A somewhat mad old violinist, whose talents lie in 'thorough interrogation', rather than simply in music.
To be modified at such occasion as time permits.
The following is a generalised backstory outline, which will be replaced soon enough with a full document; that is, so soon as I find proper time within my schedule to complete the afforementioned document.
Adelbert spends early life in close association with a church organisation, having been taken under their wing as a child. His parents are close enough, and proud of their god-fearing son, though they are seldom in contact.
Close to mid-teens, he commits a murder of passion and is taken a prisoner of his own church, and inducted into a shadow organisation run by the church.
Through this shadow order, he is trained as an inquisitor, and versed in close combat and a few select methods of torture. He spends a number of years traveling as part of this church’s inquisitorial squad, turning callous and bitter toward the twisted world.
In time, Adelbert’s faith fades in the god who would allow the evils of such a world to continue, and he confides his disgust in a church official, who derides his faithless behaviour. This official reveals acts of his own depravity, in an attempt to prove that their god supports the church and its decisions, and the rest of the world be damned. A bad decision, as this turned Adelbert’s faith from the order itself.
Adelbert (Erod Vichtre then) turns on the order, violently dispatching several of his fellow inquisitors, and showing a slow death to the officials of the church who preyed on the populace for so long. During this purge, he sustains greivous injury to his left leg, severely impeding his combatative capability and forcing him to retreat.
Fleeing from the holdings and lands controlled by this church, he swears to one day return for vengeance upon this false god, escaping to a foreign safehouse to tend his wounds. The leg proves too damaged to heal conveniently without the aid of regeneration, and is enclosed in a crude iron brace. Taking the name Adelbert (the bright and noble son, as he views himself the only uncorrupted element of that church organisation) he moves across the continent west, lending out his skills in interrogation and torture to many small-time criminal organisations as a means of self-support. He soon finds the leg brace to be a cumbersome burden, and longs for release.
The consistent work in interrogation hones his skills to a fine art, even as his fighting abilities wane without regular physical drills. (Essentially, he retrains from probably fighter or cleric to expert, losing class abilities and bonus feats in exchange for more focused skills and more skill points.) By the end of ten years he is considered an authority in his field, and called upon by government and criminal organisations alike, privy to the information that he gathers in their cause. This extra influx of cash allows him to have a more sophisticated leg brace made, with functioning joints and a system reminiscent on simple hydraulics. Partly sustained by magic, its smooth motion allows Adelbert to rejoin many pastimes he never expected to have again; Dancing, Running, and Fencing, to name a few.
Adelbert soon enough begins to trade in the information he so passionately acquires, and the right to do so becomes an essential part of his price. Another decade passes, and he develops a familiarity with those in his fields who he considers superiors. Namely, he bows to the fabled ‘Dealer’ as a master of information trafficking. On the otherside of the coin, a Mr. Shade, who has appeared with the apparent sole interest of perpetuating misery, is nothing more than a talentless schmuck, with his fingers in too many pies.
Around his fourtieth year, Adelbert picks up the Violin as a hobby, to prevent the decline of manual dexterity due to age. He incorporates his violin practice into torture sessions, as well, using the music to play upon the fears of his clients, and developing an understanding of music’s influence on the mind. It is near to this time that he is contracted by the order of Sarapaenes, a Witch-Hunting order of religious fanatics, who pay him highly for regular service over twenty years of time. He undertakes various other contracts in this time, but the Sarapaenes interests were far reaching enough that he could take on contracts for them without interfering in his travels.
As he neared sixty, Adelbert found that he was dissatisfied with his pastimes. So interesting as travel may be, he had not yet fulfilled his oath of vengeance against the church order he left so long ago. Nay, had not even returned to the country of his origin. Though their continuing existence troubled him little, he felt frustration with himself for having procrastinated for so long. He concluded it was perhaps time to settle down; partly out of stubbornness, and parly out of grief for a life he’d spent in the service of others (though, in his own self-interest, the hint of dementia bagan to creep upon him, and he would not continue such work while vulnerable).
In this last trip across the continent, he visited many old haunts, leaving deposits of supplies and some small cash in case it was necessary to move on once again. Work fell by the wayside, and he informed all who sought him out that he was leaving the business to follow other pursuits. Few dared to deny the old inquisitor his peace, having witnessed the cold abandon with which he worked. So, at sixty-eight years of age and hanging more than a little off the deep end, Adelbert came to reside in a small mountainside hamlet in north Forgsont. He changed his surname to Fiedler, and put the whole of his pursuit into the violin, honing the skill even as he had refined his skills in torture so long ago. These last did not sour, as some few dedicated individuals found him in his haven, bringing news and begging his expertise. Many of these did not survive, naturally, as he could not allow the survival of those who found his safe-house, but in time he simply tightened his security and took on the few jobs necessary to keep his skills sharp.
Meanwhile, his sanity continued to decline, as in so tragically typical of those gifted with artistic ability. Haunted by dreams of the past, Adelbert spent many a sleepless night sawing at his unearthly tones high in the attic loft. In the cramped little town, the screams of the violin resounded through the night, which rather than irritating his neighbors, brought them from throughout to listen to his minight reveries. These people assumed the unnatural work was the result of high slightly addled passion; in truth, Adelbert played ritually, to ward away those horrors he felt sure were lurking in the night and between the stars.
What began as a passing fancy only intensified as years went by, moving from paranoid concern to full-blown night terrors; in the summer of his eightieth year Adelbert was rewarded with the unnatural storms and blackened skies brought about by the rise of the buried. In those days he ate little and slept only rarely, sawing away half-blind at the beasts in the dark and beyond the stars. On a night late in this infestation, it was HIS village which came under attack, and as the black rain fell and thunder roared, the villagers fought death in the streets. In the onslaught a fire began, and the choking smoke and added roar of the flames drove the people forth from their homes. All the while Adelbert played at the window, warding off the Dark. By the morning of the second day, only his home remained.
He continued to play all through the morning, until a string wore through and broke about noon. Adelbert started from his reverie, replaced the string, and walked outside for the first time in a month to survey the ruin. There is not much to be said of that day, nor those that followed; his feeling toward the success of his survival amounted to little more than unsurprised satisfaction. Nonetheless, in anticipation of a second attack he refilled his stocks of food from the neighbours’ ruins and reset his defenses. And so Adelbert waited out the remainder of the storm, eating little and sleeping less.
In the months following the conclusion of the storm, runners came from Celsarion and elsewhere to check the survival of the outlying towns. Of Adelbert’s only he remained at home, the only standing building amidst the ruins. They exchanged news, and it was at this time that Adelbert heard the rumour of the upstart Shade’s death at the hands of one ‘Alder LeBarge’. He looked about at the
ruins of his hiding place and snorted. Perhaps it was time to a Vacation- from retirement. Or something along those lines. Very well, then, he would find and greet the piteous individual who killed the Shade, for a start. It was about time he did something for himself. (Because, you know, a decade or two of retirement doesn’t count) He drew out his Violin and played a single perfect note, and an expression of startled pain crossed the messenger’s face.
Adelbert Smiled. “Yes. I’ve still got it.”