Troublemaker & Arcanist
Søren — real name unknown — was born on Earth in the latter half of the 19th century. Exact details are unclear, but it is believed he was of landed birth in Great Britain, presumably in Scotland or Wales. As a youth he excelled in virtually all of his studies, cultivating a remarkable talent for the violin and piano; he also proved a proficient fencer and equestrian.
As a promising student at Oxford, he quickly developed a reputation as an arrogant, quarrelsome, and moody young man. He quickly receded from “ordinary” university life and became closely involved with a subculture of secret societies dedicated to the occult, then a controversial but fashionable topic in England. A magnetic personality, he quickly accumulated a number of hangers-on. He was ambitious and talented, but reckless.
On Earth, as in a few other Prime Material Planes, the rules of magic are slightly bent. The reach of ritual magic is broader, and attempts to contact the beyond — devils, demons, and the dead — are far easier, but even more dangerous. One such ritual led by Søren went catastrophically wrong, resulting in several deaths and his expulsion from Oxford. The scandal severely strained his relationship with his family, whom he seldom spoke to afterwards.
With the aid of morphine and absinthe, Søren eventually bounced back and became a prominent figure in the occult “scene” of London in the years leading up to the first World War, albeit increasingly depressive and self-destructive after the disaster at University. He worked at various times as a stage performer, medium, exorcist, and occult investigator. He definitely encountered a vampire at least once.
He volunteered to serve in the Army, despite qualifying for a medical exemption due to his lackluster physical condition. He became a decorated soldier, noted for his valor and leadership. On multiple occasions he was called to deploy his arcane talents, and at least once had dealings with Grigori Rasputin, reputedly the most powerful magician in Europe.
Deeply traumatized by his wartime experiences, Søren backslid into substance abuse and depression. In 1918 he was called on by the Crown to participate in a secret mission to assassinate his old foe, Rasputin, who had survived an attempt on his life two years prior. The mission was a success, though at great cost— twelve of the thirteen men who traveled secretly into the Russian Civil War were dead, and Søren suffered a complete nervous breakdown before being located by the Bolshevik Red Army. After a brief period in a prisoner of war camp he was returned to British soil and committed to a mental hospital.
Søren spent several months there, intermittently lucid but obsessed with strange ideas. He was particularly fixated on the idea of a “higher world” less subject to the ills and evils of his own. After ten months of incarceration he disappeared from his room, and was never found.
Shortly thereafter, a two-bit spellcaster going by the name of “Søren” surfaced in Sigil, making a feeble living as a busker and occasional tavern musician.