Micah Basho was born in a small farming village in the lowlands of Larenes. Orphaned at age four, he was taken in by the Order of the Standing Vine, who keep an abbey in Larenes’ port city, Lar’Cillion. The Order of the Standing Vine, with its grey-clad monks and sprawling vineyard-abbeys, took the cultivation of their vines as a metaphor for the worship the worship of Correllion. “Let the vine grow sunward,” went one of their hhymns “and so grow justice. Let the weeds be swiftly ended, and so fall tyrants”. These humble cultivators took it as a sign of the greatest good to use their expertise with the blade for the promotion of just society. Far from remaining aloof from earthly matters, the Uorden Weinon Statantei viewed themselves as noble interventionists in the political landscape. They held themselves to be cultivators, clearing good land for justice and rectitude.

Micah undertook his traditional sabbatical at age 20, venturing across the sea of Larothos to the metropolis of Lar’Haron, a city that dwarfs Lar’Cillion by a factor of ten. In accordance with the customs of the Order, Micah left the abbey with a small pouch of seeds, the clothes on his back, and a coal-black longsword, he had forged as the culmination of his training. The terms of the sabbatical dictated that he must return with the pouch full of the fruits of a vine he must cultivate, and the black blade bleached white in the blood of a tyrant.

The streets of Lar’Haron were Micah’s awakening to the scale of corruption and vice in the world. He soon found himself swept up in the back alley intrigues of the city, and found his blade enlisted by a group of Corellite enforcers, the law-givers of the streets. Gradually, though, the straight-backed Correlites fell prey to the seductive pleasures of the big city: gambling, brothels, and a powerful opiate known as Tar-brandy. Micah fell especially hard for the latter, and became involved in a smuggling ring, bringing in massive shipments of the stuff from far-off sands of Oe’Kanar for a secretive shipping magnate, Baron Thein. By virtue of his skill with the blade and willingness to take half his pay in Tar Brandy, Micah rose in the ranks of Thein’s subterranean organization to become his most trusted lieutenant. One night, though, in an opiated haze, Micah wandered aboard one of the tall schooners that Thein used to transport the drug. He found it empty of Tar-brandy, and to his horror he found the holds full of chained slaves, all children, bound for the hellish mires of Oe’Kanar: payment for the latest shipment. Enraged, Micah slaughtered the crew of the ship, the whirling black steel thrummed in the otherwise silent night. When he unshackled the captives, though, they shrank from him in fear. Catching a glimpse of himself in a pool of water, his eyes shot through with black, his skin stretched tight over his skull, Micah realized the beast he had become. Shedding the plate mail which bore Thein’s personal crest, Micah clambered up the rainpipes and balconies of the Baron’s executive apartments. Finding the baron at work at his desk, Micah smashed through the stained-glass window of the study and drove the pitch blade through the slaver’s throat, the rotten blood which coursed from the ragged wound driving the blackness from the sword in rivulets, exposing the ivory steel beneath. Micah left the city that night, wrapped in his old grey cloak and carrying the small bunch of grapes he’d coaxed from the vine, a cask of concentrated tar-brandy, and the a cloth-wrapped blade of purest white.



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