Many know the story of my distant cousins. Few know, or care for mine. For my birth was not the usual happy occasion that most adventurers have known. No. My mother had been a healer, and had healed my sister to the extent that she had barely any strength left. And that she gave to me, her unborn child. She tried to get to somewhere where the clergy or others might save her, but failed. It wasn't until two days later that my oldest sister, who was also studying to become an empath, returned to our home and found her. She, not being yet a full empath, could do little but try the best she could to be midwife for my birth. So you could say Death nurtured me.
The town fathers, seeing that my trader father was killed on the roads, and my mother was dead -- were the ones who were to decide where I was to be raised. I was an infant - I obviously couldn't care for myself, and none of my older brothers or sisters was yet of age. My oldest sibling went back to the school for empaths, my second oldest sibling had disappeared, where to, I wasn't to learn for some time, and my older brother was following in the footsteps of our father learning how to become a trader.
So, it was decided that I would be raised by the sisters of Ru'at Per'iel, on the Island of Aesry. It was a meager existence, as they are not a rich order - but I learned how to sing. All was as well as could be for an orphan, until one day when I was about 7 years of age, I was brought before the Deaconess.
Totendanz, she said... I have some news about your family history. You will learn this so you might expunge the evil. We have been looking into your family history. It seems your grandfather was rather high up among those who worshipped the dragon, among the followers of the hag Dzree. You must face this within yourself and swear yourself against any ties to the dragon, whom we must sing to sleep as our goddess demands.
Well, this was news to me. Being a curious child, this merely served to perk my interest.
So.... although I outwardly acquiesed to their demands, I managed to sneak into the library and sought every bit of knowledge I could find on the dragon, his priests, and the manner of worship. As I was angry at the gods - why did my mother have to die? When she did no harm to any sentient being? Why did anyone have to die for that matter?
The libraries of course presented the Ru'at Per'iel viewpoint. Even as a child I understood how books could be slanted towards one viewpoint or another. But soon I got into trouble for trying to rediscover hidden rituals that were forbidden. So I earned a few beatings. And then they would sing at me. And make me join in the song.
Needless to say, when I was 13 and it was time to either leave the sisters or become one of them, I struck out on my own.
For a few years I stayed on the Island though, there were fish to catch, stairs to climb, and, with my background from the sisters, I had a workorder with permission that I gave to the clergy which meant I was entrusted to dig graves for the cemetary. So I became a gravedigger. It was hard work, but at least the dead didn't complain. The clergy were always preaching at the living though. The dead I dug graves for were the nonadventurers, those who had no favors, and were, I was told, doomed to have their souls walk the starry road. Again, I didn't know why this had to be. Many an infant, many a young child I helped bury. But no answers. Never any answer as to why.
So I sought a different source. Hearing of someone named Velmix I managed to scrape a few coins together, and took leave of the gravework. I traveled far, to the mainland. I brought the man a present... a bone of one of the interred, as I was told he was fond of such. I sought answers... teaching... some different way to defeat death. That the gods have not revealed to us. But this man was not long to stay. He went away one day, and never returned, and my questions remained unanswered.
For a long time I remain a commoner. Always seeking knowledge. Those I have sought out seem more interested in fighting with each other than answering the questions of a commoner though. So I search. And wait. I know the answer will come.... soon...
I sought answers from the gods, from magic, from various guildleaders. I spoke to a number of curious seekers such as myself, and to one particularly angry mage named Kssarh, who keeps undead spirits under his guildhall.
And then, one day an answer was forthcoming... although, quite unexpectedly, from a Human. All of a sudden, it made sense. Death must end. There must be constant experimentation until the solution is found. This will be the task... the Great Work. I hope for the sake of those who grow more elderly every day it comes to fruition in time.