My first 3 characters' backgrounds

Golden Xan

Long Dead
Mallius Odium
Mar 30, 2019
118
121
53
Hi everyone,

A few days ago I stayed up until late, not able to sleep, as I kept somewhat involuntarily thinking about what would be the backstory of my first 3 characters. I wanted to write it down here, and only now did I have a chance to do so.
Keep in mind that these backstories are not inspired by the game's lore, because there is only so much available right now. It's just a player's imagination running wild.


Locke - Revenant Scholar
In the small and fringe academic town of Saratoga lived a lonely man. He belonged to a group of scholars sent out to study the maladies of the body. Young men who were invested in dedicating their lives to making meaningful contributions to the human society: that of learning new truths which to share about health.
However, unlike his peers, Locke always had an interest in more than the physical. He always believed that, by identifying how one's thought processes worked, it could be possible to identify a multitude of afflictions, including physical disorders. Such concept was highly unpopular, just as he was. His firm belief in the importance of the mind since his early years always made him look aloof to others. While most children focused on spending as much energy as possible moving around and causing havoc, Locke focused on observing other living things and trying to mentally dissect them.
His propensity to live in his imagination and ethereal calculations shaped him into an intelligent adult with a keen perception, but ultimately disheartened with a sensation of isolation and nonconformity. With his great desire to understand the world, and especially other people, he felt a calling to the scholarly path of academia. As did every other individual looking to achieve great feats of intellectual recognition, he intended to produce a meaningful enough contribution to the Grand Cathedral, a central institution in the human realm that concentrates all philosophical efforts to protect what is left of their independence against the Undead.
Saratoga was a town focused on the learning of biology, human or otherwise. Never being understood by his medical partners, Locke followed a mostly lonesome path in his belief on the connection of the mind with the body. His ideas were often ridiculed by mentors and colleagues alike, and never did he quite managed to make a truly verifiable connection either. Unwavering in his desire to prove himself right, he spent many years in study and observation of both living and dead things.
He was only being maintained so long as a scholar, barely endorsed by the system and just merely acknowledged by his peers, because he managed to contribute to the least desirable activities, such as the disposing of dejects and the cleaning of paraphernalia, without complaints. Despite the unsavory nature of these and other activities, he often relished the time alone to collect his thoughts. And it was in those many, many days that he spent alone, manipulating dead bodies, that he began to make thought trails in his mind along the years... trails that would eventually lead to his magnum scriptum.
There comes a time in the life of any scholar that one must prepare a magnum scriptum, a culmination of a major learning achieved in his studies, and deliver it to the Grand Cathedral, where the scholar's work is evaluated by more experienced individuals and adapted into a teaching, if useful. If it's prized enough, it may warrant an invitation to the Grand Cathedral, where one may further discuss his ideas and learn in a more focused manner.
It was through his one great contribution that Locke finally achieved the recognition he coveted. His magnum scriptum was titled "Identifying individual propensity to becoming undead through psychology". In his academic work, he also attempted to predict which kind of undead one would become if turned by retracing the individual's life-longe experiences.
To everyone's amazement, including Locke's, he was later summoned by Warden Petruvius of the Grand Cathedral to discourse about his findings.
The letter of invitation arrived at noon. Locke eagerly prepared his belongings to travel at first light. Alas, he would be prevented from doing so.
One of his peers woke him up in the night. "Locke, it's me. It's almost dawn already. We were thoroughly surprised with the letter you got, and some of us felt deeply ashamed of the way we've treated you. We want to make it up to you. We are gathering at the door of the monastery to say goodbye. Will you come with me?"
Confused, yet somewhat thrilled about his colleague's unexpected reaction, he followed the man to the exit of the monastery. As he climbed down the stairs, he was pulled by the arms by two men taller than him into the catacomb. There, he met 16 of his fellow medical scholars, and he was painfully put to death by the pitiful and envious individuals that could not recognize nor accept his differences and accomplishments.
As Locke looked up to them from the ground, being kicked, spit on and stabbed, he felt his life force trailing away. He did not feel sad, he did not feel pain. He did not feel surprise, he did not feel pity. He did not feel resentment. All he felt... was rage.
Locke went by his entire life living calmly and solemnly. He never hurt anyone, never desired anyone, and never felt he belonged.
His one goal was to be recognized, by proving useful.
He was but one step away from achieving that goal. For so long, he was afraid he'd never make it. And then, just like that, out of pure jealousy, all that which he worked for was taken away from him.
Locke died with that one thought in mind.
Locke, the Revenant, would be reborn with that same one thought in mind.
Ironically, his magnum scriptum would wrongly indicate his type of undeath.

