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Pacing the floors, Otto's hands balled into fists. Sweat…Continue
Otto was to busy scarfing down what little rations they had threw at him, to notice people standing by his cell with a chain, adorned by a collar at the end of it. You'd think after living this way,…Continue
The Celestial stretched his tired limbs, yawning as the morning sun made it's way through the blinds hanging on his window, causing his room to glow a bright amber color. Groaning, Otto sat up in the…Continue
Nicknames | First ever given, by Rachel Morrison *Ots*
Age of Appearance: 27 | Date of Birth: December 1, 69 BC | Actual Age: 225
Located: Evermore, Colorado | Stats: Immortal | Born: Germania (Modern Day Russia)
Family: None | Species: Celestial
Distinguishing Marks: Mark of the Centaurus Constellation on the column of his neck
Faceclaim: Jesse Williams
In the northern tundras of Germania, the weather was nearly unchanging save for a few short months in the middle of the year when it warmed enough to shed the heavy furs and not have to worry about frostbite. The summers were brief, offering up a mild growing season that other areas would have considered a brisk Autumn, but was always taken full advantage of by those who were smart. The rest of the year the sky was nearly always a slate grey and a layer of white that range from a fine dusting to a thick blanket covered everything. Even so the blizzards always seemed the heaviest during the first night of December, as if the snow itself wanted to remind the Earth who was really in charge.
The winter that year had already turned into a brutal and unforgiving season, the temperatures lower than any in recent memory and the raids from the southern countries were growing in frequency. When night fell on the eve of the final month it was dark, nearly black with the new moon and that was before the blizzard set in. Snow fell in thick flurries that obscured everything to within 5 feet deepening the already inky shadows, reducing visibility to nothing. So when a bright light fell from the heavens no one saw it, the star plummeting to Earth with no one to pay witness or even realize what had happened.
Cold, a pervading cold that sank into the soul until the body was no longer recognized as one's own. Thoughts were sluggish and memories were nonexistent, his very bones aching from the frigid temperature. He’d awoken in the middle of a crater, half buried in a snow drift and shivering despite the sun that hung high in the sky with no memory or knowledge as to how he had ended up there. Struggling up from the ground he had walked and walked and walked some more, trudging through the white cold that crunch beneath his feet with each step he took. In truth he didn’t know how long it was that he walked, the sun setting and rising once more before he collapsed from exhaustion.
There was no telling how long he lay there, wondering how he had gotten to this wretched place or even who he was. His dark eyes were staring up at the desolate ceiling of the heavens when the face appeared, old and somewhat wrinkled weathered from many winters but with kindness set deep in eyes the color of spring moss. The stranger spoke to him but his ears weren’t working, the sound filtering through muffled cotton stuffed around his ear drums. With strong but gentle hands he was lifted, wrapped in furs. and set upon a horse's back; his mount was one in a long caravan led by the stranger and as they set off to he knew not where the gentle swaying of the beast lulled him to sleep.
When he next came to he was curled up in a soft bed bundled up in a nest of fleece and furs while a large fire crackled in a hearth nearby. The cabin he was in was small in size, homey by all accounts but relatively impersonal with not a single item hung on the wall or mark of ownership at all. Through the door came the stranger, a big bear of a man who had seen better days but from the breadth of his shoulders and the way he carried himself he was unbendable. The moment they made eye contact though the bearman broke out into a wide smile that instantly set the young man at ease, instinctively knowing that this was a friend. Bearman introduced himself as Bjorn, he’d been out searching for wild horses to add to his herd when he’d come across the young man in the crater and dragged him out of the snow.
Bjorn asked many questions to which none of them he had answers to, not for lack of trying he just had no memories. The young man became increasingly agitated and frustrated the more questions were posed to him and the less answers he was able to produce. The widower remained stoic during the interview watching closely while wondering just what on Earth he had stumbled upon in that crater. He’d been expecting some fancy rock or sparkling gem and instead had found nothing, nothing but snow and fresh tracks leading out into the woods. His first thought had been that he’d been too late, the second man to any discovery always left empty handed, but then the experience woodsman in him had noticed that the tracks had only lead away from the crater. Curiosity burning in his barrel of a chest he’d led his herd through the woodlands and by mid afternoon had found the source of the tracks though the mystery only grew, for laying there in the snow nearly frozen to death was a young man who seemed to be glowing.
Now Bjorn hadn’t ever been a religious man but after losing his dear beloved wife to the cold many many years ago and then his son to raiders a few years back, having this strapping young lad nearly dropping in his lap seemed like a gift. Fate seemed to be giving something back to him, balancing the scales after having taken so much from him. So he put forth a suggestion, if the lad would join him he would teach the lad all that he knew about surviving and living in the harsh climes of Germania and the two of them could live and work together. The suggestion and offer was met with great enthusiasm, the bargain struck over a hot meal and a good night's sleep.
