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Angar
  Name: Defender Angar Direlord  Race: Kaldar  Guild: Thief
Gender: Male  Age: 24  Circle: 29
You were born on the 39th day of the 9th month of Dolefaren the Brigantine (ship) in the year of the Amber Phoenix, 346 years after the victory of Lanival the Redeemer.

You affirmed your vows before the gods in the 2nd month of Ka'len the Sea Drake in the year of the Crystal Snow Hare, 370.

Strength : 22           Reflex : 22
    Agility : 22         Charisma : 18
 Discipline : 18           Wisdom : 18
Intelligence : 18          Stamina : 21

You have amber eyes.  Your black hair is shoulder length and wavy, and is worn in a simple, loose style.  You have tanned skin
You are short for a Kaldar.

You have a regally trimmed mustache on your upper lip and a neatly trimmed beard.


You are wearing a duffel bag, a juniper savannah bow with a cascade of russet hawk feathers and jet beads dangling from the grip, a black gem pouch, a pair of polished black thigh boots with pointed toes and silver cinch buckles, a black leather doublet held closed by heavy silver buttons, a sapphire pendant, a burnished dragon clasp set with cabochon emerald scales, an indigo linen alchemy bag clasped with a silver nightingale, a alabaster white rose, a sturdy black backpack, a narrow jade wedding band inlaid with a twining golden rose, a flecked black albredine ring, a brooch depicting a nightingale with crystal tipped wings, a dark green leather thigh pouch branded with a stylized dragon, a thigh quiver dyed in a brown and green camouflage pattern, a tri-color braided leather belt with a large gold buckle, a tooled leather weapon harness decorated with long strings of soft blue-black nightingale feathers, a sweeping black silk cloak embroidered with a silver nightingale perched atop an olive branch, a kyanite gwethdesuan, a jadeite gwethdesuan, some ebon trousers with wide legs, a gauzy white cotton shirt intricately stitched with nutmeg brown nightingales, a lightened bo stick, and some dull copper chainmail worked in bronze along the collar.

  
Image copyright AFD Studios



  Skills:

Shield Usage: beginning practitioner
  Leather Armor: trained novice       
    Light Chain: beginning practitioner
    Heavy Chain: promising novice     
    Heavy Plate: lowly novice         
  Parry Ability: proficient practitioner
 Multi Opponent: competent practitioner
    Light Edged: proficient practitioner
   Medium Edged: proficient practitioner
    Heavy Edged: lowly novice         
    Light Blunt: trained novice       
Twohanded Blunt: promising novice     
         Slings: able novice          
  Composite Bow: full novice          
 Light Crossbow: lowly novice         
    Short Staff: promising novice     
  Quarter Staff: full novice          
   Light Thrown: able novice          
       Brawling: trained novice       
  Primary Magic: promising novice     
Harness Ability: lowly novice         
Magical Devices: promising novice     
 Targeted Magic: lowly novice         
        Evasion: proficient practitioner
       Climbing: full novice          
     Perception: skilled practitioner
         Hiding: competent ardent     
    Lockpicking: competent ardent     
   Disarm Traps: competent ardent     
       Stalking: competent ardent     
       Stealing: experienced practitioner
      First Aid: beginning practitioner
       Foraging: beginning practitioner
       Escaping: promising novice     
       Backstab: skilled practitioner
       Skinning: competent practitioner
       Swimming: trained novice       
    Scholarship: full novice          
Mechanical Lore: experienced practitioner
   Musical Lore: full novice          
      Appraisal: proficient practitioner
       Teaching: full novice


  The Good Son

He sat silently on the crumbling walls of the ruin, his distant gaze decending on the sullen village of Dirge. Lightning flashed in the distance, illumating the devistating scene as the thunder rolled over the broken hills. Angar sighed, drawing his knees closer to his chest as the rain poured down around him, drenching his body as surely as his cares drenched his soul. He took a long, ragged breath, then returned to staring at half-remembered memories of a different time, a different place.

An entirely different lifetime.

The rolling thunder was replaced by the pounding of drums. War drums. The distant glow of the volcano gave way to the glow of campfires amidst the barren landscape. And the cold sting of the driving wind and rain gave way to vaguely remembered pains, long since lost in a sea of sufferings. Pain crashed over him as a heavy blow sent him staggering to the ground. Struggling against the encroaching haze heralding blissful unconciousness, he forced himself to his knees as he wiped the blood from his battered lips. The young child raised his head in defiant snarling at the man who towered over him as he tried to stagger to his feet. Another blow struck him, sending him sprawling in a heap near the blazing fire.

