The Four Winds
6’6 green scaled lizardfolk.
Essodren had a fairly normal childhood with one difference….he saw spirits. This was a rare occurrence with the lizardfolk and seen with respect. Although they know how important it is to start training to become a shaman is they also know that they are a tribe of warriors. The Sharptooth tribe is known for their warriors and therefore they are a target. This is the reason Essodren also needed to learn how to defend himself.
Gathan was a prodigy of sorts and in his adolescence was able to hunt and defend the tribe as well as any warrior in the tribe. So when Essodren and Gathan grappled as a game when they were young Essodren never even stood a chance but still learned a lot from his elder brother. He would never be as strong or capable in a physical battle as his brother but still could defend himself as needed. Training with his brother was one of his favorite activities as a youngling.
Krassyk, Essodren’s father, was a great warrior in the tribe and seen as such. He helped save the village many times when attacked by outsiders and other tribes. The rest of the tribe saw him with great respect and often asked to train with him to make themselves stronger. Gathan was definitely his father’s son and was built like him as well.
Thrakess, Essodren’s mother, on the other hand was more of a healer than a warrior. She could take care of herself but did not have the taste for blood like Krassyk and Gathan. Essodren’s persona is more of his mother’s. Essodren and Thrakess were always close and he learned much from her with herbs, tracking, plant knowledge, and many other things.
Then there was Ashala. She was able to spirits as well so this made them good friends. Although he had a great family they had trouble always understanding him due to his “gift.” She was much more talented then him, as well as a few years older, when it comes to spirits and therefore he could learn much from her. Much like the relationship with his brother he would always learn new things from her because of her talents with the “gift.” There was many times he would be confused by the spirits and new things he could do and would go speak with her and she would always help him understand.
At the age of 7 the tribe elders decided that Essodren was ready to start the training to become a shaman. This was not an easy road but nonetheless Essodren was excited. Although Ashala started training years before Essodren they were students of the same teacher, Yassek, and there for classmates. Essodren was excited at this prospect. The first and most important thing he learned was the necessity of meditation to be able to truly communicate to the spirits. He had always been able to see them but not really communicate in any real way.
The first several times he had to get some help to reach the level of meditation that was necessary. There were mushrooms in the area that would help newcomers get into a trance, in a way teaching them get to the place necessary. It was a pretty jaunting experience the first couple of times but Essodren got the hang of it soon enough. He saw and experienced thing he never even knew existed. It was like being reborn into a whole new world but at the same time it felt like home. He felt at peace.
Essodren spent most of his time meditating and training to grow his new abilities. Of course he still made time to spend with his brother to keep up his physical body while training his mind. Ashala was always there for him to answer questions and help him get a better understanding of the spirits and their world. He actually learned more from her than his teacher. Since Ashala had started training years earlier than Essodren she had already been through everything he was doing and was able to make it much easier on him.
Several years have passed and he was twice the age he had been when he started training when it happened….the chieftain became deathly ill. The villages healers did everything they could but they just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. It wasn’t long till he was sent to the spirit world. Luckily for the Sharptooth tribe, a great warrior had already been chosen to become the next chief. It was no other then Gathan. He was the strongest warrior of the tribe which is all the qualifications that were required. It took some time to get the ceremony ready to declare Gathan the new chief. There were much festivities. Much dancing was to be had, much alcohol to be drank. Then the most significant part of the ceremony happened. The entire tribe shared in the feast of the intruders of the tribal lands. Gathan had to eat the brain of one of the men, which is seen as gaining their power and knowledge.
Just a few days earlier there were some outsiders that came into the Sharptooth territory. The warriors, led by Gathan, found a small group of intruders and made sure that it wouldn’t happen again…..by taking their lives. They returned to the village with the bodies to use them for the ceremony. The scraps of the bodies then were given to the wildlife of the swamp.
