Ok, I've made private revisions to my character Dybia's origins over the years and always neglect to change it here. So I finally started typing up a summarized version of it all. Here's the first third. Tell me what you think.
Dybia started out in a small simple town in the mountains called Mourn. The town only had one real importance to it. It exported a large amount of iron every year, and they used very little machinery. Back then no one called him Dybia. He was still Daniel D. Davis. He was the first son to a mine worker and a French immigrant. His father Robin was a no nonsense man who took his work as serious as his family. His mother …toile was still learning English by the time he was five years old. When she gave him his middle name Dybia she was trying to be creative with an acronym she had made up. Do you believe in angels? As Dybia got older he started getting quieter and quieter. He only had two people he could count as friends. He had the boy next door Allister who was quite the opposite. He talked so much that the only person quiet enough to listen to everything he said was Daniel. The second was his little brother Antoine. He was a fuzzy headed little boy born when Dybia was six.
Into his teenage years he would find places to be alone and simply stare into the distance thinking. He could never really tell anyone what he was thinking about. It was like he was trying to remember something amazing he had seen before, and he could only even feel close when he was in deep thought. One of his favorite spots for this was a certain stairwell in his high school with a strangely large window. One day a group of seniors found him in the stairwell just staring out of the window. They could not resist messing with him, and for the next week they harassed him and even resorted to claiming his mother was a whore his father had brought to town with him. This was a line they shouldnít have crossed. Daniel immediately grabbed the oldest of the boys by the neck and smashed him through the window. He held him outside the window for a few moments getting the message across not to ♥♥♥♥ with him. Just as the boy started pleading to be brought back in Daniel let go and watched him fall three stories. He fell three stories straight into an open dumpster below the window.
From that day on Daniel let them think he didnít know that the dumpster was there. He was young enough to get away with this, but not with murder. Unfortunately for him he was expelled from school shortly afterwards. He never went back to his spot in the stairwell again, and he made due with a rooftop in town not too far from his house. One day his little brother followed him to his thinking spot and started asking questions about why he did this. Daniel couldnít come up with an answer that could satisfy the little boy. It wasnít just because he was young but even he had trouble putting it into words. He told his little brother that he was trying to remember something. The little boy asked, from when? He said years ago. Five years ago? Longer. Ten years ago? Longer. From when you were born? Even longer.
It seemed strange, but talking about it with someone actually helped a little bit. In his mind he could see the vaguest shape of a face. The face was what he was trying to remember. Who did it belong to, and why did it seem to predate any other memory he had. His little brother started telling Daniel about something their father had told him. He had told the little boy that he did his best thinking while he was hard at work. In his longest stretches of work in the iron mines his mind would wander to everything in his life at the time and he could contemplate it with ease. Daniel was turning sixteen within the month and he was expelled from school, so he didnít have much else to do.
Daniel went to his father and asked him if he thought he could get a job in the mines. His father who had been relatively hands off with Daniel was surprised that he would ask him, and couldnít help but bombard him with questions about why he would want to work there. He gave him the excuse that he was going stir crazy doing nothing, and he would be contributing to the house at the same time. His dad told him that as long as he didnít get any complaints about how hard it was or hear about him slacking he didnít mind getting his boss to work something out. Daniel was starting work in the mines the day he turned sixteen, and before he left the house for the mines his mother stopped him to give him a little present. It was a small silver amulet holding a ruby the size of a quarter. Daniel had to ask about where sheíd gotten this because he knew she couldnít have bought this. She told him about how it was an heirloom in her family and how it was usually given from mother to daughter. She joked to her son about how it looked like that wasnít going to happen with her, so he would have to give it to his daughter someday. Daniel hugged her goodbye and slipped the amulet into his pocket before finally leaving for his first day of work in the mines. It was over an hour before any trace of sun would be in the sky, not that heíd be seeing it that day.
