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Author Topic: Lursus Khrath / Avennorian / Execrable Entrepreneur  (Read 1133 times)
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Lursus Khrath
Viper of Santhala
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Gender: Male
Posts: 500


Human, Avennorian


« on: July 25, 2009, 07:33:46 PM »

Given Name Ljranulf Svinorsk
Taken Name The Right Honorable Master Lursus Khrath of Ravenguard

Age: 44
Date of Birth 19th day of Passing Clouds, 1626 a.S.
Place of Birth Village outside Marduran, Manthria, United Kingdom of Santharia

Gender Male
Race Human
Tribe Avennorian Men
Title The Viper of Santhala

Height 1 Ped, 1 Fore, 3 Palmspans.
Weight 1 Pygge, 3 Hebs.
Hair Charcoal, changing to Ithild with age.
Eyes A gift or curse from Baveras, seeming at times a rich sea green and yet the iciest blue at others.

Occupation
Ostensibly a retired country gentleman & playwright, secretly an infamous serial killer & trader in human misery.


Ljranulf Svinorsk, the famous Writer of the Rovers visiting Marduran shortly before his disappearance.


Appearance

Though today the boy born as Ljranulf Svinorsk outright denies his Avennorian heritage, he fits their profile quite well, though he is by no means pure-bred Glandorian, and would likely be incapable to hide his origins were he, except perhaps in Remusiat. He is slight of build, and short of stature, not even exceeding two fores beyond a ped in height. He has the appearance of a man a good deal younger than his years, the threads of Ithild in his hair and a sometimes-present/always-well-maintained chin-beard the only tell-tale signs of middle age.

Before those rich veins crept in and enriched themselves (as Lursus descended further into madness) his hair was the hue of charcoal, testimony to Darian and Thairan influences in his bloodline. His skin tone does not suggest objection, and is a great deal darker than most of his people, placing him squarely among it’s lower social classes. Of course, claiming to be from the far off isle of R'unor, he suffers neither the benefits nor hindrances of his tribal roots, and his worth can be judged on merit and madness alone.


With the wealth his public life has afforded him, Lursus dresses the part of the benevolent country farmlord – a man of style and grace, appreciating the latest styles and procuring them before the other gentlemen in his vast social network, so that he might have further leverage for his rapier quips and cutting observations. He favors darker colors, though will deviate from this guideline when fashion dictates and is known for a  great love of silver, which accentuates the accents in his hair and an occasionally allowed short, thin beard.

No matter the color of the rich adornment he covers himself with, he will cover a great deal, showing no skin below the neck, hooded cloaks, high collared capes, and tall plumed hats common - and long, thick gloves a constant. Even those women whom he has professed to have loved (and they will speak at length of his passionate words and promises, all discarded in the end) cannot say they have seen the entirety of his form in the light.


These precautions are taken to hide the monstrous scar on his chest, where the skin has been burned and torn to obscure the mark of the Black Butterfly, which if seen by the wrong eyes when he arrived in Jyth would have ruined any chance Lursus had to climb so high, and if discovered today might undo all his works and force him to surrender so many of the benefits of life and property. The mark he would rather show to the world than that of the outcast is what he has adopted as his personal coat of arms: the profile of a Aelirel bird in flight.

He owns a great many ornaments featuring the bird, from brooches and clasps to pins and signet rings, most made of ithildin or moonsilver. An associate first suggested the bird to symbolize the way Lursus brought the feuding farmlords together to work towards the benefit of the township and the kingdom – but a symbol of innocence has no place on this man's person, and it is that amusing irony that endears it to him so. Even if disguised, Lursus will usually wear one when indulging in his darker endeavors.



Personality

For the greater part of his life Lursus was quiet and reserved, paranoid and fearful. When the conventions of social interaction were new to him, silence was his protection. The more he mixed with people, the less like them he realized he was. Eventually, he reached the conclusion that they are nothing, tangled in their petty lives and intrigues, trivial troubles and shameless gossip – the mundanities of life. Above all they are stupid. Every day his sneering contempt for them grows and they have no idea.

Though he has never taken to performing on stage himself, except perhaps offering an introduction, narration or joining a cast once the applause is already underway – Lursus is master of expression with near precise control of every muscle in his face, and most other parts of his body for that matter, and can mask himself with any emotion at will. Years of remorseless manipulation have led him to now consider every twitch of the brow, every example of body language quickly but carefully.

