Karsa was born to the Skywatcher clan of the Stone-speaker tribe of Goliaths in the Northern Mountains. Blessed with the markings of a Spirit Talker, Karsa’s fate was foretold to include the path of the spirits as the replacement for the aging Skyspeaker or shaman (religious not class) of the tribe. Among the Skywatcher clan there is an important tradition, on the eve of his 17th spring season Karsa went through his tribe’s passage ceremony and would soon after begin his true apprenticeship to the old shaman, Mirkan. The Ceremony involved ritually purifying oneself through prayers and fasting for an entire day before being put into a deep meditative state before being buried a full 6 feet underground. There the space loving Goliath must meditate on life and death and emerge reborn to the sky. The last step is to extract oneself from their premature grave by their own hands and see the sky again. When Karsa reemerged from the earth he staggered back to the village to find it in ruins. Bodies of family and friends were in the alleys between the huts and tents, most of the tents were destroyed and burning. On the far side of the camp Karsa was ambushed by a squad of human slavers. Karsa was thrown into a small dark cage with a few other young children including the girl that his clan had betrothed to him, Kouori, and his childhood friend, and the girl he truly loved, Nailla.

Trapped in the dark cage clinging to each other for warmth and comfort, they were fed once a day for what seemed like an eternity of stinking darkness in the back of a large confined carriage, chained to their cages, their only light came from when the slavers grabbed a few of them from the cages and carried them back to the world of the light never to be seen again. 2 months past in the back of the carriage as friends and family were dragged off and lost forever, until only Karsa, Kouori, Nailla, and a young boy barely 3 seasons old who did not have a name yet, Nailla had taken to calling him Bern. Finally after nearly 3 months locked in the prison carriage the four of them were dragged from the cages, legs weak from lack of use and tossed before a towering human, bedecked in large gold chains and rings that hung from his fat neck and hands as his servants hurried to stand the goliaths upright, he surveyed their forms with a careful and practiced eye. “ah… good stock you’ve brought me this time Jinn, always bringing me such fine specimens how much are you trying to swindle me out of now” boomed the enormous man. “ always a fair price for you Baron Huygens, the females I will let go for 500 Platinum and piece and the older male is young, strong and good for breeding…how about 1000 platinum for him, and 300 platinum for the younger, he has potential” said a small weedy looking man, who Karsa assumed was Jinn. “A fair price Jinn, let’s continue these negotiations in my chambers” said Huygens

Karsa was then dragged back to the small cage with his companions and chained back to the cage. A while later Karsa, Nailla, Kouori, and Bern were taken from the chamber and led before the baron, their new owner, they were sold as slaves to the baron Huygens. As they were dragged out again in front of the baron they were thrown onto large stone slabs and securely tied down. In Goliath culture the marking one is born with foretell ones future and to mark ones skin in any way is considered the most heinous of crimes. After being tied down, a small man came out and with a malicious smile gashed across his face, began the grisly task of scarring with a knife the mark of the shattered glass, the symbol for a slave onto Karsa’s back, after he was done into the fresh wound he poured a small vial of burning oil that burned the scar into Karsa’s skin permanently before moving on to Nailla. Karsa struggled in vain against his binding but could only look on in horror as his beloved was marked in the same excruciating manner as he was.

2 years had passed since those events, Karsa had grown even larger in the two years of slave fighting in the baron’s gladiator arena for his oppressed subjects, Nailla, Kouori and Bern were being used as household servants for the Baron but they were able to stay in a cell adjacent to Karsa’s own. Kouori still clung to tradition and considered Karsa her husband; she had refused to acknowledge Karsa’s rejection of her and more than once gotten into fights with Nailla over her and Karsa’s “affair”, Bern had clung to Karsa like a young boy to his father, and more than once had only fallen asleep because Nailla “his mother” would sing a comforting song to him. That weak constitution was a hardship for Bern but he was slowly overcoming it, the life of a slave is not an easy one and Bern was growing quickly, soon the Baron would notice him and begin his introduction to the brutality of the slave matches. Karsa needed to hurry, a few months into their incarceration Karsa had escaped from his cell and snuck into the Baron’s castle, there he went on a rampage trying to kill the baron and win his and his family’s freedom. He had been subdued only after some of the guards brought in Nailla, Bern, and Kouori and told him to submit or they would be killed, after submitting he tried to bargain his way to freedom. The baron agreed to give him a shot, if he could net the baron more than ten times the amount he paid for the four of them he could earn his freedom. By Karsa’s estimation he needed only a few hundred more platinum to go before they could finally earn their freedom.

That night something terrible happened, Nailla was murdered by Kouori after an argument, stabbed through the gut with a knife stolen from the kitchen, as she died in her cell Karsa on the other side of the bars something snapped, something that he had been keeping inside himself for all those years, his connection to the spirit world has blossomed but in a way far too terrible for him to have ever imagined. He was watching himself as if his body were not his own, the whole world had gone blood red and his face was twisted and distorted, beastial, his marking were sharper and more bestial, his body seemed to ripple with power and strength unlike anything he had imagined could exist in the mortal world. He tore other slaves and the guards apart with his bare hands before grabbing his stone hewn great axe and beginning his rampage towards the baron’s castle. He slaughtered fleeing slaves and rushing guardsmen with a reckless abandon, the weapons of the guards were turned aside under Karsa’s terrible rage as he stormed through the baron’s castle. One vague memory stills burned his mind’s eye, the splash of blood as he pounced upon the fleeing Baron and cleaved his body in two before he had the chance to call for help. When Karsa awoke from the depths of his rage he was sobbing over the body of Nailla, surrounded by the entrails and gore of his slaughter, Karsa assumed Kouori and Bern had escaped in the confusion his rampage caused. From the destruction he scavenged some clothing and food and quietly escaped from the baron’s castle and headed toward the nearby city. Vowing never to unleash the horror that was that spirit again and crying over his lover’s death he questioned about the path his life had taken, his destiny had been ruined by the scars that cross his back, his lover was dead, and the closest thing to a son that he would ever have had been stolen by a jealous love.

