Secrets of Pavis
Stern servant of Yelmalio
Your mother was of the ancient family of the Goldbreaths, who first came to the County at its foundation in 877. Your father was a military commander who rose from the ranks and was rewarded with marriage to the noble Phaere Goldbreath, sister of Phaestus, patriarch of the Goldbreath clan.
As a child, your closest friend was Jovian Goldbreath, son of Phaestus, and your cousin. However, as you grew up, you became strong and athletic, while he became fat and lazy. You also had twin girl cousins, Vega and Penta. You got on very well with Vega, who had similar interests to you – the military and spearplay. Penta was much more of a girly-girl and early on announced her intention to become a Priestess of Voria, the Maiden.
You joined the military at the first chance you had, and proceeded to fight against nomad incursions, gaining experience and rising in rank to Half-File Leader. Your best friend, a common-born fellow half-file leader, was Solanthos who, after taking an iron lance from a nomad leader, became known as Ironpike.
You introduced Solanthos to Vega and Penta, and, bizarrely in your opinion, he married Penta, who wished to have a child so that she could become a Priestess of Ernalda, the Earth Mother. Meanwhile, Vega had used her father’s influence to join the military, a scandal in conservative Sun County. After a while, she married a brilliant young File Leader called Invictus. Solanthos became File Leader and then Light Captain, commander of all the military forces in the County. You took over his old file, The Glory Boys, based in Helmbold.
Together, Solanthos, Phaestus, Vega, Invictus and you were dismayed when Count Varthanis agreed to ally with the Lunars when they appeared in Prax. Sun County had stood independent for 700 years and you saw no need to change that. In 1613, you staged a coup. Your role was to secure the South of the County, which you did with efficiency. Varthanis was dethroned and forced to go to a Retirement Tower. Phaestus refused the throne, and nominated Solanthos as Count.
Then things started to go wrong. On becoming Count, Solanthos took a new geas, which imposed celibacy on him. Penta was still without child (which had sparked rumors about Solanthos). He appointed Invictus as Light Captain and in turn he took on a new geas, which meant that he could only marry Earth cultists. Invictus divorced Vega and married Penta. Vega was named Guardian of Sun County and commander of the Militia. Jovian demanded a role, but was disinherited by Phaestus, who named Vega his successor. Relations within the extended Goldbreath family were strained, to say the least.
Solanthos asked you to commit yourself more to the Temple, perhaps to become Invictus’ Lieutenant. However, during the coup you had met and fallen for Samella, a niece of the old Count Varthanis. You decided to retire from the military in 1615, and set up a modest cottage at Seven-Day on the River of Cradles. In 1618 you had a son, and you had never been happier.
Then, earlier this year, something terrible happened. You returned from the fields to find your cottage burning, your wife dying of a sword slash and your son trampled by a horse. Your wife died in your arms, but her last words were a request for you to marry again, so that you could know the love you had shared once more.
You went to your stable, where you had packed away your army gear, dusted it off, saddled up your horse and went in search of the perpetrators. Unable to find any tracks, you rode to the Temple, to ask your old friends for help. Solanthos asked Gaumata the Strange, a trustworthy priest, to perform a divination. The signs were unclear, but pointed to an important Lunar in Pavis. He could also see chains, dark tunnels and a devouring maw. He could not discern a motive.
As it happens, Solanthos and most of the Court are travelling to Garhound, just across the border in Pavis County. There is a contest every year to win a bride, and Penta (now a Priestess with three sets of twins) believes this one would be perfect for you. Solanthos, however, notes that many of the most prominent Lunars from Pavis will be present at the contest. Perhaps, he wonders, you might begin investigations there.
Phaestus, meanwhile, has retired to a Tower. Jovian has been made commander of a File at Harpoon and, Vega says, spends much of his time blaming you for his disinheritance. No-one knows why. Perhaps he sold your family out to the Lunars?
You also note that the Glory Boys are now regarded as an inferior unit, lax and poorly-led.