You had a fairly simple, happy childhood in Portland, Oregon. You knew you were gay from the time you were fairly young and that was fine with you and everyone around you. Portland is nice like that. You went to a nice private school, had tons of friends, and all the books you could read. A large part of your life was spent at Powells Books, the largest bookstore in the world, wandering the halls of books, reading random picks off the shelves. You thrilled at new discoveries, devouring sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, history, everything.
When you were fourteen, a new event was added to your afternoon ritual. During the short walk from your school to Powells, you noticed a curious man. Every day, a man in a long brown cloak stood on a street corner, greeted you in a very friendly manner, and ignored everyone else. There was always this strange tall teenager standing by him, as well. The most curious thing about him, however, was the raven. Every single day, there was a raven sitting on the man's arm, calmly watching you. The raven seemed terribly friendly, somehow.
After several months of consistent greetings and passing, you found yourself having need to get to Powell's in the late evening. Curiously, the man, the teenager, and the raven, were all there, even at ten at night. The raven suddenly took off and began to circle, cawing loudly. The man smiled at you and spoke quietly, “I think she wants you to follow.” The raven took off down the road, spiraling once around a telephone pole. Taking one last glance at the strange man, you ran after the bird. You caught up to it a block down and followed it along the back streets of downtown Portland. You weren’t sure why you were following a strange bird at ten at night, but it seemed like the right thing to do.
After a few minutes of running, you saw the footprints. They started in a set of scorch marks at the end of some deserted alleyway and went down the road. They were burned into the pavement, cracks forming around the three pointed toes. Clearly whatever this thing was, it was large and stepped very heavy. You followed the unearthly footsteps for a handful of blocks with the raven circling overhead before realizing that they were not without pattern. The creature was heading straight towards Powells.
You finally found the thing half a block from the north block of Powells—an entire block devoted to rare and unique books. The beast was huge alright—a solid twelve or fifteen feet, you estimated. It was bipedal, with disproportionately large clawed hands and feet and a strangely small torso. It had leathery gray skin and long red hair that seemed to flicker almost as if on fire. You ran up to it and, somehow knowing exactly what to do, made as if to draw a sword from a sheath at your belt. When you held your imaginary blade in front of you, you found yourself holding a real longsword, shining silver in the moonlight. You ran at the creature, slashing at its ankle from behind. It let out a furious yell and spun around to face you. As it did, you noticed with some surprise that it wore a large pair of spectacles on its doglike face. You ignored that and swung at it again. This time, however, it drew back its foot in time, then swept you up in one of its massive hands. It held you aloft, staring down its snout at you, pressing your arm (and sword) tight to your side. The beast seemed ready to clench its hand and crush you when the raven swooped out of nowhere. The bird raked its claws across the demon’s face, wounding it and knocking off its glasses. The creature howled in pain and dropped you. You landed badly but ignored the pain and took the opportunity to stab the beast squarely in the stomach. The great monster collapsed on the ground before exploding in a puff of smoke. You collapsed to the ground, exhausted. The raven circle twice more and seemed to smile at you, then turned and flapped away into the night.
The next day the strange man was gone, and in his place only a small etching in the pavement, reading in a most curious script:
You smiled and walked on towards Powells.
In the next few days, a man named Zahir came to you and brought you to his school for magic in Mendocino. You’ve been living there the last few months, and enjoying yourself. Your best friend is Amethyst, partially due to the fact that you’re both openly gay. You helped her learn to live with being open about it, having spent much of her life in the closet. You have a fairly big (although somewhat unrealistic) crush on Sage. You recognize Journeyman as the strange teenager who was with The Wanderer every day, but you have yet to bring it up with him as he’s only been there a week and you get the sense that he doesn’t like you at all on account of your orientation.