Time for some backstory, people….. 🙂
Tullier glanced to both sides and then reluctantly stepped forward, glaring levelly at the Grandmaster. “Tullier Knott.”
Opening his eyes in surprise, Tullier stammered, “H-how…?” He faltered, then continued, with anger in his voice. “No one has called me that in years! How do you know my name, who are you, and what do you want?”
The Grandmaster smiled a cold smile. “Time for a little lesson, Tullier, one that you should have had a long time ago. Your uncle was too much of a coward to tell you himself, and kept putting it off until it was too late.”
Tullier’s face twisted into a mask of pure rage, and he clenched his fists. Trying rather unsuccessfully to keep his voice steady through gritted teeth, he growled, “Don’t you talk about my uncle.”
“Calm yourself, boy, and listen to what I have to say. Jason here is the son of two noble people, one from the Pencils and the other from the Pens.”
Confusion replaced the anger on Tullier’s face. “What do you mean?” he asked slowly.
“You don’t know? Your uncle truly was a fool. You have a pencil which makes the things drawn with it become real, correct? And you must believe that your pencil is quite unique. Well, you would be wrong. There are many pencils, and also many pens, which have the same abilities as the pencils. Societies have been formed around each, but the two factions have always been warring with each other. The reason the Dying City is dying is because of a battle that was fought there some years ago, for example. Anyhow, that is enough information to allow me to continue with what I have to tell you.”
Tullier’s mind was reeling with what he had just heard. More than one pencil? Pens, too? Whole groups formed around each of these? His whole world was flipped upside down. Shocked by these new revelations, he said nothing, and the Grandmaster continued.
“As I said previously, Jason’s mother was from the Pencils, and his father from the Pens. It was hoped that their marriage, although controversial, would bring peace. However-” and here the Grandmaster’s face darkened “-the Pencils were not so open-minded. We sent peace-talking representatives to the Pencils, but they were killed. Still ready and longing for harmony, we Pens summoned the leaders of both groups so we could speak calmly, without violence. During the meeting, the Pencils attacked, and killed many of our people. Even so, we still hoped for peace, and Jason’s parents hoped that their little son would be that instrument. Soon after Jason was born, however, his parents were assassinated.”
Tullier glanced at Jason, feeling a reluctant pity, but not seeing how this was connected to himself at all.
The Grandmaster continued. “There was another couple–the mother from the Pens and the father from the Pencils this time–that wished for the fighting to end. They had two children before they were killed. One–the daughter–was kept with the Pencils, where the couple lived, and the other–a son–was sent as an envoy to the Pens. When their parents were killed, both children forgot their purpose of peace-bringers, and grew up simply knowing that somewhere they had a long-lost sibling. Their names were Lago and Stefania.”
The siblings opened their mouths wide, shock and disbelief written on their features.
“Both couples had the same assinnators. Can you guess who they were, Tullier?”
Tullier kicked his brain, knowing that the answer was probably staring him in the face, but he was much too surprised by the recent turn of events to think. Instead, he shook his head numbly.
“Bring in the assassins,” the Grandmaster ordered.
Two people were led into the hall and then thrown to their knees, bruised, bloody, and exhausted.
“Take a good look at them, Tullier.”
Tullier looked, and then the blood drained from his face and he sank to his knees. “Mother…. Father,” he whispered.
Well? Whaddya think?