"Now you die, runt...." a distant, detached part of the child heard through the cold veil that seperated conciousness from unconciousness.  In spite of his broken and battered body - or perhaps because of it - he managed to part his lips in a feral snarl. As oblivion began to close over him, he thought he heard laughter. Cold, unfeeling laughter. He forced his eyes open, determined to see the final blow decend...

It never came.

Something moved across his blood-impaired field of vision. A cry of protest echoed through his mind. A scream. Something heavy striking him, hurling him to the ground. The sickening feeling of blood washing down his face and neck....blood not his own. All these things filtered through his battered senses at once, chaotic and without sense of order or reality.

"No...." the child heard himself gurgle between coughs of blood. Forcing the overwhelming wait off of himself, the boy that would grow to become Angar lurched to his feet, his lip curling back in rage. "No!" he snarled forcefully, lunging towards the dark man that taunted him. Inhuman laughter filled the air as he felt himself effortlessly swatted away, his own rage drowning out the pain and spurring him forward yet again.

"Amazing," his towering opponent noted in a low rumble as he calmly grabbed the raging child by the hair and hoisted him from the ground. "I beat you to the brink of death, and you don't raise a hand against me. Yet I kill a worthless female...." he mused, chuckling slightly as he came to a decision. Holding the struggling child firmly, he continued in a low, feral snarl. "You failed, Runt. I gave you a simple task, and you failed."

"Mother...." the child hissed, clamping his teeth down hard on the hand that held him. His captor chuckled briefly before slamming him hard against the weathered bark of a tree.

"She taught you to be weak, runt. That problem has now been solved through your failure," he growled, his cold eyes boring down on the child. "You've always been a disappointment, runt.....from the day you were born, you've been less than worthless. I should kill you now and be done with it," he intimidated, his voice now completely devoid of emotion. "But I have plans, runt, and you are essential to them. Since you won't fight to defend yourself, I'm going to give you something else to fight for. When I tell you to kill, you will kill. When I tell you to die, you will die. Every time you fail to do as I ask, I will make sure someone else suffers for your failure."

The child found himself flying through the air once more, crashing hard to the ground near the blazing campfire. The tell-tale thud of steel boots told him that his antagonist was already upon him again. He tried desperately to raise his head, to fight one last fight, but he had no strength left. "Do we have an understanding, runt?" the deep voice rumbled through the haze.

"I will kill you...." Angar managed to sputter in defiance.

"Good. You have learned your lesson well," chuckled the voice grimly. As Angar crumpled to the ground, he could still hear the distant voice barking commands. "Have the female's head removed and hung where he will see it each night as he rests, to remind him the price of failure. See to it he heals rapidly. I will have a female brought from the captives taken during the last raid. It is time my son learns the skills he needs for his true calling..." the voice faded into the distance as peaceful blackness finally claimed the child.

Thunder exploded around him, shocking Angar from his revere. Blinking in astonishment, he glanced around in momentary panic, a surge of adrenline rushing through him. Finally remembering where he was, he drew his cloak tighter around his shoulder and trembled uncontrollably, grateful that in the rain, no one could see him cry.


Finally the storm's rage ebbed, and with the dying of the thunder, the young Kaldar slipped effortlessly down the crumbled walls, dropping to the ground inside the abandoned Gorbesh fort. In the shadows sent scattering by the now-distant lightening, he caught glimpses of a world he thought he had left far behind him....a world that he understood better than any, yet hated with all his heart and soul.

He slipped silently through the darkened corridors, working his way to the practice yard where tattered target dummies twirled aimlessly in the receding stormwinds. Each dummy was adorned with a crude mockery of a Guild crest of Crossings, bringing back more memories he wished he could forget.

"Live among them. Learn their ways. Find the strengths that have allowed the Crossings to stand so long against invaders, and undo them. That is your task, runt! Earn their trust. Learn their secrets. Slit their throats while they sleep. Bring to me the key to finally conquering Crossings," his father's voice echoed from the dim shadows of his mind.

Angar took a long, deep breath, steadying himself against a support beam. He had started out to do just as his father had asked. He had joined the Guild of Thieves because its ways were closest to the ways his father had taught him; to kill silently and unseen from the shadows. Using the shadows, he had learned much. Of secret tunnels that criss-crossed the city, allowing those who knew their ways to move freely within the city without being discovered. Of the nature of the defenders, their strengths and weaknesses, their hopes and dreams. He knew where the healers would be when an attack came, and how to cut them off from the others. He learned how the defenders of Crossings worked towards its defense, and countless ways to thwart that defense.

