions?"
Oane puts his spectacles in his scholar's satchel.
Anthetir says, "Greetings, I am Squire Anthetir of Therengia."
Oane says, "Good evening."
Anthetir says, "You mentioned an original guildhall in Therengia that was destroyed. The current home of the town's offices, Ibec Hall, was rumored at one point to house a guildhall."
Anthetir asks, "Has your research shone any light onto this connection?"
Oane says, "Nothing documented that I am aware of."
Oane says, "I know there have been attempts to rebuild it."
Oane says, "And the council has been talking about it for a number of years now."
Oane says, "But historically, I'm unaware of any new guildhall successfully ever built."
Anthetir says, "I for one think that having the guild within the Keep reinforces our position as defenders of Therengia and the patronage of House Theren that we enjoy."
Oane says, "Yes, I would enjoy a real office myself too."
Oane winks at Anthetir.
Anthetir says, "Although I am certainly not opposed to more amenities being added if His Grace does a thorogh renovation of the Keep."
Oane ducks his head.
Oane asks, "Any other questions?"
Eleftheria raises her hand.
Oane nods to Eleftheria.
Eleftheria asks, "I apologize if this was already mentioned, but will this information be published?"
Oane says, "Not any time soon."
Oane says, "This is merely a lecture."
Oane says, "But perhaps I will find time to write thorough books in the future."