Taryn Sullivan – Origin Profession – Student of Arcane arts As a babe, Taryn was left at the door of the Abbey in Yew. She was wrapped warmly in a mist green blanket woven from the softest sheep’s wool. In the basket with the babe was a leather pouch. Upon opening the pouch, the monks found a ring bearing the inscription “Sullivan Family Crest” and a tearstained note. The note read: “This is my beloved Taryn. I can no longer keep her safe and pray that you will raise her and guard her in my stead.” The note was unsigned but was clearly written by a woman feeling the depths of despair at being parted from her child. The monks took Taryn in and, as the years passed, she grew into a delightful, loving child that enchanted everyone she met. Taryn was a very curious child, always wanting to know the inner workings of everything and how all things were made. She was never intrusive but she could always be found studying someone intently as they went about their work. Taryn’s favorite pastime was watching the old monk known as Donal as he mixed potions and worked over old, dusty books while muttering to himself. No one knew Donal’s exact age but he had been at the Abbey as long as anyone could remember. He wasn’t known for being a chatty sort and rarely tolerated anyone in his rooms for very long unless they were suffering from rare disease or condition. Taryn was the one exception. Her quiet, peaceful presence never seemed to bother the grumpy, old monk and he took pains to leave books around where he knew her curiosity would lead her to absorb every word. One day, Taryn entered Donal’s rooms to find a book laid on the table that she’d never seen before. It was bound of soft leather, worn smooth over time and appeared to be older than the lands themselves. Donal was nowhere to be seen and the book seemed to draw Taryn over as much as a powerful magnet might draw up steel shavings at the blacksmithy. As though in a trance, Taryn sat at the small table and reached her hand for the book. As her fingers touched the cover, she felt a great warmth and a strong peace enveloped her. She opened the book reverently and beheld strange symbols that she was sure she’d never seen before. Somehow, though, she knew the words and had no trouble comprehending the strange language. “So it found ye, did it?” a voice behind Taryn grumbled. “I wondered if it was ye it was waiting for.” Startled, Taryn turned to see Donal standing behind her with a strange look on his face. “I don’t understand. I meant no harm,” she said swiftly. “Don’t worry yourself child,” Donal said in his usual gruff voice. “The book is knowledge, and it only imparts itself to those it feels worthy. Obviously, it feels you worthy.” “Take care though,” Donal continued, “with this knowledge comes power but also responsibility. Always bear in mind that you could hurt others badly with your knowledge. Temper the knowledge and power with a pure heart and compassion for all living creature. And it would not be wise of ye to let others know how great your knowledge is. There are those that would use ye for no good purpose.” Over the next few years, Taryn continued to study the book and reflect on all that she learned as well as the words Donal had said to her that first day. As her knowledge grew and she learned the ancient words of power and healing, she began to wander in the woods close to the Abbey. She knew that the monks did not often visit the woods and she would have time to reflect on what she’d learn and practice without doing harm to anyone or being seen. One day, while walking through the woods with her nose buried in the book, a sound penetrated Taryn’s concentration. She heard a voice speaking in what sounded like a cross between a chant and a spell. Curious, as always, Taryn went to investigate. Entering a clearing quietly, Taryn beheld a most curious sight. Standing in a pool of sunlight was a unicorn! In front of the unicorn, speaking in a strange sing song voice was a girl dressed in long pants seeming to almost blend into the forest. As one, the unicorn and the strange girl became aware of Taryn’s presence and turned to face her. A strong bolt of recognition passed through Taryn and was reflected in the other girl’s face. “I know you!” they both exclaimed at once. Although neither had ever met the other, something inside them, older than time, called to them as two halves of one whole. In an instant, it was as though they had known each other all their lives. “You are Raelyn McKie,” Taryn said softly. “And you are Taryn Sullivan,” the other girl replied. For just a moment, as they stared at each other across the clearing, the two girls saw the future opened up before them and knew they were destined for great adventures.