Despite not having lived in Cheliax for some time, Onorato still clothes himself in that country's fashion and colors. He wears a black jerkin over a red doublet with baggy sleeves, black tights with a gold fringe, red hose, and leather riding boots. Over it all he wears a short red cape. He feels dressing this way makes him more imposing and more obviously wizardly. He uses this to great effect in negotiations with other mortals, and to inspire a change of alliegence in others' summoned creatures.
Onorato's compsognathus familiar, Avvenire, stays most often at his master's heel.
However, he was not accepted right off the street. Wealthy and reputable his family might be, but Onorato came to the Academy with virtually no foundational knowledge. He failed his first entrance examination despite showing some promise, and was told to wait a year, and to seek out a master, before applying again. He settled down in the Devil’s Dance district of Egorian, and spent several months waiting tables in various taverns, dropping hints every so often that he was looking for a master to teach him the fundamentals of summoning, and keeping an ear open for conjurers who might need apprentices.
The man who finally approached him with an offer, however, was no conjurer. Amabedo Bordiga introduced himself as a transmuter who had come to Egorian to hone his own summoning skills. While the twenty-year-old wizard was by no means an expert, he offered to, as he put it, “learn together” with Onorato, and Onorato, having no better options, accepted. As it turned out, the eclectic program of study Amabedo put together excited and intrigued Onorato, and while he quickly surpassed Amabedo in skill at conjuration, he knew he was indebted to the older man. He also knew how much more there was to learn. When they took their exams to enter the Academy next year, Onorato succeeded and Amabedo did not. The transmuter didn’t take it too hard, though, hinting that there were other centers of learning. That evening, he told Onorato he was going to Absalom to join the Pathfinder Society, seekers of knowledge.
Amabedo’s description of the organization stayed with Onorato long after he had gone, and as a side project to his studies Onorato sought out Pathfinders living in Egorian. He made contact with a few, and through them joined the organization, but was less than impressed by their dual loyalty, and their willingness to compromise the Society’s principles for Chelish interests. More heartening were letters from Amabedo and his friends in Absalom, though Onorato could sense his friend’s growing unease with the Pathfinder leadership. Largely disappointed in what he saw of the Society in Egorian, Onorato threw himself back into his studies and maintained only cursory contact with the other local Pathfinders. He managed to complete the basic program of study by 4702 AR.
He applied to continue his studies, but Onorato had neglected to find a patron at the Academy, and despite his promise the professors saw him as a loner and malcontent. Rejected from the Academy, and distant from the local Pathfinders, Onorato drifted back into Devil’s Dance. There, he was approached by agents of the Army. Tensions were rising on the border with Molthune, they said, and the Army was in need of recruits. Someone with Onorato’s name and talents could be expected to rise high, they said, and Onorato believed it. It turned out his experience commanding summoned creatures translated fairly well to the ability to lead men, and he demonstrated a fine tactical mind during drills and exercises. His creatures, too, could fill gaps in the line or intimidate or overwhelm enemy forces. Over the course of the two years he spent in the Army at peace, Onorato was slowly promoted to Sergeant and given a horse. Letters from Absalom came less and less often, and he began to believe he might have found his place.
Actual war, however, gave the lie to that belief. The tensions with Molthune flared up into armed conflict in 4704 AR, and Onorato’s unit was ordered to push through the mountains into enemy territory. The terrain, and the tenacity of Multhune resistance, made this more difficult than command would have liked to believe, and the pressure came down the chain of command to make some kind of breakthrough. Planning eventually coalesced around a set of Azlanti ruins built over a pass near the meeting of Cheliax’s, Molthune’s, and Nidal’s borders. This had long been abandoned, but had been fortified by the Molthune in secret in the years leading up to the war. Onorato’s unit, among many others, was tasked with taking it.
The process of doing so was long, grinding, and horrific. Onorato lost many of his men during the months of seige and the days of storm. He saw them, and their Molthune counterparts, torn to pieces by weapons and spells, including his own. And by the time the ruins were cleared, any historical value they might have held had been trampled under the boot of war. So much life and knowledge was lost, and the territory they now held was worthless except in a strategic sense. Onorato was unwise enough to share these observations with his men: one of them, he was never sure who, reported him to his commander. He was stripped of his rank, branded a defeatist, and imprisoned in the brig at Ostenso for two years. He accepted the punishment, realizing that during his time in the Army he had become everything he disliked about the Egorian Pathfinders: he had taken two masters, his Pathfinder principles and the state power of Cheliax. He had tried to serve them both, but they had proved incompatible.
When he was finally released in 4708 AR, he left Cheliax for good and emigrated to Absalom, hoping to reconnect with Amabedo. He did indeed make contact with his old friend, only to find himself drawn into the politics of the Pathfinder Society. According to his friend, the Society leadership had become corrupt and uncaring, and the members needed to form an opposition, maybe even split the Society, to protect themselves. Amabedo introduced Onorato to Grandmaster Torch, the leader of this Shadow Lodge faction, and together they convinced Onorato that they were right. Pathfinders should owe no loyalty but to themselves and to one another, and extreme measures needed to be taken so that they could. Over the next two years, up to the present, Onorato worked with the Shadow Lodge, enduring expulsion from and repression by the main body of the society. When Torch finally negotiated a return to the fold in 4710, Onorato, Amabedo, and a few of their friends within the Shadow Lodge protested, sensing betrayal of the principles they had fought for and a tendency in Torch to become what he critiqued. However, they, unlike many other intransigents, did not break faction discipline, and re-entered the Society.