a monk on the run from Corentyn




Kristos Vanduurian was not born to fight. Aristocratically born to Drantos and Himmara Vanduurian, he was expected to appear in court, dress well, behave politely, and ideally improve whatever existing relationship to which he was required to attend. Ideally, he would marry a titled young woman and restart the cycle for a brood of his own. It was a life he was born into, but not one he was raised to lead.

When Kristos was three years old, the political climate of Corentyn had reached the boiling point, and not for the first time. The richest of the merchants were unhappy with their treatment at the hands of the titled nobles, neither of whom were accustomed to any actual work.

The Purge happened as any number had before: the nobility were executed or exiled, and the richest of the merchant class elevated themselves to the level of the new nobility—albeit under the ostensible banner of the promotion of the Common Man. The Common Man was never fooled. That sort of change is never fundamental.

Although Kristos was merely born into the preexisting system, he paid hardly less a price for the tangential association. As the revolutionaries blocked the exits and set fire to House Vanduurian, Kristos’s parents ran upstairs and handed their only child to Belom, the family’s manservant and bodyguard. Under the cover of the rising smoke, Belom carried the child out a window and escaped over the rooftops, leaving Kristos’s parents to their fate.

Forced into the streets, Belom nevertheless maintained his fierce loyalty to the previous regime. In reality, there was no difference between the old guard and the new, and the only non-imagined gripe held by the deposed was the actual fact of the deposition. All the same, many surviving exiles with military training joined the foundling resistance. Belom was one of these, and Kristos was raised to be such a soldier.

For more than ten years, Kristos was ambivalently trained to foster his anger and to master it through his discipline. He trained endlessly under Belom, and it was not long before his powers manifested. It is unclear and perhaps unimportant whether or not his psionic abilities developed as a result of the conflict between his anger and his discipline. What matters is that Kristos developed at an astounding rate, and when he was not training he was studying. Often, Kristos pointed out the flaws in his instruction from a young age to those instructing him. While having no real aptitude for the street savvy that allowed his criminalized brethren to maintain their lifestyle (spying, cutting purses e.g.) he was an able strategist even from a very young age and was able to maintain their home in the sewers beneath the city from the constant threat of capture.

As the resistance built strength, they began to overestimate their skill and their information. An all-out assault, a counter-revolution, was planned to take Corentyn back for its “rightful” rulers. The resistance leaders were unaware that their information on the day’s guard changes, barracks supply routes, and the potential of public support was all planted. The attack commenced, only to be rebuffed in superfluity. The battle was swift and, for the resistance, chaotic. The exiles were nigh-immediately driven back into their underground safehouse, where the city’s soldiers commenced slaughtering the insurgents to the man. As a short sword found purchase in Belom’s side, terror overcame the young Kristos and he fled the city before he could see the battle through to the inevitable conclusion.

Tears of fear and shame blurring his vision, Kristos is guided out of the tumultuous city by his guide, sparring partner, and confidante, Karol


Beginnings Smilner