Backstories/Character Prologues

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Backstories/Character Prologues

Post  Raven on Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:50 am

This is a page where each of us can post our
character introductions and prologues
if you have them.
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Raven

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Re: Backstories/Character Prologues

Post  Raven on Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:54 am

Bromley “Brom” J. Dawson

“That was quite good. I’ve never had a Fetchling before,” the busty whore said to him as he stood at the end of the bed, lacing up his breeches. He recalled how that term used to annoy him in his youth, but being on the seas for most of his adult life has calloused him to the derogatory term.
“What’s a man of your flavor doing in such a remote place?” She inquired.
“That’s my business.” He replied, coolly.
Her smile faded a bit at his answer. “Oh,” she said as she looked at the cropped black and randomly silver-streaked cropped hair on the back of his head.
“Surely you came for something other than to fuck women in a brothel.” She prodded.
He picked up the dagger sheath from the table and hitched it to the back of his belt and turned to look at her. Her gaze met his greenish-yellow pupil less glowing eyes, but quickly looked away from them.
“Perhaps.” He said as he sat down in the chair behind him. “Or perhaps I came here with only that purpose. I am after all, a sailor. And sailors don’t get to spend that much time in the company of women.” He eyed her large chest and tanned skin. “Especially not women of such natural beauty.” He continued with a wily smirk.
“Such a charmer.” She cooed back with a wave her hand. “But, I am curious about you.” She said, leaning forward on the bed. “Can you at least tell me a little bit about you, Mr. Brom?” She pleaded.
“Just Brom, love.” He said as he itched his tattooed and scarred torso. “Very well. What would you like to know?”
“Tell me what it was like growing up in the Shadow Plane.” She requested with an eager desire in her expression.
“To be honest, I don’t know. I can barely remember it.” He said as he packed a pipe full of his favorite herb and lit it. He leaned back in his chair and took a few lazy puffs before continuing.

