Character Name: Thanos

Thanos and Raist of Yew

Where to begin? It seems so very long ago, the events that shaped our lives in Sosaria, yet the defining moments are still painfully real as if they only happened yesterday. My brother , Raist, and I were out collecting wood for our parents in the northeastern Yew forest. We were probably taking a bit longer than we should since it was a nice day outside and us being the adventurous type were more looking for excitement rather than firewood. As the time slipped by, our attention was drawn towards a large ominous plume of thick black smoke rising back towards our village. We decided where there’s smoke that big there must be something exciting going on, so we hurried back.

To our horror, as we neared our village, we could see the smoke was coming from the numerous buildings in our village and people were running around in a panicked state and then we saw the cause. Intertwined in the familiar humans we knew from our village we saw Orcs. Archers, mages, warriors every type of Orc imaginable was raining chaos down on our village. We began to charge into the village when we were grabbed from behind by a friend of our mother. She begged us to run to the town of Yew and get help from the guards and to bring our father back since he had gone to town earlier. So my brother and I ran as fast as we could.

We arrived in Yew near the bank and frantically began screaming for the guards or help from any of the local citizens. The King’s guards said they were too short handed to send any help because they were needed in town in case the Orcs made it this far and the locals were either too involved in their own affairs or too afraid to go. Our father heard us yelling by the bank and he ran to us. He managed to persuade a few others to come and we all raced back to the village..

By the time we made it back the village had been completely destroyed and no one was alive. There were a few lingering Orcs that were still trying to find valuables to steal but the main force was long gone. Our group quickly dispatched with these lingering Orcs and we began to look for survivors and our parents. We found no survivors but we did find our mother. She was dead with an orcish arrow buried in her chest. Our father let out a terrible cry filled with emotions so raw everyone was taken aback.

He knelt down and cradled his wife, whispered the serenity fair in her ear and swore to bring justice to the parties responsible. He then gently placed our mother down, looked to us and said his farewells and raced off into the night with the few members he had brought from town. That was the last night anyone ever saw our father or most of the hunting party that went after those orcs.

I looked to my younger brother and could see the hatred welling up inside of him. One of the members that came to help from Yew, Lord Onyx Ironhoof, a dwarven smith, offered to take me and my brother in and teach us the ways of the land and the sword. My little brother, Raist, pulled away from Lord Onyx’s kind gesture and instead picked up an abandoned and partially burned spellbook lying on the ground.

He turned to me and Lord Onyx and said very coldly, “Here is where real power resides. One day I will command such magicks that no one need fear dying under my power and the ones responsible for this will suffer unimaginably.” He then cast a weak recall spell and in the words “Kal Ort Por” he disappeared to an unknown location.

I wondered if I would ever see my brother again. And Lord Onyx simply shook his head and asked if I was still interested in his offer. I agreed to accompany Lord Onyx and become his apprentice. Over the years he taught me many skills such as mining and blacksmithing, he instructed me in swords and archery, he supporrted my study of magic as well and the various fighting techniques that ranged throughout our lands. 

I remained friends with Onyx and we had many adventures together however, his attention grew more and more towards his blacksmithing and crafting and I wanted to go out into the world and test my skills and exact revenge on the Orcs.

As I traveled the lands, testing my combat skills and tinkering with magic, I met many interesting people and grew a very large network of  skilled warriors who helped me decimate many orc camps.

The list was comprised of many great heroes throughout our lands, names like: Lord Onyx Ironhoof, Joram Soulrift, DevilHimself, Lord GormachLady Terra Branford, Bob McDeath and Bob McCorp, Torquemada, Kahlan and Rhapsody, Lord Tajima, Ezcaari and Lady Judi, Lord Delekhan, Lady Vixen, Deathrage and the NUBsLady Willowwisp, Lady Daria de Lane, Lord Staxeon DeSange, Talanithus, Lord Terrin, Lady Vallee, Lady Thalia and many many others.

It was during these times that I learned that my brother may have been onto something when he saw the true power in magic and my mind began to wonder what had become of  my brother. And then as fate would have it I would soon find out.

