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Welcome to the world of Athas and Dark Sun, where the only thing deadlier than the tyrants is the world itself.
Feel free to post any character journals, questions, or general game discussion in here.
Thursdays 6:15-10ish in the Dunn Hall lounge
This post was updated on .
Approximately 50 years before the fall of the Sorcerer King of Tyr, a group of Elven thieves stole artifacts from the palace of Tyr. These Artifacts contained part of the history of Athas and the Sorcerer King Kalak had them locked away to keep the rest of the world ignorant as to what really happened to Athas. The thieves took these Artifacts back to their Elder's who then tried to decipher the language to uncover their secrets. Kalak heard of this and quickly had the Elves hunted down and slaughtered by a group of his Templars. Little did the King know that there was one rebellious Templar who would find a way to further his personal agenda. After slaugthering the Men and Elderly of the Tribe, this Templar-Atticus- Decided to take the young in as slaves. A few of the young ones were very skilled in "The Way" and one of these young Elves was 5 year old Carric. He was being trained by his Elders to uncover the Secrets of Athas and maybe save it one day.
For the next 20 years, Atticus trained these elves to develop strong psionic powers in secrets. Then the time came for him to use these new "Weapons" to stage a coup against Kalak. Carric was very excited. He decided that he would use this time to sneak into the library and learn the secrets that his tribe had risked their lives to discover. Once the army stormed the Palace, Carric took a detour to the Library. On his way there, he was captured by the Palace Guard and imprisoned. The revolutionary force sent to kill Kalak was slaughtered and those who didn't die were to be publicly exectuted the very next day. During the night in prison, Carric was visited by a shadowy figure.
"Tonight is not the night you will die," it whispered. "You have many things ahead for you and a very long life to live. You must uncover the secrets of you people and learn the history of Athas. You may be able to restore Athas, or at least you may have some part in its restoration however small. Take this memorize its contents destroy it and be on your way. You will know the day when you are to return to this city and fulfill your destiny"
The figure unlocked the cage and handed Carric a small piece of parchment. It contained a translation guide from Elven to Supernal. Carric didn't take the time to analyze it further at that moment. He decided to steal supplies from the Kitchen and leave the city that night. It's been nearly 30 years since that day and the memories are fresh in Carric's mind. He has spent all of this time in isolation, learning and surviving. It is now time for him to reveal himself and travel back to the City of Tyr.
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Name: Rik-chkchk “the Longshot”
Theme: Wasteland Nomad
Appearance: Unremarkable by thri-kreen standards. standing at about 5'6”, she is neither especially tall nor short. Her plates are a sandy brown marked by faint darker spotting in places. Her eyes are bright yellow-green. She can usually be seen sporting light armor, most of it obviously hand-crafted from the spoils of her kills, and carries a wicked-looking obsidian bow with her at all times. She has a small satchel which is carried rather like a backpack on her lower set of shoulders.
Personality: Rik-chkchk is generally calm, observant, and curious. She isn't the best at picking up social cues and has a tendency to be blunt, either positively or negatively. The more she sees of Athas, the more she wants to know of it, and as she travels she will investigate strange new things with greater and greater energy. Though she is an adult, she's still only seven years old, and as such can be a bit naïve.
Rik-chkchk is inclined to be patient and friendly, but if she is suitably provoked (usually by direct threats or actual physical harm to herself/her companions), she will respond with immediate, murderous, and merciless force. She feels no remorse for anyone who has pushed her to that limit, and upon solving the problem, will immediately lapse back into her default agreeable state.
History: Rik-chkchk was both the first and the last of her clutch to hatch. She broke the shell in a shaded hollow somewhere deep in the tablelands and for the first day of her life, she simply rested. On the second day, somewhat to her bewilderment, none of the other eggs had so much as stirred. She was forced to leave them to forage for food and water, but lingered near the nest for nearly a week. Finally, she tentatively approached the remaining eggs and reached out to touch one, only to feel the shell, which should have been leathery, crumble and split under her claws.
Her would-be siblings had died in the shell, baked under the brutal Athas sun. Rik-chkchk was unsure why she had survived when they did not, but upset and confused though she felt, she knew she couldn't linger. She had to begin carving out her place in this unforgiving landscape, or she would join them.
The first few years of her life were the most difficult. She had nothing but her claws, her wits, and the deeply-imbedded wisdom of her ancestors to guide her. She hunted, and created weapons out of the bodies of her fallen enemies, which she used to hunt larger prey, which she then used to create stronger weapons, and so on and so forth until she had established her foothold in the merciless wilds. It was a difficult existence and something of a lonely one, but it was all she knew.
Sometimes at night, before she drifted into torpor, she would have the strangest sensation of being watched. Curiously, she found comfort in it.
At age three, she was a consummate survivor and a skilled hunter, and as she explored a wider and wider range, she came across other people for the first time. At first, her relationship with travelers was tenuous at best, as she was intimidated by their strangeness. She simply watched them from a distance. Eventually her curiosity won out, and she found them able and willing to communicate with her. She soon learned that offering her services as a guide and a bodyguard could be highly rewarding. She was still growing, and unable to challenge most of the more fearsome desert beasts directly, so she became accustomed to using ranged weaponry.
At age four, she had established herself as something of a fixture for travelers moving through her pocket of the region. Her ability to strike down foes from a great distance earned her a nickname: Rik-chkchk the Longshot, often just shortened to Longshot by those who found her kreen name to be a bit of a mouthful. She met many different types of people during these months, and for the first time even encountered her own kind. She learned much about the world outside of the region she had come to think of as her home, but was not quite yet an adult, and not ready to strike out on her own. As she became more and more experienced in combat, she began to manifest unusual powers, the likes of which she'd seen occasionally from the more prestigious caravan guards. She was not, by any means, as skilled or talented as they, but all the same, her abilities intrigued her.
