K’t’inga Komo Val ProFile

Posted: November 1, 1998 in Writing
Tags: , ,

**note: this was written by Jason DeRoche

Khan K’t’inga Komo Val – Savior of Klin ‘Zhai

Little need be said about the deeds and character of such a fabled warrior. He holds his honor, and that of his friends, to be more valuble that anything else, including his own life. He will aid those in need, unless they have brought dishonor upon themselves or their family. Bandits, pirates, and all those who bring chaos to civilized lands are the most evil and his hated enemies. Mercy for such is not in K’t’inga’s nature. Unlawful influences must be purged from society to allow it to flourish. These are the teachings of Marduk, god of storms, lightning, and the city of Klin ‘Zhai, and cities in general.

Honor is not merely words spoken to satisfy ritual, or to be polite. It is something that every man must feel in his bones. K’t’inga is distraught that his people have fallen into decadence. Wealth and finacial success are the badges of honor his people recognize now. Honor can be gained in any profession, if one puts his best effort into reaching the pinnacle of that trade, but his people have forgotten the honor to be gained as warriors. Klin ‘Zhai was all but defenseless against the Camarones and the evil priests and followers of Pyrae and Iuz. Perhaps now that he has been made General of the army of Klin ‘Zhai, he can lead by example, molding his soldiers into true warriors.

His past has some mystery, but not about one thing. He is half-orc, and as such is considered by most in human, elf, and dwarf societies to be the scum of the earth. Untrustworthy, uncivilized, and a foul reminder of what was done to some poor woman. This is the legacy he was brought up with. The Komo Val home, an estate a day’s ride from Klin ‘Zhai, was raided by an unusually large band of desert orcs. The harsh conditions in the Sakaran desert usually prohibit such large war bands, so the Komo Val estate was unprepared for an attack in such numbers. Sheik Z’gavsta Komo Val was riding back to his home when he saw the attack in progress. His House was of the old ways, though it had declined in influence, and he and his honor guard immediately rushed to repulse the attack. Fortunately, they arrived before the orcs had secured the estate and begun their usual slaughter. Only the few guards and a few servants who resisted were killed, though two of the Sheik’s wives were violated. [No! I won’t walk you down to your car!] One of his younger wives, K’neska, soon showed the signs of a child within. The Sheik could not be certain whether it was his or the beast that violated his home who was the father, so he waited anxiously for the birth. In many lands a half-orc child is killed when born, and it would not occasion much comment if Z’gavsta had disposed of the child when the bony ridges on its forhead were evident. But the little beast seemed more human than orc, and the Sheik had a plan for it, so he allowed it to live. As a symbol of the dishonor he brought to his House, the Sheik named him K’t’inga, Bringer of Destruction.

Fourteen years later, K’t’inga worked under the hot sun in the tanning yard. His muscles still ached from turning the wheel that ground the grain that the hundred or so residents of the estate used each day. Though only forteen years old, he was already as large and strong as a young man. Orcs have short lifespans, and, in this, his heratige showed through. He did not look up or stop working as the Sheik approached with his master of arms. He was never to look directly at the Sheik, speak to him, or do anything that would cause the Sheik to notice his existence. The two men stopped a dozen paces short of where K’t’inga was working. Z’gavsta turned to his companion, a man a little taller than average, with thick arms and more than one scar on his face.

“Prepare him for what he must do. Teach him,” he said curtly.

“He is to learn the Bat’leh?” the master of arms asked with some surprise.

“No!” Z’gavsta turned to his man with more than a little anger. “That is the weapon of a true warrior! A warrior with honor! He only needs to kill. Give him a weapon that will be efficient at this task and teach him to kill with it.” With that last comment, the Sheik stalked off toward the house, not looking back, while the master of arms studied K’t’inga thoughtfully.

So it came to pass that K’t’inga was taught how to use a weapon that was good for killing. A steel breastplate was little protection against it, and it required little skill to use. The master of arms thought it appropriate for K’t’inga as he was regarded as being slow-witted. The half-orc surprised his teacher by learning quickly and soon began to excel in the use of this weapon, nearly outstripping the master of arms himself.

An old steel breastplate stood in front of a bale of hay left over from the summer floods. K’t’inga stood at attention in front of the master of arms with a heavy crossbow in a sheath on his back and a short sword on his hip. He did not see the Sheik watching quietly from behind him.

“Loose!” old warrior shouted, and K’t’inga moved with quickness that belied his size and that of the crossbow as he reached over his back and drew it out. He had it on his shoulder and was firing before he seemed to take aim, but at twenty paces, the bolt punched a hole in the center of the steel chest.

“Reload!” The command sprung K’t’inga into action again as he pulled back the lever that drew the massive bow and fixed another bolt in place. He then stood ready, awaiting the next command with neither anticipation or complacency on his face.

“Loose!” Again the command came, and K’t’inga fired after taking a hare’s breath longer than before to aim at the second target, a full hundred and fifty paces away. The bolt did not hit directly in the center as the first one did, but it still would have been a lethal blow to anyone who did not have a healer standing next to him when the bolt slammed home.

“He is ready then?” Sheik Z’gavsta said as he strode toward the student and teacher.

The master of arms nodded while watching his student. “More than ready. He learns very quickly.”

“Good. It is done then.” The Sheik turned to face K’t’inga, acknowledging his presence for the first time in K’t’inga’s memory. He tried to look away, as he should, but Z’gavsta placed himself directly in front of the half-orc. Now seventeen, K’t’inga stood a little over six feet tall, and had chest and arms larger than many blacksmiths, but he still seemed intimidated by the man whom he owed his life to, as he saw things.

“You have been the symbol of my House’s dishonor, K’t’inga. A living reminder of my failure to protect my family and my people. A failure compounded by my inability to track down the beast that defiled my wife and put an end to him. He must have traveled beyond our lands to have avoided my scouts these past years, and he must be a formidable fighter to have killed the ones that hounded him after his vile acts. An unusual orc it seems. This should mark him out.” The Sheik seemed to look within himself, and then at the targets. “You will be the instrument of my House’s redemption, K’t’inga. You will track down the orc with six fingers, and you will kill him.” He then turned as if to leave, but hesitated. When he turned back to K’t’inga, he looked at him without his previous disdain. “You have done well. All these years, doing as you have been told with never a complaint or sign of discontent. And you have learned well what you have been taught it seems. You need not return with proof you have killed this orc. Either he will be dead, or you will. Either will lessen the stain upon my House. When your task is done, the shame of your existence shall be lifted. You will be free to make your way in the world as you can, gain what honor you can.” And with that last comment, Sheik Z’gavsta Komo Val walked away.

So it was that K’t’inga was given supplies and enough coin to begin his journey, his hunt. In time, he would find the trail of his prey, the father he never knew, and put an end to his shame and that of House Komo Val. Even so, he was left with no direction, no family, and no purpose in his life. He continued on, but did not know where to go next or how he would make a living in a world that still looked at him with hatred and disgust. It was with this uncertainty that he came upon the small village of Opar. But that is another story . . .

Qapla’! (Success!)

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