Vhysalis 'Vhys' Samakh
I grew up in a tiny town at the junction of two rivers, near the foothills of the Daggertooth Mountains. My parents were traders who dealt with the Dwarves in those mountains, trading overworld products – mostly barley, wheat, hops, and other beer crops. I’ve spoken Dwarvish since I was knee-high. Turns out having an extra interpreter along is useful in resolving your polite monetary disputes, especially if said interpreter won’t stop bawling in Dwarvish until you’ve closed the deal.
That sort of childhood left me with a few lasting lessons: firstly, if you want quality metalwork, jewellery, you want anything worked that was dug out of the earth – you go Dwarf-made. Secondly, it doesn’t matter what they look like; if a person or being shows you respect, you show them the same until you’ve gotten what you need out of them. Thirdly: potato beer tastes like piss. Do not drink potato beer. Set it on fire, or feed it to children, I suppose.
With that in mind I was all set to inherit my parents’
beer-smuggling legitimate trading business when it turned out yer a wizard, Vhys. I was a bit upset at first, but as my parents explained, this tacked neatly into Lasting Lesson #4: always have a means to set something on fire. So my younger brother inherited the business, and off I went to Obocus University in Abendel.
It’s a bizarre experience, going from a wandering life to a sedentary one in the big city, but I adjusted just fine. But wizards can be a stodgy lot, and they didn’t approve of my approach – the University has to ‘observe’ systems and workflows and management processes‘, and I just wanted to get things done. No one could say I was a bad wizard, though. I graduated in the top ten percent of my class, and maybe I should’ve tried a little harder to be a bit less noticeable, because as a result of my ‘stellar performance’ and – let’s face it – less-than-stellar track record with the higher-ups, I was one of the very first graduates sent out to help research and stop the Great Wall.
Blessing in disguise, really, because even if the far eastern provinces are a bit of a hole, where else are you going to get an opportunity like this? Pity I didn’t recognize that in my first few weeks here. Pity about the thing in Ashbrush, too. Poor, uh, whatever-his-name-was. Face burny guy. Forgive me, reader; I’m not good with names.
I panicked and set a guy’s face on fire, is the long and short of it. And I’m sorry about that, but I think I’m allowed to dislike the fact that he got promoted despite his really mediocre publication record, separate of the fact that I set his face on fire? I don’t hate the guy! I just think he’s kind of
useless and undeserving unqualified.
Because of that, face burny guy’s friend at the Tower assigned me to Shithole Nowhere, with a useless partner and the most mediocre beer west of the Wall. It’s fine. All I have to do is finish this paper and I’ll be one publication closer to promotion – or, hey, lasting fame for my incredible discoveries. Nobody is going to stop me from getting the recognition I deserve, and with the Wall creeping closer every day, the opportunity’s only getting nearer, right?