Sardok - Liche Priest
Sardok spent most of his life taking care of the poor souls whose lives had been stained by Deadhaus' corruption. He spent more than a decade helping disinfect the wounded, strengthen the weak, purify the land, and exorcising the few undead that he was strong enough to handle.
One of the victims of the dead's blight ended up becoming his wife, with whom he had a baby boy.
A few years after the birth of his child, with his activities having become more restrained afterwards, he was invited to the Grand Cathedral to lecture to the congregation about his dealings with the undead.
With such an honorable invitation, he could not refuse to help the living in a new, more meaningful, way, and gracefully took it as his duty to travel there at once.
His trip was uneventful. Sardok and his family were given a private chamber in which to sleep in, and the priest had the first three days after his arrival dedicated to learning the ins and outs of the Cathedral and its surroundings, as well as being introduced to the various individuals with whom he would be dealing with in his new attributions.
On the third night after his arrival, the priest had the most vivid and terrifying dream of his life.
In his vision, Sardok ran through the Cathedral's corridor, desperate to get to his chamber, only to find his wife and son on the bed, affected by some infirmity that was draining their life force.
Sardok woke up sweaty in his bed and put himself immediately upright. He looked to the side and there laid his wife and son, both peacefully asleep and undisturbed.
In the next morning, he spoke to Warden Petruvius, his guide and summoner, about this strange vision, most realistic and unlike anything he ever felt. Petruvius was dismissive about his concerns, stating that dreams are often only our own imagination working its way while we are too busy sleeping to control it. However, upon noticing how deeply his new guest was affected with this ominous nightmare, Petruvius suggested that he should take some time off before assuming his new duties by reading in the Cathedral's library and studying the work of former minds.
Sardok, not knowing better, accepted the Cathedral's curator's suggestion.
To his dismay, however, he was not able to put away the feeling that his family would soon die.
Fearful of losing them and having to face the world in a new way, Sardok embarked on a journey of study and discovery that took him 9 years, beginning by the Cathedral's library.
In the first year, he sought cures for maladies inflicted by the dead upon the living.
On the second year, he believed he would need deeper understanding of the workings of Deadhaus' magick. As such, he looked for the church's understanding of their rituals and magickal manifestations.
On the third year, Sardok lost all hope that the human's and divine understanding of the undead would be enough to ever cure his family's occult plague. Having noticed his concerns and deeper desire for knowledge, Warden Petruvius kindly allowed an exception for the priest to access the Cathedral's forbidden materials on Deadhaus.
On the fourth year, he had already read about rituals which affected one's health and hunt down information on Vitality, Essence and Magick. Convinced that he would have to use the undead's own teachings to counter their influence, he decided to learn their dark powers by the root: performing rituals himself.
Five years into his journey, he started to notice the symptoms of his family's demise. His wife looked pale, his son had little energy. His boy's hair had begun to fall, despite his more than proper nutrition and physical activity. Obsessed with recovering their former states, he delved deeper into the rituals and adoration of the dead by partially sacrificing his own flesh and blood.
Despite all considerations, Sardok felt genuine excitement in exploring that which no other clerical individual had done before, of his knowing. He rejoiced at the idea of understanding how the dead came to be, and how to counter them.
One more year had passed and he was now 6 years into his intense study. His family was becoming more and more weak. His wife, feeling powerless about their condition and saddened to be away from her husband, pleaded Sardok to be close to them, for she feared her son would be taken by the divine soon. She was convinced it was the world's will, and that nothing more could be done. She only wished Sardok would be close to them while they would last.
Naturally, with such a deep understanding of things most mortals would not even dream of, the former priest — for he was no longer a priest of the church, in his heart — completely dismissed the notion of having their fate sealed by an unknown manipulative power. He only had to keep finding a way... Passionately, Sardok felt more vivid then than he ever did, and he was adamant in finishing what he started.
On the seventh year, Sardok's only son died in bed, looking like a sack of dried bones, a sight that would send shivers through any human's spine. But not Sardok. Sardok, the former priest, was too busy to attend to the funeral of his dead child, attempting to control magick, drawing runes and calling upon powers he believed he understood. He did not even wince when informed about his passing. Warden Petruvius made sure that he would not be disturbed in this moment of solace.
On the eight year, his beautiful wife died of heartbroke. Having lost any connection to her husband, having lost the most important thing she had in life, and being barely more than a carcass herself, she forfeited her life while looking at the sunset. But it seems that had little effect in Sardok, who by then believed that his now dead family had positively contributed to his grand, grand and ominous achievements... Achievements that neither he, who strongly believed in them, quite understood. Her soul, which had been played with for so long, had now been forever doomed into unlife.
