To Fly on Metal Wings
A Gunman of Peerless Skill, Whose Past Finally Caught Up With HIm.
Born on a small border island, Raphael’s destiny was sealed for him at the age of 4, when in order to save his life from a great plague his parents gave him over to the Order of the Lilies, permanently and irrevocably aligning his soul with the foul Nidhog. He was raised in an atmosphere of cruelty, groomed from the outset to be an assassin devoid of emotion and conscience. The torture and brainwashing he experienced created a schism in his personality, splitting Raphael into two polar extremes- Russ, the remainder of all that was fundamentally good and human in him, and Montresor, the embodiment of the malice and hatred being poured into him every day. The only thing sustaining Raphael besides his talent for violence and adaptability was his only friend, Lothor, a boy one year his senior for whom Raphael developed a romantic infatuation. The final test the Lilies placed upon Raphael was the final break for him- assigned to kill Lothor, he instead escaped with him. Tragically, Raphael confessed his feelings for his friend during the attempt, and Lothor, repulsed, attacked him. They dueled on a precarious rope bridge, and Lothor fell to the jagged rock and running waters below. Distraught and under pursuit, Raphael became Russ Fortune and went into hiding, constantly moving from place to place. Eventually, he joined up with the Republican Second Army, and found for once a home of sorts. After serving with distinction for several years, he returned to his camp to find his platoon slaughtered. He barely escaped the Lily’s assassins, and once again alone, took off. A chance encounter with a sage lead him to his home village, where his aged grandmother still lived. He spent six months of relative peace, learning of the life he never had with the only family he had ever known, and when she passed, he took off, drifting from place to place before finding himself in Loft, under the employ of Black Becky and the Jackdaw crew of the Scorpion. Upon a routine mission to Dalaver, he became embroiled in the machinations of Cameron D’Caeli and along with Llewellyn Danielson, E. Jacob Riley, and the Elf Felrun met the Goblin Diggel and Georgina Chandler. Having retrieved the Dream Shard, Russ, who’s grip on control and sanity was always suspect, found himself falling increasingly under the insidious sway of his alter ego, Montresor. Throughout the company’s journeys, his growing attachment and sympathy for his companions was counterpointed by Montresor’s malicious intent. As their journey reached its conclusion, he came to understand his true nature, and the fate of his soul in the clutches of Nidhog. The duality of his persona finally resolved with the death of Lothor, Raphael, now complete, resolved to follow the people he now considered friends into the Temple of Loki, which he was able to unlock using his tainted blood. He fell during the battle with Isaac Chandler, yet his soul lingers on, bound to the fate of those tainted by Nidhog, suffering in torment, but still resisting, waiting, even sometimes hoping, for the release of oblivion.