Everquest and all its associated items and names are the sole properties of Sony Online Entertainment.
I am just writing in their universe and mean no harm.
Little Wayne quietly played in the sand as his mother slept under the shade of the small tree outside their home. He being only three tended to do what all children his age do, wander around and explore. He did keep an eye towards his mother though, just to make sure she was still there. He spotted a butterfly in the grass just outside the shade and decided he wanted to see it closer if he could. Taking one more look to make sure she had not moved, he climbed to his feet and toddled out of the shade towards the fluttering shape.
The butterfly had landed on a flower and was mostly still except for the slow opening and closing of its wings as it sipped at the flowers nectar. As he approached, the butterfly was startled and flew quickly up and away from his grasp. He turned and watched it fly away and giggled in childish joy at what he had made it do, even if he didn't get to see it up close.
His mother, Ivy woke up and saw Wayne had wandered off and called him back under the tree. He got up, toddled back to her and got a quick mothers hug for reassurance. She then closed her eyes and nodded off again. Knowing she was there, Wayne again toddled his way back out from the shaded area. He did not see the shadow that passed on the ground next to him.
The Eagle saw the child, this was the child he was to look out for. He came around looking that there would be others of the child's kind nearby to help when he dropped him. He stooped and quickly drove his claws into the upper back and shoulders of the child. Wayne screamed in pain and fear when the eagle grabbed him from above and lifted. The large bird flapped hard and fast to lift the child and angled towards the nearby farm fields.
Several field hands saw the eagle drop, then panicked when it came up carrying a child in is talons. Ivy had woken instantly at the scream and started chasing after her son, screaming at the eagle to put him down and release him. When the bird went towards the field, she cried out for somebody to catch him should the eagle let Wayne go. One of the workers could understand birds a little and heard what the bird yelled.
"This one is marked, his name is chosen. His future ordained and none shall hinder him. Beware of any that would hold him here," It screamed. The eagle then dropped down near the worker that could understand him told him to be careful as the family elders would not be happy with these events.
Ivy caught up to the eagle just as it dropped Wayne on the field hand. He saw that the child needed to be rushed to the temple for care as the claw marks were bleeding heavily. "We need to get him to he healer quickly Miss Ivy, he bleeds much from this."
"Run then, I will follow as well as I can."
The worker took off at a fast run holding the boy to his chest trying to calm him even as he ran. It only took a few minutes to reach the family temple and the cleric of Marr and healer. The cleric saw the man rush in with a blood covered child, "What happened, is this little Wayne?"
"That is right, an eagle grabbed him and tried to carry him off. Near to dropped him right in my arms he did."
The cleric quickly wiped Wayne's back down to take a closer look at the wounds. It was about then that Ivy caught up and entered the temple. "Will he alright Uncle Clay?" she asked between gasps.
"He should be. I don't see any tearing, just clean punctures from the looks of it." He finished cleaning the wounds then started the healing spell. The punctures closed and healed quickly as the magic took hold, but the marks did not fade. He now had two perfect sets of Eagle claw marks on his shoulders and back.
The field hand told them what the eagle had said before he dropped Wayne to him. "The eagle is right, best not make a big deal of this or the family elders will try to make it something worse."
From the door, "Make what worse boy. Ivy, what are you doing here, you should have the boy in the nursery, not out gallivanting around so he gets a cut on his back." He stopped berating them long enough to get a closer look at the marks on Waynes back and then really got angry. "Why haven't you cleared up those marks boy. I just always knew it would not be worth the time to send you off to that fancy temple in that stupid tree. Only fools live above the ground like that."
"Grandfather, I did try to clear his back, but the marks stayed. The eagle marked him so it is not in my power to unmark him."
"An Eagle huh, well I know how to take care of that. The boy alchemist, umm, what was the name, oh yeah, Elder. He will make a potion that will clean this right up. Better go get him myself. What sort of parent calls their kid Elder." He continued to rant and complain all the way to the stables and half the family could hear him.
"I didn't say anything cause it wouldn't have done any good with him. No potion or spell will be able to remove the marks. They are the symbol of his title and future name Ivy. The gods have decided that your boy has an important future."
