Oradin was Forty Eight when the War of the Skies dawned, still considered a child by his fellow Aertherians, no one would think that he would grow to become the ruler of the land. Oradin saw much death and destruction in the War of the Skies, many of his friends perished, his family was completely annihilated by a single beam from the strange weapons the Sky People – or Earthers as they are now called – had. Still, he fought alongside his many comrades many of them centuries older than himself, and he learnt from them - and from the war - what no man could have taught him. The first thing he learnt was the “art” of survival. Yes, Oradin learnt that survival itself was an art, how to see but not be seen, to hear but not be heard, to feel but no be felt, to kill…but not be killed. In that is an art some can learn, but few ever live to master. Not only did he learn how to survive, he was forced to master the use of several weapons, and flung into the more violent side of magic, delving into even the darkest and most forbidden magics. The war lasted a long time, or maybe it didn’t, maybe it lasted a short time but Oradin felt like it had lasted so long, for he changed very much…too much. The man he was before was unrecognizable as the man he had become, one haunted by ghosts of death and destruction, one who had lost everything and gained everything, for he could bring back all he lost if he so wished, but what was the point? Let the dead remain dead, the past be the past, bygones be bygones.
It was then that the gods acted, too late for death to take Oradin, too soon for him to retain a speck of innocence. The war was over almost immediately, the seemingly invincible Sky People were completely crushed by pure, unadulterated magic. Nothing remained. Everything that had once been Aertheria was no more. Oradin did not stay, what was left to stay for? No, he would go out into this new world, and he would come to know it, he would learn more about it, become something in this chaotic land. Things did not turn out as bad as the dark minded young warrior mage anticipated however, for the Sky People had not destroyed as much as Oradin first thought, Aertheria had merely gotten the brunt of the invasion. This however did not change his warped soul, and he travelled on, spreading despair wherever he went, learning the magic of other people, even managing to get an old elf who had lost all hope in the world to teach him some of the magic which elves mastered. For centuries he travelled like this, killing any who dared even raise their voice against him, learning from those who saw in him potential for power, or from those he blackmailed and threatened.
This could not go on however; someone had to put a stop to this marauding chaos bringer, the only one who still hung onto the War of the Skies after so long. So it was that in his third century of existence, Oradin met the love of his life. He was once again on the road, going to wherever it led him, when he stumbled upon the severely injured and unconscious body of a woman. She was strange and very alluring, and Oradin was immediately drawn to her. He carried her in his arms until night fall, which was when he set up camp in a small cave half a mile or so from the road. He cast a few healing spells he’d learnt on his travels, nothing too powerful as he did not want to over-heal her, when a plant is over watered it dies, when a person is over-healed, they will also die. Leaving the recovering lady, he went out to find something to eat, magic was a mighty weapon, but he could not create food. He could plant a tree and make it grow, but there was a stark difference between a tree full of fruits and a full course meal. He returned with a few small animals over his shoulder. When he came to the cave, he found her awake. At first she was frightened of him, asking if he was the one sent to kill her. Oradin assured her that he had no intention of doing such things, and that he could never live with himself should he kill such a beautiful lady. She had been quiet after those words, and they ate in silence.
“You would not be able to live with yourself you say?”
she whispered in a strange tone after she had finished eating. Oradin looked up, slightly apprehensive.
“I…I guess not”
he said carefully.
“Yet you can live with yourself after killing many innocents and spreading chaos and destruction on this peaceful world?”
her tone was not harsh, just sad, and the sadness ate into Oradin like a horde of carnivorous beasts, wanting to spread the feeling into every corner of his being.
he looked at the ground before him, sitting down in a cave in the middle of nowhere. What was he doing here? He went over the past few centuries in his mind. It was all the same, getting on the road, reaching a town or village or city, learning what he wanted, then destroying and killing, then getting back on that road. That long, never ending road. Why? Why did he always go back to the road? Could he not stay in one place without destroying it?
