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Bastard

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  1. Anton walked tentatively through the door, closing it quietly behind him. The entry room of his family mansion is dark except for the flickering of a few candles too high up to offer much light on the floor. Anton didn't need any light, though. He knows the mansion well enough that he can even avoid the creaky floor boards in the dark, stepping gingerly around them to get to the stairs. "Where were you, boy?" A cold chill froze Anton in his tracks. At just nine years old, he has already learned not to cross his father and they were more than the tactics of a mere bully. That voice could chill even grown men to their bones. In fact, Anton has witnessed it. When his father asked a question like this, it was best to be honest because chances were that he already knew the answer. "At the shrine, father..." Anton's voice was meek, like the rest of him. Just the sound of his voice seemed to annoy his father who, back in his prime had been a strong man despite his necrosis. "I was just..." "You were what?" Romero snapped. "Praying? Anton dropped his gaze to his feet, feeling instantly foolish. Having been officially diagnosed only a year ago, Anton turned to divine intervention where generations of healers had failed. He bit his bottom lip to keep it from quivering and tried to use the priest's reassuring words to give him strength. Remembering how it made him feel to pray, Anton managed to lift his head to stare in the direction of the menacing voice. Romero sat in a dark corner, only a vague outline of his withering form visible. His breathing is heavy and raspy, like a drowning man desperately gasping for air. He leaned forward only slightly but enough so the flickering candle above him illuminated what can only be described as a gaunt and dying visage. "What did you think, boy? That you could pray away our curse? That Gaia would hear your plea and give to us a miracle?" "I just thought..." "You did not," his father screamed and lunged forward. Anton fell back with a yelp as he came face-to-face with his father. He has more visible muscle on his face than skin and even that seems to be deteriorating. He truly does look like a walking corpse. His lips are partially gone, leaving him with a perpetual snarl of rotting teeth. His nose is also gone so that he has only two slanted holes in his face. His left eyelid withered away a long time ago, leaving him unable to fully blink. "God is Man's greatest folly, boy." A bandaged hand gently brushed Anton's cheek and his father's voice suddenly became more gentle. "I only seek to protect you from despair, my son. We suffer a disease of the body but religion is an illness of the mind. The hands that work are by far more effective than the lips that pray." Anton could not keep eye contact with his father, not with his hand touching his cheek. The bandages slipped away and Anton could see the full extent of the necrosis. His father spoke of working hands over praying lips and yet his own hands shook. The skin was gone completely and most of the muscle was deteriorated, too. What was left was rotting tendons and blackened bone. Romero's hands hardly worked and his decaying lips never uttered a prayer in his life. Catching his son's glance, Romero became instantly enraged. His hand went from cheek to throat in and instant and squeezed. Yet for all for all of the fear the dying man inspired in Anton, his grip was weak. Still, Anton fell backwards and his father on top of him. With saliva and gore dripping from his mouth, Romero roared in his face. Then Romero's roar turned into a scream of pain. From beneath the patches of skin he had left, his face became engulfed in green flames. Anton tried to look away but found that he couldn't. Romero fell backwards, smacking at his face in a desperate attempt to put out the flames that seemed to move around like a living thing. "Rise, boy!" A voiced bellowed from his father that was not his own. A sixteen-year-old Anton stumbled to his feet to stare incredulously at the flaming figure that was his father. "Lead them to the hill and find me. Your hands cannot work but your lips need only give fealty to me." "Who are you?" Anton snarled, trying not to look at this flaming visage of his father's corpse. "And where am I?" The flames that engulfed Romero's face seemed to get sucked into his face and from there filled the sockets of his eyes and nose. When he spoke, the green flame burst from his mouth as if it could not be contained for much longer. "Know your place in this world, child. There are powers here beyond mortal comprehension. Your condition is a saintly curse that I can lift but you must