One of my favorite things to do is create complex backstories.
I have to say I've created some fun ones for games here (a few of which never got beyond the background unfortunatly).
Let's see... 'Eve Handle' has to be one of my favorites. And although this might ruin a bit of the surprise to anyone following Rer's Clocktower game... Eve recently escaped from prison. She was charged with murdering her husband. When the police were called by the neighbors they found her sitting on the driveway, her husband impaled on a fence post. She never denied killing him. However, she did claim that the act was self defense as he was abusive and trying to kill her at the time. The jury did not buy it. She never did explain how it was that she impaled him... maybe it had something to do with a book she found in the attic and some natural ability with magic...
Besides Smoke she is one of the more 'complex' backgrounds I think I have ever concocted.
We'll save Smoke for another day
Posted on 2009-11-26 at 04:39:59.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 68/3 982 Posts
A bit of background for Mael son of Eon, an Aasimar fighter/priest. Not necessarily the best for I've never compared backgrounds that way, but I've grown to like Mael.
Mael’s mother, Akiko Takenabu, comes from Kozakura on the world of Faerun. Akiko worked as a priestess of Amaterasu (a manifestation of Lathander in Kara-Tur), the goddess of Sun, in a small village of a ninja-clan near the town of Renkyu. Her father Mataharu was the leader of the village and the clan, but was killed on an assignment long before Mael was born. Though the position of the leader was beyond her skills, Akiko did inherit Mataharu’s beautiful Katana.
The ninjas of the Waturi-clan were specialized in spying and sabotage instead of assassination. They served the Daimyo of Renkyu, who in turn was a supporter of the Emperor. Daimyo Narahito used the Waturi to gather information about the neighboring states and their lords, who were loyal to the Shogun instead of the Emperor. Naturally the competing Daimyos also used ninjas of their own to do the same.
But then came a time, when the lords of the provinces surrounding Renkyo formed an evil alliance to overcome the more powerful Narahito. To accomplish their goal they engaged the services of three Wu-Jen magicians and the notorious Iga-ninjas.
The Iga-clan stormed the Waturi village during a rainy night intending to take their victims completely by surprise. Fortunately the Waturi spies had gotten wind of the attack and the whole clan was ready to fight when the enemy came. The attackers were more proficient in open field combat, but the Waturi managed to use the darkness and shadows to their advantage. So the battle turned out to be evenly matched.
However, while the fight was still raging strong, the Wu-Jen helping the Iga-clan combined their terrible powers to open a portal to the deepest of hells. The evil sorcerers used their magic to summon four terrifying demons of the netherworld to turn the tide of the battle. Safe inside a protecting circle, they commanded the monsters to destroy the Waturi-clan.
The demons (three Balors and a Marilith, as Akiko later found out), turned the fight into a massacre. The chaotic and evil creatures were strong willed and did not confine to killing only the enemies of the Wu-Jen, but the Iga-ninjas as well. Laughing maniacally, the magicians watched as their pets murdered anything that moved, until one Iga tried to run away and join the wizards inside the protecting sphere. The man almost made it before the Marilith caught up with him. With the last of his strength, the ninja reached across the circle of salt and broke it.
Meanwhile Akiko followed the orders of the high priest of Amaterasu and led the elderly and the children into the safety of the temple’s basement before returning upstairs to observe the situation.
By then the demons had torn the Wu-Jen to pieces. They were getting bored slaughtering the ninjas, when they smelled the fear of the innocent children from within the temple. Following the command of the Marilith, one of the horned Balors struck down the heavy doors of the sanctuary with a single blow of its clawed fist.
High priest Eiji told Akiko to pray for help and moved to stop the demons. Holder of great power himself, the priest called for Amaterasu to banish the horrible monsters from the village, but the Marilith only laughed as it ripped the man’s head from his shoulders. Akiko had closed her eyes and tried to shut the terrible scream outside while concentrating on her plea. Finishing the prayer, Akiko opened her eyes to face her death. As her final action, the young priestess promised her life in sacrifice if her God would spare the lives of the children, and then cut her own throat with a knife.
The call in all its desperation carried the plea all the way across the universe to the plane of Elysium where Amaterasu – Lathander heard her cry. So pleased by the unselfishness of his servant was the Morninglord, that he sent his winged warrior Lord Eon on Faerun to help Akiko’s people.
As the tanto fell from dying Akiko’s hand, a bright light filled the temple blinding the demons and the woman. Taking advantage of the moment of surprise, the enormous Aasimon knelt beside Akiko in time to see the fear on her face turn into a smile as she let out her final breath. The pity for the mortal became terrifying anger and Lord Eon turned to face the demons of hell.
Drawing his blazing Dawn Blade, the angel launched himself from the floor and with a single strike cut a surprised Balor into two. Screaming in rage, the remaining hell spawns attacked the hated servant of light with berserk ferocity. But they stood no chance. They could not penetrate the Solar’s defenses once. The fight only took a breath and was over before the bloody knife stopped rolling on the floor.
Lord Eon was taken by the woman’s sacrifice to such degree, that as he returned from the mortals’ domain to the Outer Plane home of the Sun God on Elysium, he took Akiko’s body with him, knowing very well he was doing so against the will of his master. Kneeling before the God, Eon asked for a punishment for his actions from Lathander, but still declared his intention of bringing the self-sacrificial woman back to life.
The Morninglord appeared to consider the matter for a moment, though Eon could not know it for sure. For even the greatest champion of Good could not completely understand what gods really were and how they operated. Lathander is great in his mercy and Lord Eon was one of his most favorite servants. Turning his gaze at the lifeless Kozakuran, the Lord of Dawn himself willed her to live again.
But the Solar had still crossed the will of his master and had to be punished. Neither Lord Eon nor the woman was ever to enter the Prime Material plane again, and Akiko was to serve Lathander for the rest of her life, which on Elysium meant all eternity. Such was the ruling of the Morninglord.
As almost any woman would have, Akiko eventually fell in love with Lord Eon. The angelic being’s beauty was beyond anything any mortal could imagine and his heart was warm, kind and loving –Eon was everything she could dream of. Marriage was unheard of amongst the immortal beings serving Lathander. Though capable of loving, it would have been impossible for Eon to concentrate his feelings towards a single person. But he did share some of his love with Akiko and as an outcome of their union, a son – Mael – was born.
Lord Eon’s mission was to travel through all the Planes doing Lathander’s bidding. And though he was a being of goodness, more often than not it meant killing and destroying servants of evil. And more often than not, the Champion of Light was worlds away from his master’s domain on Elysium. Therefore the burden of bringing up the child was left completely on Akiko’s shoulders.
Mael did not meet his father before his second birthday and even after that saw him only a few times a year. Though unaware of the fact in his youth, Mael was not the sole offspring of Lord Eon. But Akiko’s son was the youngest and very dear to Eon.
Akiko spend most of her days working at the temple and Mael went everywhere with her. His days went by helping his mother and the other priests in their daily chores. In the evenings Akiko taught her son the things he was really interested in – Kozakuran habits, history of her family, reading and writing, and naturally the teachings of Lathander as well. And at the age of three Mael began taking lessons in martial arts from her mother. The daily practice sessions included both unarmed and armed combat as well as swordplay.
Every time Lord Eon returned home from his crusades on the Outer Planes, he spent a few days alone with his youngest son. The father told Mael stories about the justness and compassion of their lord Lathander as well as about his own travels across the multitude of worlds. He also took great care in explaining the differences between the teachings of the Morning Lord and other gods. And little by little the boys love and respect for both his father and his God grew.
Lord Eon did also offer his own personal input into Mael’s combat training. For even though Akiko was an extremely skilled fighter, Eon still had millennia worth experience more of battles against beings of all kind. The father’s lessons were more practical than theoretical unlike the tuition the mother was giving. And whilst training with his father, Mael quickly learned how to better find weaknesses in someone’s defense. One of Lord Eon’s basic teachings was: “It doesn’t matter how or with what you attack, if you know the gaps in the enemy’s guard.” Already at the age of ten Mael won a match against his mother with wooden practice katanas or bokkens.
On one of the days when Mael was practicing kenjutsu with his father, Lord Eon felt something was bothering the boy and saw that his thoughts were somewhere else. He lowered his bokken – which looked like a twig in his big hands (for Eon is nearly nine feet tall in his natural form) – and watched the young Aasimar with love-filled eyes. “Is there something troubling your mind, my son?”, the winged warrior asked and willed his frame to become somewhat smaller.
“Father…”, Mael began warily. “I have learned very much about the teachings of our Lord and can feel them take effect inside my heart, but one thing is indeed troubling me…” The boy raised his gaze to look into the most beautiful eyes he knew to exist. “Father, I do not know what Lord Lathander looks like.”
The Solar looked at the boy with a knowing smile on his face, nodded to himself and replied: “I have been expecting this, my son. Living in a god’s vicinity can at the same time feel both enlightening and bothersome – wonderful and terrifying. The greatest power one can ever imagine is so close you can literally touch it, but yet it is eons away. I once felt the same as you do now, Mael… As to what the Morninglord looks like, there is no single answer, for our Lord appears as whatever each of his children wishes to see him. To one he may be a being of the purest sunlight, to another a gigantic unearthly beautiful man or woman and to others even a regular human.”
Eon touched the boy’s cheek softly and smiled. “I cannot tell you what the Sunlord looks like, you must one day see for yourself.”
Posted on 2009-11-27 at 20:30:26.
Edited on 2009-12-01 at 07:16:54 by Raven
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 68/3 982 Posts
Whaa? No one else done backgrounds for a character? Post people! They're fun to read.
This is the background I created a year or so back for a character in one of Olan's games that unfortunatly fizzled.
However I am now bringing the character back in Cap'n lou's new game mainly because of the background. Here he is
Born as the privileged 1st son of an Elvin Lord in service to the High King of all Elves in the Sylvari land of Maelamin he was brought up meek and never wanting for anything in the City of Vanima Romen. For as a son of noble birth he was much pampered and well cared for. He was as a child washed by females of the court of his father even into his so called teen years and learned at an early age the art of love and the passion of sex. Many were the women who graced the young nobles bed even into adult hood yet none was a perfect match. Something was wrong, something inside him cried out and so at the age of 105 his status as nobility not withstanding he partitioned and was granted the necessary teachings to become a Paladin of the Sylvari High Court.
