Character Name: Mikael Orcreft of Europa
The Autobiography of Mikael Orcreft
Why do we exist for such butchery?
That we may live as fools, blind to the hatred within our souls. Proudly striding forth to the stage set for our cruel theatre of life. And yet still, we know of no reason for our ever-shortening span upon this world.
Eager to create others to suffer the same brutality, the same hatred and the same death, we smile. Still blind we deem this our purpose, though deep within us we know that to expand our foul, virus-like races until every last resource is consumed, like some swarm of foul insects is no purpose for such a tortuous existence. No. Indeed it would seem we are as puppets, playing out our lives in front of a hellish audience. An audience of Demons, of Devils and of Gods."
-Lord Inquisitor Trajanus reflecting on the siege of Britain Jun 26 351 DR, Tear of the Unstrung Harp.
With something resembling divine fury, the towering knight swung his father's sword once more, the powerful silver blade tearing forwards and upwards with a flash, cleaving through the iron-like jaw of the Titan before him. Without so much as a shout, the creature slumped forward, ichor spraying across the dusty city street. A general of its kind, the gargantuan warrior had been painted dark green, likely so that those within its command could easier find and rally to it in the chaos of the melee.
Now dead, the gathering mass of foes began to form a tight circle around the figure of the knight, stood in proud defiance, blade held high, armour gleaming white.
Ettins, Titans, Ogres, Cyclops, Lizards. Each dared stand forward and be next to meet this warrior's blade. Each let their foul tongues rise up in mocking chorus, cursing the knight to drop guard and fight. Each stayed unmoving, unwilling to test themselves against this new power that had already begun gnawing at the dark corners of their inner spirit. None would dare acknowledge it. It was a feeling that went against the very foundations of their way of being. And yet it was there, the proverbial splinter in their mind. Fear…
I often ask myself if there is but a single word that I might use to define my life here upon Sosaria. Indeed, many days I have spent pondering this thought and at last, as I looked through tearful eye and heavy heart upon my family, slaughtered and burnt by the Despise hordes, I finally found my answer. Trial. Constant, unforgiving trial.
It were as if the Virtues sought to task me with justifying my existence within their realm. As if my being there required some favour in return. As if my place in their cruel puppet show held some greater cost, one I would pay and pay again until the moment the show finished. No applause. No well spent gestures of gratitude. A path that would end as quickly and quietly as it begun. This, my trial. My story. My life.
It began in the hustling, ever moving world of the city. The harsh reality of survival in its very essence. The unforgiving alleyways, lined with daggers and hands that clutch and grasp for your purse. The monarchy in all its splendour, half corrupt, half drunk. And of course, who could possibly forget the merchants, trading guilds that held more power throughout the land than any royal Baron. A place for no child and yet there I spent my youth, aiding my father in his lumberjack business, just scraping enough to get by, just surviving.
My brothers, Jarlax and Andreas, the elder and younger of me respectively, were by and large my only companions. We had little time to mix and blend with our peers elsewhere in the city and what spare time we did manage to obtain was spent training our sword arms.
I think my father knew that we had no wish to carry on where he left off; his trade was withering, taken from him by the larger lumberjack companies and guilds. Survival of the fittest he said. I could see the pain in his eyes.
The ideals of chivalry and the eight virtues had always appealed to me. There was great evil within the land, indeed, if only I could have known how close it was. As a child I dreamed of battling fierce dragons, jousting for the favour of some fair maiden, of earning the title 'hero'. Yet I would soon learn what that title really meant. I would soon learn what burden came with carrying such a name.
Then, without warning, without notice, without mercy, that fateful night lurched out of the mist like death himself, twisted and unfaltering before the breaking of the world. The night that would so change me. Would contort my life and the lives of so many.
Mount Despise, long left to swell and boil like some foul wytch's cauldron, erupted forth, unchecked and unhindered upon the city and those within it. A punishment it must have been, a reminder from the eight, the glorious eight. For in my heart of hearts I cannot dare say that fair Britain did not deserve it. Even I.
The first wave was met with small resistance in the farmland outside the city. What little of the guard that were not holding firm in glorious defence of the city's taverns and brothels, set up some minor defences and prepared to meet the surging tide head on. But it was not enough. It could never have been enough for that evil. Unstoppable, unthinkable evil. Gathered, bred and organised for one sole purpose, the destruction of men.
The screaming of the dying, of the women and children, burning alive in their homes. That roaring crescendo, fixed with the guttural snarling of the horde. Even now it haunts my days, plaguing my mind like a demon freed. My family dead and my home burnt, I was sent into a spiral. A whirling vortex of despair that consumed my mind. In times such as these, the human spirit can only comprehend one bitter objective; the will to fight on.
In the days following the invasion I began wandering the lands, unsure what to do with myself. Unsure what to make of what was left. It was in these dark days, when the world began closing in around me, that I came upon a collective of knights, named the Renegades of Virtue. They welcomed me as one of their own, gave me the aid and support I needed to get back on my feet and above all else, they gave me a hope and a will to carry on with my life. Before long I joined their ranks and lent my blade to helping them rid the evil that had come so close to tainting my very essence.
And so it was that I, Mikael Orcreft, son of Honus, set out on my path into the world of Sosaria, my destiny apparent, my will strong, my virtue undeniable…