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His history has been updated like it should have been months ago. No, he will not be rejoining EBC, but he desperately needed an accurate history. If you're curious, it can be found down below.
The fire burns brightly, embers shining hot,
Dark soot and a crackling blaze, wood snapping like a shot.
Birds of war fly far over head, fearful of the flame,
Others stray close, their ice cold bodies warming without shame.
Ice melts under Fire’s embrace, and there’s two to blame.
Starting: 3 Years
End: 8 1/2 years
Species: Eurasian Lynx (Lynx Lynx)
Rank: Leader (Former - Pre 'death'/capture)
Two blue-jay feathers.
Eight flame colored beads.
A golden trinket.
Thick leather padding, slightly dyed.
Very strong, very flexible metal plating, made from various mixed metal minerals. Rarely seen elsewhere, and often a small fortune is paid to receive such craftsmanship. Hard to scratch.
Recently reworked by the blacksmith after a large battle with Bounty Hunters.
Added helmet; three spikes along the center, nose guard, cheek guards. Worn occasionally.
Leather padded left foreleg, used for battering and guarding.
Two foreleg bracers, left one equipped with three spikes.
Blue and orange sapphires are embedded in certain plates.
Thick metal and leather collar for protecting the throat.
Medium thickness side plating, and fairly thick spinal protection.
Thin metal plating on rear legs.
<[ Fierce, focused, experienced, firm, kind, brave, tactical ]>
<[ F i e r c e ]>>
Battle is a harsh thing- old souls are saddened by it, young ones suffer from it, and there are even a few cruel souls who revel in the destruction of hate fueled war. Soren is one who has felt both the suffering of a young life in battle, and the saddened life of a veteran. But don’t even underestimate him. He frowns on battles, but will not hesitate to join one if it threatens his Empire, and will fight until his very last breath to defend them. His long sharp claws, and vicious bite are something of a legend in The Circuit, having once been called ‘Soren the cold flame’, or ‘the fiery devil’ in his days in the Pits. He bears many scars to mark his life’s journey. Beware his anger- if you harm his new life and family, you may become just another scar he tells stories about.
<[ F o c u s e d ]>
Soren is both strengthened by his ability to focus on something, and also weakened by it. During battles he is able to focus intently on his enemy, fighting until the very end if needed- but he also sometimes blanks out the rest of the world, occasionally even when help arrives to his fight. This is a trait he has long held since the coliseum battles, and it has kept him alive this long. Aside from battle, Soren is also able to focus on his tasks, able to keep a clear mind when dealing with patrols and times of unrest. This is one of his most useful strong points in his role as Fire Empire’s leader.
<[ E x p e r i e n c e d ]>
Long, long years in The Circuit has toughened Soren’s skills and strength to far outside the range a normally wild raised Lynx would ever dream to experience. He was bred to fight, to kill, and for a long time, that’s all he did. He was pitted against human Gladiators and other felines alike, and more often than not, came away undefeated. He carries these memories both as a burden, and a reminder that he was not the same cat he once was.
<[ F i r m ]>
This auburn pelted lynx is a kind leader, but he does not tolerate disobedience when he has given an order. He is firm and fair, making sure that any orders he gives are justified, but made clear that he will not allow them to be disregarded. If a feline goes back on his command without an excusable reason or explanation, he will not hesitate to reprimand them for it, but he will also give tips and lessons on how they can help improve their approach of his order.
<[ K i n d ]>
After having put his past of hatred behind him, Soren’s kind side finally saw light from underneath his shell of anger, his view on life taking a whole new turn once he had gained a peaceful life outside human walls. His caring nature was finally free, and it showed in many ways. He cares a great deal for his Empire, and considers them all family despite issues that have come up, and wouldn’t hesitate to protect even the smallest of cubs if the need arose. The veteran lynx enjoys spending a day just sitting in camp after patrols had been given out; just to watch his comrades proceed with their lives peacefully. He cares very much for them all, and is not afraid to declare it at a Gathering, or anyplace else.
<[ B r a v e ]>
Soren is obviously a brave feline, having risked his life multiple times to protect those of his Empire, and occasionally those who are not. His courageousness is a key aspect of a Fire Empire feline, and it’s no oddity that he was chosen as Fire Empire’s leader when the previous one disappeared. He isn’t foolish, and will think about a battle before leaping into it. But- more often than not he will care less about his own bodily safety if there’s another’s life at stake.
<[ T a c t i c a l ]>
This battle ready feline is rarely ever without a plan, years of experience in the coliseum having equipped him with a arsenal of strategies and tactics that have given him the edge in battle more times than he can count, oftentimes saving his own hide from being the next dead pelt being sold for coin. He’s adept at evaluating a situation, and even under pressure and ambush is capable of thinking of some plan of action. In the fight with the Bounty Hunters, he didn’t hesitate to think of taking the brief lull in the battle to ensure the injured were being cared to before he went off after the feline he stood the most chance against. Sometimes he wishes for a discussion of tactics when in a war, but if he is denied that chance, he will still be capable of thinking of a plan regardless.
