Threllxhic. Near-universally referred to as "threll" for sake of simplicity. Threll are physically decidedly similar to humans, with most scholars agreeing they share common ancestry. They have a longer lifespan than humans and may live well over a century and a half, though most threll die naturally a few years after they reach a hundred. Threll also enter adulthood later than humans, and enter their middle ages in their sixties. The race is notoriously infertile and their numbers are accordingly relatively few, though they are widespread and many of them have long since mingled with and integrated in human societies, making threll an uncommon yet unsurprising sight in human kingdoms. The largest congregations of threll still live in enclaves in the wild, however. Most threll prefer to live outdoors with no roof overhead, exposed to the sky. Their naturalistic living has made them somewhat more resistant to diseases and poisons than humans.Nationality:
Appolon is a small, unclaimed region bordering Nagath and the Marcher Lords alike. It is a hostile place with dense forests, jagged cliffs, steep climbs and deep valleys. The wildlife is dangerous, and there is little of worth in the region. Therefore Appolon is sparsely populated aside from the ancient holding of Xanathiel - a coastal settlement that is one of few threll enclaves not nomadic in nature. Xanathiel was a large city-state many centuries ago and a power in its own right. Much has changed since then, however. As the number of threll have dwindled, Appolonian nature has grown wilder and encroached upon society, while the dark dominion of Nagath further severely and adversely affected the settlement before Daigon's fall. Today Xanathiel is populated by some four thousand threll and a few hundred humans (most refugees from Nagath deemed capable), thus remaining the largest threll enclave in existence. Occupation:
The enclave's livelihood revolves entirely around Vanir i Xanath - "the Order of Xanath", usually referred to by foreigners as Xanath's Order or the Vanir. It is a form of military and religious order tasked with adhering to the Six Aspects of the threll god Xanath; Justice, Dignity, Perseverance, Order, Patience and Dedication. It predates the city of Xanathiel, it's origins as old and forgotten as that of the threll race itself. In modern times the Vanir serve as protectors of Xanathiel and Appolon as well as taking on contracts from the outside, most often the Marcher Lords or the Imperium. Whereas the size of Xanathiel has dwindled over the years, the Vanir remains a numerous and strong military order (or mercenary company, as most Marcher Lords describes them) with the entire population of Xanathiel in some capacity working for the order. As for Daigon, the Vanir actively worked to combat the threat, much like every other perceived evil and/or enemy to law and order. It was also during this time their relationship with the Imperium was at its best, as they collaborated against a common enemy.
The military of the order specialize in tracking, finding and dispatching unwanted entities. Generally this translates in practice to members of the Vanir travelling far and wide to track down criminals, murderers and brigands, often in the employ of the Marcher lords and, on occasion, Inquisitors, should their goals align. The Vanir members enacting these contracts are known as "Stalkers", an equally apt and obvious name. The Vanir maintains offices both among the Marcher Lords as well as one office in the Imperium and others beyond where anyone may negotiate a contract, provided that the wanted entity has breached Xanath law (laws that more often than not coincide with those of the Imperium). These offices are not solely employing threll, unlike the headquarters in Xanathiel, but mostly consist of humans (and in the Imperium only consists of humans, due to the Imperium’s decidedly hostile view on other races). Ages ago, the Vanir used to have entire order chapters established in over a dozen locations around the lands. Today all but three have been dismantled. One of the other two is located in the Marches whereas the last chapter can be found in the city state of Jovirah, northwest of the Imperium.
Stalker in the Order of Xanath, where he has reached the rank of Commander.Religion:
Xanathism is as straight-forward as it is old. Xanath was an entity powerful enough to claim godhood who in ancient times fought to establish society in a wild world dominated by chaotic, barbaric gods. The war lasted millenia, but Xanath emerged victorious and the envoys of chaos and anarchy were vanquished. Yet victory came at a price, and Xanath would succumb to the wounds sustained in ages of battle. In a last sacrifice Xanath spawned the threll, tasked with upholding Xanath's virtues, for while the envoys may have been defeated the chaotic gods and their servants were destined to come back.Appearance:
Ever since then threll have fought against everything from criminals to gods in their pursuit of order. Yet throughout the years, many threll have lost that sense of purpose and - much like the other races - regards Xanathism with skepticism. From that spawned Vanir i Xanath, an order dedicated to make sure the threll purpose was not lost in time.
Or so legend would have it.
