Why do people assume they're born with any luck? Avrae believes luck is earned- and his is rotten. Avrae Aodhan Kyric was born in Sirothelle, northern Idalos, in arc 691. His story, like many, starts with his parents. His mother was only twenty one, a beautiful Aukari with bright red hair that went all the way down her back. Her name was Eeyrinthia, the daughter of a physician, and she herself a mage. She worked mainly with Graft magic, healing those that were wounded. Which is how she met Aukyre Kyric, a mercenary with a tendency for getting himself injured. He was, to say the least, a hot head. And somehow, they clicked, despite constant bickering, and were married in a year. It wasn't long before she got pregnant with Avrae, who was born a beloved little red haired baby. When he was that tiny, everything was perfect. And there were some funny baby stories that were told, too. Like how when he bawled, a little fire would spurt out of his mouth like a dragon, and one time he caught Eeyrinthia's dress on fire. For a while, everything was great. Pretty normal for an Aukari's childhood, at least.
But then his mother turned out to be a total slut. That's how Avrae thinks of it anyway, and why he cannot stand cheaters. Because when he was five, almost six, his mother fell in love with a visiting Human merchant, and subsequently ended up pregnant with Avrae's half sister, Lecia. Avrae, while being young, adored the idea of having a baby sister. At the time, he had no idea what his mother had done, nor what was wrong with being half of two different races. However, when he had just turned four, his baby sister was born and had a more normal body temperature than what most Aukari ran at, as well as subtle differences, and it was clear she wasn't completely Aukari. What young Avrae witnessed next scarred him for the rest of his life. He watched as his parents argued, starting with normal, yet angry tones and upgrading to a screaming match. He watched his parents bicker until his mother turned ghostly white and fainted- nurses racing to her. This was barely an hour after giving birth, after all, and not the best time for stress. He watched as the sheets of her bed turned red and her skin grew more pale, complications of birth leading to her death. And then, he watched as his father began to tremble, body shaking with rage and despair. Avrae can still remember the nurse scooping him up and pulling him away, peering over her shoulder as his father erupted into flames, hands made into fists. He could still hear his screaming in his worst nightmares, and the image after the flames went out of a black, charred body that vanished into ashy dust.
Avrae's troubles only began there. His sister and himself were given to his uncle Rayvar to decide what to do with them. In short, Rayvar was a bastard. At least, in Avrae's opinion. His father's brother wanted nothing to do with his nephew and mixed breed niece. He gave them to a family friend, a human traveling bard, that offered to take them. However, as they got on the road and left Sirothelle, the family friend soon found out how much he didn't wish for two young children. They traveled away from the North, to the Central city of Athart. It was there that, one night, the poor human bard lost all his money on a bet. A bad bet that even a young Avrae knew was going to lose. However, he didn't want to stop gambling. So he offered up the children, to a slave trader Avriel. As a result, Avrae and Lecia were sold into slavery, the bard getting a pretty penny for the two untrained children. In no time at all, they were separated. Lecia was given away to a family, adopted into freedom, and Avrae had no idea what happened after that. Avrae, even now in adulthood, has no idea where his sister is. Every so often he'll wonder if she's out there, wonder if she is anything like him. Or even still alive. Avrae, admittedly, treats mixed breeds with much more kindness as a result, and is always on the look for a half Aukari, half Human, in the hopes it might be Lecia. He only wishes he had something of hers, a picture of her, anything, because with each passing day his memory of the beautiful baby he once called his sister fades more. However, he does have a picture of him and his parents, which he keeps on him in his pocket.
Avrae must have done something right, because luckily, he wasn't a slave for long. What he does remember about being a slave is being one of five owned by one master. He remembers asking for food, and if he complained about being hungry, he'd get a sharp smack across the face. He remembers the rattling of chains, for their master kept them bound by the hands when traveling, and he remembered being very... sad. Just a sad little boy, with big amber-gold eyes and lots of red hair, wishing he still had his family. It didn't make it easier that he wasn't around many other Aukari, and on more than one occasion accidentally burned himself or his fellow slaves. Even his master at one point, resulting in a harsh beating. During his year of slavery, Avrae traveled a lot, away from Sirothelle. He saw all kinds of different races, such as Qi'ora, Naerikk, Biqaj, and Tunawa. Only in glances and from afar, or watching his master deal with them, but he quickly grew fascinated with other races. Much more so than his own race. Later on in life, his uncle warned him not to get attached, that he "didn't want to become a mixed blood breeder like his whore of a mother", but he just... sometimes wondered if other races were better than his own. At least they didn't risk bursting into flames, or serve an immortal who hated everyone. However, Avrae knew better than to say this out loud.
