Jade Regent: Eastern Promise
CN Human Shoanti (Lyrune-Quah) Male Ranger(Skirmisher) 5
CN worshipper of the Green Faith (Shoanti totem-ism)
Init + 3; Senses Perception + 10
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 16 shieldless 18
(+ 4 armor, + 1 shield, + 3 Dex, + 1 deflection)
hp 38 (5d10 + 8)
Fort + 5, Ref + 7, Will + 4
Speed 30 ft.
+ 1 returning starknife + 8 (1d4 + 3/×3)
chakram + 7 (1d8 + 2)
dagger + 7 (1d4 + 2/19-20)
masterwork klar + 8 (1d6 + 2)
+ 1 returning starknife + 9 (1d4 + 3/x3/20’)
chakram + 9 (1d8 + 2/30’)
+ 1 composite longbow + 9 (1d8 + 2/×3/110’)
Special Attacks – favored enemy (humans + 4, undead 12 in natural settings), Profession (driver) + 6, Ride + 6, Sense Motive + 2, Stealth + 9, Survival + 10, Swim + 7
Languages Common, Shoanti, Varisian
SQ combat styles (desna), favored terrain (forest + 2), hunter’s bond [animal companion], hunter’s tricks 4/day [defensive bow stance], track + 2, wild empathy + 5
Other Gear chain shirt, + 1 composite (+1 STR) longbow, + 1 returning starknife, chakram (30, 15 carried), dagger, masterwork klar, ring of protection + 1, adventurer’s sash, backpack, bedroll, blanket, winter, chalk (2), climber’s kit, cold weather outfit, everburning torch, fishhook (2), flint and steel, grappling hook, measuring cord (10 ft.), mug/tankard, piton (5), piton (5), hemp rope (100 ft.), sack (2), sewing needle, thread (50 ft.), trail rations (2), twine (50’), waterskin, whetstone, healing kit (20), MW bowyar kit,
(as of the end of book one)
CP 14 SP 103 GP 277
Animal Companion Link (Ex)
Cold weather outfit + 5 Fort save vs. cold weather.
Endurance + 4 to a variety of fort saves, skill and ability checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.
Eyes of the Wild You spend enough time in the wilderness that you are attuned to its ways. You gain a + 2 trait bonus on Perception checks in natural settings.
Favored Enemy (Humans + 2) (Ex) + 2 to rolls vs Favored Enemy (Humans).
Favored Terrain (Forest + 2) (Ex) + 2 to rolls vs Favored Terrain (Forest).
Foster Child (Ex) + 1 vs foes threatening Koya.
Point-Blank Shot + 1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot You don’t get – 4 to hit when shooting or throwing into melee.
Track + 2 Add the listed bonus to survival checks made to track.
Wild Empathy + 4 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.
Hunter’s Trick – Defensive Bow Stance As a swift action the ranger may make a ranged attack that does not incur an Attack of Opportunity.
Koya (6) —Friendship
Sandru (1) —Association
About fifteen years ago…
The grasses across the plains north of Harse rippled with the steady wind turning the green and brown expanse into a washboard that could not clean the filth from it no matter how often it scrubbed. Nor did it dissuade the clouds of flies that hovered over the scene of carnage in the flattened sore in the field filled with the many Shoanti dead. Koya Mvashti saw no enemies among the Shoanti corpses even if there was ample evidence in blood and arrows to attest to the tribe folk having exacted a price for their massacre. The Varisian woman slipped a hand into her waist sash and pulled a random card from her Harrow deck as she gave a prayer to Desna for those whose journey in Golarian had ended. Before she could look down and reveal the card to herself the cry of her adopted son Sandru some distance away drew her attention away.
“Mother Koya! Here! A survivor! Quick mother, it’s a boy!”
Running past the caravan workers that carried corpses to the blazing pyre laying a thick greasy smoke upon the countryside Koya needed both hands to hike her skirts up to run and avoid the pools of blood and viscera. When she entered the high untrammeled grasses the blades left fingers of blood smear across her dress as if the dead begged her not to leave them behind to the fire.