The lady – who had said her name was Eredith - had turned away from him then, and gone to sleep. Oradin however did not sleep, he spent the next few nights without sleep, and when his lady companion spoke to him, he made no reply. As they walked on the road on the fourth day, Oradin suddenly stopped. She turned to him questioningly.
“What’s the matter?”
“Do I deserve to live? After everything I have done?”
he looked her right in the eyes, his eyes icy. She cocked her head to the right slightly, and said with a simple shake of her head;
and they stood staring at each other for a while. Oradin looked at this beautiful woman who stood before him, she had jumped into his life and destroyed everything he knew and thought, but he felt no hostility towards her, he only felt an aching need to stay by her.
“Then I deserve death”
he said as he unsheathed his great sword (pictured) and prepared to impale himself on it. She was upon him immediately, holding his hand in an attempt to restrain him, worry showing clearly in her eyes.
“NO! You don’t deser- I mean…you do deserve death, but as long as you’re alive you have time to repent, you have time to try and do good, make people remember you in a different light”
there was desperation in her voice, but he only heard the truth of her words. He nodded slowly as he coaxed his hands out of hers and sheathed his sword.
he looked at her and smiled, “that sounds like a good idea.”
And so they took to the road, but for a different purpose this time. Where once Oradin had travelled alone, he now had a companion, where once he’d spread death and destruction and corruption in the land, he sought to bring life, to build and to bring all villains and criminals to justice. For many years he and Eredith journeyed, going back to places Oradin had visited previously and doing whatever good they could. In the end however, both travelers had to settle down. Finding a beautiful isolated spot, the two built themselves a home, and there they dwelt for many years, in relative peace and happiness, isolated from the rest of the world. Oradin found the time to sit and read the many books and tomes he’d collected over the years, expanding his knowledge on the world and magic in general dramatically. Eredith enjoyed living with a man she had slowly grown to love, and so both prospered.
However, as is the way of the world, nothing is eternal, and death finally separated the two lovers. They had no children, for their love had never been a physical one, rather one of the spiritual type, one which fulfilled and satisfied more than any kind of physical love. This however made the blow even more difficult for Oradin to deal with. For many months afterwards, as he sat before the great gravestone he had created for her, he contemplated ending his life and joining her, but words from the past echoed in his mind, and he knew that he had not yet redeemed himself.
“I may have repented, but the path to redemption is a long one…”
and he remembered Erediths words “as long as you’re alive you have time”
and with those words echoing in his mind, he made his way to his distant homeland, one he had abandoned centuries ago.
And so, in Oradins fifth century of existence, he returned to his homeland; Aertheria. When he returned, Aertheria had changed much; it had become a prosperous and mighty kingdom, ruled over by a wise and gentle king. Oradin allowed himself to become part of society once more, working as an instructor in a mage academy, having put down his sword and armor
long ago, and replacing them with the staff and white robes
of a magician. As an instructor, he passed on much of his acquired knowledge, and revisited old ideas. He witnessed and later took part in public debates and meetings on the way magic worked, and conducted further study into the essence of magic, delving into the forbidden arts behind the scenes, not for malicious or evil reasons, but for the sake of expanding his knowledge on the one thing he had ever loved besides Eredith: magic.
It was in his sixth century of existence that a great evil arose in Aertheria, an evil in the form of a witch of great power. The witch managed, through will laid schemes and plans, to destroy the monarchy which ruled over Aertheria. Legend tells of a mighty wizard who destroyed this witch. Oradin was that wizard. The death of the monarch did not only bring chaos to Aertheria, it also brought instability to the new and stable life Oradin had built as an instructor and great scholar of magic, and if there was anything Oradin hated, then it was anyone or anything that got between him and learning more about his beloved magic…he also needed to redeem himself, so getting rid of evil villains who brought destruction was an extra bonus (^^’)
Oradin spent many months seeking out the witches abode, not being able to use magic to track her down as she had created many seals and charms which prevented her from being tracked through magic. However, by following rumors and the shadows of stories, Oradin finally found her hide out, the place she had schemed and planned and destroyed Aertheria’s prosperity from. Getting into her strange hide out was only the first of Oradins problems; once he got in he found that she had summoned many fiendish minions of the darkest kind. Ghouls and hellhounds, demons and devilish creatures which Oradin had only read of in the darkest tomes and books. But Oradin was no weakling or stranger to the dark arts, in fact, he too could summon these strange and terrible creatures, but darkness could only be fought with light, and he would use the powers of the lighter side of magic to defeat this fearsome witch he now faced. However, once he had fought his way past the witch’s minions, Oradin faced one more challenge. A challenge which very nearly destroyed him. He faced his love.
