Skepp was never considered to be brutish or, bluntly, large enough to become a swordsman (though still quite large by common standards), and instead was trained as bowman due to his structure. He had long, near-black brown hair, a full beard, as well as bright blue eyes. The standard garb of his people always consisted of a hide tunic, boots, and chausses, a layer of chainmail over the tunic, a fur cloak around his shoulders, and a sturdy helmet of iron.
Skepp had always taken great pride in his heritage, with his passion for weapons, warfare, and the sea not falling too far behind. Despite his culture being one of violence, Skepp himself was known to be a kindhearted man who cared greatly for others, so far as not trying to bring any form of shame or humiliation to his opponents in battle, unlike "tradition" of showing dominance within his culture. However, one particular event in his history shattered his trust of people, and Skepp always made sure he would not be betrayed again.
Birth and Childhood-
Skepp was born into a community of coastal warriors (known as Nords in modern tongue), inhabiting the icy fringes of the world, if not the sea itself. Even with constant blizzards and hail storms, life found a way to thrive in the form of massive pine forests, teeming with forest life. This, combined with mineral-rich mountains, established several cultures in the area. The Nords were not only fierce warriors, but master sailors, fishermen, and hunters also, giving a strong foothold for their dominance.
As was required of boys (and often girls as well, depending on familial circumstances), he was to be trained into a strong, unstoppable warrior. However, he had failed to meet physical requirements to become a swordsman, and as a "runt" he fell into the ranks of archers, which was his preferred style anyways. Skepp faced much ridicule from the other warriors, as even the girls could become swordsmen; this was countered by impressive skills with a bow.
Skepp became a village hunter, when not required in battle, and by adulthood had earned himself a reputation of great trust and dependability. Surely, he was one of the most loved individuals of his people.
Adulthood and War-
War came, as a rival civilization challenged the claims to the land he lived in. Their name has been lost to history, as well as not being a quite prominent civilization, and were simply referred to as "Barbarians".
At this time, Skepp had become the highest ranking bowman of his people. There came a day that would change his life, and that of his people forever. The Barbarians had ambushed his patrol in the forests, and in the chaos of battle Skepp and a companion became seperated from the conflict. As they became lost in the forest, Skepp spotted a group of Barbarians, consisting of children clad in armor too large for their bodies, and crude weapons in hand. Despite the pride and bloodthirst of his companion, Skepp and the other Nord did not attack. As the patrol regrouped and headed home, they received word that the closest outpost had been ransacked and set aflame by children in armor.
Betrayal and New Lands-
Skepp realized that the very battalion he refused to destroy had cost his people a major point of defense against the Barbarians. As his companion did the same, and wanting to gain reputation, told his people that it was Skepp's fault that the outpost had been lost.A trial was held, though it merely consisted of Skepp's "crimes" being listed off to the assembly, and punishment was brought forth: He was to be branded with the Mark of Shame and cast out, as execution was not justified for a man of such great repuation and honor. Skepp was put on a boat with all he would need to live once he had found another distant land, and forced out into the harsh, cold sea. It would occur that Ulfric Mongsten and his brother Klaflik would secretly follow Skepp, believing that his punishment was unjust, and not wanting to abandon his friend.
Skepp drifted on the ocean for quite some time. One fateful day, Skepp sailed through a tempest, and the ship was obliterated, Skepp being knocked unconscious by pieces of his ship. He awoke adrift inside of a port (Portside), in an unfamiliar land. He wandered, and discovered the land he was in was nothing like where he had come from. The people spoke in a different accent, and creatures of myth (in particular the Elves) walked about as average beings.
Beginnings in Ciiya-
Skepp would travel with others (Erica Silverfish and Blaze Crimsonrock) to the city of Ragnar's Hold, ruled by Lord Sigmund Blackstone, where he would reunite with Ulfric Mongsten, as well as meet several others, including (but not limited to) the Elf Lady Akir, and The Judgementor. He gave himself the job of becoming a guard for the city, and was granted the title of Lord of the Guard by Lord Blackstone, and as such lead the Ragnar's Hold Guard.
