NATHAN HEMELGARN - BORN BURNING
Oziris muscles strained as the crowd around him cheered him on. A cart had taken a turn on the market street to fast and had tipped over onto its side. Oziris had seen this from down the road and had rushed to the driver's aid. Now he had taken it upon himself to lift the cart back up off its side. With a final heave and a grunt, he managed to tip the cart enough that its own weight would do the rest and set it back onto its wheels.
"Oh, thank you, Oziris," The elderly driver said, coming up next to him. "I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't have come by."
Oziris knew this older gentleman as he knew practically everyone in the city of Doonam. The old man's name was Gregory Thomas and was a skinner from outside the city, who made a living by selling the tanned skins he got from the desert animals. Oziris had helped him a few years back by going out and hunting for him after he had heard that the man had broken his leg and could not leave his house until it had healed.
"You would have probably had to wait till some guards came around and get them to help you," Oziris said, helping the older gentlemen back into the drivers' seat of the cart. "Honestly, I'm just glad I saw you when I did and could help."
"You are a good man," Gregory said, taking the reins for his mule into his hands. Luckily the animal was not pulled down by the cart when it tipped and had managed to stay unharmed. "It is a shame that you had to be cursed with such tainted blood at birth."
Oziris felt a tinge of pain in his chest. He knew the man was referring to his grey skin and black eyes. These were traits given to him at birth by the manifestation of the demonic energies that tainted his bloodline. Both of his parents were elves who lived as noble's in the city. As were his older brother and sister. But when he was born, he came out as a Drakith or grey-skin as what common people called him.
"Thank you, Gregory," Oziris said. ""And I don't consider this tainted blood as a curse. The way I see it. It is just another gift given to me to fulfill my destiny."
"There you go again, boy," Gregory said with a chuckle. "Talking about this destiny, you think you have."
"Hey, when I'm famous, and all the people of Eskra know my name, you'll see what I mean."
Gregory let out another chuckle. "I'll tell you what you let me repay you with some drinks back at my place for helping me with my cart. And I'll listen to one of your stories from your adventures with your siblings and your girl Jessica."
"Only if after you hear my stories, you tell me how you always manage to get so many Jackalope skins," Oziris said. "Every time I go hunting for them, they always seem to slip right through my fingers."
"Deal," Gregory said, giving Oziris a confirming nod. "Now, I best be going. These furs aren't going to sell themselves." With that, Gregory whipped his rains, and the mule began to walk, pulling the cart behind it.
Oziris gave the old man a wave goodbye before turning to see Jessica standing no more than five feet behind him arms crossed before her. Jessica was a tall woman standing about six-foot-tall and had broad shoulders. She always wore a set of dark leather armor and a freshly polished curved sword on her belt where ever she went. Even on strolls through the town like her and Oziris were on now. Oziris had to admit that he did admire her commitment to her role. She was his bodyguard, after all.
"What?" Oziris asked as if he didn't do anything wrong. Even though he knew exactly what he did. They had had many talks about him running off away from here without warning. His parents had hired her because of his habit of finding himself where ever there was some kind of trouble. Sometimes even being the one to cause such problems.
Jessica just stood there and continued to scowl at him.
"Okay, I admit I could have given you a heads up," Oziris said, finally breaking under her stare. "But I saw Gregory's cart come around that corner way too fast and kind of just reacted. I'm sorry."
"I know," Jessica said. "I should expect this type of act first, think later behavior from you by now. It just makes it a little hard to be your bodyguard, though." She paused for a moment before dropping her scowl and stepping up to wrapped her arms around him. She looked into his eyes. "But I guess that's why I like you so much." She said before giving him a quick kiss. "you keep me on my toes." Jessica was not only his bodyguard, but she also happened to be his lover.
"Cause I'm kind-hearted and go out of my way to help those who need it," Oziris said, breaking the kiss.
"No," she said. "Because you keep me on my toes. I never know when you are going to run off to play the hero." She then stepped away from him and began walking down the street. "Now come on you are going to be late for lunch with your brother and sister if we don't get a move on."
Oziris let out a long sigh. He loved his brother and sister very much. Still, anytime he spent with them that wasn't when they were going out to explore ancient dessert ruins for their research was always dull. They always wanted to talk about what they are up to in the city, and how Oziris draws too much attention to himself with the stunts he pulls.
He followed Jessica anyways. There was always a chance that his siblings would want to talk about a new ruin that was discovered and how they should explore it and see what they find, he thought to himself. Oziris really hoped that would happen today.
As he and Jessica continued walking down the street, and unfamiliar voice started shouting from behind him.
"Hey, are you that grey-skin by the name of Oziris Brethnal!" the voice said.
Oziris turned around to see a large man that was built like an ox. He wore metal armor that reflected the sun like a mirror into Oziris's eyes so he couldn't make out any of the man's features.
"Maybe," Oziris said. "Why are you asking?"
"I've been looking for you."