Island in the Mist
Tarare Sauvages grew up in a family with many expectations. At an early age, he excelled at the magical arts, surpassing his fellow pupils and giving the Sauvages family the promise of prestige it had long been lacking. As the only male child of his generation, the pressure from his parents, uncles and aunts, and grandparents was overwhelming. If the pressure had been only to excel, Tarare would have had no trouble. He excelled at everything academic.
Tarare’s great-grandfather, Gerard, had made a very large gamble on a business venture. What would have been his greatest triumph ended in monumental failure. Gerard was sleeping with his brother Arnaud’s wife. When it became clear she had fallen in love, he ended it. She broke down in public, humiliating herself and the entire Sauvages family with the revelation of the scandal and her complete lack of decorum. She begged Gerard in the presence of strangers and his rebuff was absolute. She was found dead in her bath, next to an empty bottle of hemlock that had tumbled from her hand. Her name was purged from the family records, and Tarare never learned it.
Unlike many marriages among those who wed for wealth, Arnaud loved her beyond reason. Her death unhinged him and he declared eternal vengeance. He seized the opportunity when Gerard over-extended the family business and tipped off some brigands. Three full caravans were lost, the business venture collapsed, and Gerard lost the lion’s share of the family fortune. Arnaud disappeared with his young son. Whispers among the family servants claim that one day the dark branch of the Sauvages will return and claim their final vengeance. The Sauvages family itself has no such worry, believing Arnaud and his offspring to have died in the mists (there was some evidence of this as a few personal belongings were recovered, drenched in blood).
The hopes and dreams of the Sauvages family, therefore, were piled on young Tarare. To please them, he met their expectations and worked tirelessly to exceed them. But with every success, he met disappointment that he had not gone even further. After he underwent Harmonized Ascension, the pressure increased. Finally, at seventeen, he announced his desire to leave on a mission of mercy. He had no desire to engage in trade of any kind and the love he had left for his family was tainted with resentment and anger. The argument that followed his announcement was brutal and lasted for days, culminating with his father striking him and expelling him from the family. He left with nothing but his formidable skills and Cassian citizenship.
The only member of his family who still speaks to him is his cousin, Aurélie, the daughter of his father’s cousin Leon, who was his constant companion growing up as they are the same age.
Tarare’s choice of a mission of mercy is a genuine one. While his true passion is the study of magic, he acutely senses the plight of the downtrodden and sees the cause as Cassian trade. Tarare has no respect for Cassian policy in this regard and so has no compunctions with bending the rules and even breaking laws when he can avoid detection. He assists fugitives of Cassia any way he is able, and can be generous to a fault to the poor (unless he has some shiny toy he really really wants).