Z'ven

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“They can't swim?”
— Z'ven


Z'ven
What's it worth to you?
What's it worth to you?
Vital statistics


Race Lascarii
Occupation Rigger and Scout
Age 23 years old
Social Standing Sailor
Physical attributes
Class Rogue 4
Height 6'10"
Weight 230lb.

Z'ven is somewhat of an oddity among Lascarii, as he is nearly as comfortable in the air as he is in the water. A rigger by profession, he spends much of his time amidst the intricate mass of ropes and pulleys, high above other sailors' heads.

Appearance[edit]

Physical Traits[edit]

Standing at 6'10", Z'ven is of average height among the Lascarii people, but unlike most of his fellow sailors, Z'ven has a much more wiry build. He lacks the bulk that most other Lascarii males have, although his corded muscles are no less impressive, but where his comrades possess raw strength, Z'ven's more narrow frame seems better suited for swift, precise movements.

His skin is a deep blue, mirroring the color of the open sea, and his eyes share the same color, although they glow slightly, as if reflecting the sunlight. A mass of spongy, turquoise tendrils falls to just below his shoulders, and the longer he's away from water, the more those tendrils seem to curl.

There is a single, raised ridge that runs along the upper portion of Z'ven's spine. If covered, it's almost unnoticeable, but when exposed, it looks very much like a short dorsal fin. Perhaps the most strange of his physical characteristics is the least seen. Z'ven rarely smiles openly, defaulting to something resembling a smirk instead, because his teeth are like those of a shark, razor sharp and menacing.

Armor and Weapons[edit]

Z'ven often wears little more than a belt and sailcloth breeches, but when preparing for combat, he dons a thick, sharkskin leather jacket for extra protection.

A rapier hangs loosely from the left side of his belt, and a whip is tethered above his right thigh. Just above the ankle, a dagger is strapped to each of his legs.

Personality Traits[edit]

Flaws[edit]

He is still learning about Human culture, and often takes things very literally. Sarcasm is like a foreign language to him, and Z'ven absolutely abhors the very concept of shoes, much less the torture devices themselves.

In typical Lascarii fashion, Z'ven is also unaccustomed to the Human concepts of 'boundaries' and 'modesty', as he encountered neither of these things amidst his own people.

Positive Traits[edit]

Z'ven is open to new ideas and always willing to listen, gleaning what knowledge he can from every conversation. As a result, he picks up on things fairly quickly. He's also a realist, which has prevented him much heartbreak over the years.

Having been raised in a society where everyone does what's best for the ship and its crew, Z'ven is surprisingly loyal to his traveling companions, despite his somewhat shady appearance.

History[edit]

Letter of Recommendation from Lavindra, Captain of the Yellowtail[edit]

To the Captain of the outrider vessel Architeuthis,

It is with great pride that I send this young sailor to join your crew. Since childhood, he has served aboard my ship, assisting in the gathering and moving of perishable cargo. Although not as strong as many of the other youths, Z'ven has shown incredible aptitude for working aloft, displaying a natural talent for what normally takes much time to teach.

He has outgrown his position among the crew, and I both hope and fear that he might find the adventure he seeks under your charge. There is little more that he can be taught aboard a gathering vessel, such as mine.

What he lacks in strength, he makes up for in cunning and swiftness. I suspect that you'll need to keep him occupied, lest he drive you to brave the emerald depths.

- Lavindra, Captain

Letter of Recommendation from Kenaar, Captain of the Architeuthis[edit]

To the Captain of the trade vessel Silvergill,

Though it pains me to lose one of my best riggers, it is with the greatest of expectations that I request the transfer of the sailor, Z'ven, to your vessel. He has been invaluable in our ongoing mission to patrol the borders of fleet Angwar's territories. However, with two other riggers training under him, and you being shorthanded, I feel that this transfer is in the best interests of all parties involved.

Z'ven has seen much since boarding my vessel, and it might do him good to experience a less stressful environment, one where he does not always have to be looking over his shoulder. I've also heard of your recent ventures into the ports of the Empire, and I feel that experiencing other cultures and lifeforms can only be of benefit to the next generation. After all, it will be up to them to find the Lascar peoples' place in the new world.

I trust that Z'ven will quickly find a new home among your current crew, as he seems quite adept at mingling with anyone willing to talk with him for a few moments. You may find that he spends more time aloft than on deck though.

- Kenaar, Captain

Season Two[edit]

A New Charter (Week One)[edit]

A shipment of goods, far larger than any I've seen aboard the ship previously, was offloaded today while I was oiling the pulleys. I couldn't help but notice that the majority of the crates were stamped with the insignia of the Empire. Considering we're currently anchored at the capitol, that shouldn't be surprising, but I've served for a little more than six months aboard the Silvergill, and we've never taken on that much cargo from the same supplier. I can only assume something strange is going on, although I'm not at liberty to question the captain or the quartermaster myself.

