User: Babel
Campaign: Dark Sun: Rising
Race: Revenant/Human
Gender: Female
Role: Striker
Class/Level: Vampire/10

Waking with a jerk and a loud gasp, Gwen weakly tries to raise from the slouched position she awoke from. With some difficulty she manages to slide back into the chair she is in. At first the room is pitch black, but slowly her eyes focus and the room becomes illuminated in haunting shades of gray. Gwen's eyes dart from the windows, which are nearly lost behind the sands that have long since flown in, to the dark passage leading further into the estate. Turning her focus back to the table where just minutes ago she had been sharing dinner with her family, she is terrified to see the husks of what were once her loved ones sprawled out on the table as she must have been mere moments ago.

A dry scrapping sound comes from one of the floors aboves the dinning chamber. Is it the weakness of her muscles or pure terror that keeps her from moving, Gwen ponders as the sound draws closer and closer. Finally, the source is revealed. At first Gwen is ecstatic to see her brother coming down the shadowed hall, but as he gets closer the figure is revealed to be a ghoulish characterture. Tattered clothes stubbornly cling to the emaciated flesh as the figure clumsily splashes liquid from the large bowl it is gripping in its bony fingers. The dark liquid leaves a trail as Griswold makes his way to the table. Seeing Gwen leaning back in the chair he nearly spills the rest of his prize as he hastily drops the bowl on the table.

Grabbing Gwen roughly by the shoulders, his claw-like fingers tear at her flesh as he excitingly shakes her back and forth while a constant stream of maddened gibberish spills from his fanged mouth. At last, he seems to calm down enough to shakily fill a dust covered glass from the remaining liquid in the bowl and bring it up to Gwen's lips. The metallic smell of the liquid at first turns her stomach, but an over-ridding thirst soon takes hold and Gwen greedily drinks from the offered cup. A warm intoxicating feeling quickly spreads throughout her body and Gwen is able to slowly right herself in the chair that has long been supporting her.

Griswold again begins to gibber and make rapid hand gestures, as he quickly turns and shuffles away, down the dark hallway. Using the table for support Gwen pushes herself up. The thick fog like feeling is slowly clearing up from her head and she shakes it slightly trying to hasten its escape. Carefully, Gwen navigates the sand covered floor trying to follow her brother down the hall, but is soon stopped as he comes back down the hall carrying an armful of silt covered clothes. Seeing Gwen making her way along the hallway wall he shouts and charges her on all fours. Unprepared, his quick charge crashes into Gwen and she is sent sprawling to the floor. Her head again swims and the veil of darkness covers her again.

Again, Gwen awakes with a terrible start. This time however she feels less disoriented and weak. Trying to rise from the chair, her progress is stopped by the bands of cloth that now bind her arms and legs tightly to the chair. Even quicker then before her eyes adjust to the dark and see can make out the form of Griswold gibbering as he carefully brushes the mummified hair of his mother. Noticing her stirring, he hurries over and again offers another cup of the dark liquid from the bowl. At first Gwen tries to rebel against her treatment by refusing it, but the metallic smell soon makes her greedily drink it down.

Things continued on like this for a long time. Gwen uses her growing strength to work at her bonds each time her brother leaves and finally frees herself. Knowing that the chances of overpowering her crazed brother are slim she quickly sets to sabotaging the already overloaded support beam over the door. Hiding out of sight she waits until her brother returns and rushs over to her empty seat before slipping out the door and smashing the remaining support, causing the floor above and the tons of sand it supported to collapse in a cloud of dust.

Quickly Gwen sets off to escape the estate, but at every turn the encroaching sand blocks her path. Finally, she makes her way to the top floor, but is stopped dead in her tracks by the grisly sight. Mutilated bodies both new and old were strewn about the room as if a child had thrown a temper and destroyed her doll collection. Near the window a fresh body slowly bleeds out into an all too familiar bowl. Gagging and nearly retching, Gwen hurries out the window and into the sand beyond. The near morning glow nearly blinds her as she stumbles and slides down the sand dune that had formed along this side of the estate. Shielding her eyes against the pre-dawn light, as it seemed to almost burn her like the midday sun, Gwen stands in shock as she surveys the devastation visited upon Kalidnay. The sun nearly cresting the horizon forces Gwen to seek shelter in one of the nearby warehouses as she can already feel the burning sensation visited upon her by the early morning sun rays.

Into the Gray

For weeks I had wondered the ruins of my once beloved Kalinday. At first I was terrified by the horrors that now inhabited the city, but soon I learned how to hide and move about the city without being detected by them. Scavenging what I could to survive, there always seemed to be this hunger, this thirst that I was never able to satiate.

