Astrius Tianius was an Order-affiliated adventurer who transcended into legend after embarking on a quest to save his lover from the clutches of slave-traders and necromancers, during which he eventually failed and died, but his story was continued by the survivors of his expedition. Although some considered the legend to simply be a mythical tragedy, the story was very much an accurate recount of the ill-fated Order expedition that went as far to intertwine with the politics of Cranium and destabilise an empire of Dark Mages, as well as finding evidence for the emergence of an evil power that had once wreaked havoc across Western Inamorta: Chaos.
Astrius' parents were born on a cluster of small islands known as The Nebula, which lay far out in the Northern Sea, away from mainland Inamorta. It was a colony of the survivors of a shipwrecked Swordwrath and Archerdon fleet that had integrated with the locals. When the Nebula was raided severely by a large pirate fleet under the infamous Jihng Hoeng Gu, taking many people hostage, they decided to flee to Inamorta to Fornost, a large Archerdon fortress-city in Northern Archerdonis, where Astrius was born. At just the age of 4, he was taken by a group of pirate slave traders, who were working for a mysterious wizard named Lainnauth Maerocui, a renegade Magikill who, alongside many Magikill deviants, were banished to the North.
These pirates had used the diversion of a native Insurgency against the Archerdons to raid inland into Archerdon territory, going as far as to capture Fornost for a short period. Astrius had been separated from his parents during the fall of Fornost and was consequently captured and enslaved. The aim of the slave trade was to bring subjects from across Inamorta for Maerocui's experimentation to see his spell's effects on other races. This experimentation had been banned by the Magikill and the Order authorities, one thing which pushed Maerocui's promotion of anarchism in order to remove authoritarian leaders.
Luckily for Astrius, a Great Knight probe into the slave trafficking routes of the pirates temporarily stopped the shipments of slaves. This meant that the pirates had to find a new, safe route to transport their slaves, and meanwhile, the vast number of slaves they had collected were to be put to use for labour purposes. Astrius was put to work on the Nebula, which had been invaded and converted into a slave colony by the pirates.
While enslaved on the Nebula, Astrius took to star gazing to relieve him from the hardships of his menial tasks, even going as far as befriending one of his captors, named Caelum Sing Wong, who shared his hobby and even smuggled in books to educate him. Caelum, who himself had once been a slave, even went as far as ensuring that Astrius was educated in both Cantorrin (Caelum's native language) and Inamortan by stealing from several pirate stores, which kept these materials only to sell them later. Few guards ever checked these archives as most pirates stationed there were either illiterate or stole books themselves knowing that no one else would care.
The Escape Edit
By the age of 7, Astrius was now relatively literate and together with Caelum, another friend named Ignacia, and two teenage slave named Nârhên and Semplic, they began planning their escape from captivity. Their plan was eventually formulated: they would gradually stock up on equipment in a hidden location from which they could easily be extracted. Caelum would then set fire to several of the store houses and the weapons stockpiles, before returning to the slave quarters, where he could free his fellow escapists, take their supplies, and leave on a stolen ship.
Unfortunately, during the third stage, the plan went awry when, in the wake of the news of a fire, many slaves began attacking their guards, including Caelum, who Astrius narrowly managed to save. Encouraged by this sudden outburst, Ignacia and Semplic decided to lead the revolt and encourage all of the slaves to rise up against their masters and fight back, which Astrius quietly supported, while Caelum and Nârhên despaired as they would now have to lead several hundreds of slaves, many of whom were illiterate and would only slow down the escape. With such a number of slaves and the stubborn attitudes of Ignacia and Semplic, the only option was to directly confront the pirates, lest Caelum face the moral burden of abandoning hundreds of innocents, who would surely face severe punishment for the escape of a few.
The revolt was already under threat as pirate forces from across the islands arrived to suppress the slaves, initially with the intention to pacify, severely wounding many of the densely-packed slaves. As the pirates lost several of their members to the ravenous mob, their leaders issued orders to simply kill them instead, which they complied with. Semplic was one of the first to be killed, leading the charge as he was speared in the throat, and Ignacia was heavily wounded.
Frustrated by the turn of events, Nârhên prompted Caelum to recover Ignacia, while he and Astrius would equip their ship with supplies, grabbing a few weapons along the way, including a sling for Astrius, a weapon which Caelum had educated on its usage. While Caelum attempted to find Ignacia, currently in the guise of a fellow slave so that he would not be torn apart by the mob, Nârhên and Astrius managed to reach the cave, only to be spotted by a handful of pirate reinforcements. The two barricaded themselves within, attacking the intruders and picking them off, until one of them managed to drop down and take Nârhên hostage, threatening to slit his throat if Astrius did not surrender. Being suicidal as he was, Nârhên lurched forward, killing both himself and the pirate as he plunged his own knife backwards. Astrius, although traumatised, managed to finish off the last pirate and began carrying the supplies to the port, meeting up with Caelum and the injured Ignacia.