Theme songs? Eh.
The Story of Two Brothers
Zarek was born to one of the gods in the world of Althagrea. His father, Leas, was what most would assume as the King of the gods. Though it was far from that. The gods that lived in this world shared responsibility, leaving no single God in the shadow. Even the God that ruled the Underworld was viewed as equal in their eyes. The reason for this was because not long ago, (at least in the eyes of a God) war had broken out between Immortals and Gods. It was a long and bloody one that wiped out more than 75% of their numbers. To make up for these loses, after what became known simply as The Treaty was signed, the Gods shared their duties. And to make sure the mortals of that world were not left to their own devices, the gods began using their children, the Demi-God Immortals, as messengers to the mortal world. They acted as the mouth pieces to the gods as well as giving guidance and aid to mortal in their times of need.
Zarek and his twin brother, Tristian, were born ten years after this war had ended. It was a rough time for the two siblings, as there were still so few gods and demi-gods. The two of them were trained from birth in swordplay and the mystic arts, eventually being sent down to the mortal world to fulfill their jobs as the hands of the gods. Thirty years passed with the brothers working nonstop, fending off attacks from threats that normal men couldn't withstand. From creatures born of pure Chaotic energy to beasts that went bump in the night. They were joined by a slew of other demi-gods as time went on, but being some of the first (aside from a few others) they were often in charge. This is, of course, when things started going downhill for the brothers.
Falling out of Grace
One day the order came to Zarek and Tristian, as the kingdoms of Althagrea warred, to stand aside and do nothing. The brothers knew that if no one stepped in to stop the coming battle, that the Kingdom of Tarun would be slaughtered and utterly destroyed by the Kingdom of the West, Garrito. Leas commanded the two to do nothing, but Tristian had other ideas. He convinced Zarek to disobey their father and fight with Tarun's forces, turning the tide of battle and saving countless lives. Enraged by their disobedience, Leas banished both brothers from their very own Dimension, casting them into an unknown and strange, new world. They found themselves stripped of their power and mortal in this new realm, unsure of what their next action should be... Zarek took it much better than Tristian did.
While Zarek found himself a new home, built himself up a life and even found himself a romantic partner, Tristian traveled his new land in search of power. He wanted to regain his immortality, and because of the anger he felt towards his father, he didn't care how it would be done. So he searched. Searched, and searched, and searched. Ten years passed, and Tristian had found artifacts and items that empowered him to a point, but it wasn't what he desired. After he had learned more about this world, including its name of Allbright, he discovered that some of the gods in this plane were more... open, to making deals with mortals in exchange for certain deeds to be done.
While Tristian found the power he searched for, Zarek had found something quite different. In the ten years he had lived outside of a town called Tullock, Zarek had built himself a home on farmland, and was living off of the crops he grew and animals that he owned. He had met and married a woman named Sarah Nightwood, a Drow who had come to the surface to escape a rather unpleasant life underground, and was expecting a child on the way. His life, in his eyes, was perfect. Until the night that the Vampires came.
The Fire that Rages
Attacked in the middle of the night by five Vampires, Zarek was practically defenseless. He attempted to fight the vampires off but all he was left with was a scar that adorned his eyes, which remains to this day. The bloodthirsty animals ripped Sarah apart right in front of him. As they turned their attention to Zarek, and he believed his life to be over, one of the vampires suddenly burst into flames. And then another of the vampires lost its head. In a display that impressed even Zarek, a man clad in golden armor had easily taken one of the vampires down. Rushing in after this golden armored man was another, wielding two blades as black as night. He himself easily cut down another vampire. Followed by an arrow that pierced the heart of another vampire, causing the monster to turn to ash, and right behind that arrow was the strangest thing Zarek had ever heard, music. Music that seemed to assault the fourth vampire until it crumpled onto the ground, leaving the man in the golden armor an opening to dispatch it. The final vampire was subdued by the first man, left alive. It was at this point that Zarek had fallen unconcious, either due to his wounds or just pure shock.
