I was born Strada Delsei to a broken home, in a small village; on the edges of civilization. A product of rampaging orcs, and their need to intermix the species in order to stave off madness. I never knew my father, the beast who raged through the village, and who's clan killed many in the process.
I was seen as a bad omen from a young age, and shunned by the villagers. When born, my mother Elise was exiled from the village for refusing to dash me on the rocks at the bottom of Gull Canyon nearby. I was named Strada after the father that Elise had lost in war some years before, Stradeno Delsei, and treated well at first, but depression and stress from the complications of a harsh solo life got the best of Elise over time.
She blamed me for her misfortunes eventually, and during my own struggles with rage and stubborn rebellion, Elise struck me in anger. This became more common for a time, until her own decline ended at the bottom of Gull Canyon in another way. Outcast from the village, with little support or other opportunity at 14 I had to figure out survival on my own.
I braved the wilds, learned hunting and survival the hard way, and was nearly starving to death when I ran into an Orc clan near the mountains, the Threesoi. They took momentary pity on my state and tried bringing me back to health, but their ways were alien and difficult to swallow for me. Too much violence and alien considerations for themselves and the other races brought me to the realization that I just didn't belong there.
I ran, for they would not have allowed me to leave. Narrowly escaping their hunting parties, and on the brink of capture, Lupine Beastmen struck against the Orcs and took me captive. This particular group had been warring with the Orcs for Generations off and on, but seeing me as an outcast decided to let me live and take up what I would later consider to be slave work for them.
I wanted to impress them, was angry at their decision to keep me this way and showed them how useful I could be. This led inevitably to me spending a few years with them, learning how to raid; the brutal tactics felt good to me, and I excelled at combat, at warfare and violence. Some part of me was scared by this.
One day, we were raiding some small settlement. Mostly harassment and gathering resources near the mountains. This time, the villagers had guests coming down for celebration. They were a contingent of monks from the Iron Heron monastery coming to help the village with a festival of some sort. The raid very quickly went south, our warriors being knocked unconscious or worse in very short time by someone calling themselves "The Undying" and her close consorts. I was knocked to the ground during a rage and recognized my defeat. I was done. My time on Aldorbrynn blissfully over, and as I looked into the eyes of death the only thing I felt was remorse.
The death of my mother was my fault, and I couldn't control myself. I had hurt others and I couldn't stop. I was ready, but the strike never came. I looked up into the eyes of my executioner to find only pity. This man called himself Eloen Ahren. He told me "You are free. You will come with me. I shall be Sifu to you from here on out, your Teacher. If you do this, it will heal your soul, the burden you carry is as clear as the morning dew on the leaf to me."
He smiled at me. I will always remember that smile. Holding out his hand, I tentatively took it. We journeyed to the Monastery of the Iron Heron, and for years I was defeated over and over, I failed at every task placed before me. Do not strike in anger, be as water; calm and collected, be as a feather on winds; speak softly, eat slowly.
I was a difficult student, but over time, and with the constant support of the other Acolytes and Sifu, I was able to gradually progress. I was even given approval for a personal sojourn into the east to discover the status of the world and report back with what I had found. I didn't know at the time, but the Undying had suspicions about Aldorbrynn that would come to change the face of the world....
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