This npc is created from the Kumbra life form by EchoMirage The Kumbra
Flowing manes of dark blue tendrils surround its bony facial plates; large sparking sapphire eyes flicker with barely contained energy. Its jade green scales, while usually covered with a sheen of desert dust, still faintly glimmer with an otherworldly beauty.
Shek-ta, a seeker of things forgotten, lounged upon the smooth surface of its favorite thinking rock, the hot afternoons desert winds blowing across its scales.
On the horizon it noticed series of small moving specks, accompanied by the tell tale signs of dust it had long since learned marked the passage of soft skins. Those tiny creatures who’s life flashed by like a passing of a sandstorm, often rearranging everything in its wake.
It was when these specks erupted in flashes of magical light that Shek-ta truly became intrigued, uncoiling itself from the stone and hurrying forth towards the faint sounds of battle. Perhaps here was yet a further opportunity to learn something new, either about the soft skins, or what opposition they faced..
Shek-ta is one who has taken upon itself to learn of things most Kumbra have long since lost interest in, or faded to the sands of time.
In its younger years Shek-ta remained secluded in the deepest desert, devoting most of its time to the memorization of many of the books disks its people had left behind in the ruins it had been birthed into.
It quickly became fascinated with the legends of times long past and the great schism that sundered the land, and decimated those that dared ponder the significance of such events rather than participate. Of special interest was the information about the creatures that inherited the world in the aftermath of such mindless conflict, although such knowledge was limited at best.
As it aged it learned of the other races that dwelt either within, or passed through the desert; oftentimes deliberately seeking out groups of these races so that it may learn their natures and history.
Its first attempts to communicate met with dismal failure, as few could withstand the nature of its communication and live, let alone retain their sanity. Before long She-ta learned to swiftly slay those that attacked it, and then try to speak with the survivors that didn’t attempt such foolhardy actions. Little did it know these forays had labeled it an unremitting monster to the nomadic tribes of the desert, and a deadly foe to travelers and bandits alike.
Before long a small group of wizards came forth from among the kingdoms on the edge of the great desert, hired to put down this electric dragon for the good of all people.
Before long these men of magic found themselves deep within the sandy heart of the desert, and after treachery on behalf of their hired guide; the victims of an ambush by bandits seeking their magical goods for resale in far off lands.
Unleashing their most powerful spells, the group of wizards attempted to repel the ambush, only to find these bandits had come well prepared to counter their spells; and had far more numbers than first apparent.
The surprise of both parties was nearly equal when the large Kumbra crested a near by dune, the bandits hastily converging on the fearsome beast. The few remaining and exhausted wizards quickly readied their defenses and prepared to defeat the victor of this new conflict.
Shek-ta easily dispatched the bandits, whom has been poorly equipped to handle one of its kind, then paused, and looked at the collection of robed survivors before it.
Seeing these robed people did not seek conflict Shek-ta tried, as it had countless times before, to communicate with tendrils of electricity, the arcs of lightning flowing over the protected mages in an unusual manner it had never perceived.
The collection of wizards themselves had been prepared for such an attack, having equipped themselves with artifacts to absorb and redirect such bolts of power.
It was of almost equal astonishment to both Shek-ta and the wizards when its inquiry into the nature of the conflict was understood by the mages; many of whom nearly collapsed in shock. This fearsome beast was truly intelligent? Such wonders and possibilities this presented indeed!
From the hesitant and difficult conversation that followed, a tentative alliance was worked out between Shek-ta and the mages. They would provide it with the knowledge it yearned for, if in return Shek-ta would remove such groups as the ones that attacked them from the surround area of the desert. To Shek-ta this deal was by far almost simple, and the rewards bountiful beyond compare. At last! A chance to learn of the culture of the soft skins, 'men' as they referred to themselves as.
From there a simple arrangement developed. One of the mages would meet with Shek-ta on the first night of every full moon, and bring it books of knowledge, and speak with it about matters of interest, and the bandits plaguing near by trade routes would cease to be a problem.
Now, years later, Shek-ta has become something of a legend among the surrounding communities, as a Lightning serpent that defends their trade caravans, and communes with powerful wizards in the deepest hours of night.
A small collection of books in many languages, as well as the disc books of its people adorn Shek-ta’s lair. Other than these and a few items that caught it;s interest, Shek-ta has little need for worldly possessions or wealth.
Curiosity is what motivates you; drives you to investigate anything that draws your attention. Never pause to consider if involving yourself in a situation would be 'wise or 'welcomed' but barrel ahead anyway. After all, knowledge is learned only by seeking.
Perhaps the players group has been captured by a group of desert bandits, only to be rescued by Shek-ta’s vicious attack upon their camp. After the initial horror wears off, the group may well find themselves with a curious, and strange ally.
While traveling at night through the desert, (to avoid the heat) the characters come upon a mage bathed in lightning talking with a huge electric serpent. Depending on how they approach this situation they could well learn about the surrounding area, or formerly unknown ruins or places of interest. If they react poorly however, they could easily be in for the fight of their lives.
Notice: We have here on the citadel an astounding number of Intelligent Races. Now, the ultimate goal of a written race in a game is to provide both a wide cultural conflict within the setting, as well as to create Characters, either PCs, or NPCs.
What I would like to see is for people to write characters of races that someone else has written up. If the write up is sufficient to be used as a guide to create a well written character, then the write up has reached its goal. If the write up is not sufficient, the questions required to write a character will help fix any gaps in the write up - Good for everyone around. --Siren no Orakio
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? Responses (11)-11
I could easily see myself using this NPC since I have alwaty been fond of desert settings. But, is Shek-ta the only Kumbra around? What of the other Kumbra? And I wonder if new Kumbra or Lesser Kumbra (Half-Kumbra?) could be birthed through a Mage's lightning magic and Shek-ta. My only problem is that in the original race description it says they are making a comeback, yet here we see only one. I like the idea of a solitary Kumbra, but there should be more (less-outgoing) Kumbra nearby. Well, that is all I can think of for now. Good Quest sub.
Of course, my opinion is biased, but I sure DO like the way how you presented the alien nature of the Kumbra. You earn three tail-thumbs and a 7d6 chain lightning from me :D
Now this really is a good submission.
I agree with Echo in saying that you brought across the nature of the Kumbra well. I noticed a few points where you mixed your pronouns, at one point referring to Shek-Ta as "her, at another as "it". You also made a grammatical mistake, the possessive it "its", "it's" means "it is". A nice well rounded sub,Silv.
Great idea. The misinterpreted monster is a great theme and put to fabulous use!
Updated: fixed the punctuation and word errors.
Wow, really good Silveressa! This is the best in my opinion of the quest entries!
Found one typo of note:
bandits hastily converting on the fearsome
Assuming you mean converging :)
Well written. I can't help but agree with the others. Good job on bringing out the race, and putting your own spin on it. A definite contender for the Quest title! Loved the Kumbra and this is a great example of one.
edited: fixed Kumbra link
Updated: converting changed to converging.
A solid take on this race. I like its solitary nature, and the turn into a guardian; and the image of a wizard consulting one just begs to be used.
The best three words that say most about the character and the race: favorite thinking rock. :)
The Quest winner requires an automatic BUMP