Nickname:  Gus / Ole Gus

Full Name:  Argus Gracestream

Gender:  Male

Species:  Sea Otter

Age:  52

Alignment:  Good

Relationships:

Family
Wife: Janura (Deceased)
Unnamed Daughter (Deceased)

Friends
"Marm" the Hedgehog (Deceased)

Description:

Bent and frail with age, most of his fur has gone gray.  Covered in scars.  His rudder-like tail is broken and hangs at an awkward angle.  He is blind and uses his steel javelin as a walking stick.

Possessions:

  • Dark green, long-sleeved tunic
  • Worn out leather cap
  • Seashell necklace
  • Steel javelin

Strengths:

  • Wisdom of experience
  • Other senses compensate for blindness

Weaknesses:

  • Blind
  • Physical deterioration due to age
  • Burdened by guilt

Personality:

The loss of his family and his vengeance had already left him mentally scarred and a bit insane.  After becoming blind, he descended further into madness.  With the help of "Marm" the blind old hedgehog, he has grown to accept his loss of sight, if not the loss of his family and home.  He is more lucid than he used to be, though he still falls off the wagon at times, though he seems to have embraced the fact that he is a broken creature, and even jokes about it to himself and others.

He loves nothing more than to hear laughter, and will often to outlandish things just to hear a small chuckle.  One of his favorites is to talk in and out of the third person.  He is very protective of babes if he meets any, and will often call them his own children in place of his lost daughter.  He knows his area of the Woodlands better than any other beast despite his blindness, and he knows how to defend himself, through his other senses to compensate for his handicap.

He prefers a solitary life, even though he enjoys the time spent with other beasts, he will move along or move them along, not wanting to be a burden, or to grow too attached that he can?t let them go.  The guilt of his past hangs over him constantly, though he hides the pain with jokes and eccentric behavior.

Biography:

Once a great leader and chieftain of Holt Gracestream of the eastern coasts.  He was a fierce warrior and wielded a specialized javelin made completely of steel that had belonged to his father.  He lead his tribe through many grand victories against vermin of sea and land.  He was popular with the females, but only had eyes for Janura.  Soon they were married and she heavy with child.  But Argus was far too free spirited to be tied down at home, and so he took a band of his best warriors and patrolled the coastlands, keeping watch for any vermin pirates.

As his daughter was being born, Argus found a shipwrecked stoat.  They set about reviving the beast so they could interrogate him.  Argus was a fierce and stubborn otter, and he had no time for nonsense where vermin were concerned.  The stoat held out longer than the otter chieftain had expected, but on the second day, he sang.  The words cast a dreadful image in all the otter's minds.  Holt Gracestream had been located and a raid was in motion.  Spitting oaths at the stoats face, Argus shook the beast until his neck broke.  With haste he led his small company back home.  He tried to calm himself down by reminding himself that he had left plenty of strong and able warriors to defend the Holt.  His fears cemented as they saw black smoke in the sky.  Seeing red, Argus charged ahead of the others, paws itching to take the life of any vermin he saw.

The Holt was a ruin; homes charred from fire, otters laying dead in the sands.  Not all were dead though, about a third of the remaining warriors remained, none sparred a fresh wound.  Many of the little ones and the mothers had been spared as well, though many had not.  Somehow, as he looked at the scattered bodies, he knew what he would find as he made his way to his hut.  He walked as if in a dream, his limbs felt heavy and his eyes refused to accept what they saw.  His men left him alone to bury the bodies of his wife and daughter, who he had never seen alive.  Without a word to any of the warriors, he left.

He had learned the name of the pirate scum who had done this horrendous deed.  Argus knew where they would be after such a victory.  He swam to a distant cove that vermin had taken to holing up in.  He saw the black sails and knew he had guessed correctly.  The vermin had taken heavy casualties as well, their numbers thinned to a score, but their leader, a big fat rat with gold rings in a flamboyant beard claimed that he knew where to pick up more fodder for the crew.  The vermin were all to drunk to take the remark as an offence.  Argus was silent and singular in his purpose.  It took a few deaths, but the vermin eventually took up arms to defend themselves.  They were drunk and sloppy, he was cold and determined.  Not a single vermin lived that night.

Argus returned to the Holt with the head of the rat, covered in scars that cried streams of blood, the salt water having done nothing to help close the wounds.  He never said anything to them and after giving them the head, he turned away and never returned, taking only his javelin and the seashell necklace he had found on around his daughter?s neck.

One night, after seasons of wandering in exile, Argus came across a small settlement of goodbeasts who were being terrorized by a band of vermin.  A ferret was the leader, and he wielded a fierce blade shaped like a crescent moon that reflected torchlight ominously.  Argus challenged the ferret.  He was more skilled than the vermin leader, but he was reckless in his need to redeem himself.  When the ferret saw that he was beat, he tossed aside his sword and grabbed a torch and threw it in Argus?s face.  The heat and the light was too much and he was blinded.  The darkness was a new enemy that Argus didn't know how to fight.  The vermin ganged up on him in his weakened state and he felt the bites of several weapons all about his body, even his tail took a heavy strike from a blunted weapon.  But he refused to die, and went on a mad attack swinging his javelin each and every way.  Luck was his that night, as he slew the ferret with a hefty blow to the head.  With their leader dead, the rest of the vermin fled the mad otter.

The goodbeasts he had saved tended to his wounds and took care of him.  After a few days, it was clear that his vision would never return.  He was lost in the dark abyss that only he could see.  It drove him to maddened nightmares and spiteful awakenings.  The goodbeasts were kind and understanding, but eventually he became far too bitter and was asked to leave.  Once again, Argus was alone.

He battled his madness the only way he could: by talking.  He talked to himself, the trees, and anyone who might be listening, telling about his son, and how he was going to be a great chieftain one day.  One day his ramblings were interrupted by a hedgehog who barked at him to quiet down as she was trying to sleep.  The hedgehog turned out to be blind as well, though she was far more accustomed to the situation than he was.  After hearing his tale, the hedgehog agreed to teach him how to live a blind life.  They became fast friends, the hedgehog taking to calling him "Gus".

He never learned the hedgehog's name (having just called her Marm), but he still cried for her when she eventually passed away in her sleep, leaving him alone in the dark again.  But he took her training to heart and refused to let the darkness win.  He kept up with the training imposed on him by the hedgehog and even learned to fight to some degree, using his javelin as not only a weapon, but a way to survey his surroundings.  He learned to smell a tree before him so he could sidestep it.  He learned to taste the moss to know which direction he was heading.  He learned to recognize the feel of the suns rays as it made its way through the day.  He learned to recognize the sound of the river and which way it flowed.  In the passing years, no beast knew his neck of Mossflower Woods better than the blind gray back otter.

Author's Notes:

Argus Gracestream was created with a similar, if more tragic back story to my badger, Razor Rawstripe, because I plan for them to meet and for Razor to learn how to use his limited eyesight to his advantage.  If anyone's RP is taking place in Mossflower Woods and you would like Argus Gracestream to be a quirky side-character - I am very open to this - let me know through PM.  Thanks.