When he awoke, he was inside of his home, laying in his bed. His first thought was that it was just a bad dream. But as he came to his fears were realized, as he saw the man in the golden armor with three others sitting at his dinner table. One, the man with the two blades, was wearing a pitch black set of leathers and a cloak, medium length hair tied back into a pony-tail. He learned this man's name to be Valrune. A woman set across from him, clad in a brown set of hide-armor, with a bow and quiver at her back. Her shaven head, hairless, and one eye missing. Her name was Dianna. Standing in the corner was a man not dressed in armor, but a fancy purple tunic and brown pants, lightly playing a harp. A hat adorned his head that slumped to one side. This man was called Garret. And lastly, a man in simple grey robes, with nothing else but a gnarled and stumped staff in his hands, stood watching out the door. His name, Reinhalt. And the man in the golden armor, hair cut short, with the sides buzzed off, was Ellock.
These people introduced themselves and explained what had happened. Valrune explained that Dianna had been tracking the vampires for days, hoping to get to them before they got to anyone else. Sadly, due to a mishap involving Dire Wolves, they had been delayed. Reinhalt had been the first to arrived and had cast a flame spell onto one of the vampires, which gave the time Ellock and the others needed to arrive. Ellock then explained to Zarek that they kept one of the vampires alive, extracting information from it. They learned of its nest nearby, but they had wanted to stay and make sure Zarek was okay. When they started to leave, Zarek stood in their way. He wanted to go with them. He wanted to get his revenge. With some discussion between the party members, Valrune and Garret eventually convinced the others to take Zarek with them.
A Brothers Lament
Over the next six years, the six of them traveled together, fought together, and grew to call each other family. They battled many creatures and beings, met many people, and traveled across the entire world. It was during the last days of their travel that the gods of this world reached out and contacted them. They were told of an evil brewing, gathering power in the Underdark. If the party traveled the depths and stopped this growing evil, they would be rewarded beyond their wildest imaginations. And so the party went underground to battle against hordes of demons, mind flayers, beasts that had been experimented on and spliced together, and other monstrosities. After a long and hard weeks worth of travel and battle, they finally reached the underbelly of the Underdark. And much to Zarek's dismay, the enemy they were sent to defeat was his own brother...
During the battle, Zarek learned of what Tristian had been doing the past sixteen years. His brother had made a deal with the god of deceit and lies, K'uin, if he summoned the god into the mortal plane, he would be given the power of a god himself. And as a promise, K'uin had bestowed Tristian with power far beyond any mortal. It gave him strength, speed, and the ability to call on the shadows themselves as weapons. He amassed an army of entities to march on the surface and gather up sacrifices to cast a spell that would bring K'uin to this world. As the battle raged on, Tristian began to realize that he was not going to win this fight. Before he was defeated, Tristian made his escape by opening a portal and escaping through it. With the battle seemingly won, and Tristian's forces defeated, the party returned to the surface. Waiting for them, as they excited the cave entrance which led down into the Underdark, was the glowing figure of a woman. She was Lady Irune, Goddess of Redemption and Forgiveness. She took the party to the heavens and bestowed them with the very powers of the gods that Tristian had tried to claim...
A Brothers Lament, PT.2
And so the years passed, the party of five taking time for merriment and relaxation after years of adventure. It was five years later that they were called on again. It was explained to them that Gods had began going missing, and no one had been able to locate them. So, Irune sent them off once again on a mission, exploring both the mortal realm and the realm of the gods for clues about what had been happening to the Gods. They learned that once again, K'uin was elbow deep into whatever was happening, and Zarek's thoughts instantly went to his brother. With this new knowledge, they sought Tristian out.
When they found him, they found a shell of a man. He was nothing but skin and bones, face gaunt and all life seemed to have escaped him. He was nothing but a husk, barely clinging to life. Zarek and the party did what they could for him, before trying to extract information. They learned that K'uin had found a new vessel to do his bidding, and instead of giving this mortal a mere taste of the power to come, he had skipped to the end and given every once of power that he could muster to the mortal. Tristian thought that whoever this man was, was responsible for the Gods going missing. Tristian also begged the party to take him with them, so he could atone for his sins, and try to make amends with his brother. With hesitation, everyone agreed to it, and while they continued their adventure they tended to Tristian best they could, until he could stand on his own.