For several weeks Daniel hauled carts back and forth through the mines. They were full of various things, tools, explosives, but mostly waste rock he had to haul away. One day though he was walking through the tunnels when he thought he heard something from a side tunnel. He walked in and found the noise seemed to be coming from a certain wall of the tunnel. He started brushing at the wall until he found what seemed to be a bone in the dirt of the wall. He kept brushing away until he made his way to a skull at the base of the wall. He barely felt it, but there was a crack in the solid part of the wall just above the bones. He could feel a musty breeze from behind it. Daniel in a rare moment of not thinking simply punched a hole through the wall of hard soil.
After he dug away the rest of that wall he made his way through the opening. On the other side was a sea of black. The space in front of him was so far and wide that his work issued flashlight couldnít even show up on the other side of the cavern. He moved the beam to areas closer to him and could make out some structures too rigid looking to be natural. Next to one of the structures he found a small pot. It seemed intact, and felt strong enough to pick up without breaking it. He picked it up and took it back to his boss to show him. The two of them made their way to the owner of the mine to make him aware. Daniel and his supervisor busted in to a meeting where the owner and Danielís father Robin were with some other men. The supervisor had Daniel carefully place the pot on the table and tell the men what he had found.
Soon afterward they had the pot he had brought back appraised and the value sounded insane to the men. The owner couldnít pass up the thought of more of these little nuggets of opportunity. He quickly put together a team to go inspect the area and beyond where Daniel had been. A seven man team was put together to inspect the place. The team was made up of Daniel, his friend Allister who had dropped out of school the year before, a girl named Rebecca fresh out of high school, two workers named Kyle and Jamie, Danielís father, and the owner.
They proceeded into the ruins, and for a few hours found everything to be rather plain. The buildings seemed to be built along an edge in a descending ring that went deeper into the mountain. Whoever did live here long ago hadnít been into decoration. The buildings themselves had only the bare essentials within them. The only semblance of art was on the tools and pots. They were just miners, but even they knew that those were enough. The team went through many houses until they came to a much larger building. It practically beamed with authority over the rest. Before they entered Daniel told them all to wait. He had noticed something strange no one else seemed to bring up. There were no bodies. Besides the one he found at the entrance to the ruins, there wasnít even one skeleton or trace of a person or graveyard.
The owner of the mines chimed in that maybe they just burned their dead, and just because one person died here didnít mean there was some mass extinction of the place. It did make good sense to Daniel but he just knew it was wrong somehow. It was something of a sneaking suspicion, which he knew the feeling of well. They went into the building and started searching in two teams of two and one of three. Daniel and Allister paired up and started to catch up since they hadnít seen much of each other since he dropped out the year before. Before long they had to stop their conversation as they found a symbol painted onto the wall. It looked similar to a Celtic cross, but it also had a large slash through it into the stone it was painted on. It was like the symbol offended someone, but they didnít have the time or patience to erase it.
The two boys went back to find the group, and as soon as all seven came together again in the first room of the building something happened. Some trigger was switched, and a clicking noise began. None of them could spot where it was coming from, but soon enough they were alerted to it. A slot opened in the ceiling and a strange smoke-like gas began pouring out. At least a dozen other openings in the room began pouring out. The two men Kyle and Jamie had been furthest from the door and were caught directly under one of the vents. They began coughing immediately and kept staggering over to the group. Their faces were completely red, and it was hard to notice because of their faces, but they were bleeding from every orifice on their head after only about twenty seconds of exposure. The two died before they could even get a word out to their co-workers.
