Pathfinder a Zealous Heart
Born in the Falinesti clanhouse in the north of Valenwood, Vendaal grew up surrounded by the majestic nature of the sprawling forests of his home land. His father taught him how to survive by the land, and by his teenage years he was an adept hunter who could run with the best of his clan. However, Vendaal was always aware of the political strife that affected his homeland, living, as his people did, under the shadow of the Aldmeri Dominion. As he grew older, he became more aware of the tyrany of the Dominion, including the horrifying Bosmer Purges that the Thalmor enacted for sport and racial cleansing.
One day, before their weekly hunt, the Falinesti hunters were confronted by a Thalmor legion, who had been sent to purge the clan. Knowing that any combat would end in defeat for his people, Vendaal offered a deal to the Legionnaire; in exchange for the protection of the Falinesti, he would guide the Legion through the forests to help them find other clans.
“But we already have a scout!” said the Legionnaire, indicating an Altmer on his right dressed in hunter’s gear.
Vendaal quickly drew his bow and shot an arrow through the scout’s head. “Not anymore.”
Impressed by the young Bosmer’s skill and guile, the Legionnaire accepted. Vendaal didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye to his father.
For the next few years, Vendaal guided the Legion through the forests, and every day it pained him to do so. He saw the racial cleansing of the Thalmor first hand, but the thought of his family kept him steadfast. Eventually, he was referred to a Thalmor General who gave him a similar offer to his original arrangement; his clan would be protected from the purges if he hunted fugitives for the Dominion. Vendaal accepted, hoping to never see the atrocities of the Thalmor again.
The problem was, however, that now he was the one doing the killing. Some of his targets were Thalmor deserters, some were Altmer criminals seeking an escape path through the forests, but many were his own kind, escaping the horrors that had taken their homes. It was these marks that affected Vendaal most of all, and as the years passed his memory of home grew so faint that it no longer offered him any comfort.
One day, Vendaal had been given a very different mark. He was to hunt an Imperial scout who had taken some vital information about the Dominion. The chase was long and difficult, and eventually the mark escaped into the Empire. Vendaal should have stopped there, but in his desire to leave behind the horror of Valenwood he gave chase still, murdering the scout on his path to the Imperial City.
Vendaal was caught by the Imperial Guard. Hoping to be set free by his masters, the Aldmeri Dominion instead disavowed all knowledge of him, giving him up to the Empire in order to avoid a diplomatic incident. As Vendaal was tried and jailed, it wasn’t the sentence that unnerved him; it was the thought that now his contract with the Thalmor had been severed, and his tribe was no longer immune to the purges.