Campaign of the Month: February 2014
Tadje Al’Qudura ~ Rope Weaver ~
Tadje (pronounced TAHD jhee) Al’Qudura (AL koo DOO rah) is an attractive Gosai…at least as Gosai are concerned. He tries to present himself as regal, yet he falls short on certain etiquette and formalities. He grew up as a street rat, and now struggles to ‘’change his stars’‘. Tadje is a quick learner. He is a bit of a romantic in his ideals. He lives with a chip on his shoulder for some of the wrongs he was forced to do growing up on the harsh streets of Galilee. Tadje has pale green skin. His arms though are beginning to change to a more sandy ruddy brown (possibly due to his length of time lived in the desert areas of Berkay). His eyes are an unnatural bright blue, with the typical rectangular pupil characteristic of Gosai. This and his sharp facial prominences are his most striking features. Tadje feels most comfortable in formal attire. You will find him with a fancy leather side satchel slung over his neck and under his left arm. The embossing on the bag is of elven make, and the leather is hardened camel’s hide. Tadje does not wear shoes, has his feet have sharp retractable claws and his toes are dextrous enough to be prehensile. Shoes are an encumbrance. Every evening Tadje can be seen saying prayers and blessing a basin of water, which he then uses to wash his feet and hands. In addition to his traditional sherwani tunic, Tadje also wears a bone necklace that houses a bone brooch, all made from dragon bone. He also carries a ring on his right pinky carved from the vertebra of an aruda.
Rank & O.C.C.: 9th Level Wizard
Land of Origin: Galilee, Berkay
Citizenship: Guardians of the Accord
|VITAL STATISTICS||ATTRIBUTES||SAVING THROWS||COMBAT BONUSES|
|IQ||20||Save vs Magic||+4||Strike||+5|
|WT||142 lbs||ME||12||Save vs Psionics||+0||Parry||+6|
|PPE||238||MA||16||Save vs Coma/Death||+6%||Dodge||+6/10|
|HP||64||PS||11||Save vs poison/disease||+0/2||Roll||+5|
|SDC||30||PP||20||Save vs H.F.||+6||Pull||+2|
|Level||9||PE||18||Save vs Insanity||+0||Initiative||+0|
|Exp.||XP Page||PB||11||Perception Roll||+3||Damage||+2|
|Birthday||12th of Vahishta, 9972 A.T.||AR-Nat||10||Disarm||+0|
Non-Monetary Items of value:
|Whip||2D6+2||+7||+7 to Entangle
+2 to damage
|Short Staff||1d6||+9||+9||+1 to Thrown|
|Fire Whip: Devo-Ardaith|| 2D6+2
|+7||+7 to Entangle
+2 to damage
6xdaily – Magic Green Fire adds 3D6 to the damage.
Sand Crystal Powered: Duration of the charge is one year. Expires in the month of Vahishta 10,003
|Total Bonus||2||1||1||6||20||See below|
|Feathered Cloak||2||1||1||6||20||Cold does 1/2 Damage|
|Pole of the North|
|Restrained Punch||1D6||+ PS|
|Leap||N/A||38ft Long; 36ft High|
|Back-Flip||N/A||+ 4 to Dodge, attacker must use one action to get back into melee range|
|Body Flip/Throw||1D6 Damage + PS; victim loses initiative and one attack|
|Gosai Punch or Kick – Claw||2D6||+ PS|
|Gosai Kick – Pop||4D6||+ PS; Counts as Two Attacks.|
|Bonuses:||+1 to Strike, Parry and Dodge. +2 to save vs Horror Factor. -2 to save vs poison.|
|Special Limbs:||Please see Natural Weapons for more info on the special limbs.|
|O.C.C. / R.C.C. Abilities:||Notes||Spell Strength: 14|
|Common Knowledge Spells:||Decipher magic, Sense Magic, Cloud of Slumber, Globe of Daylight, and Tongues|
|Sense Ley Lines||2 miles|
|Ley Line Drifting||Spd 10|
|Ley Line Rejuvenation||10 minutes concentration 1/24 hrs 2D6 HP & SDC|
|Living P.P.E. Battery||3D6 P.P.E. per levelp|
|Magic Bonuses:||+1 to save vs magic at levels three, six, nine, twelve and fifteen; +4 to save vs horror factor.
