Author Topic: Aaron of Darkon  (Read 2829 times)

Aaron of Darkon

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Aaron of Darkon
« on: March 23, 2013, 01:26:09 PM »
Aaron of Darkon

The Gypsy Fighter.

''Life is the shit that happens, while your waiting for those big moments that never come.''


''For as long as he could remember life had been one long fight and struggle.

His earliest memories were of pain and struggle, born of a tempestuous affair between an Invidian Noblewoman and a passing Vistani, the cheating wife had for years passed him off as her husbands offspring.

The child's increasing resemblance to the hated Vistani as he grew fueled many a vicious rumor and hostility among the peasants grew harsher towards their Lord and Lady, who already did not have the greatest reputation amongst the small folk. But nothing had ever came of it, and peasants always hated their rulers...

Until the night of his first Moon Madness at eight years old.

He had escaped the manor, and ran riot through the surrounding countryside, crying, screaming, ranting and raving, seeming to all intents and purposes to be insane.

But the people knew better, and knew the behavior for what it was, and the thought of a hated Vistani becoming their next lord, the rumors now shown to be truth by the boys behavior, became too much to bear and the people rose up, storming the manor and hanging the Lord and Lady from its gates on the same day as the Lady Gabrielle was replaced by her son as Invidia's ruler.

Luckily for the boy, he managed to evade the rioting, hate filled peasants in his madness, and stumbled upon a caravan of his true fathers people, paused for the night deep in the forests.

They took him in, knowing his fate if caught, and moved on that night, disappearing into the misty forests as is their way and Aaron left tempestuous and soon to be wartorn Invidia, never to return.

For several months he travelled with them, but never as one of them, always an outsider and having to fight night and day to survive, though at the least he did learn something of his nature from them.

Finally they left him in a small village in Darkon, the Headman of the caravan selling the boy to a wandering circus.

For the next fourteen years that circus was Aaron's life, first as a tumbler, juggler and acrobat, and then as a bare knuckle fighter as he grew older and stronger.

The circus traveled Darkon occasionally even venturing to other lands, once even as far as Dementlieu, and always Aaron fought. Sometimes as part of his trade, fighting in a ring of flames surrounded by cheering spectators throwing coins, other times with his own circus folk or local villagers while drunk on cheap liquor.

Life was always one long fight it seemed.

But he lived, and in time he came to love.

Her name was Evelyn, a young Darkonese girl of Aaron's age, a storyteller and singer of songs.

Their affair was passionate, torrid...and tragically brief.

Aaron never talks about exactly what happened, what led to her sudden disappearance that stormy night outside of Lekar in Falkovnia...but he left the circus that night and traveled south, always south.

Some say he follows her, some say he runs from her, others say he flees from her ghost after killing her.

None but him really know which is the truth.

He arrived in Barovia just as the snows began to fall in that foggy, mountinous land.''
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 08:11:49 PM by Aaron of Darkon »

Aaron of Darkon

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Re: Aaron of Darkon
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 10:48:42 PM »
''His first few days in Barovia were uneventful.

With little to no money his first night was a cold one, spent with his cloak wrapped tight about him against the wicked chill in the draughty Sanctuary of the Morninglord just outside the walls of Vallaki, keeping to himself and avoiding notice, while trying to ignore the rumbling of his empty stomach.

He rose early that morning, before the dawn even, and managed to slip into Vallaki itself without having to pass through the gates after overhearing several people mention a secret way into the sewers of the city, a loaf of still steaming bread left to cool on a windowsill enough to fill his belly for the day ahead as he passed it.

The young fighter managed to gain employment that first morning, unloading and stacking boxes in one of the cities warehouses. Perhaps not the most glorious of work, but enough to put some coins in his pocket at the end of each day, even if only enough for a meal in a cheap tavern.

Several days passed with him doing little more than spending every waking hour labouring in that warehouse saving what tiny amount of coin he could after buying food for himself, and spending his nights shivering in that cold, cold sanctuary.

Chances are he would have continued that way for a month or so before moving on and continuing his search...but it was on the third night that he met Mr. Cain.''
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 11:00:51 PM by Aaron of Darkon »

Aaron of Darkon

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Re: Aaron of Darkon
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 06:40:29 PM »

''The guard lieutenant watched through the locked and barred gates as the hooded and cloaked figure of the gypsy he had just interrogated paused and glanced back at him, unable to avoid the shiver that ran down his spine as the strange, faint smile came one last time, before he turned and continued on, the early, early morning fog shrouding the figure like the embrace of an old lover...and then swallowed him from sight.

