Characters

Kingu

Tiefling Rogue
True Neutral

Character Sheet, Level3
Character Sheet, Level4
Character Sheet, Level5
Character Sheet, Level6
Character Sheet, Level7
Character Sheet, Level8
Character Sheet, Level9

The villagers of Creekside were like those of any other village in T'Nori Valley: generous and pragmatic, close to the earth, fearful of the wilds, protective of their kin. Who knew these were their last days?

In the year 7586, in autumn, there were heard inhuman cries in the night, then livestock laid low by sickness, and inexplicable darkness at the forest's edge. In the wake of those strange times, Kinga was newly with child, yet her husband of many years had been buried for at least three years. Mere months later, Kingu was born.

Years 0-6

The uncanny signs passed with his coming, but the occurences of his birth were not forgotten. When a calf died, the fearful whispered Kingu. A hunter returning empty handed and wounded, the steadfast stream running dry, some spoke of his unseen hand, his birth a warning. Years passed, and each harvest was thinner than the last, the spring rains more violent. Kingu grew thin and strong and suspicious. All the more so when his mother, Kinga, was shamed and pilloried at discovery of the strange idols she fashioned from stone and wood. She had no explanation for their shape or meaning.

Kingu watched from the woods, sleeping in tree lofts by day, and watching the village at night, gathering tools and food. In this sixth spring, the bleak suns hanging together in the sky, there came terrible a storm like none before. Crops were washed away, wood and thatch buildings smashed. Kingu watched from the tallest tree but could not mark his mother. He returned that night where the bodies were gathered. His mother was set apart from the others, circled with bits of broken metal and thorns. He scattered the barrier, left by the survivors no doubt, and slept at her side until all her warmth had gone. Then he fled.

Years 6-7

The road was a harsh but indifferent teacher. Nearby villages took him in for a time. Folk saw him differently than other children, and he guarded his tongue and made little mention of his history. He hung about taverns and inns, watched the ways of travellers and highwaymen, always on the move, their speech full of strange places, bristling with intrigue. Some shared overmuch with him: glances at maps of the outer provinces, phrases in foreign tongues, the marks for shelter or watched territory, tall tales of dragonmen. At fireside and stolen glances, he learned his letters in the common tongue. Some of these men merely cuffed him for his sharp eye and curiousity. Always, he sought the busy road from town, each wider and more bustling than the last, and soon he was in [YYYY], a comparative city of wonders, rich smells and sounds, and countless faces in which to blend.

Years 7-10

A bustling hub of commerce, nestled on the river Lanowar and hanging under the Maru mountains, Gulgaris naturally possessed a ripe underground below its veneer of civility and craft and industry. Kingu knew no trade and he spent some time wandering the open air markets. Young Kingu was not particularly charismatic by nature, but he quickly learned enough of the various dialects to be useful. A number of vendors saw that he had at least one meal a day. One fellow, Iridian, of mixed elven descent, recognized his ability, and that old mercenary, now lame in his left leg, told him of faraway battles -- and a thing or two with the blade. Despite this niche, Kingu sought out the underground, the places where highwaymen gathered.

First it was sitting breeches, hawking for marks, waring the city jiggers, then fingering sneakers at the lily pads. Mundane stuff no doubt, but it put him in every district, at any time of day. Staying out of sight, or just blending in, came easily. Some years at it and he might have been called bob kenchen, and he was then making deliveries. Odd packages mostly, and occasional tubes of vellum or parchment. Some were marked, but the characters were a mixture of common letters and pictographs. He puzzled out their meaning sometimes, but told no one. Young Kingu was quick and furtive and careful and always made the drop.

One delivery loomed large in his youth: a scroll tightly bounded by an intricate knot, destined for some ship at port. The knot he could duplicate without doubt, and the scroll's weight belied its slight size. Once open, the letters seemed to shift under his gaze. Magic. It made no sense those strange shapes, but he puzzled out their import as best he could, murmuring words aloud, producing no effect that he could measure. Time grew short and this scroll would have its next owner. Aboard ship, he marked a scowling human with dark skin like his own, garbed in long robes with shapes like those in the scroll. He looked over the scroll, and then its messenger, muttering arcane words heavy with scorn. "Never trust a tiefling."

Years 10-14

Kingu woke to the smell of stagnant water, unclean bodies and darkness. Despair was written on the faces of gaunt men long kept from wind and sun. He had been ensorcelled and locked away in the dungeons of Gulgaris, to be forgotten. His replicated knot was flawless, but perhaps he had untied the magic too. Still, not all were content with their lot, and young Kingu was among them. These dungeons were not solitary cells, but a winding complex under the city. The rulers of Gulgaris set forth terrible and hungry beasts to skim the population, in addition to those that crept up from below. A solitary hole in the ceiling allowed moonlight to creep in, and there Kingu watched the stars. Though abstracted points of light, in those shapes he saw the same symbols as he did on the apparent magician's robes. And when he saw "freedom," he set out -- with Erufortion, an elf jailed for slanderous but not untrue words against one of the rulers of Gulgaris and Zarkr, a lizardman who knew the common tongue.

The way was difficult and not without peril. His stealth and scouting kept them from harm's way, and most importantly, his night eyes allowed them to avoid many falls to certain death. The dungeons were old, and full of equally old gates and traps. At each pitfall, Kingu was first the eyes in the dark and Erufortion the hands, and in time Kingu was both, and so he learned the black art by rum dubber. Zarkr kept them alive with strange and foul-tasting plants that grew in the dark, and the raw flesh of vermin caught by claw and cruel traps of his own. Their escape took the better part of two turns of the moon, though they knew it not.

Once free, Zarkr went his way, and Kingu and Erufortion lived in the wilds. He learned to hold a blade, to fashion a bow, to stalk prey. The winters asked for shelter, and then they cleaved to gatherings of elves in the wild. In the smithies, Erufortion showed him how to fashion gilk and roundabout of many stripe, and though he scoffed at Kingu's idea, a mechanical bow as well: reduced in power but also in size. Erufortion had taught him much, and felt the wanderlust in Kingu. Besides, Kingu was changing, into the shape of a man, but into something else too, and this made his kin uncomfortable. He understood when Kingu left.

Years 14-18

Kingu's skin was always dark, and now is nearly grey. The markings on his arms and legs had always mottled, but began taking on crude shapes. He often fingered them absent-mindedly, tracing their lines, and once, when his mind was still, there sprang to his hands two knives. Each was heavy but well balanced and made of strange metals, unlike any he had seen -- one black and the other cold to the touch. As he held them there came impressions of the father he never knew, and a desire to see them red with warm blood. The feeling passed and he considered the other marks on his body. Perhaps they too would respond in time.

As a child, Kingu was different, but now come of age, his body more betrays his strange heritage. At his temples, where his ragged hair oft hangs long, there are the barest of what might be called horns. Passing as entirely human is manageable only in weak light or when his head is shrouded. His wandering in the months after his stay with Erufortion had oddly led him to a familiar valley -- the village of his birth. There in the wasted ruins, the only living thing, stared forth a snake with beguiling green eyes. He watched it, and it Kingu. He named it Theli, took it up and set forth.

Though he knows the wilds, Kingu has returned to the places where men live in numbers, where vice and opportunity circulate. He is older now, yet more suspicious of those who might be called his peers at owlery and jumpin. He works mostly alone and shuns the cliques and knots and their entanglements and betrayals. His equipment is varied and kept in good repair, and he has taken a new interest in alchemical wares. His eye is set on bigger jobs, bigger challenges, bigger takes. He'll need a crew, someone to watch his back, maybe a lizardman. Someone who keeps cool when things get ugly..