All who treat with Lursus know him to be the most sincere individual they have ever had the luxury to do business with – that is of course until they find themselves shamed and penniless with no evidence to prove any misplacement of trust ever took place. It will likely be noted nowhere else but here that investigations into the former Mayor’s conduct have always ended abruptly with an interview, and charges filed against the accuser for spreading such foul rumors concerning such a courteous, upright and righteous man.

It's not hard to keep his secrets, now that he knows how. Lursus acts his part perfectly. He has observed human behavior with the keen eye of the outcast observer and seen how easy much of it is to fake. He knows when to smile, when to place a hand on someone's shoulder, when a kind word can work wonders. He knows how to express sorrow and sympathy and pity. He knows how to show warmth, but not how to feel it.

However he is not without emotion: he knows hatred, rage and above all contempt. People are there to be used and so he uses them. That is what gives him satisfaction, seeing how they dance to his tune without even knowing that they are. A gaggle of bewildered fools, the lot of them. But he also feels fear, and when it takes him there is only one way to escape it’s grasp. He cannot run. Lursus knows he must turn the tables on those who would pursue him.

He knows right from wrong. He knows he has not exercised self-control or shown respect for the god's laws, but he will not start now, now that he has been marked for divine punishment. Vicious as she was, the evil he has done by killing her has far surpassed her crimes, and there can be no trial, no hope of salvation. He has upset the cosmological balance, and justice will come for him, though he does not know when or in what guise. When Justice does come – it will show no mercy – nor will he.


Strengths & Weaknesses Only the barest of ideas at the moment, obviously...

-Gentleman. Wealthy, attractive sugar-daddy stuff, right here.
-Utterly manipulative. ~
-Weapon skills. Fencing and crossbow.
-Seamanship.

-Hates everyone and everything, a paranoid parakeet.
-Relatively weak physically. Usually needs to trap and weaken before going in for the kill.
-Mark of the outcast. Hidden beneath a scar on his chest but barely visible.
-Terrified of dogs. Wets himself at a bark and will run from an attack.


Weapons

- Cane. Head of the cane is shaped like a gavel. The shaft twists off to reveal a rapier-thin blade.
- The Blood Thirst of his mentor, the Echiilianni Riestiu Raal.


Belongings include ...

Ravenguard - An ancient Manor on the southern edge of Sanguia's Scythe Grove purchased from a bankrupt noble family and mostly unremarkable outside of it's opulence. Ravenguard is surrounded by substantial property, mostly consisting of woodlands and gardens as Lursus prefers to leave the farming for the farmlords.
Crookes House - A (relatively) modest stone mansion in the city itself, sparsely furnished but well maintained though rarely occupied.
The Handsome Profit - A merchant ship making a regular run from Ciosa to Strata and Shan'tai. She's an older ship, purchased in disrepair from the Quios Shipping Guild and laboriously restored. Lursus himself commanded her maiden voyage, but afterward entrusted the Profit to a Captain Dagmer, an iceman of fierce repute known for his pride in efficiency.

-More to come.


History Chapter One: Tranquility and Coziness

I am the guilty, and I hide my reeking hands.

He was just a boy, born in Manthria, in a small village outside the bustling port city of Marduran. The word village carries overtones of tranquility and coziness, but neither are really appropriate. It had no name, being a few hulk homes clustered on the cliff tops, shying away from the drop even as they peered over it. The windows and doors all faced inward, to protect not only against storms - but from demons sneaking up the cliffs and into any back doors. The wind was never still there, twisting around the old Clendor Tower, moaning as it stalked the fishermen across the harbor, screeching as it rattled windows open and shut.


Beyond the houses and the harbor and the tower and the rocks was the wind's twin, the sea. There the sea was alive and angry, and it killed. Rage never spent, it battered against the rocks with unrelenting purpose. The boy's first conscious memory was of the sea. He walked on the shore, the water sharp and cold against his ankles, his shins, his knees, it crawled up his body and tempted him all the way in. The voice that snapped his name was sharper and colder still, as her arms seized him and lifted him clear of the water, stinging pain as she batted him across his head. "Stupid boy! Why don't you drown yourself and do us a favor? I should have done it myself as soon as you popped out. You're lucky your pa saw you this time. Try running off when he's not around and see who comes to get you then!" The boy started to cry, and felt the sting of another smack. "Little bastard."