The field hand said, "He is to be called Eaglesclaw."
Several hours later, Father Granger returned with the alchemist. Elder took one look at the boys back and turned on the old man angrily. "You told me they would be tough scars. You didn't say anything about a child with Eagle Talons. Tunare is about the only being that could remove those marks Granger."
"Just make the potion boy and be quick about it."
"And I'm telling you I can't. It is not within the boundaries of my skills to remove marks from a chosen."
"There has never been a chosen in this family and never will be. We seen to that most carefully. Ivy, this boy has no need to be learning his letters nor numbers. He will be a simple farm hand, never to get a woman with child. His line ends here. No greatness should or will be allowed here. Only causes trouble for everybody."
Ivy was appalled at the doom just spelled out for her son. She agreed publicly, but she would have he last laugh here. Her son would have all that he was to be denied and more.
"Now you worthless maker of useless drinks, be gone and never come here again. You have proved useless to me, so be gone, and I want the gold back."
Rather than argue, Elder tossed the old man a gold and turned to leave. He decided he had to say on thing before he went, "No matter what you may try to do, fate has chosen him, greatness will come whether you want it or not." He nodded to Ivy and walked out head high and smiling.
"Get you home and take the brat with you worthless girl."
Ivy did as she swore to herself to do. Wayne learned his letters and numbers, and it turned out he was a better reader than she was. His ability with numbers was also far superior to hers. He soaked up every book she could sneak in to him. When his skill with animals was noticed he was forbidden to be near them as that was outside his manual labor in the fields. The old man was relentless. Always snooping about to see if she had gone against him. Wayne played the part of village idiot perfectly, yet could converse in perfect Elven, Common and Dwarven at any time.
He discovered he had a real talent for tracking and hunting as well. He had to practice on days when no field work was needed. He proved he was excellent at his duties in the field. He found another ability that proved to be even more useful. He could talk to birds and learn from them. He was able to find trouble spots in the fields as they would tell him about it before it became serious. If it was a bug issue, he let the birds clear it up for him. Other problems would require pulling or even small burns to prevent the spread of fungus and diseased plants.
His skills grew and he discovered things he could do that nobody else in the family could do. He could speed up so fast, he would have an entire field completed in an hour. He felt like he had been at it all day afterwards, but he would get it done.
Another thing he had done that was forbidden was to meet a girl and had fallen in love. Ginny from a neighboring farm had come across him in the woods one day. At first they were both very shy about one another, but that passed in time as they got older and knew one another better. He had explained to her the family curse he was under and could not yet escape. He told her about his history as his mother had told him.
She was to be bred to a total oaf of a boy to produce another mindless oaf for the elders of the family to boss around. She had long known they were insane, but this was going too far. Not even to get married and be forced to bear a child. She got them in the end though. She took the oaf to Kelethin and got him passed out drunk. She then did what she knew was wrong but had to be done to produce a child that would be far more than a village idiot.
A well dressed Elven Ranger approached her at the bar and she accepted his offer of a nights company. He gave her a child, though he never did find out that he had. He also paid her ten platinum coins for her services. She hid them well so to one day pass to her child when the time came for him or her to flee the family.
Ginny was not upset with his birth, in fact she commended Ivy for what she had done. They decided that they would marry one day and to hell with what his family thought.
The family elders had planned for the oaf to impregnate Ivy a second time, but he managed to get a mule pissed off at him and it kicked his brains out the back of his head. Ivy was safe for the time being. She knew in time they would discover what she had been doing and she would most likely lose her life over it. This family was a truly sick bunch of insular men and women.
Ginny and Wayne both kept quiet as her family was not fond of his. Fortunately it had never devolved to violence. They were careful that she not become pregnant as that would add complications to both their lives they did not need. At least not yet as they both saw it.
The fields that Wayne maintained always had the best crops, the highest yield and sold for the best prices at the market. Two of his five fields involved barley grains that dwarves used in their brewing. Some of the elders felt he was doing too well and tried to find a way to punish him for being so good at his field work. Several attempts were made to burn his fields mid growing season during his seventeenth year, but the birds kept attacking the would be arsonist, driving them away from the field long enough for Wayne and Ivy to get there and chase the intruders away. They both knew what was going on, but had no way to challenge the attackers since it was a sanctioned attack. Wayne decided to wait at the edge of the main barley field one night to see if they would try again. They did and he was ready for them. The two boys were barely able to drag their broken bodies home after the beating he gave them. He also told them to deliver a message.