Tal trained hard having found in him a desire to be counted on his own merits not that of his parentage. No longer did he want to be pampered by others for if he were one day to become lord of his house and advisor to the King he wanted to earn their respect and loyalty on his own. At last after years of hard training he was ready to be crowned as such. For days his sleep was wracked with unease and pain of mind then the days became weeks and many or his peers and close family feared for his sanity. Then one night it changed as he was sleeping a calm fell upon him and so began what at first he thought was a dream. The Goddess Oriana came forth from the heavens and without a word between them climbed into his bed. Never before had he known such pleasure, such passion, and such love. Upon waking he felt refreshed as he had not in days knowing to whom he would now take as his Holy Deity. It was as he moved to the bath area his chest bare that many were the shocked looks he received, with a mirror brought forth he was stunned to see upon his left breast the symbol of Oriana, a heart made of pearl inset with a teardrop ruby clearly placed there by her own hand. He knew then that the dream was no dream and the Goddess Arna’arvandor had chosen him as her champion. No longer alone his Heart, Mind, Body and most importantly his soul as one. He
Set forth then to prove to him and all others that he would be worthy one day to step into the role of his father as head of his noble house. Aided and protected such as any mortal Syl could be by the love of a Goddess he went out into the world of the Human’s to seek his destiny.
Posted on 2009-12-02 at 07:06:20.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 68/3 982 Posts
A young boy of 9 walked through the kylen on the rainy afternoon. He had chosen his route beforehand, carefully planning it in his mind. So far it had been easy moving between the houses of his two uncles and his father’s best friend Olav. The dangerous part was now beginning. There was no way he could go around the Medpunkten, the large open square marking the central point of Whitewolf village, without passing either the home of Hildir or Egill, his main enemies.
Creeping in the shadows, the small-sized son of a Vidarak warrior was almost past the danger zone, when he heard a familiar voice from behind him. “If it ain’t Brandr, the li’le, skinny mommy’s boy. What’re ye doin’ skulkin’ behind me house? Spyin’ ain’t ye? Me’ll hav’ta teach ye a lesson. Let’s get’im boys!”
Brandr ran. He ran as fast as his weak, thin legs could carry him. But the big strong boys soon caught up with him. Then it started as it always did, with pushing and spitting. Next someone came up with a great idea of throwing mud and stones at him. And finally Hildir and Egill gave Brandr what they called, “the special treatment for special boys”.
As he limped back home, Brandr Bjornsson didn’t cry. He was still a vidarak and vidaraks don’t cry. Lheisa, the boy’s mother cried for him, cried like she always did. But there was no sympathy from Bjorn, his father. The powerful warrior was disappointed at his son, a weakling who was not formed like a man of war should. Again, like so often he wondered aloud whether the boy would or even should ever see his 16th birthday.
The home village of the vidarak clan Whitewolf or Vhitwarg, was not an easy place to live in. It sat on the shores of the Antarian Reach some 250 miles north from the mighty (and only) city of the vidarak people, Dun Kav’r.
Whitewolf was neither the strongest nor the weakest of the vidarak tribes. Its men were known for their skills of sailing and fishing, and they were regarded as dangerous warriors by the other clans. Had their village been located on more favorable lands, the Whitewolf might well have been the largest and most powerful of all vidarak people.
Some 26 years ago a white-haired son was born to Bjorn Einarsson and his wife Lheisa. The warrior had captured the beautiful dark woman on a raid to Sendria some three years earlier. It was not totally unheard of amongst the Whitewolves take wives from foreign lands, but the outsider was at first treated as scum. When Bjorn announced he would marry Lheisa, the attitudes changed. Along the years, the fear and hatred turned into affection and Lheisa learned to love his faithful and caring husband.
From birth it was obvious the boy would not be like the others in the village. He was small, skinny and did not eat well. The signs proved right, for at 11 and only a year before Jür Kaelth, the rite of passage he was nearly 10 inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter than other boys of his age. Certainly not all the vidarak boys were big and strong, but compared to the others, Brandr Bjornsson was different, a freak even.
During the years it had become obvious the boy was far too weak and small to become a true warrior. Gods would not bless Bjorn Einarsson with another son it seemed, so he would not give up on his son. There was another path of honor amongst the vidarak. A young man with a good memory and some sense in his head could strive to become an Itiirdek or a lawkeeper for his people.
Though the boy certainly was intelligent enough to learn all the laws and traditions by heart, he was not interested in reciting the written words for the rest of his life. He simply found it boring. In an early stage the boy learned a valuable thing about himself: Since he couldn't fight someone over something he wanted, and he had no gold of his own, he had to find other means of acquiring things.
Sometimes, as Brandr came to see, the small size could be an advantage. For years now, he had been avoiding people as much as he could – especially children of his own age. Though not the most dexterous of all people, it was not overly difficult for him to stay out of the sight of other kids.
During time, the small boy came to believe in his skills. He considered himself to be good in sneaking around unnoticed. He hated having to wait for leftovers or beg for his father to get him something he wanted, so Brandr decided to use his skills and began to steal instead. Being mostly treated like an animal anyway he had no moral quarrels over it. Since thieving was unheard of amongst the vidarak, no one would even worry about the safety of his or her belongings. Therefore the secret choice of careers seemed promising from the start.
The Whitewolf kylen was too small a place for him to go on for a long time before being caught. But luckily his father took the boy with him to Dun Kav'r once in a while to learn the customs of the only city of the vidarak as well. When Bjorn was getting drunk or doing business, the kid roamed around the huge place on his own. He stole only small things, which he could hide from the observant eyes of his father. Some he sold to other people to make money, while others he kept as his treasures.
The inevitable thing happened three months before Brandr was supposed to have his Jür Kaelth. The illusion he had of his skills was blown when he made the mistake of stealing from an honored clan member, in fact the tribe’s leader Grundir Snorrisson. As Brandr was sneaking away from the leader's house, Grundir's daughter saw him and the arm bracelet he had stolen. At first the girl didn't seem to understand what was going on, but then as Brandr smiled sadly and tried to offer the bracelet back, she screamed for help.
Had the boy been a man, Grundir would have challenged him into a duel. Being but a boy, Brandr was spared from such fate. According to Thorgrim Fjärnsson, the current itiirdek, the law required the boy to be banished from the kylen and branded for what he had done. As was the tradition among the Whitewolves, the offended Grundir Snorrisson was allowed to decide how the boy was to be branded. As an ironic solution, he decided that Brandr's wrist would be burned with the same bracelet he was trying to steal. And so he was. The bracelet has heated until it glowed red and then squeezed around the boy's arm. The pain was too much for the frail Brandr to bear and he passed out, perhaps luckily.
As the fever finally broke and he woke up two days later, the banished boy was lying on a litter pulled by his mother. The whole family had left the village on the very same evening, for the shame had been too much for Bjorn’s honor. Years ago Lheisa had slowly been accepted as a part of the Whitewolf community. But now as his son had been declared a non-person in the eyes of his tribe, the mother suddenly became a foreign whore again.
For two weeks they traveled looking for a good place to survive the last month of the harsh winter and perhaps later to build a cabin too. During the two weeks Bjorn spoke nothing to either his wife or his accursed son. When they finally found a spot on a sheltered cliff suitable for their needs, the family set up a camp and prepared to live their lives on their own. Lheisa begged and begged for Bjorn to speak and to comfort his son, but the vidarak warrior only glared at Brandr with hatred filled eyes.
After two days, the father had made his decision. He could not stand the shame any longer and would throw his son off the cliffs to the whales and the sharks. Brandr was not good enough to be his son, Bjorn believed. Only the love for his wife stopped the warrior from doing the terrible deed. Again Lheisa cried and begged. And this time she threatened to kill herself too, should the stubborn warrior carry out his intentions. Bjorn gave in. But he gave Brandr only one chance to redeem his life. The father would hold a Jür Kaelth for his son and Brandr could not fail.
Brandr survived the task. He managed to kill a deer with nothing but an axe and a knife using the stealth he learned while stealing things. He was able to surprise a young sleeping deer and wound it badly enough for it to bleed to death after a couple of miles of running. Reading the signs of animals moving in the wilderness came easily to Brandr. Hunting was an integral part of a vidarak society and though not physically fit to hunt big game, the boy had played catch with smaller animals like rats and mice.
Bjorn was not overly satisfied, but a deer was a deer whether it was a young one or not. Brandr was to be a vidarak warrior even if he could never return to his own kind again. The father decided to start strengthening the boy by giving him cruel tasks and putting him through ruthless physical exercises. He forced the lad to eat plenty of meat and fish and to train for many hours every day.
During the months Brandr trained, Bjorn forged a beautiful sword for the boy. It had long, slim blade, almost like the sylvari blades of Londelirinen, very different from the broad blades commonly used by the Whitewolves. However the weapon was fairly heavy and too much so for the weak boy to wield properly. But every day he was forced to lift and swing the sword a hundred times until he was strong enough to use it.
Month by month and year by year, the boy grew taller and got stronger, until at 17 he was nearly as big as his father. All the exercises had built up the formerly skinny boy’s muscles and he was finally able to swing the Kaeltflämm or Cold Flame, as his father had named the sword, without effort.
Bad that was not the end of it, but a beginning of a completely new season of training. Bjorn Einarsson, like his father and grandfather before him, was specialized in using two weapons simultaneously – a sword and an axe. Therefore, to uphold the tradition, Brandr had to learn two-weapon fighting as well.
By then Brandr had learned to enjoy the exertion and trained even when his father didn't tell him to. He hacked trees down with his axe, chopped them into pieces and carried the firewood to the cabin he had helped Bjorn build all those years ago. He trained attacks and defenses with his sword like his father had shown him to.
The old warrior gladly taught his son everything he knew, but he never forgave Brandr the crime, which turned their lives upside down. Then, as the young man turned 18, his father did something unexpected and challenged his own son to a duel. Since they weren't part of their former clan anymore, the fight wasn’t limited to first blood and Bjorn ruled it to be to death. Lheisa begged and begged again, but this time in vain.
The duel was fought. The father was still stronger, but the Brandr was faster and their skills were almost evenly matched. For a long while they merely tested each other's skills before suddenly Bjorn launched a furious attack at his son. He managed to cut the young man’s arm and forehead, leaving blood flowing freely. But Brandr would not give in. He doubled his efforts and finally managed to strike away the sword from his father's hands. He could have killed Bjorn then, but didn't want to. The old man was still his father and despite all of their hardships and differences, Brandr still loved him.