The family home was small and gray, gloomier inside than out. There was a central room where they clustered around the fire, Klothr sinking in his old driftwood and whalebone armchair, Snigghrin upright on her short stool, and between them the floor where the boy would sit with Rigtha and Vinna. Captain Troi would lay on the floor as well, his head on his front paws or stretched out with flanks rising and falling like bellows. They ate in the somewhat larger kitchen, on an old wooden table marked and pitted by cutlery.

In all the time Klothr was there the boy cannot remember any true conversation. When his parents would speak to each other, it was clipped and disjointed. Klothr spoke and Snigghrin looked quickly away, maybe answering him with a single word, and maybe not. Sometimes Klothr told Snigghrin or one of the children to do something or Snigghrin asked the girls what they did that day. She never asked the boy. But sometimes Klothr would look at him and smile, at least as well as he could, his mouth twisted over on itself and a chipped tooth poking out. He says "You'll be right boy," and looks out the window.

The children all shared a bedroom. Rigtha, the oldest, had a bed of her own. The boy and Vinna shared another. The nights were always cold and lonely. Rigtha would fidget in her sleep and the boy could often hear Klothr grunting next door. And all the time he would listen to the monster outside, as it climbed the cliffs with great wet hands to sweep them away.

When his parents thought the children were asleep, they would get drunk and fight. He still remembers the phrases they used, though they made no sense at the time. His mother: "It's quick with you, that's the one good thing." "Course he looks like you, that's why I hate him." "Don't be stupid, you think any other lout would touch me now that you been there?" His father: "You'd think I'd do it when I was sober?" "Aye and I'd have kept on until we got one." "They'll grow up like whores, just like their whore mother."

Village dance, ale all around, and they went around the back and did it up against the wall. That's how Klothr and Snigghrin got together. They were married five months later, and four after that came Rigtha. Their parents were adamant, and that's it. Shoved into a marriage they didn't want with a child they didn't plan. Only a few months hitched and already hating each other.

A daughter was all well and good, but what Klothr wanted was a son, someone to grow up and inherit his fishing boat and he wouldn't rest easy until he had one. He forced himself on his wife again and again until she's expecting and prayed for a boy until Vinna came out. He went berserk, said she wasn't his, accused the midwife of switching children, anything and everything to excuse the fact that he didn't have a son. He went away for two weeks, didn’t say where he went, and his wife didn’t ask. It was never mentioned again.

The more Klothr and Snigghrin hated each other, the more he resented his daughters for not being boys, the closer Snigghrin became to them. Their own little female conspiracy. Klothr wasted no time in trying again, smashing his wife around and against the walls, sticking it to her half conscious. All the months she carried her third child she prayed it wasn't a boy and was yet fearful of what might happen if it wasn't. When out he came, spitting image of his father, she hated him with a passion. Like father, like son.

The boy was seven years old, on the beach with Rigtha. Vinna was up in the house with Snigghrin, Klothr watched the children in the water. His father was not really paying attention, his eyes instead on his boat beyond the harbor wall. The children played in the shallows, the boy poked around in little stagnant pools looking for small creatures and finding none and walking out farther into the water.

Suddenly he felt the splash, and turned to find Rigtha moving her hands in huge scooping motions, sending the water toward him. He ducked and dived toward her, using his own arms like windmill blades to churn up long looping arcs of water. They soaked each other while coughing sputtering giggles. In the years to come, he would look back and think he was never happier than he was at that moment.

The sea came for them so fast that they were underwater and being spun in every direction at once almost before they knew what had happened, almost as if the ocean had literally risen up and snatched them, smacking them hard on the rocks before pulling them down and out into it’s hungry embrace. When the boy opens his eyes he can see his sister’s legs kicking open and shut like shears.

Water around him rather than over him as he broke surface, taking that moment to shout as loud as he can, saltwater spilling from his mouth with the scream, a flash of pink by the harbor wall as Klothr’s head turns toward him, then under again, his sister now only hazy in the green water. She was turning over and over on herself, half in and half out the water, but no longer struggling.

