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The Orphan

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1 The Orphan on Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:25 am

Like his father and his father's father, young Oswald thought his life would consist of tending to cattle and chopping firewood, just another faceless farmer in a nation of thousands. And he was content with that. He harbored no dreams of adventure or of heroism, no ambitions for the big city, or for fame and fortune. Being eight-years-old, he could barely figure out what he wanted to do past lunchtime, much less next year.

But in a vicious display of blood and violence, the young boy found himself without family or home, clutching at the bloodied tatters of his mother's scarf, cradling his younger sister's head to his chest. Church soldiers found him lying unconscious amidst a pile of bodies, a frail figure covered in blood, the tracks of his tears the only clear part of his face. The hordes of Chaos that had ravaged his village had miraculously passed him by, thinking him already dead.

They took him to a nearby monastery, who fed him, clothed him and told him that the Church of Sigmar would take care of him. They worried for him because he refused to talk and could not tell anybody of the nightmares that plagued his slumber. The monks attempted to give him counsel and provide him comfort. Yet only one question burned bright in Oswald's mind, only one thing he wanted to know.

"Who killed my parents?"

It was a week before the answer came, in the form of a severe man in a voluminous black cloak, who elicited bowed heads from everyone, hushed whispers and stolen glances left in his wake. The boy, too young and too angry to be frightened or impressed by the man's obvious nobility and status, demanded answers.

"They were evil men, boy. A force of corruption sweeps across this land, bringing havoc and carnage in its wake. Your family were not its first victims and will not be its last,"

Having found his answer, Oswald was struck by a second question.

"Will they be punished?"

The Inquisitor knelt in front of the boy and looked him straight in the eye. "The death of your loved ones can never be avenged. This corruption does not obey the laws of man and does not suffer any earthly form of punishment,"

The boy shook his head. "I do not want vengeance. I just want it to stop,"

The man studied the boy for a few silent seconds, taking in his earnest and desperate need for a purpose to fill that sudden void in his life. He nodded.

"I can give you the means and the opportunity. But once you start on this path, you can never stop. The war is unending and your vigil must be eternal. If you walk this path, you will suffer more pain and hurt than you do now,"

Oswald didn't understand what war the man was talking about, or what a vigil was. But he was offering the chance to make sure no one else would lose their parents or their children, that no one else would have to witness that bloody path of violence and destruction. The boy looked at the Inquisitor through narrowed eyes, with the purity of emotion only children can muster.

"There is nothing that will make me hurt more than this,"

He was sent to another monastery, high in the mountains, isolated from the rest of society. There, he trained and studied and trained even more. The impressionable mind of an eight-year-old subjected to such violence needs little urging to accept murderous monsters as his mortal enemies, and the boy accepted this hatred with a fervent eagerness, harnessing his pain and his hurt into his training. Friends were made, and then lost as they proved too weak to surpass their training. Rivalries were formed, and then overcome with brute force and sly cunning. Through it all, the nightmares never ceased and a full night's rest was a thing of rarity, brought about only through sheer exhaustion.

He finally graduated at the age of eighteen, after he killed the boy he had shared a room and a life with for eight years, possibly his only true friend in the entire monastery. The two were locked in a room and only one of them was allowed to leave. Their eyes met, and then flicked to the dagger the other carried. The Inquisition has no use for soldiers who could not do their duty, for the forces of evil were insidious and would strike at a man's weakest points.

An Inquisitor has no friends, for even they can be corrupted by the false promises of the Dark Gods. Emotional ties lead to weakness and an inability to carry out Sigmar's justice when necessity demanded it, he told himself, as his friend tried to draw breath through a ragged throat.

His old life died in a thunderstorm of blood and carnage, weeping and praying for salvation. His new life was born as the blood of his brother flowed from an opened throat onto his hands. He was a soldier of the Church, the deadly punishment of Sigmar upon the monsters who would prey on he innocent. By the age of twenty, he had fought and killed a daemon, hunted down a witch and ended the life of a possibly innocent young man, tainted by Chaos through no fault of his own. He did it all with a grim determination, knowing that his purpose was true and that his intentions were pure. On certain days the nightmares are absent, but other nights bring a startled wakefulness that only ends with the dawn. He hopes that the memories never fade, for it renews his purpose and his faith.

He is a soldier of Sigmar. The war is unending. His vigil is eternal.

Last edited by Zakmonster on Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixed spelling errors.)

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2 Re: The Orphan on Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:26 am

Hopefully this gives you guys an idea of the circumstances that made Oswald the 'damn-hardcore' man he is today. Hopefully it also gives Raihan an idea of how the character can move forward.

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3 Re: The Orphan on Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:07 pm

Great read! I can now imagine how Oswald does the *walk*.

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4 Re: The Orphan on Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:33 pm

Hi Zaki,

Thanks for writing this story.

I did not know you actually knew your parents or you had a choice in joining the Inquisition- so that is great to know.

Your training would have included killing condemned prisoners of the state in death matches, espionage/surveillance/interrogation techniques and Church doctrinal procedure.

Do you see your character finding redemption and seeing the error of his ways or are you planning on playing him as an anti-hero throughout the Paragon levels?



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5 Re: The Orphan on Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:18 am

Belisarius Punchee wrote:
Do you see your character finding redemption and seeing the error of his ways or are you planning on playing him as an anti-hero throughout the Paragon levels?

Redemption and becoming a proper human being would be great. Playing out that conflict with the Inquisition later would also be really fun and perhaps Oswald can finally find some common ground with Cassius.

But I'm still having fun playing the anti-hero, so it can't happen to early Razz

Maybe I stay the anti-hero except not as... anti.

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6 Re: The Orphan on Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:38 pm


Good Stuff Zak, I'm likin' it :D

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