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    Olivje Mikelis
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  1. Giultyspark


    Olivje was born in a small rural community of Farfolk, in the far north-west of Oren's borders. His mother, Jadviga, cared him him and his younger siblings; his sister Evija and his brother Janis. While his father, Ardolf, worked as a clerk for the local council. Olivje struggled growing up; aside from the hardships of life and the lack of opportunity for advancement in such a small, insular community, he suffered from an unknown condition from birth. He was frail, short-sighted and often sickly, with pale skin and off-coloured hair. The local doctor tried his best but he couldn't figure out what was wrong, and his family did their best to care for him. They knew that their family had previously had relatives with white hair from an early age and all of them had pale skin and poor eyesight, but it was sadly beyond their ability to treat. Physical exercise helped, which he would take to each day in long distance jogging and strengthening himself, though for the most part it just prevented his ailment from worsening. Lacking a formal education, once he was old enough he would work as an assistant at the villages' general wares store, setting aside money so that once every few months he could visit the 'Tafe Cafe', buying confectionary from their admittedly limited selection. Life was difficult and his path more or less set out for him. Until one day, when he was fifteen years old, a wealthy merchant from the city of Providence came to the small village. He claimed to be in search of more exotic goods that he could bring back to the capital, things that were local and not easy to find elsewhere in the empire. It was here, at the geneal wares store, that Olivje met Henrik Kommenos for the first time. Although only brief, Henrik approached Olivje and his family with an offer; seeing that Olivje had little hope for a long, productive life in his home village, he offered to take him on as a ward and provide him with an education in Providence, stating "It's always been an ideal to invest in the Orenian future, one Kommenos always held high". It was quite a decision to make, one Olivje struggled to consider, especially at his age. Unable to give an answer, Henrik offered to wait until his return trip to the capital, promising to stop at the village on his way home to give him time to think about it. Nobody was really sure what to make of it, such a generous offer had to have some kind of drawback, beyond Olivje leaving his home. And in spite of everything, that wasn't something he wanted to do; He loved his village, his community, the people who lived there. It was all he'd ever known. And although part of the empire, the small Farfolk village was so isolated that to them, Henrik may as well have been a foreigner, to say nothing of the rarity of a villager ever leaving to begin with. His parents argued, too. Neither could decide what would be best. There was much debate within the family, though Olivje was kept out of it for the most part. Eventually, Olivje decided that he would make a try for it. As much as he was content in his home, he knew it wasn't much of a life; no agency, no real prospects, he and his family like all of the others would likely live and die having never travelled more than a few miles from their place of birth. With the chance he was being offered, as suspicious at it seemed, he could be more than that he was, more than he was fated to be: a weak, poorly young boy with little to live for. A few weeks after his initial visit, Henrik returned to the village, to be greeted by Olivje's acceptance of his offer. With what little he possessed, he bid a tearful farewell to his family, promising they'd see one another again, perhaps even able to send them correspondance and money that he earned once he was older. And before long, he set off aboard Henrik's small convoy of wagons, to begin his new life. It was a long trip over land and sea, which despite it being new to him was still an unfortunately dull experience for the young Olivje. The ship was the most interesting part: a twin-masted merchant galley, which they boarded for the final stretch of their journey. Olivje had never seen the sea before, or any large body of water for that matter, and found that he quite enjoyed being on board if not for the wind. It took several days and Olivje was mostly kept to his quarters to avoid getting in the way of the crew, until at last the day came when he arrived at the city of Providence: its vast, towering stone walls dominating the sky above the small, sprawling dockyards, beyond which Olivje could just make out the spires and roof tops of large buildings he couldn't identify. He didn't know something could be built so large. Once they passed through the massive gates of the city, Olivje's awe quickly dissipated as he realised just how much he actually hated it. Providence was nothing at all like his home: It was built up, cramped and dirty, full of more people than he could count, everywhere he looked were people and places. The stone streets dirty and marked from constant use, the enormous buildings that lined the roads looming over him, as if trying to box him in. He was relieved when he arrived at the Victory Pub, a place that would become his home for the next few years. As the ward of Henrik Kommenos, he was fortunate to enjoy the benefits that it provided; private education with tutors and Henrik himself, access to books and oral tradition, even better glasses to help with his eyesight. Aside from a general education, Henrik ensured that Olivje was exposed to the fields of law and business, and once old enough paid to have Olivje trained to use a sword, something which did not come naturally to the frail and at times timid young boy, which in spite of his best efforts he never became 'too' comfortable with. Though he found much success, he was unable to do much about Olivje's accent, which never fully left him. Olivje himself was driven to succeed, well aware of how much he had given up to be here, how extraordinarily fortunate he had been with such a chance meeting, and how terrible failure would have been. But by his twenties he was a young man, with the backing of his benefactor, who sent him out to help administrate holdings belonging to Kommenos, finally giving him an opportunity for his long wardship to be put into practise, which is what he has been doing ever since.
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