Young, Human, Male. Arrogant Inquisitor
Light brown, coarse, hair. Not only has it not been styled in some time, it appears to have not even been washed. Bits of sticks and leaves can be found if studied closely. Black Beard. Brown Eyes. Nearing six feet tall, the first thing someone might notice about M’Kadesh is how skinny he is. Barely breaking 150 pounds, he is not physically intimidating….other than his wild eyes beneath an arrogant eyebrow wave. His mouth almost seems to go from a smirk to a snarl indiscriminately. Beneath a light coat can be seen lacquered leather armor with small black studs in rows along its shape. Circled around his waist can be seen a variety of daggers, and from the looks of a small protrusion at the bottom of his sleeve, he probably has some sheathed on his forearms as well.
Born William Theodore Jacobson, M’Kadesh didn’t take on the name until adulthood. As a young boy, William often found himself sick when he was around too many people. A feeling that he held secret. His parents thought of him as highly antisocial and began to worry for his health as he would often stand at distance and just look toward people while never looking at them, much less developing conversation. His parents continued to grow more worried and eventually confronted their son about his antisocial ways. Once he explained that he felt heavy and clouded around the adults his parents pried a bit deeper. They feared that their son was an empath, which was dangerous since those sensitive to the arcane risked being forced to sacrifice their sense of self to the church.
William first learned that it wasn’t an arcane empathy when his grandfather died. The old man was a prominent figure in the young boy’s life and his passing shook William to his very core. His grandfather had lived a long life and died in peace…but for some reason, William felt a tug at his heart strings while gazing on his dead grandfather’s body. There was a sense of uncertainty of where his grandfather’s soul would end up. This worry grew in William until he called out to the sky “give me your pain, grandfather. I will take your burdens, be free and rest in Peace.”
William felt his chest swell, almost as if his heart was growing right in his chest. This feeling didn’t last long, however. A shadow-like gas began to rise from his grandfather’s body. William reeled back in fear, almost shaking. The young boy’s parents reached out to check on the boy, but William’s arm recoiled in panic as the shadowy figure launched itself toward the scared child. William fell prone as the shadow latched hold of him. He began to seize up and retch as he struggled with this strange entity. Naturally, William’s parents were terrified. The family called hastily to a physician who came right away. Upon examination, there was nothing wrong with the child other than apparent fatigue. The doctor left after advising that the boy rest.
This prognosis wasn’t enough for William’s parents. William was brought to the church for fear the young boy was possessed. In an act of fear, the boy was brought to the temple’s holy men. As he was brought into the temple, William’s parents left with a heavy heart. Allowing the church to do with the boy as they saw fit.
At first, William was heartbroken. But after a few days he realized that it wasn’t so much his heart as it was his head. He was very confused and angry. He stopped trusting people. He had been enveloped in the church and began just going through the motions, without emotion. The priests of Lustia took notice of William’s particular sensitivity to the sick and dying. He almost seemed to look encumbered in their presence. Upon learning of the boy’s talent in detecting sin and internal conflict, the adjucators intervened. Realizing that the boy could be molded into a great keeper of law through his sensitivities, William was brought to execution after execution. And countless bedside as the church could use him as a catalyst for removing sin from an evil man. This did not stop the dying men from being punished for their sins, but William was capable of taking their sin onto himself, stopping the spirit of the deceased from being tampered with as it was laid to rest.
The young child was almost being used as a vessel to hold and digest evil. He would get sick with every man that he was tasked with cleansing and spent much of his time bedridden before being brought to the next dead man walking. It was one night as William was tossing and turning in fever that he was visited by Johannes. At first, William thought it was a hallucination brought on by his sickness. This man that stood before him clad in dark clothes and enveloped by a large coat was as ominous as they came… but…somehow he didn’t seem evil. Johannes looked down at William with a shaking head.
“You’re capable of so much more”, said Johannes.
The words pierced William like a dagger. Resonating in his ears for what seemed like an eternity.
William responded, “more? More what?”.
He was greeted only by the extended hand of Johannes. “Let me show you. You don’t have to be sick. You are a great tool. You are judge, jury, and executioner.”
William wearily reached towards Johannes. “what does that mean? You can make me better?”
Johannes responded with a smirk"… I can make you the best".
William had been liberated from a life of sickness and what seemed like borderline slavery. He had been visited by a secret sect of Lustia, men who specialize in stopping those who would act outside the boundaries of the law. As he walked through the secret underground temple, he saw men moving unlike anything he had ever seen before in rooms on either side of the corridor. These men expertly weaved around and about rooms full of deadly hazards. Some men could be seen planting countless daggers into wooden dummies at every angle. Others somehow managed to sling their daggers from the most acrobatic positions William had ever witnessed. Where has he been taken?
Johannes became his mentor. He learned about Lustia and what it meant to live a life of lawfulness. He learned the importance of being a man of honesty and integrity. But he also learned that a lawful man does not have to remain a pacifist. Sometimes, the most lawful acts were the most violent. William began training and got good. Oddly good. He could move silently at incredible speeds. And although his lanky frame allowed him to move in awkward and unpredictable ways, he was surprisingly strong. Easily able to hang with the larger men in the sect when it came to physical capabilities and endurance. William felt like he had a purpose for the first time. He didn’t need to live a common man’s life. He had no reason for friends and family. He had colleagues. He could trust them when it mattered, but never had to share his secrets.
After years of training, William grew impatient. How did he know that he was actually capable of acting as a tool of law if he just stabbed wooden dummies all day? He demanded that he be brought to the surface with Johannes.
“What do you do that’s so secretive that I can’t come?” Asked William.
Johannes replied, “you feel ready? This isn’t a story. This isn’t make believe. Some people have to pay. The scales must be balanced”
“Just show me” demanded William.
