Jacob Latris was a Taurian immigrant to Obstaria. Now he is a man who has severed his connections to sanity long ago, and is searching for something that probably doesn't exist.
Jacob's parents were named Gregory and Elizabeth Latris, and were both born in Tauria. Gregory Latris was famous in the land of acadamia, and was a scholar of some note. As such, an Obstarian noble decided to hire Gregory to tutor his son, a child named Ralf Cruor. As such, Jacob, who was 9 at the time (which was the same age as Ralf), moved to Obstaria.
Every day, Jacob and his father would go to the noble's house, to instruct Ralf on all the knowledge in the world. Jacob tagged along so that he could act as both a playmate for Ralf during breaks (one of the reasons Ralf's father chose Gregory Latris) and fellow student, as Gregory wanted his son to have a 'real education.' Especially as Gregory knew his son was a wizard, and wanted to give Jacob the basics before sending him off to the Animus Academies, which teach magic to young wizards.
And so Ralf and Jacob grew to be friends, and Jacob got an education fit for a nobleman's son. As the years went by, the two grew closer and closer. By the time the two were 13, a tragedy struck. Gregory and Jacob, as they were returning to their home after the tutoring session, were besot by thieves. These thieves had watched as the father and son went back and forth from the noble's home, and assumed that they were rich. The thieves were wrong. Acadamia is not a way for a man to make much money, and the Latris were poor. In the lead thief's anger at their measly rewards, he punched Gregory in the nose, with no intent to kill the man. Sadly, a fragment of nose-bone flew into Gregory's brain, as Jacob watched helplessly, tears streaming down his face.
Jacob saw the thieves discovered their newest crime, and fled the scene in a panic. He, since the thieves had tied him up, waited through that cold night, tormented dreams of the robber killing his father chasing sleep away. Elizabeth Latris, Jacob's mother, was used to the pair staying at the nobleman's home overnight, when Gregory got into a fit of teaching and it got to late to return, and saw no reason to go looking for her missing husband and son. Thus it was Ralf, who convinced his father to search for his missing tutor after he was very, very late, who discovered Gregory's corpse and Jacob.
Descent to Darkness
The Cruors, Ralf's family, were kind to the Latris. As Ralf had befriended Jacob, the Cruors invited the widow and her child to live with them. Elizabeth would work as a maid and, when they were short-staffed, cook, and Jacob continued his services as playmate.
Vengeance was soon gotten for Jacob. The Cruors gave the City Guard motivation to catch the thieves, and catch them they did. Soon, they were charged with both crimes, and punished. Jacob, Elizabeth, and the Cruors themselves attended the hanging.
Jacob turned just a hint more cynical after this, and though the thieves themselves were killed, became more and more obsessed with the idea of revenge. More and more thought was poured down this path, and Jacob in turn became darker, more attuned to evil. Ralf noticed this, but chose not to mention it, as Jacob's father had recently died. Thinking that it was a natural part of grieving, Ralf ignored it, and hoped his friend would get better soon.
The Cruors soon hired another scholar. This one was of a... different moral fiber than Gregory Latris. Named Luitger Umbrus, he was a twitchy, seedy man, and constantly stank of strange substances. Luitger required special living quarters in the basement of the house, and never emerged from his quarters except for dinner.
Luitger, to a young child who had witnessed his father's death, was a powerful influence. He fit the profile of a man who could offer a certain something that Jacob was beginning to understand, something that Jacob didn't know of yet, but knew he would want. And when Luitger stumbled over a certain word while he tutored Ralf and Jacob, the revenged-obsessed young man knew what he wanted, understood what his destiny truly was.
And so Jacob left the airy, tower loft that both he and his mother shared, and walked down the spiraling staircase to the basement door, to the entrance to Luitger's rooms. Without knocking, hoping to interrupt the man in the middle of what Jacob knew he was doing at that time, the boy entered.
Jacob was right, and caught Luitger exactly when he wanted to. Luitger was in the middle of summoning a demon. The demon had appeared in a blinding flash of smoke, right in the middle of the summoning circle, and bore an appearance that seemed to stem straight from a nightmare. Luitger, after noticing Jacob, quickly managed to dismiss the demon.
The two talked into the night. At first the discussed Jacob's silence. And then they discussed Jacob's tutelege. And thus Jacob Latris became what he always wanted, ever since his father had died, though he might not have known it at the time. A Demonologist.
Though the art was a controversial issue, and was illegal in most countries (Obstaria included), the art was still taught unofficially to people who sought the knowledge, and a whole underground community had arisen from this interest. Jacob was determined, through Luitger Umbrus, to join this community in his pursuit of vengeance.
