The Burning Sage's Demesne
Killoran Dragon Shaman - Silver Dragon Totem
The Killoran are a fledgling race on the face of the world. Some have heard of them, few have met them, and none understand them. It is known that they are the aggressive, ambitious manifestations of nature’s presence and power. Their birth as a race is completely unknown, but as Fey they are part of the natural world and some of its’ greatest defenders. Most races view the Killoran as a curiosity and they are allowed to walk freely in the cities of nearly all civilized races.
Jolokar is a taller specimen of his race being 5’11". Upon first meeting him, others take him for a half-elf in appearance who is obviously in his twilight years from afar by his white hair. Upon coming closer it is evident that the creature they are meeting can only be described as timeless. With eyes the color of a blue summer sky, tan skin, skin like a soft young leaf, and unusually long slender limbs there is no doubting up close that this is a creature wrought from nature. Jolokar spends much of his time learning among the humanoid races manifesting the Aspect of the Ancient. In conversation he listens more than he talks and explores all parts of a matter.
Like most Killorans Jolokar is driven to learn about different races, cultures, and customs. Being a young Killoran he is constantly searching for new people to meet, new races to discover, and ever ready to take extraordinary measures to acquire new experiences.
When Jolokar chose his name in his 10th year he relished joining his brothers and sisters exploring the world and its’ denizens. Learning about natures’ enemies and destroying them. He was driven in his desire to become as powerful as possible in order to serve as a champion of the earth. Many times he had heard of natures’ most powerful and majestic predator, the Dragon. How he yearned to emulate these great creatures. Following in his fathers’ footsteps Jolokar made a pilgrimage to the cave of a Silver Dragon in the region of their settlement. Jolokar petitioned the mighty creature for patronage in his pursuit to be a Dragon Shaman and the Dragon accepted. Skaarsh the young adult Silver Dragon made his home in a mountain range overlooking the Killoran settlement and has worked with them since their arrival in the defense of nature and goodly creatures in the region.
While Jolokar is driven to acquire power he will not betray the natural world to further his aims. He reveres the awesome power of nature and will defend it with his life. It isn’t just trees and rocks, it is his god, his creator, he is nature.
When the call comes out for adventurers to check on the burning sage, Jolokar sees it as an opportunity to witness the volcano. He relishes the opportunity to witness one of nature’s most awesome and powerful features. Having spent the last 3 months in town observing and learning about the settlement closest to his home he is ready to move on. He would also like to speak to the sage and see what kind of person is capable of killing not one, but two of natures most aggressive predators.
Jolokar slithered over the rocky ground to the top of the cliff. The scrub-land above the treeline of the “Riders to the Sky” mountains was his last chance to stay with his quarry. Jolokar knew that he would lose them if they reached the rocky ground ahead. While manifesting the Aspect of the Hunter certainly afforded him much sharper senses, he was not an amazing tracker. He needed to end this soon, they had already given away the location of their lair. The little ones must be saved. His mind clear of purpose, his body singing lithe and limber, his senses afire. He was the Hunter, they were his prey. He knew they were close, he could hear their scaly clawed feet on the stones in the gully below. The trail of murdered flora and fauna they left behind them as they passed through the timberline was galling. Such wanton destruction made his blood boil. One more leaf on their pile of crimes.