Petruvius comforted his dear Sardok by lending him a book from his personal collection, simply titled "Lichedom", for which Sardok was highly grateful.
On the 357th day of the ninth year, Sardok relinquished his human existence to reach a new height of enlightenment and join Deadhaus.
Yet, upon achieving an ascension so strongly sought after, Sardok, the Liche, recovered his then dulled senses and realized what he had sacrificed to get there. In his renewed wisdom and sophistication, he gasped in disgust at his realization that he was the very contagion that brought the slow and painful demise of his family.
And now, he had all eternity to contemplate that.
Philandriel - Vampire Blade Dancer
A very rich nobleman with 17 children inhabited a heavily-populated town in Nogosaua. His eighth child, Philandriel, was nothing besides ordinary.
With his older siblings all being set in their roles in his father's various enterprises, Philandriel was the first of all his brothers and sisters to have no particular place to fulfill. Being born in such a wealthy family, there was no need he had that wasn't met. If anything, his life with few expectations or responsibilities was boring.
Throughout his short life, what he most desired was finding something unexpected to take him away to somewhere distant where he would be genuinely challenged.
His desire was answered in the form of a visit from the Mujahadi.
The Mujahadi are a lineage of desert nomads. Merchants and artists, blade dancers — professionals with dual-wielding scimitars and flashy moves. They travel the land, selling spices, buying materials, enchanting the commoners. Their sculptured bodies fascinate all who behold them, their fair and brown-tainted skin are beautiful, and their wild, choreographed movements with their swords amaze any transient in their performances.
Curiously, only the older people of the town thought poorly of them. The elders seemed to believe that these people were a bad omen. An omen of blood. For some reason, they recommended all to isolate themselves from these strangers, and to hold tight to one's loved ones, lest they be taken away. Surely, such concerns were mere nonsense from senile individuals with strong preconceptions.
Amidst the newcomers, Philandriel met Irvina, the most incredible creature he had ever set eyes upon. Her scintillating eyes enchanted him like no girl ever did before. Her dances marked flowing waves in his mind that lingered in his vision even after sleep.
Profoundly enamored of this new girl, Philandriel requested the Mujahadi elder to accompany them in their travels. He cited "cultural exchanges" as his foremost objective. While he wasn't lying about his desire to get to know them, he wasn't entirely faithful about this motivations. In any case, neither the Mujahadi nor his own family showed any reservations. Thus, the young noble, utterly innocent and unprepared, swapped his graceful comfort for what he believed would be an adventurous life in new lands with people very different from the ones he knew.
In their travels, which lasted a couple of years, Philandriel became closer to Irvina. The two of them shared similar desires in life, were of a common age, and had mutual fascination for each other.
As much interest and aptitude that Philandriel had for the Mujahadi's ways, especially in the making of spices and "blade dancing", these were abilities that they had many reservations when it came to teaching others about. Despite being allowed to travel with them, he always felt that they were secretive people. They trusted him, only so much. They allowed him to belong, only to a point.
That, however, was something that Philandriel and Irvina both slowly overcame together. She taught him what she knew herself, bringing him closer to a Mujahadi as possible.
This connection between them did not go by unnoticed and was heavily frowned upon, but at the same time, everyone in the tribe was already quite charmed by the boy's innocent demeanor, constantly inquisitive spirit, and adoration of their ways.
After spending so much time close to Irvina and having shared so much knowledge and understanding between each other, Philandriel desired to take their relationship to a new level. A carnal level. Irvina was no stranger to such desires, and he knew it. They understood each other, they shared a deep bond. Despite a mutual inclination, Irvina wouldn't let him get this close, simply stating she was not ready.
But after two years together, Irvina gave in to her cravings and broke the vows she had with her tribe. She set up a velvet shack in the outskirts of their encampment outside one of the towns they visited. The full moon was reverberating its splendor in space at that night. She invited Philandriel in, and the two lavished each other as their love duly mandated.
That night was magnificent to both of them, but especially intoxicating to Philandriel, who, despite being so intensely focused on the moment, forfeited all notion of space and time, and lost his consciousness during their lovemaking at the arms of Irvina, youngest Vampire of the Mujahadi lineage.
Much to his dismay, Philandriel woke up a long time later with little memory of the events that took place during and after their embrace, and his life had changed to unlife. Irvina was nowhere to be seen... nowhere indeed.
Philandriel would be forcibly welcomed to the undead world of the Vampires, and he would never see Irvina again.
 