The sensations of being watched began to increase in frequency. Rik-chkchk felt it somehow appropriate, though she could not say why.
At age five, she was given a gift. An escort had gone horribly wrong when the caravan she'd been guiding had unwittingly crossed paths with a pack of Bazraags. With the help of the other caravan guards, she was able to help fend them off, but in the process, her preferred weapon—a bow made of bone and sinew—had been broken. Before she parted ways with the caravan, she was beckoned into one of the carts, a canopied affair draped with heavy cloth to keep out the sun. Inside, a frail-looking elderly human rested. Rik-chkchk had never before seen such a curious thing. All of the various people she had met had been hardier than this stick-thin creature.
He took her rather blunt questions with tolerant amusement (“Why do you look so withered? Do you soft-bodies dry up in the heat? Shall I water you?”), and presented her with a gift—a bow of curious configuration, jagged and black, comprised entirely of obsidian.
“For protecting my family and my trade, I offer you two gifts. Firstly, this weapon: may it serve you well. Secondly, young one, I offer you advice: it is plain to see that the spirits walk with you. When the time comes that you will leave this place—and you will, for you are a lone kreen, and your people do not tolerate solitude for long—listen to their guidance, and use what powers rest within you to help heal this hurt world. Seek the Primal Guardians.”
And with these mysterious words, he nodded respectfully to her, and she took her leave of him. Rik-chkchk was left puzzled, but grateful enough for the gift.
Another year passed, and Rik-chkchk began to feel the stirring of new instincts. She had grown now, had survived out in the unforgiving wilds all on her own, but this did not satisfy her. As she passed into the middle of her sixth year, the formless urge began to take shape: she wanted company. She had been denied a clutch at birth, so she must find one herself.
When the time came to make the decision to leave, Rik-chkchk did not linger long. She had no real home in the tablelands, nothing that she needed to bring with her other than what she already carried. One morning after she had passed her seventh year, she simply shook off her torpor and found the urge to seek out other beings simply too great to bear any longer. So, she had climbed down from the cliffs she had called home for so long and began to head westward, where her ancestral memory told her the mountains lay.
Strange, half-heard whispers followed in her wake.
-Feat taken at lvl 1 is Far Shot
Just wanted to say that the first session seemed to go really well and I look forward to reading your guys characters journal and backstories. After I feel like everyone has had enough time to develop their characters and backstories I'll award all xp for everything posted so far
Falling stars blazed across the desert night.
Rik-chkchk was still somewhat stunned by how quickly everything had happened. She kept pausing and looking behind her, as if searching for guidance from the distant jagged sprawl of the Tablelands behind them. She would then turn her head to see her companions trudging along ahead of her, and scurry to catch up, only to falter and stop a few moments later. Rik-chkchk was keenly aware of how badly she'd been injured, and how close she had come to collapsing; her carapace was streaked with her own indigo blood, but she felt less weak than she expected to. Something about the mad dash through the Tablelands had re-invigorated her, but even so...
Even so, she couldn't quite shake off the shock.
The entire caravan was dead. Rik-chkchk was no stranger to death, but her primarily-solitary existence had shielded her somewhat from the trauma of seeing so many lives scythed away at once. The magnitude shook her. People she'd spoken with only hours earlier, people she'd heard singing, people who had talked to her and asked to see her bow...
As her thoughts drifted back to her weapon, she realized she still had it drawn, and quickly stowed it away. She also noticed that she had stopped moving again, and trotted to catch up with the survivors once more, but as she drew nearer, she slowed to a halt. They continued on. In that moment, Rik-chkchk realized she had a decision to make.
If she turned back now, and remained on her guard, she could return to the Tablelands. She would have to give the site of the battle a wide berth to avoid the sand-skimmers, but she knew the area well enough to be reasonably confident about her chances. She could take one of the salvaged survival packs from the caravan and leave the other eight with the soft-body survivors. It would definitely be her best chance for survival; she could regroup, wait for another caravan, and travel again in perhaps a month's time in relative safety.
She was also aware that the survivors would then be left on their own in the bleak and barren wasteland. They might very well survive: they were all tough-looking fellows (well, except for the elf; he was so strangely willowy compared to the other soft-bodies, but Rik-chkchk herself was something of a gangly specimen for a thri-kreen and had no real room to talk), and they'd have the benefit of splitting their rations among fewer members if she took her leave. Their chances would be as good as anyone's out in the unforgiving wilds of Athas.
Anyone's chances, though, weren't terribly good.
The other option would be to travel with them. They would likely need someone attuned to the workings of the natural world to help guide them. While it wouldn't necessarily guarantee success, her presence among the soft-bodies would certainly improve their chances. Accompanying the survivors, though, would significantly lower her own. With each step she'd take herself further from home, further from guaranteed safety. Each modicum of effort spent aiding them would be effort taken away from securing her own survival.
Rik-chkchk, though strikingly young compared to her companions, was no stranger to the brutal arithmetic of the desert. Sentiment could not change those savage equations. The wisest course of action would be to leave these men and let them find their own way.
She couldn't quite shake the memory of the dwarf, though—Jervik, was that his name? In the moment before she'd turned from the battle proper, she had looked directly into his face, and had seen the resignation written there. He'd known what he intended to do from the start. Rik-chkchk had been barely able to stand on her own at that point, much less cover an escape for him. There was very simply nothing she could have done; she was lucky to have been able to help lead the other soft-bodies to safety.
She knew, though, that she wouldn't forget that expression or those eyes for a very long, long time.