When he was seven, however, they passed another Aukari on the road. It'd been a while since he'd seen an adult Aukari on the road, but as soon as Avrae saw his own red hair, his heart skipped a beat. It was such a fresh reminder of home, that all he could do was stare with big, wide eyes as he stumbled after his master and fellow slaves on the road, watching the Aukari approach. He didn't know that this Aukari wasn't a coincidence- his cousin Arwel had sent him. When the Aukari stopped his horse and slipped off, approaching, Avrae had even more hope. He then heard those fateful words "I'll take him. The boy with the amber eyes." Avrae's heart raced as he listened to them debate his price, eyes on the ground. An Aukari would surely treat him, a fellow Aukari, better, wouldn't he?
Luckily, Avrae was right. After being sold to the older Aukari, he was informed he was a free boy once more, with a catch. The older Aukari introduced himself as Kabkadu, a man of thirty arcs who gave him an option. "Be sold back into the slave trade, or return home to Sirothelle with me and be taught to control your inner flame, training as a warrior of Faldrun until you are eighteen and ready to serve." Avrae could only think that anything had to be better than being a slave, and so he agreed to go back to Sirothelle with Kabkadu.
Avrae's life training to be in the Aukarian occult wasn't a bad one. He was placed in a small foster home in Sirothelle, and raised among those of his own kind. And Kabkadu* would check up on him every time he was in Sirothelle, though he often was traveling. Avrae wasn't really social, keeping to himself for the most part. He was really good with his schooling though, spending long hours in the library, learning what he could. Many wouldn't notice him, sitting in a corner in a soft chair, with a book in hand, so quiet that the only sound was the flick of a page. Of course, when Kabkadu visited, he was very different. The two would share chats about Kabkadu's adventures, and often Kabkadu and him would spar in the yard, with both having a wooden sword and Kabkadu checking Avrae's form. Thwack! Thwack! The sound of their swords smacking would echo into the air. "Parry! Thrust! Miss!" Kabkadu would call out, laughing every time the point of his wooden poking gently into Avrae's ribs or drawing across his neck. Avrae also made peace with his uncle. The two occasionally met for a meal, or Rayvar would have Avrae do chores for him and reward him with a little coin to spend. Though Avrae never really grew to love the man, he did learn not to openly hate him.
One day, Avrae even got to meet the man who was his half-sister's father. He never outwardly acknowledged it, but it was a huge suspicion. Because one day, he was examining some pretty jewelry in the marketplace, particularly that of a wolf head pendant with glowing red eyes. It was fascinating to him, who had only seen wolves in books. "Do you like it?" He heard a sof voice say, in the most peculiar accent. Looking up, Avrae leapt back skittishly when faced with the man who had spoken. It was a short man in dark violet robes, with pale skin, freckles, and blonde hair just barely seen through his hood. It was startling to see such a man, because very few merchants other than Aukari dared come to Sirothelle. At the time, Avrae didn't even realize this man was a Human, he only knew he wasn't Aukarian. What was more shocking, however, was his eyes. At one time they had probably both been bright blue, but now only one was a clear blue, the other was covered by an eyepatch. Avrae's mind jumped to conclusions. What if he had one blind eye? What if his eye was missing? What if he had given his eye to some kind of magic that took body parts- like Becoming, which Avrae had read about in his studies. Not really one who liked to lie, even to a stranger, Avrae nodded. "Yes, sir." He responded quietly. He watched the man take the pendant out, showcasing it to Avrae. Though he wasn't sure why- Avrae clearly wouldn't have been able to afford such a thing.
"This holds an enchantment. See how it gleams in the light? Ah, magic, such a beautiful thing. With this, you will always know when your worst fear is just around the corner. What more can you ask for?" The merchant purred, before holding it out to Avrae. "Here." Avrae took a step back, shaking his head hesitantly. "I-I can't, sir. I can't afford it, I'm sorry." He told him, but the merchant shook his head, "No, no payment. You remind me of a woman i once knew... You have her eyes. Take it, child. With my good will. It's a gift." Avrae examined the man cautiously, but he couldn't detect anything strange about his offering. So he reached out, fingers hesitantly closing around the pendant. Watching the merchant warily, he slipped it around his neck. Avrae hasn't taken it off very often since then. The necklace is his most valuable and favored item. He never saw the man again, either.
