Rise of the Runelords
From an early age, Kkaal had wandering feet. Even after discovering his shamanism and being offered what most people would call respectable positions, he instead choose to spend the early part of his life traveling.
One day he discovered that he could actually earn a living doing what he enjoyed, and joined up with the first caravan that needed his services. He soon discovered, however, that being a shaman was all good, but the martial side of the job left him lacking sorely. He was respectable with a sling; you had to get dinner somehow, and not everything in life was magic. He started asking fellow guards for lessons in a blade that trip, and tho he soon learned he’d never be masterful, he at least learned which end to stick in the bad guys. He also learned to respect a good set of armor and soon banished his ideas that a good robe was all a shaman needed.
He also discovered the value of a horse, and within a few months was able to afford his first one. The blisters and sour disposition of that tempermental beast were worth it. He had officially made it. Inside of 5 years, he felt nearly invincible as only the youth of the world can. Work came easy and the open sky always welcomed him every time he left the safety of civilization.
Not So Distant Past
Having turned the corner of 30 a few years back, Kkaal had what he considered himself an almost ideal life. The open sky was his home, and the business of escorting caravans safely had become a duty that fit him like a great pair of leather boots. His loyal spirit guide, Swoop, enjoyed the life as well, he liked to think. He had long since used his life long friends bond to scout for trouble, so that not much really ever caught his charges by surprise. His Shaman abilities have served him well over the years, he thinks, and tho he is far from savant, his bond to his Spirit through Swoop was ever a warm presence in his life and his magic had never not come when he called to It.
Tho he never married, he was well known at a handful of towns he frequented and had known, if not love, then the next best thing was perfectly fine. He had even met a lovely silversmith who made him the pendant he wore to this day. The silver worn but never tarnished; a hawk mid-flight.
The Caravan leader had been up earlier than usual, waiting for him in the stables that morning. He had told Kkaal of rumors involving increased Goblin activity along the path. Kkaal, still bleary eyed, simply grunted as he went about throwing his saddle and tack on his horse after making sure she had gotten a good breakfast.
As the caravan left the town of Nybor far behind, Kkaal soon settled into his saddle; the warm sun nearly at its zenith warming his face. Swoop had communicated her hunger to him and he had released her to find what she could on the open plains like usual. Maybe that’s why he didn’t see them coming. Maybe the warm sun on his face lulled him into inattention. Maybe having ridden this way too many times to count over the years had made him complacent.
Whatever the reason, the band of goblins caught him, the 2 other guards, and quite frankly, the horses (weren’t they supposed to spook easily at goblins?) completely by surprise.
Before he could even begin a spell or call to Swoop, who was too far away to make a difference, he was knocked off his horse by a sling fueled rock to his temple. His fellow guards suffered a similar fate. The remaining members of the caravan were
nowhere to be seen when his eyes stopped seeing double and he felt himself being dragged away by a set of female arms. He got his legs under him in short order as they booked it towards Sandpoint, which was surprisingly close.
As he glanced one more time over his shoulder he saw his horse being drug away by the band of goblins. The horse was one of many he had had throughout his life, but this one had been gifted to him by a grateful caravan ownder he had saved from an arrow that had buried itself into his chest, and it was the finest and most loyal horse he had ever owned. As the town of Sandpoint drew his attention once more, him and his companion set their sights on the city’s temple, where they would have their wounds tended to.
Swoop was already perched on top of the structure, in contact once more, his Spirit a warm presence through that link again. And then. And then, Kkaal, accomplished shaman, respectable caravan guard.. he was going to get his horse back.