One Man's Struggle With Destiny..*

(*All spelling errors faithfully reprinted from the original, now onward! Oh, unless you want to get back to the history section, obviously..)

Chapter One - 'The Early Years'
There i was one day standing in the new warriors hall, thinking of how things had changed since i had first entered the realms. I heard voices, all of a sudden the scene before me started to sway , this was serious remeniscing..... 'So how did it all begin the voice asked?' 'How did a pathetic lowly giant as yourself rise to be amongst the most powerful in the lands?' 'Ah t'is a long tale!' i quietly mused 'One filled with tragedy, joy, love, hate, heroism, politics, cunning and treachery!, But hey as you've asked....'

Oddly enough the call came from a rogue. He was the most famous rogue of his day - a legend, his name was 'Clothahump'. Then the name of that rogue uttered would have struck fear into the orcs of the withered peaks.. now I guess it would raise little more than a murmur..

He was to be my instructor, my guide to these strange realms.

"You are best suited to be a warrior" , he told me matter of factly. And so i found my way to the hall of the warriors, one of the most impressive buildings in Drakenwood, and began my life as a warrior. Clothahump was cautious,shrewd and cunning. He was a master of the art of thievery. For many moons we were destined to travel together, I soaked up as much as i could of his vast knowledge of the realms. At first there was a gulf between us, he would mock me because the only monster i could seemingly take on was called 'Lamones ghost' whilst he was maiming fierce goblins in some caves to the west.. soon though i progressed , he introduced me to a land where werewolves roamed free, at first i could do nothing but run , but soon the werewolves felt the might wrath of my blade.....

Quite often Clothahump would not be around and i would test my luck with killer raccoons! unfortunately they turned out to be just that.. i died often to those *censored* things!

However i knew my immediate future was to continue to learn from this elf - study him,fight with him and try and learn as much as i could from him....

And so it was i progressed quicker and quicker.. taking on goblins now, then indeed discovering gnomes... all the time learning new tricks from this enigmatic elf who seemed to have some kind of hidden agenda. "When a monster is stunned or paralysed .. always use two weapons even if you can't fight with them normally because you can't miss" , he told me once. Gradually the gulf between us in ability lessened and i learnt more and more.. in those days it was fascinating hearing tales of a terrifying monster called the 'Grik', and hearing him speak of such legendary fighters such as Havoc and Rohan slaying this horrific creature in some far off forest. Indeed when he spoke of them there was a rare acknowledgement of respect clearly evident in his voice that would make me not question the veracity of these tales..

We journeyed together for a while afterwards but nothing is forever and we gradually went our separate ways, perhaps it could be down to never understanding or accepting the dark side that existed within this elf.....

And so alone i continued my travels and i had to learn to seek aid from others.. others within my guild.. By this time, Havoc and Rohan had ascended to a higher plane and so it was that fellow warriors Tanthalas,Dom and Lobster were instrumental in continuing my tutelage and aiding me in my quest for power.......

Does Sparhawk succeed in his self-appointed task? Or Does he simply become Raccoon feed!!!! Find out about how he met Vx and Sniper!?

Chapter Two - 'The Wilderness Years'
'Aye Clothahump departing signalled the end of an era and the birth of a new age for me. I look back now with more than a touch of sadness.. but it happened, Clothahump , almost as strangely as he had first appeared, departed from me back into the dark shadows of the night whence he came. Alone i was left to relentlessly follow the light of some bright star which has e'er guided me.....'

At first things were tough! I had to get used to life on my own and quickly!... I was no longer a newbie and i had become much more aware of my surroundings. I began to interact with others and get involved much more with my fellow warriors. At this time as prementioned the mighty Rohan and Havoc had moved on becoming immortals. It was Lobster and the then leader

Tanthalas who were instrumental in guiding me through this difficult time. Together with Dom they ensured that less experienced warriors like myself had the best chance of survival against the monstrous foes that lay lurking just outside pleasant Drakenwood. Indeed i was touched particularly by Lobsters great generosity.. in those days i could hardly afford to buy some lobsters from the restaurant.. Lobster himself often gave me large sums of money which meant i did not have to worry about poverty so much. And so with the mightiest armour and the mightiest weapons given to me by these warriors , so did i continue my saga , seeking out new more powerful foes to vanquish.. indeed around this time i was even helped by an avatar!..... One night when i could find none of the warriors whom i had relyed upon for help, what i can only call a miracle happened! - I was alone in a forest battling with a humble dull metal sword i had found in some sewers, when an incredible sight was beholden to me! Aye strike me down now if i speak falsely but suddenly a figure coalesced from some magical mist that came from nowhere... next the figure , strangely looking remarkably like an elephant quietly plodded over to a now dumbstruck warrior and unrolled his trunk to reveal a beautiful sword! The sword glowed and i believed was forged by elves... I quietly accepted the mighty gift and as quickly as it appeared the elephant was gone!

