Cathak Venkan, the Lookout

Background

Telar Thousand-Eyes was the god of sight. His son, Cathak Venkan, inherited his father’s gifts. Therefore, Venkan alone, among all surviving beings, saw the Holocaust of the Gods and the victory of the Luminous Godkiller Weapon.

At the time, Venkan was on River Island. He was part of an elite force that had invaded the island, hoping to take advantage of any weakness while the Weapon was away. They had climbed high into the southern mountains to circle around on the island’s capital. Their mission had been effective so far, mapping essence conduits and troop deployments. They might have succeeded in assassinating General Karal Volan if not for the explosion. When the Weapon killed the gods, it was visible halfway across the world. Venkan, of course, saw what happened all the clearer. His commander called a return to the Blessed Continent, and in the chaos of the Empire’s loss and the Island’s celebration they actually made it back.

Venkan had loved his father and was loved in return. When he returned, he and his mother cried helplessly in the Cathak citadel. When he recovered, somewhat, Venkan went looking for those who might help him avenge Telar’s death. He had difficulty finding anyone who believed that River Island was vulnerable. Between the death of the gods, the dissolution of the Empire, and the defeat of its armies, his best choices were perhaps not the best.

Cynis Operations helped him find who he needed. Venkan offered them what money he had; they laughed at it. He still doesn’t quite know why they’re helping him, but he can tell that they’re scared of what happened and willing to risk their lives. That’s good enough for him. He flies with them now on the zeppelin named No Memory, and points them all toward the enemy. All they need to do is get there in one piece… and then do the impossible.

Appearance

The Lookout 500

Venkan’s eyes are a captivating color, a light green with just a hint of blue. They show no changes when he uses his supernatural vision – or, rather, he is always using it, and they are the badge of what he is. His skin is a medium brown with a hint of red. He often wears a pair of goggles, more to protect his eyes than to enhance them. He has a short-trimmed close beard and moustache.

Demeanor

Venkan used to be businesslike, but friendly. He wasn’t light-hearted, exactly, but he appreciated having people around and seeing them laugh. These days he is cold, calculating, and lonely. He spends most of his days brooding, looking toward River Island, considering the strategy for the No Memory’s approach and what he will do when he reaches Karal Volan.

He hasn’t told the rest of the group that he hired Cynis Operations. He’s ok with them taking a leadership role. It means he doesn’t have to reach out to his teammates at a time when emotional contact is painful for him.

Intimacies: “The Weapon must be defeated” (Defining, Negative), “Karal Volan must die” (Defining, Negative), “My family” (Major, Positive), “My teammates” (Positive)

Capabilities

Venkan is a true son of both his father and his mother. From his mother’s side he was trained as a Cathak warrior prince, skilled in sword and musket. He knows how to survive in the wilderness, how to find safe food and clean water, where to shelter in a storm. He can swim, climb, and run great distances. He can hold up under torture for a few hours, which is all one can ask in such situations. He also knows how to be suave and composed, how to make someone look like a fool or feel like a champ. He’s a little out of his depth in political maneuvering, but he’s very charismatic one-on-one.

From his father, he inherited sight beyond the dreams of the finest scouts. He can take in an entire scene at once, as if having studied a painting of it for hours. He can see fine detail, like brush strokes on a painting, for as far as he has a clear line of sight. With a little effort, he can see without needing line of sight at all, looking through walls and people with equal ease, for hundreds of kilometers. Sometimes this sight will even activate without his intent, warning him of dangers. The only things that block his vision are the Five Exiguous Compounds. Air, he can see through; the other four, not so much.

Since his father died, he’s also been experiencing some flashes of unexpected insight, such as being able to see flows of essence or the emotional states of those around him. He’s not sure what’s going on here, or how to control this new power. At the moment he’s kept it a secret.

For all his distant vision, Venkan can’t see the future. That talent belongs to his aunt, the prophet Starsight.

Supporting Characters

  • Cathak Rhitra, his commander in the group that raided River Island. Bold, wise, scarred.
  • Cathak Ea, his cousin and friend, one of the few who knows where he’s gone. Sarcastic, outgoing, defeated.
  • Cathak Nora, his mother, who recruits warriors to defend her remaining family. Clever, imposing, insightful.
  • Mnemon Bandala, a childhood friend who lives at his aunt Starsight’s enclave. Hard-working, enthusiastic, shrewd.

Questions

  • Did Venkan receive some of his father’s essence – or perhaps even his job as a god – when Telar died? What does that mean for Venkan if he survives in the long run? Are other god-bloods feeling the same changes?
  • Does Venkan know about Yushoto Koletta at all? If not, has something kept him from seeing her?
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Kellen Sky-Eyes, Royal Consort

Background

Kellen is the son of Alambor the Tide Lord. Born to a mortal woman some thirty years ago, Kellen had just come into his inheritance when Amilar Valna arrived with her fleet. Kellen was tired of dealing with his father’s court and with the local inhabitants. He immediately saw an opportunity, and wooed Valna from the moment she stepped off her ships.

