Finn had been dragged into the small paladin compound just outside of the city. He should have just followed. The journey may have been relatively short, but being dragged there made it appear to be the longest journey he had ever taken. Worse, he was covered in cuts and bruises and his clothes looked like ripped rags.
He was sat on a wooden table in a small wooden shed. The door was locked, and an angry guard stood on the other side. He had no idea how long he had been here, but he could feel a chill wind breaking in through the wooden boards so he guessed evening was rolling in.
His belly grumbled. The door flew open. A young man in priests robes walked in. Finn knew the colour of the robes meant something, some kind of hierarchy reflected in the colours, but he didn’t know what. In truth, he had never taken the time to care. Priests were a preachy bunch, determined to try and convert you to their way of thinking. Finn was a free thinker, which was much easier to do when you knew little to think on. Still, he was fairly sure white robes unordained with any trace of colour meant an acolyte. The fact the priest was nervous made Finn feel more comfortable. The door closed behind the priest.
“I am here to tend to your wounds” he said.
He quickly went about his business. Finn was amazed at what he did, and the items he kept on pulling out of what must be the deepest robe pockets ever made. Soon, all his cuts were covered in a green bloop, and his bruises covered in an orange mess. He felt better. His belly grumbled.
“Sorry. Been awhile since I last ate” Finn said.
The priest just smiled, reached into his robe pocket and pulled out a hunk of bread.
“Here. You sound like you need it”.
Finn took the bread and ate it. He must have seemed like a starving animal, and that was fairly close to the truth. Still, he felt embarrassed for some reason, and he was fairly sure it was because the priest just stood and stared at him. He swallowed the last bite.
“What is your name?” Finn said.
The priest looked awkward and shuffled his feet.
“I have no name, at least no priest name. I am known purely was a nunk, a first year trainee” he said.
Finn smiled. His training at the hands of the city militia had tried to rob him of his name. He had never let it. The sword and his name, that was all he had left of his family. He panicked. Where was the sword? He went to shout at the priest, but realised he would have no idea where it was. More, shouting at a man who just helped and fed you seemed rude at best. Still, he saw the priest back away and knew his anger must have flared across his face.
“Sorry. My sword. It is important to me and I am ashamed I no longer have it. Anyway. What was your name before joining the priesthood?” Finn said.
The priest shuffled his feet again.
“Uhhh. I am not meant to say. On taking the first vow we lose everything we had before, including names and family” he said.
Of course. All these places were the same. Break you, then remake you. Finn had refused to be broken, at least by other people. He had broken himself plenty, and that was fine. As a wise woman once said, only the broken have character. It seemed to be a nice way of saying broken people were assholes, but maybe it meant something good. He hoped it did, because the same woman told him he was full of character. Still, knowing this priest had just vowed away who he was willy nilly made him seem less in Finn’s eyes.
“Fine. I will call you Bob” Finn said.
The priest’s eyes bulged.
“Anything but that, please” he said.
A weird request but the longer the priest remained the weirder Finn though he was.
“Fine. Is Steve ok?” Finn said.
The priest nodded.
“Well. Thank you, Steve, for helping me. My name is Finn” Finn said.
The priest smiled and nodded.
“I know. The camp is a flutter with word of your arrival. It seems you took on Kole, and a Paladin followed suit. It seems we are now opposing the king, and not everyone is happy with that” Steve said.
He knocked on the door and was gone. Finn was alone again, and was sinking. It was no secret that the paladins and the king had been rubbing against each other for awhile now, and both seemed to have designs on the city. Eventually one would win out over the other, but the hope had always been the victory would happen behind closed doors with no blood spilled. When Finn decided on impulse to save that man, had he started the war everyone feared? He swung his legs to lie down on the table and tucked his knees close to his chest. What the hell had he done now?