Kalaeny's School for Gifted Young Children
Human Shadow Oracle
Dark hair, dark eyes, dark clothes and, if you ask some, a dark soul are all typical features of the Obscurus line with Achlys no exception. Most of his clothing has been inherited from his elders and almost all his clothes are slightly too big for him. Not even the bandage on his arm is new, it’s faded appearance suggesting they go some time before being changed. His mother has stopped assuring him he’ll grow into them now that he’s noticed just when they fit they are given to his younger brother and happily repeats the comforting white lie to the younger generation. This coupled with his scrappy and unkempt look makes the family’s finances abundantly clear.
Physically, Achlys is not strong, fast or sturdy and as such loathes physical confrontation. Unfortunately, his inability to talk himself out of difficult situations has resulted in him becoming quiet and withdrawn to avoid them altogether. While meek and obliging it would be a mistake to treat the young Achylus like a doormat. After all, while oracles might be cursed they are also blessed with power and Achyls has a long memory.
The Obscurus lineage of oracles is perhaps one of the most unfortunate. Blessed with mastery over shadows but burdened with a startlingly high diversity of curses. The most dominant curse which the family is associated with is a draw to the abyss but the lame, the blind and many others have been recorded. The high cost of accommodating such a wide variety of afflictions has rendered the family near destitute. Despite this never in the family’s history has there even been someone twice-cursed. Until Achlys. Deaf from birth but also marred by the family’s connection to the abyss and marked with a profane symbol, life was never going to be easy for Achlys.
Growing up in Slag District wasn’t easy and not just because of the poverty. Being a scrawny runt that couldn’t talk didn’t make him any friends amongst the barbarian children who deemed him not interesting enough to even bully. It didn’t take long for him to withdraw and become reclusive. It pained his parents to see him so distraught but they realized there was nothing that could be done, children can be cruel. So, they worked hard to provide activities for him to do. His mother would bring him in to help her cook while his father would teach him how to read lips. Together they would tutor him in the use of his powers and how to use them responsibly. The more he learned, the more he wondered why they were so poor. These powers lent themselves well to profitable, if dishonest, work. They went to great lengths to explain how that would prove everyone who ever spoke ill of the Obscurus line right, as well as endangering their souls. After all, the draw of the abyss weighed heavy on much of the Obscurus line, Achlys perhaps most of all. If they were to use their powers in such a way who knows what might happen or what they may end up doing. Achlys wasn’t entirely convinced but he respected his parents’ wishes.
As the years passed the tutoring showed great results. Learning to lip read went a long way to helping him deal with his curse and cooking soon became an enjoyable (and thankfully cheap) hobby for him to indulge in. However, he was making the greatest strides when it came to controlling his power. He could now manipulate his own shadow into protective armour and, on his own initiative, he devised a series of hand gestures which could hide his spellcasting completely. There was no doubt, the boy had potential. Feeling that it was the only way to properly nurture his abilities his parents made an application for Kalaeny’s School for Gifted Young Children. It had high standards but they were certain of their son’s ability. Their faith was rewarded and the application was accepted although the school would have to make sure accommodations for Achyls were in place before he could attend. Achlys could scarcely believe it, that he would be attending such a prestigious institution was unthinkable. The Obscurus didn’t go to places like that, it must have been a mistake.
Once he had finally accepted it, he realized what a grand opportunity he had. He thought back to the tutoring that made this possible, of the effort his parents made not only work to put clothes on his and his siblings backs but to also teach him. His parents might have grown up in poverty and live in poverty but Achlys swore to himself that they would not die in poverty. He would learn whatever he could from this school and use it to make himself rich. Then his family would never need to work nor worry ever again. He thought back to his parents talk about the honest use of powers, of one’s name honour and very soul might be on the line.
He wouldn’t go against his parents’ wishes if he didn’t need to, but if his name, honour and perhaps very soul was something he’d need to sacrifice to get those riches then it would be a price he’d be willing to pay.