Campaign of the Month: April 2012
Ashada Mind Mage, Follower of Apis
Complete character sheet is Here.
Ja’Deir is a six foot tall Ashada with iron-solid, wiry muscles. He looks more frail than an elf at a distance, due to his weight and height, and due to the fur hiding his muscle tone. His eyes are bright, with a permanent twinkle in his eye, and a smile never leaves his face. His body is covered from head to toe by chestnut fur. His arms and sides are connected by a membrane of skin from his elbows to his waist that hangs loose until the tendons are constricted, allowing him to glide. His eyes are a rare light green. He travels wearing a hooded cloak, and loose pants that allow for free, unrestricted movement. He carries no weapon, but he has no need of physical crutches of that sort.
Ja’Deir sat up on the musty mattress in his room at the ‘Hobbled Gelding.’ He rubbed the sleep from his eyes that had accumulated during his meditation, and crossed the room to the tarnished wash stand and rippled mirror in the corner next to the dresser. The water was frigid, but he barely noticed through the fur covering his face. He washed away the night, and dried off with the greying towel hanging off the side.
As he pulled away the towel, his eyes fell on the scar marring his otherwise perfect muzzle. It traced from the top of his nose to just below his right eye, and was just visible through the fur this close. His mind flew to memories of Xarys, his homeland that almost felt imaginary to him now. He replaced the towel, and stepped into the center of the room, though it barely had room for the washstand, bed, and tiny wardrobe. It was just enough space to walk, and do some stretches. Luckily that’s all he needed to practice his morning ritual of mudras and mantras. As he purified his body and soul, his mind went through the memories he kicked up.
Xarys is a paradise city-nation of the Ashada in the northern mountainous regions of the Land of the Damned, or so he supposed. Ja’Deir’s memory of Xarys was spotty, with large gaps where the location or defensive information was concerned. For most people it wouldn’t mean much, but for someone with a perfect memory like Ja’Deir the absence of memory was accentuated.
For this reason – and that he’s never been able to find proof that Xarys exists, or that was ever there, except for his memory of the place, and his absence of any other memory of existence before he woke up in the Northern Hinterlands five years prior – he doubts the truth of it. It could be either a contrivance of his imagination or planted by another Mind Mage far more powerful than he’s ever seen; there is just too much absence of proof either way to prove it fact or fable.
His memories of his life at Xarys have been a source of comfort and dreams during the last few years of his life. He regularly travelled the memorial pathways before and after meditating, while the world was sleeping, especially today, which is his birthday, or at least he thinks it is; the 29th of Kym-Nark-Mar.
Ja’Dier remembered being born to loving Ashada parents, in a city full of tall buildings and wide avenues. The flora that would never have grown outside the valley flourished, making it an emerald in the snow-capped peaks. He remembered jumping from the roof of his house and gliding to the valley floor as a small child, almost before he could walk. He remembers playing with children his own age, using blocks and sticks to build, and playing a version of Di’roc for children. He remembers being taken to study in the monastery in the city, and to develop his psionic prowess.
‘You will never survive looking like that!’ Shiel, the Eldest Ashada, tisked looking him up and down. He was barely old enough to play Di’roc, so he’d not had enough time to do much real growth yet. ‘We’ll put some muscle on you.’
Ja’Dier’s heart nearly burst through his chest, he didn’t know what he’d done to be in trouble! The looks the Eldest was giving him made him sure she was gonna punish him.
It turned out to be worse than punishment – it was training.
Ja’Deir’s mind visited several of the memories he had of his life and training in Xarys. Some of them, like his memory of his parents, were light and happy. Some of them, like confronting the group of Ashadan warriors that lost their light and took to picking on the young Ashada pups that he had taken under his wing, were dark. All of them, like a snuffbox of remembrances, were priceless to him. While he readied his pack he sifted through them one by one.
He met an old woman once on the road that had a small ornate box, filled with odds and ends, most of which were intrinsically worthless, but she valued it above all else. Ja’Deir saved her from a cutpurse, and the only thing she wanted back was the box. She opened it up, spilled the contents onto her lap, and lovingly picked each doodad up, caressing it, and placing it gently back into the box; a tiny doll, a button, a thimble, a crystaline figure of a dancer. That is how Ja’Deir treated his memories.
His preparations finished, he picked up his various bags, and slung them across his shoulders, and hooked them onto his belt. He locked his door, and opened his window. A cool wind greeted him. He put his foot on the sill, and lunged forward, spreading his arms. His furry gliding membranes fluttered for a split second before they caught the wind, and carried the squirrelesque hero around the town square, and he alighted at the front door to the Inn. He opened the door, and called to the Innkeeper, ’’I’m off, Thank you, and may Apis envelop you in her love!‘’ He threw a half bow and ’Zen’ mudra to the three people at tables in the common room, as well as the Innkeeper and the serving girl.
The Ashadan Mind Mage keeps a permanently reserved room in the old inn, the “Hobbled Gelding,” a dilapidated two-storey building in the center of a nameless town in an unimportant and not memorable section of the Northern Hinterlands. Its appeal is that it is centrally located in the ancient wildernesses of the north, nestled on the northern edge of Orphid’s Grasslands and the southern wall of the northern forests. Ja’Deir knows the name of every one of the twenty-five residents, and the dozen or so local farmers. They call him simply ‘The Ashada,’ not as a form of racism, but of respect and reverence. They all love him, and miss him when he leaves on his proselyting. There is now a small congregation of Apis that meets on the open plains, under shade trees in the vicinity.
Ja’Deir has spent the last half dozen years spreading the Love of Apis to the unenlightened of the area, and helping with ailments of the Body, Mind and Spirit. It’s not uncommon for him to be called out to heal someone or even a whole village. His thanks are usually verbal and emotional, but from time to time he’s richly rewarded. The Innkeeper, Mr Hawthorne, kept his room open and gave him simple meals in exchange for his services rendered while “at home.”
It is a full life, and Ja’Deir wouldn’t ask for more.