Biography and Background:
<[ All fires need to be kindled ]>
The life of a fighter is that of which cannot be lived with the expectancy of a long life. The life of a gladiator is littered with everything from guilt to hatred- there is nothing left out of this single lifestyle. You can love, you can lose, you can know happiness, and you can know sadness. There is light… And there is darkness. It’s in the deepest pool of shadows that the story of a certain character comes to reality; and it’s only in darkness that it may die. But… That isn’t set in stone. Fate has yet to decide where he goes, in the end. For now, we’re going to focus on his early life, and just how he got to where he is now…
It was many years ago today, that Athanasius came into this world, mewling the loudest and fighting the hardest against his littermates to finally breathe the air of the world. From the very start, he was destined to be great, be it good or bad. His instincts were pure and the thrum of life in his veins was nothing less than powerful. The dark pelted lynx was by far, the largest of his litter- and any past litters borne of his dam. He was the spitting image of his father, and while he lay nestled by the warmth of his mother, he knew not what consequences that single fact would hold for his future.
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Perhaps we should go just a little farther back.
The gentle lynx whom gave birth to Athanasius and his siblings was known among the lynx breeding lines as one of the most desirable queens due to her strong and sturdy limbs, and beautifully patterned pelt. Her color was a soft creamy gold, and her eyes were a brilliant green color, not often found in the Lynx species. She was docile, and due to her relatively comfortable life; she felt no desire to rebel and find a way to escape the Humans. It was no surprise that her owner would be commissioned for a kit from her litters, be they sired by their own Gladiators or some random mate chosen by her owner’s will. Of course, it wasn’t long before the man, the female lynx –known as Genieva-, and his other known queens, caught the eye of the Local Guard.
At the time, the Hunters were still relatively recent; only a few years in the making since the first escaped Gladiator- but they were on the rise, and quickly. Demand for caught escapees grew and discontent was growing with each day and cancelled battle. The only solution they could think of was to breed the perfect Hunters to retrieve their lost fighters.
Because of this, a pure bred Lynx warrior was commissioned to sire a single litter of kits by Genieva by the Hunter’s guard. The dark pelted male had been hand chosen with much deliberation- and only the strongest of the cubs would be considered for the plans that had been put into motion the moment the documents had been signed.
It was then that Genieva formally met the Second in Command of the Bounty Hunters- Draedis, the Cold-eyed Shadow.
In some fairy-tale, perhaps one would say about now that she denied him because she could sense the evil in his heart; and perhaps had things been a little different, no matter how insignificant, she may have. But alas, that was not the case with the two young -at the time- lynxes. It was very nearly love at first sight, and the willingness to share company the two expressed when introduced, only fueled the humans’ desire to gain cubs from the two.
Genieva’s looks entranced the harsh hearted Hunter, and her gentleness seemed to sooth the vicious and violent monster that resided in his blackened soul. The warmth of her presence seemed to be the only thing that melted his frosty gaze, and for the first time in his brutal life he experienced something other than bloodlust and the desire for battle.
For her, it was his mere existence that intrigued the creamy lynx. Draedis was an enigma in her mind, and his sharp features struck a chord in her that she couldn’t understand- but it drew her in, like a moth to a flame. The two were total opposites in every way, from their light and dark pelt, to their entire personalities. And yet, they quickly formed a bond that could only be broken by death itself.
Their humans were ecstatic at their union, and they rejoiced at the knowledge that followed months after the two adults had been brought together. Soon, they would achieve the litter of cubs that they so desired- they wished for a Hunter to rise from the cubs. One that would take Draedis’s place as Silver Hunter when it came of age; and even in some minds, it was thought they may even surpass Venari as leader of the Hunters.
It was only a short while after the news of Genieva’s expectancy that her first litter came into the world. Three cubs, all fair limbed and a handsome mixture of the two parents’ pelts. And of course, there was the one largest cub whom we’ve already met.
This is truly where his story begins.
At their birth, the three sons of Draedis and Genieva, were given their birth names from the heart of their mother.
The first was a small one, whom took after the creamy color of her pelt, but lacked the thriving aura that his brothers shared. His legs and frame were thin and lithe, much like his father’s. When opened, his eyes were a soft, watery turquoise. His name was Tryphe.
The second was fairly large, but not quite so much as his other brother. His pelt was nearly black, but held the rich redness that their father’s line was known for, despite being darker. Faint creamy spots outlined his stout figures, and upon opening, his eyes would be the sharpest green of the trio. His name was Wyatt.
The third was the biggest of the three. His pelt was a pleasant mixture of his parents, and his structure was a solid, sturdy build that held all the desired qualities of his lineage. His mewl was strong, and his spots shared even traits of his parents. Most notable of all, however, was his eye color once his eyes opened; the shockingly similar image of Draedis’s eyes, shown in his brilliant, ice-blue hues. His given name was Soare.
This last cub was the one the humans had been hoping for, and they didn’t hesitate to take him from his mother as soon as they could without endangering his life. Tryphe and Wyatt were sold at a later age for a high price- but Soare was not as lucky.
