Gods' Damn his cocksucker of a father and frigid bitch of a sister! Ayrkin swore venomously. 25 five years. Half his life he had sacrificed. All for a promise that turned out to be worth less than a quinque.
It shouldn't have been that way. All of his life he had wanted to be a mage. Real power—true power—was not to be found as a merchant in Monarch of the Mines. It wasn't as if his father couldn't have afforded to send him way to apprentice. As the primary provider of fresh produce to all of MoM, his father had become wealthier than some princes and kings. And yet he had refused. Stay, he had argued. You are my heir. One day all of this will be yours. And reluctantly—against his better judgment and in light of his father's refusal to pay for his apprenticeship—Ayrkin had agreed.
For the next 25 years, Ayrkin toiled away in the family business. And he had done a good job, in his own estimation. True—he had insulted the son of the dwarvish king with a resultant loss in business—but he have know that the brat's father was a king? And, yes, he had screwed up a couple of deals but what did his father expect? If he wasn't going to be apprenticed, he had to work that much harder to self-tutor himself in the way of magic and of power; a much more important use of his time.
It might still have worked out if his sister—15 years his junior—had been a little less adept at sucking up to their father. Jump? Yes sir! How high? The bitch could do no wrong. Even when Ayrkin caught her out in some mistake, his dotard father and just looked the other way and even seemed to scorn Ayrkin for pointing our her errors.
But, still, he was his father's heir. Once the old man was gone, he'd have the business and he could rid himself of her.
And then the will was read. The day of his father's death was one of great expectation for Ayrkin when the will was unsealed and read. It took only moments for his life to turn to ash. For the business would be his sisters. She protested that she had no knowledge of his father's plans and even promised to fund his 25-year delayed apprenticseship. As if he'd ever take a handout from her! The business was his by right! Moreover, he was now 45 years old. No mage would accept an apprentice so old.
In fury he left that night vowing never to return to that accursed place and to somehow, someway, find a way to acquire the scorcerous power he had always craved.
Years passed. He worked first as a caravan guard before falling in with an adventuring party. While he had not found a mage who would accept him as an apprentice, he had continued to advance his powers in a painstaking self-tutoring way. He was to soon experience a life changing event.
One should never be out on Lord T'lluvin's moon. If one absolutely had to be out, one should not be in the Gloomrim. Nor would he have if not for that unctious Yglredi bard and his elven ranger lackey. But what could have been a disaster—his transformation by the magics unleashed on that ill-omened night—proved anything but. He was transformed into a being of great strength and power. Of demonic mein and consuming appetites and—most importantly—of endless youth. For in the moment of transformation, he felt the aches and pains of age fall away and the knowledge that while blade or spell could still slay him, mere age would never lay him low. He would have all the time in the world to acquire magical power.
There were some setbacks. His appetites lead the sanctimonious Yglredi to conspire to exile him from the party. But even that did not last. A well-aimed crossbow bolt put an end to that problem. And, yes, he had then been subsequently slain by the elf but the elf had not realized that only fire or acid could permanently end his life.
Unfortunately, however, Ayrkin found no master willing to take on a demon-visaged apprentice. He realized that he would have to seek some remedy for his “curse” before he could attain his goal. By feigning contrition for his acts, he found a religious order to rid him of it.
Which left him back where he had begun.
How could he gain the power he desired without relinquishing the vitality that he been his?
The answer came through Lord T'lluven. Since that fateful eve, he had found himself within the ambit of T'lluven. He had even gone on not one—but two—missions on his behalf. So when called upon by a minion of the Dark Lord to investigate Lord T'lluven's disappearance, he jumped at the chance.
After a journey that spanned several dimensions, Ayrkin—with the modest assistance of his fellow travellers—freed T'lluvin from the trap which had ensnared him. In return, Ayrkin asked for only boon—that T'lluvin return to him the gift of agelessness. T'lluvin agreed under the condition that Ayrkin would reveal to no one that T'lluvin had ever been entrapped and with the understanding that he might be called upon in the future to aid his dark master.
While his ultimate goal of becoming a true master of the wizardly arts has remained elusive, Ayrkin is much closer to achieving his goals. He no longer needs to fear the cold touch of time. Sooner or later some opportunity would present itself.