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"It is important to discuss the beginnings of an individuals heroism as much as it is to illustrate the events themselves. This illustrious tale is one we shall approach from the very beginning, so we may all understand the context and how this life took the path it did. We begin with, as most stories may, a woman.

"Lady Ariwynne de Neamhain of Lirallin, the Sightless One, Avatara of the Fianna, rider of the griffon Toutatis, bearer of the Lann Solais and the Plate of Karuna, and - of course! - Guardian of the Dawn is one of the more distinguished members of the order. While an elf, Ariwynne claims to not be one of the original Guardians, stating that she has only taken up the mantle of Dawnwarden in recent memory – although, it must be noted and considered, that this is the memory span of an elf. With the Lann Solais, Ariwynne has personally bested all manner of warmongerers, sorcerers and nightmarish beasts. At the Fallow Stair, with the Fianna warhost at her back, she slew Truan of the Hundred Battles and scattered his vicious Myrmidons to the wind. On the blasted plains of the Scoured Lands, upon the back of the mighty griffon Toutatis, she defeated and soundly banished the Arch-Shade Cailleac Bheur for a thousand years. In a terrific dream duel beneath the shadow of Tharsis, Ariwynne's sightless eyes allowed her to defeat the sorcerer known only as the Deepest Shadow on a Waning Moon. And, when the beastmen of the Eastern Expanse came forth, united under the banner of the Warlock Minotaur Arnora Bonehammer, she was there to meet them. The Sightless One drove her spear squarely into the beast's heart and, in doing so, broke the fighting spirit of the horde.

"But even then, the damage to Carpathia's eastern towns had been done. The town of Shale, where she had drawn forth the Warlock Minotaur, had been utterly devastated. The men and women of the town - feared mercenaries all who invoked the spirits of iron in battle 'Desperta ferro, friends, desperta ferro!' - hadn't been able to hold against the sheer hunger of the beastmen. She had found that, even in victory, the town would take years to be rebuilt, if the surviving people would even bother at all. Some would become Guardians, others would remain return to their lives of turnips and pumpkins. It isn't quite known why Ariwynne took up a squire, taciturn as the great hero could be, as it was something that the elf had avoided doing in all her time in the Guardians of the Dawn but, when she left Shale behind, she did so with a spearbearer at her heels.

"The spearbearer, scarred and wounded by the fight against the beastmen, was known as - yes - Julian Ishak, and, with her tutelage, he would come to be known as one of the bravest, most stalwart members of that ancient order. It was at Anaróre Mindon where..."

Excerpted from Desperta Ferro! The Life and Tales of Guardian Julian Ishak, as penned by Jameson Rhodes, scholar of Llancarfen, in the collected works of the Carpathian Codex.