Moth was born to folk of the Clan Te Rannan, a Suloise people inhabiting the Vesve Forest’s deepest northern reaches. His mother, a dark moon witch called Mycconwy joined thrice with the ranger Egarde to bear first Moth in 573, next his sister Syr in 574, and then his brother Myccol in 576.
The three children were clearly different from their nearest Suloise neighbors in that their eyes were of a blue so deep that they looked purple in certain lights, and their hair colour changed from the traditional Suloise white-blonde to black to chestnut brown to grey to silver before they had each reached adolescence. The mental development of each child was also significantly advanced, with each child learning to speak and discuss sophisticated concepts by the age of one, and could read and write by the age of two. All of them, parents two and children three, were voracious readers, with their woodland home bearing so many books within its holdings that it was commonly called the “Literary Jungle”. Each child was also taught the essential skills of living in the forest, of healing with what the land has to offer, how to live with and respect animals, how to move quietly and quickly, how to read others, how to listen deeply to one’s self to find the truth of things, and also how to read the subtleties of the arcane as it manifests. Their father taught them too how to use their wits to become better fighters when their own physical strength might prove insufficient.
Although the children spent much good time with their parents, and learned and laughed well with them, they were a group of three often left to their own devices, being thus begotten by two naturally solitary individuals, for their father, a ranger, was long accustomed to solitary forays ranging the wild, and their mother spent most of her waking hours on midnight walks out gathering herbs, accompanied only by her basset-hound, Roadie. The children quickly worked out well between them how to get on by themselves when it was necessary, and often broke their group of three down into its constituent parts, as each developed their own pursuits and explored the Forest alone for their own reasons.
In 580, when Moth was 7, his father Egarde began going on stealth missions against the forces of Iuz on behalf of Belvor IV, leaving his family for long periods of time in the Forest to live with Clan Te Rannan among the animals and what Fey would make themselves known to them from time to time.
In 582, on his 9th birthday, Moth was introduced by his mother to a strange Lady that Moth had never before seen, and yet one with whom he felt an instant affinity. The strange woman smiled as if she understood and shared his feeling. She reached behind her back and gifted him with a male orange-striped kitten. The kitten was unusually large for its age and when it was given him, it looked him in the eye and he knew that its name was “Mojo”.
That night Moth had a dream that Mojo led him from his bed out of his house through a field under the Full Moon into a forest glade where they found the strange woman stood waiting for them. She smiled at Moth and kissed his brow. Moth could hear that Mojo was purring. The woman looked at Moth, looked into him. He could see her with his eyes and with his mind. She spoke without speaking, a song in his head:
I am the Maid would be thy Lady,
If thou wilt,
If thou wilt Will it,
I’ll be the Maid that is thy Mistress,
If thou wilt Will it so.
Come take my touch in friendly hand,
Present thy head,
Present thy leg,
For I would with thee take a turn
If thou wilt Will it so.
If thou wilt take thy time with me,
If thou wilt with me dance,
If thou wilt be bound fast with me,
Together in our trance,
Then thou wilt be a Lord to me,
The Mistress of thy chance,
And I will open everything,
If thou wilt Will it so.
Moth took her offered hand and as the song progressed looked deeply into the eyes of the Lady, and seemed to become lost in their depths, his consciousness whirling. It seemed to him as he looked ever deeper into her eyes that her face began to grow and swell until it lost her individuated features and became the full moon itself, growing ever brighter until its luminescence dominated his field of vision and all he saw was moonlight.
When Moth awoke he was not in his bed, but rather found himself in the center of the forest glade he had dreamt of, laying on his back looking upward at the full moon above him.
“Mrewr?” Moth’s perspective was eclipsed by the sudden appearance of Mojo into his view.
“Yes, puss.” Mojo looked down on him upside-down from over the top of his supine head, sniffing his forehead.
“Mrowr.” the cat climbed over his face onto his chest and turned around to face Moth right-side up.
“Ouf. You are an immense being, Mojo-cat.” Mojo blinked at him. Moth sat up and the cat climbed up Moth’s chest onto his left shoulder, and settled himself there, purring. They walked under the moonlight through the glade, through the field, back into his house and back into the realm of sleep. From that night forward, Moth began to have dreams that gave him insight into the nature of things and allowed him glimpses of the future, and so enjoyed the mixed blessing that foreknowledge tries those with its gift.
