Visions of the Arcane
Where most Tieflings have vengeance in their blood, Agony always had music in hers. Born to human parents in the kingdom of Janthis, her birth was seen as an age old curse come back to life by her father. Her mother was in shock from the birth and was semi catatonic after it, never really being able to communicate with anyone again. Agony was the only word she responded with after being asked her child’s name, and her father huffed a response that the name was fitting.
Agony grew up living mostly to herself, finding that she had to hide her more demonic appearance if she were to find acceptance at all. Her father never acknowledged her and taught her to stay out of the daylight. He was fearful of losing his business as an arbiter in the lawful city.
Agony sometimes tried to reach her mother and talk with her. There were a few shared moments, some brief glimpses of the woman within, but mostly they were shrouded by a curtain of dementia. Agony used to hear her mother hum a song daily, and the melody always soothed her. Sometimes she would sit with her for hours, reading some of the books of lore her mother had collected over the years and listen to her sing. Her death was peaceful, but Agony was not allowed to attend the services in daylight, or in the company of her father.
When she passed one night by the Red Crescendo, a towering bard college and theatre located on the edge of the city’s streets, she could not resist the allure of what she heard. In fact many couldn’t, for it seemed that was one way in which the Master Bard, Selrico Brightmane, often brought new students in. Soon a throng had gathered outside, swaying or clapping as Selrico’s performance brought in donations and more patrons.
Entranced with the rest but also very taken with the music and the man, Agony remained when the music stopped and Master Brightflame seemed taken with her, as well. Soon, she blackmailed her father over revealing herself to his clients or magistrates. Agony then had enough money to pay for her admittance and lodgings in the school, and an agreement with her father to never use the family name or claim her relationship to him.
Selrico was a handsome N’ali, half-elf, and always a bit of the outcast himself. Their relationship blossomed over the years of Agony’s tutelage in the theatre and Selrico came to trust Agony, as she came to love him. Their passions ran deep, and the feelings were very obvious to all who saw them together. However, Selrico was already tied to one of the Ladies of the Janthian Court, Tessia, and for a time this was enough to hold Selrico back from giving in to Agony’s advances. When the dam finally burst, they both knew it was where they belonged.
Alas, the affair was short lived and with a tragic end. Agony awoke one morning to find Selrico slain in bed next to her, and the Janthian royal guard burst in as if on cue, to find her with his blood on her hands and face. Without a question asked, Agony was dragged away in chains through the streets, where she was cursed, stoned and ridiculed by the mobs she passed.
A trial was set for Agony, as is custom in Janthis for murder, in front of the High Magistrate and the First Arbiter, who at this time was her estranged Father. Through the process of the trial, evidence was weighed, and Tessia was present to testify against Agony, though she had never even met the woman. A few other strangers also were found to state her guilt, which would naturally lead to her immediate execution, but, in what must have been some strange act of apology, her father, pressed on the lack of a murder weapon found, and even brought in those who were willing to testify on her behalf, and even talk of the love Selrico and Agony shared.
Because of her father’s insistence, and the true lack of anything but testimony, Agony was sentenced to banishment from Janthis. This sentence was passed and enacted within one day, with Agony put on the next prison ship out of the kingdom and set across the sea to Arcadia, or the bane of civilization, as Janthians like to call it.
As the ship was nearing the Arcadian peninsula, Agony felt the sudden rocking, and heard the blast from something on the upper deck. She heard battle, and she and other prisoners began calling for freedom, to at least repel the attackers. Then, she heard a crack, felt a blow, and blackness was all she knew until her eyes opened for the first time in Deathhome.