Abram Borisov

Out of Character

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Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:05 am --

In Character

Male 13 Mar 2013
Wolfdog (50% Tundra Wolf, 50% Dog) Ortus
Abram has the blood of several different dog breeds running through him, but none of them manifest in his appearance except for a darkened coat. His coloration looks just as it did when he was young, and only the white mask around his face shows a concession to old age.

The pattern resembles a crude tuxedo. There is black along his head, neck, back and tail that slowly shifts into white along his underside and paws. His fur is plush and makes him look larger than he is. His eyes are gold.

He has lost all the fat he acquired during his pampered life as a slave, and the muscles he gained in hard labor are again seeing use. It has been years since he has had to hunt for himself, and so he is leaner than one might expect beneath that plush fur.

Abram typically leaves his chest bare to give himself (he thinks) a 'rugged' appearance. On a loop of sinew on his neck is an enormous 'fang', which is in fact a bone shaped to resemble a fang. His legs are covered by a pair of wool pants that are frayed along the edges. A worn leather belt loops around his pants, and it holds the scabbard for a bronze gladius.

- One pair of pants.
- A leather belt.
- A bronze gladius and its scabbard.
- A shard of glass sharpened into a knife
- Pelts: Muskrat (1) Snowshoe Hare (1)
- Crude wooden spear

- Abram currently lives in an overturned rail car on the Western Forefront.
He's deathly afraid that someone will realize that he was once a Patrician's slave and take him as their own. He believes himself marked by the whole experience - that is, he's afraid that he was once a slave because he was always meant to be slave.

Not because he believes in fate, but because of the kind of person he is. He was too impulsive and made too many mistakes before he was forced into slavery. He was too much of a coward to fight back. Suffice to say, he's got no self-confidence and a lot of neurosis about himself and slavery.

If anyone recognizes what he really he is or the weakness inherent inside him, he thinks he'll be enslaved again. His only hope is that he finds his old master before someone else takes advantage of his nature.

So he pretends to be something he is not: a common, dimwitted barbarian. His grasp of English and Italian is far better than one would expect, but he speaks in broken sentences to confuse strangers. He has discarded the remnants of his old clothes, except for his pants and sword, and makes a focused effort to appear 'rugged'. He tells tall tales of fighting bears and monsters to anyone who will listen and puffs himself up like a bird when he encounters new people.

In actuality, he would rather not fight. He knows how to, mind, but he doesn't want to. He's afraid of losing and becoming a slave again, so he lies and thieves and uses his wits and cunning. He'll act like he has boundless confidence while he's wilting on the inside.

Only the very observant may notice him slipping: the judgement in his eyes when he encounters folks he considers too 'crude' or uncivilized. His taste for wine and refined foods. The way he holds himself when he is alone. The occasional too articulate phrase slipping past his lips when he is drunk and at ease.
Abram was born and raised in Siberia, to a family of hunters and trackers and reindeer herders. Occasionally his pack made trips to Moscow for trade, and that was his first taste of city life. It was only a glimpse, and not a very impressive glimpse at that, but Abram had seen nothing like it before and it had filled his head with wonder. He returned to Moscow, after burning his bridges with his family, and worked and traded until his 'work' led to a second bridge-burning.

Abram fled west to the Mediterranean and spent the third year of his life in search of new opportunities. Having learned from his old mistakes, Abram took a more cunning approach. He pretended to be a simple hunter and trader while he learned the local languages, and then slowly incorporated the thievery he was known for.

This could not last for long. His greed burned him eventually and it was in Istanbul that he got caught stealing from an Italian merchant's ship. Pressed against a wall and a city that would do nothing to help him, Abram was forced to make a choice between death and slavery. He chose the latter and allowed himself to be bound in chains.

The experience was so traumatizing that he could no longer think of himself as a clever trickster. He experienced his first moment of true regret here, and felt it keenly on the way to Rome. There he was trained as a slave, and there he learned the language of Italian. In his fear he was obedient and it was this that saved him from the Gladiator ring. He was nonetheless employed in hard labor and often mentally wondered if it would not have been better for him if he had died.

When an injury acquired during his work forced him to rest, his master opted to sell him and pay for someone in better shape. He was sold cheaply a young man in a Patrician* family, the youngest and least favored son who hoped to make a name for himself by trading and traveling around the world.

Junius earned Abram's loyalty by treating him fairly; he knew that the wolfdog could be manipulated while he was weak. He tended to him while he recovered, and taught him the manners that would be needed of a household slave. He promised him a life of luxury so long as he was loyal and obedient to his master. When Abram was well enough to stand and work again, he was taught the functions of a bodyguard.

He did not need to be the best fighter, and Junius in fact preferred that he was not; he was less of a threat that way. He was taught enough to hold a sword, and dressed in such a way as to make himself look more intimidating for any would-be attackers. When Junius ate or drank, Abram took a bite of his food before he did; the boy had an ego and imagined that one of his 'enemies' would poison him if he did not take precautions.

Abram knew that he was meant to sacrifice his life for master should harm threaten him, but he did not care because he was more comfortable than he had ever been. In Junius, too, Abram had found a likeness for trouble. The boy had a habit for less-than-fair trades and shady dealings and Abram was often privy to this. Whereas Abram had been impulsive but cunning in youth, Junius's family and lifestyle afforded him a better education; he was more cunning still, and had the self-restraint Abram had only acquired in slavery. Abram could not help but notice this, and both envied and admired him for it.

One of Junius's plans involved a trip to Portland, Maine and then south into the Caribbean. A storm drove the ship off-course and separated the slave from his master. Abram fell off the ship before it ran aground and found himself in the wilderness. He searched, but went the wrong direction. He backtracked, but he was lost and hungry and disoriented, and could not find the ship. For two weeks he resolved to stay in one place and hunt and wait should Junius or anyone else appear.

Fate had given him his freedom, but he didn't know what to do with it.

He should have been grateful to the storm, but Abram found that he missed Junius and the luxury he gave him more than he missed freedom. He was the closest thing he had to a friend, and years of manipulation couldn't have been erased in two weeks.

At first he thought he might try to track Junius down again, but then it occurred to him that his master could be dead, and if he was dead then Abram could be enslaved again and brought before someone less kind. Abram agonized over this, but when a month had passed, he had to admit to himself that he wasn't going to find him by staying still - and if he wanted to find him, he would have to be clever so that no one else could enslave him.

Abram set off north, either to find his master or a new life.

*From a minor family, not from any of the ones listed on the wiki. I don't want to step on anyone's toes.