After Kalak's Fall, Athas Will Burn
It is difficult to tell Vit’ Akai from another human at a distance with his tanned skin and similarly colored szuldar. He looks like any wary traveler, donning sleeveless leather armor and a red keffiyeh. A pair of sun goggles keep the templars’ suspicious eyes away. Upon closer inspection, the outline of the szuldar are more apparent and his solid milky white eyes distinguish him. His medium length white hair falls straight to the sides.
“Born in Silt”
Born to a small nomadic tribe of Sandsoul Genasi, he lived life traveling from one region to another as Genasi of this manifestation find themselves doing. The tribe’s elders would share stories of their experiences and of what they have heard of the Green Age. Vit-Akai would listen with wide-eyes and imagine what the world once looked like. He would often dream of hurdling through forests at top speed, dodging and weaving each tree as he felt their primal life force pass by him. In other visions, he would fly high above Athas, seeing what the Green Age may have looked like. This paradise would soon diminish to sand and ashes to look like its current state. These nightmares would cause Vit-Akai to wake up violently, creating a torrent of sand around him and audible thunder.
Thundersoul Genasi existed only in tales of the Green Age and in tales of the Primordials. Yet in this small tribal community, there existed a Sandsoul that could produce it unknowingly. The elders took great interest and knew immediately where the tribe would be headed next.
“Journey across the Dunes”
Ancient and unmapped, the Genasi Academy lay shrouded and concealed on a small island in the Silt Sea. The tribe journeyed long and hard across the continent of Athas, some even dying as they faced threats. At the shores of the Silt Sea, the tribe could go no further and lend no further assistance. If Vit-Akai was destined to find this temple, it would be his destiny alone. As the tribe sorrowfully said their farewells, a single elder stepped forward and described, in prophetic words, the way to the temple. He embraced his parents, not knowing if he would ever see them again. With a heavy heart and destiny on his mind, he began his journey off across the Silt Sands to find the academy.
Days went by and with supplies dwindling and his hunger and thirst reaching breaking points he could not bound and his travel time suffered dearly for it. He cursed himself for not pacing his search. As he came across another rocky and deserted island, he knew this was the last one. If it was not here, he was doomed. Searching the island revealed nothing. In what was a dying rage, he thrust his blade into the sand and cursed at the top of his lungs, creating audible thunder that could be heard for miles. He collapsed into the sand and the bright Athasian sun felt cold against his skin. The air was still and Vit-Akai’s world turned dark.
To Discipline the Silt”
Vit-Akai came to inside of a small room with one other bed in it. A dim candle provided the only light in the room. “Where was he?” he wondered. As he got up, his legs could not hold him up and he fell over, knocking a tray off the dresser. He cursed at his legs for being weak as he saw a light underneath the closed door grow brighter and brighter. The door swung open, revealing a female fire Genasi. “You’re awake!?” The flames that mimicked her short hair grew stronger. “What are you doing on the floor? Let’s get you up.” As she helped him, she explained to him how they found him. The thunder he created resonated across the Sea of Silt. The master of the academy, Jah, ordered a search for the noise immediately. They found him and brought him back, where he lay unconscious for days as he recovered.
Master Jah took interest in him right away. Thought to be no more, Jah was the last known of the storm manifestation. His bluish skin and white szuldar contrasted to make an intimidating appearance but listening to him made Vit-Akai feel comfortable. Jah explained to him that the primals have granted him the power of the Guardian and he must seek the balance between order and chaos for the world to grow again. Honing his arcane skills allowed for him to see the balance between the arcane and primal powers present on Athas. While gifted with Guardianship, he harnessed the arcane power to enhance his abilities.
The Master took him aside to a room and closed the door behind him. “The Sorcerer-Kings defile this world. I have taught you to cast spells by allowing Athas to give the power to you. These evil beings take the power.” Jah instructed him to cast a spell and to take the energy from a verdant fern in the corner of the room. Vit-Akai refused. Jah explained, “Before your training is complete, I must know you understand the destructive power they and all other arcane casters possess.” Vit-Akai reluctantly continued the lesson, beginning to cast a spell as a dummy target in the corner. He felt the fern’s essence scream as it went from giving energy to having it being taken. He felt the raw power come quickly and with a flash, his spell was empowered as the sandstorm swirling around him was contained inside the room.
As the room returned to a calm state, there was nothing left of the target dummy and the fern lie dead and wilted. “You now understand. Arcane energy is a neutral energy that should be used for good, not for evil.” Vit-Akai still felt overwhelmed and was it not for the presence of his master; he may not have truly understood the lesson.
“Traveling the Ergs”
Continuing his nomadic lifestyle, Vit-Akai traveled the land searching for verdant areas of Athas to protect. He felt more at home on the move than he ever did staying in one place. Jah told him to always keep a low profile, and that his primal birthright would only draw unnecessary attention. In his travels, he would dispatch small groups of defilers.
On one such encounter, he came across a group of travelers in heated combat with defilers. The small group of humans appeared to be beaten until Vit-Akai rushed to their aid. Shifting through the battlefield, he commanded the sands to swirl around the blade of one of the defilers. Vanishing into the sand, he reappeared behind the far defiler and thrusted his longsword through his chest. The other defiler went to swing at the prone human with the joy of knowing he was about to get an easy kill. As he came down with his sword, he hit nothing but sand. Quickly he turned to his left only to have his head taken clean off by Vit’ Akai.
“You fight the defilers, yet you use arcane magic. For which side do you fight?” announced the human male holding the sword towards him. “I fight for balance. My path has led me across the wastelands and I have seen much of the despicable abuse these tyrants have placed upon the land. I move with the sands and bring swift justice across this wasteland so that life may be born again.”
Vit-Akai pulled back his goggles and lowered his keffiyeh to reveal himself to the group. They stood in disbelief, only hearing about Genasi but never seeing one in the flesh. The fighter sheathed his weapon, proudly announcing, “We have pledged to preserve Athas and destroy all those who would use defiling magic, especially the sorcerer-kings. Would you join us traveler? We are heading to resupply and it is the least we can do is to repay you after your help?” Vit-Akai stated in acknowledgment, “Sure, we all must rest and recover at some point. Lead the way.”
Vit-Akai wonders about past, his present, and his future.
• Which Primal Guardian provided him with the power, and was there a specific purpose?
• With Genasi being rare on Athas, would he ever see his parents or any Genasi ever again?
• What became of Master Jah and the Academy once he left?
• What enemies/allies did he make while roaming the land?
• What will become of Vit-Akai with his newly found companions?