Character concept by Kurt Keisel, all rights reserved.
Date of Birth: Unknown.
Current Status: Summer, 1331 Avard. Atsu managed to continue her advances in training and programming, until breaking completely free of her core programming as an advanced flesh golem – developing a soul of her own. After being briefly captured and tortured by the Nabrolians, Atsu managed to escape. She is now used by the God of Destinies to maintain order over the shards of the godslaying weapon Giran Howel, and search out any histories or parts of the weapon.
Her pouty lips, short blonde hair, pale skin, and lean frame make her a fair beauty – appearing part slate, part elf, and part Chillean. Coupled with her huge blue eyes full of innocence and wonder, she cuts through to men's hearts and mothers' instincts. Such innocence is contrary to her studded leather armor, the bastard sword she wields with one hand, and the myriad light, tiny scars she bears. Her walk is no-nonsense affair that leaves not a sound, and her unconscious grace is tempered with a dichotomy of grim determination and childish wonder.
Edlarin's Blade: A bastard sword that appears non-descript, the weapon has a powerful divine enchantment upon it that destroys the soul of anyone killed by the weapon. The blade was banned by nearly every church of every god, and thought destroyed during the Storm Wars.
Porcupine Armor: Atsu wears a dark leather jacket and leg greaves, studded with pointed bits of steel. On command, the studs grow to a long length, some of them growing out to two feet in length. The armor works well for close-in melee fighting, grappling, and even climbing, depending on the conditions.
Kanzaki is one of the final of General Roreth's pet projects from the Storm Wars. After an awakening in near isolation, and a desperate claw to freedom, Atsu was tutored in five centuries of history by a treant-guardian assigned to her half a millennium ago. The treant's knowledge of events off of the island was limited, and it came time for the flesh golem to journey on in search of answers, and to explore the limits of her nature.
The Shaping Wars unleashed elements of destruction such as the world had never seen. Unlike any war before, there were no conventional troops. The battles were fought strictly with magic of one form or another. Only the heads of each faction knew the true reason for the fighting – they were each seeking different artifacts that predated the Shield and the Oddity. Giran Howel and Al Mudim were only a few among the items. At the time, the Shaping Wars had no name; everything was chaos and destruction.
One of the powers on the continent of Chilleth was the emperor of Tamudea. Emperor Akmaen Delture of the Delturan Dynasty's Second Reign commanded a legion of Var Gauf – the first Gaeleth had ever seen. Masterful infiltrators and assassins, their magics helped them search for a lesser item of the wars – the royal sigil of the House of Delturan. There are rumors about the power of the item, but in all probability, it was nonmagical; merely a signet ring or an amulet of some sort.
Emperor Akmaen's master Var Gauf was Min Atsu. Min's specialty area was Divination, and he found valuable clues as the location of the royal sigil. The Var Gauf sewed chaos all through the war, popping in and out of locations, destroying anyone that got in their way, and lighting fires to distract the emperor's enemies within Tamudea. Most of the battles took place in Chilleth, but others spilled out along the coast of Middle Galanath, ranging from what would one day be Chesdolan all the way down to the future Alekdan Principalities.
Throughout the war, Min kept detailed accounts of the search, and his service to his emperor. A faithful servant of Agincoth, his works were kept as sacred texts after the Shaping Wars, until the annihilation of the House of Delture some two millennia later. Most of the texts were assumed destroyed as the enemies of the Delturans purged them from history. The priests of Agincoth managed to smuggle some of the history of the dynasty and the house out of Chilleth; from there, the information was copied and spread to several of the major libraries of Agincoth.
Towards the latter stages of the war, Min indicated his frustration with the limits of the human body. The elementals used by The Four throughout the war proved invaluable in the battles that went on. Argunas' demons were equally powerful, deciding the outcomes of several very important battles.
Though very loyal to his race, Min was equally fascinated with the elves – the 'spirit folk' to the inhabitants of Chilleth. Elven infravision fascinated the Var Gauf master, and he contributed greatly to the understanding of how infravision works, and to finding its limits. The ability of the forest elves to blend in with their environment had the Emperor's diviner frustrated for several years, and he died not knowing how the elven race accomplished the feat. As well, the tactile sensitivity of elven kind made the Var Gauf master very respectful of the spirit folk.
Min Atsu was a brilliant man, and his writings contributed a great deal to the libraries of Agincoth. His works aided scholars for centuries, serving as guides to elves, the Var Gauf, and the divination schools. He was arguably one of the greatest intellects Chilleth ever produced, and perhaps one of the most intelligent and widely studied men in Gaeleth's history. This is one of the reasons his works have endured, hidden away in one library or another, for millennia.
Though the spells of the priests of Agincoth were considerable, the volume of works they had to deal with were tremendous. Also, it was considered a great honor to transcribe certain volumes of works, and illuminate them. After a time, the originals were lost, and only the transcriptions remained. Errors were undoubtedly made, and if the scribe added his own notes or interpretations to the text, it definitely tainted the translation or copy he was making.
