Fear and Freedom: Oth's past before arriving to the Gate

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Hoital
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Fear and Freedom: Oth's past before arriving to the Gate

Unread post by Hoital » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:15 am

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Hair: Very dark blue-black and quite curly, which tends to resort in his hair constantly looking at least a bit messy.

Eyes: Bright green, generally sitting behind a pair of round, red glasses

Height: Exceptionally tall for an elf

Weight: Just shy of underweight for someone his height

Distinguishing features: His skin is littered with various scars, some of the more readily noticeable ones aggressively dot his ears. These look like they've had something carefully cut out of them a bit more recently, though it's clear they've had time to heal. There is also a slightly darkened ring around his left eye which appears to have been a scar left from a nasty burn quite some time back. There are more intricate, almost intentional scars that can be found if he's further exposed than normal ( example: shirt off, sleeves rolled up far enough to expose upper arms, etc.). He takes great care in keeping these covered, though tends to scratch at certain ones when nervous or uncomfortable.

Born Othonis Neren to a young, free-spirited couple of moon elves who had devoted their lives together to indulging in wanderlust, he found his early years spent moving from town to town and settling for various periods of time with his family, which consisted of his parents and a scruffy-looking tiefling woman by the name of Melody whom the pair had befriended during their travels. In stark contrast to the gentle but naive couple, Melody had spent her time prior struggling to survive due to the typical reactions to someone with her heritage. While it made her distrustful of most, it quickly taught her how to 'read' people, a skill sorely lacked by the well-meaning wanderers. In short time, she came to fill a role as a blunt voice of reason for the family as well as a surly, but loving 'aunt' to Othonis.

The boy took after his parents a great deal, having both his mother's intelligence and curiosity paired with his father's jovial, friendly nature and admittedly at times poor reasoning skills. In an effort to keep him engaged and a little more manageable, each of the trio spent time teaching him and keeping him safely entertained.

His father, Rusarwyn Neren, was a creative and talented artist and performer, and he took great pride and joy in spending time painting with the little boy. His mother, Myrethri Arieti, was also capable in her own right as a well-studied mage. She used her knowledge and experience to start Oth down a path of arcane study with a gentle nudge early on. Melody, on the other hand, found herself amused with the boy's sweet, but gullible nature and would put her finely-honed skills of lying and deception to a surprisingly wholesome use through elaborate but convincing story-telling, seeing just how far she could push the child's imagination. In a few years' time, she had successfully convinced a small child that she was once a great pirate, dragon hunter, and even an unfortunately-cursed unicorn. She was exceptionally proud of the unicorn one as she was able to use the fanciful tale to falsely explain her singular horn, which was once part of a pair before a particularly bad encounter. Her pride would only be compounded if she knew that the strange association to her name and unicorns still lingers somewhere in his head over a century later despite everything. Overall, Oth had a very content, if short-lived early childhood as his family took delight in raising and teaching him, though his energy seemed near boundless and he proved to be something of a wild child for awhile. Their life was not the most typical, but there was never a shortage of love among the somewhat unusual family.

All was not well, however, as the family met and befriended a man by the name of Holton Marsden. Holton lived near Red Larch, which had been the town that the trio settled in for an extended time to allow Oth to get a few years under his belt before they all set off together. The man found himself very quickly taken by Myrethri and her elven looks. As much as he fawned over her, resentment only grew in Holton as he maintained a false friendship with an oblivious Rusarwyn.

It wasn't until Oth was just past six summers that the family decided it was time to head back to their hometowns to let the child get to know blood relatives and even learn a bit more about his elven heritage. Upon hearing the news of their departure, Holton realized that he had to stop them from leaving if he was to win over Myrethri.

Holton made arrangements with a few hired goons he liked to keep contact with and secretly gave them the location of the family's caravan and camp. As the thugs set up, the mage maintained his image as good friend and gracious host, asking the family over to dinner at his home before their departure. Everything went well initially during the last visit, but as the evening went on, things took a drastic turn. Holton found Myrethri by herself and decided to profess his feelings for her. This lead to an argument as he went from being loving and sweet to unsettling, even offensive as he spoke of her family like they were little more than a waste.

The family departed as Holton's desire turned vengeful and murderous. He wasted no time in telling his thugs to murder the three adults and the boy as they rested. In his mind, Holton was going to keep Myrethri one way or another. It took no time for the men to slaughter the trio of adults, but had such difficulty trying to find the child that Myrethri had hidden in a trunk in her final moments, and they gave up. Despite the silence, Oth dared not make so much as a sound for what felt like forever. It didn't take long, however, for the trunk's lock to yield to an uttered casting as, of all people, Holton himself pushed the lid open, having arrived to the now deserted caravan and campsite in the first few hours of sunrise.