For the brief time they were allowed to stay with their mother, Soare, Wyatt, and Tryphe were naturally very close as brothers. During the seven weeks since their birth, they had grown close to each other and to their caring mother, and nothing prepared the kits, or their mother, for their separation.
After he had been taken, Soare, from the very start, was taught how to fight. No sooner had he been weaned from his mother’s milk had he been shoved into the training arena with his Father. Now, Draedis had only ever shown an emotion other than disdain or hatred towards a being before, and that was his love for Genieva. Just because this… thing was his offspring, didn’t mean he would treat it any better than he would any other creature he was forced to train, and endure the annoying and tiring complaints of ‘where’s mother?’.
Draedis was a vicious and merciless tutor to Soare. He forced the cub to strike and fight the wooden dummies placed about the sandy enclosure until his paws bled, and would not hesitate to attack the young feline should he refuse to continue or fail to understand and execute a command. The cruel treatment was only stopped when the cub’s life became endangered, and Soare was taken from the training area only to be put into an isolated cage with water and food he did not yet know how to eat well. He rarely saw his mother after that, and the shock of his sudden change from youthful warmth and sibling companionship, being ripped away from him only to be replaced with a true hell- it broke something in him, very early in his life.
<[ Some flames burn out ]>
Now known only as “Athanasius”, Soare was quickly sought after by greedy Coliseum cat owners. The Hunter’s Guard deflected many an offer, many of which could have challenged even the Emperor’s fortune. This cub had high expectations, and it wasn’t until he was six months old that a contract was formed between a man and the Guard.
The contract was short, sweet, and simple. Well, with a little less ‘sweet’.
The cub was essentially leased to this greedy man, the details of the deal being this: He would be permitted to be put into coliseum fights, even those that fought to the death. But only if the Hunter’s and their Guard had access to each battle, half the earnings, and if the cub was personally trained by his Father, the current Silver Hunter, daily. This contract ended when the cub reached an age acceptable of breeding- three years in the future. Should the cub die during the fights, the loss would easily be replaced by another cub born from his parents. And that was it.
That was the deal that sealed Soare- yet now Athanasius’s, fate- at the end of the day, he was valuable, yet disposable. But he had much to prove in the next years of his life. Starting with his first true battle in the arena, only five months of age, the cub was one of the youngest cats put into the coliseum at the time.
In the City of Massilia, it’s rare that a cub who’s barely proved itself in battle is pitted against a species larger than itself. But for a reason only Soare’s trainer knew, his first official battle was up against a young white lion, only a few weeks younger than the lynx himself. The cub was notably larger than Soare, but he lacked the constant, nearly-from-birth training that had been given to the mahogany cub.
The battle between the two young felines turned them from appearing deceivingly innocent, into two vicious flurries of claws and fur devoid of anything but the will to survive. Soare had been taught since the beginning that it was survival or death, and no matter whom he fought or what, he would always be required to win. He didn’t know how to feel hesitation when it came to attacking another feline- he only knew it was what he had to do.
And so they fought. They tore and they shredded each other until they both stood panting and bleeding freely on the sandy floor of the small coliseum arena. They struggled to best the other, and they refused to give in and be defeated by the other- the would not die in their first real battle. But cubs so young have a limit, and even as they lurched forward for another clash, they collapsed, their eyes locked in and their expressions curled into cubbish attempts at seeming intimidating. Neither would show weakness to the other, no matter what. It was their performance that saved their lives; had they been any less volatile or fearsome (or as fearsome as a child could be), they would have more than likely been forced to keep going; to get up and fight until one of them died from blood-loss or exhaustion. But alas, this wasn’t the case and whether it was lucky nor not, their owners struck up a deal. This match would be considered a draw, and they would come away with no winnings or loss. Their fighters were too precious of property to lose so early, so they were retrieved and treated.
He wasn’t Soare anymore- the innocent cub that had spent so short a time with his family had been demolished in the making of the monster that would soon grow to be one of the most famous Gladiators in the city of his time. The Hunter’s Guard whom owned him legally were thrilled with his progress, and his Coliseum owner was equally excited as his potential to become rich grew alongside the cub’s life.
His battles continued; his new name reaching ears through whispers and rankings. Many an owner’s complaints being of their new felines killed before they ever had a chance to make themselves known. Mere hours separated most of his fights, leaving him to be treated with quick bandages and revived with tasteless hunks of meat he was barely big enough to chew. He’d lost all his cubbish innocence, his eyes becoming blank and his movements in the arena nothing more than instinctual survival methods mixed with his intense fighting ability.
His name flew around between other cats in the city, beginning from the holding cages beneath the coliseum and slowly making their way around, contorting and twisting into unrealistic tales as rumors laced with fear usually do. Less than a month until his first year, and he was already earning nicknames from his fights. The most popular being “The Cold Flame”, the key family feature of his father providing this title with an accurate description; for a demon he was. Violent, swift, and merciless, his claws always found their target and his teeth never came away from a battle without a tint of red- and never once was he found to show emotion towards the lives he took. Not pride, not anguish. Nor even pity or bliss. The other cats his age had every right to consider him a demon, risen from Hell; for surely that’s the only place such a cold fire could come from.