For the next several years the Sharptooth tribe flourished. With Gathan as the king and Ashala as his top adviser the tribe successfully gained territory. There was only one thing, more and more outsiders were coming into the swamp. The Sharptooth tribe were powerful and strong but could only handle so many outsiders at one time. At around that time Ashala decided to go to the spirit world and see if she could find out any information there. She couldn’t get any specifics but got information that there would be many troubles coming in the future from different ruins in the swamp and the outsiders will only get worst. The lizardfolk need to put aside their petty feuds for a time and join up to fight off the troubles to come. Of course the tribes would not lose their tribe pride, but join together for a common cause. Much debate was made about who would go and meet up with the other tribes and be an ambassador of sorts, but there was only one choice: Essodren. As a shaman he would be given respect from the other tribes even ones hostile with the Sharptooths. Although much disagreement is involved with tribes they all had respect for the shamans. There was a universal way to paint the body with mud to let the other tribes know that it was a meeting must be made with the tribes chiefs in case of causes of great importance so that they wouldn’t be killed.
It was finally time for Essodren to use everything he was for the well being of his tribe. There was much respect for Essodren by his tribe and now it was time to show why. The night before he headed out his brother took him off to the side and gave a heartwarming farewell to his brother. They had always been close and this would be the first time that they would be separated for this long of a time, especially in such dangerous times on a dangerous mission. Of course this meant that they would get 1 last training session in and beat the crap out of each other.
After the match Essodren decided to go outside for a walk before he went to the bed for the night. Ashala found him as he was wondering around. Ashala came up to him and said I need to speak to you of something of great importance before you leave tomorrow. Ashala led him a little bit outside the village and said OK this should be far enough away. Essodren looked at her confused, and asked “why could we not talk in the village?” Ashala responded, “there isss more to thisss that I myssself do not understand. When I was talking with our ansssessstorsss they said something rather worrisssome. We know that the outsssidersss are more and more evident but that isss not all. There are sssome outsssidersss that are different then the othersss. They are not from thisss plane they are from sssomewhere elssse and are much more dangerousss than what we have ran into thisss point. I do not completely underssstand who thessse beingsss are ssso I can not tell Gathan until I have more informassshion. You mussst be careful out there. There are dangers out there that we do not underssstand and we can not afford to lossse you. Do not do anything recklesss and avoid interaction with none lizzzardfold asss much asss posssible. It isss very important not to foget thisss. Take care of yourssself and be careful.” Ashala very lightly kisses the side of Essodren’s face and heads back to the village. Essodren is worn out and decides to go to bed, he is going to need all of the sleep he can get before he starts his long, important journey tomorrow.
Essodren wakes up and heads out of his hut. He is greeted by the entire village ready to give him a glorious send off. Gathan and Ashala were the last ones he saw before he left to go on his extremely important journey. Both Ashala and Gathan gave subtle looks that only he would recognize telling him to be safe and come back in one piece. And so his journey begins.
Essodren never lived like a king but was not completely ready to live in the environment that was required for this mission. He had to spend an hour every night to just find a safe place to rest from the outsiders and the swamps danger’s themselves. Most often he would find a Hollowed out log he would have to manipulate with spells to make sure it was safe and well hidden. The food he ate was less than ideal, some days he would have to eat nothing but swamp vegetation. Luckily, with all of his training he knew what was safe and what wasn’t. He made sure every time he was even close to an lizardfolk encampment that he was painted up correctly with mud.
With each tribe he notice a worrisome trend going on, they were smaller than ever. The outsiders were slowly dwindling down most of the population of all the tribes and the populations were getting dangerously low. There were still a few tribes that were doing OK but they were few and far in between. Most of the tribes understood the situation and decided to join the temporary alliance to take care of the problems of the outsiders. Essodren was surprisingly good with diplomatic relations. This kept going on for two years and then after he visited all of the tribes decided to finally return home and see the Sharptooths once more.
