F'mos. The chosen name of the Aukari deserter from Sirothelle, Nauta Geey. It's a name with its o history, enough to overshadow the name the Zatkai tried to force on Nauta as punishment for his past misdemeanors though that name and it's meaning has faded into obscurity, known only to those who have reason enough to care. Those like the relations of Nauta's "victims" as the group would like to refer to them.
Not Nauta though, and neither those close to him who at that time were thankful to the great Immortal that burns, even if he didn't actually get involved.
Despite his luck the reason for that forgotten name remains in memory, at least for the Sirothelle Aukari of his generation. Born a Geey, Nauta's father was renowned not for combat in the field but his ability to survive battles by any means necessary and the old Aukari still lives to an enviable age of 44 arcs. Some attribute the soldier's survival to Nauta's mother, a popular cook and homemaker. Their belief that aside Faerun's blessing the reason for his father's refusal to fall in battle is because he would miss his wife's cooking too much.
That was only part of the truth however as Nauta's mother like his father had some repute in her chosen field and it was the skills she used that which actually had helped her husband so much.
Being born to the pair it's no surprise Nauta seemed to breeze through his preparations to become a part of the Occult, much to the envy of his peers. If not the respect for his father and his accomplishments which the young Aukari wanted to live up to, it was the encouragement of his mother who was never shy in rewarding her son with his favorite dishes. Eventually Nauta's potential became vexatious to his peers and they took every opportunity to harass him with any excuse to slow him down. The experience his father imparted to Nauta could only last so long as the conflict escalated the more Nauta resisted.
For the older Aukari who could have stopped this, some considered it the boisterous nature of youths and others decided it was a good opportunity for the young ones to improve themselves as future weapons of Faldrun.
Nauta however thought differently and started to avoid conflicts, acquiescing to the others to be left alone but that only emboldened them. More and more Nauta gave until it became too much and he decided on action. To make an example of those believing themselves untouchable because of their strength and influence. It wasn't hard given the chance, his preparations allowing him to act on those opportunities which came to him. Surprisingly it was in the kitchen assisting his mother which gave him what he needed and it was not just the cooking skills he picked up for the possibility he did not meet the Occult's standards...
There was hardly a quiet moment with all the gossip as Nauta's mother had him serving her guests which come to learn. What was once a chore became an interest for Nauta. He joined them when they cooked. He joined them when they ate. He joined them when they drank. Most importantly at those times and more, he was there to listen. Soon, Nauta learned his tormentor's problems, their worries and more importantly their weaknesses. Every single detail was committed to memory as he filled his belly with the food made with the women. Some were interesting but on their own of no use to the young Aukari. It might have taken a while but eventually he had everything figured out.
Except that he needed to make sure that the information the women were telling about their children were all true. They could have done a lot together and they may even think of Nauta as one of them in the kitchen but the young Aukari couldn't risk his plans failing him when he took action.
It took longer but time well spent to improve on Nauta's newfound advantages. Some days were horrible as he had to fight the temptation nagging at him to act but he persisted in his observations. Even when he didn't want to associate with those beneath his station, those lowly slaves of the lesser races, the Aukari's attempts to talk to them was a welcome change and he learned so much more he could use against their masters. Knowledge a family member would withhold from those outside the household to preserve their reputation.
Knowledge which wouldn't see use if he was left alone. Once more the his tormentors came ready for violence to force Nauta into something he would rather not get involved with and it would have ended in violence had Nauta not been diligently practicing. His preparations to be part of Sirothelle's elite proved useful as Nauta knew just the right words to say to goad that one person which his hatred was directed to that day.
His target taking the bait and motivated by pride, Nauta faced off against him alone. Thankfully over time Nauta had gotten good at taking hits and each time the pair got close, he made another shot physically and verbally. Some exchanges later and Nauta finally got some hits in. His plan was working. There was no reason to not continue. In fact he decided to use everything he had learned. Ev-ree-thing!
Even barely perceptible to the noisy crowd of excited youths they were effective. Effective in a way he couldn't have foreseen. All Aukari knew about erupting but it was the first time Nauta witnessed it in a situation such as this. The stress from the blows and words became too much for his adversary who suddenly ignited as if by magic or, that was what it seemed as the bigger Aukari wildly tried to put himself out. No other explanation except a fight breaking out leading to the unfortunate incident. Burnt to death and with no other proof the incident was deemed an accident.
It would have been good if his troubles ended there but the short attention span of youths made sure the incident was soon forgotten and trouble found Nauta again. If anything the period of respite Nauta enjoyed convinced him another attempt was necessary and maybe more after that until he had achieved what he wanted. He needed it as he felt the fire growing inside him. Now more experienced in dealing with his peers, his preparations was easier and the increasingly confident Nauta continued helping his mother only in a more active role.
Now, Nauta loved his meat and improving his skill in its preparation easily got him back into the women's circle as they too wanted to know the tastes of a man more than their misgivings about the previous death. Lacking the ability to describe, he demonstrated in the kitchen and the time waiting there he used for conversation which will led more information he drew out. Considering him one of their own or at least a helpful friend of their children, they never suspected a thing and Nauta found the gossip, first hand, was a lot more better than those he had to obtain by sneaking around.