When he came to the town he found himself surrounded by many of the patrons of the baron and, having never been exposed to human culture or seen anything but the baron’s slave quarters and the gladiator’s arena was totally lost in the city. By chance he found his way to a bar, when a 7’5” giant with a massive stone axe stumbles into a human bar it is a might awkward. Karsa could feel every eye in the bar upon his back as he made his way to the barkeep and order a room to stay for the night. As he handed the gold to the barkeep he felt a tap to his side. A rather large angry looking human began talking very slowly and loudly at him. “I seen you before, you’re that big guy that the baron’s always using in those gladiator matches, bet he’d be real happy to know that you’ve escaped.” Said the human “I haven’t…escaped, I… um… paid for my freedom” mumbled Karsa “hm well I don’t believe, I think you escaped, I think I should take you back to him, I also think that you ain’t so tough that I couldn’t knock you out and take you back to the baron for a little reward.” Said the loud human

The vision of the carnage swept through Karsa’s mind again, he stood to his full height and stared the human down menacingly. “I will say it once again, I didn’t escape… I paid for my freedom” he said his voiced laced with a venom unknown to his before, “I don’t want any trouble I only want to stay the rest of the night and then leave this town as quickly as possible.”The large angry man scurried back to his table as Karsa glared past him to the rest of the tavern goers.

At first dawn Karsa grabbed his pack and meager provisions, slung his axe across his back and quietly headed out into the town wanting to be as far from the town before the remains of the baron’s castle was discovered. He was nearly out of town, only a block to go… when he rounded the last block he stopped short, 50 or so feet in front of him a large mob had gathered outside the gate, many carried crude weapons and copious amounts of rope. As soon as he rounded the corner he knew he was as good as caught, the mob turned towards him with the fury of a hive of wasps, he turned and ran searching through the alleys and deserted streets. Slowly but surely the mob hunted him down until he was cornered, backed into a blind alley by the pursuing mob, they closed in around him and beat him with their makeshift clubs and weapons, until finally dragging him away in chains. They chained him down to a large wooden slat and propped him up in front of the vicious horde of people. A man dressed in armor pushed his way through the horde to stand in front of Karsa… “OK, beast we know what you did to the baron and his castle. Now if was up to me I would kill you like the dog you are…but you are lucky just this once because it’s not up to me.” Said the man calmly, but loudly so everyone in the crowd could hear Kill him, chop his head off, cut his bleeding heart out, came the cries from the crowd. “Now secure him firmly, and load him into the prison transport” barked the armored man and a few guardsmen rushed up to follow his command. Karsa was picked up and loaded into the prison carriage; they couldn’t stand him up so he was forced to lie down on the floor chained to the slat. Apparently the town had taken this commotion as an excuse to unload their jail and send their miscreants off to be judged, executed, or condemned in a larger city. A small weedy man leaned over Karsa face and said something about how glad he was that fat old baron had finally got what he deserved. Karsa just ignored him, here he was again chained down and locked up, facing imprisonment or death wherever he arrived, was this his fate to die, chained like a beast. The entire way to the city, a journey of three days, the small weedy man, Jinn continued to blather on about various reasons he was innocent, Karsa stayed silent for the most part and refused to speak with any of the other prisoners. On the last day Jinn said something that piqued Karsa’s interest, Jinn made mention of the reason he had been rotting in jail, he was captured trading slaves, after a raid on a Goliath village. Upon mentioning this a strange sensation rose up inside, like the rage he felt over Nailla’s death, but colder, sharper, more focused, the restraints he had been steadily loosening over the past few days finally snapped under this rage born strength. Faster than any guard could react Karsa’s arm snapped out and easily crushed jinn’s neck, he crumpled into his chained seat, as Karsa quickly made his way free of his own restraints and quickly jumped into the forest brush.

He wandered for what seemed like days lost in this golden lighted forest. Finally on the brink of exhaustion he collapsed, unable to continue, on the edge of sun lit clearing in the forest. Karsa felt like he could hear the mutterings of the spirits on the edge of his mind, but the image of the scar across his back continued block his connection the primal spirits of the land. It was at this time that a elven druid came upon him and healed him and tended his wounds. The druid listened to his story, and could sense the bitterness and growing hatred in the naturally kind Karsa. The elf druid then told of his own story, of his banishment from both human and Elven lands and human cities. The druid also taught him that his scar did not block his connection to the primal spirits but that his rage and bitterness were blocking the spirits voices. The druid taught him the way of the spirits, helping him to channel the spirits of his rages in a more directed force and helping him to clear the bitterness from his heart. He still pains after Nailla’s death, and still seeks some hint of Bern, but the world is large and he may never find them, his travels have taken him to Everhall, where a new journey awaits.


Saint's Light Jacoulton