27. Trinity Seeker
Several malms north of the harbor city of Martrvje, the land rises into a series of gently rolling hills. At the top of the highest slope looms a massive wall, an imposing barrier constructed of closely fitting limestone blocks and as thick as the outstretched arms of two grown Hyurs. Scarcely a quarter of the original edifice remains, however, with the scars of centuries plainly evident upon its crumbling facade.
Once beyond this encircling wall, a small settlement can be found nestled between two hills. This compound houses the illustrious martial school known as the “Verdant Path.” The school encompasses what was once a Bozjan shrine, the many spires of the central building marking the site where a host of holy men and women would practice their devotions. When not engaged in spiritual endeavors, it is said they tempered their bodies with physical training, a rudimentary fighting style upon which the Verdant Path was later founded.
When the Garlean Empire invaded, adherents of the school rose up in strength to defend the city-state of Bozja. As the incursion rolled on, however, Basch van Gabranth, then legatus of the IVth Legion, came to lament the slaughter of so much promising martial talent. He promised the Verdant Path amnesty and protection, if it would but swear fealty to the Empire. The schoolmaster accepted, and by surrendering himself to the invaders' justice were his colleagues allowed to continue their instruction.
One such teaching was the technique of “Three as One.” It was simple in concept, yet difficult to master, requiring three disciples to synchronize their actions in order to fell opponents far too powerful to engage alone.
During their training days, Blaz and Velibor were ever on the lookout for a third to complete their Three as One trio. Their incomparable skill, however, meant that none of their fellows could ever measure up to them in an even contest. Only one disciple refused to admit defeat, rising to her feet again and again. That student was Aggie, a girl who came to the school as an orphan, ragged and withdrawn, but now lit up the room with her infectious grin. Blaz and Velibor loved her as a little sister, and it was for this very reason they were hesitant to add her to their ranks. The day was near when Bozja would rise in rebellion, and the Verdant Path would lend its strength to the Resistance. And what sort of brother would drag his younger sibling off to war? One so bright and full of promise should be spared the horrors of such a battle, where blood would answer for blood in unrelenting conflict.
Yet Aggie was not to be turned from her chosen path. She earned the rank of master, and trained until she was able to claim one of every three matches she fought against the cousins. Blaz and Velibor were compelled to recognize her achievements, and at last accepted her as their third. Their decision was swayed not by Aggie's desire to fight, but by their need to protect her if she insisted she must. They swore to be her shields, come what may.
And what twisted fate did come. They exist now only as the trinity seeker─three as one, forevermore.