lead them! Have faith..." Romero's mortal coil could not contain the flame any longer and was suddenly consumed. Like a flame doused by fire, the room became filled with smoke and Anton found himself coughing and... wet? How dare you fall asleep in front of the chief you miserable weakling?!" Aethelmir shouted, aiming a soft kick at the boy's stomach. "You stand up this instant and answer his damned questions or I'll have you dig a lake!" The soft kick moved Anton to his knees and he immediately pushed himself up on bloody hands to shoot a death glare at Aethelmir. "You stupid, filthy savage! If you were so connected to the Green Flame as you believe, you would not require my sight!" Anton spit at the barbarian's feet, a wad of red that was at least more mucus than it was blood. Normally that sort of physical exertion would have seen Anton bed-ridden for a day or more but he felt healthy, even if he didn't look it. He hardly knew where his words came from but the boldness was his own. He did not inherit his father's strength but power could be measured in more than just physical prowess. "And you, king in the mask," Anton breathed, ignoring Aethelmir as if he weren't there. "I am your guide, not your harbinger, you blind fool. I will lead you to the Green Flame but if you're not man enough to seek answers from it directly then you're not even worthy of the questions!" This was it. It was all riding on this. Anton cannot be sure if what he experienced had been real or a delusion of old memories and future hopes. He is not consciously aware of being imparted any divine secrets but these barbarians believe that he has been. Although he does not know what they will find, he knows where he must lead them. This will buy him time, at least and that is something that the Mortimer clan has been bargaining for, for generations. "The Green Flame is connected to Gaia," the words came out before he truly understood them. The memory he dreamed was when he had gone to the Gaian shrine to pray. That was the first time he had ever felt hope and it was more than just a fuzzy feeling. It was real, connected to something tangible that offered him more than conventional medicine and even magic could. "We need to go to the Church on the Hill. If you were meant to know more than that, then I wouldn't need to be here." @Vansin
  2. [Outside Coth] Antonius Griswold de Mortimer is the only child of Romero Griswold de Mortimer, Patriarch of the Mortimer family of the Black City of Patia who traces their lineage in Terrenus to back before the rule of the Saint-King Odin Haze and who boasts possible affiliations with such legendary figures as King Levas and Zengi, the Witch-King. Not a soul in Patia hasn't heard of the Mortimers. Even visitors to the Black City quickly learn their name. Their family fortune is tied up in various stocks of universities focused on magical theory and budding magitech corporations. Renown alchemists across all of Terrenus have been funded by them for generations. They even back political figures operating at all levels of the government. Other noble families even owe them in coin and favors, usually in bribes and blackmail dealing with some public relations nightmare such as a drug-addled relative or hiding the occasional bastard heir. Hidden about as well as their perpetual necrosis, the Mortimer even have ties to the darkest and oldest of Valucre's underground criminal organizations. More than just money and influence, the Mortimer clan commands respect and fear. Except for Anton, that is. Anton has spent the past few hours digging a fucking ditch. When Aethelmir came to relieve the guard, Anton was hardly the same boy they had picked up in the forest. Drenched in sweat and paler than ever, Anton looked ready to die. His whole body shook as if in convulsions and the only thing that kept him standing was leaning heavily on his shovel. The fine clothes he wore were sopping wet and covered in dirt. At one point he had relieved himself in his pants. The guard had berated him for that. It was not that they didn't let him go but that Anton had not known he needed to. As a boy, Anton did not participate in sports and other physical activities but not due to a lack of desire. Even before the necrosis had revealed itself, young Anton had been of poor health. The oldest Mortimer doctor stated that it still had to do with the family condition. Each generation seemed to get weaker. Aethelmir less marched Anton to the chief's tent and more dragged him. When he shoved the boy through the flaps, Anton hit the ground without even bracing himself. The chief's words fell on deaf ears. Anton was out cold, face-down with his arms sprawled out over him, his hands covered in blood. @Vansin
  3. Bastard

