Last Stand of the 5th Crusade
Lokura Shelyn Karashuvic
Male Half-orc Warpriest of Shelyn (Age 22, Cha 13)
Lokura – First Impression
A broad-shouldered and heavily muscled half-orc stands menacingly before you. His tanned, olive skin shows a hint of green in certain light, while tusks jut out from an iron jaw. His thick, dark hair, cropped short, reveals pointed ears. Tattoos of colorful vines and birds wend up his arms in seemingly impossible geometric patterns. One ear is decorated with gems and hoops, and he wears bright chains and precious stones around his neck and wrists.
His armor and the enormous sword on his back are woven with ribbons in green, orange, and purple. A frayed, off-white tabard depicts a songbird, splashed in color, and surrounded by a vast number of military badges and hand-sewn patches. Contrasting the color, a black helmet rests at his side; full of sharp angles, its spikes and antlers cast long shadows.
Dark eyes glitter with both caution and wonder: a stone wall hiding glimpses of a glorious garden. His rich, melodic baritone voice gives a formal Varisian greeting: “I am called by my name, which is Lokura Shelyn.”
Lokura’s mother Kashiya Karashuva was a young Korvosan Harrow reader who left her parents to travel with a Sczarni caravan. When a fleeting encounter on the dark roads of Ustalav left her with child, she settled in the beacon city of Karcau. There she became an apprentice set designer for the city’s famed opera company, and gave birth to Lokura. The young half-orc experienced a fairly stable childhood in the company of a rotating cast of eccentric theater folk. He enjoyed the grandeur, but showed little artistic promise.
The streets of Karcau were a different story. Children can be cruel, and Lokura learned to fight with his luck and his fists. Eventually, he also learned to use his size, heritage, and smoldering inner rage to break opponents’ courage.
On a fateful day, he fled from a group of street boys into the Temple of Shelyn. There he met Aleksandru Miravu, the temple’s Weapon Master. Miravu taught him first to tend his wounds and to choose his battles. Next, to fight with blades, and finally, to perform the acolytes’ devotional prayers of Shelyn.
Lokura lived in the temple until age 16, when the Order sent him to Aaramor, to bolster the fading 4th crusade’s defense against the demonic surge. He served well for four years: first as a warrior-priest on the front lines; and later with the Mendev Engineer Corps. In the latter job he marched between Nerosyan and Kenabres, maintaining wardstones until the Battle of Yath.
During the battle of the demon tower, he was singled out by a powerful demon named Bássare — and ironically, this name is a twisted mockery of the Varisian word for songbird. The sky turned dark, and more dark, and darker still, until the darkness felt like a solid thing. From within that darkness came a hurricane of chaos and evil and fear. It filled his breath and tore his senses. The darkness crept into his body, penetrated his mind, dug underneath his fingernails, and whispered terrible thoughts in his ears. He tried to shut his ears — but how does one shut one’s ears to darkness? For that matter, how does one shut out the absence of light, for does not shutting out an absence only create more absence?
When he came to his senses, Lokura stood over a corpse, his blade dripping with the blood of his dearest friend, a half-elf and fellow soldier, Barath Blackwing.
Shelyn found favor in his deeds, or perhaps it was simple luck. The incident was investigated and dismissed by Queen Galfrey, and he was later commended for his bravery in battle. At the end of the 4th Crusade, Lokura entered a diplomatic envoy for her Majesty: patrolling the wardstones, keeping rogue templars in check, and accompanying negotiators to neighbor nations. However, the event haunts him; and each night’s darkness brings a reminder of his experience on the edge of the Worldwound.
His colorful jewelry — impressive even to a noble — is a combination of rare colorful gems and gold, mixed with theatrical costume wear. He accents his armor and weapon with bright ribbon of green, orange, and purple.
The songbird tabard on his chest is the symbol of Shelyn, and its colorful style is unmistakably Varisian. Its style is in stark contrast to the dark and minimalist aesthetic of the northern states.
When not in conversation, Lokura spends his free time time either singing from Shelyn’s hymnal Melodies of Inner Beauty, or writing in his journal.