And so with help such as this i fought monsters such as Tanor the Drakenwood Pedlar. I journeyed to a strange forest and castle and fought men such as 'Guy of Gisburne','Little John' and some strange saracen. I journeyed to the infamous Outlands and used to fight Rocko the Barkeeper in those parts. But such is the way skills learnt via fighting is not enough to truly achieve the power of your class.. I learnt that long ago the gods had created certain special tasks that must be achieved to comprehend fully the meanings of the things i had learnt. This tasks were/are known as the great quests. Indeed I soon learnt different skills were needed to successfully complete these. It was brains not brawn that usually the gods sought in completing these quests. To be fair I was successful in these quests but let me say now that in all my years never did i watch/hear better adventurers that undertook these quests than Groggie the great Monk and Womble the puzzling elven warmage. To be honest the speed in which they could unravel the secrets of the gods through mindpower alone, was dazzling. It is sad that many of todays young adventurers have perhaps not heard the legends of people such as these.. and indeed those even older than myself have often remarked that the great Rohan was another that should be respected for his great understanding of the great quests..

Still i managed and started to advance my ability increasingly more rapidly. I set my initial targets of aimong to become more skillful than warriors such as Mars (*sigh* also now immortal) and of course the , how shall i say it, *mad berserker* himself, "Sniper". In fact i soon succeeded with my relentless continuous training regime i put myself through. Soon there was just Scum,Talos,Dom Tanthalas and Lobster above me... in time i would surpass even their great skill (for a time in the case of Dom).

"But what about this Scum character? Who was he?" the voice asked..

'Scum was legendary, he was a killer pure and simple. Luckily he was really active just before teh height of my powers else i could have a different history to the one i have now! Such is the way of things just as this is ying to yang,male to female, so there is good to evil.. and believe me Scum was evil. He wasnt alone the names "Beaver","Mrdeath","Max","Reaper","Nemesis" could all strike terror into a man who knew he was being hunted by one of them. In fact perhaps evil is the wrong word for some of them.. Mrdeath and Reaper tended to be very cold,calculating individuals yet really and particularly mrdeath , they were artists who simply loved to kill fellow adventurers , the name mattered little mostly more the kill.

Max was different! Max was a loner, in fact i honestly believe he hated the thought of someone actually liking him.. as mrdeath,reaper and before them scum and beaver, had loved the kill, Max just loved intimidation and terror! He was a gnome warmage from some strange land and he caused many an unsuspecting newbie adventurers downfall! That was his style , pick on the weak and infirm....

Fortunately for me i avoided all of these characters for many years and so was not a victim to such foul plots as others were.. however later on Mrdeath was to awaken me on that score....But for now i was beginning to make a name for myself, carving out my niche in this community and soon i was to meet a certain Feline cleric- an event which was to affect my self-appointed task forever!!!!!!

Here endeth chapter two of "Sparhawk - 'Making of a Noble'" To be continued in chapter three entitled 'The Glory Years'

This Series is sponsored by Horace's store who guarantees "Good,Honest Value,Always!.. Pocket the Difference at Horaces!"

Tailoring by Reznors armoury

Chapter Three - 'The Glory Years'
Chapter Three of 'Sparhawk the Making of a Noble' got lost a while back and is being redrafted. For now, dear reader, go straight on to Chapter Four - Power and Politics!

Chapter Four - 'Power and Politics'
And my epic journey continued........

I was reaching the peak of my profession, i was now amongst the most famous adventurers in the realms.Together with Sniper and Vx i was part of an adventuring triad of immense power. It was at this time that i started to look about the Realms and eyed the Drakenwood Council. Tanthalas had been the leader (and a good one at that) of the fighters but had decided to take a less public role and stand down. I eyed the Council not for pure power but for the chance to truly tackle injustices that i had sadly seen in my long years.

And so it was swept on a wave of popularity amongst the fighters at the time.. i was elected as leader of the fighters and chosen therefore as the fighter representative on the Drakenwood Council.

I joined CC(mage leader),Groggie(Monk leader),Cordelia(clerics) and Mrdeath(Rogue leader) as members of the ruling council. That first session on council was educating. The thing was Council and its role had remained effectively unchanged since its inception The laws made by people long forgotten (Rachael,Crystal,Clothahump, Havoc and CC(one exception) ) remained and were made at a time when people were a lot less powerful, a time when the orcs of the withered peaks were reasonably feared! As a result the council laws really had little meaning and the council little inclination to do much about the increasing problems and crimes that comes with the increasing power of individuals.

