Burning Sands - Dark Sun 4e
Human Psion Noble from House Tormod
|Age: 22||Height: 5’ 11”||Weight: 175|
|Hair: Blonde||Eye Color: Light Blue||Appearance: Well built but scarred|
Karim was born the eldest son of the Noble House of Tormod. His father, Kiah Tormod, was a member of the senate, whose household was a producer of large quantities of silk from its outlying plantations, harvested from luminous ishi moths raised in dark caves. Like the youth of most noble houses, Karim spent a large portion of his day being instructed in The Way. Once he could get away from his studies, though, he and a small gang of other noble children ran amok throughout the streets of Tyr. These kids made sure to never anger the Templars or to cross the line with the guards, but through his teenage years, Karim earned the nickname of Wild Child from the other noble parents as he led their children astray.
Once Kiah felt that his son was old enough to understand the way of things in the city, he decided to direct his son’s wild tendencies to better fulfill his own discreet plans. The senators were fed up with how King Kalak and the Templars disregarded their counsel and laws. More and more of the senators were trying to find ways to enforce these changes regardless of what the King and his enforcers approved. Kiah was one of these senators. Secretly he had his son training himself physically as well as mentally to run errands that would cause trouble for the Templars and subtly cause changes to occur, by force if necessary. When the Wild Child ran amok during the day, the guards simply wrote his pranks off as the foibles of youth. What they never realized was that he was silently gathering intel, planning future heists, and scouting out guard patrols and timeframes. By channeling his son’s natural exuberance, Lord Tormod began his rebellion, changing things little at a time.
This went on for a couple of years, and no one was able to catch or stop the Wild Child as he slowly became the fly in so many ointments. As time wore on though, Karim’s luck slowly but surely ran out. Late one night as Karim was planting forged documents in the house of a powerful Templar, he was trying to silently leave the household, when the Templar unexpectedly rose to nature’s call. Karim was making his escape along the planned route, when he rounded the corner and practically ran over the kingsman. Calling upon Kalak’s name, the black-robed templar cast powerful magic that bound the Wild Child in place. Without the use of his body, Karim was forced to call upon the Way and smashed the Templar over the head with a nearby vase. He had underestimated his mental prowess, and his blow ended up killing the Templar. By this time, the cries of their master had awakened the whole household and there was nowhere for Karim to escape and they far outnumbered him. The noble was bound and drug to prison to face his numerous crimes.
The next day, High Templar Tithian, tried him and found him guilty of murdering a Templar. Instead of having him killed outright, Tithian thought it best to put him on display, to show others that not even nobles were above punishment and death. Secretly, the High Templar knew that other young nobles envied him and wished to follow in the young Tormod’s footsteps. The noble was locked away in a gladiatorial cage and his match was planned for the next arena day. Kiah could do nothing for his son, since Karim had outright told his accusers that he had acted without anyone else’s knowledge, the boy would take this fall without taking anyone else with him. He would protect his family name to the bitter end.
The day of his match soon arrived and he was given an obsidian knife and was left with his leather pants as scant protection. As he stepped into the arena, he was met with a mixture of cheers and jeers. Deciding to go down bravely as a scion of House Tormod , he held his head high and walked to the center of the arena. He almost missed a step when he saw his father sitting in the Nobles section. In just a few days his father had aged years, and yet he was still there to support his son. Tithian stood up and commanded silence as he signaled for the keepers to release his opponent. From the other side of the arena, doors opened to reveal a large dark-blue monstrosity, covered in stony skin and spines. Karim recognized the beast as an Anakore that he’d read about in his studies, but as his heart skipped a beat, he found that he couldn’t remember anything about them. The beast blinked in the bright crimson sunlight and then dove at the ground, burrowing down beneath blood-soaked sand of the arena. Karim crouched as he suddenly remembered that Anakores were burrowers, that loved to attack their prey from below, knocking them off their feet and then dragging them down underground to suffocate and die. A slight tremor in the ground below his feet was all of the warning that he got before the creature burst explosively from beneath the ground. Karim was barely able to throw himself out of the way, taking a swipe at the creature’s head. The bony skull was stronger than his blade and snapped off the tip. When the young noble landed, he concentrated, reaching deep into his being where the three parts: spiritual, mental, and physical all met and flung out defense spheres circling around himself. The Anakore lunged at the young man, trying to grab him as it dove back underground, but it only grabbed a force sphere in it’s long claws. As the beast burrowed back underground, Karim poured his anger into the sphere, which exploded in the beast’s hands, forcing the creature back to the surface in pain. Karim knew that he couldn’t hope to defeat the monster if it kept heading underground, so he imagined a huge anchor wrapping around the beasts torso, holding it in place. The power of his mind wrenched a meta-physical anchor into being in the creatures mind, hurting the beast as it tried to move. With only a split second, Karim ran under the beast’s flailing arms and used the broken blade of his knife on the soft part of the Anakore’s throat. Just for good measure, he sliced deep adding psionic strength to his blade and took off the creature’s head. The crowd went crazy, stamping and clapping for their “Wild Child”. Tithian and his father both stared down at the boy in wonder. He had won his life… but not his freedom. Karim had been able to play the crowd and lived to fight another day.