The others bolted from the building as fast as they could. The gas was quickly filling up the room and they had no intention of looking back. They ran back towards the way they came in as fast as their legs would take them. As soon as they arrived though, their hopes were dashed. The way they came in had collapsed. It looked like it had exploded inwards from the mine. They looked back to see many of the other buildings they had passed through were now emitting the same gasses they had just been running from. It was slowly making its way to them. They had no choice but to run down the ring structure it was all built on. They knew there wasnít any hope at the bottom for them, but it was die there or live a little longer and probably die at the bottom of the cavern. They made good time in the downhill run until something likely dislodged by the sudden ventilation activity fell and hit Daniel at the back of the group. They had been running so fast they didnít even notice heíd fallen until the gasses were already right on top of him. Daniel started coughing barely being able to whisper what they thought were his last words, ďDonít leave me here you guys! Donít leave me here to die!Ē
The only one that even tried to go back was his father but he was dragged away by the owner who held his arm. Then the strangest thing happened. Daniel woke up. He was in a haze both mentally and literally. He had no idea where the others were, but he struggled up to his feet and through the smoky haze he saw a man in surgeonís scrubs. At the manís feet was a body, it was sleek and had long hair and only after Daniel got close did he recognize them. It was the woman Rebecca. She was practically torn open at every point possible. The surgeon over her turned around and started walking away, and in his hand Daniel saw a dripping scalpel fresh from its operation. Daniel froze where he was barely standing. The surgeon finally disappeared from sight, but he could already tell the girl was dead.
Daniel took a minute to try and get his bearings. He could barely feel the downward slope to the ring and started stumbling his way downward after the others. Eventually he caught up to the surgeon, and this time he acted more aware of Daniel. He took his scalpel and flung blood into Danielís face from it. This was too fresh to have been from the girl from before. He had killed someone else. Daniel tried to punch the surgeon, but couldnít land a single hit. He got desperate and took his foldable pickaxe from his pack and tried to kill the surgeon. Once again the mysterious man was too fast for him. To get away from the boy he jumped over the edge down the slope.
Daniel began running down the slope as fast as he could manage. He found the surgeonís grisly work leaned up against one of the buildings this time it was the owner of the mines. His body had to have been folded back together from the number of incisions all over his body. He couldnít stand the sight of it any longer. Daniel ran away from it as fast as he could. Finally after what felt like an hour of running he made it to a segment where the spiral stopped. He couldnít go any lower. The path now went straight out to the middle of the cavern he had been running around. He started out to the middle. Finally he found the surgeon again. The path behind him didnít lead anywhere further. It was a dead end looking out over the pit. Daniel had his pickaxe ready this time. He ran at the man who had killed his co-workers preparing a large over the shoulder swing.
The only thing was, the surgeon offered no resistance. He didnít try to doge or stop the attack. He took it straight to the neck. He fell to his knees and Daniel saw Allister standing behind him. When Daniel looked back down at what heíd just done, there was no surgeon. Only his father was kneeled in front of him, already dead. He couldnít figure out what had just happened. He reached out to his friend the only other person there, but Allister was too frightened by what Daniel had just happened. He immediately jumped back from his friendís touch and stumbled off of the edge and fell into the pit.
Daniel screamed after his friend and tried to grab him as he fell, but he missed his short chance. Allister disappeared into the darkness below. He just couldnít handle what had happened. He lost consciousness for the shortest of moments, and he collapsed over the edge and fell like his friend before him. For just a short time he woke up, and struggled to get up. He only managed to turn over and fall onto his back. So deep in, he couldnít see a thing. He could only really feel that what he was laying on was not a solid surface. It was like he was on a pile of softer feeling rocks. He felt around with both hands until he grabbed onto a certain familiar feeling one. He ran his hands over it back and forth to make sure. It was a skull. He tossed it aside and grabbed for something else, and he came across a femur.
He was lying on a pile of bones. Slowly a strange light started coming from behind him. It lit the room up in violet a little at a time. Daniel forced himself up to look at it, and was distracted from lightís source when he saw the sheer number of skeletons in this pile. Well, he at least knew where all of the bodies had gone. He crawled towards the light wondering what it could possibly be. When he made it to the center of it there was almost too much light to even make it out, but it was a rock with the symbol he and Allister had found before. He used up the last of his stamina just crawling here to find yet another thing he couldnít understand. As he fell forward he whispered, ďI just want to understand.Ē
Just one truth. That is what was given to him. He saw what happened to the people here. Eons ago there were many gods in the world. One had gained the ire of the others. The people of this mountain were raised like sheep. When the day came, and the god manifested there, the very god who had raised them had them throw themselves into the pit as a great sacrifice to seal the god. Only one man defied this command from their gods, and was killed before he could get away. The deaths of the thousands of humans were still enough. The god was sealed with a lock he had no hope of breaking. He now knew the sight of thousands lining up for mass suicide. Men, women, and children all leaping to their deaths. Who could order such a thing?
