Memories can be strange creatures – they constantly fluctuate within our minds until barely a shred of actuality remains. Try an experiment for me. Recall a recent, memorable event. Got it? Take out a scroll of paper and write out exactly what happened. Be as detailed as you can with what was said, who said it, the temperature, the sights, the smells, everything. When you're satisfied, seal it away. Wait two to three months and repeat the process. Find the first scroll you stashed away and you'll notice one of two things: your accuracy dropped abysmally and you hardly wrote half the amount you did on the first scroll, or your memory “evolved.” That is to say, words changed, the people you were with changed, even you changed from a simple bystander to the center of attention.
Where do the original memories go? Do they die off, long since forgotten and replaced? The answer escapes me. But, enough of my musings – this is not my story. Perhaps another time, in another world. No, this is the story of a young man with dual destinies: one of life and the other of death. A man whose destinies were destined to meet. In order to fully appreciate the scope of his story, we must delve a bit into this man's childhood, to the event that sparked it all; the ignition if you will.
We begin this tale several hundreds of years ago, during the summer months. The dusty world of Ihsoiz was home to bandits, treasure hunters, mercenaries and monsters. Those seeking to earn an honest living rarely strayed from the small towns they were born in and visitors were always treated with distrust.
Situated near the western continent's east coast was the small barter town of Garamond. While its main export was fish, crabs, and other food from the sea, Garamond was also known for its beauty. While most of the world beyond was barren and desert-like, Garamond was located near an expansive and lush forest. For the locals, its existence was no large mystery; a river flowed through it, one of the few above-ground sources of fresh water on the western continent. Despite this river's existence, Garamond had never developed into a bustling city. In fact, the town's population had been dwindling lately as young men and women left to make their fortunes elsewhere.
The times were becoming increasingly more turbulent as resources dwindled, iron was becoming more and more brittle, and monsters pushed their territorial boundaries.
It was a warm night in the town of Garamond and a child was drifting into the ironclad clutches of sleep...