Brellen walked across the hill just outside of town. The old stone wall was almost visible over the tops of the buildings on this side of town. His father served his entire life on that old, crumbling wall watching for the danger that would never come.
Ever since he was born he was told that the shield itself was a gift from Pelor. It was his love and protection that was keeping them all safe from the dangers of the Wilder outside of their valley. The final battle had come so many generations ago that nobody could really remember what it was or who the enemy at the gates were. All they know is that the Church of the Ever Rising Sun erected the shield through their faith in Pelor and protected the people of Nexus from the evil that threatened to overtake them.
For his entire life he was taught that the purplish glimmer blocking their view of the sky was proof that their god was watching, loved them and would always protect them. Even the ranking priests no longer displayed much in the way of power from beyond. The supernatural had practically disappeared as they were limited to the tomes and scrolls within their own walls and there was not much call for the use of rituals and spells beyond the seasonal ones that held no real power to them.
It was his father’s wish that Brellen would be entered into the schools at the Church of the Ever Rising Sun. He did not want him to grow up to be an impotent man at arms guarding a wall that would never see an enemy. Even the town guard had no real duties to perform as crime was almost non-existent in Nexus.
He figured within the walls of the church that he would never know hunger or have to worry about a roof over his head. He would likely never know any real, personal wealth, but he would never know hunger or want. For the most part, he was right.
What his father had not counted on was Brellen reading the old tomes from before the time of The Shield. How could he know that he would read those stories of the heroes that would travel out in the world to make a difference. The holy men of Pelor that would travel the countryside protecting those that needed His help.
How could life in the church lighting candles and providing incense and herbs to the high priest each mass compare to going out and doing good in the world as a focus of their god’s true power? How could he remain content with food, shelter and clothing when there were likely those faithful to Pelor out there needing his guidance and protection? Those out there that need to know that their god does still exist and that he does still love them.
Above him, through the violet shimmer of the Shield, he could rarely tell when dawn had arrived. This morning though, he knew exactly when dawn had broken as he could see the orange rays of the sun burning through the Shield to fall about him. Their warmth and glow was something he had heard of in the tomes, but had not felt until this point.
“You look for more out of your life, young one?” the sun said to him, the words flowing along the rays of sun stabbing their way through the Shield and onto the hillside about Brellen’s feet.
“Your people cannot have all been within the Shield,” he replied, “Do not they also need your protection? Do they not need your healing? Do they not need to know your love?”
“Truth flows through your words young minion,” the sun responded with a flare, “But the road to my faithful outside of the Shield is fraught with danger. I cannot see into the darkness of the Wilder. I could not tell you what awaits you out there. I cannot even tell you how many of my children are still alive out there.”
The thought of the faithful of the church out there – dying without the proper rites of burial or their final blessings to send them to Pelor’s side in the Everfields brought heaviness to Brellen’s chest. Nobody should die that way. Everyone should have a chance for peace in the afterlife. And those that would prevent the faithful from finding that peace should know His Wrath.
“You have served my church well your entire life,” the sun echoed down from above, “Would you choose to serve me again, knowing that your serve to your church and your people could very well cost you your life?”
“I would,” he replied with his head held high, basking in the warmth of the sun.
“Would you travel the Wilder looking for them, protecting them, healing them?”
“I would,” he replied again.
“Would you bring my wrath to any and all who would bring harm to our family?”
“I would,” he again replied as a mantra.
“Would you die for them?” the final question came out and echoed in his ear. The enormity of it was held in those final words, his final call.
“Would that it was your will,” he replied, a single tear running down from the corner of his eye to dry in the sun, “I would my Father.”
With a small flash of light a small figure stood in front of him. He looked as if he were a human, just about a third of the size of a normal man. It was not until he focused his attention on it that he saw the small glowing wings that seemed to form out of the light around his back and shoulders.
“Follow his lead,” the sunlight said down to Brellen, “This is Arris, one of my faithful. He knows the ways of my power. He will teach you to become an invoker, one of my weapons on your world. Arris will show you to focus my power through you. Once you have learned all that he has to teach you, travel out from the wall and through the Shield. Find them, heal them, protect them from our enemies. Bring them home, Brellen. Bring them home.”
Update on Brellen
The invoker was infected by numerous attacks from the living dead that are swarming the lands outside of Nexus. The infection was beginning to overtake him when the party was set upon by a pair of dragons. A young dragon was sent to attack them as the larger dragon (of the zombie variety) scooped him up and carried him off. At least that is what the dwarf that helped the party fend off the ice dragon told them – none of the party noticed what swooped in on them.