~

“There aren’t any memories of continuity about my earliest years. Sufficed to say, I also don’t remember my blood kin… Nor my birth name. The handle I carry was given to me by a man I wouldn’t meet until I was almost a teenager. Before that, I was only known as ‘boy’ by a man took me into his home.” He ponders for a moment. “I believe I was around four years old when he took me in. Argus Antereon was his name; a strict and scholarly man. I remember he kept a rather large library in his home. I was a sort of serf for him. You know, sweeping, cleaning bed pans, making beds, and chores of that ilk. Many nights, though, once I was sure he was asleep, I’d sneak into his library and would look at the tomes in his collection.
The drawings and pictures inside fascinated me. I would do this same routine every night until eventually, I learned the words that went along with the pictures. The more I read, the more I learned that there were more vivid pictures that could be conjured in text rather than literal shapes. I became addicted to books: fiction, history, philosophy. I soaked up as much as I could.
One day, I came across a rather large, leather-bound tome. It was nearly as big as me. I tugged it out onto the floor and flopped it open. This book was different than the others. It was a tome of magic. As it turns out, Argus was a practitioner of wizardry! In this book were several different kinds of spells and incantations. I tried hard to decipher them, but they proved to be too complex for my adolescent mind. I tucked the book back and would try again for several nights after that to read this mysterious magnum opus.
Weeks went by and I puzzled on this book in the silent hours of the night to no avail. Until one night, I managed to actually cast a spell. That night I learned two things: how to flick fire from my fingers-.” He snapped his fingers and a tiny mote of flame floated just above his index finger. “- And that fortune is a fickle mistress. For, you see, love, while I had learned to start arcane fire, I accidentally started a curtain on fire in my master’s library.
Panic washed over me and I ran to Argus’ bed chamber. He rushed down to the library and smothered the flames in arcane waters. After years of reading, I had been found out. The mage was furious and banished me back to the streets at the age of eight years. I once again had nothing. Nothing but my little magic trick. Hell, I didn’t even have shoes on my feet.
You can probably imagine that finding another place that would take in a grey-skinned, silver-haired boy with a fire trick was not going to be easy. In my case, it turns out, that place didn’t come for another three years. That first was my coldest winter, but I did learn a few more tricks in that year. Mainly how to survive with nothing. I had to lie, cheat, and steal in order to stay standing. I recall a particularly cold night in that second week of winter. I mugged another urchin and stole the shoes right off his feet. A few days later, it was another boy’s coat, then another’s pocket change. I kept this up for as long as I could, until finally the guards caught me and I spent about a quarter year in a jail cell.
After that, I was back on the street, but this time, I had a reputation. People recalled my face which made getting away with surviving much more difficult. As the risk started to outweigh the payouts, the crimes had to become more severe. My final year in that city was spent almost entirely in a leaky cell.
When I got out, I was driven to leave the city for good and start afresh in another location. But not before I decided to give my old master one last late night visit. With as much guile as I could muster, I snuck back into his home and to his library to find that tome. I scoured the place, but there was no trace of that particular tome.
Just as I was about to give up, I happened to glance and see a smaller magic book. I thumbed the pages and saw that there were several simple spells in it and room for more to be added. I tucked it into my shirt and made for the window. Alas, fortune once again spited me. Argus, it seemed was having a late night and returned to the library with the original magic tome. A little late night conjuration, I mused sarcastically to myself. I quickly hid in the nearest shadowy nook, waited and watched him. He put the tome away and I instinctively drew my dagger. Revenge for throwing me out in the snow. I thought to myself as I crept from the darkness. I’ll kill the old bastard and take that book for myself!
