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HISTORY:

It was a black night, the sky was shadowed with bellowing clouds, and rain sang a rapid song against the roof. A scream rang from the vast palace of house Talshia, a scream of pain that slipped from feminine lips. The room was dark, lit only by the gentle flicker of amber candlelight and the light glow of a single, brilliant star. The room was filled with dark figures, all staring down at the woman lying on the bed, surrounded by bloodied sheets. A vast boom of thunder echoed through out the vast halls like the grumble of anger from Rhischal itself. The family loomed around the bed, each having a different facial expression at the wondrous sight of birth. Another scream roared from the womanís mouth, and a crash of lightning soon followed it. A man stood at the front of the bed, clothed in white, his arms outstretched as if to catch the baby when it came. With a last and final scream, the baby was pushed forth into the doctorís arms, crying and whimpering upon its birth.

Everyone in the chamber released a hefty sigh of relief. The doctor stood to his feet and placed the child in the hands of his father. The man known as Cirro Talshia looked upon his newest boy with a face stained with the glow of seemingly endless joy. A new son for a fallen house he said, this one will make us proud.

The child had been named Cassius, the name making the entire family feel proud. He had grown tremendously in the first year after his birth. Cassius was walking at six months, and spoke his first words at one and a quarter; which was "please." The child had a strange interest with blues, grays, and golds, which became the outstanding part of his wardrobe. At the age of four the boy had learned to read and was beginning to take a keen interest in the art of swordplay. The interest the boy held was a confusing one, he wished to hold the sword, but afraid to swing it and so the parents simply ignored the whole idea of training him and before he could get the opportunity he was sent off to the royal city of Lissia to be schooled.

One day while at school, Cassius was moving to the mess hall, sword sheathed and dragging behind him. A massive boy, standing at least a third taller than Cassius grabbed the sword away from him. Laughing the larger child held the sword above his head out of Cassiusís reach and no matter how much Cass pleaded the larger boy would not succumb to beggary. This infuriated Cassius, his father had given him that sword, who was this boy to take it from him? Cassius stood up, his blue and gold clothing glimmering off the sunlight, staring at his opponent sheer frustration in his eyes. He asked the older boy what gives him the right to take his precious sword away from him. The older boy hesitated, obviously holding back a roar of laughter. He leaned down towards Cassius, still keeping the sword out of reach, he said his name was Popilious Garron, and no one of house Talshia should have a sword, only members of house Garron use them. With that Cassius growled in anger and ran at the older boy, thrusting his head into his opponents stomach, sending the sword flying from the Garronís hands. Popilious collapsed to the ground, gasping for air, taken by surprise by the strong blow, while Cassius leapt over the fallen boy to retrieve what was his. He drew the blade with all his strength and pointed it at Popilious. The tall boy stood to his feet, looking around he noticed all the other children watching him; he whirled to face Cassius, and laughed. Popilious looked down the blade to his enemy and chuckles, asking if Cassius even knew how to use the blade. Cassiusís arms began to tremble from the weight of the blade and soon after it fell to the ground with a thunderous clang. The older boy grinned and raised his clenched fist and struck Cassius, sending him backwards into the wall, blood spewed from Cassiusís nose, and he fell limp to the ground, his vision blurred. All he saw was a large shape, the shape of Popilious looming over his head winding up for the final blow, but then a voice rang out amongst the rest, an older voice. Soon an adult appeared and all the boys scattered, including Popilious, yet before he could go, Cassius voiced one thing, he claimed he would learn to use the blade, and defeat the Garron permanently.

The years went on, Cassius reached the young age of eight, it had been two years since his fight with Popilious Garron, and he had not forgotten his word, just after the fight, he had asked his father if he could learn swordplay, and his father seemed doubtful at first, seeing as Cassius never wished to harm anything until now. After time however, he succumb to the continuous pleads of his youngest son, and enrolled him with one of the best teachers he could afford.

The day came when his teacher was to arrive, and Cassius was very anxious to meet this renowned sword master. He waited by the window all morning, until the sound of hoofs could be heard approaching the house, Cassius had never liked horses much, and they always seemed to big and to smelly to be of anything glorious. Yet when he saw the man, clothed in glimmering scale male and beautiful cloths ride towards him, mounted upon a mighty black stallion, he knew that he must have one of his own. This began another interest of Cassiusí, the more he trained with the sword, the higher his urge was to ride a horse, and soon his instructor began to notice his obsession. They had become good friends, Cassius and his instructor, and the tall man offered to train the boy in horseback for no fee. His father was ecstatic with the idea; his father surprised him on his eleventh birthday with a horse of his own, but a young one. Milky white fur and a mane that looked like it was made from the clouds themselves, Cassius would come to name this horse "Cloud Veil."