Begging for forgiveness Brandr handed his axe to his father and fell to his knees waiting for judgment. Tears in his eyes Bjorn let the axe drop to the ground and embraced his son. "Truly you are a man now, my son. A true vidarak no matter what the scar on your forearm says."
But after the duel Brandr couldn’t stay home anymore. He felt he needed to see the world, so he left his parents carrying the Kaeltflämm and axe of his father as well. The young man swore to return every year to see his mother and father, and he did until Bjorn died of old age some two years ago. Brandr took his mother with him away from the lonely cliffside and together they sailed with Bjorn’s old fishing boat to the mighty and far city of Bayris.
There the young warrior did work as a bodyguard, fisherman and anything else he could find to provide for his mother for two years, until the frail woman died of some unknown disease. Brandr felt totally helpless and guilty for not being able to help her, and in anger left the mighty city behind and headed back for the wilderness of the Reach.
For months the warrior wandered alone and without a goal. He fought beasts and animals and killed men and orcs alike. Until one day he came upon a great brown bear attacking a family of three on a small clearing near a small mountain. The humans were clearly fellow vidarak, though of a different tribe – The Tribe of the Black Bear, Svärtabjorn.
The mother was already down, with her head nearly torn off her shoulders by a mighty paw, and the father was wounded as well. Brandr knew he could not make it in time to save the man, but he might have a chance to protect the child.
It was not the first time the blond warrior fought a bear, but this one was definitely the biggest he had ever seen, a mighty grizzle indeed. Not being the tallest of vidaraks and certainly not the strongest, Brandr had doubts of his chances of survival. But he was an honorable warrior and the laws of the vidarak were written on his heart. As was their way, the stronger must protect the weaker, even if it would mean giving up their lives.
Therefore, though still some twenty yards away, he let out a mighty roar and charged at the bear. Luckily for Brandr the creature was already wounded, but it was far from dead and the pain seemed to only make it even more furious. The grizzly swung its great paw and its bloody claws nealy ripped off the top half of the father. It then turned around to face the fresh enemy…
The battle did not last long, but it felt like an eternity to Brandr. And as he lay on his back on the steaming, red snow breathing shallowly, the dying warrior felt no pain. He watched the darkening sky filled with bright stars and felt only content. His part in life had been fulfilled. The gods would accept him now as a true vidarak. He would find peace and paradise in the Afterworld.
But the time of Brandr Bjornsson had not yet come. Just as the last dying breath was leaving his torn body, an old, wizened face filled his clouded field of vision. There was a warm smile on the withered lips and he could see they were moving though no words reached his ears. Is this how it goes? Does Världfader come to save my soul?
As he woke up, Brandr was lying on a hide of a graying bear. He was in pain, but managed to push himself up enough to view the surroundings. It was not Valhöll and the old man was not Earth Father. He was not dead, but somehow still alive and breathing. It was all he could see or do before passing out again.
As he later found out, his savior was an ancient shaman of the Blackbear tribe ironically known only as Grizzle. The hermit was a powerful priest of the Varigads and a former leader the tribe, who lived in a cave of a long-dead grizzly bear.
The shaman had heard the familiar cries of agony of both the man and the bear, and had come to see the outcome of the battle. It was the final test of manhood of the Svärtäbjorn to kill a bear and the shaman had expected to find one of the warriors of his own tribe, not a Whitewolf.
Nevertheless, Brandr had acted like a true warrior and saved the life of the child, for as he was dying, so was the grizzly. Therefore, the priest had honored the young warrior and stopped his bleeding with the magical powers of the Gods of War.
Brandr’s recuperation took the better part of fourteen days. And he spent the days speaking with to the old shaman and listening to his wisdom. Brandr shared his own past with Grizzle, and with downcast eyes admitted his crimes. There was no need to tell the wise man, that he was no longer welcome to live with his own people, for the laws were mostly the same amongst both tribes.
Posted on 2009-12-13 at 20:50:23.
Edited on 2009-12-13 at 21:00:57 by Raven
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 68/3 982 Posts
Danathaniel, sylvari paladin of Kith-Jora
“The gnolls are getting careless”, muttered the pale, handsome sylvari to himself in his song-like melodic voice. There was no emotion on his face, no smile or grin of satisfaction. He merely stated the obvious and knew he was nearing his real prey. The tracks were clear. Branches of trees and bushes had been torn from their trunks, leaves had been crushed beneath the running feet and clear imprints of the boots were visible on the soft floor of the forest. A blind, running dwarf, could have followed the gnolls now. The riding syl merely slowed down somewhat and leaned from the back of his magnificent stallion to observe the ground.
They were scared now, no longer obeying their master’s commands, no longer trying to stop the one that was hunting them down. For two days he had now followed the murderous beasts and the one leading them. More than half of their number were now dead. The slowest ones had been left behind to delay the syl, to hold him back. Some had fought valiantly while others had attempted to ambush him. The fools. Ambushing a sylvari in a forest? Trying to take him by surprise? The blessing of Kith-jora, the Father of all elves, had allowed him to sense the evilness of the creatures from far away. The power given to him by his god had let him foil the simple plans of the simple beasts… and he had cut them down without mercy.
The smoke rising from the chimneys had been a positive surprise to the syl. He had never traveled through these parts of Coria before and knew next to nothing of the area. If his estimation was correct, as it in most cases was, he still had at least a two days ride to the capital city of Coria. The smile on his face had frozen quickly as he got closer to the village. Ravens and other birds feeding on carrion had n been circling above the hamlet and there had been far too much smoke to come from merely a few fireplaces. A familiar, but terrible smell accompanied by a gruesome sight had awaited him instead of laughing children and mooing cows…
Counting the mix of paw and shoe prints the gnolls had left at the village and its surroundings, Danathanil had come to a conclusion that a score of the beasts had attacked the poor, defenseless farmers. Mangled and mutilated corpses of the slaughtered people had greeted the silvery-haired elven warrior when he had ridden into the village. The bodies had still felt a little warm to touch, though most of the blood on the ground had already dried. The gnolls had beaten him to it. They had robbed him the chance to relax and enjoy the company of the simple, but kind villagers. They had left no one alive… but the murderers were not long gone.
After a closer inspection, Danathanil had become certain the gnolls had not attacked the place on their own. The attack of the beasts had been too well coordinated. Although gnolls certainly weren’t the most dim-witted of the humanoid races, they surely were not gifted with enough intelligence to come up with such tactics as had been used in the attack at the ill-fated village. Someone or something had done the planning for them and guided them through the attack. Though such a thing was not unheard of, gnolls rarely accepted anyone but the strongest of their clan to lead them. And yet, this time their master had been something completely different. All the animals in the village - barns, stables and fields had been slaughtered too. Most were just hacked to pieces, but some, man and animal alike, showed no other signs of violence than a single gaping hole in their chests. Their beating hearts had been ripped from within them by a single strike of a powerful set of claws.
The handsome sylvari hadn’t had to look far to get a confirmation for his suspicions. Here and there had been small circular areas completely devoid of life. It was as if someone or something had sucked the life force of all the plants around him. A feeling of great sadness and sorrow for all the lost lives - both man, animal and plant alike had filled his heart, only to be replaced by a firm decicion to punish the evildoers. Danathanil had quickly returned to his horse, checked his equipment and set off after the monsters.
It did not take long for him to reach the last of the gnolls and kill them in just combat. Even in the case of thoroughly evil creatures he avoided striking first and hitting them in the back. Some of them decided to come at him together, but even then they had no chance. The far superior weapons and fighting abilities of the paladin got him through without more than a few harmless scratches.
Soon he felt a greater evil in the woods ahead of him; a single creature of considerable power and a servant of a dark god. A spawn of the deepest hells had crossed the border that kept the two worlds apart and was now ready to attack the annoying syl that had relentlessy been following it for days. But like its weak servants, it was equally unable to surprise the faithful follower of Kith-jora. Where the deep blue mix of horns, oddly shaped bones and a gaping maw hoped to meet a defenceless soft little fairy, it met a ready warrior terrible in his anger instead. The lesser daemon was unearthly quick in its movements, but the battlehoned senses of Danathanil allowed him to move faster. He dodged the behemoth’s sharp claws and ended his roll behind the creature. With all his strength he drove his silver tipped spear into the back of the daemon only to receive a mocking, terrible laughter instead of a cry of pain. Its unholy magic protects it from ordinary weapons. I can only hurt it with an enchanted one. He left the spear hanging in the wound and drew his beautiful longsword. The blade hummed a promise of death to the unnatural creature and it backed away from the sylvari. Instead of a physical attack the daemon sent a telepathic attempt to control the puny sylvari just as it had done to the gnolls earlier, but this time its magic met an invisible wall of pure goodness, a power far greater than itself. The surprise was the last feeling the creature had on Antaron. As the shining blade of the paladin connected with the supernatural flesh and severed the horrendous head from what Danathanil could only describe as its shoulders, the daemon disappeared with a blinding flash leaving the syl standing alone in the middle of the forest.
Three days he rode back to Greenfield and the next three he spent burying and blessing the dead, following the rituals his mother had taught him decades ago. Unable to return life to the animals or plants, he said his prayers for them too before leaving the ill-fated village behind him.
More than a hundred and thirty years ago, Luithanal Arrnaeth and his wife Aliathania were finally blessed with a child. Danathanil was born on a beautiful and warm spring day. As far as he could remember his mother, a devoted priestess of Kith-jora, had always taken care of him as a child. His father was part of the Riders of the Storm and most of the time on an assignment away from their beautiful treetown home. Still somehow Lord Luithanal every now and then found the time to tutor his son in the art of combat; mainly in the use of the spear, sword and the bow. The boy handled the weapons with exceptional skill from the first day on and always obediently trained like his father bade him to. He seemed to love fighting and always wanted to learn more.
But even more than the weapons and combat, Danathanil loved the lessons his mother gave him. Studying the teachings of the Lord of Trees, listening to and reading all the tales and legends, ‘The seed of life’ being one of his favorites, gave him more joy than excelling in fencing. Aliathana was a strict mother in the religious upbringing of her son. Every day she would have young Danathanil take part in at least one religious ritual or chore at the temple, and every day she tested if he had learned the teachings of the previous day.
