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suath mi, a ghaoitilhean, le, naidheachd às gach àirde: sìn orm
suath mi, a ghrèine, do shoilise teas mo chridhe: sìn orm
suath mi, a ghealaich, mo leigheas na do ghilead: sìn orm
suath mi, a shiantan, ur frasan ga mo nighe: sìn orm
A' Chiach - Aonghas Macneacail (1991)
Born 981 AD and with skin the color of the local granite, Liath  got his name because of his silvery-grey skin. His appearance at birth was just presumed to be natural, if slightly darker than the normal pallid skin of the rest of the the mining community in which Liath grew up. Liath's lack of any hair did set him apart slightly from the rest of the community, in which the men and women tended to long fair hair. Even as a youngster his skin was very thick and provided good protection protection against both weather and the usual cuts and injuries which plagued the other children in community.
The granite of the Carraig Fàrdach  was much prized throughout the region for both it's strength and the fine silver look it took on when polished, however the process of extraction left the area strewn with sharp rocks and boulders. Carraig Fàrdach itself was a multi layered complex of caves and tunnels cut directly into the granite itself. It was a hard life which bred a hard people. Commonly the people of Carraig Fàrdach were held up to be very cruel and brutal even towards each other. This was mainly due to their affinity with the rock and stone, and their straightforward no nonsense nature. Among themselves the people of Carraig Fàrdach were very social and caring in their own way. They agree on most subjects (other than an individuals own preference for decorating stone) and defend each other. Should someone be in trouble in the community, all would come together to help them. Despite their status as craftsmen, the people of Carraig Fàrdach were also proud warriors and hunters, able to track prey over even the barest rock. Everyone was willing to furiously defend clan and residential area when needed. Men and women are equal warriors and both take up arms in threat of danger. Their main foodsource were the many animals who lived in the forests surrounding their community, animals such as deer, reindeer and even beasts like bears and wolves living in hills and mountains. Due to the harsh nature of their existance, Carraig Fàrdach didn’t cultivate anything nor breed cattle. Any grain or vegetables had to be traded for, although the people of the community did have knowledge of edible plants and roots. Wether rock, flora or fauna, they only took what they needed to survive.
The villagers prefered weapon for the hunt was the slingshot, with which they were all extremely skilled and proficient. The hunt was always a test of skill, the villagers against their prey and the bolts seemed to leave them feeling that the weapon had beaten the prey and not their skill. In their dressing the people of Carraig Fàrdach favor animal skins and simple fabrics. Leather is achieved from game animals and fabrics were usually gained in trade for smaller stone trinkets and implements. Thanks to his thicker skin, the importance of clothes to Liath against weather was very minor. Excluding trips to the far northern regions as a youngster, the amount of clothes he wore was small and usually consisted of simple leather breeches, although he occasionally wore a sleeveless shirt. Liath never took to wearing shoes, preferring the feel of the ground between his toes. Liath spent his early years as did most of the youngsters, studying rockcraft at the feet of their mothers and fathers. Carraig Fàrdach was justifiably proud that it's sons and daughters were equally as skilled in working of stone. They were also skilled in the use of various powders and elements in healing and would often use combinations of these under the supervision of the Granitemaster, the leader and shamen of the community, to take part in Stonequests. These involved using heated pots of powders and stones to induce a dreamlike state. It was during one of these Stonequests that Liath began to feel a greater affinity for the land around him, almost feeling part of it. This had a great effect on the young Liath and he spent as much time as he could learning the skills of the shamen in order that he could recreate the experience.