Talk amidst the crew is that we're supposed to babysit a small party of well-connected Mainlanders, who have chartered the use of the Silvergill for a journey into the Shattered Sea. I can only hope that they jest. Mainlanders are rarely welcomed aboard our vessels to trade, but actually ferrying them about is simply unheard of. If such an event were to take place, surely it would be aboard one of the ambassadorial vessels, not a trading ship such as the Silvergill.

Crossing the Shattered Sea (Week Two)[edit]

I hesitate to admit it, but again I find myself questioning the captain's leniency concerning Kaalu. Lascarii social code aside, the girl needs to be disciplined before she gets herself (or one of the other sailors) killed as a result of her rash actions. I can only hope that perhaps today's events might have provided somewhat of an eye-opening experience for her.

At the captain's request, I accompanied the party of Mainlanders in exploring the coast of The Isle of Ten Thousand Shadows. It came as little surprise to me that the foes our people once encountered on the isle seem to remain there still. They appeared as nothing more than piles of scrap until approached, but once we were within striking distance, they seemed to suddenly come alive. I'm not sure how well these foes were described in the historical records, but in the interest in furthering the knowledge of a hindrance to the Lascar people, I will strive to record all information and conclusions relevant to our encounter.

The creatures stood at between five and six feet tall, and each was armed with two blade-like appendages. They seemed mechanical in nature, and any of my attacks that didn't penetrate into their inner workings seemed only to slow them down, rather than actually disabling them. I did, on several occasions, notice a leakage of some oily substance after puncturing their metal shells, and after witnessing the explosions that were a result of their demise, I would theorize that setting them ablaze might be the most effective approach in eliminating them. However, I would caution to do so from a safe distance, considering their propensity for exploding. As it was, Kaalu, myself, and the two Mainlanders accompanying us had some measure of trouble dealing with only two of them.

Given how many additional piles of scrap I could see lying around, I suspect that there are, in fact, many more of them present on the isle. I am led to question their reason for being there. Creatures such as these aren't suited for life near the sea, as was made clear by their obvious state of disrepair. It pains me to admit that, in their current condition, they had probably only a fraction of their former strength and speed. In their prime, these creatures would probably have been even more dangerous.

Judging from the spires rising amidst the forests, just off the coast, I suspect that some ancient culture or being once resided on the isle. These creatures were perhaps guardians, left behind to defend the remains of a long dead culture, or the servants of a slumbering primordial, which have been known to inhabit remote isles, such as this one.

Should further attempts be made into the exploration and development of The Isle of Ten Thousand Shadows, I urge extreme caution. Someone or something clearly didn't want those spires disturbed, and as of now, we still have no idea what else lies in wait within the jungle beyond.

The Wrath of Shadows (Week Three)[edit]

Pursued by mechanized relics, Kaalu and myself became separated from the Mainlanders somewhere in the night. We arrived back at the Silvergill with the rising sun, only to discover that reavers of the 10th fleet had beached her. The captain, along with the remaining Mainlanders, who had remained aboard the Silvergill during our initial excursion, aided me in fending off the first wave of machines. When it became clear that they were soon to overtake the beach in greater numbers than we could handle, we fled to the forest. Kaalu, who was wounded and took to the depths for safety, was an unfortunate casualty of the situation. Despite her antics, I can't help but hope for her safe voyage, either back into the fold of the crew or into the calm waters of Angwar's rest.

After finding a place of relative safety within the jungle, we now begin to prepare a plan to escape this forsaken place and the vile reavers that circle us like seabirds over a surfacing school of fish. At the current time, we assume that one seventh of our force is already lost to us, although to what end they traveled, we do not know. Nightfall approaches soon, and until we can gather the crew back together, I think I will find myself jumping at every shadow cast by the setting sun. Let us hope that we can rally together, or that our ends are swifter than the reavers are known for.

Lost But Not Forgotten (Week Four)[edit]

With our plan to capture a reaver vessel in place, we now begin to gather our forces on the isle. The rusted relics continue to impede our efforts, slowing our progress through the jungle. With reavers now on the island as well, time has become our enemy. I can only hope that the mechanized contraptions are as much of a hindrance to them as they have been to us. Even so, we have found a grotto of relative safety, where the crew can re-hydrate before we test our fates. Roughly half of the remaining crew are with us now, but this alone will not be enough to manage a vessel of reasonable size. I worry for the safety of those still out in the jungle, even more so now that I have seen the condition of the others after a single day ashore. Our ancestors called this island cursed for good reason.