It almost felt like they were staring back at her from her memories as she stood there, looking over her shoulder at the ragged cliffs and gullies she had called home all her life. Her antennae flicked fitfully as she returned her attention to the backs of her comrades. They weren't a bad bunch, really, and that ax-wielding fellow had likely saved her life. Even if they hadn't been, though, Rik-chkchk knew she probably would have made the same decision.
She trotted briskly to catch up with them, settling into a swinging, low-energy loping stride. She felt a shaky weariness in her joints, but traveling immediately would be wisest, so that they could stop to rest as the merciless sun was rising. She would need—they would all need—to take care and move at a maintainable pace.
It was a long way to Tyr.
(Hmm... This song made Longshot's character Journal have that much impact! Its called Minnið, meaning memory in some norse language I don't understand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfp1pstJdH4 Check it out, and here is Toro's character Journal)
Money. Sand. They be the two constants of this land. Without money ya will be swallowed by the sands or at least I thought that was the truth. It seems maybe fate has it out for Lady Cassandra, and in hindsight we probably shouldn't have started moving after the so called "bad omen" that the fat one legged Halfling predicted. Yet no one could be prepared for a furious storm of sand and sharp obsidian shards.
Ya see it was pretty routine, one lucky sod with money wanted me to guard a caravan along with four other random blades for hire. Thinkin' bout it now the fact Lady Cassandra decided to pay four guardsmen with no background over a solid mercenary company is odd in itself. Couldn't have been a cheaper, one hundred up front per person is to much ta drop per blade. Shame she's bein picked a part by some mean scaly mother- hubbers. Least I got payed.
Our first stop in the caravan was were that one legged Halfling spelled out doom by talking about bad omens. Yet I gotta chance to meet my new unfortunate companions. One of em was a bug, and a big'in too. Stood on two legs, yet it brandished four arms two of which preoccupied by a bow. Everythang with a shiny glint to it caught the bugs eyes. Would it be offended if I call it a bug? I'll find out later.
Next to me was a man who didn't really make sense in a desert. Rough nature'd, clad in heavy steel plates, and beggin' for firewater. Not a smart idea to chug alcohol in the middle of a desert. It'll make ya piss out more water than you soak in. When he's lying there lifeless in the desert heat I'll take the coin purse and move on. His name already escapes me.
Next we have some skinny little man whom refuses to speak to anyone. Yet his fist will do horrible things to ya body if ya ain't careful. He was a big help.. Sorta when the sand began to ravish us. Dumb man... Elf maybe? Ran up and ended flanked on either side. He managed ta mutilate one of the scaly sods that ambushed us in the storm, nearly lost himself to their blades Though. Next dumb fellow I met was damn near invisible. Didn't notice he was even there till the storm, least he could mend our wounds... But I should at least talk to em later. He might actually be a half giant himself.
It just dawned on to me that I already lost their all of their names..I think that bug be named uh...ric? Rit? Ric-chic? Rickey? Yeah Rickey sounds right...
Day after legless wonder went off about bad omens the sands decided to stir up around us. Ain't no big deal, a sandstorm wouldn't cause many problems. What killed to many heavy pocketed clients was the razor sharp obsidian shards that flew inta the storm themselves. The damn idea of obsidian storms seemed more bull dung than anythin' else but I tell ya it happened. Dem thin little sheets of obsidian tore straight through the poor caravan. Killin that pretty little lady, Cassandra before she could make her extra riches that city we were headed to.
Then ta make matters worse some scaly folks made their way through the storm like it was nothin. It seemed like the obsidian shards only wanted our blood but easily flowed around those scaly men. The scaly people wanted our flesh just as much as the sand and immediately attacked us through the haze of sand, obsidian, and death. First ta move was the skinny man who barely talked. He moved faster than the storm right into the enemy hands. Dumb move but whatever? He damn near dropped one of them in a single strike. That bug started pickin' off the scaly folks with her bow, while I just sat there frozen with prophetic visions. I tells ya. I got stabbed straight through the chest by one of the more muscly scaled men. Then enraged I swung my axe at the man In front of me, damn near cleaving him in half. I'm good with mah axe. I call em "axie" badass right? Turns out that chest stab never actually happened, the moment after I cleaved through the scaled man In front of me his buddy shot me through the chest with a large dart... Maybe that's what was supposed to happen instead of the spear. Still hurt all the damn same. My chest might have some new scars.
We came to the idea that we should escape thanks to the short one legged man. It was because of that wood-leg-wonder we managed to escape. The dumb man decided to die alone so we could get out and well I guess could respect that. He seemed to be old anyway.
We took what we could and ran...
Appearance: Lean wiry muscle, stong but agile. He is bald and clean shaven, with tattoos adorning his upper arms chest and neck. He has tough copper skin, and golden eyes.