Five millennia after Min Atsu wrote his memoirs, came the Storm Wars, and General Roreth of Nathel. General Roreth rode over southern Galanath roughshod, tearing it apart as he went, seeing what bugs crawled out from under the rocks he overturned – and seeing what items he found in his northward journey. The general was a very shrewd man, and had under him equally shrewd and intelligent men. It was one of these men, Leftenant Dumas Elistan, that brought to the general's attention the works of Min Atsu.
Those particular works were rather corrupted by millennia of transcriptions, but the core of Atsu's genius remained. In fact, some of the master Var Gauf's tactics and strategies were incorporated into Nathelian tactics – with devastating results for the north.
The translation copy that Elistan saw, and brought to General Roreth's attention, mentioned possible cross-breeding among the various races of elves. The drow had just been discovered by Nathelian forces, when the news reached the general, he latched onto the idea. In the corrupted copy General Roreth had, Min Atsu lamented the fact that he did not have an elven Var Gauf that had the best of all the elven races – the power of the desert elves, the strength of the water elves, the stealth of the wood elves, and the magic of the plains elves – which were by then nearly extinct.
General Roreth agreed. As other reports began to filter into Nathel's top general about Giran Howel, the man began to envision a magically created elf wielding the God Slayer. Appointing Leftenant Deetrick Malkveth over the project, the Nathelian strategist outlined an engineering project for the new dark elven race.
Malkveth used a combination of breeding, magic, and divine intervention to begin crafting from flesh an unholy soldier. Nathel's archon Nabrol aided in the project, providing several millennia of invaluable experience. As the antipaladin Simon Luminar sent the drow race in on suicidal missions, Malkveth used body samples from the survivors – sometimes at the expense of their lives. As Leftenant Elistan conquered more and more of the eastern coasts, and General Roreth's forces swept through the rest of the south, the other elves contributed to the Atsu project, as well.
When the Sebre Druids used a small army of trolls to great effect against one of General Roreth's advancements, the general hit upon the idea of using more than just the elven races to contribute to the Atsu project. Trolls, dwarves, gnomes, and other 'expendable' races were added to the flavoring of the magic that made up the project.
After several prototypes had been sent to the field, and then further refined, General Roreth began construction on the final flesh golem that would be the culmination of all his work on the Atsu Project. By that time, the general was intent on using the Atsu project to slay Nathel, and place one of his archons, Dulmkil, in the god's place. Nabrol added his own influence to the project, determined to use the project to slay Nathel, so that he could take the god's place. Leftenant Malkveth added considerably to the project, hoping to use it to further his own advancement in power within the ranks of Nathel's army.
The final step in the project, after completion of the body, was feeding it a carefully prepared mixture of souls and magic to give it life – and servitude. The month long process of programming the flesh golem soldier was only half way complete, when General Roreth saw an opportunity he could not resist. His information turned up the location of Giran Howel, but his people were in no position to take advantage of the God Slayer. Karl Liss, the heroic icon for the Karatikans, was in the right place at the right time.
Through treason and stealth, Roreth arranged for Karl Liss to obtain the God Slayer. Nathel's archon Dulmkil aided the general, circumventing the archon Nabrol to get to Nathel. In a cunning use of guile and lies, Dulmkil and General Roreth somehow convinced their god to enter battle near Lake Omen in the Brel Hills. Karl Liss was waiting for Nathel.
As the god died, his death throes and his stupification at the betrayal sent waves of energy through all his priests, and all his archons. Dulmkil and Nabrol waged war upon one another, as Karl Liss defended himself against the antipaladin Simon Luminar and Leftenant Elistan.
In the aftermath of the battle, Karl Liss was corrupted and destroyed in spirit, though not in body. Leftenant Elistan was slain by the God Slayer. Dulmkil was expunged into the Abyss. Nabrol wrapped himself in the power of Nathel's godhood. And General Roreth lay dead, his body secreted away by some of his loyal troops.
Those priests that survived the raw outsurges of power from Nathel's death, had to swear to Nabrol, or risk the Abyss with Dulmkil. With the death of the general, Leftenant Elistan, and Nathel, all the critical leaders of the Atsu Project were dead, save Leftenant Malkveth.
Nathel's death throes sent shockwaves of raw magic through both his priests, and his mages. At the heart of the Atsu Project, the unstable mixture of souls and raw magic that was to feed the flesh golem's programming detonated. A fail-safe Malkveth had placed inside the catacombs activated, throwing a stasis field around the creation. Within the stasis field, time literally stopped, and the golem was protected from the destruction of the catacombs.
