"I am the Raven Herald, to walk with me is to embrace death."
User: Babel
Race: Half-Azurian
Gender: Male
Role: Striker
Class/Level: Rogue/Herald of the Raven Queen/11
Balthasar is a very imposing man; at 6'5" and 230 pounds of muscle, he towers over most people. His body is covered from head to toe with scars, both new and old. The most prominent of these runs from his forehead, across his left eye, and down to his jaw.

Just as his size and build are of Azurian decent, his other features are those of a S'danzo. His youthful face is framed by raven hair, of shoulder length, and sad, lonely green eyes stare through those around him. His neutral expression is one of melancholy, sadness, and just a hint of ironic humor.

Balthasar wears a suit of very worn leather armor, which has been dyed pitch black. The carefully patched, almost comfortable looking armor, is in stark contrast to the cast iron manacles, with a few broken chain links still attached to them, which cover his fore-arms. Slung over his back is a huge double sword, which has a tattered and torn cloth attempting to cover it, and on his belt are several jagged looking shuriken.
It's fitting that Balthasar's earliest memories are of the pain of being beaten in the orphanage in which he was left, since his entire life pain is what he has known. At an early age, he was forced to work the streets as a beggar, thief, and bully just to survive. Soon he found himself faced with a choice at the point of a blade: join the Rough Rats gang or die. During his brief stint in the gang he foolishly borrowed and gambled away any money he got his hands on until one day he found himself arrested and thrown into debtor's prison. With no friends or family to pay his debt he was sold off into slavery.

Balthasar spent his early teenage years living in a gladiatorial school as both servant and student. For the first time in his life he felt that he actually had people around him who cared for him. Quickly the top professional gladiator of the time, Rythok, became like a father figure to him. Under his tutorship, Balthasar managed to survive many fights and eventually won his freedom, becoming a professional gladiator.

The day of his first professional fight was also to be Rythok's last; at the ripe old age of 42, Rythok had already lived longer then hundreds of other gladiators. As a rule, gladiators from the same team did not face each other in the ring, so it was shocking for Balthasar to enter the arena and see Rythok across from him. As a free man and a professional gladiator that rule no longer applied. The crowd yearned for a fight between the aged legend and the new star; a fight to be talked about for weeks, or till a better one came along. Just looking at Rythok's sad expression, Balthasar knew they each had no choice; to not fight would be a death sentence for "attempting to fix a match" for both. Despite this, as the two circled in, Balthasar could not bring himself to fight with all his skill and power. Rythok urged him on, and as a good student Balthasar complied and the fight ensued.

Despite being inspired to fight with his all, both fighters knew that there was no way for Balthasar to win, he was too much of a kind person to push his dirty fighting to its limits, and without that he stood no chance against the seasoned fighter. As if in slow motion, the moves took on a surreal quality not often seen in the brutal, bloody arena of professional fighting. As the dance ensued Balthasar knew he had lost; the rhythem they were in had happened a thousand times before, and was always Balthasar's loss. Steeling himself for the blow that would end him, Balthasar watched in morbid fascination as the killing blow slowly caught his forehead and moved down his face. At the same time, his conditioning forced him to keep striving for victory and he sent a graceful strike across Rythok's throat. Time seemed to stand still and each combatant stood still at the end of their swings. A very long moment passes as the audience held its breath, "Sorry kid, I held back a little," were to be the last words of the great Rythok, as his throat exploded in a shower of blood.

As the new champion of the ring, Balthasar was given Rythok's blade*; however, Balthasar was too scarred by the death of his friend, father, and mentor at his own hands to care. Taking his spoils and title he quit soon after the fight to try and live a quiet, peaceful life. This was not to be however. Men of all sorts wanted to fight Balthasar for pride, glory, his title and his blade. Tired of the constant meaningless fighting, Balthasar left Sanctuary for the borderlands.

Settling down on a small abandoned farm near a local village of Balthasar lived the first truly happy summer of his life, but it was not to last. A group of Rankan soldiers arrived in the village just as winter set in and demanded quartering from the villagers. Being out a ways from town Balthasar was left alone, but as time went on he saw how the soldiers treated the villagers and how they were starving the village to feast themselves.

All of this came to a head, as the villagers tried to take a stand and make the soldiers realize that they were to the point on having nothing left to share with them. The soldiers rounded up the villagers and began to put them to the sword. Coming into the village and seeing this enraged Balthasar as he had never been before. Balthasar dove into the men, as a storm comes into port, and fought like he had never fought before. Despite his skill and power, Balthasar was soon overwhelmed and taken down. The remaining soldiers were still shocked and scared of the large man, and quickly set out to take him back to Sanctuary for trial and execution as a traitor to the empire and murderer.

Despite his seemingly inevitable fate, Balthasar was happy that his actions had spared the lives of the villagers and had drawn the soldiers away from them. Quietly, Balthasar waited down in the deep, dank dungeon of Sanctuary for his time to die. Months went by and still he waited. Spring had come and with it an increase in boarder hostilities, drawing the military's attention else where. If it were not for Titus Garibaldi, Balthasar would probably have died in that dungeon.

Titus and Balthasar had been somewhat of rivals in their youth. Often confronting each other as gang business crossed Titus's path. Despite the fact that they held no love for each other, they had a professional understanding, and often deadly confrontations were avoided at the cost of a few cuts and bruises. Using his connections to the local powers, Titus quietly had Balthasar released in exchange for an oath to help him on his current mission.
* Xiphoid, The Tragedy Blade, is a multi-bladed double blade. It appears to be a very worn and ancient blade, but it still holds an unnaturally keen edge. Legend says that the blade was a gift from an ancient king to a simple gladiator who had saved the king's life from the enemy army during a route. This gladiator went on to win much fame and glory as a knight, serving his king. It is said that the one who wields the blade will be victorious and earn much glory during his life, but at the expense of cursing his fate. At the end of his life, the gladiator turned knight, became arrogant and held much hubris, and meat a grisly end, in a meaningless fight. Just as this happened to the knight, so has this been the fate of every wielder of the blade; despite this, many seek to wield it, for it is said that the blade grants the wielder the skill and luck of every warrior who has ever wielded it...until his time is up...