Spell strength (the number others must save against when the character casts a spell): +1 at levels 2, 4, 8, 12 and 15.
Starts at 12. CURRENT:
|Broach of Doom||Made from the bone of an Dragon.||Will mystically shrink and hold a single weapon which will pop out upon command word; up to and including a giant sized weapon.
Provided for Guardian Operatives.
|Pigeon Ring||Made from the bone of an Aruda.||Will allow the user to use the spell: Magic Pigeon 3x per day
Provided for Guardian Operatives.
|Weapon Proficiencies||Level Acquired||Strike||Parry||Thrown||Notes|
|Whip||One||+3||N/A||N/A||+3 to Entangle
+3 to damage
|OCC Skills||Base%: +6-IQ||Bonus||Start||Current||Total %|
|Lang: Trade Elven||98%||N/A||1||9||98%|
|Lang: Faerie Speak||46%||+20%||1||9||106%|
|Lit: Trade Elven||36%||+15%||1||9||91%|
|- Gen. Knowledge||31%||+20%||91%|
|- Rec. Wards, Runes & Circles||21%||+20%||81%|
|- Rec. Enchantment||41%||+20%||101%|
|- Rec. Magic||26%||+0%||66%|
|Dragonwright, Demons & Deevils, Church of Dualism, Path of Avadanti, Path of Aspects, and Druid Spirit Worship|
|W.P. Whip||N/A||N/A||1||9||See W.P.s|
|OCC Related Skills||Base%: +6-I.Q.||Bonus||Start||Current||Total %|
|W.P. Blunt||N/A||N/A||1||9||See W.P.s.|
|HtH: Basic||N/A||N/A||1||9||See Combat|
|Astronomy & Nav.||36%||+10%||1||9||86%|
|- Small Ships||41%||+10%||91%|
|- Large Ships||26%||+10%||76%|
|Use & Rec. Poison||1||8|
|Lore: Faerie Folk||31%||+10%||3||7||71%|
|Secondary Skills||Base%: +6-I.Q.||R.C.C. Bonus||Start||Current||Total %|
|- Back Flip||46%||56%|
|- Body Throw||N/A||N/A|
|- Pole Vault||56%||66%|
|- Stilt Walk||56%||66%|
|Journal Book||1||Shoulder satchel||200 pages|
|BOOK OF AVESTA||1||Shoulder satchel||2300 pages|
|47 various Rope Talismans||1||Shoulder satchel||*18 Invisibility Superior; 18 Multiple Image; 11 Dispell Magic Barrier *|
Tadje was orphaned not just once but twice.
It is unknown who his real parents were.
An elderly Gosai couple who could not have children, took Tadje in.
They were merchants from Krill in the Kingdom of Greenwater, selling candies, spices, pots made of dwarf-forged copper.
On a caravan trip to try and gain a contract with the Three Brothers Trading Company in Berkay, they took Tadje with them. The caravan was attacked by the demon, Harrowheart, and his horde. Everyone but Tadje was slaughtered. Harrowheart ransacked the remains of the caravan looking for what was told would be his lost runic items. Just before overturning the last cart, Harrowheart decided that he had been deceived by his informant. He gave up looking and was gone. Fortunate for Tadje, Harrowheart did not overturn that last wagon cart, as he was underneath cowering and in shock of seeing the atrocities played out in front of him. Tadje still has night terrors of this day. The words of his mother ringing in his head, “Tadje! Stay here and do not move. Promise me son! Promise me.” Because of this event Tadje is unsettled by violent acts.
The next day a band of Orcish desert scavengers and other Human highwaymen found the ransacked caravan. They found the starving and terrified boy. They fed him and took him to Galilee to be sold as an indentured servant. Vokklaa, the Orc Warband leader liked his spirit when the children would play at night.
