Cecil Tugrur (Dead)
Cecil Tugrur was born the eldest son of House Tugrur, a slowly weakening house in control of little more then the village of Geutrink, a small village within Honastica in Lockland. His father Elrad still had hopes of rebuilding the family to its once great height, and was even making good progress towards such goals. He has managed to pay off the families debts, and made peace with some of his oldest enemies. Even the court took notice of him once more, and any would have thought house Tugrur would survive and even prosper. It was not to be.
Just as things were looking so well, Elrads wife took sick, and there was little that could be done for her, even though he requested aid from the church, by the time a cleric capable of giving aid arrived, it was too late. Elrad buried his wife, and spiralled into a deep dark depression culminating in his eventual death a few short months later. Cecil was forced to take over, and with little experience or political alliances, the house quickly started to lose power again. It was all he could do to keep the title and estate in Geutrink.
Too small for any of the larger houses to bother with, he had little to do except care for the people under his care. After the village physician left, Cecil chose to dabble in medicine to help his sister who was often ill, and upon seeing the sorry state of health in the village administered to the people as well. For a few years, he was content, even though low in power, he was respected by the people, and lived a peaceful life.
The fates however can be cruel, and they had not yet played enough with the fate of House Tugrur. Cecil was called away to the capital by the High Prelate of Daimie, the messenger could not, or would not tell why. Lily had just come down with sickness again, and he was loath to leave her, but one does not simply refuse the summons of such a high church official. He left what medicines he could, instructed the family butler to care for her while he was gone, and set off for the capital.
In the end, the High Prelates summons seemed inconsequential, and he was worried for Lily’s health without a physician present. He left the capital the same day as his meeting with the High Prelate, and rode hard to get back to Geutrink as soon as possible. Luck smiled on him along the way, in the form of a wandering mage he encountered when watering his horse, whom upon learning of his dire need to return as soon as possible, enchanted his horse to let it carry him all day and all night without tiring.
When Cecil arrived home late at night, he was well ahead of schedule, having cut his travel time by a full three days. Upon entering the mansion however, he was surprised to find it empty. The staff where nowhere to be found, Lily was not in her room. A quick search of her favorite spots in the garden didn’t turn her up, and starting to panic he rode into the village.
Entering the town square, he found a crowd of people, carrying makeshift weapons, torches, and even the odd sword, all intent upon something within the centre. As he drew nearer, some saw him and backed away with obvious fear on their faces. Within the centre of the square, a gruesome sight met him. Lily’s body was strung up on a stake, her head rested on a glowing silver disk. Four man stood around the head, Three chanting continuously, the fourth was in the middle of a prayer.
“Highest Daimie, our god and protector, we have heard the witness of the villagers, and we have carried out your punishment on the vile Necromancer Lily Tugrur. Grant us the power to seal her unholy soul and power in your holy light, may her evil wicked ways never harm another, may she forever suffer the fate of her ilk.”
As he bent over, holding the glowing symbol of Daimie, Cecil pushed his horse through the crowd, and pulling his sword in a haze of blood-rage, he struck the Inquisitor a single, decapitating blow. Even before the Inquisitor hit the ground, his three companions followed him, with blood streaming from deep gashes in their chests. Still enraged, Cecil turned to the villagers, now brandishing their weapons at him. The ungrateful bastards, his family had always been nothing but kind, helping where they could, and what do they do? The moment he’s away, they turn poor sick Lily over to the church! He rode into them like a storm, making each one pay for their crime with steal, boot, hoof and flame.
When his rage passed, Cecil found himself overlooking a decimated village. Many of the buildings were in flames, the dancing firelight illuminating dead bodies lying in pools of blood where they had been run down. A few brave could be seen with buckets and water, trying to calm the growing inferno. Others where no doubt hiding in the forest. For a moment, he was tempted to hunt down those who had fled, but then realizing he had somewhere in his blood haze retrieved Lilies head, he instead turned back to the mansion.
As he lay down Lily’s head in a pillow of silk, he pondered what to do. A resurrection? It could be done, there would be more then enough money in the vaults to pay for a single resurrection… Only then did it strike him, what he had done, and its consequences. Killing an Inquisitor… and of Daimie no less… the slaughter in the village… and for what? Lily was still dead, he couldn’t bring her to any church, they would never acknowledge their mistake, surely they would seek to silence him, they had the all the power, and in the end all the records would say they where in the right. He would be written of and executed as a heretic, and Lily… Poor sweet innocent Lily…
He didn’t hear the first time, or even the second that his name was called. The third time pulled him back into reality. It sounded like Lily but that was impossible. Yet it was her voice, though quite and weak. He looked up and saw Lily’s head, her eyes open, watching him. She was still alive, somehow, by some miracle, her eyes focused on him, her lips moved, somehow she spoke.
