Ross UnswickJanuary 31, 1115
Position: Healer in the service of the Black Hand, Junior Combat Physician of the Healers Guild
Group: Order of the Pendragon
What follows are the, to date though greatly abridged memoirs of Brother Ross Unswick of the Northern forests.
Cold, wet, afraid and his worst fear … alone.
Ross struck flint with steel and settled down to his 12th no no, 13th night he was sure but, it was clear that the long days and disturbed dreams were getting the better of him.
As he continued in his nightly routine which by this point had become second nature his mind wandered to the last time he had sunk so low.
Only 12 midwinter’s had passed since his parents were taken from him by bandits. They had raised the village, his village, his home and what they could not pillage and plunder they desecrated and burnt. As he regained consciousness he became acutely aware that he was being watched, his surroundings unfamiliar he rose to a view of snow-capped fells and a mirror calm lake which stretched as far as the eye could see and was flanked by great oak and fir forests.
His mind raced with questions, “Where am I?”, “What happened to my parents”, “How did I get here?” and what had quickly become his most pressing question “Who are these people?”. No sooner than he had had chance to question himself with regards to the strange group of hooded figures around him than they were upon him glaring curiously down, non threatening but befuddled.
This was the day Ross was taken in by a monastic order high in the fell-lands of the north, they day his training began, the day his life began, again.
A further 9 midwinter’s had come to pass between that fateful day and this which stood before him a day which would not be forgot by any of those involved.
The order of the moon as they had called themselves acting only at night endeavoured to learn the secrets of the unseen, they excelled in starlight navigation and collection of rare nocturnal plants and animals but there was something off, something strange about the priests during these nightly forays into the wilderness, a ever-present sense of anticipation and almost fanatical devotion to maintaining a moonlit presence no matter the weather nor their health.
The Order had taken the boy in, they saw to his training and education and over time he gained the skills to fend for himself and this was the day on which these skills and his intuition would be put to the test.
Dusk was embracing the monastery and the brothers were rising from their slumber, the rain beat gently on the red sandstone cloister and the sound of the forest outside found its way between the weather beaten rafters and lime mortar brightening the dark passages of the holy building.
The air was energized as the brethren ate their breakfast and discussed the night ahead, the pewter was cleared and satchels and scabbards acquired, tonight was to be the night of the hunt.
The abbot a wise man of indeterminate age but imposing stature well in excess of 6′ tall escorted Ross to the door and for what Ross recalled as the first such occasion spoke to him personally and directly.
“Brother, you have learnt from the teachings of our ancestor, you have excelled as a practitioner of mystic healing and can no longer find yourself in situations outside of these walls which take you by surprise and for which you haven’t prepared for to the best of your abilities, and for this you will be honoured as today you will take your place as the focus of this hunt, head my advice and take your leave” with this the abbot closed the door on the young brother for the last time.
The next 5 hours were the most traumatic of his already scared life as his world was flipped upside down; those who had been his friends, mentors, family were the same people who were now chasing him through the great fell forests howling, barking like a visceral inhuman rampage.
Finally as Keswick appeared on the horizon the noises of the forest abated Ross stopped, catching his breath, he saw ahead of him a stagecoach, his next life was to begin.
These acts have not been documented to impress or intimidate, they are here for all to see as an accurate catalog of my journey through the world and hope they will endear myself to you
Papers found in an Albion bardic guildhouse