As the memory came to an end Daniel realized he was walking. Not only that, he was outside. He was covered in snow, and while looking down he could see all of Mourn. The city was alight. There was every kind of siren he had ever heard blaring in the distance. Daniel kept walking towards the din trying to think only of it. He was tired of trying to remember things. For now he just wanted to forget.
Before he could make it to town he was found by the task forces around the edge of the mountain. Daniel found out the gasses from in the ruins werenít just their problem. They had leaked into the mines and killed most of the workers. A large chunk of the cityís population had just dropped dead, and the mines were about to be totally sealed off, most likely for good. Finding Daniel was the last straw there. They only needed to hear him tell them the team from the ruins was already dead. He was practically catatonic for a week after that, only even saying anything to blame himself for the deaths. Everyone thought he meant it was his fault for the gas release in the mines. He knew he killed his father with his own hands, and now he could never be sure he didnít kill the owner and Rebecca either. He couldnít feel sure it wouldnít happen again. Who would be safe with him around?
He had to leave. He had to get out of there. He stopped hid his amulet under the floorboards of his room, and ran out of the house with nothing but the clothes he was wearing. He just kept running. He couldnít face his brother after what he had done. He had no idea where he was going, but he just knew he couldnít be with his family. He kept following the roads until he was two towns over. He stopped calling himself Daniel after getting there. From then on he gave out the name Dybia.
Heya, Dybia! I'm here to give ya a little peer review on this. :> I have no idea how strict or nitpicky I'm going to be with this, but I'm just going to throw up any and all suggestions that come to mind. I hope you don't mind. This is all meant to be constructive criticism, though, so I hope you'll take it well.
The town only had one real importance to it. It exported a large amount of iron every year, and they used very little machinery.
I think this could be reworded a little. I'm no grammar expert, but... it could be a little more condensed I think. Here's an example, but you don't necessarily have to do it this exact same way.
“The town was only known for one thing: Its large export of iron it produced every year (without the use of machinery).”
I haven't read the entire thing yet, but the lack of machinery use doesn't seem like an important piece of information. I guess it's fine with or without it, though.
When she gave him his middle name Dybia she was trying to be creative with an acronym she had made up. Do you believe in angels?
Ooh, I had to actually read this twice to get it. X3 The “Do you believe in angels?” part just seemed random and I didn't realize that was what Dybia stood for. It could probably use some rewording. Here's an example, but again don't copy it word for word.
When she gave him his middle name, Dybia, she intended it as an acronym: “Do You Believe In Angels?”
As Dybia got older he started getting quieter and quieter. He only had two people he could count as friends. He had the boy next door Allister who was quite the opposite. He talked so much that the only person quiet enough to listen to everything he said was Daniel. The second was his little brother Antoine. He was a fuzzy headed little boy born when Dybia was six.
I think this could be its own paragraph. It doesn't seem to match the stuff mentioned before it well enough to be contained within the same one.
Into his teenage years he would find places to be alone and simply stare into the distance thinking.
I think “stare into the distance” is an unnecessary clichť you could remove. It's something you might write in an RP, but it doesn't make sense for a bio.
Instead it could be “Through his teenage years he would find places to be alone simply to think.”
They could not resist messing with him, and for the next week they harassed him and even resorted to claiming his mother was a whore his father had brought to town with him. This was a line they shouldn’t have crossed. Daniel immediately grabbed the oldest of the boys by the neck and smashed him through the window. He held him outside the window for a few moments getting the message across not to ♥♥♥♥ with him. Just as the boy started pleading to be brought back in Daniel let go and watched him fall three stories. He fell three stories straight into an open dumpster below the window.