Sold to a ruthless dockmaster named Balbodus who managed a shipping company. Tadje worked as a dock boy, and lived in a poorhouse. The conditions are very harsh. He worked alongside several other orphans and indentured servants. The dockmaster was a voracious drunk. In a card game he lost his company to an up and coming shipping company looking to expand their business in Berkay. This shipping company would eventually was renamed The Three Brothers Trading Company. In his rage, the dockmaster began to beat one of his slaves nigh to death. Tadje could not stand this. His mind slipped, and he lost it. The next thing he recalls was coming to. He looked down at his hands they were dripping with blood. The dock master was dead hanging from a winch rope used to raise and lower cargo into ships. The rope was wound tightly around his neck. The dockmaster’s eyes and nose issued with blood.
The servants all ran. The group of them stayed together on the streets. They formed somewhat of a gang, calling themselves the Ten Rings in the Fox’s Fist. There were 10 of the boys, including Tadje. They were lead by a young boy, nearly 17 years old, named Pha’aryn.
In the poorhouse, Pha’aryn was known as the Fox. He was clever and charismatic, with a silver tongue that he used quite well to his advantage. Pha’aryn quickly formed the gang following the death of their ‘beloved’ dockmaster. He convinced the boys that the single silver marque in each of their pockets would not even buy a crust of bread. But, if they combined all of them to form 10 marques they would be able to make a feast from them all. It made sense to stick together. They all handed Pha’aryn their silver coins. He rubbed his finger around the embossed circle on one of the coins. He noted to the boys that just as it was unbroken, they needed to be an unbroken circle in order to survive on the streets. Thus, they became known as the Ten Rings in the Fox’s Fist.
Pha’aryn’s second in the gang was a gruffy Elf they all called ‘Scraps’. His real name was Aeolian, but no one dared call him that anymore. Scraps did not talk about where he came from much or how he ended up in the poorhouse. The only three things Tadje really knew about him was that he was missing half of his left ear, he was rather small for an elf, and he kept a secret box that he opened every night to gaze at its contents. If anyone ever mentioned either of these three things in front of Scraps, they usually ended up with a bloody face and a few broken fingers. Needless to say, Tadje’s intact fingers persuaded him to not ask too many questions to Scraps.
Next was Pha’aryn’s bruiser, Barrox. Barrox was a very large Quorian boy who looked like he was nearing manhood. He was not too bright, but he was very strong. He was the only one besides Pha’aryn that Scraps never went toe-to-toe with. The gang called Barrox, “Knuckles”. Fortunately, Barrox liked the nickname despite the connotations. Tadje supposed Barrox was too daft to catch its double meaning. Knuckles was fiercely loyal to Pha’aryn. He was very intimidating and kept the gang safe from other street rats and highwaymen. Nothing scared Knuckles, at least while he was awake. Tadje noticed that Knuckles would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night terrified and shaken. He would then go see Medir, the gang’s friendly jovial Psychic to get calmed down.
Medir or Medirdandul in full was a Daedal. He professed to be a strict and devout Dualist. He said that he used his mental powers only to help others, and never charged a fee. But, besides having a few extraordinary mind powers, Medir was an uncontrollable kleptomaniac. While he helped Knuckles or any of his other ‘patients’ (mostly young pretty girls), he was also ‘helping himself’ to their purse without them knowing it. As a psionic Medir’s powers were fair, but as a pickpocket, Medir had no equal. This might have been the reason he could not stop himself from doing it; he was just too good at it. The gang all called Medir, Mindgame, after his mental powers and his fun loving nature.
Next in the gang was a tall human boy named Doraigne. In addition to being tall, Doraigne was also very skinny. There was no where that Dorainge couldn’t get into. He could squeeze himself between bars that trapped most people. He was an excellent climber. He could slip out of handcuffs. And, was pretty proficient at picking locks. The gang called him, Doraigne the Crane.
Doraigne’s best friend was a Lulhi Shirn named Wy Xen (wī SHEN). The gang all called Wy Xen, “Shins”. Despite Lulhi’s typical prowess, Shins was born with a gimpy foot. Tadje imagined that that was how Shins ended up in the poorhouse in the first place. Notwithstanding Shins’ disability, he was quite skillful. Shins was a strategist, a proficient gambler, and a witty con. His gimpy leg lulled many a traveler into his unbeatable games.