One night everything changed. I had seen the glimmer of campfires across the city and had been working my way towards them for days. Stumbling towards their camps they took me in thinking I was a surviver from another group looting or seeking shelter among the ruins of the city. I stayed with them for a couple days, feigning sun sickness to keep out of the harsh sunlight.

Finally, one night I found myself left alone with the caravan's women as the men worked at uncovering some discovered cache of treasure. What happened next I am still unsure of. One moment they were all chatting and laughing as they worked on cooking a late dinner and the next they were screaming and running away. I pondered their odd behavior as I took another deep drink from the neck of the young cook I had grasp in my arms. Started, at this sudden realization I dropped her and stared at my now blood covered hands. The cries of warning and alarm soon flooded the room and I found myself running through the cold, dark streets with the caravan guard out for revenge at my heels.

Turning a sharp corner I didn't hesitate running into the ominous deep gray fog that often covered the ghost-town streets. Chancing a glance behind me, I could see my pursuers stop and hesitate at the edge, their fears clearly at war with their thirst for revenge. Turning to look ahead, I couldn't even stop before running straight into a cart being pulled by a large kank. Confused and dazed I stuttered out an apology as the driver rained curses down upon me. It would be some time before I was able to piece together that I had fallen into the Gray along with the remains of Kalidnay.

I spent several years there fighting alongside a group of freedom fighters, who called themselves members of the Veiled Alliance, but as time went on I found myself becoming more and more lethargic. I had shared my secret awakening with Kotic, who was the charismatic leader of our rag-tag group, and he hypothesized that perhaps my nature was closer to the true inhabitants of this realm, and thus if I remained here I would slowly fade away. At the time I hit him on the shoulder and laughed it off, but even the others were beginning to notice the change in me.

There were apparently other cells of this group and it was during a meeting with some of their representatives that everything went wrong. A spy was found out during the meeting and in the ensuing fight I took what should have been a mortal wound. As things settled down, Kotic saw what had happened and knowing my cursed nature offered his blood to me. In pain and feeling half-mad with the thirst, I took it without a second thought.

Drinking deeply I slowly calmed down and healed up, only to find the rest of the meeting participants looking on in horror. They condemned us as defilers and despite my best attempt to try and explain they would have none of it. Kotic and I had barely limped home when our former allies descended on our hideout and took to “cleansing” our cell. They paid dearly for every inch they took, but in the end we were broken and most of our members were dead. Ready to fight to the death, Kotic surprised us all by using a defiling powered spell to push us all out of the Gray and back into the ruins of Kalidnay and Athas proper. The few other survivors where quick to blame me for what had happened and I left them in shame to wander the sands.

The Young Praetor

Wandering the sands one night, I came to the site of a large battle. A group of soldiers had clashed with a large raiding party and they appeared to have wiped each other out. I was proven wrong however, as a group of the raiders surprised me. Playing the role of victim to get them to lower their guard enough for me to surprise attack them, I was surprised when a lone, wounded warrior yelled out his challenge to the remaining brutes. Leaving the biggest one to keep me restrained they turned to make quick work of this foolish boy.

The brutes soon found that they were not up to the task. The young man fought like a man possessed, his iron blade mirroring the shine of the moons' light on the pooling blood at his feet. At last the large brute that was restraining me shoved me away and entered the fray. By this point the man was clearly past his exhaustion point, and the brute was able to drive him to the cliff edge were he sent him over and into the silt sinks below. The cretin stood there laughing over his victory till I removed his head from his shoulders and I found myself diving over the ledge after my would be savior.

Minutes later the stillness of the killing field was broken as I hoisted myself and the man out of the silt sink. Why I decided to go after him I still don't really understand to this day, but what I do know is he grew to be my best friend over the years. It was during that time he gave me the nickname Sanguine, as a word play on my name and the irony of my generally sombre and morose demeanor. The young man turned out to be the young Praetor Hargo Vole. For many years I stayed at his side, but I grew to realize that he had feelings that I could never return. We fought long and bitterly, and in the end I got up and left.

Years later I heard that he had left the city to open his own trade post, the Dusty Jewel. I made my way there and, while things have never been the same as they were before, we have renewed our friendship. Anytime people from the past come by and recognize me, I peddle the tale that I am in fact the daughter of the woman they remember. Hargo has latched onto the lie and often sends me off on business representing him since being his “daughter” adds legitimacy to deals and calms angered trade partners who demand to speak to Hargo in person.

Over the last few years working with Hargo I have seen many people come and go under his employ. I have made friends with some and... well less then friends with others. Other then Hargo, the only person who knows my true past is the fiery tempered Malla, but I know that my secrets are safe with her. When we first met, she hated me, thinking that I got my position simply because I was Hargos daughter, but after fighting side-by-side together she came to give me a grudging respect.

Recently, I have returned to the Dusty Jewel after being away on business for some time. There are far too many new faces and far too few familiar ones.
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