Dennis was young, barely five years old, when it happened. His parents were bounty hunters, and their goal was to kill the Raider and harvest their reward. It was a scheme both cunning and devious, two years in the making. Two years of searching, learning and scheming. Now they were out on the deep sea, and along with them was the villain himself. They had sought him out and offered him an amazing voyage on one of the grandest ships ever built by humans, all expences paid for. The plan was to drug him and cut off his head in a location he could not escape. They had their only son administer the drug for them in the food to avoid any suspicion, and then they simply waited for it to take effect. Three days passed, and the Raider would receive stronger and stronger dosages of the drug for every meal. Somehow it had absolutely no effect. In the end the couple got so frustrated that they pulled their swords and jumped on him while they were eating. They fought the villain for quite some time, piercing his heart many times, chopping off limbs and causing his blood to flow all over the ship. But he rejuvenated instantly, and eventually he stopped playing around and started breaking the ship apart as he increased his force of attack. The ship begins to sink, and the Raider decides to just jump overboard and swim away. Dennis' parents quickly builds a raft, seeing as the other sailors had escaped in the lifeboats, and soon the three of them would start starving out there on that massive ocean.
Three very long days passed, and then another ship ran over them in the fog. Their scream of terror were heard by the crew, and they were soon brought aboard. This ship, a merchant vessel, was owned by no other than Master Red himself, the most powerful merchant prince in the world. And, unexpectedly, Master Red was himself a passenger on the ship this day. Dennis, seeing the red-cloaked man, found himself in great awe. And so the weeks went by as they enjoyed the hospitality of Master Red and his crew, though he never revealed why he was out on the ocean at this time, and eventually they harbored in the City of Guildia. They said their farewells to the merchant prince, and Master Red even gave little Dennis a strange parting gift which he asked him to keep for him until he should come asking for it. Dennis gave his word to take good care of the strange device which could toast bread, and then he and his parents went into the city to restart their lives.
They had failed as bounty hunters, and finding themselves at a great low, they joined a guild of thieves. Thus young dennis would grow up to learn the methods of thieves, becoming just another thief, having friends who were other thieves. His best friend and most trusted companion, Edward, one day came to him and suggested that they pull off a really, really big job. Dennis went with it, knowing his friend was exaggerating, and so they went to one of the merchant's guilds to pickpocket a merchant. As luck would have it there was a really, really rich merchant ready to be pickpocketed coming out, and Edward easily snuck up from behind and snagged something out of his pocket. The rich guy never knew anything was missing, apparently. Dennis and Edward went over what they had got, which turned out to be a handwritten book, possibly a diary. Neither of the two was any good at reading, but together they managed to piece together what it said. The book told about some massive rock from the sky with a demon inside that had once landed on this world. It spoke of a minion with inhuman powers, which reminded Dennis of the Raider, and they both came to realize there were evil forces at work in this world trying to bring an end to this world.
Once Edward described the original owner of this book, Dennis realized it had belonged to Master Red himself. They managed to seek the merchant prince out, who was still in town, and they handed him the book. Master Red recognised Dennis immediately, strangely enough, and when he got the book he asked them if they had read it. Naturally they said that they hadn't, not wanting to give away that they were the ones who stole it to begin with. Once again Dennis said farewell to Master Red, and together with Edward his life was about to take a massive turn. Master Red was obviously fighting against the evil Raider, and the two thieves wanted to do what they could to help bring down the notorious villain. After careful deliberation, and yelling, Dennis and Edward agreed to seperate. Dennis would travel around and research everything he could, mostly by breaking into libraries at night, and gain as much information he could about the Raider. Edward would travel to the Continent of Geomania, to the Doom Mountains, and there he would search for and uncover this giant, evil rock of the sky. And so Dennis set out for the most amazing adventure of his life, and he would find that the best place to find information about the Raider was in the taverns. Everyone knew something there! Reading heavy books was for losers.
