Estin, The Celestial City
A less-than intelligent battle master with arcane aspirations
Bartandelous, or Bart as he is sometimes called, was born in Kenta to the Braxton family, a long line of talented human wizards. Much to his family’s chagrin, however, Bartandelous was determined to have little to no affinity towards magic. Not only was he the first Braxton not to gain early acceptance into one of Kenta’s magic academies, he was also the first to outright fail the entrance exam. To make his situation even more of an embarrassment, his father, Marcellus Braxton, is the current headmaster of the Conjuration Academy. Bart had become a running gag among Marcellus’ colleagues.
Every day of his childhood, Bart was reminded of his inadequacies. He would often overhear his parents arguing over whose genes were the cause of his stupidity. His father hired every tutor, sage, and mentor he could to try to teach his “magically retarded” son, all to no avail. With all of their lessons, Bart could never manage a simple cantrip. Before long, Marcellus gave up on him completely, seeing his only son as a curse and a disappointment.
So what’s a father to do? To him, the choice was obvious. He would have another son. And about nine months later, Bartandelous had a baby brother. And oh, what a brother he was. His parents took every precaution with newborn Thaddeus, which must have paid off. Thad was casting cantrips by 4, magic missiles by 10, and was accepted into the Evocation Academy at the young age of 14.
Needless to say, his parents were thrilled. It was if all of the magical prowess that Bartandelous should have had instead went into his brother, along with Thad’s own natural capabilities. He was a prodigy, the favorite child. So much so, that Bart was basically ignored by his parents and left to his own devices.
Though they kept him fed and clothed, that was about it. Being seen around the house was an annoyance, so Bart spent most of his time either in his room or wandering the streets. One day when he was around 13 years old, he saw a city worker struggling to lift a heavy stone that had fallen out of his cart. So, he stopped by and lent a hand, lifting the large rock by himself. The man, impressed with Bart’s strength, suggested that they could use an extra pair of strong hands at the construction yard where they were building a new mage tower. This was the first time that Bart noticed his natural physique. He had always been tall for his age, but it wasn’t until comparing himself to the professional builder that he realized how broad and muscular he was. Being raised as a potential wizard, he never got much outlet for his physical strength. So out of curiosity, and just the desire to be of some use for a change, he agreed to join the construction job.
The next few years were some of the best of Bart’s life. During the day, when his parents were busy and Thaddeus was at Academy, he would sneak out to perform more manual labor. He loved working with his hands and, above all else, the team appreciated him. For the first time, he was actually happy.
Even though work was distracting to some extent, life at home was never pleasant, mostly thanks to his little brother. As Thaddeus grew older, he quickly recognized his superior talent and intelligence, and made sure to to remind his less-than intelligent older brother as much as possible. The teasing and bullying was ceaseless. Bart’s only relief was during the day when everyone was gone and he was working. Could Bart physically beat up Thad? Of course, but he was too well-mannered and non-confrontational to fight back. And he wouldn’t dare inflict brain damage on his parents’ favorite child and the Evocation Academy’s star pupil. So he just took the abuse.
Over the years, he convinced himself that his family’s cruelty was disguised love. They really just wanted what’s best for him, and what’s best is being a talented wizard. Really what he craved more than anything else, was his father’s approval. So each night, after a hard day’s work, Bart would study magical texts and spellbooks in his room. He never made any progress, but refused to give up.
For awhile, the status quo was maintained. However, it was when the mage’s tower was finally complete that Bart’s life began to fall apart. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new building. During the ceremony, in which Marcellus was in attendance, Bart was given special thanks by the construction crew for helping them complete the project ahead of schedule. The crowd clapped, but Marcellus was embarrassed and furious. So much so, that he kicked his first-born son out of his home and forbade him to return until he became a wizard like his brother.
Bartandelous was devastated. Some of the men from the construction crew offered to house him for awhile, but Bart decided he needed a fresh start away from Kenta. So he decided to head to Hestaria, carrying not much more than an adventurer’s pack, a maul given to him as a farewell present by the crew, and a spellbook lent to him by his father (in the hopes that he may one day cast a spell from it).
Upon arriving in Hestaria, Bartandelous sought out the masonic guild thinking that they might want a new apprentice with some experience. However, he got sidetracked after running into an out-of-control party that was pouring out of an inn. The people were definitely intoxicated, but something was off. They seemed almost… mindless. Bart was going to let them be, until they started flailing and swinging at passersby on the street. He tried to calm them down, but was swiftly punched in the jaw. It was at that point that Bart took out his maul and began smacking down the assailants until they lied broken on the ground.
A man in armor approached Bart as the dust settled. He thanked him for being a good Samaritan and for stopping a group of Symphonia users. Bart had no idea what he was talking about, but his ears perked up after the man suggested he apply to join the White Dragons. It wasn’t the guild he was originally planning on joining, but he had heard legends of the members of the great guild. Maybe he could put some different skills to work there. So he followed the man back to the White Dragons’ recruitment center and offered up his services, to which they happily accepted.
Bart probably enjoyed construction more, but damn was he good at guild work. He quickly gained a reputation as a kind, yet brutal battle master with a bizarre fascination with a spellbook he can’t use. He arrived at a time where a drug called Symphonia was running wild in the city. The White Dragons were tasked with stomping it out, but as quickly as it arrived, it vanished, along with the drug lord behind the epidemic. Things were quiet for awhile, until the guild got word of it surfacing in the far off city of Estin. And shockingly, they had been hired to help remove it once more. Having some experience with the drug and its effects, Bart was one of the guild members chosen to teleport to Estin first as an advanced force. This wasn’t the turn of events Bart was expecting his life to take, but if he can help out some innocent people under the guild’s banner, he was all for it. As long as he got to take his spellbook on the trip…