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

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

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Hair: Very dark blue-black and quite curly

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 noticeable ones aggressively dotting his ears. These look like they've had something 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 ( ie: shirt off, sleeves rolled up too far, etc.)

Oth was born as Othonis Neren to a young, free-spirited couple of moon elves who had devoted their lives together to indulging in wanderlust, spending their time moving from town to town and settling for various periods of time. Othonis was born during a particularly long stay in a small town called Red Larch, his known family consisting of his parents and a long-time traveling companion of theirs, a scruffy-looking tiefling woman by the name of Melody.

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, who wound up taking on the role of adopted aunt, was amused with the boy's sweet, but gullible nature. Taking advantage of this, she would put her finely-honed skills of lying and deception to a surprisingly wholesome use through elaborate but convincing story-telling. In a few years' time, she had the child convinced that she was once a great pirate, dragon hunter, and an unfortunately-cursed unicorn. The unicorn story came about as a means to 'explain' her singular horn, which was once part of a prominent set at one time until it was lost in a particularly nasty scuffle. She was exceptionally proud of the unicorn one, and would be moreso if she knew that it still lingers somewhere in his head over a century later.

Oth had a very content, if short-lived early childhood as his family took delight in raising and teaching him, despite his seemingly boundless energy and curiosity often causing small problems.

All was not well, however, as the family met and befriended a man by the name of Holton Marsden. Holton was a very gifted wizard who lived in a decently-sized tower near Red Larch, the very same 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 his beloved Myrethri.

Holton made arrangements with a few hired goons he knew, giving them the location of the family's caravan and camp with instructions to prevent their departure. As the thugs set up, the mage maintained his image as good friend and gracious host during what was arranged to be a departing dinner and farewell. Things didn't take a turn until much later. 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. Myrethri responded accordingly with a very aggressive rejection as she slapped the man for his efforts.

The trio quickly departed with the young, clueless boy in tow as Holton's desire turned vengeful and murderous. He wasted no time in sending to his thugs, telling them to murder the family once they had returned and settled in to rest. In his mind, Holton was going to keep Myrethri one way or another, and that they would each pay for their slights against him.

It took no time for the men to slaughter the pair of elves and their tiefling friend, but had exceptional difficulty trying to find the child that Myrethri had hidden in a trunk in her final moments. They satisfied themselves with the knowledge that a young child wouldn't last long in the woods and collected the bodies for their boss, leaving behind an unsettling silence. Despite the uneasy quiet, Oth dared not make so much as a sound for what felt like forever. The following morning, Holton arrived at the scene, eager to find a keepsake of the target of his desire and dispose of any remaining trace of the family's presence. Upon searching the area, he came across the trunk sheltering Oth. The lock proved to be of little concern as he was able to force it to yeild with a muttered casting. When he pushed the lid back and saw the frightened child staring back up at him, anger quickly boiled and his initial reaction was an almost overwhelming desire to end the boy. Before he took such actions, however, the mage decided that he could make use of him instead and quickly snatched him from his revealed hiding place. Quickly, the man returned to his tower with the stunned and scared child.

Oth was made an apprentice to his supposed savior, though Holton's resentment for the elven child remained strong as ever. The punishments for failure or indulging in distractions started out terribly, but only escalated from there. It took little time for Oth to learn that such things as singing, dancing, even humming were not acceptable behavior for him, developing into an irrational fear of doing such things that has continued to stick with him. Despite the ever-increasingly harsher treatment, strict lessons, and barely concealed resentment, Oth had a sort of sick loyalty to the man, regarding Holton as his gracious caretaker and someone who only wished the best for him. This loyalty not being enough for the man, Holton experimented with ways to further ensure his hold on the young elf. While horrid, the punishments were administered with a false sense of concern and calculated manipulation. Memories of his family prior were all but utterly destroyed through well-disguised use of the arcane, resulting in faint traces of memories of them that taunt Oth still. In time, the elf was rendered a plaything, a specimen for his master's experiments, to which he gave his unquestioning compliance.

For all of this misplaced love and devotion, Oth could not rid himself of a growing feeling of guilt and pain as he watched what their studies and practices were doing to his mentor, as if some part of him deep down was able to recognize, somehow, that what was happening was horribly wrong. Holton was desperate to continue his existence so that he could continue to feed an all-consuming desire for power and knowledge, further focusing on his favored school of Necromancy for the answer to his problem. It didn't take long for the man to reduce his already aged body to what appeared to be little more than a frail husk, ultimately setting his sights on attaining lichdom.

In time, however, the nagging pangs of guilt and concern began to overwhelm the compulsion by fear and misguided love for his mentor, and Oth began to act in secret to stop the man from destroying himself as he seemed to be. Notes and experiments were tampered with in secret, necessary books and equipment went missing, but the man continued to wither in front of the elf's eyes. Despite his efforts, it wasn't long before Oth was caught and very severely punished for his transgressions. This punishment proved to be the final straw, briefly bringing Oth far too close to death. As he lie there, Holton loomed, talking of plans for his newly acquired specimen should the elf 'refuse' to get up, a flat, cold tone to his words. Something inside of him snapped as Oth came to the conclusion that Holton must be ended.

Once he'd recovered, the elf found himself with dagger in hand, moving as if he were no longer in control of himself. He attacked the nearly-skeletal Holton. The blows were brutal 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. He 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 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, eventually imagining the creature to be conversing with him. He'd developed such a fondness for his strange little friend that he ultimately bound the bat as a familiar, dubbing the little creature Io.

After some time had passed, the elf 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 or what to do, he wandered aimlessly for quite some time. Luckily he managed to stumble across a well-worn trade road just in time for a kind merchant to take notice of the disheveled creature. Feeling strong concern upon seeing Oth's condition, the man ushered a dazed but compliant elf into the back of his cart with intention to get somewhere to get help. 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. As they eventually arrived in Waterdeep, Oth was able to brave a quiet 'thankyou' to the generous merchant before darting off, desperate to put more distance between himself and that tower and the horrible things he'd done.

Oth 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. He would watch the sailors nervously in between bouts of being sick, curious 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 refusing at first to speak much of where he'd come from. In the following years, Oth would find himself comfortably established within the Gate as one of the more unusual citizens, though the fear and paranoia of his possible failure continued to maintain a strong choke-hold on him in private.

((Another edit to further fix some small issues here and there. Hope this helps! ))
Oth Neren- Chamberlain, House Darius (rumored Tentacle Mage)
Molly Ashburne- Not above selling souls for cornchips!

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