He made one final warding gesture against evil and then turned away, not intending to dwell on the mistake he may have just made by interrogating one of the mysterious vistani in such a brutal way, not intending to dwell on the old legends of the Gypsy Curse and the Evil eye...but unable to completely ignore that voice in the back of his head asking him, 'What has he done?'

He turned away, back to the warmth of the Citadel and the familiar horrors contained therein, fearing the unknown and the mysterious, like all of his pathetic, superstitious kind.

But he would never forget his first meeting with Aaron the Gypsy, nor how his own final words to the gypsy, so unlike the final words most chained to that post had heard over the years, had been 'stay out of our way and we shall stay out of yours...', such fear to show one hanging naked from a post after such a long, long night of beatings and burnings.

But for Aaron, none of that mattered.

What mattered was rest, recovery, and sleep free from dreams...perhaps.

That and his long, long search.

But the trail had grown cold...''

Aaron of Darkon

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Re: Aaron of Darkon
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 02:25:08 PM »
''The tavern was dimly lit and smoky, the smoke a mixture of tobacco and burnt cooking from the kitchen.

It was a rough tavern deep in the heart of Vallaki's slums frequented by only the roughest of clientele, thugs, bandits, smugglers and worse.

Aaron sat slumped in the corner, his face on the table and his arm curled around a half finished bottle of cheap, strong whisky, as he could be found most nights these days, with little else to do but get drunk and fight.

His few meetings with Mr. Cain had come to little so far, little more than promises of wealth and prosperity, fame and glory in the fighting ring he planned to set up. For now? With the trail of who he sought run cold, and nothing else to do, Aaron did what he always did when not driven by his quest.

He found solace in a bottle and hoped for sleep to come without dreams this night...or perhaps he hoped to end his pain on the blade of some thug?

Who knows what passed through his mind?

Perhaps not even him.

This night though? This night was quiet, and he slept...and dreamed.

Though this dream was simple and quick, unlike most. More a dream of a memory long passed...unlike most of those that plagued his nights, though it was a familiar dream.

Just the image of a roaring bonfire, dark shadowy shapes dancing around it, laughter: drunken, forced, hysterical and happy filling the air. But somehow the single sound always penetrated the din, the sound of that simple guitar playing that simple tune that he sometimes found himself humming while awake, the sound quiet, and yet...somehow always the most prominent can be the way with dreams.

Then, as usual, the voice came.

A simple question.

''Can i join you?''

The sound of a fist striking a table jars with the dream, a sound not right, not usual to it.

Then the image of the bonfire and the dancers twisted away and turned until it faded from sight and Aaron was laying on his back in the common room of that rough tavern, staring into the angry face of a local peasant.

''I said what the hell makes you think you can drink in here after what you did to Tobias the other night you sack of gypsy shit!''

Aaron just blinked a moment, laying there...

...then he moved.

Seemed tonight would not be quiet after all...

After, he found himself outside in the mud and rain, the splinters from the wooden shutter he had been thrown through headfirst by someone or other during the brawl still embedded in his bleeding head.

He picked himself up and dusted off his mud, alcohol and vomit stained clothing, unwashed or changed after several days now on the piss and grunted.

He wouldnt be welcome back in Tigans for awhile.

But still...there was always the Ladies Rest...''

Aaron of Darkon

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Re: Aaron of Darkon
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2013, 08:54:39 PM »
''A few days passed as Aaron spent his days labouring in that warehouse, his work getting sloppier and sloppier, and his nights drinking heavily, until day and night seemed to meld into one constant blurry outline.

The Ladies Rest was different from most of the inns and taverns of Barovia, filled as it was with Outlanders of all stripes, and for a time he felt almost...comfortable. For once his look and his nature did not attract the usual stares, whispers and veiled hostility his presence would cause in Tigans, and for a few days he felt almost at ease, almost at home.


It did not take long for the young half vistana to begin to alienate people however, for he found it impossible to trust any soul, no matter how well meaning they might seem.

Indeed, in his experience the more well meaning someone seemed, the worse the hurt they intended to inflict truly was.

Trust no one had been the motto, the creed, the very way of life for this young fighter, whose life had molded his features into appearing far older than he truly was, barely out of his teens.

So, again, he fought.

Someone looked at him the wrong way, he fought.

Someone bumped him, he fought.

Sometimes even a smile was all it took to send the young gypsy over the edge into a drunken rage.

Slowly, day by day, he alienated himself from even the other outsiders, become a true outsider, welcome nowhere...

Until, perhaps, a lifeline was thrown to him.

