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Shay Dethras

PLAYED BY: Noah McCarthy


GENDER: male

CLASS: Warrior

AGE: 25

RACE: Human

HAIR: Brown

EYES: Brown

OCCUPATION: Alchemist, Herbalist, Scout, Ranger

KNOWN SKILLS: Stealth, Forestry, Scouting, Tracking, Survival

BIRTHPLACE: A farm in the Nightriver territory

APPEARANCE: Normally haggard, ramshackle armor

ALIASES: Deathrattle (mistaken identity), Shay the Unkillable, Shay the Black

From Shay’s Journal

I often forget what it was like, living on the farm. My parents set up there when I was young- too young to even really remember. I was still just a toddler, maybe about three or so. I don’t remember Faedrun at all, or even the ship we came on. I spent a lot of time trying to help my parents- and to their credit, they tried to make me feel like I was helping. I didn’t really learn much- or not that I can really remember. It wouldn’t matter anyways. About four years- or… maybe five? Around that is when the issues started. Caravans got attacked, and the people slaughtered. I was too young to understand what a Mordok really was, but I remember my mother holding me when I said I was scared. War parties went out, and came back without finding anything. Most people thought the Mordok had killed, and moved on.

They were wrong.

I remember the rain- it wasn’t heavy enough to stop the fire. My father just came running in, shouting for us to follow. Our house burned, as we watched. We never knew what did, and they never lived long enough to investigate. Official reports say a Mordok knocked over a lantern, or maybe threw it, to lure us out. I’ve seen a lot of things since I’ve left Steinjotuun, and it wouldn’t surprise me. Not anymore. They came out of the darkness, blades glistening with some kind of viscous wet substance- what I now know is Mordok Bile. I remember there were five of them- they seemed so big to me at the time. So impossibly big. They cut my father down. I still didn’t understand what was happening. My mother was next- and she was killed too. That- that I remember. I was too shocked to do anything- and even if I had, what would’ve happened? I was seven.

The biggest one saw me, and moved in. Before I knew what was happening, I was holding a pitchfork, pointing it at the Mordok. It seemed so… amused. The others backed off, and I remember it opened it’s arms with a sneer. It’s skin was a midnight blue. Big scar across his forehead. So, I did what came naturally. I lunged.

The pitchfork speared it alright- two across the chest, and one into his right forearm. It seemed almost shocked I had managed to do anything at all. It took a moment to pull out the prongs, tossing it’s sword to the side to do so. I remember picking it up, and again- that amused look. Like it was asking, what I could do to hurt him. Like, really hurt him. The punch I remember. Like a flash of lightning, and the thunder rolling across my skull. On the ground, in the hay, it drew a dagger- and then I was gone. The hole in the barn floor was to make sure the foundation didn’t flood- opened up to a crawlspace. I remember the confused noises, and the thunder, and spiders in my hair as I crawled and cried as quietly as I could.

I got out, obviously. I ran. Ran as far as I could, as fast as I could. I remember hiding in a tree, watching for their movement through the lightning flashes. I didn’t come down for two days. Thats when the war party had showed back up. Humans and Ulven alike, and all they found were my parent’s bodies. The lead of their party, an Ulven scout, was the one to find me. Coaxed me down with food and water- which I barely touched. I don’t remember a whole lot, truth be told. After I came down, it was mostly a blur.

Sitting in a house, staring down at a cookie someone had offered me.
A funeral.
A cart, and the Ulven scout.
Looking at that rusted iron blade I hadn’t even realized I had dragged with me.
Finally- Hernar.

The Ulven scout took me to his home, introduced me to his wife. Vikar and Tola Steinjotuun. It was mostly a blur- wake up, stare at the ceiling, have food brought to me, sleep.
I remember having nightmares- not entirely unexpected, given what had happened, but these weren’t about what had happened. There was this bear- this stupid mounted bear head on the opposite wall. It was stuffed, but I remember having dreams of it. Years later, my mother Tola told me the story of when she knew I was going to be okay.

She said that I often had screaming nightmares, and that she had taken to sleeping in a chair in the corner of the room. Tola and Vikar had always wanted children but had never been able to conceive any, so she felt it was her duty to take me in and treat me as if I was her own. She said she remembered getting up to go to the bathroom, and hearing the telltale scream of me waking. She came back, and I was standing over that stupid stuffed bear head, hands covered in it’s stuffing. I had knocked it down and torn it apart.I don’t remember it at all.
Funny, that.

Over the next few years, I grew up and began to find my sense of normal. My new parents expressed their joy at me wanting to learn their trades; Tola and her herbalism, and Vikar and his tracking. I did learn them, but even then I was still leagues behind the other Ulven my age. I remember getting into a lot of fights- never won, but always knocked out a few teeth and left with all of mine. I remember being so angry. The sword I had brought from my old home- from the Mordok- I had insisted it be kept. When I looked at it and didn’t feel a spike of fear, I took it down. Vikar found me about an hour later, clumsily hacking a log to pieces.
He didn’t say a word, just left.
When he came back, he was with another Ulven, who motioned I continue.

That’s how I met Baug. He was a warrior, one of the few in our town of Hernar. He was pretty famous- for us, anyways. Town must’ve had a population of what- forty? He had this… terrifying helmet. This leather monstrosity with thick locked hair. It made him look like a Mordok, and he used to wear it to spar with me.

I remember my training with him a lot more. A lot more about that time I remember. I remember Tola teaching me about her fascination with alchemy and how it seemed so intriguing. I remember Vikar showing me how to spot patterns in brush. Things like deer paths, and places where light naturally made foliage thinner. Baug was rough on me, but I learned. I learned, and I grew, and I got stronger. When the blue moon came, and we were called for the Great Hunt, I felt so ready. I did well, to my credit. Killed five Mordok that day. Then a shaman came, and wiped out the people I was with. I was the last one left, a trend which still seems to happen frequently.

I laid on the snow, feeling the Corruption it had hit me with slowly curdling my blood, and I remember such… anger. Fury. I wasn’t going to die that way, not then. I was the only one who survived that encounter. I suppose that Caster is still in there, somewhere. I’ll kill him too, someday. Most of my life after that was spent alone. Not that I didn’t have friends and allies, I just always felt adrift from others. At some point, no doubt lying on my ass in the leaves, bleeding, I realized no one would come save me. There were no more Vikars for me to happen into. So, I learned alchemy. I used my herbalism. I built my way up from nothing to who I am now. I’ve been in the Dirge War. I’ve been to the Outlands. I’ve led missions against monsters no man, woman, or child had ever seen, and survived. I’ve killed more Mordok that I had known had even existed when I was still a child.

I’ve let go of all that fear, and anger I had when I younger. It’s not principal extermination, it’s not vengeance, it’s not avenging the fallen- I fight because those against me fight. Bandits, Mordok, Dirgebeasts- hell, none of it matters to me. We all gotta die someday. I’ve given my all to everything I’ve ever done, and I ain’t stopping now. I’ll go down swinging, and bring as many Mordok with me as I can. And when I rest, give Baug’s helmet to someone else. Let someone else be Deathrattle. I’ll be right there with him, bound in spirit. I reforged that sword into steel, and made it my own. That child who was afraid- didn’t die, he grew up.

Life’s been pretty rough for me, but I ain’t never been one to break easy.
Hope the Great Wolf appreciates that when I meet him.

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