Tall for a threll, about 6’1”, Carrick features a very strong, athletic body that, while having lost some agility over the years, remains an imposing presence. His muscles are as hard as his face, with scars running along most of his limbs. Carrick's long hair has turned from blonde to white at a younger age than usual for a threll, though his weathered face looks very much to belong to a man approaching his middle-age. Carrick’s walk is a confident and determined one, much like his yellow-eyed gaze. His face is adorned with a so-called Moon Carving, a type of branding indicating that he belongs to the leadership of the Order of Xanath.Personality:
Tainted by the memories of his clans demise, Carrick has remained a cold yet passionate man. His view on criminality and what he considers to be evil acts is unwavering, as is his resolve in combating these threats. He has given his life to the order and has no family outside of it. His discipline and work rate is extreme even amongst the members of the order, who often find Carrick intimidating. Some make jokes about him behind his back, more often than not in an attempt to remedy the fact that they feel incompetent in comparison. Often viewed as a grim and even bitter man, Carrick's outlook on the world is bleak after facing the ugly sides of it for so long. He holds little love for the society he protects, but remains certain that law, order and justice are virtues worth upholding. Still, Carrick's own views of how to achieve such a state doesn't necessarily coincide with the Vanir's. Carrick very much think that the goal justifies the means, and is not above doings that are considered highly amoral and indeed breaching the Vanir's tenets, as long as the result is a more stable society.Biography:
As Commander, Carrick spends his days managing the military part of the Order of Xanath. He is somewhat uneasy being the shot caller - not because of a lack of self-confidence, but more because he has lived a long life as a professional loner and has crown accustomed to it. Carrick is as confident and self-assured as he is determined, but his single-mindedness has left little room for a social life. Most people find him hard to be around socially, and the only time Carrick is ever heard cracking a joke are either in front of a stove or the rather seldom occasions on which he is drinking. Nevertheless, Carrick is dependable. He always returns a favour with a favour and does whatever he can to protect those he considers to be good people.
While well-read in aspects pertaining to military matters - be it history, tactics, smithing or leadership - Carrick is far from an intellectual and knows little about subjects not related to his profession, the exception being cooking, a hobby of his. He knows little of culture, and is surprisingly inept regarding etiquette and social norms for being a well-travelled Stalker. Carrick has lived a violent life and it has left its marks. Bloodshed does not phase him and Carrick has no qualms about using violence when he finds it necessitated.
Carrick, a name he inherited from his human father, is the result of a rare offspring between a threll and a human. Aniewen, his mother, was a druid and the leader of a small threll enclave living on the western edges of Nagath - a relatively "safe" area of Nagath in which the enclave had moved about for a long time. Carrick’s father, Carrick, was a brazen, charismatic merchant whom courted Aniewen over the years as his trading caravan would visit the clan, eventually finding his feelings answered. Equipment:
The affair didn’t last for more than a year as Carrick’s father was killed in a botched highway robbery on one of his journeys, but Aniewen was already pregnant and chose to name the child after its father. While threll genes are dominant to the extent of it being impossible to tell a half-threll from a threll, pure bloods living in enclaves often disdain half-breeds and Carrick was no exception. Growing up he was often bullied in secrecy by other children (as no one would openly dare disrespect the leader’s son). Nevertheless, Aniewen did raised the young Carrick rather successfully, teaching him the mundane druidic arts in the process.
As Carrick came into his teens, disaster struck. Tension had risen between the enclave and the inhabitants of the western human settlements. The game the threll hunted had moved to the west, to the human hunting grounds, causing the threll to venture into human lands in search for food. The humans demanded the threll move east, while the threll refused to travel further into the perilous lands of Nagath. It didn’t take long before vocal conflicts turned into physical violence, and on one such occasion leaving three humans dead. After that, the humans wanted blood. A company of mercenaries consisting of thieves, murderers and their like was hired to force the enclave to move, or kill them if they refused. Aniewen and the other leaders of the enclave refused, and the mercenaries proved more than up to the task as they easily slaughtered the threll, among them Aniewen.
Carrick, however, survived. His mother had demanded that he’d leave in secret as the fighting erupted. Carrick had listened and left, despite every fiber of his being wanting to help protect his ‘brethren’ and, more importantly, his mother. He left his lands entirely, travelling to the south, where he would have plenty of good and bad experiences.
