The Story of the Solar Seven
Sean McClane (fighter) & Ruadhna Kate Murchú (ranger)were adventurers together. Their group, called the Solar Seven, included her sisters: the sorceress Deirdre and the druid Aoife (ee-fa); and their friends: the bard Bardán (Bar-dawn), the rogue Tómmán and Eoghan (o-wen), a talented young cleric of Pelor. The group was based out of the Cathedral of Pelor’s Light; a boon given to them for a particularly difficult job they performed for the Temple. Their liaison was a serious priest named Ríoghán (Ree-awn) who was the older brother of Eoghan. The group performed numerous assignments for the Temple, acting as an independent agent when the church couldn’t field a group of their own to deal with the machinations of Evil.
After a few years of adventuring, the group grew restless for change. Sean and Ruadhna married and settled into a place of their own; Bardán took off solo to seek new stories, new audiences, obscure lore and more money; Eoghan was offered and settled into the head cleric position in a little town named Farview. Aoife still adventured with them, but was often off on her own in the forests around Farview. She’d mysteriously show up when the group got an assignment, especially ones to the forests. Deirdre and Tómmán became partners, also going off on mysterious missions and taking side jobs of their own.
The time came when Evil began the subtle collection of children and teens off the streets of the local towns outside of the city with the Cathredral of Light. They began disappearing with no trace. At first, it was the runaways, the transients, the beggars, the people who no one would miss. But the Evil grew greedy and bold, reaching out and taking an entire town’s children from their homes overnight. The Cathedral of Light called in all its field agents, armed them and sent them out to recover the children. They were to discover and destroy the Evil that had perpetrated the deed.
Six of the Solar Seven gathered and headed off to Farview to collect Eoghan. Convincing him to leave his flock proved difficult as he felt strongly that he should stay to defend his town. He gathered his people into their small temple. During the night, there was a strange piping, a whistling sound, heard throughout the town. People kept their loved ones close and the fires burned when they should have been banked to preserve fuel. It was a long night. In the morning, when the temple doors were opened, the people discovered that every young animal had been slaughtered and hung so that their blood fouled the town well. While the town leaders began preparations to get their people to safety, Eoghan geared up to join his friends in their quest to find what was obviously a dark cult. They tracked the creatures responsible easily as their trail was obvious to Ruadhna.
Long story short – the group found the cultists trying to raise a Foul Creature that required the blood of the innocent to be brought fully into this world. They outfought and outsmarted the cultists, they prevented the rite from taking place, rescued many of the victims and then destroyed the mountain conclave. But not without difficulty and a steep price. They were betrayed in their efforts by two of their own – Ruadhna’s sorceress sister Deirdre and the rogue-turned-assassin Tómmán. It cost the group the life of their friend Bardán and seriously injured Ruadhna and Sean. In the end, it turned into a battle between Ruadhna’s sisters, with the druid Aoife finally showing the true Power of Nature as she collapsed the mountain down upon the heads of their traitorous friends.
In the aftermath, Eoghan’s healing abilities were sorely put to the test, but he managed to save Sean and Ruadhna, discovering the latter’s pregnancy in the course of healing her. The group gathered itself and lead the children back to the Cathedral of Light. It was believed that Deidre and Tómmán had died in the druidic earthquake. Paladins were sent out to clear and consecrate the mountain, sealing its evil away. The area began the process of healing and settling back into the routines that defined their lives.
Ruadhna and Sean followed Eoghan back to Farview, wishing to stay near their friend during Ruadhna’s pregnancy. Sean pitched in to help with the repairs necessary to restore the town and the months passed quickly. It was late spring when Sean helped his wife into the hospital section of temple, looking for Eoghan. Ruadhna labored through a night of pouring rain, thunder and lightning. As the rain stopped and the sun rose red on the horizon, their daughter was born, squalling with mighty lungs at the indignity of it all. Her father laughed and took her to the door to present her to her first sunrise, returning when her mother called for her. They placed the baby in a soft cradle in the bed and everyone went to sleep.