The Royal Army and Death-
As the Guard grew, word of bandits posing under the name of a Royal Army spread, Skepp himself being mugged at one point by a man named Danher on a travel between the Hold and Portside. The Royal Army had been watching the roads between Portside to Ragnar's Hold, and the Hold to the castle of Jotunsdeep, robbing any and all travellers they saw. To put an end to this, Skepp organized the Guard to assault the walled town of Rampenzaft, which was successfully taken. The town was destroyed, though the inhabitants were told simply to take their belongings and leave. Danher, however, confronted Skepp within the walls of Ragnar's Hold, and challenged him to a duel. Being a man of honor and dignity, Skepp accepted.
While they both fought bravely, Skepp's weariness from the battle before (of which Danher was not present) had the best of him, and after much dueling, Skepp's wounds brought him to his knees, and fell to the sword.
His spirit ascended to the Golden Hall of Valhalla, as warriors were meant to go when they fell in battle (according to his practice). He began to observe the world he had once called home, watching how things would progress. Ulfric would later join him, as he fell weeks later.
Days as the Apparation-The Allfather Odin had given Skepp the task of ensuring the newly formed Blackstone Dominion, under control of former lieutenant Riji Zhakiv, did not fall. However, Skepp was not given his human form back, for reasons unknown. He first appeared upon his tomb near the Guard base, which shocked those who stood there. Things were not going well, as there were bandits running unchecked still, with some of the Dominion Army soldiers being bandits themselves. Skepp confronted now-General Zhakiv, and instructed him of the problems he had to rid the Dominion of, and what else needed to be done in order to prevent the collapse of the Dominion. The removal of bandits from the land was a success, the Dominion had constructed farmland for constant supply, and had made the borders safe for travellers and citizens alike.
The Quest for a Physical Form, and The Dark Machine-
Ulfric appeared temporarily, with a new human body. This enraged Skepp, and questioned his Gods as to why he had not been given a body, while being a more significant figure to the former Guard. The response given was a test; Skepp had to seek out a man who could potentially give him a body.The man was Varyon Silverlight, a man he had met before, but now had become insane, and spoke in strange riddles and made references to things unknown. It took several trips to the derelict village Varyon called home, with Riji Zhakiv and Zafirah Evernight in seperate instances, for him to come partially to his sense and realize Skepp existed, not just a figment of his imagination. Varyon began construction on a machine that would take Skepp's very spirit and put it into a physical form, which was referred to cryptically as "The Dark Machine".
The Dark Machine had a prototype completed, but just as mysterious as how it operated, Varyon disappeared. Thankfully for Skepp, and one Cyndi Kate that he had met outside of Jotunsdeep, the self-proclaimed "Techno-mage" had left several notes about the Machine, how to use it, and even as to how it worked, but not of an end result. The Dark Machine was a combination of sophisticated technology, as well as an instrument of Dark Magic, which Varyon had studied deeply, and possibly what drove him insane by the capabilities it possessed.
Skepp told Cyndi of the procedure, and stepped inside. She activated the machine, closing any means of exit, and began the process. The cavern became an echoing chamber of shrieking metal and bone-chilling screams of agony. The machine then fell to a low hum, and reopened completely empty.
Emergence of a Physical Form-The Dark Machine labored for many days constructing a new body, based off of the raw materials provided, and the essence of Skepp himself.
What emerged was a Golem made of strong material, coursing with strange purple markings. The torso encased a sealed furnace, fueled by a combination of two-parts Coal and one-part Redstone. Too much Coal, and the Redstone would burn out almost immediately. Too much Redstone, and the body would try to eject the excess through any means possible (extremely violent coughing fits). As this fuel source depleted, the lines on the body would gradually fade, and mobility would decrease, eventually ending in the locking up of the body. The entire Golem was extremely heavy, though it moved at normal humanoid rates unless low on fuel. Finishing off the Golem was the likeness of Skepp Forlorade.
The Dark Machine had broken down, and it seemed as if the very area around Varyon Silverlight's old establishment had gone silent. Exiting the caves, Skepp wandered to the south, in hopes of finding an isolated area to call his home, as he planned on what to do with his re-entry into the living world.
