Orphan of the Port

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Orphan of the Port

Postby Otreus » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:19 pm

Orphan of the Port
Background Story of Otreus

For as long as I can remember, I have lived a life of servitude. Until the day I turned into a man, I worked as help to a smith, and in hindsight, I believe I was one of the lucky ones. Where there would be days when the metal didn't sell, I at least always had some food in my belly, and the beatings were minimal, and only ever from drunken adventures, or my own misdoings. Others were not so fortunate. I look fondly back on those days, though I try to forget the stories of those less fortunate, this is just the world I live in, and have learned to appreciate it for what it has offered me. What surfacers would term as "slavery" is a very powerful and necessary system to those who live below. As a slave myself, I can tell you that the stories you hear are most definitely of the more extreme variety. Where you may hear about some drow who takes on a human, or gnome as a slave, one would assume the worst of such a situation, and it may be true, however I feel that is the minority. More often than not, those whom you'd consider more closely related to surface races, your gnomes, some dwarves, and yes even humans are the ones that become the owners. Because, after all, there is always work to be done in some way, no matter whom you are, and there are few things more rewarding than a warm meal. Being paid for a task need not always be of a monetary value, the basic necessities in life like food, shelter and a purpose can give you far more of a sense of accomplishment than any coin can.

When I became a man, I was off to the Har'oloth Magthere, an institute renowned for its bloodthirsty fighters and careless nature. This is a common occurrence in Skullport, with the ties to the drow society, and the push for more capable fighters becoming so important to the economy; many slavers will sell their of-age slaves to the institute for a tidy sum. So many deaths occur at the school that there is almost always a demand for more able-bodied souls. I paint a grim picture, but such a place is necessary for those that aspire to be true warriors, and for business alike throughout the port. The skills they teach are critical to the protection of Skullport, and this may not be as well known, but Har'oloth Magthere often send their students as hired guard to the many establishments that just can't afford, or refuse to pay for a full-time, experienced guardsman. It's a great deal really, getting out there and experiencing how the real world works is an eye-opener for a young man, and in my case, eventually led me to where I am today.

I was merely a student when I was first hired out. I spent a solid month with a foul man named Jaxon. Turns out he really only hired me because he couldn't afford a more experienced individual, much to his dismay, but nevertheless I did what I was told. The man was a thug, and from what I gathered, he was only able to afford me because he stole from a particularly nasty svirfneblin named Blikrop. Say what you want about the deep gnomes, but their quiet stature and blatant ignorance to social norms is actually quite frightening. In this particular case, I was more useless than a babe, and before I knew it, Blikrop and his crew blindsided us, quite literally blinding me. Through the crashing about and cursing I heard nearby, it was obvious that I could do nothing for Jaxon, and they had done him in as expected. Thankfully they either showed mercy or pitied me for my situation, and I lived to be where I am today, a kindness I will reciprocate when I am able. Upon returning to the Magthere, I learned a little more about how business works at the institute. Needless to say, they couldn't care less about the death of Jaxon, however they could no longer have me tarnishing the institute's name. The institute was paid, and I was alive, so that's a win-win for them, but it turned out I was not exactly what they were looking for, and once again I found myself in servitude with another.

I was never raised around faith. Of course you hear about it growing up, everyone thinks they follow the right one, or at the very least that theirs is the one that will last the longest. I can now say with some certainty that I have been touched by faith now, how much remains to be seen, and anyone who says otherwise about their own life is ignorant to the way faith works. After my failure at the Magthere, it was clear I was not cut out to be a skilled fighter, and the institute, ever looking for profit, found that I may be better use to another organization, a local church devoted to the goddess Shar. As a general laborer to the church, I was tasked with all the sorts of mundane jobs you could think of. When I wasn't delivering packages to head top-side, I was on guard duty. It all kept my mind occupied, and myself not being as learned a man as most, that doesn't take much. I found that I enjoyed the hard work and the reward for getting it done more than I do most other things. When I wasn't working, I found myself enthralled in a sermon. I say enthralled not because I felt some sort of emotional connection to the viewpoints of the church, but rather when you're listening, sermons can almost feel like a story. A story full of adventure and betrayal, and perhaps even satisfaction. These are just a few of the things that the downtrodden need to hear about to inspire a sort of hope into their normal lives. I'm no exception, and that little bit of hope actually led me to where I am now.

A full year passed during my time with the church, and it was becoming a major staple in my life. A church is more than just a place for the homeless, but even I soon found myself calling the place my home, that is until I was sent on a seemingly normal delivery mission. A simple task, a delivery to Zlarga the boat master of the port, and one of the few good orcs I had the pleasure of knowing. When I arrived with the delivery, and handed him the parchment, I waited patiently for him to read the parchment, as was customary, before showing an open palm for payment. When he lifted his eyes from the paper, a smirk had splayed across his face, catching me off my guard. There was an unsteady silence as I lifted my hand for payment, and he quickly shook his head and nodded back to the massive ship known as the Shadow Rider that floated patiently behind him. I will never forget the words, "You go." he said, and I stood stunned. I raised my eyebrows, and could only stammer out a "What?" in response. He pointed gruffly at the parchment, turning it around to show me. Right there, in the delicate writing I recognized to be the head priests', was a summary of payment for a one-way trip to Waterdeep, to the surface.

Here I am now, riding the sails and writing what little of my life has mattered to me. The church has given me a great gift, an opportunity, and I will not squander it. I may one day find out the true meaning behind why I have been given this chance, but for now, I will finally receive my own adventure. Perhaps when I am a battle-hardened explorer, and with a little luck, a richer man, I will repay this kindness that has been shown to me. Until then, I find myself squinting, hardly able to see through the blinding light that is called the sun, as it's fiery gaze looks upon me and the future that life now has in store for me.
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