Efficient killing machine and avid trinket collector.
Liam will never be seen or captured if he does not want to be.
Birth of a Killer
Arendale is a middle sized merchant city with a very powerful merchant’s guild. The guards of the city more often serve the needs of the merchants than protect the people from being abused. The noble families of Arendale are equally corrupt and care more for profit than justice. The poor are disregarded at best and actively persecuted and taken advantage of at worst. The population is primarily human, though other races are not uncommon in the merchant districts. It was into this city that Liam Blackthorne, and later his sister Rayne, was born to a poor family barely scraping together enough coppers to survive day to day.
When Liam was 10 and Rayne was 6, a plague swept through the entire country killing thousands. The rumors said that a powerful necromancer created it to attack the kingdom, but no one in Arendale knows or cares. A third of the population died over the course of six months before the disease moved on from Arendale. Liam’s parents contracted the disease early and locked him and his sister out of the house to spare them from catching it too. The nobles locked themselves in their towers and mansions. They threw lavish masquerade balls and watched the poor die of what came to be called the Creeping Death. Anyone who contracted this disease would die in a matter of a few days. Victims were corrupted and consumed from the inside as their organs and muscles turned to a rotting black ooze that melted off of their bones. The denizens of Arendale were horrified when some of the deceased rose from their graves and shambled about the streets terrorizing the town and further spreading the Creeping Death. Liam plunged into this horror day after day to steal food for Rayne. By the end of the epidemic, Liam’s exposure to the disease had changed him. His jet black hair had turned snow white (this later became a widely known sign of survivors of the Creeping Death) and the dark magic had turned his brown eyes blue and green. By the end, he hardly recognized himself and he still sees only death in the mirror when he sees his reflection.
Eldest of Two
Liam adored his younger sister, Rayne. After the loss of their parents, taking care of her became his reason to live. She was the sun that lit his days and her smile showed him the way through many dark, anxious and hunger-ridden nights.
Liam grew up stealing everything he and Rayne needed to survive, taking care of his sister and stealing toys for her whenever he could. They took refuge in the basement of an abandoned and partially collapsed theater where he found the mask that would become his trademark disguise. His speed and knack for hiding won him the nickname “The Phantom” and stories (some more true than others) spread through the entire town and the surrounding districts.
When Liam was 15, his 11 year old sister was playing in the street in the merchant district while he was picking pockets not far away. A noble’s carriage came speeding around a corner and crushed Rayne, killing her instantly. Liam saw the carriage coming, but he was not fast enough to save her and he has never forgiven himself for letting her die. The carriage did not stop to care for Rayne and Liam mistrusts or outright hates every high-born or wealthy person he meets because of this.
Liam recognized the shield on the door of the carriage as belonging to a certain Lord Alder Brightwood and decided this man needed to pay for his crime. He stole a knife from the local butcher shop and donned his mask that very night. Already quite practiced at not being seen, he stalked the two guards at the rear gate of the mansion and slit their throats one by one. These were his first kills and they still haunt him slightly. After breaking into the compound, Liam was clubbed on the head out of nowhere and woke up back in the theater looking at a cloaked elf patiently sharpening a dagger.
This elf, Varis Galanodel, had recognized Liam’s skills and was planning on recruiting him for his small thieves’ guild, the Midnight Masquerade, before the incident with Rayne. He had rescued Liam from getting caught in the magical traps at Brightwood Manor and potentially suffering a worse fate than his sister. Varis taught Liam the ways of the rogue and Liam took particular interest in methods of assassination so that one day he could exact his revenge on Lord Brightwood. Liam carved Lord Brightwood’s name into the inside of his mask as a promise that he would return when he was strong enough. His would be the first of many.
Convinced of his need to get stronger, Liam poured himself into the work of the Midnight Masquerade. This turned out to be the first place in many years where he felt truly safe and almost at home. In all, there were only seven members beside Liam and each wore a mask while fulfilling their contracts.
A New World
After walking hand-in-hand with death his whole life, Liam is finds himself transported to a new world fraught with all too familiar problems. Racism, hatred, killing, and tyranny both of gods and men remain the currency of the times. The Raven Queen, goddess of death and fate, has taken special interest in Liam as one marked by death and he is utterly conflicted about his relationship to her. She has taken everything from him, but she also offers the power to mercilessly crush tyrants and those who would oppress the poor and weak.
As he considers all of these things, he finds himself in the company of these starry-eyed misfits. The best he can do is what he has always done, stand in the shadows and silently deliver them from those who would kill their joy and steal their souls. The despots and corrupted rulers of this new world will learn to fear the Phantom…