6: Swodynnanran

Profile

Swodynnanran is a 36 year old pulnagá male who stands 6′ and weighs 170 lbs. Tall, thin, and striking in appearance, he is known as a powerful and strange practitioner of magic, an Urnaki Conjurer of the Fourth Order. Swodynnanran has a handsome, symmetrical countenance, with think, kahlnissá-textured hair along his face and neck that he lets grow quite long, braiding in artful strands and adorns with beads and bone charms. He speaks Uskelian with a slow drawl, indicative of the Bosenite influence among the Pale Spires. He is a very charismatic person with an edge of danger about him, as if he is always close to losing his composure; most who meet him are drawn to him, but often feel compelled not to anger him or say the wrong thing. From poor and humble beginnings, he is now infamous between Sunswallow and Mahrkonat as being capable of powerful sorcery. He revels in this recognition, flaunting his power where it serves him; those who recognize Swodynnanran often fear or envy him his magical gifts. His mysterious bone belt buckle, which glows slightly blue in the moonlight, is often a source of whispers.

Background

Swodynnanran hails from the poor village of Dar’wor, some forty miles south of Sunswallow Bay, deep in the Pale Spires of Reviak. Dar’wor is an isolated mining village with a meager population that teeters on the ledge of poverty. The only elements of society that the citizens of Dar’wor value more than the function of the mines is their duty to the gods and to the local Chapel of Reast. Life is simple in Dar’wor but it demands a strict mold. Citizens must be pious, and they must do their duty to the gods, to family, and to their community. Swodynnanran’s early childhood is an example of how little tolerance Dar’wor’s citizens have for anyone who deviates from their duties. This strict and obstinate judgment of one’s social action instilled in Swodynnanran a sense of rebellion against–even a deconstruction of–all strict moral obligations.

Swodynnanran never knew his father. The man was a kahlnissá from the north country, a traveler who happened upon Dar’wor looking for work in the mines. He met Liduru Panuliska, Swodynnanran’s mother, and fell hopelessly in love. Liduru was already bound in an arranged married to another miner in the town, but she was destitute and unhappy, often forced to beg to supplement the income her husband squandered on drink. The decree of the temple priests allowed no recourse for Liduru to leave her marriage. Thus, she met with Swodynnanran’s father in secret. When she realized she was with child, she told her husband that the child was not his, and he angrily took the news to the temple. Liduru was imprisoned, and according to Dar’wor law, Swodynnanran’s father was to be banished from the village after the birth of his children. Seven months later, to everyone’s surprise, Liduru gave birth to triplets–two females and a male. The temple deemed that the infants were born of infidelity, which meant that the parents were unfit to raise them. The temple called on Liduru’s family to ask if anyone would willingly foster the pulnagá babies. Luckily, Liduru had a large extended family, and while most were poor, several volunteered to raise the children as their own.

Life was not easy for pulnagá children in a superstitious human village. Swodynnanran’s earliest memories were of the Dar’wor Guard forcing his kahlnissá father to leave at spear point, though he cannot remember what the man’s face looked like. His whole life, Swodynnanran suffered the ridicule of superstition, and was regularly whipped for crimes he did not commit. But rather than be beaten down, he reveled in being different and causing fear and confusion in others simply by being born a pulnagá. He was close to his sisters for the first seven years of his life, until their foster family moved to Sunswallow leaving him in Dar’wor. It was after that time that his life became more difficult. From age seven to seventeen, he spent most days in the streets, working as an ore counter and begging on the side. A curious miner named Warnius took interest in Swodynnanran, noticing the young man had an aptitude for ore counting and inspection. Warnius told stories of an elusive group of wizards deep in the Pale Spires called the Urnaki Order. Warnius was one of the only people in Dar’wor who treated Swodynnanran like a person, and so the lad was captivated by the Urnaki and the power they wielded. By the time he was 19, Swodynnanran set out to find them.

The Order allowed Swodynnanran to volunteer with them for two years until finally a Magus took the young pulnagá as his ward. There Swodynnanran honed his knowledge and experience with components and all manner of elements, discovering his incredible potential as a conjurer. Swodynnanran graduated his apprenticeship and joined the Urnaki Fourth Order, an Order of wizards who serve Sunswallow Bay. Each member of an Urnaki Order must serve for ten years before they are given leave to wear the crest of the Urnaki and pursue their own interests. Swodynnanran’s service earned him a distinctive reputation in Sunswallow Bay as being a spiteful man and a powerful and frightening magician, which brought depth and prominence to the Urnaki name.

On a fateful day during the summer harvests in the east of the Pale Spires, Swodynnanran led his first expedition as an Urnaki Free Agent to travel to a nearby Torlish ruin where he would record and decipher the ancient script on a marker stone. His squire and traveling scholar each came along expectantly, having heard of Swodynnanran’s reputation as a powerful Conjurer. As they approached the marker stone, the scholar gasped when a radiant blue light began to glow at its center. Swodynnanran approached the stone and grasped the light; it was emanating from a crescent-shaped bone trinket that bore an ice blue stone at its center. The stone called out into Swodynnanran’s imagination as if it was his birthright. The conjurer pulled back on the trinket and it released from the marker stone which began to glow so intensely that the squire ran in fear and the scholar had to shield his eyes. Seconds later, the day’s light bent and rippled around Swodynnanran like heat from the Spires, and he disappeared from the ruin. His followers cried out and fled the ruin, rushing back to Sunswallow to tell others what had happened.

In a moment of blinking, Swodynnanran found himself standing on Bark Rock, a large jagged stone that forms the inner-most rise of the Teeth of Sulas in the Balendian Channel. The rock is only a surface of roughly twenty feet by fifteen feet that juts out of the water. Swodynnanran felt invigorated and powerful still holding the trinket. He fastened it to the center of his belt where it still glows to this day. After casting bolts of lightning like a storm on the rock, he was able to get the attention of a passing fishing boat whose crew offered him passage to Mahrkonat.

Stories of his disappearance echo from Sunswallow to Dar’wor, but Swodynnanran is plenty used to whispers. As an Urnaki Conjurer, he is free to pursue adventure wherever he wishes.

006-Swodynnanran

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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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