Some distance away in a hollow by a full lilac stood several workers and her foster son in an arc around the bush staring at its base. Sandru pressed his hand over his shoulder but it still bled through his fingers onto the matted grasses there. The three caravan guards there, also bearing cuts and bite marks, had already aimed their crossbows or drawn their swords. Being generally rough and simple men they had already decided on a rough and simple solution to the problem standing before them.
The boy was no older than six or seven and was bare but for a loincloth and covered with blood, filth and wounds which almost obscured the Shoanti tattoos marking him as a member of the Lyrune-Quah. It was obvious that the boy was still in shock and in great need of food and water given that the dead were at least a week dead but still the boy stood his ground holding a sharpened moon-symbol throwing ring in both hands. The weapon was coated in blood, dried as well as newly wet from her son and the guards but also from the boy’s hands. His white knuckled grip dug the ring’s blade into his hands.
Koya glanced at the harrow card into her hand, The Keep, and stepped past Sandru towards the boy.
“Mother! He’s crazed, be careful!”
“It will be alright Sandru.” Koya said to the young man as she laid a hand upon his shoulder in prayer to Desna and motherly assurance. A ripple of divine star motes spread from the touch to Sandru’s wound healing it.
Koya never took her eyes from the boy’s wary stare. She moved slowly until within reach and settled down on her knee. The boy’s arms and legs quivered with exhaustion and adrenaline keeping the blade and the body erect.
Indeed, there is strength , she thought to herself referencing the card.
Neither spoke a word but just took measure of the other the time marked by the dripping blood from the boy’s hands. Whatever silent communion passed between them came to conclusion with Koya’s soft smile and outstretched hand and a single tear that pushed the grime from its path down his cheek. The boy collapsed into Koya’s waiting arms unconscious and she pried his gouged hands open to release his weapon even as Desna’s grace washed over the boy sealing the bone deep gashes and other wounds away.
About a decade later…
Koya Mvashti tossed the dirty water from the bucket off the porch of her mother’s cottage and settled into one of the chairs there to enjoy a moment’s rest. Whatever power winter had left had long been undone by spring and the wind and sea roared giddily at each other at the change of it. Seagulls screamed in annoyance at the capricious weather, each other and the locals heading to the beach to fish some new school they claimed a right to.
Koya could see her adopted son Braedo returning, no doubt, from another night at the Rusty Dragon or some overnight staring at the night sky for answers they both knew he would not find in Sandpoint. Koya sighed. Braedo was almost a man now, if only in age, and Sandru’s leaving to adventure out in the world had hurt Braedo who idolized his older brother. The Shoanti orphan had needed months of care to even speak and years more than that to coax out of his shell to join the world. Sandru had been as much a factor in Braedo’s recovery from whatever demons haunted his nightmares as Koya had been. Braedo had always been a loving and attentive son since but since Sandru’s leaving Braedo had begun to desire more knowledge of his Shoanti heritage. He had begun to hang out at the Rusty Dragon as much to watch out for Sandru’s return as to question anyone that he thought might be able to tell him of anything remotely Shoanti. It was there and in The White Deer that he had also gotten into trouble meeting the wrong sort of out-of-towners. The sheriff was already tired of being called to deal with the pestering Shoanti boy that his getting in trouble only added to Braedo’s reputation. The only things that saved the lad from serious repercussions were the obvious dedication Braedo had for his adopted family and the sheriff’s pity for the boy. Koya knew Braedo would leave one day in search of his past and she didn’t begrudge him that; she understood the desire to strike out on the road to seek one’s destiny and fortune, one’s identity, one’s soul. She just hoped, by Desna, that he would survive it.
