Axaganar, Traitor to the Sun

Background

Like Peacebringer, Axanagar comes from the lands north of the Pearl. He hails from the cold northeast, where few people live and the Fair Folk play their strange games in the pine valleys. He has a family there, but there was a town too that loved him, once, and the story of their death is the story of how he became what he is.

He was a watch-shaman, in a wooden fortress built into the towering redwoods, with his eyes bent on the horizon and the ground below. He returned home a few times a year, to his wife and children who lived in the town of Rensai. He loved seeing them grow up, and regretted that his job kept him away from them for so long.

No lookout likes to feel useless, but neither do they truly want to see what they are set to see. A riding of the Fair Folk came to the fortress. A terrible creature, long and sinuous, curving and carving its way through the trees, brought a dozen of their cataphracts with it, and sped past carrying dozens more. The troops of the fortress outnumbered the fey warriors, but fell before them like pine needles in the storm.

Axaganar was Chosen at that moment – he heard this new name, his name, spoken as if from the distant past. He ceased being who he was and became a living shadow. The space around him erupted with blinding light as he stepped from dark space to dark space, killing the Fair Folk. The warriors of the fortress thought him a spirit of vengeance sent by the sun, and they were not entirely wrong. Once the fortress was safe, he departed, following the monster that had brought them. He knew where it must be going.

He arrived in time to save his family.

As he slew the last of the Fair Folk and the power subsided in him, he saw the rest of the town. The merchants who knew him by name. The healer who had set his leg as a child. The old shaman who had trained him. The swordsman who said he held promise. All of them were dead. He and his family were the only ones who lived.

He swore vengeance on the sun that day. He left his family not long after. He traveled to the south, hearing that there was one there who might help him avenge the murder of so many, who might have been saved had but one more been Chosen.

Appearance

Axaganar 500

Axaganar is a light-skinned, dark-haired man with a brown moustache and oddly tan eyes. He wears patchwork clothing, many times repaired, all black and brown and dirty. On his head is a raiton headdress, covered with their feathers and owl feathers. He has several necklaces and amulets, earrings and hair-jewelry. Most of them are of silver or carved bone. His voice is gravely from years of smoking.

Demeanor

Angry. Where Peacebringer is the calm, peaceful emissary of the Worldbreaker’s Fist, Axaganar is her furious recruiter. He’s here to convince as many Chosen as possible that the gods care nothing for Creation – that they deserve to be torn from the sky and crushed underfoot for their neglect of the world. If that means Creation falling into the Underworld, at least that will be a just existence, where all are equal. Axaganar’s view of the world is very black-and-white.

He’ll take a few attempts at getting his message across. He’ll track people through their days and step out of the shadows after something goes wrong for them or for someone they love. If his quarry doesn’t bite, he’s more likely to leave in disgust rather than to attack. Once he’s decided to write someone off, he’s unlikely to give them another chance.

Axaganar is most reverent when addressing spirits. He was raised as a shaman, and respect for the gods runs deep in him – part of why his betrayal by and of the Unconquered is such a crushing thing for him. He knows that every god is different and acts differently. He knows that there may be a chance to convince some of them the Unconquered is not the ruler of Heaven that he should be. Conversely, he is least respectful with the King of Kindness and his minions. He has some deal with the King, the nature of which he has been unwilling to discuss, but he clearly doesn’t appreciate it.

Intimacies: “The Unconquered Sun” (Defining, Negative), “Worldbreaker’s Fist” (Major, Positive), “My Family” (Positive), “The King of Kindness is a manipulative ass” (Negative)

Capabilities

As a scout and lookout, Axaganar knows both military discipline and forward observing skills. He has abandoned the former, but the latter have been supernaturally sharpened. He can hear heartbeats and feel footsteps, making him almost impossible to surprise. His breath enhances the strength and agility that he attained in the military back home. He learned to grapple, and to use a bow and a spear, and his supernatural skills extend to those as well. He’s also an excellent tracker, better with people than with animals. None of those are the heart of his power.

Axaganar is a Night-caste Solar, and stealth is his supernal ability. His power is less about the sun and more about its absence: specifically, shadows. He can slip between dark places without being noticed, even to the point of teleportation. He doesn’t evade attacks; he was never where he was expected to be in the first place. Perhaps most terrifying, he can step into a person’s shadow, giving him a variety of abilities: to ride with them, to control them, or simply to strangle them. He uses darkness to distract his opponents, close in on them, or disengage from a more powerful foe.

The sun-traitor is also attuned to several manses controlled by the Worldbreaker’s Fist. Their hearthstones funnel essence to him, but they have other effects as well. One allows him to see and interact with ghosts and spirits. The second allows him to resist heat and fire – not enough to walk through a bonfire, but enough to stand over a campfire without injury to himself or his clothing. The last lengthens and darkens all shadows for three kilometers around him. He realizes that this last effect would let someone track him, but doubts anyone could move fast enough or see far enough to exploit that. He doesn’t have the experience with the Chosen that Peacebringer does, or he’d realize how wrong he is. All three of the stones will shatter if removed from his presence.

Supporting Characters

  • Hidden Beneath Shallow Dunes, the shoreline elemental Axaganar cowed into hiding his tracks. Eloquent, cowardly, vain.
  • Glittering Horizon, God of Sun on the Water, whom Axaganar is working to recruit. Uncommitted, egocentric, pensive.
  • Ufla Bonespear, his wife, who has gone searching for him. Tenacious, worried, angry.
  • Chetak Xupa, who doesn’t know how to tell the King of Kindness that he lost Axaganar’s trail. Frightened, erratic, faithful.

Questions

  • Axaganar must know that the dragon lines carry prayers, some of which would run to the Unconquered Sun. Is he behind disrupting them? To where might he divert them?
  • What deal does Axaganar have with the King of Kindness?
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