Jacob learned of the arts of Demonology from Luitger in the following years of his life. He studied the various known types, and learned the required summoning circles for those types. Though Jacob's typical studies with Ralf continued unabated, he grew less and less interested in them. For the more important such teachings went on at night for Jacob.
Under Luitger's tutelege and scrutiny, Jacob summoned his first imp when he was 14. He created his first Scrying Glass when he was 15. He gained his first demonic servant by the time he was 16.
Jacob studied hard, for he knew it was his destiny, with his goal shining in his mind. He wanted revenge. Not just any sort of revenge, which at that point was unattainable- the thieves who had killed his father were all ready dead. Jacob Latris wanted pure, unadulterated vengeance, the undefiled emotion made flesh, the abstract, human construct rendered visible. Jacob Latris was either a visionary or a mad man. The line between the two is often very thin.
Jacob stayed as apprentice to Luitger until he was 18, a legal man according the Obstarian law. He decided that Luitger was holding him back, preventing him from achieving his fullest potential. Both Jacob and Luitger knew that Jacob would eventually be the better Demonologist.
Still, that knowledge did not prevent Luitger from having dreams of power himself. He thought that if he attached himself to the rising star that was Jacob, he could become quite the Demonologist himself- or at least famous enough that he could pretend to be an excellent one. The two had an argument. The argument turned into a fight. The fight turned in a duel to the death.
Jacob walked out of the basement. He was bleeding from many wounds. His torso was giving off a blackish smoke. He was carrying a sword, woven out of shadow, which he dragged behind him, as if he lacked the strength to carry it further.
Jacob staggered to his room, where he quickly packed a suitcase and left the Cruor estate without saying goodbye to anyone, including his friend, his best friend, his only friend, Ralf.
Jacob Latris was never heard from again. There were a host of rumors following him, especially after they discovered the statue constructed of salt and dried blood that bore the exact appearance of Luitger Umbrus sitting in the basement, with a wide variety of Demonology equipment.
The young demonologist made his way south. To the Southern Hills, in fact. The area was famously full of barbarians and monsters, most notably minotaurs and cyclops. None of these threats bothered Jacob. Perhaps they sensed the danger he posed, and were afraid, or perhaps they sensed his mission, and chose not to disturb it.
Whatever the case, Jacob Latris created a house deep in the Hills, right on the ocean. He bound demons to it so that it would be constantly invisible, and to prevent the unwary from going near. Here, listening to the seagulls caw over the dunes, and the waves crash on the beach, is were he researched.
He pored over dusty grimoire looted from forgotten crypts. He summoned demons and interrogated them. He read that latest in magical and Demonological theories. At last he came to one conclusion. To find what he sought, he would have to venture into Congeria, the land of the demons, itself.
(sub pending on Congeria)
There was just one problem with this solution, however. It was impossible to enter Congeria. Brilliant men had theorized and postulated and wracked their brains over how to enter this alternate realm, indeed, any alternate realm. Countless hours had been spent trying to find, not only Congeria, but the Afterlife, and all of the many realms that various religions claimed existed. Some believed that a god of some sort blocked all the realms but that of their own world off, and other claimed that spells lacked the power to get them there. Whatever the reason, not a single attempt succeeded. Unless, of course, you count the explosion of 98 PE that took out half a city a success. The wizard in question's remains were never found, so he could have potentially discovered the realm he sought. Of course, far more likely was that he was melted, and his congealing goo scattered over the ruins of the city.
The wizarding world had given up in the task of interplanar exploration. Jacob, then, came along, and decided to re-look into the problem.
There is one main problem with visionaries or mad men such as Jacob Latris, though when he was a couple years into his research he was far more likely to be leaning towards the latter. That problem is that they, if they have just the right amount of determination (or, alternatively, you could call it obsession), genius, and gumption, sometimes succeed. Jacob Latris, one day with the seagulls cawing over his head and the waves crashing on his beach, vanished, and reappeared in Congeria.
He was the first man to step foot in the other world, other realm, other plane. Jacob, after gazing out on the things no man had ever seen before, cackled in delight. He cast his return spell immediately, for he could easily return whenever he wished.
But let us go back to a certain point in Jacob Latris' life. Back to when he left the Cruor estate after killing Luitger Umbrus. Ralf Cruor, Jacob's friend, was understandably upset. His friend, bleeding heavily, had just walked out of his life, with no one seeing him since.
Ralf Cruor was determined to find Jacob, not only to find out the truth of what occurred in his family's basement, but because he cared about his friend. And so Ralf used his various resources, as soon as he inherited his father's position, to find Jacob.