Edward was a much smarter person than Dennis, obviously, because he didn't think the Raider was the minion which that sketchy book had told about. In fact, he suspected that Master Red had somehow planned for them to get that book and read it. Seriously, how could such a rich merchant recognise some guy he had only met once when that guy was five years old. But Dennis had worn such a fanatic face of devotion for this rich guy, so Edward hadn't dared voice his suspicions about this. But despite his common sense, he had greed with Dennis to investigate this meteor all the way up there on the other side of the world. But there was one thing he had to do before he started packing...
Thief and pack both went flying through the air, through the door, with a scream of rage and hostility behind it. The marriage had been a mistake to begin with, which could easily be noted by how Edwards wife had lifted him up and tossed him out of their home once he had told her about his travel plans. Edward had married the woman because he had fallen in love at first sight, and she had married him because she wanted to piss off her father. But shortly after their wedding they had both come to realize how stupid they had both been. He, a street thief, she, a daughter of some slightly rich guy. The only thing they had in common was their children. Hanging out with that loser Dennis was always preferable to that damned spoiled wife of his. And now his wife had given him a full purse of gold and told him to go hunt that rock and never come back. Her father even lent Edward a fast ship to get lost with.
After a long and backstabbing journey, Edward found himself thrown off the ship and into a city called St. Zero. Using what gold he had, which was a lot, he bought himself what he needed to travel to the Doom Mountains. Once supplied with both what he needed and not, he started his travel across the Wastelands. After almost getting himself killed several times, he travelled back to St. Zero and stayed there for two years shaking like a leaf. But eventually his courage returned, and once again he set out across the Wastelands. Only this time he stayed close to the coast.
Time pass, adventures happen, and Edward eventually got to the Charoon Desert. Luckily he was travelling along the coast, so he didn't get lost, and he was too smart to try and take a shortcut through the desert itself. No, he knew that staying close to the coast was the smart thing to do. So did all the monsters which eventually managed to chase him into that desert anyway. But somehow, against all his personal expectations, he made it through to the Doom Mountains. Thanks to all he had learned travelling through both the Wastelands and the Charoon Desert, Edward managed to survive on up there in those flat, rocky, barren and poor excuses of mountains. Hunting monsters for food became easier and easier, though actually eating them did not.
With time Edward found himself enjoying his new life among the nothingness of the Doom Mountains. He did his best in trying to locate the meteor, but there was just too much nothing around. Whenever someone would travel through, which wasn't often, Edward would send a letter to both Dennis and his family. Sometimes he even got letters back, and he learned about how well his children were doing without him. Apparently one of them married an orc. And Dennis, that bastard, was having the time of his life. But despite his many frustrations, Edward was content.
Edgar was just a child when his father moved away, but that didn't stop him from growing up. Born into a rich family, though his father had apparently been a bum off the street his mother had picked up just to annoy her father, Edgar enjoyed a few more priviligies than most he knew. Proper food, proper bed, proper toys, proper siblings who he got along fine with, Edgar had it all. His rich grandfather had him sent to schools so he could learn the family business, something about fruits, but Edgar soon came to realize that he had brains for more than counting bananas. As a kid he had mostly played with toy soldiers, sending them into battle and watching them get eaten by the dog. And the more he stayed in school, the more he wanted to become a soldier.
Eventually Edgar worked up his courage to confront his grandfather and to tell him he wanted to enlist in the army. Strangely enough his grandfather thought it was a brilliant idea, and thus had him sent for further shooling at a warrior academy or something. Apparantly he and his grandfather hadn't quite understood each other, because Edgar was now thrown into a big building full of nobles and other rich kids in order to learn strategy and whatever. But it turned out allright, because most of the other kids were just as spoiled, rotten and arrogant as him. Although his fighting technique was just plain awful, Edgar had a way with numbers which allowed him to win most strategy based campaigns.