The arrangement turned out better than either of the men could have imagined. Bjorn was a kind and patient instructor answering all questions posed in as thorough a fashion as possible while the young man had a thirst for knowledge and an aptitude for horses. The beasts were drawn to him, even the most unruly taming beneath his hands and in no time at all he had mastered riding, saddling, roping, and breaking. Bjorn also taught him survival skills: where to find fresh flowing water, how to locate the wild vegetables that grew beneath the snow, how to stay warm when a fire was out of the question, how to navigate in the middle of a blizzard, and all manner of other useful things. There was one thing he did learn that wasn’t from his mentor, his mind calling it up at random one day spitting it out while they were riding in a revelation that was both jarring and delightful: his name. Otto. Otto Markov.
Even with that singular piece Otto felt as if he had been made whole, his identity complete with the discovery of his name. His life was simple compared to others but it was his and he loved it. Out of necessity they were nomads, traveling across the Germanic landscape in time with the weather and seasons collecting, raising, trading, and selling horses as they went. It was hard, sometimes back breaking work that had then up before the sun each morning and unable to turn in till well after sundown. They avoided the towns and villages forcing those who wanted to trade or sell to come to them and were wary of strangers. Bjorn became like a father to him and likewise the man looked upon his like a son, the two as insync as two people could be. It was a solitary and rugged existence but it brought great peace to Otto’s soul.
For 15 years they existed in this manner, defying the elements and living off the land with only their hands as the most steady and constant tools at their disposal. Fate sometimes is a cruel mistress who finds great joy in visiting the same tragedies upon good people and such was the case with Bjorn and his adoptive son Otto. A sudden snow storm forced the pair to alter their course, putting them closer to a village than they normally would have allowed however there was nothing for it. With several fowls in the herd who weren’t big enough to survive in the thick of the cold just yet they hunkered down and hoped for it to pass quickly so that they could move on. It wasn’t that they didn’t like villagers, it was the threat of raiders that preyed upon said villages that made them uneasy. Just being in close proximity to one was a risk when a raiding party swept through so erring on the side of caution and steering clear had always been preferred.
Sometime during the night Otto came awake, not the groggy half asleep state he usual came to in, but fully aware as if all his instincts were alive and firing. It was the horses that tipped him off to the danger, many of them tossing their heads and stomping their hooves in agitation. Carefully, he let his senses range out as he slowly tried to rouse Bjorn from his slumber without raising suspicion but no sooner had he gotten to his feet then he was seized by heavy hands and forced back to his knees. His shout of alarm finally did alert his father who scrambled up only to be struck back to the ground by several men who materialized from out of the night. The snowfall had muffled their approach and as more of their raiding party came into view it had also covered the screams from the village as they pillaged the children and the able bodied.
Bjorn pushed up from the ground, lumbering back up his eyes went immediately to Otto both sadness and fear radiating in their depths. Desperately he tried to appeal to the men surrounding them but it was clear they weren’t listening as they spoke in a foreign tongue, a man coming forward to clap a set of chains around Otto’s wrists. As soon as the clang of metal rang out Bjorn became a man possessed, exploding off of the ground in a flurry of rage striking out with more brute force than finesse in an attempt to get to his son. The young man yelled, trying to calm his father to keep him from doing anything that might cause him harm but the chaos was too great. Horror gripped his throat as he tracked a flash of silver, a grunt of pain, a splash of red upon the pristine snow, and then silence reigned.
Bjorn was once again on his knees, his eyes staring deep into those of his adoptive son’s relaying deep regret and a profound sense of sadness. Otto in turn couldn’t stop staring at the sword that had been buried into the center of his father’s chest, his life’s blood leaking out in great rivers to stain the front of his furs and drip down onto the snow. Just as the big man tipped forward Otto was hauled to his feet, instinct had him struggling some power hidden deep within him surging forth reaching toward the most important person in his life but a sharp blow to the back of his head and the world went black.
Days later Otto came to, trussed up and gagged in the back of a cart jammed in tight with many other people in a similar state of captivity. They had joined up with a caravan that reached for miles, the chains of the captive slaves creating a discordant and melancholy music that sank into the mind until all he could feel was a numbed out depression. He couldn’t have said for how long they traveled or how far, when they finally arrived at their destination more than half of those taken captive had died upon the road and those left were half starved. Even in his delirious state Otto was awed by the city they were taken to, the streets teeming with more people than he had ever seen in his entire life, the shops and houses packed so tightly together there hardly seemed enough room for air.
They were unloaded in the middle of a slave market, divided up based on some system that only the masters knew, and then sent to be washed and fed. Though it was bland and little more than a scrap it was more food than he had gotten in weeks, his stomach practically purring with the contents it possessed while his body allowed him to drift off into the first full on sleep he’d had since being taken prisoner. The next morning he was pulled into a long line of slaves and placed on display as men and women in multicolored silks smelling of exotic spices and perfumes strolled along the line making selections and paying the masters as if they were buying goods from a vendor.
