Annals of Aldamere
Erasmus and Chezza Thorne
Erstwhile librarian and purveyor of social ambiguity
Class: Mage 2
Background: Wizard’s Apprentice, Swindler
Height: 5’8" – 6’1"
Weight: Is none of your business
Communication 4 Deception, Disguise, Persuasion, Seduction
Constitution 2 Running Away
Cunning 3 Healing, Literacy, Arcane Lore, Cultural Lore, Historical Lore, Research
Magic 4 Spirit
Perception 1 Empath
Willpower 2 Self-Discipline
Speed: 10 Defense: 10 Armor: 3 Penalty: 0
Armor Worn: Light Leather
Class Powers & Spells
Arcane Lance – Power
Talent(s) Chirurgery – I can treat wounds and Illnesses. My aid is swift and sure, Heal is a minor action for me.
The curious tale of the Thorne twins, Erasmus and Francesca “Chezza” Thorne.
Deep amongst the Eastern marches lies the loathsome province called Zinding. Travelers whisper of bands of desperate, hungry-eyed men striking caravans that travel too near it’s borders, taking everything and leaving no survivors. At it’s heart lies the ancestral home of the once mighty family Thorne. Wolfertam, called “Thornekeep” by the locals, looks to have been a once impressive edifice. The moldering remains of high, gothic arches and sweeping buttresses evoke the sense of it’s former imposing glory. Very little remains of that character.
High in the foothills of the (something, Chris?) mountains. Thornekeep is surrounded on three sides by what could charitably be called a stagnant tarn and more accurately a stinking bog. The one safe approach is by a narrow, meandering path through a small wood of gnarled and grotesquely misshapen Hawthorne. Looking upon it now, a pervasive sense of dread and gloom suffuses the traveler. It seems, much like the province it once ruled, a place best avoided.
Yet the family Thorne persists. In small, strange numbers, skulking amongst the ruins of their house. The last heirs of the house, twins, Erasmus and Francesca – called Chezza, have been raised in this place of darkness and mystery by a curious man indeed: Their uncle, Enoch Thorne. Their Father, Mordecai, elder brother to Enoch was lord of the estate. It is said that Mordecai had plans and aspirations for restoring the house to former greatness through some hard bargained alliance with (neighboring domain, Chris?). It is also said that he vanished whilst traveling to (above domain) during a particularly bad storm. His lady wife, Eliza, died during childbirth.
Uncle Enoch was not possessed of a temperament congruous to the raising of children. A peevish, insular, often infirm man. Enoch dedicated the entirety of his waking hours to being ill, complaining of being ill and at moments when engaged in neither of the former, arcane research in the Thorne family library and painstaking mystical experimentation amidst the bowels of Thornekeep.
What little parenting the twins received after the passing of their father came at the hands of the few of servants left at Thornekeep. Mostly left to their own devices, the twins spent their days exploring the strange, twisting corridors that make up their home and the bleak landscape that surrounds it. Contrary to what anyone might expect, the twins had a happy childhood. As twins sometimes do, Erasmus and Chezza shared a bond beyond any possessed by normal siblings. Seemingly of one mind, the children were all the company each other needed and shared many adventures together.
As close as they were, there were differences between the two. Chezza was more studious than her brother. Thornekeep’s library alone survives mostly intact from the glory days of the house and it was a rare occurrence indeed to find young Chezza without a book to keep her company. Extroverted Erasmus had a more outwardly curious, mischievous bent than his sister and put it into practice by exploring his world and getting to know it’s people. Starting at a young age, he would skulk about the secret passages and corridors of the keep, spying on it’s few residents and playing elaborate, confusing pranks upon his Uncle and the house’s servants. Many believe the keep to be haunted and young Erasmus did much to bolster this reputation, driving away servants and guests alike, much to the Chagrin of his uncle.
These differences, rather than separate them, served only to bolster their bond. Chezza would share the secrets gleaned from her books with Erasmus who would, in turn, regale her with tales of his exploits. Each learning and feeding off the other’s passions and becoming a more complete whole. Left uninterrupted, this relationship might have flourished into a lifelong partnership, a beautiful, symbiotic existence that might some day have changed the world. This was not to be. Beautiful things inspire covetous desire in some who witness them, and many who witnessed the twins with each other yearned to share in the magic of their bond. None so much as their uncle.
Everything changed for the twins after their coming of age. Enoch began to pay very close attention to Chezza, taking an interest, for the first time, in her studies and taking her under his wing. He started her down the path of a proper arcane education. Speaking of her vast, untapped talent as a way of explaining his sudden interest. Chezza, unused to being noticed by adults of any kind, least of all her uncle, was enthralled by the attention, devoting herself utterly to the studies he prescribed for her. Erasmus viewed his sister’s newfound relationship with their supposed guardian with intense suspicion and a prevailing sense of dread. For once, the twins were of two minds and nothing Erasmus said could convince Chezza that something was amiss or drive her from her uncle’s side. Instead, Erasmus set about getting to the bottom of what he felt must be their Uncle’s nefarious plans.