His name was Jacho, a young outlander who claimed, among many, to be from a land called Toril, a land far outside the land of Mists, far across the great Misty barrier that surrounded all the known lands. He was young, eager, perhaps naive, and perhaps foolish in his desire to 'save' the young fighter from the bottle he found him crawling into most cold, snowy nights.

But save him he did, for a time anyway.

An offer of employment was all it took for him to put the bottle down, the idea of something to do enough to lock his demons away in some dark corner of his mind, as he joined Jacho and his friends in their business, the business of adventuring and offering 'protection' to other adventurers.

He met his friends, the young oriental Fu, a master with her hands, capable of bringing even the largest, strongest of men to the ground helpless, he met the archer, the shamen from a far distant land, capable of putting an arrow in a foes eye from a thousand feet it seemed, and he met the Fey wizard Therion, always with a book in hand, always watching, always learning, his robes of the purest white always spotless, unblemished with dirt.

He travelled with this close group of friends and for a day felt almost one of them, he even accepted the woman Fu's offer of training him to fight in a similiar way as she does, to train his mind and his body and make his entire being a weapon to be used only when there was no other choice.

For a day he felt a part something.

For a day.

But he was not one of them.

He would never be one of them.

He would always be the wanderer, always be the brawler, always be the outsider.

The voice in the back of his mind only took a day to begin to turn him against them, to see and believe their true intentions were anything but noble, that they had anything but his best intentions in mind. They would be like all the others. He could see that now, they would stab him in the back the moment his guard was down and his back turned, they would he knew. Just like everyone else he had ever met in his short, brutal, broken life had.

...other than her.

It was only a matter of time.

Better to walk now, then crawl away coughing blood later, no?

So he began pushing them away.

As he always did.

How long would that lifeline, that extended hand be there?

Who can say?

Who would say?

Certainly not i, who recite his tale.

For there is so much more to be told yet.''

Aaron of Darkon

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Re: Aaron of Darkon
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 07:02:26 PM »
''Days passed.

While Aaron still did not trust his new 'friends and allies', while he still waited for the (to him) inevitable knife in the back, it did seem that Jacho had been as good as his word, for the young Gypsy now had more money than he had ever had in his life.

Not a great deal of course, and most likely the few hundred coins Aaron now had in his safe deposit box in the bank (again, another first for him, to actually have a bank account?) would probably make a great many of those of you listening to my tale scoff and shake your heads in amusement, but to the young Gypsy, this was a fortune.

For the first time in his life he could afford to eat regularly, and eat well regularly. No longer did he spend his nights cold and shivering on the floor of the Sanctuary of the Morning Lord in the Western Outskirts, or on a rough straw filled cot in the Hospice in the Slums, but now could afford a room of his own in the Ladies Rest, and again, while the accommodations of that little roadside inn may be scoffed at, to young Aaron that bed was the finest he had ever slept in that first night.

He also took more from Jacho and Fu than just their gold in payment for his work, for he also took their advice.

No longer did he allow alcohol of any sort to pass his lips, consuming only water, milk, or fruit juices with his meals must be admitted, could have been improved also. Still far too much red meat and fatty foods, but how does the saying go? 'One must crawl before they run' no?

Speaking of running.

While his training under the martial artist seemed to have ended before it even began in a mutual air of mistrust and hostility, the young gypsy had taken what he had learned from her and begun putting it into practice.

Each morning he would rise with the sun and after a quick breakfast, he would run. At first around the environs of Vallaki, through the forests and valleys, half the time tripping and falling over logs or sinking into the mud true, but he would always pick himself up and carry on. Then through the streets of Vallaki itself, till one morning he stood in the warehouse district, breathing heavily from his exertions and allowed his gaze to wander south.

His gaze moved slowly, drawn to the misty, ice coated peak of Mount Ghakis, and without much thought he began to jog.

That first run up the mountain was...difficult.

It took almost two days for him to recover in Krofburg after risking the icy, rain and snow pelted roads that first time, but recover he did.

Then he ran back.

More days passed, and the race to Krofburg became a daily occurrence, a daily mission, almost an obsession. But each time he made it further before having to stop to rest, until finally, after weeks of risking broken limbs and even death on those icy roads, he could make it to Krofburg without stopping.

His speed had increased, as well as his endurance, and after several more days he had almost halved the time it took him to rich that distant village high in the mountains.

Each day, if his work with Jacho and the others did not distract him, he would run that road.

He still does, last i heard.''
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 07:05:19 PM by Aaron of Darkon »

Aaron of Darkon

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Re: Aaron of Darkon
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2013, 03:56:55 PM »

''The season passed, the cold long winter gradually giving way to spring. With the sight of the little green buds beginning to bloom on the bushes and trees, and with the seemingly eternal snow slowly beginning to melt, it seemed a weight was lifted from the young gypsy's mind and heart.