Eoghan, being a priest of Pelor, had duties to attend to at sunrise and despite being up all night helping to bring new life into the world, he still had to attend to them. When his duties were done, he headed back to check on the little family. He found Sean missing and Ruadhna half fallen from her bed, bleeding from a wound through her heart. A dark, twisted figure stood beside the bed, wiping its blade on the blanket of the baby it held in its arm. Eoghan muttered holy words, invoking Pelor’s protection for the child, as he slipped quietly into the room. The assassin let him get as far as the opposite side of the room before speaking as Eoghan pulled the drapes open to reveal the twisted features of his former friend Tómmán. The assassin smiled and said surprise! He and Deirdre had survived Aoife’s spell, admittedly in less than the best shape, and had escaped the Paladins. And now, with the help of their new friends, they were continuing the cult’s objective – starting with this baby as it seemed only fair, considering everything Team McClane had done to them.
At that moment, Sean returned to his wife’s room. Eoghan used the distraction to dive forward and pull the child from the Tómmán’s grip as he turned toward the door. The priest rolled quickly, but Tómmán stabbed him through the back as he moved. Sean caught the weapon that Eoghan had yanked from the assassin’s hand with his body and attacked Tómmán, putting himself between the priest and the assassin. As Eoghan lay bleeding with the baby screaming beneath him, Tómmán sprang to the windowsill. He taunted Sean that he should watch his back from now on; he’d be back for his little sacrifice soon. And then he jumped from the window.
Sean moved to follow him, but Eoghan called his name weakly. He turned and then realized that his wife was dead on the floor, Eoghan was bleeding out and his innocent daughter was smeared in their blood. Kneeling by his friend, Sean took his daughter into his arms and leaned closer to listen to Eoghan’s last words. About then, the acolytes began to show up, alerted by screaming baby. Sean closed his friend’s eyes, stood and asked the priests to tend to the bodies of his wife and friend. As he handed her off, he asked them to protect his daughter Ruadhna and then asked them to get word to the main Temple that the cult had returned. He told them that he had to leave as he had unfinished business.
For the next six months, he hunted. Sometimes with his sister-in-law, the druid Aoife, sometimes with Eoghan’s brother, Father Ríoghán. At the end of six months, he had discovered the cult’s new lair and infiltrated it. He carefully sabotaged everything he could, methodically eliminating those cultists that he found as he moved through the lair and releasing all the prisoners he could. He slipped away and sent for reinforcements. Always at the front, he lead Aoife and Pelor’s paladins into the center of the cult’s stronghold. Leaving the paladins to deal with the cultists and their priests, he and Aoife cornered their former allies at the top of a deep ravine where the white water had washed the bodies of the cult’s victims out to sea. Aoife offered her sister a chance of redemption in the last moments of their fight and was refused. Sean rushed Tómmán as the sisters exchanged magical blows. Aoife bound her sister magically. In the struggle, Tómmán grappled with Sean and sent him over the edge. Sean was saved by the sudden appearence of rock growth and pulled Tómmán over after him. Deirdre tried to help Tómmán, but they both fell to their deaths off the side of the ravine, almost taking Sean with them. Aoife then pulled Sean to safety and healed the knife wounds he’d taken from the assassin.
While the paladins finished their work clearing the Evil stronghold and dealing with its residents, Sean returned to the little church that had been Eoghan’s charge only to find Ríoghán caring for his daughter. Ríoghán asked one final thing of him: since his brother had died saving this child, Ríoghán wanted her to be dedicated to Pelor. Pelor working through Eoghan had saved this child, losing a potentially powerful priest in the process, and in return, he would claim her for his service. After some deliberation, Sean reluctantly agree, but he stipulated that Ruadhna would remain with him until she was called to serve Pelor. He would be the one to teach her how to fight and how to protect the weak and defenseless so that when her time came to serve, she would be well-trained. Ríoghán agreed to this, saying that, when it was time for her to take up her duties, he would come for her himself.
Sean took his daughter to the port city, Port Maverick. He contacted Pelor’s Cathedral there for aid and they helped him to get set up with a forge. Once that started doing well, he opened the stables. He did well, teaching his daughter daily how to survive and how to not be afraid to do what was right. He taught her about weapons and how to use them, horses and how to handle them. He instilled in her the desire to serve and protect those that were weaker than herself. He taught her to face down Evil and Darkness and to be willing to put herself between them and those who could not defend themselves. But most of all he taught her to live life well and be kind.