Yerrik was the next in the gang. He was a sorry sight for sore eyes. Yerrik was a ghostly white albino dwarf that could not grow a beard for the life of him. In fact, he did not grow any body hair. But this did not hide his Dwarven nature. He was stubborn and intrepid as they come. Contrary to his Dwarven nature, though, Yerrik was quite nimble on his feet. It was hard to believe how such large feet could be so silent, but Yerrik seemed to move like his feet were made of wool. For this reason he made a good burglar and received the name of Ghosty.
Eighth on the Ten Rings roster was Jafa. Jafa was like a sand storm. He moved fast and liked to leave destruction in his path. He was reckless at times, but seemed to always have luck on his side. He constantly was pushing the boundaries that nearly got him killed more than once. Jafa loved sporting knives for their allure to danger. His fingers were marred with several cuts and scars from his favorite pass time. He would place his hand on a cutting board and stabbing a knife repeatedly between his splayed fingers. For this leisure activity and his daredevil behavior, the gang called him “Cutthroat”.
Next on the roster was a portly young boy named Tuck. Where Cutthroat destroyed things for fun, Tuck could not help breaking things. If something could be broken, chances were Tuck would break it. Tuck to many was a ticking time bomb, but to Pha’aryn he believed he was a lucky charm. Even though Tuck managed to break most things he came in close proximity to, Pha’aryn noted a strange phenomenon with Tuck. If something were irretrievably lost, whether hopeless or just missing, Tuck by some miracle seemed to ‘stumble’ and find it. It was very uncanny. Pha’aryn calls this the Tuck Factor. Once the whole gang early on had been caught by the authorities for stealing some food from the marketplace. They were thrown into a cell together. It seemed hopeless, with no lock picks or charismatic tricks left to use. They really thought they would lose their hands in the morning. Tuck sat down to cry, then jumped up immediately as it felt he had sat on something. He got up and found nothing on the ground. But when he turned around to look, Pha’aryn saw that the was a key stuck a spot of honey on his trousers. Pha’aryn took the key and found that it was the same key to the cell! How it got stuck to Tuck pants? Only Brahma knows.
Last in the gang is Tadje. The gang nicknamed Tadje, “Noose” or sometimes “Hangman”. Tadje really never liked either of those names. Nobody talks about what happened that day when Balbodus was killed, but they all know that Tadje is the reason they are “free”. For this reason the respect Tadje wish to not discuss what happened. As long as Tadje does not know the details, he can sort of distance himself from the monster that took over. Tadje was the youngest member of the gang. For that reason Pha’aryn took him under his ‘wing’, so to speak, and taught him everything he knew.
Pha’aryn was like a bigger brother to Tadje. Pha’aryn protect him, but did not sugar coat the world. He made sure that Tadje saw just how dangerous the street could be. Pha’aryn did this for all the boys. They looked out for each other, stealing food where they could. The gang had to keep moving around the city, never really being able to stay in one place due to them being suspects in the murder of the Balbodus.
While on the outskirts of town looking for something to steal for food, Tadje saw a geckomander being abused in a cage. The abuser was large brutish orc by the name of Gamorek the Choker. Tadje knew Gamorek was a poacher and a rare-animal trafficker. The orc was using some sort of mechanical device that blew flames like dragon’s breath. Gamorek was using it to sorch the geckomander’s cage. It looked like the orc was showing two potential buyers the geckomander’s rare ability to resist fire. Despite the knowledge that Gamorek was very vindictive and ruthless, Tadje could not just sit there and do nothing. He decided to free the geckomander.
Tadje created a distraction, and then broke the geckomander from the cage. The geckomander scampered quickly away. It was not one of Tadje’s best performances since Gamorek caught him just as he was about to escape. Tadje would have been fileted alive if not for the intervention of a Janissary Guardsman who had been watching Gamorek’s actions.
The Janissary demanded that Gamorek release the young Gosai. Gamorek knew that he could not fight the Janissary, and submitted. Tadje ran away glad to be alive. He never caught the name of the Janissary that saved his life that day.
