|Goodbye, Hero of Oakvale|
|Series||His True Destiny by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||His True Destiny: Chapter Thirteen|
|Next||His True Destiny: Chapter Fifteen|
|← His True Destiny: Chapter Thirteen||Chapter Chronology||His True Destiny: Chapter Fifteen →|
Chapter Fourteen: Goodbye, Hero of OakvaleEdit
The days that followed were difficult for Rowan. So difficult that he had taken to drinking to try and drown his sorrows. The last time he had drunk any alcohol was the night before his wedding. He hadn’t touched the stuff since, and he had never drunk it as though it was merely water. At times he was that drunk that he was constantly sick, but he didn’t care. He just wanted the pain to stop. However, things were only to get worse.
As the years passed, Rowan pretty much remained the same. He never aged passed the age of twenty-six, but his appearance changed from a well-presented man to looking like a filthy beggar. He spent all his days drinking himself senseless. That was all he did. Every morning he made his way to a local tavern and bought enough drinks to last him the day. He would then sit down in the dirt and would remain there until night.
Ten years later found Rowan in the same dead predicament, only he had now taken to sitting in a tree that over looked the Heroes’ Guild. He would just sit there watching all the Heroes coming and going, but that was to end.
One afternoon Rowan noticed a large mob of angry villagers marching towards the Guild. They all had torches, rusty swords and pitchforks. All their yells were mingled together making no sense to Rowan’s uncomprehensive mind, though he did know what was going on.
For months now he had heard the villagers complaining about the Heroes of Albion. He heard them loudly discussing how the Heroes had become lazy and self-important ever since Rowan had defeated Jack of Blades as a dragon. They would complain that they were being placed seconded to them; that they were now inferior, so they should be grateful when a Hero offered them their services. He guessed that they were finally doing something about it, though that might have been because of a new ranged weapon he heard about that had a flintlock mechanism. It was a weapon far more deadly and easier to use than a bow and arrow.
Even though Rowan knew that a war was about to begin, he was not bothered. He felt no desire to fight. Instead, he just watched on as the Heroes came out and attacked the villagers. He watched as many on each side fell, before the villagers retreated, but the Heroes did not go back to what they were doing. No, they gave chase all the way to Bowerstone, where they were ambushed. Many were killed, but many more were captured and sent to the Arena where people came to watch them be slaughtered.
However, several Heroes survived and went into hiding, while those that remained prepared themselves for a final attack to save those who had been captured and to revenge their fallen comrades. Rowan’s friends were a part of this group, as he found out when their paths accidently crossed.
As usual, Rowan was contently sitting in a tree, drinking a foul tasting alcoholic beverage, when they stopped before the tree he was in for a rest.
‘I hope Thunder and the others are still alive,’ Whisper said coldly as she tended to an old wound.
‘We can only hope they are,’ Scythe said quietly, ‘but do not get your hopes up, Guildswoman. You must prepare yourself for the worst. Isn’t that right, Weaver?’
‘Indeed,’ the Guildmaster said glumly. ‘Everything we know has changed. We may be entering a time when the world no longer needs Heroes. Common man may learn to become independent.’
‘The world will always need a Hero!’ Briar said stubbornly, before asking quietly, ‘Do you think Rowan will be there?’
‘I do not know,’ the Guildmaster admitted.
‘He must be!’ Whisper exclaimed. ‘If he wasn’t captured than he would be here helping us!’
‘The Hero of Oakvale could be one of our fallen warriors,’ Scythe said pointedly.
‘No, he could be!’ Briar said aggressively. ‘Rowan’s the strongest Hero in Albion! He has done what no other Hero could! A mere villager couldn’t defeat him!’
‘Rowan is not immortal, Briar,’ the Guildmaster said softly. ‘Maybe his luck did run out.’
‘That or he is in hiding,’ a Hero of Skill muttered darkly.
‘Rowan isn’t a cowered!’ Whisper snapped. ‘I’d rather believe that he is dead than him hiding.’
