Out to complete the mission of his mentor...
Corvus, the apprentice become journeyman, now sets out on his own to complete the mission of his mentor.
Somewhat of an anomaly in the thanelands Corvus is a Tiefling. Though the power of their blood calls nearly every tiefling to fury, destruction, and wrath, even the spawn of a Erinyes can become a saint and the grandchild of a pit fiend an unsuspecting hero. While this may be true Corvus is just setting out on his path.
After arriving at Blackraven hall, collected almost dead by a patrol, Corvus was given modest accommodation until he could receive further questioning. Only one man, Eldgrim Wyrdmake, was known to have the wisdom and tact when dealing with outsiders so it was he whom approached Corvus as he sat alone in the mead hall. It was decided that he would be sent south for a time to attempt to communicate with the group called the Harbingers, the only option for one of his blood, as they would surely be able to help him exact his revenge on the White Witches.
Depending where he goes, Corvus Sicarius is met with many different reactions from people he meets. Most are tolerant, some are extremely averse to dealing with someone with infernal blood, but almost all are instilled with a fearful respect. Though he may not realize it Corvus has been trained for years in the arts of the Inquisition and to carry the weight of character that his mentor Joseph did. Grim and determined, the inquisitor roots out enemies of their faith. His skills and experience gained during his apprenticeship and his adeptness with the occult mysteries would surely be valuable to the Harbingers.
Fire, yells of anger, the clashing of blades, the laughter of the wicked and then…blood and pain, that’s how it always ended…..with blood and pain.
Corvus Sicarius awoke in his bed, sweating and his mind laden with the past. After five years, the memory of that death filled night still hounded him. Corvus reaches for the flask sitting on the night table next to him and takes a few generous swigs to help drown out the memory and with a snarl of accustomed frustration he leaves his bed to find more drink. Sleep would not return this night as he knows all too well. While filling a glass, Corvus looks out his window and into the streets and town below. He looks out with a twinge of disdain and pity in equal measure. “How easy it would be to bring havoc to this peaceful place” he says to himself, “but he would not approve of such a thing” he continues. “No, he would not approve at all” he whispers to himself before sipping his drink while holding a worn amulet and letting the past flow over him once again.
Fifteen Years Earlier
Joseph Bercshel was on the trail of a witch who went by Hara Silverblight in the town of Jol. He had been tracking this wretch since receiving a missive from a fellow Inquisitor informing him of a devious scheme that had yet to come to fruition. He had Hara in site and would have made his move to capture her but was suddenly knocked off balance by a child running through the crowd. “No” he thought as he saw the boy sprint nimbly through the crowd, “not a boy, a tiefling boy?!”. The crowd around Joseph did notice the creature within their midst, Joseph himself had almost missed it were it not for the hint of a tail switching beneath the boys ragged duster. Joseph would have let the tiefling go and let someone else deal with it were it not for the odd feeling on his wrist. At that moment Joseph realized the amulet he wore was gone. “That little devil!” Joseph yelled and set off in pursuit of the would be thief. As Joseph forced his way through the crowd he saw the little fiend duck into an alley way. Joseph making it through the crowd, rounded the alley corner with his hand crossbow raised straight at the ragged child. Before Joseph could utter a word the boy extended his slightly clawed hand cautiously towards Joseph with amulet in hand. Joseph knowing the trickery of these half-breeds slowly moved forward, hand bow still raised and finger on the trigger. He reverently took the amulet and held it like a sacred relic of old. As Joseph looked back at the boy with contempt and began to leave him to his sorry existence the boy spoke. “You miss her don’t you?” a statement which stopped Joseph in his tracts. “What did you say boy?” was all he could utter. “Your wife Elana, you miss her very much” the boy continued. “How do you know of my Elana? Speak devil or I shall send you to the Abyss where you surely came from!”. The boy startled by the outburst, pointed towards the amulet in Joseph’s gauntleted hand. “I saw her when I touched it, I saw the two of you and then how she died. I saw the man with know face kill her and heard the women’s laughter. It’s all you have left of her and I could not possibly take such a thing”. Joseph was taken aback by this, he had never met a spawn of a fiend with such morals and to have such a gift at that. “I give you this option boy, join me and have the chance to be more than you are or stay here in this place and become this place wants you to be.” The boy looked at Joesph with awe, for the first time in his life he had been given a choice, something that not many of his kind get, and he would take this Joseph’s offer. The boy nodded his agreement to first choice. With it settled, Joseph asked the boy his name and the boy responded with “Corvus…Corvus Sicarius”…..
