Jett Garel-Kai

Genasi (storm-soul) Swordmage

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Garel-Kai grew up on the streets of Sundabar. His was a story not uncommon among the street urchins; he knew nothing of his family and could remember only a painful childhood being hungry and cold and often beaten by those older and stronger than he. Despite, or maybe because, of this harsh upbringing, Garel-Kai seemed unable to hang his head in defeat. When older boys took food or money from him, they always paid a toll in blood. No matter the possession, Garel-Kai would need to be a bloody mess before it could be taken from him. Over the years this served to keep him from trouble (most assailants figuring that he wasn’t worth the effort), but it also turned him into a social outcast. He became more and more subject to furious and (seemingly) unprovoked outbursts and he found himself nearly always alone. Only luck could be credited for the fact he made it through his juvenile years. Growing into a filthy, amoral and rage-filled young man pushed Garel-Kai ever closer to danger and a dagger in the back. He could not remember ever holding to the fanciful dreams of most orphans and urchins; that perhaps they were descended from royalty, fatefully lost and whose parents searched for them even now. Garel-Kai sneered at such pathetic whimsy – to him the world was a dark and deadly place where you were either predator or prey. Yet his frustration grew as he found himself unable to embrace his own philosophy; he could not bring himself to strike down those weaker than himself – and one day he walked past three men beating a young girl… …“it’s none of your business,” Garel-Kai told himself. He leaned against the stone wall and tried to ignore the sounds coming from the alley. The girl screamed and he closed his eyes, repeating the phrase and trying to will his legs to walk away. Then came a smack of flesh against flesh and the scream ceased – yet still the smacking sound echoed dully from the cold stones of the alley. Garel-Kai opened his eyes and turned away from the street. Standing at the entrance to the darkened alley, he drew his small dagger from beneath his patched shirt. The flames of his rage were fanned into an inferno as he watched the men beating the girl. Knowing that worse would soon com; he did not call out for them to stop, did not warn them – he leapt forward and plunged his blade into the back of the man before him. At the man’s cry of pain, the others turned. One looked at him with mocking grey eyes as he absently wiped bloody knuckles across his chin. The other calmly drew his sword. Perhaps at some other time Garel-Kai would have reconsidered his course, but something within him had melted away, leaving a cavity within that was filled with tumultuous rage. He leapt forward and attacked. He could remember little of what followed – flashes of blue light, splashes of blood and cries of various pitch ; surprise, fear, vicious glee, hatred, shock and gargling death. When the fog of his rage passed, Garel-Kai found himself in a dark alleyway, bloody and alone… Soon after that day Garel-Kai found himself joining a band of mercenary soldiers hired to carry out patrols into the Glimmerwood. Most mercenary bands took their pay and wandered along the borders of the wood, but the Genasi found himself tagging along with one of those that actually went into the wood. He was given nothing but a rusty sword and ridicule as he followed them into the wood, but as he returned, with less than half of the mercenaries alive and most carry severe wounds, he was equipped with all he needed. Over a few years Garel-Kai gained a reputation as a capable soldier and so moved into the ranks of the proper military. He found purpose, comrades accepting, even grateful, for his violent disposition and a code to live by – like most soldiers on any frontier he became a follower of Tempus, the god of battle. During his time of campaigning, he learned to focus his martial ability, winding his innate magical abilities into an intrinsic style that his swordmasters were able to hone to perfection. Garel-Kai became a “warrior to have at your side”. Three bloody years later he finished his time with the soldiers of Sundabar and, together with some of his friends, set out to find fame and fortune in the wider world. For several weeks all went well. Enemies fell to their blades and a small amount of wealth came their way. Garel-Kai began to think he had found his true path, until… They had been tracking through these gods-forsaken lands for days, nothing around them except scorched ground and strange black rocks. Baram had said the rocks were some kind of gemstone, jet or somesuch, but he was a Dragonborn and Garel-Kai doubted his knowledge beyond his skill for swinging his axe. Regardless, he was hot, tired and bored with this desolate terrain. The group crested a small hill and suddenly found themselves confronted with a red dragon. Infused with the immortal spirit of youth and previous victories, dreams of glory and dragon’s treasure, the band of brothers looked one to the other, grinned, and charged. Surprising the dragon gave them the advantage, and the foul serpent was not yet fully matured, it seemed it would be an easy and glorious victory. But then the beast found its courage and turned on them with fury terrible to behold. They were beaten back with a great blast of air from the serpents wings, then Garel-Kai watched in horror as Baram was consumed by it flaming breath. His own fury rose within, matching the great beast’s, and he charged once more – the venom behind his attack startled the creature, but soon he was swept up in one great claw. The barbs he wore irritated the beast, and he was hurled far into the air. He spun and twisted in vain and as he thudded to the ground cracked his skull – darkness claimed him. When he awoke, battered and bruised, Garel-Kai felt his head spinning. Confused and disoriented, he staggered to his feet and wandered about aimlessly. There was no way to tell how long he had been unconscious, but the dragon was long gone and the sun was beginning to set, long shadows creeping along the ground around him. It was probably just happenstance, though perhaps unconscious desire, that brought him back to the site of the battle. He took one look at the charred and chewed remains of his friends and fell to his knees. For the first time in his life Garel-Kai felt truly defeated. Remorse consumed him. For what could have been days, Garel-Kai struggled to come to terms with the deaths of his friends and found he could not free himself of the pain. He took one of the strange, black stones that littered the floor and walked away. He returned to Sundabar and had the stone crafted into a plain amulet worn always around his neck. When he left his home for the last time it was as Jett Garel-Kai – adopting the name so he would never forget the day he should have died. Jett had lost all sense of purpose and hope. He still claimed to follow Tempus, but it was more for the sake of combat than any higher purpose. He travelled west to Silverymoon, but found the “splendours” of that city sickened him even more. One thought came to dominate his thoughts; “never again will man or beast be able to stand before me”, and soon he had purpose once more – he would train and fight and kill every day; he would become more than a warrior, more than a mage – he would become an embodiment of power, bringing death in his wake. For months Jett wandered the region, killing foul creatures and shunning civilisation. Slowly he meandered south until, eventually, he came to a dark cave mouth flanked by great stone statues of imposing Minotaurs. Curious of the challenges that may lie beyond, Jett strode into the darkness…

Jett Garel-Kai

From Humble Beginnings... Dravish