Scars gained from fights and the typical brutality of his father showed fresh on his pelt daily, and his armor was continually replaced and remade to make up for the constant beating it took. If one had approached him during these days, and asked ‘Do you like fighting?’ the only response you would receive is ‘Is there anything else?’. There’s no hope in the icy depths of his eyes; perhaps a dull, unacknowledged hatred for everything his life is, but certainly not anything else. Hate is all he’d ever known. Blood, armor, and the screaming, twisted faces of humans, full of bloodlust, was everything he’d ever seen. He’d never been exposed to something… beautiful. Untainted.
That is, not until he underwent the harshest and most life threatening battle he’d ever been through.
Finally his first year was upon him, and by chance, Massilia’s biggest yearly event fell in line with his turning of age. Fully grown adult fur shown, glossy for once from the week of rest he’d been given to prepare him for this festival, was covered by armor freshly refurnished, a few gems and foils of gold inlaid on the surface in hopes of impressing the crowds. He didn’t know why this day was important, and didn’t very well care. All he knew was a fight was coming; more hyped than usual, sure, but just another fight regardless. He also knew that if he failed, or preformed less than excellently, he would die either by the paws of his opponent, or suffer something worse than death at the paws of his father. Draedis had confirmed that with his own words.
Respect is the only thing you gain in the Circuit if you’ve survived enough fights. Respect, and fear, if you’ve also gained a reputation. And a reputation is exactly what this Lynx gained through the last twelve months of his life. Birthed from the Bounty Hunter’s Second-in-Command, a highly sought after breeding female, and vicious in his fights to boot. It wasn’t any secret that he’d be participating in the festival’s featured fights, and as he entered the coliseum, the respectful nods from a few of his fellow Fighters sending him off into the arena, the din of the crowd above in the seats grew into a thunderclap.
To him, it was loud and irritating, but he was used to the noise. But the atmosphere of this next fight was different… It was harsh. Lusting. Violent. It bugged him on a level rarely explored, and for the first time since his first fight, he felt a twinge of apprehension. But he didn’t shy away from it as the human whom called himself his ‘Owner’ pulled him forwards.
A balcony across the way held a man shouting human gibberish, pointed towards Athanasius with a final word, causing the crowd to screech in an ungodly thunder. Ears twitched and icy eyes glared at him, but he paced forwards, taking his place just inside the arena as his Human unchained him and retreated back behind the thick gates that sealed the feline inside.
The balcony-man shrieked again, gesturing grandly at the opposing gate as it slid open. No human accompanied this opponent, and the lynx soon knew why.
A feral Bengal tiger let loose a roar as it entered the pit, leaping from the shadows to land hungrily in the sand. His eyes were bright and wide, filled with an insane light that showed even the whites of his eyes in an almost unnatural way. Chills crept down Athanasius’s spin at the sight of him. In all his fights before, he had fought only four tigers, and three lions. Five of them had been cubs or teens, most still larger than him, but lacking experience or confidence. The few adults had given him nothing but pain and almost fatal wounds.
This one however, was different. He was larger, and lacked comprehension. Just by the sight of him you could tell his mind had been broken beyond repair- primitive and without any intelligence left to use. That could either be an advantage, or become Athanasius’s downfall.
The human above the pit let out another irritating bellow, and at that exact moment, the tiger spotted his opponent. And thus, the battle had begun.
It was vicious and bloody, splattering the structures that were scattered inside the pit with crimson arcs and turning pale dirt and sand into a clotted red mess of mud, making footing treacherous. The tiger was huge, agile, and lethal, capable of dodging hits, or taking them directly without seeming phased, forcing Athanasius to use every trick in his arsenal. He had been caught twice already, splitting the leather connecting his metal plated armor clean through, and slicing his thigh beneath. The second had earned him a bad wound on his shoulder, which burned with a fury.
This is where one should consider the sheer differences between the two combatants. A lynx, barely a year old and not fully grown, whom has been fighting for his life as early as possible. While fairly large, he’s not quite as big as he’ll be when he’s older.
Then you have the Tiger; a Bengal with a ferocity that can only come from being insane. Fully matured, male, and claws longer than the linx’s muzzle. A species known for their lithe movements and rarely rivaled agility. The odds were not in Athanasius’s favor- the only thing he had going for him was his wits.
Thankfully, that seemed to be the only thing he needed.
The long and brutal fight eventually came to a finale; the bloodied and battered lynx now forced into keeping his distance from the prowling tiger, the wound he had suffered going unnoticed despite many of them bleeding intensely. Unfortunately for him and his broken mind, he didn’t have the sense to look up. Paying no attention to the low stone huts spaced evenly along the center of the arena, his prey of a lynx had climbed the side of one, his shredded paws and sore claws digging into the stone to reach this valuable vantage point.
Deadly silence had fallen over the crowd as they watched this curious move, waiting just as the lynx did for the tiger to prowl underneath his clever hiding spot, pressing low to the stone to hide his shadow in the midafternoon sun.
