Aboard the Anchor's Bane
Balthier Zangurak Teremex
Master of Arms
Balthier is a larger than life Black Ogrun who happened to not grow up in Shard. He was orphaned at a young age an knows nothing of his true parents. His body is riddled with scars. He has no hair to speak of and his eyes have a menacing yellow glow to them that strikes fear into lesser individuals. Though he may look like a cold blooded killer, this Ogrun is actually rather kind and gentle to a fault. He will do anything to protect his brothers and sisters of the Iron Fox Mercenary Company and anyone that he deems a friend. He wears shoddy plate mail made from what he could find in his travels since Ogrun sized armor doesn’t just appear from thin air. He also carries a shield that was “liberated” from someone who tried to oust one of his brethren. The final item that Balthier carries is a old mechanika greatsword that he keeps in prime condition. He meticulously cleans and keeps it well polished after every sortie to help keep it in working condition due to the age of the mechanika. He always has a smile on his face when does clean his blade as it reminds him of his late adoptive parents. Every now and then though, he would have a somber look as he gazed into his sword, remembering a terrible night that still haunts him.
Balthier is quite the interesting Ogrun. He was orphaned at a very young age to an old Cygnaran couple who were unable to have children. It was a cold winter’s morning when the couple had awoke to the sound of something strange making noises outside of their cottage. The old man opened the door and he was shocked to find a black ogrun baby, wrapped in furs, laying on his doorstep. No sight of either parent or even a note requesting aid or safekeeping. The couple did not know what to do at first but the old man decided to bring in the child. After some deliberation, it was decided that they would raise the child as their own. “Just because you are born into one type of flesh, does not mean that you have to act like others of the same kind” he said to his wife when she questioned him about the repercussions of taking in the young one. The old cygnaran had learned this lesson from a past skirmish with a regiment of Menoth but that is another story.
It was not long before their adoptive son grew into out of infancy and into adolescence. He grew quite large as well, do to the fact that he was always hungry. This did not bother the couple at all throughout the first few years of their new lives together. The old couple had found the very thing that could fill the void in their lives. The idea of a family. Though there were a happy family now, they would have to deal with a new threat besides the harsh and unforgiving weather of the costal town. They would now have to deal with threats and racism on a daily basis aimed directly at Balthier. He would ask his grandfather “Why do they call us such hateful things grandpa?” His grandfather would return the question with “sometimes, people do not understand strange or new things that come into their lives and this can make them scared or afraid. It will eventually turn into hatred. The best we can do, is to prove them wrong.” Balthier decided that he would do just that and was then determined to change the minds of the people of the town. He would do his best to become friends with everyone in the town if they were willing but no one was willing to allow the young ogrun to get within ten feet of them at first. Over the years, Balthier’s stubbornness paid off as he did his best to become a contributing part of the town. He managed to help elder couples by running their errands for them or chasing off animals from the crops outside of town. Though he was doing his best, they still did not trust him to an extent but this would change for him soon.
One day Balthier encountered a group of towns children who were bullying a young Nyss girl. They were saying similar things to her that they had said to Balthier before. The sight of this made his anger boil over and he rushed in and gave the leader of the group a rather nasty headbutt which took him to the ground for a moment. Balthier stood tall in front of the Nyss and defiant to the children. They then gathered planks of wood and stones came after the Nyss and Balthier. Balthier managed to save the Nyss from a terrible beating but Balthier was the one who come out bloodied in the event as his body was riddled with lacerations due to the improvised weapons. Balthier never fought back after the initial headbutt and took the punishment as some of the townsfolk began to watch in shock and awe. They had been treating Balthier that way but they had never gone so far as to take up arms against him as he was just a child but their children had no such moral in their being of that measure. The parents of the children grabbed their respective children and pulled them away from the fight and apologized in their stead. Something that Balthier had never heard of before. Balthier then befriended the small Nyss named Olette and brought her back to his home where he persuaded his adoptive parents to take in another. He even offered his room to the Nyss and said he would sleep on the floor. The old couple smiled and could not say no to Balthier and welcome Olette as one of their own.
