Dying of the Light
Former slave of a barbarian chieftain
Mara of the Cackling Horrors Tribe
Power Points: 15
- Clueless (Major) – Lived most of her life with a barbaric group of raiders
- Enemy (Minor) – Former tribe out to get her
- Vow (Minor) – Suffer no cruelty
- Arcane Background
- Power Points
- New Power (Healing)
- Notice (Smarts) d8
- Healing (Smarts) d6
- Stealth (Agility) d6
- Fighting (Agility) d6
- Survival (Smarts) d4
- Taunt (Smarts) d4
- Tracking (Smarts) d4
- Psionics (Smarts) d8
- Leather Armor
- Barbarian’s Blade [Starmetal] (effectively a Short Sword)
- Spears x3
- Winter Coat
- Crude leather sack
- Leather belt
- Old Knife
- Sturdy leather and fur clothes
- Leather pouch
- Climbing gear (hammer-pick, spikes and 100 feet of rope)
- 245 Stonefast weights
Advancement points: 2/5
Mara doesn’t remember much of her life before the Cackling Horrors took her. She was the abused daughter of the chieftain of another tribe of barbarians, and was taken by Ruck the Bonegnasher of the Cackling Horrors at the tender age of 15 as a fitting trophy for wiping out the enemy tribe. Her life was spared merely for being young and somewhat pretty, a rare prize for a second-rate tribe chieftain like Ruck. It would not be out of place to say that Mara was his favourite plaything, when he tired of her body, her did his best to break her mind. It is likely that without the limited interaction with the old hag that the Horrors kept around to serve as their medicine woman, she would have succumbed to desperation long ago. The hag knew well what a pretty thing like her was to go through for the remainder of her life, and did her best to prepare her for her eventual escape. She taught her what little she knew about reading and writing, and the skills to make herself useful, how to clean and sow up a wound, how to prepare medicine from various herbs and how to set a broken bone so that it has the chance to heal.
Mara also had the presence of mind to learn what she could from the hunters and trackers when she was dragged along by Ruck, skills she knew she might one day need if the opportunity to escape showed itself. She carefully studied what the hunters looked for to find game, what the trackers looked for to find other tribes and what the raiders looked for before they struck a man down.
Even with all of this, she never dared to consider that she ever had a chance to escape. Those raised as slaves learn early that hope is a fickle mistress. And yet, learning was the only thing that was her choice, that she could call her own.
She was his slave for 5 long years before opportunity showed itself. The hag had given Ruck a sleeping herb. He was knocked out in his tent, a drooling mess. It was late in the night, the only figure still moving around outside was the chieftain’s half-brother, the watch for the night. This was it, this was as good as it could get. Mara took the chieftain’s prize blade, an ugly, jagged thing that he had taken from another barbarian chief not long ago. It cut into men’s flesh like a fierce animal, leaving the most horrid of wounds. She took the blade and snuck outside. She stalked him for the better part of an hour, time she could’ve used to get more distance from the camp easily, but it wasn’t just about escape anymore. She wanted this, she wanted to take something from Ruck. His half-brother was a fitting prize. When the sentinel finally sat down by the fire, she crept up to him and slashed, desperately, at his neck. Nobody flinched at the gurgling and thrashing of his final moments. The death throes of a man were all too familiar to this tribe of animals.
She was his slave for 5 long years, but when she rose, bloody corpse at her feet, she was a slave no longer.
Mara had her first taste of what it means to be free after being hired by a caravan she stumbled upon, promising to guide them to the dreaded Stonefast in exchange for food and protection.
Mara’s powers first manifested during a particularly dangerous situation involving Starmetal Constructs. Perhaps due to a combination of utter terror, will to survive and a great concentration of Starmetal, she let loose with raw magical power and disabled the constructs. Then, still hazy and fueled by adrenaline, she brought the mountain down on itself in a terrifying display of starmetal-infused arcane might, then promptly passed out.
Mara went through very trying times during her days with the caravan and immediately after. Between the pressure placed upon her by Jin, her old tribe ambushing her in the dead of night in what should have been a safe place, her strange dream, her powers going awry, and having to travel with people she despised for the better part of two weeks, she was overwhelmed and exhausted. Seeing the Stonefast for the first time was terrifying, going down into the dark reaches of the earth, that she swore to herself she’d never do willingly again, into a grotesque reflection of a settlement, with way too many people packed tightly together, screaming, shouting, and sweating in the same place. It’s not a stretch to say that without the miraculous (to her at least) experience of the hot springs, she may not have been able to go on for much longer.