Bitucus, as I was once branded by more than meager family and friends throughout my land of birth, grew up in a diminutive village just outside of Rabao near the oasis of Hubol. Yes, I know what you’re thinking; not anything good comes from that desert and those that do go usually don't stay alive long. You don't have to tell me, I know the features of that horrible place all to well. I spent many a night under the desert moon in fear of the unforgiving, merciless creatures that wait for unsuspecting prey.
Our tribe was a mixture of common folk, thieves, and adventurers. Most people made a living off cultivating the nearby oasis, which made it possible for us to sustain a life in the desert. Others made their living off of stealing what good common people had worked so hard to get. There was no printed law and no one to enforce it, even it there was a law. Theft and murder were frequent, and most of the time, people just turned their back to it. I saw this type of behavior in others; I’ve seen what it will do to the Hume Race. I foresee something awful happening to Hume’s in the not so distant future.
The surrounding beastmen left us alone for the most part, but there were always adventurers in the region to protect us. It was once overheard, by a small child who was not supposed to be where she was, that the Beastmen in the nearby Desert had Intelligence. They had a leader and a council that deliberated on issues that concerned them. They even had a trade route to the great city of Jeuno. I often wondered as a child, if this were true, then why couldn’t my village be as organized? Why did we not live with some type of structure? I had reached a point somewhere along the way of not even caring about that anymore. I don’t remember exactly when that happened, but I do remember the way I felt about it. And that was angry.
As a small Hume boy growing up in a place and time when Hume's were outcast in that region, I saw more than my share of racism, hatred and violence between the tribes that lay claim there. The thieves and bandits of the day simply found it more than suited their living standards, and in some small way, laid claim to it.
My sister, Almaa, was born 4 years before I was. She was thin and small with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes, her charm and her smile matched her intelligent personality. She always seemed to know the answers to my questions. We would spend our days watching the masses fumble through their daily routines in Rabao while dreaming of far away lands. Almaa's heart was somewhere else; I could tell that she was not happy. Most of us in the village were not happy for one reason or another, but when I looked at my sister, something inside filled me with anger, a rage I could not explain nor could words ever want to explain something as horrific as this.
Mother was ill from my birth and our father had set out before I was born, never to be seen or heard from again. Our mother was called Yiheed: “YAA-HEAD” by the family that spoke of her. I knew very little about her but I was told she was strong willed and as intelligent as any women of the day. Looking at my sister, Almaa, I pictured my mother looking exactly as she does.
Once I remember Almaa telling me a story about how when she was little (like she was ever big), she was playing in front of the small tent that we called home, she was playing a game that was taught to her by the merchant, Goo’tau: “GO-TOO”, who always brings us great fruits from the seas off of Mhuara. The game involved running around in circles while tossing a small leather pouch amongst the children that are involved in the game. This was developed so that children of the day could learn agility and dexterity in preparation for adulthood.
The game was called BhaMuet: “BAH-MUTE”. Almaa loved to play it, and she was the best in the village. One day, while she was playing with some of the older children, her breath gave out on her. She said she felt an invisible pressure on her chest that she could not lift, nor if she could, she would not have and the strength to do anything else.
Our mother came rushing outside as she heard a cry of pain coming from Almaa, mother say her daughter lying on the ground and came to her aide as most mothers would. Almaa said that the exact moment that mother looked at her; she instantly felt the breath start to come back to her. It was as if, whatever it was that was taking the breath from Almaa was intimidated at mother’s presence.
My father left my Ill mother with the tasks of raising us on her own, with what little she had, and to make things worse, Almaa was showing signs of Illness too. I was but 10 years old, but I knew that I had to do something, something to help them...
I remember one of the thieves, in particular, Jahrad. He was different than most. He had, well...a kindness that just didn’t fit the surroundings. Jahrad befriended me at a time when my family was poor and Ill struck. He told me that I must learn the ways of the mage in order to save my family. So he began teaching me the ancient spells of the White Mage. Everyday, for nearly 10 years, I would do extra errands for him as payment for listening to his teachings. Years of teachings and lectures and simple potion recipes...everyday I was growing and learning. It felt wonderful to be a part of something special. I wanted to learn more and more so that I could save my family from the desolate end that was coming for them.
One day, whilst listening to Jahrad speaks, I asked him, "Why will you not heal my mother?" He sighed, and sat me down and explained that my mother was beyond healing, that the God Althena had a special plan for my family and that we must let it run its course.
I was furious at him. Why would he not heal them for me? Why did the Gods want to take them from me? I had grown since his first teachings, I could do it...I could heal them and make everything right...or so I thought...He pleaded with me not to attempt such things, to go against the gods would be devastating. I couldn’t just stand by and watch my family suffer any longer.
I ran to my mother, her scarred and bloody body, I held her hand as I began to chant the ancient spell of life...I began to feel something, was it Althena? A magic element I had never encountered before sprung from deep within the catacombs of the earth. I had summoned a demon. I had summoned something I could not defeat.
My powers had grown, but my skill was still as a child. In my attempt at saving what I cherished most in this world, I brought forth and evil that destroyed my village and killed my mother.
I never heard from Jahrad or my Sister, Almaa. After that horrible day, I left the village and wondered about the desert for days, hoping to die. Wishing it more than anything. I was near death, when I was found weeks later by a band of adventures that was scouting the desert. They took me to Bastok and gave me food, water and shelter.
I took to adventuring like it was in my blood. I followed them around until I was ready to take on the adventure alone.