    Whose Line? Bi-weekly RP Challenge!

    My username in a post. Well that shouldn't be too difficult...
  4. [An Hour Outside COTH] They were only rumors. When Anton left the Black City, forsaking family and fortune, he never dared dream that he would actually find the green fire. He just figured that he would rather die seeing the world than live another fifty years as a lab rat. They were only rumors. Now this savage that Anton both feared and looked down on bore a green flame on his hand. Even before he touched his flesh, when the collar of his shirt was burned, Anton could feel no heat. Something wasn't right. He stared incredulously at the chief, as if he were some otherworldly creature. Fear and contempt was replaced by bewilderment and.... Dare he? Hope. Even as he was slammed against the tree, Anton stared at the chief like he was some puzzle he could not solve. Their voices sounded as if they were far away, talking about a stranger who was not him. When Viscerex touched his face with the green flame, Anton cringed even though part of him knew it would not burn. A new feeling crept over him as the flame clung unnaturally to his skin. It was a feeling of dread that he could not place. As the group made their way through the forest, Anton's thoughts swam with the possibilities. It could have just been magic. Even before he finished the thought, he knew that was not it. These people were not wizards, they were warriors. . .zealots, even. About an hour from the Church on the Hill and Anton had not given any thought to his current predicament. Something did not feel right about the green fire but he could not place it. Perhaps it belonged to some horrid demon of another world, come to trick the hearts of men into worshiping it. Or perhaps it really was holy and the Mortimer family curse was the true evil. @Vansin
  5. Bastard

    What do you hate to see in a post?

    Towards. Nobody walks towards a door and opens it. They walk TO the door. Walking towards something implies that you are only walking in its general direction but that it is not the destination. Guilty. Please call me out.
  6. Bastard

    What are you watching? [TV edition]

    I just started watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix. I'm on episode 4 or 5 of the 1st season. It doesn't strike me as anything special so far. It appears that the most interesting character is already dead but the main character, Jax seems like he has a lot of room for development that will lead to some good conflict. Another character whose name escapes me and who hasn't had a lot of screen time yet also seems to have a lot of potential as he tries to leave the biker gang life behind him to focus on his family but he keeps getting pulled back in. Gemma (Jax's mother, Peggy Bundy from Married With Children) also seems to be very cool even if her character archetype strikes me as a little typical.
  7. [Outside Blairville: The Forest by the Road] When the barbarian leader mentioned a cure, Anton nearly burst in to tears of laughter. All of Terrenus' best mages and surgeons could not even understand the disease much less cure it and yet this savage from the wilds held what was most precious to him? Before his conscious mind even considered it, a part of the boy knew exactly what was going to happen. When the rest of his awareness caught up with him, his heart stopped and he was being dragged like a dead deer to be skinned on a tree. How did I get here? The first thought that came to his head would do nothing to save his life. He had no such life worth reflecting on, anyways and then, Why my hands? I'm not going to die. It was hardly a comforting thought. Sure the necrosis had made them ugly and itchy, but amputation seemed an extreme step-up. Stop! And the world seemed to obey. Antonius Griswold de Mortimer was always a charismatic boy who made friends easily. Even after his necrosis developed, nothing seemed to dampen the boy's magnetism. A psychic doctor had once said that he emanated a genuine aura. Anton's father accused her of having more pretty words than sense but it was true that the boy seemed a natural liar. It was as if none could believe he'd be capable of deception. The world started again when he was offered a stick. "Harbinger!" It was as if the word had been pulled out of him. "You fools!" If Anton had heard the rumors all the way from Patia then surely these uncouth savages had, too. "It burns from within!" He had to fully commit now. May they be as superstitious as they are stupid. "The green fire burns from within. Damaging the vessel will only kill us all!" Was that genuine terror they saw in his young eyes? Well he was an axe swing away from becoming a cripple. A healthy dose of truth always bolstered a good bluff. "Take me to the church on the hill where the green fire was born an-and I will give you a feast!" A little exaggeration never hurt, either. @Vansin
  8. Bastard

    What do you hate to see in a post?