Aram wandered around the city. People stared in awe as he walked by but he paid them no heed. He didn't give a damn about them when he was in the ring, killing people in cold blood, to climb towards his freedom, so he sure as hell didn't give a damn about them now. Aram was a a bit of a rising star in the arena, known for ending matches with ruthless efficiency. Most spectators saw this as him being an unfeeling killing machine, his fellow gladiators new this for what it truly was, mercy. Aram had the skill and tenacity to draw the fights out, he was a mul after all, to play with the kills, but it just wasn't in him. He new, that like himself, most people were slaves just fighting to stay alive, so he believed he owed it to them to end it as quickly as possible. Its how he'd want to go out anyways. He walks by a a group of kids kicking a ball around, and grunts as he passes by. His childhood one was one spent constantly in the pangs of hunger, and muscles knotted in strain. He worked in the fields from the age of 5 to 16 when he was finally declared a man. He has a vague memory of a tall, fair, beautiful woman singing him a lullaby, so as far as he could tell, his mom was a human and hes dad was the dwarf. The other slaves told him that they though that he was sold by a bandit that saw him and realized the potential of a mul baby after he killed his parents. If he ever caught wind of that bandits name, having to use his entrails as a scarf would be a mercy. As he passed across Caravan Way, he passed by a man in his 40s, thin of frame who gave him a smile as he passed. Suddenly memories came flooding in: he was 16 and had just been sold to the arena, afraid and alone, an older man taking him under his wing, training, comfort, pride, a father of sorts, then suddenly facing him in the arena, he dropped to his knee-STOP he shouts mentally, his breath coming rapidly as he hurries into a side alley, and quickly rips a flask from his belt, an take a huge gulp of Dwarven Firewater.”Move on, you are free now” Aram thinks as his forces his feet forward again. He shouldered his way into the Golden Inix and put his cheap flask on the bar. A human merchant that had uncovered an ancient recipe for making firewater made a fortune off of betting on him to beat this hulk of a half giant, so now he he got a flaskful of the stuff a week for free. “One of the few good things to come out of the arena, here's to you Mathias” and took a swig. He looked at the barkeep and said,
“Rowan, you old twinkle toes, I need to get the hell out of Tyr for a couple of days, hear of any work?” This is how Aram spent most of his free time now that he wasn't fighting for his freedom, now he did odd jobs to make a living, but he still lacked a true purpose
“ Aram, you keep drinking this firewater, your gonna drink the human right out of ya. I heard of a caravan heading out of the south that is in need of some guards, sound right up your alley.”
“Better than nothing, thanks.” and throw some coins on the table. Aram went up to his room, grabbed his traveling gear and set southward.
"When all else fails, you have two options, run really fast, or hit it harder than it hits you"
(Incoming Character background in the form of a Mercenary Resume)
Name: Toro StoneHand
Race: Half Giant
Physical description: Toro is a massive man sporting broad shoulders, large tree trunk like arms, and a noticeable a gut. His head is bald, along with large lumpy nose that seems it has been broken one too many times. A gigantic great axe made of a awkward amalgamation of sharpened wood, bone, and obsidian shards rests upon his back. He wears rough lizard armor made to properly fit his size along with loose fitting white desert clothing along the shoulders and around his neck to. When completely clothed he wraps his head in the loose clothing making a makeshift hijab, in order to beat the heat.
Gregor Samson, Samson Logging Co.
I damn near cried when Toro pony'd up the money to end his fathers debt. When he was old enough to start working the boy could cut down trees faster than we could carry em away. I saw em craft one hell of a axe out of random material he could find and with that thing let me just say your problems will be solved. Now don't get me wrong the boy is slow but if ya explain it to em nice and careful like hell execute it beautifully. Luckily he couldn't count properly so I got more than overpaid when he left. I hate to see em go, but I can at least give em a good reference for the road.
Dave Dahlia, the Merchants guild.
I saw a large man sitting within a alley with a sign that read "wil bust heads fer mone, very cheap." When I asked how cheap he merely replied "how much will you give?" And let me be the first to say, a coin per day is labor I won't waste. He was my muscle for the stall and nobody could get past his fists. The man who tried to take something from my stall lost many a rib to my gigantic underpaid friend. I eventually felt bad for em and started paying him a little more as time went by when I realized he was saving up enough to leave the village. I also noticed his comprehension skills increase by watching me. He would copy what he saw when I wrote within my ledger. He was using me to learn to read and write... The boy isn't really the fastest nor brightest tool. Don't leave him alone or with a ambiguous order. But he's good as a basic body guard.
Maria Valentine, Maria's Magic Cabaret.
You want a piece of muscle that won't get addicted to the Pixie dust you sell this is the man. I had him work as a bouncer for a modest wage and the massive axe on his back really kept the most sleezy of patrons away. Although... He couldn't count to high when I got em so the first week was met with easy entries. Then I learned to explain everything you need him to do right then and there. I also learned I would never want to be a mother, because explaining to this dense rock how to count was a experience I never want to go through again. Get em to be intimidating otherwise.
Character Journal 1:
What the hell were those things?! My time in isolation has made me soft and weak. How can I hope to avenge my tribe, when I can't even protect myself? Instead I am running through the desert away from these lizard men with a group of strangers. I have to become stronger and maybe one day I can avenge them.
The people I have found myself in company with seem to be very formidable though. Though they are not the people I would have expected to find myself with. A Thri-Kreen, 2 half giants, and a Mul. I can only imagine who else I will find in my travels. Though I can't say that I am complaining. They may be able to help compliment my weaknesses while I once again become accustomed to the actual World. Only time will tell though.
Aram looked at his companions as they wandered through the barren wasteland as the temperatures plummeted. He knew that, for the moment, he could trust them, since they had a goal of mutual survival, but after that he wasn't so sure. His eyes first landed on the thri-kreen as it surveyed the landscape, leading the group towards civilization, Rakchaw? Rikstik? he thought, fuck it, Longshot. He, or is it a she.... whatever, knows how to survive and will do what's in it's best interest. Aram had never dealt much with the Thri-kreen, not too many came into Tyr, or any city for that matter, and certainly not sold as slaves to fight in the arena. Still, Longshot's honest confusion of how humanoids work reminded him of a child. Not to mention it tried my hooch. I think I could trust her.
Next was the Elf, Carric. He had a sullen look on his face as he tended to his wounds, almost as if he was disappointed in how the battle turned out. Aram tried to guess how old he was. but his Elven features made it almost impossible. He does look like hes seen too much of the world though. Aram admired his bravery though, first to rush out into the fray, and deal a serious blow to that Lizard thing. He's the kind of guy you wouldn't want to have as your enemy, so I don't trust him yet, but I at least want to be on his good side Besides, there was that way he carried himself, like he was ready to fight at a moments notice, that he knew they both had in common, that spoke of a similar past. He could be a potentially strong ally.