A leap, a roar and a yowl combined in one as a final scuffle ensued; and it was over. Athanasius had torn the jugular of the tiger, ripping it away with both claws and teeth, earning him the victory- but not before the violent thrashing of the dying feline knocked him away, ripping his face open from eyebrow to the opposite cheek in a terrible wound that very nearly blinded him in the right eye.
Wild screaming of what could almost be ecstasy went up in the audience, nearly deafening the wounded, but alive fighter as humans rushed out to ensure the tiger’s death, as well as the survival of Athanasius himself. Cotton bandages were hastily applied to his worst wounds, doing nothing much other than covering the gory injuries.
Before he could even comprehend what was happening, he was chained and being led away from the bright sunlight of day, on and on through dark passages that no fighter had ever stepped through before. He didn’t protest, but he stumbled and was all but dragged through the halls towards another brightly lit room. This time by candles and high windows; framed by red and gold curtains that draped elegantly to the ground.
He didn’t understand the importance of this room, and he merely stood as still as possible next to his ‘owner’, shuddering and trembling from adrenaline that was quickly fading, allowing him to feel every hurt on his body.
Out of the corner of his bleary and hazy eyes something bright and soft caught his attention. It was here he met the one who changed is life forever.
Light gray fur with soft rings of black. Watery, sapphire eyes and an expression of pure wonder met his gaze, and for a moment, all he could see were wings made of pure light; then crashing darkness. The haunting beauty of that single memory lived with him for the rest of his life, causing a very unexpected turn in his mindset as the world continued on around him.
He lived through his injuries, earning a look from his cruel father that was unusually lacking in the hate or judgmental department. Apparently his win against the Bengal tiger had earned his ‘owner’ a fabulously large purse of money, and he, the praise of the Bounty Hunter’s human master. He learned from his father during a terse conversation that he would soon be ready to take his place among the Hunters himself, he merely needed to prove himself the same way he did in that festival, twice over. Any other feline would be bought into the Hunters, or recruited due to excellent performance; however Athanasius being the son of one so well known as Draedis, meant he must be absolutely definite in his prowess, confidence, intelligence, and sheer emotional control. Not by any official standards- but to uphold his father’s reputation.
Ahh, but let’s not get too far ahead.
After that fight and his memory of the ‘Angel’, he began to heal. His body was young enough to quickly recover from his wounds, but his mind was another matter. He had never once seen something so beautiful before that moment, and it was almost like a revelation in his existence; almost like his instincts had been rebooted to realize that he was not born for this kind of life. He hadn’t been born with armor, and he was better at slinking through the shadows of the arena than outright attacking.
These slow realizations came one by one over the next few months, fight after fight becoming something different to him than just another obstacle to defeat. He saw the lights in their eyes, his ears finally began to hear the words they shrieked, and he began to feel the intensity of their emotions as they came at him. One, by, one. They fell to him, and every time he hesitated longer over their corpses, watching their eyes and trying to find something there. Only rarely did he ever see anything he could understand. Things in their dying eyes that were beyond what he knew. It challenged everything he had been raised for.
It wasn’t until he began to actually listen to the murmurs and words shared between cats in the temporary cages beneath the arena that he began to understand. A year and half now, six months had passed since the festival, and he’d gained something that had previously passed over him: Awareness. A sense of knowing things weren’t just training, fighting, and killing. He approached the ends of his chains in the holding area more than once to listen in on the hushed group conversations taking place between the cats scattered around them; and more often than not, they shied away from him more than any other stranger. They knew who he was, and he eventually realized they feared him more than anything else.
But there were a few times he was able to sit on the edge of a group, letting his newfound awareness absorb the information they spoke of. It was usually mindless gossip, meant to distract felines from their upcoming fights; which could very well be their last. But sometimes he heard words that he never could quite grasp- like ‘freedom’, and ‘the outside’. Or even ‘home’, with a wistful tone of regret or sadness. His home was never something he wanted to go back to, not to his father, whom he hated most out of everything in his life.
As time went on, months passing quickly and new faces replacing the ones who would never gossip again, he began to participate in the conversations, allowing his mind to work for something other than fighting strategies. A few words here, a few words there; nothing much, and quite a few of his fellows still avoided him despite it. Later in his life he would come to realize it was because of his father, but for now, we’re going to focus on the one cat whom didn’t retreat from his contact.
Instead, she sought it.
It was very rare for a cat to be allowed free roaming privileges within the City. Not cats that weren’t Hunters at least. Even Athanasius was forbidden from leaving the building in which he slept, and the training arena in which he spent most of his time being drilled by his father. But other cats were allowed to enter and leave, some for delivery purposes and others were just another Hunter come to visit Draedis.
But there was just one feline that approached the training arena one day, only slight hesitation in her steps as she entered, passing the guards without so much as a glance from them. The Lynx had been so absorbed in his training, using mounds of piled rocks to leap to and fro; the same kind of technique he used against the Tiger, that he didn’t notice her approach. His senses weren’t keen enough, not from years of blatant combat over that of subtle stalking.
When he did notice her, he froze, balancing precariously on a pile of stones without his armor. None had ever approached him directly, most circling around to meet some other destination within his ‘owner’s’ household.