I'm not sure why the seniors felt the need to go to such lengths to pick on him. I mean... nothing has really been said so far that would make him seem like a target for this kind of stuff. I know that there are a lot of people out there that pick on other students for seemingly no reason, but for some reason a part of me just wants a reason behind it. xD This might be more excusable to me if this were middle school. Maybe mention that this was just the result of senseless high school bullying somehow?
Also, you should probably mention that the student survived because it was hard to tell whether he did or not.
Who did it belong to, and why did it seem to predate any other memory he had.
Needs a question mark. :>
Daniel was starting work in the mines the day he turned sixteen, and before he left the house for the mines his mother stopped him to give him a little present. It was a small silver amulet holding a ruby the size of a quarter. Daniel had to ask about where she’d gotten this because he knew she couldn’t have bought this. She told him about how it was an heirloom in her family and how it was usually given from mother to daughter. She joked to her son about how it looked like that wasn’t going to happen with her, so he would have to give it to his daughter someday. Daniel hugged her goodbye and slipped the amulet into his pocket before finally leaving for his first day of work in the mines. It was over an hour before any trace of sun would be in the sky, not that he’d be seeing it that day.
The underlined sentence is like two thoughts. “Daniel was starting work in the mines the day he turned sixteen” could be its own sentence. It could actually end that paragraph too and the rest of the text in the quote could be its own paragraph, since that focuses more on the amulet than his work in the mines.
On the other side was a sea of black.
Black what? Initially I imagined this as black water, but the reading further just shows that it was a cave. Maybe “It was pitch black on the other side” would work a lot better.
The space in front of him was so far and wide that his work issued flashlight couldn’t even show up on the other side of the cavern
This could be changed to “reach” and I think that would sound a little better. A bit of a nitpick, but whatever. xD
Daniel and Allister paired up and started to catch up since they hadn’t seen much of each other since he dropped out the year before.
“paired up” and “catch up” are a little too similar when read out loud, I think. It also feels like a rushed sentence.
“Daniel and Allister formed one group. They began to catch up with each other, since neither of them had talked much since he dropped out the year before.”
Something like that, anyway.
The two boys went back to find the group, and as soon as all seven came together again in the first room of the building something happened. Some trigger was switched, and a clicking noise began.
The first sentence feels runny to me. It could be divided a little better.
“The two boys went back to find the group. When all seven of them came together again, something was triggered. A clicking noise filled the cavern.”
A slot opened in the ceiling and a strange smoke-like gas began pouring out. At least a dozen other openings in the room began pouring out. The two men Kyle and Jamie had been furthest from the door and were caught directly under one of the vents. They began coughing immediately and kept staggering over to the group. Their faces were completely red, and it was hard to notice because of their faces, but they were bleeding from every orifice on their head after only about twenty seconds of exposure. The two died before they could even get a word out to their co-workers.
The first two sentences end in “pouring out”. Sounds weird when reading out loud, which I think you should do with this entire thing. Helps a lot in making sure everything sounds clear and helps avoid redundancies and stuff.
Also, with “The two died before they could even get a word out to their co-workers.” should probably be changed, since they're not getting the word out so much as warning them... since they're right there.
He reached out to his friend the only other person there, but Allister was too frightened by what Daniel had just happened.
You probably meant “What Daniel had done.”
He stopped hid his amulet under the floorboards of his room, and ran out of the house with nothing but the clothes he was wearing.
Another typo or something.
From then on he gave out the name Dybia.
This also doesn't make sense to me. Shouldn't it be that he starting going by the name Dybia? X3
Well, that's about it I think. I recommend that you read back through this entire thing out loud. It will help you a lot. I know that there were a few other details that could use work, but this is basically the gist I could work out of it.
Sounds like a good backstory so far. Nice and creepy, which I like, though perhaps overall it could use less detail? I know when I read a history section I usually just skim it because I don't want to feel like I'm reading a book, but just the gist of the background of the character... if that makes any sense.
That's just my opinion, anyway. Do with it what you want. :> Good luck with the rest of it.