Around midday a very portly man with jowls own to his elbows was brought in on a litter carried on the backs of 4 tall slaves, each with skin nearly as dark as night itself. He had to be hefted off of the silken pillows and he shuffled as he walked along the line, closely inspecting the males one by one. He tapped many with his feathered fan, the golden bangles on his wrists jangling in time with each movement. By the time he got to the end he was sweating profusely, the white material of his robing soaked through as he waddled back to the litter and all but collapsed back into it. The master came over, massive amounts of gold coins were exchanged, and the deal was struck. With the snap of a finger the man’s household guard came over and each slave who had been purchased was ushered in behind the litter, Otto among them.
They had been purchased by the great Lord Markus Tyranus and were bound for the fighting pits to further the Lord’s wealth and political standing. Another night of washing and a bland meal only this time there was no sleep to be had, for when morning came they were going to be taken to the pits to die. For a young man that had never held a weapon he had been sure he was going to be among the first to fall in combat, his fate sealed almost before he took his first terrified steps out upon the sand. Those watching would sing the praises of the dark haired Germanic lad, that even in his clumsy handling of the steel there was a calm and purposeful magic to his technique. 50 slaves had entered the pits and only 5 were left living, Otto among them bloodstained and shaking like a leaf.
That night he was once again traded, sold to another for a hefty price because of his potential as a Gladiator. He was now in the service of Senator Gaius Albanus of Pergamum and would be trained in all the ways of killing to bring glory not only to himself but to the house of Albanus. More traveling ensued and Otto soon found himself in the countryside outside of Pergamum, amidst a dozen other hardened fighters who trained day after day for the grand Coliseum. It was a different life than the one he was used to, more stringent and far more violent.
' For the next year his world became narrowed to the edge of a blade and what he could do with it. His body filled out, hard muscle roping over bones encased in skin that tanned to a warm golden brown from spending hours beneath the sun. Otto had a raw natural talent for fighting, one that surprised even himself as he learned to hone and perfect techniques and maneuvers with multiple weapons. Though he hated it, the whole violence and killing came too easily and the attention was disgusting to his. Hee became the Senator’s prized dog though, and when it came time to test his skills the young Gladiator did not disappoint.
To get his feet wet, Gaius threw him into the local pits for his first fight to see if his skills would hold up in the heat of battle. Otto squared off against 4 brutes with gigantic axes in an arena that was no bigger than a shepard’s barn, two short swords in each hand. He was hesitant at first, having to be practically shoved inside narrowly missing getting an axe to the face in the effort to right himself. It was during that first battle that the memory of Bjorn, the adoptive father who gave him life and purpose and taught him gentleness rose up to choke him. Out of self disgust he stumbled around trying to avoid the 4 men set against killing him, for Bjorn surely would have despised what he had become and what he was being forced to do. He’d been taught to value life, to find ways of preserving it even when his heart screamed out for violence.
The thing about good intentions, they never seem to hold up when death is staring a person right in the face and Otto was standing on the precipice with four strangers vying for the right to push him off. Unfortunately for them the young man was far more skilled than the four of them combined and once they pushed him to the breaking point it was too late to turn back. It was like a switch had been engaged within him, everything good and decent was suddenly turned off leaving only an instinct for survival and the skills he had been taught to utilize in order to ensure he was the last man standing. A hush fell over the crowd, many would profess that they had never seen a man move as quickly or as brutally for in a few short blinks of the eye and it was over.
They remained in Pergamum another year and then moved to Rome, where Otto’s reputation as a Gladiator grew exponentially along with his master’s fortune. For 10 years he fought and killed and triumphed, existing in a numbed out haze of bloodlust. He was afforded comfort in his position and as long as he ended lives to the grand cheers of the mob and paid homage to both his master and the Republic he wanted for nothing though a slave he was. Otto had long since resigned himself to the life, his hope of ever getting free or being afforded freedom having evaporated like water under the scorching heat of summer. The only release he had to look forward to was death; he would grow older and with it his limbs would grow slower and when a young man would emerge whose skills were greater than his own he would be cut down in a blaze of glory and a roar of applause.
Granted, under the rules of the Republic a Gladiator who survived for 20 years earned his freedom and would be released a free man but only a very small handful had ever earned it. The Republic at the time was the ruling body of Rome, she saw to the needs of the people and under the wisdom of the Senator’s she was the jewel of the world. Julius Caesar, a notable general, had a vision of turning the entire world Roman and in using his power and influence became dictator over the Republic. Many did not see his same vision however and on a dark day in March he was betrayed by many of his friends, stabbed to death while one of his supporters fled the scene.
