- Race: human
- Class: scout
- Alignment: chaotic neutral
- Sex: male Gender: male
- Age: 30 solar years
- Height 5’8"
- Weight 140lbs
- Hair: short cropped, black
- Eyes: blue
- Skin tone: white
The circumstances surrounding Janus McBirnie’s birth are, in all likelihood, forever lost to the shifting sands of time. His earliest memory is consists of him, age 4 or 5, clinging tightly with his arms around the lower back of a man; they were riding a black horse, galloping at full speed through a desert. This lasted for over an hour, at which point the horse was panting and gasping violently. The sun was blood-red as it set over mountains in the west. They came upon a large and jagged outcropping of sandstone in the middle of what was otherwise featureless wasteland.
The man dismounted from the horse in one swift motion and began to lead it by the reins toward the outcropping. Janus, who only was to be given that name some time later, nearly lost his balance and tumbled off the horse. The man smirked smugly and then told the boy to sit forward in the saddle and hold onto the horn. From then on, he was told, he would learn to be as comfortable on the back of a horse as he would on his own two feet. The man then turned his attention to the rock and laid his hands on it carefully. Suddenly, a hidden passage opened and the boy was taken into a secret hideout of the society in which he would be raised…
Janus no longer dwells on his past. There was a time during his adolescence when questions dogged him, but the man, Menkare, who rescued (or abducted?) him had only one story to tell: He was in the city of Ekbatana to deliver a diplomatic message to the Queen. There was a surprise assault on the palace. Fires were breaking out and roofs were caving in. Menkare saw Janus curled huddled in a corner, terrified. In an act of pity, he grabbed the boy and escaped from the palace, avoided detection from the attackers (with whom he had no quarrel, anyhow) and fleeing the city.
The trauma of the event blocked out any memories of whatever prior life he had. Janus now identifies wholly with the society of scouts and rouges in which he has been raised: the Order of Aediles. It is something like a network of guilds, each local guildhouse (or “aedifice”) run as an independent franchise, specializing in the business of travel, wilderness survival, commodities trading, mercantile information exchange, and occasionally theft, assassination for hire, and other such crimes. However, those latter services are only employed according to strict moral code. Theft may be only committed against people who acquire or expend their wealth unjustly, or in the case of material necessity to provide for oneself. Hired murder may only be committed if the employer can prove that the target is of immoral character and the act will provide for the greater good of society. That said, their moral concerns are not altruistic; they simply believe that the maintenance of public morals is good for business.
Having reached the age of 30, Janus has been tasked by his mentor and step-father to set out on a journey to scout out potential locations for a new aedifice, attract new recruits, and establish an operation of his own. Leaving from a headquarters deep within a temperate forest, he returned to the city where Menkare found him, Ekbatana, which was in ruins and abandoned. Janus encountered and was befriended by a cleric of the sand domain, Limpiyaw Garayasil.