Anrir Yama ~ The Forgotten Hero ~

Appears to be a Shirn-Karya with a slight yellowish cast to his features. He is missing any of the battle scars of his predecessor, Anrir Yama, but were he to stand next to one of the statues that still remain, the likeness would be unmistakable.

Rank & O.C.C.: 6th Level Warper: Living Rune-Weapon
Race: Living Rune Meteor Spike (was Shirn-Karya)
Land of Origin: Sussuria
Citizenship: Guardians of the Accord

Picture by fellow player MachineGunHarry.

HT 6.5 ft IQ 14 Save vs Magic +4 Strike +5
WT 300 lbs ME 15 Save vs Psionics +1 Parry +7
PPE 115/115 MA 7 Save vs Coma/Death +10% Dodge +10
HP 50/50 PS 24 Save vs poison/disease +4 Roll +6
SDC 120/120 PP 20 Save vs H.F. +1 Pull +4
Level 6 PE 20 Save vs Possession Imp. Initiative +4
Exp. XP Page PB 13 Save vs Mind Control +6 Damage +9
Sex Male SPD 28 Save vs Insanity +1 Critical 18, 19, 20
Birthday 1st of Amurdad AR-Nat 14 Save vs Perception +0 Disarm +2
HTH: Martial Arts HF N/A Attacks 6
Alignment Principled Trust/Intimidate N/A K.O./Stun N/A
Charm/Impress N/A Death Blow N/A
Marques: 500
Non-Monetary Items of value: 0
Gems: 0
Weapons: Damage Notes
Anrir’s Rune Meteor Spikes 8D6 +5 Entangle, Return to Wielder When Thrown (40’); See Item Page,
- Total Bonuses 8D6+9 Strike: +5 / Parry: +3 / Thrown: +1
Armor RF-C RF-T RF-I RF-S SDC Notes
Total Bonus ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??
Natural Weapons: Damage Notes
Punch 3D6 + PS
Kick 4D6 + PS
Living Rune Weapon Abilities: Notes
Bonuses: Host Body (Racial)
+1 on initiative, +1 to strike, parry and dodge, +1 to all saving throws, +6 to save vs all types of mind control, and impervious to possession.
Hibernation (Racial)
All Living Rune Swords have the ability to enter a hibernation state. This allows them to dissipate their host body and enter a sleep state. Once this is done, the host body cannot be reformed for at least 1D4x10 years, leaving it vulnerable and helpless during that time. In this state they are invulnerable to damage. The Rune Weapon will still appear as a typical Rune Weapon, but the consciousness inside will be silent and sleeping.
Two Forms, One Being (Racial)
Though there are two forms (Rune Weapon and host body), the Living Rune Sword is still just one being. As a result, it is nearly impossible to separate a Rune Weapon from its host body. Doing so would be the same as removing an arm or a leg of most other beings. If ever separated, the two will be able to sense each other regardless of distance, knowing exactly where the other is at all times. As a result of this connection, any attempt to disarm the Rune Weapon from the host body is performed at a -4 penalty due to their natural connection. This penalty applies only to the Rune Sword and host body, and no others. It does not apply to a different wielder, even if the two have bonded.
While an advantage, this is also one of their main vulnerabilities. Unknown to most is that if ever separated from its Rune Weapon, the host body will start to die. The Rune Weapon is the source of its power, and without it the host body cannot be sustained. For every minute separated, the host body suffers 1D6 damage, starting immediately from a separation of more than 5 feet (1.5 m). Fortunately for the host body, all powers and abilities are retained (except for Hibernation, which requires close contact), including the ability to heal. While this can help to save the host body’s life, it will only prolong the inevitable if the Rune Weapon cannot be regained.
Vulnerabilities (Racial)
Cannot recover health normally. Only by expending P.P.E. can the Living Sword repair the damage it has suffered. 1 P.P.E. recovers 1 Hit Point, or 2 P.P.E. for 1 S.D.C. (or M.D.C.). Only 10 H.P./S.D.C. (or M.D.C.) per level of the Living Rune Sword can be restored in a single melee round.
If the body of the Living Sword is destroyed, it cannot make a new body and will be nothing more than a Rune Weapon from that point on.
Combat Bonus (Basic)
Minor / Basic Level – 3
+3 on initiative, +1 to strike, +1 to parry, +4 to dodge, +4 to pull punch, +2 to roll with punch/fall/impact, and +2 to disarm.
Natural Abilities: Notes
Nightvision 40’ (12.2 m)
PPE recovery 10 every three hours, awake or asleep
See the Invisible Always on
Impervious to Possession Always on
Fire/Cold/Poison/Toxins/Drugs/Disease Resistant 1/2 Damage, Duration

