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Johan's Story

Here's Johan's tragic tale. One day we might even learn the mysterious origins of Ager.  Then again, we may not.

Johan Koenig was born (as it turned out, reborn) into a house of minor nobility in the Halruaan capital. His father Mikal was amiable but indifferently talented Mage who nether less as a result of his talent for war and equally for telling the tales of his own exploits had found his way into a position of influence in the Halruaan army. It was this position and influence that was to lead to the greatest tragedy of his life, his marriage to Mirabel.

The Lady Mirabel as she styled herself was at base (and she would cheerfully admit this to anybody, usually before she killed them) a ruthless, remorseless, amoral and relentlessly ambitious low born commoner, who unlike her somewhat weak willed acquisition (for the truth of the union was never much in doubt) had a fearsome talent for Wizardry. In particular the forbidden arts of Necromancy, which while frowned on Halruaan society at large were easy to conceal for a woman married to a man of high office.

In the early years of their union, while she still worked to break Mikal to her will, Lady Mirabel consented to producing the heir that Mikal so desperately sort after. While the boy was young, Mikal poured a never ending river of love and affection into the lad. Instilling in him much of his own love of battle and the joys of honourable combat between honourable men. Johan's overdeveloped sense of right and wrong and the love of hideously overwrought prose would also stem from this period in his life.

However once Johan became old enough to begin learning the art of magic The Lady Mirabel ordered all such martial and emotional pointlessness to cease and the real task of schooling the boy to begin. The next 10 years were an ordeal that indelibly left its mark on the boy. He learned to be harsh, cruel, to always seek the advantage and to bend the forces of magic to achieve his will.

His father increasingly spent more and more time away from the family home, on endless inspection tours of Halruaa's outlying fortresses. It was during one of these visits that he was waylaid and killed by a pack of common brigands. With the death of her by now unnecessary husband (she had long surpassed his minor position in society) Lady Mirabel's ambition had no more restriction and she began to lay the path to her planned ascendancy to the ruler ship of Halruaa.

As one might cover a useful tool from the rain she arranged for Johann to be accepted into an academy for the scions of the military establishment where she trusted that the legacy of the boys father would shield him from any direct consequences if her plans should fail. If the truth be told, the Lady Mirabel like most mothers did care for her offspring (many years later when word of his death reached her it is said that it broke her heart, or at least having obtained Lichdom by this time, the jar she kept it in) and this was the best way to protect him should events turn against her.

As it transpired Lady Mirabel's insurrection was a five minute wonder, with the Mage Hounds of Halruaa quickly neutralizing her conspirators and then rounding on her in her sanctuary. A hard fought battle that left two Mage Hounds dead and many more injured saw her make her escape into brooding exile.

With the malign influence of his mother removed Johan once again came under the influence of honourable men and his magical and martial studies continued apace. When he neared his 20th year he began to have disturbing dreams, dreams of battles and combats in such vivid and exhaustive detail that he felt as if he himself had lived through them. He became convinced that these visions were a contrivance of his exiled and reviled mother and turned to the local Temple of Mystra in the hope that they could shield him from her powers. When they proved unable to do so he began to despair and feared that his mother meant to turn him into one of her "creations". At this point images of a green robed monk began to appear in his night time visions. Each night this figure would tell him that the answers to his questions could be found at a remote citadel high in Halruaa's surrounding mountains. Each night the figure who eventually introduced himself as Master Ozencal implored the increasingly troubled Johan to learn the solution to his strange dreams. At last Johan gave in and leaving the academy behind struck out for the monks mountain retreat, in the knowledge that whatever lay ahead it couldn't be worse that the counsel of his own fears.

As he neared his destination he found that the dreams became less intense, somehow muffled. Thinking that they were receding of their own accord he began to retrace his steps only to find that the intensity increased once again the further backwards he traveled, he restarted his journey to the citadel. On arrival Ozencal greeted him as an old friend, constantly referring to shared events that could never have occurred, each time Johan protested that this was the case he would silenced with a laugh and told that in due time all would become clear.

Over the course of the next few months Ozencal explained to him the mysteries of the Jade Phoenix Order. A group of heroic adventurers, masters of sword and spell who tirelessly fought to contain an ancient evil. An order that never dies as when each member fell he was reborn in a new body to eventually relearn of his heritage and past lives. An order that included Johan as one of its members and as the new incarnation of Ozencal's oldest friend. Ozencal would now teach him the skills he would need to take his place in the order and to control what he now understand to be memories from his past existences.

However as time passed it became evident that all was not well with Johan, there was a canker at his core, some leaving of his mothers that had coloured in darker shades a soul meant to be an avatar of light. Ozencal hoped that in time this corruption of his old friends soul might be vanquished through his teachings, but it was not to be. Knowing that the correct course of action would be strike the young Johan down so that he could be born again, untainted by the foul Lady Mirabel, Ozencal stayed his hand. His love for his old friend and the affection he had for his young student stopped him from taking the only certain path to cleansing Johan's soul. Instead he chose to cast Johan out into the world in the hope that the temper of experience would accomplish what he could not. Hiding the truth from his pupil he simply stated that he had no more to teach and that Johan must look elsewhere to complete his training. Somewhat confused at being abandoned for the second time in his life Johan obeyed and left Ozencal's citadel to seek out and defeat evil wherever it could be found.

Years have passed and Johan still wanders the Realms looking for confrontation with the forces of darkness. He imagines himself a battle hardened veteran, an amiable man of honour but underneath he remains an untested weapon. Whether his true heritage will triumph over the taint of his mothers upbringing only time will tell.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 18th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
Back story
Kewl! you obviously put a lot of thought into that and its well written. ...just try not to get too attached to your character ;o)
Jan. 18th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Back story
That's probably wise for Red Hand of Doom PCs!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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