The Ascension Gate
Combat Surgeon of the One Truth
Doctor Ilios of the Order of the Merciful Hand, like all of the Crusader-Missionaries of the One Truth, gave up his true name on his 13th Locus to take up the name he would wear in service to Gadar. An orphan left on the steps of the Grand Monastery in Sistaort, Ilios was raised in service to the church. Trained in the Creeds of the Faith, Ilios learned the Kukri, the blessed weapon of the faithful, and other martial skills. He became well learned in the matters of diplomacy, nobility, and history. He learned of ancient cults and societies, bloodthirsty gods of men and dwarf and elf. He was taught the importance of light, and the sun, and harnessing its glory for the good of all. Most importantly, he was taught the science of the body, and the art of healing.
It became clear that even in his youth, Ilios had a talented hand at tending the wounded and sick. His touch seemed blessed, and those trusted to his care, even in apprenticeship, mended faster and more completely than those under even the most senior surgeons of the Medica.
Following his induction to the Order of the Merciful Hand, Ilios chose his name from the ancient tongue of the Kalkri, a people renowned for their healing abilities. Chosen in honor of his god, Gadar, god of sun, light, and healing (and proclaimed to be the one TRUE God), his name means “Sun”. Within a few short years, the name would prove apt.
Following his 17th Locus, Ilios was chosen to serve with the Crusaders of Fire, one of the martial divisions of the Church. The Crusaders were deployed to respond to a rising threat of Orcs in the northern lands surrounding Kimohidaka. Thought to be a minor uprising, the Crusaders of Fire were deployed alone. It proved to be a tremendous mistake.
The Orcish horde proved to be a massive onslaught, numbering no fewer than 10,000 spread across 8 clans. Lead by a massive Orog of the Gutstomper clan, the Orcs had burned and killed their way across hundreds of miles of farmland. The Crusaders of Fire met them 150 miles east of Kimohidaka. Although they fought bravely, the warriors of Truth were outnumbered nearly 10 to 1, and were crushed beneath the green tide.
“Doc”, as Ilios was now called, barely escaped with the retreating Crusaders. Falling back to Kimohidaka, his wounds were tended by a medic and fellow servant of Gadar, Sonia of the Order of the Final Rest. He fell in love with her, and she with him. It wasn’t to last.
The Orcs pushed to the gates of Kimohidaka itself, their numbers swelled by news of their victories. Reinforcements from the surrounding nation-states had arrived prior to the Orcs, and the battling for the city was fierce. In the end, the city was defended and the horde broken, but the cost was dear. Thousands of warrior-priests and soldiers lay dead, the city blazed with fire, the food and treasure stores ransacked by retreating Orcs. Worse than all of this, Sonia had disappeared. Ilios found traces of Orc blood and signs of a fight at her triage center, but no sign of Sonia.
Enraged, despairing, and full of holy vengeance, Ilios’ hidden power awoke explosively in a burst of sunlight. He had been granted holy powers reserved for a scant few, the Chosen of Gadar. With his newfound magic, and a grim determination, Ilios struck out on his own, in search of Sonia. His travels have taken him many places, shown him many things, but never Sonia. So he continues to wander, allying himself with those who need his healing hands, ever seeking the one he lost, one thought guiding all of his deeds.
She lives yet.
I will find her.