We are all men doing what we must.
To survive, or to achieve our goals.
You may vilify me for the choices I've made.
But know, many others would have done the same.
I am not evil.
I am just a man who will bring down my brother at any cost.
The Woeher family was never one to suffer. The father ran a trading company that had ties all along the sword coast, and their family rarely suffered or saw crisis within their finances. The family boasted both parents, much in love and happily running the empire together; Their eldest son Valkeen, named after the Goddess of Commerce Walkeen, was a ranking soldier who commanded a small division at war; Their youngest, their daughter Molly who was a innocent thing not yet out of her adolescence; Then their middle child, Caleb. Just barely 16, and an aspiring thespian who had put more time in plays and acting than he did social interaction. Caleb was always the more socially reserved of the family, often being lead about by his younger sister who was eager and not afraid to speak to anyone, or travelling with their mother when she went shopping to be around people more comfortably.
It was never questioned that Valkeen would inherit the family trade when their father retired and the wars had settled. Often letters came of Valkeen telling of his battles, and his victories. Their mother always telling the tales to friends and family alike. Caleb always looking up to his brother, envious of his confidence and strength while he was the socially lacking and weak teenager he was. When word that Valkeen would be coming home hit, the family had already prepared to welcome him with open arms, getting many of their friends to help throw a small party for him. When he rode up, still in his armor and bearing his colors with pride, the streets were alive with sound of song and joy. However, the merriment did not last. Soon other soldiers from the war showed up, and began to tell the truth of Valkeen's actions.
Valkeen was far from a soldier with pride. The methods he had employed to secure his victories often forced his men to do deplorable things. Using severed heads of the fallen as ammunition to sew terror into enemy forces, forcing outlaying towns and villages to surrender resources and lodgings for threat of being assaulted, even poisoning water sources to deny the enemy access to water. Ultimately, he had been stripped of his rank, his titles, and was meant to face imprisonment before he managed to escape into the night. All of the letters he had wrote them fabrications of the real truth, he had became a ruthless warmonger. They were now facing a horde of people standing by, throwing fruit and insults at Valkeen, before their father stepped forward. He slammed a bag of gold into his son's hands, and told him to leave. No longer welcome in the family. Valkeen, still being pelted with food and his colors ripped from him by the soldiers present, left without a word. Molly and Caleb watched, Molly unable to comprehend what was going on, and Caleb speechless to what had transpired.
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Months passed with no more word from Valkeen. The family had moved on, though often still had to deal with comment or insult related to their eldest child. Caleb had left to join part of a production, getting a leading role in a play he'd been practicing for months. The night he returned home however, he only found ruin. The night of his return he found raiders in mass attacking his home. What ones weren't actively looting and destroying it were in the streets fending off guards or harassing nearby people. In the center of it stood Valkeen, staring at the chaos with little emotion. Bandits spoke with him, and brought him things from the home of worth, making it clear Valkeen had hired them to raid his home, taking back what he was robbed of. Three bodies laid in the snow, coated in blood, and Caleb knew instantly what this meant.
Caleb ran that night, fleeing into the night before finally tiring out. Falling asleep in an alley, waking to the prodding of a guard for him to move on. He returned home, to find it all but rubble and ash, the bodies all being collected and turned to the cemetery to find their final peace. He attended the burial, but after that he silently dissapeared. He walked off into the woods with no words, no thoughts of what would come next... But someone had been watching, and something would continue to follow him. From here Caleb found himself far from where he had been, his clothes now tattered and his face coating in dirt as he ended up in a port town. He found himself begging, sitting on corners and taking what handouts he could get from the sailors and patrons, and usually also the attacks of their drunken merriment or otherwise harsh ways. He had never known socializing well, and just accepted the lumps.
This was until his visitor whispered to him. Why take the abuse, when he could learn to give it back? Whispering for weeks about the power he could have if he played their game, and for some time Caleb was able to ignore it. Then the voice mentioned revenge... Caleb was weak, and without help how could he ever hope to strike back at the man who took everything from him? Caleb finally took the voice's offer, and asked him how. The voice guided him deep to the woodlands, where Caleb found no beast would come close, before revealing himself. It was a Fey who called himself Sparrow, one of the winter courts. He made his offer clear to Caleb: Become a plaything for his queen, to become a source of entertainment for her and her court when she grew bored, and he would be given the opportunity to gain power enough that would lead him to vengeance.
He dropped Woeher from his name, going by his middle one for the foreseable future. His looks were so coated in his ungroomed state that few actually recognized him. He took to travelling, guided for a short time by Sparrow before the fey lost interest, but he was never alone. Often whispers from Fey would come, pushing him to do things for them. Usually harmless albeit entertaining things, small theft, chucking rocks at people or windows, or causing barfights. It was small amusements for the fey to push and see how far he would go to honor their contract with him, and when he resisted he was pushed and chastized by them. However, when they felt he would listen without resistance, they began to back off, only calling on him when they felt a true display could be made.
Caleb grew into... Well, if it wasn't for his poor grooming, a fine man. He was a bit stronger from his travels, but looking at him would make most people shrug him away. He had long since developed an accent, trained from years of theater work, to further hide his origins. LEarning to mask as much of himself as he could so no one would know him from his past. He had taken to begging for all his coin, but also began learning (Albeit through trial and error) how to survive in the wild. He'd started turning his interactions with the Fey into small jokes, laughing and jestign with them despite how much he had learned of the deal he struck, as he knew their Queen, his Queen, would just as likely push him to murder as she would save him from death.
Fate wanted to be entertained, however. When Caleb took refuge on a vessel to sleep one night, he had no idea he would not only be forced on a journey, but wake up stranded in Skaljard....
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Insulted, damned, tossed aside, and robbed of what was his... Valkeen had never felt so low. He had fought, he had did what was necessary to win. Who were they to damn him for his actions if it meant victory? They were cowards. They were weak. And his own family? Throwing him to the dirt like this!? It was nothing short of disgusting. Valkeen had no intention to take this laying down, he had no desire to know defeat. Even if it meant he would have to burn everything down to achieve victory...
The months of silence he spent avoiding lawbringers and bounty hunters. Breaking into people's homes and putting them to the sword, and remaining there until he was forced to leave. Bleeding them of their wealth and devouring their supplies before moving on again. The month of travel to the mountains ensured he was carrying coin ontop of coin when he came across the bandits there. After putting the less... Amicable ones to the sword, he made them an offer. He presented all of his coin to the bandit leader, and made it clear: He had so much more, and it would be theirs if they helped him take down the family that had spat him aside.
They took his offer, and when they attacked his home there was little quarter. Anyone who was in their path was struck down; Guards, civillians, children, animals, it did not matter to them. When they found his house they descended upon it with a fury, fire being thrown into any window they could see to drive out those inside, men running inside to start looting before anything too valuable would burn. Valkeen remained outside, letting them do his dirty work, letting them kill his family and tear it all down. When the bodies of his family were brought out, he waited for Caleb's but it never showed. He pushed them to keep looking despite the slowly burning house but eventually they pulled away, taking all that they could on the back of stolen carts and fleeing back to the mountain.
As far as Valkeen knew, he had regained the lost pride of being damned by his family, and officially severed his name. Valkeen was all he was now."