Tadje heard later that day that Gamorek the Choker had been arrested, and found guilty of human slavery and trafficking. Though Gamorek was being held prisoner at Kal’Hagiid, a strongly fortified prison on an island several miles off the coast of Galilee, Tadje had a bad feeling that his decision to free the geckomander would come back to threaten his life. Kal’Hagiid was dark place ran through a treaty by the most ruthless Zaranceti in all of Regnum.
While observing a Berkaic sunset Tadje sat on a rooftop enjoying a halved madukamelon, which he had stolen from the marketplace. He sat contemplating his near death experience. He was distracted for only a moment when a thief stole the other half of melon right out from under him. The rascal scampered quickly over some earthen urns to hide, the melon grasped in its tail as it fled from Tadje. Tadje ran after it, and found that it was the geckomander he had saved. It must have followed him this whole time. The two quickly became friends. Tadje, having heard the great tales of Avesta from men in the caravans, named his new pet Sabbacha after the great Dragon, Sabbach. This quickly turned into the more affectionate form of Bacha (BA kha). Tadje later learned that Bacha was a very rare hybrid of a karkamander and vidarumander species of geckomanders. Bacha is very clever, and is obsessed with eating madukamelon.
Since that day that Tadje was saved by the Janissary Guardsman, he began to reflect on his own life. He started to question the actions that he was doing to live. He knew that stealing was bad. He knew that he needed to be better. But, he was not born into wealth. He was not given the privilege of social status. He stared up into the heavens at the great vastness and cried, “Oh Asha, great guider of the stars, he who draws the path of the golden sun. I beseech the god who is he who leadeth men through life, and then through the gate of death to an eternal home. Guide me now, oh, Asha! Help me to change my stars. Help me to rearrange the stars that now look down upon me. Aid me in following a new path. Guide me to a brighter day. Give me courage. Give me strength and power to follow this path. Change my stars, oh great Asha. Change my stars!”
At that moment the Gosai boy swears that the Eye of Agu sparked brighter for just a moment. Tadje took this to mean his prayer was answered.
The next day the gang made their rounds on the street in search of food and goods to steal. Tadje reluctantly went along. He couldn’t let down his family. The group of urchins combed through the marketplace, picking pockets, and nicking fruits and loaves of bread. They meticulously marched through the crowd like a colony of kleptomaniac ants scouring every resource that was not nailed down. All except Tajde. Tadje’s heart just wasn’t there anymore. He knew this was all wrong.
The gang’s leader, Pha’aryn saw that Tadje wasn’t working his side of the street. He approached him and asked what was the matter. Tadje told him about his dilemma. With his silver tongue nature Pha’aryn convinced Tadje that those ideas were all foolish. If they didn’t steal, they wouldn’t eat. If they didn’t eat they wouldn’t survive. How would he feel if one of his brothers perished from starvation. This crooked logic made sense to Tadje. He didn’t like it. But he could not deny the harsh reality. Pha’aryn explained that he sometimes would have these same feelings. He said that a good mark job always helped him to see clearly. He promised that if Tadje just nicked something good off of a hard mark, he’d be able to get over these feelings. He reminded Tadje of how important it was to help the younger ones of the gang survive.
Pha’aryn then took a moment to look around the marketplace. He wanted to choose the perfect mark for Tadje. He spotted a Gosai man with an intricate leather bag. The Gosai was aged, but walked regally down the marketplace aisle. He dressed somewhat like a noble, but did not have the standard bodyguards. The man seemed well off judging by the rings and jewelry he wore. He did not wear any fancy shoes as was typical of wealthy citizens of Berkay. But Gosai were not partial to footwear, believing that shoes are too restrictive. Pha’aryn pointed the mark out to Tadje.
Tadje saw the old Gosai put a large loaf of bread into his intricately patterned leather satchel. His stomach rumbled at that moment. He could practically taste the bread from the distance. He thought of his ‘brothers’ and how many that single loaf could feed. He agreed to steal it of the old man.
Tadje got down off of his position on a canvas awning. He began to trail the mark. He waited for just the right moment. He gave the signal to Pha’aryn, who had been gotten into position ahead. Pha’aryn bumped into the old Gosai causing the satchel to slip off his shoulder. At that very moment Tadje was there to continue the grab as the man was off balance. Once Tadje had the bag in hand he darted into the busy crowd. Pha’aryn also proceeded in the opposite direction.
