Gaius Gratis

A man with black hair that hangs to his shoulders and eyes that look ancient in his smooth face.

Description:

Gaius had lost everything and left everything at his uncles destroyed manse in Aegos. He took the locket with the only picture of his family, his spear and armor and left. He joined the Aegos regular army and spent the next 5 years following every order he was given. Gaius advanced quickly and was recruited into the King’s Elite guard The 99 Sentinels at age 20.

After 6 months of faithful service to the King, Gaius was summoned by the 1st Sentinel, Worric Lawsworn into the private chambers of the Duke Varius Mercer, brother of the King. The Duke informed the Sentinels that Prince Zeffon the 2nd had been plotting with a group of mercenaries to assassinate the King. After being shown compelling evidence The 10 Sentinels present did their sworn duty and marched toward the Princes bedroom. Many guards stepped in the Sentinels way as the Duke informed them they would, but luckily Worric, Gaius, and the rest of the Sentinels were trained to be the best. Upon breaking into the Princes chambers they found the young prince cowering in his bed. Gaius stepped up to the bed to complete the deed, but Worric commanded him to halt. With a heavy heart the 1st Sentinel took out his sword, and cut down the boy he had been sworn to protect.

Worric commanded his Sentinels to follow close as they marched back to the Duke’s chamber, Gaius following quickly in step. When they entered the Duke’s chamber Varius turned to them grinning like a mad man as his skin began to burn off his face revealing another face under the one he wore.

Before them stood a tall thin man with black horns and large leathery wings. The Sentinels snapped out of their shock and began to rush the man but to no avail. With a wave of its hand the creature shot a ball of fire at the incoming knights. Gaius closed his eyes before the explosion impacted expected to be incinerated, but when he opened his eyes he saw that Worric had placed his shield in front of the young sentinel. Worric stared at Gaius for a moment and then just said plainly “Run.” Upon uttering the word Worric pushed Gaius out the nearest window. Thinking for a moment Worric had just murdered him, Gaius fell a hundred feet the ground and hit it hard, but was uninjured from the impact. Hearing the town guard assembling to hunt for him Gaius fled Cordium.

Two days later in the next town over, Gaius heard the new. The King had proclaimed that The 99 Sentinels were traitors and now wants Gaius captured and executed for the murder of his only son and heir. Gaius has wandered ever since unsure of who to trust, if anyone he sells his sword to whoever can afford it, and has wandered all the way to the neighboring country of Delvia with the false name of Ferox. Lost and listless he wanders toward the town of Ivarov…

Bio:
Gaius Gratis was born in the country of Aegos in the small town of ________. He did not come into this world to joy however as his mother, Cynthia, died during his birth. Tribalas was crushed while Zeke gazed in wonder at the new creature before him, his brother, wondering in the miracle of creation. Tribalas used his wealth to gather in secret books on how to raise the dead, and slowly began prefecting his necromatic arts.For three years Tribalas studied and ignored his children, entirely giving himself to his obsession of resurrecting his wife. The Gratis wealth was great and afforded Zeke and Gaius many nannies and perks, and whenever a servant went missing for Tribalas’s dark deeds, not a word was spoken of it in the boys hearing. Eventually the ruler of the city, The Baron heard of rumours of a necromancer working his evil in his city, and sent his personal vanguard to hunt down this menace. On the eve of Tribalas’s succsess he gathered his sons, Zeke six years of age now and Gaius only three and dismissed his servants for the night. “You wont be needed until the next morning. Goodnight.”.

He gathered his boys in his arms and squeezed them tightly, “Boys, my poor boys, I know I seem a stranger to you now, but all I’ve done I’ve done for our family. Follow me and hold on to my cloak. As long as you stay close, my pets wont harm you.”

