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         Copyright © Randy Bowers. All rights reserved.



True Neutral Male Lupinal
Level 7 Fighter
Level 7 Cleric of Acerak

Str 20   Dex 8   Con 20   Int 14   Wis 13   Cha 10   Hit Points: 75

Status: Retired

Gathered in the darkness, the Elders stared up at the sky. Though the air was chill enough for a slight mist to be hanging over the ground, the wise ones paid it no mind, intent upon the sky.
    Arranged in a circle, with a truly ancient one in the center, their gaze was upon the moon, hanging in the sky like a sickle.
    "Soon, soon" one of them growled in a low voice. Following his gaze, watching closely, we can see that there is a dark blot in the sky, just to the right of the moon.
    "Yes" intones the central figure, "soon the demon moon's influence will briefly pass from this world."
    Watching for a time, we see the stars reappearing, as the dark moon moves to the left, towards the bright moon. Then the darkness is gone, having moved behind the moon.
    The elders begin to chant, a low, throaty rumble. It rises and falls, sometimes little more then a murmer, sometimes a deafening roar. Still their eyes are all upon the moon.
    Just below the moon, a shooting star falls.
    An excited murmer passes through the assembled throng.
    "Continue to show your respects to Dauwan Dal-daul!" snaps the eldest from the center of the circle. "Remember our pride, and our fall. We must remain humble."
    The voices return to the low murmuring chant, paying homage to the moon in the sky.
    Another two stars fall from the sky.
    Gasps and cries are heard. The eldest does not even try to stop them, for he too is astounded by the portent just witnessed.
    Off in the distance is a wolf's cry. It goes on and on, rising in pitch and volume, raising the hackles of all present.
    "That is surely an unnatural sound, eldest" questioned one in the circle.
    "Yes" he intones, "yet it may mean great things for our race. The time of re-birth may be beginning."
    Suddenly the sound is cut off, abruptly. The silence is almost as shocking.
    Another minute goes by, then we see the inky blot upon the sky again, now to the left of the bright moon.
    "Follow me in prayer" commanded the eldest.
    "Oh Lord Dauwau Dal-daul shine your benificent light upon us. Show us the error of our ways, and let your light once again illume our path, so that we me know once again the glory of your presence."
    As the assembled throng bowed their heads, a messenger came running. Kneeling respectfully outside the circle, with his head bowed, he awaited the attention of the Elders.
    "What is it?"
    "Forgive me for the intrusion" he replied, head still bowed. "The birthing wife felt you would wish to know at once. Falwour has just given birth. That was her cry that you just heard. The ... the birthing did not go well. There were ... were... tr ... tri...."
    "Came out with it!" snapped one of the Elders in the circle. "What is it?"
    "My lords, she gave birth to triplets!"
    Pandemonium broke out. Cries, questions, and praises. The one in the center raised his hands, and called out for quiet.
    "Oh Lord Dauwau Dal-Daul, thank you for your gifts," he spoke to the moon.
    Then to the assembled: "These newborn are a gift from our lord of the stars. As there are the three, and the three fell from the heavens while the demons held no sway upon the earth, so these three shall be an embodiment of the three. One will shine as a torch of Dauwan Dal-daul, and shall guide us towards the true path. One shall be the body of Acerak, strong and health, a great huntsman and builder. One will overflow with the wisdom and compassion of Genhaedi, shielding our hearts from the darkness.
    We must care for them, and protect them from harm, for surely the demons will hate and despise their shining purity, and shall seek to destroy them, so that we will never hunt them again among the stars.
    Go then, and care for these cubs, that our feet continue upon the path...