The years passed and both Balthier and Olette grown substantially. Both in mind and body. Balthier had made wonderful strides in changing the mentality of his community. He managed to become an apprentice with one of the metal workers of the town. Forging parts for the Ferry and Fishing vessels that were either stationed or frequented the small port town. He also worked on the fishing vessel, generally doing the hard rope work or hauling up the anchor by himself. When he had some free time, the captain would teach him some of the tricks of navigating and how to manage a small crew but for some reason, those things seemed to come naturally to him. Perhaps it was just in his blood to be a sailor. Olette had also grown into a beautiful young Nyss who enjoyed singing her heart out for the sailors and fishermen of the town in the local tavern after they would return from a long day of work. Balthier was always their when she would perform as he enjoyed listening to her enchanting and almost haunting arias. She would always smile to him and once she was done, they would walk home together, hand in hand. Their small bond began to grow faster than ever until something finally tugged at Balthier. He couldn’t really understand what this feeling was but he wanted to do something nice for Olette. He knew she loved getting flowers but he knew that flowers wilted and died. So he saved up his earnings for two weeks and managed to get a hold of a small ingot of pure silver. Over the course of a week, he used his metalworking skills to fashion a rather decent shaped rose.
The day he was going to present it to her was a day he will always remember. He had been called in by the captain of the fishing vessel as a thicker than pea soup fog had rolled into town. He left the rose on her beside table with a note for her and left for work. Once he had made it to the docks and onto the ship, the captain came to him and told him that they may not sail after all as the fog gave little to no visibility. Soon they heard something out on the water. Creaking of wood it sounded like at first and they were right. A ship flying no flag and carrying no fog cutting lanterns was headed straight for their docks at ramming speed. Balthier grabbed a torch and tried to signal them but the boat rammed into theirs, causing massive damage. By the time the captain and crew recovered, a small platoon of ghostly figures poured from the ship as well as two smaller vessels that landed on land beside them. What poured onto the deck was a Cryxian strike force and they were charged with taking no prisoners.
They swarmed over the town and within a matter of minutes had set fire to most of it. Balthier was able to fight most of the undead scourge that came near him with the anchor to the ship but he soon realized his family was in danger. He dropped the anchor and ran as fast as he could back to his cottage. When he caught sight of it, he noticed the home was set a flame. He charged and broke through the door and what awaited him inside was something he will never forget. He saw his adoptive grandmother lying in a pool of her own blood, her husband next to her, barely clinging to life as he shielded the body of Olette who had crossed over to the next life due to a fatal sword wound to the chest and standing in front of them, a pair of revenant’s poised to cut them down. Balthier’s rage grew in him until it burst and he took out after the revenants, crushing them with his bare hands and pummeling them into oblivion. Once this was done he managed to calm his anger and run to his family while the building continued to burn. He grandfather pointed over to his sword rack that housed his weapon he had used when he was younger and gave him his last words before he passed. “Balthier…take my sword..save..yourself..so that..you may..save others..” The flames began to crumble the cottage as Balthier screamed out in a primal rage at the loss of his parents but when he knelt down to touch Olette’s hand, his eyes began to tear up. Balthier quickly grabbed the sword from the rack and carried all of his family out of the burning building and put them outside on the grass. He looked back out to the town as the light from all the fires cut through the fog and he realized that the revenants had begun to fall back. He thought for a moment that he could hear the cackling of laughter from them as they retreated. Balthier had no time to worry about this though as the rest of the townsfolk that had survived rallied near his home, not bearing grievance for the loss of his family but hatred to him for the loss of their town. They blamed him and his Black Ogrun roots, saying that he was more than likely the reason why the Cryx had attacked their small but peaceful town. Balthier tried to reason with the town but they would have none of it. The raised arms against him and tried to force him out of town but before he left, he was able to grab the bloodied corpses of his family and take them out of town. He managed to find a small place near the forest and bury his grandmother and grandfather. While he was placing Olette in her pit, the silver rose Balthier had made for her, fell out of he left breast pocket and hit the ground along with a small letter that was addressed to Balthier. He did not read the letter and put the rose in her hands and buried her along with the letter and rose, never to know how she truly felt about him.
Balthier left the town and traveled for some time, trying to find his place in the world. He started drinking heavily to drown out the pain but that never seemed to quell his sorrow until he found the leader of the Iron Fox Mercenary Company. Balthier had just finished cleaning up a bar fight that turned sour when someone drew a knife. Balthier stood in the way of the knife and saved a poor soul from a nasty fate. After the leader saw this, he must have seen the potential in Balthier to be a decent guardsmen and offered him a chance to do some good in the world. Balthier thought that this would be a turning point for him and maybe his second chance at life. He swore off alcohol and set out with the captain of the Iron Fox to meet his new brethren in doing good for the war torn world.