Cantor The Exception – Caleb Hackler

“The Last of His Kind”

Cantor Dandorian, born into a family of warriors, was always the odd one out. Sure, he enjoyed a good scrap, but his heart truly belonged to music. His affinity for instruments carried him into the halls of royalty as the young prodigy had a voice and a passion that was unmatched. As a young elf, Cantor couldn’t get enough of the stories and times written of the previous groundbreakings; the ancient stories of magic and the arcane. He loved these stories the most for magic, once so prevalent in the world, simply did not exist in his. The only exception was a solitary crystal imbued with the last remnant of the arcane, closely guarded by the royal family.

Cantor himself was the middle child. His older brother Thaenor was a mighty warrior, strong in stature but quiet in voice. His younger sister Eloise was a beautiful elven girl but was struck with blindness from a young age. As her sight gradually left, her only source of comfort was in the songs that Cantor would play so he became fiercely devoted to her care and protection.

The same sickness that took the sight of his youngest sister, also claimed the life of his love. Taelináe, the best friend of Eloise, was captivated by Cantor’s voice. From the time they were children she would listen, enraptured to him as he would play. She once went so far as to follow him into the woods to observe him from the the treeline of the forest near the river as he sat midst the rapids and played along with the tune of the river. Auburn hair, with the deepest blue eyes, she was breathtaking and demure; the vision of Autumn incarnate. She fell in love with Cantor, and Cantor doted upon her, for she was the muse for most of his music. When she became ill, the only time he left her side was to take care of his younger sister Eloise, who struggled to survive the onslaught as the sickness ravaged the community.

As Cantor waited by her bedside, Taelináe called to him, weakly raising herself out of bed. As he knelt bedside her, she softly pulled him close.

“Promise me, that your music will one day breathe life into our country, and that you will spend your life bringing the light back into the eyes of the world,”she whispered.

With those words, she snipped a lock of her hair, and placed it with the locket around her neck. She placed the locket upon the neck of Cantor, kissed him, and asked that he play her the Song of the Lost; the story of a band of adventures who traveled through time to stop the gods. As Cantor obliged, she leaned back with a smile as her eyes closed for the last time. As she drew her last breath, the violin that Cantor held broke in his hands, and he never again played upon the violin.

During his groundbreaking, which in this era was more of a coming of age ceremony, Cantor was asked to perform one of the Eldär Tomes, the stories of Par’Avann and the previous groundbreakings. As he sang and played, the crystal containing magic they had brought with them, shone with a soft blue light in the scepter that held it. For the first time in centuries, a touch of magic graced the world for a mere moment. Eloise, his dear younger sister, saw her brother clearly in that moment as her sight was restored long enough to see him wreathed in magical flames as he played the songs of his people. The council was called, and the royal family called Cantor into their chambers.

“For such a time as this we have reserved our last source of magic, this crystal, to send the last true wielder of magic to a previous groundbreaking. With your performance Cantor, we have chosen you. We believe you can travel upon the winds of time to help avert the state of the world as we know it. Not a soul alive knows the tales of the Eldär like you, and so it is thus that we shall send you back in time to fulfill your destiny as the last of the Groundbreakers. We hereby name you Cantor the Exception, the last true bard. May the grace of the gods bring you comfort, and may your voice be the song of change in a world full of mistakes.”

So Cantor strode through the frame, toward a future based solely upon the past, with a solitary thought in his mind.

“If I can change history, then perhaps I can save her.”

He grasped the locket, grabbed his woodland flute, and walked into the past.


Caleb Hackler

I’m a native of the great Northwest. I’ve had my share of performing, I’m a musician, a gamer, an author, and I work with Anime Unlocked. I was introduced to D&D by my good friend David, and fell in love with the storytelling and leaving things to Fate.
You can follow me on Twitter @Caleb_Unlocked