Description of Fortune.
Fortune had been in isolation for longer than he could remember, accompanied only by his own memories. The planar pocket he was sealed in had only a thin barrier, but it might as well have been indestructible for all that he could escape it. At least through it he
could sense strong emotions of whomever carried him. Sometimes his dreams were their lives – events that were muddled and confusing – more so as the centuries stretched on. He was carried by a strong fighter recently, before him was a succession of women – female templars who frightened him with the nightmares caused by their deeds. Before them are vague memories of being passed from trader, to nomad, to merchant, to stranger after stranger. Somewhere, far far back in the beginning, there is a sense of familiarity. A shadowed face that he could no longer recall quite as sharply as he used to.
Fortune remembered he was trapped for a reason, not by accident, but the rest had been corroded with time. He began to sense his time was near. He felt more alert, more powerful, more focused, until suddenly his whole world shattered and the veil that obstructed tore apart. Fortune could see and hear everything around him. He felt the bonds shatter then light and sound overwhelmed his senses and for the first time in a thousand years, Fortune felt the touch of a hard stone floor against his cheek before he passed into unconsciousness.
The Veiled Alliance performed the ritual to unlock the amulet and brought Fortune back into the world of the living. It was a shocking event for Fortune and when he awoke, he found himself in a comfortable bed. A woman nearby immediately offered him a clay mug half full of water, which he drank without hesitance. She promised food would be brought and began to question him. Gently, the questions remained light and curious, but well worded and soon Fortune was reveling more than he might have meant to – indeed the loneliness of the imprisonment had no doubt gotten to him as the simple conversation was enormously comforting after centuries of knowing only his own thoughts. Food was brought, simple but filling. Taste, something else he hadn’t experienced in a thousand years. The conversation was put on hold as he ate. The woman waited patiently, her tattooed face unreadable. He recognized her, realizing she was the one that had been carrying his amulet for the last few days – it was strange seeing her for the first real time and not just a dim impression through the veil that had imprisoned him. With that recollection came another memory, she was a templar. She was a Shadow Wife.
The ancients taught that life always moves in cycles – that from death, life inevitably springs up again. They were wrong. The defilers taught the world that the cycle of life can be broken, that destruction can be made final. This is why the ancient trees of life were sacred. They represented a deeper font of life, one that could not be permanently erased with ease. It is a treasure beyond reckoning.
The tree of life is a supernatural organism capable of bringing vitality to a devastated area naturally – without spells, rituals, or sacrifices. This makes it a treasure beyond price for preservers and others who would restore the verdure of Athas. They are highly sought after by defilers as well, and in particular by the sorcerer-kings, for they allow defiling magic to be cast without destroying the surrounding vegetation.
In the past, there were many trees of life, each protected by a devout organization. As the world began to change, the trees began to fall, but each tree gave forth at least one seed before their final decay. It became the legacy of these organizations to protect the seeds of the trees of life. If the sorcerer kings were ever overthrown, the trees could be replanted and the world renewed.
The Alcari were one such organization, but eventually their secret escaped. The sorcerer kings pursued them, hunted them, tormented them endlessly for the seed they kept hidden. As the Alcari were slain in this war and tortured to death for this secret, the Alcari began to run, fleeing from the hunters until all but one remained seeking them in every corner of Athas: Nibenay. Hunted, constantly hunted, the Alcari were at last cornered. Their leader, an elemental soul, Avor Firesworn lead the Alcari across the desert to a final battle place. Avor was struck down in battle by defiling magic, but with his dying breath, Avor was able to conceal the gift. The battle was brutal and the remaining Alcari were either slaughtered or at last scattered to the four winds. The Alcari were successful though, the sorcerer king was denied his triumph and the seed remained hidden.
Fortune saw his leader and mentor fall in battle, and when all seemed lost he was forced to flee. Along his side was another Alcari, a woman by the name of Lily. Lily also studied the arcane sword at the same time Fortune did. They shared had a special bond that eventually blossomed into love. As they fled, they felt their time was soon running out. Nibenay’s searches seemed to focus on finding Fortune, where ever he went the templars followed. Fortune turned to Lily’s help, telling her that there was only one way to escape. One was easier to hide than two and with a peculiar amulet they possessed, she would be able to banish his soul into the amulet and leave nothing for the shadow wives to find. Fortune bid Lily to hide in Nibenay. Beneath the sorcerer king’s very nose the defiler was least likely to look. With his sword and his soul amulet in her possession, a year passed and Lily worked to bring back her love. The time came and Fortune was reborn, only to find that Lily had lost the location of the seed in her mad attempts to recreate him.
Fortune realized that the seed could not remain hidden forever. At the right moment, it would need to be brought forth again. That was where Fortune would be needed. The Alcari needed to regroup underground before attempting to recover it (a feat that could potentially take several years). After creating a child with his beloved, Fortune trapped himself into the amulet again, intending it to be carried by his son or daughter. Unfortunately, the child miscarried and Lily died, leaving Fortune trapped inside the amulet for the next thousand years. The amulet eventually fell into templar possession, as many arcane objects did, the simple looking trinket passed from templar to templar until it eventually came to be in the hands of Shadow Wife Setalle.