As he grew in years, so did Liath grow in size, soon outstripping others of his age in terms of strength and size. By the age of 18, Liath already stood at just over 9 foot tall and almost 5 foot across the shoulders. His skin had also undergone changes, gradually becoming less like tough leather and taking on a much harder more rock like texture, becoming almost a reflection of the granite they worked. His great strength and skill in cutting granite from the rock face soon elevated him in the community. It almost seemed as if he had the ability to feel the rock and know where it was weakest and of no use for building. By the age of 50 Liath had taken the position of Granitemaster, becoming the leader of the community's endeavours. During his many years as Granitemaster, Liath encouraged many improvements, leading the small community into a time of great prosperity. With his guidance, their stone became prized much farther afield. Time passed slowly in the mountains, but Liath noticed that even amongst the long lived people of Carraig Fàrdach, he did not seem to age as did the others around him. Friends and family came and went. Despite of his enormous size and rocky outlook, Liath was still surprisingly flexible and agile, an attribute that was essential for moving in the caves, mines and rough roads of mountains. Even into his 90th year, Liath enjoyed leading raiding parties out into the forests hunting for food and supplies for Carraig Fàrdach. His gray stone skin helped camouflage him well into the rocky terrain, becoming almost invisible and his body was still as it had been in his 30th year. It was one of the simple pleasures he enjoyed where he did not have to consider the welfare of the entire community. Unlike most of his generation, Liath never took a wife, as he had learned not to make too many close attachments, knowing the sadness and pain the passing of the people he grew up with caused him.
Not knowing how long he would live and beginning to feel overwhelmed by the number of his friends who had now passed into the sleeping caves, on his 111th birthday Liath decided to take his leave of the village. It was the hardest decision he had ever made, but he felt he could no longer watch while everyone he knew went before him. Taking only what he could carry easily, Liath bade farewell to everything he knew and set off out of the mountains he called home, intent on seeing as much of the world beyond as he could. Several months after leaving Carraig Fàrdach, he had come across a pregnant wolf whose leg had was trapped. Approaching the animal carefully, Liath spoke soothingly to it while he pried away some of the rocks allowing it to pull free. The wolf quickly sprang away from him, looking at him suspiciously for long moments as it tested it's weight on the formerly trapped limb, before moving off into the nearby forest occasionally glancing back at him. When it saw he wasn't following the wolf stopped and cocked it's head at him, almost questioningly. Liath decided to follow it, moving slowly and keeping his distance. This seemed to satisfy the wolf who moved ahead, leading him to it's lair. Deciding this was as good a place as any to rest, he set up camp a short distance from the lair. Several days later the wolf gave birth to a litter of four bundles of fur. Intrigued by the apparent trust which had been extended to him, Liath decided to stay in the forest for a little while longer and would visit the lair, watching the wolf cubs grow. For the wolves part it was almost as if he was part of the scenery, as if they knew he would no more harm them than would a tree or blade of grass. Indeed only one cub from the litter seemed to take any interest in him, often following him almost all the way back to his camp and indeed on his hikes into the surrounding foothills. After pausing in that idyllic spot for several months, the wanderlust took Liath again and he packed up his few belongings intent on moving on. He spent several minutes standing watching the wolves play outside their lair, his heart heavy at leaving them despite his conflicting desire to be on the move again. As he turned away the wolf cub which had adopted him leapt in front of him, blocking his path for a few moments as it looked up at him with the same questioning eyes as it's mother. Even though it was only a few months old, it was a clever and sturdy little tike, all muscle and sinew from it's time spent wandering with him. Liath looked down meeting it's gaze, then stepped around it, heading southwards out of the forest. Behind him he heard the familiar pad of soft furred feet and couldn't help but smile. Although he didn't seek out the attachment, he had grown used to the little one being there. <"If you are going to come with me, you shall need a name my little wanderer."> he said over his shoulder. <"That's it! Wanderer."> And so Liath travelled ever southwards with Stràcair  growing larger at his heel.
Over the next few years Liath's great strength proved a boon on their travels, often affording them the opportunity to aid someone in return for food or money or shelter. They tried to arrange their passage through villages or settlements during festival times, when there were often strangers about. It was during one such encounter that Liath got involved in a show of strength by wrestling several men from the coastal village at once. Naturally he was victorious and later that evening as he sat by a roaring fire with a large flagon of a heady mead in his mighty fist, a full stomach and Stràcair sitting under his chair gnawing on a huge bone, he mused that perhaps this might not be a bad way to see the world. He glanced around the inn taking in the other patrons whom were sheltering that evening.