Moth and Mojo (or “Joey”, as he was also called) became constant companions, the cat shadowing the boy during schooling and training, while at play, during meals, and Mojo curled up at Moth’s feet while he slept. They spent hours together exploring the forest, Mojo often walking ahead as scout, or sitting perched atop Moth’s shoulders as they made their way.
On one such outing on a day in the late autumn of the year 587, just as it was beginning to get dark, Moth and Mojo practiced Stealth while moving through a hilly leaf-strewn forest floor, and just as they topped a rise, they found themselves overlooking by some twenty feet beneath their vantage a human family being menaced by a company of some 12 bandits made up primarily of orcs, half-orcs and humans. Mojo silently climbed up onto Moth’s left shoulder and sat there as the boy’s eyes scanned the scene unfolding beneath them. The family was of Clan Dirithian, whose leader Durgan Dirithian, a warrior of some renown, now knelt beaten and bound before the bandit leader, a bandit on either side of him held him down. Durgan’s twin sons, Droán and Halfar (who were a year or two older than Moth), and his daughter Renéa (who was of Moth’s age) were likewise kneeling bound before their captors. The bandit leader, a burly one-eyed half-orc, said something low to Durgan and spat in his face.
A twig snapped sharply behind Moth, and he turned in time to see the feral face and slashing sword of an orc bandit that had crept up behind them while they watched, one that now seemed most intent on separating Moth’s head from his shoulders. Moth leapt away from his assailant, away from danger, vaulting quickly backward into empty air, only to descend rapidly toward the scene he had just lately seen, his cat too likewise plummeting.
And then a curious thing happened: Moth heard his cat trill its mewing speech with a quality he had not before heard, and in his mind he saw Mojo turn his body in a certain way, and Moth understood that he had to turn his body in just such a way so as to avoid injury from the fall. Without hesitation he turned his body in just that way, and landed lightly on his feet uninjured beside the likewise lightly landing Mojo, who then scrambled back up onto Moth’s left shoulder and into his hood.
All eyes turned to Moth, who held his staff before him in the defensive position known as Torgen’s Ninth, and the bandits moved toward him, weapons drawn, but they were interrupted in their advance by one of their own.
The orc that had cut at Moth did not so luckily land, for his slash-generated momentum pitched him forward screaming headfirst over the edge, where he landed between his advancing bandit comrades and Moth, his scream breaking with his neck.
Moth took advantage of the shock their comrade’s sudden messy death had upon the bandits, and charged the nearest one, an Oeridian human, striking him in the temple with the gnarled tip of his oaken quarterstaff. The Oeridian tumbled to the ground, senseless. Two down.
The one-eyed half-orc leader barked something in what Moth supposed was orcish (for he had never before heard their language), and began to move against Moth himself as the point of an organized assault involving all of the bandits. The trouble for them was that just as they began their move the two holding down Durgan Dirithian and his children also moved forward, doubtless feeling that their bound and beaten captives posed them no threat. As they moved away from him, the bound and bloody Durgan Dirithian rose and charged the bandit leader from behind, taking him down instantly. Three down. The trouble for Durgan was that he was now bound and prone, lying on top of his unconscious enemy, surrounded by the remaining bandits who then turned their blade’s attention to him. Durgan’s sons were standing back to back, attempting to untie each other’s bonds, and his daughter Renéa seemed to be staring directly at Moth, a look of alarm slowly spreading over her face. He whirled to find an enemy attempting to flank him with an attack. He raised his quarterstaff a touch too slow, and the bandit’s blade pierced his cloak and sliced his left bicep slightly, which hurt badly, but was still a far cry from the killing thrust it was intended to be. He shifted slightly away from his opponent, and whirled his staff’s end to the bandit’s sword hand, breaking it, and thus doubly dis-arming him. Four.
A scream from Renéa brought Moth around in time to see a huge orc about to deliver the coup de grace against her now helpless father. Moth’s mind raced. What could he do? He was at least twenty feet from them. He began to scan the ground for something to throw at the orc to arrest his attack on Durgan.