Before him, in a strange wispy, ethereal form, hovered Eredith. Oradin knew this magic, it was a form of necromancy, an art he had leaned towards after the War of the Skies, for he had sought to bring back those whom he had lost, before his quest for knowledge turned to lust for it that is. Standing before Eredith, with the incantation to destroy her on his tongue, Oradin stopped, unable to do it. That was when a huge spiritual explosion took place, and the enraged face of the ghostly Eredith was upon him, tearing into his spirit, his very soul. To this day he hasn’t fully recovered from the spiritual attack, for wounds of the soul take much longer to heal than those of the flesh. In desperation, pain and rage, Oradin had cast a forbidden spell which melted the ghostly spirit and turned it into shadowy figure under Oradins control. Combining his weakened soul with the shadowy figure, the enraged Oradin had stormed into the witch’s library, where she dwelled. For a few moments he was stunned by the treasury of books which lay before him, but he had no time to admire the knowledge within the huge room, for the witch was immediately upon him, sending all types of dark curses at him.
The battle was long and arduous, but the witch was not as old or experienced as Oradin, and he steadily but surely gained the upper ground, battering the witch with one mighty spell after the other, until none of her shields or barriers could protect her from her opponents wrath any longer. She was completely incinerated by a mighty inferno of hellfire which Oradin had fired at her, not even her ashes were spared by the all-consuming flames. The battle left Oradin extremely weak, and with his damaged soul and weakened body, he could not move for many weeks, feeding on the magic within the air and earth to stay alive. During this period where he hung between life and death, he went through many strange and enlightening experiences, delving to the core of magic itself, and even then, he could not understand it, one cannot understand such splendor, and he came to understand that magic, the core of magic that is, is incomprehensible to any living mind, no matter how mighty or powerful one became.
Once he awoke, with this new revelation at heart, he set out to read as much as he could of the witch’s library. He spent months, if not years in there, studying magic arts lost to civilization, learning more about the forbidden arts, things which made even his ancient heart twist in horror. Forty years later he emerged from the witch’s hideout, feeling as if he’d aged centuries from the knowledge he’d gained. Aertheria had become a land ruled by the strong and the cruel, and many mage clans had arisen. Oradin set out to unite the mage clans, trying to convince them to unite for the sake of Aertheria, make the once mighty kingdom great once more. It was no easy job, and many uprising and treasons from the clans had to be dealt with – and Oradin dealt with them most harshly, showing himself to be a just ruler, but one who did not hesitate to inflict terrible punishment upon those whom he found deserving. Eventually, after ten years of hard work, Aertheria was united once more, and a new era of stability began, one which Oradin had brought about, and one which Oradin would make sure continued far into the future.
Oradin is now quite an old man by any standards, having passed into his first millennia of existence, under his rule, Aertheria has become well known for the might of its magic users, it is well known that they can best even the great High Elves when it came to anything magical, although the Elves still held the upper ground when it came to the art of natural magic. Oradin is confident in Aertheria’s ability defend itself, any nation foolish enough to attack Aertheria would not even get to the mainland before having its fleets sunk, or its aircraft completely and utterly crippled. Oradin refuses to see Aertheria’s isolationism as a weakness, viewing their ability to keep any other nations from influencing their culture as strength. However he is no fool, and would be ready to make stronger relations with mainland countries should the need arise, and with the recent events and the ever growing threat of an Earther invasion, gaining allies and improving relations may become a needed step for the Aertherian Islands.