A former member of the Alterist's Rite, a fugitive draft-dodger and constable-killer, and a folk hero to many
Ragnas is a typical mid-level human warrior-class character. His exposure to the Braintrust has granted him a higher than normal intelligence and advanced knowledge of infiltration and assassination techniques.
Born into the life of an Oulrich, Ragnas was raised to live two separate existences. In one existence, Ragnas was a bootblack’s son, a (by all accounts terrible) stable-boy, and a great lover of pastries. By every definition, this first, primary existence was that of a normal human child. His second, elusive, hidden existence, however, was that of an Oulrich Alterist, a member of the Alterist’s Rite.
Ragnas’ father, Eregas, was also an Oulrich. Eregas would take his son with him into the heart of the city, where he would set up his bootblack stand in different neighborhoods and districts almost every day. Ragnas got no formal education in this way. Instead, he learned his earliest lessons on the streets. He was always bright, and a fast learner, but a bit lazy and, in his father’s eyes, a bit too immature, even for a child.
The first time Ragnas saw his father make an “acquisition,” was when he was six years old. Eregas seemed far more interested in a particular client than he normally was, chatting up the well-dressed man as he polished his boots, asking him all manner of questions that Ragnas never heard his father ask before. Then, later that day, Eregas packed up the stand and told Ragnas to cart it home, pulling a phial of pearly-gray fluid from a hidden compartment in the base of the stand and swallowing the fluid within. Ragnas hesitated, despite Eregas’s warning that any delay in obeying him would necessitate a severe tanning of Ragnas’s hide.
Eregas’s eyes suddenly glazed over, his irises and pupils covered by a pearly gray-white glow reminiscent of the fluid he just drank. He blinked a few moments later, smiled widely, and ran off in the same direction his interesting client left a few hours earlier.
Ragnas’s curiosity got the better of him. He followed his father, hiding from his view, and watched as he stalked and murdered the man whose boots he so carefully blacked earlier that day! Ragnas was so shocked; he could not move or look away as his father, with no emotion, hacked the man’s head off his body. He opened a strange sack and that looked like fog or steam was flowing out from within it. He placed the head in the bag, which bulged outward to form the relative shape of the head, then just as suddenly seemed to deflate. Suddenly, Eregas glanced up to see Ragnas hiding behind the corner of a nearby building, soiling himself in fear of what he just witnessed his “da” doing.
Ragnas’s father decided not long afterward to bring his son in on the Alterist’s Rite. Soon, the father-son duo were working in tandem, scouting for potential test subjects whose physical or mental traits made them interesting enough to merit further experimentation. It turns out that the other “Sack of Sending”:http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/the-fantastinomicon/items/sack-of-sending that Eregas sent the head to belonged to Ragnas’s mother, who travelled to the Sepulcher to deliver the test subject to the Alterists there. In return, she was given several phials of mindlink serum.
After Ragnas stalked and “acquired” his first test subject, his mother rewarded him with his first phial of the serum. His mind joined with the Braintrust for the first time, and he was able to tap into an unimaginable intellect, even if just for a short amount of time. It was at this moment, however, when everything changed for Ragnas. His passion for the family trade died, and he became distant from his parents.
Ragnas Halbrooke. Fugitive:
One of the nation’s ruling elite, an Alterist himself, called for a general draft of the citizenry for the purpose of building an army to fight in a great crusade. The crusade, Ragnas knew, was a ruse to gain access to the princess of a rival nation, as the Braintrust desired her for some reason, and none of the Alterists had any luck in infiltrating that nation’s royal family or military thus far. Ragnas was mortified to realize what it was that he had been raised to do, so when the soldiers came to collect him for the draft, Ragnas ran.
When word spread of his flight, the local constabulary (some of which were Alterists) spread rumors about his cowardice. However, after he continued to refuse to join the army, his parents were killed in retribution. Ragnas assassinated the chief constable of his city in retaliation for his parent’s murder, and then the rumors became legends. Many more would hide from the draft in his wake, and the name Ragnas became, for some, representative of freedom against tyranny.
A massive effort was undertaken to find and capture Ragnas Halbrooke, a fugitive both from his own nation’s army and from the Alterist’s Rite. He thus became the most wanted man in his nation.