“She’s a prodigy,” they’d say. “She’ll take Edna by storm, I tell you!”
They were wrong, of course. And right, in many ways. Karys was no prodigy. She was fairly intelligent, but most orcs are in Edna. What differentiated Karys was her drive, her curiosity, her ambition. No one wanted to know more than Karys did, and no one was as determined to uncover the mysteries of the world as she was. Growing up, she was always frustrated with her family’s lack of interest in the Old Age, and the wonders left behind.
House Arcturus was an old and rich noble house, making their fortune on the vast vineyards they used to make and sell Arcturus wine. In this age, due to their immense success and constructed empire, the heads of the house have only the smallest part in the actual business end of the vineyard; they have other, more noble, concerns to manage.
Only scion of the House Arcturus, Karys always dreaded the day she would become head of the house. She didn’t have the patience, or interest for it. After her formal education, she spent many of her years on archaeological dig sites, making a name for herself in her field and garnering a reputation for being as shrewd, driven and talented as she was cold and haughty. Her discoveries are in museums all over Edna, and she made a sizeable contribution into solving some mysteries of the old age. If asked, Karys will tell you that these were the best years of her life.
By her late twenties, her parents could no longer be avoided, and she agreed to a marriage they arranged with Marrogen of House Antares, a smaller house in (mild) competition with Arcturus for centuries. Marrogen was… Kind, and Karys regrets how she treated him. After they were married, she returned to dig sites, and in an effort to support his wife, he joined her. He was always more of a hindrance than a help, but he tried. And Karys never gave him the time of day.
In her 35th year, her father passed while she was on a dig.
She did not attend his funeral.
In her 40th year, her mother passed while she was on a dig. She did attend her funeral, but only because House Arcturus became her responsibility, and she had to return to get everything in order. Her management skill was middling at best, Marrogen putting out any fires she may have sparked by her apathy. Eventually, Karys came to realize just how much she had at her disposal, how much she could discover with her vast resources.
She took parts of her house on a series of fairly successful digs, and her hubris swelled. Approaching her fifth decade on earth, Karys really wanted to make her mark-- not that she hadn’t already-- but she wanted a crowning achievement. She took her entire house, even the servants, with her to a dig site near an obsidian pillar, one that had a reputation for being cursed. But Karys of House Arcturus was not one to believe in the quaint superstitions of the masses.
And it cost her her entire house. Her servants, her attendants, her staff, her cousins… and Marrogen, poor Marrogen. All he ever wanted to do was make her happy. And, just like the others, he was dead in the ground. The creatures that did it were ghastly and unspeakable, the stuff nightmares are made of. Somehow, however, either through luck, strength, or sheer stubbornness, Karys, formerly of House Arcturus, survived.
The next little while was spent in a haze, her body completely given over to anger, regret and vengeance. Karys did not shed a single tear for her house, and never returned to the family home. She resolved to show her grief by slaughtering any creatures who resembled those responsible for the fall of her house… Including herself, at the end. At least that’s the plan.
It didn’t take long for the Order to find someone with her… Fervor. They offered her power, at a price. But she had already paid more than she could have ever believed, and, after some training, imbibed the Hunter’s Bane, giving her the ability to draw powerful, raw and old magicks from her own lifeblood.
Now she fights with renewed focus, taking on whichever mercenary jobs she needs to keep herself afloat, while spending her free time hunting and destroying demons, devils, shadows, shades, and all other things that go bump in the night.