 One dark and cold night, I was out much later than I should have been and had stumbled across a fairly old cemetery and before I knew it I was under assault by several undead. As I fought back the abominations, one fairly close to me exploded into a giant fireball before I could attack it. I whirled around and there coming through the shadows was a necromancer. He was speaking the spidery words of magic and his hands were glowing with power. Suddenly an undead warrior appeared next to him but this one looked different…I then realized the mage had summoned this other warrior. I looked back to the attacking masses and they seemed to have paused and were as shocked by this new human arrival as I was. They then resurged their attack, I let loose a volley of arrows and the mage sent his servant into battle and began casting more spells. Soon me, the mage, and his undead minion were all the remained in the cemetery.

I turned to thank the mage and ask his name. I introduced myself as Thanos of Yew and I saw a glimmer of something in his eye. He then slowly began to smile and responded with “Well met, my brother.”

“Raist?!? Is that really you?” I asked, barely able to contain my excitement. He nodded and began to laugh.

“I’ve long watched your progress Thanos, as you learned the way of the sword and then your  growing understanding of the powers of magic and then when I heard your battle here just a stones throw away from my tower, I felt the time was right.” Raist added, “With our combined might my brother we can kill the Orc who was the chieftain of the tribe that killed our parents.”

“You..you know where he is?” I stammered and Raist nodded in the affirmative.

“I’ve spent many nights many nights researching arcane lore, learning the darkest of secrets and even made some questionable deals with entites in other dimensions…..all to find the answers we seek.” Raist’s eyes narrowed and I swear it felt like the night grew colder then Raist continued, “I’ve found out where he is my brother and he will be no match for us nor will his rabble of orcs he commands.”

Raist opened a portal and I asked, “Does this lead to him?” and Raist smiled coldly and responded “Yes it leads right into his lair and only a few feet away from where he sleeps.”

Our battle was very one sided, I’m sorry to report, much like the simple townspeople of our village fell before the orcs so many years ago; so too did these orcs fall before the combined might of my brother and me. Once the smoke cleared all that remained of the encampment were charred skeletons, badly beaten and slashed corpses and imprints left in the soot of where orcs were burned to nothing but ash. While we felt we had done a good thing to avenge our friends and families the victory was not as sweet as we had imagined it would be. I guess that’s where we both realized vengeance consumes you from within and if not properly tempered can blind you to what’s important in life And you may look back in retrospect one day and regret the time you’ve lost pursuing the cause of vengeance.

That was the last I saw of my brother that night. I headed home and spent the remainder of my days in a log cabin hidden deeply in the Yew woods near the old village. I hunted the wandering monsters that came into my woods and the occasional orc that would come by. I offered bed and rest to lost travelers and then provided directions on how to return to civilization.  I occasionally visited Lord Onyx to share some new spell I had learned while tinkering in magic or to just sit around and have a few flagons of ale. And that’s where I remain living out my remaining years in the solitude of the forest and reflecting on if my cause was a just one or not….and wondering what became of my brother.  -Fin ~Thanos

I braced my hand on the shoulder of my friend as I knew the news I was about to impart would be a shock to her. I cleared my throat and spoke in the hushed whispers of one accustomed working in the shadows conjuring dark magicks. "Lady Judi, you have been my friend for many seasons and I have come to you for advice on many an occasion. I fear I have some regrettable news."

My hands began to glow as I conjured up miniature replicas of planets and stars, all floating effortlessly in front of us and bathing us in a soft light from the counterfeit star.

I let the planets dance for a bit and paused before my next words, "An opportunity has presented itself to allow me to travel to lands and places far beyond the understanding of inhabitants of Sosaria. I've have weighed the measure of enjoyment I draw from these lands and find myself wanting. This new prospect offers a universe of new experiences and a chance to grow beyond the dark arts I practice."

Judi stared silently but nodded knowingly as she too had noticed a changed in the lands of Sosaria's community and people. She couldn't blame me for my choice and wished there were something among the stars that appealled to her as well, but alas her place was back in Sosaria. “I wish you only success in your journeys Raist and should you find your way back to Sosaria know that you still have friends and family here.”

After staring at the display a few minutes in silence, I closed my hand and the planets and star wavered then flickered out like a dream.

We stood in the cool moonlit night's silence for long moments then Judi gave me a small hug, and once more wished me all the best. I then spoke the words "Kal Ort Por,” the night scenery faded away as the magic embraced me and whisked me away and then she too was gone in a flickering much like the stars from my hands. Lady Judi remained behind a bit longer looking up to the stars and I good hear here last thoughts of well wishes and safe travels. ~Raist