A wizard searching for power
Boots of Mung!*
Like most great stories, this one starts with a girl. Before I tell you more, it’s not what you think. I’m Shadar-Kai, born in the Shadowfell. I spent my formative years in that land of the dead, sharpening my mind to prove myself to the Raven Queen, knowing that if I earned enough renown in her eyes, that even when I died she would protect and keep my soul. To this end, I competed in the arenas. I manipulated my opponents, controlling them until the final blow was so inevitable that a child could take it. I had known her for 7 years at this point, and this was the first time she accompanied me to an event. I told her I would win for her, kissed her on her forehead and proceeded to the battle grounds. That battle was a great victory for me, the priests and prophets all said that the Raven Queen was watching that day, and that surely my triumphs would be noticed and remembered. But all was not glorious, for it was on that day that he decided to travel further out into the world then he ever had before, to find new…”companions”. He took her from me that day. While I was earning the love of my Goddess and my people, that vile excuse for a man sent his minions into the arena and took my precious Yotsuba from me. That monster came into our world to escape from some enemies he had made, and decided on this particular day to send his weak-willed monsters into our city, and steal my baby sister from me. No one knows why he takes them, the Dread Emperor, or what he does with them. But we all know it must be something unholy. There is no one who dares stand up to him, for his speed and proficiency with his wands make him a worthy adversary for any opponent. To face him means to fight through his hordes of undead minions, fighting on the backs of the countless scores of corpses that line the path to his foreboding tower. And no one has been able to make that crusade and return to tell of it. But none of them had the one stable thing in their lives ripped away in service of the Goddess. What kind of Goddess is it who promises to protect our souls when we are dead? What good does that do the living? What good does it do my darling Yotsuba? None…she does no good to any living soul. So I will seek power in the Mortal World. We come from the mortal world, few people know that. We were once humans, changed over the ages spent in the Shadowfell, being perfected and improved upon our original design. Any now it is time for me to journey back there. I will do magnificent things there, maybe good, maybe not so good, but great things. And the Goddess will see the glory I bring to her name and she will give me the power to steal the mantle from the Dread Emperor and make it my own! Or I will find that power another way. If my Goddess won’t give me the power I need to protect my people, her people, I will find a way to make it on my own. I will find the power to banish my foes. I will find a way to cheat death, and then I will share it with my people. If I have to, I will take her believers away from her, and when she has been stripped of her power I will become the new God of my people, if I have to. But all I really want is my family back. If the Raven Queen were to deliver that to me, I would spend the rest of my life devoted to her favor. I would gladly serve as one of her Raven Knights. Although in truth I would rather taste eternal life under my own power, so that I may protect my people when they can’t protect themselves. So I am Yostuba! Now. I carry my sister’s name with me everywhere, and do wonderful things in her name. I hope only that my actions can in some way ease her burden, and that of the other poor souls who are trapped with her.