Isolated Living and Defiance-After wandering through several deserts and forests, Skepp found himself at the entrance to an abandoned mine, once used by a civilization of long ago. Making needed repairs and placing additional supports, Skepp had created a suitable home where he could sustain himself for the remaining time he would live. Piece by piece, he created himself farmland, vaults, forges, as well as digging out rooms for personal living space.
He had heard of evils in the Dominion, of Lord Roak Blackstone becoming apathetic about his very lands and people, of the Cult of Herobrine running rampant and unchecked, and of the Stoneswords either disappearing entirely, or using the title to cover up their bandit behaviors. Skepp traveled northward, to a citadel not too far from Portside, where he found Hendrik Grimm, head of Defiance. Greatly pleased by Hendrik's visions to bring peace and order to the Dominion lands, Skepp agreeed to join the Defiance (as well as providing the materials for his "Snowgolem" creations, after finding schematics among Varyon's notes).
Ironhand, Discovering the Arctic-
Dismayed by the poor shape of the Dominion, Skepp decided to step in and replace Riji Zhakiv as Ironhand of the Stoneswords, indirectly usurping him in his absence. An on looking figure began to threaten him, and unintentionally (and most likely unaware of it too) revealed that he was none other than Lord Sigmund Blackstone.
Skepp set about trying to gather his men, resupply the armory, and get the Dominion back into order. Many days he searched on foot, hoping he would find someone. Very few people ever turned up. As he returned to his secret dwelling one day, he became lost, and found himself in a small settlement, which he presumed was the rumored "Arctic". He was greeted with only hostility and many near-death situations, and after seeking an audience with someone in the village, determined that these people were not worth the effort and frustration of reasoning with. After all, two demons did reside there.
After the near-execution of Eraeos Darkhorn, a child, and Lord Roak Blackstone giving thanks to Skepp for making him listen to reason, Skepp believed he was wanted back as General. This was short lived, as one Captain Logan had believed he was in charge, being a Captain. After much arguing with Logan, who attempted to make himself seem superior in accomplishments, Skepp left the Dominion, tearing off his insignia and stating:
"No Logan, I will not serve under some whelp! Do not come to me when the Dominion burns!"
Skepp wandered about the countryside, occasionally coming back to the Hold to observe. His latest trip filled him with anger as the filth of Herobrine corrupted the city, hanging over it in the form of a dark cloud (literally).
The Holy Imperium-
The sudden return of Riji Zhakiv astounded Skepp, but also gave him hope. Riji, upon seeing his home plagued by Herobrine's curse, vowed to form an Imperium that would protect the lands from any further corruption, as well as rid his home of the cloud and disease, all in the name of the Blackstones. Skepp became the leader of the Inquisition, dubbed High Inquisitor Forlorade.
Skepp, along with Riji, Nick Druselham, and Cyndi Kate, traveled to his person mineshaft, where the Imperium would be born from the forges, stone, and woods in the area.
Pressure from needing to form this new empire cracked Skepp's mind, and he had temporarily gone insane. However, such insanity can often bring genius, or revelations. Skepp had realized that the very hands he could manipulate the world with were not his own. As were the boots. And parts of his construct. Or the little bit of flesh left on him, creating his face.
He was living in the recycled corpse of Varyon Silverlight, combined with other raw materials to create Skepp's golem construct.
Skepp was now faced with the task of having to realize that he isn't fully himself. In a disturbing twist, Skepp had to realize that he was Varyon, or at least bits and pieces of him. Yet his companions, while initially revolted, did not look at him differently.Construction quickly went under way, even after the disappearance of both Cyndi and Riji, and Fort Koloss was in the makings of becoming a very formidable installation.
At some point in time, Skepp went on another round of insanity, this time without anybody to stop him. Driven into his own eyesockets were two spikes of solid iron, blinding him from standard vision. However by being a partial incarnation of Dark Magic, Skepp's body forced into his senses a new kind of vision, where all was registered in the form of purple lines and darkness, showing sharply defined outlines of buildings, leaves on trees, facial features, and most one would normally perceive. Things such as color were merely sensed, through means that Skepp himself does not understand.
