The Journey of Akalabeth
A tall, lithe, man with dyed violet hair and tattoos that resemble crescent moons, Rokar is the tall, dark, handsome stranger maidens fall for.
Rokar is one of the Elven Decended Kayal, or shadow dwellers. He felt while dwelling on the shadow plane that he grew to resent it; his peoples were subjugated under the cruel and oppressive thumb of an umbral dragon, and he tired of the endless and oppressive gloom of his home plane as well as the ever present creeping doubt that his people’s master would one day hunger and consume them all. Thus, when drowning his worries in ale he overheard some others speaking about a way to flee the wretched plane his curiosity was piqued, and later, when he plied his talents of a silver tongue on the mind and body of one of the patrons he overheard he gained the information as a confidant; the Kayal knew of a Human Descended band of merchant fetchlings who possessed scrolls that could take him away.
The plan was hatched that night, convinced by Rokar that the risk was no less than life, the threat of death at the hands of their victims, the reward also life, a life freed from the tyranny of Mas’thlobet, the Void Seeker. They, the three Kayal who were brave, would be free forever.
The next day they sent off on their destination. It did not take long to find them; Rokar’s abiity to fish information from the tiniest pool quickly gave them their location, and names. It was a pretty job, one which Rokar found thrilling; sneaking into the compound, convincing the merchants that they were hired entertainment; plying the head merchant with wine and stories and dance until she let down her guard, inviting him to her room; his companions busting the lock and finding the scrolls and map, sneaking out when the job was done. But, they were followed, and their job was to be compromised! The crack of the whip, the keening wail of a blade at near the speed of sound, of dark blood flowing onto the ground.
It was only later as they sat, huddled around a table in a nameless room in a nameless tavern that they truly discovered the magnitude of what they had done. The merchants, or so they had thought, were slave traders, ferrying passengers to and from the shadow plane to slake the appetites of two monstrous fiends. Charzhegug, the Molten, and Mas’thobet the Void Seeker. Their maps showed a city in a land called Kyonin, where elven maidens were to be captured and brought back. There was no time for second guessing, as they had already committed a grave sin against their dragon master. Then, in that nameless room in the nameless tavern, three Kayal vanished.
At first, it was impossible to see. The Kayal shut their eyes tight and wedged their hands against their faces. Squinting and blinking, Rokar thought at first that they had made some error. It was only when his eyes adjusted enough to bring something into focus did he open his eyes fully and saw daylight for the first time. For some minutes they stood as if in a daze, staring at their surroundings in utter awe, at the brightness, the color. Rokar almost had to snap his jaw shut as he realized he had been gaping at a tree. Like blind men suddenly given sight, the three Kayal stood dazzled at what they could finally see.
Suddenly, his companions and himself looked strange and out of place, like old paintings done only in ink on paper, no color at all to them, ashen skin and black or silver hair. He never thought to consider what things would look like on the famed ‘material plane’, only assumed they would be much like the same. He had heard stories of course, but assumed them to be exaggerated myths, and certainly his imaginations also contained no color. It took some time before they regained enough of their wits to remember why they had come, and what they had to do. The map only laid out the Kingdom of Kyonin; and was their best hope for information and aid. Furthermore, Rokar noted, he had to tell someone of the plots against their peoples.
Sadly, their hopes did not come to fruition. While they did make it to the settlement of Greengold, the entryway to Kyonin, the three were prohibited from entering further. No entry, the guards were adamant, to those not of elven blood true. Rokar tried his best to persuade the guards to let him and his small party through, but they would not budge. Discouraged and shockingly despondent at his failure, Rokar turned around and headed back to a tavern in Greengold proper.
It was there, when he was three tankards in and the room was comfortably dim and fuzzy feeling that he was approached. His fellow Kayal had already retreated upstairs, so the company of a beautiful woman was welcome. The woman, he learned, was named Elemdra. She had heard his plight at the gates and was sympathetic. She resented slavery in all forms, including within the permissive city of Greengold, but was turned away further in the kingdom.
“This city,” She said, gritting her teeth, “reflects the hearts of elves. Wanting the best, but blind to problems outside it’s own borders. Trying to elicit change is like pushing a great stone. Even if it fits where it is supposed to go, it will grind against you for ages. It takes greatness to move stones quickly.”
Rokar stared at her, this elf who finally felt he was worth more than a sidelong glance. He felt a connection somehow, more than the desire to connect physically. What she spoke made sense. He normally considered himself to be the master of manipulation, and yet he found himself entranced by her talking of adventure, of seeking greatness, of freeing the subjugated, of having purpose beyond seeking pleasure. She spoke of the Pathfinder Society. Perhaps it was the alcohol, but he found himself easily swayed.
However. It was a great commitment to a people he had only known existed for a few days. It was dangerous, yet exciting, and… He had other companions to consider. They had traveled upstairs to their rooms before she approached him, he would have to confer with them. “Give me time to consider,” He said, “I don’t like signing papers over ale soaked tables.”
“Consider quickly,” She said, “I leave in three days to the nearest Society Chapter Lodge.”
“Where can I find you?” He asked, suddenly worried upon waking he may never see her again in a city so sprawling.
“At the pantheon temple.” Said she in reply, in dulcet tones.
Those three days went in a whirl of new sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and experiences. The tiny microcosm of a world he had known under the thumb of a dragon had exploded with things he had never even fathomed, and he wanted to know it all. At the Pantheon Temple he learned of the gods, and in particular Callistria, who he found spoke to him in particular. His companions, however, were less than phased. They had found what they were seeking, which was freedom and they had it. They were not going to throw away their liberty by signing onto a new master, dragon, contract or otherwise. He looked at them sadly, for they all knew here was were they parted ways. The three friends embraced and did not part hastily, for each of them would be jumping into a world they were new to.
Rokar gathered all his possessions, which was a pack, a blanket, his rapier, a small hammer, a tankard, a bowl, spoon, blade and fork, a pouch which jangled with pilfered coins and a black stone to remind him of home, a flask of fragrant oil, a newly purchased pair of goggles which blocked the sun, and his whip, which he could secure his blade to the tip. He headed downstairs and smiled to see Elemdra standing there.
“Are you ready?”