During this first stage i talked lots but really achieved little. CC the long standing leader of the mages (and my one ally) was the only one who really agreed with my desire for change. Cordelia had a good heart but had no stomach for violence except when 'her' clerics were threatened, but even then she was ever reluctant to sanction aggression against individual miscreants. As for Groggie and Mrdeath well Groggie was in the twilight of his career and really just using the role to nurture the new generation of monks which had almost died out until Groggie came along. Mrdeath, well he certainly had no interest in fighting injustice - more causing it!

Meanwhile the gods declared that the time had come for longstanding members of the community to be given the rank of Noble. So it was that Draknor,CC,Talos,Groggie,Reaper,Nemesis and my friend Vx became the first Nobles in the realms.

A short period afterwards myself,Sniper,Gobbers and Womble were to also be given the title, although Sniper became the only Noble in history ever to spurn the rank for lack of want for the responsibilities that went with the title! ah he was mad ;-) ....

It was also at this time that a powerful group of evil plotted a terrible assassination of myself - supposedly for a very poor attempt to avenge my death by Mrdeath. But so it was a friend relayed invaluble and trustworthy information that i was the target of a murder squad specifically formed to take me out. Tactically retreating into the Council Chambers i considered my options...

Who were the members of this squad?? how were they going to kill me?

Shortly i was joined in the chambers by Groggie who checked the board and then apparently rested for a while. Draknor then came in and began talking to me, he attempted to persuade me to leave the chambers into Drakenwood whereupon he would help me attack Reaper whom i saw as the main likely protagonist of this affair. He told me that he had a long standing grudge involving Reaper and Beaver (a rogue who at this time had not been seen in a long while) and that he had never resolved it, thus would aid me by 'lobbing in the odd fireball or two'. Needless to say i did not believe him and suspected (rightly!) that it was part of the set-up.. the problem was Draknor was known to be a good friend of both Reaper and Mrdeath so things didn't add up even for a giant like myself!

If i had stepped outside those chambers i would have died........ Nemesis,Reaper and Mrdeath were all poised to strike at me as soon as i left with Draknor and the seemingly passive Groggie there as backup to mop up what was left of me!

Such was the way of things in those days.. open war between good and evil was commonplace, Council then had no real power , power was in the hands of a few feuding powerful adventurers.

I found myself at this time helping my fellow fighters more and more in much the same way as people like Tanthalas,Lobster and Dom had before me. None rose so dramatically in this time than Dhalsim. Together with his friend (and one-time wife!) Griearth i helped nurture him to power.Often i would devote much time simply to obtaining the most powerful armour and weapons for them so they would have the best chance!

The next elections involved serious politics! Not in the fighters i might add (who some say lacked the brains to be political ;-) ) but in the Clerics....

Cordelia had let it be known she wished to pursue her adventuring career and leave the leadership to others (altho happy with a deputy role). However Vx (the favourite to succeed) was intending to beseech the gods to become immortal which would mean the candidate left for the leadership would realistically be Nemesis who obviously would be unlikely to help along political reforms and justice. So with the threat of Nemesis holding one-fifth of Council power Vx schemed that he would enter the election, declare Cordelia his deputy then resign meaning that Cordelia would become leader again by default and deny Nemesis the leadership. And so that was how it happened... Shaojin,Shifty (who narrowly defeated CC the longest serving leader at the time) and Glurps (a very amusing halfling with a strange accent) joined us on the Council.

During this session i put forward my plans for change but was still to be denyed due to dreadful apathy from certain members.

Meanwhile with the departure if Vx to immortality and Snipers increased madness (and simple desire to kill 'wrong doers') - I was again alone in my travels.

I became teh first to discover Gargamel and the smurfs and thus the first to truly earn the rank of Noble (followed literally hours after by the mighty half-orc Dhalsim).

I spent some time fighting together with CC and also with womble, having many fun escapades with both of them (notably against a mighty artrell in Alforpia) but once again i was made quite aware of the ebb and flow of time and of the inevitability of change, i was going into a new era, my bones were starting to recover from blows just a fraction slower - i was getting older.......

In the next fighter election i was to be introduced to a simple basic political rule - namely 'Life is short in politics'. The fighter election campaign that year consisted of a supposed two horse battle between myself and Mars (another mad giant Noble fighter ;-) ).It resulted in us having a public slanging match at each other as to who was best suited for leadership. Lobster the wise old elf who took no part in the public debates merely stood in teh voting chamber and quietly persuaded voters on the spot to vote for him. His incognito approach payed handsomely as he produced a stunning defeat of both myself and Mars and he fulfilled a personal ambition in reaching the position of leader.

