Sagas of the Radiant Age

Forged in Hellfire

Tessa Brodi to Tessa the Avenging

Tessatheavenger.jpg
Forged in Hellfire
Entry 1 in the Book of Vengeance

Allow me to tell you a fairy tale, dear reader. Once there was a young woman who lived in Tairese. Her name was Tessa Brodi. She was trained as a midwife and community mediator in the name of Adamina. In her small town of Breckenburg, she was very happy. Her guardian Mr. Stoneysmyr kept her safe and all was well. One fateful day, she was asked as a journeyman to help a woman in the capital with her baby. Tessa was amazed at things she had never seen before in her small farming town. Iron pipes that made thunder, strange people, and even a flying boat! It was in that moment that she was filled with a great wanderlust. For the world was so big and she was so very little. After delivering the baby in Shamushain, she decided to see the world. She was so filled with hope that she would see wonderful and impossible things.
Her naiveté would lead to her realizing she was half correct…
She found her way to Alexandria, the realm of heroes. This was the same earth the first king of Tairese walked on, and also gods! She had met some interesting friends along the way, too. She met Zephyr, a kind but quiet hunter from parts unknown. She met Belren, a quirky and fun knight who was fond of his horse (and so was Tessa!). She also met Titus, a witty blue man who used magics she didn’t understand.
Now that I look back, I don’t think that Titus understood it either…
The newfound friends went on many exciting adventures together. They fought in bars, they fought in arenas, they even fought sick wolves in a bog. They met gunsmiths, actors, dancers, prostitutes (or close enough), and even a man who was rich and poor at the very same time. After helping some performers in a town called Whitewatch, they returned to Eastmarch to resolve the wolf problem.
It’s like blaming the knife for the assassin’s thrust…
People had died, and Tessa and the others were quick to try to get to the bottom of it. Tessa performed last rights, sang poems (badly), and was even kind of shunted to a dream world. What she didn’t know is that she was an honest tadpole in an ocean of evil. She tried to see the best in everyone and over willingness to help got an innocent man killed.
I guess this is when bastard godspawn come in to play…
Titus was being harassed by something in visions. For all the cosmic might the man may weave, he doesn’t take being bullied well. Don’t get me wrong that’s actually what Tessa respected about him. He was his own man and let no creed that wasn’t his get in the way. He had insulted the thing into a frenzy and he woke up with dormant symbols of pain on his body. Tessa was furious. Godspawn or not, she did not tolerate bullying. She took Titus to be cleansed by clerics of Alexandros, patron to Heroes, Soldiers, and Pilgrims.
Next part gets kinda fuzzy…
The godspawn materialized itself in anger that it’s will was being defied by mortals. His wrath was…to…damned…much. Tessa confronted the godspawn, Adamina’s symbol in hand and tried to purge it from the town. Hellfire was everywhere and no matter how much grace she called, it wasn’t enough. Mr. Stoneysmyr was able to help enough to push him out, but the cleric died. Everyone was upset, even Titus. Titus said that he respected what a man did to find his final shape. I was exhausted. For all of my faith and love, I lacked the conviction and power to save that man’s life. I took his holy symbol, partially melted by the hellfire, and his ashes. On the altar to the Conqueror I left the tools I had used for so long. My healer’s kit, my scythe, my walking stick, my stupid broken sling, and most importantly, my wooden holy symbol to Adamina. I don’t blame mother for what happened, but her neutrality put me in a no-win scenario.
She can’t help me anymore…
I jarred all the ashes of the priest I could find. I wear it on my face, because his sacrifice now carries me, and a part of him will now be what powers me. I went to the market and spent almost all of my money. I found a book about guns, some tools, swords, chainmail, and a small buckler. I vowed to become stronger and no longer allow weakness in myself.
Then I saw the pilgrim.
He was wearing a brown leather doublet. He had a green silk half cape and a vambrace of gold with a fist sized topaz set in it. He called himself the pilgrim. He gave me a gun, called it a musket. Although it is tarnished and dented, the angel wing filigree on the stock interested me. He said it was my sword, that I was an avenging angel.
So that’s it. Tessa Brodi didn’t survive the bath of Hellfire, now I call myself Tessa the Avenging. I will not allow some blasphemous godspawn to wreak havoc on my friends, on my world, and least of all, me.

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