Just a few days before he got back to his village he was approached by a spirit, not just any spirit but one of his ancestors. The spirit told him that his brother has died and Kessessek was now the chieftain. He told Essodren of what became of his brother and how an adventuring group called the Four Winds saved his life. He also told Essodren of the glorious way Gathan fought till death fighting for his people. Essodren was distraught but also really proud of his brother. He knew that is how his brother would have wanted to go, protecting his village. He also told them of what happened to his village and whom had done it. Names weren’t exchanged but Essodren got a very detailed description of who was the perpetrator. He was warned that this enemy was much too powerful, he has overtaken some powerful beings and turned him into his slaves, including many of his kin. He must work together with the adventuring group that his brother worked with, the Four Winds. He must also not rush in, he needs to prepare and have a plan set up because rushing in will certainly be Essodren’s demise. The spirit had one more important thing to tell Essodren….his brother has not traveled over to the spirit world. The spirit was not sure why but knew that Essodren needed to join the Four Winds and some time in the journeys he would be able to find out why and even send his brother’s spirit over. His ancestor gave a basic description of all the members of the Four Winds so he would recognize them and know that they were his allies.
When Essodren got back to the village and saw the carnage it made him sick. He spent some time giving the tribesmen that were left a proper funeral and sent them to the spirit world. He vowed to make it right, make who did this pay. He also knew from speaking to his ancestor that he needed to be calm and prepared for the battle coming ahead. He needed to focus on the task at hand. As much as he didn’t like the idea of working with outsiders since his brother trusted them and worked with them they must be powerful and good allies, so he would not let his prejudice control the situation. Essodren knew the next few days were going to be draining and he needed to be prepared for the most difficult fight of his life. He was the only one left and the only one who can save his kinsman. He had to do it, he had to save them!
The spirit quest:
Essodren ate the mushroom and and felt different right away. It wasn’t a bad feeling more like he held his breathe for too long and was getting lightheaded but 100 times that. When he meditated before he has always been relaxed but never to this state. Essodren closed his eyes and saw nothing but blackness. After a few minutes he started to see a swamp once again but he hadn’t opened his eyes yet. It was all familiar to him except one little detail…..there was a cave he never noticed before. It was calling to him to go to it.
Without realizing it Essodren was walking straight towards the cave and entered it. There was a force inside of him subconsciously moving his limbs, making him move. The force could only be described as an instinct, he didn’t know why he just knew where to go. It was much like a newborn knowing that there is milk inside of the mother’s breast, they just know that they need food and that is where it is found without any direction, they just knew.
The cave was remarkable in only the way it had a completely non-remarkable look to it. If somebody came into these caves there would be know way for them to find a way out. The walls looked rough and coarse like any other cave walls but nothing stood out on any wall. The floor was just dirt but since this was not the physical world no footsteps were left when he was walking. It was a giant maze with constant forks, openings on both sides of the cave every 40-50 ft. He traveled through this cave for what seemed to be several hours his body directing him where to go. A left here, a right there, he didn’t know how many turns he made but knew it was a lot. When he reached the exit point all he saw was a mouse size hole with light coming in. He knew that was the exit. He got on his hands and knees and as he got closer it almost seemed like the hole was getting bigger. As he started going through the small hole it seemed to grow with him. He put his claw through with no problem and then his head. Then, his shoulders and his torso fit through no problem. He noticed he was coming out into a forest area. Once his whole body made it through he looked back and the was as small as a mouse hole again. He is not sure what happened rather the hole grew with him or if he shrunk to fit through it. Nevertheless it seemed natural to him, he didn’t even question it.
He started heading through the forest wherever his body took him. He saw many things: tiger spirits, lizard spirits, wolf spirits, fox spirits, pretty much any animal you could think of but they did not interest him. He just kept going through the forest for what seemed like several more hours. It was beautiful but this concerned him not.
