On The Frontier
Amir Dehesh Verici
Human, Male, 6'2, 190 lbs, age 21. long black hair pulled back, dark eyes, friendly smile, slim features.
You see a man standing by the bar. You estimate his height at six foot or so but rather lanky. He might or might not be muscled, its hard to tell from the blue cloak he is wearing. However the hood is down and you can clearly see his face. Slim features, clean shaven, rather handsome. His eyes are dark brown, maybe black, either way they compliment his midnight colored hair. He scans the crowd and switches his position to lean back on the bar. The cloak falls back a bit and you can see his cloths. They look well cut and of a decent quality. He is also immaculately clean. In fact, you cant seem to remember anytime that he has appeared less than spotless. Now not foppish, just clean of dirt and the usual days imperfections. He reaches for a drink from the bar keep, Nigel, and you spot a small wooden rod about a foot in length hanging from his hip next to a sheathed dagger. The wood has been worked smooth and small jewels adorn it. Obviously something of importance.
From his stance and posture he seems clearly comfortable to be alone in a crowded room.
For the most part, if a PC askes or inquires about Amir’s background or how he ended up here, the below story is the one he will tell you more or less.
Amir was born in the village of Koy Halki in the southern part of the country of Morass. The village was so small it had no main street but was more a clump of mud with stick huts that happened to be close to one another. Most people tried to etch out a living there by farming, but the land was poor and very little, if anything would grow. When Amir looks back upon it now, Koy Halki was a village of misfits and outcasts that had come together through ill-fate and ill-chance.
It was a stagnant pool of water that refused to dry up.
Amir’s father, a farmer by trade, and his mother, a retired whore, for whatever reasons of their own, decided to settle when they found the village of Koy Halki. Here they tried to make a go at life and with every indication now that their experiment went fairly poorly. About a year after they arrived at the village and had carved out a chunk of worthless land for themselves to farm, Amir was born.
There was a small trail near Koy Halki, which was mostly used by hunters, woodsmen, highwaymen, and other such undesirables who wished to skirt the law on the regularly patrolled main roads. If not for that small, rarely used trail, Koy Halki would cease to exist simply by the pure fact that no one would have known about it. Out of sight, out of mind as they say.
The sun rose and the sun set as it had always done for Amir, working on the farm, trying to grow something from nothing. This was usually the routine of things. Toil, bring home nothing but tubers and roots, get beat for bringing home that, and then sleep. Day in and day out this was life, all until the day the rider appeared. The clomping of the horse’s hooves was first heard by Jef the Dumb. He came running to what everyone had eventually decided was the village center and announced a rider was coming down the trail. Most, if not straight out everyone, paid Jef no attention. People on the trail were trouble. Be them bandits or miserable people like themselves, people on the trail were always viewed as bad luck. Up until this day, no rider ever went to the village, they just stayed the trail and would, after while, be out of ear shot of the village. This rider was different however; it was if he was riding directly to the village, as if he was seeking Koy Halki out. Through the brush and trees, he finally appeared. Most everyone in the village just seemed dumbstruck, well except Jef. Jef seemed happy that his news bore actual fruit. The rider stopped his horse about 10 feet away from the gathering of huts and their occupants. He was well dressed, well spoken, and had a certain degree of self worth. Amir deduced this last part by how he called every man “worthless” and everyone woman “whore” who lived in the village. He instructed them all, under pain, to leave him alone and talk to no one about him arriving and staying in the village. He expressed that he simply wanted to live in peace away from everyone and this stink pit of a village was as good as any to do just that. Everyone in town quickly agreed and went back to their dirt scratching for they wanted no trouble. The man, seeing that everyone was terrified of him, nodded his satisfaction to no one and rode on down past the edge of the village.
Over the course of the next two seasons the Man built a small but nice cabin and had even managed to grow some food from the land. The Man did what he said he would do on the day he arrived, he kept to himself and bothered no one. And no one bothered him, well no one bothered the Man after the incident of Old man Ithyar. This was the pattern set by the Man and the Village and eventually became part of the village norm.
However, one day the Man appeared at the doorway to Amir’s hut and called out for Amir’s father to come to him. Amir’s father was scared and came slowly and halted a couple of feet away.
“yes sir?” Amir’s father asked with a voice just barley above a whisper.
“Hello, I have come to buy your son” the Man said matter of fact, as if this was something he has done plenty of times before.
“You wish to buy, the boy?” Amir’s father stuttered slightly.
“Yes, I will give you 10 gold for the boy” The Man reached in his robed pocket and produced 10 shiny gold coins, an amount that Amir had never seen before.
Amir’s fathers’ eyes lit up at the site of the gold. He thrust out his grubby hand and grabbed Amir by the arm and pushed him towards the Man.
“here, take the boy, he is yours.” Amir’s father said with eagerness.
A sad look flashed across the Man’s face. He turned his hand over and let the coins fall into the dirt of the floor and pushed Amir out the door. Neither the Man nor Amir looked back. Later that month, Amir’s father and mother left town with their new found fortune. Amir never heard from them again, not that he minded.
The Man marched Amir down to his cabin past the edge of the village. Amir asked questions, tried to get the Man to talk, but the Man was silent. Only till they entered the Man’s hut did he speak.
