The Heart of Haven
There was a knight serving House Crendia named Ignatio Jones who achieved much renown and wealth by his swordsmanship and bravery. After retiring from fighting, Ignatio married a noblewoman named Fionda. Fionda was a skilled writer and linguist with an impressive collection of books. In addition, she had authored many essays, historical accounts, and fantasy stories. Due to his wanderlust and desire for more riches, Ignatio became a merchant specializing in antiques. Unlike most humans in the area, Ignatio had no qualms about doing business, albeit covertly, with wood elves.
The Jones family resided on a manor near the city of Strongbank. During their marriage they had six daughters: Lucinda, Esmarelda, Galadriel, Grizelda, Penelope, and Candida. Although both parents were diligent about caring for and educating their daughters, Ignatio was disappointed because he wanted a son who would follow in his footsteps and become a knight.
Meanwhile, in Strongbank there lived a half-elven orphan named Lerondo. He spent his early childhood in an orphanage without much education. The corrupt owner of the orphanage was an elderly woman named Beleviel. She trained the orphans to steal valuable objects by burglary or picking pockets and return the items to earn exemption from extensive chores. As a young boy with an appetite for excitement and novelty, Lerondo developed a knack for burglary. One evening he broke into the Jones’ mansion and came across Fionda’s personal library. There were other valuables in the room, but Lerondo paid them no attention, for he had never witnessed a full bookshelf before. Lerondo was so captivated by one of the books that he was caught in the act when Fionda entered the room. Lerondo spilled the beans about how he was rewarded for stealing valuables for Beleviel. Because Lerondo was interested in her stories, not in the other objects he could have easily snatched, and cooperative when caught, Fionda decided to be merciful.
When Ignatio was informed of the incident, he and Fionda decided that adopting Lerondo would be a good idea. This would not only spare Lerondo from a life of crime and cruel persecution due to his race, but would also send a message to the populace that would hopefully help quell the general enmity between men and elves in the region. And this would finally provide Ignatio with a boy to train to become a knight. As for Beleviel, she was promptly apprehended and executed for her crime. The orphanage was subsequently put under new management and a greater deal of scrutiny by local officials.
Now at age 9, Lerondo became a page and started on the path to knighthood. Shortly after his adoption, Fionda gave birth to a boy named Kuros. Kuros likewise began training for knighthood, and as youngsters, the two ‘brothers’ developed a healthy sibling rivalry.
Although Lerondo had adequate talent for swordplay and archery, it was his brother Kuros who came to show superior promise during their adolescent years as squires. During puberty Kuros grew into a behemoth of a man with a passion for winning tournaments and an unrelenting appetite for meat. Lerondo, on the other hand, fostered an interest in more intellectual pursuits, particularly history, mythology, and linguistics. These interests were inspired by stories his foster mother provided to him. After an adolescence that failed to provide much of a growth spurt, Lerondo decided to forgo the pursuit of knighthood in favor of a profession as a writer. This was encouraged by Fionda and eventually accepted by Ignatio, considering that by this time Kuros was destined for knighthood.
Then one fateful day, a fire burned through the Jones’ mansion, causing the destruction of Fionda’s library of books and Ignatio’s collection of antiques. Repairing the manor was a major financial burden for the family. During the construction of a new, albeit more modest home, the Jones family resided in a hotel in Strongbank, which wasn’t nearly as extravagant a lifestyle as Lerondo had grown accustomed to. It was during this time, without the distraction of a full bookshelf, that Lerondo truly became aware of how cruel and chaotic life was for most people, a far cry from his privileged upbringing. Was it true that things used to be better in the distant past, before the humans were supposedly exiled to this place?
These sobering observations and the loss of his books compelled Lerondo to do something more profound with his life than be an author of fantastical stories. Now at age 30, he decided to embark for Stife’s End to further his education.
With gold earned by working as a scribe and translator in the Grand Athaneum, he paid tuition for the wizard’s school. He ended up not too keen about the regimented teaching style, and found he had more success with spell casting if he went with his intuition than with precise adherence to existing protocols.
After 6 years of academic research and arcane training at Strife’s End, Lerondo became dissatisfied with what could be learned while limited to the study of existing books. He decided that in order to do his part in discovering the truth of the past and forge a brighter future for himself and mankind, he would need to go out in search of new knowledge. Thus he became a traveling archaeologist.
Lerondo visits his adoptive family at least once a year and feels indebted to them for the sacrifices they made on his behalf. Lerondo is loyal to and popular with his extended ‘family’.