Fredegar "Fred" Dalequest (FRED-ih-gar)
A . . . Wizard (Professional Statue Investigator)
Greetings to those below. I am Death, though Azrael is the name I ask you call me. We’re starting fresh today after our religious series with something simple. Something uniquely . . . Fred. And by that I mean, Fred is an idiot.
He is also a wizard, a human, an escaped slave, a lover of mirrors, a duck enthusiast (at least his former master things so), and now an aspiring professional thief. Miraculously he’s still alive despite all these things. But, primarily, he’s an idiot.
The Thing About Wizards
No doubt you will be excited or impressed by the fact Fred is a wizard, those below. But the thing about wizards is . . . there’s no such thing. Well, at least not in the way you might imagine them to be. I believe Kieran Quinn, one of Fred’s fellow thieving partners, said it best:
Ahem, yes. You see, Kieran is correct when he says there’s no such thing as magic in the world of Orosta. Ah, well . . . at least not in the traditional sense. So while you might be envisioning big pointy hats, magnificent beards, and long robes detailed with stars, I’m afraid to say that the word “wizard” on Orosta is rather lacking in glamor and prestige. What wizards actually do is research various dragon-built objects to determine their function. In fact, the term “wizard” is the Orostian form of the Sithuli word visardé, which means “knowledge.” However, take note that all wizards are human. Because all humans on the island of Rhye are slaves, and because researching dragon-built objects is incredibly dangerous, the thought is we might as well give the dangerous job to the human since . . . well, they’re not going to live very long anyway, now are they? I chuckle, but that is just because I prefer a little black coloring to my humor. Please do not confuse my laughter with agreement. I do not approve at all of how humans are treated, truth be told. It is just . . . well, I don’t see it changing anytime soon. And no one ever asked for my opinion when the decision to enslave all of humanity was being made, so I suppose little insignificant Death saying anything amounts to blowing a raspberry into the wind, and I do believe I’m talking to myself at this point. Moving on.“Were you reading Flight of the Wands again? Because in Fantasyland, yes, waggling fingers, chanting, and sprinkling parsley in a star pattern will cause magical fireballs to shoot from your fingertips. But back in good old Orostian reality, magic doesn’t exist, and wizards are just human slaves playing with statues all day. That’s what they do, Fred.”—Kieran Quinn
The Chosen One
by J. L. Gryphon via ArtbreederAlas for poor Fred, no one has ever asked his opinion on anything, either. Except for once. Granted it wasn’t so much as being asked for his opinion as it was just . . . being asked for anything. Being seen at all, and by Cell the Veldriss’s Voice of all people. Now, please bear with me as I explain this next part, those below. You see, seven is not just an important year for Zurrinaih elf assassin initiates. It’s important for the children of human slaves, too. When a human child turns seven years old, that is the earliest they might be sold. By then, the child has had time to demonstrate some sort of skill such as art, music, or talent with plants, making it much easier to place them where they are going to provide the most use. Marketing, basically. Fred, though, by his seventh birthday, wasn’t very marketable. He was a skinny thing even then and wasn’t suited for working in the fields. He was too clumsy to help the healers, too twitchy to be a spy. In truth, it was likely no one would have been interested in Fred at all, which would have placed the child in quite a dangerous position. Unwanted “property” tends to get . . . thrown away. But then a miracle happened. Or should I say an act of mercy? Cell the Veldriss’s Voice may strike an austere, even icy figure, but every once in a while, he does something that surprises me—something that makes me smile. That day was one such day. Cell spotted skinny, fumbling, seven-year-old Fred in the crowd and recognized him for the unwanted thing that he was. I still remember the way Cell just quietly tilted his head. His blue eyes squinted the slightest bit, and the corner of his mouth quirked up so faintly you’d have to know Cell’s habits to notice he smiled at all. Perhaps it was pity. But if I know anything about Cell, and I know him better than most, it was because he wanted to add a little chaos to the world that day. He wanted to do one good deed that, hopefully, would make everything just a little bit more interesting. He wanted to tell the brutal world he lived in, just once, “Not today.” And so Cell selected Fred, along with a few other children, to serve Magus Academy as a wizard. Yes, as I have already explained, being a wizard is a highly dangerous, even deadly job depending on what dragon-built object is being tested. But it was the best chance, the only chance, Fred had to survive. And Cell knew it. So he gave Fred a chance. Cell gave Fred the only chance anyone has ever given him. So it was with mixed emotions that I watched Fred receive his first tattoo marking him as a slave. It was a dragon eye on his left forearm, the symbol of the royal House Anastil. He was owned by the court now. It was a mark that branded him, reduced him to “property,” but it was also the only thing that saved his life. Make of that what you will. I have said in the past the world of Orosta is broken. Do you believe me now?