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Cradlis

Ripe
Feb 8, 2019
14
19
13
Wow, I love your style : it's short and showing just enough information for us to imagine the surroundings and the characters. I love the story with the Lich, even if it was predictable for me that it was Sardok's fault if his family would eventually die. My favorite is the Revenant one though : good old vengeance story that could easily happen in this kind of world. It's also the story where you expand the lore a little more, so it's a bonus :D

I should do the same but english is not my native language. People around me tells I write well but I don't know if I'll be able to make it right. Having a conversation is something, telling an entire story is really different...
 
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Golden Xan

Long Dead
Mallius Odium
Mar 30, 2019
118
121
53
Thanks, @Cradlis. :)
The Liche is also my favorite one. They are all quite predictable, I think, but there are details I've left dubious for interpretation. For instance, I don't make it that clear, but Warden Petruvius was the one to instill Sardok's mind with visions, taking advantage of his fear of being alone.

Likewise, I do not specify what happened to Philandriel, how, or why. I believe it feels better this way.

In any case, English ain't my native language either. I do happen to work with words, though. Either way, I think you should try when you have the time. If nothing else, for your own experience. It's fun, and we won't judge, just enjoy. :)
 

Golden Xan

Long Dead
Mallius Odium
Mar 30, 2019
118
121
53
I think it's an interesting exercise. I don't have any expectation of having these short stories somehow integrated into the game's lore, nor am I sure that would be a good thing (for my own, I mean), but it was still enticing to write them up and share them, so that's why I did it. ^^
Chances are, even if we can somehow add our own stories to our characters in the game, I would even't use them.
 

Cradlis

Ripe
Feb 8, 2019
14
19
13
I agree with you. For what we know of the lore we'll probably have to change many things to fit in.

However I think our backstories can be part of the official world if we do great achievements in the early days of the game. After all, the elder gods are walking the earth during the first age x)
 
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derula

Herr Pfannkuchen
Eternal Champion
Feb 21, 2018
112
120
103
Oooh, it's story time :)

magna scriptum
Pretty sure it should be magnum scriptum :)

painfully put to death
One time I learned that violence in a character's backstory can be a tell-tale sign of bad writing. Of course, that's not always the case, and especially if we're talking about undead characters, who probably didn't die a natural and happy death :D nevertheless, I always think twice before putting violence in a backstory. That said, there's plenty violence in my character's backstory, too :ROFLMAO:

he was the very contagion that brought the slow and painful demise of his family.
Called it! :p
This line reminds me a bit of the ending of Lovecraft's "The Beast in the Cave."

An omen of blood.
I see what you did there.

Warden Petruvius was the one to instill Sardok's mind with visions, taking advantage of his fear of being alone.
Yeah, I had a suspicion. He seemed to encourage him and guide him rather than help fix the situation.

Likewise, I do not specify what happened to Philandriel, how, or why. I believe it feels better this way.
I agree. Kind of curious what happened to Irvina though...


Great to see some stories! I'm having a problem similar to yours, in that I'm unsure if my ideas will even work with the world that is being cooked up. But I think my story is interesting enough to be told, even if it doesn't end up working, so I'm not too worried.
 
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Golden Xan

Long Dead
Mallius Odium
Mar 30, 2019
118
121
53
Great to see some stories! I'm having a problem similar to yours, in that I'm unsure if my ideas will even work with the world that is being cooked up. But I think my story is interesting enough to be told, even if it doesn't end up working, so I'm not too worried.
Is the scriptum a real concept? I didn't know. :p
Thanks for your correction.

I'm glad you picked the play with words with Blood Omen. ^^

Warden Petruvius is an agent of Deadhaus. Not sure of which kind, but he works at the church in disguise, and uses his influence to find and recruit new members to Deadhaus. He also had a hand in the reanimation of Locke.

I wasn't entirely sure what to make of Irvina, but my first idea was to have her executed by her people. They were keeping Philandriel, as well as others, as food, but she decided to make him one of them... without authorization, to save him. For that, she was put to true death.
But I thought making it dubious and just leaving the question in the air would be more exciting, so I left it as it is.

