Chiba

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User: Babel
Campaign: Dark Sun: Rising
Race: Shifter
Gender: Male
Role: Striker
Class/Level: Barbarian/1
Description:
Chiba's sandy-white hair stands out at all angles in stark contrast to his tanned skin. He is covered from head to toe with tribal tattoos and scars. Two scars stand out from the rest - the first runs from his hairline down across his left eye, ending midway down his cheek. The second, stands out as a very clean bite mark on his right shoulder.

Chiba wears a hodge-podge of hide armor pieces and desert wraps. He often wears wrist wraps and ties his untameable hair back with a bandana. Fang, Chiba's huge fullblade is never move then arm's reach away, its bone blade carefully sharpened every day.
Background:
Chiba is a member of the Anamnesis, more commonly called Shifters, because they possess a more feral look then the common human of Athas. The Anamnesis are a group of nomadic people, who generally stay away from lands claimed by others. The tribe is lead by the Alpha, who is usually the most fit male from the clan with the highest mana*.

When a child reaches adulthood he/she and his pack, or group of friends and family of similar age, go through rites and rituals culminating in declaring a feat to not only prove their fitness and worth to the tribe, but to also establish their place in the social order.

At the time of Chiba's feat, the tribe was mired down by the beginnings of a power struggle between the current Alpha, who was soon to retire his position due to age and health issues, and a group of upstarts who were eying this as their chance to seize power for themselves. For years they had been pushing for the tribe to become much more predatory and to attack and raid the surrounding settlements and peoples. Chiba's pack was smaller than normal, but included his best friend, and son of the current Alpha - Dane. Knowing that things were getting close to civil war within the tribe they agreed that they had to perform a feat, such that it would leave no room for argument that Dane should become the new Alpha. The pack announced that for their feat they would hunt down and kill the infamous Tembo, Ga'ira, who had for generations tormented the tribe.

Chiba had one rite left to complete before the hunt. He had to travel into the desert on his own and survive for a season alone. Upon his return his pack would set off to complete their feat. The night before leaving he and A'lia, the Alpha's daughter, made a blood vow that after the hunt they would announce that they planned to marry. They had secretly been seeing each other, and their marriage would unite their families, further helping to solidify Dane's position.

During his time in the desert, Chiba was caught up in a horrible sand storm and became hopelessly lost. Torn up by the storm and dieing, Chiba thought that it was his time to die, as his vision clouded and instead of the blinding storm he saw himself a beautiful beast, running though a lush green forest. Chasing the beautiful green Ral though the tree cover he burst out of the woods into a protected clearing, and standing on rock out in a crystal lake, howled up to the silent green beacon.

Slowly, Chiba came out of his dream to find himself in an ravine protected from the storm. It appeared as if it was the same place as the dream, but replacing the calm green with harsh, dead brown of the ageless sands of the desert. A small bead of water trickling down from what had been a beautiful waterfall in his dream. Chiba had lived because he had experienced the Moon Dream, a dream/vision/memory that only a few of his people ever experienced. He was a Moonchild, and with this power he would be able to help his people even more!

Having survived his ordeal, Chiba was excited to return to his friends, however his excitement turned to horror as he discovered that while he had been away the tribe had been devastated by a Thri-kreen attack. The two groups had a grudgingly given respect for each other after years of warfare, and had worked into an uneasy peace a generation ago. Many of the clans were nearly wiped out, but by chance most of the dissidents were gone on a hunting expedition at the time of the attack. A'lia and her father, Hakton, the Alpha, had survived, but Dane and many of his pack had been killed stalling the attack so that the others could escape.

Gri'al was the prime contender for Alpha now that Dane had been killed. He wasted no time in stopping by to express his condolences over Dane's death, and his regrets that he and his clan hadn't been there to fight along side the others. When he asked with a smirk if there was a way that Chiba and what was left of his pack could save face in failing to accomplish their feat, Chiba's anger could no longer be kept in check. He decked Gri'al, and declared that he and what was left of his pack would still slay Ga'ira. In fact, after that he would marry A'lia and declare that he would put himself up as a candidate for Alpha after Hakton steps down.

