In the new years ruled by the Empire itself, and the Pirates of the water, there were many who feared tread from their village or town. There were many that knew greater fortunes laid beyond such small borders, though there were plenty of things to fear out there.
We arrive first in the Southern Kingdom, where two souls found themselves on a converging path, though not at first aware of it. One who appeared to be a half elf but who was far more underneath. He was raised by a man in a traveling circus of sorts, going from village to village across the kingdoms amazing the locals with acts of “magic” far beyond the paltry cantrips most were capable of. These acts were nothing so pathetic as simply a spark from the fingers or a bit of light flying across a small room, he would make people disappear, send blades through a person without harming them, and even lift coin from the audience without them ever realizing the theft had taken place until long after he was gone. Thus was our first hero raised, cutting purses and reaching into pockets. He became something of a prodigy to the man, who thus taught him the art of some of his own special tricks, and then because of the vast wealth he had made the man, allowed the strange one to “retire” from his service as apprentice.
At this point, the strange lad found himself in a strange city, in a strange kingdom with no knowledge of what to do with himself. He ended up finding himself in the back alleys of the capital city of the Southerlands, approached by a tall robbed man with a long black beak coming from his hood. The man chuckled and made mention of having seen the lad taking so much coin from people who could not even see what he had done untill they had gone home. The Boy was suspicious, but the man with the beak assured him he was safe, but he had commited quite a crime. He had stepped into the territory of a very powerful group that ran a very large black market, and was expected to return some percentage of what he had taken, or work it’s value out. He chose the second, being brought to a secret place in the Great Smithhouse. Here he met a woman who to him seemed to appear from thin air, telling him she ran the Black Market and it’s network of thieves and informants. He was to be ensigned into the group to pay off the crime he had committed against them, and was afforded a matching set of armor that gave him rather an advantage in shadows.
He took this as a marvelous boon to his life, instantly moving out into the world and plundering the richest areas of the capital city. In one home he found the security of it’s upper floors were most surprisingly lax. The entrance he gained was through a window which he discovered led into the bedroom of a Noble’s child. The child was quite deep asleep which was fortuitous he thought, as most children do not react well to the sudden presence of a prowler in the late hours. Upon silently creeping into the hall he saw an old nanny, sitting in a chair quite deep asleep as well. He had to fight back a light chuckle, fearing she might wake if she heard. However a rather loud crash was heard from below followed by an angry man’s voice cursing and speaking of shoddy craftsmanship with regards to some manner of dishes. He quickly looked at the Nanny as he slipped past into the nearest room, she barely even stirred, her snoring not stopping at all. In the room, he found many wonders worth taking in, shelves upon shelves of books, various pieces of antiquities worth near impossible to quantify. He moved quietly to the back of the apparent study, noticing in one corner a locked cabinet containing elaborate glass bottles and cups, likely made of crystal. Too fragile to risk taking, but perhaps just the bottle of ancient brandy. He moved to it, attempting to open but it would not. It was then he noticed the lock, he quickly picked it and found himself noticing how oddly shallow the cabinet was for it’s size. From this he realized, it had a false back. Soon he reasoned a way to pull off the false back, finding a tiny box with what was obviously a far better lock.
It took him some time but he prized it open, and, after realizing it had been of masterful craftsmanship, he found a stone that was black as the midnight in the sea, though, within it’s blackness it seemed to having a mass of squirming blood red worms. The stone intrigued him, but it made him most uncomfortable. Less so however, than the cold hands he suddenly felt on his shoulders. This was of course, a harsh thought to take in. Knowing the man of the house had risen to the study with the silence of death itself and, knowing now the prowler had found his secret item of obviously dark origin and was looking to make him suffer for the crime. However upon looking back, while hearing a laugh that chilled him to the very bone, he did not see the owner of the house. As well the laugh seemed to come from inside him. He stood up swiftly, but the hands that he now knew were not there, pulled him back down to the chair. The voice in his mind telling him to take the stone, that the man of the house had betrayed his path, settling with child and turning his back on the truth. He chose to follow the advice of the strange voice that chilled him with each word. He was told by the voice to check the lower right drawer. Upon doing so, he learned it was twice locked. Some time later he had prized this drawer open as well, finding within it a large blade with death celebrating decorations and a set of stains that smelled weakly of blood. Under it, and weighed down by it was a large set of deep black robes of incredibly soft and rich fabric. The voice told him to take these and to search the other drawers to find something more than valuable enough to make his trip worth it without selling the three items he had just been made witness to.
After having sold the items and purchased a house from the Black Market, marked as a protected home so it would not be prowled, Once inside, the voice directed him to set down the robes and other items. While he was doing this, he noticed a frightful sound and light, and upon turning found the fire had been lit, seemingly on it’s own. The voice described that he had done it, and would direct the man in the way down the “Path to Truth,” through the following weeks he was taught to manipulate the souls of creatures recently killed, and taught in the ways of using what the voice described (while posessing the robes as a figure of black smoke that seemed to darken even the light of a huge fire) the use of what it described as a Soul Stone, using the stone the man had found in the house as an example of one.