Jolokar made a silent thanks to his Dragon Totem, the mighty Silver Dragon Tharur, and channeled its’ POWER. Jolokar felt the mighty power of Tharur course through his body. As he sprang up and charged forward he knew he had a Silver glow to his green eyes. He did not hide the glow as he could, he wanted these vile creatures to see their doom. This land was under Tharurs’ protection and they had despoiled it. Jolokar let his pack slide free, jumped off the edge of the cliff, and pulled his shield and morning-star free as he floated down on the back of a Silver dragon outline. The Trogs noticed him to late as he fell, slamming his morning-star on the head of the scaly creature at the front of the line. The creatures neck seemed to disappear into its’ body as the head was crushed. Green black blood exploded. The hunt comes to its’ end. The Troglodites hissed in confusion and alarm at the sudden brutal attack and a musky scent threatened to overwhelm Jolokar. He choked down bile and pushed through the awful stench and noticed the two poles with the halflings trussed on them as they were thrown to the side. Perfect, they had landed behind a large rock on the left side of the trail. Jolokar found himself facing 5 Troglodites in a narrow gully. It was him or them. His reflexes enhanced with the speed of the Hunter, he took a deep breath of the cold mountain air and called forth the power of his breath. Fluids and gases mixed within him and were projected in a cone of ice, snow, and cold ahead of him. The first two Troglodites in line fell to the ground, frozen to death. The next three in line looked a little more hardy and had better equipment than the others. Jolokar readied his shield as three javelins streaked through the air at him with hisses of anger. The first javelin missed its mark landing well behind Jolokar. The second he blocked with his shield. The third javelin found its’ mark, plunging into his side as he blocked the second and left an opening below his chain shirt. Jolokar removed the javelin with a swift shift of his shield. It was just a flesh wound, it hadn’t gone deep. His skin, normally soft and supple like a new leaf was hardened and had a bumpy layer of scales underneath. He charged forward and his morning-star crushed through the upraised arm and into the chest of the next Trog in line, dropping it to the ground with a satisfying crunch. The two remaining Trogs yelled curses at him and the one in front jumped at him trying to tear him to pieces with its’ claws. Jolokar fended it off easily with his shield but the thing clung to it, clawing and wrenching and it bit his shoulder. Jolokar would have to make sure to thank Tharur for selling him this wondrous chain shirt, for the teeth could not make it through to the flesh beneath. The second Trog threw another javelin at Jolokar. It was damnably good at that! Jolokar was concentrating on keeping the first Trog off of him and was unable to avoid the javelin. It got below his shield and went through his left calf, almost dropping Jolokar to the ground. Jolokar needed to end this soon. He threw his shield with the trog on it back, the shield made a cracking sound as it flew away and landed on a boulder, and let forth another blast of burning cold. The remaining Trogs toppled over with frost encasing them. Jolokar checked his shield and it was indeed broken. The Troglodite had damaged it and the rock had cracked it.
Jolokar removed the javelin from his leg and tapped the healing force Tharur had shown him before he left on his hunt. Silver light flooded from his hand as he held it over each of his wounds. The flesh knitted together under the healing light and he praised the Silver Dragon and the power he could command. He moved through the battleground making sure the evil creatures were finished off. A grisly work, but necessary. He moved to the two trussed up halflings and cut their bindings. They were unconscious but alive. The Troglodites must have wanted to have some fun before they had their dinner….luckily for these wee ones. Jolokar laid one hand on each of their diminutive heads and the remaining reserve of mending power within him was spent. The halflings awoke with a gasp and a start, and looked around in fear. Jolokar assured them that he was there to help and would return them to their village. They pulled back at first, wondering who or what this creature before them was. Jolokar asked them what their names were and they reluctantly answered. The one with brown hair was Keeks and the one with black hair was Smits, from the small fishing village on Lake Meth called Luthadel. Jolokar gathered the javelins and gave several to each halfling. They grew a little more bold with weapons in their hands and Keeks asked Jolokar which forest god he was. Jolokar barked a laugh and told them he was no god, just a champion of nature, a destroyer of evil, a champion of good, and a protector of Luthadel. Jolokar did a more thorough search of the troglodites and made out with a few coins and a couple minor healing potions from the first trog he had crushed with his morning-star.
Jolokar led Keeks and Smits back towards Luthadel after gathering his pack from the top of the cliff and cleaning his equipment from the battle. As Jolokar, Keeks, and Smits neared Luthadel they were met by another halfling on the path. Keeks and Smits cry “Smilebeard!” in glee at the sight of the halfling ranger on the path. They rush forward and a group hug ensues. Jolokar nods to Smilebeard and turns to go. He has dealt with Fruben before, both seeing themselves as protectors of Luthadel. Fruben pulls free of Keeks and Smits and calls after Jolokar. Jolokar stops, waiting for Fruben to catch up. Fruben tells Jolokar that he is needed immediately at Luthadel, for there are about a hundred Troglodites headed that way! Fruben had been out scouting the area when he noticed them. He had already been back to Luthadel and the evacuation was under way. He had just gone on a quick sweep of the area looking for these two before the village fled.
