Doram Carlight, Pharasmite
A Vision-Prone Cleric of Pharasma.
“Doram,” the man said, his smile beaming from ear to ear. “Doram Carpfield.”
“Doram Carpfield.” The woman repeated, smiling down at the baby she held in her hands. “It’s perfect. He’s perfect.”
That was how it began – a simple start to such a simple life. Doram Carpfield was named after a cleric of Sarenrae, who lived long ago near the time of the Great War. Indeed, like his namesake he brought light to the people he touched. His parents were proud, and he was happy. After only eight summers, he was given a knife from his father. It was a modest piece, to be sure, but it was special to him. That night, with his mothers help, he fixed dinner with that knife, and fish his father taught him to catch.
“Thank you for the supper, Doram.” The man said, his smile still as bright as when he first said the child’s name eight years ago.
“You’re the one who should be thanked, father. Without you I would not have the knowledge to fish, or the tools to cook.”
His parents couldn’t have been prouder – what a fine young man their son had grown to be. It was good they had already taught him all they could, for they wouldn’t be around to teach him much longer. Two more summers past, and Doram Carpfield was ten years old.
The morning the magic man came to town, Doram would never forget. He called himself Rodor, the Magnificent! How magnificent indeed. He put on shows, peddled his wares, and spent more nights than were healthy in the seedier taverns. Doram wasn’t much for showmen, and he didn’t attend more than once. It was impressive, yes, but he wouldn’t have called it magnificent. Maybe if he had… who knows?
The magic man wove color into the air. He made lights into people into dancers. He made music out of nothing; it was as if the very rocks were singing. Of course, the young Carpfield had no time for such tricks. He was more interested in the practical magic. Magic that came with study, diligence, routine. Magic that helped put food on the table, instead of color in the air. If he wanted to see something ‘magnificent’, he would go see the priest.
Instead, Doram and his family mostly ignored Rodor, getting on with their lives as usual. Until the sixth, and final day that Rodor was in town. He had promised a spectacular show, but when everyone had paid for their tickets – double price, no less – he performed his final trick, and vanished into thin air. He never graced the stage that night. The town was furious, and even more so when they discovered that two of their own had been killed trying to stop the con artist from skipping town. Two people, that ten years ago smiled together, and said the name “Doram Carpfield.”
Doram was broken. He was devastated, more like. Nothing could cheer him, and no one would take him in. He would have been capable of providing for himself, if he had the energy or will to actually do so.
Instead, the priest took him in. A man of Pharasma, devout as they come. He took in the young Doram, teaching him to be pious and diligent. He took the sting of loss and replaced it with the sting of calloused hands from cleaning the floors. He took the sadness for himself, and replaced it with sadness for the lost, and weary. He took the anger at Rodor, and replaced it instead with anger at the unnatural. Things had a balance, Doram could now see. That balance must be kept. And those who disturbed it must be undone.
After seasons passed, and his time with the Pharasmite was a blur, Doram had grown. He was a man now by his villages’ standards, full grown in body, and mature in mind. It was now, eight years after his parents’ death. He had mostly forgotten the look of their bodies. He did not remember their faces, contorted in pain, or their hands grasping in the air for the life that escaped them. He did remember one thing, however. A name: Rodor.
One day, as he was cleaning the floor of the modest chapel, he heard a noise. He looked up to see that the pulpit was gone, and in its place stood an elaborate chair. He caught his breath, and realized that the air was cold, chilling his lungs and causing him to exhale visibly. He stood, and brushed the water off his knees. Had he spilled the cleaning water? No, the floor was wet, and made of different stone. He looked up again, and the chair had a man in it now. He was inside a cave, cold dampness filling his lungs, and a blood red moon shining outside.
The man in the chair smiled as he twirled his fingers, and lights danced around the air. Carpfield choked on the name as he filled with rage. “Rodor.” He breathed, stepping forward. But as he neared the chair, it began to splinter. He stopped, watching as it fell apart underneath the man. Rodor screamed, grasping around for a handhold, but he was too far from the walls that seemed to back away from him.
The eerie green light that Rodor had been playing with surged around him, pulsing, mocking him with visions of skulls and winged beasts. Rodor cryed out in terror, and for a second, Doram caught his eye. He could see how frightened he was. He wondered for a second if that was the look his parents gave him. Had he shown mercy? Had he cared?
No. Doram would not care. But Rodor did not vanish into the pile of splinters, instead he grabbed onto one of the hideous creatures his lights made. He pulled himself out, and as he did so the green devil held out a scroll for Rodor to sign. He did. He lived, when he should’ve died. Doram did not know all of The Bones Land in a Spiral, but what he had read of Pharasma’s holy book told him one thing for sure – everyone had their time. Everyone. He didn’t know what the vision meant, but as the world melted back together, he knew it was from his goddess.
After a season, the moon turned red. It was time for the harvest festival, but Doram had no taste for such things. Instead, he had decided to leave this place. It held too many memories. Even the good memories were painful when he knew they were gone. He packed up his things, strapped his father’s knife to his belt, and set off. After a long hike, he sought to rest in a cave. Upon entering, however, he saw someone else had set up their camp here, and shining off the damp walls was an eerie green light, dancing in the darkness.
The man jumped as he saw a shadow loom over him, but it was too late. Doram had cast one of the only spells he knew, but it was enough. His prayer had been heard, and with Pharasma’s voice in his ear, he found his mark on Rodor’s neck. The blood was hotter than Doram had expected. It was thicker, too. Later he would find it was also nearly impossible to wash out. That night, he burned his clothes, and with them, his nightmares.
After a time, Doram made his visions known to the priest at the chapel. This gave the man belief that he was named for a prophet of light for good reason. Pharasma needed beacons of good in these dark times to balance the flow of the world. And so, with the memories of his parents laid to rest with Rodor’s soul, Doram Carpfield had died. In his stead, Doram Carlight would bring the grey light of Pharasma to the spiraling souls of Landover.