The Origin of Sunsword




When amateur archaeologist Ian Mac Hugh stumbled across the "moongate," his whole world had already been turned upside down.

Only a week earlier, he'd gotten a call from the psychiatric institue where his mother had spent the past 10 years a sad, silent recluse. When he was just a boy, his parents, John and Pamela, had disappeared on a hiking trip and were not seen again until his mother had been found years later, wandering the woods a raving lunatic. She had to be subdued before they could take her to the hospital, and even there she'd put up quite a fight. When all was said and done, she'd knocked out two cops, broken an orderlies nose, and had a doctor in a headlock before the drugs they'd managed to get into her took hold. She hadn't spoken a word since, not even when he'd gone to visit her. And now she never would. The doctor who called to break him the news said she'd died in her sleep, the night nurse having found her laying peacefully in bed with a sealed envelope held in both hands, addressed to her son.

He hadn't known what to make of it... from what the doctors had told him, she had suffered delusions of living in some fantastical realm, but they knew little more than he did. The letter she'd left behind explained it all. The day they'd disappeared, her and John had been hiking through the woods when a shimmering blue portal had appeared directly in front of them. John had been walking backwards, and hadn't noticed it until it was too late, vanishing into the light as Pam cried out and dove after him. They found themselves atop one another on a grassy knoll ringed by stones, in the middle of an ancient forest. As Ian read the letter, his disbelief grew as she told of this "new" world they'd found, a magical realm known as Britannica. They'd tried to return through the "moongate," as she called it, but although they were able to travel through this new realm by navigating the gates, they couldn't find one that would take them back. Over the years, they had come to call this new land home, and made quite a name for themselves as warriors in service to a man named Britannicus. It was a good life, until that fateful day when their Lord's hunting party came under attack, and John fell in his defense. The last view she had of the battle, Britannicus had been surrounded by his enemies, standing alone at their center when her world went black. She awoke with blood crusted across her eyes, her shattered helmet lying a few feet away. She saw John's body, and her Lord's shattered shield nearby, and stumbled off through the woods to seek aid, tears blurring her vision. That was when the ground gave way beneath her, and she slid into a dimly lit cavern, where a new moongate pulsed at the center. Deciding she had no better options, she stumbled through it, only to find herself back... home.

Ian threw down the letter in sadness and disgust. 'She really was crazy..." he thought as he absentmindedly toyed with the small golden pendant that he'd found in the folds of the letter. An ankh of some sort, with some odd runic inscription on the back. He tossed it in the air and caught it, finally, something he could lose himself in. Crumpling up the letter, he tossed it in the wastebasket and went to his bookshelves to see if he could dig up a norse dictionary in one of his old textbooks.

Hours later, he gave up in frustration: none of the runes on the ankh matched anything he had in his texts. Depressed, he put the ankh in his keepsake box and turned his attentions to the preparations for next weeks renaisance festival. He'd be performing in the joust and he didn't have time to mope around over the loss of someone he'd never really known. Besides, it'd do him some good to get his mind off things.


When he returned home from the festival the next week, there was a message on his answering machine from Angel, his old high school sweetheart and one of his closest friends. She'd moved out of state a few years ago, but they stayed in touch through emails and phone calls. The message was brief, something about needing his help regarding an antique of some sort she'd found, she'd tell him about it when he called. As it turned out, she'd been something of a news item the week before: she'd been driving home one day, along a stretch of road that cut deep through the woods. Suddenly, a man appeared before her in the road, almost leaping from the trees before she could even react. She slammed on the brakes but it was too late, she felt the sickening lurch and watched the body go flying over the hood before she managed to swerve the car to the side of the road. She saw the prone form on the road behind her in the rearview mirror, and as she ran to him she dialed 911 on her cell phone, alerting the police to the accident. When she reached the body, she didn't know what to do... or even what to make of it. He was dressed in chainmail, with a blue tunic and a leather belt cinched at the waist. His body was twisted almost in half, yet he was still breathing, and his eyes were open. "The King... in danger..." was all he'd managed to cough out before his eyes rolled back, and she was all alone. She knelt there, not knowing what to do, half panicked and half disbelieving. It was then that his necklace, the chain of which had been dangling from his tunic, fell completely out. The small golden ankh caught her eye, and not knowing why, she took it in her hand, lifting it over his head as she heard the sirens in the distance and dropping it in her shirt pocket as she awaited the ambulance.

She hadn't been charged with anything... the cops saw his strange outfit, and her version of the story held up. It had actually made the local news, "Knight felled by Steel Beast," and the reporters made the connection between the unknown "knight" and the local renn festival, although no reporter was able to find anyone who knew the man they described. Police were still investigating, but so far had no leads nor identity for the dead man.

But that wasn't why she'd called. She called because she was hoping Ian, with his background in medieval studies and archaeology, might somehow recognize the ankh. A small golden ankh with a runic inscription around the back.

He was on the next flight.

Things moved almost too fast for them to recall after that. The ankh was an identical match to his mothers. He'd thrown out her letter, so he'd never know what else he might have learned about it, but there was no doubt they came from the same place. Angel took him back to the scene of the accident, and they stubled around in the woods the police had already combed over, looking for... something. And they didn't realize they'd found it until it opened up before them with the crackle of electricity: a shimmering, blue moongate.

They looked at one another for a good long moment, and then joined hands as they stepped into the light...


Five years would pass before they found their way home. But when they did, they bore with them the skills and the magic they had learned in that far off realm. They returned not as Ian Mac Hugh and Angel Hart, but as "Sunsword and Goldynhart."

(OOC: Obviously, I'm referencing "another" online game here, although the names have been changed a bit... well, after spending 5 years there, I decided it made sense to weave together my past with my present, with a smattering of the real life people behind the characters, to form a continuing storyline using one "family" of characters. "Goldynhart" will be writing her own origin, which obviously weaves into this one, but she has a background all her own. Hope you enjoyed the tale.)