artoni: (Default)
artoni ([personal profile] artoni) wrote2015-03-06 09:26 pm

Cahir Faldar - Backstory

Posting/formatting a commissioned fic here for now, don't mind me.

Cahir Faldar - Dwarven Cleric[?]
The Faldar clan; once a noted bloodline, steadfast and true. All of the things any typical dwarf clan would strive to be, with its own share of heroes and legends. Not a single child of the earth would have been ashamed to bear the name, and not a one who knew said name would expect anything less than a couragous and honorable figure to bear it.

And then is - was - Cahir.

This was not a case of a child going wrong from birth, though he was always a fussy one; nor is it an example of the parents failing. While Cahir always was a bit of a handful, most brushed it off as something he'd grow out of, and perhaps just needed a bit of discipline to set him back on the right path. And for all the world, this was a time-tested method. One that had worked for any other such child in the past, and so of course would work here as well. Everyone knew that there were bad dwarves, but nobody expected a Falder to become one of them - if they expressed patience, then surely he would be set back and fulfil his destiny as a noble son of the family.

Cahir didn't really care for 'noble'. Nor did he really care for all that 'steadfast' and 'true' stuff, or any other such trait. It wasn't that he was rebelling, so much that he vehemently did not care; about the only thing he cared about was himself, and his own lotin life. Everything he did was inherently and selfishly tied to that - while it'd be wrong to say he never went out of his way to help someone, that was always with the ulterior motive of gaining something in return. And why not? If he scratched someone's back, it was only right they scratch his; if he went out of his way to help someone, it had damned well better be with the understanding that the other was expected to do the same. And not only that, to do more. People quickly learned that Cahir's 'help' always came at a price, and began to avoid it - and so he began to turn to other ways to gain the cooperation of others, things like threats and going through with those threats.

Their fault for not listening to him, of course. He had done them the favor of giving warning. If they didn't listen to it, well...

...over time, the Faldar name didn't become slighted, but Cahir's certainly did. People began to ask which one? in their dealings with the family, which frustrated the others to no end; the ones who actually took pride in the name found themselves at wit's end, because nothing they seemed to do hold any lasting impact on Cahir. He might 'reform' for a time, but after position after position shoved him out, the only ones who would give him any sort of job was the local temple of Pelor. Not for the sake of the family or any sort of pity, but an attempt to make use of his rather...physical skills. And at first, it seemed like a good detour of his energy - he was a damned good guard, if a bit intense at times, but as things went...

As before, he became more comfortable in the role, and began feeling out to get more. It started with extortions and blackmail - subtle hints to increase tithes less something bad happen. And not that he particularly cared for Pelor, but if it was for the god, nobody'd come down on him for it, right? He was doing the god's work. So if he went abit further, it wouldn't matter either. Or if he went further...or further...or further...

...until he was found beating the life out of someone who had been 'shirking' on their offerings. He claimed they'd insulted the god; they were beyond the means to speak, much less defend themselves. Abhorred by the monster they felt responsible for - surely, they had enabled this without meaning to, giving Cahir an excuse and means of rationalizing his horrid means - the priests locked Cahir away in their own facilities as they tried to decide what to do with him. For about a week, Cahir 'suffered' the imprisonment, which was to say he verbally threatened and/or abused whatever poor dwarf had to come give him his meals or assist with other necessities. And then it was the head priest who saw him next, and who laid out things for him very simply, and very bluntly.

The picture they painted reached Cahir deep inside; the threat of living like this forever, trapped in a small room with promises of total isolation if he misbehaved, never to leave its corners due to the threat he posed to society...well, it was the first thing that'd reached him in a long time. As far as he could remember. The priest went on to say that as nothing had ever sunk in before, they were hesitant to believe his promises and assurances that he would be better and that this wouldn't happen again. Finally, they brought up a solution;

they didn't understand

Barely even understanding what it meant, Cahir agreed; he did, however, balk when the priest mentioned it involved death. Cahir may have been terrified of life in prison, but he was just as terrified of death - thankfully, the priest went on to say that he would be raised afterwards. And then executed again...and then raised again. And the cycle would be continued as long as it took.
every light casts a shadow and the closer you are to the light, the longer the shadow

It was a rarely-used, almost known ritual; generally, sacrifices were the work of the darker gods. However, willing sacrifices were well-known and well-documented by all priests - the power such could generate, with the work of the priests to support it, could accomplish miracles in themselves. With proper preparation, Cahir's soul could be kept from moving on the next realm permanently, and bounced between both the living and the dead until his sins were cleansed. Though doubtful, Cahir saw no other choice but to accept, and two days later they began.
and while the light can make use of that shadow

It was not a pleasant experience.
more often it's the shadow

It was not meant to be.
that takes advantage

They began slowly, with a single ritual execution and raise per day. Then two. Then three. Each and every time involved an antiphon to reaffirm Cahir's willingness, and his offering of his own soul to Pelor in hopes of being cleansed by the light - as the times went on, however, Cahir's responses grew more and more weak. Every time was an exhausting pull, and every time he wondered if this would be the last, and if he hadn't made a terrified mistake - the none-too-gentle lead of the priests led him to answer as was required to properly power the ritual. His willingness, they reminded him, was what allowed him to be brought back; should he give up, then that would be it. At best, he would be returned to his cell for life, and at worst, well...he would be sent to the morgue.
of light