Before Zeke could question his father or even wonder at his cryptic statement, Tribalas walked them to his study and pulled back a candle holder mounted to the wall. The candle holder levered backwards and stones could be heard grinding, then a stone door slid into the ground. Zeke peered inside ,keeping one eye on Gaius and another into the pitch black stairwell that wound downwards.Lighting a torch Tribalas grabbed and held Giaus to his chest ,“Zeke remember, hold onto my belt or cloak or you could get lost or worse down here. As long as you are with me though my failed experiments will leave you alone.” Zeke held onto his father as only a six year old could as they descended into an abyss. The stairs were well used with scones every twenty feet that glowed with an eerie blue flame. After what seemed a decade they made it to the bottom. Dirt floor and a cave like ceiling, again eerie blue flamed glowed along the walls, except this time without the pretense for scones. It was a short hallway, lined with cells in the cave rock, Zeke could see human like creatures in there, but Zeke knew better. No human had eyes that glowed so red in the dark. Counting the best he could Zeke came up with 32 red-eyed things in those cages. Some gnashed their teeth as they passed and some wailed like women lamenting a lost child. Zeke hugged his father closer as Tribalas led them to his laboratory.

Zeke gazed in wonder at his fathers hidden laboratory, giant glass cylinders stood in the corner glowing a sickly green, the walls were lined with shelves stocked with strange flowers and strange instruments, work benches lined the walls some covered with white sheets others with dried blood. In the center of the room Tribalas nudged the boys, smiling a gentle smile, a fatherly smile. The center of the room held a six foot long pine box with the lid off. Expensive quilts spilled from it, Zeke taking Gaius’s hand introduced him to their mother. Where her hair had once been blond it was now black, where her skin was warm, it was now cold, but she recognized her sons, and she wept. Tears of dust fell and mixed with her sons own tears.

FOUND IT SARGE, BUGGER HID THE DOOR!”

“The City Guard! Damn them all!”, said Tribalas as he slammed a lever adjacent to the door they entered down with all his strength. A marble slab engraved with dozens of runes slammed down locking the reunited family in the laboratory. Tribalas embraced his family for the last time and looked at Cynthia.

“If they find them here they’ll kill them too, my love.” said Tribalas.
“Then they must go, send them to your brother. He will raise them well.” said Cynthia

Tribalas nodded and walked to main workbench, grabbing his knapsack he filled it with his journal, a locket when they all had been together , enough money to get them to his brother and he secretly hid his soul phylactery inside a secret compartment. Banging came from the other side of the rune engraved door.

“WE KNOW YOUR IN THERE TRIBALAS, WE SEE YOUR MONSTERS, SURRENDER!”
“You see my monsters, Bigsby? Would you like a closer look!”

At that Tribalas began chanting and the sounds of rusted hinges could be heard snapping off in the hallway. Cynthia grabbed the boys and rushed them to another secret compartment, this one a long tunnel that went slightly up and ran straight but was pitch black. Tribalas ran over and hugged his sons one last time and gave Zeke the satchel, “Get that to your uncle Terelio, remember Uncle Terelio? He’ll be at the Dried Peach tavern today on his way to buy slaves, find him! Now go!” And with that Tribalas sealed the secret exit with another slab of rock. Zeke held Gaius close and listened, he could hear men dieing, being attacked by those creatures. Then the screaming stopped and an explosion rocked the earth. Zeke listened harder while shielding Gaius.

“I knew it would be you Baron.Betrayer! You-” said Zekes father. Then a smaller explosion and a scream then a thud.

Zeke crawled out of the sewer hatch in the early morning carrying a dirty three year old baby and a old leather satchel. He didn’t trust anyone at this point and did his best to find the Dried Peach, he found it and found his uncle too. His uncle looked at the two grubby boys. Bad luck he thought to himself, worse luck to let them loose he decided. Terelio took the boys out of the city to his personal estate where he trained Gladiators. Terelio had Zeke tutored in arithmetic, hunting, flora, fauna and military strategy as soon as Zeke turned ten.
Zeke showed excellence in all areas until one day, he found the satchel and discovered the soul phylactery which held his fathers living essence. Keeping it a secret he asked his Uncle Terelio if he could learn magic, Terelio was suspicious but granted the boys request and sent him to the Mage Guild for training. Terelio being a member himself checking in on him from time to time and was astonished at his progress and took him at the age of 16 became his apprentice.
Gaius however was quite different, where Zeke had been mild mannered and polite, Gaius was bawdy, loud and direct. The same studies Zeke had excelled in Gaius found uninteresting except military strategy. So on his 13th name day Gaius asked Terelio if he could be trained as a warrior. Terelio, agreed, believing that it would instill discipline in the boy and even calm him down. Terelio assigned his head Gladiator trainer to the task, a Minotaur named Ferox.
Ferox’s training sessions were brutal, going on for hours and sometimes days, Ferox taught Gaius how to fight and then he would teach him how to surive. Ferox would lead Gaius to remote parts of Aegos, show him what was safe to eat, where the safest places to sleep were, how to appease and speak to the mountain tribes. And then Ferox would disappear and leave Gaius to his own devices. Ferox would always attack eventually, at dawn, at midnight, he would surprise Gaius and he would get battered by blunted weapons. But Gauis loved it and grew strong, eventually Ferox started taking Gauis out on bandit hunting contracts. His first real kill was a bandit leader who liked to raid the merchants road. They called him The Black Bird, Gaius never felt more alive, The Black Bird was fearsome with his spear, but Gauis with shield and sword led him into a thrust and then lunged underneath his strike. The Black Bird laughed and said " Well done." and died. Ferox grabbed the spear and handed it to Gaius, this is your new weapon, it suits you better.

