The Red Band
Vishlu Amspelnite of Katheer, Qadira - Elf Fighter/Wizard
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Favored Weapon: Scimitar (bonded)
Vishlu, bastard child of Vishlana; the female elf concubine, cursed gem of Noble House Zwahiri, and son of, Amspel Athraese; winner of the Histaqen, Hero of the Paresh Tribes, citizen of Katheer, whose wealth is unparalleled by all other elves in Qadira – was born into the world a secret with no record of his existence save for his mother’s cries of pain and the newly forming memories streaming through the watchful eyes of his plotting master.
Lord Paeton Zwahiri had always looked upon Vishlana with the loving eyes of a father. He had attained her unknowingly through the acquisition of her pregnant mother — long before his own skin had wrinkled. It was not his intention at all to acquire a new slave, that day, and had he known the trouble that would ensue, he would have never agreed to do his less than noble, half minded, brother-in-law the favor of helping rid him of his conscience. Paeton knew all too well his own lusts were also at least partially to blame. Rarely do a man’s eyes find a greater gem of Elven beauty of such a noble quality, it was said she came from a very influential family whose legacy was destroyed, but no one knew for sure. Either way her beauty was undeniable and what was done was done. Vishlana was born and Paeton Zwahiri, Noble of Katheer, had been right there. Vishlana’s mother did not survive the birth and so Lord Zwahiri decided to keep the young elf child. The fact that the child wasn’t human in any way had also diffused the need for further cover-up.
As Vishlana grew older Lord Zwahiri’s love for Vishlana went through many changes. At first he tried to stay unattached, before coming to think of the elven girl as his own daughter, and then finally as Vishlana started to become of age, he began to notice more and more how beautiful she was, perhaps even more so than her mother had been. As Vishlana’s beauty grew so did the Lord’s plans. Finally Paeton, against all advice from friends and colleagues made Vishlana his concubine, only to find out that certain noble families were sure to have him made an example of, and even worse, the beautiful Vishlana was in fact due to have a baby, and not his baby!!
Even though heartbroken, Lord Zwahiri understood how a girl like Vishlana could fall in love and get mixed up with a guy like the Elf Hero, in a funny way they almost seemed meant for each other. Amspel Athraese and Vishlana both seemed more than just ordinary elves. His actions and her beauty commanded attention equally, they would have been the most powerful elven couple Qadira would have seen to date he was sure. Amspel would have an even better shot at attaining title of nobility, with a gem like Vashlana at his side. After all, it seemed to be the only honor the Elf Hero hadn’t yet received. As the multitude of possibilities exploded into Paeton’s pounding head, he realized the direness of the situation he was in. Not only had he recently upset most of the wealthier noble families by allowing his own lust to possibly dishonor the purity of the human bloodline within the noble ranks of Qadira but he had also unknowingly become the father to a full-blooded elf child who would surely have rights to try and claim title. As Lord Zwahiri’s world seemed to be slowly unraveling, his only comfort was the thought that Amspel would make good on his word.
Lord Zwahiri closed the letter he found confirming the elves love for each other, Amspel was planning on buying Vishlana’s freedom before, the Lord had announced publicly for all to hear that he would be the first to take on an elven concubine, and that it was only a matter of time before elves found a place within the nobility. Paeton also went on to say that it would be better, if there had to be elven blood in the noble blood line that it be of half-elves from the Qadiran blood-line made from his own genes rather than that of any other kind of elf blood out there. Now all he could think of was how much a fool he would look like when word of his inability to control the personal matters of his household would be the fuel to feed a wildfire that would start in the noble district, burn wildly through the market place, burst into the port, and flood onto half the ships in the harbor, turning his reputation to ash.