‘Your wish came true then,’ Rowan said glumly, before taking a gulp from his bottle.
The Heroes below jumped and looked up at the filthy man.
‘He died years ago.’
The Heroes stared up at the Rowan, trying to figure out if he was friend of foe. It was then that the Guildmaster recognised him.
‘Rowan!’ he exclaimed. ‘By the gods, what happened to you? And why did you try to convince us that you were dead?’
Rowan smirked an emotionless smirk, before jumping down. The Heroes gagged at how terrible he smelt. It was a mixture of alcohol and bad body odour.
After taking a long sip of his drink, Rowan decided to answer them.
‘Because he did back when Oakvale was destroyed,’ Rowan replied simply. ‘I am not him.’
‘Rowan, stop this nonsense!’ Briar said, stepping forward and grasping his arm. ‘Come with us and help us save the other Heroes.’
Rowan’s dead eyes stared at her before saying, ‘I suggest that you leave them and go into hiding with the others. If you go there, all you will find is death. There is nothing you can do for them.’
‘How can you say that?’ Whisper demanded angrily. ‘My brother is one of those prisoners!’
‘Then you should mourn for him,’ Rowan said indifferently. ‘Theresa has seen the future; the Heroes’ Guild no longer plays a part in Albion. You should accept this and move on.’
‘What has happened to you?’ Briar asked, unable to believe what she was hearing. ‘The Rowan I knew would never stand for this.’
‘Like I said; he died years ago, back when he gained eternal youth.’
Rowan took another swing of his drink as he stumbled away. This was the last time he saw these Heroes.
A few days later he had learnt of their death in the Arena, though he did learn that Scythe managed to escape and rumour had it, he was finding all the Heroes that remained, warning them to remain hidden.
-----HIS TRUE DESTINY-----
After the Heroes’ Guild was eradicated, Rowan then witnessed a ten-year period of logic, philosophy and engineering. He might have found this interesting if he was sober. However, it was because of his intoxication that he helped bring about destruction of the Churches of Avo and Skorm.
When he was paying his daily alcohol that he overheard two men arguing about the two gods, trying to decide who the greater god was. Many of the people in the tavern listened on with much interest, and when the two men saw Rowan, they decided to ask his opinion. Rowan replied that neither of them were great gods as neither of them actually existed. He told them that they were made up by a merchant when he discovered strong positive Will energy where Avo’s temple stood and negative Will energy where the Chapel of Skorm was. Rowan then left with his alcohol, leaving a few unsure villagers behind.
A few months later, it was announced to the whole of Albion that the gods indeed didn’t exist. The two men had investigated what Rowan had said, and somehow managed to find proof of his words. And so the churches were abandoned and left to fall into decay.
During the Decade of Enlightenment, Rowan witnessed navigators inventing the Sextant and beginning to correctly map the world, and then, at the end of the decade, he witnessed the decommissioning of the Arena and the construction of the Westcliff Crucible in its place.
Before he knew it, a hundred years had passed since the destruction of Oakvale. One could only imagine what the ex-Hero’s hair and beard were like and how badly he smelt. Most people ended up giving him a wide berth, all except a young prostitute who could smell gold a mile away. Even though Rowan looked like a poor beggar who couldn’t even afford a bar of soap, he was still filthy rich, despite the fact he hadn’t gotten any money for a hundred years. And this prostitute could tell.
Now while his appearance disgusted her, she was desperate for the money and she thought that Rowan would be an easy prey. In her eyes, he looked down right depressed, which he was, and that a good roll in the hay was all he needed to cheer himself up. That is why she confidently approached him.
‘Hi there, sugar,’ she said seducingly. Rowan looked up at her disinterestedly. ‘How about you and me head to the Darkwood Brothel where we can have some fun?’
‘I’ll pass,’ Rowan replied miserably. ‘Enjoyment doesn’t exist for someone like.’