Mojo trilled something in Moth’s ear and time seemed to slow down around him. He had always been able to communicate with Mojo, to “speak Cat” as his father put it, but this was very different. He heard: “See there? The lightning that lives within all things?” and Moth saw exactly what the cat was speaking of, he knew that was exactly what he was seeing, and realized that he had always seen it, had always been able to see it.
“I do see it!” Moth responded, but with words that weren’t words.
Mojo: “Seize it! Pull it from the things about you, from the air, from the clouds above already darkening and heavy with its potential – take it and make it an extension of your Will – Now!” Moth reached out with his Intuition and felt the lightning in all things and willed it to come to him. His lips said things he didn’t know they knew. He felt the energy coalesce and tingle all about his hand and with his Will he pointed: lightning leapt from his fingers and struck the orc squarely in the sternum with its current and killed it instantly. Five down! He could hear Mojo purring in his left ear as the orc’s smoking body fell.
At this point all of the remaining bandits broke and ran, scattering in all directions and yelling as they did so. By this time Durgan had regained his feet with the assistance of his sons, Droán and Halfar, and they cut his bonds. Renéa stood apart from them, her cheeks flushed. All stared at Moth.
The wound on his left arm had bled through his garment. His black-grey-silver-white hair stood up in all directions and his eyes were of a blue now more akin to the sparks that lately arced out from his fingertips as he sent the lightning to his foe. His long and lanky cat sat perched upon his shoulder, purring. He had never felt more exhilarated in his life. He held his quarterstaff before him, and smiled at the Dirithians. He opened his mouth to speak…and he suddenly remembered what he had dreamt the night before: a turbulent and murky vision of this very scene. His heart sank. He closed his mouth.
“Shut your mouth, witch!” Durgan bellowed as he covered his ears. About a half step after, Halfar also covered his ears. Droán looked to his father, started to speak, looked away, looked at Moth. Renéa still stared, her eyes welling with tears. Durgan uncovered his ears and picked up a weapon from one of the fallen bandits, a large and jagged looking sword. He brandished it, and moved aggressively toward Moth.
With a wicked flash of intuition brought by his dream, Moth opened his mouth and began to sing the song that he had heard the Lady sing to him so many years before. He looked right into Renéa’s eyes as he sang:
I am the Lad would be thy Man,
If thou wilt,
If thou wilt Will it,
I’ll be the Boy that is thy Master,
If thou wilt Will it so.
Durgan shrieked and dropped the sword to cover up his ears at once. Again Halfar covered his ears just after his father did (but to his credit, he did it somewhat faster than the time before). Droán laughed. Renéa’s eyes were full of understanding. She seemed about to smile.
Durgan turned to Renéa, “It’s you! You are the one he’s here for! The witch knows his own! Away from us! Away! Away!”
Renéa stood her ground. “Witch he may be, Father, but a witch that’s saved our lives.”
“I do abandon you to your damned inclinations! Boys, let us away at once!” and he resumed his bellowing: “ABALABALABALABALABALABALABA!”
Droán spoke, “Father, can you not see the truth before you? We were about to be murdered when this -” But Durgan’s bellowing prevented him his understanding anything, so sure was he of his fears, and he ran off into the woods, Halfar following right afterward. Droán went to his sister, put his forehead to hers, turned to Moth, turned to Renéa, turned away, ran off.
Renéa turned to Moth who was already looking raptly at the rising Moon, Mojo’s purring a constant buzz in his ear. She walked to him. Looked up at the Moon. Took hands without looking at each other.
Renéa came to live with Moth and his family, and the two became very close. Renéa studied the Craft of the Wise with Mycconwy, Moth's mother, and became a talented healer. Moth's own development as a witch progressed deeply under the watchful green eyes of Mojo, and he was able to deepen his work with his Intuition so as to strengthen his Will.
They got on well like that for three years, until the day that Moth woke suddenly from a dream he feared was true only to discover that it was: Renéa was gone, a note from her father with a single word writ upon it the only sure sign of what had befallen her. The word was “Mine”.
In the ensuing years since Renéa’s disappearance, Moth has inquired after her among the Suloise communities, and his research has led him to seek her out in Grabford, as a source told him her brother Halfar had become an adventurer and that Grabford had been his last known place of residence. It is this has brought Moth out of the Vesve and into the cities of men.