Ancestral Voices - PCs - Mark - Backstory
The story of Mark White…
Do you remember your birth? I don’t, but I do remember my childhood. Sometimes I remember it with a smile - a particularly spectacular try in one of the many games of touch rugby that 11 year olds have when you’re a Wet-Pup, your homework is done, and Matron doesn’t want you inside messing up the dorm floor. Or my first sailing lesson – how I capsized and got stuck in the reeds with the mast in the mud and when I was rescued, I was blue and shivering all over! It was grand! Or the first time I got 100% for a maths test only to have to sit a different, harder I might add, test just because the teacher thought I’d been cheating. I showed her….
And then there are the memories tinged with sadness and longing. A sadness that, while my life was filled with great and life-long friends, a good – no – truly brilliant school and teachers, and people who genuinely cared for me (even if they were being paid), I still longed to spend more time with my only true family, my Mother.
My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world – and yes, despite having grown up, I still believe that despite it often leading to ribbing from my fellows – beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder. ‘Besides,’ they’d say, ‘What kind of beauty is 5’2” and has clashing red hair and green eyes? It could only be your mother! You two could never Not be confused for family!’ I don’t recall what happened – exactly – but I know I shouted at him and then hit him… I guess I must have caught him by surprise because I broke his nose. Ron Tuffin never said anything bad about my mother ever again, nor did any of my other dorm mates…. But then I might have missed it as I got detention every Saturday – weeding the rugby fields – for two months! Mother just shook her head and frowned when she found out, told me I deserved the punishment, but I think she was smiling inside.
Well, mother was a very busy lady, aid to the Queen. I was never allowed to ‘go to work’ with her – and by the time I met the Queen myself, my mother’s position had changed. Anyway, that left her flitting all over the world and left me in Cape Town in Diocesan College, Bishops, the most prestigious school in South Africa… and one with a year-round boarding house!
Father, I hear you ask? Well, Mother never really spoke about him and while I would have loved to learn a bit more about, when I did ask her, it always upset her. As I only ever had limited time with my mother, it because a taboo topic as I hated seeing her sad.
Anyway, I ramble on, my school years were brilliant. I was Head Boy, Head of Grey House, Captain of the Rowing, Waterpolo and Fencing teams, I starred in our local production of King Lear and swept my partner off the dance floor at the Matric Dance. But the highlight of that year and many a year to come - was seeing mother smile as I graduated with firsts in all my subjects, top of my class.
The rest is history I guess. I went to University and Graduated with a rapid fire PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. My dissertation was in ‘Ground Penetrating Radar’. I’d been reading an article about Princess Diana’s Halo Trust – a British organisation who’s aim was to recover mines in Africa – and since my mother clearly supported the Monarchy, so would I. I put my talents to good use and started a business, White Knight Ltd, and designed a suitable tool for detecting mines. The fame was unintentional – the product worked very well and the Princess got me Knighted for it (Sir Dr Mark White…) – and De Beers found a use for the product mining diamonds in the Namid Desert. The money from the patent made that venture highly lucrative and made me a proverbial ‘Diamond Mine’ in royalties.
And that left me with time to kill, and lots of it. So I spent it competing – in event after event, nothing too challenging or expensive. Richard Branson had nothing on me! My first love though, was the sea with competitive round the world racing being my first endeavour. My current project is… well, was… to be the next ‘Space Tourist’ although I’d negotiated the first ‘Tourist Space Walk’.
But I won’t be doing that because… everything was about to change. What more can I say, Mother has always been able to change everything and this time, everything really had changed! A quiet evening, I’d been working on an experiment I’d wanted to suggest to NASA - when the doorbell rang.
After a brief talk where I was told that ‘It was time’ and to ‘Quickly put your things in order and gather a backpack, we’ll be gone a while.’ She seemed in a bit of a rush so I made a call to my Lawyer, told him where to find my keys and signed over Power of Attorney. Maybe I was a little too trust of him, but I trusted my mother – what can I say, I’m a mummies boy!
After gathering a few items into a backpack and putting on a good pair of boots, we were off. I won’t bore you with the details, but it is safe to say that the journey was shorter than I’d expected, but the destination was further away than I could have ever believed.
And at the end of it, the Pattern… Mother explained certain ‘truths’ to me along the way. Truths that will no doubt take me some time to fully grasp – but when she told me that I could walk the Pattern, I believed her. And walk it I did.
A World of Opportunity
Some ten years have passed since I walked the Pattern. At least, it’s ten years of Amber time. For me…
I’ve clearly changed. Once I thought I’d never be able to kill a man, but know I know it can be a necessity although it is clearly not something I enjoy doing. For some reason, people are not ‘just shadows’ to me. They are thinking, breathing individuals with meaningful lives, hopes and futures. Taking it from them just doesn’t seem right. That said, Mother made it clear. Amber needs a strong defence against those who would subjugate and destroy us. So she set me several tasks….
I was given the rule a Kingdom under constant and dire threat, on the brink of destruction. Its technology was… primitive but I had to work with what was available. I am now the proud owner of a fine warhorse and armour I thought I’d never wear… and a sword, the one I used to defend and restore that Kingdom. I ‘died’ there and moved on.
I was given a family, children, a sister…. And a real threat against there lives. I lost some, too many in fact, but I prevailed in a land where the only weapons were made from crude rock and with the enemy is not an option.
And once I was able to defend myself, I was given free reign to travel as I would, honing my ability to control shadow. Mother had a way with it that I strove to emulate – even though I may never reach it.
Welcome to Amber...
And so we reach the now. My story will no doubt continue and I will endeavour to continue recording it here. Hopefully my reintroduction into Amber, will leave me with a family and a Kingdom worthy of life.
Starting Character Sheet
Mark White, Son of Lady Fiona White
Mark is a confidently handsome, suave and well dressed young man. Sparkling green eyes dance with an open smile. His red hair is stylised and neatly trimmed and frames his soft features. His 5’9” frame is athletic though not overly muscular.
Purple, White and Black. His symbol is a stylised knight chess piece.
|Neural Disrupt (Latent, probably something along the lines of ‘Stop it!’)|
|Mark has a generally positive outlook on the world and hopes the world has the same for him. He smiles a lot and treats other with ‘dignity’.|