After months of searching out more information, being assaulted by K'uin's minions and having their clues ripped from their reach just before they could attain them, the party finally caught a break. Thanks to Tristian's keen eyes, he had noticed something strange on the horizon, and pointed it out to the group. It was a barely visible beam of energy, firing into the sky at small intervals. If it hadn't somehow caught Tristian's eye, the party themselves would have never noticed it. So they marched for it, and found the source to be a ritual by the followers of K'uin, led by a woman named Shriev. Shriev appeared to be the new vessle for K'uin, and was using her powers to carefully draw the gods, one by one, into traps and start using their own energy to feed K'uin. And so, before she could continue, the party sprung into action, engaging her, and her followers.
After another long and drawn out battle, Shriev laid dying on the very same totem that she was using as a focus for her ritual. Ellock went to deliever the final blow, unfortunately Tristian seemed to have other ideas. While Ellocks back was turned, Tristian pulled an ornate, rune inscribed dagger from his belt that was previously hidden, and stabbed Ellock in the back. As Ellock fell, and the party rushed to his side, Zarek watched as Tristian muttered an incantation and then stabbed Shriev in the heart. A blast of dark energy erupted from the two of them, sending the entire party flat on their backs. By the time they had come to Tristian was gone, and Shriev's body was nothing more than crisp, sundered husk of bone and ash. The party tended to Ellock's wounds, thankfully being able to heal him, and hurried to return to the realm of the gods.
After arriving, the party was met with the sound of fierce combat. They rushed into the fray at the sight of dark, nightmarish creatures battling the denizens of the Godly realm. As they slowly helped turned the tide of battle and push back the first wave of creatures, they learned that Tristian was seen walking through the creatures as they parted for him, heading towards a portal that had suddenly ripped open. The party decided to push through the advancing horde of enemies and follow after him. As they arrived, Tristian had just struck the final blow on K'uin, the very god he once served. Tristian stood in front of the portal that rippled with an unknown source of magic and energy, turning his gaze on the party and his brother. Wordlessly, Tristian stepped through the portal. Zarek lurched forward and try to grab his brother by the arm, trying to pull him back. Instead, Zarek was swallowed by the portal himself...
Thus Begins a New Era
The world before Zarek now was nothing like his old one. Mechanical beasts with wheels darted across blackened streets, with yellow markings dotting some sort of pattern. Metal birds flew through the skies, and the entire air was filled with a stench that he had never experienced before. Of course, Zarek later learned that that smell was exhaust from those metal beasts, which he in turn learned were cars. And those metal birds were not birds at all, but planes that mortals could use to fly long distances! Even in this new world, though, Gods were still around. Though... Not in the same sense. These gods were mostly man made, or twisted by science experiments. These gods were Super Heroes. And it would not be the first time he ran into these people, these... Capes. While in this new world, Zarek eventually adjusted and, in between battles with his brother, eventually came to call it home.
It was during his stay on this Earth that Zarek was contacted by his father. He was given passage back home, and through much discussion and talk, Zarek was able to tell his father everything that had happened during his life. Though Leas was sadden to hear what Tristian had become, he was proud of Zarek. Enough so that Zarek was taught how to find the portals and roads that lead to other dimensions, so he could travel freely to any dimension he saw fit to. Including his home. His power was also returned by his father, giving him his abilities that he had once lost, including his innate magic.
With this new found skill, Zarek returned to Earth for brief times inbetween exploring new Dimensions, learning about new places and people. He learned quickly that time flowed differently in each dimension. What was one week in one realm, was only hours in another. Or, reversely, an hour in one dimension was weeks in another. It was because of his constant jumping between dimensions that Zarek eventually lost count of his age. Spending one year in some dimensions, ten in others, or even thirty to forty in others. He spread his time through ever dimension he could, even finding himself with another family in one dimension, one that lasted a good forty-forty five years, until Tristian reared his ugly head again, ripping everything away from Zarek...
Baptism by Ire, and the Death of a Father
Tristian tore a swath of pain and agony through the dimension that Zarek now called home, upending his life. Though he had constantly clashed with his brother throughout his existence in this new land, it had never been anything like this. Tristian brought hell with him, and assaulted the very world with demons, devils, and more nightmares. Zarek was once again helpless, watching everything he loved be torn away from him. Including his wife and daughter. In a desperate attempt to save his own life, to recover and take his revenge against Tristian, Zarek fled through another portal and ended up back on Earth. He recuperated there, fueled by anger and vengeance...
