Ba’Vek, Saurian Techno Mage
Ba’Vek was born into the upper class of a saurian community in the settlement of Widni, south of the Tasmetra Basin and west of the Glass Lands. The settlement of Widni is unique because it is built near a harsh region of the land, where volcanic activity, hot spring and geysers are common. The settlement was built partially inside a cliff and spreads across a obsidian sands of the coastal area near Harlin Bay.
The saurian community of Widni was a struggling one. They were a people living within the ruins of their former greatness, unable to duplicate the technological feats of their forebears. What little tech that remained was held in great regard and in the hands of only the upper class and nobles.
Ba’Vek’s mother Aznia is a Cleric that has devoted her life to the goddess of the Waves, Xildis. However, she was not always a devotee. At one time, she carried on the family tradition of art, especially portait art for the local nobles. The techniques handed down by generations combined magic and lost technology to create amazing likenesses. Some say they captured a piece of the subject’s soul.
The family took special pride in all their art but especially the series of paintings of their oldest pre-Chaos War elders. It was during the Chaos Wars that many of these art pieces were lost, seen as blasphemy by the followers of the Prophet. But they were never destroyed. They remain in the hands of collectors and others who wrongfully obtained them during and after the war.
Prior to Ba’Vek’s birth, a revived movement similar to the Prophets beliefs was on the rise within their community. The Way of the Waves is based on a strict interpretation of the Xildis doctrine, which was somewhat influenced by the Prophet before the Chaos Wars. To the devotees of the Way, Xildis the Lady of the Waves is considered by many to be an incarnation of Dhawan the Prophet. This movement gained strength, causing many to scrutinize even the most benign uses of magic tech – like portrait painting.
One particularly powerful noble – a Saurian named Ah-Shei Car’leesh – took exception to the Way’s growing strength, politically opposing it every opportunity he got. He particularly took exception to the persecution of the young Aznia and her family for their art. In a sign of defiance against the Way, he specifically asked Aznia to do a portrait of him to hang in the halls of the temple. It was said that Aznia had painted it so well, it looked like it was alive.
By the hardliners of the Way, this painting was seen as blasphemy. An oracle of the Way went so far as to curse the noble. The oracle foretold that if Aznia were to have a child, the noble would die the same day. This shook Aznia so much, she stopped painting that day. She later did have children and on the day Ba’Vek was born, the noble was found dead alone in his bedroom, cause of death a mystery. Aznia immediately converted to the Way and completely repented her life to become the Cleric of the Way that she is today.
Ba’Vek was raised primarily by his mother. She had four other children after him – his sisters Kelwe’es and Teiga’ash as well as his brothers (twins) Magraan and Nagraam. Ba’Vek and his other siblings never got to know Nagraam, however, as he disappeared before he turned one year during the time of Rebirth when the svirfneblin rose up (see below). His mother accepted it as her god’s will, saying she had strayed too far from the Way and needed to further embrace herself in the Waves. Others believed the svirfneblin took the child for their own reasons.
Her fanatical devotion to Xildis’ Way of the Waves drove away her oldest daughter Kelwe’es. When she was of age, Kelwe’as crossed Shattered Channel and found a new home on the Broken Coast. Teigas’ash however became as dedicated to the Way of the Waves as her mother. Magraan remained neutral and became a ship’s captain, secretly seeking out his lost twin every chance he gets. For Ba’Vek, although he loved his mother, he did not love her god. He saw it regressive and small-minded. The circumstances surrounding his birth was enough to drive her away but more and more, Ba’Vek found a reason to leave as time went on.
Ba’Vek was not always averse to religion and faith. As a child, he secretly studied the counter-doctrine to the Way of the Waves – simply called the Will of the Vabnir, God of the Badlands (the region of geysers, hot springs, and volcanic disruption to the east of the village). It was during this study, he discovered his abilities with Magic.
As an adolescent, he showed a knack for technology. Some cliffside caverns near Widni lead to ruins of a pre-cataclysm underground facility that some believe belonged to their towns ancestors. In these ruins, Ba’Vek found trinkets and gadgets to repair and magically enhance, despite his mother’s beliefs. During this time, a group of strange gnome-like beings emerged from underground caverns and set up a small settlement near the Badlands. They peacefully approached the village for permission to tap the Badlands for its energy resources, and agreed to share it. This opened up a new era of great progress for the small saurian settlement.
The svirfneblin helped the saurians advance their town on many levels and in many areas including medical, military and science. Many saw the svirfneblin as saviors as they brought back more tech of their ancestors. At the same time, the followers of the Way pushed back whenever they could but the prosperity was too great. To most, the svirfneblin were saviors but the the followers of the Way, they were devils. What few knew was that the followers of the Way were not far off because the svirfneblin had nefarious motivations behind their “generosity.”
Commonly found within the new Widni were medical clinics established by the svirfneblin medical guilds. During a routine visit to one of these clinics, Ba”vek was apparently given a sedative and blacked out. While blacked out, he had nightmares of chaotic things in the dark, gory pools of saurian flesh and guts, and a foreboding feeling that the svirfneblin has dark intentions. From this, Ba’vek developed what he called a “healthy respect for darkness” as well as a tendency to be somewhat squeamish. At times when these situations arise, Ba’vek tends to have a uncontrollable twitch. Since then, Ba’Vek has vowed to seek out the secret of the svirfneblin and find help to stop them.