I would like to read your stories, when you have the time to put them to paper/forum posts. :)
 

CyanStargazer

Decayed
Havoc And Malice
Dec 11, 2018
45
53
28
iantroll.wixsite.com
Lets see, I guess my first character will be an undead D&D character I once played.
Fris the Revenant
Fris was a loyal soldier for an ancient kingdom, though she was well known to be a terror on the battlefield possessing great almost inhuman strength. With it she could easily cleave an enemy soldier in heavy armor in half with a short sword though she preferred a great sword to leave more destruction in her wake. However though her career as a soldier made no end of enemies on the kingdoms opponents, plenty of officers on her own side feared and hated her for her great strength and unmatched skill. Which was why one night, she was invited to an officers ball despite being a common soldier she was poisoned and paralyzed by the officers, and one by one, each officer took a knife and stabbed her taking care to keep her alive. After all 28 officers has stabbed her, she was bound and placed in a sake and thrown into a deep river. Hatred consumed her as she died and her sheer will and hatred let her come back after death.

The second I guess is more a literary reference and a character that I don't really have a backstory for.
U.N Owen the Abandoned
I guess the only backstory he has is that he came back to life with no memory of his past in an unmarked grave. Hence the name U.N Owen (Thank you Agatha Christie because while it makes no sense spelt, if you say it out loud you'll go "Oh... now I get it.")
I don't know what my third one will be yet.
 
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derula

Herr Pfannkuchen
Eternal Champion
Feb 21, 2018
112
120
103
Is the scriptum a real concept?
My remark was more about grammar. The Latin word "scriptum" is neuter, so the adjective has to be neuter, too. Otherwise you end up with a genderless writing that is female-big, which is weird (on top of being grammatically incorrect).

Warden Petruvius is an agent of Deadhaus. Not sure of which kind, but he works at the church in disguise, and uses his influence to find and recruit new members to Deadhaus. He also had a hand in the reanimation of Locke.
I like that phrasing.

But I thought making it dubious and just leaving the question in the air would be more exciting, so I left it as it is.
And I think it works really well that way. It's usually a good sign if the audience wants to know more.

I would like to read your stories, when you have the time to put them to paper/forum posts.
Well now I have to, don't I :p

Fris the Revenant
That's... certainly some kind of Mary Sue :D

(Thank you Agatha Christie because while it makes no sense spelt, if you say it out loud you'll go "Oh... now I get it.")
Not if you say it like I do... until just now, I always wondered who this Owen guy is and what he's got to do with the United Nations.
But then, I only ever knew it as a Touhou thing. I guess my knowledge of Agatha Christie is even worse than that of a video game franchise I've never played a game from.
 

Livin

Long Dead
Vampire Scholar
Mar 20, 2019
131
134
53
Sorry for the length, but I've never been good at keeping it brief with this kind of thing. Part 2 will come later.

Merrick, The Puppet Master
Part 1
As a baby he was abandoned at the local church where he was raised to become a humble deacon with little in the way of ambition to advance to the priesthood. Whenever he wasn't forced into his lessons to learn the miracles and medicines of the faith he'd be found entertaining the other orphans of the church. He had a passion for puppets after catching a show as a boy when a theater troupe came through, making his own puppets that would get ever more elaborate in their designs and the shows they'd put on as time passed. The father of this small church in this town that rested on the border with deadhaus always believed Merrick could be of greater benefit to the church if only he applied himself to the teachings like he did to his puppets. They did many cruel things break Merrick of his fixation, from destroying his puppets and sets to having him lashed whenever caught making new ones; but Merrick simply carried on as he always did, taking the pain in stride and carrying on with his craft.

One day a group of adventurers came to the church. They were under contract by the nobility to investigate a tomb within deadhaus that wasn't far from the border and the church was to provide one of theirs as a healer. Merrick was competent in this function, as well as in the best shape for the journey at nineteen years of age while the next oldest member was nearing sixty.
It took over a week to reach the tomb but more than a month to work their way through it. Every undead that they vanquished seemed to rise renewed with each setting of the sun, costing them progress with every night.

When they finally reached the heart of the tomb they were unprepared for what they encountered. The heart of the tomb left the decrepit stone hallways and its stale air with the smell of decay for a sizeable courtyard containing a lush garden that filled the air with floral scents, a small fruit orchard with a stream running alongside it, and a pavilion. Beyond this there was nothing else to be found, causing anger among the party as they believed there would be treasures and relics to take. Their arguments were halted as the doors back into the tomb closed shut on them. The party rushed to open but it wouldn't budge, sealing them in the courtyard.

They worked to break through for hours but it was impossible to even crack these doors of what appeared to be black marble. Nightfall came and they took turns on watch while the others rested. It was on Merrick's turn that what ruled this tomb presented itself. From within one of the flowerbeds the soil began to turn, as a pair of skeletal hands erupted from beneath and slammed back down on the ground where they pushed the rest of itself up. Merrick beheld skeletal body with dirt packed between its spaces and held in place by the roots of the plants that clung to it, covering the skeleton in a beautiful arrangement of flowers.