    Talent. I hate it when my role play partner is a good writer. Acting all haughty with your likable characters and engaging narrative. Jerk. My real pet peeve isn't even with other peoples' posts but rather their reaction to my own. I'm not a very good writer. It's not self-pity, just an observation. So if something about my posting or even my writing style in general is irking you or it needs improvement and you think you can help then please, please, please tell me. Don't call me out in front of everyone and embarrass me but send me a polite message and we can talk about it. There are some things that I might not be willing to change. Maybe I like it or maybe I'm just being stubborn. But I am always open to discuss it. I don't just take criticism well, I crave it. If you PM me just to tell me I suck then you can eat a bag of - Oh! My break is over. Back to work. 😎
  9. [Outside Blairville: The Forest by the Road] It was all such a blur. A shadow was cast over his face and then suddenly there was an explosion of colors. Next thing Anton knew, he was bouncing on the back of a donkey and watching blood drip on the ground. It was an odd thing to see his own blood not being drawn out in a tube or sitting in a vial and it had a strange taste like copper as some of it dribbled down his dry lips. As the stars started clearing from his vision, Anton felt a dull pain in his surely fractured nose and tried to move only to find he was bound. "You tied me up? Where would I go?" Anton groaned, probably too low for anyone to hear. The poor boy had never been struck before. Even his father, for all of his bluster had never struck him. Then again, the Mortimer patriarch could not afford to injure so valuable a specimen. "You will tell me why there is no food or succor departing the city for the outlying villages." Anton was finally coming to his senses and it took him a few moments to process the question. Why couldn't he hitch a ride with a guard caravan to this COTH? Sure there were bandits and the like on the roads but that was the point of guards and so why weren't they going out? Anton had made the connection back in Blairville. Food was not being delivered to the outlying towns and villages because there were no guards who would accompany the wagons and there were no guards on the orders of Blairville herself. "New gods... Green fire." Anton whispered, straining his neck to look up at that same grim visage he had thrown dirt at. It was a religious matter. Or better yet, as is often the case it was a political matter being covered up as religious. This was where Anton's views on religion clashed with his father. Religion did not start conflict but rather was the excuse to engage in it. After all, what better way to rally the people than to call them to defend their god? Anton's hands struggled against their binding. It was no use trying to get out of them as they were expertly tied but that was not the boy's intention. He managed to rub the rope against his glove just enough to slip it off. Underneath was a pale hand that looked as if it had never seen the sun and it was covered in what appeared to be lesions of rotting flesh. Let his captors see his disease and draw their own conclusions as to what exactly they have invited into their band of merry men. @Vansin
  10. I'm still here! It's been a helluva work week. 😴

