BIRTHNAME | Hadrin GuthsteinAGE
OTHER NAMES | Laethe, Sparrow
Hadrin was born into a family steeped in tradition that existed as long as written records have existed. The eldest son's duty was to enter their father's tutelage and eventually take his place as the master jeweler of the Guthstein family. The eldest daughter would be trained in the arts of enchantments, originating some twenty-three generations back to the Eddelreich family whose form of enchantment was based in song. This blending of glimmering gems entombed in silver and gold, imbued with enchantments of songs passed down tens of generations led to the Guthstein family being paragons of the Carminda faith. Though, perfection requires scores of failures and as such those children not born eldest or likely to take the position of the eldest found as little value in the Carminda faith as their family traditions found in them.
Being an eighth-born child, Hadrin was one of those children. As he grew older and the need to make his own path became more and more of a reality, he looked to Zorion for guidance. To become a devotee of Zorion was to find liberation from the Carminda faith in the eyes of Hadrin, his brothers and sister, and the extraneous children of countless generations before them. It was Zorion's guidance that influenced his ambition. It was the sense of self and rejection of selflessness that drove Hadrin into the arms of magic. It was Zorion's demand to serve himself above all else that he took to an ultimate feat of recklessness in the pursuit of magical mastery. It was Zorion's influence that ultimately drove him away from the gods.
Hadrin in his younger years was never obese, though if he had a vice it was his indulgences in the culinary arts. His body had all the soft feminine curves of a sensual woman unfortunately affixed to the body of a short posh boy. He eventually shook the habit of overeating, under-dressing, and abstaining from grooming to make himself into a presentable young man. As the desire to practice the magic arts welled within him, so did his desire to make himself fit the role he had come to envision himself in; a hero whose name would be lauded across the all of Tyrrania.
As a grown man, he's a shadow of his youthful vision whose appearance exaggerates his age. Laethe, as he later came to be known, towered over most folk though few would ever recall him as being particularly tall. He had a way of carrying himself that betrayed his true stature; slouched shoulders, downcast gazes, a hunch slight enough to look at if he were standing normally. His hair had grown beyond his shoulders and gone were his formerly golden locks, faded far beyond his years past gray to nearly white. All of which comes together to frame a gaunt face with high cheekbones and a sullen set of lips. Around his eyes hang dark bags, a result of sleepless travels and a lack of personal care. Contrasting that are his lavender eyes, a recessive trait his family has long been proud to posses; a blessing of Carminda his ancestors liked to claim. It's not rare that the unassuming figure draws predatory gazes from some, sympathetic eyes from others, and ensures that jobs involving physical labour and rarely given to him without some convincing needing to be done.
SKILLS, STRENGTHS & TALENTS:
In his travels, both former and current, this trait has been the foundation of it all; Self-sufficiency. Laethe has no patience for stagnation and if there's a job to be done, it's already been started by him. If his belly is empty, his throat parched, and there's nary a nibble nor a drop in his pack, he'll find work with his magics or his bare-hands to sustain himself long enough to get to the next village, town, or hamlet. It's this work ethic that's led to him picking up many useful skills from barn building to breaking horses to trade negotiations and everywhere in between. He's had a silver tongue since he was a child, a common trait of his lineage.
Laethe is no master of arms, but he has years of experience hunting with spear and bow which aids him well enough when he has either on his person. Though as he's rarely armed in his travels, he's never arrived at a town beaten and bloodied from beast or brigand.
Laethe has a plethora of skills picked up mostly out of necessity. His more common-folk skills such as hunting, foraging, and carpentry speak to his current life. His literacy and general education hark back to his privileged roots.
It's no secret that Laethe is a traveling mage. He's a wide range of skills that are strictly utilitarian, like sparking a flame to life, mending minor wounds, always knowing which way is North, and a plethora of otherwise unremarkable skills. While his range of magic should stretch his mastery thin, he often surprises viewers with his results. Where he truly shines is in a magic he practices in secret, going so far as to refuse desperately needed work if he cannot do his task behind locked doors and shuttered windows. Whatever the source of the magic is matters not to most he's helped, as he's found ways to provide far more in practical means for folks than answers to questions ever could. His secretive magics have often been used both in self defense and in service to certain buyers where there are witnesses to his magics, though those that have seen it have never lived to tell tales. However in the Tumeken desert sound can carry some distance and as he was dealing with a camp of bandits that had taken over an oasis, the sound of the chirping of a swarm of birds came across the rolling sands. The bodies of the bandits were found, shredded to ribbons at the hands of Laethe and soon after that he began to answer to the Sparrow, a title for the sound of his deathly magics.