Though he initially wanted to kill the boy, the mage recalled Myrethri's proud conversations of her son and quickly decided that he could make use of Othonis afterall. With that, Oth was stolen away, and was quickly thrust into becoming an apprentice to a man who had been secretly delving into the more sinister practices of necromancy. Over the years as he steadily dragged Oth into the same dark studies, Holton's own unyielding focus and attempts to extend his unfortunately short lifespan only whittled away at him physically and mentally. The punishments for failure or mistakes started out strict at first, but only escalated from there as outbursts and insane logic became increasingly commonplace. In time, these terrible punishments robbed the boy of his jovial, energetic nature, even replacing the joy he once felt partaking in singing and and the like with a choking fear at the very thought. Despite the ever-increasingly harsh treatment, Oth had a sort of sick loyalty to the man. He had grown to see Holton as his gracious caretaker and savior as the man heavily tampered with Oth's memories in secret, altering or even destroying what he saw fit to further ensure obedience, eventually robbing him of all but the faintest hints of memories regarding his family's existence.

Despite his devotion and misguided care he held for his cruel mentor, Oth could not rid himself of a growing feeling of guilt and pain as he watched what their studies and practices were doing to the man, as if some part of him deep down still recognized what was happening was horribly wrong.
Holton, however, continued to press on, looking for more and more effective ways to buy himself more time as Oth, for all of his concern and hesitance, complied for a time, only able to watch as Holton practically made himself wither. It wasn't until Holton finally came to the conclusion that lichdom would be the ultimate solution for him to achieve his desires that the elf had hit his limit. Oth, desperate to stop his master one way or another, took incredibly risky measures to sabotage his master's efforts. He even went so far as to poison the man so that he could be held up in bed, allowing the elf a little extra time to tamper with various aspects of Holton's research.

Despite his efforts, it wasn't long before Oth was caught and received possibly the most brutal retaliation Holton would ever deliver to him. This punishment proved to be the final straw as something inside of him snapped. He began to see the only way out for either of them being a proper, final death and, dagger in hand, attacked the nearly-skeletal Holton while he was in bed. The blows were violent and increasingly frantic with each fall of the blade, but all Holton did was lie there and cough out some gurgling cackle as he taunted the elf. Oth didn't stop the blade in his hand once silence fell, but when he could no longer lift his arms.

A few shocked, numb moments of silence followed before the elf, now delirious, decided to dismember the remains and dispose of them with great care, hoping desperately that he'd managed to act in time and that Holton would not be back. Paranoia had a firm clutch on the elf and he quickly resorted to staying in the tower for an undetermined amount of time, searching frantically for any hidden phylactery he didn't know about and pouring over whatever notes he could get his hands on as his mind seemed to unravel. Oth managed to imagine himself in a friendship with a bat who had taken refuge in the higher portions of the tower's main room. Oth developed such a fondness for his strange little friend that he ultimately bound the bat as a familiar, dubbing the little creature Io.

Eventually, Oth was able to work his nerve up to leave the tower after over a century of being locked away by his former mentor. Uncertain of where he was, he wandered aimlessly, luckily stumbling across a well-worn trade road just in time for a kind merchant to stop and take him somewhere to get help upon seeing the worrisome state of the elf. This lead Oth from his unknown location near Red Larch to the city of Waterdeep, which the merchant hadn't mentioned in his haste to get the elf somewhere safe. Oth remained quiet during the majority of the trip out of fear of the punishments he'd become so used to for speaking out of turn, which only meant that the man would have to chat that much more to fill the social gap. He relaxed a little and offered the man a very quiet 'thankyou' before slipping away and disappearing into the city.

He would find himself on a ship before long, unaware of where he was headed, but unconcerned as fear and uncertainty gave way to a terrible sea sickness and confusion as to what the sailors meant when they cracked lewd or disgusting jokes. He'd been unaware of the passage of time from leaving Waterdeep to arriving to the harbor of Baldur's Gate, but once he stepped foot off of the ship, the realization that he was free slowly crept over him. He set to work immediately to put his past with Holton behind him as best as he could, adopting a shortened version of his name and keeping his full name to himself and a very select few he trusted, even working diligently to turn his focus of study towards more general practice and warding. The efforts helped, though it proved to be a difficult battle as the fear that the once living man would somehow get back up and come looking is a constant and ever-present one.

The things that Oth witnessed from his mentor and the things that he'd taken part in and studied have only left a rather imbalanced mix of burning hatred and overwhelming fear regarding undeath and a significant chunk of necromancy as a whole. These irrationally strong feelings can often cause him to react wildly, even violently at times, to situations in which such things are involved.

((I know this is exceptionally late, I just wanted to make this and post it finally so it's available -somewhere- for anyone interested to see!))
((EDIT: Revised a few things to make the story a little less confusing. Hope it helps!))
Oth Neren- Chamberlain, House Darius (rumored Tentacle Mage)
Molly Ashburne- Not above selling souls for cornchips!

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