My name is Talonius, and I am a Drow. You will note that I do not provide a house name, and in that fact lays the story of why I am here.
Though I have made a conscious effort to remove the details of my past such as names and faces from my memory, the facts of such remain. I was born a lesser son of a lesser house. In Drow society, that is tantamount to a death sentence. Like those who came before me, I was relegated to serving the matrons of my city in what way I could, assuming that my inevitable death might serve the Spider Queen in some minor way. Unfortunately, I showed little proclivity for arcane talent, and even less for the martial. Thus I was doomed to live the life of an eternal apprentice, never tasting the power that some of my race find so easy. Or, so it seemed.
I still recall the moment I found the tome that would set me on a journey unlike any in my position might dream. It was in the dust-laden vault of the library, in a section that held those scrolls and books not of Drow origin, and thus had to be read by actual candle-light. I don’t recall what had taken me there, nor is such a trivial detail important now. All I know is that, when I opened the musty volume, something touched me from beyond that I would spend the rest of my life seeking.
I secreted the book away, and spent many lonely hours poring over its contents in the solitude of my meager room. In the end I discovered much. But most important of all of my enlightenments was the fact that my life within Drow society would hinder my journey, and I would need to escape the soul-enslaving world I lived in. I had heard tales of those who had left our world behind: the followers of Elliastree, the warrior, and other individuals who sought more than what the Spider Queen and her foul minions could offer.
And so it was that when next a raiding party made its way to the surface, I was there, with them in body, though not in spirit. To this day, I am convinced that not one of them even took note of my presence, nor of my absence once we reached the moonlight. I would be highly shocked indeed were I to ever learn that any from my former home still sought me out. Well, perhaps that one priestess who showed great pleasure when bestowing me with lashes for manufactured reasons. But even she most likely would simply note my absence with mild annoyance, and move on to another victim without further concern.
Those first few months on the surface were difficult to say the least. Coping with the passage of time and the changing of the seasons as surface-dwellers do taxed me to my limit. Foraging for food was difficult at best, and I soon found that my only recourse was to rely on my heritage to bully a small group of orcs into providing me with shelter and sustenance. All the while I chafed at the thought that I was no closer to finding the knowledge I sought about the Old One. I had practically memorized the tome I had stolen. And even though it opened avenues to powers and abilities that aided me in my efforts, it only hinted at greater knowledge while taking me no closer to it.
I mention the orcs here, because it is in part my association with them that eventually lead to my salvation. As orcs are wont to do, raiding and pillaging were always on their minds. Yet, the group was but a small one, and outcasts themselves, for the most part (which may have been a redeeming quality to me in hindsight). The extent of our “pillaging” amounted to mostly stolen livestock from small, frontier villages, and the occasional robbery (and subsequent murder) of a wayward traveler. It was an occasion of the latter that afforded me my first spark of hope.
To be continued...