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.

 

 

 

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  1. IN SERVICE OF THE BEER BARON

    Ba’Vek has spent much of the past several weeks studying the Orb. He can link much of the markings to ancient languages all across the known lands. From a scientific point of view, it seems to have the potential of considerable power but some kind of magic is keeping that power dormant. Until then, it draws from ambient magical power from the outside to accomplish tasks like the drawing of the partial map. Ba’Vek can see that it has multiple functions but has yet to truly decipher exactly what they are.
    These functions do seem to all serve one purpose – to pass on a message. But to who? What kind of message? A message of warning? Or a message of hope?

    Each reference on the orb’s runes seems to speak of great heroes and their accomplishments; ancient demi-gods beating the forces of evil and chaos time after time. Each time Ba’Vek looked at the Orb, the runes tell a different story. Oddly, one story told of a great Trizgarian (Keliat’s race) warrior of ancient times that fought back a unspeakable beast from the seas that threaten to swallow their island kingdom. HIs name was Jathegi. There was also tales of the great dark elven warrior Jeglil Daevar, the Saurian Cleric Dersehk Madea’th and the Orc Warrior Yegoth.

    When near magic item, the Orb commonly glows. If the magic item is capable, it too glows. This is the Orbs way of drawing off ambient magical energies to power some of its simple functions. Ba’Vek has not found a rhyme or reason why it does it, or at what rate it absorbs these energies. It seems to have a will of its own.

    Gurlock was drawn to Ba’Vek’s work on the Orb and offered any help he could supply. His help turned out to be rather valuable. His extensive library allowed Ba’Vek to study the runes and the stories they told. It was not long after exhausting his library resources that he approached Ba’Vek with a contact – Farkaya the Knowing – residing in Nestora that he wishes the entire group to visit with the Orb.

  2. The Search for the Masterpiece

    Gurlock also had contacts and resources in the search Ba’Vek’s family paintings and ultimately the Masterpiece of Aznia. Collectively, they all are known as the Hallwardian Collection.

    Some are in Nestoran Guild leader’s possession, but the names of the portraits have been lost with time. There are at least dozen high guildsman that have a private art collection and they usually show only to their closest associates. Gurlock thinks a trade of some of his best brew might get Ba’Vek into see at least some of them. However,it is doubtful they would part with them. One particular Guildman was named Elwyn Voss and the rumors are that he is dying. He possesses one of the more extensive collections from the Hallwardian series, and his estate may end up going to auction with no true heir.
    Others can be found in Nastoran Museum of Art. These are owned by the art institute, which is funded by the Nestora Guild council. Located in the heart of the art district of Nestora, like all their items on display, these painting are under strict security.

    Meanwhile others can be found in the mansion of a well-known art collector in the city-state of Karros. His name is Bellas Wranlen and is also the Karros representative of Proto-networks, Inc. He is a Saurian who was raised by elves. ONe has to get into Karros first to visit his estate and they are pretty strict on who they let in and who they don’t.

    Since it was more likely that Ba’Vek would investigate the Nestora leads, he brushed up on the current state of affairs in the fair city. The city-state of Nestora is ruled by (some say the iron-fist of the) Guilds. While the Guilds paint the walls and public holo-displays with propaganda urging people to “Trust the Guilds,” they line the streets with vid-camera and listening devices. Everything is not all peaceful and quaint in the shining city on the hill.

    While Gurlock is a member of a minor Guild, he confides that he secretly supports certain non-violent groups within the walls of the city-state that resists the oppressive Guilds. However, there are several violent “resistance” groups that wish to have a piece of that support but Gurlock refuses to support violent “terrorist” groups. One of these is secretly affiliated with the White Hawks bandits of the wastelands.

  3. Ba’Vek explored the possibility of getting into a secret art auction being held at a posh Festival party at a place called Executive’s Dream. He had to pull some strings but he was able to get an invitation through the Beer Baron. In exchange, the Baron asks Ba’Vek to bid on a very particular item – the Ale of Drumthrom Fireforge. He says price is no object.

    The party included many of the executive level guilds-man of Nestora. All the guilds were represented. Many looked upon Ba’Vek curiously but his cover as a representative of the Beer Baron was truth enough to avoid any trouble.

    The auction was held in a lower basement level. Some say the basement was actually the upper levels of an old tower the Executive’s Dream was build on top of. Ba’Vek thought it was only a myth but these Guildsman seemed to know for a fact that Nestora was built on the ruins of an old forgotten pre-Cataclysm Saurian city.

    Getting into the auction with the Beer Baron’s credentials proved to be fairly easy, however, setting up an account was not. They asked a lot of questions and some answers just had to be made up. Based on the Beer Baron’s credit, Ba’Vek could perhaps bid on anything in the auction. However, the Baron never really gave him permission to bid on anything beyond the Ale.

    Many artistic items were up for bid. Items like an ornamental silver jewelry box, set with a chalcedony said to once belong Queen Alsodora of the North Kingdom before the Cataclysm; the ornamented fur hat of Hedrich the Barbarian; a engraved pewter bowl found in the ruins of Ortash, the City of ancient elves; an engraved limestone ring, set with an azurite said to have magical powers; a marble framed painting of an owlbear from the Gallery of Kings; an ugly granite tiara, inlaid with bronze rumored to have the final thoughts of an assassinated king enchanted in it.

    A gilded bottle of exotic dwarven ale was placed on the table and the auctioneer announced its name “The Ale of Drumthrom Fireforge – a masterpiece in the artistry of brewing!”

    The bidding for this item was heated and it came down to two people – Ba’Vek and a half elf in the front row. Later, Ba’Vek found out his name was Lormazen Davonmeer – a rival beer baron. In the end, Ba’Vek won the ale (for a considerable price) and the half-elf was none too happy about it.

    The paintings came along and there were many. They were said to have been painted a generations ago by a great mystical painter, naming Ba’Vek’s mother. There seemed to be considerable interest in the crowd once the name was spoken. The portraits were of many noble people in their prime. Prominent parents and grandparents, some dead, some still alive, of well-known Guild masters of Nestora. One by one, they were bought up for amazing prices. It seemed to go to different people – perhaps relatives. However, Ba’Vek learned later that they were all agents of one person. A dark skinned elf named Shelarin Strongrage. Rumor has it, according to people Ba’Vek inquired to, he has a considerable gallery of these type of paints.

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