Laertes was born to a wealthy Syndar Enclave deep in the heart of the Kingdom of Tielorrien. This enclave was heavily involved in the nobility of the ruling Queen and traveled quite often within the kingdom in order to do the administrative work. Laertes was not raised by his biological mother or father and was put into the academic programs offered to his Enclave that filled his time with study on history, politics, and arcane magics.
Laertes hated politics and studies on the arcane. From a young age, his mind wandered to that of adventure and sword fighting. It made him a bit of an outcast amongst his peers since the children of his Enclave had standards they were expected to live up to. When his friends around him were trying to get high test scores and gain favor amongst the important ranks of the Enclave, Laertes was more concerned about finishing the lesson and being allowed the time to wander about the community and explore.
This did not mean that Laertes was not well educated. He took to his lessons on history and lore and soaked in everything he could find. He had no interest in proper politics amongst ruling Magis Syndar but if there was historical research on old Syndar cultures or ancient artifacts then he would spend hours upon hours reading and studying. This was the life he lived, spending countless hours at the great libraries with the more scholarly Syndar he began to call his friends. His peers continued to look down their nose at him for choosing such things to occupy his time.
When Laertes grew into adulthood, his sense of adventure had finally taken hold of him. After spending a year gathering supplies, he set out on a trip to the southeast corner of Tielorrien. He was going to wait a few more years, but the tests and placement exams of his Enclave were fast approaching and it was not the life that Laertes wanted to live. Most of the elders in the Enclave would have been outraged at the request to leave because their status amongst the kingdom was highly prized. Instead of asking for permission, Laertes slipped out in the dark of night and made haste on his adventure.
Over the next three years, Laertes made the most of his journey. He met many new faces and discussed lore with a number of Magis of the communes he took up residence with. He constantly had to work or trade to get the food and supplies he needed to keep on traveling. There were more than a few nights that were spent outside in a makeshift shelter with an empty stomach. When Laertes reached the end of the Kingdom, he decided to continue on and see what he could find. He had heard many stories of the Syndar’s interacting with a lesser race, one they called the humans. He wanted to see what their civilizations were like. By pledging a couple weeks worth of work, Laertes was able to hitch a ride with a trade caravan going to the May’Kar Dominion. He had been told that this human kingdom was more accepting of the Syndar and that relations with them were much smoother than with the other kingdoms. The May’Kar Dominion was also a nation prized on spritual enlightenment and art and it interested Laertes greatly.
It was at this time that the undead plague began on Faedrun. Being on the move through the Kingdom, the reports that Laertes picked up on were scattered and fragmented at best. The borders of the kingdom were constantly moving with caravans and soldiers from the Syndar nations. Laertes wanted to know more, but there was no way to get more involved in this while passing through the border.
Upon arriving at the May’Kar Dominion, Laertes was amazed at the level of beauty and spirituality of the oasis capitol of the kingdom. The gardens and art of this city rivaled that of some of the most talented artists in Tiellorien. They also housed an immense library of books, which Laertes took to studying quickly. He was fascinated by the different angles to the lore of the books of humans. This is where Laertes began to understand the Mahsai, the May’Kar’s spirtual faction that centers around the act of belief and not the subject of belief. Raised in education on politics and the arcane magics, Laertes felt that his true calling was one of spirituality.
After spending another two years at the May’Kar’s capitol, Laertes decided to follow a trade caravan to Aldoria. The roads had become more dangerous as the war with the undead plague picked up in speed and brutality. The friends he had made in Saresh told him not to go, but Laertes wanted to continue his journey. He was foolish to think that the war had not reached as far as it did.
When the penitent forces and undead ambushed the trade caravan, Laertes finally realized just how bloody war could be. Dozens of caravan guards and travelers were butchered or dragged into the sand and torn to shreds by the tireless undead horde. The basic divine powers he had learned from the May’Kar clerics could do almost nothing to help him survive the onslaught. His combat skills were basic at best and there was only two options left for him… run or die.
Laertes ran. He ran as fast as he could deep into the sand dunes of the May’Kar desert. Without any knowledge of where he was going and with no real supplies, it was obvious that he was not going to survive for very long. After stumbling around in the desert, he succumbed to the heat of the scorching sun and passed out from dehydration.
When Laertes awoke, he was in a makeshift cot in a camp of some nomads. He was still a bit delusional from his near death experience and wasn’t sure what had happened. When he stumbled out of the cot, he found out that he was in the camp of a nomadic group of Syndar. They had found him in the desert and saved his life. The group was skilled at surviving the desert and moving their trade and wares on the backs of camels. Laertes stayed with this group as they returned to their home on the edge of the May’Kar desert.
Laertes had never seen a group of Syndar like this before. There were plenty of texts and scrolls depicting all sorts of the Feral Syndar tribes, but not much existed on any Serous Syndar that chose to live on the fringes of civilization like this. While most seemed to be of Serous bloodlines, a few of the Phoenix members appeared to have Feral qualities as well. The group was named the Phoenix and they spent most of their time trading and wandering the desert. They were not too concerned with the politics of the rest of the Syndar and enjoyed the company of humans. After spending a few months with them, Laertes found he was welcome in their group and felt like he had a place he belonged to and could call home. He decided not to travel back to Tielorrien and return to his previous life.
Laertes took to the customs of the Phoenix and brought with him the education and knowledge of researching the libraries of both Tielorrien and Saresh. His time with the clerics of the Mahsai taught him how to channel his faith into what mattered, the meaningful brush strokes of his inner artist of spirituality. He used his faith to revere the Phoenix and the sun god of his new people.
Over the years, Laertes has collected quite a library of tomes and books on different subjects throughout the ages. When some of the younger Phoenix want to hear stories or ask questions about the other great lands, Laertes would calmly recite some of the knowledge he retained. Periodically, the proper Serous court dialect would slip back into his speech and betray his non-Phoenix heritage, but it had never been an issue with the rest of the Syndar. It often became a small joke amongst the younger Syndar when he “talked funny”. He misses the chance to read and study and looks forward to every trip into the May’Kar to visit the great libraries again.
Laertes also took up martial arts as a means to stay healthy and fit, defend his people when needed, and to channel his inner thoughts and meditations. His preferred weapon was the longer naginata, a fine weapon that served him well. His blade is one of his prized possessions and he can be found spending hours practicing and training with the blade.
When the discussion amongst his people was to abandon this land and find a new home across the sea, Laertes was eager to continue the adventure he began so long ago. The journey was dangerous and many Phoenix perished, but Laertes skill in the divine kept more than a few from dying due to wounds and disease. When Laertes survived and stepped foot off the boats onto the new island they were to call home, he knew that he had made the right choice to leave his Enclave so many years ago.
Once settled on the new island, he began to coordinate with the new Magis of the Phoenix in creating a temple to Solara to continue to practice his faith. Laertes looks forward to teaching the Phoenix’s faith to the younger Syndar and managing his small but impressive library of tomes and scrolls.
Laertes was one of the first volunteers willing to take a boat to the mainland when the settlement of human’s was discovered. He felt his knowledge and experience could benefit in the Phoenix establishing a relationship with the humans.