17: “Red” Kehonun

17: “Red” Kehonun

Profile

“Red” Kehonun is a 26 year old Djenndan female, a militia leader from the free hamlets of east Reviak. She is a massive and powerful fighter, standing 7’8″ tall and 372 lbs. formed of dense muscle. Despite her size, she still manages to move quickly, though imprecisely at times. A keen military strategist, Kehonun had hoped to one day become a general in the Reviak Guard, but after a nearly fatal battle with slavers in the mines of Awara, Kehonun lost her eligibility for the Guard. Still able to fight, she decided to travel north to pursue adventure.

Background

Kehonun was born in a small hamlet of just over one hundred citizens in the eastern forested steppes of the Reviak province. The people of the hamlet call themselves the “Ged’kaged,” a group of mostly Djenndan emigrants from the far west who traveled to the east to seek a free, independent life outside the direct influence of the politics of the Empire. The Djenndani commune consists of many families who raise their children together as a community. Their kinship recognizes siblings and direct parents like many standard Djenndani cultures in the west, but rather than living under a patriarchal clanship system, the Ged’kaged value egalitarianism. There is no elder, father head, or clan leader among their group. Kehonun, her two sisters Rannda and Chendji, and any of the children in the hamlet are taught to respect each of the adults in the community equally, a privilege extended to them when they also came of age. Their community is one that lives apart from the rules of mainstream society.

Many years ago, a scholar from the Djenndan Protectorate named Ged had an epiphany. The politic to which he had dedicated his life served only to use that life for its own benefit. Who he was as a person was lost in a sea of anonymity and misappropriation. Most people live their lives believing that the sea of anonymity that is society is the world. Ged looked around him and saw nameless paupers on city streets and countless statues of the heroes of the Empire lining city buildings and saw no difference between them. Each member of society lacked the deeper awareness of their place in the greater universe. Knowledge and discovery was the key to broadening their awareness, and for Ged this awareness was the only key to achieve a meaningful life. Without knowledge, discovery, and constant re-discovery, people fall victim to belief. Belief is that which gives rise to dangerous action.

And so Ged and many of his friends and acolytes decided to leave the west and head to the steppes of Reviak, a fairly isolated part of the Empire, and one where they found land freely available to make a new life for themselves not beholden to province or regent law. over the years, many others joined their group, aware that the charge was not an escape, but rather a duty to expand awareness and raise new generations of youth who were taught to peel back the illusions of fervent belief and question everything.

But the Ged’kaged do not operate as a cult or an isolationist group. They live apart from the Empire’s politic, but they remain connected to the everyday affairs and people come and go freely from the hamlet. Children raised there have humble provisions, but are happy and freely encouraged to pursue a life either continuing to work in the hamlet, or travel the world and work among it, never losing the will to question their surroundings and expand their awareness. It was in this open environment that Kehonun grew, challenged her mind and body, and became a thoughtful tactician.

Kehonun served her community as a respected farmer until she was twenty years old, after which she was encouraged by Chendji to follow her curiosity and pursue a charge in the Reviak Guard. Clearly Kehonun’s size, strength, and tactful mind would be an important and welcome addition to the Guard, and Kehonun could do a lot of good for the people of the province using the power of that office to help others. So she left to pursue a charge, quickly taking up with a south camp militia.

To join the Reviak Guard–which is a lifelong commitment to a sacred office protecting the people of the province–one must first gain experience in many Guard-supported militias within Reviak’s borders. Kehonun was drawn toward the Purple Hills, west and south of where she grew up, since she knew the mines within the Hills were an area notorious for slavery and indentured servitude. Within a year of joining a Hills Guard militia, Kehonun had earned the nickname “Red,” either for the color of her hairs in the glow of the Purple Hills, or for the way she seemed always to become coated in blood during a brigand or slaver raid.

After three years of working in the militias, “Red” was promoted to leader of her militia’s squad, and showed an impressive aptitude for tactics, even building elaborate traps for enemies. She oversaw the disbanding of five slave mines in the south Hills, their slaves free to return home or make a new life in the nearby Borderlands. Some slaves even made their way to Ged’kaged, inspired by Kehonun’s stories of the hamlet commune where she was raised. She seemed to be rising quickly in rank and respect, and soon expected she could petition for a charge in the Guard. She hoped to one day become a General.

During her sixth year she led her militia into the Mines of Awara, which seemed more like a dungeon than a mine. The walls of the cavern were hauntingly bizarre, glowing black purple glass rock that echoed sound in a strange way. It was unlike any of the slaver raids they had made in the past. The mercenaries who had claimed the Mines of Awara trapped Kehonun’s group inside, forcing the militia to seek another exit to free the dozens of slave miners they found within.

Red led the group to a corridor where water was trickling like a small brook. Thinking it must lead somewhere, she followed the stream until it opened into a large cavern with a shallow lake as its floor. Mercenaries emerged from the sides of the cavern, surrounding the militia, and fighting broke out. A peculiar, robed man chanting some foul, Uskelian religiosity, approached Kehonun with a terrifying, barbed-blade dagger made of bone and crystal. The dagger had a radiant glow, like a wizard’s amulet. The robed man engaged Kehonun, dodging her strikes while slashing and stabbing at her with the barbed bone. Finally, Kehonun made contact with the weird Uskelian, and as he sank splashing to his knees he stabbed Kehonun fiercely in the hip.

The wound was excruciatingly painful, and caused her to howl and crash into the water. The dagger seemed to surge and throb with each second, and as the battle ensued around Kehonun, she slipped into oblivion. The battle raged on for several minutes until her militiamen all fell beside her. The remaining mercenaries captured the slaves and fled the mines. What could have been hours or even days later, Kehonun woke painfully from her unconsciousness for a few moments, long enough to see a small, kahlnissá with a long beard remove the blade from her hip and pack her wound with some pungent tree bark paste. She drifted asleep. She finally awoke again days later in Brookweave, a hamlet near the Mines of Awara. It took her several months to fully recover from her wound, and now she walks with a noticeable, asynchronous gait.

Kehonun found her Guard officer and explained what had happened. There she sadly discovered that her injury precluded her from joining the Guard as a lifelong charge. She collected her pay for the job, turned in her armor, and made her way to Reviak City to decide what to do next. It seemed she was suited to the life of a fighter, but her days pursuing the Guard were done. And that bone dagger was used in some kind of ritual on her. Who were those Uskelians who wielded pale stone in such a way? She needed to explore answers to her questions.

004-Kehonun

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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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