3: Kai-Shan the Battle-Ready

Profile

Kai-Shan is a 25 year old Djenndan female who stands 7’6″ and weighs 334 lbs. She is a tough, battle-tested healer who has served her clan well. From the age of 14 she traveled with the warriors of her clan, learning how to save lives and prepare healing provisions. After a strange run-in with some mysterious crystals, Kai-Shan found herself in Vordigar City, unsure how she arrived. After finding her way back home, she left with her clan’s blessing to pursue adventure. Kai-Shan has a funny habit of always repeating the last word others speak. She moves slowly and with determination, which has earned her respect as a patient Djenndan. She speaks Alldedan, and though she understands the common tongue well enough, she speaks it with a heavy accent and in a broken fashion.

Background

Kai-Shan was born in Noru’ak, a beautiful town surrounded by high lakes, heavy forests, and waterfalls located in the northern craglands of New Scorth. The landscape sees few tourists or pilgrims from further east in the Empire, but the surrounding hills and valleys make an unfortunate nest for freeriders and brigands who live outside the law as raiders of the crag hamlets of the province. Despite Noru’ak’s relatively small population, a disproportionately high number of Djenndan and humans from the town are veterans of the War of the Forklands. Nearly everyone in the town proper either fought in the war, or knows someone who lost a family member to the senseless violence. In the decades that followed the war, the warriors of Noru’ak continue to protect the interests of the province by fighting outlaws wherever they congregate.

Kai-Shan’s clan, the Che’Ror, is a large extended family of veterans and enforcers who are widely respected in Noru’ak. The youngest of five children sired by Shulkahl-Go, Kai-Shan showed early promise as a perceptive and patient thinker, though the complex functions of math and languages felt way too complex for her. She fought and brawled during the Yarraved annual games with the best of the Che’Ror, but despite their popularity heavy weapons felt far too awkward for her. Where she felt most at home was in knowing how to read a tense situation during battle and provide the necessary support to keep people alive and fighting.

She discovered her true gifts during a Noru’ak brigand raid one summer when she was only 14 years old. Shulkahl-Go led several local warriors north of town to Black Lake Falls, including her two brothers, Gorund and Kendjai-Go, and her two sisters, Kai-Djoi and Nak-Kai-Hanak. Kai-Shan followed the warriors into Water’s-Edge Grotto where they found nearly forty brigands and a herd of stolen bison. Shulkahl-Go led the charge, and the cries of the Che’Ror Djenndan echoed through the valley, the clanging of swords, axes, and shields shimmered across the dark waters of the lake.

Kai-Shan had a standard blade, but it was unwieldy and she was soon disarmed. Seeing her sister in peril, Nak-Kai-Hanak rushed to kill the brigand. In the midst of thanking her sister, Kai-Shan watched Nak-Kai-Hanak take an arrow straight through her shoulder. Nak-Kai-Hanak roared in pain, falling to her knees. A calm came over Kai-Shan, and she tore threads from her Che’Ror cloak. Then, breaking the head from the arrow, she quickly drew the shaft from Nak-Kai-Hanak’s wound and drove the thread bandages in place, tying them down with immense pressure. Within moments her sister’s wound stopped its bleeding, and she returned to battle. Surveying the battlefield, Kai-Shan could see other wounded warriors and rushed to their aid. While there were many injuries that day, because of Kai-Shan’s efforts no Che’Ror died. What’s more is that when the battle was over, Kai-Shan picked some local mushrooms and nuts and made an incredible meal that brought the warriors together, improving their morale and their vitality.

Shulkahl-Go was amazed, claiming that it is a rare gift to have both a cool head and an ability to heal during battle. Kai-Shan learned some tricks from the local poultice master, and over the next decade she kept the Che’Ror alive during battles and skirmishes in the surrounding crags. But the heroic event that earned her the nickname “Hero of Noru’ak” was during the Battle of Ice River when Kai-Shan stood for the Che’Ror and saved the town chief from succumbing to his wounds. When the battle came to a head, the Rock Lords of Ice River were hurling boulders that crushed the Noru’ak warriors, and one such rock fell on Chief Udje, breaking his bones nearly tearing off his arm. Kai-Shan managed to address the chief’s wounds and ingeniously used the cold waters of the river to help soothe his pain while also healing other fallen warriors of the battle. She later set the chief’s bones allowing him to make a full recovery. He honored Kai-Shan and the Che’Ror clan, establishing them as the protectors of Noru’ak.

A year later during a routine raid to remove brigands near the south fields, Kai-Shan was gathering water in a pond nearby when she saw something shimmering near the bottom. Seeing that the Noru’ak warriors had things well in hand, she removed her outer robes and dove into the waters. It felt like she was being coaxed toward the crystals, the radiant glow inviting her to bring them close, as if they were being reunited after a long separation. She grabbed the crystals and felt immediately calm and cold as her feet touched the bottom of the pond. She closed her eyes and seemed to rest for a moment, unsure of where she was. She opened her eyes again moments later as she felt the water quickly rush away from her, making a slapping noise as its splashed to the stone ground. Suddenly, she was standing in a strange city in front of an elaborate fountain. People were staring at her, drenched, holding her crystals.

It took Kai-Shan several moments of struggling to find someone to speak Alldedan. She had never heard the common tongue so much before in her life, and had only ever learned a few of the words. She found a Djenndan at a local merchant’s hut who explained that she was in Vordigar City, the capital of New Scorth, many miles away from Noru’ak. She had no idea how that was possible. Yet, there she was. She asked the merchant where she might find work or charity, as she was alone, without clothes, and with no coin. The merchant offered to provide Kai-Shan with an outfit of weather-appropriate clothes in exchange for help carrying his goods across town. A while later, Kai-Shan began hiking back toward Noru’ak.

She arrived just over a week later wearing her city clothes and carrying a satchel she fastened together from thatch vine full of gathered provisions and a gnarly walking stick. Shulkahl-Go greeted Kai-Shan and the family was happy to see her. She told her father of the pale crystals and the strange experience, but it seemed difficult to believe. After collecting her earnings from the south fields raid, she decided to outfit herself for adventure. Kai-Shan had a special lamellar style armor made like the kind her father likes to wear. She fashioned a thick, collar-like necklace for her pale stone crystals that rests beneath a dark Che’Ror cloak. She left her battlehealing practices to her apprentice, her brother Gorund, and said her farewells, promising to come back to visit someday soon.

003-Kai-Shan

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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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