WEAKNESSES & DRAWBACKS:
While not lame, his left arm lacks much of the strength his right has. Never having healed properly from a traumatic injury, the arm can only remain raised for a short while before it drops back to his side. It also cannot be raised vertically, mobility being limited to just below 110 degrees. His grip is weak and a sword can easily be knocked out of it. Had his left hand not once been his dominant hand, this would've been less of a burden. It's taken him years, but he's learned to write and do most tasks as well with his offhand, though his writing has always suffered significantly.
Laethe has a great sorrow he carries with him, often being described as haunted by those with the wherewithal to notice. He's often open, even jovial about most of his personal history, but should he be pressed for information about his travels to Falinstađ he completely shuts down. The topic has only ever been addressed once. His eldest brother asked him what had happened and how long he had actually been stuck on that "God foresaken island". He answered, "It felt as if a lifetime" and had nothing more to offer. He quietly disappeared from the estate that night, never to return.
Laethe has become emotionally distant, though there are enough subtleties that he's rarely around long enough for it to occur to people how little they know the traveler. Whatever happened to him left him with the inability to hold onto things. He's best been described as a passing ship in the night; nothing more than a light passing along the waters only to disappear beyond the horizon.
Laethe's magic is a secret kept to himself and him alone. To this day there has yet to be a witness to his true school of magic, though he has always felt safe in the knowledge that any that might witness him would be shrugged off for telling tall tales. The reality of his magic is to be kept a secret and as such, it's reserved for life and death and only if the credibility of any potential witnessed is nonexistant. If it weren't for his mysterious strength in schools of magic outside of his primary, he'd have died long ago.
He's been with outfit since he left his fzmily estate for the second and final timr, as such it's long since begun to show its age after nearly seven years of very frequent wear. His deep-blue hooded cloak, aged foreign leather jerkin, taupe silk blouse, brocade breeches, mitten-styled fur-lined gloves, and calf-high boots of equally foreign leather. The heavy clothing does well enough to keep him warm in the months adjacent to winter, though he dons a fur-lined cloak for winter travel and sticks to traveling between dusk and dawn during the summer months. Over his shoulders is an ever present pack sack of stitched animal skins that sticks very closely to his person at all times, though it hardly looks large enough to hold enough supplies for traveler such as him.
Laethe goes unarmed, though there could be a case made for his cutlery.
In his trousse are cutlery and a few small knives for deboning, skinning, and carving. Within his bag there is also a folded fishing rod and several hooks, and small pouches meant for miscelaneous items, foraged items, and bait.
His only momento from his travels is an object roughly the size and shape of a torch that has been wrapped tightly in cloth and bound with twine.. In the event that he ever must go without his pack sack, this is the one item he won't leave behind.
Time had been unusually kind to the Guthstein famiily. Nearly thirty generations had passed since the Guthsteins and Eddelreichs came together and mixed their heritage in jewel-craft and enchanting to create something more than just a thriving business. They created an institution in the world of craftsmen. Every generation was led by its eldest son and daughter who would take the mantle of leading jeweler and enchantress respectively. The second and third eldest were often retained in the event that tragedy strike and were often expected to assist their elder siblings in their respective crafts. Our story is about one of the children left to find his own place, the eighth-born Hadrin Guthstein. While a life of guaranteed wealth and stable work wasn't granted to the firstborn on birth, children like Hadrin still had a very comfortable upbringing. Private tutors, plenty of food and indulgences, an allowance commoners would gawk at. The only duty of a non-essential Guthstein/Eddelreich was to find a path and the family would ensure all the necessary funds were available and that the most influential people of that path were made available to the young family members.
As a boy, Hadrin was a generalist, equally attached to many pursuits. There was a growing worry among the family that he would become this generations black sheep. There was often one and his tendency to overindulge in sweets and hideaway in his room with his books only ever seemed to validate this. It was no wonder why his mother was so welcoming to the idea of his becoming a mage instead of something more practical and useful to the family. He was quickly paired with a wizard sent from the Wizard's Tower in exchange for a sizable donation of gold and enchanted jewelry. Hadrin was quick to attach to his mentor, Salazar; an ancient man who had been practicing wizardry since he was Hadrin's age and who shared in Hadrin's penchant for sweets. Having been born after the passing of his grandfather, Salazar became a surrogate grandfather. The two were inseparable and while Hadrin wasn't always learning magics from his tutor, he was learning about life. Salazar had always imparted on him the value of compassion, self-sufficiency, and practice. From the ages of 11 to 16 he had hardly learned any magic beyond some basics such as igniting a campfire through will alone, mending cuts and bruises, and tempering ones emotions. What he had learned from the wizard was patience, temperance, and hard work. He had learned how to slow himself down and comprehend something much more challenging than some of his peers, so as he began his formal training as a elementalist he rapidly excelled beyond his peers, able to turn boiling water to ice and then sublimate it before others had even gotten it to a boil.