Jolokar knew he could not fight that many opponents at once and survive. Tharur was gone on a mission so he could not help, and the Killoran settlement was not even as big as Luthadel. He did not fear for his people for they could defend themselves if the Troglodites were able to find them, which was highly unlikely. He needed to get to Engelstad, the large city across Lake Meth, where his father was advising the Baroness Diege. He must alert them of the Troglodite threat and enlist Dieges’ aid for the halflings.
Jolokar ran with Fruben, Keeks, and Smits to Luthadel and assisted in the evacuation. As a fishing village on a serene lake, most of the buildings were floating on the water. When the village was founded the elders had great foresight. They were a peaceful people in a savage and unforgiving wilderness. They had set up the village of Luthadel so that with minimal effort or warning they could break loose from the docks and float away, effectively moving the village away from invaders. They still had several storehouses on land, but with the advanced warning from Fruben they were able to take most of their goods with them. The flotilla was obviously slow moving and hard to steer, but these water loving halflings were resourceful. Through their trading with Engelstad they had commissioned the use of an air elemental and a water elemental. Many rare and valuable plants and fish made Lake Meth their home, and Luthadel was doing well. Jolokar had many days to get to know the wee folk during their flight. He had been in the wilderness hunting, scouting, and mapping for quite a while. The break was welcome for he needed to update his maps, repair his gear, and replenish his supplies. Elementals are powerful forces, but moving a village is a lot of work! Jolokar and Fruben rode the elemental powered Luthadel flotilla across Lake Meth. It docked with Engelstad, the largest city on the lake.
Lady Diege and Jolokars’ father, Darnakar the Resolute, were waiting on the docks when Luthadel arrived. Lady Diege told the halfling elders that they were welcome to seek asylum in Engelstad, she would help them any way she could, but they did not have many spare resources to give them. The elders informed her that they appreciated the offer of assistance but had brought almost everything they owned with them and could trade for what they needed. Jolokar walked with purpose up the gangplank to the dock. He had heard the exchange and couldn’t help but notice Lady Dieges’ demeanor lighten when she realized she did not have the stereotypical refugees knocking at her gates for handouts. Times were tough in Engelstad it seemed. Jolokar caught his fathers’ eye and nodded. They were both manifesting the Aspect of the Ancient. They looked nearly identical. Both with white hair, blue eyes, and timeless features. There was one striking difference between the two however. Darnakar wore plain brown and green robes with the symbol of his position embossed over his left breast. It was a depiction of the tree of life and marked him as Lady Dieges’ resource adviser. There were also a pair of silver dragon wings folded behind his back. Jolokar had followed in his fathers footsteps when he became a dragon shaman, for he could think of no one more noble, commanding, and competent than his father.
Diege politely dismissed the elders and said she would be in contact with them but had many affairs of state to attend to. Darnakar motioned to Jolokar to step forward to give his report. Jolokar told Diege and Darnakar of his dealings with the Troglodites, the report from Fruben, and Luthadels’ flight. Diege thanked him for the report but stated there was nothing Engelstad could do to return Luthadel to its’ home docks for they had many problems with Trogs on this side of the lake in the Methwood. Darnakar bid Jolokar collect his things and meet him at the Manor House tonight for dinner and they could talk more there. Jolokar agreed and Diege and Darnakar left the docks.
Jolokar gathered his gear from his room at the Flotsam Inn and went downstairs to pay his tab. The proprietor, a middle aged halfling with curly brown hair and a small beer belly called Kips, was behind the bar cleaning mugs. Jolokar hadn’t received a bill during the voyage and Kips had repeatedly told Jolokar he would put it on his tab when pressed for one. Jolokar asked Kips what his tab total was. Kips stopped wiping out the mug in his hand and walked around the bar. He had been a bit intimidated by Jolokar at first, but they had talked and gotten to know one another during the long trip across the lake. Kips squared up in front of Jolokar and put out his hand. Jolokar took it and they shook. Kips told Jolokar that he had given him something worth more than a few weeks of room and board. Jolokar looked down quizzically into the halflings face and saw tears there flowing down and was confused. Kips explained that he hadn’t told Jolokar this before but Smits, one of the young halflings Jolokar had rescued, was Kips son and they were square. Jolokar knew there was no arguing and felt even better about saving those halflings. Often he did not meet the people his protection helped, and it was heartening to know that he had made a difference in someones life. Jolokar nodded, clapped Kips on the shoulder, thanked him, and left.