Aram looked to Toro, just as he dug something out of his ear then sniffed it. Aram sneered with disgust, then he noticed how the muscle rippled like a Jhakar's foreleg. Well, I guess if you're gonna be stupid, ya gotta be tough. He could probably rip my head of with his bare hands if I let him. Good thing I wont let him. He wasn't too worried about him, he wouldn't nee too hard to out smart.
He brought his attention to the last member of the group, the other half giant. Now I am positive i was not drunk enough to miss a fucking half giant, so I wonder where the hell he was? maybe in the caravan? Then he noticed something about the way he stood, his manner of speech, Oh, blow sand down my ass, he a damned Templar. Being an ex-slave, he had a, well, healthy mistrust of authority figures, especially ones who served the biggest slave owners of them all, Sorcerers. I don't trust him as far as I could throw him, which isnt saying much, look how big the dirteater is. He'd keep a close eye on him.
He felt something bump into he waist, he looked down at the flask Jarvik had given him that night at the campfire. It was made out of some kid of bone, probably a leg bone. It was a long, cylindical flask, with the bottom hole was plugged with wood, then lacquered to be water proof, with a wood neck with a cork added on the top to drink out of. One one side the Dwarvish character for "J" was ornately engraved. Aram was touched deeply by the dwarfs decision to sacrifice himself, knowing he'd just endanger the rest of us. He thought Jarvik, where ever you are, I hope you found peace, and every time I drink, I'll think of you and your sacrifice. You died a warrior's death.
"When all else fails, you have two options, run really fast, or hit it harder than it hits you"
Name: Ezuri Lunarch
History: I was born in the city of Gulg. The forest was a major part of my life. I was skilled at hunting from a young age, which was good because my family could not afford to live within the city and therefore we were outcasts. Whenever we went into town the people would look at us and our cheap woven clothes and stare. I hated those stares. I would go home and ask my mother why the people gave us such evil looks and she said that it was because they were better than us. I couldnt believe what my mother said. What gave those people the right to look down on us like filth, I realized then that my mother had already decided to conscribe to the thought of the town people, that we were beneath them. No. We were not. One day i went into town on my own and a group of young children came up to me and began to berate me, they were all humans, adults were standing all around and just let these kids continue to insult me. I became angry. I shoved one off of me when he got in my face to continue to berate me. The kids then jumped me and beat me until i fell unconcious. I ran from the town i was 9 and just got jumped by a group of teenagers while all the adults watched. It was awful. I decided that i wouldnt let anyone do that again. I trained night and day until i was 18. I joined the town guard and worked tirelessly to eliminate the descrimination in the town. I made sure that no lower citizen would be assaulted like that again. Until i stopped the captains kid from beating a kid sensless and i was kicked out of the army. I have been wandering ever since fighting for whoever has the money. Now im just looking for some new work.
In reply to this post by Bumbershoot
Rik-chkchk was beginning to second-guess her decision.
It wasn't that she'd decided her new companions weren't worth the effort of defending or anything like that, though their presence could be somewhat grating at times. Rik-chkchk was simply used to being alone. She was also overcome by the urge to seek out company, to find and form a clutch, but at the same time being among so many different people and dividing her attention among them was really kind of irritating.
In short, she was quite conflicted about the whole affair. She didn't find her companions exceptionally objectionable in any way, though. At first she had thought Toro to be rather rude, but then she'd realized he was very simply stupid, and didn't seem to mean any harm. The elves were quiet, aloof, and hard to read, and they had that strange head-fur. It was so long and silky... Rik-chkchk rather wanted to touch it, but she suspected that such an action wouldn't be received well. She hadn't had much time to get to know anything about any of them, but the sparse conversation they'd been able to make had indicated that they all had seemed to have suffered in some way.
She didn't ask because it was not her place to pry.
It had been an unexpected pleasure, running into the fire spirit. Rik-chkchk didn't know much about spirits, other than that she had some sort of command over some of them, that they accompanied her steps in some way and always had, but she didn't need to understand the purpose of the shrine to take delight in it. The fact that it had seen fit to communicate with her and her companions (and she was grateful they, at least, knew how to read; she would leave her companions to their books, and she would read the desert) had only made the encounter more significant.
It had spoken of restoring Athas, and not for the first time, the voice of the old man who had gifted her with her bow echoed in the young thri-kreen's thoughts: Use what powers rest within you to help heal this hurt world. Sitting in the ring of firelight, battered but alive and momentarily safe from the obsidian storm, Rik-chkchk had, for a moment, believed it to be possible.
Then everything went terribly, terribly wrong.
The first battle caught them in a disorganized shuffle. They hadn't really had time to adapt to one another's battle-rhythms, and they'd suffered because of it. By the time they had slain the last of their chitinous assailants, they were all rather worse of the wear, and there was no time to rest: the obsidian storm was still advancing.
Rik-chkchk was tired and sore, her carapace pitted with acid burns and scored by blade-marks. It would have been difficult enough making it to Tyr looking out for only herself, much less an entire party of people, but it was too late to turn back now, and even if she'd wanted to, the memory of the dwarf's sacrifice was too recent, too vivid in her memory.
Rik-chkchk was too new to companionship to realize that their party was beginning to work together, was beginning to become less of a liability and more of a means of covering one another's weaknesses. It would be a long, hard day before she had the chance next to rest and to think over her situation, but provided she survived it, the first inklings of understanding would begin to trickle through.
Surviving, though... that was the hard part.
