Tamzana was born to Voldrick and Meldana Alteresine, a noble merchant family based in Sasserine. At birth, she had two matching distinctive reddish birthmarks on each shoulder, unlike any other child in living family memory. Tamzana was born into an already large family having two older brothers; Voldrick “the younger” and Tordrick; and older sister Namzeena, then two years after her birth the Meldana gave birth to a boy Aeldrick. With so many siblings Tamzana grew up in a highly competitive family, she spent about half her time aboard her family ships and the other half causing trouble in the education system.

Everything was fairly routine until Voldrick the younger disappeared with a small fleet of ships, trying to plot a course along the south coast. Her parents became over protective of their remaining children and Tamzana felt she was being smothered and rebelled, taking greater and greater unnecessary daring risks. This all came to a head several months ago; Tamzana was acting as Captain on a trading vessel and decided to race a rivals ship into port. She misjudged her speed and ended up destroying part of the dock and needing major repairs to the vessel, much of the cargo of fine silks were also ruined by the in flood of sea water. Her father had many harsh words with her, and restricted her to shore duties. He assigned her the task of repairing the rundown family summerhouse in the cooler foothills nearby in order for her “to get some perspective”.

A short distance from the summerhouse Tamzana discovered a hidden dungeon. She didn’t realise it at the time but looking back on events she realised she was strangely drawn to the location. The purpose of the dungeon was unclear, it initial seemed like some sort of tomb or crypt, judging by the stone work, but the first chamber she enter seemed more like a library or archive. The walls were lined with numerous books, most of which rotted and decayed by the water that seeped through the cracked domed ceiling. The first few books she picked up crumbled immediately on her touch, but the fourth seemed untouched by time, she knew instantly that it was a magical book , but didn’t have the knowledge to understand it’s arcane script.

As flicked through it’s pages wondering what the symbols and drawings meant, a ghostly figure drifted through a sealed stone doorway. It seemed to be wearing full plate armour but of a style not known in several centuries, what stuck her most was the chest emblazoned on the breastplate, that of the Alteresine family.

“I expected some day one of her bastard spawn would come here. I can sense her vile taint in your blood.” It’s voice seemed to cut like a knife into Tamzana’s very soul, the twin birthmarks on Tamzana’s back suddenly burned like she had been branded.

“You bear my name, but you are no child of mine, if it in my power I will see you and your kin to their graves.” The apparition flew towards her it’s hands out stretched.

Tamzana was ill prepared to face this creature from the spirit world and fled, quickly snatching up the book as she bolted up the stairs to the warming light of day. Her future was uncertain but one thing was sure she was determined to return to the crypt to discover what the creature meant and what lay beyond the stone door.


Savage Tide DMaple