Beads of Doom Beaded necklace with eight large beads made from sand crystals. Each sand crystal bead will mystically shrink and hold a single weapon (8 in total) which will pop out upon command word; a giant sized weapon will take two beads and merge them briefly.
Provided for Guardian Operatives.
Anrir’s Rune Meteor Spikes 6D6 See Item Page

Weapon Proficiencies Level Acquired Strike Parry Thrown Notes
Chain One +2 +0 +0 +2 Entangle; Meteor Spike
Paired: Chain Weapons One N/A N/A N/A Strike two targets (2, D20 rolls);
Double strike on one target
(1, D20 roll, 2 damage rolls; loses parry)
OCC Skills Base % Bonus Start Current Total %
Climbing /
40% /
+10% 1 4 65% /
- Sense of Balance
- Parallel Bars & Rings
- Back Flip & Somersault
- 30%
- 30%
- 40%
+5% 1 4 Tot.
- 50%
- 41%
- 60%
Language: Shihon 98% N/A 1 4 98%
Lang: Trade Elven 40% +20% 1 4 80%
Lang: Dwarven 40% +20% 1 4 80%
Literacy: Shihon 30% +15% 1 4 65%
Mathematics: Basic 45% +10% 1 4 75%
Military Etiquette 30% +15% 1 4 65%
W.P.: Chain N/A N/A 1 4 N/A
HtH: Martial Arts N/A N/A 1 4 N/A
OCC Related Skills Base % Bonus Start Current Total %
Heraldry Base
- 20%
- 25%
+10% 1 4 Tot.
- 45%
- 50%
Intelligence 32% +5% 1 4 50%
Horsemanship: Gen. Base
- 35%
- 20%
+10% 1 4 Tot.
- 65%
- 50%
Mathematics: Advanced 45% +5% 1 4 70%
Camouflage 20% +10% 1 4 50%
Sign Language 25% +5% 1 4 50%
Horsemanship: Exotic Base
- 35%
- 20%
+10% 1 4 Tot.
- 65%
- 50%
Airship Sailing ??% ??% 4 ?? ??%
_______________ ??% ??% 8 ?? ??%
_______________ ??% ??% 12 ?? ??%
Secondary Skills Base % Start Current Total %
W.P.-Paired: Chain N/A 1 4 N/A
Boxing N/A 1 4 N/A
Running N/A 1 4 N/A
Gen. Athletics N/A 1 4 N/A
_______________ ??% 5 ?? ??%
_______________ ??% 5 ?? ??%
_______________ ??% 10 ?? ??%
_______________ ??% 10 ?? ??%
_______________ N/A 15 ?? N/A
_______________ N/A 15 ?? N/A

Name Count Location Description
Journal Book 1 Shoulder satchel 200 pages
Staff of Arakora 1 Weapon Necklace

~ Bio ~

A Life in Tezu

An aged Shirn sat at a table in a darkened room. The light from a single evercandle was enough to light up the table but left the corners of the room in long shadows. A brush lay next to a thick book bound in dark leather. The cover, were it to be closed, would say ‘Your Life” on it.

A couple of times the Shirn-Karya reached for the brush, only to leave it lying there instead. Finally he whispers to himself, “I must do this,” and picked up the quill and began to write. Unlike many of the young he still uses the calligraphic alphabet and not the new phonetic one.

It takes him almost ten minutes to finish the first symbol letter. He takes his time to make it perfect. After all, this will be one of the only reminders of his life after…when he is done he stares in perfection at this work: Responsibility.

