Akal, the Messenger
Elf Primal Guardian Predator Druid
Akal’s life began in the desert. Born to parents in a wandering tribe of elven traders, his first years were spent living a hardscrabble yet free-spirited life. When he was six years old, his tribe stopped in Gulg to sell their goods. Unfortunately, one of Akal’s tribe was caught stealing from a judaga; in a harshly dispensed punishment, the tribesman was executed and the remainder of the tribe was sold into slavery. Although Akal’s young life hadn’t been easy, the total freedom of the wanderer was his joy, and its sudden loss devastated him. He grew up as an angry and bitter slave, often punished for his disobedience, until one day fate allowed him to slit his master’s throat and escape. Pursued by the judagas, he fled into the Crescent Forest, where he was discovered by Barazin, leader of the Crescent Circle druids. After discovering that Akal had a talent for channeling the primal spirits, Barazin taught Akal the ways of the druid.
Under Barazin’s tutelage, Akal soon discovered that he not only had a talent for taking on the form of feral animals, he also possessed a taste for the savagery of combat with tooth and claw. Akal became a very militant member of the Crescent Circle, advocating risky strikes against the hated city of Gulg. Unfortunately, despite his brazen attacks and the efforts of the other druids, the forces of Gulg continued to slowly expand their influence in the Crescent Forest and push back the Crescent Circle. Worse, Akal’s headstrong nature was pulling the druids into more danger than they could handle, and it was only a matter of time before Akal would get himself or another druid killed. After much thought, Barazin decided to kill two birds with one stone – send out a much needed call for help, and prevent a volatile ally from causing unintentional harm. He bestowed Akal with a mission – to travel across leagues of harsh desert to the Forest Ridge, find the halfling druids at the edge of the world, and to plead for their help in protecting the Crescent Forest. Akal fumed at the thought of leaving his vendetta behind, but agreed.
Akal journeyed across the Tablelands. After months of hard travel, he scaled the Ringing Mountains and arrived at the Forest Ridge. Sensing currents of primal energy in the earth, he set out to follow them, predicting that they would lead him to the halflings. However, along his way he happened upon a primal grove surrounded by massive standing stones. Knowing that such places were havens of safety for druids, Akal lay down for the night. However, he awoke shortly to blinding pain, as ancient primal spirits of Athas poured out of their sanctuaries in the stones of the circle and packed into Akal’s body. Burning spirits of fire, biting wind spirits, heavy stone spirits and rushing water spirits all filled Akal’s body, imbuing his very bones and spirit with the essence of Athas. Amidst the pain of his metamorphosis, the spirits communicated with Akal. They were sentient spirits, ancient and wise, and their goal was the restoration of Athas. They long ago sacrificed their strength for the ability to endure throughout the long centuries and remain watchful over the world. The time to act had finally arrived: the coming of the Dark Son presented Athas’s greatest, and perhaps only, chance for survival and renewal. So the spirits had waited for the right host: a creature with knowledge and familiarity of the civilized lands, but connected to the primal spirits and possessing adequate power. In other words, they had waited for Akal. The spirits pounced, knowing that Akal was their best chance to influence the events to come.
Akal emerged from the grove a different person. The memories that composed his life had been crowded out by those of the spirits – a thousand lifetimes of memories, and a cacophony of dimly accessible voices. His quest to bring vengeance to the city of Gulg suddenly seemed insignificant compared to the gravity of finding the Dark Son and shepherding the child to safety. If the child could be brought up as an ally of the primal spirits, then the defeat of the sorcerer-kings would only be a matter of time. Armed with his newfound abilities, Akal set off, guided by the primal spirits toward the city of Tyr. Somewhere beneath the placid waters of ancient wisdom, Akal’s soul gave a feral grin. Now those bastards are really in for it.