Although Erasmus was resourceful and clever, he did not uncover them in time. His instincts proved to be more accurate than he could ever have feared. Over many months he scoured his uncle’s quarters and the keep for anything that might hint at his plans. He found a book tucked away in Enoch’s quarters that appeared to be a journal of some kind. It was written in his uncle’s hand but in a language Erasmus did not recognize – an odd script of looping curves and brutal angles. His endless searching revealed a dusty, forgotten folio tucked between larger tomes in the library that contained more of the same script. It seemed a religious text of some sort, although of distinctly darker character than anything Thesmian. It’s pages were split down the middle, the left half containing text in this unknown language, the right containing a passage in an archaic version of the common tongue. After reading the text, Erasmus quickly realized it must be a translation of the older text, and with it, he might be able to decipher the writing in his uncle’s journal. It was also a book of prophecy describing the return of a creature called [great old one-esque entity, Chris?]. It vaguely described the process through which the followers of [entity] might open the way for this fell beast by “offering up the last born heir of the ruined house brier, untainted by the world’s touch.”
Racing to his Uncle’s chambers, he flipped to the end’s of the book, forcing himself to calmly translate the last entry. It read “…the girl’s purity has been confirmed by the ritual, she will serve as the gate. Our lord might abide awhile within that flawed vessel, only to emerge into the world, bursting forth from that constraining, unworthy form like maggots from over-ripe fruit. My life’s work begins in earnest tonight!” Gripped with panic, Erasmus’s feet scarcely touched the ground as he careened down the steps of the tower dashing through narrow passageways until he reached the steps leading down into the catacombs below the keep; a chill of dread slowing his steps.
Twins have a strange, inexplicable connection. The Thornes were no exception. Indeed, theirs was stronger than most; a deep empathic insight into each other’s minds verging on telepathy. As Erasmus started down the steps into moldering depths a Mortal panic gripped his soul. He knew something was wrong, knew his sister was in peril. His steps quickened once again and he ran instinctively toward her, suddenly the connection that had been more akin to a whisper since her studies with their uncle began became a shout, a beacon guiding him through the dark. He went further into the labyrinthine depths than he had ever imagined existed and soon realized he was utterly lost.
The nature of the passageways began to change. While at first they were of wrought stone as he delved further into the depths he began to see crudely chiseled stonework and then eventually raw earth and natural caverns. He began to notice a cloying, musty awfulness as he followed the curvature of a natural passageway. As he rounded a corner a vast openness expanded before and below him, the small passageway widening suddenly into the gaping maw of a huge underground expanse. Ahead he could see that torches burned atop poles and illuminated a twisting path amidst the scree which terminated at the shores of a subterranean lake. In the center of which lay a small, perfectly flat island. At the center of the island was a huge stone slab. Lying atop the slab was a struggling, female form that he instantly knew as Chezza. Surrounding her in a uneven circle were hooded, robed figures. The low murmur of their chanting drifting to him from across the expanse of the cavern.
Erasmus started running, not bothering to follow the carefully laid out path between the torches. He stumbled as he made his way down the slope toward the shore of the lake but somehow was able to keep his footing. Unheeding of what foulness might dwell within the depths of the inky blackness of the lake he threw himself from the shore, arching his body into what should have been a dive. Instead he struck some unseen barrier and was thrown backward, his body wracked by spasms as energy crackled through his limbs. Twice more he attempted to enter the waters, only to be thrown back again, collapsing into a twitching heap as he watched the scene unfold before him, helpless to intervene. Suddenly, something seemed go wrong. The chant abruptly ceased and in it’s place could be heard screaming. Five of the six robed figures collapsed to the ground, clutching themselves and writhing. The figure nearest the altar alone remained standing, flinging back his hood as he approached the now still form of his sister upon the altar. Erasmus recognized his uncle. He could just make out “…the ritual should have detected…purity…how could I have missed it?” A great low rumble began to shake the chamber. The waters of the black lake began to churn and break into waves. A terrible ripping sound began, coming from everywhere at once. Erasmus watched as his sister’s perfect form was rent in two as great, fleshless arms reached up through her abdomen. A foul, skinless, vaguely humanoid shape began to claw its way from the ruin that was her belly, surveying the screaming supplicants with inhuman, glistening black eyes. Suddenly, the pain-wracked bodies of the robed figures erupted, fountains of gore and viscera cascading from their formerly human forms through the air into it’s waiting maw. Their screams were replaced with it’s own – half made, whatever magics at work to bring it into this world had clearly gone wrong, leaving it unfinished. It’s screams were filled with pain and despair, but also a rage so deep as to never be quenched and a monstrous hunger beyond anything of this world.
Erasmus fled. The sudden, impossible absence of his sister like a fresh amputation, he wailed as he ran blindly through the maze of the depths. Knowing only grief and fear of the unimaginable monstrosity that had emerged from his sister’s ruin, he somehow found his way to the place he once called home. No longer. Quickly gathering what few supplies he happened upon in his haste, he called out to the servants to flee and never return as he fled the horror that had replaced his life, into the wilds of Zinding.
::after years of keeping the company of blackguard and ne’er-do-wells he returns home – more to come::