The young syl loved the nature and somehow he felt that the nature loved him too. He enjoyed watching the plants make their way through the surface of the soil, to grow and bloom, to provide food and shelter for even the smallest of beings. Observing the animals gave him no less joy. The innocence of their instinctive behavior, how cruel it sometimes may seem, was something the humanoid races lacked. Wolves and bears were not evil. They did not kill for pleasure or pain, but only to ensure their own survival. If such were the way of men, there would be no wars and no need for revenge. Danathanil tried to learn as much of the nature as he was able. His mother taught him to recognize the tracks left by different animals and how to find them in the wild. He also learned to know the ‘good’ herbs from the ‘bad’ ones; to tell which ones could be used to slow down poisons or to accelerate healing of wounds. To Danathanil his God was the same thing as the nature. When the forests and lakes of the land were hurt, so was Kith-jora. Without nature there would be no life and therefore the nature had to be protected.
It is not common, but neither is it altogether unheard of for elves to marry for other reasons but love. Danathanil’s father Lord Luithanal Arrnaeth was a minor noble lord who wanted to be certain his son would marry a maiden worthy of him. By the time Danathanil was nearing the end of his adolescence and ready to advance to adulthood, Lord Luithanal had already agreed on the future of his matrimonial life. The esteemed Lord High Magi Thaliantul was getting old and his only daughter Liaral needed to be married to ensure the continuation of his bloodline. His daughter was notorious for flirting and dating numerous young men simultaneously, but not taking any seriously. The High Magi would not have it any longer. When Lord Arrnaeth came to his door with the suggestion, he was eager to agree on the marriage of their children.
Thus all was set. Neither Danathanil nor Liaral liked the idea of a marriage without love. They were still young and held high the illusion of love ruling the world. But there was no running away from the wedlock and both obediently submitted to their fathers’ decision. Danathanil had always known that the marriage between his mother and father had also been arranged, but Aliathania had kept on telling him how it was possible for two people to learn to love each other as years pass by.
Great celebrations were held for a whole week. The two newly wed were sent on a honeymoon and they were a given a small home of their own in the same enormous scarlet maple Danathanil’s parents lived in too. Years did pass by, but the two found no love between themselves. Liaral had turned into a promising mage and was working for the Tower of High Magic. She still kept flirting with young elven lords and hardly showed any affection towards her husband. But they were still obedient children of their parents and nature took its course. A seed of life started to grow within her. Finally after two years of pregnancy and on the 7th anniversary of their marriage, a baby girl was born. For a few years both young parents stayed home with their daughter, but eventually the call of their lives got stronger and the responsibility of bringing up Kayaen was handed over to Danathanil’s mother, Aliathania. Much like his father, the young warrior traveled the lands and searched wrongs to be righted and evil to be punished. But every once in a while he returned to his home to teach his beautiful daughter in the way of the sword.
Danathanil’s vocation was serving the church of Kith-jora just like his mother’s before him. Above all things, even more than his parents or his daughter, he loved the nature and spent most of his days protecting it.
Then on one of his solitary trips across the lands, the sylvari was sitting by a peaceful little brook cleaning his shining shirt of mithril chain, when he noticed something bright across the stream. Although his instincts urged him to jump up and draw his sword, his heart told him otherwise. He could feel an immense power radiating from the light, but the power was neither malicious nor evil. Instead his heart was filled with an almost unbearable amount of love. His emerald green eyes were wet with tears of happiness. His pale cheeks turned red with the heat of his blood pumping fast through his veins, and the skin all around his body was tingling with excitement. Slowly the brightness faded to a warm glow and revealed a young, beautiful elven man covered in leather, leaves and feathers. Even without the unearthly blaze of light and the Staff of Forests, well described in many great legends, Danathanil knew he had been blessed with the greatest of honors any syl could imagine. The Keeper of Seasons, Adaron himself had decided to appear to his faithful servant. The young paladin dropped his armor and rose to stand on his knees. He lowered his head in a bow and opened his arms in a silent greeting surrendering his whole being to his Lord and Maker.
No sound came from Kith-jora as he spoke, there was no movement of his perfect lips, but still Danathanil heard or felt the most beautiful of all voices inside his head. “Raise your head, my beloved son. Behold your lord and hear my words. For the fate of many may depend on them… A great and terrible evil is on the move. A mighty servant of the god whose name I shall not utter aloud is approaching the holiest of all groves. A creature neither alive nor dead is leading a powerful army towards the blessed grounds of Amantalar’men. Of all my faithful children you may be the only one able to stop the abhorrent thing before it defiles the sacred lands. You must ride fast, faster than you have ever ridden before and not rest until the evil is banished or destroyed forever. Others will meet you when you reach the holy grounds and together you shall fight and defeat the enemy… Do not worry over your four-legged friend. He shall be looked after. I will provide you with a new mount, one that does not tire and runs faster than any ordinary horse ever is able. Prepare yourself now my son, and hurry!”
As quickly as the avatar had come it also disappeared. And in the place of Danathanil’s horse stood a stallion more powerful he had ever laid his eyes on. The eyes of the magical beast shone with the same light that had radiated from the Father of the Golden Leaf, and it was pure white in color with the exception of a leaf-shaped patch of gold on its brow.
He rode fast, almost flew over the land and was first to reach the ‘Place of the blessed ground’. But only a moment later others started to arrive, and amongst them came familiar faces. Leading the assortment of sylvari was his mother Aliathania and behind her rode Liaral showing no feelings at the sight of her husband. By the end of the day more than a hundred defenders had arrived.
On the following night the fight for the sacred lands began. A small, but terrible army of evil monsters and undead creatures flowed through the forest, draining it of life as it moved. And in the lead of the horrible servants of D’hurgen, a vampire of immense power rode a beast of death. The blood-drinker’s red eyes gleamed in the night like a beacon and wherever they looked a wave of hopelessness and fear filled the sylvari. But then the unholy creature locked his horrible gaze on the young handsome paladin and met an impenetrable mind, a will of equal power to its own.
Darkness and light raised their swords in a salute and charged at each other. Neither saw nor cared about the turmoil of the fray around them. They only saw the champion of the opposite side. The syl and the vampire met in the middle of the field and struck hard at each other. They fought until the battle around them had ceased with most of the evil creatures destroyed and the fair folk not faring much better. A new day was dawning, but Danathanil’s strength was also waning. The promise of cleansing daylight drove the vampire into even more aggressive and desperate attacks and it was able to get its sword through the paladin's defenses cutting him badly. About to lose the last bit of his strength, Danathanil cried out his last prayer to Kith-jora wanting only to end the fight and kill the vampire with no care for his own being. The evil child of the night made a mistake and reached too far thinking his opponent already defeated. Instead of parrying Danathanil dropped down from the back of his mount, swung around and with all his might brought the shining blade of his sword down on the vampire’s arm cutting it cleanly apart. Then it was only a matter of pinning the creature down to the ground and waiting for the sunlight to do its work.
When the paladin awoke from his slumber, the first thing he saw was the smiling face of his dear mother. She had survived the battle, but the price of victory had been high. For among the nearly hundred dead elves, Liaral had perished too. Danathanil accepted the fact without sorrow or pain. He only felt a terrible pain inside his heart for so many of his kind who had lost their lives. Once again he realized his place was not among his loved ones. His mission to protect nature would lead him elsewhere.
Posted on 2010-01-18 at 10:29:58.
Edited on 2010-01-18 at 10:35:35 by Raven
Ion Kired Tapped Out Bullywog Karma: 45/4 758 Posts
I have two
Both are for characters at the inn, but one of them was tweaked for world reasons.
The first is Anh Silverblade. I got to make a Neraphim into a Dragonshaman/Knight.
Anh was born in the chaos of Limbo to the tribe of Dragonites. His tribe was different from other Neraphim tribes because they were not nomads; instead they had chosen 30 or so years before Anh’s birth to settle down as the Githzerai did claiming a portion of Limbo for themselves and making a safe haven for their race and their young. This choice was brought on by a silver dragon named Kherazinth who had seen a potential in the Neraphim to become a dominant power in Limbo. If such a thing could exist. Kherazinth had spoken with the matriarch of a tribe known as Firewalker and convinced the matriarch to develop the fortress known as Silver Haven. Kherazinth came to reside in Silver Haven using her considerable power to bring stability to fortress and its surrounding swirls. Silver Haven is just a bit larger than a normal Githzerai fortress and doesn’t float or shift more than 100 ft in any direction becoming the first truly stable part of Limbo. The change from a nomad hunting society to a monarchy was a huge step for Neraphim but it wasn’t a racial step as the Neraphim including the newly renamed Dragonites till had territorial issues. Silver Haven and its surrounding lands were designated as the Dragonites hunting grounds and so other races required rarely given permission to enter Silver Haven. Having a Neraphim nation basically spring up over night was quite concerning to nearby Githzerai establishments and to resolve the issue they launched raids. The Dragonites barely managed to fight off the attacks, and seeing the issues that a new nation of Neraphim would face the great dragon Kherazinth suggested to the matriarch that the people of Silver Haven do as kingdoms in the Material Plane do and establish armies and trade. Being in complete awe of the dragon and having devoted her entire clan to its service the Matron and the tribes wizards (with a little help from the dragon) opened a planar gate to the Prime Material and sent out a handful of delegates to some accepting kingdoms the dragon knew of, however in order to ensure he safe ravel of her emissaries the Matron also created a garrison at the other end of the gate, which was in a forest. She also sent out scouts to examine the area of stabilized Limbo the dragon had created and discovered a stable ‘mine’ of elemental fire at the edge of the land and castle walls of Silver Haven. Also as a part of the dargon’s advice the Matron began making an army, and to do that she needed more Neraphim. As luck would have it the seven years in between the Festival of Spawning had passed and the Neraphim were scheduled to gather. At the festival the Matron learned of another tribe that had lost their hunting grounds to the ever swirling chaos of Limbo, knowing she was in need of new members to join her army the Matron invited the endangered tribe o join her own. Grateful for a new hunting ground the matriarch accepted the offer. As a part of terms the new tribes men would all be a part of the Dragonite’s army and at the core of that army would be the Matron’s personal knights, all members of her original tribe, The Silver Dragon Knights. The knights were all devoted followers of Kherazinth and devoted followers of the Matron. Later that year the Neraphim managed to secure their first trade agreement with the material plane. It was agreed that for a yearly supply of elemental fire the Kingdom of Tavarik would supply Silver Haven with weapons, armor, and steeds
At this time Anh was 6. When Anh turned 20 he petitioned to join the Knights of the Silver Dragon, being in awe of his tribes savior himself. He was accepted as a squire. He spent the next 20 years of his life and youth in service to the knighthood and to the Matron and to the dragon. During those years he was witness to several Githzerai raids and Slaadi hunts. When he turned of age to be proclaimed an adult Anh was fully accepted into the Silver Dragon Knights and knighted. His first assignment was to the forest garrison on the Prime Material which in the last 39 years had grown a little. It now also had emissaries of the Tavarik and a few human establishments for the emissaries comfort. While stationed here Anh learned how to speak common and learned a little about the ways of humans, mostly from the captain of the human guard. There were only 20 Neraphim stationed at the garrison as it had become mostly a human settlement and so Anh full of curiosity (the only real chaos element he displays) interacted with the humans. Always keeping his honor s a knight and as a representative of the Neraphim race in mind he proved to be an apt diplomat himself, at least in comparison to other Neraphim. With this in mind as Anh turned 25 the Matron gave him new orders; to journey throughout the Prime Maerial and learn all he could. He was cautioned that not all people of the Prime Material would be as welcome to Nerphim as the people of Tevarik and so he should be cautious as to how he approached others and to represent Neraphim, Silver Haven, The Silver Dragon Knights, The Matron , and Kherazinth well with honor. Swearing that he would always do as the Marton and as Kherazinth asked with undying loyalty Anh gathered little traveling gear, his armor, and his weapon. Saddled his horse and left to explore the Prime Material in the name of his Matron and Kherazinth the silver dragon.
