Gaius Denarian was born in Cyrodiil to a wealthy merchant. He was born on the road with one of the merchant's delivery caravans, and lived a life where he wanted for nothing. He was the oldest of two sons, and he loved his little brother, Jak, unconditionally. Their parents were people who had started as low class citizens but had worked their way up to wealth and status. They never forgot their roots, and they never took their lives, or their children, for granted.
Edited by Jaxon_Wolfe on November 27, 2014 3:30PM
Their father, Martin, taught Gaius and Jak two rules, which Gaius holds as bedrock-firm maxims. Rule number one was "Never break a deal." Rule number two was "Never make a deal you don't have the upper hand in". Martin was a good father, and kind to his boys. He spoke of the deals he had made, and took such pride in them, that the boys wanted a deal of their own. In a flair of drama to please his kids, Martin took them into the country one night and made a "sacred pact" (really, he just started a campfire with a potion to make the smoke a dark blue and burned some incense) with the boys. The pact was that Martin would always love and protect his sons. In exchange, the boys must love and respect their father, and must look after one another. The boys agreed, then made a deal of their own. They would always be a team, and would never leave the other behind.
As the boys grew, it became clear that Gaius would inherit the business from his father. He was intelligent, strong, and a shrewd dealmaker. More than that, Martin felt that Gaius had the most important trait for business. He was able to balance the need for profit with the needs of the customer, ensuring that people were satisfied and better-off for making deals with the family business rather than other merchants. The customers loved him, and Martin, though he was a good man, began to show favoritism. In his mind, he believed he was merely grooming his eldest son for the position he was destined to hold. In Gaius' mind, he was not getting enough time to do what he wished and to spend with his little brother. In Jak's mind, Martin loved Gaius more than himself, and he began to resent his elder brother.
When the boys came of age, they joined the Legion together. They both served as scouts for a two year tour, and Gaius fell in love with the profession. The solitude was something he had never really experienced before. He had to put his own abilities to the test, and he did not have his father to fall back on. It was him and his brother against all the enemies that may possibly catch them, and Gaius loved the thrill. He was very good at his job, and never ceased to have his brother's back. He even saved Jak's life a handful of times.
When their tour was over, the boys returned home to their parents, who were eager to see them return. Martin immediately began instructing Gaius again, but Gaius' heart was no longer in business. He believed he had found his calling in life, so he began to teach Jak the ways of dealmaking and business. With some urging, Gaius convinced his father to allow the two brothers to form a survey branch of the family business. Thinking that his son missed the excitement of the army, and fearing he would return if he did not consent, Martin allowed it eagerly. He assumed that it was a phase his son would simply grow out of.
As time passed, it became clear to Martin that Gaius may not outgrow his love of his job. Realizing this, he began teaching Jak, but was frustrated that the youngest son did not take to the business as quickly as Gaius had. Feeling that he was constantly being compared to, and brought up short against, his elder brother, Jak's resentment grew, until he decided to do something about it.
Jak sent a messenger via a beggar to a group of highwaymen who were known to work some of the roads that Gaius travelled as part of his surveying business. Gaius had thus far eluded them easily, but Jak gave the bandits advice on his techniques of stealth and evasion. He told them that if they took Gaius, they could easily ransom him to their father for anything they desired. He insisted that they burn the letter, as they would get no money if it was discovered Jak had put them up to it.
Jak also made a deal with a corrupt watch captain. He explained the bandit deal, and offered the captain a large sum of money to arrest the bandits and falsify evidence that Gaius was a member of the gang of highwaymen. The captain did so gladly, and Gaius was locked up in the Imperial Prison.
After serving a year of a three year sentence, Gaius received the news that his father had died in his sleep. Another prisoner began laughing, which infuriated Gaius. The two fought, and Gaius beat the man down. As he stood over him, panting, he asked the man what right he had to laugh at the death of his father, who was known to be a good man.
The prisoner explained that it was not the death that had amused him, but the cause of his death. He said that he was sure the old man had not died in his sleep, but had been killed by Jak. Gaius was outraged by the accusation, and demanded the prisoner explain himself.