My head still swimming from the jarring impact of the snake's head, I quickly ducked behind a rock and into a narrow fissure. After taking a moment to regain my senses, I took a peek out. The huge serpent, or whatever it was, was still there. Waiting in the pool for me, oh so patiently. I know that patience all too well, the well-disciplined patience of a hunter that has its prey cornered and only need wait.
    I looked around, then cursed my own stupidity. Huge rock walls towered above me. Just to my left splashed down a huge waterfall, tumbling down at least 50 feet, leaving a fine mist in the air. There were only a few rocks, and a narrow ledge here, and the pool beyond. The pool with the accursed serpent.
    The serpent was a monster, with a head 12 feet long. I hadn't seen its body, for most of remained below the water. I had seen its fangs though -- a foot long, encasing a mouth easily large enough to swallow me whole. Tough as I might be, that is something I'd just as soon avoid.
    Well, just as I couldn't move from this spot, the beast couldn't get at me in this small crevice. As I settled down to try and wait it out, my thoughts turned back to the events leading up to this.
    My upbringing hadn't been a typical one. I didn't to play with the others, leaping, running and fighting, or get to size up potential mates. Because of my birth I was singled out and given special training, along with my brother Daalkaer, and my sister Guirbaana. They were the only ones that I spent much time with as a youngster, other then my trainers and the Eldars, that is.
    I expect that I was always a bit of a disappointment, though. My brother grew up to be a priest of Dauwan Dal-daul, wielding powerful magics and respected even by the Eldars for his wisdom. My sister, bless her kind heart, became a stalwart defender of Genhaedi. She could heal the direst wounds, and calm the most troubled mind.
    I, however, never joined the priesthood. Gifted as I was with this body, I could never feel the presence of Acerak, God of the Hunt. After several years of failure, I was sent to the mountains to train with the mystic monks who reside there. I think the hope was to better attune myself to my body, and thus gain a connection with our god associated with my birth. Whatever the hope, it didn't work.
    Finally a khabala, or tribal rite of passage ceremony was held. After consulting with the stars, it was decided that I must journey out into the world in order to discover why my feet were not upon the path chosen for me.
    Off I went, first heading west into the Midden kingdoms, the only other place that I knew of. There were many great goods to be bought (and I did), but I discovered the mankind does not like my kind. After being attacked for the fourth of fifth time, I decided that avoiding humans was the best idea.
    The stars told me my destiny now lay in the east, so off I set, heading east this time. I encountered little but a few scattered goblins and other beasts, although I did have to avoid the main goblin tribe.
    Finally I made my way to the ocean, a sight rarely beheld by those of my tribe. The day after arriving, a mighty storm wracked the skies, lastly all day and all night. Upon the light of morning I found the ruins of a ship not far from me. Scattered on the beach were four men, looking to be dead. Looking more closely, I found that three of them were in fact alive. Taking this as a sign, a brought them food and water, and helped them regain their strength.
    Upon first waking they took to fright, and would have surely run or attacked my but for their weakness. As I continued to help them, though, they slowly accepted my presence. Only one of them the Midden trade tongue, so he taught me how to speak in their native tongue in the months I spent there.
    They men were sailors from a place called the "Eastern Empire", although I never had heard of such a place. It seems they were transporting goods back there from the north when a sudden squall took them.
    After spring came, they decided to head back to their homelands, using wreckage from their ship to make a small boat. I decided that meeting as many humans as they said lived in their Empire would be foolish. Happily the stars agreed with me, and prompted me to return West. Among the goods that they were carrying were large amounts of gold, too much for their small boat. In gratitude for my saving their lives, they bid me to haul as much as I could carry with me, for they couldn't take but the tenth part of it.
    Heading out, I encountered little of great danger again -- until I came upon this pool. Being very thirsty, I immediately stuck my head in the water and was drinking my fill when I felt a presence. Too late. No sooner had I looked up then I see a huge serpent striking out at me. It sent me sprawling, and a quickly took the closest cover I could find, this crevice.
    The darkening sky finally drew me from my reverie. Looking out, I could see no sign of the snake. Peeking my head out, I still could see no sign of it.
    "Patience, Kolvidir" I chided myself. "No need to be in a hurry."
    I sat down for a few minutes, keeping an eye out for sign of anything odd. While I waited the shadows lengthened, then all my surroundings became dark. Looking out through the dark, I still couldn't see any living being out there.
    Slowly, I crept out of the crack I had been hiding in, and crept around the pool under the waterfall, continuing on west.
    "Well, I guess it must have given up," I sighed cheerfully.
    Famous last words. Just then I saw a ripple in the water, as the snake reared up its head, and struck. I tried to run, but to no avail. Its head struck my midsection, and its long teeth sunk into my belly and back. It then jerked me off of the ledge I had been on, plunging me into the warm water.
    As I thrashed about in the water, trying to get free, I could feel coils of the snake's body looping around me. Taking a deep breath I continued to struggle, slashing at its body with my sharp claws.
    The coils were tightening, and I could feel my ribs starting to crackle. My breath was burning in my lungs, aching to be let out, but I held it in. I slashed at it some more, and finally could feel it beginning to relax its hold. Clawing at it a bit more for good measure, I got loose enough from it to slip free.
    Reaching air again, I drew long ragged gasps from the cool night air. After getting my breath back, I dove back under, and fished the snake's body out from the bottom of the pool, and dragged it out of the water.
    The wait, and then the fight, had left me hungry. I quickly carved a few pieces of snake flesh, and hungrily gobbled them down. I ate a bit more of the beast, then settled back contentedly and let out a long belch. Gods, but it was good to still be alive.
    Cutting the snake open further, and looking at the contents of its stomach, I found the remains of its last meal -- some poor soul hardly recognizable except as some sort of humanoid skeleton. Fishing around in the goo, I felt something hard that clicked against my questing claw. Pulling it free, I peered at some sort of gem, although I couldn't tell anything more about it in the dark.
    After carving some more snake meat to take with me, and filling myself with water from the stream, I moved off to get away from the water hole for the night.