Artei a character from my most recent TES IV: Oblivion session started on February 22nd, 2009 and still ongoing. This time I'm not going to do the main quest, instead just role-playing and travelling here and there, and will try to fully role-play his early adulthood until the character is actually "ready" to slay the Daedra.
He started his childhood specializing mostly in Acrobatics and by acrobatics I don't mean jumping off high cliffs to convert health points into experience points but more like, as a young boy he was a very talented contortionist and hand-balancer, practicing in front of the crowd for bread and on the roofs of high buildings just for himself. Occasional Gray Fox followers often noticed a silhouette of a slender figure in the dawn, doing an elegant pose on top of one building or another. Soon Artei became a walking example of the human body's abilities to all people of Tamriel and in taverns they kept discussing the rumors about the new Circus Guild, nobody knew any details but everybody agreed a circus would make a great competitor to the Arena as well as a good place for all kinds of physical training and animal taming. But then Artei's life took a whole new twist when the war with Daedra renewed...
Some screenshots showing his in-game appearance can be seen here:
(Also includes a little contortion trick I taught him by hacking one of his moves a bit^^)
Artei is an orphan raised by wandering jugglers who found him as a little poor Breton kid hiding under the bridge. They fed him and the boy told them his parents were killed by the monsters that attacked their village, but he managed to escape. The troupe offered him to join and he followed them. They became his new family and helped him to master the art of juggling.
The boy had a rather odd habit of stretching in the morning, raising his arms and arching the torso until his spine produced a series of soft popping sounds, while his body demonstrated an unusual degree of flexibility. The man who was his teacher asked him about this habit and Artei told him that his dad and mom would often make theirs spines crack while working in the garden and then they'd laugh and say it felt like they only just started working. And the man figured that Artei was secretly trying to copycat his old parents but it took a lot more effort for his young joints to produce said sounds, so he was unconsciously working hard on increasing his spine's flexibility.
The man encouraged Artei to try grabbing his foot and pulling it to his head from behind, and it wasn't much surprising that while doing so the boy was perfectly capable of getting his heel beyond his own collarbone. Next, with a little help from his teacher, he was able to lay on his chest while having both of his feet standing on the ground next to his shoulders (so called "cheststand"). It suprised even the boy himself as he'd never have thought of doing something like this.
Needless to say, Artei's newly discovered talent took the form of acrobatic stunts and was immediately incorporated into their juggling performances and not without success, as their daily income nearly doubled. Artei was encouraged to work harder and in a few months was capable of folding his body backwards in half, while at the same time standing on his hands, something that always made the crowd gasp in awe!
Soon the war with Daedra renewed and for the second time Artei had lost his entire family as they were slaughtered by the Daedric soldiers right in front of his eyes while he hid himself in a tiny niche under some building and managed to survive. After a few weeks of living as a beggar, the boy was noticed by a priest who brought him to his priory, saying that he was given a sign about the boy and that Artei's destiny is now in the hands of the Nine. Artei was trained to handle the sword as well as taught everything from the ancient scriptures.
After turning 20, Artei left the priory and joined a few guilds to help him practice the skills most important for his quest to destroy Daedra. While practicing his sword fighting and healing magic, he didn't forget about acrobatics and his flexibility still served him well during the hard days, as his morals kept him from stealing and killing innocent people or animals.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and the Holy Crusader outfit design (c) Bethesda Softworks.
Tags: Oblivion Artei crusader