The Heroes of Ra'an
The Shocking Grasper of The Party
Well before we get right into the lore aspect, I guess I should tell you all of Val’s early history.
What you are already know: he’s a drifter, doesn’t really remember his parents. One of his earliest memories: snow covered forest, looking up into an angels face, golden hair, matching eyes. He remembers the wind blowing, and the fire of a torch in her hands.
He drifted through that same winter (as a child, probably around six years old). Each day starving was another day spent deeper in delirium, another day another memory burned off from his mind, until he was left with nothing but instinct.
A hunter came across him and took him back. The man was Mikal, a big burly man with a soft heart. He buried his wife two winters ago, and his two boys left shortly after with dreams of knights and power. He ended up raising Val as if he were his own. But he wasn’t Val to Mikal. He called him by another name (Val doesn’t remember the name his parents gave him. And won’t tell another what Mikal called him). Still a baby in elf years, Val awoke to certain magical properties. Somehow the image of the angel with the burning torch survived and stuck with him. It was this fire that drew him to the fire magics the quickest.
Mikal taught Val how to hunt and fish (even though he was never good at either) and to live off the land. He made sure he knew his way around the sword and the bow. Mikal never liked his magic, yet he never came right out to say it. Only a warning: “If anyone comes by, you must hide your ears. And never show another your powers. You are my son. I will have no harm come to you.”
Two winters pass before several other hunters and men around the area come by them in the woods. Several weeks pass of this when one, a drunk, finally grabs hold of Val (after many weeks of harassment: “He’s too pretty to be a normal boy, he must be your lover Mikal” etc.). The steel came out fast, and Mikal stepped back from the dying man, Val in arm. Days pass when the men return, this time at their doorstep wishing to take blood for blood. “Run away boy, they come for you,” Mikal says, looking deep into Val’s eyes.
The moment was tense, but in the end Mikal forced him out the door, the song of steel commencing behind him as he stole into the night. At first he tried living off the land like Mikal taught him, but the nearest town sang its commodities louder than the forest. He took to begging first, learning fast on what to say and not to say. Then came the stealing just to survive. Next came the thinking. His magics became clearer to him. He copied others notes and picked peoples brains to get what he wanted. His flaws, greed and sloth, two opposing vices: the hungry man can never be a lazy one. He heard rumors of Mikals death a couple weeks later.
Not long after, he would learn how to team up with the local gangs, learning their territories and stressing that he was an independent agent. He teamed up with the Fences, the Uncaged, and the Dopple Twins. His go to suggestion whenever he needed some quick gold was to put on a sort of magic show, gathering a large crowd, while the thieves picked pockets. The split was usually 30/70, or at least that’s what he argued for. He never joined a gang in truth, always opting out when the question presented itself. “See you next time,” he would say (he would use the disguise self spell on himself many times, usually to hide/dupe the same people twice etc etc.)
After a couple years of dealing with these gangs and growing up a bit he started to make a name for himself. After learning a bit more about his magic, he started to call himself by a new name, Valdra (this name wasn’t taken kindly by the people who he dealt with. Even uttering the name would cause a fit of laughter where ever Val was.) He eventually tried other ways to earn money. He took to the dice and to the races. He took loans out under heavy drinking, yet always he would pay back his debts. Win. Or lose.
All but one. The Uncaged. They had him by the throat. The foul group always found a way to keep him on the books. He would always pay, so it made sense that Valdra was a valuable (and comical) stream of income. One day, the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself. He bet it all. And then again, double or nothing. And just like that, his days were over.
‘It’s a setup, it has to be,’ Valdra thought. Sweat ran down his brow, dripping onto his chin. The heat was unbearable. ‘Forty thousand gold. Where am I going to get forty thousand gold?” (Note to Cade: Make up whatever the game is. Doesn’t matter to me. Weighted die? extra cards? Poisoned horse??? up to you how they swindle him).
They demanded weekly payments. It was hard to keep up with what they wanted. It took six months before the harassment ran him out of town. He hid for several days in the forest, and eventually remembered Mikal and the house he grew up in. He found the house with ease, retracing the steps he made as a child. It was rundown and decayed, but still standing. The front door was kicked in and the place was well looted. He stood there in silence for only a minute, thinking about Mikal and the memories he made here, when something bashed him on the head.
He came to tied to a chair in the middle of the house. Several Uncaged lackeys surrounded him, their leader too. They beat him and shouted at him.
“You’ll never be able to pay the debt. You’ll be our slave for life, Valdra.” They all laughed. They beat him over and over: he was on the edge of madness when the angel came to him bearing the torch. Even though his hands were bound, he reached out and accepted the blaze. He could feel the magic flowing. His eyes reddened, an inferno raged, twisting round his chair and forcing the Uncaged back. Logic melted away, leaving only instinct in its place. A guttural yawp sent the flames dancing. And then nothing.
He awoke in the night. The house of his father smoldered; the bodies of his enemies ash. He drifted into the woods, into the night. The name Valdra would be met with no laughter now.
(Note to Cade: obviously it’s up to you to add to this/subtract from this. do whatever you want to it. sorry about the shitty fan fic bullshit writing. add to it, remold it, don’t care, use the uncaged or don’t, make up other enemies of bandits and thieves, it is up to you)