Fuck cliffs, fuck this desert, fuck thorns, and FUCK those pussy ass bitches who wont come down and give me a decent fight! Aram was a little upset about how the present battle was going. He felt useless, and he hated it. He fought tooth and nail, hand to hand in the arena and always came out on top. But this thrice damned voodoo and arrows turning me into a pin cushion... I can't wait to be back in Tyr so I can get shit faced. The worst part was, all he wanted to do was protect every one of his companions, the gladiator who always one by intuition and looking for himself, felt the need to keep them all safe, and the only reason I keep that Templar alive is so he can heal me. He especially felt the need to keep Longshot safe, not as much in the desert in her home, but he knew once they got to Tyr, she would be overwhelmed. Aram didn't want to care about any of them. He remembered what happened the last time he care about someone, he had to kill him. He knew that they would become a weakness to be exploited against him, but already he knew he was hooked. They had already gone through too much for him to just up and leave them. Through thick and thin, he knew he'd be stuck with this bunch for quite a while. Maybe Ill be less grumpy when I actually stand a chance to bash some of these goblins heads in
"When all else fails, you have two options, run really fast, or hit it harder than it hits you"
In reply to this post by supersmash159
I hate roaches. That should be more than enough reason to hate this adventure so far. If not for the obsidan storm about to destroy us, or the goblin ambush we just walked right into, the giant ass roaches. did i mention i hate roaches. The party is interesting, two half-giants, a mul, a thriken, and another elf are accompaying me on this journey. They are all okay the half-giants seem to be very low-witted, and the thrikren with us is somewhat naive. The mul seemed alright he didnt talk much. I enjoy the company of another elf, its nice to be around your own kind, even if they dont know you, it just nice to see a freindly face you can identify with. I predict he and i will get along, ill have to see how the rest of the journey continues. I dont like the way that thrikren stares at my hair. It disturbs me.
Rik-chkchk gave the ground only the most cursory swipes with her feet before she sank down against the rock, wriggling until the angles of her carapace slotted as comfortably as possible into the rough surface, crossing her upper arms and resting her head on them. The torpor hit her hard, and for the first few hours she just lay there, utterly still with exhaustion, her awareness of the outside world clouded with fatigue.
Such was about as close as any thri-kreen could come to sleep. Rik-chkchk had nearly spent the last scraps of energy and vigor she had to give, and she had never been so exhausted before in her short life. She was dimly aware of movement every now and then, and her companions speaking before they, too, dropped off into whatever rest they employed (Ezuri had said something to her, and she flicked an antenna in acknowledgment, but Rik-chkchk had been too tired to pay attention; hopefully it hadn't been important).
Every now and then awareness lanced through the fog of fatigue, and the thri-kreen would give her head a little shake. It was very unnerving to lose track of time, to lose awareness of one's surroundings. She was not built for sleep, and found the prospect of it to be upsetting on an instinctive level. Toro's snores helped keep her grounded, though, and despite the unmistakeably... grating quality of the sound, she found herself feeling curiously grateful for it.
Around the fourth hour or so of her rest, the fog on Rik-chkchk's mind lifted and she entered a more natural state of torpor, with an alert mind but a deeply-resting body, and she took comfort in her ability to keep a vigilant watch. Their lights didn't reach far into the cave, but she kept her face oriented towards where the tunnel vanished into blackness, ready to move at the first sign of danger.
Nothing of interested happened for the remainder of her rest, and finally Rik-chkchk stirred, her exoskeleton scraping softly against the floor as she stretched all six limbs and flexed her claws. Oh, that was much, much better. Now it was time to take proper stock of her surroundings and go over what she knew about caves, and as for the fact that she'd never really been very deep into one... well. Her personal experiences had nothing to do with what she might or might not know.
Ancestral memory was a concept she'd always had trouble trying to impress upon the other races, which didn't seem to possess it. They had explained to her about books, and though she could definitely see the use of having access to the knowledge of someone else's ancestors, it wasn't quite the same. One thing she could say for “books,” though, was that they sounded convenient. You simply determined what you wanted and then went to fetch it. Memory was a little more difficult to access. It had to be properly triggered.
She stepped towards her companions, looking them over to make sure they seemed fine, and once she had reassured herself, she turned from them and began to examine the area that they'd camped in closely. She ran her claws over the rough surface of the walls around her, listened closely to the strange way her footfalls echoed slightly as she walked, and waved her antennae enthusiastically as she went, passing as much air over them as possible, smelling the damp stillness of the cave. Sensory input was usually the surest method of setting off a memory. To a thri-kreen, it was a normal experience, but if any of her companions were watching her, she would probably have looked very odd.
She scraped at the ground with one foot, as if she were getting ready to lie down, and suddenly it came to her, a brief burst from some time long ago: a male ancestor, one who had traveled through caves like these, but somewhere much farther away. She received an impression briefly of somewhere far, very far from her home, so far it must have been generations ago: Dragon's Crown, a name that had no meaning to her other than the inherent knowledge that it was a very, very long way from where she stood. The word Chaksa also came to mind, but it was even more mysterious.
The memory concerned an evening bedding down for the night: a thin pelt unrolled to recline on, a lantern that seemed to be made of a soft ball of cloth on which phosphorescent mold had been encouraged to grow, and rations, some of them unfamiliar to her. As the memory of her ancestor lying down to make himself comfortable ran through her head, along with it came the understanding than the best bet for sustenance in these caves was any fungus that was safe to eat.
She would have to be careful about that, though; if she was unable to connect any mushrooms she identified with firm ancestral knowledge of edibility, she'd have to pass them up in case they were poisonous. They still had their rations as well as their supplies from the caravan, but Rik-chkchk knew the value of preparedness, and would do what she could to swell their stores.
There was another very important thing about caves that her ancestor's memory immediately imparted on her: water. It was in short supply everywhere, but down here in the cool dark it was somewhat more abundant than on the surface, where it vanished into vapor under the harsh glare of the sun. That was definitely worth keeping in mind as they traveled.