“Cecil… its so cold….”
The mansion was in flames, two bodies lay within its remains. The peasants would rather die then risk Cecils curse, they would stick to the story of a bandit attack, in which the village and mansion were burned down. Many had died in the fight, villagers, four clerics of Daimie, Cecil and Lily. House Tugrur was no more. Old Elrads dream of rebuilding its old glory was dead forever.
They would need a new name, a new title, a new house. Supplies. Lots and lots of supplies. If he couldn’t ask the church for their help, he would have to find his own way to help Lily. A resurrection may not even be possible considering her unique situation. Perhaps a graft of a new body? Was that even possible? Would she be able to ever run though the gardens again? To dance? There had to be a way, and he would find it, regardless of how long or far he must search.
Cecil turned his horse, and cradling Lily’s sleeping head in his arms, set of down the road, never looking back, as all that was their past burnt away into smoke.
Days later, luck once more smiled on Cecil, while staying the night at a roadside inn halfway between here and there, in the form of the wandering mage who had helped him earlier. The mage introduced himself as Balthazar, and though he didn’t say much of his reasons for traveling, he did claim to be a mage of considerable talent. Though Cecil was uncomfortable talking to someone who knew who he was, he did see an opportunity, and asked Balthazar for help in crafting a magical item. The cost set him back a majority of his fortune, but with the extra-dimensional space supplied by the Balthazars magic, traveling would prove a lot easier without having to risk someone spotting Lily.
He left the inn as soon as he had the item, not wanting to spend any more time in one place then he had to, and worried that Balthazar might become to curious about his affairs. Realizing he needed information and couldn’t trust anyone well enough to ask for it, he was forced to turn his steps towards the capitol with its massive libraries. It was risky, the capital would be crawling Daimies followers, but there was few other places he could get information. Most of the remainder of his money was spent on bribes to guards, librarians, and hoodlums of the most unsavory sort, but it got him what he needed. A couple of nights in the Great Library, and a clear path out and away after he was done.
In the library itself, he spent hour after hour searching and discarding tomes of lore on subjects many have never even heard of. Time was running out, and he was beginning to fear there was nothing in the library that could help him. The vast majority of books on resurrection were very specific to having divine assistance, a handful were simply impractical since the necessary steps could not be carried out in any sort of secrecy, and the last few lay a bit beyond the line of morally acceptable. It wasn’t until he had nearly given up hope, that he found it. Buried at the bottom of an old chest, in a small storage room obscured from view by piles of musty long unopened books, lay a tome as ancient as any he had seen before.
&nsbp; Nobody had touched the book before him since whoever had worked on the translation so long ago had left it in that forgotten storage room. With luck, nobody would even remember it existed.
For months, Cecil wondered the country, steering clear of the big cities and its churches, he spent most of his time in the smaller towns and villages at the edge of civilization. He studied Lilies condition, searching for alternative ways to restore her, but eventually always returning to the tome on alchemy. It seemed to have the best chance of helping, if only because he had yet to find anything in it that would prove otherwise. It was a tedious process. The language it was in was completely unique to any other language he could compare it to, where it not for the partial translation already began it would have been impossible for him. Slowly page after page revealed their secrets to him. The day he could try his first experiment, he was exuberant. It was a failure, he barely ducked leaped over the bed as the flask detonated in black acrid smoke, but the table had been left in splinters. He left that particular in in a hurry, before the innkeeper could come investigate.
Money soon became a problem, even the tightest budget couldn’t keep up with the cost of buying ingredients for experiments, and while Lily did not need to eat, he did. He made a bit of money seeing to the ills and aches of the peasants whom he met on the roads, occasionally even setting up a clinic in taverns, but always moving on before too long. He did get lucky when he came upon a village with a bit of a goblin problem. His first experiment, which he had deemed a failure did reveal itself to be amazingly useful in traumatizing the little bastards. Turns out even a handful of farmers armed with nothing more then pitchforks could wipe out a bunch of goblins, if those particular goblins happen to be burying their heads in the dirt terrified of the loud explosions going off around them.
The goblins ill gotten gains where not much, but they along with the villagers gratitude was enough to keep Cecil going for a couple more weeks. Maybe more goblins would present themselves, he could see the potential for making quite a bit of gold out here, where few people had a sword, and even fewer knew how to use one.