Jolokar made his way off the docks and stepped close to the wall of an Inn. He rested his pack, shield, and map case against the wall. He took his map case and pulled the contents free. He separated one map from the rest and replaced them. He looked at the map of Engelstad and was grateful he had copied it from one his father had shown him on a visit back home years before. It was only mid-day and Jolokar had several hours yet before he was expected at the Manor House. He looked at his map and started off into the city. Jolokar had been to Engelstad only once before in his life and that was with his father. He was more at home in the wilderness, but this wasn’t to bad. He made his way, with the help of his map, to one of the markets. The halflings had many skilled citizens, but they lacked a competent armorer. Jolokar entered the Green Knights’ Regalia, a forge and shop bustling with activity, and waited in line at the counter. He made it to the front and inquired about a new shield. The armorer showed him a wall with several shields. Jolokar knew he would need something stronger than his last one. Jolokar comissioned a large wooden shield and made sure to pay the extra for an enchantment. This would be stronger indeed! Jolokar left precise instructions and a rough drawing of what his shield should look like. A modified heater shield with a Pine Tree on the front and the words “Forest Service” on top.
His shopping done Jolokar wandered the city making notations on a piece of parchment on additions or changes he needed to make on his map of Engelstad. He arrived a little early for dinner and asked a footman where his fathers’ room was. He was guided to a wing of the Manor and he found his father. Darnakar was sitting at a desk looking at maps, charts, tables, graphs, and lists and making notations. He took his duty very seriously and was very proud of the changes he had brought to Engelstad. His vision was a city that one day would have very little negative impact on the natural world. Jolokar knocked on the door frame and waited. Darnakar made a final notation, stood and turned, and dismissed the footman. Jolokar entered the room as his father waved him in, dropped his gear, and they embraced. While they had exchanged letters, they hadn’t seen each other in 4 years. Jolokar and Darnakar filled the hour before dinner with catching up and a good game of cribbage as they had often done. Darnakar informed Jolokar that Lady Diege would not be joining them for dinner as she had left with a contingent of soldiers on patrol. They had a small dinner in Darnakars’ rooms. Jolokar told his father he would look for an inn the next day and spend some time exploring the city and learning of these humans. Darnakar thought that was a good idea. He told Jolokar to be careful outside the city as the Troglodites were everywhere it seemed.
Jolokar stayed the night at the Manor and struck out into the city the next morning. He visited several taverns, inns, and boarding houses in the city but none appealed to him. He had almost given up and he remembered the Flotsam Inn. He returned to the docks and entered the Inn. It was late when he entered the common room and there were few people still drinking. Kips was at the bar and his wife Midge was serving. Kips and Midge both brightened when Jolokar entered the door. Kips asked what they could do for him, and Jolokar asked if his room was still available. Kips said it was and he was welcome there whenever he wished. Jolokar ordered dinner and raspberry juice, having never liked the taste of alcohol, and placed a gold coin on the bar. Kips tried to tell Jolokar his money was no good at the Flotsam Inn. Jolokar told Kips that if he was going to stay there then he would pay for the services. He would feel like he was taking advantage of the kindly halfling couple otherwise. They went back and forth for a while. Jolokar trying to pay, and Kips trying to not get paid. In the end, Jolokar won. He made Kips accept 5 silver a day, more than double what they normally charge. Kips found himself agreeing to be paid, but wasn’t exactly sure how that had happened. They shook hands then Jolokar finished his meal and went to his room. It was one of only two larger rooms in the Inn, the rest were halfling sized.
Jolokar spent the next three months in Engelstad. He updated his maps of the city and of the Riders of the Sky mountains, and acquired his custom shield. It was perfect! Jolokar spent time speaking with Lady Diege and Darnakar on behalf of Luthadel. The elders had asked Diege for asylum and protection and she was weighing the proposal. The Festival of Fire came and went. Jolokar attended the ceremony, intrigued by this bizarre cultural activity. He had heard of this “Burning Sage” and was intrigued. What man could engender this much devotion and respect from a city he wasn’t even the ruler of? When Lady Diege sent out the call for adventurers Jolokar knew he must be in the party that went. He had to try and meet the Burning Sage and learn what he could.