Suriana's Background

Gavinís family lives on the lands of a local lord in southwest Nova Vaasa where his father breeds horses for the lord and his men. They have some land to farm, and the lord pays his father well for the fine horses that he breeds.

Every few years a group of monks from the Monastery of the Iron Mind travel through seeking young boys with promise to come and learn with them to become scribes, scholars or perhaps priests themselves. As the lord wishes to maintain good relations with the monks, and often avails himself of the services of the scribes they produce he requires that all boys over 4 who have not yet been interviewed meet with them when they travel through. Many parents live in fear of this day, and try to keep their children away, since they fear their loved ones will be taken from them. Gavinís parents, however, trust their lord and the monks and so, when the monks travel through just after Gavinís fifth birthday, they bring him for inspection. As they arrive for the interview, one of the monks sees Gavin, and immediately signals to another superior monk. The superior monk explains to Gavin and his parents that he is destined for great learning and great things and must come away with the monks. Although Gavinís and his parentís sadness is evident the monks try to convince them of the good this will do for Gavin, but as Gavin leaves with the monks, the sadness and anguish this parting has caused is apparent. Later that night, monks arrive at Gavinís parentís home and explain that the head monk has made a special dispensation so that they may come and live at the school with their son, but they must come now and explain to no one where they have gone.

As the family leaves with the group of monks, they learn that they are not going to the Monastery of the Iron Mind after all, but instead to a Ďdifferent place.í The monks call this place Haven.

As the years pass Gavin learns, but does not reveal to his parents, that he was specially chosen and is more important than the others at the school because the monks believe he might be a True Innocent, and may therefore be destined for great things, but only time will tell and he must steer his own course on this path. In preparation, though, they want him to learn all he can and they make available to him all the learning available in Haven. Although the monks encourage Gavin to learn, he is a disinterested pupil and instead spends much of his time working with his father and watching the fighting monks train. As he is still young, the monks donít seem overly concerned and simply repeat that he must steer his own course.

When Gavin is 10 years old, his parents give birth to his only sister, Suriana. When Gavin first holds Suriana, he stares at her silently for a very long time. He then hands her back to his mother, goes to the head monk of Haven and says, "Itís not me you want. Itís my sister." The head monk stares at him with wide eyes for a moment, and then replies, "we shall see."

Over the next 9 years Gavin and Suriana spend as much time as possible together. Suriana spends time in study with the monks while Gavin spends time watching the fighting monks train, but they spend every other moment together. Early in Surianaís ninth year, Gavin disappears, leaving a note saying that he must go off and see the world outside Haven. He has learned some techniques from the fighting monks at Haven and now wishes to go see some of the world and decide what to do with his life. Suriana is crushed, and throws herself into her studies even more than before. She also takes to riding her horse Mist (a grey speckled horse), through the woods surrounding Haven. Itís during this time that she meets "The Green Lady" (a dryad?) and learns to tap into her fey blood using an acorn from the Green Ladyís tree as a focus. During this time she learns the language of the fey (Sylvan).

As Suriana gets older, her powers grow. Shortly after she turns 14, it is decided that she has achieved all she can at Haven and must now go out into the world to help others and determine where her life (and fate) will lead her. The monks explain to her that although this is to be her journey one of them will travel with her to help protect her. Whoever journeys with her, though, will take a vow of silence before leaving and will not speak again until she either succeeds in fulfilling her potential or fails.

The day before she is set to depart, she is woken by a strange, yet vaguely familiar voice... Gavin has returned. Suriana and Gavin spend the entire day together, telling each other what has happened over the past 5 years. They talk late into the evening until finally, Suriana is too tired to talk any longer. Before she falls asleep Gavin gives her a platinum ring, an exact duplicate of the one he wears, and makes her promise to wear it always, never taking it off.

The next morning, Suriana is woken by her mother, who seems to be fighting back tears. She wonít tell Suriana what is wrong, only that she is extremely proud of her. Suriana asks where Gavin is, saying that she will leave another day since she must spend time with him now that he has returned. Her mother explains that that is not possible, that she must leave today and besides, Gavin is leaving today as well. Suriana packs her belongings and finds among them a cudgel, a gift from the Green Lady.

As Suriana saddles Mist and prepares to depart, the head monk approaches. "Suriana," he says "we have chosen your guardian," and gestures towards one of the robed figures behind him. The figure throws off his hood, and Suriana sees that itís Gavin.

"This is wonderful," she says, "now we can catch up even more and you can tell me about all the places youíve been." Gavin looks down at the ground, and Suriana starts to ask, "whatís wro.. and then she remembers Ď..vow of silence...í

A couple quick notes on Suriana/Gavinís magic items:
1) Surianaís Horseshoes of the Zephyr: Shortly after Gavin left Haven Surianaís parents gave her a set of horseshoes for Mist. They tell her the horseshoes have been in the family for generations, and theyíll never wear out. It isnít until she tries to wade Mist across a stream that she learns the true magic of the horseshoes.

2) Surianaís +1 Armor of an Unknown Metal (Mithril), her Horn of Fog and her assorted scrolls/potions: These were given to her by the priests of Haven to aid her in her journey.

3) Surianaís ĎAcorn of Charismaí +2: This was a gift from the Green Lady, which was given to Suriana as she learned to tap into her Fey blood (to cast Entangle). It also serves as her spell focus.

4) Gavinís Ever-burning torch: This was a gift from a fellow priest of the Morninglord.

5) Gavinís Boots of Striding/Springing: Given to Gavin by the priests of Haven to help him protect Suriana.