Koya noticed now that Braedo had encountered Oberon Longshanks on the road and was giving the tengu boy a teasing. The Longshanks had long been a family Koya’s mother, Madame Niska, had taken care of and contrary to the opinions of many townsfolk and the stereotype of tengu in general the Longshanks were decent people, their son Oberon in particular. Braedo had liked the young raven-feathered child immediately and the two grew up together but they were very different. Where Oberon was focused and disciplined, Braedo was reckless. Where Oberon had faith in Desna and heeded Niska’s counsel, Braedo clung to what little he knew or remembered of the totem faith of the Shoanti and as for heeding anyone’s counsel only Sandru and she seemed to have any sway over the boy excepting for the occasional newest infatuation with seemingly worldly men that passed through town lately. Koya frowned as Braedo seemed to drag Oberon away from fishing for some dubious adventure or overlong visit to a taproom for more tales Braedo had learned the night previous. Koya prayed to Desna for the boy and found a harrow card in her hand. The Crows. She frowned at the possible bad portent and noted that it probably wasn’t that tengu that would fall to a possible life of crime. Braedo had to choose his own path whatever may come of it. Koya just wished that Sandru would return in time to provide her other son with a better chance.
A week later Braedo was gone from Sandpoint in the company of newly wealthy adventurers, a charismatic Shoanti exile swordsman in particular, leaving behind a sizable amount of hunted meat, a heartfelt letter of unfocused explanation, a relieved community and a concerned family.
One year ago…
Hunts-like-Owl stood on a rise of the Ravenroost east of Sandpoint and looked at his home; one of his homes he reminded himself. From this vantage point he could make out the harbor, the cathedral and the Old Light so he knew exactly where the Mvashti manor lay. He has hastened here as fast as he could with no horse when he had heard that Old Niska had grown even more frail and sickly. He hadn’t thought the old woman could die. He didn’t want to think about his ni-feAma, his not-blood-grandmother in Shoanti, dying. He had so little family left.
Braedo had left Sandpoint years ago with high hopes to see the world and discover his place in it. Discover who he was. Most of that time had been about Braedo discovering what a fool he had been. In a few short months he had discovered that the “adventurers” had been little more than brigands and murderers, the Shoanti warrior among them a drunk and a abusive lover exiled from his quah for cowardice and rape. At first Braedo had acquiesced to that life that his choices had given him learning all about the worst in people, the pitiful depths and weaknesses in humanity; in himself most of all. When the group was hunted by “interested parties” from Kaer Maga Braego used the opportunity to betray his comrades, especially his abuser, and run.
He had stumbled onto a Lyrune-Quah campsite, not that Braego had known that, and stolen some provisions only to be caught when the scent of lilacs in the night air from where he was hiding brought unwanted unremembered feelings that overtook Braego into horror drawing the tribe to the thief. His childhood tattoos had saved him from certain death. He had since been given a chance to regain his identity as a Lyrune-Quah Shoanti and struggle to regain his honor.
Now here he was a full member of the tribe; Hunts-like-Owl his adult name bestowed to him. He had achieved what he had thought he had missed and needed only to discover that in gaining a tribe he still had no family. He had discovered that even the totems, while always with him, would not grant him the powers that other rangers would gain. Hunts-like-Owl discovered that he felt alone among so many “cousins”, as members of a quah called each other. Now here on the doorstep of his childhood home Hunts-like-Owl knew that he would be with family but not of their tribe.
The aged Varisian harrower witch who had told him of Niska’s illness had pulled a draw, a reading from the harrow deck; The Marriage. Given what the witch had explained of its meaning Hunts-like-Owl could see the truth in some of the interpretations. It certainly didn’t mean an actual marriage but the concept of the merging of two opposing ideas or forces; that was something that Hunts-like-Owl understood all too well, suffered all too often.
Hunts-like-Owl looked down at his scarred palms and remembered a soft smile and the feeling of cradling arms. With a wry grin the Shoanti skirmisher started down the rise towards the Turandarok River and the Lost Coast Road which would lead him to his ni-Ama’s home with a prayer that Mountain Lion would grant his ni-feAma Niska enough strength to see him return.
For the first time in more than a decade Braedo Hunts-like-Owl had gained some measure of peace.