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The Veteran Sage
One by one, the challengers fell before (Captain).
A wizened old man had been watching. He found himself interested in the path (Captain) would take.
The man revealed himself to be Aletheia, the Sage of the Sword.
Vyrn: Yeesh. Another challenger...how many is that now?
Vyrn: Seems like ever since (Captain) got that sword, no challenger’s been good enough...
Challenger: You there! Yeah, the rubes!
How ‘bout I fight you for that sword!
Vyrn: They just keep coming...why do they want that sword so bad?
You seriously don’t know what that sword is worth?!
Vyrn: What? This?
I mean, it’s pretty old. It can’t be that much, right?
Challenger: That sword was carried by Aletheia, the Sage of the Sword! And you don’t even know it!
Challenger: Every person worth their salt is after that sword! They wanna prove that they have what it takes to be a hero!
Challenger: Now, fight!
Wow! So it’s really something, eh!
You want a fight? You got it!
And so (Captain) took on the challengers with the sage’s own sword in hand.
Seeing someone wield his own sword with such ease was the icing on the cake. (Captain) had Aletheia’s attention.
You put on quite the show.
Such a spirit bunch of whippersnappers...
Vyrn: Wait, wait. Are you next...we’re supposed to fight a geezer?!
Old Timer: Oh, good grief.
Quite the excitable lizard, aren’t you?
Old Timer: I meant no offense.
Besides, there’s little challenge in cutting down the tree when it’s barely a sapling.
Vyrn: Hrm...but you aren’t exactly normal are you, old dude?
That’s no way to talk to an old man!
And I’m quite sure I don’t feel like fighting.
Old Timer: I must say...you handle that sword quite well.
Well done, indeed!
Vyrn: Glad to hear it.
Sounds to me like there’s a thing or two you know about it?
Old Timer: Of course.
What you don’t know about that sword could fill a warehouse.
Vyrn: For real?! The guys coming after it kept saying something about having what it takes to be a hero.
Old Timer: The sword has itself one ringer of a name, there’s no doubt about that...
Old Timer: But how time turns the smallest of guppies into the most monstrous of whales.
Speaking softly, the old man began his tale.
He spoke of a time long past, when the sword had been his own.
The wisdom and strength he’d acquired over his long journey served to save countless people from monsters of all sorts.
His deeds spanned the ages, tales of him spreading like wildfire. In what seemed to be no time at all, Aletheia came to be praised as the Sage of the Sword.
Vyrn: I got it now!
The sword of the sage himself, eh...damn!
Old Timer: And now it travels with you.
That’s an interesting tale in and of itself, I’d bet.
Vyrn: Hm? W-wait just a second?! You kind of look like a sage... wait?! Seriously?!
My dear lizard.
Seems you’ve got yourself some brains in that tiny head of yours.
Really?! You’re the sage?!
Aletheia: Hrm...some have called me that, certainly.
Aletheia: (Captain)...I’m most interested in seeing the path you take as the holder of the sword.
Vyrn: Wow, that's amazing!
What’re you gonna do, (Captain)?
Choose: I’m not worthy!
- I’m not worthy!
- I hope you’re ready!
Aletheia: Oh, spare me the false modesty.
You’ve quite the shoes to fill!Choose: I hope you’re ready!
I like that spirit!
I’m sure I’ll see great things.
Aletheia: Now, we can't waste time.
Aletheia: I’ll be glad to see where that sword takes you lot.
Vyrn: Ok! The sage is probably on his last legs anyway. Show him what you can do, (Captain)!
Aletheia: You! Lizard! Mind your manners! I haven’t lost to you spritelings yet!
Aletheia: So. Would you care to wager that sword?
The old man found himself smiling at the sight of the sword in (Captain)’s hand. He was reminded of himself.
The old man joined our heroes, curious to see whether (Captain)’s legend would stand the test of time.
The Ersatz Sage
During their journey, (Captain) and company arrive at a village where they hear of the bad reputation of the Sage of the Sword, Aletheia. While (Captain) and Vyrn are angry, Aletheia laughs it off. At the same time, monsters suddenly appear and attack the villagers.