He continued with his training, each day making the run from Vallaki, up the mountain to Krofburg, then back and with it also introducing other forms of training, stopping at low hanging tree branches along the route, curling his oft broken hands around the branch and lifting himself up slowly till his chin touched then, then lowering himself to repeat the process, five or so times at first until his arms burned with the strain, then more, another lift each time he came to it until he could do fifty before the burning in his arms made him let go. Or stopping at a low stone, dropping to the ground and placing his hands upon it, his legs straight out behind him, and pushing himself up, then slowly back down, then up again, until after a week or so he could do fifty without breaking a sweat.

Each time he passed certain places along the road he stopped to do his exercises, and as the winter drew to an end he felt fitter and stronger than he ever had before in his life, faster, stronger, able to run for longer each time, until the entire round trip up and down that unforgiving mountain resulted in only a slight increase in the speed of his breathing.

Still no alcohol passed his lips, and slowly he even faded out milk, drinking only water and pure fruit juices. New concepts also came to him, the thought that eating so much meat and other such heavy foods could be slowing his speed, making his body more heavy as the food was digested led him to cut meat from his diet completely, eating only vegetables, soups, bread and the like. As the weeks passed he found that he had been right. Instead of the expected reduction in his strength, he found himself stronger than ever before, faster than ever before, his feet almost flying along those treacherous trails as he slipped less and less often, until he could make the entire trip without falling once, his mind seeming to go...elsewhere during the exertion, almost seeming to...turn off as his body laboured, and before he knew it he would find himself at the end of his run, with not a scratch or bruise on him to mark a fall.

Though he did not know it at the time, he had discovered the power of meditation, a power which in time, with his Zarovan blood would increase his capabilities far beyond that of any normal man...though i get ahead of myself in the tale.

Other new concepts and thoughts began to occur to him, and one in particular took hold, resulting in a definite change in his attitude. It came to him one night, while running in that mindless, switched off state. A simple concept, a very simple concept, but one that was to have a massive impact on his life from them on, changing his attitude and way of looking at things, the way he looked at others, the way he looked at himself, his past.

While healing ones scars, mental and physical is a long process, it was this simple thought that turned him to take that first step down that path to perfection.

The simple thought that every single person he had met and would ever meet, were there to teach him something...whether they knew that themselves or not.

With that in mind, his attitude began to change.

While he was still surly at times, distrustful and bitter...he became more open to others, more willing to see what came to pass from his interactions with others, rather than his old way of thinking, that it did not matter what one did or said, that they would eventually cause him pain when they turned on him.

After all, if they did, it was their place to do so, their gift to him. The piece of knowledge that was theirs to share...

It was with that line of thought that another thought came to him, that it was the same for everyone else. Perhaps he had been looking at his past in the wrong way.

All those that had hurt him in his life, all those to come that would hurt him...if he was learning a lesson from them, was it not arrogance to assume that THEY were not learning lessons from him at the same time?

Perhaps those that had hurt him over the years had learnt from their mistakes, seeing the pain it caused him and changed their ways...or would have in some cases...after all, many of them had never had the chance, their lives coming to an end soon after committing their 'mistake', and for those that still lived, how could he know? It was not like he kept in touch, after all.

With this in mind he also began to lose his arrogance, his ego, and took the first step on what some would call the road to Nirvana, the death of self.

He learnt other things with the coming of the Spring also, or relearnt them.

One early morning during his run he came upon a woman alone on the road being menaced by a pair of the foul werewolves that covered this mountainous land like a plague. She had been picking herbs for use in her concoctions and had managed to get herself cornered.

The young gypsy came charging onto the scene just as the creatures were about to begin feasting on the elven womans flesh, and knowing he could not harm the creatures with only his fists, he improvised.

A bottle was launched at the creatures feet, an alchemical mixture given him by Jacho, which exploded into smoke and flame with a thunderous roar. The creatures recoiled in surprise and fear of the flames, and he hurled another of the bottles, this one smashing into the shoulder of one of the creatures.

It shrieked an unearthly shriek as the burning liquid coated it, soon setting almost its entire body alight, and ran off into the early morning haze, still aflame, and followed by the other one.