And the second is Virif Flametouch. Gotta love Dwarven Mages.
The Dwarves of Darkspire mountain are well known for their military might. With two leading clans and two metropolis they are content to guard and trade for the moment. The Undercity is ruled by the clan Darkmine, a duergar clan that came to power a few years before the Gate Wars. The Undercity is closed to all except dwarves and is an industry for mining, and crafting of the finest weaponry in sixty miles at least. Its forges rage through all hours producing in three days enough arms to fuel a thousand strong army, and they aren’t any masterwork arms. The Darkmine clan came to power by discovering a way to tie the elements of creation into their weapons. The weapons made by the Undercity do not dull and often display elemental traits from a constant heat emanating from the blade o a full inferno consuming all but the hilt and the wielder. Of course for the sake of security the stronger blades are only given to the dwarves guard of Undercity. To supply the necessary material to keep the forges running the Undercity keeps prisoners and slaves working vast mines of iron, silver, and gold. Keeping the slaves in line is an elite prison guard known as the Lightning Axe Brigade, so named for the lightning imbued axes each member of the guard wields (take the prestige class dwarves defender and give them a +5 Keen Shocking axe.) The Brigade only has 100 members in it and they are the second best trained fighters of Darkspire mountain. The best trained fighters of the mountain are the Elite Royal Guard. A specially trained unit of 20 members chosen from birth and sent through all three academies found in Darkspire, The melee academy- Torith Martial, the Arcane academy- Torith Arcana, and the priest academy where they learn the worship of the Twilight Dragon- Torith Twilight. There are ten guardsmen around the leader of Undercity, Inito Dark mine (a powerful wizard in his own right) and ten guardsmen around the leader of Darkspire, Jirtich Spirelord (A mighty fighter.) The Spirelord clan was once known as the Ironaxe clan and was a worthy rival of the Darkmines. To prevent the Ironaxe’s from coming to power the Darkmine sitting the throne decided to found an Overcity to trade the magical weapons being produced in Undercity and so established at the base of Darkspire mountain the city of Darkspire and gave the regency to the Ironaxe’s changing their surname to Spirelord. The ploy worked. Undercity and Darkspire worked together and quickly became profitable especially as the Gate Wars began. In response to the troubles of the Gate Wars Jirtih Spirelord the first decided that his people would need to establish a strong army to hold off the outer planar beings especially seeing as the magical blood of the Darkmines had accidentally established a portal just ten miles from the city, and so with the Darkmines assistance and the combined resources of Undercity and Darkspire Jirtich established the training academy of Torith Arcana and sent an entire generation through the traditional training of Torith Martial or if they displayed any sort of magical potential Torith Arcana. He also strengthened the walls around Darkspire adding archery towers and ballista. He had the few magi that remained after the instability of magic began etch runes into the walls to ward them against extra planar beings. The result of his work was an army 500 strong with 100 of them being war wizards who had with considerable practice and strength of will learned to effectively achieve a 53% working spell casting even with the wild magic that swirled through the Realms, and walls that even though their sigils often failed (only working about 20% of the time) would hold against almost any physical attack. In the end the city of Darkspire held through the Gate Wars becoming a bastion against the tide of demons and by proxy the Undercity underneath Darkspire remained untouched barely hearing of the wars waged on the surface. Life changed only because the rade which had founded Darkspire dwindled due to impassable roads, and so Darkpire learned to farm and hunt and raise livestock to support the primarily industrial society they one were. Of course it helped that the Gate that formed near Darkspire was in fact outside of the city making it only desirable due to tactical position. Which due to its being largely impregnable reduced the attacks made against it, but the fact remains that Dark spire is one of a very few civilizations that can date from the beginning of the Gate Wars till present. The Temple Torith Twilight was built and developed after the Twilight Dragon washed the extra planar visitors from the world. How they survived the resulting wrath is a mystery that to be honest no Darkspire dwarf has looked into simply being thankful that they did. Bringing us to the life of Virif Flametouch. Virif is the son of one of the original students of Torith Arcana, Kirton Flametouch. The Flametouch clan was once known as the Gemcutter clan and made a living in the Undercity cutting gems to precise cuts to be used in the infusion of magical weaponry, but with the cry for recruits going up Kirton’s father immediately enrolled his five year old son into the academy. Kirton gained his surname because of his proficiency with flame based magic during the time of the Wild Magic as the academy has recorded the more magical aspect of the Gate Wars. Beginning a new tradition for his new clan Kriton enrolled his son into Torith Arcana at that same age of five. Virif has grown up with a sense of honor and duty instilled in him by not only his father (whom he sees very rarely in his training) but also from the intense training in Torith Arcana. With the Time of Wild Magic gone thanks be to the Twilight Dragon training in Torith Arcana has taken on a very dwarves militistic aspect as opposed to the experimental aspect needed to work with the wild magic, and as such Virif has had the opportunity to learn weapons practice whereas his father did not. The training and schooling of Torith Arcna is all Virif has thus far had the opportunity to experience. The first years of the school are all about conditioning. There’s a lot of running, obstacle courses, basic weapons training, basic magic training, and chores. As the trainees hit about 16 if they have shown diligence and promise as Virif has they are given a more personal training regiment. Instead of training as a unit they are expected to train themselves by continuing their studies and self workout. Instead of a classroom they are given a master. A master may at any time have up to 15 apprentices but he never trains them together instead he devotes an hour a day to each student teaching them more of the arcane mysteries or more of the martial aspect personalized to each student. Any additional training is to be done on the student’s time. Should the student not be ready to advance at 16 they will be reevaluated every year until 20 when if they have not shown sufficient promise they will be dismissed from the academy. The real advantage of advancing; no chores. At the age of 25 if the student has shown sufficient growth they will be assigned to a trainee unit made up of members from eh of the three academies and will be given a place in the Darkspire army. Their unit will go on patrol, defend areas of interest (like the mine), or hunt down criminals that have somehow managed to elude authorities. After five years of this they will be given a basic set of equipment and placed in a regular unit, or sent out into the outside world as an informant. Only the top of one’s class is sent out as an informant. Virif was the top of his class by a good degree (most graduates of the academy leave at level 2.) There are two informants sent out: one which sets up a life in another city who sends letters back to the Spirelord, and the traveler who adventures listening and seeking relevant information to tell the vein informant to relay to the Spirelord. They know each other based on a tattoo of an axe over a mountain (the symbol of Darkspire) given on consignment and a code phrase. The code phrase is “Your gold looks to be that of Spire gold” with the answer “Indeed mined from a vein of Darkmine itself.” With the sign and cosign given the dwarves break open some ale and drink a toast. Later that night they meet in a prearranged location show their tattoos and trade information. Virif was chosen as a ‘gold seeker’ informant meaning he is to adventure sending home a donation of gold every month. Should he fail to do so he will have a bounty placed on his head until he makes up the difference. Virif feels honored that he has been chosen as an informant and has set out to fulfill his duty to lord and city.
Anora ‘Rose Blanche’ Arlessa, is the youngest of three siblings, and the only daughter of Harmond and Miriam of House Arlessa; a noteworthy noble house of good standing in the capital of Vyrrmas known for their contributions to the Alcanese trade efforts. For six generations House Arlessa have produced ambassadors, consorts, emissaries and liaisons acting on behalf or commission of the Monarchy or current Regency. Harmond owns and runs the largest independently operated vineyard in Alcana. Miriam acts as a personal consul to the regent when fostering relations with foreign nationals or brokering trade agreements for the import or export of goods.
Anora has two older brothers, Jacob, a well traveled and distinguished wine and spirit merchant acting on behalf of the house name, and Samual, who until recently served under Harmond in the management of the vineyard as his lead hand, being tailored towards continuing the family business. Anora knew little of Jacob, as he was rarely home except to pick up a shipment or another, but Samual and Anora were extremely close. They played in the fields, and studied together whenever Samual wasn’t working, or chasing away any would-be suitor who looked at his sister the wrong way, and to Samual any way was the wrong way. “I’ll always protect my little flower” he’d say with a grin and a flex of his muscular arms .
Anora stands at a dainty 5’2”, and weighs only 117 lbs. Lithe in frame she has the body of a dancer, for truly that is one of her favourite respites aside from riding the countryside. Long strawberry blonde locks cascade over fair skinned shoulders to hang midway down her back, while framing her flawless face, accentuating eyes of stunning green that shimmer with intelligence and curiosity. Often wearing the simplest of pure cotton or silk attire, white preferably, unlike many of her fellow noble women-in-waiting however, Anora often shuns the fineries her status in life could afford her, preferring simple garments without gaudy accessories or adorned with valuable gemstones. Her mother had always told her that trinkets and jewels would only draw the wrong kind of attention, that of gold diggers and thieves, and that a woman’s true beauty and worth would always outshine any gem in the eyes of those who truly mattered. Thankfully Anora was blessed with an abundance of physical beauty, passed down from her mother of course, a woman in her forties who looked more the role of an older sister to the 19 year old Anora than the woman who brought her into the world.