During their journey, the party arrives at a remote village.
The party has heard bad rumors about someone pretending to be the sage, Aletheia.
Vyrn: The sage Aletheia is here! What kind of stupid rumor is that?!
Aletheia: Hahaha! What a cowardly little lizard!
Aletheia: It’s nothing to pay any heed to. This happens all the time.
Vyrn: I’m not little! And I’m not a lizard either!
Vyrn: Old man, aren’t you mad about all the bad rumors they're saying about you?
Aletheia: Rumors give way to more rumors. They get out of hand as they travel and get exagerrated.
Aletheia: That is how legends are made.
Vyrn: Oh? Is that how it is? But you heard about the rumors going around this island, old man!
Aletheia: Hahaha! I like the sound of those rumors!
Aletheia: I’ve heard so many rumors from so many sources.
Aletheia: But it’s quite a rare thing to be given such a bad reputation!
Vyrn: This is no laughing matter! They’re calling you greedy and wicked!
Aletheia: Pay it no heed. The imposters will always reveal themselves eventually. Besides, look...
Villager: Ahhh! S-Somebody help!
Aletheia: A villager is being attacked by a monster. Come on now. You’re not the kind to let that happen, am I right?
Vyrn: Of course! (Captain)! Let’s go help them!
The Ersatz Sage: Scene 2
The villagers fear the man who calls himself the sage and the monsters that have recently appeared. The villagers distrust the so-called sage who demands money to defeat the monsters and abandons anyone who cannot pay.
Villager: T-Thank you! You have saved us.
Aletheia: Don’t worry about it. I’m just glad you are safe.
Aletheia: I’m bothered by something else... Do monsters appear in this village often?
Villager: No... It was a peaceful village until recently...
Aletheia: Oh? It’s a well-maintained village. I find it hard to believe that monsters lurk around here.
Villager: Well... After the sage took up residence at the temple in the outskirts of the village, the monsters started to appear...
According to the villagers, monsters appeared at the same time as the man who calls himself the sage.
As a reward to defeat the monsters, the man demands money. For those who cannot pay, he ruthlessly forsakes them.
Aletheia: You’re right... That man is greedy and wicked...
Vyrn: Sage my butt! Anyone who demands money to help people isn’t a sage!
Vyrn: That fake sage! I gotta give that guy a piece of my mind!
Aletheia: Hahaha! You’re noisy as always, lizard. You should be more like (Captain)!
Aletheia: Now let’s go make a visit to the outskirts of the village those villagers talked about.
Vyrn: What? This place looks weird. It’s like there are monsters hiding here...
Aletheia: Hahahaha! Lizard, you got good senses.
Vyrn: This isn’t a laughing matter! (Captain)! Are you ready? Let’s go!
The Ersatz Sage: Scene 3
A man appears before (Captain) and company who calls himself the sage Aletheia. After exposing the fake sage for what he is, the fake sage turns around and sends a monster at (Captain) and company.
Vyrn: Oh, no! These monsters are tough! Can you manage this, (Captain)?!
A strange man shows himself to (Captain).
Aletheia: Oh, my! Are you the sage that the villagers talked about?
Fake Sage: Correct! Aletheia Leave the monsters to me.
Fake Sage: However, I cannot do it for free. If you cannot give me a... tip... I would not be able to do this...
Aletheia: Oh? Well I guess everything has their own code... Tips...
Vyrn: Hey, old man! Let’s just beat up that imposter!
Aletheia: Sigh... Oh, brother. What a hasty little lizard.
Fake Sage: Fake...? You’re talking nonsense, lizard.
Vyrn: Hey, you! You smell the same as the monsters!
Fake Sage: Hm... For a lizard, you got a good nose on you.
Fake Sage: It’s a pain to make excuses... I’m just going to make you food for the monsters.
Aletheia: What a short-tempered one he is. If you’re like that, you’ll never make it big.
Fake Sage: Shut up, old man! I’ll show you... These guys will be your opponent!