Training was harsh and vigorous, but the day had finally come when Cassius Talshia was to be tested. At first he though he would need to fight his instructor, but he soon learnt that was not so. His Instructor, Ullic he came to be called, informed him that he himself had asked permission to enter the boy into a tournament, and a grand one at that. It was named the tournament of the silver sword, which was put together and coordinated by those of house Kira. The boy was shocked and amazed, did his trainer honestly think he was ready to face live opponents. He grinned to himself, arrogance filling his mind. The tournament was to be held at Lissia, where the arena was set up near the center of the city. The contestants would be drawn randomly to face each other, you could loose but one match until you where eliminated.

Cassius and Ullic arrived in the city square a day in advance, wanting to register early so that they wouldnít have the need to face the line, that was sure to come. Cassius looked about the arena, and spotted a familiar face, but not a pleasant one, the face of Popilious stood out amongst the crowd. Popilious stared back and their gazes clashed harder than any weapon ever could. Popilious had grown, not only in height but also in bulk; he was a massive man, almost entirely composed of muscle. Even after the years of training, Cassius was dwarfed by the other mans size.

Cassius spent the night thinking about the battle, which was going to ensue the following day. He wanted to win; he needed to win, to impress his family, his instructor, but most of all, to put that whoreson Popilious into his place. Before he could think of any major strategy Cassius drifted to sleep, leaving his worries behind him for the night.

The sleep was perfect; he was not awoken once and slept like a newborn baby. He stood up from his bed and stepped over to look out the window and onto the street. Much to his amazement and disbelief the streets were flourishing with moving bodies, people where literally pressed up against the walls as they attempted to gain entry into the arena. He saw warriors of all types, some wielding very odd and exotic weaponry. He saw massive men carrying gigantic crushing weapons and smaller men carrying nothing but quarterstaves, the range was amazing.

After he had suited up, he made his way to out front of the Inn, where he was to meet up with Ullic, and they would begin to press their way to the arena. The morning sky was a clear, pale blue, and the sun, just rising over the city walls was a sphere of radiant gold. Cassius has wasted no time in getting ready, dressing quickly and sprinting down stairs to meet his companion. Once they met up, they began to face the storm of flailing flesh and armor; neither of them had expected the streets to be this packed.

It took them several hours to gain entry into the massive construct, which was the arena. They immediately made their way towards the chambers, which would house every warrior. These chambers where located under the bleachers, and they where rather confined. Cassius opened the door to his chamber and looked around. It was a dank and gloomy chamber, the only pleasant feature was a cool breeze which flowed in through a small lit which acted as a window. There was an armor rack, a bench and a chest, other than those three things the room was all cobblestone. Cassius moved to sit on the bench, already tense by the challenge ahead of him. He took a deep breath and drew his sword, looking at his reflection in the blade. Ullic left him in his meditation, saying he had some things to take care of. He mentioned he would return an hour before the competition was to begin, and that Cassius should wait in these chambers until then. There were many fighters anxious to see blood before the competition, and Cassius noble blood would not save him if a gang of them found him prey. With those words Ullic vanished out of the doors and into the shaded hall.

Cassius went over all of his training, remembering the past eight years of his training, in this dank moldy chamber. He thought all the way back to when he first swung the sword, and followed the though through to his last training, when he was mounted on Storm Veil. By the time he realized it, six hours had passed him by, and Ullic stepped in holding a basket of bread and a tankard of water. They ate a fine meal, and discussed how the rules and systems worked. An announcer would call for the warriors to assemble by name, there were about three hundred members in this tournament, and more than half of them where from other houses. This was the day when Cassius would prove himself to everyone he knew, and so many more.

They had finished their talk when trumpets rang out throughout the arena, but this toon was not angelic but a calling to battle. Cassius stood up and smiled and Ullic, giving him a great embrace he grabbed his sword and left the room. That would be the last time he saw Ullic, but he didnít know it. He strolled out into the dimming sunlight, countless people filled the stands, cheering and screaming, Cassius strolled over and stood where he was told too. All the warriors had their backs to the walls, all able to see the others whom they would face. Cassius was determined however; he was not going to fail.