She was a dark snow leopard with a proud stance and bright blue eyes. A starburst marking on her forehead caught his eye, and he carefully climbed down from his perch. They approached each other by unspoken permission and introduced each other, albeit rather awkwardly on Athanasius’s part, being unused to these kind of situations.
Her name was Granite, and after that odd meeting, they became friends against better ideas. The first friend the lynx had, honestly. He learned she had approached him due to what other cats said of him; how he was dangerous and shouldn’t be approached, but she wanted to know the truth. It was the first time he had ever made a connection, and soon it expanded within him at an astounding rate.
Two years of age now, he forcibly put himself into the conversations with other fighters under the Coliseum, making his words known and finally allowing the flame of his true self be kindled in the dim parts between fights and the oppressive treatment of his father. It was in the dark corridors and barely lit passages that he came into his personality, proving to the other fighters that he wasn’t the Devil in disguise. He gave tips to cats going into fights before him, and made a pact with every cat he fought against that they would both try their best, and should one die, they wouldn’t hold ill will for the other after death.
It was almost cleansing to him, and words he’d never heard spoken soon made their way to him. Kind ones- respectful praises, and even rumors of things he had heard of only in the faintest of rants his father went off on in another side to their home.
During this time, when he was in the middle of his fighting career, there came a day when his mother had reentered his life for only a brief few moments. She was joyous to see him, but unfortunately she was not allowed within talking distance. His long since dead hope that his mother would return for him was just barely out of reach, and he had a childish yearning for her warmth again. But his cruel owner would not allow it.
The only reason his mother was even there was because the human who had bought Soren years earlier, was picking from a new litter; Soren's half siblings. The lynx didn't know how many were there, but there was just one that managed to slip away from their shared mother to greet the older lynx curiously.
It was a small male, only a few weeks old at best. From his chain, the elder brother of the two had reached down and touched noses with the cub, connecting for just a glimpse of a moment with what he could have had if he were not cursed to be a fighting slave.
However, the moment didn't last long when the cub was called away, and Athanasius was viciously 'scolded' for going against his master's will. He never saw his sibling again, and because of those events, he lost the chance to become training partners with his own kin.
Years later, after he had become leader of Fire Empire, and the memory of his lost family far down in his mind, he didn't realize that his most despised enemy was the very same cub from his past, the cub's appearance changing with age and becoming unrecognizable to the old veteran.
It was the Bounty Hunter- Scaeden. But he doesn’t know that, not now. Too much time had passed; not even Scaeden knows. Ahh, but those are stories for later. Moving on-
<[ And some flames refuse to ever go out completely ]>
After that, next year went on without much change aside from his secret delving into his consciousness, learning of himself. He refused intensely refused and fought against the attempts to put him up to breed, and his father for once agreed, thinking it unfit of a Hunter in training to bear cubs until he became a true Hunter.- This lead to the revelation that upon his third birthday, he would be finally admitted to the ranks of hunters, and not as an apprentice or trainee; but as a fully trained member of the order.
The only thing he would need to do would be to capture or kill an escaped cat.
Questions began to rage in his mind; so few times had he heard of the reasons behind the Bounty Hunters existence, and even as he was pushed into his fights the next day, he questioned. It was only when he made his inquiries known to the crowd of felines before his next match did he find the answers he was looking for.
Rumors had been passed, rumors that were so strange and foreign to his ears that he had to ask them to repeat it. He earned an exasperated reply, but a reply nonetheless. What was said began to open a tiny crack of a door in his mind.
Rumor had it that there had been a break out- more than a few felines had been gathering on the edge of the human territory, some of them escaped from the Coliseum itself! The ones telling this story gained many disbelieving looks, others rolled their eyes and returned to their owners. Some of the younger gladiators had listened wide-eyed, and Athanasius had taken an interest to the two young cat’s far fetching idea. That sliver of an opening began to open, and thoughts began to whirl in his head.
Ever since that Festival years ago, he had tried to see more to life than just bloodshed, and even during these moments where he was able to see the other gladiators, he had tried to instill hope in them as well. And this- this rumor; it was so strange, so unbelievable, that he couldn’t see how a hopeless gladiator had managed to come up with it in these dark corridors. So, the lynx believed them. Was this what his father fought to deny? Freedom from these hellish pits? To kill and retrieve cats who merely wanted peace? A new fire of hate blazed towards Draedis in this new development.
He asked the two story-tellers which districts they lived in, and received two guarded answers, but they replied all the same. Then, with an idea hatching in Athanasius’s head as the door to revelation opened completely. The lynx spoke quietly to the other felines, trying to offer his growing plan to others. The ones who had told this rumor had joined him immediately, only being young cats themselves. Other fighters weren’t as open to his voiced tale, but a brave few were. And they made a pact.
Tomorrow night, they would win their matches and join together to escape their cages- they would run free of the city to find the cats that had suddenly given them all hope. The cats whom dared oppose the humans; those who fought for their freedom against the cats who didn’t even have to risk their lives in the Circuit every day. That was a more honorable existence than nearly dying in a hole every day.
