Vralgon is a withered young man of nineteen, with long bony limbs and a flat belly. He is short of stature yet quite lithe in his build, a quality that has served to benefit him over the years as a hunter in the wilds of his hell. His body is a myriad of scars, sashes of deep purple that cut across his stomach, chest and back. His most prized is a long gash along the length of his arm, received from a lively maiden as he took her forcefully. He is a deceivingly strong man. One glance and one might assume that he is starved and weak, and though the former is certainly the case most times, the latter is an underestimation. Years of hunting and living in Dugar by himself have made him physically and emotionally able to cope and adapt.
Vralgon’s face is long and sharp, with a chiselled nose and defined cheekbones. His lips are a light pink, dry and cracked from insufficient moisture. Beneath his eyes are pale blue hollows, credited to sleepless nights as thunder burst across the sky and predators stalked beyond him, another reward from Dugar. Due to the incident that earned him the name ‘ravenslayer’, he is blind in his right eye. The entire eye is jet, an orb filled with shadows that serves to remind people of who he is and what he has endured. His working eye is a glassy blue, as if coated by morning frost, and his hair is a shockingly stark white that falls to his waist in a river of snow. His skin matches his hair, though his skin is covered in dirt and dust, given him a darker appearance.
In terms of armour, Vralgon wears very little. His main feature is his prized conquest, his raven cloak. Fashioned from the feathers and skin of the rock raven that gave him his name, it shrouds him from head to ankle, a swirling wind of ebon and black. The raven’s head is shaped to serve as a cowl, which hides his easily distinguishable white hair. Other than that, he wears boiled leather rags to shield his nether regions and a loose-fitting rock raven tunic. His arsenal includes a longbow of gnarled black wood that he uses for hunting, bolas, a few knives made from the bones of various animals and an axe that he stole from a rival hunter.
Vralgon was born in darkness. In what you could call winter in Dugar, in the deepest and darkest depths of a cave beneath a mountain, his mother screamed in pain and brought him into the world. He was raised with his mother and her sister and brother. He never knew his father, who had snuck into his mother’s village and took her unawares as she slept. The four of them made residence in the cave he was born in, once the home of a shadowcat that his uncle had slain. Together, they survived, and built their own community in that cave. His uncle would hunt, his aunt would go to the nearest village and attempt to barter, and his mother would take him to forage during his younger years. They never strayed too far from the cave, and would always return with a bountiful harvest of moss and mushrooms. His mother taught him how to identify whether they were dangerous or not, and how to make nourishing pastes from moss and poisons out of the toxic mushrooms. It was a hard life, though nothing compared to the trials that his uncle and aunt had to endure.
When he was five, his mother made a grievous error with a mushroom. She became terribly ill and died within the week. Vralgon wept, but in Dugar, time is precious and sorrow is weakness. Following her death, Vralgon’s uncle took him hunting – with their mother dangling over his shoulder like a bundle of lumber. His first hunt was a shadowcat, which his uncle used his mother’s body to lure out of a cave. His uncle slaughtered the beast, robbed its cave of whatever fresh meat could be found, and took it all back to their home. Vralgon’s mother was left behind, a half-eaten corpse, homage to a god that Vralgon was growing to hate. When he expressed his distaste for the gods to his uncle, he laughed, and told him “that’s the point. Hate them, love them, no difference for gods.”
Vralgon often hunted with his uncle. His uncle became a father to him, and despite being as rough as the island they resided on, he was an insightful man. He explained to Vralgon of the gods, of how Lord Tartarian became one, and what each stood for. He taught the young hunter how to swim, hunt and track, as well as how to fight if it ever came to that. Their conversations bordered on philosophical at times, often about the gods, and sometimes about history. Vralgon’s own views were somewhat similar to his uncles, though his uncle was a true believer, and Vralgon was growing to think of them as nothing. “The beast is a beast; it will kill you whether you offer it another carcass or not. Prayer is for fools who think that the wind out of their mouths will save them. You’re shit to them, and they’re shit to you,” he would say to his uncle, who would respond with a laugh.
Sometimes, Vralgon would go with his aunt into the nearby village. He learned much there too, about the rest of the island and the people living there. He learned about history, and why the Tartarians were so cursed. A crone at the village would sometimes tell him stories about the Great Green, where life was easy and the storms would come only a few times a year. Vralgon would often dream of this long forgotten land, of villages in hills of green, where the trees were bright and Ayreon’s beasts stayed in the wilds and away from men. He knew no better.
When he was 11, his uncle died from a wound given to him by a manticore. His aunt then abandoned him, as he was old enough to fend for himself. He remained in the cave, and hunted in the morning hours. He became bolder and stronger, though also more reckless. He climbed the peaks to snatch eggs from nests, and snuck into caves to steal from absent creatures. He frequented the village a lot more now, offering eggs for knowledge and supplies. Through bartering, he managed to obtain a longbow and arrows. When he was 15, he killed a man for an axe he had.
It was on one such night that the rock raven came for him, big as a tree and dark as a winter’s night. It swooped down from the peak and attacked him as he slept. Vralgon fought it off desperately. It took his eye, but Vralgon slew the beast with a blow to its gut. When he came to the village the next day with an eye the colour of a crow’s feather, he was forced to tell the tale. The same old crone who told him of the Great Green gave him the name Ravenslayer, believing it to be the same rock raven that had taken two of her sons from her the year before.
When news of Ironhand and his fleet departing came to him, he knew what he had to do. He packed up his cave, gave the crone one of his shadowcat pelts, and went off to seek the Great Green beyond the tempestuous seas.