The next symbol letter takes less time, not because he is rushing, but because it is simple. He’d always wondered that this item of personal realization was always the most simple letter of any sentence: Myself

Finally he began on the last of the three symbol letters that he would put on this page. He was almost done when he heard a sound behind him and turned suddenly. There was nothing there, but when he turned back there was a small smudge on his final symbol. It almost seemed to negate his meaning. He’d never seen someone negate death, and wondered if maybe, somewhere, he didn’t really agree with his choice…

He shook his head and gently blotted out the mark, then he continued until he finished his triptych. Responsibility, Myself, Death.

Or as the much more verbose people of the other races would have said, “I deserved to die.”
He lay down the brush, and put his hands in his lap as he stared at the black words on the white vellum.
He turned and picked up a packet of canvas squares from the floor beside the table where he’d lay them when he sat down. He may not have wanted to write down his life, but there were some things more important than…honor.

The entire stack was tezu. Some of them were browning at the edges, betraying their age. Some were new and almost reeked of the chemical change that the canvas went through when the magic was released.

The Shirn turned to the second page in the book and affixed the tezu. He sat there for a moment looking at the scene. A young child who could have been no older than three or four and his mother stood there in front of a small house. The snow capped mountains in the background lent beauty to the desolate scene. Compared to the palaces that he had lived in, the house was a shack, but the tezu brought the memory back to him in living color.

“Mother, what is this?”

“A te sezu e.”

“Mother, how can a picture be made without hands? I’ve watched the hours that you and father spend on your paintings. How can this…do that?”

“Child, some things are like that. The Alchemists want to make everyone’s lives easier. Sometimes, rarely, they remove a need. Years ago when they introduced their moving carriages, do you think the groomsmen were happy?”

“What is a groomsman?”

“It is a person who takes care of horses, usually in an inn.”

“There was a job for that?”

His mother smiled at him, “When all of the rich had a horse, there was need. Now there isn’t.”

“But, mother, how will you live if no one needs your pictures anymore.”

“It will be okay, son. How about we have father take our image on this te-sezu-e.”

His older self smiled down at the image of his younger self. Things were so simple then. This was his first tezu, but not his last.

The second was a bit crumpled. It showed two young Shirn-Karya arm in arm. There was a small hole in the face of the second one, likely caused by a claw or needle. The youths were smiling at the person who was capturing the tezu. The younger version of the old Shirn-Karya seemed about to say something.

He smiled at himself. He’d been just over ten years old in this picture. His best friend Ramir was there with him. The memory came flying back.

“Ramir, wait up. What has you in such a rush today?”

“There’s a new weapon on display at the armory.”

“You and your weapons,” he said with a laugh.

“Yes, me and my weapons, Anrir. You should think about them as well. There aren’t many choices for people like us. Farmer, Soldier, or Thief, and since I know you won’t be a thief…”
He laughed at Ramir and punched him lightly in the shoulder. “Neither should you. So, you think we should be soldiers?”

“I was actually thinking of going thief,” Ramir said with a smile. Anrir laughed at what he thought was a joke.

“You’ll have to save a place for me in the heishi. You’ll be there a year before me after all.”

“Welcome home, son, Ramir.”

“Hello, mother. Can I have another tezu, mother? My other is getting lonely.”

“Yes, I suppose. Here, let me take one of you and Ramir.”

The question he had asked was lost to time, but he remembered the day and he had the tezu still.

The next one was a professional tezu. It lacked the warmth that his mother had always put into her tezu. It showed a group of young Shirn standing solemnly in formation. Their uniforms were all impeccable and displayed the lack of rank insignia quite well. These were all nitohei heishi, young and stupid. It is a wonder that he even made it to be sitting here at this table.

The day of the picture wasn’t what he remembered, but he did remember something else.

“So, you finally made it,” Ramir said to him. He turned and threw his arms around his friend.

“Of course I made it. Could you see me as a farmer?”

“Yes, farmer Anrir, playing in the dirt just like we did as children.”

“You may have played in the dirt…” Anrir began when an older Rahl walked into the barracks.

“Attention!” called out one of the other nitohei.

Anrir leapt to his feet and rushed to the end of his bed. Ramir fell in beside him.