As Johannes, William, and another agent of the sect travelled the streets, Johannes explained that there are a group of men plotting the overthrowing of the government one town over. The adjucators will be leaving in the morning to handle these men, but trials last forever and cost much time and many resources. These aren’t some pretty thieves. They are challenging the law itself. They must be shown that the law is not passive and complacent. William wasn’t totally sure what Johannes meant. He spoke with a conviction that was unwavering. Were they police? After a couple hours of silence, the 2 men and a boy barely 15 arrived to a run down house in a mostly abandoned part of town. Johannes looks down at William and tells him to just watch and learn. Before William was able to say that he understood, the door was opened and Johannes and his partner moved deftly through a room of 6 men, whirling daggers around their bodies.
William could not take his eyes off of Johannes. With uncanny efficiency, Johannes dodged a club like weapon swung at him while simultaneously spinning in a circle. His right hand slashing the man’s side. As the man reached to his side in pain, Johannes completed his spin using his left hand to plant a dagger in the man’s neck. Using his dagger as a sort of handle, he turned the now dying man in front of him. The near corpse took a crossbow bolt to the chest from another man in the house. Johannes had used the man as a human shield! Ripping the dagger from the man’s neck, Johannes launched a dagger through the air into the crossbow man’s chest. As the man staggered backward, the 3rd member of Johannes party ducked low under the hips of the staggering man before standing up abruptly. This sent the bleeding man into the air over the agent’s back before landing with a thud on the floor. William had totally forgotten about the other agent of justice. In a whirlwind of precision strikes, 6 men lie dead on the floor as Johannes and his partner cleaned blood from their daggers and clothing.
“Wha…what happened?” Asked William before getting overwhelmed by a sickening presence. These men were bad. William began to become scared. Remembering the feeling he would get around the executions and dying men. As he began to walk backwards out the door, Johannes grabbed him and pulled him inside.
“This is who you are now, William. This is what we do. We bring justice to the world.”
William barely heard the words over the sound of buzzing as shadows poured from the bodies of the corpses. He began to feel light headed and could barely stand.
“Stay with us, William! You’re helping these people!”
But William was unable to remain conscious as the buzzing grew louder. He collapsed on the floor before waking up at the training grounds.
Johannes was the first thing he saw upon waking.
“You said you’d make me better!”, Screamed William.
Johannes only replied with a look of calm. He told William that he’s going to have to work on his constitution around the dead if he ever hopes to be better.
“What do you mean?” Asked William, confused.
“Rest tonight”, said Johannes, "you’ll be coming with me for a while.
William spent the next few years accompanying Johannes all across the lands. Sometimes they would stay put for a few days before Johannes would find out where they were headed next. Countless men were brought to justice at the hands of the duo. And the more men he eliminated, the more shadows William took into his body. It wasn’t until the second or third year that Johannes admitted that he could not see the shadows. Nor was he capable of cleansing them. This caught William by surprise. “What?!? Why me? What is this?!”, Asked William.
Johannes explained to William, “you are a sin eater. You have the special gift of absolving men of their wrong doings, even…no… especially after death”.
“What does that mean”, asked William.
“It means”, said Johannes, “that you are of great use to Iustia. You have the power to punish the evil acts of men in life, while making them innocent in death. You are saving them. Without us, they would surely continue their evil acts. But you…you have the power to ensure that you not only stop the evil acts that they would commit in life, but also in death. You’ll come to see that you are M’Kadesh. One who makes holy. You are the bringer of justice in this existence and the next. Here, take this” said Johannes as he handed a jewel encrusted neck pendant to William.
“What is it?” Asked William.
“I’m not totally sure” replied Johannes, “but the last sin eater of the sect carried this with him for years. It was very dear to him. It seemed fitting to hand it to you.”
William accepted the gift with a knowing nod before Johannes added "it belonged to an innocent man visited my justice. The real offender was never punished. Justice failed this man. And it was then that our sect was formed. Ensuring that evil men are punished for their deeds. The adjucators would seek fame for their trials. And as long as the people seemed satisfied at an execution, they tend to not care who is brought to “justice” as long as the crowd thinks it’s the right guy."
William was not sure that he understood at first. But he began to understand that what Johannes meant the more men they “visited”. He was bringing justice to the world. He was chosen to judge men based on their actions, not their words. Men would say anything to avoid justice. And too often would get away with it. But not with him, he would bring justice to them on the spot. Swiftly and with surgical precision. At the age of 19, William was allowed to leave the mentorship of Johannes and he took on the mantle of M’Kadesh. It became his identity. He was the one who had the power to absolve sin. He had the power to judge. And his way was better. Faster. Efficient.
M’Kadesh became increasingly skilled at not only tracking the bad men, but also the adjucators. He knew that the adjucators jobs were similar to his…but they were weak about it. Choosing to argue and reason with the evil men. M’Kadesh would track the adjucators, because wherever they were, there were men to be judged. He gained quite the reputation for staying one step ahead of “civilized law”. An act that he took great pride in.
Years passed and M’Kadesh tracked countless men and women. Some outwardly evil…some (and the most nefarious) seemed like they could be a friend. But M’Kadesh knew that many good deeds done in public often meant there was something behind closed doors that was heinous and numbing. Eventually, he caught wind of an adjucator defector. Could this man be the key to bringing corrupt “justice” to an end? Is this someone that could be learned from? How many adjucators did he take with him? What were his reasons? M’Kadesh set out to find this man, vowing that he would make a comrade of him until he no longer served his purpose. Comrade, yes. But confidant….not so much. M’Kadesh understood that he must select his words and actions wisely when it came to men of the law and the cloth. When those men were both of those things in one, he must be on his toes at all times.