Deep in the mountainous valleys of Knollen,
where sun almost never shines, lays a small and very special village. The folk have survived
by hunting the strange, cliff-dwelling steepstalkers above their village—killing them from a
distance and collecting their carcasses where they fell. They respected the art of shooting
above anything else. If you were born in such village, your first toy would not be a wodden
horse or sword, but a small and fully functional rifle.
Kardel Sharpeye was born in such village. He trained hard since he was a small boy,
becoming one of the best shooters among these strange folk for whom projectile weapons are
but another appendage, and to shoot is as natural as to touch. Sharpeye was respected
and adored by his fellow villagers, but he had yet to wait for a day of his full glory.
On his day of summoning, when he was to gain full standing in his village, Sharpeye took
the ancient test: a single shot from the valley floor to strike a beast down from the cliffs.
To miss was to be dishonored. He was preparing for this day for his whole life, so he felt
no fear and was sure in his success. With his entire village standing vigil, Sharpeye
took his shot… There was a loud explosion, then a few seconds
later a steepstalker fell. Kardel felt a strange feeling in his chest, he could not feel happiness
after this great milestone.This was HIS day. The crowd was cheering his name and celebrating,
but for some reason he could not rejoice with them. Something was wrong.
His feelings proved to be right very soon. As soon as the carcas was collected, the village
grew silent, for the elders found that the bullet had pierced its glittering central
eye then fallen to be clenched in the steepstalker’s mandibles. This ominous sign was the literal
opening of a dark prophecy, foretelling both greatness and exile for the gunman who made
such a shot. Kardel had to leave his village within a few
hours, a village that was his only home since he was born. Friends that were once playing
with him for hours were now unkown people to him. He did not know where to go and what
to do, only that exile was his single destiny. While packing his things, he was thinking
about his life and could not shake a feeling that everything was just an illusion. A mear
introducion to his new life, a real life outside the village walls.
For some reason, he found a sense in all this and welcomed his new destiny without any fear,
even after hearing the village doors closing behind him or seeing the mountains for the
last time. He walked for days, without a goal. However, deep in his heart he felt a strange
energy that was keeping him alive and diligent. He learned to trust his feelings and follow
his heart. In a certain way, Sharpeye the Sniper was thus, by his own skill, condemned
to make his way apart from his people and unwelcome back among them until he has fulfilled
the remainder of the prophecy by attaining legendary stature on a field of battle.