The Shirn-Rahl walked slowly down the aisle and came to a stop at the end of the room. “Welcome, Shirn. This is your first day, so I’ll not give you a hassle about your appearance, or that of your neighbor. I am Greig Taisho.”

There were whispers of ‘the mountain’ from a number of other people in the room. Greig seemed pained by their statements.

“For my sins I was made Yama, I will admit this. I have chosen to teach you young heishi. Learn from my mistakes. That is all.”

The old Rahl released them from attention and walked out as slowly as he came.

“I’m going to be Yama some day,” Anrir said quietly as soon as Greig was gone.

“Did you hear him? He feels it is a punishment.”

“Responsibility is light as a feather and heavy as a mountain. Yama is that mountain.”

“You can’t be Yama. They only pick taisho, and you’re not even shikan. Only a shikan can become a taisho. Come on, let’s go out to the tea-house. Theres a new servant girl I want you to see.”

Anrir smiled to himself as he affixed the tezu to the page. His face was as strict as the faces of the nitohei around him, but that was fine, this was a reminder of where he had come with and had hung from his office wall for years.

The next tezu was special. It was covered in a clear film to protect it, and even so, there was a slight foggyness to the image. He smiled down at the heavily made up face of the servant girl depicted there.

“My name is Anrir.”

She didn’t reply in memory or reality, but the memory came and took him away.

“Come, you must have a name.”

“I’m not supposed to speak to you,” the girl said.

“And I’m not supposed to be here, so we have something in common. We’re both breaking the rules.” She smiled at that.

“At least give me your name so that I’ll have something to remember you by.”

“I can’t. Please, stop.”

“Then let me take your tezu.”

“You would waste a tezu on me?”

“Mother said it wasn’t prepared properly and wouldn’t take a very good tezu. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Her smile was enigmatic as he said this.

“How do you want me,” she finally asked.

“Just kneel there.”

He held up the tezu and focused on her face and form. He took longer than was strictly necessary. He didn’t dare look at the tezu, fearing the result. It took a certain focus of mind to do them well, something he’d never mastered. There was a reason that he was a heishi and not a tezu artist.

“Let me see,” the girl said.

“I can’t,” Anrir replied.


“No, it is my memory. I’ll keep it hidden from the world.”

“Would you really keep me hidden?” she said with a sudden frown?”

“No, you I would place in a glass room well above the crowd, a place where you could see and be seen.”

“But it would be so lonely in my glass house.”

“Then I would have to join you in there.”

“And what would we do,” she asked, her face inches from his.

His breath caught and he couldn’t think of a thing to say she quickly snatched the tezu from his slack grasp and moved away.

“Hey, that’s mine.”

“But it’s of…oh. wow.” Her face showed awe to it.

“Is it that bad?”

“No, that good, look.”

Anrir looked at the tezu and just stared. Never before had he been able to make a tezu that looked this good. The milky fog over it showed that the preparation was sub par, as his mother had thought. The image was outstanding.


“What?” he said a little dazed.

“My name.”

He smiled down at the image. She’d never let him take another. As she grew older, she always felt that she was never as pretty as that one moment on that one day. She had always been beautiful in his eyes.

The next tezu was one of the few that had ever been taken of Greig. He was bent over a map, pointing at the warehouse they were about to raid. Anrir had stood to one side, taking the time to capture the image. The other men in the Tako that Greig had requested looked at him a little in awe.

Anrir knew the man under the Yama.

“Grieg Taisho, are you sure that is the entrance that we should be going through,” Anrir asked as soon as the tezu was done.

“Do you have another suggestion, gocho?”

Anrir looked at the map and then pushed it aside. He began searching through the papers on the table, seeking the one that he needed. It was a city resource map. It was at the bottom of the stack because few were the heishi who would willingly admit to subterfuge. Many shikan suffered from the same limitation.

“We go in through here,” Anrir said pointing at a mark just to the side of the bay. The warehouse sat on the water and the outlet of one of the city’s storm drains ran under it.
The nitohei and jotohei under his command began to laugh.

