The Sil family was killed in a landslide twenty years ago. From the elders on down, an entire bloodline wiped out just outside of their ancestral mansion. A few cousins remained who had not been invited to the event. It was sudden and, even to forty-year-old Siltanakka, incomprehensible. What followed was worse. His parents, as the closest relatives, assumed they would take power in the canyon. Instead, Rendanishak was made mayor, and Siltan’s family fell into squabbling and disgrace. Siltan threw up his hands and walked away.
Things didn’t go well for him after that. He ended up losing his money, then working in the mines, then finally becoming a farmer in the glass-domed fields beneath the ash storms. The respect he gained there from his fellow farmers meant nothing. His resentment grew and grew.
All that changed when the endless sands began blowing through his dreams. They led him to Fedinta, and she introduced him to the fleshcrafting demon Hearttoucher, and the desert whispered to him of opportunity. The desert tells Siltan that power is the only truth is this world, and whomever can take it deserves it.
He began introducing select individuals to Hearttoucher. He chose those who would not be missed first, who became Hearttoucher’s warped and rebuilt inner guard. Then he brought those whose temperance might let them resist her enough to stay active in the town, and these sold their possessions and businesses to him.
Now Siltan has a cult, albeit one that worships Hearttoucher. The creature that he thinks of as “his” demon has brought him over a dozen men and women, all willing to do anything to have another touch of ecstasy from beyond the world. He has a chance – a real chance – to wipe Rendan and his influence here out, as long as he can wait for the ash goddess that works with him to be gone for a few days. He’s confident that he could work out some deal with her too, just as he has with people in town. He just needs to keep the demons a secret.
Siltan is a dark-eyed sixty-year-old with a haunted face. His skin is a dark brown typical of the deep south. He keeps his face clean-shaven and his hair cut short.
Most of the time, Siltan is just another farm-owner, quiet and unassuming. He wakes in the morning, inspects his fields, greets his workers, plans for the coming season, and goes home. Most people see him as a good hard-working man.
At night, though, he speaks his cult. He becomes intense, the force of his personality spilling out through his words and his eyes. He is often furtive and secretive after sundown, his eyes darting from side to side. The change in his personality is dramatic.
Intimacies: “Hearttoucher” (Defining), “Revenge against Rendanishak” (Defining), “Wait until the time is right” (Major), “The people of Red Jade Canyon” (Negative), “The thrill of the illicit” (Positive)
Siltan is a well-respected member of the farming community, which puts him on the fringes of Red Jade Canyon. He also owns a few shops that were once run by those in his cult. He’s not a particularly compelling public speaker, but he can be very convincing one-on-one, especially when he has a lever with which to pry at someone’s convictions. He’s especially good at keeping his secrets and resisting outside influences. Finally, he’s remarkably adept at running the little criminal cartel he’s put together here, keeping it under the notice of Rendan and his servants.
Siltan is a non-combatant. His time with the fleshcrafter has cleaned the soot from his lungs and straightened his back, but not enhanced his physical prowess.
- Silvashi, Siltan’s niece, who chastises him for his unrighteous ways. High-minded, suspicious, loud.
- Therenaska, a cult member who idolizes Siltan more than he loves Hearttoucher. Reckless, easy-going, jealous.
- Three-Hands Rendo, Siltan’s Guild contact. Lively, penny-pinching, ambitious.
- Bon, god of the deep earth beneath the mines, who is beginning to suspect the cult’s existence. Slow, foolish, protective.
- Why does the endless desert speak to Siltan?
- If Siltan intends to take power, he will need Ieska‘s blessing – or at least her forbearance. How will he obtain it?