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Prelude 4: The Early History Of Cathal

Prelude 4: The Early History Of Cathal
DM - Thu Apr 09, 2009 @ 03:20PM
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CathalCathal’s leathery skin and icy stoicism are the standard for men in his tribe. The Threvesh Desert, with its unforgiving sandstorms, searing heat, and infinite drought, is only a contributing factor to his male kin’s coriaceous appearance and demeanor. The Threvesh elves may keep their women forever shielded from the sand and sun, so as to maintain their astounding beauty and delicacy, but their men are treated with incessant brutality, starting with birth. It is all part of the culture, the code of a most warlike of tribes.

When Cathal was born, in accordance to Threvesh tradition, as soon as it was discovered he had a penis, his father, Catano Dhamthal, ripped the cord from his son’s belly, wrapped his infant body in coarse camel hair, and carried him into the desert to be exposed to the elements for a day and a night. This is only the first of many life threatening rituals Cathal was required to endure before he was able to pluck the first hair from his chin. This is also why there are 30 women for every man in the tribe.  Live long enough as a Threvesh son, and there will never be a shortage of eager women to choose from!

Cathal was the youngest of 4 brothers and 43 sisters, but he was always his father’s favorite child because he was fondest of his father’s rod. The Threvesh beat their children for the same reasons human parents embrace and kiss their own. Cathal was so capable of taking Catano’s praise, that during one particular public display of parental affection, his father’s bloodied rod splintered after striking his young head for perhaps the hundredth time. This earned Cathal the nickname, “Jala Ku’ Ni Ta,” which means “Skull harder than father’s love.”  

When Catano was not praising his sons, or hunting orcs and Drow, he was training them to fight with the trademark Threvesh weapons, dual batons and a sling. Among the Threvesh, the fathers teach their sons to fight, and then they challenge their sons against the sons of other tribal families. The contests are traditionally fought with duel batons or slings, depending on whether the match is by melee or by missile. During these contests, the sons fight until their coaching fathers surrender victory, there is a knockout, or one of them is killed. Should a father lose a son in these games, it is a tradition for that father to adopt and raise the boy that killed his son. Such adopted children are highly favored, as they represent the elimination of weakness from the family as well as an addition of greater strength to it. Cathal fought many matches from his earliest youth, and he rarely lost a duel. However, as a result of one time suffering a knockout blow to the mouth, he is missing one of his incisors. You can only see the gap when he laughs.  

Cathal never had a formal education, though he was instructed by the village elders in the arts of battle chanting, the blessing of armor and weapons, and rudimentary healing magic. He was also been taught the art of leatherwork, as every Threvesh male is expected to tailor his own armor from the layered skins of his hunting and battle victims. Though the fathers teach their sons discipline and the use of weapons, the village elders instruct in magic and leatherwork. Cathal has always dreamed of the cuirass he’d one day don. On its breast it will bear his family crest, a circle of bloodied battle batons with a cobra in the center. The snake is reared high and ready to strike its fangs down into a subdued female Drow.  

Cathal’s youth was as harsh as the Threvesh Desert, but his incessant beatings, bloody contests, and trials were essential to preparing him for his ultimate task, his initiation into manhood. To become a man among the Threvesh elves, one must leave home and return with the head of a Drow. Hence, when Cathal’s time came, he embraced his sisters and exchanged blows with his father as well as his brothers. He then started his journey across the Threvesh Desert to the Gjard Mountains. There he would descend into the Yajuta Crevasse and find the shaft which leads to the Drow underworld. He knew the route well because his father and his elders had drawn the way in the sand for him since his earliest youth.  

Unfortunately, Cathal’s quest was cut short early. While traveling along the far edges of Threvesh Desert, a great sandstorm struck him while out hunting for food. The storm didn’t let up for days. Disoriented by the lashing and blinding sands, he became lost and wandered far from his camp. Eventually the elements got the best of him and he lost consciousness. When Cathal finally opened his eyes several days later, he found himself in a strange place. He was chained to a number of strange looking fellows, and aboard a vessel unlike any he’d ever imagined. It was seemingly floating across a vast expanse of water.

View Cathal's Character Sheet

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