Lost in the Mists
Zephyram stands tall and is powerfully built. That along with his shaved head and bright yellow eyes give him an intimidating countenance. Some are also disturbed by the fact that when idle, he does not fidget at all, remaining as still as a statue, save for the occasional blinking of his eyes.
Zephyram revels in combat with evil, believing his sole purpose in the world to be the eradication of all that threaten good. Despite his love of battle, he is a kind individual. His dry sense of humor, love of reading, and memories of countless lives make him an interesting person to have a conversation with.
Hundreds of years ago, perhaps even longer, I served as an emissary for Pelor, the Shining One. In his palace in Hestavar, the Bright City, which floats in the Astral Sea, I served in his court. He and Erathis, the King and Queen of Light, had need of one who could be both diplomat and enforcer. It was in service to them that I made the most honorable sacrifice that any in my position could make. I gave up my place in the palace of Aurosion to come to the Material Plane. Here, still as an emissary of Lord Pelor, I fight against evil in all its forms.
My purpose here is to vanquish evil in the defense of the innocent, and that is what I have done for centuries now. When my physical form dies I will be reborn in a new body, just as I have over and over ever since leaving Hestavar. Perhaps someday, when Pelor feels I have fulfilled my duty, I shall once again return to the Astral Sea, and resume my work in the Aurosion court.
It always happens the same way: after my death, I awaken in a new body on some mountain or plateau, although I have vague memories of once waking up on the top of some long-forgotten tower. The event is disorienting. There are a few moments of confusion, amnesia, and panic; my body is numb and weak. But quickly I regain my sense of self, the memories come back, and so does the knowledge of language and civilization. My strength returns and I find myself compelled to pursue a profession that will directly aid my fight against the forces of darkness.
The memories of my many lives, and the time before, are mostly hazy. But there are many memories that are crystal clear. And when I dream, I dream of the past. In my last life, I was a wizard, in the life before that one, I was “born” on a mountain in the territory of a barbarian tribe, and they took me in. I fought with them, as one of them. Now I am a psionic warrior, a “Battlemind”, channeling psychic energies through sheer force of will while using my axe to destroy my foes. In my past lives I have met many others who are often surprised that one so pious would revel in battle with the level of enthusiasm that I hold for it. They fail to understand that my whole purpose in this life, in all of my lives, is to destroy evil. Knowing and fulfilling one’s sole purpose is the greatest joy anyone can have.
This current life has been marred by some evil forces that are incomprehensibly powerful. The kingdom of Miredus has been displaced. As if some giant hand scooped it and the land around it up and brought it elsewhere. It seems more than just a matter of moving to a different place though. There are many different realities that exist in the Material Planes, like different books all on the same shelf. I was aware of these many material planes while living in the Astral Sea, where the multiverse was more commonly known to us. The unholy powers behind the relocation of Miredus seem to have moved it to one of these alternate realities. “Ravenloft” is what this new land is called, but we have otherwise learned nothing in all the years since we have been here.
In my meditations, for the first time in all my existence, I do not sense Pelor the way I have before. I know he is still there, but it is as if there is a thick sheet of glass, or some other barrier in the way. I feel cut off. For the first time in my existence, I have been having nightmares of the future. What will happen if we cannot return to Jura? Will my next life be here in Ravenloft again, trapped in this realm where I am cut off from my King? Will the evil powers that rule here be able to take advantage of my weakened state during my rebirth? I have never feared the future, because no matter what happens I have always been bolstered by the knowledge that I would live again to continue my fight against evil. This place, this “Ravenloft”, it is more than anything I have ever faced before. I must steel myself and face this challenge with the tenacity and courage that I have faced every other challenge that has come before me. For Pelor!
Theme Song: Andrew W.K. – Victory Strikes Again