Ki-rin's people were a small
clan of hunting/farming warlike pictish folk who were forced to give up their ways of
battle after a particularly disgraceful defeat. A clan elder and trusted leader, it
was Ki-Rin's mother Kaeldra who led her clan deep into the northern woods of Endhome to
begin anew, far from rivals who would take advantage of that time of weakness. It was
there that Ki-Rin was sired by a outsider whom his mother saw in secret. This stranger was
rumored to be from the great Talenwood forest, just southeast of the new settlement.
At the age of ten, Ki-Rin had already begun to learn how to live off the land and was adept at fishing. It was during one of these outings that the boy was startled by sounds of mayhem from his village. He ran toward the small settlement only to arrive at the edge of it's clearing just in time to see the people being slaughtered by vicious raiders, terrified, he hid in the underbrush, until finally he saw his mother dragged out into the open by two of the men. She was cruelly put to the sword as she cursed them and cried. At this moment, Ki-Rin became aware of a fury within him that urged him to kill. His own safety now forgotten, he rose to throw himself at the attackers with reckless abandon. Just as he began to do so, a rain of arrows fell upon the raider horde. Armored men poured into the village and decimated the horde with cold efficiency. Confused, he regained his hiding place and watched as a standard-bearer and formations of men emerged from the forest and entered the smoking, ravaged settlement.
Little was the boy able to recognize, but the soldiers bore the crest of the Aerie of Tir Thalor mercenaries. The "Great Defenders" had been pursuing the raiders for some time, after being hired to eliminate the scourge. Ki-Rin was amazed at how well the mercenaries had destroyed such a savage foe and he had many questions but fear kept him in his place. After a short time, Ki-Rin spied that some of the "men" were actually elvish folk. He had never seen any before and became instantly fascinated. The Aerie moved on, leaving the unit of the elves behind with their captain. When they later began to move on as well, Ki-Rin felt that he had little choice but to follow and hope for some good fortune. With one backward glance at the bodies and burned out homes of his ruined life, he moved into the woods, seeking to remain undetected. Hours later, with Ki-Rin keeping pace, the elven patrol made camp as he looked on. The reality was however, that now hours had past, and he was hungry and cold and still he stayed in hiding, frightened and sad. Ki-Rin watched them until fatigue overtook him and he fell uncomfortably into an unsettling sleep.
|He awoke to find an elf kneeling at
his side with a blanket and hot food. The warrior called himself Areandas, and commented
in a soft voice that he was impressed that a small boy could keep up with a band of elves
while still remaining unobtrusive. The truth was, Areandas felt for the child and was
genuinely saddened by his misfortune. He invited the youth to join them for a time until
he could find a safe place for the newly orphaned lad. During a weeks' time of travel
through the wilderness, The elf Areandas became fond of the sad little fellow and began to
feel protective of him. He also came to realize that the child possessed elven blood,
perhaps accounting for his resourcefulness and stealthy step. Areandas approached Granth
with the request that he be permitted to care for the boy as his duties would allow, and
sensing the importance of this to his trusted friend and captain he gave his consent. Thus
Ki-Rin became the elf's retainer of sorts, a bond both parties would cherish. For
two years he traveled with the elf also known as Ellam. He learned the ways of the warrior
from the elf and was diligent in his training, ever fueled by the memories of the
massacre. It came to pass that Ellam was ordered to accompany Granth to a new land called
E'Atara, (which he was told simply meant "New Endhome.") While the Aerie pursued
it's interests there, Ki-rin continued to learn from the kindly captain.
At sixteen years of age, Ellam decided that the boy should be formally brought into his Heirazumi family line and acquired a leave to take the young man back to Endhome and his homeland. There he was adopted by Ellam's family and was schooled in the ways of battle-skill and their strict code of honor. As ever, he focused well on his lessons and showed great promise. As the years passed, Ellam saw the youth's training progress until he felt it was time for him to acquire some experience in the ways of the
harsh world of the soldier. To this end, he returned the young man to E'Atara where the Aerie continued to seek opportunities and expansion. After a time, Ellam brought it to the attention of his field marshal that Ki-Rin' greatly desired to join the ranks of the Aerie. It was at the great Pennsic War that Ki-rin accepted a commission in the mercenary army as a fifth tier soldier. This prompted Ellam to relieve Ki-Rin of his duties as retainer, and made it clear that he must be his own man, to seek his own path and find that which will best enrich his life. To this day, the two continue to train as friends and comrades.
Ki-rin has taken a solemn oath to defend his brothers and the glory of the Aerie of Tir Thalor until his last drop of blood spills upon the ground. To him it was the Aerie that saved his life and he remains steadfastly grateful and loyal.