Quietly I moved closer and closer to him as he sat in his chair with his back to me. I remember how sweaty my palms were. I had never killed anyone before. I was so nervous that my hands were shaking and then suddenly I stepped on a creaky floorboard. Startled, Argus immediately sat upright and whipped his head around. The jig was up. The old man stood as I lunged clumsily at him. ‘YOU LITTLE WRETCH!’ I remember he bellowed at me. Next thing I know, I just hear a loud bang, a flash of blinding purple light, and a searing pain across my neck and shoulder.” Brom placed a hand on the scar on the left side of his neck. “Next was a crash of glass and I fell hard onto my back. The blighter had cast some kind of lightning which shot me through the window onto the hard street. I got up as fast as I could and took off into the cover of night. I ran and ran until I couldn’t run anymore.
Once I stopped to catch my breath and come to terms with the horrible burning pain on my left side, I saw that I was at the city’s port. I looked around and saw a motley crew of scallywags sitting on a pier, drinking, laughing, and flirting with several whores. One of the older ones noticed me and called out.
‘Oy, boy! What’s the hurry? Come have a seat, lad. Catch yer breath.’
I approached the group nervously and clutched my shoulder. One of the ladies who was sitting in the lap of a particularly filthy sailor spoke to me.
‘Hey there, cutie. Isn’t it past your bedtime?’
The old man patted a barrel next to him. I sat down and he looked at my arm.
‘Are ye hurt, lad?’ he asked.
I nodded, noticing the cutlass at his side. Without asking, he pulled back my shirt and looked at my shoulder before looking over at one of the other men.
‘This boy has been slapped with magic. Bite off more than ye can chew, boy?’ He asked with a smirk.
‘No. He just got lucky is all.’ I replied.
The old pirate laughed. ‘Ye’ve got spunk, boy, I’ll give ye that.’
In the distance, I heard the town’s bells ringing.  A sound I’d grown to despise because I knew they were for me. I looked around nervously and didn’t know what to do. It didn’t take long for two guards to come down the pier. I remember sinking into myself.
‘You there, sailors! We’re looking for a thief. A young boy. Have you seen him?’ One asked.
The old man stood and took a step forward toward them slightly obscuring my view of the pair. ‘Hmm. Could ye describe what ‘e looks like?’
‘He’s a Fetchling street urchin. Grey skin, silver hair, green eyes.’
I’m done for. They’ll hang me for this. I thought to myself as I swallowed hard.
The old man looked over his shoulder at me then back to them.
‘Can’t say that I have. Just me an’ me crew here having a nice night with some of our fairer friends. Now bugger off, would ye?’
One of the guards took a step forward and looked at the others. ‘What about him there?’ He said, pointing at me.
The old man spat. ‘That’s me son. Now, like I said. Bugger off.’
‘Watch your tone, old man, or it’s the stocks for you.’ The front guard threatened and drew his sword.
At this, the other men stopped laughing and drinking and stood up. The whores hastily stood up and left the pier. The old man watched them leave and grunted in frustration.
‘Now look what ye’ve did! Ye’ve scared away our tail.’ He said, drawing his cutlass.
‘Ye’ll pay for that, swine!’ Another pirate shouted.
I hid behind the barrels and sacks as the pirates fought with the guards. That was the first time I had heard the iron of swords clashing… and the first time I’d ever seen a man killed. The pirates made quick work of the two guards.
‘Get to the ship, boys, or it’s the noose for the lot o’ ye!’ The old man said to the others.
He walked up and offered me a hand to my feet.
‘Who are you?’ I asked daftly.
‘Name’s Cap’n Bartholomew Dawson.’ He replied as he picked up his hat and pressed it onto his head. ‘And I think it be best if ye come with us. Unless ye’d rather take the blame for running those two fools through.’ Ever since then, I’ve been on the sea.” He said as he tapped out his pipe on the table and cleared its bowl.
“What a great story.” The whore said, having listened intently to Brom’s tale. “And you tell it so well. I think smart men are very attractive.” She continued eyeing him up and down. “…Care for another round?” She asked with a wink.
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Raven

