Raith Karanis/Background

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Varasin: Background and Education

The summoning

In 1993 Varasin determined that Levantis was preparing a significant ritual in secret. He made his way down to observe, and encountered a stranger who likewise entered, but to stop the ceremony. With little choice, Varasin and the stranger continued. They found Levantis completing a ritual to summon a Nephrandi, an entity of oblivion. The sacrifice in this case was a Lycan. Varasin and the stranger succeeded somewhat in that the ritual did not succeed completely. However, the Lycan was dead (killed by Varasin), Levantis was dead (killed by the stranger) and the Nephandi locked within Varasin. Some grace of the stranger, the Lycan and another bound it there. However, the binding linked Varasin and the stranger together (they were both parts of it); with the Lycan's spirit flowing to the stranger as well.

The stranger was Kleon. He and Varasin left Rovilio and went to the Lycan's kin, who were known of by, and known to, Kleon. There Varasin was cared for, for a while. Slowly, he regained wits enough to consider his future. Realsing that the binding would be eroded by the demon, Varasin and the stranger knew they would be working on this for quite some time. They decided Varasin would learn to cope with his new life, while the stranger would go on ahead to whereever the path to resolve this would lead. For the next few years Varasin travelled, slowly picking up bits and pieces of a new life; finding a new balance and new direction. He arrived in the Isles in April 2008, and signed on with Hangman's Roadhouse a few days later.

Raith's story

After the death of his family, Raith wandered, rootless and despairing. Bad choices were made. At one point someone intervened to save his life, at which Raith acknowledged a debt to this person, a debt he never intended to honor. Coming to America in 2007, Raith's life was at an ebb. He eaked out a meagre living, playing at various bars and nightclubs in Paragon City and Rhode Island.

In late 2008 circumstances placed him in a position of peril. He was attacked by unknown assailants for no known reason. Raith was dying. What's more this was no normal death: his mind was slowly decaying, he could feel this intimate destruction beginning, powerless to prevent it, alone and bereft. Again, an intervention. By the same person as before. "There is nothing I can do to heal you, Raith. Nor do I know these assailants. If... if you would honor your obligations, your past, then there may be a future for you and I."

The voice was soft, close, urgent. Heard not with ears but in his soul and mind. The stranger was present, somehow, and the sense of some great calling, a call out to a far and distant place. Then another presence, alien this time. The stranger and the other presence bargained, or spoke, for a time. All the while the stranger holding Raith frozen in time, granting him the grace to accept or not, to make this choice.

"Raith. This being, we will call him Ara Tenebrae for now, I have called. And this he can do: he can merge with you and hold at bay this destruction of your mind. He will slumber, deep within, for a time. And for a while you will be as before." Raith listened, accepting, what else could he do? "But know this Raith, it is for a short time only. Perhaps months. After that time the destruction will continue, it is part of your very being now. There is another thing that must be done, and this is the hard part for you."

"I am Varasin Karanasi. We are distant, distant kin, and Ara Tenebrae comes from the time when your forefather and mine were brothers. Shortly I will travel to a place to accomplish a thing I am sworn to do. I had thought there was no return for me, but I would return for the one I love." Raith felt from Varasin wistfullness, sorrow and regret. But also an adamant will and conviction. And when he spoke of his love for another, the most profund warmth, a feeling Raith had known and destroyed years earlier with his own wife and child.

Now Varasin spoke softly "Needs must that my body and soul will be destroyed in this task. But my mind, memories and will? This can return, with your acceptance and the help of Ara Tenebrae. It would rest with you, and must be the dominant animus of your body and soul. But I swear, Raith, I will do my utmost to protect you, that your existence will not be utterly lost. Your body and soul? To these I will adhere, I must cut you from them, to protect your mind. In all this I can find no other way that you may continue."

Raith knew a moment's terror, then the slow dawning that no other option would exist for him. His miserable life flashed before him, and at the end he was calm, accepting. The firs time in many years he had felt such. "Do it Varasin, I understand." Raith awoke, hurt and healed, and continued his life for several months. At the closing of the year there came the reeling where the world spun around, the sense of some wrongness leaving. He gasped, panting, and knew no more.

Since then his awareness is different. Often it is as if he sees through Varasin's eyes, but most often he sleeps. Varasin and Raith learned to talk. And deep within, Ara Tenebrae slumbers still, although the time for him to rouse grows closer.

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