Winning Valna’s hand was not easy. The Chosen of the gods are more than mortal, and Kellen found himself outclassed in a dozen different ways. He was forced to drive himself mentally and physically simply in order to keep up, let alone impress her. When Valna took him as her consort, first quietly, then officially, Kellen was initially pleased. He suddenly had power, renown, and influence across the whole of his father’s territory, with barely the need to work for it.

And just like that, he was bored again. Valna’s attention was on her realm, not him. He tried to hold her eye through politics, through military affairs, through dealings with the spirit world. She told him that he was still valued, and then moved on to the next important meeting. He sought attention through misbehavior, including several affairs. Valna made it clear that she didn’t care; told Kellen that he was replaceable if he went too far out of line. Quietly, he seethed.

Kellen kept his affairs; those men and women at least paid him enough attention to sate him temporarily. Two of those affairs are of particular interest. The first is a tryst with Yatna the Yellow, of which Valna is aware and displeased. For Kellen, this is all the more reason to ply the merchant queen with his wiles. The second is a torrid romance with the spy Iselsi Umon. Kellen is unaware of Umon’s origins; he suspects that she’s a spy but not for whom. He certainly doesn’t know that she’s Chosen. Valna is not aware of this affair at all, and would be furious if she were to find out that Kellen is sleeping with an agent of the Scarlet Empire.

Kellen is incredibly jealous of Ilsadoth‘s relationship with Valna. He knows that Ilsadoth has Valna’s heart in a way that he doesn’t. However, since Kellen doesn’t realize that he himself wants Valna’s love in addition to her attention, he’s in denial about it. As for Ilsadoth, he wrote off Kellen after the second day, when he realized the depths of Kellen’s narcissism. Ilsadoth doesn’t pay Kellen any attention whatsoever.

Appearance

Kellen Sky-Eyes 500

Kellen is a beautiful, muscular young man with dark skin and eyes. His hair has a bluish tint, marking his heritage clearly. He most often wears only a hakama and perhaps a few pieces of jewelry, leaving his chest bare.

Demeanor

At his best, Kellen is a commanding and dynamic individual. He’s charming and charismatic, at least on the surface. However, his need for acceptance makes him petulant and unpleasant beneath. He talks his way way into a myriad of important situations, then fails to puts forth the necessary effort to see them through. He knows that Valna – more often, simply her reputation – will seem him safely out of a bad situation.

Kellen presents a smiling, snobbish, disinterested air in court and around the city. This is a calculated move to increase the impact when he brings his attention and charm to bear. Yatna the Yellow plays this game along with him, for she wishes to rattle Valna’s cage as well. His relationship with Iselsi Umon is still young, and so he is still romantic, and she, impassioned. Both are calculating how long this might last.

When Kellen visits his mother, as he does several times each year, he is different. He is no longer the bratty child that he presents to his peers. He is caring and patient, attending to her needs and ensuring that she wants for nothing. Few outside of his family have seen this side of him.

Intimacies: “The attention of every person I meet” (Defining), “My father and his approval” (Positive), “My mother’s safety and comfort” (Major), “I am jealous of Ilsadoth” (Negative), “Actions taken in jealousy are justified”

Abilities

Kellen is strong and limber, a portrait of health and beauty. His face captures attention from across a room, and his voice could call sailors home from sea. He is capable of being graceful, charismatic, seductive, even conniving. His primary weakness is a lack of follow-through and effort. The study of lore and language escapes him, and he speaks only Rivertongue and Old Realm. He was trained with a bow and a trident as a youth, but has practiced only the bow.

Gifted with the essence of his father, the Lord of Tides, Kellen can call to the sea to advance or retreat. He can’t flood a town with this, but he can renew wells and springs, or shunt rivers into a new bed if given the time. Kellen can see the invisible denizens of the spirit world, speak with them, even grasp them if he so chooses. Alambor has implied to Kellen several times that his abilities could stretch beyond merely controlling the sea, but he hasn’t followed up on this. Kellen’s influence over the tides of battle, rumor, and fortune are yet undiscovered.

On one of Kellen’s ankles is a leather thong with a small cowry bead. This shell allows Alambor to come to Kellen’s side when called. It is a birthright token, part of Kellen’s soul as a god-blood, and will function only three times in his life. He has already used it twice.

Supporting Characters

  • Eritha Sea-holder, his mother, who lives in comfort by the sea-side to the north. Kellen has ensured with his own money that she is well taken care of. Kind, beautiful, absent.
  • Maruth Tinderhair, a palace guard whom Kellen has bedded from time to time. Watchful, uncertain, jealous.
  • Cloud-on-water, a water sprite that is Kellen’s favorite sister. Capricious, secretive, curious.
  • Risha Brownfoot, a serving woman who is another of Kellen’s affairs. Romantic, tired, a little paranoid.

Questions

  • How did Kellen win Valna’s interest? What did he have that she wanted or found appealing?
  • Kellen’s definitely a narcissist, but is he also secretly seeking a challenge, or is he just lazy?
  • What would Kellen do if given the opportunity to remove Ilsadoth and the underworld from Valna’s life?