The Yama just got a thoughtful look on his face. “Why should we come in through here?”
“The Nami always does things the honorable way. We polish our armor and shine our swords and then we charge in through the front door, no offence Greig Taisho.”

“None taken, Anrir Gocho. But that doesn’t answer why coming in through the front door is a bad idea.”

“The criminals in this building know that we do things honorably, by which I mean predictably. All they need are a couple of those repeating crossbows and they can have four or five men hold off the fifty of us.”

“Are you suggesting we not take the honorable route into the warehouse?”

“Nothing of the sort. I am suggesting there is more than one way to be honorable. Removing a threat to the citizens is honorable, even if we are sneaky when we do it.”

“Your shikan would not agree, Anrir Gocho.”

“My shikan is not here, Greig Taisho. If he were I would have accepted his order and did my best to bring my men back home alive. You, however, are known to sometimes be unconventional.”
“Usually, people say that like it’s a swear word.”

“I know better. No all things should be done in the conventional manner. Otherwise we would still have groomsmen.”

Grieg looked at Anrir appraisingly for a moment and then nodded. “We go in through the sea entrance.”

The next one was another professional tezu. It showed Anrir in the uniform of a shoi. He smiled down at himself. The people jibing him as he spent the four years of training among people who were up to ten years younger than he was. He survived, though, and he was commissioned as a shikan.

The next tezu, though, made him more happy. It showed Amana hugging him, rumpling his uniform.


“Oh, hush, Anrir. This moment is your wife’s as much as it is yours.”

“Yes, Mother.” Anrir said with a smile.

“Anrir, you should show me even a tenth of the respect you show your mother.”

“Of course, my dove, I should.” Anrir said with a small, controlled smile and Amana seemed to melt a little.

“My son, the taisho.”

“I’m not a taisho yet, mother.”

“But you did say ‘yet’,” Amana said with asperity.

“We’ll see,” Anrir said with a smile. “They’re throwing a party for the graduates today,” he continued, “and considering many of them just recently hit their majority this could be a sight to see.”

“Anril,” Amana began.

“My dove, please, don’t worry about me. I’ll not stay out late, and I myself won’t be drinking. I’m a responsible Shikan now after all.”

Carefully he affixed this tezu to the page. This one was special. It was a moment of unbridled joy.

At first glance the next tezu was very amateur. He sat there for a moment looking at it, seeing again for the first time the blurred flags of his rope spear. In practice he had always used a blue and a green flag. On the battlefield they’d both been red.

As you continued to study the tezu, you realized the blurring was intentional. His face was in focus, but there was a slight blurring of the world around him. It was almost as if you could see the focus that he was putting into his spear work.

“You’re amazing,” the voice from his past called out to him.

“I am just dedicated. The rope spear is a tool of finesse and training, not brute force like a sword or meteor hammer.”

“But isn’t it just a meteor hammer with pointy ends?”

“Next you’ll be saying that a mace is just a nunchaku, or a spear is just a really long sword. Each weapon that you pick up is an extension of your will. Each and every weapon has it’s own way of translating that will.”

Anril coiled his rope spear as he walked over to the weapon’s rack and lay his rope spear beside it. He took out a long straight sword and began to move through the katas.

“This is a thing of straightforward destruction. See the edges and points. Both can be used to devastate your foe. It is also a weapon of finesse, but not in the same way as the rope spear. It limits all of your attacks to a straight line.”

Anril finished up his last kata and returned the sword to the rack. He pulled down a meteor hammer next.

“This is a weapon without finesse. It is two leaden weights. See how every strike arcs downward at the end. This weapon wants to hurl to the earth and stay there. Yes, it has many of the properties of the rope dart, but it loses out in some of the rope dart’s flexibility. The chain also changes the properties that the rope dart seeks to keep.”

Anril again finished his katas and returned the meteor hammer to its rack. He retrieve his rope spear. After using the other two weapons there were some obvious similarities to the two, but it seemed a melding of the forms.

“The rope dart has the edge and point of the sword, the range of the meteor hammer, and a style all it’s own. It is subtle and direct at the same time. You can slash, pierce, or entangle your opponent as the situation requires.”

“Kind of like you, Anrir Taii?”

“Something like me, yes, Shoi, a little like me.”

