I recently had to sit down and really consider Kondar's backstory. I came up with something that I felt truly fit him, and turned it into an actual story. That got me thinking about everyone's backstory. I'll start with mine. (Warning: It's long)
There are lots of stories of children who lost their families to a bandit raid, or parents who were taken from the realms way to soon. My story is like theirs, but different. I too lost my family at a young age, but not to bandits, or death... I simply lost them.
The trees of the Black Forest were where I spent most of my life. I loved to climb, I loved to play in the mud after a rainy day, and I loved to chase the critters that called that forest home. Climbing the trees though, that was my absolute favorite. I felt like I belonged there, in the trees, looking out at the sky. I remember my mother always warning me "Be careful, watch for branches that can support you. You don't want to fall and hurt yourself" Ah, but I never listened. Such is the will of a child, all I wanted to do was seeing how high, I could go, and how fast I could get there. Little did I know that my mother's words would turn out to be some of the most important words I would ever hear.
One day, I was out in the Black Forest, running around and climbing trees. This day was no different than any other day. The trees looked the same, and the animals chased alongside me as they always had, but then there was the fall. I was in my favorite tree, racing up as I tried to beat my fastest time. This should have been simple; I had done this countless times before. This time, however as I grabbed the branch to raise myself up, it cracked. I was almost to the top of the tree at this point, so the fall seemed to go on forever. As I fell, my mother's words rang out in my mind "Be careful, watch for branches that can support you", how could she be right?! I was a child, I always knew better! These were my trees, this was my forest, and then...black.
I am not sure how long I slept, but I knew it was at least a full month. The air had changed when I woke up but the ground was not as soft as I had remembered. Then, it hit me...that was all I could remember. I did not know who I was...or where I came from...or who my family was. Blurred images of faces appeared in my mind, but I could not make them out. The one thing I knew for sure, I was home, I was comfortable, and I was safe. Here, amongst the trees, and the dirt, and the critters... I knew I was ok here. I knew that this is where I became who I truly am.
The years flew by as I lived out my days in the forest, using Nature itself to survive. During these years, I had become recluse, shying away from all populated areas. Anytime adventurers wandered into the forest, I ran to the trees to take refuge. I did not know them, and I did not want their presence. As the years passed, memories and images of my past life came back to me. I began to remember who I used to be, remembering that I used to have a family. The one thing that never came back however, was the image of my parents. Try as I might I could not picture them, the images of their faces always blurred.
One day as I was running around, foraging for food I heard a loud noise, something that was not natural to the forest. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around to face whatever that noise was. That was when I saw them, cloaked individuals, their palms out-stretched burning the very forest around me. I remember feeling two things fear and anger. Fear of the harm these people could inflict on me, and anger for what they were doing to MY home. Fear was the emotion that took over, and I turn around to run. I had to get safe I had to plan my next move. Then... he landed. A great Golden creature with wings flew down from the skies and landed with grace un-befitting a creature so large. I had never seen a creature like this before, and especially not in the forests. The creature rose up on its hind legs and let out a roar more fearsome than anything I had heard before. The creature looked down on me and spoke. "This location is not safe little one, can you run"? I stood, silently staring at the creature, eyes wide with awe. "CHILD!" I jumped, and nodded. "I know these trees well, I can take refuge in them" The creature nodded at me and stepped aside. I jumped up and ran down the path to the largest tree I could find. Up the tree I went, climbing higher, and faster than I ever had in my life. As I reached the highest point in the tree, I situated myself and looked down. There I saw the creature fighting off the cloaked individuals, lashing out, and sending them flying. I was amazed, who WAS this creature? Clearly, he had come from a world that I had long since removed myself from. When the fight ended, I saw something that boggled my young, un-educated mind even more than seeing the creature to begin with. I saw him transform and become a person. When the transformation was complete the person looked around saying, "Child, it is safe now. You can come out" I came down from the tree and approached the individual. "Wh...Who are you?" I asked. "My name is Mephaos", he announced "I will not hurt you." I remember this specific event well because it spawned a friendship that would prove to never falter.
As the years passed, I spent much of my time with Mephaos... he was teaching me so much! He introduced me to abilities that I never knew existed. A way to bond with nature more deeply than I could ever realize. It was at that moment that I decided my path in life would be that of a Sylvan(though eventually life would hand me a different path in which to defend the Nature I had come to love so much). I went on adventures with my new mentor as he opened my eyes to a world that I could never have imagined outside my home of the Black Forest. There was always one thought that plagued me however. Where did I really come from? What memories were stripped of me when I fell from that tree? Most importantly, who were my parents. These were all answers that Mephaos swore he would assist me in answering. We spent years, trying to unlock the memories that were once stripped of me. After so much time had passed, I decided that these were answers I would never have. I was happy though, happy living my life in the forests, happy spending my time with my new mentor. After MUCH convincing from Mephaos, I finally agreed to join civilization. I became a Villager of Eleusis. This village was perfect for me! Their village mostly atop the trees, their dedications to Nature matched mine. I was still mostly a recluse, but I had found a life that I could be proud of.
One day after an entire afternoon of Harvesting and training, Mephaos approached me. "Kondar! I found them! I found your parents!" I could not believe it! I had all but decided they were no longer alive. I had committed my life to my new family, the Villagers of Eleusis. "I have not met them officially, nor do I know what they look like. What I do know, is they are villagers of Eleusis" This opened the next chapter in my life, as I dedicated any spare time I had to learning everything I could about my parents. I asked around, to anyone who would pay attention. I looked for clues and hints...anything that could lead me back to them. This was difficult as I still had no clear image of them in my head. More time passed, and I had gotten nowhere in my search. Once again, I had come to the conclusion that I would never rediscover that time in my life. Then, as if the gods themselves felt my pain, a miracle took place. I was wandering the village one day, heading out to do some harvesting. A call was sent across the Village, "Essence is needed to fill some shrines to Lady Artemis, please gather a group of hunters to obtain essence" I never turned down a hunt! (In another story, this was my first real experience with The Lady of the Cataclysm) As I made my way to the Gatehouse to join the party, I bumped into a fellow Villager. A Serpent by the name of Mycen who was chatting with her then Fiancé Deladan. I apologized, and continued my path to the Gatehouse of Eleusis. That was when it hit me, like a sack of bricks to my skull. The memories of the person I once was, the images of flying through the forests, running with animals. One memory however was the absolute most important of them all. The one memory that had plagued me for years, the one that I had all but written off as lost. I knew who my mother was. Her face flooded into my mind, clearer than any other memory that had been returned to me. Her words of warning shouting into my mind. I turned around and saw that she was looking right at me. I don't know how...but I knew she felt the same thing I had, and without a second thought I ran directly into her arms. Finally, we were reunited. To this day, I don't know how it happened, but we both knew from the moment we touched that we were linked, and bonded in this life.
I had changed so much, from that crazy, energetic little child...playing in the dirt, running around with forest creatures, and climbing trees. The one thing I knew beyond any doubt... Nature gave me life. It protected me when I was younger, and gave me a home when I had none. It gave me my mentor, and though I could never explain it... it gave me my family back.
Though I did not realize it at the time, this was all just a lesson, something to prepare myself for what would eventually come. I had spent all of my life in the trees, hidden away from the world. This prepared me in a way no amount of training could ever have... I still wander the forests, looking for my next chapter. I still use them as a way to define the person I am, and the person I am to become.