Friday, May 27, 2011

Auric Davros

I apologize for the choppiness and lateness of this, couldn't get my ideas to come out the way I wanted them to, ditched it twice and today deleted about 3 pages of what ended up being over-long setup for the fall of Tarsis and was setting up to turn novel length rather than a simple back story. At any rate, Auric Davros, human male cleric of Tevra:

Looking over his shoulder into the mirror, he remembers the price of ignorance. What suffering and pain the loss of knowledgecan costs. He still sees it in his dreams; the blast, brighter and harsher than the desert sun, the bone-crushing fist of the concussion, and the roar of ten thousand dragons filling his head until thought itself is obliterated. The death of a city.
Auric slides a fresh shirt over his head, covering the patchwork of long-healed scars peppering his back and murmurs a prayer to Tevra to guide his search for knowledge lost, that she may awaken and return the world to order. Clad in simple woolen clothing, the young man could be at first mistaken for the son of a farmer visiting the city, with his bulky arms and broad shoulders if not for the fine features and curled blond hair revealing his aristocratic Prustan roots. Rubbing his thumb around the circumfrence of the bronze gear that serves as the symbol of his goddess, he slips the thong it is attached to over his head and leaves his room at The Ghostly Minstrel to join his new companions for breakfast.

Auric's family, of the Baronetcy of Davros, had once been the premiere crafters of firearms for the nobility of Tarsis, in fact Auric's great great grandfather is said to have given the emperor himself a dragon pistol on his coronation and that the emperor wore the gun for all his days on the throne. The Davros family was well regarded, if somewhat rarely thought of, by the rest of the nobility, as they tended to keep themselves carefully seperate from the politics of the court and instead focus on their craft.

Never a large family, they lived in a compound within the walls of the city, a large manor house adjoining their ironworks where they forged pieces of deadly art for the nobility and wealthy merchants who commissioned them. They had maintained this practice of making custom pieces for centuries in spite of pressure to expand into production in numbers to supply the military as well because they saw the firearm not as a tool to be roughly used like any spade or knife, but expressions of art and technology to be appreciated even when not being fired.

It was to this lifestyle that Auric had been born, prosperous, comfortable, but also given to hard work and sweat in the family ironworks, giving him an appreciation of the common man that many nobles lacked. This lack of hauteur did tend to isolate the family in social circles, giving their few nay sayers the opinion that they were in truth trumped up merchants and crafters rather than true nobility...though they desired their craftwork just the same. This never bothered Auric much in his young life, as he has his two older brothers and younger sister for companionship, and even as young as six was involved in the family craft, helping his grandfather sort gems for encrustation, or carefully collecting scraps of precious metals left over from engravings his uncles worked on. All told, it was a happy, productive life full of interesting lessons in family history and guncraft, beyond just learning his letters and numbers.

When the barbarians sacked Tarsis, his father and uncles joined the defense of the city while the rest fled toward the west gate to join the stream of refugees fleeing the city, but were sadly swarmed over by the ravening horde, frenzied and filled with the thought of the plunder the city held for them. Slow to leave the family manor, Auric and his mother, elder brother, and younger sister escaped mere blocks ahead of the advancing barbarians.

Reaching such a rich and wealthy home the raiders allowed the fleeing Tarsians to run before them as the lure of gold and riches drew them in. Awed and amazed at the finely crafted weapons mounted in positions of honor throughout the home set up a great holler among the marauders, who quickly started seeking hidden vaults for even greater riches in the basement of the well as in the attached workshops.
Two centuries earlier, the Davros family had decided that they would not stand to suffer the embarassment of misfires in the weapons they sold to their customers and branched out into a small powder-making enterprise for the express purpose of crafting the finest and most potent gunpowder available, to be used with their dragon-cannons. The dangerous and volatile process was all undertaken in an isolated and secure section of the workshops, in excavated stone caverns in the bedrock beneath the workshop grounds. Precautions and safeguards designed to make the powder works and storage however served only to make it look like a treasure vault to the illiterate barbarians, who ignored the warnings all over its entrance. Breaking open the entrance after great effort, a group of raiders swarmed into the dark cavern, normally illuminated by cold chemical lights the family had acquired but the barbarians didn't know how to use, with their torches blazing.

The blast reduced four entire blocks of the city to nothing but a firey hellstorm, filling the air with a rain of burning debris and shrapnel, raining back down on the attackers and fleeing citizens like merciless Judgement from the heavens. A piece of flaming timber struck Auric full in the back as they fled, searing his flesh before his brother could put the flames out. Their mother however was not so lucky, a long shard of wood had pierced her heart as she huddled over her youngest child, protecting her from the explosion with her body. The small remainder of the Davros family limped with the other refugees out of the city, the only fortunate side effect of the blast being that the raiders had drawn back to move through the city more carefully, fearful of another.

Wounded and heartbroken, the sadly reduced family made their way westward, Auric fevered and in constant pain from his burns. Coming across an isolated abbey, the monks within quickly took them in and helped heal Auric's wounds and bring him back to health. For months they stayed with the monks, slowly recovering mentally and physically, until his older brother Maron proclaimed that it was time to move on. He was going to go to Sariush, where he had heard a branch of the family still lived and try and rebuild the family. However, in the months of recovery, Auric had come to learn more about the order that was protecting them, a branch of the Order of the Gear, worshippers of Tevra. He pleaded with his brother to let him stay, that he had heard the Call, and wished to join the Order and help restore order to the world, to prevent another Tarsis from happening. After much debate his brother agreed to let Auric stay while he and their sister went on to Sariush.

At nineteen, Auric is one step from full membership intot he Order of the Gear, this final trial is to seek out a piece of lost knowledge and return it to the Order, so they might spread it back into the world. With that task in mind, he enters the sprawling city of Ptolus; known throughout the land for its catacombs and lost mysteries, the city holds the key to his future and his best hope for helping reawaken his sleeping goddess.

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