‘Sure it does!’ she said cheerfully, though she was a little annoyed that Rowan wasn’t going for the bait. ‘Come on, what have you got to lose?’
‘Nothing, I guess,’ Rowan sighed. ‘Sure, why not.’
Rowan ended up following her to the Darkwood Brothel, absently slaughter balverines and the undead as he went.
When they arrived at the brothel, the prostitute ended up leading Rowan into a room and began to work her magic. Through his intoxicated state, Rowan found a huge amount of pleasure coursed through him. It was pleasure that he hadn’t felt in years. He enjoyed it immensely and after such pleasure he slept soundly for the first time in years. Alcohol was great during the day, but at night he would relive the destruction Oakvale.
After discovering that this was a method that actually worked, Rowan ended up getting a position at the brothel as a male prostitute. His appearance changed dramatically when he started. His hair was washed and cut back to his normal length and he became clean shaven. He even lost his stomach churning smell, though he did still smell of alcohol. He even got a small, black love heart tattooed under his left eye. It was a mark all prostitutes wore. Males usually had it under one of their eyes, while females were a little more creative.
For two hundred years Rowan went from brothel to brothel offering his services. Only nights when he had no customers would he dream about the destruction of his home town, so he made sure that he was a popular “pleasure giver”, but these days would soon be somewhat behind him. However, Theresa needed to give her brother the nudge he needed for this to happen.
Rowan and the man he was sleeping with jumped as freezing cold water was splashed on their naked bodies. Sitting upright, they looked around the private room and saw a blind, hooded woman standing there with a bucket in her hand. Rowan’s eyes darkened dramatically when he saw her. He was yet to forgive her for what she had done.
‘Get out!’ she told the man coldly.
‘You’re not the boss of me!’ he declared, moving closer to Rowan.
Moving swiftly, through the use of Will, Theresa stood next to him, holding a dagger to his throat.
‘You might want to think carefully about your next move,’ she said in a deadly whisper.
Gulping, the man gathered his clothes and ran off.
‘I thought I told you that I never wanted to see you again,’ Rowan stated when the man was gone.
‘I need your Guild Seal,’ Theresa said bluntly.
‘What makes you think I still have it?’ asked Rowan, getting out of bed and going for his alcohol. He wasn’t shy about standing in front of his sister naked. ‘I’m no longer a Hero so I no longer need to carry it.’
‘You will always be a Hero, whether or not you want to recognise it,’ she said, going through his clothes and removing the Guild Seal attached to one of his belts.
‘Whatever,’ he said, lunging against a wall. ‘Take it for all I care.’
‘Aren’t you curious as to why I want it?’ asked Theresa.
‘No, I’m not,’ said Rowan. ‘And as long as it doesn’t involve me, I don’t care and don’t want to know. Now, if that is all you wanted, get out. And don’t come back. You just lost me a large profit. That was the Mayor’s grandson.’
‘What happened to you, Rowan? You are better than this! Father would be rolling in his grave if he could see you now!’
‘Ah, but you see, Rowan hasn’t existed in years!’ The ex-Hero laughed. ‘I am not he. I am not a weak, despicable man like he was. I am Reaver.’
Rowan, now known as Reaver, had not gone by his Christian name in years. He had created it after the fall of the Heroes’ Guild, after his encounter with the Guildmaster and the other Heroes.
‘You may be able to kid yourself, little brother, but you will never fool me,’ Theresa told him with a note of pity in her tone. ‘You are still he, you just can’t see it. Now, I suggest you leave this house of ill repute and travel the seas like you have always wanted to. It will do you good.’
Theresa then turned and left the room with Reaver’s Guild Seal in hand.
A/N: Okay, now I can explain where this story idea came from. While I was researching something on Reaver [though I have no idea what I was researching] I came across a number of forums about people who were convinced that Reaver is the Hero of Oakvale. Now while I don’t believe this to be true, I thought, “Hey, what if he was the Hero of Oakvale?” and here we are. So now you should understand why the timeline is not canon based.
Written: 23 February 2013