There was a woman standing on a stage at the very front of the arena, the sun gently shimmering over the walls behind him. He was dressed very nicely, and adorned the mark of house Kira. She spoke out, her voice full of enthusiasm and glee, house Kira is proud to present: the tournament of the silver sword, she yelled to the crowd. Everyone in the stands erupted in cheers; obviously Cassius had missed a greater part of the speech. The last words to be heard where, lets the fight commence. All the warriors were herded off the sand and placed behind a wooden guard; they sat on benches and waited for their names to be called. Cassius looked around at everyone, too excited to notice the absence of his trainer. After a few minutes the crowd went silent, and two names where called. Two men stood up and stepped over the wooden barriers, holding their weapons high to impress the crowd.

Hours went by and one by one men and women were eliminated from the competition, he had already watched Popilious defeat one opponent with an incredible strike with the flat of his sword. His name had not been called once, and this was beginning to make him restless, what was wrong, why wouldnít they call him! Eventually however, his name was called, and coincidentally his opponent was Popilious himself. The both met in the ring, but neither of them attempted to impress the crowd, their eyes locked on one another. Popilious let out a whisper, ill finish what I startedÖCassius. The man had a smirk on his face; so arrogant it almost frightened Cassius. He stood strong however, raising his sword to eye level. In a quick instant there was a clash of blades, The Garron wielded a massive double-handed sword, and with every parry Cassius lost ground because of its tremendous weight. Cassius knew however he had an advantage, he had maneuverability, and quickly he dived to the side, slapping Popilious with the flat of his blade almost mockingly. Popilious however, took it more seriously and swung himself on his heel bringing the sword down where he had thought Cassius to be, this was not so as he soon found out, his opponent had moved around him and smacked his head again. Cassius laughed at the man, continually dodging the attacks sent against him Cassius was sure to win just by exhausting his opponent. Then, something out of the ordinary happened, when Cassius figured he had one Popilious tore his massive blade into two, serrated, long swords. Popilious now moved quickly, lunging and striking for Cassius. Cassius was having trouble parrying the twin blades that his opponent wielded. So this was his trick, how would Cassius be able to gain back the advantage he has recently lost? The Garron continued his onslaught, pressing forward and forcing Cassius to move more and more back. Cassius looked around for something he could do, and then he saw the wooden boards which protected the people at the bench. Cassius continued to fall back, attempting to parry and dodge the blades, when finally his back hit the wall. Popilious grinned and lunged forward for the killing blow, the rules obviously far from his mind now. Cassius turned and leapt off the wooden boards carrying himself over his enemyís head. Popiliousís blades struck hard into the wooden wall, and became stuck due to the serrated blades. Cassius then, savoring the moment, brought his sword up to the back of Popiliousís neck. The crowd went up in an uproar the battle was won. Cassius raised his sword high into the air and spun it above his head. Then the crowd went wild and Cassius turned and saw Popilious bare down upon him, and before his could react, there was a sharp pain and all went black.

Cassius awoke a day later surrounded by his family all of whom looked worried. Cassius was confused and asked what had happened, his father then explained that Popilious had hidden a dagger in his boot, which he had driven into Cassiusís back, luckily he had missed everything vital. Cassius had then been fled to a doctor to have his wounds mended. Cassius then asked what of Popilious. His father was hesitant to respond, but then he explained the Popilious had been dishonored by his actions, and his family was very upset at the events that took place, he also said then when Popilious was taken away, he swore death to Cassius. This news did not surprise Cassius, but it would take him several months to return to his full health.

When Cassius had healed to full health, he had heard word of the mysterious Zath who had come to Sadir as allies, which where going to start a war with the Tal because of some war that happened long ago. During Cassiusís recovery he had a lot of time to think about the world and how it worked, he had then chosen to go attempt to investigate this "Sin War" because he wanted to know if the reasons were true, and if they werenít he wanted to stop it and make a name of and gain respect for his family. Cassius informed his Family of his departure, he didnít not inform them why he was leaving, and he simply took everything he thought he would need and prepared to disembark. Before he could leave however, his father approached him with a sword and shield, he told him how Ullic had crafted them for him for his nineteenth birthday. Cassius looked down at the weapons, with tear filled eyes, now realizing that he hadnít seen the old man since before the tournament. Cassius took the weapons and wore them proudly, but he vowed to find his instructor again, when he was a hero, and make him proud.