This illustrated one of the basic lessons in any attempt to be elected, namely that issues often count for nothing and it can come down to simple personal charisma and persuasion. Voters are fickle. Many tactics have been tried , one of the most popular is to choose a tactical 'running-mate'. Although this can be partially successful, the tactic is simply not as useful as those who use it believe. My advice would be the secret to obtaining teh keys of power lie simply in convincing people on an *individual* basis to vote for you, bribe if necessary, some would make false promises .. hey many's a time i've seen elections won or lost by a mere vote!!!

The irony of this particular election was i had attempted to gain political control of the Council by setting up a 'Puppet' on the rogues. Silk a friend of mine and rogue who had been significantly helped by Gobbers was prepared to stand for the leadership of the Rogues. I knew a few rogues who were not as evil as the rest and also knew the voters would be small in number.. thus i persuaded a few to vote for Silk and indeed in a shock result Silk became Rogue leader ;-)

A lesson perhaps to concentrate on your own election campaign!

Anyway i was given the position of deputy by Lobster and continued to attempt to bring about change unsuccessfully.

The next election was a turning point. An unexperienced cleric was swept to power. His name was Hargreaves, he was the catalyst of change. Together with a new monk deputy Saber Stormheart and CC as mage deputy to the still sadly apathetic Shifty, the Council really entered a new era! (there was no rogue rep due to protests at being unable to steal as a council member!)

Hargreaves was exceptional (and probably still is) together with Saber and CC a new era was entered. Saber was ever calm and wise, never ever did i or have i seen Saber anger, instead he was ever thorough and not one for quick rash judgements. Hargreaves was the organiser, he cut through red tape and got people together round the table to discuss change! Together with CC we held a meeting at which my long held ideas together with those of the others were discussed and at long last implemented. Council finally set about restoring some order to the Realms!!! It was the most radical and dramatic change in Council history!

No longer would wrong-doers get away so easily (or that was the plan...) The laws were to have a major impact....

Two particular instances spring to mind, the first was when Goobers a powerful rogue (whom personally i was on amicable terms) made a dramatic personal attack on certain members of the Council for some slight i forget now.. the response was i regretfully demanded that he must die.. CC agreed as did the others on at the time and so me and CC went on a hunting expedition with a warrant for his arrest. CC tracked him down to Krasna Square whereupon he launched a vicious assault on the rogue which resulted in him running for his life he fled south wherupon he ran into my might Dracon blade which i drove through his chest and thus there was a corpse of a very surprised but very dead rogue...

The second incident involved Perkins.. Perkins was a habitual criminal this particular day i watched him invisibly attack a poor inexperienced warrior named Drizzt. Drizzt was unaware that his death was the result of Perkins .. but i wasnt. Perkins denied involvement but i didnt care and demanded a bounty which was agreed upon and thus i went and slew Perkins in Krasna Square (how that place has seen some battles!) of course annoying CC in the process by beating him to the kill ;-)

What followed was i must admit in retrospect perhaps wrong. Perkins accepted his punishment and after being resurrected promptly stole something off CC which cause Cc to demand a bounty and warrant again for 'getting back at the Council'. I agreed still bitter about poor Drizzt's murder and sanctioned it whereupon Cc murdered Perkins near the Drakenwood hospital. This caused a bitter response from Perkins but it was likely justified.

In the next election it was the old making way for the new .. Dhalsim who had come of age now beat me in a fairly contested election. Sadly within but a few weeks of victory he angered the gods and in the bitter backlash against fighters that followed a vote was placed to dismiss him and reluctantly in unfortunate circumstances i became leader once again. I was in office again and really it was a period of consolidation and merely meting out the justice prescribed by our new laws. Sadly it was also a time for seeing the failures of the laws...

Both Reaper and Hannibal were to go on unstoppable killing sprees and sadly the Council lacked power to cope with them.............

Here endeth chapter four of 'Sparhawk - Making of a Noble' To be continued in concluding part entitled 'The Twilight years'

As ever sponsored by Horaces - Good honest value always where the prices are constantly checked to make sure the're low - permanently low!

Chapter Five - 'The Twilight Years'
(We still eagerly await the final chapter from the pen of Sparhawk. As soon as it is available, you will see it here! - Larnen)

Credits And finally i'd like to dedicate this series to someone who quite honestly i couldnt have done it without! - Me .. Yup i've gotta thankyou mate without you i'd be nothing your a hero in my eyes Sparhawk and if ever you need anything mate just call and i'll be there for you.


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