Another wave spun the boy over, flinging him first down and then skyward, and he sees Klothr again, big fisherman’s arms cleaving the water towards his children. The boy was here and Rigtha there and Klothr is an equal distance from both of them. The boy yelled once more before being dragged under again. His lungs burning, and as he goes seeing that the riptide is too strong for his father to reach both Rigtha and him. By the time he gets to one the other will have been carried out of reach.

He began to drop towards the depths, but then Klothr's face appears massive in his vision. There was a huge pressure on his chest, and as he opens his eyes he sees rather than feels Klothr smacking him with the heels of his hands. The water poured out even as he tried to gulp air in, though his chest hurt and he couldn't breathe, able to manage only a quick violent panting. When the last dribble of water runs down his cheek, the air flowed in, but the boy lost consciousness regardless.

Later, in the evening, after the other villagers had gone and it is just the four of them, the house is petrified with shock. Once Vinna and the boy had been put to bed, the spell was broken, and Klothr and Snigghrin have their biggest fight ever. The children huddled together – Vinna refused to take Rigtha's bed, not before she's buried – and listened to the insane symphony beyond the door. Their voices ever grew louder and more agitated,neither willing to back down or cede any sort of opening.

"You said you'd watch them!"

"I did watch them. It came so fast."

"You let her DIE, you big bastard. You let my little girl die!"

"The lad was nearer, by the time I'd got to him, she'd gone."

"But you COULD have saved her!"

"I could not!"

"You'd have gone for HIM if he were halfway to the Hyndillans!"

"You weren't there!"

"How could I have trusted you?! Idiot I was. You pathetic—"

He hits her now. The sharp smack of skin on skin, and then the duller thumping of a man using his fists. Vinna turns to the boy and hugs him so tight he thinks she is trying to kill him.

The magistrate notes the death as accidental, refusing to blame Klothr for what happened, stresses that the family has suffered tragedy and that directing blame would be neither proper or helpful. A week later, Klothr sets out deep-sea fishing. He is no longer following the shoreline on short day runs, but going right out into the Adanian Sea, in the wide open ocean where the work is tougher and the pay much better. He is away for long stretches now, two or three weeks at a time.

The moment that Klothr is out of the harbor, Snigghrin acts as if the boy doesn’t exist. She talks to Vinna, and even to Captain Troi, but never to him. His food is on the table and his plate is cleared when he finishes, but that is the recognition allotted to him.

The first time the old ship comes back, its deck slippery with blood and fish oil, the women run down to the harbor to welcome their men back. Snigghrin walks slowly behind them, trudging down the road with heavy steps. When she sees Klothr step off the prow onto land her shoulders slump, and she turns around and heads back toward the house.

The boy hears her that night, while Klothr is in the tavern toasting the catch with the rest of the crew. She mutters to herself in a low monotone. “He always comes back. They lose husbands. Not me. Safe and sound. They die, he doesn’t. I wouldn’t grieve. I’d dance on his grave, spit on the earth. Queprur take him. Baveras gives and you take away. Take him. He’s yours.”

The third time Klothr goes deep sea fishing; Snigghrin begins her affair with Klothr's cousin Johlrr. The betrayal is all the sweeter not only for it being within the family, but for the long held animosity between Klothr and Johlrr. Their fathers were brothers, and like many brothers, they fought and made up, fought and made up. Then they decided to go into business together, an ill considered venture in the already overcrowded field of ship chandlering. The shop went bust in a spectacularly short period, each brother blaming the other for poor management and then of fraud and embezzlement. There was no reconciliation after that fight. The animosity lingered, festered, grew, and filtered down the generations.

Snigghrin and Johlrr aren't in the least bit subtle about it. Johlrr more or less moves in, eating with the family at breakfast and then again at dinner. Snigghrin says he is just staying while Klothr is away, because she feels safer with a man around the house. But the boy sees them when they don't think he's watching: Johlrr pressed against her as she cleans up, the smug smile on his face as his footsteps echo in his cousin's house.

Vinna and the boy don't speak much to Johlrr. They stay on the right side of polite, but they know something is going on that shouldn't, even if they are too young to make proper sense of it. And at night they hear their ma with another man, Johlrr in Klothr's place and grunting like Klothr does, but now they can hear her too for the first time. She moans, and they boy wonders if she's in pain-then she laughs, and the boy is reassured that she's all right, and he rolls over and as he falls asleep he wonders whether he heard just a smear of malice in that laugh, pleasure not just at satisfying himself, but at hurting Klothr.