Merrick didn't even have to speak as the sounds of its rising from the soil had alerted the party. The rest of the party tried to charge at it before it had a chance to go on the attack while Merrick was frozen with fear; but with a flick of its wrist arms erupted from the ground beneath the party's feet, taking hold of them and pulling down as they struggled to break free. Their screams snapped Merrick out of it and he rushed to pull out those that he could get to but another pair of hands erupted and grabbed his legs, holding him in place but not dragging him down like the others. Merrick could only watch as their screaming stopped after their faces sank beneath the earth.

The undead reached inside the dirt being held within its abdomen and pulled out a book. The hands released Merrick as the creature approached him and he backed away until he was pressed against the wall. It held out the book for him and he hesitantly took it. It then pointed its finger to the star filled sky and slid it across before bringing it back and dragging it across the throat. Merrick came to understand that he had until dawn to figure out and do whatever it is asking or he will join the rest of the party.

The undead didn't move unless to keep Merrick in its sight as he paced back and forth with the book in his hands. He recognized the language from the old tomes that he had to study back at the church and quickly understood that this was a grimoire. It contained numerous spells, incantations, and rituals for all sorts of magic; but he didn't have a clue which one to attempt and what the undead would do if he attempted the wrong one. His head throbbed over what to do, questioning whether to fight or beg for his life. He finally came across a spell that could offer him some insight, a spell that would allow him to speak with the dead.

He spoke the words on the page but nothing happened, the undead stayed where they were and Merrick heard nothing. He reasoned he must have mispronounced something, seeing as he never put much time into practicing the spoken form of the word's back at the the church; but the fact the undead didn't move to strike him down was enough to convince him that he was on the right track. He spoke the words again and again, changing his pronunciations here and there from what he could remember of the gospels that were sung. It was more than an hour before he happened to get it right at random, as he heard the voice of the undead for the first time. The undead simply introduced itself with a woman's voice and gave him her name, Thorn.

Merrick quickly questioned what she wanted from him and she spoke of her desire for an apprentice, someone to pass on her knowledge to before finally laying herself to rest. Merrick begged for mercy as he expressed no desire for such things. Thorn explained that the choice was not his, that he would need to master that book if he was ever to leave the tomb. Merrick argued that he'd starve long before that would even be possible, but Thorn gestured to the orchard that was bearing fruit despite it being the wrong season and then to the stream. She explained that she had long ago bound herself to this land, using her magic to sustain its vitality and preparing it so as to make it habitable for the apprentice she would one day have.

Merrick questioned what would happen if he refused, to which Thorn said she would have to then regard him as a raider that trespassed in her home like the others and dispose of him in a similar manner. Merrick's look of dread was unmistakable as he came to truly understand his predicament, being imprisoned here until he fully comprehended a book that was as large as his head; but Thorn tried to alleviate this by telling him that she would aid him in understanding the book, that he would not be walking this path alone. Thorn then ushered him to move towards the pavilion that contained a bed, table, and chair where she told him to rest while also advising him to study the book when he awakens, that she sleeps during the day and would rise to offer instruction once the sun had gone down. Before leaving she warned that she alone kept the other undead in the tomb from entering the courtyard, that if he were to kill her while she slept that they would become mindless and pour in to tear apart the only living thing in the tomb outside of the rats. Merrick watched as she sank back into the flower bed, with the flowers she carried returning to their previous position; and after the soil became still he looked back upon his new home, spending hours coming to terms with everything that had transpired before exhaustion finally forced his eyes to close.
 
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derula

Herr Pfannkuchen
Eternal Champion
Feb 21, 2018
112
120
103
The story took a while to take off, but then got really interesting. I'm loving Thorn already.

Merrick was competent in this function, as well as in the best shape for the journey at nineteen years of age while the next oldest member was nearing sixty.
Hmm, I wonder what happened to the other orphans he used to play with. None of them stayed?
Now that I read to the end, I also wonder if the dolls will come into play again.

covering the skeleton in a beautiful arrangement of flowers.
Nice.

She explained that she had long ago bound herself to this land, using her magic to sustain its vitality and preparing it so as to make it habitable for the apprentice she would one day have.
That kind of blew my mind, really cool.
 

CyanStargazer

Decayed
Havoc And Malice
Dec 11, 2018
45
53
28
iantroll.wixsite.com
My remark was more about grammar. The Latin word "scriptum" is neuter, so the adjective has to be neuter, too. Otherwise you end up with a genderless writing that is female-big, which is weird (on top of being grammatically incorrect).