Many of their little group did survive, only two having died in harsh battles- but as the rest were separated to their individual prisons, they shared a nod and a glance, knowing that tonight they would escape, or die trying.
During the night before it happened, he thought of Granite, the feline he had become fast friends with. He wondered if she would be angry at him for leaving so suddenly, or if she thought he would be dead. For a moment he wished he could bring her with him, but it was too late now. The sun was going down and the moon was rising, and soon he would be forced to find and flee with the other five. Maybe she would escape someday too; he could only hope it.
Soon it was time, and fortunately enough Athanasius’s own escape went well- the lock on his cage had been rusting over for years, and since he had been fighting for so long, his owner had started neglecting the chain that linked to his collar, and had completely discarded the chains on his rear paws. Soon he had been roaming the streets, armor less and quietly searching for his pact-mates.
He found five of them, and to his relief, two of them were the very same young felines who had told Athanasius of the wildcats; a young Margay and an African Golden cat.
Their journey to the gates went well, their armor having been left behind for silence, stealth being needed for this mission. It went well, yes- that is, until the guards spotted them.
It became chaos after that. Three of the escapees split off, foolishly thinking they could survive the incoming forces alone. Athanasius and two of his charges were left, and he bade them to run ahead of him. They were young, and had a full life ahead of them. He didn’t want them to be lost.
They very nearly made it, the gates having a gap wide enough for them to fit through due to feline guards who needed to patrol outside the walls- the very same who jumped them immediately after exiting the city.
Athanasius fought valiantly alongside the two young cats, but they were overwhelmed. He saw one of his fellow escapees fall, and with a strike of grief, he assumed him to be dead. He quickly made a lunge for the surviving escapee, barreling her away from the fighting. He swore to her, the last remaining cat who had given Athanasius his second flare of hope that he would find her. With that, the young one nodded, fleeing into the night.
Athanasius barely managed to escape his assaulting enemies, only managing it after pulling off a fairly reliable move when faced with more than one opponent. But escape them he did- but he had lost one of his young friends, and the other had run into the darkness. Exhausted, wounded, and free, the lynx made his way toward the distant shadow of a forest, hoping that the little gladiator had gotten to a safe place, and mourning the one he thought to be dead.
After entering the forests dark borders, he collapsed; breathing in the first scent of freedom he had ever smelled.
He was later found by a wildcat patrol, solidifying his hopes and future. Unfortunately his friend was nowhere to be seen. But he had sworn to find her again, and he still looks for that young feline wherever he can. She had been a friend, and she, like their ‘lost’ friend, had been like siblings to Athanasius in the brief time he had known them.
It was upon his arrival at their camp that he decided to take up a new name; a new identity that didn’t have the years of violent bloodshed and murder. At least- not as well known. When presented before their leader, he looked back through his memories, trying to find something to call himself. A warm memory of milk and smaller furry bodies beside his own flittered faintly in his mind’s eye, and he remembered a tiny bit of his old name. Before he became ‘Athanasius’. It wasn’t exact…
But he became Soren.
Soren quickly rose through the ranks of Fire Empire, learning their ways and gaining his signature blue feathers from his first hunt. His life had gained a whole new light, and as it went on, things continued to flourish.
To his surprise and endless relief, a week after he became a part of Fire Empire, a snow leopardess joined as well. A friend he had been afraid he’d never see again and quickly engaged in their daily conversations once again. He finally felt at home.
Unfortunately soon a deadly sickness that had begun to spread six moons after the he one in which he had joined- the very same sickness that took Rue’s life, Fire Empire’s first leader and somewhat of a mentor to Soren. The lynx had been one of the few remaining felines left, ready, able, and willing, to take on the position of leader. And so he stepped up to the task without hesitation, ready to lead his remaining scattered Empire into a more hopeful time.
During the beginning months of his time as Leader, a lone gladiator joined their ranks. An African Golden cat he had thought to be dead and gone. With a warm reunion, the young cat whom Soren had seen struck down and thought dead, became a loyal gladiator among his Empire’s ranks, and a close friend; his name was Theo. Now they both desire to find the last remaining one of their escaped group, the young margay who had run into the night.
After finding his young friend, Soren wondered if he ever would see a visage of that snowy angel whom had saved his life so long ago, and the fierce white lion cub again- or if he would even recognize them.
Now, many moons later, he remains Fire Empire’s Leader, grizzled by battles and more experienced in the ways of life than he had been so many years ago. During his life as his comrades senior, he has grown to love and respect many a feline. His close friends are his most trusted allies, and they have proven their worth time, and time again.
The lynx has fought many foes outside of the coliseum, and he doesn’t regret any of them. There was a distinct difference between these fights and the Pits- out here, in the wild with his Empire, he had something to protect, land to live on, and friends who depended on him for survival. They weren’t forced into the fighting, and they rarely went to the death; something drastically different between the two lifestyles.
In the Empires, Soren had a purpose. And for that reason he would give his life willingly to protect those who had given him that purpose.