Zarek used the heroes of this world to train himself, becoming stronger and stronger with each passing day. His rage kept him moving passed any limits he may have once had. And when the day came that his father once again called out for Zarek, with news that Tristian now attacked his very own home... Zarek felt he was ready. He returned to Althagrea, immediately being greeting by combat. Once again he fought in the realm of the gods, slaying nightmarish creatures that seemed to follow Tristian. As Zarek, an army of Demi-Gods, and the Gods themselves battled in heaven, Tristian was taking advantage of the chaos to utterly destroy the mortal realm. Though the Gods tried to stop him, their forces where split so thin that none had the power to keep the devastation at bay. After finishing his rampage on the mortal realm, he returned to take the fight to Zarek and his father, himself.
The three of them battled for what felt like an eternity, before Tristian somehow gained the upper hand. Zarek was suddenly flat on his back with a sword pinning him to the ground. He watched as Tristian ran their father through with another blade, one that looked like it would be the brother to the dagger that Tristian once used to slay Shriev. It was at that moment that Zarek realized what had happened, why Tristian had become so powerful. For everyone he slew, any person or being he put down with that blade, Tristian absorbed their power and life. Leas had only a moment, a brief and tiny moment to react as his power was drained from him. With a snap of his fingers... Zarek was suddenly dropped through a portal and expelled back onto Earth. As the portal closed, Zarek could feel his connection to his home snap. It was suddenly gone.
Zarek's entire family had been stripped from him. Every home he took, any friends or family he made, were assaulted by his own brother until they lay dead at his feet, or until Zarek fled... and never saw them again. In his mind, now, as long as he remained in one dimension, no one would be safe. Zarek began his descent into madness, travelling dimensions for thousands of years until he no longer could remember which dimensions he had been to, and which he hadn't. They blurred together in his mind as time warped around him. He held no sense of sanity, and no sense of when or where he was. All he did was fight, train, flee. Fight, train, flee.
The Bastion of Hope
Millennium City. Earth. It was much like the last Earth he had been to. Heroes, Villains, technology, magic. Even some of the same Gods and deities. It was here that Zarek spent most of his time, though he still fluttered between dimensions to keep Tristian from honing in on one particular place. He trained with the heroes of this world, often times helping them with their own problems. He became fairly well known in this world, not only for helping in the heroics, but also because of how efficiently he dealt with the various monster problems in this world. Various organizations in the United States government took notice of him, and offered him jobs for those times that normal heroes would either balk at due to either how dangerous it was, or because they flat out didn't believe in the things that went bump in the night.
It was also during his time here that Zarek and Tristian's bitter rivalry finally came to a head. After several years of back and forth, Tristian had finally managed to strike Zarek with a killing blow with the sword that could absorb the life of whomever it slew. Fortunately for Zarek, the sword didn't finish its job. Instead of outright being killed, he was left powerless and mortal once again. Though at the time, he was not on Earth, instead he was trapped inside of another Dimension, one that he did not know. It was here that Zarek found unlikely allies that finally turned the tied of battle of him. The people of this world were all refugees from other dimensions, with powers of their own. More than not, they were kind and empathized with Zarek's tale. Those whom he grew to know aided him in battling Tristian once last time...
And in the end, somehow, Zarek managed to steal Tristian's own sword from him. He struck a killing blow and took a portion of power from Tristian, enough to take back what power had been stolen from him, and then with the help of others, tore Tristian's very essence from his body, locking his physical form and his essence in two separate Pocket-Dimensions, which were quickly lost to the flow of the Multi-Verse. It seemed that now, Zarek's task was over. His revenge had been had. His job done. What was left to him now?
The Warrior Who Did Not Die
Zarek now remains, his brother killed by his own hands. His father, and his entire world, destroyed. His two wives, and children, no more. His purpose in life had been to defeat his brother, to stop his reign of terror. And now that was done. So Zarek finds himself back on Earth, in this city that stands as a Bastion of Hope for many of this world. Zarek cannot die of age, and even battle wounds have to be drastic enough to take him out. Though he now has no purpose, he continues living life as he once had, as an adventurer for hire of sorts. He now wanders the earth, taking jobs to hunt down Vampires, Werewolves, Spirits, Specters, Boggarts, Shifters, Goblins, Ghouls, and any other creature that might go bump in the night. Though he does prefer to take on the more... Larger beasts. Cockatrices, Basilisks, a Dragon here and there. He'll take on any job if the price is right.