Kaevryn Goltmann is a name well-woven in the fabric of the Isles of Axios, for the actions of the man who bore it have had deep and profound effects upon the world. An accomplished alchemist and progenitor of the Afflicted disease which wracked Axios for many years, he discovered avenues of an alchemy theretofore untried, and with them laid a heavy veil of terror over the land he walked. In later years, when the disease had passed, he remained in service to Mordring, and hunted the descended races thusly.
Birth and Childhood
Kaevryn Goltmann was born on the 10th of Snow’s Maiden, 1583; within the Duchy of Carnatia, located in the Kingdom of Haense. His given name was Kaleb, and he would not use the name 'Kaevryn' until much later in his life. Kaleb’s father, Mercer, was a Decanus of the Legio I Ioannes at the time of his son’s birth; near four years thereafter he returned to the Imperial Capital of Johannesburg to continue his service after retiring previously, serving later as a Nauzican of Emperor Philip Frederick before perishing in the Thanhic explosion that brought the Orenian Empire to an untimely conclusion. Wracked with a mental ailment after the death of her husband, Kaleb’s mother, Kadence, was seen as unfit to care for the young child and so he was given off to a great friend of the family, Arthur La Croix. Under Arthur’s care Kaleb acquired a basic education, learning how to read and write, whilst also being taught the many intricacies of swordplay. The teenage Kaleb began to dabble in Alchemy around this time as well, his interest piqued by various books and tomes he read within the grandiose Library of Dragur.
Early Life and Affliction
Kaleb’s studies would come to a grinding halt as civil strife erupted within the Kingdom of Haense, as the house of Brawm declared independance from the Kingdom and prompted the ‘Siege of Houndsden’ in 1600. A glimpse into Mercer’s vocation was enough to convey to Kaleb he wished to find a different path, and instead he sought to find for himself a life that did not rely on the brutal steel and iron of conventional warfare. Meeting the later infamous dark mage Coltaine Wick and possibly unknowing of his corruption, Kaleb soon became a student under the lich, learning Earth Evocation. During this time the fledgling mage also met the renowned alchemist homunculus Aislin Maar, author of several books regarding Alchemy which Kaleb studied in his younger years. Under the tutelage of Aislin, Kaleb’s alchemical prowess swiftly increased, as he learned how to bring into being a great many concoctions and even to create rudimentary Homunculi such as Fiends. This did not last long however, as Aislin soon bled into obscurity and vanished, leaving the young man to continue his studies alone.
Turning now to personal experiments and investigations of the true nature of alchemy, his interest soon turned to creatures of an alchemical nature; following a horrific experiment, Kaleb discovered a peculiar alchemical parasite, and believing the potion to be one of a beneficial nature, partook of the draught. Thus, to the future grief of many, the first Afflicted was created. The ramifications of this action would not become clear for many years.
Secondary Haensetic Conflict and Bastion
Yet again war came about to the Kingdom of Haense after souring relations with the Kingdom of Courland, diplomacy was cut and conflict broiled. Seeking to defend the lands he grew up within, Kaleb decided to enlist in the Royal Hansetic Army; participating in the ‘Battle of Elba’ which resulted in a decisive victory for the Kingdom of Courland. A year later Kaleb was a defender within the ‘Siege of Vasililand’, another loss for Haense, to which the war came to a close with both Kingdoms signing a pact, Haense dissolved and all lands were ceded to the Kingdom of Courland, Tobias Staunton allowed those that wished to move from Haense and settle elsewhere.
Kaleb quickly rushed to his home in Carnatia, packing up whatever he could manage therein his Alchemical laboratory; the Alchemist burned whatever else that remained within the lab, as Courlandic forces swept in to secure their new territories. Now Kaleb was a travelling vagrant along with a good number of other Haensetian refugees. Eventually he settled West, within the city of Bastion, where he witnessed the Undead of Mordring. The young man then sought to fight for the Westerlands, putting his alchemical skills to use in healing injured soldiers and even lending his blade here and there upon the front. Yet the Kaleb struggled greatly to contain the malign mutations procured by the alchemical parasite, and the alchemist realized that the West's desire to purge all tainted things might soon include himself. The arrival of the Ascended reinforcement to Bastion increased this concern, and Goltmann chose to move on.
Distraught, Kaleb packed his things and begrudgingly traveled yet again, though this time he went even further West, struggling through the vast tundra he reached the Abyssal Portal, being confronted by Mordring’s Hand, Ghamul, Kaleb pledged his service to the Wraith and Mordring himself, the Afflicted becoming a spy of the Westerlands. Realizing he was to betray his own kin for the Legions of Mordring, Kaleb avoided his newfound duty for a brief while. He began referring to himself as Kaevryn, perhaps in hopes that people would not discover whom this Afflicted truly was, or to simply create an alter ego. During in which he travelled about Axios wishing to bring more Afflicted to fruition as he neared mastery of the parasite. He managed to Afflict several descendants of varying races, some took the concoction willingly, some others he tricked into taking the parasite.