Marc Antony was ashamed of his cowardice and sought to drown his sorrows in a drunken stupor. He was approached by a hooded man who spun a tale of a slave Gladiator, a man who could wield light itself to deflect blows and had been able to almost glow upon the sands of the Coliseum. The hooded man went on to tell of an old myth about people who were actually fallen stars and how killing one would grant their killer the ability to go back in time. Antony was transfixed and by sunrise determined. It took him all day to set it up, paying Gaius nearly his entire fortune for his Gladiator and ensuring that the young man would be isolated when the time came. Otto in turn was dragged from his usual cell with a feather bed and chained to a wall with little room to move. His every attempt at finding out why he was being treated in such a way was met with stony silence.
Antony stole into the depths of the Coliseum, the way cleared for him, and entered the cell where Otto was being held. The young man couldn’t see his face through the dark depths of his hood and struggle as he might against his bonds he was helpless to stop the knife as it was plunged into his heart. Even with the length of steel lodged inside, Otto struggled to understand the reasoning and fought to live. Alas it was for naught, and with a final jerk of his body the Celestial gave a great sigh and died.
Antony stole into the depths of the Coliseum, the way cleared for him, and entered stopping short on the threshold to discover the cell was empty.
Otto was still confused but utterly relieved as he followed the young woman who had come to free him, having appeared from seemingly out of thin air. She introduced herself as Ophelia as she’d broken his free of his chains and together they had fled the Coliseum and Rome. Once out in the countryside she hadn’t taken the time to explain, the baying of the hounds and the sounds of pursuit too close to either of their liking. She’d seized his hand and in a moment of disorientation they ended up in another place entirely. Her name was Ophelia and she was the Wayfinder of her species and the Celestials. She had made a deal with the Ailwards to go back in time to fix any and all mistakes that had been made to the time line by the murder of her people in exchange for protection which was why she had saved him.
Otto too, was a Celestial. He’d been killed by Marc Antony who had gone back and prevented the death of Julius Caesar and in doing so had shifted history. Rome had never fallen, she’d taken over the known world and shaped the face of the future into a very ugly and bloody place to be. So, Ophelia had gone back and saved him, bringing him to the Isle where he could live peacefully without fear of being hunted. Otto was one of the first she saved, and after spending so much time together they became very close friends. He admired the Wayfinder for all she was doing for their people so when the Ailwards turned on them and imprisoned them, his anger burned hot.
Having been a slave once he didn’t relish being in captivity again and grew to hate the Ailwards with a deep and burning passion. Everything from the Isle to the Guard to the Aspects themselves he would have happily destroyed for imprisoning his people and worst of all his very dear friend was presumed dead. He wasn’t the easiest of prisoners to deal with, and took great pride in being a thorn in his prison guards sides. He vowed that if he ever became free he would do everything in his power to see the Ailwards and all that they stood for laid low.
The day of reckoning finally does come though, and in a grand display of light and celestial power. Ophelia, it turns out, was alive and returned to her people freeing them from their imprisonment and in doing so destroyed the Isle home of the Aspects and their Guards. Now the Celestials are once more free and have decided to settle in Evermore, Colorado. Otto will follow Ophelia anywhere out of loyalty and respect and will protect her no matter what may come. He also plans to make good on his vow, for the Ailwards have much to answer for.
Ophelia is Otto's closest friend within the Celestial faction. She is also his leader/ambassador, and a damn good one. There's nothing he wouldn't do for her, and time and time again, she has proved that there's nothing she wouldn't do for him either. She happens to be the very reason Otto is alive, and after her rescuing him, and him thinking she was dead soon after, Otto vowed to protect her as much as he could, but to also be a shoulder, a friend, and someone she could trust with anything. The two have indulged in spending their late sleepless nights together wrapped up in conversation, and trying to make the most of it. Dancing around like no one was even watching them had opened up a new side of Ophelia, one that Otto very much likes. Seeing her face light up and her smile made him understand that she's normal and deserves those happy moments more than anyone, and he's going to do all he can to give that to her.
Winther is a fellow Celestial who quickly grabbed Otto's interst on a rainy day as he trimmed the bush's out in the garden, and as Otto approached him, he quickly became the replica of indiana Jones until he realized who Otto was. Just like all Celestials, Winther had been through hell and back in his past, and he's quickly became someone Otto can relate to. Now as the two warm up to each other, they've decided to go out for dinner and drinks, and Otto hopes that they can become the best of friends. Time tells all.
Not all friendships are ordinary. Taylor and Otto's is very far from even normal. But, they are friends to say the least. Or so Otto thinks. Oblivious that Taylor is waiting to strike, Otto keeps a close eye on her the more time they spend together. As he starts to become skeptical, Otto begins to plan revenge before shit even hits the fan.
more coming soon
Serena and Otto