"How I became a warrior"

"Heal Aveen!" was the last thing Aveen rememberd as her friends sent her in to distract the cadre of orcs. "For the honor of Mithanial Marr!" She felt a stab go up under her armor as a blow struck her jaw. She called all the training of her youth to her to defensivly block the incomming blows, but it wasn't enough and she was soon lying on the ground, motionless.

A memory floated through Aveen's mind, a smell of dust, the sound of her mother. Sitting up, she wondered, "Am I dreaming, how did I get back home to Freeport?" Padding out from her room, she saw her mother and father arguing again about her sister, with a sense of deja vu washing over her. The scene was one from her childhood, from before she set out to find her sister Trelisha who had run off to become a rogue. That is what her parents were arguing about again.

"She is honor bound to join the Temple of Marr as we had done", she listend to her father say. "She cannot come back here now, even though the FreePort Militia would let anyone through those gates for the right price!" The hostilities between the militia and the paladins had been growing. Aveen and her sister were to join the Temple of Marr and become clerics or paladins like their mother and father. Trelisha had fallen in with the wrong crowed and Aveen was grounded for fear of following her sister.

There was a rata-tat at Aveen's window. She knew instantly that it was her friend Jorden. Opening her window, she quietly called out, "Be down in a minute!" Her parents didn't like it that she snuck out of the house, but as long as she rememberd to stop by the Temple of Marr, she was usually in the clear.

"There's supposed to be a fight at the arena on the west side. Lets go!", Jorden tugged at her arm pulling her toward the back ally that would get them there the quickest. "Ok ok, I'm comming." Aveen had always been a tomboy, and she delighted in watching the matches in the arena. Her father stopped taking her when the militia beefed up their patrols.

"Today there is supposed to be a barbarian, all the way from Halas!", Jorden declared with joy. The barbarins rarely came all the way to FreePort, but they were always a favorite to watch.

After getting to the arena, there seemed to be too few people for such a spectacle, but the two decided to enter anyway. Several groups of boys were making jeering comments to the sole person in the arena, a barbarian warrior by the name of Owyn. "Will no one challenge me to a duel?", he shouted. The group of boys that had gathered shouted back that if he came out they would gladly fight him. One boy pointed at Jorden laughing, "He will fight you!"

"No Jorden, don't get into a fight not today. Dad can't know that I've been here!", Aveen pleaded.

"Why don't you hop down there and fight him yourslef?", Jorden asked.

The boy lunged at Jorden, "Well I'm happy to fight you!"

In the scuffle, the two youths careened into Aveen sending her over the edge. "Unngh", she landed hard in the dirt. She could see the dried blood from battles past.

"You send a girl to fight me, COWARDS!", Owyn shouted at the boys.

"I can fight as well as any man", Aveen protested, "Or are you afraid to be bested by a girl?"

Owyn laughed at the small half-elf before him. In an act of defiance, Aveen cought him off guard with a kick and then a punch that sent the big warrior to the ground.

With a look of reserved surprise, Owyn got to his feet, "Come here, I will teach you how to fight properly. Lets go inside to the training hall to get you a sword and a tunic for protection."

A bright light flooded Aveen's senses, then the familar sense of pain she had become used to. She awoke with a start, remembering the orcs and her friends. "Where are they, let me at them!", she cried.

"Its ok, you'll be fine now Aveen. I've healed you, but get dressed as soon as you can in case they come back.", Kailea, her clerical friend was always so calm.

Realizing that she had just been dreaming about that fatefull day so many moons ago that led her to become a warrior, Aveen stiffly put on her armor and wondered if she would ever see Owyn again.
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