She sat just outside the ring of light her companions rested in, close enough to be visible to them, but far enough so that the brightness didn't spoil her low-light vision. It would probably be a few hours yet before any of them were up, so she would wait on them. As they moved through the cave and experienced more stimuli, she was certain that more flashes of insight would come to her. The chain had been started, and that was what counted.
She couldn't help but wonder to herself who her ancestor had been, and what sort of things he had done. Chaksa... it was a thri-kreen word. What a strange, but beautiful name.
She would keep it in her thoughts.
ok, I'm curious, did something happen in the last session to put your mission of touching the elf hair on hold? or did you realize it may just not be a good idea?
Either way, when I saw it, I lost.
"When all else fails, you have two options, run really fast, or hit it harder than it hits you"
Heheh, it's more a case of "perhaps a better use of my energies would be ensuring that we don't all die horribly" than anything else
Ezuri did warn her off in-character but she was already in torpor so it went unheeded... for now
Happy to have made you laugh! 8)
The military is always looking for people with "interesting" skill sets. There are plenty of mercanaries, messengers, brutes, and leaders. What the military needs is a good set of assassins. Assassins aren't something you can just go out and advertise your need for. There is a special network that you have to go through and to be honest there aren't really enough out there. That is where I come in.
My specialization with unarmed combat and light blades made me a perfect candidate for an assassin. The military doesn't want to put too much money into this because then the bookkeepers would find out and we would have a political mess on our hands. I would be sent in with minimal gear and was expected to deliver top results. As good as I was, I could understand why. I didn't expect anything but the best from myself either. Although, this was no ordinary mission. I was expected to assassinate a young Elf by the name of Faenlin. Faenlin was a major force advocating elven rights in the city. Elves weren't really trusted and many were used as slaves and prostitutes in some of the poorer districts. While I wasn't very comfortable ruining any chance of elves freeing themselves, I decided to take the job for fear that I might not live to see another day for refusing.
I went about the standard procedure. I found a nice vent in the roof to sneak into, and attempted to locate the target. Only problem was that they were expecting me. Upon entering the room, I was immediately surrounded by 5 other elves one of whom introduced himself as Faenlin. There was no assasination needed. I was lured here to be killed by an unknown person.
"Hello." said Faenlin, "Do you know who I am?"
"You're some asshat who wants me dead. If not I have no idea who you are." I responded.
"It's only been thirty years. I'm suprised that you don't remember me brother. You have been very difficult to track down. Always covering your tracks and never making mistakes. But now I have you, and now it is time for you to give me what I want or die."
"Most people are happy to see their sibling after 30 years. I would expect maybe a hug or a 'Hey I'm so happy to see you' at least. You just want to fucking kill me. Was our family always this fucked up?"
"Don't pretend like you don't know. 30 years I've waited for this moment. 30 long years. You see while you have been going around playing assassin, I have been doing something useful. I have been attempting to uncover the secrets of Athas and discover why the world is and how to fix it. I have made friends in very high places, and I have a way to get into Kalak's personal library and get the artifact that our people tried to steal all those years ago. There is only one problem. The elders never trusted me with the knowledge to read the artifacts. You will give me this knowledge and then I must kill you. I cannot have anyone interfering with my plans."
"I couldn't give you the scrolls if I tried. They were either destroyed or captured when our people were slaughtered. The only remnants of the scrolls are what I have memorized or what may or may not remain in Kalak's library. You should just give up now. The elders entrusted me for a reason. You were too wild and unstable to master 'The Way' the knowledge would have consumed you, and you may have been driven mad. Give up on this wild quest and continue on with your life."
"If you will not give me the information I need, then I will have to take it from you. I have a few Templars in my pocket who would love to magically extract the information from you."
"I'm so sorry brother, but I cannot let you do this. This information was never meant for you. I will keep it from you even if it means I have to kill you. This information was never meant for your eyes."
All at once the five elves charged me and I was forced to defend myself. Drawing my daggers I outmaneuvered and quickly dispatched them. The elders knew that one day my brother would attempt to learn the secrets and it was my job to keep them from him by any means necessary. I hope that the elders were right. I also hope that this information is worth the deaths of so many of "The Fold".
Traveling with this group almost reminds of the assassination mission I used to go on when I was in the military. Traversing dangerous terrain and fighting hordes of enemies with a small group of people isn't something that is terribly unfamiliar to me. I just believe that my time in isolation has made me soft and I sometimes find myself having a hard time keeping up. Although I find that I am becoming stronger and better able to keep up. I only hope that before we reach Tyr, I am at my best again. I need to uncover the secrets of the library. The way to speak to Gods. My people know of the ancient Gods and the elders have spent decades teaching people of The Fold who have power of The Way how to speak to these Gods with the Supernal language. So it has been unsucessful, and from what I can remember many of the people were driven mad simple from the language itself. In Try there is supposed to be a magical artifact, that when primed with a word in draconic can allow one to speak to these Gods in the Supernal. My people were slaughtered long before they could figure out the word to prime the item.
It is believed that the priming word was used as a fail-safe. One race would speak the priming word while the other communicated with the Gods in Supernal. This prevented the people from making secret pacts with the Gods without the other races knowledge. I honestly do not believe this story at all. I believe that the artifact is something of immense power that Kalak was never able to understand. If he had been able to, then he would not have been killed during the revolution. That or the artifact is a piece of junk and my people were slaughtered for nothing. I only hope that the last isn't true and that the Elders were actually quite a bit smarter than they looked.
In reply to this post by Bumbershoot
It was staring back at her, and though its dark brown eyes were sad, they also conveyed a surprising sense of intelligence. Rik-chkchk had never seen a beast quite like this one before in her life, and its keeper seemed happy enough to tolerate the young thri-kreen's curiosity. A caravan was moving through her home region, this one laden with cargo of the living variety: recently bred and broken-in mounts of varying species, a few exotic-looking birds, and this strange hulking thing carried in a spacious cage in the middle of the caravan.