After years of searching, Ralf eventually discovered a clue as to Jacob's location. A farmer that lived far enough away from the Cruor's estates to evade attention for so long, had had experience with someone who could be Jacob. Apparently, this farmer had been intimadated into giving Jacob a monthly supply of food, which was collected by a 'man-shaped figure that, if 'ad to take a guess, was a demon.'
Ralf lay in wait, with some of his guards, for this person, or thing, to come collect the food. And come it did. Ralf surprised the demon, and quickly trapped it. Forcing it to reveal its secrets, it told of a man that fit Jacob's description, and where that man could be found.
Making it swear that it would not tell Jacob about its attack, Ralf released it. He then, with a couple guards, set off to the location the demon gave. The demon was telling the truth, and Ralf discovered Jacob the day after he had returned from Congeria.
Jacob had been on the beach that day, with the sun shining down on him. There was not a cloud in the sky. Ralf, and his guards, who had just fought and ran their way through the dangers of the Southern Hills, saw him.
Ralf ran down the beach, and yelled, 'Jacob!'
Jacob looked up, and Ralf fell to a stop. The man before him was far, far different from the person who Ralf had grown up with. Jacob's eyes were bloodshot from a combination of madness and sleep-deprivation, his clothes were tattered and dirty, he was carrying a book that bore a strange and, most definintely, nefarious symbols on its cover, his hair, which had been a dark brown before, was now a black. Jacob's appearance had changed, and not for the better.
Recognition glimmered in Jacob's eyes, and he asked hesitatnly, 'Ralf?'
But then he saw the guards, and a twisted, demented logic overcame him, and sparks fell from his hand and sizzled in the sand. Jacob took one step, then another, forward, as the sparks behind him, which had been summoned by a sort of demonic sorcery, erupted into a wall of flames.
No, no, Ralf had come to kill him, and take his discovery. He was going to prevent Jacob from succeeding in his goals, for he must discover Vengeance, he must, that was the only way forward, it was his destiny! Ralf had always been too good for his own shoes, and now he must die... Jacob thought, as the guards raced forward to protect their master.
'Jacob? What... What are you doing?' asked Ralf, as he saw the anger and fury rage behind Jacob's eyes, and fell back a step in terror. They had never done anything to each other that caused fear like this, like the terror Ralf had faced now. Sure, they had chased each other, but never had the thought of him dieing, of his mortality, crossed his mind.
'Necoutus. Lethiatus. Kill the guards,' Jacob uttered, command and fury dripping from his voice, and the two demons roared and charged across the sunlit beach, each taking the appearance of a monstrosity, and attacked. Swords were raised, but any efforts made to fight back, to survive, were futile. The demons made short work of them.
Jacob himself advanced on his former friend, now mortal adversary. He raised his hand, and a sword of shadow appeared forth.
'Die, old friend,' Jacob said with contempt, and raised his sword and swung.
Jacob's blade cut deep into Ralf's chest, his ribs no more protecting his organs than a sheet of paper would in a similar situation. He pulled his blade out of his friend's side, and laughed as Ralf bled slowly into the ground.
The day Jacob killed Ralf severed the last few strings that attached him to sanity. He became more obsessed with his goal of finding the true, ultimate Revenge, the unadulterated emotion, now that he had a target in mind to take vengeance upon. Himself.
It was only logical. He wanted to get revenge for the death of Ralf. The killer was himself. Therefore, he, Jacob Latris, must die.
But the twisting pathways of his mind prevented him from simply taking his sword and stabbing himself in the heart. He needed to attain his goal of finding the true form of Revenge, the pure form, whatever or however that form is presented, so as to feel that revenge when he killed himself. This required a plan, which would be methodically considered after discovering what Revenge truly is.
Jacob Latris was still certain that Revenge lay in Congeria, and so, over the following years, he searched and mapped the realm. Though he never penned down the spell required to get there, he did make copies of his maps and notes about the alternate realm, and stores them in his house.
Lately, Jacob has become frustrated with this line of search. He has started watching people seeking revenge, and monitoring them on every level he can measure, so as to find some pattern or fact that will help him in his search of Congeria for Revenge.
He has also been searching for alternative planes to look for Revenge on, as well as inventing ways of going to the other ones that are known. Most notably the Afterlife. Jacob tried out Lunism for a while, to see whether they had any good info on revenge, because of their goddess Iustitia, but he became frsutrate with that line of questioning and gave it up.
He has also taken to questioning demons for any knowledge they know, as well as sending out those demons all over Atheus for sources of information.
Jacob Latris has not yet found the pure Revenge he seeks, though he knows with the kind of absolute certainty that only the insane can have that it exists, somewhere in the world, and only he can find it.
This time of year often brings the summer doldrums to the Citadel. A time of slow updates and intermittent submissions. We may have passed the worst but until the summer ends, the weather changes and school starts again we may not have the action we sometimes have.
