Val's father was a member of the Imperial Senate, and his children never saw their parents' home planet, born and raised on Coruscant. The young Aefic was full of noble dreams about what he was going to be when he grew up: a painter, a poet, a philosopher... something fabulously exciting that no one had even heard of yet. Something special. His parents were always fairly firm on the idea that he was going into politics, but that's something that could have been worked around.
Then, when he was seventeen (3 BBY), something went catastrophically wrong. Aefic discovered what that 'something special' was likely to be - and so did his father. Val was force sensitive. He had a streak of luck a mile wide, and a special empathy (which, with characteristic teenage malice, mostly showed up as a gift for saying the most hurtful thing possible). There had been Jedi in the family, generations back, but since the fall of the Temple, Aefic's father had worked like a demon to make sure that no-one remembered the Order's links with the Val family. Once Aefic had made the connection, after a summer with nothing better to interest himself in than family history, there was no distracting him.
Forbidding Aefic to ever speak of it didn't make any difference, and nothing his father could do, no reasoned arguments about the family's safety or position, could dissuade him from pursuing this one dream. That summer, he absconded from the family home, disappearing to spend six months with a Lorrdian woman who promised to teach him the mysteries of the Force, and succeeded only in taking a lot of money off the desperate, if already somewhat cynical, boy. Not that she needed to - she later turned out to be an heiress herself, slumming it for a while until the novelty wore off. Ironic really, though Aefic didn't see it that way. He was vaguely aware that, at some point that summer a child had been conceived. He's under the vague impression that it was aborted...
It ended with Aefic incarcerated on one of the family's properties on their homeworld, Adarlon, with the only threat his father could think of to ensure his good behaviour: his sister Afsianna's continuing liberty. If Aefic stepped out of line, Afsianna would be cut out of Val's will, and sent off to a restrictive religious order.
What Aefic didn't know was that his sister didn't have the same fond feelings for him as he did for her. She worried a lot more about the rest of the family, and the harm her brother could do them. She was also considerably more ideologically attached to the idea of the Empire. He never knew that it was Afsianna who came up with the idea of keeping Aefic in a continuous state of drug induced bliss; not only would his malice lose its edge, but his undeveloped Force sensitivity would eventually just atrophy. She was the one who developed the exact combination of sedatives and narcotics to stop him concentrating on anything, let alone reflecting on what his mind, left to its own devices, might be capable of.
This was enough, for almost three years... Val stayed relatively quietly on Adarlon, doing nothing more than writing vitriolic anti-Imperial propaganda, and enjoying the increasingly fevered threats from his father. Then, after the Battle of Yavin, Palpatine dissolved the Senate, and the rest of the Val family returned to Adarlon - except for his beloved sister, who had entered into officer training in the Imperial navy.
Once they were in the same planetary system, Aefic's relative quiet wasn't enough. The Emperor was paranoid, and the boy was developing a reputation (though he didn't know it, association with his name had already ruined Afsianna's chance of any kind of career, and most chances of marriage). Learning of this from his family gave him no end of pleasure, and being in close proximity to them made him even more resentful, and less managable.
Within six months of their return, Aefic had declared himself for the Rebel Alliance, and once again disappeared to find himself a cause (taking vast swathes of the family fortune with him...). It was something of a disappointment to learn that the Alliance had very little use for an overeducated and uncontrollable aristocrat with nothing to contribute but a boundless sense of injustice. Only one of them was even prepared to give him the time of day... [insert out-of-control, codependent love affair here...] but it was enough to give him the thrill of association, and to make him feel like his life might not be such a complete and total waste of biomass.
(Then the Empire came, in the form of a large number of soldiers, and his vengeful sister, Lt. Afsianna Val - who might have been captain, or higher, if not for the stain of her brother's rather sad and incompetent attempts at treason. She and Val's lover fought, and Aefic, never fantastic with weapons, wildly fired a blaster...
He knows he hit one of them, but only shortly before one of Afsianna's squad shot him. When he came around, they were both dead...)
The Alliance didn't want him, and neither did anyone else; Aefic, lacking any kind of purpose, turned once again to his dreams of the Force - but he was much older now, and the Jedi had always known that it was best to train them young. As he grew older, it took ever-increasing quantities of Glitterstim to raise any degree of ability in him. So he took those ever-increasing quantities, and hoped for the best.
Val's parents are still alive, somewhere on Adarlon, and intent on supplying their son, traitor and black sheep though he may be, with enough money that he never returns to the same land mass as them. Lieutenant Afsianna Val is dead. Firmly dead.
After meeting the tiny, wilful and utterly captivating courtier Maeve there was, briefly, some hope that Val might learn to harness the latent force sensitivity he'd failed to grasp for twenty years... of course, a mixture of reality and pride got the better of him, and and he was summarily removed from Ruusan. He'd never been one to let go of a grudge...
The Sith Empire
Aware that they needed someone to shelter them, the two exiles relocated to the Sith Empire, where Maeve had originated. Val was never ideologically attached to them, and rarely associated with other Sith. Instead, he and Maeve travelled, covering swathes of the galaxy in the attempt to find something that would open Val's mind and allow him to finally grasp at the Force. Maeve made it a condition that Val give up the glitter, and for the most part he did - though not any of the other pathologies he'd developed over time.
The closest he came to success was when he touched the Force to save Maeve's life on Kilia IV... but it was something he found he couldn't recapture.
One of the recurring presences in Val's life in the last year or so has been the one-eyed Jedi Eddic Tannen. Their paths kept crossing, everywhere from seedy cantinas to floating hotels... to, most recently, a dilapidated warehouse in the lowest levels of Coruscant where Val, Eddic, and a variety of others woke up with no memory of how they'd got there, or who they'd been. On that one day, before his memory returned, Val was a different man, shedding the cynicism and bitterness he'd sunk into, and returning to the idealistic, humanist outlook of his youth.
It recaptured a spark of hope, and spurred him to leave the Sith and pursue a course that seemed to have more value: he went to join the Jedi... after coaxing a pep talk out of Tannen.
Student of the Light
Although many wouldn't believe it - quite reasonably - Val is truly committed to the ideals of the Jedi. His behaviour may not always reflect it, and he will always be an acerbic, irascible being - and he may still have very little faith in sentient life - but he does truly believe that even a hypothetical, intangible 'good' is worth defending. And one day he'll show them all.
It may not help that, only weeks after being accepted into the Jedi Order, Val sloped off to explain his decision to his lover Maeve - who hours later became his wife, Sith or no Sith.
Most of Val's skills exist outside combat: he speaks a large number of languages, aside from Basic, with reasonable fluency. He also has a vast and far-ranging repository of useless trivia and esoteric knowledge. He's also uncannily lucky, and a master at sabacc and a number of other high-stakes games.
Val owns, and occasionally carries, a highly valuable Echani fencing sabre. And he's extremely good - at fencing, in the sporting sense. However, he's had little actual experience of real combat; he might be good, he might not. It's one of life's remaining mysteries.
Hand to Hand Combat
Val's not scared of hand to hand combat, which is a definite advantage. He fights with a complete disregard for his own safety, but practically no technique.
Roleplaying Thread Links
* Stolen Words
The attentive amongst you will have observed that I steal quotes. Yes, that's right, I steals 'em. But I rob from the rich (read: talented), and give to the poor... ie., me. So, the quote at the top of the page is by Warren Ellis, originally from the mouth of Spider Jerusalem... as cool as whom I only wish Val could be.
Out of Character
About the Roleplayer
Other Characters Played
Aly Cynric Toluna Chant