The elven woman, whose name was Megan was grateful, of course, and offered Aaron the comfort of her and her husbands home whenever he should need it, and for a time he lived their with them, learning of the multitude of herbs and the way to prepare some into magical elixirs and tonics of all kinds. The young gypsy, remembering the words of the ancient Raunie of the Vistani caravan that had 'saved' him so long ago, recalling the little she had taught him about herbcraft, and with the natural aptitude all of his blood had for such matters (unknown to him) was a fast learner and bright student, soon being able to cook up curative elixirs, and ones to protect against freezing cold or extreme heat among others, with little, and then eventually no supervision.

Things were good...

But always the dreams plagued his nights.

Always the dreams of her.''
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 04:06:40 PM by Aaron of Darkon »

Aaron of Darkon

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Re: Aaron of Darkon
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 04:56:22 PM »

''The flames roared higher, the frantic figures dancing around it fading in and out of sight, swirling and blending together until they lost all meaning...and yet remained there, a constant background, as is the way with dreams at times.

The sound of that simple guitar melody intruded on the sound of the raucous  laughter once again, as it always did, as she seemed to melt out of the darkness before him, her voice causing him to look up, his vision bleary from the bottle of cheap grain alcohol nestled in the crook of his arm.

'Can i join you?'

She was a vision.

Her hair as black as the night that surrounded them, framing a soft gentle face without a hint of arrogance, anger, disgust or any other negative emotion, 'innocent' being the only word that ever came to mind, her skin pale as milk contrasting perfectly with the black, black hair that curled down over her shoulder, come loose during her dancing from the jade ring that normally held it to stream down her back to the small of her back, her eyes, as green and fiery as emeralds holding his own, seeming to pierce his soul.

He shrugged, a little irritably that his solitude had been broken, expecting at any moment her to condemn him for losing the fight earlier, waiting for the pain in his heart her words would bring to come, to match the aching bruises on his badly battered and still faintly blood smeared face. Also, he was uncomfortable around women, never having experienced the joy and feeling of completeness that comes from knowing a woman and having her by your side.

Instead, she said nothing, merely sitting in silence with him, her long, slender fingers gently plucking at the strings of the guitar, the warm, soft melody filling his mind and despite himself beginning to lull him to sleep as the bottle slowly began to fall from the crook of his arm. His eyes closed, as they did that night all those seasons ago, and the sound of her music continued lulling him to sleep...until a low inhuman chuckle came, seemingly in his ear, followed by a single jarring chord that jerked him awake.

He looked around wildly, but she was gone.

Always gone, only her faint wail of terror coming from the distant treeline of the clearing.

Why did the dream always end like this? The memory did not, the memory, the reality did not end like this. He had slept, and woke to find his head on her lap the next morning, the start of the happiest few weeks of his life.

Just a dream?

Then, as always, the voice came once again, her voice, but distorted, echoing.

'I shall await you my love. I shall wait for the south...'

Then, as always...he woke, the sweat slick and cold on his skin, but filled once again with that urge, that desperate urge to follow her, to follow her south.''
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 05:00:17 PM by Aaron of Darkon »

Aaron of Darkon

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Re: Aaron of Darkon
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 07:47:26 PM »
''And so the dreams had returned, and with them the almost compulsive urge to follow her words, to follow her south.

It did not take Aaron long to pack up his few belongings and gather his coin, but soon he was on the road once again, leaving Barovia behind him once again...for a time at least.

Heading south.

Always south.''

Aaron of Darkon

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Re: Aaron of Darkon
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 05:00:21 PM »
''Aaron's journey south was far shorter than he was expecting.

It was at the border of Barovia that he was forced to turn back, when the low groundmists that always seem to lie there rose up in a torrent of thick, poisonous fumes. He stumbled his way through, growing weaker and retching with each step taken into that sickly coloured morass.

Unknown to him, the Mists of Barovia had arisen, blocking his passage south.

For a time he tried to stagger through, but each time he was forced back, retching, heaving and on the point of death until he staggered his way into a thicker portion, where he could breathe more easily, but wandered blind.

He had found his way into a pocket of the mysterious Mists of the realm, and wandered for what seemed like hours through the never ending white. But the Mist plays many tricks, and time passes...strangely within them.

By the time he emerged many days had passed, the early spring having long turned to summer, though they seemed but a scant few hours to him. What had happened to him within those mists? Had he lost his memory? Or had time somehow...quickened for him? It is impossible to say, and perhaps only the Mists themselves know the answer truly.

But with little other choice Aaron found his way back to Barovia unable to continue his long, long march south.

Perhaps the Mists had saved him?

Perhaps they had plans for him?

Only time will tell.

One thing he could be grateful for however was that the dreams had stopped and for the first time in months, that first night back in Vallaki, he slept well, unbroken, and long.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 05:04:15 PM by Aaron of Darkon »