Ever since childhood, Anora has been raised to follow in the footsteps of her family lineage, particularly that of her mother, as her birth marked the first daughter of blood entering the family in almost forty years. Grace, professionalism, and diplomacy have been engrained into her very being. A creature of poise and beauty, Anora has always blended in well enough with the other women of her all girls academy, though classmates and professors often claim to find her staring off seemingly into nothingness, her eyes twinkling, the crease of her mouth curling into a smirk or a scowl as though her in mind she were far away from the classroom. Educated in the ways of politics, trade negotiations, and persuasion using her ‘ample ‘feminine guile, Anora was well on her way to becoming a fine young lady ready to join her mother in her important work…
Until the plague arrived.
Living on such an acreage of size put House Arlessa outside the protective walls of Vyrrmas. When it first came to Alcana and beset a farmhand, little was thought of the isolated incident; but as more and more succumbed to illness and the first of almost a dozen deaths occurred a panic broke out. Anora’s father and brother Samual moved to calm those in their employ and intervene, but fear and paranoia spread like wildfire, with proclamations of the plague having infected the very ground upon which they stood, the very grapes and grains which served as the lifeblood of House Arlessa. Desperate and afraid, fires were set to cleanse the ‘tainted’ fruit, and as the fields burned out of control, Harmond and Samual ran too and fro doing whatever they could do to quell the hungering flames, to little avail. A call went to the local Chantry, and with their divine help the fires were eventually extinguished, and arrests were made. Not before more than a third of the harvestable crops however lay ruined as was one of the largest storehouses used for holding wine and spirits ready for export. It was in the burned and charred husk of the storehouse that Samual was found dead, his body blackened amidst shattered glass and casks, the stench of alcohol and burned flesh an almost sickeningly sweet scent permeating the air. It is said Samual’s body was found crouched over a single wooden case, almost protectively, a wooden support beam from the roof having landed upon his back, breaking his spine though he cradled the crate. Inside were a dozen bottles of Anora 1002 Rose Blanche wines, their deep green glass protecting an expensive year of wine, and pride of the Arlessian House to celebrate Anora’s birth. To the very end, Samual protected his little flower, and it cost him his life.
Anora was away on a trip across the countryside when the plague happened and her brother lost his life protecting a symbol of something dear to him, but when she arrived home and learned of the news of what had transpired, the woman was filled with sorrow, an emptiness that had no direction, no focal point.. That is until Cardinal-Deacon Ilphian, declared the results of divination had proven that the plague which had claimed the lives of many, and by all accounts the life of her brother was the result of arcane magic users.
Anora had heard little of magic outside of the sanctioned mages of noble houses or royalty, in fact the thought of apostates and ‘witches’ had never even entered the innocent girls mind. But as the witch hunt was declared, Anora found her sorrow quickly turn into anger, and fueled by the pain of her lost sibling, Anora decided she needed a purpose with which to direct those feelings tumultuous as they were inside her heart and mind. Against her mother’s advice, but not without her blessings Anora dropped out of school and joined the Chantry, throwing herself into wisdom of the Gods, and the hope they provided, praying that one might take pity upon her tortured soul, and provide clarity. Someone to guide her hand towards purging the lands of plague and disease, and those deviants who would instigate such terrible curses. For this she prays night after night, awaiting her call to be answered..
Posted on 2010-01-19 at 22:07:15.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 68/3 982 Posts
Danamar Amarillis, Demon Wind
In the year 318 ER Alanmir and Iliana Amarillis witnessed the birth of their second boy child. They along with their friends and family considered the child a gift from the gods. When Danamar was born his parents were already approaching their fifth century and having a child at such an old age was quite rare even amongst the sylvari. The child’s birth was a blessing in another sense as well. For nearly a century before Danamar first saw daylight, the couple had lost their son Thaniar, who had disappeared while searching for lost ancient artifacts in the ruins of Faelth’nor - a legendary elven fortress near the Chakran Mountains. Great festivities were raised in Danamar’s name. Alanmir and Iliana along with their kin and friends celebrated his birth for two full weeks in a row.
The Amarillis family is a lesser branch in the tree of Londelirinen nobility. Traditionally members of the family have held important administration or religious offices in the sylvari kingdom. Alanmir and Iliana were no exception to the rule. Danamar’s father had been a very skilled and experienced officer in Rimen'arrana, the Riders of the Storm until his retirement from active military service some 45 years after the birth of his second son. Mother Iliana was raised and trained from a child to serve in the temple of Kith-jora and she has served her goddess with honor for 300 years so far.
Despite their important roles and positions of power in the administration, the members of the Amarillis family have traditionally been restless and willing to travel the world. The death of Danamar’s brother during an expedition was not exactly a rare fate amongst the young members of the family. Many left their homes to find adventure and regrettably few ever returned. Alanmir and Iliana were afraid Danamar might follow his brother’s example and face the same destiny. Therefore they decided to travel with the child themselves and show him as much of the world as possible to silence the call of adventuring.
However Alanmir soon felt too old to be constantly on the move and wanted to return to Londerlirinen and settle down again. But the bug had already bitten his young son, and before even reaching adulthood Danamar wished to go out into the wide world and explore its secrets and mysteries. The old fear of losing their child reared up its head again and once more Alanmir and Iliana found themselves looking for a solution to the problem.
During all the years they had been away, the old soldier’s merits had not been forgotten, and the people in charge of running the nation were well aware of his trips outside the sylvari lands. Therefore when the border town of Quevin in Coria was established in 430 ER and a volunteer was needed to represent Londelirinen, the name of Alanmir Amarillis was raised on the table. The idea of permanently living outside the syl society in a human country did not seem appealing at first and almost felt like a punishment. But Alanmir, always looking for the positive side of things, saw it as an answer to the dilemma they had. Now his young son would be able to see foreign life, but still stay at home with his parents.
Alanmir received a position in the Council of Quevin and was nominated as the commander of the town’s militia. Therefore the training the father had given to Danamar had a clear continuum in the Town Guard. In his youth, whenever his father had the possibility, Danamar studied the way of the sword with him. Alanmir was not one of the chosen few, who possessed the skill to become a Bladesinger, but he was an exceptional swordsman nevertheless. The father’s fascination with the blade quickly overtook the son as well and his enthusiasm and skill showed great promise to become a mighty warrior himself.
The next decade was a new kind of learning period for Danamar. He studied the life of humans and sylvari and even other races - how they mingled and struggled through everyday problems. The young syl found the younger races most interesting, especially the humans. There were considerable differences in the concept of a family between his kin and the Corians. Unlike a sylvari family, in which both sexes where considered perfectly equal, in most human examples, the man seemed to be the stronger - more dominating part. But what fascinated Danamar the most, were the children, particularly the number of them.
During his service in the Guard, young Lord Amarillis made a few good friends of his fellow human militiamen. He was invited to visit their families and often returned the favor. The affection between the siblings in the human families woke up a yearning in his heart and soul. He was naturally well aware of the fate of his deceased brother, and knew his parents were way too old to have another child. But secretly, when he was alone, Danamar imagined a little brother for himself. One he could teach all he had learned - show all he knew. But that was not to become reality, at least not as such.
The young syl had never considered himself a true believer or a religious person as a child. His mother of was a devout follower of Kith-jora and his father’s belief was of no less fervor. But his fellow soldiers in the local militia swore in the name of Therassor, the God of Just Battle. The elves had a different name for the human god and Danamar’s father had often told him of Nim’megil or White Sword. Though Alanmir always considered the Forest Father the greatest of all the gods, he respected and followed the dogma of Therassor. The honor and dignity that was justice had a great effect on Danamar. More than often he found himself in the local temple listening to the preaching of a human priest and accepting the words into his heart.
Finally six years ago, against the wish of his parents, Danamar applied and was accepted to become a novice in the local group of Warders of the Gate. He showed great promise and his devotion as well as his ability to absorb new things allowed him quick advancement. Then only 18 months after joining the ranks of the organization, the syl graduated as an Acolyte. His training with Father Berinius was over. The Battle Lord had taken the young sylvari noble under his wing and chosen him as one of his priests. He was now a cleric and a messenger with a mission to spread the truth of justice to all evil.
Danamar’s parents, though not happy with his choice, still showed their love and acceptance and begged their son to stay in Quevin. But the black-haired Warder knew the border-town was in good hands and he was no longer needed to keep it safe. So as the spring of year 448 reached Quevin, Danamar packed his gear, mounted his stallion and rode out to find adventure.
During the next couple of years the fresh priest of Therassor traveled through Londerlirinen and Coria. Wherever he went, Danamar was at first viewed with suspicion. His fellow sylvari thought he had forgotten their traditional ways and abandoned the love of Kith-jora. And despite how hard he tried, the young Lord Amarillis was not able to make his kin understand his choice. In his the sylvari had become intolerant and narrow-minded. Though he was still loved as one of the people and not looked down upon, Danamar no longer felt quite as at home as before.
Nearly two years ago, Danamar Amarillis was traveling through the southern parts of Coria near the Pardinese border when he heard the local farmers complaing about a roaming band of raiders, which had been plaguing the villages for a few months. It felt like a perfect mission for a servant of justice, and the young cleric joined a mixed group of farmers, soldiers and bounty hunters who set out to catch the raiders.
The chase was hard and long. Both sides faced heavy losses, but in the end the justice prevailed and the outlaw gang broke apart and the lone raiders were picked up one by one. The farmers and villagers returned home and soon Danamar found himself riding through the lands alone looking for any signs of the fleeing bandits. One day he came upon a scene where three bounty hunters had caught a single half-orc and had it cornered against a steep hillside. Deciding to let them handle the situation, he sat on his saddle on top another low hill and watched silently.
The orcish warrior did not want to be caught and challenged one of the bounty hunters into a duel. Much to Danamar’s surprise the mercenaries agreed. But soon it became apparent that the hunters had fooled the orc. Instead of giving it a fair fight they all fell upon him when his back was exposed. Danamar was enraged by their behavior and rode down to stop them from murdering the helpless half-orc.
Knowing the beast had taken part in atrocities and that the bounty hunters probably felt they had good excuse to mutilate it, Danamar only settled for berating them and drove them away. Saying a quiet prayer to his god, the syl was about to leave the dead bandit behind when he heard an almost inaudible and agonized cry. Having thought the creature dead, it was now his own turn to be chastised for not bothering to check.