When he was thirteen, Kabkadu died. But not just died- no, he gave his life. The older Aukari, who was nearing fifty (which is rare for Aukari) came back to Sirothelle one evening and came to Avrae's foster home. He took him, right out of bed, and when Avrae woke, they were sitting just outside of Sirothelle, the sun rising in their view. At first he was frightened, confused on how he had fallen asleep in bed but woke outside, until he saw Kabkadu. The older Aukari had gotten gray hairs. Not many, just a few. It was so rare to see an Aukari with gray hair that at first, Avrae thought he was mistaken. But no, the gleaming silver locks threaded into the red were clear in the light of the rising sun. He explained, in a soft tone with his hand on Avrae's shoulder, that his time had come. And he wanted to say goodbye. Kabkadu knew his days were going to be getting shorter, and he wanted to go out in a fire. So, after hugging a silently weeping Avrae, who was losing the man he considered a father figure, and handing him his sword, Kabkadu walked out about fifteen feet away, held out his arms and promptly burst into flames. It was his death, and Avrae was the one he chose to be at his bedside. The young boy sat and wept, listening to his screams until they died out. Then he watched as the flames slowly went out, only a black body standing there like his father's when he was little. Dutifully, Avrae gathered his ashes, keeping them until a little later in life.
However, shortly before Kabkadu's death, Avrae's schooling ended. As smart as he was, he had trouble with his temper and it was around this age, at the fragile time of puberty, that it really started to become apparent that he had a distinct lack of control. Or rather, that it was something he badly struggled with. Clearly, an Aukari Occult member couldn't have such a temperamental cultist in their ranks. So was let go from his schooling, Kabkadu's goal of having him be in the Occult falling short. It still haunts Avrae that he hadn't had enough patience, enough calm, enough control to follow that path in life. Which is why he vowed to become a political assassin someday on his own- a freelance one, no occult required. The rest of his teen years he worked odd jobs around Sirothelle, until he was eighteen. He watched those his age graduate and be initiated into the Occult- a bitter moment for Avrae. He drowned his sorrows by going to a local bar that night. Around midnight, he made the trek up to the volcano that overlooked Sirothelle- a treacherous journey indeed. Kabkadu's ashes in hand, he didn't stop until he was at the top and he could toss the jar of his old friend's ashes into the lava, along with Kabkadu's sword. He knew there was no better resting place for him. The next day, his life truly started. A free man, with nothing owed anymore, he picked up his first bounty, becoming a mercenary. His training certainly helped, and so that became his life. For a while, he traveled.
For a few years, he traveled and worked, traveled and worked. Occasionally he returned home to Sirothelle, but Avrae never stayed in one place for too long. He traveled alone, and for the most part he worked alone. Until he met Ailluin Yelven, when he was twenty one. It all started in Southern Idalos. Avrae was just outside of Quacia, the city that Qi'ora reside in. Avrae had found a few bounties in the area and one took him quite close to Desnind, the city of the Tunawa. It was then that he met a doctor, who had a bounty for him. This doctor wanted him to kill some Naerikk woman in Augiery. Now, that was a fool's task, given a man's status in Augiery and what went on there. Avrae had been wisely avoiding it in his travels. However, while talking to the doctor, he noticed the tiny Tunawa family in two identical birdcages not far from them. What looked to be a mother and father, and their daughter. They were kept apart from each other, the daughter alone and sitting down. The parents looked in bad shape, and the girl was even worse but she also looked... terrified. When the doctor's gaze swept to the cage, she squeaked and covered her face with shaking hands, as if him just looking at her was her worst fear.
Avrae wasn't a fan of slavery. He knew it existed of course, and he kept a neutral face around it. In fact, he didn't mind it... if the slaves were treated right, like people instead of animals. Maybe it was because he had been a slave himself for a short time, or maybe he just pitied people who weren't strong enough to fight for themselves, like the tiny Tunawa. "So, what's the reason you want the Naerikk dead?" He asked absently as his gaze wandered back to the doctor, his hand going to the hilt of his dagger. "Because they annoyed me." That was his answer. So simple. He wanted to take a life of an innocent woman- which Avrae was hesitant to kill women and absolutely refused to kill children- because he was annoyed.
