Of the Ten Saints of the first company of the First Son who went forth to vanquish the demons from the land, there were many skilled warriors who fought in that crusade. Among them were two of the best bowmen of that age, Euric and Bulgar. Rivals in name only, these friends held each other in the highest regard long before the First Son ever came to the White Walled City. Though their friendship would ultimately meet a tragic end, they dedicated their lives to the service of the First Son, successfully joining seven excursions into the wilderness before their journey ended. To this day, aspiring archers pray for the inspiration of Saint Euric and Saint Bulgar as they hone their skill.
Prior to the return of the First Son, Euric and Bulgar were friends who grew up together, selected at birth as male children were in that time to serve on the defense of the city walls. Allegedly born in the same month of Frateria, the two embodied the soul of brotherhood, despite coming from different families in the House of Alcamora, the largest and most historically significant organization in the Warrior Caste of that era.
Both demonstrated significant proficiency with the bow from an early age, which led to their assignment as wall watchers. By the age of twelve, it is said that both boys possessed such skill that their effective ranges were each over 50 yards, and that they could hit a bull’s eye on a target consistently ten times in a row from 35 yards away.
The primary reason for this exceptional skill was their friendship and rivalry. The two of them were so driven to improve their skill, not for claiming victory over one another, but for simply impressing the other. Because of this healthy competitive nature, they fed off of one another so much that by the age of sixteen they were considered the greatest archers who lived in the city at the time.
Into the Wilderness
When the First Son returned and called for volunteers to show their expertise in order to come with him on his first crusade, Euric and Bulgar both jumped at the opportunity to show their skill to the traveler. Although Euric beat Bulgar in that night’s competition by shooting a melon that Bulgar carried from out of his hands, sixty yards away, they were both offered the chance to join him. They both took the offer with no hesitation, reveling with the others as the night went on.
The first journey they took was westward from the city, up around the mountains and along the coast of Caelon. From all reports from that original excursion, the bowmen were each responsible for the culling of over twenty major demons, with Euric allegedly ending up on top before the journey was through.
It is said that the reason they were so proficient in killing the demons was the power that the First Son possessed, imbuing their arrows with incredible destructive power. According to Bulgar’s journal, the arrows emanated a bright trail as they flew, and when they struck the monsters, a beam of white light would burst forth from the wound, often killing them before they could reach the main group of crusaders. They were incredibly proficient when they were able to hunt the monsters at range.
Each excursion that the First Son led would range from a few months to a few years before returning to the White Walled City for a few months of respite and gathering of new reinforcements. Though the earliest excursions saw no casualties due to the proximity of the First Son who could completely heal wounds, it was the fourth excursion where they first encountered a beast that would live on in infamy.
The creature was reportedly as big as a house, with fangs so sharp and a jaw so strong that it could snap a man in half in one bite. There was more danger there, however, than just the power of its ability to kill. According to Bulgar’s journal, the beast was the first creature they encountered that caused the First Son to show real signs of fear. He wrote that he overheard the First Son telling Euric that the dark power of The Fall lived within that creature, and that if it were to but scratch him or bite him, it would cause the final destruction of mankind.
When Saint Ervig the spearman heard this, he was emboldened by the challenge. As the rest of the party waited to come up with a plan, he stalked the beast. Bravely he challenged it, bravely he struck it with his infused spear tip, and bravely he died. The creature snapped the spear in half and struck Ervig, tossing his body high into the air, dashing him against jagged rocks. When the beast retreated, it would be years before they would ever see it again.
The Sunset of the Crusade
On the seventh excursion, when Euric and Bulgar were both 37 years old, they once again encountered the beast, now known as Ervig’s Bane. This time, however, it caught them by surprise. The beast crashed through the camp as they rested that night, in an event that is called the Sunset of the Crusade. Of the 96 conquistadors who journeyed on that excursion, 32 of them died or were irreparably wounded in the initial assault before it retreated. Among the dead was Geilamir, one of the original swordsmen from the first excursion.
It was an absolute massacre, and through the carnage and cover of darkness, it was hard for them to formulate any kind of counter-attack. However, Euric and Bulgar, now seasoned veterans in the fight against the demons, took up their bows and made chase after the beast. In a moment described by Bulgar as the greatest feats of their lives as archers, the two of them hunted Ervig’s Bane into an open field. By the light of the moon and the stars in the sky, the two of them volleyed their arrows from 80 yards away, with a remarkably high success rate.
Alas, this is where the journey ended for Euric. The beast crashed into the two of them, landing with one large claw directly on Euric’s chest. Bulgar describes watching his lifelong friend crushed to death and dismembered as if he felt his own spirit leaving his body. He shot the beast with his arrows through the pain, hoping in vain to save him. In a second, it was Bulgar who would need saving as the beast turned on him.
Had it not been for the sudden retaliation of the First Son, Bulgar would have joined Euric in death at that moment. Though the move brought great peril to the life of the First Son, and the two engaged in another minute of battle, Bulgar was able to help distract the beast enough for the First Son to kill it.
History tells us that the First Son did not return to the White Walled City after this battle. Whatever happened next was not recorded by Bulgar’s journal, nor would the remaining conquistadors speak of it. The only thing we know is that Bulgar took one of the First Son’s daughters as a wife and lived out the rest of his life missing his dear friend.