The cleric dismounted and drew his blade planning to put the half-orc out of its misery, when the pain-clouded eyes caught his and pity softened his hard heart. The teachings of Father Berinius rang in his mind. “In a fight, the enemy - no matter how evil, must be given a fair chance to defend its life. Wrongdoers must be punished, but no more than they deserve. Should a man strike down a defenseless murderer, a murderer he would become in turn.”
There was no doubt in Danamar’s mind that the half-orc raider had done evil things, but in his heart he felt the poor being had certainly paid for its crimes on that day. Calling for the healing powers of the White Sword, he closed the terrible wounds on the torn body and sighed with relief. The Battle Lord would not have granted him the power if it had not been the right thing to do.
Nursing the half-orc, Org, back to full health took weeks of the sylvari’s time. Many times he wondered why he bothered to help an evil being, but he had quickly learned of Org’s limited capabilities to understand everything that happened around him. As they walked and talked together, Danamar found out that Org’s heart had not been tainted with evil completely. It had joined the gang for it had been offered no other choice. No other group would accept a creature such as he. During the fifth night when Org slept, Danamar prayed for his God to reveal the evil in the half-orc’s soul to him. But he felt no familiar waves of evil emanate from Org. The relief was tremendous, for the syl had for some strange reason started to like the half-orc. He saw the other as a lost child, who taken a wrong turn on the path of his life; a person who needed guidance and tuition. In a way, Danamar felt he had finally found the little brother he could never have.
The odd duo’s travels had finally brought them to Pardinal. The 20 or so months they had adventured together had not been easy for either of them. Danamar had done his best to turn the half-orc to the path of goodness and to hammer the laws of Therassor into Org’s thick skull. There had been some success, for the barbaric warrior’s behavior was no longer as chaotic as it had been, and he had learned to respect other beings… to a degree.
Many a time the syl had considered leaving his friend behind. But inside he knew, despite how much frustration he felt, that Org was not ready to take on the World on his own. The anger and pain he felt at times was nothing compared to the damage and agony the half-orc might cause to others, should he return to his old ways. And it wasn’t all that bad. Danamar had experienced great moments of joy and happiness while traveling with Org, and especially so when his friend had shown progress. Yet there was still a lot to be done.
But like so often in life, all good things come to an end. The evolving relationship between a syl and a half-orc came to an abrupt end in a not quite so glorious way. After an evening in a tavern in Portua the story of Org came to an end.
The orcish warrior had been drinking heavily against the good advice Danamar had offered him. Things had been going well for weeks between them and Org had not gotten into any trouble anywhere. Therefore the sylvari cleric had not worried too much of his friend’s drinking although the half-orc was getting intoxicated fast. Despite his heavy build, Org didn’t have the head for beer or moonshine and the situation soon got out of hand.
The bestial temper of his father’s side quickly surfaced when a local thug called Org a pig face. It took only a heartbeat for the half-org to break the man’s nose, hand and both knees, and Danamar only had time to get on his feet when something hit him on the top of his head and the syl priest lost consciousness. When he finally came to, Danamar found himself surrounded by the Portuan city guards with the barkeep yelling and pointing this way and that.
A wave of sadness flushed over the syl as he was picked up from the floor by two of the guard and when his eyes caught a familiar shape lying on top of a broken table, he knew Org was no more. A heavy dagger was still stuck hilt deep in the half-orc’s back and a pool of dark red blood covered the floor all around him. Although he had always feared and secretly known the coming of this day, losing a friend - no matter how out of the ordinary - made Danamar sick.
The warrior priest was quickly cleared out of any charges the keeper had against him. A number of people spending the evening in the tavern had accounted the events to the captain of the guard and said the sylvari had nothing to do with killing. Danamar was released immediately, but the captain suggested him to visit other establishments from then on to keep out of trouble. The man Org had assaulted had bled to his death as well, but Org’s murderer was never found.
After reading these background I feel so amiture. But here goes. I just created a barbarian cleric that was to be the gardian and mentor to our party leader. We are both decended from the same line. His side was warrior mine was healers,priest and guardians. Oh and healers are werebears. So here is the tale and the
pantheon for the werebear priest.
Pantheon of Barbarian Cleric
Based on the belief that all things are gifts to the Great Spirit and were created by Mother Earth and Father Sky.
In the beginning the Great Spirit created three great forces of power. One of Light, one of Dark and one of Warmth.
The power of Light and Dark could not combine, but either Light or Dark could combine with the Warmth.
The Light combined first and together they formed the stars. The Dark did not like the spreading of Light and he force himself on the warm and created a void that started to swallow up the stars. Now knowing the Dark only wanted to destroy the Light and all things, Warmth knew she must do something. The Dark and the void could not consume Warmth, but Warmth could embrace the Dark. She spread herself over him and enveloped the Dark before he realized what she was doing. In rage the Dark tried to break out from he grasp. Warm struggled to hold the Dark in; she was loosing the force of her warmth and was becoming a solid ball around the force Darkness. The Light knew he must do something to save Warmth before she lost all her power to create and become a dead casing around the Darkness. The Light spread himself around Warmth to help her hold the Darkness, he combine with her and created a great bright ball of Light and fire in the sky that he call Sol. Sol drove back the Dark and replaced the Warmth that the Dark continued to draw. The Warmth of the Sol gave her strength and she knew she would forever have to hold the Dark. And thus was Mother Earth formed. The Light promised to forever hold her and so was formed Father Sky.
The Dark forever tries to escape; it draws at the Light creating night so him minion could covered by his darkness. Father Sky pulled one of his stars to rise above the Dark night and catch the Light of Sol casting it back down to Mother Earth driving the Dark back into the small places. Mother earth named this Luna and together with Sol they aid Father Sky to protect mother Earth. Even as Dark draws the warmth from Mother Earth and bring the cold and snows of winter, Luna and Sol work together to return the warmth bringing spring.
The struggle to hold the Dark created the mountains, the desserts, the hills and plains. The voids in the earth are the place where the Dark has come so near to escape. Here he still forced himself on the spirit on Mother Earth and combined with the force of Warmth to make his minions to help free him and to destroy the things Father Sky and Mother Earth created.
Father Sky and Mother Earth continue to join. They created the heavens, the wind, the birds, the beast and fishes, the waters that formed the rivers and lakes. These were to honor the "Great Spirit that had created them.
The Great Spirit had been saddened that Dark had chosen the “Way” of evil and dishonor. But was pleased that Light and Warmth did not destroy Dark but chosen the “Way” of good and honor. The Great Spirit knew that Light and Warmth understood that Dark was also his creation and it had purpose. The Great Spirit them create Men and Women and placed them on Mother Earth to tend and protect those things she and Father Sky had created.
The Dark was angered that that the Great Spirit would not free him and schemed to destroy these new creations and all that was created to honor the Great Spirit. Dark created stronger servants to rule and guide his minions to turn the hearts of men and to ruin the lands and creatures. These he called Demons.
When Mother Earth and Father Sky saw this they knew they had to help the men and women that the Great Spirit had created. To this purpose they created their own children to help safe guard the creations and teach men the ways of care. So six children of Mother Earth and Father Sky came forth, three Daughters and three Sons.
The third daughter “Amamlthea” was guardian and spirit of the plants and forests. Amamlthea is the primary goddess of the forest, the very life force, Who has the power to give life and take it away. Grass grows and flowers bloom where ever her hoves touch down. Amamlthea protects the “Tree of Life”. She is seen as a WhiteUnicorn. The skills of healing a granted from Amamlthea.
The third son was ‘Himmel” guardian of the sky (weather), the birds and insects.
The second daughter “Berg” was guardian of mountains, hills and plains.
The second son was “Tier” guardian of the rivers, lakes and oceans.
The first daughter “Fawna” was guardian all beasts wild or tame.
The first son “Lieut” was give the task to be guardian of his brothers and sisters. He was their teacher and aided them it there tasks. Later he became quarian of the people, to guide them toward understanding the care of the creation of Mother Earth but to help protect them from the ways of the Dark. This understanding of the “Blessings” of Mother Earth is known as the “Way”.
Shaman of the Great Bear
In the time before people Lieut watched over his sisters and brothers and thus learned much about world. Fawna saw there was much to do and called the great bear. ‘Your great strength and gentle manner will aide you to watch over my beasts. You shall roam the mountains and plains being my eyes and ears when I am not there. You are as my own child. And so the bear became first among those that walked the earth.
The Great Spirit was pleased and placed people on the land. Lieut was charged to be the guardian of the people. The great bear saw these new creature and added them to its duty for were not also beasts of the land? Lieut and Fawna were pleased and together they guided and watch the great bear, for it aided both their charges.
Because of the bear’s great size and strength the people became fearful and weary of the beast. From that fear and misunderstanding the first chief of the spear people, Addom, sent his two sons out to destroy the bear. Mikel was a mighty hunter and warrior. Jon was a tracker, woodsman and healer. Together they tracked the bear into the hills. Here the found the cave of the bear. They waited for the bear come out. As the sun started setting there were sounds of movement near the cave opening. Mikel notched an arrow and shot it into cave. A small scream of pain came from the cave mouth as small bear cub tumbled out, the arrow lodged in its side. The small bear whined painfully for it mother. Mikel notched another arrow but Jon stopped his arm before he shot. “The cub is not what we came to kill, there is no honor in protecting our people from the death of a babe.” Grabbing his healer’s bag Jon went to the cub and tried to save the cub.
Jon’s calm and gentle manner smooth the young bear and it allowed Jon to tend it and remove the arrow. From the darkness of the cave a great form lumber toward Jon. The great bear emerged and raised up on hind legs. With teeth bared and clews extended the she bear was going to protect her cub. Mikel quickly let another arrow fly. The line of flight was true to the bears heart, a sure kill.
Jon saw the arrow flight, but it just stopped, hanging in mid air. He turned and Mikel was standing as if stone watching the arrow. He looked at the bear and it to stood silently still. The air around Jon began to shimmer and two low glowing balls of light appeared between him and the bear. The spirits of Fawna and Lieut appeared. “Jon,” Fawna said,” You are brave and good of heart. You must teach your people not fear my bear. She is here to serve me and watch over all my creatures.”
Lieut said, “She is here the aide me; to watch over the people too.”
“But the bear was surely attacking me, she will kill me” said Jon.