A Deadly Oops
I would like to say after this point that Fred’s life improved but . . . well, I regret to say Cell’s moment of mercy backfired. Having a warm bed, food in his belly, and a dragon eye tattooed on his left arm gave Fred the impression he was special. This idea grew and grew until all of it quite went to his head, I’m afraid. Being chosen by the Veldriss’s Voice made him proud, never mind the fact he was a slave. In Fred’s mind, he had not been bought. He had been chosen. Ah, the inflated ego of the “chosen one.” Except in the world of Orosta, there are no chosen ones. Not really. Most figure this out after a certain point, but before anyone could tell Fred, he . . . well, there was a bit of a “deadly oops” that occurred. As I said, wizards research and test various dragon-built objects. They do this so the students of Magus Academy can observe the testing, from a safe distance, and take notes. The most dangerous dragon-built objects are the ones built by red dragons, if only because they tend to explode. Fire, brimstone, volcanos. You get the idea. Fred, thinking he was special, thinking he above all others had been “chosen by the goddess” decided he was skilled enough to test one such dragon-built invention. Never mind the fact he was still in training. Never mind the fact he had zero experience. Never mind the fact Fred is so notoriously clumsy you’re never quite sure whether he’s drunk or sober. Fred began his tests, poked something he shouldn’t have, and . . . how do I put this delicately? He blew up a student.
The Escaped Slave
Which brings me to: An elf, a stormchaser, a child, and a talking green newt walk into a bar . . . ahem, not really, those below, but I couldn’t resist. I do imagine it’s what Fred must have felt was happening the first time he encountered Ree’s ragtag thieving gang. How does one process such an odd bunch? After Fred’s egregious accident—along with one additional incident involving ducks—Fred was imprisoned. He would have been executed had not his reluctant friend Artemis Blackwick, a fellow wizard, taken pity on him. Artemis released Fred from his cell and helped him as far as the city gates. After that, Fred was on his own. An escaped slave now on the run, he traveled further and further east until that was exactly where he found himself. Following the broken, dusty leavings of what used to be a wide road, he eventually stumbled across the ruins of Jersæg. So, too, did he stumble across Ree and his new would-be family. Hungry, scared, and with nowhere else to go, Fred begged them to let him stay. After a little coaxing (actually a lot of coaxing if you count Ree), Fred had found himself a new haven. For better or worse . . .
A Fool’s Errand
All this to say, I began this discussion with the direct statement that Fred is an idiot. But throughout, I would agree with you if you’ve been thinking to yourself that nothing I’ve said about Fred makes him seem this way. Well, except for the, “Oops.” But, this is because, Fred is an idiot not for what he has done. He is an idiot for what he is going to do. You see, Fred is going to try to save the world. What’s worse is, he’s going to do it by accident. And what’s worst is . . . he’s almost going to succeed.
To learn more, hop on over to the books page OR hop on over to the teaser and get a sneak peek of Chapter 1! For more articles like this one, have a peek at my Worldbuilding Journal and explore Orosta.
Image by J. L. Gryphon via Artbreeder
Previously Held Ranks & Titles
Date of Birth
The Month of Gabral, Day 12, 14977 NS
Year of Birth
14977 24 Years old
The Dragon Pits
- Orostian (1st - fluent)
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