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    Kelanen: Prince of Swords
    Posted on Tue, September 11, 2001 by Toran
    Dargarth writes "Little is known of the history of Kelanen or the trials that he endured throughout his life. This multi-part article is an attempt to chronicle Kelanen's life and explain why this Greyhawk hero really is worthy to be a demigod.

    Author: Dargarth

    Kelanen: Prince of Swords

    by: Dargarth (mitchels@MEGSINET.NET)
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Part 1: The Early Years
    Many of the legends of Kelanen begin with his virgin birth from the barren Lady Noleece of House Naelax. Others state that he is a bastard scion; his mother raped by a Knight of Hextor during a Brewfest celebration in Eastfair. Still more declare that he is a true son of Erythnul and half-brother to Hextor and Heironeous. Imperial records, on the other hand, indicate that Kelanen was born the forth son of the Edgefield merchant Publicar and his wife Solae on the 28th of Reaping, 272 CY.

    Being the forth son in old Oeridian society left little choice as to the direction that Kelanen would take in life. The young man would be raised to do his duty to the family by either joining the military or the priesthood; for only the first and second sons stood a chance of inheriting the family fortune and business. And so, at the age of five, Kelanen was put into the charge of a Von-Rittering, an aging master that is paid to teach the children of the wealthy the ways of the military and the Gods. After ten years of teaching the child all that he knows, the Von-Rittering would then test and determines whether the child should be sent to the military academy or a monastery to complete his training.

    As fate would have it, Kelanen's Von-Rittering was Invectrus, a once famous Sacred Bander Captain who had lost his Bander-mate in the Battle of Mitrik in 252 CY. Invectrus had fallen on hard times due to the grief of losing Sarvaros and lived hand-to-mouth for over twenty years until he was hired by Publicar to teach Kelanen. Invectrus was a cold and hard man; far different from the carefree youth he was commissioned to teach. But his beliefs in the Hextorian codes of honor were strong, and so he tempered his anger with loving words of wisdom, mostly about duty and sacrifice, to his young charge.

    Young Kelanen had a quick mind and easily picked up the nuances of the various Oeridian churches. It was as if the boy's mind could immediately categorize them and their influence over the citizens. In less that a year, Kelanen had learned everything that Invectrus could teach him about the Oeridian Gods, and was forcing the Von-Rittering to spend considerable amounts of time studying various texts and doctrines to find new things to impart to him!

    But while Kelanen's mind was sharp, his physical prowess was un-oerthly! The boy moved with the grace and speed of a leopard. Kelanen could shimmy up trees or cliffs in a heartbeat. He easily mastered Invectrus' pole walking exercises and could leap between the parallel poles landing easily upon the three-inch surface with no loss of balance. The boy could run all day long without tiring and by the age of eight was already as strong as most full-grown men. But it was with the weapons that Kelanen truly shone.

    The first time that Invectrus put a sword into Kelanen's hand the boy seemed to come alive. It was as if the short sword became a natural extension of Kelanen's arm. The grim look of resolve that settled into Kelanen's eyes when he held a sword sent shivers down Invectrus' spine. The boy was a natural blademaster, or Invectrus was an old fool! Over the course of his training Kelanen learned all the weapons of war, but none suited his hand like the sword, and on his fourteenth birthingday, Kelanen chose the bastard sword as his weapon of choice and put all of his energy into mastering the nuances of the blade.

    Invictrus wished to test the boy's resolve and took him into the Flinty Hills on a hunting trip. There had been rumors of a monster terrorizing travelers and miners and Invictrus wished to see if Kelanen would be able to deal with true danger. Invictrus knew that Kelanen was a natural-born warrior in body, but having those qualities in heart and head is another matter entirely. Invictrus suspected that the "monster" was an ogre or hill giant; and knew that he could easily deal with it if Kelanen didn't have the courage.

    For three days the pair encountered nothing, not even hunting game. All was quiet within the hills. Invictrus began to worry. Ogres and hill giants were not so uncommon as to scare away game. As the pair sat around the campfire on the third night, Invictrus decided that they would leave for home in the morning. As the words left Invictrus' lips a chill went down his spine. A true evil had entered their camp site.