Because of that, we are holding the Doldrum Quest. I wanted it to be pretty open to most anything so we will attach it to the Guild quests again to allow people to branch out how they want. This also adds some incentive to join and progress in the Guilds. So go join a Guild now and if your submission goes towards your Guild accomplishments, it can go towards this quest as well.
Get us clear of the Summer Doldrums by joining the quest!
(As usual, no old submissions can be used. This is also for standard submissions. 100 word, Oekaki, Stubs and others in that vein will not count.)
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? Responses (7)-7
There are a couple of bits that are rough around the edges grammatically, but that's not a real problem.
Jacob will fit beautifully into the Occult Brotherhood, Caesar! I like the twist in that he seeks out the embodiment of revenge only so he can unleash it upon himself. It makes me wonder what it is he will find; perhaps an incarnation of revenge in demon form.
I felt like the 'Intervention' section was glossed over a little. For example, how did Ralf manage to subdue the demon that was delivering the food? Was the demon just weak?
At any rate, I can't wait to read Congeria! I look forward to some solid information on atheus's demonic realm; finally, something that can't just be dismissed as just religious myth! :D
Maybe I missed something, but I'm having trouble understanding how you go from watching your dad die at the hands of thiefs to becoming a summoner of demons. The killing of Ralf also felt a bit unmotivated.
'He thought that if he attached himself to the rising star that was Jacob, he could become quite the Demonologist himself- or at least famous enough that he could pretend to be an excellent one. The two had an argument. The argument turned into a fight. The fight turned in a duel to the death. '
Felt very abrupt, there was no foreshadowing, just all of a sudden they started fighting to the death, for seemingly no reason.
After Jacob's father was killed, he mourned, and had dark thoughts of Vengeance. The killing affected Jacob mentally, and changed his personality. And besides, demon-summoning isn't evil, its simply a controversial political issue, like gun control. I'll explain Demons in an upcoming sub. Jacob saw Luitger, realized what he wanted, decided that Demonology was the way to achieve it, and then went for it.
Ralf was the victim of Jacob's growing insanity. Jacob had been alone for years, with only demons for company. Its understandable that he started going insane. And when Ralf arrived, the day after Jacob made his discovery, well, he was just unlucky. Jacob latched onto the slightly unrational idea that Ralf had come to take his discovery of a spell to another realms by force. After all, he had brought along guards. Or, if Ralf revealed to the world that Jacob had discovered this spell, wizards would be constantly coming and trying to find out his spell, which would distract him from his research. Either way was not acceptable. Jacob, not knowing what Ralf's actual intentions were, made an assumption, and acted upon it.
And yes, I understand how Luitger's death could seem abrupt. And it was. Jacob went down to Luitger to end his apprenticeship, and Luitger didn't want that, for the reasons you quoted. Luitger demanded that Jacob stay, and the two argued. Then one of them, with their emotions high and both angry, made a move that might have seemed like an attack, and thus the fight started. It was a crime of passion, a manslaughter. And since Jacob was the better of the two, he was the one who left.
Questions mostly answered, thank you. That's worth another .5, I should say.
An interesting character, though I would like some suggestions or plot ideas to use him. Of course he could be popped into the game as a generic diabolist, but there is more to him than that.
There are some odd sentences, including some run-on-sentences that are distracting to me.
It also needs run through a spell checker - there are a fair number of typos.
The Good: The backstory overall is quite good, the death of the father very striking, That sort of thing can certainly lead one down a dark path. Despite what other said, I figured one of them would eventually betray the other, so that was not jarring to me. Maybe a fight or two narrated before then might help, though.
The Bad: The mother is only mentioned in passing. What happened to her? The fixation on Vengeance is logically illogical enough (is that even a thing?) but the leap to killing himself with Vengeance is... odd.
Perhaps a better goal would be to BECOME Vengeance? This is still highly illogical, but seems to follow the path of lunacy more closely, as well as being tangentially possible. By dedicating himself to Vengeance, he would A) fill his need for faceless Vengeance B) his goal of self destruction, as the Jacob Lantris that used to be (the one that watched his father die, as well as the one who killed his friend) would cease to exist, if it even does anymore. It would require little change to the story, as well.
...I feel my sanity slipping just writing that path of logic. (What little there was left anyway.) I'll consider that a point in your favor.
The way events were unfolding, I thought Jacob was seeking entrance to the other world so that he could chase down the murderers and make them pay in the afterlife. I was a bit surprised to learn that he himself did not really understand what he was searching for. (A meta search?)
The moment where he determines that he himself is a killer who must pay fits in neatly with the genre, me thinks. I like it.