Nexus of Eternity
Chaotic Neutral Sword Mage
As a child, Rashka was trained in the art of illithid combat by an extremely powerful and respected Sword Stalker. The Sword Stalker helped him prepare for the Githyanki rite of passage: the destruction of an illithid stronghold. Rashka learned of the history of the Githyanki from the Sword Stalker, from the enslavement by the illithids to the Pronouncement of Two Skies. Rashka was confused, however, by Gith’s submission to the dragon Tiamat. Why had she willingly enslaved herself? In Githyanki teachings, slavery is weakness.
Near the end of his training, but before Rashka’s rite of passage, the Sword Stalker who was training Rashka was summoned by Vlaakith CLVII. A summon by the lich queen of the Githyanki cannot be ignored, and his fierce loyalty to Vlaakith forced the Sword Stalker to answer. It was only until after the raid on the illithid stronghold that Rashka learned the fate of his mentor. Vlaakith had consumed the Sword Stalker’s soul in order to ensure that he would never challenge her power. Rashka saw the undead thrall that his mentor had become, reeking of slavery and weakness. In the abomination, Rashka foresaw his fate should he remain in the astral sea.
Rashka disappeared, knowing that he was not powerful enough to be noticed. If he was, most would assume him a casualty in the raid. Remembering the stories of the hated Githzerai, Rashka set out to find them. If so much of Githyanki teachings were lies, Rashka reasoned, then maybe the Githzerai were stronger than he was told. He knew only one place to look for the Githzerai: their home plane of Limbo.
The plane of chaos assaulted Rashka’s sanity. Nothing was fixed; everything was moving and shifting all around him. He had no idea how to orient himself in the confusion, for he had no stable point of reference. Through sheer force of will he was able to keep himself together, but even that was fading fast. He began to lose himself to the constant inconsistencies that surrounded him. Just before he completely gave in, the chaos around him started to calm.
“You are one of the People, yet you are not one of the People,” a Githzerai zerth approached Rashka, his mere presence returned Rashka’s identity. “How have you come to not know yourself, Githyanki?” Rashka explained his history and his disillusionment with Githyanki teaching. “That is good. It is rare that a Githyanki should come to know the failures of their own people. Come, you will benefit from my teaching.”
Rashka followed the Githzerai and came to know his ways. Rashka came to know how to control the chaos matter and soon created a dwelling of his own. He came to know the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon and the true Proclamation of Two Skies. Most importantly, Rashka came to know himself. Once he came to know himself, he replaced his surname with the title Swordthane and let go of his Githyanki heritage. He was now Githzerai, and on the path to become a zerth himself.
Soon, Rashka left his new teacher in order to continue his studies and find his own path. His teacher gave him a piece of chaos matter to take on his journey saying, “Take this, and when you come to know the heart of Zerthimon on the Blasted Plains, you will come to know how to form it into your own Karach blade. When this comes to pass you will have completed your journey and will truly be a zerth.”
Rashka travelled the planes and continued his meditations. Eventually he found himself in the Prime Material plane, and took up residence in the wilds outside of Sharn. He kept to himself, preferring to live alone so that he may better himself through intense meditation. Every once and a while, travelers would stumble upon his meditations. Frightened by his alien appearance and obvious skill, they would hastily retreat before Rashka, deep in his meditation, could detect them. It is no wonder, then, how the coming events could catch him by surprise.
All around Sharn, rumors were spreading about a monstrous yellow-green man with sharp ears and otherworldly features who lurked outside the known trails. Eventually, these rumors reached the ears of the Council of Deva. The Council of Deva recognized what manner of being must be residing in the wilds and took this information directly to the king. The Council of Deva counseled the king to forge an alliance with the Gith, for they are well known to be unusually skilled in combat.
An emissary was sent to Rashka with a message that spoke of an offer the king would like to extend. Warily, Rashka promised to hear what the king had to say. On his way to king’s palace, he noticed curiosity and more than a little fear in the expressions of the people of Sharn. Rashka disapproved of their weakness, and hoped that the king would show more strength.
The guards were thrown off balance at Rashka’s arrival, for they have never encountered such a strange man. Rashka laughed inwardly as they fumbled all over each other. The king did not fare much better, for even though he was prepared for the meeting by the Council of Deva he found Rashka’s demeanor unsettling. The Council of Deva was ready, however, and it was one of them who engaged him first. “Hail, sword ringer! We are pleased that a traveler such as yourself would bother to grant us an audience!”
Impressed with the representative’s knowledge of Githzerai expressions, Rashka replied, “Hail! I have come, and I would know more about your proposal.”
The representative explained to Rashka that the guards and militia lacked discipline (“I can see that,” Rashka replied), and that the Gith are known to be renowned swordsman. The representative proposed that Rashka train the guard and in return he would have free reign of the archives. Rashka doubted that the archives contained much knowledge of use, but he knew that much could be learned by teaching. Rashka accepted the deal on one condition: “Know that I am not your subject. Know that there will come a time when I will leave you and know that I owe you no debts.”
Many years have passed and that time has not come. In the time he has stayed in Sharn, he has transformed the guard into a respectable force, even if they are unable to achieve the level of Sword Stalkers. The people of Sharn soon grew accustomed to Rashka’s presence, and Rashka has become respected. He constructed an Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon and made a translation of the Gith language into common for the archives. He has yet to learn the heart of Zerthimon on the blasted plains, but he is confident that it shall soon come to pass.