Strange as they may seem, the Mainlanders have actually proven quite useful to our endeavors. They appear to be versed in both jungle travel and combat, and I can count them among our greatest assets at this point in time. Perhaps this Empire our fleet seeks alliance with isn't so bad as I was once led to believe. I have decided to observe the crew's relations with them for myself, so that I may draw my own conclusions without basing them on the opinions of others. Perhaps I could call them allies, or maybe even friends, should we survive this isle of terrors.

Lost But Not Forgotten, Part 2 (Week Five)[edit]

Following the captain's bond with the other augurs, we struck out through the dense jungle surrounding us. The sounds of combat echoed loudly through the trees, but our path took us around the epicenter, rather than into the fray.

Once we arrived at the coast, the captain informed us that the remaining augurs were offshore. Fern, transforming into a shark, and myself scouted ahead and encountered a small number of what had formerly been the crew. The stench of Daerwan's taint hung heavily in the water, and although Fern took them by surprise, the reavers were able to call out for aid before we could dispatch them. Faced with a massive abomination that I will henceforth refer to as a hagshark, because of its startling resemblance to both a shark and a hagfish, Fern and I were forced to return to the isle without gathering any information of the missing augurs' whereabouts.

With the information presently available to us, I can only assume that the reavers are holding the augurs, and potentially other members of the crew, hostage, in an attempt to bait us into a trap. We now set about planning our countermeasures, but if there's one thing I've learned about the reavers, it is that they are deceptively cunning...

A Desperate Gambit (Week Six)[edit]

Only by a stroke of great luck did we manage to escape the Isle of Ten Thousand shadows, overtaking a retreating reaver vessel as the island and the waves around it shook from the violent eruption of the volcano at its center. I can only hope that the wretched mechanical monstrosities were buried beneath the lava and ash. Unfortunately, the captain, as well as the other augurs that accompanied our expedition were all either killed or taken by the reavers during our desperate attempt to capture one of their vessels.

As the most experienced of the remaining crew, I temporarily took on a role that few male Lascarii are honored with. It took me little time to realize why, as my short term of captaincy ended with the violent deaths of all my remaining crew. In my attempts to have them spared, I fear that I directly contributed to their demise. Even worse, their years were lost, consumed by a monstrosity of the deep and never to return to Angwar's rest. The female who commands this beast now accompanies us to the Imperial capital, hostages by all rights.

Perhaps this time, we shall truly meet our ends, as I have suspected were not far off over the horizon for some time now. It would only be a just ending for me, having failed my captain, my crew, and Angwar herself. If only I were able to spare my comrades somehow. They have proven stalwart allies in dire straits, and they deserve better than an outcome such as this.

The Mother of Monsters (Week Seven)[edit]

Having been tossed ashore by the monstrosity in the bay and given my report to the augur of the envoy vessel, which is currently anchored in the bay, I now find myself in the brig. Few Lascarii males have ever claimed captaincy, for even a short time, and now, only one has been recorded to have lost his entire crew within the first day of claiming the title.

At this point, all I can do is wait for the fleet's decision concerning my situation. Even if released, I don't know that I could ever be a part of another ship's crew though. To know how badly I've let down not only my crew but also the entire fleet weighs more heavily upon me than any shackles ever could. Should I find myself once more on the other side of these bars, I will seek out the other survivors of the Silvergill. The monstrosity that now sits in the harbor is more my fault than anyone else's. Our people had only just begun to communicate with the Mainlanders. I would hate for my poor decisions to be the end of those talks...

Surf and Turf (Week Eight)[edit]

A letter has arrived, requesting my presence in the private chambers of the Emperor himself. The augurs are unsure of what to think of this, but have agreed to let me go, in hopes that the meeting will go well. Perhaps this is a chance for me to redeem myself. As I gather my things, the crew has already begun to rig the ship for battle with the monstrosity in the harbor. Word of its presence has already spread to Angwar, and more fleet ships ride hard through the surf to reach the battle in time. I am to be placed ashore while the battle takes place to see what the Emperor wishes of me.

Last Will and Testament of Z'ven[edit]

I only have a few moments to jot this down, but it seems unlikely that I will survive the day, given my previous experience with Drasthmas and her monstrous pet. There is little wealth in the life of a sailor such as myself, but what I have I leave to Lavindra, Captain of the Yellowtail, who was like a mother to me. My weapons, provided they can be recovered, can be donated to whatever crewmen are in need of them. And the small, green bottle that I carry among my things is to be given to Waltom and Fern, the Mainlanders who accompanied me through the trials we faced on the Isle of Ten Thousand Shadows. It is a little thing, but is also the only token I can provide to pay my respects to their aid.

- Z'ven