Edgar passed the academy with flying colors, having earned the nickname Edgar the Brilliant. (He was never sure if people had been sarcastic about that.) His mother was so proud of him, as was his siblings and his grandfather, and maybe even his long gone father. And as Edgar entered the army, he quickly rose in rank and became a general. He fought many battles, though not actually fighting in them, just staying right behind to plan out the strategy required to win said battle. Because of his brilliant mind, his units would go down in history as the ones with the lest casualties on his side, which made his troopers overlook all of his character flaws.
Eventually Edgar was promoted into the Royal Guard to sit by his king's side as an advisor and as head of personal security. This suited him just fine, seeing as he now could hang out in the city instead of battlefields, getting drunk and lucky with the ladies. Edgar thus got himself a reputation as a womanizer, and a lot of angry fathers and husbands couldn't do a thing about it. Because of his standing with the king, and his other reputation for strategic brilliance, Edgar also received quite a few letters of marriage proposals from the noble families, but he turned them all down because he wasn't actually interested in a political career. He just wanted to do his job and to make his family proud.
But while Edgar the Brilliant was content with his lot in life, his grandfather had bigger plans for him. After all the money the old man had spent on his grandson, he now saw his chance to make his family become a proper house of nobility. Although Edgar really was a brilliant strategist, he would never have amounted to anything without his grandfather backing him up. And now said grandfather was going carefully through a list of potential lady suitors for said grandson. Edgar may not have any actualy political ambitions, but his grandfather trusted him to bend to his designs. They did get along just fine, after all, and if the grandfather played this just right, then Edgar could get married to a wonderful noble lady while leaving the politics to said grandfather.
Edgar entered his grandfather's mansion. Clearly the old man had a surprise for him, but he wouldn't expect a surprise from his grandson. Each with their attendants, they both met in the great hall with smiles on their lips. Apparently they were to dine with some huge noble family this evening, and his grandfather really made a show of introducing Edgar to the eldest daughter of said noble family. Then it was Edgar's turn to introduce someone he had brought with him among his attendants. With grand spectacle he presented to them all an orc woman from the Grass Lands of Blaze, the Guildian king's Spiritual Advisor, Lady Ziel'Kei of the Clan of Kei. Oh, and he just married her yesterday.
Edgar the Brilliant's grandfather died of a heartattack in that very instant, and soon afterwards Edgar and his wife Ziel inherited his fortune, his property and his mansion. Edgar never knew what his grandfather had planned for him, though Ziel could guess it easily. And so they lived happily together, content with their contents.
Ziel of the Clan of Kei grew up like all other orcs grew up. As a warrior. Living in tents, nomad tribes travelling across massive lands of grass, the orcs were the most dangerous of all the greenskins. They had both the brains and the muscle, while most of the other greenskinned beings usually only had one of the mentioned attributes. Trolls and ogres were big and dumb, while goblins, gremlins and imps were small and smart. Well, gremlins and imps were smart at least. And the locustions were both smart and strong, but still very different from said other species. And Ziel'Kei grew up to know about them all, just like all other orcs did.
Yet Ziel'Kei wasn't just an average orc. She was even smarter than most of her kind, showing early signs that she had an ability to accumulate information and make logical conclusions. She questioned everything, getting into philosophical debates with just about everyone, and getting ideas to practically improve everyones lives. And despite her ever growing complicated vocabulary, she could still manage a simple conversation with a troll. Ziel'Kei had without doubt a most uniqe mind.
But while Ziel'Kei got along with everyone she met, except elves, and she did have a perceptive mind, there was a dark side to her. She enjoyed watching violence. Whenever she saw a fight break out she would just suddenly walk over and start wooing them on. When she was in a group with her fellow orcs fighting a group of elves, she would just suddenly stand still and watch everyone around her try their best at killing each other. It wasn't the fighting, it wasn't the pain, it wasn't the blood, it was simply the violence. It was just so calming to watch people beat the crap out of each other.
