|Alderic | The Templar (alderic) wrote,|
@ 2012-12-17 03:34:00
|All things in this world are finite.|
Alderic was born in 9:17 Dragon, in an unremarkable town nestled among the plains of Ferelden's Bannorn. Small enough not to warrant having it's own resident Bann, it was a town primarily guided by its Chantry, a fact that would temper Alderic's early life starting from the moment of his birth -- as magic was expressly forbidden, even healing magic, his mother gave her life to bring him into the world. Despite this early tragedy, he never felt the pain of her loss, as his father did. After all, as the Chantry told him, all things both good and bad were the will of the Maker, and had happened for a reason. So let it be.
His childhood was simple and uneventful, for the most part. He spent his mornings at the Chantry with the other children, being educated on history and the words of the Maker, and spent his afternoons working in the fields with his father and the other townsfolk.
He was still a young boy when he truly noticed the few Templars residing in his town. They were older and -- unknown to him, at the time -- lyrium-addled men, sent there after becoming unfit for "active" duty. Yet, to him, these soldiers in shining armor bearing the mark of the Maker were something to be idolized. Alderic's free moments found him plaguing these men with questions: What were mages like? Were they really evil? How heavy was their armor? Had they ever hunted apostates? What did an abomination look like? Could he have a sword like theirs, if he was a Templar? They would answer him good-naturedly, of course, but his curiosity was never abated, and he would always have a new question for them the following day.
Alderic's fascination did not go unnoticed, naturally. Shortly after the boy turned ten, he and his father were approached by the Chantry, with an offer that he would be sent to Denerim to undergo Templar training. His father was reluctant to agree, knowing that Templars often vanished to the Mage's Tower and were seldom seen again, but at his son's pleadings, and the assurances of the Chantry that it was the Maker's will, he eventually conceded. Selling everything, the two uprooted their lives and made the move to Denerim.
|What one man gains, another has lost.|
The city proved, at first, to be entirely overwhelming for a boy still brown from the fields, and accustomed to a quiet country life. Packed with people, Denerim was huge, and busy, and loud, and Alderic would have found himself completely lost had he not been swept up by the Chantry only shortly after he'd arrived. The Chantry itself was very much like the city it resided in, not at all like the one the boy had come from, and he found his days filled entirely by lessons, training, more lessons, and more training. Free time became an illusion of the past.
Alderic proved to be remarkable as a student, however. He had something of an advantage, in that he'd already learned many of the lessons in his youth, yet he still hung on the words of every sermon and every lecture, studying diligently and absorbing everything like a sponge. Combat training, likewise, was something he took to with enthusiasm -- a childhood spent laboring over crops helped him in this, as well. As a squire in training, he spent every moment he could following the Templars around like a moppy-headed puppy, much to their amusement.
In fact, the only problems the boy ever got into came with the arrival of the girl who would become his half-friend-half-nemesis, by the name of Deidre, who never failed to drag him into some kind of trouble any time the two of them were together for more than thirty seconds. Which was, much to his dismay, quite often.
His life there turned out to be short lived, however, ending with the arrival of the year 9:30 Dragon -- with the arrival of the Blight, and the Horde's assault on Denerim. Though he was safely rushed away in the panicked evacuation when the Darkspawn's advance turned towards them, his father was one of many who decided to stay behind to try and hold the city. He was also one of many who simply did not return. With no other family to speak of, Alderic became a ward of the Chantry.
He was left little time to mourn, though. In the aftermath, while the city celebrated the defeat of the Archdemon and struggled to rebuild, word finally reached Denerim of the terrible events that had transpired in the Circle Tower, across Ferelden. The Circle's Templars were desperate to replenish their numbers after the outbreak at the Tower, but Denerim needed every able bodied person to help in the recovery effort. With few other options, the Chantry opted to send it's Templar trainees along to the Tower, to complete their training there. It was perhaps not the most useful choice for the Tower, but there was little else that could be spared in the aftermath, and more men could always be sent once Denerim was secured.
