Jerusalem by night
A mongol traveler searching for his master in the west
I was born in Mongolia, south of Lake Baikal on the south side of the Orkhon river. The year was Spring of 1175; I was told there was still snow on the ground and that the moon had hid its self that evening. The name given to me was Batbayar, and the first five years of my life were as my name implied; a joy.
I was born in to the Merkit tribal confederacy, roaming the basins of the Selenge and Orkhon river. Those first five years were filled with learning and the love of family; then half of my family left to fight. The year was 1180 and conflict broke out between our tribe and a neighbor’s when a promised engagement was broken. It is silly looking back on it I suppose, but that’s what lead the confederation to a twenty year conflict that resulted in the Merkit confederacy being conquered by the now Mongolian Ruler Genghis Khan.
It was not the Great Khan that would destroy my family’s tribe though.
My family’s tribe was a large one, and we had Anda living among us as many tribes did. Khan Ganbaatar lead them, and they lead the people. Khan Ganbaatar and I met while I was training to fight when 13 in the midst of our conflict with Genghis. When I was 15 he first gave me his blood. At 15 is when I would fall in love for the first time; I could not help it. The blood flowed into me and I felt I knew him utterly. Each time after the feeling would grow more intense; at the time I thought it was because of everything I was learning. I was taught languages and poetry—it came naturally, I was being groomed with the knowledge I needed. Next I would be groomed to help lead the tribe—ahh how I wish that day had come.
I was unique Khan Ganbaatar told me. With the blood flowing in me I had some of the gifts that Khan Ganbaatar himself had. I could speak with the animals and see in perfect blackness. I was special, and he treated me as such. He was my best friend and teacher. I knew my time would come soon and that I would be made one of them when I was deemed ready.
What would break my family’s tribe was an attack like none I had seen. Fire stormed down from the night sky, and, while I had seen my Khan turn into a wolf and bat, I was still shocked to see real monsters come out of the night. Winged humanoid creatures and those that appeared like my Khan throwing fire and wielding powers beyond my comprehension came forth. One of the wing beasts swooped down from the sky and picked up the Khan as the chaos was erupting.
I instinctively got on my Khan’s mount and gave chase. The mount seemed tireless, but it was of no use. We lost the creature. The Khan’s mount and I returned to the camp and saw the destruction in the daylight. There was nothing but broken things and broken bodies. I gathered what supplies and valuables I could and we left heading the direction the creature had gone—West.
I would eventually come to join a merchant caravan for a time and help to save it from the raiders. I saved the owner of the caravan personally that day, and we became fast friends.
We headed west from there and I would meet many interesting people; mostly merchants, though the occasional Priest or other folk. I began to hunger though, I missed my Khan. I would eventually find a grave of a strange Canite and drain him. I had to, you understand? I couldn’t control myself. I was set for a time now…
I worry at times that there are those that follow me, seeking either my silence over what was done to my tribe and the Anda or hunting me as they did the rest of my brothers and sisters. I still wake in cold sweat some days over what happened that night.
That made the decision when I came upon two knights on the road easier. They were like me I found out quickly. I joined them on the road to wherever they might lead—they had access to blood. Maybe I could gain the gift this way. Maybe I can find a way to save my Khan, or if not that, avenge him.
I suppose I’ll see where this path takes me. I hope for the best.