Snigghrin and Johlrr talk in low voices around the house, afraid that the children will hear them. Terse, urgent dialogue, plans being made, modified. Maybe their going to run away together. Maybe she's asking Johlrr to make himself scarce when Klothr returns home. Even on these long trips, Klothr's never away for more than three weeks, a month at most.

More conversation in these weeks than in the years that Klothr was around. She takes the boy aside one day - her voice unusually tender. "Not a word to your da when he comes back. He and I have got things to sort out."

There is a terrible storm the day Klothr returns. His boat makes it back just in time, running for shore hours ahead of the maelstrom. They come into Marduran harbor with the exhilaration of burglars, those who have cheated Baveras, taken her food- the boat is heaving with fish -and made it back. The ship docks just after dawn, and they spend all morning sorting out their catch.

Before making his way home, he treks out to Starmiran. His mother is there, but she is no longer the reason he goes. She hasn't even recognized him for the past few years. He goes because he's having an affair as well, with a strange farm girl named Arnre Kjarskare, pale and lank and scrawny, cheeks hollow and eyes sparkling with the embers of perpetual challenge. What they do is rough and loveless, the only way Klothr knows how.

It is not even propelled by anything that could be dignified with the term "lust". He is there and she is there and they come together with all the ease and passion of two people shaking hands. Arnre is tired of her life on the farm and is ready to run off, Klothr says she can stay with him until she finds somewhere more suiting. Why does he do this? Does he know about Snigghrin and Johlrr, and is determined to show that he too can go outside the marriage? Or does he just not think or care, because that's the kind of man he is?

Out on the sea, the storm has started. The rain falls in lancing swathes from clouds miles distant.

"Who's this?" Snigghrin's voice, harsh and peremptory. She and Klothr have long since given up being civil.

"Arnre."

"Where did you find her?"

They're talking about her as if she is not there. Arnre looks from one to the other. Her eyes are bloodshot.

"I went to see ma. Arnre lived over the hill, and is moving to the city. I offered to let her stay a night or two until she finds somewhere."

"Been sticking it to her, have you?"

"And if I have?"

Snigghrin slides her gaze over to Arnre. "Doing Fishwhiskers, are you?"

Arnre stares at her, says nothing.

"Well, there’s no floor for you here. You can be off now." She nods toward the city down the slope. "Go on. Away with you."

"Leave her be, Snigghrin. The least we can do is give her a cup of Cha'ah."

"Can we? Go on." She flicks her hand, shooing the girl away as if she were troubling seabird.

"For the love of the gods, Snigghrin. We'll give her a cup and then I'll take her back home."

Snigghrin is opening her mouth to respond when the scream comes. Arnre with her mouth wide open and her eyes tight shut and the noise she is making is more feral than human. They look at her in astonished stillness. Snigghrin and Klothr together, he half turned and she with hands half raised, frozen stiff by the noise. Arnre scream changes in pitch and volume and slides into words shrieked clear as lightning "Comes so quickly, see, murder's strong right arm! She traps him, writhing and he buckles. Look, the sea swirls red!"

Her skinny chest heaves with the effort. Her eyes jerk open. Snigghrin runs over to Arnre and shakes her violently, screaming for silence and respite from her tortured prophecy. Snigghrin slaps her over and over, harder each time. "What are you talking about? Answer me you loon!"

Arnre's head rolls with each blow, comes back to rest. Her eyes slowly focus on Snigghrin. When she speaks, her voice is flat. "This house breathes with murder." She breaks from Snigghrin's grasp and runs back down the road …

… and returns with the city watch an hour later. The family - what a travesty. one child dead and both parents unfaithful – is sitting at the table. Klothr is still in his whaleskins, and the rich, nauseating tang of fish has percolated off them and spread all throughout the hovel. No one has said much since Arnre left. She has unnerved both Klothr and Snigghrin, no matter how much they try to dismiss her ranting as what it surely is – the tattle of a lunatic. But the girl’s fervor and intensity have made her words hard to ignore.

She stops before they reach the front door. “Not stepping inside!” Her voice is shrill.

“Come on. Or we’ll drag you in.” The heavy tone of a watchman.

“No!” The terror in her cry is real. She may be mad, but she’s not pretending.