Thus, while the rest of Ferelden fought to catch its breath, Alderic found himself holding his, traveling the long path to the Tower where he'd spend the rest of his life.
|Those who steal from their brothers and sisters,|
When Alderic had imagined the Mage's Tower throughout his life, it had always been a child's vision, naive and full of unrealistic dreams. In his mind, he had conjured up a glamorous, wonderful place where Mages performed outlandish miracles and tricks with their powers, and Templars were strong and brave and fought the Evil Mages and served the Maker's will.
His arrival presented him with a reality that was, to a thirteen year old boy, utterly traumatic.
Though the Tower'd had a fair deal of time to recover after Uldred's attack, it remained in a state of semi-controlled chaos. Alderic and the others his age were spared from witnessing the true horrors of the upper levels, ushered into the Templars' quarters upon their arrival and only employed to help clean and reorganize select areas. Yet the stench of blood magic, demons and death still hung in the air like an acrid fog, and all too often, the young trainees saw the adults carrying the lost outside to be disposed of -- bodies of Mages, Templars and abominations alike. The boy was slapped in the face with the truth of what could happen, should everything go Terribly Wrong as the Chantry often warned.
The result was that Alderic spent his first few months at the tower single-mindedly burying himself in his training and hardly speaking a word to anyone. Of course, no one could blame him for it. Everyone else did much the same thing. Yet, it proved to be beneficial to him in the end. Where he might have normally had a difficult time transitioning into the vigorous training required to be a Templar at the Tower, his determination to keep his mind completely and utterly occupied resulted in his taking to his new life quite easily.
Eventually, though, as the Tower slowly returned to relative normalcy, so too did Alderic. In time, he settled into his new life happily, the lessons and training going from simple duty to something he genuinely enjoyed and looked forward to from day to day.
|Do harm to their livelihood and to their peace of mind.|
In times past, becoming a Templar at a young age would have been unheard of. Though the Tower found itself still receiving a steady stream of recruits, both Mage and Templar alike, they were still rather short-handed compared to before, and were more than willing to graduate new members if they were thought to be ready for duty. Alderic had proved himself over the years to be a very capable candidate, his abilities as a student carrying him through his training fantastically. Therefore, shortly after he turned eighteen, he took his vows and officially became a Templar.
Taking his first post in the hallways of the Tower, Alderic was nerve-wracked. He had only truly been around Mages in passing, and between his training and the imagery of his arrival still lingering in the back of his mind, it was difficult for him not to be completely on edge. It took him several weeks before he realized he didn't need to jump when a Mage said hello to him, didn't need to spend every effort keeping an air of being surly and unapproachable. It occurred to him that they could hardly afford to alienate one another, especially not with their numbers still struggling to reach what they had been.
So, amiable he became -- a relief to him, as it was his nature to be that way anyway -- though it was not to the point that it jeopardized his duties, naturally. Still, it was enough of a gesture that he began to make friends with a few of the Mages who were grateful to see a Templar who was not a frigid, distant wall of pious devotion.
One such friend, though a reluctant one, came a few years later in the form of a young elven Mage named Temil, who was so unfortunate with his magic that the Tower sent Alderic in his direction to ensure he didn't accidentally destroy anything, or himself. Alderic naturally saw this as a waste, babysitting a singular Mage, and grumped about it. Temil naturally saw this as an insult, being babysat by a singular Templar, and grumped about it. Over the weeks, their traded banter went from being laced with vitriol to being genuinely amicable, and much to the disapproval of the Tower authority figures, the two eventually became very good friends.
Getting to know Temil, however, revealed to Alderic many of the troubles Mages faced in their lives. The elf's Harrowing was approaching, presumably within the following year, and with his magic still at an appallingly dismal level, the threat of dying at his Harrowing or being made Tranquil loomed over his head constantly. Alderic made a point of assuring him he'd be fine, but his words seemed to fall on deaf ears.
After all, what did a Templar know about magic?
|Our Maker sees this with a heavy heart.|
In his twenty-first year, Alderic was called on to hunt his first apostate. Mere days before his Harrowing, Temil had vanished into the night, so eager to escape that he'd not even bothered to try destroying his phylactery. This, combined with Alderic's familiarity with him, would make it easy for him to be tracked down and taken care of, they told him.
Alderic was, naturally, stunned into a stupor. Yet it did not slip by him why they had truly chosen him for the assignment. He was being taught a lesson.