Vyrn: Heh! We’ll just beat down these monsters! Do it, (Captain)!
The Ersatz Sage: Scene 4
(Captain) and party defeat the monsters and show the true strength of Aletheia. The evil deeds of the fake sage are exposed and peace returns to the village.
Vyrn: You see that?! This is true power! (Captain) would never lose to an imposter like you!
Fake Sage: I-Impossible... How can I lose to some kid and a geezer?
Fake Sage: W-Who are you?!
Aletheia: I have no intention of telling some small-time crook like you...
Vyrn: It’s the boss of our skyfarers, (Captain), and the real sage Aletheia!
Vyrn: Bow down, you jerk!
Fake Sage: What?! The sage... Aletheia?! S-So this is true power... Gah!
Vyrn: We know about your evil deeds from the beginning. How do you like that!
Aletheia: Oh, brother... What a noisy little lizard. Now then...
Aletheia: You send the monsters at the villagers and take a reward for dealing with them... I will have you return all of your ill-gotten gains!
Vyrn: I hope you learned your lesson for pretending to be the sage!
Thanks to (Captain), the evil deeds of the fake sage are exposed, and peace returns to the village.
The bad reputation of the sage is removed, and another legend is created.
Now and Forever
At the boy’s request, the party had saved the pregnant woman. They decided to keep an eye on him until his dad came to pick him up. The boy would be a big brother soon, but wasn’t sure he could do it. He found his courage with a little help from Keehar. Aletheia watched as the father left with his son to see how mom was doing, his thoughts on his poor bond with his own son. After a stern talking to from Keehar, Aletheia decided to mend his ways and fix their relationship.
Their mission completed, (Captain) and company decided to kick up their heels. They were soon interrupted by a small boy in a big fluster.
Boy: Hah... hah... E-excuse me! Misters! ... but!
Keehar: What’s wrong, young man? There, there... go ahead and tell us what’s the matter.
Boy: My mom... she... her stomach’s hurting real bad! ... and there’s a baby in there!
Aletheia: She what?! Hurry! Take us to her! Now!
The boy ran back to his mother with (Captain) and company hot on his heels. Together, they got his mother safely to the hospital.
Even in the throes of labor, the mother was able to say thank you to our heroes as they delivered her to the hospital.
Nurse: Thank you so much! She’s a fair bit ahead of her due date... I’m so glad you were there to help.
Aletheia: It was good of the kid to hurry up and find someone.
Nurse: What a clever boy! But... his mother hasn’t given birth yet. I’m not quite sure what to do with him now...
Keehar: Hmm? What happened to his father?
Nurse: About that... we were able to contact him, but he won’t be able to come immediately on such short notice.
Keehar: Is that so... well I’ve got an idea! How about we take care of the boy until dear ol’ dad makes his way over?
Nurse: Oh, my! You don’t mind? If you could just make sure he doesn’t stray too far from the front of the hospital...
Keehar: Indeed I can! You just do your best to take care of the mother.
Keehar: Right, Lord Aletheia? How’s that sound?Hanging around with a kid should do us old codgers some good, eh?!
Aletheia: Huh? Slow down a minute, Keehar! I’m really not good with ki?
Keehar: Dahahaha! Alright, boy. You’re going to sit with the old timers for a spell!
Boy: Um... okay, I guess. And um, Ms. Nurse? Take care of my mom, okay?
And so Keehar and Aletheia founds themselves doing a bit of babysitting until the boy’s father showed up.
Aletheia: Hrm... I got to say you’re looking a little down, kid.
Keehar: You really do. Must be worried about your mother and the baby, eh?
Aletheia: You got to straighten up, boy. Once that baby’s born, you’re going to be a big brother.
Boy: Yeah... I mean, I know. It’s just...
Aletheia: Well, I tried... just can’t get the knack of talking to the little ones, I guess.
Keehar: Listen here, kiddo. You’re going to be just fine! Take the word of an old Skyfarer like me!
Boy: Wha!? You guys’re Skyfarers?! You?! ... you can still be one when you’re that old?!
