Mort of the Swamp

Name: Unknown, goes by Mort

Head Title: Part of “The Crater”

Race/State: Human/Thoughtform Herald

Age: 25 at the beginning of Occult Vengeance

Height: 190 cm

Weight: 90 kg

Original series: Soot Knight

Primary Magics and Abilities: Mort began chemistry at an age far later than the typical student, but he gained mastery at a great speed due to boredom from within the Rustoline woodlands. After lifting a considerable set of educational material off of a raided Court convoy, he began the steps to learning the craft that most in his world would place in the highly regulated realm of the unknowable, but legal, magic permitted only for high Court and Church officials.

Over the thousands of hours spent in study and testing, Mort has gained an almost preternatural appreciation for the reagents of the land, as well as how to identify them. While he is a walking encyclopedia of the various effects of Southland and Midland plants and minerals, he still has much to learn in regards to the chemistry plants of other lands, like the North and the realms beyond it.

Sometime later, Mort will unlock his true potential that wins him his “Rondian” title of the “Soot Knight”. At this level, his blessing under the rage god Yorg’s wing (or flap, as it were) is directly connected to the disgust he’s feeling at the present moment. In a state of wrath, he’s granted a level of strength and regeneration that would put a dragon-kin to shame, as well as a myriad of other, quite shocking capacities in combat. Is it magic? Divine interference?… something else? As the only surviving apostle of the infamous Great Swamp, Mort has the conjoined psychic influences of an entire civilization empowering him, and this sometimes manifests in unexpected, even eldritch forms.

Personality and Life: Mort hasn’t had the hardest one, but it hasn’t been a walk in the park.

As a half breed (in most realms, this would simply be termed as a typical human offspring with dual-ethnic parents) Mort was treated with immense disdain by nearly everyone around him. It is culturally understood in Rustol that to dilute the very clear lines of the white human and the black human are to insult the will of Vahaidah herself, who enacted the peace between the two guilds, turned nation states, turned distinct races.

His parents were discovered to have engaged in forbidden congress upon his birth, as his skin was a clear mix between the exceptionally dark southern complexion and the intensely pale northern. His mother and assumed father were immediately rounded up and put to the stake to be burned, however the administration of his Henfry village at the time claimed that the child should be spared, as it would be wrong to kill that which has not sinned, despite it being born of it. He was thus entrusted to the orphanage caretaker, a kindly sort by the name of Calfa who would nurse the boy and take him on as her unspoken son.

It was a tender relationship, where she would include him in every activity that the “normal” children got to enjoy. She would regale him with stories affirming his hopes to find his “star”: his reason for keeping on living in a day-to-day hell with only one confidant.

Growing up, his childhood was fraught with stress. As the attitudes against half-breeds continued to rise (by this point, his skin color was made synonymous for magic crime as well as base sinfulness) his playmates dwindled one by one until the entire orphanage was against him. It was only thanks to the caretaker that several rather vigorous wrestling sessions didn’t turn into beatings, and then a group-condoned murder. The other children found an outlet in Mort, an objectifiable form of evil that they believed they could hurt and be justified in deriving satisfaction from.

In light of the constant bullying and attacks from his fellow orphans, as well as more than a few close calls with adults, Mort learned to always stay a dash’s length from the the safety of the orphanage interior at all times, where the caretaker would invariably be waiting.

That is, until he was eight and a half.

On a slow Autumn day, a festival was held in the middle of the town, and Calfa, having discussed it with Mort, thought to take all the children but him to the festival, as he did not want to go. His fear got the best of him, and while he trusted the caretaker, he also knew that the town square was where they burned people, a sight he could not bring himself to be close to.

Some hours after the caretaker’s departure, a group of men, having enjoyed the fruits of the harvest to an intoxicating degree, came upon the orphanage and decided to break in to sleep in some of the beds.

They found Mort, attempting to parse out the words from a book for very young children.

Ensuing was a prolonged life-or-death struggle as the men, completely unaware of Mort’s existence, let alone in their drunken state, attempted to bind the boy and hang him from the tall maple at the corner of the orphanage. Mort was a robust child by this point, and from the constant evasion of his playground enemies he learned to react in the physical world of combat at an exceptionally young age.

At the edge of his breath and wits, he ran a carving knife into the neck of one of the men, severing the jugular and sending him to the ground instantly. He did not wait to be accused for what the other two drunkards have seen. Mort withdrew the knife and escaped into the woods, where he was forced to learn the mannerism of foresting to survive. For the first few weeks his diet regularly consisted of mushrooms and the stream water – he spent many long afternoons rattled by the after effects of his poor decisions. Before long, however, he learned not only to portion very small amounts of food to test for himself, but also to steal food from the outlying farmlands without being detected.

He grew from a child to a boy, continuing to sharpen his understanding of bushcraft, hunting, trapping, and evasion, up until he raided the Rustoline Court caravan, one of the passengers being the Court’s highest chemist, Valtrander Aleihoth. With the man’s books, Mort not only completed his education as a reader, but entered the world of chemistry. Emboldened by what he learned in those volumes, he took the call of the South, crossed the great wall, and went to the Great Swamp, where he encountered the disciples of Yorg, who took him into their fold with only mild trepidation.

It was an easy decision for him, to find others who would accept him on the basis of his faith, rather than his race, but it was shaken some time after when the cult head chose him as the apostle of their order, a title that denotes the one most in-line with the will of Yorg.

What is it that Yorg sees in him?

Hobbies and Interests:

-Mineral science, plant science, and topics related to the field of chemistry

-Music of any kind, being a severe rarity in his life

-Fishing

-Fashion and beauty, something he’s only been able to admire the concepts of from afar

-Meditation

Notable Relationships:

-A long-abandoned adoration and dependence upon the caretaker of his orphanage

-An explicit disgust of the society that raised him

-A looming, rather dreadful expectation of Yorg’s will upon him

-A steadily-sprouting relationship with a certain sassy fairy

One thought on “Mort of the Swamp

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