Finally, his destination had been reached, an old oak tree in a small grove. He walked up to the tree and heard a voice that seemed familiar but he knows he has never heard before. “Really is this some sort of joke? The great and wise Tavru gets linked with such a novice. My knowledge is great and I have to put up with this? Why has the Spirit King forsaken me?” Essodren looks at Tavru, a spirit owl, stunned knowing that this was his finally destination. He expected something a bit……….different. Tavru sighs, “I guess I can teach you some things and put up with you. Can you even speak or are you just going to sit there with your mouth open?” Essodren starts to say " Ummm I…" Tavru interupts, “wow he can’t even get a coherent sentence out this is going to be a long 100 years. All right let’s get this over with.” Essodren says, “get what over..” At that point Tavru takes flight straight at Essodren at a speed he never has seen before. Essodren flinches and Tavru flew right into his body, into his spirit, his being. A feeling of many emotions hit him all at once, and like he was now two spirits in one. He somehow could feel Tavru’s presence as part of himself. This feeling of the link was nothing he has ever felt before but at the same time felt like it was right, like it was how he always should have been. It was completely overwhelming but in a good way. “Speak boy come on now what do you have to say for yourself,” asked Tavru. “Well it is just…,” Essodren started when Tavru interrupted. “This boy can’t even get a sentence out I have a lot of work to do here. Good thing I am so wise and knowledgeable or he would be in trouble. You should feel very lucky to be with me after all I am the great Tavru. Let’s go, time to return to the physical world.” Tavru sighs again and says, “so much work to do on this one.” Essodren follows and they head back to the cave. He decides to let Tavru ramble on and on about how great he is and how lucky Essodren is to be paired up with him. Every time he asked a question of Essodren and Essodren starts to answer Tavru would interrupt him. Essodren thought the journey in was long but with Tavru it seemed to be 3 fold longer. At the same point he knew it was right and they were supposed to be paired.
Over the years the bond grew greater as well as Tavru’s ego. At least Essodren was able to start communicating to Tavru and not get interrupted every time. As much as Tavru stated he was superior to Essodren they both knew they needed each other and the bond was great. Tavru would never admit it though but he grew very fond of Essodren as well as vice versa. Together they would accomplish great things.
Essodren ended up running into a small group of soft skins who seemed to be lacking in the spiritual realm but knew they were the ones who were going to be the ones that were going to help him find his brother, Gathan, and help his people. Little did he know that it would also be the same group, or somebody in the group that would cripple his people. It did allow the lizardfolk to unite but at what cost. Unfortunately for him, he would never find out what caused this cataclysmic event to happen.
He had many adventures with The Four Winds and learned much about himself as well as understand the soft skins much better. There were many trials and tribulations which made him become much more closer to the group and accept them even if they were soft skins. They have saved his life as well as helped his people on more than one occasion. In the same case, he saved their lives several times, after all they were just soft skins.
Essodren also learned much of the world as well as other worlds and even space. He never imagined all the places he would go to and all the things he would see. They did not even come close to the glorious swamp but was interesting non the less. He also met many different people; good, bad, and annoying. He couldn’t count the amount of times he wanted to eat some of these people, but had to think about where he wanted to go and think of what would be best for his people. Essodren being in prison or killed would not help them out at all. After all this journey was to help his people out and lead them to a good future. Little did he know he would become the hero of his people and unite them.
Essodren grew in many ways. When he finally found his brothers spirit, Gathan was so encompassed in hate he had to destroy his spirit, which destroyed part of him as well. His brother was one of the most important people in his life. At least he knew his brother was not suffering anymore and had some solace in that.
His life had not turned out exactly like he expected but was great non the less. After the Warlock Lord was slain once again and got sent back to the depths of Hell he once again was able to return to his people. He was able to have a family and die of old age as a legend to his people. He created an alliance with the soft skins as well as show the strength of the lizardfolk. He would be known throughout the ages for what he and the other Four Winds have done.