  11. Bastard

    Antonius G. Mortimer

    True Name Antonius Griswold de Mortimer Common Name Anton Birthplace The Black City of Patia, Terrenus Religion Agnostic Anton was raised by his father who abhors religion and targeted Gaianism specifically during his bigoted tirades. Because of their falling out, Anton is currently questioning everything he thinks he knows about faith and divinity but is still jaded. Class Scholar Due to his medical condition, Antonius has spent most of his time with his nose buried in books. Because of his family's reclusiveness, Anton has no formal training in any sort of legitimate career field. His education comes from private tutoring afforded by his family fortune which came with minor studies in theoretical magic and magitech. Family The Mortimer family can trace their roots in Terrenus back to before the rule of Odin Haze and though their importance and their wealth has waned over the generations, they are still an influential family with allies in the right places. Romero Antonius de Mortimer, the current patriarch of the Mortimer family and Anton's father is currently on his death bed, wasting away from the degenerative disease that has plagued his family for generations. Family Motto "Death is not a circumstance of life, it is a condition of living." Rumors There was a rumor among Anton's schoolmates that his father was a lich or that he was actually already dead and that his spirit was trapped inside a decaying body Some folks say that during their early days of power, the Mortimer family served the infamous King Levas but some of those same sources also claim that they are descendants of the terrible Zengi, the Witch-King Age 16 Height 180 cm [5ft 11in] Weight 70 kg [155 lbs.] Hair As is most common among the Mortimer family, Anton's hair is thin and wispy with a natural platinum color Eyes Anton's eyes are a light but vibrant blue that betray his otherwise docile features. Although the shape of his eyes make him appear soft and maybe even a little tired, they are also striking to look at, like a sky that you know could be filled with storm clouds at any moment. Skin He has pale skin with a healthy flush and a glossy sheen like white marble. Although some might say he needs a little more sun, Anton seems the epitome of health. Anton uses black gloves to hide the pink discoloration on the tops of his wrists and the scabs on the back of his hands. Build Anton is scrawny with narrow shoulders and an overall soft demeanor. He looks like he has never known a day of physical labor in his life. Bio The Mortimer family is plagued by what can best be described as a degenerative epidermal disease that causes their skin to rot and eventually work its way to the organs. Over the generations, through the work of skilled alchemists and doctors they have managed to slow the disease's progress enough to live a full life, if not a pretty one. Romero, Anton's father is slowly succumbing to the disease. Even the alchemical balms that once soothed his sores are ineffective and as the disease progresses, it has left him looking more like a corpse than a man. The Mortimer patriarch became so desperate that he used his son more like a guinea pig in a desperate attempt to discover a cure all while under the guide of trying to "save his son". Anton was eight years old when the disease revealed itself and for the next eight years he was poked, prodded and experimented on. Shortly after his sixteenth year, Anton discovered that his father planned on sending him to an underground research facility on Biazo Isle where they were going to test out experimental and most likely illegal magitech. Taking what little personal savings he had, Anton fled from the Black City of Patia, determined to find his own cure in his own way.
  12. [Outside Blairville: The Forest by the Road] A funny thing that perspective can do to sounds. The cry that Anton heard sounded to him less like enthusiasm and more like bloodlust. As he crouched even lower in the bushes with his knees tight against his chest, he thought he could hear what sounded like a song within the rolling thunder that was their charge. As a boy, Anton read countless stories of high adventure and dreamed of seeing the world for himself. As the hoard charged in his direction and he felt as if the ground shook his whole body, he thought of one story in particular; The Centaur Charge. There was a time when Anton was filled with nothing but possibilities and hope. Sure he had a strange childhood in which his father always wanted him to see a doctor even though he wasn't sick. They often took his blood, too and always seemed to be checking his skin. Back when Anton read those stories of high adventure. Back when he believed that he might one day live those adventures. The centaur charged like a stampede around the perimeters of their desert home. Many stories depicted them as forest-dwellers the size of mere men but these centaur were more like giants who commanded the wasteland. This was before they told him about his condition. Anton wanted to one day feel the vibrations in his chest from a centaur charge. As these giants on horses stampeded his way, he felt it and he wasn't thinking of high adventure at that moment. He was just thinking about home. "You are caught, boy. Stand and let us see what you carry." Viscerex's voice was made ominous by the steel ring of the helmet. The way the voice came from above and behind him made Anton think of his father. No! He would not go home! His father cared nothing for him. Years of having him poked and prodded "for his own good" were undone when the Mortimer patriarch's true motivation was revealed; discovering a cure for himself. In that moment, Anton wanted to lash out one final time before he was struck down. To scream his defiance at the world and tell it that he was going to die on his terms rather than being eaten alive by some black death. As he stood up, one of Anton's gloved hands scooped up a palm-full of dirt and in one, quick motion, he spun around to face this man and flung the dirt right in his face. To his absolute horror, Anton watched the dirt hit the close-faced helm of a grim visage. "Ah shit!" @Vansin
  13. Bastard

    A big welcome to Valucre's new members!

    And here I thought I'd never get a party. It's a little overdue and appears to be hastily put together but I suppose it will suffice. Should have figured it would be BYOB. 🙄 Thank you for the welcome! 😁
  14. Bastard

    Afternoon, Folks!

    Welcome aboard, mate. I just got here myself but she's a fine ship. I've never played D&D but I'm familiar with the settings and Eberron is definitely the best. I'm a big fan of high adventure and intrigue and Eberron pulls it off with dramatic style. I enjoy Eberron lore so much that I am willing to forgive your preference for Gen 4 over the obviously superior Gen 3. 😎
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