In the end the clan realized that there was nothing more they could do for Ziel themselves, so it was decided to send her across the ocean to the City of Guildia and have her enter a proper human academy. Hopefully they could also help her with her rather weird attraction to violence. Thus it was that Ziel'Kei travelled away from her homelands and into her destiny. She entered an academy of knowledge, run by the Guild of Knowledge, and got herself a whole lot of knowledge. But knowledge was just information, and these people lacked the wisdom and skill on how to use it, so Ziel decided to enter another academy instead. After having tried learning in several academies, she ended up giving up. Her clan had supplied her with the money to pay for the tutions until now, but because she left so many academies they simply stoped sending her the money. She now had to earn her own money by getting a job in town, though few were interested in hiring a barbarian, greenskinned orc female. In the end she could only get jobs that required her to use muscle, like being a bouncer or a dockworker, and she realized that humans didn't really like orcs.
Years passed, and Ziel eventually lost all contact with her clan. Tired of heavy lifting, she had finally gotten herself an easier job as a barmaid, handing out beer mugs on a platter. Being careful with what she spent her money on, she managed to enter yet another academy, this time centered on military strategy and stuff. It was a mistake. This was the same academy which that pesky womanizer Edgar was going to, who sometimes appeared at the bar, and she simply couldn't stand the guy. Always calling her a freak or a brute, commenting with how a woman could become ugly simply by being close to her. She got thrown out of that academy after throwing the idiot out of a window.
Another job, another academy, and now she learned philosophy. Finally she had found the right academy. An academy which questioned morality, ethics, laws, ambition, methaphors, words, ambition and all kinds of abstract and absurd things. An academy trying to see the bigger picture in life, to question each person role in life, to make the world spiritually a better place for everyone. Ziel'Kei couldn't be happier as she once again could expand her mind, to let her spirit brighten with the higher questions, to allow her accumulated knowledge find a proper use. At long last she could pass an academy and find her destiny. At long last the green orc female could call herself a success.
When the King of Guildia heard about the orc who passed the Academy of Philosophy, he offered her a job as Spiritual Advisor. Basicly her job was to help question the morals and ethics of orders and laws, though in reality she was just a novelty. But she soon proved her worth, and she eventually got proper responcibility. She got herself a reputation as a wise and brave councelor, and there were many who would ask her advice. She probably saved quite a few marriages too. She became somewhat rich and respectable, though her love life remained non-existant. There weren't any other orcs around, and she certainly didn't find any of the humans attractive. The humans didn't find her attractive either. She also couldn't fit into a dress properly, too much muscle, though she did wear them sometimes.
Then disaster! Edgar the Brilliant was given command of the Royal Guard! The pesky womanizer was back to further insult her. And this time the bastard had gained some muscle himself. But it didn't turn out as bad as she expected. The guy was terrified of her. They both avoided each other like the plague. Whenever they did pass by each other they kept their distance, though Edgar did seem to keep even further distance from windows. Eventually they calmed down around each other and managed to stay civil. They still didn't speak to each other, but at least they didn't hug the opposite walls when walking past in the corridors. Somehow they both kept finding themselves walking down the same corridors at the same time, passing each other by, giving each other a sneer. They kept walking closer and closer to each other, at times bumping into each other, sometimes seriously injuring their arms. Could anyone hate each other more?
For some reason Edgar didn't seem to be going into town as much as he used to. Probably the injuries he and Ziel got from walking into each other every day. She even headbutted him once. No, twice. The second time they both woke up together in the medical wing. They calmed down after that. Asking each other if they were allright was the first time they actually spoke to each other. Shortly after they started dating. Somehow seeing the two smiling at each other instead of scowling caused a lot of traumatic strees around. Seriously, what were they planning?
When the news that Edgar and Ziel had married was revealed, people didn't really care. It was assumed that the womanizer had simply settled for whatever he could get, never suspecting that love may have been involved. The only one who showed any reaction at all was Edgar's grandfather. Finally Ziel'Kei had everything she could want. An education, a career, a loving husband, a lot of money, and soon a child.
There is no way things could possibly take a turn for the worse.