From that night forward Vishlana was locked in the west wing and abandoned. Lord Zwahiri figured the Elf Hero would come looking for him to try and negotiate for Vishlana. Even concubines can be sold off if necessary and he could redeem some of his reputation with the other noble families — if they thought he’d come to his senses. Lord Zwahiri was prepared to dump the elven beauty off on Amspel just like Vishlana’s mother had been dumped onto him. It seemed like a fine solution, but Amspel never showed, even more bizarre Amspel seemed to have completely disappeared. It had been months and the usual word of the local hero’s daily activities had even ceased. More months passed, and Vishlana finally gave birth to Vishlu in the abandoned wing, and that is where they stayed far from any contact with the outside world.
Having given up on the Elf Hero, Lord Paeton did his best effort to forget about the elves he was harboring in his abandoned wing. The noble of Katheer decided they were the property of Amspel, and made a formal announcement that His Lordship, Paeton and the Elf hero, Ampsel had struck an agreement and that Lord Paeton Zwahiri had given up his right to the elven concubine and that she would no longer hold any rights or entitlement to his nobility, smoothing things over with the other noble families, before leaving Vishlana and Vishlu to their own devices sealed in the abandoned wing to be forgotten forever or so he hoped.
It was tough on Vishlana, food and water in the wing was almost nonexistent except for the occasionally unlucky critter that made its way in. Rainwater collected from leaks in the roof, was the only source of fresh water. Vishlana would have never made it as long as she did by herself. Lucky for her there was one other. A small djinni less than a foot and a half tall, a small outsider known as a Zhyen, so named Zhryn, once servant to a multitude of mighty Jinni and familiar to the Adventuring Wizard, Paeton Zwahiri, now Lord Zwahiri retired adventurer, had also come to inhabit the west wing and was mostly forgotten by his master, which Zhryn preferred. Zhryn had never been so close to a female and child before and curiosity soon gave way to a lasting friendship between Vishlana and Zhryn, the familiar. With Zhryn’s magical abilities he was able to assist with day to day living and the needs of food and such. He enjoyed food even though he didn’t need to eat and soon a magically generated meal was a nightly tradition for the three outcasts. Zhryn also made it possible for Vishlana to gather information from outside the walls, although both Zhryn and Vashlana knew to be very careful not to get caught, in this way, Vishlana was able to start searching for Amspel who had now been missing for quite some time.
Vishlana and Zhryn continued on living in this way until Vishlu started crawling and eating solid foods. As much as Vishlana loved her little boy and wanted to stay with him, she felt confident he would be okay with Zhryn and, in her own right, was more than interested in finding her love, Amspel. Not able to put it off any longer, with promise from Zhryn to look after her child, she escaped from the estate to not be heard from again.
As Vishlu grew older Zhryn passed a great deal of knowledge of all types onto his young pupil. Zhryn will swear it was his teaching and the magical food he conjured that are to thank for Vishlu’s unnaturally high intelligence, Vishlu’s knowledge of absolutely everything starts at 4 and his knowledge of dungeoneering of 8 is impressive for having only been in holographic dungeon illusions conjured by his little professor. Zhryn’s impact on Vishlu was more than the Zhyen had actually took credit for, all that magical food and being constantly exposed to a magical being constantly casting spells gave Vishlu a knack for magic as with the character trait “Magical Knack,” which won’t manifest until Vishlu’s magical abilities (Wizard Levels) start to shine, however, when they do, they will manifest at +2 caster level.
After dinner Zhryn and Vishlu would spend time dancing and playing around the wing which was filled with all sorts of ragged and destitute furniture, tattered books, faded paintings, and countless other items one would find in an abandoned house. Dust and cobwebs filled every corner of the creaky ghost like mansion. In the winter they would huddle around a small fire in one of the rooms, Vishlu often wondered how they kept the place from catching on fire, Zhryn no doubt. Even though he’s horrible at it Vishlu spent hours dancing around little fires and such throughout the house learning many of the dervish dances and the first part of the combat form dervish dance. Vishlu is able to not totally look a fool when dancing, 2 ranks in Perform Dance, however due to his charisma these ranks merely make the playing field even again at 0.