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Deepworth's Demise

Post  Schenck on Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:32 pm

Gauldr Ohnus

“Could I offer you some wine?  You deserve it after all your hard work,” Gauldr poured two deep glasses of burgundy, turning the bottle absently to avoid spilling as each smooth bulb filled with silky liquid.  He turned his gaze in mock sincerity to the man across the room whose labored breathing wheezed through the precisely cut hole in his windpipe that made him feel as though he might suffocate with each heavy inhale.  The man’s head hung hopelessly at his chest as those eyes, colored like rain dripping from leafy ferns, drank him in.  The inquisitor lifted the half empty bottle to his mouth and sucked the droplet of wine from its neck, leaving his pouty lips a shade of red that blushed in the flickering light of a mundane chandelier hung precariously from splintered rafters.  The ramshackle apartment, draped with moth-eaten velvet of deepest purples and reds, was covered in a film of dust aside from the pristinely kempt table where a host of keen steel implements were laid out, freshly cleaned in the water basin swirling with crimson ribbons.
“No?” Gauldr asked in mild surprise.  “Well, it would make celebrating a bit easier if you would loosen up, Ulrich.”  The man’s hands hovered aloft, fingers spread apart and broken at each joint, palms flayed of their skin and stinging in the open air, not daring to touch the old wooden arms of the chair.  His ankles and knees hung limp and shattered below as he shuddered in a failing effort to remain completely still.  A chain spiked with incredibly sharp blades hung loose over his lap at the waist.  It was not tied or secured, but each deep intake of breath or shift in the seat threatened a shallow, painful slice into his midsection.
Gauldr took a deep swallow of wine as he brushed his gore splattered ginger hair behind one ear, leveling his eyes devilishly at the shadow of Ulrich, Champion of Deepworth.  Outside, in the streets of Deepworth, riots were breaking out.  Corruption had been uncovered in the councils that led the city’s government, led the armies, taxed the people, and organized the markets.  This corruption had come to light slowly, one mysterious happenstance after another.  Gauldr strode calmly to a window and pulled open the curtains letting the gray light of day spill in for the first time in weeks.  His work was done.  Nothing could stop what had been set in motion.  Hordes of angry citizens stormed through the streets below.  Ulrich stirred, wincing as he leaned, craning to see something of the outside world at the expense of his stomach flesh.
“He yet lives,” the inquisitor smiled showing pink gums where the corner of his lip was torn from his mouth.  Ulrich glared daggers into the smug face that had tortured him for weeks, pulling secret after secret from him, bringing him close to death only to heal him and start over again with fresh vigor.  “Now, Ulrich, let’s not let this come between us.  It is hardly my fault that your beloved Deepworth turned out to be rotten to the core for all the world to see.  It isn’t as though I’m the one stomping up the street and pulling your leaders out for a good old fashioned lynch mob.”  He sipped his wine and sighed deeply with glee, remembering the false trails of evidence and anonymous patronage he had supplied to lead those with noblest intentions to this dark and tragic end quite directly.
In his childhood, the monks had taught him to leave the world a better place than he found it and to sow beauty wherever there was ugliness.  What they didn’t see was that all the finest art and every great revolution in the many books of their libraries were sparked and realized only through deep tragedies and at a price of incredible pain.  The artist, the revolutionary, and the saint are all born through hardship and suffering.
Deepworth was a bastion of human freedom and art before the day Gauldr Ohnus arrived at the gates.  People came from every direction to hear the orators, watch the street painters, and marvel after the art of democracy and peaceful protest.  It was a utopic symbol to many, but a man who knows the danger of unity to the world could only see a tower that needed to be carved into fragility and made to collapse into beautiful new potential.
“You know, Ulrich, historians and artists will create masterworks about what happened here these last few weeks.  You may even make a guest appearance as the corrupt hero who fled at the first sign of danger.  How ironic that you fought harder than anyone here to save this place and preserve its form.  No one will know your struggle, your transformation, your determination.  No one but me of course.  I will always have the deepest respect for you, Ulrich, for whatever that is worth.”  Gauldr swallowed the remaining burgundy and set the empty glass on the window sill for all the world to see.
In the distance, at the crest of a hill overlooking the stained glass of the town monastery, a rope was slung over the branch of a stoic birch tree and tied into that ominous loop swaying in the sharp wind that is harbinger to the storm.  A writhing mob of shadows hauled an innocent man kicking and screaming toward that tree of purest white believing him a traitor of the highest degree.  Gauldr reached across the panes of glass to retrieve his mighty great sword from where it leaned patiently in the shadows and the very last image that Ulrich, Champion of Deepworth saw as his head slid from his shoulders was the kicking silhouette of his liege lord as he dangled before a cheering crowd and dark clouds howled in on the back of a foul wind.
Gauldr, a pale shadow in the darkening room lit only by that old chandelier and sparse lightning that flashed and fled, wiped his blade clean and produced a small pair of pliers.  Sheathing the great sword, he leaned it carefully where he had retrieved it and stooped over the too wide eyes of Ulrich, Champion of Deepworth, Betrayer of Secrets, Coward of the Menace Lord, and slowly began to remove a single canine from his tightly clenched jaw.  Having done this, he carried it ceremoniously to the water basin and washed it clean of gore.  From a small pouch, he produced a collection of thin, colorful rods, rough with powdered dyes and splayed them out before him on the window sill.
His hands worked slowly beneath the window, rain berating the glass and lightning highlighting the swaying body of the Menace Lord of Deepworth hanging dead upon a tree branch and a mob dispersing before the storm.  People would speak of Deepworth’s downfall, the revolution of a free people, and the disillusionment against seemingly perfect governments.  None would speak of a man adding one more beautifully dyed tooth to his eerie necklace, nor the body he dragged into the street and bludgeoned until it was unrecognizable in the pouring rain, and they would certainly never speak of the poison a stranger loosed into the well water as he pulled his cloak up over his head and trudged through the deepening mud of the city that had fallen from grace in a fortnight and would be beset by plague for many years to come.
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Re: Backstories/Character Prologues

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