Quick as he could, Avrae's dagger slipped from his belt and slid against the doctor's throat. He watched him fall to the ground, clutching his neck as he bled out and made those awful gurgling noises as he choked on his own blood. And Avrae looked down at him and said, "You annoy me. Thanks for the coin." He reached down, slipping the doctor's coin purse from his pocket. It took him mere minutes to stride across the room and reach the cages, using his blade to pry both open, Ailluin's first. After releasing the Tunawa and carefully setting them on the ground, he knelt to look at them, thoughtfully considering this unique situation. "You. What is your name?" He asked the daughter softly. She was a tiny little thing, even for a Tunawa, only about six inches. And she was very clearly weak, sinking to sit again after he set her down. "A-Ailluin." She answered timidly, staring up at him with big eyes. "Ailluin." He repeated her name before introducing himself, "I'm Avrae Kyric. Answer me this- can you read? Can you write? Do you have any notable skills?" Avrae had a way of speaking, dominant and bold, clearly demanding an answer without question. "Y-Yes... I can read and write, and... I k-know a bit about... poison making a-and medicine..." She hesitantly told him, giving a nervous glance to her parents.
Avrae reached into his pocket then, for his coin purse. It nearly bled him dry, but he slowly pulled out two hundred and fifty golden nell. The standard price for a slave. Sliding it towards Tunawa's parents, he spoke. "Have this. Go home. Ailluin will stay with me." There was no question of what he was saying- he was paying for her, as a slave. He had no idea why her parents so easily accepted this. Perhaps they knew he was bigger and stronger, or perhaps they were afraid because of so recently coming out of slavery themselves. Or maybe they were greedy bastards who wanted the coin. All Avrae knew was an hour later he was on the road again, Ailluin resting in his jacket pocket, both of them heading for the docks to return to central Idalos.
They've been together ever since. And while Avrae does consider her a slave- which she is- they're not entirely like a normal slave and master. If anything they're... companions, in a way. Maybe even friends. He doesn't treat her badly, he gives her safety and little luxuries every so often, and in return she makes him poisons and reads and writes his letters. They've lived like this for the past four years.
Last year, however, he got a letter telling him that his uncle had died. Apparently when he got doused with water after erupting into flames. And for some remarkable reason, his uncle had no living heirs and had left his house in Sirothelle to him. So Avrae took Ailluin back to Sirothelle, being careful to keep her well away from any fire. They were there for a few months, but before long Avrae had the urge to get back on the road. Particularly because he began meeting a pretty Eidisi woman named Inali in Emea, the two having many interesting conversations. Not only that, but Inali was in Ne'haer, and Avrae knew there were many opportunities there. More than he'd find in Sirothelle. He could continue his conversations with Inali, keep collecting bounties. He may even be interested in finding a sorcerer to teach him the magical arts- a subject he'd always been interested in. Either way, he just knew that it was the right move for him in the prime of his life. So he sold his house, bought his traveling replies with Ailluin, and set off by boat for Ne'haer. Now, at the end of Saun, he's finally reached the city. Not only that but he's already picked up his first bounty. Avrae has a very good feeling about this, knowing that perhaps being in a more central city, not hidden up on the side of a volcano, he might find his fortune.
He also might find some love. Avrae has never really had the time, or want, for romance. He's never even had his first kiss, for a multitude of reasons. Such as a nightmare he once had in which he kissed someone and they burst into flames. Or the fact he never was super attracted to other Aukari- not any he met anyway- and that was all he was around for most of his life. Now twenty five, he has to wonder if he'll ever find someone. Maybe it's the Aukari mentality of marrying to have children, or maybe it's knowing he won't live a long, long life like some other species. Or maybe it's because the closest man in his life, Kabkadu, never found love or had children and died with only him around as a consequence. Avrae... doesn't want to die alone. He's not actively searching for love, but if he finds it... well, he won't hold back on letting it put some happiness in his life. But he also thinks... he's probably too unlucky to find love. And on an even deeper level, Avrae isn't entirely sure he deserves love.