On occasion Vishlu would hunt for himself if he managed to spot a critter. After some time he honed his skill of perception and found the less he thought about it the better, he has some natural talent for perceiving things, however, he still seems to get lost in thought a lot instead of focusing, making the bonus to perception before wisdom a 3 but only a 1 after the modifier.
When about the age of teenager, in Elven years, Vishlu was ready to make his way from the only place he’d actually known for his whole life. Zhryn helped him escape and find a Cleric who immediately rushed the new candidate through the initiation of servitude to Sarenrae and those who fought for her cause, the Dervish of Sarenrae. This was the only way to ensure that Vishlu would be able to at least have some money and continue training in order to fulfill his duty to find out what happened to his mother and father. Zhryn visited Vishlu often during his first year training in Katheer and for the most part they were able to see a lot of each other. Zhryn was always interested in the events of Vishlu’s day and any new dance moves Vishlu might have gotten from training.
As time flew, Vishlu’s initiate training came to an end. His unit was going to be transferred to the city of Omash were the bulk of the Dervish Zealots continued their training. By this time Vishlu had started to become comfortable handling a scimitar and learned the first part of being dervish, finesse with one’s weapon, as the feat Weapon Finesse Scimitar (use DEX instead of STR for attack mod). As Vishlu and Zhryn’s time together was coming to an end the two made ready for Vishlu’s departure. Vishlu stocked up on supplies from the marketplace for the journey ahead. With Zhryn’s help Vishlu was able to pawn off some silverware and other such trinkets from the abandoned wing to scrape together enough money for a nice Elven crafted scimitar which are somewhat rare in Qadira, and a few supplies before setting off to join the Dervish Zealots of Sarenrae to start his training for the adventures to come.
In the next couple years Vishlu travels all over Qadira fighting with the zealots perfecting the dervish dance as the feat Dervish Dance enabling him to use his DEX instead of STR for damage modifier under certain conditions. Along with mastering the dervish fighting form, the years spent on the constant move taught him the skills of survival 2, swim 5, and he realized his high DEX and INT made him somewhat natural at skills involving these abilities. Lastly, His forlornness from elves finally manifests as a +2 initiative bonus due to the many years in environments that required constant alertness as the Elven race trait forlorn.
After having spent a few years in the service of Sarenrae, Vishlu started having recurring dreams in which he was casting mighty and powerful spells. His affinity with magic had been coursing through his body unnoticed for years and would no longer be ignored, and was now making itself known in ways Vishlu could not describe, encouraging his smarter half to seek further instruction in magic. With many a daunting question before him, the lingering search for his parents seemingly further off than before, his magical aptitudes and intelligence having driven him to a crossroads, Vishlu finds himself asking for leave of absence from his duties to the dervish of Sarenrae. I’m not sure if Vishlu left on good or bad terms with the Zealots, maybe his term ended or maybe he had to run. Either way he makes a brief stop by Katheer to try and visit his old friend Zhryn which turns out unsuccessful.
Hoping that talking with Zhryn would help him figure out what to do next, Vishlu is quite distressed when he can’t seem to get word to the little fella. However, while staying out of site near the old estate trying to catch Zhryn leaving, Vishlu was reminded of a place Zhryn had talked about on many occasion and constantly referred to as the magic school of magic schools, the Arcanamirium Magic Academy, in the city of Absalom. Having spent more than a week looking for Zhryn, Vishlu says what he thinks is his final goodbyes to the city of Katheer and the memories that remain of his only friend, Zhryn. On the way out of town he has his gear mended including the new studded leather suit of armor he had purchased recently. He found an explorer’s outfit that would provide him a fair amount of protection from most elements after purchasing and donning his equipment Vishlu set forth with his new donkey and guard dog which he purchased to help carry and protect the numerous rations and other supplies he’d figure he’d need but didn’t want bogging him down. As he boards the transport for Absalom he can’t help breaking into a song Zhrym used to sing about an ancient hero of immense height . . .