She had come across the caravan itself quite by chance while trying to chase down her dinner: one of the medium-sized fast-moving rodents that called this region their home. The caravan had ground to a halt, and when Rik-chkchk had approached with cautious curiosity, she had learned they were lost. It was an easy matter to set them on the right path again, and she was offered a meal for her troubles, so she had lingered to get a better look at all the strange new sights these travelers provided.
“What is it?” She finally asked, looking to the creature's keeper, who was a human woman sitting in the shade of the broad awning that had been erected over the cage.
“That,” she responded, “is an ape. A gorilla, to be precise.”
Rik-chkchk cocked her head. “G'rrila.” She tried again, her mouthparts struggling with the broad open vowels of the creature's name. “Goor-il-a.”
“You got it.” The beast-keeper seemed an easygoing sort, but her patience stemmed perhaps from the fact that she was dealing with an obviously very young creature. Rik-chkchk was, at the time, barely over four years old. She was only about two-thirds the size of a fully-grown kreen, and somewhat lanky. Her exoskeleton hadn't fused into the proper adult configuration either: there were wide gaps between some of her armor plates, a telltale sign of adolesence.
“Go-ril-a.” Rik-chkchk reached up to lightly touch the bars of the cage. “Is it dangerous?”
“They can be, if they're provoked, but they eat mostly plants. We thought they'd gone extinct long ago, but someone brought me this fellow a few years back. Claimed he was from the Crimson Savannah. I haven't been able to find another one since, though.”
“That is very sad.” The gorilla didn't respond to Rik-chkchk's proximity. Either the heat had made it indolent, or she hadn't done enough to provoke it to violence. “To be so alone, I mean.”
“It is a good thing, then,” a new voice slid smoothly into the conversation, and Rik-chkchk immediately looked towards its source, for she recognized it as belonging to another thri-kreen, “that we do not walk alone.” It was a male, tall and powerfully-built, armed only with a singularly impressive spear strapped across his back. He switched to their native tongue, an easier and more natural means of communication. “Hello, little one. Our caravan leader tells us you're the one who set us on the right track again. My name is Tak'chi, and I thank you.”
“Greetings, good hunter,” she responded politely, “I am Rik-chkchk. Yes, it is not uncommon for travelers to run into a bit of trouble through the Serpent's Ravine. It has very many twists and turns.”
“Hence the name,” he replied in gentle amusement. “I must ask, though—where are your clutchmates? Surely they will worry for you being gone so long?”
“There is only me,” she responded. “My clutch-mates did not make it out of the egg.”
This statement was met with an immediate expression of shock and pity from the older kreen, whose antennae pinned back against his head. “Ah.” Rik-chkchk did not seem troubled by this in the slightest, but it wasn't difficult to understand why. She was too young to understand: instincts that would drive her to seek a new clutch were dormant, and likely would be for years. Until then, she couldn't want something she'd never had. Survival had to be her priority. “I am sorry to hear that.”
“I have found that life is very difficult,” she replied gravely, “perhaps it is better than they never suffered, and instead moved along the Circle ahead of me.”
“Perhaps,” Tak'chi agreed. He walked alongside her in silence for a bit.
“Is your clutch here?” she eventually asked.
He shook his head. “My birth-clutch is not, but a thri-kreen forms many clutches in his lifetime; within this caravan are trusted companions of mine, alongside whom I have fought many battles. My mate and my birth-clutch have gone ahead of me to the city of Gulg, which lies to the east, in the Crescent Forest.”
Rik-chkchk put her head to one side, letting the words sink into her mind. No memories came surging to answer, so she asked, “What is a forest?”
The grown kreen gave a clicking laugh. “A type of land. It is very different than what you see here. Forests are close, and dark, and dominated by towering plants. They are very green, and very rare.”
“That sounds...” Rik-chkchk paused. “Weird.”
“I am sure seeing a forest in person will only strengthen your impression, little one,” Tak'chi replied. “They are very strange places indeed. He will be happier there, at least.” He gestured to the caged gorilla as he spoke. “These beasts are offerings to the forest Queen, Lalali-Puy. Gulg is not a hospitable city. To be allowed to make an offering, even a gift, is a great honor indeed.”
Rik-chkchk only had a vague understanding of the way politics worked outside of her wild home, in the dwellings called “cities.” It seemed rather too complicated for her tastes. “Are you taking him to the other gorillas?”
“I doubt there are any there, but he will be comfortable more comfortable there than here, and I am certain the Queen will be pleased to have possession of such a rare creature.” He fell thoughtfully silent for a moment. “Perhaps he will be fortunate, though, and find himself in favorable company. I wish you such fortune in the future, as well, little Rik-chkchk. May you survive to find your first clutch.”
“That is not dissimilar than what I have heard other Kreen say to me,” she put her head thoughtfully to one side. “I know it must be very important—I can feel that it is, but all the same, I am uncertain as to how I will accomplish this, or how I will know what I have found them.”
“You might not know what it feels like now, but you will then. It is not necessarily a decision, but your clutch-mind—your tokchak—awakening on its own.” Tak'chi paused thoughtfully. “It is rather like... hunger, or thirst. It is a need that must be fulfilled. You will know,” he finished simply, with a slow, sagely now, “you will know.”
Rik-chkchk let her attention wander back to the caged gorilla, to its sad brown eyes, which stared blankly ahead, as if fixed on something different. Right now all of her instincts were still geared towards keeping her alive, but something in the creature's stillness stirred something deep inside of her.
“I believe you,” she replied simply.
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