Rannigan is the son of a well-to-do elven guardsman and his mother was a scholar/painter. Rannigan was brought up to be life his father and earn his place as a guardsman, but unfortunately, this was not to be. Rannigan was a complete klutz with weaons, but he seemed to easily understand the basic tactics of fighting, although putting them to use was another, far more difficult task. His father, not knowing what else to do with the lad (his own personal desire being to just kil the boy and try for another one), decided to leave him to study with his mother, hoping that the child would learn something that would put food on the table.
During his studies, Rannigan became increasingly interested in ancient histories. He also developed some skill as a painter, making a little from what he sold. Tired of his endless questions about ages long past, his mother finally told him to seek his answers in the library. Excited, Rannigan hurried over right away and began reading numberous books and stories over ancient history.
Most of the next few months were spent at the library, pouring over the books and studying them. One day, while Rannigan went to retrive some more books, he noticed and old man watching him carefully. Thinking nothing of it, Rannigan kept up with his studies. Every day however, he noticed the same old man watching him and soon he grew troubled. What did the old man want? Did he stumble onto an old secret in the ancient tomes that he wasn't supposed to know? Hurridly, Rannigan put away the books, and quickly walked from the library, only to be met outside by the old man. Stunned, Rannigan could only stare as the old man smiled and chuckled to himself, "...nervous little tyke ain't ya?"
Bewildered, Rannigan looked around for a place to flee, running having been the only thing Rannigan had been proficient in during his warrior training. The old man sighed as he patted Rannigan on the shoulder, "Look here son, I ain't gonna hurt ya. I was just wondering if you would like to help me out for a while. Working for me, if you want to think of it that way."
Still untrusting of the old man, Rannigan lightly attempted to move the old man's hand, only to find it latched to his shoulder in an iron grip. Surprised that the old man was so strong, Rannigan answered carefully, "If you would let me go, I would be more than happy to talk about such a thing, over a mug of tea of course."
Still grinning, the old man barked a sharp laugh and clapped his hands together, "Very well then, over a mug of tea, I know just the place." Clasping the bewildered youth with a strong grip, the old man led him to a nearvy tavern, whereupon he immediately ordered two large mugs of tea with something called 'spirits' added to them. After four or five mugs of the unusually delicious tea, Rannigan looked bleary eyed at the old man. Wasn't there just three of them a while ago, asked Rannigan to himself? Forgetting the number of old men before him, Rannigan decided to stand up on the table and call loudly for another round. What seemed to be minutes later, Rannigan awakened in a small cramped room, with only a cot and a washbasin and a small wooden door as the only exit.
With an extremely sore body, and a nasty headache, Rannigan slowly washed his face off, cringing at the feel of the cold water. It took a few seconds to register, but suddenly Rannigan realized what had happened. The washbasin fell to the ground, making a loud noise as Rannigan pulled at his hair in frustration.
Within minutes, a soft knock rapped on the door.
"Who is it," asked Rannigan in a soft voice, careful not to worsen his headache.
"It's me, Trystan. I think that you and I should...talk." With that, the door opened slowly to admit the old man dressed in simple white robes with a gray cloak. Strapped to his belt were all sorts of odd items, ranging from clumps of grass to animal claws, to some rather disgusting items. The old man sighed as he sat upon the cot.
"I'm sorry our first meeting had to be like it was, but, you just couldn't seem to stop with the tea. I still have a job for you, if you're still interested. It's going to be hard, and dangerous, I won't lie to you about that, but it will also bring some rewards along with it."
Rannigan slowly drew his hand through his hair as he thought about what Trystan has said. "I'm going to need some more information about this 'job'".
With a slow nod, Trastan cleared his throat, "Before I tell you about the job, I should tell you some other information you should know first. First of all, I am a wizard. I singled you out because I was told you had an extraordinary gift. I woiuld ask that you become my apprentice."
Shocked, Rannigan could only stare as Trystan continued, "The reason for this is simple, I am growing old and I need someone to take over my...position...when I am gone. My former apprentice disappeared withtout a trace some time ago, I suspect foul play, but it could also have been that the magic was too much for her to handle. Either way, the position is open and I am asking you to fill it."
This was the one thing Rannigan had always dreamed abouit, being apprenticed to a mater mage. Not even giving it a second though, Rannigan put out his hand, "I accept, when do I start?"
With a sharp glare, Trystan slapped his hand away, "You start now, and I do not shake hands with lowly apprentices. You either take my word or leave. You can start by cleaning the entire house, in addition to punishing you for trying to shake hands with a wizard, it will help you learn your way around. Just don't open any door with marks on them, I'd hate to have to find another apprentice so soon." With that, Trystan left, slamming the door on the way out.
Stunned into silence, Rannigan slowly sank to the ground. It was what he always wanted, and Rannigan would pay the price, anything for the sake of knowledge. With a grin, Rannigan jumped to his feet, only to sink back to the ground with an awful pounding in his head. He would get started, just as soon as the headache went away.
After many months in Trystan's care, Rannigan soon learned all the ropes to being an apprentice, which wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Rannigan soon envied Trystan's old apprentice, and the easy life she was probably living now. Of course, Trystan was good to his word, and soon taught Rannigan many of the rudimentary spells. As the years progressed, and Rannigan became more adept at magic, Trystan's health failed even more. Soon, the old man was teaching Rannigan from his bed. After teaching the young elf much of the basics of third order magic, Trystan died. Rannigan mourned his passing for the next day and soon decided to pursue his studies even harder, to do honor to his master's name.
Two days later, as Rannigan was poured over his books, he noticed a small note between two of the pages. Addressed to himself, and apparently written by Trystan, Rannigan immediately opened the letter.
It seems that there is more afoot than just a runaway apprentice. I have been speaking with my colleagues, and they all concur. It appears that someone has been kidnapping our pupils. I am glad you were not among these missing. The latest kidnapping was an apprentice named Jelenneth, an apprentice of a mage named Tauster. I fear that some evil is coming to pass and the mages are just the beginning of it. I have taught you all that you need to know, now you must go and find out what is happening to the apprentices.
Your master and friend,
Wizard of the Eigth Order
Tucking the note into his robes, Rannigan began packing immediately and set out that day to find the mage named Tauster.