I like that phrasing.



And I think it works really well that way. It's usually a good sign if the audience wants to know more.



Well now I have to, don't I :p



That's... certainly some kind of Mary Sue :D



Not if you say it like I do... until just now, I always wondered who this Owen guy is and what he's got to do with the United Nations.
But then, I only ever knew it as a Touhou thing. I guess my knowledge of Agatha Christie is even worse than that of a video game franchise I've never played a game from.
Yeah it's a clever thing, I knew about the book it's from long before the Touhou song. I've seen the book has different names it's published under but I think it's the same. I think the most common name is "And Then There Were None". But I will say, the creator of Touhou did the name U.N. Owen justice. My only complaint about it is that it's rather overshadowed the original source so when you use "U.N. Owen" people think Touhou rather than the original mystery story.
Oh also for the Fris part, the original story for her was never developed in the D&D campaign because we had one session. I knew as a character Fris woke up in a crypt having no idea how long she's been dead for with no memory of her past besides her name and that she was a soldier. The DM said she's work Fris' origins into the story, but sadly we never got anywhere after a player had some IRL troubles.
 
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Livin

Long Dead
Vampire Scholar
Mar 20, 2019
131
134
53
Merrick, The Puppet Master

Part 2
The transition was tough but Merrick eventually adjusted to his new reality and the routine that it came with. His nights belonged to Thorn and her instruction, focused first on improving his comprehension of the old language. After that he would rest until the afternoon and relaxed until the evening when he'd read from the book in anticipation of the lessons in the coming night. Life in the courtyard was easy and safe so long as he never tried to leave through the doors of black marble that were now open with the other undead waiting at the doorway but never crossing the threshold. The only complaint he had was for a lack of meat, but this was soon solved as rats from within the tomb found their way into the courtyard.

By the end of the first year he had a full comprehension of the language and a number of lesser spells at his disposal, giving him the confidence to make his first attempt at an escape. That dawn he did not go to sleep after his lessons and faced off against the undead as they huddled at the doorway. For hours he hurled all manor of magic, from fire to bolts of energy; but no matter how many undead fell another would take their place at the doorway. He kept it going until he collapsed from exhaustion, understanding that he wasn't strong enough yet. That night Thorn remarked on the attempt and lectured him on why he failed before continuing the lesson.

Several more attempts would occur over the coming decade where he'd hurl ever stronger magic at them but it would always end the same with failure and a lecture from Thorn, until Merrick finally snapped and demanded his freedom or he would march right into the horde. Thorn simply pointed a hand towards the doorway where the horde waited in anticipation, welcoming him to proceed. Merrick stood silent at having his bluff called as Thorn revealed that she understood him better than he did. She spoke of how his attempts to escape had no heart, putting nothing on the line as he pushed the undead back further and further but always staying behind the safety of the threshold. Thorn openly speculated that deep down Merrick was content where he was, that all those attempts to escape were just chances to feel powerful for once in his life; and Merrick said nothing in his defense, as deep down he couldn't bring himself to deny it.

There would be no more attempts to escape after this as Merrick decided to embrace the truth about himself that he always denied after this revelation from Thorn. In spite of his upbringing to look the other way and forsake vengeance whenever wronged, he only ever did so because of how powerless he was. Now he had power and he wanted more so that when he left here he would never live by the mercy of others ever again. At this time he had mastered more than half of the book and would now begin covering the principles of necromancy. It was in practicing these principles that Merrick truly began to change.

As the lessons into necromancy progressed Merrick felt his body getting weaker in spite of resting and eating regularly. Merrick commented on it one night to Thorn who explained how necromancy is unlike other magic, how with normal magic one channels energy from this world into something else while with necromancy energy is pulled from the other side of death. This created an imbalance between the two sides and the other will always compensate for it by draining energy back from the one channeling it. Thorn instructed him to cease practicing it for a time and his health would recover but Merrick was too consumed with mastering it to take her advice, causing him to collapse in the middle of a lesson. He felt himself sinking deep into the darkness with all the feeling leaving his body until he suddenly became overwhelmed by an intense shock of pain throughout that pulled him back to the courtyard where Thorn stood over him.

Merrick asked if that was the other side that he saw, to which Thorn answered that it was for him. Merrick gave her a confused look before asking if the other side looked different for her. Thorn stated that the other side has its own mountains, valleys, and oceans. Merrick expressed a desire to return there, to which Thorn told him that some day he will. Thorn ended the lesson early and Merrick retired to the pavilion for rest.