Tadje heard the sounds of commotion behind him. The man had realized he had been robbed. He was calling for guards. “Over there! There he is!” Tadje heard from behind him. Tadje fought the urge not to look back to admit guilt or to identify himself to the authorities. He just continued walking.
He heard whistles blowing and guards yelling for him to stop. He had to move now. He bolt through more crowd, nearly at a full sprint. Years of living on the street had not only taught him the value of keeping in shape to run, but also where best to run to evade authorities or anybody, for the matter, who was pursuing you. He darted into a clay pot shop, through the main salon and out the back entrance. From there he found himself in a shaded alley. For a moment he thought he had lost them, when a guard recognized his profile from one of the open ends of the alley. “Over here!” More guard began filing after the whistleblower.
Tadje turned to run down the other direction. As he did, a pair of guards barred that retreat as well. Guards were coming from both directions and closing in on him. He pulled his tattered linen scarf over his face to hide his identity as they neared him. Then he decidedly ran towards the lone two guards. About 10 feet in front of them, Tadje sprung into the air. It wasn’t a normal jump, it was an incredible leap. He landed on the first guard and then used him to spring back into the air. As he reach the arc of his jump, nearly 35 feet from the ground, he used the side of the building to leap again. He hit the opposite wall with a third leap. He continued jumping from wall to wall over the expanse of the alleyway, until he reached the roof where he grabbed onto the edge and pulled himself up to the flat roof.
The guards were all below shouting profanities at Tadje’s escape. He felt pretty swell about his feat. He stood with one foot on the curbed ledge of the roof and looked down on all the guards. He held up the satchel up in the air to show the guards his accomplishment. He shook it twice with glee and shouted, “Ha ha!”
It was at that moment that the guardsmen pulled out an ornate metal rod from off a strap that was slung over their shoulder. From his vantage point Tadje could see the rods had a azure blue crystal attached to the bottom end. The crystals were held on by a weave of golden wire. This wire continued up the handle interweaving with the leather grip about the shaft. In one hand each guardsmen held the rod above their heads and shouted a command.
The guardsmen suddenly lifted off the ground, and up towards Tadje. A crackling blue energy ran down from the rods, and danced over and around the guardsmen’s bodies. Tadje knew at that moment that his stunt was clearly not that impressive. He quickly turn and began leaping across the hurdle of Berkaic rooftops. Tadje dropped down amongst the crowd when he found a break of two buildings sufficiently close together to allow him to slide down with his claws pressed up against either side. The narrow drop prevented the flying guardsmen from following. He quickly made it back to the Fox’s Fist’s safe house, where Pha’aryn and the other Ten Rings were waiting.
Tadje took a moment to catch his breath. He nearly fell to his knees with exhaustion. He bent over with hands braced on his knees for support. Just then Bacha jumped into the bag hanging from his shoulder, which he had nicked from the old man. The weight of the geckomander in the bag was too much to bare in his tired state. Tadje toppled over. On the ground, Tadje grabbed the Bacha’s tail half playfully, half wanting to kill him. As he pulled the geckomander out of the leather satchel, he noticed it had grabbed hold of a well worn book. Tadje snatched it away from the little thief, then discarded him across the room into a pile of pillows and spare clothes.
Pha’ayrn inquired of Tadje’s find. Pha’aryn picked up the leather satchel that had fallen off of Tadje’s shoulder. He turned it upside down. It was empty. “Books don’t feed our family, Taj. What happened to the goods? You aren’t keeping things from us are you?”
“What?! There should have been a loaf of bread in the bag. I saw the old guy put it in there only seconds before I took it off him. I swear, Pha’aryn. I gotta believe me!”
“Don’t sweat it, Noose. Better luck next time. At least you got outta your funk, right? How’d it feel?”
“Um…ah…” Tadje trailed off. He was lost in thought as he started to look at the book. He felt something drawing him to open it. He started to open the cover with great anticipation. BAM!