Anrir had some tears in his eyes. That was the last teaching moment he’d had with the young shoi. What was his name? So many died over the years. So many lost to a meaningless conflict with evil.

Anrir shook his head and pounded his fist into the table. It was only himself there in that quiet dark room, but he would not allow even himself at this moment, this end, to think less of them.

It is true that evil continues to live, and that rooting it out is a thing of lifetimes, but the only way for it to win is for people like that nameless shoi to have never tried in the first place.

Anrir smiled at his thoughts. It was time to regain some of the flexibility of the rope dart he so loved.

The next tezu was torn, but he remembered who had been in the other half. The damage was from the same time as the second image that he’d put into the book. It was a moment when everything seemed to change.

“A shosa, my friend is a shosa,” Ramir said with a tooth baring grin.

“I am what I seek to be,” Anrir said, quoting the Path.

Ramir laughed at this and Anrir grinned at him.

“Hold still you two,” Amana said from the other side of the room, “you know how hard it is for me to hold your images long enough to use one of these things.”

“Sorry, my dove, I’ll be still.”

“Like you could ever stop moving,” Ramir whispered to him without moving his lips. Anrir elbowed him in the ribs.

“There, all done, although I’m not sure about the quality.”

Anrir took it and kissed his wife on the cheek, “it is always good enough, dearest. Now, apparently my old friend has some work for me to do.”

“I know when I’m dismissed,” Amana said with a flick of her tail as she sashayed out the door.
“How did you get so lucky? You know all the heishi on the base were pursuing her.”

“They should have tried wooing her instead.”

“You always were one to try the indirect approach,” Ramir said with another of his grins.

“How can I do for you, Ramir.”

“It’s not so much what you can do, as what you shouldn’t, if you get my meaning.”

“I don’t, Ramir.”

“There are some people I work with that would appreciate you looking the other way tonight.”

Anrir looked hard at his friend, “I have been hearing murmurs of this Kanashime no Kage, but I never imagined I was this close to the shadow this entire time.”

Ramir grinned at Anrir. Ramir didn’t see the pain hiding in his friend’s eyes.

“I knew you could see things my way,” Ramir said.

“Oh, I never said that, Ramir. Mine is the Path of Virtue.”

“But, Anrir.”

“No, Ramir. My job is to protect. I will not give up my Path even for you, old friend.”

Ramir glanced in the direction that Amana had gone in. “It could be dangerous…” he began, but he never got the chance to finish.

“You do not threaten me,” Anrir said, suddenly furious. He lifted Ramir up by the front of his uniform and threw in through the window and into the street. Anrir leapt through the window and onto Ramir and began to pummel him. With each hit he said another word, “You will not ever threaten me or mine again.”

Anrir left Ramir bloodied lying in the street.

The older Anrir sat thoughtful for a moment or two. The choices one makes in life are a tangled web. That moment was a turning point in his life. He went after the Kage with a vengeance from that point forward. He told himself in the beginning that it was to safeguard Amana, but with how everything turned out he had to tell himself the truth: he went after them because they were anathema to him. They were the opposite of the Path he had chosen in life.
The memories became a goodbye after that. Each image he placed was one more friend he had lost, one more life covered in shadow. He affixed each of the images in turn. His children and grandchildren had their pages. Thankfully they chose to live far from his home village, otherwise…

That didn’t bear thinking on.

There was the image of when he was promoted to Taisho, and the one where he was made Yama. It wasn’t until that moment, that he realized why Greig had considered it a curse all those years before.

Then there was the day he returned to the village of his youth. Each moment had been his fight between the shadow and the light.

The last image was his last view of his wife. The image was grainy and seemed almost unfinished. It was what commonly happened when you tried to make a tezu of a memory.
That memory had kept him warm as he marched the Nami down the mountain to meet the Kage where they were encamped. It had saved him when he drew his rope spear and lay into the bandits. It had cheered him as he marched back up the mountain with the Nami behind him. He hadn’t lost a single man that day, and he thought this day could be no better.

The sight of the snow covered village had sent a chill through his heart. He had taken every one of the able youths from the village to take on the Kanashime no Kage who had been hiding, poorly, at the foot of the mountain.