Word of his declaration spread fast and soon the camp was abuzz with rumors and excitement. While Dane had been the obvious choice to succeed his father, Chiba was from a clan that had long been a pillar of strength for the tribe. Both his father and grandfather had been mighty warriors and heroes in their time, and his grandmother had been a Child of the Moon. Chiba was well liked by everyone and even his not-as-secret as he had thought relationship with A'lia was approved of by most.

Chiba had always been confident in himself and his pack. They were few in number but every single one of them was in prime condition and at the peak of skill. They were brothers and sisters in blood and soul, nothing could stand before them and hope to come out victorious. Nothing except despair it turned out. One after another he went to his pack mates to rally them for the hunt, and one after another they turned him down. Dane's death seemed to have broken their spirit. His charisma and strength had been the cement that held the pack together, and with out him they were lost.

Gri'al and his supporters watched in amusement as they expected Chiba to go before Hakton and beg for the chance to take on another feat, but their hopes turned to dark joy as Chiba alone went before the tribe to receive the Alpha's blessing for his pack-of-one's hunt. For Dane's pack to hunt and kill the infamous Tembo was a bold and very huge risk, for Chiba to hunt it alone was suicide. Many called out for him to give up his foolishness and stubborn pride, to ask for a feat fit for one man and not a pack, but Chiba stood resolute. He would take on Dane's dream and become the leader of his people. It seemed to Chiba that he had survived his time and hardships in the wilds for this reason. He had received the moons' blessings because it was his destiny to take on his blood brothers dream and to carry that weight for him.

Silence reigned as Hakton gave Chiba his blessing for Chiba to take on his pack's feat, and praised his bravery and loyalty to his dead son. He even hinted that if Chiba returned even in failure, he would have the Alpha's blessing to marry his daughter. Everyone present however knew that the reality was that Chiba was going to die trying. Catching A'lia's eye Chiba gave her one last cocky smile, and in reply to her sad, steely-eyed look said, "Don't worry. I can do this." These were Chiba's only words of farewell.

It took Chiba the better part of a season to track down the beast. The battle was met under the twin moons' light, and fought with a fierceness not often witnessed in a battle of pride and desperation, of promises and hopes, of life and death, but in the end Ga'ira again proved to be the better beast. Both creatures stood on the rocky pillars rising out of the desert sand, panting and bleeding, knowing that this next exchange was going to be the last. The remnants of Fang dangled from their place on Chiba's belt and he shifted into his moon form, his blood answering the call of the pale moonlight. As one, the two beasts charged. At first Chiba seemed to have the Tembo. His sharp teeth ripped out an eye and most of the side of the creatures face, but losing his grip the beast responded in kind, nearly taking Chiba's eye.

Chiba had fought with everything he had and was prepared for his death, but the creature seemed to deem him beneath even that, and left Chiba to die alone in the desert. It was here that a group of slavers picked him up and sold him to a desperate gensai. Crushed more by his defeat then his own wounds, Chiba agreed to buy the gensai time to escape his enemies in exchange for his freedom.

Two years have passed since then and Chiba has drifted from place to place hoping to find some companions strong enough to aid him in slaying Ga'ira so that he can return to his people and his love. Included in his time was a stint with a mercenary group called the Desert Runners, which he left to follow a lead on Ga'ira, and his current work for the merchant lord.


*"Mana is an[sic] ... concept of an impersonal force or quality that resides in people, animals, and inanimate objects...It has commonly been interpreted as "the stuff of which magic is formed," as well as the substance of which souls are made."
Details:
an·am·ne·sis
Noun: Recollection, in particular the remembering of things from a supposed previous existence (often used with reference to Platonic philosophy).