"These fields bring in money, so stop trying to hurt the entire family."
His message did not sit well with several of the younger Family Elders. The Eldest called him to speak and explain his fields. "Why boy is it that your fields prosper whiles other languish."
"Eldest, I work my fields hard. If weeds grow, I pull them. If I see bugs eating, I push birds to that field and they eat them, their droppings in turn feed the field. I see rot or disease; I cut around spot and burn it out. I work hard to make best crops. Is that so wrong?"
"No boy, that is how you raise excellent crops. Hard work and eyes open. Something the rest of the family seems to have forgotten." He gazed around the room at the other fathers. "Which of you has been trying to burn his fields out?"
None spoke and they all kept their eyes down so not to look at the Eldest. "By your collective silence I would guess all of you idiots are in on it. Granger, you set a curse of ignorance on the boy, well your curse has failed in one major respect. He can farm and that is what the family needs. Young that can grow food and get good prices for the crops, that is what matters."
Granger finally spoke, "But Eldest, he is doing so much better than the others. It is not fair to them that he prospers and they don't."
"He prospers because he works at it. He makes the effort to produce good fields. If the rest of you are too lazy to work your fields like he does, then maybe he should be the overseer and you all should be out in the fields instead of guzzling ale all night and sleeping most of the day."
This set off an outburst of protest and cries of unfairness.
"Unfair? Unfair? You call someone that works hard and produces when you will not unfair? Lazy is what you and your spawn are. Little Ivy has produced a true Man for the family, while your women spit out mindless, lazy drones. You fear him for his being better. Maybe you should learn from him instead of trying to destroy him."
Again cries of the Eldest being unfair, this time to the women.
"ENOUGH of this! Return home and keep up the excellent work Wayne."
Wayne was startled by this but turned and quickly left the main house and returned to his hut by his fields, "Well mama, that went a lot different than expected."
"In what way son," asked Ivy.
"The Eldest stood up for me because of my hard work. He berated the rest as lazy."
"You are right, that was unexpected. Be on the lookout even more so than before son. The others will try even harder to bring you down. Be even more careful when going to meet Ginny. They will hurt her to get to you if the find out about her."
Wayne just nodded at that and assisted in preparing their meager meal. "I need to check that burn area again, there must have been something in the soil that caused that fungus rot to crop up in that same small plot every planting."
Wayne went out to the trouble spot that he had had to burn out a few days earlier to protect the rest of the field. He just looked at the soil for a few minutes, then moved to were the center seemed to be. He picked up a handful of the surface soil and sniffed it. There was a faint smell of corruption to it, but what could be the cause. A raven landed nearby and watched him. He noticed the old bird and asked, "I don't suppose you know what has been here before."
"Old waste dump, nasty sort of rotted flesh from orcs buried down there. Happened before Elven ever come, so long ago, but rot remains," replied the bird.
"Thank you old one. May your lines memory never fail you."
The raven just squawked and flew off with that, leaving Wayne wondering what to do in this case. His ultimate decision was to mark off the entire burn area and several feet beyond with a low wall of stones and a bad soil marker so he and those that followed would not use this small area again. That mystery solved finally he decided to see if Ginny was in the wood this day.
This visit was a little different. He arrived at the normal meeting place, a small pond fed by a rivulet from the small hill in the center of the wood. She arrived and another woman, older was with her. "Will this young man show today Ginny?"
"He should Mama, he comes whenever he has the chance."
"Well I want to meet the young man that has so captured your heart."
Wayne decided not to startle the women and made a slightly noisier than normal approach. As he entered the clearing, Ginny ran up to him and gave him a hug. "I have missed you, where have you been all week."
"Guarding my field from burners is where. Those idiots think because I work hard produce good crops it is not fair to the rest. Ivy and I may have to leave soon or they may try to kill us for being better than the rest. Now, are you going to introduce me to this ravishing young lady you brought along today."