The Nightmare Before the Dream
Callum Thomas Teegun
Character Sheet is posted in the Characters Section.
In life, Callum’s father was a member of the Inner Circle, and served as King Gantry’s first Master of Coin. Due to his father’s great office, and personal wealth, Callum was afforded the finest of all things to be had in Endenmere, but as the youngest of Carl’s three sons Callum was also given the luxury of being the least necessary member of the household. Sure he was educated by the finest tutors; schooled in the arts, history and philosophy; taught the manners and etiquette of Court, but due to his order of birth he was merely an extra member of the family line. His brothers, Carl II, and Collin were taught to carry on the family businesses. Carl II to serve as Head, and Collin to serve as his right-hand in all things. His sister, Catherine was married to nobility to help maintain the family’s status. For Callum though, little was required. His father cared for him greatly, but spoiled him too much.
Carl died while Callum was still in his teens, an event that shattered his mother, and led her to withdraw from public life. Without their father, Callum’s brothers took over the family businesses, and in time expanded the family’s vast fortune. They had clearly inherited their father’s gift for the multiplication of coin. Callum, instead, inherited his father’s silver-tongue. Since his brothers were so good at making money, Callum decided he would be good at spending it. So began his descent into the dark side of Endenmere.
Callum quickly took in with the children of other nobles, and privileged merchants. As a whole they came to be known as the Golden Rats. This spoiled group were the richest and most decadent members of Endenmere’s youthful elite, and in those days none of them were richer or more depraved than Callum. The Rats spent their nights drinking, and consuming every intoxicant they could find; fornicating with all manners of people; and gambling away their families’ fortunes.
In these brothels, taverns, and gaming dens, Callum discovered the other side of his father’s hereditary gifts. Nothing sounds so sweet as rattling dice and the clink of wagered coins. It was never the wining, but the betting that pleased Callum. Each night he would collect his Rats, and attempt to clean out an establishment. His successes would just fuel further nights, but when he failed his brothers would clear his debts, and pay the necessary “fees” to keep it all quiet. He spent years gambling away his inheritance, and then leveraging his name to continue, until even familial care reached its breaking point.
Callum’s brothers reached their breaking point when a money lender named Edward Richoux came to collect. Richoux came demanding an amount that would erase a year’s worth of the families profits. This time Callum had gone too far. Carl II told Richoux that the money would not be paid. If Richoux had made the mistake of lending to Callum, then to Callum he must go to collect it. Infuriated Richoux had some of his strong-arms collect up Callum and his Rats. All of them had borrowed money from Richoux, but Callum was their leader, the King Rat, and it was he that would be made an example. The beating took days, and all the Rats were made to watch. Callum’s legs were crushed, and his body clubbed till he was more bruise than man. In the end it was an over-exuberant torturer that took it too far. A blow to Callum’s head crushed his skull, and he began to die. Richoux acted quickly, killing the torturer and threatening all the Rats present to guarantee their silence. His strong-arms carried Callum’s dying body to the Base District, and left him in the gutter. It was hoped that he would be thought of as another victim of the District’s dark reputation.
Callum’s wounds and bruises made him unrecognizable, and he would have died there unknown if not for a Paladin of The Creator traveling the Base District to tend the poor and sick. The Paladin rushed Callum to The Temple bringing him before the Clerics to see if he could be saved. The High Healer proclaimed Callum to be beyond hope, and he was placed in a bed to be cared for as he passed.
The monk tending the dying claims that he saw an old male robed figure, that he thought to be a Cleric, enter the room that Callum was lying in. Shortly thereafter a bright light shone forth, and Callum emerged unblemished, but for a limp. Callum claims that it was no man, but instead The Creator himself. Regardless of who it was Callum was healed of his wounds.
Callum claims that in those moments he actually died and went to stand before The Creator to be judged for how he had lived. The Creator told him that Callum had failed his people. He had soaked in all that was around him, but did not achieve. However The Creator told Callum that he saw within him the chance for something more. The Creator would take Callum’s soul back and place it within his body. He would then heal him of his wounds, but leave his leg twisted so he would always remember this moment. The Creator also told him that this was not a gift, but instead a Grand Bargain that would set a path for Callum to follow. In exchange for his life and a portion of The Creator’s power, Callum was to act as The Creator’s voice on the mortal plane. He would be His Prophet going forth to preach the word of The Creator:
Man was not the least favored of The Creators progeny, but instead His most favored. The Creator does not give gifts, he demands effort, and the growth that comes from it. All must struggle and achieve. The harder a path one is given the greater the potential for growth. So while Man was surely given the least, it is he who has the greatest potential for growth. All the other races were given their gifts to act as a test for Man’s greatness. They were set upon Man to challenge him and act as a forge that would help Man to grow into the greatest of His creations.
Callum is still wrapping his mind around all of this. There is no doubting now that he was saved, and that he is now gifted with a portion of The Creators power and grace. His words now spark of Divine Energy, and his touch can heal the injured.
It has been a month since he last spoke to his family, or any of the Rats. He has stayed within the Temple soaking up as much of The Creator’s faith and teachings as he can. He is still not truly a part of The Temple though. He is an enigma to the Clerics. He should have died. His healing was obviously divine, and must be a portent of The Creator’s touch. They are convinced that one amongst them is responsible for this healing. That the subsequent power in Callum is an aftereffect of so powerful a healing. It cannot be questioned that The Creator wanted Callum to live, but surely he cannot be anything more than a spoiled brat of The Climb, who has been given a second chance.