Monday, October 17, 2016

Sycillya

Just this last week, I've finally begun playing my Half-Orc Paladin, Sycillya. I finally managed to hash out her backstory to a place I like, and after all the crunchy bits in the last post, I figured I'd share it with you. Here is the story of how Sycillya found her Hidden Light.

“Run, little one! RUN!”

They found her in the woods, huddle down in a ragged blanket among the roots of a tree. There was no resistance when they scooped her up, taking note of her grayish skin and pronounced canines. Small as she was - just a child - they noticed muscle rippling under her skin. The three men carried her back to their horses and rode swiftly back to camp. Half a mile away, a small band of adventurers lay among the trees, eyes closed, their wounds still bleeding as the sun set.
They named her Sycillya. They asked of her name when they found her, but she didn't have it to give. One of the men who found her chose it. Such a soft name, a human name. A few of the older kids took to calling her Sissy for a while - until she broke a boy’s nose and tore a chunk from another’s arm with her teeth. After that, they called her Monster… behind her back. That didn't matter. She grew stronger for it.
Every day she woke at dawn to some menial task such as cleaning the kitchens after a feast or mucking the stables. There was always something to do, and she was often chosen first to do it. Even this young, she was bigger than most of the other kids, and that gave her the unfortunate distinction of being useful.
At the age of twelve, it was decided she was strong enough to be put to real work. As strong as most of the other adults around her, her patrons were eager to see what she was capable of. It was grueling. From sunup to sundown, she was worked. They told her it was to make her more valuable. That's when she began to realize how bad off she was. The dilapidated building she stayed in with a dozen other kids. The minimal food and water. The beatings. She didn’t want to end up like the failures.
Sycillya dreamed. She saw a hooded figure with a menacing red glow obscuring a pale face. She felt pain and anguish. All around her were the sounds of battle
By her teens, her masters learned how to use their tool. They raised her to hunt. Not animals, but escapees. They trained her to hunt them down and either coerce them into coming back or bringing back the body. She reveled in it, finding the wretches huddled in the woods surrounding their camp. Even though they kept her chained, she never failed to bring someone back.
Another dream. Two figures stood in a dense wood: a Human woman seemingly pleading with a Dwarven man. Both in blacks and reds and both speaking in low, sad voices. She placed a hand on his shoulder and asked him a question. After a long pause, a white light shot from the sky, enveloping them both, blinding Sycillya.
By adulthood, they had molded her into a machine. Enforcer in the camp, hunter of escapees. No one escaped. She was perfectly loyal to her masters, seeing first-hand the price of weakness. Every pitiful slave in the camp feared her glare, and feared the chains she now wore with pride. They were her weapons, her power.
A feminine figure stood silhouetted before a burst of bright colors. All she could make out of the woman was a sword bathed in a silvery light and a perfect, white circle emblazoned on her massive, scaled tower shield.
“Sycillya!”
She bolted up, and scrambled to the sound of the voice. Her chains rattled around her as she strode from her place in the camp to a well-lit, large tent.
“Good girl. I have another task for you. Remember that group of kids yesterday? The one of mostly your kind? It looks like they aren’t trained like you are and managed to sneak out under the nose of Gerry. Find them. Bring them back.”
Sycillya nodded and headed to grab her few things. The man called out, “Make an example of one, would you?” Another nod.
She went back to her tent, took a swig of ice-cold coffee from a cup on the floor and left. Finding the tracks were easy enough. She went over the tracks in her head. Four children, aged 8-12. Walked in a tight group. Moved swiftly, but quietly. Light steps. She followed them out into the woods. Even then, the trail wasn’t obscured. Broken branches, footprints in mud. A branch cracked and she snapped her head around to look, only to be blinded by another vision.
A woman lay crumpled on the ground, black hair obscuring her face, clutching her stomach. Then, in a city Sycillya had never seen, what looked to be the same woman stood in front of her. A child was walking away, the woman watching intently. A large rune glowed on the back of the child’s head, then there was an explosion. Screams. The same woman, bent over the bed of a child. The same black hair fell over her face, and a deep red glow filled the room. From the child’s lips flowed a thick white smoke, into a clear gemstone.
Sycillya gripped the tree next to her as the light faded. She felt her eyes fill with tears, but shook them out with a low growl.
“Sycillya?” Called a meek voice.
She whipped her chain around and snapped it at the voice. There was a cry of pain and then the child began to cry.
“You knew better than to try to escape. You knew I would come!” The other three half-orc children huddled around the wounded one. She began to advance on him, hardening her heart for the task. Visions of the woman lying crumpled on the ground, tears stained on her unconscious face. Sycillya raised the chain as she again saw the child lost to the force of explosive magic.
“Run. Run West. Never return. Never let me find you.”
The children hesitated for a moment, then turn and fled. Sycillya leaned against the trunk of a tree and began desperately thinking of how to explain this to her master.
“Tsk tsk, Sissy,“ cooed a familiar voice, “I thought you seemed off.”
“I-”
“Shut up, girl. I gave you a simple task, one you’ve done plenty times before. Why quit now? Sympathy for other monsters?” He pulled out a mace and started to approach Sycillya, “You will be made to remember your place here.”
Your light, Sycillya…
She hung her head as her master advanced on her. Shame and rage paralyzed her. She stared at her manacles, and was reminded of her place.
Be free of the darkness, let your hidden light shine.
Sycillya closed her eyes. She felt her body lighten, as her manacles grew heavy and hot. All her fear and anger flowed into the chains.
“No.”
The footsteps stopped. When she opened her eyes, the chains that held her manacles glowed with a fierce white light. Steam rose from around her body, the heat of the light burning away her fear.
Life must flourish, and you must see that it does so unbound.
Her master hesitated for a moment, and that was all Sycillya needed. The chain hissed through the night and struck her master across the face. He screamed in agony as the light clung to him, searing his flesh. Again and again she swung until he lay bloodied and burned on the forest floor.
She stood for a moment, breathing heavily and her light fading away. Then her instincts kicked in. More would come soon. She stripped her master of anything valuable - armor, a bow and arrows, rope and a coin purse - and fled West to Eor, to seek the Hidden Light.

That's the story of Sycillya, Paladin of the Hidden Light. Sorry for any spelling or grammatical errors! They'll get fixed.
If you want to follow along with her progress and story, you can see my live notes in this Google Doc or you can watch her live sheet in this Google Sheet. Curious about the Hidden Light? Watch this blog for a post about the PC that had become the Hidden Light and is now inspiring new champions.

As always, leave comments or bug me on Twitter!

2 comments:

  1. Nice, neat characters! I'd love to see her perspective on her party.

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