Raphael duStaden

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Raphael duStaden was born 24-years ago to a human mother and elven father, his name unknown to Raphael. The illicit affair was not sanction by his father’s parents, so Raphael’s mother, Romilda, was sent into the wilderness while still carrying the unborn Raphael. She was eventually set upon by a Rhu clan raiding party, but her beauty was such that she was spared the normal rape and death. Hriklaw, half-orc chiften of a small tribe, took her as his third bride, but everyone knew that she was his favorite – and Raphael (so-named for his grandfather) he accepted as one of his own. But all was not bliss for Romilda, who suffered from the jealousy of Hriklaw’s first wife, Ogria. Raphael also suffered at the hands of Ogria’s oldest son, Prikug, who was jealous of his father’s love for the adopted half-elf. But for 14 years, Raphael grew up happy among the orcish and human clans of the Rhu people. Then Romilda died of sickness, leaving her son without protection. Hriklaw loved his adopted son, but there was only so much he could do, as Raphael was considered to be a man in Rhu culture. Knowing that Prikug would eventually kill him, Raphael fled the Rhu lands only days after his mother’s death.

For the next few years, Raphael wondered the lands of Aborl, gradually making his way north to Northander. Soon after his arrival, the dragons left Aborl, which released the chaos that filled the streets of Northander for the next year. Raphael survived, mostly by keeping his head down and petty thievery, but the chaos presented an opportunity to the Order of Affliction and soon they thrived in the city. Among their earliest converts was a 19-year-old Raphael, who took to the religion with a zealotry few could match. And when he found his gift for divine magic, his standing in the Order was assured. He soon assumed the heady title of Inquisitor and set about purging the Cult of anyone he believed wasn’t pure enough.

For three years, Raphael purified the church, bringing down heretics, liars, and even the powerful, all in the name of the Order. But eventually even the cruelty of the Seer proved too much for Raphael. He had been ordered to “purify” a local nobleman’s house, and as was the Seer commanded, he captured the family and tortured the adults. Those who confessed he tried for their sins, while the others were killed for their intransigence, condemned in the eyes of the Seer and her loyal servant, Raphael. But this family had a 7-year-old daughter, Estune, and by the Order’s beliefs, she was too young for purification. But the Seer had ordered that she be turned over to her so that she could purify the young girl. Raphael knew what this meant; he had seen others purified by the Seer and knew the tortures that lay in store for her. The purification of children, though officially prohibited by the Order, was not an uncommon practice, though Raphael had always been diligent about punishing those who did so. But for the Seer, the very epitome of the Order in Aborl, to do so was too much for Raphael. He tried to flee the city with Estune, but they were captured only miles outside the wall, and the girl was turned over to the Seer. Raphael was sentenced to die, but managed to escape at the last minute, after days of torturous purification.

He headed south, trying to decide what to do. He decided that the Order of Affliction had become corrupted. The original tenets of the Order were based on the ideas of self-purification, but at some point the Order had taken it upon itself to purify others against their will. He would return the Order to its pure roots, he had decided. But to do so he needed a weapon greater than the Order itself: He needed magic.

Raphael duStaden

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