Of many battles that he had fought, one more notable battle would be an ambush raid by the notorious Bounty Hunters, a trap having been laid by their leader -a normal hunter at the time-, Scaeden. The silver tongued lynx had played Air Empire leader Valon like a game, and had attacked and nearly captured cats from both Fire Empire and Air. Many cats came away wounded and bloody, but they had managed to successfully defend themselves- even taking Scaeden himself as their own prisoner, as well as his partner, never once realizing how closely related they really were.
The raid had left Soren with new additions to his growing battle scars, and had prompted him to have his armor completely remade, and his status ranking helmet to finally be added to his equipment.
But his leadership would soon come to an end. As would his life.
The blue-jay feathers he wears have never been seen taken off. Soren’s first prey felled had been the very blue-jay in which the feathers had been gained. He had been told at the time that blue-jays were a rare bird, and that the hunting of something as such was both good luck and a good omen.
His third feather was given to someone dear to him in the Empires, and in return he received his golden pendant.
His father was a very rare lynx. He was one of the few lynxes ever to be seen or captured that had a tail longer than a foot.
Being a Eurasian Lynx, Soren is one of the largest species of lynx, being 3’6” at the top of his head (3 feet, 6 inches). He's a bit larger however because of his lineage.
While typical Lynxes have black ear tips and black ear tufts, Soren has light brown ear tips and dark brown ear tufts.
Despite being a lynx, who are native to rocky and mountainous regions, Soren is actually rather clumsy under uneven footing.
Mother: "Genieva" /
Father: "Draedis" /
Brother: "Scaeden" /
Status: Soren's unaware that Scaeden is his sibling. Status is unknown
Sister: "Aiolos" /
Status: Soren's unaware that Aiolos is his sibling. Status is unknown
- His father (Pre-Empire)
Nedria of Ice.
Ryusei of Fire, Kaien of Ice, and Anura of Ice.
Empire Points: 108 EP
Dominant: Large spots [AA], Large ears [Aa], long cheek tufts [Aa], bob tail [Aa], Note: Carrier traits cannot be seen.
Recessive: blue eyes [Aa], Light colored ears [aa], thick fur [Aa], Slim build [Aa]
Carrier: long/heavy mane [aa], green eyes [Aa], black pawpads [aa], long tail [Aa]
Athanasius may very well be one of the most wanted cats in the Empires.
Obviously a high value target for simply being a leader of an Empire, he is also wanted for reasons varying from recapture, to assault of his handlers prior to escape, armor theft, assisted-escape of other prized felines, and murder of four men-in-arms and their companion guard felines.
Be on the lookout for high stamina, strength, heavily armored defense, and intelligence. He can outwit you faster as he can out fight you. Look for weaknesses in the armor and take advantage in terrain. Sightings of Athanasius have shown he is often alone on patrol. If found alone, attempt to corner and capture.
==> Wanted alive.
==> Collective award is 80,000 gold coins.
Example Roleplay: (Taken from an actual roleplay)
Rage coursed through the veteran Lynx's veins, feeling warm blood spatter his paws as his attack hit the enemy Jaguar square in the face. A morbid kind of excitement throbbed inside him, and a secret stash of frustration and anger invigorated his limbs and sent a blazing fire of tingles down his spine. His rage at the Bounty Hunters, his fresh anger at Valon, and all the exasperating events that had taken place in these last few days finally had a place to go, and that was into this fight.
Soren was not an angry feline- he would get annoyed at the younger cats sometimes, but he was getting older and that's just what he was meant to do. Get irritated and teach them lessons on how to mature and turn into respectable Gladiators. But these last few days had been frustrating to the extreme. His orders in his own Empire had been questioned and ignored many times, and he had been driven to the point of showing his teeth at them to prove his point. The auburn pelted leader hated having to enforce things with action, but his Empire had given him no choice lately. But now- but now, he had a chance to express all of this into a fight that was to teach their enemies that he was not to be underestimated.
He felt long, razor sharp claws slash into his side as he ducked away, a snarl ripping from his maw as he felt Caelina's claws gore deeply into his side. Words were lost to him, and being separated from most of the other Empire felines and Hunters, their battle continued on. He felt pain lace up his newly acquired wound, but he ignored it. He spat angrily and lashed out again, ignoring the blood that seeped down his side now, and aimed for the jaguar's neck with his outstretched claws, going in for a fierce blow.
If he missed, his guard would be wide open to attack, but if he landed it, he hoped that it was enough to force her away from his land.
In the back of his mind, he made sure he would personally confront Valon. That foolish serval had put not only his own Empire in danger, but Soren's as well. All the more reason to finish this battle quickly.
A NOTE ABOUT NEDRIA'S RELATIONSHIP STATUS!
Under no circumstances, may anyone take this OOC knowledge into Roleplay. Only a few select characters of each party know about Soren and Nedria being mates ICly.
Example being that if Soren, Nedria, or those select characters didn't tell your characters via RP then you should NOT make it out to be that way. No irrational logic jumps, and no godmoding the information into RP.
As an Admin of EBC, I do have the right to give you a warning for using OOC information ICly, so think before you decide to do so.
(c) Soren/Art = RenatusPhoenix