Kahir al-Sayyid abd Katapesh

Chow167__saladin_by_edge_01
""You surrender after you are dead""
User: Spratto
Campaign: Legacy of Fire
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Role: Striker
Class/Level: Warblade/1
Description:
Kahir is a tall, well muscled man with a near permanent tan that makes his naturally olive skin resembles an outcropping of desert rocks. A legacy of his mixed parentage, his face is relatively unremarkable except for a strong chin and large, sharp nose. His short, brown hair is usually hidden under a steel bowl helmet which is itself hidden under a black and red keffiyeh (head scarf) wrapped as a turban with one end free so it can be dragged across the face if needed. His clothing consists of a chain shirt and its padding covered first by a lightweight, sleeveless tan or deep yellow(think marigold crayon or saffron) shirt reaching down to his knees which is itself covered with a heavier dark blue or black robe with deep sleeves and a deep hood that usually hangs down his back. His trousers are baggy and are a serviceable brown with stout brown boots that usually crusted with dirt and sand. At Kahir’s waist hangs a slightly curved, wide sword called a Shaska (functionally long sword) whose guard-less hilt sits in a thick wooden sheath. The other side of his waist supports a long, narrow dagger and on his back is slung a large, convex wooden shield painted red with a yellow sun in the middle. Overall Kahir moves and holds his frame with a confidence born with years of martial training. His hands are deeply calloused and his eyes are constantly scanning for threats.
Background:
Born to slavery, Kahir's childhood was spent with his mother as she worked on an estate outside of Katapesh. When he turned six he was sold by his owner to a factor for a business consortium dealing in mamluks, or slave-soldiers. Kahir was bought to a training yard, and spent the next ten years leaning the arts of war, both physical and mental. He was taught to read and write, do arithmetic, and basic theory and knowledge in the fields of engineering, physics, strategy, history, and tactics. His physical training consisted of grueling hours of running, marching, crawling, and climbing, with plenty of strength and flexibility exercises too. Even though he was already a slave, and had endured much, the trainers devoted long hours to teaching him the meaning of hardship and how to endure pain. When training with weapons began, Kahir was picked early to train with the sword, considered the hardest weapon to teach a slave, and excelled. His fighting style evolved from the many different trainers and opponents he trained with, some were slaves from faraway lands that taught exotic styles with the blade or other weapons. He quickly advanced in rank and skill, becoming one of the leading students in the training yard, his fighting style was exemplified by quick reactions, intelligent counters, and sound defensive technique. Kahir quickly grew into a young man who started to think of himself as a soldier, not a slave. By the time he turned sixteen he was acknowledged the best student at the yard and in the last year and at least challenged if not beat a good number of the trainers. His favored weapon was the backsword and shield or the bastard sword. A week after his birthday, he was brought into the office of the Overseer, and in a quick round of prodding and questioning was sold, not to the armies of some city-state or another, but to a fat old politician who believed he needed a full time body guard. The Owner sent Kahir to a merchant house he was indebted to for a year of real-world experience in warfare. Kahir spent that year in a crash course on practical warfare, spending almost the entire year out in the deserts and on the plains, defending caravans, rooting out bandits, and other martial endeavors. After the year was up and Kahir finally had time to think of things other than surviving he was appalled, he wasn't even free, he was a mamluk, he was owned, and yet he had spent a year of his life fighting, and watched fellow mamluks die, for nothing but food and the odd free day here and there. As he had now finished his year, he was sent back to his master, where he took up a position by his owners back and tried to deal with the doubt and sense of betrayal warring in his mind. Kahir found it odd that he felt betrayed, he was a slave and had always been one, no one had ever told him differently and somehow he had thought himself a soldier, a free soldier and instead he was nothing but property, valuable property, but still just a possession. The biggest question in his mind related to the other mamluks. It was "What are they still fighting for?" and partly "Do they lack the honor and will to resist? Do I?” As Kahir adjusted to guarding his master he learned many more practical things about city life and learned who his Owner really was. Kahir's Owner was an influential man, not for his wealth or position, but because of who and what he knew. Kahir stood quietly by the door as slavers, pimps, and smugglers paraded in, buying protection while politicians and nobles snuck in as they looked to pick up something not quite legal. This disgusted Kahir, the blatant corruption and general foulness made him question why he allowed himself to stay a slave. It was in the first few months of guarding his Owner that Kahir made vow, he vowed that he would get his freedom and then spend every moment from then on fighting to improve and cleanse his homeland, for as much as he was a slave and had no rights, he still new that the city of Katapesh would always be his homeland. A year later, the Owner was dead, killed by his own decadence and over indulgence, his heart stopped while sitting at his own dinner table. Kahir was 18 and his ownership was seized by the city of Katapesh for late taxes or some such, really a rival just wanted to destroy the dead Owner's heirs. After two years of guarding city gates, walking patrol, and letting his skills rust slightly, Kahir was asked a question by a magistrate, the answer was yes, and the question that would change his life was "Do you wish to earn your freedom?"