He set off that day with a number of other Templars -- his first journey into the world outside the tower in nearly eight years, and it was to kill his friend. Tempted though he was to lead the journey astray and simply allow Temil the chance to escape, he constantly reminded himself of his vows, of his duty to the Maker, that Temil had done what was forbidden and must recieve his just punishment for his actions. The journey was not a pleasant one.
Yet, though they should have found him quickly, it took the group well over a month to finally locate Temil, hidden away within the Wilds in the south of Ferelden. Expecting to confront a lone apostate and perhaps a handful of chasind, the Templars instead stumbled into a nest of Blood Mages who had been harboring the elf among them, and were nearly overwhelmed.
The maleficar were powerful, and in the ensuing battle -- less involving actual fighting and more involving willpower and mental strength -- it quickly became obvious that Temil was not himself, controlled as a thrall of the blood mages and bleeding out to feed their powers. At the height of the confrontation, he twisted and mutated, and Alderic watched in horror as the Blood Mage's ritual completed, and the elf became an abomination. The creature then turned on the Templars, and attacked. Not without a great deal of difficulty, the group was able to take down the abomination and slay it, but their distraction allowed the Blood Mages to escape into the woods. The Templars did not pursue them.
Alderic returned to the Tower feeling gutted. His lesson had certainly been learned, and though it was a gut-wrenchingly difficult one, it had been entirely necessary. This was the reality of things, this was what had lead to the horrors he'd witnessed when he'd first arrived, what could happen at any moment, and why Mages were dangerous and not entirely to be trusted. The possibility was always there, lurking just under the surface of every Mage he encountered. This was why Templars existed, the task he had been willed by the Maker to complete, safeguarding against such tragedies.
When he took up his post again at the Tower, it was really and truly as a Templar. Though he remained cordial as always, he never let himself forget his priorities, his duties, ever again -- he was a Templar, and he served the Maker's will.
So let it be.
At the base of things, Alderic is a very good-natured and good-tempered man. Very little will change this about him. Having been raised in a small town, and having spent most of his life cooped up in the Tower, both with few other people around, he's learned that being friendly and well-mannered can often solve a lot of problems right off the bat. As a result, he's certainly not shy and is quite easy to talk to.
To a certain point, anyway. Lessons of the past have also taught him that being too open and getting too close with people, particularly Mages, can interfere with his duties as a Templar. So, amiable though he may be, he is nevertheless difficult to make real friends with. He's careful to keep everyone at arm's length, lest it backfire on the both of them.
Perhaps his greatest love after the Maker and the Chantry is history. He has read, and will read, pretty much any book, scroll, page or scrap of writing he can get his hands on with glee, particularly if it is religious in nature. Minstrels and Bards hold a similar level of interest for him, because of their stories. (Until he finds out what Bards really do, anyway.) Had he not become a Templar, he likely would have become a scholar, so intense is his fascination with history.
Alderic is fiercely pious and devoted to the Maker, and his vows are his absolute priority in life. He very rarely loses his temper, but questioning the Chantry is one easy way to make it happen. He makes no attempt to hide his faith -- not that he could, being what he is, but he will not attempt to keep religiosity out of conversation, or pray silently, or anything of the sort. He is never preachy, however, and there is a difference.
He will do whatever it takes to perform the Maker's will, and like many Templars, this often leads him to make decisions in morally grey areas -- he will do what is "right" every time. This, inevitably, will lead to him butting heads with people. On that subject, he can be very stubborn.
Another thing he is unrelenting on is, naturally, Apostates and Maleficars.
He's not entirely unsympathetic towards Apostates, but will, in the end, always perform his duty first and foremost -- which includes hunting Apostates. It's possible for him to be talked down from killing one, unless he's been assigned to hunt them of course, or if he knows they've done something terrible. While he may offer them a small amount of courtesy, he will always be stand-offish with them. He doesn't trust them, and watch diligently for the first time they falter or give him an excuse to dispose of them. At which point, they're in the Maker's hands.
Blood Mages, on the other hand, are a No Holds Barred territory for him. With them, the gloves come off and all politeness goes out the window.