“She was protecting her babe, she drew the arrow to her to save her cub” said Fawna. “You must learn from her for she is as my child. You must teach your people to respect her and know the bear is good and watching over them too. She will lead you to my brothers and sisters, they will teach you the of their powers and how you can call upon them for aid. You will then gather others of the people and teach them of the “Way”.
With that the bear now moved too. Turning to Fawna the bear said, “Mother, what must I do? My babe is dying from this creatures attach, surly they are no longer my charge but shall be my pry.” “No my daughter, this one has saved you child and proven they can be good of heart, they do not understand your purpose and must learn. This one will stay with you and you shall learn from each other.”
“How can that be, it is so small and weak it surely can not serve in the wild?”
Fawna raised her hand and Jon transform into the shape of a great brown bear. “He will to take this form when he needs the strength of the Shush so that he may travel and hunt with you.”
Lieut, waved his hand and bear transformed into a beautiful maid of the people. “In this form you will learn more of the people and their ways. You will be able to call this form when you need it. Now your spirits will unite so that you may understand and trust each other. “
Mikel, though unable to move saw and understood all that was happening. Lieut turned to Mikel, “ You will return to your father and tell only that you have learned that the great bear is not to be feared, but respected for it silently stands guard to protect the people. You tell your father that Jon has gone to learn the ways of the great bear spirit and to spread the knowledge among the people. Tell him that his son has seen the Great Bear Spirit and will be the first Shaman of the Great Bear.”
Mikel returned to the people and told his father all as he was instructed. Jon never returned to his father, but a Shaman came and trained a member of the tribe in the ways of healing and the how to call the powers of the earth and creatures. These Shaman had great powers that made the worth in battle, healing and become trusted counselors. All of these things came the secrets jon learned from the spirit of the bear and the guidance of the “Guardians”.
And so it is that the followers of the “Great Spirit” will need a teacher to guide them, one knows the “Way” of each “Guardian”, devoting themselves to each starting with Amamlthea and ending with Lieut. This teacher will learn to guide, to serve, to heal, to protect and to act as the link between the people and the “Way”. The Shaman draw powers from the blessings of the “Children” of Mother Earth and are granted the ability to do special feats. If servant of the “Way” has completed his learning of the “Six” and is chosen and passes the test of the “Children” they may crossover between the boundaries of the “Ways” and become joined with that that the Guardian guards.
The one I have handy, at the moment, is also from one of my favorite games here on the Inn: Voyages of the Rocinante... So, in his own words, allow me to introduce you to Sam Dash.
The whole damn planet ain’t much more than a garbage dump for the ‘Verse; gorram pathetic scrapheap of a rock. True enough, United Reclamation’s got their papers signed with the Alliance and owns big damn chunks of the place but, so long’s they can keep all the independent salvagers under thumb and get their cut of the scrappin’ to keep in the good with the purple bellies, they don’t pay too much attention to those as come here lookin’ fer work. Other’n sendin’ their trash here, though, the Alliance ain’t got much interest in the place an’, I reckon, it’d take nothin’ less’n a uprisin’ of drunken Browncoats to even get a patrol sent out this way. So, all considered, Beylix was a little slice of Heaven fer a go neong yung duh jwei gai won se like me and, once I went on the dodge from the Alliance, it seemed like as good a place as any to kick off this new life of mine. Once upon a merry time back, I flew (among other things) fer the jing chai Alliance… not no more, though… not for quite a spell.
I ain’t who I used to be, get me? That’s right, pay no never mind that my speechifyin’ is more in keepin’ with folk out here on the Rim, the fella I used ta be was born an’ bred in the Core. I grew up on Londinum, see; come from a right respectable family (as them in the central planets tend to conjure, anyhow). I got my early schoolin’ in some of the best schools in the Core and, bein’ as I was brung up by my folks, them as tended to believe that life didn’t get no better’n what the Alliance was providin’, I turned out to be a plumb upright, uptight citizen, my own self. Hell, back in them days, I was such a buhn dahn as to politickin’ an’ sech that I joined up with the military right outta high school and, bein’ as I showed some skill at gettin’ ships and skiffs to do things they like wasn’t made to, I ended up bein’ one of the better pilots what ever took to the skies for ‘em.
Anyhoo, the early bits of it ain’t really the all together of this little yarn, so I’ll spare ya the details. Let’s just say that life was as good as I thought it’d get back then; I was educated in flyin’ an’ fightin’ an’ sech, I made good pay, I saw the ‘Verse, an’ I had a shiny gorram rep. Far as I was concerned, when the Unification War dusted up, ya’ll out here on the fringe were shiang jing ping for not wantin’ to fall in under the Alliance – the high uppity-ups in Parliament an’ Mil Brass made it all sound so shiny, y’know? Who wouldn’t wanna live the kinda life we’d growed to love in the Core, right? So, at first, I didn’t have no tussle with doin’ what I were told to – I believed the bull mi tian gohn propaganda what got shoveled out by the muckity-mucks an’ did my job without nary a peep in protest – had my part in bombin’ the livin’ hell outta more’n a few cities (hell, entire planets) an’ did more’n my fair share of up-close an’ personals, to boot. Like I said, for a long stretch, I was a damn fine citizen an’ soldier and, as far as the politickin’ of the war went, it was all hau far as I reckoned.
Thing is, though, even ‘fore we got round to headin’ out to Athens, I’d started to conjure that things wasn’t exactly factual where them politics was concerned. Fact of it is, after I seen the “collateral damage” we was causin’ – whole settlements, towns, an’ cities leveled ‘cause they were thought to be shelterin’ a Browncoat or two, thousands of innocents killed (some as even supported unification) for nothin’ more’n bein’ able to say the Alliance made an example of a coupla Independents playin’ hide-an’-go-hump-yerself – I started to figure that all the pretty words an’ ways what the gummint tossed about to convince us we was right weren’t much more’n Parliament tryin’ to g’en ho tze bi dio se. First time I seen a kid blown into itty bitties on account of a bomb what dropped from my boat, I got me this right sour knot in my gut an’, I reckon, it was just bout then I decided I was like on the wrong side of the fence, never mind what my superiors was talkin’ at.
Now, I reckon the “easy out” woulda been to eat the barrel of my own damn gun, but, raised as I was in a home where religiosity got it’s fair share of attention, I knowed that blowin’ off the back of my own head wouldn’t sit well with the fuzzy Lord (just like I knowed that tryin’ to resign weren’t gonna sit well with them as were in charge of me… an’ I didn’t cotton to the idea of them bein’ the ones what killed me, neither), so, by the time we comed into deep orbit about Athens, I had a jing chai plan in place to get me killed without bein’ killed for really real (even if ya spent yer whole gorram life in the Core, it don’t take ya long on the Border to ferret out who as can do what to lend a hand in things like that). Again, more with the details that I ain’t like to bore ya with as they’s not too all-fired relevant, no how, but for the generalities of it… Let’s just say that when they sent me out on that bombin’ run over Athens, I already knowed I weren’t comin’ back an’ neither was I gonna dump no more damn bombs. Soon’s my boat hit atmo an’ the squad started burnin’ full on for the target city, I started to go ghost. As far as any of the rest of my squad could figure, I got popped by a Browncoat auto-cannon on the burndown, crashed and burned well outside the hotzone and, I reckon, them as seen the explosion, figured I was like to be scrap an’ dust along with my boat… Truth of it is, there ain’t nobody ever got a good bead on a ship I flew an’, sure enough, not enough of one to blow me outta the sky… I killed myself that day so as I could start livin’ again… the “auto-cannon hit” to my stabilizer weren’t nothin’ more than a smoke grenade I done rigged, the hinky flyin’ wasn’t no damn chore, neither, an’ the explosion what convinced my unit I were killed? Nothin’ more’n one of them gorram thudders as was in my boat that I dropped just ‘fore I quit the fakin’ an’ burned ass out into the black. Weren’t too all-fired tricky to slip past the cruisers an’ sech either, seein’ as how they was all intent on poundin’ Athens to dust, an’ limpin’ my boat to that shady skyplex where she got stripped was a might less trouble’n I woulda conjured, too.
I weren’t long for that plex, neither. Stayed on just long enough for some resident, gao guhn fong luh yao nu to have me ghosted from the Cortex an’ tailored into Sam Dash (course the cost for all that biz was paid with my damn boat an’ whatever ordnance were left on ‘er, plus a nice foldin’ stack of credits) then, I copped a one-way, fill-in slot pilotin’ a freighter bound for Jiang Yin an’ never looked back… weren’t much pilotin’ jobs ta be had on Jiang Yin, though, so I had ta make due wit’ playin’ bouncer at one o’ th’ saloons there… Can’t say as it was a bad job, I figger… kept me laid low fer a spell, helped me ta get cozy wit’ th’ new me an’ all that… but, a guy like me sits still fer too long an’ troubles bound to come a-callin’, right?
Again, puhn yoh, details I ain’t set ta bore ya wit’… let’s just say some fellas come lookin’ ta have me done in an’, one thing leadin’ to t’other as it does, I had ta put Jiang Yin in my wake. Fortunate fer me, I’d made the acquaintance of this chai neow pilot-type named Terry who was able ta score me a ticket on the freighter – a yi da tuo da bian Firefly – as he was drivin’ ta Beylix.
I were on Beylix for a good spell an’ I took to findin’ work where I could in the salvage yards (most times I didn’t do more’n run mules an’, now an’ agin, took a run outta atmo fer them as got short o'drivers)… for a piece, I even forgot about my old life an’ it didn’t even filter into my brainpan that the purple bellies…er some grudge carryin’ ex-joo bah jeh Browncoat… might be lookin’ for me… until they started showin’ up, o’course.
Din't take long after that fer me ta hitch my wagon ta... ya ain't gonna believe this... another ex-Browncoat. Fella by the name o' Wyatt Sung. Lucked inta the captainin' of a Firefly called Rocinante jus' when I was needin' ta shin out most. He din't like me none too good at first - most folk don't... I'm whatcha might call an acquired taste - matter o' fact, we pert near kilt each other when first we met. That's a story fer another time, though, puhn yoh. Let's jus' leave it wit', these days, me an ol' Wyungsung're shiny wit' each other... Truth of it is, I reckon ol' Wyatt's the one wong bah duhn inna 'Verse I c'n say I trust. If he don' shoot me first (I tend ta get 'im inta a tiff ever' now an' agin), I'll be flyin' fer th' man till the Black ain't black no more, get me?