Day by day, Cahir broke down. Until finally, when they brought him back, he was completely irresponsive; not even the head priest could force a reaction. Oh, he responded to basic stimuli - pokes and prods - but calls of his name brought nothing. It was as if they'd returned the life, but that the soul was still somehow missing; the head priest deemed that he be sent to the ward and observed, and that they be called when he 'woke up. If he woke up.
be̕c͞aus͠e ̢it̶'̢s tḩe҉ ón̡ly ̴w̷a̡y͏ ̶A͆ͥ̔̃̆̅̍̓ͧ͆̏̿̄̒͏͍͖͈̹͇̙̼͖̜͍͖̮̰̕͞ͅN̴̨̙͉̙͚͔̩̦̥̭͈̼̤̥ͧͧ͌̃Ỳ̘̻͇͈̜̗̥̄ͩ́̿ͯ̏̑̀͢͢͜͞Ṱ̟̘̱̪̜̯̦͔̬͕̖͇͚̞̟ͬ̑ͮ͊ͪͧ̑͒͐̀͛̄̆ͪ̍̈́ͧ̐͞͝ͅH̨̤̰̹͉̜̑̓͗̓͒̽ͣ̽̅͘I̵͙̖͖̞̝̽̀ͣͣ̇͜͠N̆̉͌̀̑ͤ̇ͨ̃̈̃̊̇̈́́̚҉̸̹̯̦̣̟̮̙̟͙͚̦̪͢͡G̵̵̨̛̰̱͖͖̣͙̙̭̘̦̹̘̹͎͔̩ͣͪ̎̏͛̒̏̀ͅc̀͟͞ą͠n̶ ̕͏sų̸r̡v̵i͘v҉e̵̢

For a week, Cahir was as the living dead; the priests were able to evoke the basic responses necessary to life, but little more. Whispers of broken went through their ranks, rumors that Cahir's mind had snapped and could never be healed. Some dark rumors affirmed that this was for the best, because, after all, he hadn't been contributing anyway, and now they could all rest and regain their own strength. The ordeal had been taxing on them as well, and many of them considered this a hard-earned rest.

When Cahir did wake up when that week was over, well - many groaned and rolled their eyes, wondering if this would be the start again. But it was immediately clear that something was different - there was little trace of the offensive and rude personality of before. He was disoriented, certainly, and needed to be told where he was and what day it was, but he was downright polite in his questions, and the head priest only had to take one look at him before smiling broadly and deeming the ritual a success.

He spoke with Cahir many times in the next few weeks; even if he was coherent, again, Cahir was in no state to leave and go out on his own. And Cahir was fine with that - still in awe of his experience and what had happened, he agreed to remain at the temple for another few months to ensure his health and well-being. More so, he specifically asked to accompany the head priest, as part of his efforts to atone for his sins - for while the purification had been meant to relieve him of their burden, he explained that he still felt their weight, and still wished to do everything in his power to make up for his misdeeds. The head priest couldn't allow him to serve as an escort, but he did direct him to accompany some of the others - a compromise which Cahir gratefully accepted, providing what seemed only to be a token protest before bowing his head in gratitude.

It was as though another soul had come back in place of the old - one that still had all the memories and experiences of the one before, and yet...every single dwarf he encountered couldn't help but remark on the change. And some were even observant of how while Cahir wasn't the Cahir they remembered, he neither seemed to be a Faldar.

For one, the Falders had never been overly religious. A few had found their place in the clergy, but Cahir was taking to it like a dwarf starved of all substance who had now been set before a feast. He all but devoured everything he could, from helping the scribes to assisting in ritual preperation and cleanup, to aiding the sick and everything in between. The head priest simply smiled and deemed it all the work of Pelor's grace, a claim with Cahir vehemently supported.

More than that - he begged for the chance to go out and spread that grace, in whatever way he would be allowed. It took more than those few months, but in that time Cahir was trained as more than a mere guard - and even if he hadn't been officially allowed, it was little doubt that he'd have picked up a number of priestly skills, anyway. His devotion was unquestionable; more than that, though, was the way he showed that devotion. Before he'd used the god as an excuse to threaten and bully and harass, but he showed distress at even harming an animal. A few rats that had snuck in to the granary were carefully (and painlessly) trapped and removed, sent back in to the tunnels to go free - even the priests shook their head at that, to say nothing of the rest of the population.

Said population was only so certain what to make of all this, but so long as Cahir wasn't their problem, they only cared so much. He'd already ended himself in their eyes, another fact of which he was painfully aware; another 'sin' for which he swore to atone, when he was finally given the head priest's blessing.

So armed with faith, magic, and the skills of a troublesome past that had synergized with those of a blindingly-bright future...Cahir Faldar so set off.