“All right.” The other watchman, evidently the senior. They hear him come over the threshold, heavy boots packing new dirt into the earthen floor, and into the little kitchen. He sizes them up with a quick, practiced glance. A nuclear family the Santhran would be proud of: the father, hunter-gatherer, the mother as homekeeper, the two children, a boy and a girl, polite and docile.

“Young flittermouse outside reported a murder.” His expression and tone suggests this is not the first time Arnre has crossed paths with the law.

“No one been murdered here.” Klothr gestures around the table. “Just the family same as it ever was.”

“How did she come to be here?”

“My ma’s up in Starmiran, I was coming back from visiting her, found the girl on the road all hysterical-like, and offered her a bed and a roof for the night.”

Snigghrin says nothing. Her quarrels with Klothr remain within the home.

“Been in and out of places for the off all her life, that one.” The watchman looks fleetingly sorry for Arnre. “That ‘out’ just changed back to an ‘in’. Right. Sorry to have bothered you.” His boots, leaving them, packing the dirt and crunching the gravel. Soon they are all off again and Arnre’s cries fade into silence. Klothr hauls himself to his feet.

“I’m going down to the water afore this storm worsens, get this smell off me.”

The storm finally approaches the shore at sundown, so unrelenting and primal that it seems more like divine vengeance than a natural phenomenon. There are just the three of them at dinner. “Your da’s gone out to sea." Snigghrin tells the children. “In the little fijor he keeps down at the harbor. He’s gone to look for the other boats out there, give them what help he can. He’s mad. I told him so. He’s going to get himself killed.”

After dinner, Vinna and the boy lie in bed and listen to the pounding of of rain driven against the hulk-roof. Snigghrin comes into the room, agitated. “I’m going to look for your da. He shouldn’t have been gone this long.” The boy shudders when he hears this. No matter how bad the storm is on land, it’s always twice as bad out in the monochrome world of the nighttime sea, the water black and the white spray that streams from the broken surf, waves rearing up and over the boat like striking vipers with backs arched before they slam down pulverizing hard on deck.

Klothr, who hates his wife and lost a daughter, prepared to risk everything for the men he works with.

“You two stay here,” says Snigghrin. “Baveras doesn’t mean you to be out in this.” She comes back in the tall hours before daybreak, soaked through and breathless. Vinna and the boy are still awake, unable to sleep for fear of their father out in the full fury of the storm. “No sign,” Snigghrin says. “Couldn’t see a thing.”

And so they wait.

When the storm goes down and the sun comes up and the first searchers arrive at the harbor, Klothr’s fellow fishermen in their whaleskins, climbing in their boats and heading out to sea, shaking their heads at his folly. The crowd on the shore grows like Leech Leaf. It tramps along the beach and pokes sticks in the shallows, a swarming pantomime of ineffectiveness.

The first vessel comes back around lunchtime, and even before it’s docked the boy knows it’s found something. It’s in the way the fishermen move on board. Usually they sway and roll with the sea’s motion, but today the seem slightly out of it somehow, half a beat off. Two of them on the foredeck arguing as they tie the boat up. Their tanned whaleskin-clad forearms jab the air as they set off up the great hill. One wants to hurry, he keeps making little jerky movements with his knees and shoulders, as if about to break into a run. But the other walks slowly with his head bowed, determined to retain some dignity as the messenger of death, as he makes the other travel at his pace.

They come into the hulk. There will be no preamble, no softening of the blow. Snigghrin would not expect one, and does not ask for it. “We have found some timbers floating in White Fish Cove,” says the elder. “One of them had Guorani painted on. They’re from Klothr’s fijor. I’m sorry, Snigghrin.” She gets to her feet. Her expression is blank.

“I’ll come and get them.”

Johlrr moves in for good the day after Klothr’s funeral, and with his arrival goes the last vestige of Klothr in that house, the last vestige of protection for the boy. Johlrr hates the boy as much as Snigghrin does, and for the same reason, because he reminds him of Klothr. Vinna is stuck in the middle. She’s still a child; she can do nothing but watch the boy take the abuse, the beatings, the neglect. At night in their room, they are silent and think their own thoughts in their own beds.

Johlrr has been there a week when Snigghrin makes the boy eat from the dog’s bowl.

Dinner, four of them in the house and the table set for three. Snigghrin serves Johlrr and Vinna and then herself, all the time watching the boy, challenging him to ask where his place is. There is still food for him, but nowhere to eat it. Snigghrin bends down and scoops his food into the bowl in the corner. “That’s where you’re going to eat, you disgusting mongrel.”

