12: The Chessuri Sniper, Nuwandan Yishante

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Nuwandan Yishante is a Chessuri Brush Sniper from the grasslands of Wendajii. He is just over six feet tall, and is a thinly 166 lbs; he appears almost skeletal dressed in his Chessuri bone armor. A strange and savage animal attack left Yishante’s entire foster family dead and him maimed. His scars left him deeply disfigured, which contributes to his off-putting personality. Yishante’s village of Ashlanyad recorded that the animals who attacked were blood bats, but Yishante remembers it differently in his nightmares. The only people who have believed his version of the story are the Chessuri, a militia of young men who vow to protect the Empire from the spawn of Maros, the creatures of death. Yishante lived among the Chessuri for thirteen years hunting the things that killed his family. After an encounter with the legendary substance known as pale stone, Yishante now thinks the monsters who attacked him might also be puppets of that dangerous material.

Background

In the vast province of Wendajii, many small villages pepper the landscape throughout the northern brush savannas, mostly of herding and hunting communities who tend to be removed from the resources available in the larger cities of the Empire. But many young people in small villages, like Yishante’s village of Ashlanyad, are sent to households of neighbors or extended family members in order to allow their children to have an education and more opportunities than the life of a herder. It was in one such foster house where Yishante spent ages ten through sixteen, where he earned the scholar’s namesake, Nuwandan.

Yishante and his three siblings fostered with Nuwandan Upoku and her two husbands, where they learned of the stories of the Empire, of common math, of diplomacy, of tactics, and mastery of rhetoric. Despite their remote location, the education that they received was far better than what most are able to find elsewhere in the Empire, and Yishante spent his days inquisitively dreaming about what he might do when he came of age. Most Nuwandan fosters grow to become diplomats or scribes, but Yishante found that he also had an aptitude for finesse, for manipulating small instruments and working parts, and imagined it might be fun to become a surgeon one day.

In his sixteenth year, Yishante and his siblings were working well past dark in the Nuwandan scriptorum copying scrolls with their quills. Yishante heard a scream and a commotion from the front of their lodge and went to peer through the leathers. He saw a horrific figure, much like a man but also far different, standing over Nuwandan Upoku, his monster-like teeth tearing into the flesh of her neck. It growled and slurped as it attacked Yishante’s foster mother, finally dropping her body atop her two husbands who already rested on the floor, torn and bloody. Yishante cried out in protest, commanding the creature to leave, but it rushed at him and began clawing and biting, furiously destroying the scriptorum. Yishante was attacked. When he finally woke days later, his whole family was dead and his face and neck were mauled and disfigured.

The local authority said it was an animal attack. Some people claimed coyotes, but when Yishante said it was a man who did this, people changed their story to say it was a large blood bat. For a year as Yishante recovered from his wounds, people continued to mourn the tragedy, but after that time life began to return to normal for the villagers of Ashlanyad. Yishante’s version of the story had been dismissed over time, but he never forgot what he saw. When rumor spread to a nearby city of the attacks that befell the village in the north of the province, three guilded militia men traveled to Ashlanyad to speak with Yishante. They wanted to hear his story and offer him guidance.

When Yishante had told the group of his plight, they told him they are from the guild of the Chessuri, fighters of evil who believe there are monstrous creatures of Maros who roam our world and must be killed to protect normal people in the Empire. The story of the Chessuri gave Yishante hope; for the first time people believed what he had seen that night. The militia men offered Yishante a place among their guild. He agreed, hopeful that they would help him find the thing that killed his family.

Yishante spent thirteen years training and working among the Chessuri, discovering his aptitude for missile weapons, especially the crossbow. He and other members of his guild buried dozens of creatures for the Chessuri cause, and Yishante began to believe that in north Wendajii there is a strange cult of cursed creatures who prey on the blood and guts of civilized men. Yishante still considers himself a member of the Chessuri, but a chance encounter with the Empire’s most legendary and dangerous substance left him almost responsible for the lives of his guild mates. Fearing that he would be the death of those he was sworn to protect, just as he failed to protect his family from the monsters that took them, he decided to spend time adventuring on his own, working odd jobs with other adventurers who would have him.

012-Yishante

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Fractalform is the gaming handle of Bret Woods--ethnomediologist, author, and lead developer of Augur's Lore RPGs. Bret is Thing 1 at http://descrypt-studios.com.

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