    Standing nine feet tall, the demon was a type that Invictrus had never seen before. The being stared at the pair with cold eyes and Invictrus found himself unable to move; frozen in place by the power of the creature's presence. Invictrus knew that he and Kelanen were dead, for while his broadsword was magical Invictrus didn't believe it had a sufficient enchantment to injure such a creature. Added to that was the fact that Kelanen's blade held no magic and would be useless against the demon.

    Everything shifted into slow-motion. Invictrus could see the demon moving toward them as they sat helpless. Invictrus struggled to rise and reach for his sword but his body would not respond. And then in a flash Kelanen was up and charging the demon. Kelanen's bastard sword cut smooth arcs through the air and when it encountered demonic flesh a burst of silver light erupted. Kelanen continued the attack for several minutes, always striking and then using his agility to dodge away from the demon's claws. After what seemed like an eternity to Invictrus he was once again free to move. Kelanen stood covered in gore over the demon's body. "It is done," Invictrus head Kelanen say as he approached. Kelanen never again spoke of the incident and refused to allow Invictrus to tell of the deed. Demonslayer was apparently not a title that Kelanen wished to carry through life.

    On Kelanen's fifteenth birthday, Invectrus marched into Publicar's study and declared that the boy should be sent to the Academy of Sacred Banders to complete his training. This troubled Publicar greatly, for while he saw his son's martial prowess, he was a follower of Zilchus and was concerned that his son might turn to the darkness while following the Hextorian Bander codes. Publicar had planned to send Kelanen to the Academy of Knight Protectors and use his wealth and influence to make Kelanen a true knight, or possibly a lesser noble. But Invectrus pressed his employer and swore on his Bander oath that the boy was destined for greatness. That he would be the most famous Oeridian General since Azharadian!

    It took many more discussions, but eventually Publicar, seeing the turmoil within the North Province with the Ur-Flannae as well as the unusual edicts of Overking Edron in Rauxes, decided that Kelanen would have a better chance for survival and greatness within the Sacred Banders and agreed to Invectrus' wishes. On the first day of Patchwall, 287 CY, Kelanen entered the Academy of Sacred Banders.

    This ends part 1. Part 2, the Sacred Banders of Eastfair, will explore Kelanen's training and duties while a member of that organization.

    Note: Aerdy, Kelanen"
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    Re: Kelanen: Prince of Swords (Score: 1)
    by MerricB on Wed, September 12, 2001
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    Interesting stuff. Tell me, are the Sacred Banders one of the many Greyhawk things I've missed, or are they original and of your conception?

    In any case, learning more about them in the next part would be wonderful.

    Merric, the Dreamer-Minstrel.

    Re: Kelanen: Prince of Swords (Score: 1)
    by MTG ( on Wed, September 19, 2001
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    From the first paragraph to the last, this is beautifully written. I've wondered when the Kelanen histories would be posted to Canonfire, and I look forward to the remainder of the series!

    Re: Kelanen: Prince of Swords (Score: 1)
    by Man-of-the-Cranes on Tue, October 30, 2001
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    This was very good. I have long been intrigued by the Prince of Swords, and to a lesser degree his companions (Heward et al.). Before my campaign was forced to an end, a long running PC Paladin of Heironeous fell from grace and we began to explore the Kelanon cult. It ended with him becoming a Knight of Kelanon (2nd ed. demi-paladin) that I designed but was constantly evolving as we explored his new faith.

    I remember reading a history of Zagig (somewhere, the Codex I think) that featured Kelanon to some extent as Zagigs companion before and during his capture of Iuz and all those shennagins. Does this come from any canon source - I don't think so - but I would be curious to know if you have read this. It was obviously in the years just prior to 505CY, and a long way distant from your history as it stands.

    I am very curious and excited to see how your history develops. Any news on upcoming parts yet??


    Von what? (Score: 1)
    by Thanael on Fri, February 11, 2005
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    What exactly is the title/position of the Von-Rittering ? Did you make it up? Also whence the strange name?
    Being german I can`t help but smile when i read it. Of-Knightening would perhaps be the english equivalent.

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