Lord Avaloch Tanhauser

Cavalier of Heironeous

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The memoirs of
Lord Avaloch Tanhauser, Knight
Order of the White Hart

When I was young, my life did not seem very remarkable to me. That is probably the case for most children though, knowing no other life but the one they have. I remember my older brother, Turin and I playing about the castle harassing the maids and stable hands. He would take me riding until I was old enough to handle a horse myself, albeit a small one. The only other children in the castle were those of some of the servants in the castle, whom I played with on occasion, but my mother frowned on such activities when she found out.

I was taught the typical activities for my age, swordplay, with wooden swords or course, court etiquette and of course riding. Being large for my age, I excelled at the physical activities, the finery came much slower unless it came to heraldry. I could name an incoming knight by his colors alone, and probably made quite a nuisance of myself with all my questions about their adventures.

My brother left the castle at age 15, I was 8 at the time, to take his required turn in the military. My mother was quite upset as could be imagined, and I lost my best friend. My father didn’t show it often, but realized as I grew older and more aware of the whole situation, that he was quite concerned as well and for good reason.

My life continued as it had, but I was without my constant companion. Mother and father were both a bit more protective of me, and any time knights or a regiment passed through, mother would question them regarding Turin.

Fortunately, Turin was able to visit a couple times, or I think mother would have gone crazy. He was never home long, but when he was, the castle seemed a much happier place. Mother was much more at ease and father seemed much less serious.

I was not long before my brother was to leave his time of service, that my father summoned me to him. I knew it was something serious, my father rarely summoned me unless I had done something wrong, normally he would just come find me. This event would change the course of my young life.

I sat down in the chamber he kept the castle records in, across a small table from him. My brother would be returning home soon, to stay, he said. Since the heir was returning safely, he did not wish to risk contention within the family. This confused me a great deal, as heirs had never really been talked about by our family, at least not where I would hear about it. I really wasn’t sure what contention meant either, but quickly caught on as my father continued. Shortly after my bothers return, a knight would be arriving and I was to be squired to him. I would leaving the castle with him and advance through the ranks of knighthood.

I was terrified; I’d be leaving everything I knew behind, no time to spend with my brother before I was to join the military as he had. I spent the next two weeks either hiding in my room or out riding, pretty much anything to avoid being around my father.

Still angry with my father, I watched my brothers return home from one of the castle windows. Jealous of all the fanfare, I remained in my room until I heard a knock at the door. My brother entered without me saying anything and approached me, still sitting at the window. I turned to him, with tears in my eyes, and he gave me the biggest hug in return.

We stayed in my room for what must have been hours, as the light no longer came through the window. He talked about his adventures in the army and I told him of what father told me regarding my future. My brother spent a great deal of time explaining to me what was likely to happen, and why father had made the decision he had. He said that he did not agree with it, but he understood why he had.

I got a better handle on it, but could not understand why he would think that there would or could be problems between my brother and I, I looked up to him more than anyone.

Turin and I were nearly inseparable for the next couple weeks. We would go riding and he would explain to me the situation we were in, being nobles, and the duty we had to protect others, and that destiny has a part for all of us to play. My time with Turin ended when the knight arrived.

Sir Garris stayed at the castle that night and ate dinner with the family where he talked most of the evening with my parents.

Turin help me gather what few things I would be taking with me together and got them packed. He also gave me a special gift, a small chain necklace with lightning bold held in a fist, the symbol of Heironeous. He said it protected him during his time in the army, and that it would protect me on my journeys as long as I lived up to it. We spent the rest of that night with him telling me stories about the adventures he had until I drifted off to sleep.

Morning seemed to come earlier than normal, but I was ready. I headed downstairs and ate and had my bag settled on the horse before most had finished eating. My mother was crying as she saw me off, and my father had a sad look about him, but he tried not to let it show much. Before we left, my father presented me with a very finely made shield with our families’ device on it. It was a bit big for me, but he said I would grow into it.

Sir Garris and I rode off, and I didn’t look back, because I knew I would start crying if I did. This was the true start of my adventures that would take me to see the world.

Lord Avaloch Tanhauser

Strahd Bites! Pelonius Darosch