Good day to you, ladies and gentlemen!
- I use both terms loosely, but I believe the spirit applies to those who would read my words -
Before delving into my past. I need to update you on a present revelation. Using powers both arcane and mysterious, I, Slaak Flayerfoe have devised a way to record my travels in the very ether. If you are interested please attune your thoughts and the words will appear before you in due time.
Slaak Flayerfoe is a Githyanki Artificer adventurer who has dedicated his life to the acquisition and preservation of arcane knowledge. He is a member of a group of adventurers who, despite their personal quirks, are loyal for the most part and accepting of a reformed Githyanki.
Birth Slaak was born on the fourth day of Kythorn 1338 DR in the city of Tu’narath in the Astral Sea. His birth coincided with the death of legendary General Slaak Feydeath who finally succumbed to the injuries he sustained during a raid on the palace of the Winter Sovereign. During this raid the Feydeath decimated the Sovereign’s consort in single combat and was able to return to Tu’narath with several artifacts of power.
Due to the particular timing of his birth it was believed that a portion of the General’s soul was reborn and Slaak was named accordingly. A ceremony was held to celebrate the return of the hero and a crystal dagger with the name Slaak inscribed in Tir’su on the blade was presented to the infant.
The Rending Tempest In keeping with tradition, Slaak was immediately sent to the Githyanki cadre that would be his home and family. The Rending Tempest was stationed on Torril in the land of Thay. Known for being a particularly cunning and brutal cadre, the Rending Tempest was under orders to keep tabs on the powerful Red Wizards as well as obtain any and all items of military or magical significance the group came across.
Captain Ru’oth had heard of the circumstances surrounding the infant’s birth and took Slaak under his personal care. This did not make things easier on the young Githyanki, instead he was forced to live up to a much higher standard. His instructors had been told by Ru’oth to focus their attentions on Slaak. The other young Githyanki saw this as favoritism and shunned him at every opportunity.
Slaak dealt with this isolation as best he could, by throwing himself into his training. He excelled at swordplay and tactics and impressed his teachers with the devotion he applied to their lessons, but he always fell short of the expectations Ru’oth had for him.
This changed as Slaak grew older and his natural psionic abilities began to surface. All Githyanki have some psychic ability, but most choose to focus instead on martial and arcane abilities. Slaak’s abilities caught the eye of Ru’oth immediately. A potent mindslicer in his own right, the Captain recognized the potential in Slaak and began to train him in the way of the gish
Eventually it was time to take his place as an active member of the cadre. The final step in his initiation brought him to an outlying Thayan farmhouse. Slaak dragged the family, a father, mother, grandfather, boy and girl, in the yard out in front of the house. With his silver sword he slaughtered the adults and then turned to face the petrified children. The boy made to turn and run away, but a bolt of psychic energy took his legs off at the knees. Slaak kicked the mutilated body face up before stabbing the youth through the heart. He then looked over to his last victim. The girl child was clutching a tattered blanket splattered with the blood of her parents and sibling. Without a word Slaak tore it from her grasp and used it to clean his sword. “Binky!” she screamed and lunged at the Githyanki, grabbing the ceremonial blade that hung at Slaak’s waist and slashing at him. The blade cut a small line on his forearm. Slaak dropped the blanket in surprise and cried out in rage. Immediately the girl was on it, but before she could rise from the dirt, four tendrils of fire leapt from the fingers of her assailant incinerating all cloth and flesh. Slaak knelt and picked up the crystal dagger and then almost dropped it in surprise. The blade was warm to the touch and seemed to pulse with energy.
Now a full member of the Rending Tempest, Slaak was assigned to Sergeant Sen’arthan. Sen’arthan was old for a Githyanki, which was rare, and content with his position in life, which was unheard of. The old Sergeant had gotten to where he was through perseverance and kept it through clever manipulation. His squad was made up of four other Githyanki beside Slaak: Trantasslan, Arthnon, Gressel and Finruth.