Keehar: Dahahaha! Hey, now. All a few wrinkles are is proof you’ve seen a few battles in your day, right? And an old timer’s world is good as gold!
Boy: ... right!
Aletheia: (Hm? Looks like that did the trick. Guess I just don’t get kids... )
Keehar: Hoho... you’re going to hang out with us. You know, make sure you don’t wander off and get yourself lost!
Boy: Um... well if you’re Skyfarers, I’d sure like to hear about your adventures!
Keehar: Hmm? Deeds of dashing derring-do, you say? I have those by the bowlful! It all began with...
Keehar’s tales were like something straight out of an old legend. The boy’s eyes shone with wonder.
By the time Keehar had reached a break in his story, the boy was ready to share what was troubling him.
Aletheia: So you want to tell us why you were looking like you were three days from the chopping block? Must be worried about mom, eh?
Boy: It’s... well, all they talk about is the dumb baby. I don’t even feel like their kid anymore...
Aletheia: Hrm... well you need a little patience. You’re big brother now. And protecting your little brother or sister is your job, you hear?
Aletheia: What d’you expect... how can you be a man if you’re jealous of someone weaker than you? Get it together, kid!
Boy: ... but?
Keehar: Slow down there, Aletheia. I understand what you’re trying to say, but you can’t put all that weight on him at once.
Keehar: I think your mom and dad would be pretty sad if you guys didn’t get along. And I’d like you two to be friends, myself.
Keehar: So what I’m saying is, you don’t have to be a big brother all at once. Just take it one step at a time, you hear?
Keehar: In just a little while, you’re going to be seeing that little baby for the first time. It’s bound to be a little awkward.
Keehar: I mean, you might have a squabble here and there at first. But then you’re going to be buddies before you even know it. You’ll go on and on about how cute that little baby is!
Boy: Sigh... you really think so, mister? It might be a boy. Or a girl... but cute? I dunno...
Keehar: Dahahaha! No need to worry about that! That’s the kind of bond that grows with time.
Keehar: I raised a granddaughter myself... well, technically we’re not related. But talk about adorable!
Keehar: Hoho. The same goes for your parents. Of course they’re going to love that little baby. But they love you, too.
Keehar: It wouldn’t hurt to let them know you need a little attention now and again!
Boy: Ooh! Really, mister?!
Keehar: Really. That’s your right as a kid, you know? It’s practically in the job description!
Boy: Wow! Thanks, mister! I don’t know why I was so worried... yeah. Yeah!
Dad: Hey! Sorry I’m late! And thank you. Both of you. Don’t know what I would’ve done without you.
Keehar: Dahahaha! Think nothing of it! Now get on and see your wife.
Dad: Thanks again for taking the time. C’mon, son. We can wait for the baby inside the hospital.
Dad: And I heard you ran to find someone when your mom went into labor. I couldn’t be more proud of you!
Boy: Hehe... that’s what big brothers do!
Dad: Oh! There it goes! ... you and me are gonna do our best to take care of mom and the baby. Right?
With a word of thanks, both father and son made their way into the hospital.
Keehar: Whew... seeing that, I guess there’s not much for us to worry about. And dear me, what a stand-up kid!
Keehar: Hmm? And what could be bothering you, my dear man? You look a tad bit gloomy.
Aletheia: Sorry... just thinking about my boy. He was about that age when things started going sour between us...
Aletheia: Ha... although I wasn’t exactly winning any prizes for world’s best dad...
Keehar: Then you need to get it together, man! If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, then fix it!
Aletheia: Hrm... but now? After all this time...
Keehar: I’ll have none of that quitting talk! It’s like the boy. You don’t start out being a father. You have to ease yourself into it.
Keehar: Can’t say I know the specifics of your situation, but there’s no such phrase as “too late”. Start your work and start it today.
Aletheia: Hrm... I reckon you’ve got the right of it. I never should’ve tried to give up in the first place.
Aletheia: It’s time to get to work. Starting with myself... hah! Guess an old dog can learn a new trick or two!