When the match was over, Karim was given to a Gladiator Trainer to get him ready for future games. Karim asked the human for the skull of the Anakore as a trophy, but also as a helmet to wear. The trainer liked the idea of his Wild Child persona and agreed to the request. Over the next few years, Karim built a decent reputation for himself in the arena. Even though he usually worked solo, at times he was paired up with a mul female named Jazeera. They learned to fight well together as a pair and hit it off well behind the scenes. Even though they’d never been asked to fight against other pairs such as the famous Rikus and Neeva, they sparred with them often and took notes from their strength as a pair.
Time seemed to lose it’s meaning, based simply around the fights in the arena and the time he spent in Jazeera’s arms. Then King Kalak announced that the Ziggurat games would soon be taking place and any gladiators who won their fights would be granted freedom. This raised the stakes in the gladiator pits and everyone focused on being their best for the Ziggurat Games. Tensions were high as the day of the games drew near and other gladiators like Rikus and Neeva disappeared without a trace or an explanation. Even High Templar Tithian seemed to be acting strange.
During his solo match, the Wild Child took on four huge beasts that had been reserved for him. He was greatly overwhelmed and pressed from all sides, barely staying a half step ahead of being eviscerated. Then the Dune Reaper got in a lucky shot that not only gashed his arm, but as he tried to dive out of the way, he landed wrong and twisted his ankle. Karim knelt in a crouch, ready for the next attack as he assessed the extent of his injuries. His ankle wouldn’t hold his weight but he could still use his left arm, albeit with a lot of pain. Sensing their preys weakness all four creatures pounced on him at once. Anger welled up inside of Karim; he was too close to die at a time like this, freedom was so close he could taste it like the dust in his mouth. As the first claw slashed his way, he blocked with his staff, but another was close behind. Fire seemed to blossom in the center of his being, in the same place that the three parts of his being met when he used the Way. This anger lashed back through him searing him physically, mentally, and spiritually all at once. Before he knew what had happened, the four creatures lay dead around him, smoldering husks. Karim looked down at his hands, wondering what he’d done, and saw the fire in them instantly go out. The arena exploded with the cheers of his fans as the Wild Child had exhibited something none of them had ever seen him use before. Using his staff, he struggled to stand up. Balancing on his good leg, he saluted the crowd, taking a bow for his fiery performance. Death had dogged his footsteps, but he had narrowly escaped the reaper once more. As he limped out of the arena, he gave Jazeera a thumbs up from beneath his Anakore helm for her match and she let out a sigh of relief, unconscious of the fact that she’d been holding her breath this whole time for him.
When the final pairs battle began, it was whispered that Neeva and Rikus has returned, and even though he was sorely injured, Karim and Jazeera went to the edge of the arena to watch the pairs battle. Kalak upped the stakes by raising a black scaled model of the Ziggurat out of the sands and told the pairs that the winner would be the one left standing atop the Ziggurat. It was little wonder when the legendary gladiators dominated the arena, but a huge surprise, when at the last moment, Rikus turned and launched his spear at King Kalak. Not only did it pierce his magical and mental barriers, but it also pierced his chest. The crowd hushed in alarm and excitement as the King’s guards drew him back into safety. Jazeera and Karim rushed out into the arena to congratulate Rikus on his attempted coup, but the gladiators disappeared in the jumble as spectators and gladiators realized that they were all locked inside the arena, with no way out. Fighting broke out on every side and Karim was forced to defend himself as people went crazy. Then something began to drain the life from the crowd in the Arena. The scion felt as if his life force was being sucked from the center of his being. He tried to use the Way to shield himself, but it was no use. Then a noble standing off to the side of the arena beckoned to him and a few others. As Karim drew closer, he recognized her as Atrena Voldon, of the House Voldon. She offered their group a chance to escape if they would work for house Voldon. As more life force was being sucked from him, Karim felt he had no chance but to accept. He wondered whether he had just jumped from the frying pan into the fire, though.