Slaak’s first assignment was to destroy an illithid inquisition operating under the Thayan wastelands. Ru’oth had received intelligence that the illithids were trading black gold with the Red Wizards for various materials to complete a laceremorphosis ritual. The squad reach the mindflayer’s den just as the ritual was being completed. While Sen’arthan and the others dealt with the thralls Slaak phased through the corridor’s leading to the would-be illithid noble’s chamber, dealing silent death to all mindflayers he crossed. Slaak reached the final chamber too late to stop the ritual and faced the newly born noble in single combat.
By the time the squad had finished mopping up the last of the thralls, they could all hear the screams. Fearing the worst they, ran through the compound toward the ritual chamber, the screams getting louder the closer they came. As they reached the door the screams suddenly stopped and were replaced by a soft gurgling sound. Immediately they burst through the door and were shocked by what they saw. In the middle of the room, covered in purple blood, was Slaak. He had six tentacles in his hands and was trying to thread them together with a piece of gold chain. Next to him lay the illithid, still alive, making small sucking noises with its naked mouth.
After the mission Slaak presented Ru’oth with the necklace. By that time the story of his victory over the illithids had already spread through rest of the cadre. Hushed whispers ran throughout the crowd as Ru’oth honored Slaak’s prowess with the title, Flayerfoe.
A string of equally stunning and gruesome victories followed. Sen’arthan’s squad was given greater prominence and more difficult assignments as a result. Finally they were tasked with the destruction of one of the Red Mages.
Jirn Ka-let, one of the mages who had dealt with mindflayers in the past, had begun the long and excrutiating process of rituals to transform herself into an illithid. Her efforts had already transformed her body into one of the flayerspawn and intelligence reports claimed that she would soon be in possession of an artifact that would finish the transformation.
The squad arrived at the wizard’s tower under the cover of night. Silently they crept through the deserted courtyard towards the main structure. The entire structure seemed deserted as the group made its way to the top room. Inside they found the room empty, except for the skull of an illithid on a pedestal. Believing this to be the artifact Slaak ran to the pedestal and grabbed the skull.
A flash of light blinded the Githyanki squad. When the spots cleared, Slaak was caught, unmoving, within a beam of amber light. A chuckle echoed from the shadows of the chamber.
What followed was less a battle, than a massacre. Slaak watched, helplessly as the members of his squad were brutally beaten into submission. Jirn stopped short of killing each combatant, instead miring the fallen in webs of psychic energy. After the last had been thus bound, the true horror began. Conjuring an elegant table in the middle of the carnage she levitated the fallen Githyanki onto plates of gold and platinum. Then with the dainty air of a noblewoman at the follies she strolled around the table. Satisfied with her survey she locked eyes with Slaak, and without blinking, devoured the brains of Sen’arthan, Trantasslan, Arthnon, Gressel and Finruth. After her meal she wiped the gore from her tentacles with a lace handkerchief and walked over where Slaak was frozen. Smiling she told him that this was just the beginning.
Imprisonment and the Monastery The years that followed are best left unmentioned. Know only that during this time of unspeakable torment, something within Slaak broke. The razor mind that had brought the Githyanki so many victories was irreparably bent. Hallucinations followed. The most prevalent being the small girl Slaak had murdered years before.
In time Jirn was killed during the coup de tat staged by Szass Tam. He tower remained, and in it Slaak, forgotten outside of time. Years passed; until in 1468 a gnomish Oghmanyte came seeking the secrets of the tower. The lorekeeper heard the whisper of Oghma in the trapped chamber and freed Slaak at its bidding.
The gnome introduced himself as Brother Nothat Button and cared for Slaak until he had recovered enough to travel. He then brought him to one of Oghma’s library monasteries in the High Dale of the Dale Lands. There he spoke to the elders on Slaak’s behalf, relating the tale of his finding, and eventually gaining Slaak’s admission into the order.
In this place, Slaak began again. Gone was the bloodlust and anger of his youth, replaced by the calm understanding and curiosity of the monastery. He turned his back on the teachings of the gish and instead took on the mantle of the Artificer.
After years of study Slaak began to hear Oghma’s call, urging him to go out once more in the world; to learn and study all, so that nothing may be forgotten. At the time of his departure Brother Nothat gave Slaak a polished stone, engraved with the image of a horse. Naming his new companion Binky, Slaak set off for adventure, and for knowledge.