All the family gathered around the youngest son outside their coastal manor. His father was the last to come from the house, carrying something wrapped in an old leather cloth. His vast bulk filled the doorway as he passed through, his steps precisely measured, his own martial training shining through each pace.
“Hurry up, Fortha!”, called out great-grandfather Secunda, the old wizard still sat in his favourite chair that had been carried out just for the occasion. Grandmother Tyrda gave them both a wry glance and continued to fletch arrows as she sat on the green.
In the centre of the small congregation, Fithy gulped. Was he ready for this? He had been tried and tested, poked, prodded and shaped into the man he had become. All of his kin were heroes, legends even. Each one had carried the family name proudly and won honours in hundreds, thousands, of dungeons and battlefields. Their names had been on the lips of countless people for generations.
Now it was his turn to carry the name. All he wanted, beyond anything else, was to do it proud.
His father stood before him and carefully unwrapped the cloth. Inside was a longsword, ancient beyond imagining.
“This is yours now son. It’s the family sword, the sword all of us used in our first adventures. You’ll find other weapons along the way but this will be your first. We only ask that you carry it well, and return it here when you no longer have need of it so it is waiting for whoever follows you.”
Fithy rested his hand upon the sword, feeling the age and importance of this noble weapon. His fingers traced the runes etched into the blade, spelling them out as he followed their contours and knowing that this one unfathomable word represented everything his family represented. None of them knew its meaning, but it bound them together greater than any rope or chain.
He looked into his father’s eyes and they uttered the word together, the whole family joining in the chant as the word was repeated and echoed all the way across the coast.
“GYGAX! GYGAX! GYGAX!”
He was ready.
Dirty little secret: Is Fithy Dishion up to the job? He is young, hopeful and enthusiastic. First impressions are promising and he looks to be doing everything right so far. Perhaps he has bitten off more than he can chew or his over-confidence will be his downfall. Only time will tell. I sincerely hope not. He’s a very likeable fellow.