The Alexandrian

Ptolus - In the Shadow of the Spire



Dominic grew up in the small village of Tarrin’s Reach, in the Narya province of the Seyrunian Empire. Narya is about as far from the center of the empire as it is possible to be, lying far to the northwest. And Tarrin’s Reach itself was at the far end of Narya, nestled in a valley very near to the foothills of the Barrier Mountains

Dominic himself had been abandoned at the doorstep of the small church in Tarrin’s Reach when he was but a babe. He had been raised by Father Toma and, led by his example of faith against all adversity, eventually became Brother Dominic, a lesser priest of Athor.

Three years after Dominic successfully completed his term as novitiate, the farmsteads around Tarrin’s Reach began suffering from goblin raids. Father Toma, believing that the goblins had somehow found a way around Attik’s Wall (the defensive barrier which lay between the Empire of Seyrun and the Northern Wastes) – possibly through the Mountains of the East – sent Dominic to the nearby city of Marchion. Dominic left at once and traveled as quickly as he could.

When Dominic arrived, however, it seemed as if he had been cast into a nightmare: Everyone he spoke to claimed to have never heard of Tarrin’s Reach. Even when he went to the local church, the priest there told him he had never heard of Tarrin’s Reach or Father Toma… And this was a man who Dominic himself had met on countless occasions!

His warnings were dismissed as the rumor-mongering of a mad man.

In desperation — believing, perhaps, that the city of Marchion had fallen under some sort of powerful enchantment – Dominic traveled on to the city of Brindol, where the local prelate of the church was stationed. But, again, no one had ever heard of Tarrin’s Reach. And even when he searched the records of the prelate, he could find no reference to Father Toma or the church in which he had lived all his life.

Believing now that something horrible had happened, Dominic spent the last of his money on the fastest horse he could buy and raced back to Tarrin’s Reach with all the speed he could muster…

… and found nothing.

The village was not there. It was not that it had been destroyed, it was as if it had never existed. The valley in which it and the farms which surrounded it had lain was choked with the growth of an ancient forest.

Dominic rode down into the valley – so familiar and yet so unfamiliar – and tried to find where his church had once stood… or, at least, where it had stood in his memory. He scouted all around, trying to find some sign that his mind was not truly lost to him and that all his life was not some form of cruel delusion.

He found nothing. Indeed, the only sign of civilized thought he found in the wilderness which he had thought to be his home was a small disc of purplish stone with a rune he had never seen before carved into its side.

By now the sun was going down, so Dominic made what camp he could with the supplies he had and – clutching the stone in his hands – fell asleep…


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