Ten Years Later
“The world has made you what you are Corvus, but to become more than what you are, is what will make you great” said Joseph while roasting a rabbit over the fire. Corvus looked across the crackling flame at his mentor while eating his portion of their meal. Joseph often began such evening meals with a lesson of this sort as Corvus had come accustomed to over the years. As Joseph continued with his lesson, Corvus was distracted by a slight rustling in the brush just outside of their camp. He keen eyes picked out shadowy figures moving between the trees and moving closer. As Joseph took his portion of rabbit from the fire and was beginning to eat it when a crossbow bolt whizzed by his head and into the darkness behind him. All he heard was the agonizing scream of a being struck by the Corvus’s bolt and knew it was a kill. Just as the scream had faded four more attackers revealed themselves and a clash in firelight ensued. Corvus was already in motion sprinting with a speed faster than a normal man and launched himself into two of the shadowy would be assassins with rapier risen and a devilish grin on his face. Joseph to his credit responded with a speed unseen in a man of his age and swung his warhammer into the face of his first attacker, knocking him clear off the ground to land in a lifeless heap some feet away. With his back swing Joseph made contact with his second attacker but was denied another kill as his strike was parried. As Joseph regained his stance, the attacker moved in to deny him the reach of his hammer and true combat began. Up close Joseph got his first look at his foe and realized that these men where of a military bearing and equipped as such. While Joseph was facing his own foe, Corvus had closed with his own. With his sword raised, he ducked under the swing of the first man and lunged upwards, his blade piercing the man through the throat. With the blade still impaling the man Corvus spun round and fired his hand crossbow into the left eye socket of his second attacker. Time slowed as Corvus withdrew his sword from the man throat as both he and the second man struck the ground dead at the same time. Corvus looked up in time to see Joseph dispatch his foe with a dagger to the heart, but as Joseph was occupied Corvus caught sight of a sixth attacker coming from the tree line with his axe raised high. “Joseph! Down!” Corvus yelled and with an experience of years fighting together Joseph dropped and rolled towards Corvus. With Joseph out of the way, Corvus left the ground and flew at the man and smashed him into the nearest tree with an audible crack as the mans back was broken. The battle lasted but a few minutes but had felt like an eternity. As the man slumped to the forest floor it was obvious he would not be long for this world so Corvus had to act quickly if they were to learn anything meaningful from this wretch. Corvus reached out with clawed fingers and fiery eyes to grasp a strange medallion around the man’s neck. After a few minutes that Joseph had come accustomed to witnessing over the years Corvus looked up from the now dead man, the fire faded from his eyes and was replaced with an entirely different fire, a fiery rage now burned……”Hara”.
Five Years Later
“I have her Elana” Joseph thought to himself as he and Corvus approached the lonely cabin within the woods. “After fifteen years of searching, I finally have her within my grasp and she will pay for what she did.” As Joseph and Corvus reached the entrance to the cabin Joseph took a deep breath “I will avenge you my love, on my honor she will not live through this night”. With that last thought Joseph stepped back and kicked the cabins door in with such force, that the hinges were knocked loose. Before the door had hit the floor Joseph and Corvus stormed into the cabins den. As the two men entered they saw a feminine figure outlined by a roaring fire place. “I have you know wretch, you’ve eluded me long enough but now judgment is upon you!”. There was a sound coming from the women’s direction, a sound the grew into a laughter, a wicked laughter. As the laughter carried to Corvus’s ears he was struck by a realization, “I know that laugh” he thought. He had heard the very same laughter 15 years earlier in an alley in Jol while holding Joseph’s amulet. “This is the women who’s responsible, this Hara is the one who killed Elana” and Corvus finally understood why Joseph and him had hounded her so for all these years. As the laughter faded the Hara finally spoke, “well hello Joseph” Hara said in a silken voice. “It’s been far too long Inquisitor” Hara said with a seductive smile. “Silence witch!” Joseph yelled take a step forward. “Easy Joseph, what would Elana think of that temper of yours?” Hara said while maintaining the same smile. “Don’t you dare speak her name” Joseph spat out, visibly shacking with rage. Corvus had never seen his mentor in such a state before. “O my dear Joseph, you never knew did you” Hara said with a slight chuckle. “Your wicked words will not prevail here witch!” Joseph yelled taking another step closer. “Witch?, you say that word with such venom considering you were wedded to one” Hara laughed “poor poor Elana, she had such potential but never accomplished her potential because of you…..her righteous little inquisitor. She would have been a marvelous asset, but it appeared you had worn off on her.” Hara shook her head in mock pity. “With her steadfastness and beliefs we just couldn’t have her cause potential problems and she had to silenced. O how she cried out for you Joseph, she expected you to come charging to her rescue but you never came Joseph. She died alone and in darkness Joseph. You failed her Joseph, you failed your precious Elana then and you will fail her again this night.” The laughter returned with a twinge of malice to it. Corvus barely had time to register this revelation when Joseph sprung at Hara with a snarl of rage. Before Joseph could get within striking distance, a shadow emerged from the shadows of the side room and crashed into Joseph with such force he was pinned against the wall knocking over a lit lantern onto the cabin floor. As Joseph hit the wall, Corvus head a cracking noise and a yell of pain escape Joseph’s lips. As if the painful yell was a que, the figure began to pummel Joseph. With each blow landed, it seemed that the whole cabin shook and Joseph became closer to unconsciousness. In a matter of moments, the cabin was in flames and Corvus was lunging at his mentors attacker. Corvus’s blade lashed out but with a resounding CLANG, his strike was blocked. With Joseph no longer a threat the shadowy figure shifted his attention to Corvus. No sooner had his blade been parried, did Corvus feel a steel grip around his throat. Corvus was lifted off the floor to the sound of wicked laughter, as Corvus’s vision began to fade he saw the face of his demise. As the shadowy figure lifted it’s head, Corvus saw….himself, a perfect reflection a mirror image, then he felt nothing but pain as this fiendish vision rammed a dagger into his chest with a spurt of blood covering his lips. With its deed done, it tossed Corvus through a flame engulfed window into the clearing outside.
