Whether it was a matter of circumstance, or the machinations of an existence beyond mortality, Valanseur is the result of two wills meeting and altering the lives of all who were close enough to them.
His mother, a stern and independent Moon Elf named Nairenta
, held a seat of prominence as one of the High Masters in service at the Silver Sanctuary, a monastery in the mountain peaks of the Silver Marches dedicated to the moon goddess, Selune. All through her training and ascendancy, she contended with the advances of many who admired her strength and beauty... but if her merciless wit couldn't dispatch a suitor, her skill in the martial arts would.
And his father, Tylen Derante
, was a man of Aasimar descent who had taken up the secluded and mystic path of the Druid at an early age. His communion within nature had endowed him with an awareness and understanding of life... though his desire to foster kindness wherever possible, and to protect the wilds from rampant destruction, was often hindered or overruled by a severe unfamiliarity with humanoid social contact.
This would change when, while on a training mission in the forests below the mountains, Nairenta happened across Tylen, who had gotten in over his head trying to stop a band of sport-hunters from starting a forest fire in order to draw out their prey. Once the hunters had been driven off, Nairenta secretly acknowledged Tylen's sense of compassion, but assumed that his lack of combat ability would one day get him into a situation he would not survive.
With some small reluctance, she resolved to forget him then, and continued on with her training mission. Tylen, however, knew that while he likely had almost no chance to prove himself and earn her respect... he still could not stop himself from wanting to try.
So it came to pass that the two would encounter one another in future occasions, as Tylen strove to become more competent in wielding both the magical energy within nature, as well as the staff he always had at his side. He became more proactive in uncovering and trying to thwart the dangers that various races of the Realms could bring upon the land... but if Nairenta didn't find him herself while on patrol, other monks of the Sanctuary would, bloodied and half-dead from the wounds he'd sustain.
One night, months later, as the crescent moon shone with particular brilliance, Tylen wandered into a very secluded depth of the forest, his steps aimless with dejection at still not being able to earn Nairenta's favor. Not even realizing that he was stepping through an ambient magical gateway into the Feywild, he eventually found himself looking at a modestly-sized but ornately terraced chateau, built into the crest of a waterfall in the semblance of an open-air columned plaza.
Here, the light of the crescent moon rivaled that of a full phase, bathing the area in a soft glow and throwing moon bows where the rushing water kicked up mist into the shadows. And standing on one ivy-embraced terrace, staring at Tylen as though she had been awaiting his arrival for a very long time, was an Archfey noble: the Lady Tesareva
When his downtrodden eyes met hers, she merely smirked and said, "Truly it is rare that a mortal is so captivated by another, that they do not wither upon meeting me."
Tesareva bade him to spend some time in her chateau, and spoke to him at length of how she had been aware of both his deeds and his desires. Tylen mostly sat in silence, having no reason to refute her claims, though he blushed with frustration as she too remarked that his ability to both protect himself and others was still lacking.
It was then that the Archfey made him an offer. An offer to teach him the ways of magical power that would suit him best, as well as enable him to fight threats with a greater capacity than before. In exchange, once he had proven himself to Nairenta, and earned the respect of the others at the Silver Sanctuary, Tesareva asked him to help found a new monastic order: one that would exist for the purpose of serving the wills of three particular goddesses, to which she and a few other supernatural beings were allied.
As one of these three goddesses was Selune, Tylen could immediately see that while this was a tremendous responsibility being asked of him, such an accord would also build towards a cause that also served Nairenta's interests, as well as his own.
Tylen agreed. And so, on that night in the Feywild, a ritual of patronage took place. In the light of dawn that followed, Tylen returned to the Realms as not just a changed druid, but a warlock as well.
It was not long afterwards that Nairenta herself took note of this change, and realized there was far more to this man than she had once thought.
In the years that followed, the two would eventually marry, as well as develop their plans and gain enough influence. After which they declared their intent to create this new monastic order: the order of the (Aesthete / Aetherim). With the aid of Lady Tesareva and her colleagues, the order was formed and the Silver Sanctuary would henceforth be known as the Crescent Sanctuary.
Their once-lofty goals now reached, and with a child due on the 23rd day of Mirtul, it would have seemed that a new chapter in this tale of the Silver Marches was set to begin. And it would, though not in the way that any would have hoped.
One week before Nairenta was set to give birth, Tylen was scouring the depths of the Sanctuary's archives to quell his growing worries. He still burned with the desire to aid the order and protect his wife, but the prospect of having a child to protect as well drove him to find any information that would lead to helping them all better.
Eventually, he came across a veiled and referential work that hinted at another monastery a few days' travel to the east -- one that was quite well-established and powerful, but had long since faded from contact and notice from the outside world.
He immediately set out to uncover this place and what secrets it might hold, and only left a notice that he was going to see if it existed with his own eyes.
Tylen Derante was never heard from again, and Tesareva had similarly vanished. As a consequence, Valanseur came to exist in the world without being able to see the face of his father.
Nairenta, confused and grief-stricken while faced with the prospect of raising a son on her own, chose to believe a rumor that Tylen had abandoned them both for his Archfey patron... and despite the love she held for her child, she would also maintain a strict distance from Valanseur, to make certain he would not grow to be as foolish a man as his father had evidently been.
In this way, Valanseur spent most of his life growing up in the Crescent Sanctuary not as a disciple-in-training, but as a servant. The potent mixture of a fiery will and honor-bound compassion was continually subverted and subdued by endless routines of maintenance and remedial work.
Though he would often attempt read the texts of the monastery in his private time, or mimic the martial arts forms he had seen, Valanseur chafed under the tutelage of the elders, who tried to teach him their own perspectives, rather than teaching the ways in which to discover his own. They tried to be patient with him, out of respect for his mother, but he had inherited his father's restlessness, and would sometimes send him away in isolation from classes.
Other, more stern elders like his mother, however, preferred to discipline him with physical trials and ordeals that left him beaten and exhausted. These nigh-impossible tasks, for one with his lack of real skill, were meant to teach him humility, and make him abandon his desire to become a full disciple.
All these methods did indeed foster in Valanseur a bristled sort of respect for the elders at the Sanctuary... but as he reached adulthood, his growing discontent would lead him into an event that neither he or his mother could have predicted.
It was on one such disciplinary mission that Valanseur encountered a vampire spawn, while outside the Sanctuary in one of the surrounding forests. Without the ability to properly defend himself, he was soon mortally wounded by the undead creature, and only managed to escape being slain by diving into a nearby river.
The cold water and loss of blood soon overwhelmed his senses, and Valanseur quickly lost consciousness. His last thoughts were of those of a man being truly afraid for the first time in his life, that he would die without having done anything worthwhile.
When he next opened his eyes, the sound of rushing water could still be heard very close by... but he was now lying on a bed under a night sky, bathed in the light of a crescent moon that seemed far brighter than he ever recalled seeing it before. And he was acutely aware of a slender, pale hand resting upon a newly-formed scar across his chest.
"Welcome back, child Valanseur," said Lady Tesareva. "We have never met until now, but I know you very well.
"When you are ready, we shall talk. I cannot answer some of your questions... but there is something I wish to offer you for your troubles, if you desire it."~Fin~