As his blue eyes wandered from face to face they were met by pair of breathtaking golden brown eyes that seemed to have captured the color of a fine aged whisky. The eyes looked at him from beneath a mane of fiery auburn hair which swirled into long curls down to her slender waist. She picked up her cup from her own table and moved toward him, gliding silently in the raucous atmosphere of the bar. She motioned to the empty bench opposite him next to the fire and Liath nodded, sipping his ale as she sat. "My name is Tatyana Firemane" she said in a heavily accented voice.
Vagabond Knights Biographies - The Wandering Troup
[GM] They were vagabonds, wanderers without a home in years of conquests and dark days; they were nothing more than a group trying to slake their wanderlust. All of them had come from respectfully different backgrounds, yet one evening they were drawn together in a seaside inn and it was there that they began their journey through Europe as traveling performers. More widely accepted than gypsies, and less threatening than most strangers; they entertain, they stay to themselves, they don’t raise suspicion in a world of distrust.
Vagabond Knights RP - On The Road To Nowhere: The Beginning
[GM] The sleepy seaside village on the coast of Italy was quiet this eve, few strangers had come through the village during the day and now as the sun set and light gave into dark slowly, there was naught but two establishments still left open to travelers. A dirty pub near the docks, suitably named ‘The Sailing Ship’; it was full with drunkards, sea scamps and husbands looking to stay away from their home for a few hours longer…generally not the place that would welcome folk that did not fit within those three groups of individuals, for those that felt they wanted an establishment more hospitable there was the inn upon the hill, overlooking the bay near the edge of the village. It was called ‘The Four Winds Inn’, run by a young woman it was most welcoming to travelers and those looking for a warm fire and a quiet place to relax after a long day.
On this night, it was full of patrons; most kept to themselves, some that lived within the town chatted jovially. Most travelers were looking to get out of the rain outside which had begun to come down in sheets, and it seemed the staff could not keep up with the numbers. “Keep ye’re eyes on the door!” A small woman, who did not even look old enough to be running her own inn hollered over the noise, a man behind the bar nodded briskly at her in response. “There ye go, two pints of ale for ye.” The woman said in a drawl as she set down two tankards on the table she had been headed to, “And ye’re rooms are ready for ye whenever ye ‘ear sleep callin’.” With a clink of beads she was off again, hurrying around the large common room.
As she moved she kept an eye on faces and people, ever watchful of somebody that could cause trouble amongst the crowd. There was a large man near the fire, she knew he had been part of the Festivals earlier in the week; she also knew that he had not caused trouble in the Inn since he first entered before the rain began. He would be no trouble this eve, moving towards the staircase she said a few words to the man behind the bar and continue on. “Mila, ‘ow are ye this eve?” the hostess asked one of the Inns boarder’s as she past her on the stairway, “Come down to ‘ave a drink?” The boarder shook her head in decline and moved down to an empty table near the fire. Yalene, the inn owner could not keep her eyes from wandering to a particularly shrouded individual near the bar as she continued to ascend the stairway. He had been sitting there all eve and had had nothing to drink thus far, which was peculiar when in an inn. Three people so far that had caught her young eye, the seamstress Mila, the man from the festival, and the hooded man, never had she been intrigued by so many before, usually there was one she would watch as a night gave way to morning but this night people kept catching her eye, unusual it was. Lastly there was the woman that had just entered the Inn’s front door, her cloak wet and her eyes hidden from view. She was perhaps the most intriguing of all the people Yalene had seen this night. “Evenin’!” Yalene called in her usual manner from the top of the stairway, little did she know that word would be the beginning of an adventure.