Enlightened by his new perception of sight, Skepp sought out to make use of his title, High Inquisitor, and began to wander the world, "inquiring" into all that happened, whether it be direct questioning, or silent observing. He referred to himself only as "Ironeyes", knowing however tha most would be able to identify him if they previously had seen his Golem self.
Complexion and Frustration-
Ironeyes had met two elves Mahtan and Tari, living nearby the watchtower outside Ragnar's Hold. Tari seemed to be ill, and had apparently been so since they had come from their homeland. Realizing that Herobrine might not be gone for good, with haste, he took Mahtan, Tari, as well as Niikipe (who he had met in Melarion) to Fort Koloss and gave them residence. Niikipe became a hassle, and ran off one day. Mahtan helped with construction. Tari, by her own choice, tended the farms, and was no longer ill after a few days.
A man Olias stumbled upon this place, increasing Ironeyes's paranoia about Herobrine's return, or other evils, as Olias spoke of the demon Klethu and his attack on Melarion. Olias left one day, too.
Riji returned with a batch of recruits while Ironeyes was away one day, ignoring a previous request to not bring people in until the fortress was complete. With that came demands, and desires, and want of personal homes, food, and payment. With this came the talk of spirits and demons. A spirit, hinting of Nether origin, wishes death upon Komblo. A dwarven spirit within the mines of the fortress assists Arto, but attacks him when Arto insults him. It was as if with the new soldiers came the evil itself.
The frustration built, and as he looked at Tari the evening he found out about the new soldiers, he snapped internally. Tari was the only one he felt he truly trusted.
They ascended Keep Zhakiv, and stood in the viewing dome, where Emperor Riji would sit, watching the world.
Revealing himself to Tari as Skepp Forlorade, he ranted about how he felt, truly. Beaten down, used, forgotten by those who claimed to care for him and what legacy he left behind (The Ragnar's Hold Guard, later the Dominion). He felt as if he had become Evil, imprisoning those he wanted to keep safe, and that by wanting to viciously defend Good and Purity, he was destroying it.
That was when Tari told him that she didn't see a thing of stone, cold to emotion, a thing that people hated. She saw Him, Skepp Forlorade, the one that had saved her from death due to the sickness of Herobrine's taint.
And she loved him. She had promised she would never leave his side. But such promises were broken, as suitors Mahtan and Niikipe had entangled her in a trap of love. She isolated herself from all of them, yet both Mahtan and Niikipe followed her. She had hoped that Skepp would not pursue, but the thought that both Mahtan and Niikipe knew her whereabouts drove him mad. He succumbed, and against all her wishes, came to her.
After much discussion, Skepp had pledged to cleanse the world so that she could live in it without fear. Yet this promise too, was broken.
"Everyone shall betray you, Skepp. Everyone. If even she has left you to suffer, then why won't the rest of the world?" he would tell himself. And eventually, his promise for a safer world crumbled, to only be replaced by furious revenge aimed at the world that he had been born into.
Emperor Skepp Forlorade-
The war between the Armored Cross and Iron Wolves raged in other lands. In defense, he revoked Nick Druselham's position as head guard, finding too he was in fact a demon. The threat of an Armored Cross "invasion", or taking refuge in Fort Koloss, had been eliminated, and Skepp soon struck a deal with the Iron Wolves for protection.
Riji's indifference after he had returned from another voyage had been the last straw for Skepp. He contacted Sygrid Wyrmrider of the Iron Wolves, and the two of them murdered the emperor in his sleep. Riji was now dead, and Skepp had taken his place. The sole purpose now of the Imperium was to unite Ciiya under a single banner, or banners that were in alliance, and to make all right in the world.
Yet even with the hiring of new generals and soldiers, little happened. He wrote in his journal,
"The wind howls through this forsaken hold.
The people are gone or dead.
My senses do not to be fed.
Even the touch of fire has grown cold."