The prisoner was a member of the highwaymen that had captured Gaius. He told Gaius of the message Jak had sent them, and how he had betrayed them by dealing with the guard captain. Enraged, Gaius killed the man and escaped the prison.
Martin had been an honest man, and had never consorted with daedra and had he ever really concerned himself with the Eight Divines. He had, however, often invoked the name of Clavicus Vile, the Daedric Prince of Power and Deals. It was meant harmlessly enough, but as a boy the tales of the Prince had fascinated Gaius. He traveled to a shrine of the Prince, in Cyrodiil, and offered a deal.
Though he had combat training, he knew it would not be enough to take his revenge on the captain and his brother. He told Vile of his plight, and asked for the power needed to take his revenge. Vile offered him artifacts of power, which Gaius refused. He had read tales of where such gifts would land him. He demanded the power be his, alone. That it be a part of him. He offered Vile his soul in exchange for this power. Vile agreed, and gave the man power over the elements, on condition that he receive Gaius' soul when his task was done. Gaius agreed, stating that Clavicus Vile could have his soul the instant he was done killing. Vile offered him armor and weapons for his trip. The armor was something completely novel to Gaius, and included a helmet made, in part, of a skull that would hide the man's face. He accepted the armor, staff and shield, but refused the sword Vile had offered. Gaius remembered a war axe his father had prized and kept in their manor. It had been given to him by a grateful Bosmeri customer. He decided he would use this weapon to exact his revenge.
Gaius snuck into the manor house and stole the axe. He crept to his father's old bedroom and found Jak sleeping there. With a whispered word, Gaius set the curtains on fire. Jak woke in a panic to the smell of smoke and the crackling of fire. He looked across the room to see an intimidating figure there.
As his eyes met his brother, he removed his mask. Jak went pale at the sight of his brother, and began stammering, trying to defend himself. Gaius approached his brother, and calmly sat on the bed. He stroked his brother's cheek with the blade of the axe, and said calmly "Stop trying to speak, little brother. You never took father's lessons to heart. He would've given you better chances of talking your way out of this. And you broke rule number one, little brother." Jak's eyes widened as the blade touched his face, and he met his brother's eyes in terror as Gaius' voice grew hard at the end of the sentence. Gaius slit the throat of his little brother, and left the manor to burn. As he walked away from the manor he muttered, "Never break a deal."
Gaius waited in the shadows as the watch was called to the scene of the fire. As he had hoped would happen, the corrupt captain was called. Gaius stepped bravely from the shadows, mask covering his face, and pointed a finger at the captain, snarling. A bolt of lighting shot from the tip of his finger and hit the captain squarely in the chest. He was fried in his armor.
Gaius calmly disappeared back into the shadows as the watch began searching furiously for him. He snuck out of the city as rumors of a mysterious killer began circling. Because of the magical means of his kill, and the resemblance of his armor to that of the many tribal races Nirn, he earned the nickname The Shaman.
The next night, Barbas, servant to Clavicus Vile, found Gaius and demanded his soul, as his vengeance was sated. Gaius refused, reminding the dog that the deal was that Vile would receive his soul when Gaius was "done killing." He informed the dog, smiling, that he planned on becoming a professional assassin, and his killing would not be over for a very long time. His audacity and skill with wordplay impressed Barbas, who reminded the man that Vile would win out on any deal. He could simply grant the wish of the next person to come along on condition that the person kill Gaius. Seeing the wisdom in Barbas' words, Gaius offered a new deal.
As long as he lived, he would be an enforcer for Vile. He would kill those Vile wished him to kill. The Prince had merely to ask. In exchange, Gaius would get to remain in Nirn and act as an assassin. Barbas agreed on behalf of his master, promising to return when Vile had need of the man.
Realizing a life as an assassin would be easier to start where he wasn't a wanted man, he moved to the lands that would soon become part of the Daggerfall Covenant, and let the news be spread. The Shaman was available for hire.