And he learned something his father had never counted on. He had learned that his father's way was not the only way. That it was possible to exist without war, without bloodshed and killing. That kill or be killed was not the only law in the world.

That he could love and be loved in return.

He sighed, shoving away from the beam and staggering out the gate. Stumbling down the trail towards Dirge, he ignored the gibberings of the madman that warily stalked him from a difference. Madness hovered over this dismal place, and it almost seemed a welcome solace to him. With that thought, he scowled, redoubling his pace until he found himself safe within the walls of the tired village.

It was quiet at night, as it always was here, the roar of the storm already a distant memory. Stealing silently through the abandoned streets, he made his way to the the House of Dying. Carved into the cold stone of the hillside, it had once been the home of healers. When the volcanoes awoke, many people fled and many more were wounded. The healers remained in the dank cave, healing and aiding those around them as they themselves died. Now the chill cave was where those who are dying came or were brought. With little hope, they would lie on stone slabs or huddle in the corners, waiting for the healer that would never come.

Moving deeper into the cave, he came to the alabaster slab that marked the chamber where the healers had once done a bulk of their work. Fetching a small bag of healing herbs from his pack, he gingerly placed it on the slab. The healers would never return, he knew, but perhaps at least a few might find salvation here with his simple offerings.

Hope. Something else he had learned since coming to Crossings.

Sighing profoundly, he settled back against the wall to rest, wondering if anyone would ever understand why he felt drawn to this place; he wondered if he even truly understood. He had come to Crossings as a spy and assassin, and done his job well. Too well, in some respects. He had worked the trade routes with Lyrael, learning the economy of the region as well as the roads and their defensibility. He had sat long hours with the empaths, and knew the arts of healing that kept the people alive. He had spoken of the gods with the priests, and learned the histories from the bards.  He had even been squire to a young paladin for a brief time.

He glanced down at the gold ring that adorned his finger, rubbing it thoughtfully. Somewhere along the line - he did not know exactly where - he had ceased to be the invader and had instead become the defender.

"She taught you to be weak!" his father's voice echoed through his memories. Angar shook his head, closing his eyes and taking a ragged breath. "No," he muttered through dry lips. "She taught me how to be strong..." he sighed. He could still see her lifeless eyes staring down at him night after night, his father's gruesome warning to him of the price of failure, and yet somehow he knew that she forgave him. She had died defending him, knowing the price and accepting it without hesitation

And he had gone on to betray her sacrifice by serving his father's wishes. Yet still, he could feel her forgiveness as surely as he could feel the cold air that wafted through the cavern. It had always been there, he knew, but it was stronger now. Closer to his heart. Since the day he had given his life in the defense of another, he could almost see her, sometimes. Feel her standing beside him, watching over him.

He dropped his head to his chest, struggling to keep control of his wavering emotions. After several long moments, he nodded to himself, fishing a smoky stone from his pouch. Rubbing it, he blinked at the shimmering white radiance it reflected. He grimaced, still unable to accept what everyone but himself could clearly see. He was not the son of his warlord father, but the child of a selfless woman who gave her life for another. It had taken him so long to realize it, but now that he did, it frightened him.

He glanced around the cavern nervously. Like his heart, it was a place where hope always came to die. Even here, in Crossings, his father's threats loomed over him. Memories of Ooja promising the death of Matuinya and Ryane if he did not do as he was asked gripped him in their clammy embrace. The deadly threat of Rattler also loomed over him threatening to engulf him. Threats he had lived with all his life. Threats that in so many ways were his life. Fail and someone dies for your failure. Show weakness, and you have failed. His father's way, but the only way he had even known.

Rubbing the soulstone again, he scowled. "It lies," he muttered under his breath as he slipped it back into his pouch. He no longer intended to betray Crossings. If and when his father ever did try to conquer the city, Angar would be foremost among the defenders. Not that it would likely ever happen. For all his cold brutality, his father was nothing more than a warlord whose ambitions exceeded his reach.

He shifted slightly, groaning from the discomfort of the jagged floor. The mild annoyance brought a tired chuckle from his lips. The assassin had been touched by the Goddess of Life and Lord of Dreams, and transformed from the man his father had meant him to be to the man he had always been in his heart. The day would come when he would have to face his father - if not in the flesh then in the grim memories that haunted him still - but until that day came, he would try to live and die as his mother had lived and died. Teaching compassion to those that would listen, defending those that could not defend themselves. His father may have raised him, but he was and would always be his mother's child.