Eventually Terelio returned home with Zeke and Ferox with Gaius. It had been six years since the brothers had seen each other and everyone rejoiced, Terelio looking far older than his 76 years orderes a feast be prepared for the group. Zeke was 19 and a full fledged sorceror now, powerful in the ways of the Arcane and Gaius a promising warrior at the age of 16. Together they all ate and talked of the old times and new adventures. Eventually Zeke grew quiet though.

Terelio “What troubles you Zeke?”.
“My parents murder troubles me Uncle.” replied Zeke.

Everything grew to a standstill. Zeke reached into his satchel and produced his fathers soul phylactery. “With this we can bring them both back , Uncle! Gaius we can bring back our mother!OR make our own army! We can bring justice to this world!”. Terelio shook his head and said “You shouldnt of hidden that from me for so long its dark magic could of corrupted you, give it here boy.”

Zeke stood up “No Uncle, help me! Help your brother! Help me avenge them!”.
Gauis stood up slowly " Zeke please, give Uncle that thing, we dont know what it does-" Zeke looked at Gaius with murder in his eyes “Do you betray me brother?” A flash of light blinded Gaius and Zeke stood with one arm thrust at him smoking and Ferox laid dead at his feet, apparently blocking it from killing Gaius.

Terelio was up now in a deadly duel with Zeke, magic rebounded off of counters leaving craters in the ceiling the floor, and all Gaius could do was hide and weep behind Ferox’s body. Their duel raged for what felt like hours, reducing Gaius’s home to ruins, slaves and servants caught in the cross fire exploded and turned to dust, some simply vanished, others turned inside out. When it was over, little of their manse remained, no wall remained standing and twenty four slaves had been caught in the cross fire. Gaius searched the rubble for his uncle for his brother for someone! “Ugh..ahgg.. it was all bad luck.” that was Terelio! Gaius sprinted to a pile of rubble and started digging with his hands, he uncoverd Terelio.His body was broken, his limbs mangled his chest an open wound, his long white hair that once made Gaius think of wisdom singed and burned to the scalp. “Uncle! Thank the Gods! We need a docter now!.” ’NO! You fool! Flee! Change your name and hide! Theyll be coming soon, this much magical activity will attract the Baron." “But Uncle I dont-” “The Baron killed your parents, not because your father resurrected your mother but to steal his magical power somehow and Zeke the thrice be damned fool wants to resurrect them. You must stop them both!” Uncle-" “P-p-promise…..m-m-eeeugh……”

Gaius had lost everything and left everything at his uncles destroyed manse in Aegos. He took the locket with the only picture of his family, his spear and armor and left. He joined the Aegos regular army and spent the next 5 years killing anything he was ordered too, always following orders, he advanced quickly and eventually was recruited and became The Leader of the 99 Sentinals at 23, the kings personal heavy infantry and assassination group. The King himself ordered Gaius and three other sentinals on an assassination mission, to kill Prince Zeffon the 2nd. The Kings newphew, a boy of six years old. Unwilling to let his men dishonor themselves Gaius carried out his mission and then left the Sentinels. The King called him a traitor and now wants Gaius captured and executed for the murder of his beloved nephew. Gaius has wandered ever since unsure of his loyalties or even himself, he sells his sword to what ever village can afford it and has wandered all the way to the neighboring country of Delvia with the false name of Ferox. Lost and listless with no sense of purpose he wanders Delvia now.

Gaius Gratis

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