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July 2, 2007, 5:30 am

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Cheka Man

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"I am all that’s left of an old, old religion.  No one remembers my goddess anymore, except me.  Please, do not intrude on my solitude and contemplation."


Miklos is, at first glance, a young man in his mid-twenties.  He isn’t exactly muscular, but he’s quite fit and has a permanent tan.  Usually, he dresses in simple clothes that allow him great freedom of movement but don’t get in his way.  He has dark hair that goes to his shoulders, usually left loose.  It is only upon a much closer look that one notices how very, very old his eyes seem.


Miklos was born into the monastic priesthood of Talna, the obscure goddess of an obscure mountain tribe.  It was a life he was well suited to, and his days were spent in rites honoring the goddess, martial training, and contemplation of the beauty of his mountain home.  His devotion did not go unremarked, and it surprised no one when the wizened priest Soldai chose Miklos to be his successor as the master of the most sacred shrine the Tribe of Tanal had ever built.

Although Miklos was content with his life, things were changing.  Life on the mountain slopes was getting harder, and the Tribe was slowly drifting away, to more hospitable lands.  One by one, the temples and shrines dedicated to Talna were left behind.  In some, the aging monks stayed on, determined to stay with their goddess until they returned to her.  Others were abandoned completely, and it saddened Miklos.

Eventually the time came when the Tribe meant to leave Miklos’s temple behind as well, and the tribal leaders asked him to come with them.  Miklos, however, refused.

"You know as I do what this shrine guards.  I cannot leave Talna’s Valley abandoned and unprotected.  I will stay for as long as the goddess allows me to."

So the day came when Miklos was alone in the shrine, out of reach of his kin.  It did not really change much about his lifestyle.  Then, one night, the goddess herself spoke to him in his dreams.

"You are among the most devoted of my priests.  You are determined to guard my valley from those who would abuse it.  You do not see the same things my other children see.  You will be the one to protect my valley until the mountains crumble to dust.  I will grant you a boon in return for this service.  You will never age as long as you remain to care for the valley, and you will not die.  And if you should meet a foe you cannot keep from the valley, I will bring your people back to aid you."

Time stopped for Miklos, leaving him eternally youthful.  He took the duty given him by the goddess seriously, and never left the shrine again.  Fruits and vegetables that grew in the Valley, providing for his few needs, and his time was spent keeping the shrine mostly in repair, excercises and training of various types, studying the temple’s library, and communing with his goddess and lesser spirits.  It was a life he enjoyed.

Years turned into decades, and decades turned into centuries, and Miklos remained the same.  He gently directed the rare travellers who found the shrine away, and most never suspected what he guarded.  Those who did suspect and tried to abuse that knowledge quickly discovered that Miklos was a formidable opponent. 

He is dedicated to his duty and his goddess, and that is all he needs.

Roleplaying Notes

Miklos is a quiet, serious man, and deeply religious.  While he is by nature a peaceful man, he will not hesitate to use force if he deems someone a threat to the security of Talna’s Valley.  He is quite an expert at martial arts, as some have found out to their dismay.  He will not kill unless there is no other way, and usually the beatings he bestows on those who try to take the Valley are enough deterrent.

While he is not in any way eager for guests, he will provide shelter and food to anyone who is lost on the mountain top and/or caught by a storm.  If he does have guests, he will be hospitable enough, but remains distant and somewhat unapproachable.  And when the weather clears, he will direct guests to the nearest safe path down the mountain and drop subtle hints that they should be going.

His unaging immortality is tied to the Shrine and the Valley.  While within the confines of either, he does not age, and any injuries he receives fade away almost as soon as he is injured.  If he ever leaves the Shrine, he will begin aging immediately, and the process speeds up the longer he is away.  Within three days of being away from the Shrine, he will die.  Additionally, his invulnerability to injure does not extend past the Shrine grounds.

If he is pressed by an enemy that he cannot handle on his own and Talna’s Valley is in danger of falling into the hands of those who would abuse it, he has one last resort.  That is the Great Bell, which hangs in the main sanctuary of the temple, and will summon all the descendants of the Tribe of Talna to his aid.  He will not use it except in the direst extremity.

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Comments ( 4 )
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Voted Scrasamax
July 2, 2007, 8:22
A good mixture of pathos and piety. If he is the last, why doesnt he attempt to spread the word of Talna to the rare travelers who stumble across the valley? I would think of restoring the faith as being as important as guarding it's holy place. Tragic, and very nice.
Voted valadaar
July 3, 2007, 10:30
I have a thing for old guardians and near-dead religions and peoples.

Nicely done.
Voted Cheka Man
July 6, 2007, 15:21
A truly dedicated priest.
Voted Dossta
March 12, 2013, 17:09
I enjoyed this piece. I do wonder how a man could stay sane after spending centuries in solitude, however -- one would think that he'd like to take the occasional apprentice, or perhaps try to teach others of his goddess.

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