In Johlrr’s eyes, the cold contempt of a man beyond reach.

“Go on. Eat your food, you worthless animal.” He kneels to the floor, determined they won’t break him. He begins to eat, scooping the food from the floor with his hand and shoveling it into his mouth. A rap across his knuckles. He winces at the sharp pulses of pain. “Like a dog. No hands.” He puts his hands on the floor and and lowers his head until he can feel mashed tuberroots, soft and warm against his nose.

Johlrr whistles. A simple sound, for all the malevolence it contained. Then running paws and angry barking, Captain Troi coming for his dinner, and they haven’t fed him in two days. He’s ravenous, and the boy is in his way, in his corner, on his territory.

The boy rolls away from the food, a flash in his vision of fleshly pink gums pulled back from snarling teeth. His hands rise in front of his face as the Kodael Hound’s jaws clamp hard on his forearm, shaking and ripping as it tries to tear him. In the distance, a keening scream that he recognizes as his own voice, Vinna crying and the dog growling deep in his throat. Warmth on the back of his legs and a sudden rankness in the air.

“Look, Snigghrin. Our boy’s shat himself.”

This is the end of his time in the village. The scars from the attack are still lurid and raw the night he runs away.

A cave is his first shelter. In the underworld, halfway between life and death, he prays that everyone on earth will die except him, and then he first wonders what it would be like to be dead already. After a few nights, he lights one of the candles he took from the house and sets it next to himself by a little stagnant pool. Face first. Stolen flour all over, to erase the living color of the skin. Dirt smeared under his eyes, for a look of hollow darkness. Blue sou’cald moss rubbed on the lips for the touch of Coór. Heels of hands rubbed vigorously into his eyes until they are bloodshot. Then the body, flour again, and he cuts himself with the sharp edge of a rock here and there for just a little blood.

He lies on his stomach and looks at his reflection in the pool. He is perfectly still. His eyes do not blink or move; his body does not twitch. He is dead, and yet he is more alive than he ever has been. There are two of him now, him and the reflection that he desires, his only friend. He knows nothing of magic or how to work it – but this seems magical to him. With his powers over life and death fresh in his mind, he lets himself fall asleep …

… and is awoken by someone tugging at him, at the rags he wears, a man by the sounds of grunting. The boy doesn’t move. The blood has dried, but he is still a corpse. Maybe this man will make his dream a reality – but then he feels the pressure and knows the sounds. The grunting of his father and Johlrr on the other side of the walls. The eruption of pain, and he screams. The man leaps to his feet, terrified, drops his knife on the cavern floor. Clearly he thought the boy a corpse as well - he knew it was a boy, having torn the ragged trousers from his scrawny legs.

Klothr’s son falls the floor and grabs the knife, slashing at the part the man had used to hurt him without a thought, watching it fall and hit the water of the tepid pool as the greyler screamed louder than the boy had, running in the darkness from the avenging undead who had punished him, striking a rock and falling, his head landing only inches from what had been taken from him.

Life and death. Death to balance new life. Death to balance birth. The knife plunges again, and after a few hours, white, black and blue. Like magic.

On the ship, down where the flour is stored, he recreates it time and time again, as the mood takes him. Sometimes he does it for many nights in succession, sometimes not for months. In these intermissions, he retreats into his head to his paradise, a place far from life’s inferno. All the while his boat plows on, its prow reaching and splintering a new patch of water in every fraction of time he could choose to measure, and then on to the next and again.

The boy had killed, and would kill again...

The ship carried him far from the wet, haunted cliffs of his homeland. He was eventually put off of course, when it reached the end of the world. At first glance, the Stormcloak port on Ludor appeared to be very much like home. At second glace it didn't look much better. Buildings unpainted, weathered and more often than not in dire need of repair. The people were shifty and tended to stick to the shadows. Very few children to be seen - this is not the place to raise families - and the few on the streets were beggers or runaways, and all, even Klothr's son are thieves in training.

