I don’t know if I’ll keep up with this and follow through, but it’s an idea I want to try. In my D&D setting, there is an NPC character who will likely be an integral part of the overall adventure, even though the players are currently unaware of her importance.
What I’d like to do here is tell her story, in the form of a first-person narrative. It will go mostly unedited (or minor edits as I write) and probably wouldn’t be good enough for publication – not to mention the copyright and IP infringements that may arise! But in this blog-format, I shouldn’t have any problem based on fair-use. And since I’m not making money on it, it’s not like there’s any value to sue over.
M’Raana Kabize of the Vipertree Clan, Daggerclaw, Czethai
Personal journal: Spring Planting, Hunter’s Day 13, year of the Lion number 427
I know I’m still young. Not quite sixteen years by the sun. Yet my fur is fully grown out and I no longer have that fluffy white kitten fuzz. Well, just a little. Sire M’Raana V’Karitt is proud of me. I can read and write and I can think and solve puzzles and do math problems and all that. Better than any of my litter mates. Better than many of those the same age as me. I think better than all of them. I’ve also learned the Trail of the Dance and the Trail of the Hunt. Call me an overachiever if you want. I don’t really care. The difference is I see an end to the means, while the others of my clan only see the means.
My name is M’Raana Kebize of the Vipertree Clan. I hail from the community known to outsiders as Daggerclaw, in the country of Czethai. We are located near the east coast of the eastern landmass, called Lewdaria. Our thick forests grow just south of the equator and are rife with natural flora and fauna. Some docile, some dangerous. We are the Tabaxi. M’Raana is our family name, and my given name is Kabize. My fur pattern, like the rest in my clan, resembles that of a tiger – orange and black stripes. I keep my claws sharp, my wit sharper, and my quill sharpest.
Not long ago, a traveler came through our town and traded some trinkets and things for some sacks of an herb that is unique to our region. It’s a form of tarragon that almost completely transforms the flavor of meat. I’ve never been a fan of the stuff. It has a nasty smell when it is being processed, but there are many who like it – especially the human traders that come from Swardia, to the north, or Juivestea to the west. The dwarfs of Kneuerg generally don’t trade with us, though we do have a lot of the copper tools they make.
Anyway, one of the trinkets this trader gave us is very peculiar, and you might say that it is this item that started me on my lifelong journey. My quest, so to speak. To describe it, I’d say it is rectangular, about a fore-paw’s length and width, but only the thickness of the base of a claw. The color is a light yellowish brown, similar to the color of amber, but opaque. One side of this has the image of a white dragon and the number 4 written in the human script in the upper left corner.
When you hold this plaque the first time, you feel it’s coldness. You get used to it after a time, but the feeling never seems to go away. However, when you touch things, the coldness transfers like a shock to what you touch. The trader suggested that we put the plaque in a solid box and it will keep things like meats chilled, so they don’t spoil. Like fresh meat ever lasts long enough to spoil around here! If put into a bucket of water, the water slowly becomes solid.
Eventually, the traveler left our community, riding a huge, black beast he called a “horse.” I asked sire about these things, and he said that there are many strange things that happen in the lands beyond our forest. Many strange people, many strange beasts, many strange customs, and many strange artifacts. Their world was one that was filled with hatred and war, evil sorcery, wicked monsters that ate the flesh of people like us, and worst of all, false gods that demanded vile tribute and the enslavement of those that didn’t follow their ways.
It was a very darkly painted picture. But none of the traders, merchants, and travelers who came to Daggerclaw ever spoke of these things, nor did they seem to fit this description. How could such a world exist, yet leave us, the Tabaxi, out of it? Our country’s borders were not walled, nor were they vigilantly guarded.
I decided that it was time to fulfill my destiny. One night, a week before the sixteenth anniversary of my birth, I crept into the common area, took the plaque, and left home. Perhaps for good. I took with me a set of quills and inks, my journals, and enough supplies to last at least a few weeks. And so, my adventure began.