The next evening Thorn rose to find Merrick looking worse than he did the night before and occupied with controlling a number of reanimated rat bones as they danced around. Thorn asked if he had gotten any sleep and Merrick replied that sleep wasn't good enough anymore, that he wanted the feeling he had before. Thorn asked if that was all he will ever want, adding that that is all the other side has to offer and Merrick couldn't find an honest answer. Thorn asked about the rats and Merrick spoke of how he used to do something similar with puppets that he made, saying how they were the closest thing he had to family.

Merrick told of how the people at the church would destroy the puppets he made from time to time and lash him over having them. Thorn inquired if he ever fought to save his family, to which Merrick said no. When asked why he answered as he crushed a reanimated rat with one hand and raised a new rat with the other that he could always bring them back, possibly even better than they were before. After being told to rest for the night Merrick turned away from the dancing rat bones and began walking over to the undead at the doorway while saying a single word, kneel. In an instant all the undead got down on one knee as Merrick stopped at the threshold, looking back at Thorn before returning to her and beginning that night's lesson.

Mastering the last half of the book took far less time than the first as Merrick became consumed with it, forsaking sleep and relaxation to hone his command over the mindless undead. He reanimated more rat bones, commanding them to cover his body in layers like armor. No longer was he confined to the courtyard as he walked freely throughout the tomb, his aura alone causing the undead to avoid him. All the while his body wasted away, losing weight to the point of his eyes sinking into his skull. Thorn took note of his failing health but said nothing, for her goal was nearing completion.

It seemed that he would die having never finished the training until one night when he discovered the final pages of the book to be blank. Merrick demanded an explanation and Thorn revealed that the last pages only share their knowledge with the dead. When asked what he needed to do, Thorn told of the transformation that would make him like her and that it was the only way if he truly wished to learn the rest; but as far as she was concerned he had satisfied the terms of their arrangement and he was free to leave. Merrick answered without hesitation, saying that he couldn't stop after coming this far; and with that the preparations began for the ritual to take place the following night, as Merrick enjoyed his last day as one of the living. Merrick endured much agony during the ritual but he took it in stride, never screaming or begging for it to stop; and once it was over Merrick opened his eyes to feeling like he did when he fell into darkness all those years ago, only this time he still resided in the world of the living.

Merrick got to his feet and stood before Thorn, now as an equal. She handed him the book and told him that he must now leave, that the presence of another would create division among the mindless undead as they would become conflicted over which to follow and tear one another apart instead of defending the tomb. Thorn questioned why she went through with this if she knew that this would be the result, that it would force him to be expelled from the tomb; and Thorn answered that she sought a disciple to carry her knowledge out into the world, not a companion to keep her from feeling lonely within the tomb. Thorn revealed that it was always going to end with him leaving one way or another, regardless of what he was when he did so; but Thorn also had another gift for him, a reward for what he endured. Merrick read from the book as he exited the tomb for the first time in more than fifteen years with a family of his own as the skeletal remains of the party he once belonged to followed and encircled him as he made his way to deadhaus, where he might continue to grow both his power and his family.
 
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derula

Herr Pfannkuchen
Eternal Champion
Feb 21, 2018
112
120
103
Loved part 2 ❤

The only complaint he had was for a lack of meat, but this was soon solved as rats from within the tomb found their way into the courtyard.
Delish.

Merrick asked if that was the other side that he saw, to which Thorn answered that it was for him. Merrick gave her a confused look before asking if the other side looked different for her. Thorn stated that the other side has its own mountains, valleys, and oceans. Merrick expressed a desire to return there, to which Thorn told him that some day he will. Thorn ended the lesson early and Merrick retired to the pavilion for rest.
Nice.

occupied with controlling a number of reanimated rat bones as they danced around
There we go, I knew the dolls would make a return!
 

Cradlis

Ripe
Feb 8, 2019
14
19
13
At first I thought that the character would give life to the puppets (or even killing young children to raise them as undead, becoming puppets), but I prefer this. Especially the "rat armor" :D

Good text, it's inspirent. I assume this is the background of a liche. A revenant does not have this kind of magic and this is not how vampires are usually created.
 
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Livin

Long Dead
Vampire Scholar
Mar 20, 2019
131
134
53
I'm glad you all liked it.

@Cradlis
I thought about including stuff like that, but I wanted to keep it an origin story and leave what comes next for deadhaus.

It is a liche. I purposely kept either of them from using that word, for Merrick because he likely wouldn't have learned of such things while locked away in the church; and more importantly to hint at how long Thorn had resided in that tomb, possibly predating that name be given to her kind.
 
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