That first sight, of the cold dead village, had killed something in his heart. The other men helped to dig out all of the homes, but it was too late. There were no survivors. Logically he knew that there would have been nothing that they could have done to fix this, but emotionally it wasn’t that simple.

He had walked to Shirnairu as soon as he collected up the few possessions he had and given them to the other survivors..

“Where is the rune smith,” he asked as soon as he reached the gate of the city.

“Who are you…” Began the Jotohei

“Are you a nitohei? That’s Marrin Anrir Yama.” The young gocho at the gate said. “Anrir Yama, simply follow this road until you find the large wooden gate on the left hand side.”
Anrir thanked the Shirn and began walking. His ragged appearance caused remarks from those around him, but he was beyond caring. The gate came into view and he walked up to it and opened it. The gate was over ten feet tall and just as wide. As it opened he noticed it was a foot thick. The iron bindings glowed with runes as did a number of the rocks in the wall to either side of the gate.

Shirnairu sounded like every other city that Anrir had ever lived in. There were the sounds of horns from the palanquins and the conversations, and arguments, of thousands of people.
Those sounds cut off like a knife the moment the gate closed. The wall was tall enough that he couldn’t even tell he was in a city from where he stood. Sure, if he were far enough in, he would see the tops of the towers for the taller buildings, but the sounds were only those of the woodlands. He heard the sounds of songbirds and insects, his friends during the days of travel to Shirnairu.

The effect was calming. It was like the largest reflection garden he had ever been in. The effect was calming and a balm to his tortured soul. The walk was longer than he would have expected, and realized that this wall enclosed square miles of the city. Eventually a manor came into view. The style was not just old, but ancient. It had been millenia since the Shirn had built on a single floor like this.

As he approached a young, short, Shirn-Lulhi female came out to greet him. Her traditional robes matched the steel-grey color of her eyes. “Welcome to my home,” she said with a smile. “My name is Ji-Hyur.”

“You’re the rune smith?” Anrir said, shocked.

“Not what you expected?” she said with a slight grin.

“I expected someone male, and taller, and older.”

“I am around 9000 years old,” she said with a touch of asperity to her voice.

“I meant no offense, Great One.”

“My, but where did you come from. It’s been centuries since someone actually treated me with the proper respect their elders deserve. Well, come inside and explain who you are and what you expect me to do for you.”

The Shirn-Lulhi reminded him a lot of Amana in her actions, but she was way too old for him, and his grief was still too raw.

As he sat there, thinking of this event only months in the past, he realized he was done. He closed the book, put out the evercandle and walked into Ji-Hyur’s workshop.

The first thing I remember is the room. It was a mall space, barely larger than the simple pallet I was lying on. As if by reflex I fumbled slightly in the dark and lit an evercandle on the table beside me. My eyes were drawn toward a beautiful weapon in golden metal. It seemed to be two spear heads connected by a fine linked chain. There were four rings on each of the spear heads. The last ring on each was connected to the chain. The moment I picked it up, I knew it was a part of me, and I was a part of it. This weapon, somehow, was an extension of who, or what, I was.

The next thing I noticed was a thick vellum book on the table next to the ever candle. I picked it up and fingered the tooled leather cover, touching the embossed letters. The innocuous message ‘your life’ stared up at me in gold leaf.

Reverently I opened the book only to find that message, the message that will haunt me until the day I cease to exist, “I deserved to die.”

tezu filled the pages after that first enigmatic phrase, but there were no more words, and only hints of my life before that moment. I could see my face smiling or scowling up from those images. I could see myself using a weapon not too different from the one that was now a part of me. All that were missing were the green and blue flags. I’ve often wondered why I would have chosen those colors, as blood seems to stand out readily on them, and it is truly hard to clean them of the stains.

I try to catch glimpses of the person I was before, to understand this penance that I am under, but I fail time and time again. Some day I hope that I will find someone that can shed light on this. The two hundred years I took to form my body seem to have stamped closed on that.

I will keep these tezu close to me, and maybe someday, someone, somewhere, will be able to tell me who this Anrir Taisho was that condemned me to death.