Pha’aryn slammed the book closed, and took it out of Tadje’s hands. “Regnum to Tadje! You there? I asked you a question, kid. I said, ‘How’d it feel?’ Then you went blank. You okay?” He tossed the book back at Tadje, who was still on the floor. The book landed heavily on his chest just below his diaphragm, knocking out his air.
“Oomph!” Tadje quelled the pain.
“Now, get rid of the book and bag. We don’t want anyone tracing that back to any of us. Got it?”
Tadje not able to speak from blow, just nodded.
“Lights out, everyone! You too, Scraps!” Pha’ayrn shouted to the rest of the boys. All the boys blew out their lamps one by one, saying good night as they did, then jumped into their cots and hammocks. Tadje was left in the dark with the book in his hands, and a hungry stomach. He found his way in the dark over to the leftover scraps Tuck had saved for him. Bacha also found his way to the makeshift table where Tuck had left a small piece of bread, a slice of cheese, an apple wedge and a piece of madukamelon. Tadje pushed the melon over to his friend. Bacha’s long tongue snatched it up. It ate it rind and flesh together, licking every ounce of juice from its lips. Tadje’s eyes started to adjust to the dark as he looked at Sabbacha eating. He tossed him a piece of bread too. Bacha caught it right out of the air proving his capable dexterity and nightvision.
Tadje took the rest of the bread, cheese and apple back to his hammock. He tucked the book underneath the pile of his belongings; He would get rid of it tomorrow like Pha’aryn ordered. He flopped into the hammock, swinging back and forth. Bacha found his favorite spot on top of Tadje’s feet. Tadje bit into the cheese. It was rich and creamy, most likely imported from Sussuria; the Shirn-Karya could make the best cheese in all of Regnum. Tadje began to ponder about the strong pull he had to the book. Soon exhaustion took over, and he drifted off to sleep.
“Tadje!” The Gosai boy leapt out of his hammock. He looked around to see who called his name. It was pitch black. He could not see any figure.
“Tadje!” He heard the voice again.
“Who’s there?” Tadje mumbled.
Tadje with a little more boldness, “Who’s there?”
“Nor ri tumoren?” Tadje said louder this time in Avestan.
“Taj? Who ya talkin’ to?” Pha’aryn woke up.
“Didn’t you hear that Pha’aryn? Someone’s here.”
“I didn’t hear nuttin’. Go back to sleep!” Pha’aryn scoulded. “Its bad enough when Knuckles has those dreams. Not you too!”
“You mean you didn’t hear noth…”
“GET BACK TO SLEEP!” Pha’aryn shouted.
“Who’s waking me up?” Scraps whined from across the loft.
“Is it morning already?” Medir mumbled weakly from underneath his covers.
“No, no, no! Now all y’all go back to sleep!” Pha’aryn demanded in a forced whisper. “Or else you’re gonna wake up…”
“Aaaaaaaah!” In a banshee wail, Knuckles sat straight up from his bedroll on the floor. A chain of dogs started barking trailing off into the edges of all of Galilee.
“GREAT!” Pha’aryn shouted pulling his pillow over his head. “Medir, can you take care of that?”
After about an hour or so, Medir finally got Knuckles back to sleep and the Fox’s Fist loft was once more quite.
“T-a-d-j-e!” The voice was thin and thready. Tadje knew everyone was back asleep because he could hear them all snoring. Yet, this eerie voice was coming from somewhere.
“T-a-d-j-e!” Tadje didn’t dare say anything for fear of waking the gang again. But how could none of them hear it?
“T-a-d-j-e!” The sound seemed muffled and faint. It was close.
“T-a-d-j-e!” Tadje could now identify that the voice was clearly coming from somewhere in the room.
“T-a-d-j-e!” Tadje froze looking up at the ceiling from his hammock. The voice was beneath his hammock!
“T-a-d-j-e!” He knew he shouldn’t look. He knew it was just probably his mind playing tricks on him. Heck, Medir had done that before. But the voice sounded so real. His heart pumped harder.
“T-a-d-j-e!” Tadje leaned over the side of the hammock trying to peer into the darkness below him. The hammock was at least 3 feet off the ground, high enough for any sort of creature or miscreant soul to be hiding. Tadje leaned over further. Suddenly the edge of the hammock gave way, and Tadje tumbled to the floor! He quickly turned over to his back and crab crawled as quickly to the wall as possible to prevent being pounced on by the ‘thing’ in the darkness.