Realizing the Aukari's food culture being adopted by their slaves also enabled Nauta to use them as a source of information when he brought them food despite the silly excuses he used. A trick he would not have considered the first time but becoming more familiar with the tastes of other houses from serving his mother's visitors built up his confidence. Some meat and some sides if necessary and they told him anything he wanted without reservation. It was not like the slaves had the interests of their masters at heart although those suspicious of Nauta kept their distance and he was happy to do the same.
However the second time meant Nauta's actions could no longer being considered as accidents despite the possibility it is true. Once his second target erupted into an unignorable beacon in the middle of Sirothelle all eyes remained on him and his every action which suited Nauta just fine. None of his peers could actually try anything against him as the eyes also extended to them.
Which he could claim was according to his plans but it wasn't. His plans was to use fear, just like the building blocks of his home but at least he was still able to complete Oikeia in relative peace which was good because there was so much to learn. More than just sums and the scripts of Sau'ei.
Still, aware of the scrutiny Nauta decided on another approach and continued to assist his mother in learning to cook adequately along with her other skills. In fact his mother's role in his father's survival during many conflicts was not what everyone thought although cooking did provide some assistance. It her gift for preparing many poisons. Nauta's mother successfully duped and doped her husband, kept the other women thinking it some secret flavoring despite some of Sirothelle's more nefarious rightly using them for their own dark designs.
Like the women of Sirothelle, Nauta believed the skills being taught to him as nothing more than food preparation despite the strange ingredients including snakes, frogs and certain plants not used by the others. He should have suspected the food made on his own would not have been so popular without the additives but he convinced himself mother's "special rack" was for those special occasions. Eventually after observations and queries he realized their true capabilities, and found the way out of his new problem.
His remaining tormentors were offered regular bribes of food to finish Oikeia but Nauta's plans were far more sinister. Along with the treats came a little of that, a dash of this and a drip of the other thing. Not too much, just enough to get them hooked and wanting more. When confronted about the unusual tastes, Nauta admitted to experimenting new flavors and quickly changed ingredients to hide his work. This continued on without a hitch and while his mother questioned him, she continued to help him improve. Maybe it was her own desire to see her son succeed her like his father which made her unwilling to stop Nauta from his experiments.
And then Nauta started adding more harmful reagents in those dishes he prepared. With the additives to keep them hooked, Nauta increased small doses of those harmful additions. Not enough for any significant effect but given enough time... His mother may not have taught him the exact effects of his creations but Nauta asked enough to get an idea of which ones would serve his purposes. He couldn't ask directly of course but normally the simple question of why can't he use a specific amount or a combination of ingredients gave him the answers he needed from the adults who thought they knew well enough.
It was close to graduation when his meals took effect. Nauta waited until days before the final tests and together with his poisons he was able to affect them bad enough to fail. He was hoping that in doing so he would be able to take his place as an initiate in the Occult free of all those he made fail but it was not meant to be. While Nauta did well enough in sneakily poisoning them until it was too late for them when they noticed, his childhood of trying to avoid trouble and potential trouble, including his fellow young Aukari made it impossible to actually be able to a rapport with others which would make it hard for him to actually do the tasks an Aukari of the Occult would have been required to.
With the understanding that being in the Occult would mean him unable to be a diplomat and to be anything else might mean an early death if caught, Nauta elected being in the City Guard instead much to the elation of his father who had trained him during the earlier arcs. Unfortunately, of those Aukari he had succeeded in feeding those poisons which would affect their examinations, some actually ended up in the same training as well. Fortunately the training was tough on all of them forcing allowing Nauta to avoid any problems with them but there was some close shaves and Nauta soon realized that he can't concentrate on both his training and dodging anymore problems. A hard time of consideration, Nauta got himself injured. Nothing too serious but just enough to be back trooped into a later intake so he wouldn't have to deal with them anymore.
And during that brief break, Nauta prepared for any future altercations he may meet when he returned to his training. While he knew that using food this time would be an impossibility he prepared a few more choice substances anyway if nothing else to comfort himself that he would have them on hand. It was not like the new batch he was with would be aware of him using them like those he met during the previous intake of training and Nauta was still hopeful that he would not meet any troubles this time. The training still ragged him down and it was not one he wanted to go through a third time, yet he could not decide if the training after was more taxing. Learning about the intricacies of Sirothelle, such as its vague law open to so many interpretations he needed to know was a lot more tiresome than the scripts of Sau'ei he had to familiarize himself in Oikeia. Even that was a lot more useful than the common he was forced to learn in order "to be of use to Faldrun." If visitors were going to come to Sirothelle they should learn its language. Even the slaves were familiar enough with Vauni to do their work.
Working for the City Guard meant the authority in the city had him comfortable from a point of view that no one would threaten him like during his childhood. However working for the City Guard also meant he had to deal with people a lot which also exposed Nauta to a lot of what he could only describe to as stupidity. One which he could not bear but was forced to continue with because he could do nothing else. Leaving Sirothelle was an option but one he could not work on until one day he volunteered for an assignment to investigate some alleged misdemeanors. Nauta went to the front, investigated with some interviews and fact finding like he was expected to do while the fighting continued but when the opportunity came after a conversation with an officer, Nauta rode off with the man's mount using the confusion to assist in his getaway.