Rose

The tale begins four generations ago, when Padraig, last surviving member of the Shield of Anu, a group dedicated to serving the Great Earth Mother, lay dying in a copse in central Caledonia. The group had all but been wiped out by the goblin hoards from the Great Forest, but had done their job well, accounting for scores of goblin and orc deaths before being overtaken by the force.

As Padraig lie there, waiting for death to claim him, a beatific peace overcame him, and he saw a vision of beauty enter the copse, where there was only tree's before. The vision was a women of indeterminate age, and whilst a stranger to him, he felt that he knew her. The women stepped forward and laid her hands on Padraig's shattered body, and he became whole. He knew then that this was Blodwyn, the aspect of healing and peace, and he loved her. She said nothing to him, but pointed to the place where he lay. And in that place where his blood had stained the ground, there grew the most beautiful roses that he had ever beheld. Blood red they were, and full of a wondrous scent. Looking back, he could see the Blodwyn no more, but he also could not leave this beauty of nature.

Here Padraig stayed, tending the roses, until a young women ventured by, drawn to the scent that they put forth. The woman was lost, having been travelling from Pitlochry to Cudbright, and had sought shelter in the woods, called Rannoch Woods. The years passed, and the woman, whose name was Margaret, and Padraig married, and built a cottage on the eastern edge of Rannoch woods. Padraig threw off his former name, and took the name of Rose, to honour the Blodwyn, and to give thanks to what she had caused to be created.

None came near the woods for many years, leaving the couple to live their own peaceful lives. They bore two sons, who were called Robert and Connor, and the family grew, until eventually a small community had sprung up, boosted by several travellers that had found their way there. They had little interaction with the rest of Caledonia, but continued honouring Anu. Connor himself eventually had a son, Whom he named Connor, and who was but one when his grandfather and grandmother died in the same year of a dark plague. The clan became hunters, and excelled in wood lore, being able to track and not be seen in the woods that provided for them. They also protected the copse wherein the roses still flourished - a gift from the Blodwyn.

The clan were flourishing until the year of 1100 AC. In the summer of that year, a fomour by the name of Sharis of the Blade (Called Sharis Rose Bane by the remaining clan members) led a troop of his Fomor through the woods, and slaughtered all within the village. None were spared, and the buildings were cast down. Only those few that were on missions for the current incarnation of the Anu survived, led by Connor - now Chief of the Clan. Connor, and his clansmen now seek to rebuild Hunters Vale, their homeland, and to seek revenge on the Fomor.

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