A Gem in the Wild.
Hastos the Fallen
Being of Githzeraiin Heritage, naturally I was born in a civilization beneath the surface of the earth. My home of Eclipse’s End is located in the southeast of a much larger, stranger land called Otroclade. As a way to preserve our ancient customs, we cut ourselves off from most of the world and tried not to let outsiders intervene and sway us with worldly objects that were unnecessary. Everyone in our society worked together and plays his/her role in helping us thrive as a society.
My Familys’ lineage meant we were to always be hunters. Agile, stealth, and a keen eye always ran in our bloodline and I was destined to become such a hunter once I became of age. Just weeks before I started Cragsoth(adolescent pre training around year 5), my father, mother, and brother were slain while they were out on my older brothers first hunt. Their remains didn’t indicate that wildlife overtook them, and an arrow was found in dead center of my brother’s chest. After the investigation ordered by the elder council, they deemed it murder by a bandit warband. These murders happened every once in awhile, but as a nonconfrontational people we just accepted it to be a part of life. As I was torn from my once home, I wasn’t able to take any possessions aside from an amulet of my mother’s which I was able to hide within my garb. I never realized such a worthless item would become so priceless to me. This is when the seed of anger was implanted within me. The elders said no action would be taken against the bandits, no justice to be had by the cruel heathens who took everything from me. Steaming with anger, I knew that lashing out and displaying raw emotions would go against our culture, so I tried to hold it in.
When I first met Sigg Fithelock, a Cenobite Templar (high ranking monk within our order) who was wise beyond his years in perception and insight, he could see the anger in my eyes and he took me in. I surmised that this was an attempt to watch over me and try to quell the hatred that had been recently ingrained in me. While unorthodox to change roles in society, Sigg thought that my families heritage, who be of good use to the Cenobite Order and could only help me excel at my future training in monkhood.
Twelve years later I completed my training at the monastery, I was freely able to come and go from Eclipse’s End. After being underground for my whole childhood, I decided it was time to see the outside world. As I was preparing for my travels, I went to see Sigg, the man who saved me from a life of darkness and hatred, who had then retired and started an orphanage on the outskirts of Eclipse’s End. He congratulated me on my success and efforts to exorcise the hatred, but reminded me there will always be something deep within me biding his time. For the next year I wandered all over the southlands of Otroclade, always returning to the orphanage, which became my home and the children living there became family.
On one excursion, while walking along a road on the east coast heading north to Pointswatch, I found a bandit scouting group traveling in the opposite direction. Normally, their scouting groups were smart enough to leave me alone and mind their own business aside from the normal harassment to try and provoke me. But this time I noticed that the whole warband tensed up as I got closer, and that’s when I realized they had taken a prisoner, a bloodied and battered female Githzerai hunter. Without a second thought, memories of my family flashed into my brain and I enraged. I beat those simpletons into a pulp for the atrocities they had committed against a fellow Githzeraiin. After the slaughter, I approached the woman to set her free, but she was hesitant, as her body language showed that she was bewildered that a Githzeraiin was capable of such emotions. I freed the woman from her bindings, dressed her wounds and traveled with her for 3 days to return to Eclipse’s End. Upon returning to my home, I demanded to speak to the elder council about the bandit scum and the lack of justice for the countless encounters, in which they just look the other way. After hearing the account of the encounter the Council decided that what I had done while justified, was completely against our way of life. I was exiled from Eclipse’s End to never return. While arguing my case, someone in the distance within the city cried out, “FIRE!” I ran outside the councils’ chambers to see smoke rising from the outskirts.
I got to the orphanage as fast as I could, but it was already engulfed in flames. The door was barred by wood, and without hesitation I obliterated the door and ran in to check for survivors. All of the younglings had been slain and left to burn but there was no sign of my old mentor Sigg. I perceived that there were signs of a struggle, and deduced that he must have been taken captive. Contempt was building within me and there was no hope for taming this beast who had been caged for so long. In a blind rage I ran to the surface and saw a brief glimpse of a torch in the night along the horizon and I gave chase.
The villains kept moving throughout the night, as did I, vowing to make them pay for what they had done, also hoping that Sigg was alive and with them. I hunted them for a whole day and they lead me back to their encampment. I was fuming with anger but I knew rushing in to a camp of 30+ bandits at midday would be reckless. So I awaited nightfall and scouted out the camp, knowing I would soon have the advantage of low visibility. As the sun finally set behind the trees I made my move to the only tents that were guarded, and using my stealth skills I snuck up behind the guards and incapacitated them with ease. I snuck in the tent to find Sigg bound and gagged in a cage. I could barely curb my hatred for these bandits, seeing the man who saved my life being treated lower than a kobold. I knew that Sigg would not last long in this state, so after shattering the enclosure, I removed his restraints and tried to raise him to consciousness. He awoke, frail and lifeless – I swore to him that I would get vengeance as soon as I got him back to Eclipse’s End. He assured me that he would not make the trip back, but insisted that I do not take action against these people for I am better than that. “You can’t let the evil inside you win Hastos, you musn’t give in, please, for me…” he said as his eyes closed and his chest fell. I roared from the tent, with bloodlust to ensue. Rampaging from the tent I took an arrow to the shoulder, but that didn’t begin to halt me in the upcoming annihilation of these raiders.
I regained consciousness around the time the sun was rising and I was horrified to see what I had done to these deserving criminals. My actions were justified but I still felt the lives of Sigg and those younglings were worth much more than these meager bandits. After I buried Sigg Fithelock, along with my mother’s amulet, I realized that there was no salvation for me and I wanted to make more murderers and brigands pay for their actions.
I traveled east to Points Watch, knowing that filth would thrive in the city’s underworld. Talking with a few of the poorfolk in Point’s Watch I found out that there were underground Pit Fights held for the filth who wished to gain riches on the deaths of other lowlifes. Since I had fallen this far, I had no qualms with entering these fights and purging the world of evil people. For months, I let my blind hatred burn red hot as I used my skill and techniques from my training to pound the life out of these simple brawlers. After a year, still none could stand up to my skilled body and iron mind, I was succeeding at cleansing the world of these scum.
At night I didn’t sleep well, repetitive nightmares from my past of the young at the orphanage being slaughtered by banits, my family and even Sigg. One night Sigg’s spirit entered one of my dreams and as the children lay there dying he says to me that there is no justice being done as you slay in the name of these younglings. “You are tainting their souls and mine if you try to claim vengeance in our sakes.” I woke up in a cold sweat realizing that Sigg was right. Everything I had done in the past two years to “cleanse the world” was meaningless and evil will always be out there. Claiming vengeance for the innocent lead me down a very dark path and the road to salvation is never unreachable.
That day I left Points Watch and vowed to only fight for the just, and to seal the hatred inside of me for good. I returned to Sigg Fithelock’s grave and recovered my mother’s amulet as a symbol of my attempt at redemption, and have been wandering around the beautiful land of Otroclade for two years, meditating daily to strengthen my mind and body further, also to find forgiveness and a new reason to live in this world, while I search for my own salvation.