Something was off. Recently there had been a number of sudden unexplainable deaths, and also some sudden messy deaths. Both Ziel and Edgar agreed that these must be political killings, though by who and why was rather unclear. Some people had started acting strangely, some even out of character. There were sure signs of bribing and blackmail. And magic. Sometimes it was like there were people hiding behind the curtains, but whenever they went to look there was no one there. something strange was going on.
Then a wealthy merchant prince returned to Guildia; Master Red. At the same time the death counts increased, along with sightings of the notorious villain, the Raider. Ziel'Kei suspected a connection, though there was absolutely nothing to support her hypotesis. Yet Edgar trusted and believed her when she voiced her worries. He used his wealth and connections to help obtain the required information for Ziel, and the location of discovered corpses alone implied that Master Red was involved.
The evidence piled up, and Ziel drew her final conclusions. Master Red was not only having his competition murdered, but he had the evil Raider working alongside him. They were clearly partners. Master Red was the manipulative person and front figure for his company who had everyone believe he was a good person, while the Raider functioned as the undercover agent of death and destruction. They were, in fact, nothing but gangsters. And now Ziel and Edgar had discovered them.
They both knew that no one would actually believe their discovery, not even the king, and especially not the rest of the nobility. Ziel and Edgar were both powerful warriors, and they figured a direct confrontation with Master Red might be the best option. Killing the bastard without the Raider's presence seemed the best course of action. So they ararnged a secret meeting with the man in a back alley in the middle of the night. Face to hood with Master Red they confronted him and warned him to break off all his connections with the notorious Raider. They piled up their accusations and threatened to reveal their knowledge for all to see. Master Red remained silent for a while, then removed his bright red robes. While before they couldn't even see his face, now they could see him for who, and what, he truly was. Master Red had not been working with the Raider, he was the Raider!
Both the fighting and the magical skills were too much for the both of them, and Ziel and Edgar had to flee from the villain with all due haste. They left the City of Guildia that same night, not bothering with picking up any belongings. Never stoping to rest, just simply moving on to escape and to survive. They did not dare let the Raider catch up. All their plans and expectations had gone down the drain because they had both misjudged and misunderstood their enemy. They left everything behind in the hope that the two of them could live to raise their unborn child. But travelling while pregnant wasn't easy for Ziel.
Ziel'Kei and Edgar the Brilliant finally reached a harbour city were they could mount a ship and escape acros the ocean. But just as they boarded the Raider came running. The ship quickly pulled acnhor, leaving the notorious Raider standing by the docks. Ziel, in a moment of relief, turned around to cry on her husbands shoulder. That was when she was hit in the back by a magical spell thrown by the Raider. It hurt her, but luckily didn't kill her. Edgar could only hope that it wasn't a serious wound. Meanwhile the ship continued it's just begun journey, though it never occured to anyone that the Raider could have cast a much more powerful spell that could have obliterated the whole ship. And as the voyage went on all Edgar could do was nurse his wife back to health.
Eventually they reached the Continent of Geomania, and Ziel found herself fully recovered. The two of them also found themselves with a beatiful baby boy in their arms, though he looked kind of elven with the white skin and pointed ears. But one could tell it was orcish because his tiny hair was green. But because the Raider had caught up with them, Ziel feared that their little son would never be safe in their care. Thus they decided to take the child to Edgar's father far into the Doom Mountains. The journey proved quite easy for them. Travelling across the coast, easily slaughtering any monster barring their passing, they eventually brought the little toddler to it's grandfather. To be in the care of Edward.
Edward was more than happy to meet his son again after all these decades, and he was just as happy to raise their child for them. Ziel and Edgar didn't dare tell him their reasons or discoveries, believing the information to be too dangerous. It was hard for them giving their baby son up, and even harder to say goodbye, but they did. They left their adoring child, continuing their travels as far away as they possibly could. At least their little Robin would have a future...
Ziel'Kei and Edgar the Brilliant thus disappeared, their destiny unknown.
As for little Robin, his destiny was gonna get weird.
But you already knew that.