Malkveth and his immediate circle survived the wild magics that Nathel's death unleashed. The leftenant escaped, leaving the catacombs in which they had worked little more than ruins, with the golem buried far below. Fleeing for their lives, they split up, taking to the ground all over Gaeleth. Malkveth himself joined the Sebre Druids, converting to the worship of Barith. The remainder of the circle disappeared to the various corners of the earth, save one.
Thirty years later, dying of old age, one of Leftenant Malkveth's inner cicrcle returned to the island that housed the catacombs. Nearly ninety years old, Barik Lakathvir was far too old to excavate the buried flesh golem. He knew that even had he been able, he would have been unable to affect the stasis field that held the Atsu Project. A sage in magic – and yet unable to cast magic himself – Barik had escaped the anti-magic pogroms of the Inquisition. The other members of the inner circle had not been so lucky, and all knowledge of the flesh golem was about to pass from the world.
Barik's calculations indicated that the item containing the magic for the stasis field would lose its power just over four centuries later. Knowing as he did of the Inquisition, he correlated the rise of the golem with the darkness foretold by the Prophets. Rather than go directly to the Church, and have them destroy the project outright, the old man conspired to alter the project without ever touching it.
Lakathvir had a great deal of experience in evading the seekings of mages and priests. He also had a great deal of experience with magic, both deitific and wizardly. Using the few items he had brought with him, and what little resources he had at his disposal, he set about to accomplish his mission. He was fairly successful, even leaving one guardian behind on the island, before his death.
Racial modifiers were traditional for Dexterity; Leftenant Malkveth made sure to incorporate the elven ability to blend in with the terrain, and to use ranged weapons to considerable skill. The ogran and dwarven strengths were incorporated into the original design; however, Barik's interference with the project caused a temporal induction, regressing some of the genetic characteristics.
The flesh golem had the ability to breath underwater, as per the oceanically adapted elves of Olorin. In addition, the trollish attributes of regeneration gave it the ability to regrow lost limbs, shore up tissues after extensive damage, and adapt to physical situations within a short period of time. As the project became more and more self aware, it would develop into the full extent of its powers, such as the regeneration and the water-breathing.
Designed with the capabilities of a warrior, a rogue, and a wizard, a number of proficiencies and skills were placed into the conceptual portion of the project. Further abilities would manifest themselves over time, or so Barik hoped. General Roreth, the archon Nabrol, and Leftenant Malkveth all programmed various abilities and orders into the project, hoping they would manifest themselves for their own benefit. What none of them knew was that Nathel himself had instructed his priests to place a homing magic within the flesh golem that would allow it to find Giran Howel's components, given enough time.
The golem does not glow of magic, nor will dispellments or disjunctions affect it. All of the magics that went into the project were at the genetic level, and the magic faded long ago. Barik had hoped things would be a little different, but there was nothing he could do. He calculated a fairly high probability that the project would actually go insane after some time, as the various programs within the golem manifested themselves.
The Atsu Project's greatest weakness was it's mentality. Though capable of intelligence and wisdom, the flesh golem had no concept of good or evil. It's inherently evil tendencies gave it the propensity towards violence and bloodshed; however, the interactions the project would have with the people around it would determine the final outcome of the project. Having no soul, it would stay immune to soul and level-draining effects – until it reached its own level of understanding. As soon as the project were to develop humanity – a soul, as it were – it would begin suffering from the effects of mixed programming. This was where Barik theorized the golem would go insane.
A child of darkness, her programming prior to waking was tampered with. Ignorant of human nature, she shuns cities and towns, preferring the wilderness and the company of one or two others at a time. Atsu has a fondness for animals, understanding their simplicity over that of humanoids. Additionally, her first reaction is almost instinctive; defense or offense, just like an animal. In situations beyond her programming or her experience, she is wooden, acting like the flesh golem she was designed to be.
2nd-level Fighter, 2nd-level Mage, 3rd-level Thief
HP 25, AC 16, THAC0 19
Alignment: Neutral to Chaotic Good
Languages: Nathelian, Common
WPs: Bastard swords, bladesong, UCE.
NWP: Tracking (secondary skill), disguise, etiquette, running, singing, spellcraft, swimming, tumbling, reading/writing: Common, Nathelian.
Thieving Skills: Pick pockets 51%; open locks 75%; find/remove traps 75%; move silently 75%; hide in shadows 85%; hear noise 55%; climb walls 80%; read languages 10%.
Spells: Typically, Atsu uses the following spells: armor, magic missile, jump, spider climb, alter self, phantasmal force.
Str 12(+1) Con 16(+3) Dex 18(+4) Int 14(+2) Wis 14(+2) Cha 17(+3)
Equipment: Edlarin's blade, porcupine armor, Kastul's ring (triples all evocation spells), web armor (leather armor +1 equivalent cloth), spider's band (+33% to CW, HS, MS), succor ring (Father Bryan Stonegrudge's), Nogrom's scabbard (protects everything within 30' with a 'nondetection' effect).