Hara approached Joseph’s motionless body and crouched down next to him. With her lips close to his ear Hara whispered “you see Joseph…you failed once again. In what world could you have possibly beaten me? This is the end Inquisitor and you will die just like your beloved Elana….alone and in darkness.” Joseph couldn’t respond as he had not the strength to do so. With her last words Hara departed along with her protector into the woods and the world beyond, and left Joseph to his fiery fate. As Hara left the cabin she walked past the crumpled figure of Corvus. “Leave him for the crows to feast upon” Hara laughed without giving a second glance and disappeared into the darkness of the woods. Had she looked closer she would have seen that Corvus, though bloody and beaten, was very much alive. “Joseph….” Corvus whispered “Joseph…” he said again louder. As Corvus called for his mentor and friend he could make out that the cabin was completely ablaze. Before Corvus could call out again he heard a scream of agony that pierced his very soul. Corvus realized that for Hara’s final act, she had left Joseph alive….”Joseph!” Corvus cried, but was unable to anything but lay there in the clearing. Lay there in the clearing and listen to the man that had become a father to him be burned alive and being powerless to help him. As the screams continued and the cabin burned, Corvus screamed “JOSEPH!” with an anguish that could shatters souls and shake the very abyss itself.
The sun was just cresting the horizon when Ulric of the Blackravens spotted the pitch smoke rising off in the distance over the forest canopy. “Too much smoke for a mere camp fire” Ulric thought to himself as he and his patrol moved off towards the smokey pillar. As Ulric and his men cleared the forest and into the clearing and the location of the smoke, they came upon a scene of carnage, “fan out in pairs and secure the area” Ulric ordered and his men obeyed. As Ulric moved closer to what used to be a cabin, he saw a slumped figure just outside of the burnt ruins and moved cautiously towards it, weapon drawn. “Keep a keen eye Sedvic, something is a foot in this place” and with that Ulric reached the cloaked figure laying in the grass. Ulric crouched down next to the cloaked figure and reached out to turn it over, but just as he was about to touch the figure, he heard it speak….”Joseph” it mumbled. “Sedvic! This one still has life in it” Ulric yelled to his companion and pulled the figure over. As the figure came to rest and the hood of the cloak fell back, Ulric first saw the dagger protruding out its chest and the bloodstained shirt around it. As Ulirc’s gave traveled up it came to rest on the figures face. “fiend!” Ulric hissed and yanked back his hand and was in the middle of bringing his blade down to kill the creature before him when in an instant the creature’s eye shot open and it bolted upright. Ulric was knocked to the ground and Sedvic off guard by the speed of the creature, but instead of attacking them it ran to the burnt out ruins of the cabin. “Joseph!” they heard it yell over and over again, by this time the rest of Ulrics patrol had heard the disturbance and had started to make their way toward them all with weapons drawn and arrows notched.
“Joseph!” Corvus shouted in a pain driven haze. “No no no no no no no, Joseph!” Crovus continued yelling as he reached the charred remains of the cabin. Crovus barely registered the armed men around him or the man had knocked to the ground, all that mattered was find Joseph. As Corvus made his way through the ruins he found his adoptive father, or rather the charred remains of him. Corvus fell to his knees next to Joseph’s burnt remains. “You can’t do this to me, not now, I’m not ready Joseph” Corvus so focused on his grief failed to see the armed men surround him in the cabin and Ulric move behind him blade ready to strike. “I swear Joseph, she will pay…she will pay for everything” Corvus said outloud as he retrieved the Elana’s amulet from around Joseph’s neck. Ulric was just about to strike when he heard the thing before him say something that took him off guard “I will not rest until that whore and all of her witch kin are wiped from the face of these lands and their tainted purged”. With that Ulric lowered his blade, “what happened here?” Ulric asked. As Corvus came out of his hate filled haze and turned to face Ulric, the dagger still lodged in his shifted and Corvus was wracked pain and collapsed into unconsciousness.
“Take him with us back to Blackraven Hall” Ulric said, “it may have information that we can use” he continued as his men gathered Corvus up.