It seems that all it took to light a new flame in the heart of a jaded old Sage were the words of a well-seasoned Skyfarer.
Perhaps the day would finally come when Aletheia would finally be able to walk tall, freed from the burden of worry and regret.
Only time could tell. Some roads lead to futures even the Sage of the Sword cannot know.
Father and Daughter Reunited
She couldn’t look away from the swordsman, a swordsman wrapped in what seemed to be a mage’s robes. It was Aletheia, the father who had left home when she was but a child. The old man couldn’t quite conceal his surprise at the unexpected reunion, either. At last, he told the story of why he had left his daughter behind. Having finally learned the truth, Teena hoped her brother Lucius would finally be able to let go of his hatred for their father. Aletheia steeled himself to face his son once more. Aletheia, having failed his family, chose the only path left for him: that of the sword. What would the future hold for him?
Early afternoon found Teena on the deck of the ship, seeing something she wasn’t quite sure what to make of.
Teena: ... hm?
There he stood upon the deck, a tricorne sitting atop hair as white as snow, his robe brushing lightly against the planks. Teena couldn’t look away.
You would think the man was a mage based on clothes alone, but the robes and hat barely concealed a frightening bulk of muscle that couldn’t have belonged to anyone but a warrior.
Teena: ...! You...
Aletheia: ?! That voice... I know that voice...
Aletheia: ... Teena! I’ll be damned!
Teena: Oh, gosh... dad...
Aletheia: Teena... it’s been a while. Never thought I’d see you in a place like this.
Aletheia: Heh... seems like you got your mother’s good looks. ... glad you’re doing well for yourself.
Teena: Snff... what... where have you been... what were you doing?!
Teena: Waaaah! Snff... hic...
Aletheia: I’m sorry, Teena... I really am...
Teena’s wails brought Vyrn and Lyria running, anxious to find out what was going on.
Vyrn: What’s the deal? Did something happen, Teena?
Lyria: Hm... what’s going on, Aletheia?
Aletheia: Hrm... well...
Aletheia: Never expected it to happen on the Grandcypher... I’d like you to meet Teena. My daughter...
Vyrn: Wait. What?! You’re her dad?! Teena said he ran away when she was just a kid!
Lyria: Wow?! Th-thats, um... quite the coincidence...
Teena: Waaaah! Right?! What have you been doing?! Why didn’t you come see me before?
Teena: Snff... tell me, dad... why...
Aletheia shared with her the story of his wandering. He’d chosen to fight, leaving his family behind in hope that the the people after him would leave them alone.
But the day that the goblins attacked the village... well, even the Sage of the Sword couldn’t have foreseen that.
He had failed them, and the shame of seeing their faces again was too much to bear. And so he devoted himself single-mindedly to the sword.
Teena: Lucius... he really hates you, you know.
Teena: Mother kept telling him not to blame you, but she never got through to him.
Teena: Sigh... I don’t really understand it, myself. Sounds like one of those guy things, to be honest...
Teena: I just... I hope you can talk to him one day...
Teena: It would be so nice if we could live together again, just the three of us.
Teena: You and Lucius are the only family I have in this world...
Aletheia: ... I feel the same way, Teena. Not a day goes by that I haven’t thought it.
Aletheia: I’ll talk to him one day. Count on it. And if he doesn’t want to hear me out, well, what else could I expect?
Vyrn: Hrm... sounds like it’s a whole thing. But hey, talking’s what people do!
Lyria: Exactly! Families aren’t supposed to hate each other...
Lyria: U-Um... so! Just let us know if there’s anything we can do to help, Aletheia! And you too, Teena!
Teena: Hehe. Sure. Thanks, Vyrn and Lyria!
Aletheia: Hope I can count on you two. Especially you, lizard.
Teena hoped her father and brother would be able to make amends. Though she told her father she had faith in him, her eyes were filled with an unfathomable sorrow.
A relationship fraught with misunderstanding. One can only imagine where it might lead...
Aletheia: Lucius... guess it’s about time I faced him, eh?