This was his new home. He would sooner starve than fight the stray dogs for their scraps, and so he stole to stay alive. The boy did not have much time to learn the art of the pickpocket before he chose the wrong mark. He supposed the hood the man wore would serve to obscure his approach, but no sooner had his fingertip brushed the stranger's purse than he rounded upon the child, and beat him to the ground. The knife that was at his throat was cruelly barbed, and touched only enough to begin to draw blood. All around him, the seething mass of laborors and sailors went about their business, as if oblivious. Face to face,  Klothr's son saw pallid skin and snowy hair, and knew that his life was forfeit.

The Kasumarii smiled and stood, opened his purse and dropped a Santharian Silverbard. Without a thought, the boy snatched it from the air, and the man who moments ago had him pinned, helpless as he felt in the village, ready for the death he had given the man in the cave, laughed cruelly and walked away. Disbelieving such fortune was not some terrible dream, the boy ran to the bakery as fast as his legs, malformed from malnourishment could carry him. His heart cried out for a taste of some gracefully crafted pastry, but he started small, and ordered a fresh loaf of bread.

The baker took one look at the coin and pocketed it. He seized the boy by the arm and dragged him out into the street to the nearest guard. Accused of stealing both the coin and the bread, Klothr's son's eyes searched the swarm of sailors for any sign of the hooded stranger to confirm his story. The Kasumarii was gone.




Frequent Familiar He's not as fun as the first time I posted him ...  blush

Name: K'weepén, given by Lursus for his often sour smell.
Gender: Male
Age: Somewhere around 40, unknown for certain.
Race & Tribe: ½ Eophyrhim ½ Human, likely Serphelorian.
Occupation: Half-wit manservant.

Overview: A wealthy man of some importance, Lursus has many servants responsible for maintenance of his various households. They prepare his meals, take fine care of his extensive wardrobe and are the envy of his friends and associates in both the city and the countryside. K'weepén's role is somewhat different, and he is certainly not to be seen in the company of his noble master undisguised. K'weepén generally keeps to the seediest establishments in the slums of New-Santhala, spending his nights amongst drunks and whores and retiring at dawn through back alleys and sewer pipes to a hidden cellar beneath his employer's modest urban home. In the darkness and silence, his primary responsibility is the keeping and breeding of a small colony of deadly vipers. Though K'weepén lacks wit, the abilty to speak or write, he's quite good at his job. Perhaps he was born for it.



Appearance

Personality As far back as he can remember he has never had a friend or family, and has had to try to make his own way on the streets of Santhala. A failure at almost every endeavor he has ever attempted, K'weepén is a cruel, weak-willed and bitter mute with no care or loyalty beyond coin and his cages. He is obedient to Lursus only because it is expedient to be so, earning good money for low effort or risk compared to most other criminal activities. He has engaged to those too, of course, and he has killed. Never for any purpose other than immediate gratification, monetary or otherwise. An utter coward, K'weepén would never challenge an evenly matched opponent, or face a challenge himself. He would run, but he is not the sort to hold grudges or be embarrassed, to wait for an opportunity to stike back. He hides. His pets, the only things he cares for, and his master, whom he fears more than any other will strike back for him. As the city sleeps, their work proceeds unknown and unthinkable.

Strengths & Weaknesses Just thinking out loud ... so to speak.
-His greatest strength is perhaps just how unremarkable he is. Dull eyed and silent, plainly garbed and
-A Snakesman. Maybe he can like, throw em at yo' face.
-Sneakysnake. Pretty decent at stealing stuff? Lockpicking? (No I'm not basing the character on the picture shut up!)
-His connections obviously.

-Dumb. Can't speak.
-Can't read or write.
-Coward. He's a murderer, not a fighter.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 01:09:58 PM by Lursus Khrath » Logged




I'm laughing at clouds, so dark up above
the sun's in my heart, and I'm ready for love
Lursus Khrath
Viper of Santhala
Approved Character
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Gender: Male
Posts: 500


Human, Avennorian


« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2010, 02:51:39 AM »

*Placeholder for when I exceed the word limit in the first post*

Also, a history checklist

1626 Tranquility & coziness. Complete.

1635 I broke a window pane.

1643 Only terror before the storm.

1654 Writer of the Rovers.

1658 Voices from the past.

1660 Sitting on their indolent asses.

1662 For the public good.

1664 Rescue in Remusiat.

1666 Showdown at Scythe Grove.

1671 Business as usual.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 11:05:10 AM by Lursus Khrath » Logged




I'm laughing at clouds, so dark up above
the sun's in my heart, and I'm ready for love
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