| "Bide your time if you wish to be successful. Strike too soon, and be destroyed."
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—David Holmes, something
David Holmes was a Vesryne adventurer and soulforged human active during the years of the late Common Era. He lived through the worst of the Heartstone Crisis, and events would lead to his emergence as a pivotal figure in bringing an end to both the Long Night and the threat posed by the vengeful Archangel Netheriel.
David was born in a small Vesryne farming village, where he grew up in a relatively peaceful environment. He helped his parents and older brother maintain a small plot of land, living as a peasant to one of the local lords. During the years of the Ostian War of Independence, however, he would find that delicate peace shattered by brigands, mercenaries and deserters running amok through the countryside.
On one particularly cold winter's night, a group of deserters came to David's village and demanded the entirety of their food reserves. Without them, the village would likely starve before the spring planting season, and the inhabitants of the settlement were left with no choice but to defiantly refuse. A bloody conflict erupted as a result, but the villagers had little chance against experienced soldiers, as famished as they were. The village was mercilessly slaughtered and razed by the war band, with mass executions taking place well until morning. David only narrowly survived by hiding among the dead, laying motionless for hours until the carnage was over. It would be a haunting memory that he would carry with him forever.
On the next day, a local lord came to investigate the smoke rising from the village. Bringing reinforcements, he managed to drive away the soldiers who had laid waste to the entire settlement, but was too late to save many that perished during the night. David was saved, but his entire village, family, and life had been brought to ruin over a few bushels of grain and stores of dried meat. The Lord offered to bring David to the next town, but during the trip the young man ran away from his escort.
But instead of returning to a town and attempting to start anew, he learned to live off of the land and began travelling freely with no clear destination.
Appearance of Scath
During his many journeys, David began to notice shifting shadows just out of sight, and a grey face that seemed to appear and vanish randomly throughout the day. Soon, a voice would call out and ring out in his head, distant at first, but then growing in strength until it was as clear as his own. It spoke of the other side and the world beyond, calling itself Scath. Although it spoke only in horrified whispers and wails, David could comprehend the phantom's meaning entirely.
The voices became second nature, and as their bond grew, so did David's powers as a soulforged human. They were subtle at first, but tiny manipulations of emotion quickly turned into forceful projections of fear and despair against all that would seek to do him harm. Realising that he now had powers beyond the capabilities of an average human, and filled with the desire to know more of the phantom that now followed him, David and Scath began to wander the world seeking knowledge.