The death of Salazar hit Hadrin far more than he could have ever expected and within a few weeks he had fallen to the pack of the pack among his competitors. He had lost focus and struggled to do something as basic as light a torch without aid. Had it not been for his father's insinuation that the money spent on employing Salazar had been a waste, Hadrin might have never found the boost he needed. That day, he rounded up what worldly possessions he had and sold them on the cheap to local merchants and went south to a land Salazar had occasionally mentioned rumour of. It had been one of Salazaar's many fascinations, the island that appeared under a full moon's light which was believed to be inhabited by an untouched race of untold magical power. He charted a boat in the Dray ports to bring him to the small village of Tethersall where he intended to charter a second boat to bring him to that island of legend. For all the coin he had, he could not find a single captain, fisherman, or hobbyist to take him to the island. Desperate, he offered to work for a pittance with a local fisherman, if the man would teach him how to sail. A deal was struck and for the next two months he spent everyday on the water, sailing out into the open sea and getting his sea legs under him. The first full moon to pass tugged on his heartstrings as he had wanted to take off and try to find the island, but the open water had still made him nervous and the swaying of the his employer's boat still left him nauseous after every wave. The second full moon, he had felt ready to handle the waves, but had not actually verified the rumour for himself yet. He sailed to the lighthouse and spent an evening studying the horizon for every pass of light until he spotted it. A faint glimmer deep into the distance, a shape that seemed to shimmer out of existence the moment the lighthouse's light moved past. He waited through the whole night, watching the object appear and disappear until the moon had set and with it the place that could be none other than Falinstađ has also disappeared.
The third moon had come and in that time Hadrin had gotten his sea-legs and burned what coin his still had on a boat and a meager supply of food and drink should his destination turn out to be uninhabited. The fisherman had insisted that he'd only get himself killed, but Hadrin had reassured him that if he hadn't followed through with this he'd not be living. He set sail as the moon crested over the horizon and sailing was smooth until the distance between himself and the island was much less than the distance between himself and Tethersall. There was no wind, though the sea seemed to reject him. Waves crashed against his small boat, soaking him, burning his eyes, and pulling the wind out from his chest. A jagged rock seemed to materialise out of thin air for the boat to crash against, splitting it at the bow and sending Hadrin headfirst toward the rock. His last memory was of his shoulder being ripped from its socket before he plunged into the inky waters.
The Guthstein family received word that their son had likely perished at sea a few weeks later and after a year of no sightings of Hadrin his death was accepted as reality. A small ceremony between family was held and shortly after what little possessions he had were either given to members of the family, sold, or discarded. Six years after the death of Hadrin, the Guthstein family found itself without a father or mother and as such the eldest children moved forward to assume their places. A future generation was born and in honor of his deceased brother, the eldest Guthstein, Peytr, named his son after the deceased Hadrin. Fifteen years after the passing Hadrin, a family servant burst through the doors of Peytr's chambers in the middle of the night, their face red and chest heaving as they made wild claims of apparitions in the courtyard. Hadrin had returned.
He appeared differently from Peytr's memory. He carried himself as if the weight of a lifetime rested upon him, but physically he appeared to be not much older than when he left. "Hadrin, where have you been all this time? What's happened to you?" Peytr found himself saying, unable to so much as entertain pleasantries. Hadrin's eyes found his and in them he found a profound sense of loss. "Falinstađ, brother. You're the head of the family now then?" Hadrin had asked, his Amorynthian twisted with another Peytr could not quite place. "Mother and father are no longer with us, yes. I'm sorry, Hadrin." Peytr had closed the gap between the two of them and was revolted by the thick stench that wafted off his brother, "You say you visited that fairytale? Gods, Hadrin. How long do you think you were on that godforsaken island?"
Hadrin took a long while to answer, his voice croaking when he finally did, "It felt as if a lifetime." Peytr embraced his brother, "Well, you're home, brother. Rest. In the morning we'll talk and I swear to you we'll find you help. You'll be okay now, Hadrin. You're home. You're home." Peytr led him to a guest room and put him to bed. It was the last he saw of his brother.
With his life reset, he no longer wore the name Hadrin and instead introduced himself as Laethe. Laethe became a traveling mage, providing help for coin, shelter, or food. His travels were aimless and took him across the continent and back. Few can say they've crossed the Tumeken desert and traveled the entire Amorynthian Kingdom on foot. In those six years he's seen the much of the world, though he's done little more than drift without purpose. His latest journey has been to Ryth where word has spread that the king seeks adventurers. Perhaps this will be where Hadrin finds new purpose. Perhaps it will be another dead end.