Etienne Wasu
Realm Umbra

It was a dry summer’s day when Etienne Wasu came into the world. He wasn’t the most assuming Dragonkin of his clan, even at birth. But he always had heart, which is why he was the only youngling in his family to survive the drought that summer. Little did he know the lessons learned as the runt of his family and that harsh summer would set in motion events that would shape his future.


Born in the slums of Realm Umbra, Etienne was no stranger to the harsh realities of the class system that pervaded his planet. As the runt of his clan, he had to be creative while fighting and clawing for anything he got. While his parents did their best, Eitienne’s family always struggled to keep food on the table to survive. At a young age, he had to resort to thievery in the Umbra Underground to help keep his family out of indentured servitude. However, little did he know this lifestyle he was forced into would benefit not only Realm Umbra but the greater Realm of the Nine.


Nepotism, bribery, and corruption ran rampant throughout Realm Umbra, creating a deep divide between the upper and lower classes. Wealthier Realms, such as Realm Artifice and Nekris, would pay handsomely to keep their noses clean in the eyes of the law. Consequently, the Niru Setorious, which was supposed to uphold law and order, became a shell corporation that would bend the law to benefit the highest bidder. Disheartened by the current state of his Realm, Etienne focused his efforts on taking from the rich in an attempt to help those who had suffered at the hands of their heresy.


Etienne quickly became one of the most successful redistributive activists because of his small stature, quick wit, and scrappy nature. Mission after mission, he would take what was undeservedly earned and reallocate it amongst the poorest populations in the Realm. Etienne’s selfless nature compelled him to keep only enough for his family to survive, which led to him quickly becoming known around the Realm as Latehrban or “The Benevolent One.” His success racked up a hefty bounty for information that could lead to the capture of the vigilante known as Latehrban, and his popularity bred jealousy amongst his competitors in the Umbra Underground. 


One such rival was Ahzada Siahu. Before Etienne’s rapid rise to fame in The Underground, Siahu was the most prominent thief in Realm Umbra. Knowing that Wasu and Latehrban were the same, Ahzada sold the information to the Niru Setorious for a substantial profit. On the eve of his Rite of Passage, Etienne’s luck ran out. After his capture, he was given two options – enlist in the Niru Setorious to atone for his “crimes” or be put to death. Not wanting to abandon his parents to starve with one less income, Wasu enlisted to use this newfound opportunity to root out the corruption from the inside.


Etienne’s life in the slums aptly prepared him for The Akademy. Though he wasn’t the fastest, strongest, or most disciplined, his scrappy wit resulted in him graduating with top honors. Despite his origins, Wasu was now in a prime position to make the positive change within Realm Umbra that he had been desiring his entire life – but he had to be patient and bide his time until he rose to a prominent position where such influence was awarded. Unfortunately, it would be a much more difficult task than he could ever have imagined. 


Corruption was far worse than he could have imagined. He was constantly turning away bribery and coercion at every turn. Luckily, his comrades were more than willing to take what he wouldn’t. Unbeknownst to him, the newly appointed head of the Niru Setorious at the time of Wasu’s graduation, Raifus Dastuor, was watching his every move, and Wasu’s actions piqued his interest. 


After Wasu’s first promotion ceremony, he was approached by Dastuor with an opportunity to join his team of undercover operatives within the Niru to eliminate corruption and begin restoring honor to the force. Wasu was taken aback and eagerly accepted the chance to be part of the change he’d been dreaming of since a youngling. Nothing could prepare him for his first assignment, with the consequences of the subsequent events rocking him to his core and setting him on a path he never could have imagined.


Wasu was tasked with investigating a corporate feud in Realm Artifice between two prominent families that had entangled some high-level officers within the Niru. Since it was well known throughout the Realm of the Nine that the beings on Artifice were more preoccupied with technological advancement and less prone to violence, Dastuor presumed this would be an easy assignment for his new recruit to gain some experience. Unfortunately, he was unaware that one of the families involved in the feud had hired Realm Nekris mercenaries to carry out their bidding. On the night of the sting, Wasu was in a prime position to complete his first mission without incident when everything went terribly wrong. 


His suspicions began when he noted the four kidnappers were more heavily armed than he expected for an exchange between Artifice rivals. When the kidnappee’s representatives arrived for the exchange, Wasu realized that it was the heads of Bastion Corp! Dastuor only gave his operatives partial information about their missions to ensure that any corrupt moles within his ranks did not know specific details that could jeopardize his operations. Wasu was taken aback when he realized the young kit was their son, Kal! His spine stiffened as the stakes of this operation just rose exponentially. He had to wait for the perfect opportunity to ensure the culprits were captured for interrogation when, without any indication, two of the kidnappers pulled Nekris Fang Daggers from their cloaks and murdered the Bastions!


Stunned by the turn of events, Wasu knew he had to act before any more bloodshed occurred. As two of the other mercenaries went to strike down Kal, Wasu jumped into action and took them down with one blow while his officers pursued the others on foot. Unfortunately, an opposing Niru Force intercepted his team, and the culprits escaped. Everything happened so fast, and before he knew it, the mission was over. But Wasu’s guilt would haunt him longer than he would like to admit.


The subsequent interrogation went without much fanfare. The captured mercenaries readily gave up the individuals within the Niru Setorious who were planning to frame the Bastions and ruin their company, which was none other than Dastuor’s Deputy Chief, Serrentu Khyanat! However, they did not divulge which Bastion rival had hired them to do this dastardly deed. Satisfied with the result of the mission, Dastuor awarded Wasu a Medal of Commendation for a job well done. Wasu didn’t view it that way and knew he could do more to ensure that what happened to Kal did not happen to anyone else. 


After his award ceremony, Wasu approached Dastuor with a proposal. He had heard rumors about a new program under Dastuor’s supervision called Project Pegasus. He knew very little about the program, but it was far from being a field operative and would offer him the fresh start he desired. Seeing as Khyanat was the head of the program and Wasu’s demonstrated loyalty to the good of the Realm, Dastuor granted his request to take over the program.


Entering the hangar, Wasu laid eyes on the gunmetal and gold behemoth before him. This…this is how he would make amends for his past failures and silence the demons in his head…