Unsure of what to do with his life, Carrick found his calling while visiting Xanathiel, a threll enclave of a size which Carrick had never seen before. He had of course hard of both the settlements and Vanir i Xanath, but he had disregarded the stories as overblown. Where was the order when his enclave needed them? Yet upon seeing the ancient coastal fortress wedged inbetween massive, dark cliffs, Carrick couldn't help but be awestruck. After visiting Xanathiel's kanisa (a form of church), Carrick became enamoured by the Xanath teaching's. Whether out of a sense of obligation, guilt or vengeance Carrick was convinced by the religious leaders that the best way of honoring his fallen enclave would be by taking up the sword and use it against those who would commit such atrocities.
Carrick had found himself among the new recruits the following spring, beginning a very long, difficult and unforgiving apprenticeship that would see most of his comrades either not make the ranks or simply quit. Carrick, however, did not. He proved a talented if unexperienced swordsman and made use of his mother's teachings as well as his upbringing in general as the Order taught him to scout, track and live off the land. After completing his training, Carrick was assigned to one of the many small military units in the order, consisting of other military trained members (Stalkers, as they’re called by the public).
The unit proceeded to carry out various assignments for the order, with Carrick doing what he felt he was destined to do – hunt evil. As the years went by, Carrick rose in prominence among the Vanir, eventually to the degree that he started operating by himself, travelling much farther than most Stalkers did in pursuit of wanted men, creatures and other. Meanwhile, Carrick continued rising in the Order's ranks, until eventually being named Commander of the Order, second only to the Masters and the Grandmaster. Carrick desired to expand the order into Nagath, and found himself increasingly frustrated by the fact that only a handful of the Stalkers ever travelled as far as himself in their pursuits - simply cancelling contracts if their quarry moved too far to the east.
As the years went on, an aging Carrick found himself with the opportunity of seizing to chase monsters and mages and instead focus on his vision. He had long been a vocal proponent for a new order chapter and as such his peers where well aware of Carrick's wish. The Grandmaster of the Vanir himself had taken the proposal under serious consideration, and had finally reached a decision - Carrick was to travel to the pirate city of Ozgad's Folly and investigate the possibilities of establishing a Vanir chapter there, under Carrick's own command. The strategical location of Ozgad's Folly would make it possible to travel from the city to Xanathiel by sea - a far quicker and "safer" (the Cursed Sea bears its name for a reason) way of travelling than that by foot across Nagath. The city would then serve as a base of operations for the Vanir as they began rooting out the corrupting presence of evil throughout Nagath.
All this hinged on the nature of Ozgad's Folly, however. Was the city simply too far gone in it's decadence? Could Carrick ever hope to reach an agreement with the local leaders and stabilize Ozgad's Folly enough for the Vanir to move in?
Two of his own swords. One longsword meant for battle, and one shortsword he carries in daily life. They're not masterwork quality, but they could certainly fetch a high price and are perfectly balanced to Carrick's taste. Other than the swords, Carrick puts little value in material things, and own nothing of note. Yet there is this trophy he once took from a deranged mage he had been contracted to kill - a small crystal ball the size of an eye. It's iridescent but otherwise unnoteworthy, but Carrick hasn't been able to bring himself to sell it. He has brought the lighter version of his order's armour with him to Ozgad's Folly - a fur-studded brigandine and hardened leather greaves, the brigandine sporting the Vanir crest of a white sword atop a blue and green field.Skills:
Nearly all of Carrick's talents relates to the field he has dedicated his life to. He used to be an extraordinary swordsman and duelist, to the extent that he never met his match. The years have aged him, and Carrick is not quite as quick or indeed good as he once was with a sword, but is still deadly in his use of it. As good as he is with a sword, as pathetically bad he is with ranged weapons. Carrick is not a marksman. He is an excellent tracker and survivalist, often spending weeks or months from civilization in search of his prey. He is cunning in tactics, setting up ambushes and getting information. During later years, he has through practice developed some sense for strategy and management - aspects he was previously very unfamiliar with and is still somewhat uncomfortable with. As pastime Carrick practices smithing, specifically swordsmithing. He is hardly an expert, but he has done it for a long time and knows exactly how to create something befitting him.Motivation:
Other than that, Carrick considers himself a good cook.
Carrick has intentions of extending his order's influence into Nagath, with the penultimate goal of bringing law and order to the region - a goal he is well aware is unlikely to be reached in his own lifetime. What he might be capable of orchestrating, however, is doing the same to Ozgad's Folly. Carrick has been sent to evaluate the city and it's possibilities of turning from a nest of vipers to a civilized settlement, and Carrick has every intention of forcing that change should the vipers resist.