The Memoirs of Father Shiron

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Part 1 - The Birth of a Legend

Father Shiron was born to an unsuspecting world sometime during March 1985.  The exact date is unknown as the records of that period (Wham! 'Make It Big', Shalamar 'Friends') to mention but a few, are incomplete.  Some say these records have been lost purposely so as to lose the knowledge kept in them, dark as it is.  Others however, more likely correctly, have suggested that the author just can't remember.
        Shiron's birth was, shall we say,  a little unusual.  Instead of being found in his Father's pint of beer or being delivered by a white stork like normal folk he was born out of the pages of a book.  But this was no ordinary book.  It was a rather large hardback book hereafter referred to as THE BOOK owned (should I really disclose this sensitive information?) by a certain Mr. Hems.  Shiron's first view of the world was of the dingy interior of a study bedroom in Marlborough Hall, Nottingham, Middle Earth.  From the very first moment Mr. Hems knew the young Shiron (not yet decided on a career in the Church) would achieve great things.  The author remembers Mr. Hems first comments at the birth with reverence.  "This will be a very good character.  A cleric, I predict, with a Wisdom of 16 points on the D20 dice, Constitution of 16 and Intelligence of 14, he is destined for great things."  Thus the master had spoken and the young Shiron, as if he had himself heard those very words, grew to be a man of the cloth.
        And grow he did, with truly astounding speed, for within minutes and a few more throws of the dice he was 20 years old and fully kitted out.  He had a very deprived childhood.  So deprived in fact that he didn't have one at all, growing up to young clerichood and then into Robinhood (sorry!)  Yes indeed the young Shiron grew fast and strong, a fine figure of a man.  Of course he was human - what else?  The author will tolerate no form of biological deviation unless it is of a very close demihuman race such as Elves or Half Elves.  Dwarves are OK but are always grumpy and moody but anything with Orc blood is treated with absolute mistrust and disgust, the horrible, dirty, smelly creatures.  Now we are getting away from the point and delving into the rather murky recesses of the authors mind.  To continue....
        Shiron could be described quite simply as tall, dark and handsome, strangely enough not at all unlike the author, funny that.  He is 6 ft tall with a beautiful crop of dark brown hair ((No grey yet, this was 16 yeas ago - Ed)).  Weighing in at 175lbs Shiron is a perfect physical specimen but with only 11 points of Strength, he lacks behind some of his friends in sheer brute force.  What he lacks in strength, he makes up for in wisdom (16 remember)?  He loses out on certain charms however as he only has a Charisma of 12. This is probably due to his annoying habit of picking his nose and wiping his fingers on the nearest mage ,a potentially terminal act.  Many times in his younger days Shiron came close to being turned into something very unpleasant because of this but somehow he always got away with it.  His favourite counter reaction to an unfriendly mage was to withhold badly needed 'Cure Lights'.  Ah yes, the Cure Light Wounds spell, a Cleric's most sought after requisite when party members, especially mages who don't have many hit points to start with, have been injured in battle.  Always an excellent resource and bargaining tool for the Cleric's own protection, to be held back or administered as the user sees fit - alignment allowing of course.  But wait, the author is streaking ahead of himself, such is his enthusiasm.  Let us slow down and go back from whence we have strayed....
        The young Shiron soon developed a taste for adventure, along with Marmite, Peanut Butter, bikes and Sian Adey Jones, a poster of whom is on the author's wall and being fondly gazed at as we speak.  Shiron turned to THE BOOK and found what he had been searching for - his socks.  While putting them on he decided what he was going to do with his life.  He didn't want to be a Marmiter or a Peanut Butterer.  He didn't really fancy being a biker and a Sian Adey Joneser just sounded silly.  No, he would be an adventurer.  After making this momentous decision, of which the great Mr. Hems and the author were immensely proud (and relieved, as all this would have been a complete waste of time and effort otherwise) Shiron began at once to prepare for his chosen career.  He began training there and then to become a cleric in the time honoured tradition of throwing a dice and taking pot luck.
        Although he wanted to be a man of the cloth, he knew he would have to do his share of fighting and so he adopted the mace as his chosen weapon.  Actually he really wanted an M60 machine gun like Rambo but Mr. Hems shook his head to this highly illegal suggestion.  He was told that clerics were not allowed to use bladed or piercing weapons.  This caused the young man to suffer from regular concussions trying to shave with this mace but he later realized the rules could be bent slightly to at least allow clerics to get a decent shave.  He went straight out and bought a 5 pack of swivel head double bladed Wilkinson disposable razors.  These however he had to keep hidden during any affray as the temptation to use them on an enemy would incur grave penalties.
        After some really pathetic dice rolls, the kind Mr. Hems, in true trainee accountant fashion, donated some extra funds to Shiron on the understanding that they would be used to buy equipment, otherwise the penalty interest would be crippling.  Shiron immediately purchased a fine suit of chain mail and an impressively large helmet (no sniggers please).  Even in those formative moments the signs of a joker were evident as he also bought a traveling cape and painted a big 'S' on the breastplate of his armour.  He hoped that when his heroic exploits became known, people throughout the land would hail - "Is it a wizard?  Is it a cleric?  No it's S*****man"!  But instead he earned the less than prestigious name of 'El Pointy' from a cheeky blue armed rat called Isilmar, but that's another story....
        It was at this early time of training and preparation for adventurehood that Shiron displayed an unusual alternative approach to the divine clerical duty of Spiritualism.  A cleric is invested not only with the Woolwich Building Society but more importantly with the power of God.  A cleric, if properly trained and equipped, can teach many a fair maiden a thing or two - Sorry couldn't resist that one.  Start again - A cleric, if properly trained and equipped, can instill fear into unholy beings, causing them to flee in horror or drop undead where they stand.  Shiron carried two symbols to allow him to perform his clerical duties.  A holy symbol (cross) and a phallic symbol, but we won't go into that here.  It was with one of these that the imaginative young lad decided to do something altogether unusual.  The recognized way of wearing a holy symbol is around the neck on a chain but to be different Shiron hung his cross from a ring on his left ear.  This caused something of a sensation in clerical circles and set a new trend in holy symbol awareness.  Shiron had turned a basic tool of the trade into a fashion statement and from then on clerics have been symbol conscious, not wishing to be outdone in the now highly competitive fashion stakes.
        It was at this time also that Shiron's questioning mind turned its attention to his own creation.  He had a rudimentary knowledge of such matters and so was therefore obviously puzzled by the fact that the only two people in the room at the time of his 'birth' were the author and Mr. Hems.  Shiron grew rather worried until Mr. Hems told him some things were better left unexplained.  To ease his mind somewhat he was told that he was discovered jointly by both of them in the pages of THE BOOK.

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Here endeth the first part of this gripping epic.
Don't miss the next episode - 'The First Friend'
It's here now.  Click on Next.

 

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Copyright John Angus Walker 1986, 2003. All rights reserved