Fallen Empires of Nyamarast
Varen was born to two drug addled Catfolk by the names of Geroz and Na’shy. He was sickly and never well supervised, causing him to get into all sorts of mischief. Varen came to hate his parents, they would hit and scold him for making a mess or being sick. He was tasked with stealing food and anything else he could for his parents to sell for more drugs. They traveled often, never staying more than a month in one location, for fear of being caught. The dark day of Varen’s tenth birthday came and sealed his fate. His parents woke him in the middle of the night, and they walked to the docks of a small fishing town near where they had been staying. A large man with shackles in his hand was waiting for them at the end of the pier. Varen knew what was happening almost immediately, and wanted to run, but his father had a strong grip on his arm. The man walked towards Varen and locked a shackle on his wrist, Varen made no attempt to struggle, but turned to face his parents as the man finished chaining him. He stared at them with burning fury and hatred and simply said, “Pray I am never freed.” With that the man handed a heavy sack of coins to them and lead Varen to a cargo vessel. He was shipped along with a dozen or so other slaves down a large river to a sizable city on it’s shores. Varen was put to work in the eel pools that day. He was given a small hut to share with a number of other slaves. For ten long years he worked, gaining strength and dexterity, he was no longer the small, frail child he once was. After a long day under the cruel summer sun, he decided that it was time to escape, he was strong now, and still knew a thing or two about stealing. He would swipe the taskmasters key to his chains, free himself, then run till he collapsed. The following day he mentally prepared himself as he worked the pools. As the taskmaster passed his section, Varen spotted the keys. Moving as quietly as he could in chains, he reached up to the catwalk and made a grab for the keys. His fingers wrapped around the key ring just as he lost his footing. He kept his hold on the keys as he fell, taking the taskmaster down with him. They splashed into the pools, the taskmaster recovering first and snarling as he raised his whip. Varen didn’t have time to think, he wound up, jumped to his feet, and raked his claws across his opponent’s face as hard as he could. To his own surprise, he had dug out both the man’s eyeballs, leaving him a screaming, crumpled heap. Varen recovered the keys, unlocked his shackles, and vaulted onto the catwalk. The other slaves, seeing him freed and the chance to be free themselves, clamoured around the catwalk, holding up their own chains. But it was far too late, as the city guard had heard the sceams of the taskmaster and the cheering of the slaves, they descended upon the scene rapidly. Varen turned to run but a hand clasped his ankle. He looked to see an elderly man holding him firmly in place. “Take me with you, boy. I can be of great aid to you.” Seeing no other way out, Varen quickly unshakled the old man’s wrists and dragged him onto the catwalk and freed his ankles as well. As they stood the city guards were bearing down on them. A squad of archers stood near the entrance to the pools, arrows trained on Varen and his new companion. Varen turned to run just as the volley came. The old man, turning to what could only be his demise, snatched three arrows right out of the air just before they made contact with him and Varen. Frozen in place with astonishment, Varen gawked at the old man, who turned to him, grabbed him by the tunic and said “No time to be impressed, boy, make haste!” They took off down the catwalk and sprinted back through the city, eventually making their way past the southern gates, into the forest beyond. They ran until dawn the next day, Varen was amazed at how well the old man could keep up with him. When they finally came to a stop, they dropped to the ground and breathed deeply. “Norgorber preserve us, that was possibly the most poorly planned escape I have ever gotten away with.” Varen couldn’t decide whether or not to leave the man here, or stay and find out who he was. “Who is Norgorber?,” he asked. “He is Keeper of Secrets, Lord of Assassin’s and King of Thieves, boy. Don’t you know anything,” the old man replied. “How did you catch those arrows, and how can you be so old yet run for so long?,” Varen pressed as he stood. The old man laughed and came to a sitting position, “That depends lad, if I tell you and you decide you don’t like what you hear, I will unfortunately have to kill you no matter how much promise you show,” he told Varen in a deadly serious tone. Varen decided he would have to tread carefully with this odd individual. “Tell me what you are, I have no doubt that you mean what you say, but if you teach me some of what you know, I can repay you in time,” he said, trying to express his honesty. The old man stood, “My name is Daveth, I am a Master Ninja, and a harbinger of Norgorber, deity of assassin’s and thieves. It is a pleasure to meet you………” he trailed off as he extended his hand. Varen gave Daveth a once over, then shook his hand and said, “Varen, I have no past to speak of, and I would ask that you teach me some of what you know, for I have a promise to fulfill, and the skills you have could be invaluable to me and my quest.” Daveth shook his head slightly, “Nay Varen, one does not learn only some of what it is to be a Ninja, you must vow to walk the path of the shadows for the rest of your days, or turn and die.” he told him. Varen breathed deeply, “Then where do we begin Master?,” he asked. Daveth grinned wickedly, “First, you must tell no one of this goal, not even me. For a Ninja’s methods and motivation are his own. Secondly, you must swear allegiance to Norgorber and his subjects, for in life, even those who walk with the darkness must have faith. And lastly, you must obey, no matter how arbitrary or simple my training may seem, it is for your, and my benefit, do not falter,” he expounded. “I swear it, or may Norgorber take my life,” Varen vowed. Daveth turned and started walking, “Excellent! Now let us find something of sustinence, too much running makes me hungry,” he said over his shoulder. Varen followed, as he would for another eight years before his Master would finally succumb to age and grow ill. On a quiet spring evening, Daveth passed from this world. Varen gave him a funeral under the blessing of their deity in a small glade. He then set out, finally ready to track down his past and deliver the punishment he had dreamed of for so long. While passing through a town he overheard a group of merchants discussing a new frontier settled near the ruins of an old empire. Varen coerced some details from one of them and set out to his new destination. A new frontier meant struggling nobles trying to assert power and privilege over each other, so plenty of employment opportunities. And an old ruinous empire meant plenty of undiscovered, rare treasures, which could aid in his ultimate quest. Then the time would come to track THEM down. Varen knew that if he held his faith and stayed true to the teachings of his Master that fate would deliver him what he desired most. This new frontier would be his beginning.