“My name is Surgun EtMek. I bought and paid for you. You are now my property. You are to serve me without question, without fail. You do as I say. I will feed you and house you. Are we understood?” The Man stated. Amir knew that the question only had one answer and nodded back a yes.
Seasons passed, Amir did the Man’s bidding and when he messed up he was beaten and shown how to do it correctly, and when he did it correctly he was greeted with a warm indifference from the Man. To Amir it was like heaven. He had never eaten so well; 2 solid meals a day and dirt was never added as a filler, or worn such fine clothing; pants that fit, a shirt with sleeves, and shoes. Amir surmised this is how rich people lived.
One day after Amir had finished his chores, the Man called him over.
“Boy, what is your name?”
Amir was concerned, the Man always called him boy. Amir wondered if had he done something wrong?
“Sir, my name is Oglan sir.”
“Oglan? What a dung heap of a name. You are Oglan no more. You are Amir….Amir Dehesh Verici.” This shall be your name from here on out. Can you read? Can you write your letters?”
“No sir, I was never taught”
“That will be fixed, I will teach you. Though do not take this as kindness, I need an assistant that is learned. See this as an investment in my purchase. We will start tomorrow Amir.”
Thus Amir’s education was started. Surprisingly to Surgun, the product of a failed farmer and retired whore was smart. Within 4 years time, Surgun had taught him almost everything he knew about the world; languages, numbers, and geography.
In the later part of his years, Surgun slowly realized that within him there was an unknown need to pass on his knowledge of the Arcane. All this time he swore he would take his knowledge to the grave. After many an evening struggling with himself he called Amir over.
“Amir, come here.”
“Have you ever wondered how I got food to grow here while the rest of the village picked at the dirt like idiots producing little to nothing?”
“Yes sir, but I just figured it was luck was all.”
“Luck? No Amir, nothing so simple as luck. Here watch this…” Surgun produced what looked to Amir like nicely carved foot long piece of wood. Small gems were inlaid in the handle of it and small etchings ran its length. Up till this day, Amir had never seen the piece of wood till now. Surgun began to chant a bit and slightly wave the wand in the air, with a quick glow and snap, a slim stream of water poured forth from the end wetting the stone floor. Amir yelped and pulled back, eyes wide.
“Sir…what, what was that?”
With a smile that Amir had rarely seen, Surgun replied, “its going to be what I teach you next…”
On autumn afternoon, with the leaves falling off the trees and the finial harvest having been completed Amir made his way back to the cabin. Tired and sore, he rode the wagon back that was piled high with potatoes, carrots, and beans. Along the way he practiced his spells and casting. When he first started learning magic, Surgun told him to the need to keep it secret. As for most dumb peasant folk it was something to fear and often lead to bad things happening. So surgun only allowed him his wand in the cabin for practice. However, over the years he watched as one by one the residents left or died. No one replaced them, no children were born, or those that were ran away or joined a bandit’s gang at first chance. The Mud huts, with no upkeep, slowly bowed to the wind and rain. In fact it was almost as if no village had ever existed here. It was just Surgun, Amir, and the small cabin that was tucked back down an overgrown dirt road. Amir could not remember the last time he had talked to anyone else, other than Surgun.
Amir’s thoughts and spell practice occupied him well enough till he arrived at the cabin. He put the mule away with the cart in the small lean-too barn and gathered up the potatoes and carrots in a sack to take back inside.
Upon walking up to the cabin he noticed that the smoke was not coming from the chimney and wondered why Surgun had not started a fire for dinner. Perhaps he was busy, deep in study, or he had fallen asleep, Amir thought to himself.
He pushed open the door and walked in, tossing the sack down by the fireplace and went looking for Surgun.
“Sir? I am back from the fields. We will have enough for winter. Um…Sir?” Amir called out. With no reply he went looking for his master.
Surgun was still in bed with his eyes closed as Amir had left him that morning to go and tend to the harvest. Thinking it odd that Surgun was still in bed, and asleep so soundly, Amir entered his room and approached the bed. It was here that Amir could see it was no slumber that Surgun was in, but that death had taken him the night before. His mentor, his teacher, lay dead.
Amir had no idea what to do. Despite everything he had been taught or discussed with Surgun, this was something that had never crossed his mind as a possibility. He left Surgun’s room, closed the door and did not enter for a day and half. During this time he came to a decision. With Surgun gone, and the village no more, there was also no more need for him to stay here. What was the point in teaching him everything Surgun knew if he did not want Amir to venture out to the world? Surgun could have kept him dumb and under foot for as long as he found Amir useful, but he didn’t. He had opened Amir’s eyes to a world of possibility. Amir’s decision was rather easy after he had thought about it; he would venture out and see the world that Surgun had taught him about.
After loading up the horse with everything he would need he walked the horse away from the cabin. Amir had left Surgun in his bed, just the way he had found him. Amir aimed his wand and summoned fire. The whole cabin, packed with straw from the barn, became a funeral pyre. He wished his old master well, gave thanks and was off.
As the winters and summers came to pass any trace of Koy Halki ceased to exist.
After a few years roaming, Amir eventually made his way to Greyanna, found news of the founding of Eastport and made passage. With the gold left behind by his old master, he funded the First Bank of Eastport.