After a moment of nothing happening, he began to relax again. Nobody was there. Was he going crazy? Maybe he needed to have a few sessions with Mindgame to clear his head. Whoa! Whoa! What was he thinking…MINDGAME?! Okay, he must be going crazy if he thought it was a good idea to get mental help from Mindgame. That would be like a sheep going to a butcher for some stomach pains.
He took a deep breath. In. Out. “It was all in your head, Taj” He said to himself under his breath so no one would hear him. He closed his eyes to calm himself some more. “See? It really was all in your head. It was nothing. Pha’aryn was right. Now get back in that hammock and get to sleep.” Tadje tried to ease his way back to the hammock, but was finding it hard to move. He took in another deep breath. He loosened up enough to get into a sitting position. He let out his breath. He felt much better, despite the darkness.
Just as he was about to move towards the hammock the voice came again. “T-a-d-j-e!” Now that his eyes were adjusted to the darkness, he knew were the voice was coming from. The book he had taken from the old Gosai man laying beneath his clothes pile was calling out to him. Upon realizing the origin of the voice, a light suddenly cut through the darkness from beneath the pile of clothes. Tadje heart began to race. Tadje flung himself back again to his back. As he did this his head hit hard on the stone wall. THUD! Everything went black.
(I will just sum up what happens, not in story form)
Tadje goes through the market again trying to return the book to the man he stole it from. He asks around and no one will talk to him. Eventually he goes in a shop. An old man says he knows where the Gosai is. He leads Tadje back into the shop. Suddenly, the door that Tadje walks through vanishes behind him. The old shopkeeper reveals that he is the Gosai. In a very fearful manner using magic, he ask Tadje why he took the book. Tadje quells before the wizard’s power. He tells him the truth. Because of Tadje’s truthfulness, the wizard reveals himself as Kihnsed Tal’Kihmshahid, and that he wishes to teach Tadje as an apprentice.
Master Kihnsed took Tadje to study at Arcanus Hall on Baalgor Island. It is there that Tadje was introduced to various members of the Guardians of the Accords, and the beautiful Roshada, daughter to the Fikir Tayfa Ambassador. Through this book the wizard lead Tadje back to him. Tadje was impressed and took up the wizard’s offer to become his apprentice. The wizard taught Tadje the secrets of magic. He saw that Tadje had a predisposition to a lost art of magic once known as Fumemancy, the magic art of Rope Weaving. The book that Tadje had stolen was given as a gift. It contain the secrets of Fumemancy.
Tadje recalls, “Master Kihnsed told me that as I became more and more ready to learn more of the book’s pages appeared in the book. To date, there are only a handful of leaves invthe book that contain words. Most of the 500 old pages are blank ripe with potential. I noticed only recently that a few in the back of the book have appeared, but it is written in a tongue I do not comprehend. Not even magic enchantments have been able to decipher its lithes. One day I will be fully ready.”
“Thy eyes, Roshada, are as the dew drops of the golden sun.
They captivate my heart, my soul they’ve won.
“Thy lips, Roshada, are as the petals of a ‘Ssurian rose.
Their touch to mine, all’s lost in sweet repose.
“That night, Roshada, e’er now it lasts in sacred memory.
I’ll ne’er forget your touch’s serenity.
“To wish, Roshada, and let my heart speak its single most desire
Like Guillandae’s love ours would never tire.
“Yet now, Roshada, the Fates have forced us now to be apart.
So this I keep your ring a token near my heart.
“Of me, Roshada, I so plead to you, keep me close to thine.
Yet though apart your love like Indurin will shine.”
Roshada gave Tadje a crystal ring to commemorate their love. This was on the eve of the night Master Kihnsed submitted to become a living rune weapon. On the morrow, Tadje lost his good friend and master, and his love. Roshada left with her father back to Fikir Tayfa. In Kihnsed’s will he named Tadje as his legally adopted son. Tadje inherited Kihnsed’s home and library in Galilee.