For the people who had caught the youth’s eye would soon become her companions in a wandering quest, for what they did not know, but they left that inn together the next evening, Yalene leaving it in the hands of her dearest friend. Strangers, they were, but they were experienced in travel and knew how to keep to themselves as they traveled up through Italy and into the French countryside, they posed as a traveling troupe and went through towns without much trouble.
It has been two weeks since they set out from the Italian seaside, and they have made their way into a small cluster of villages in the southernmost part of France, where they have decided to camp for at least a fortnight before continuing on. The villagers in this town were particularly friendly to the group, urging them to continue their performances and urging them to stay longer. So it is now evening in their camp just outside the borders of the village, that these travelers have the time relax and learn of each other.
Vagabond Knights RP - Spanish Lands
[GM] They had crossed the French borders three days before, and began making their way East and down the coast of Spain. The troupe was still days away from their final destination, but they were making good time, stopping in some of the smaller cities to rest, and take in the Spanish culture; Yalene in particular seemed to brighten as they steadily got closer to the Sea, the familiar waters that she loved.
Currently they were enjoying a week long Festival in the seashore city of Blanes, a welcome escape from the Spanish roads, and the hastily built evening camps. The sun was still hours from setting, but the evening’s festivities had begun, with what looked to be a celebration of the fisherman’s catch. In the town's main square a feast had been set up, and the meal of seafood was communal, take what you wanted and enjoy yourself.
Note: Unfortunately Real Life intervened in 2005 for the GM and so Vagabond Knights was retired before we could complete the story.
More to follow...
stroke me, winds, with news from each quarter: rest on me
stroke me, sun, your light heats my heart: rest on me
stroke me, moon, my health in your whiteness: rest on me
stroke me, elements, your showers wash me: rest on me
The Stone - Aonghas Macneacail (1991)
Liath possesses superhuman strength, endurance, and durability, enabling him to lift (press) 10-15 tons. His skin has greatly increased toughness and density. Liath can exert himself at high levels for about three hours before the build-up of fatigue poisons in his blood impairs his strength. His reflexes are above average human levels despite his greater mass. Liath has found his lungs are of greater volume and efficiency than a normal man's, enabling him to hold his breath underwater and during fires for up to nine minutes. Liath has found his five senses can withstand greater amounts of sensory stimuli than he would if he was a normal human being, with no reduced sensitivity. Liath's body is able to withstand extremes of temperature from -75° to 800° Fahrenheit for up to three hours before exposure or heat prostration occurs. He can withstand the explosive effects against his skin with no injury. He is still susceptible to colds, disease, and emotional stress.
Liath also appears to have a preternatural ability to read rock and stone, allowing him to see any flaws and weaknesses. During his time in his community his skills with powders and herbs became almost as legendary as his skill with the slingshot.
In order to allow him to pass more easily, the people of the village gifted Liath with a long leather hooded cloak lined with bear pelt, leather gloves and boots. He mostly wore these when passing through villages or populated areas. Under the cloak he wore his breeches and a simple leather vest, over which he occasionally wore the long smocklike shirt which was popular amongst his people. He also found by painting his features with a clay dye he had formulated he could pass as an exceptionally tall man, which was not uncommon. Around his leather pants, he wore a belt with pouches for various powders and herbs he had brought with him or picked up on the road. Hanging from the belt is was slingshot and a pouch of rocks and a small knife. On the other side hangs a small pot used for cooking and for Stonequests. When out in the wilds on his own or with those to whom he had revealed his difference, Liath tended to wear only his simple breeches and vest, his extra outer-clothes bundled up in his cape and slung over his back. Although he does not consider him a possession, Stràcair is an almost constant companion.
When a qliphothic portal appeared on the counter of his Millennium City ice cream shop, Walter Whipple found his body merged with the delicious frozen treats. While this initially made him slightly flakey, the supercooling effect of the icecream caused his brain to begin working at an incredible rate. Figuring now was his time to show everyone who had ever put him down, Mr Whippy turned to a life of crime.