Class: Oracle (Reincarnated Oracle)
Brief Description: Hukmen shares just about all the same physical qualities as other Samsarans. In fact, if it weren't for his eyes and skin, one could easily mistake him for a human. His pale skin is something of a teal turquoise in coloration, and his eyes are a solid, shimmering white, with no irises or pupils; both of them akin to gleaming white marbles. As far as his physical disposition goes beyond the exotic nature of his eyes and skin: he has a mop of dark brown hair atop his head which is slightly long but manageable, he stands at a height of six feet tall plus a single inch more, and his body mass weighs in at a moderate one-hundred-sixty-seven pounds. Despite being seventy-three years of age, he is just as healthy and built as your average human male.
He carries himself with confidence and the air of a well-learned scholar, always ready to jump at the chance to engage in friendly conversation and/or share his knowledge with others and/or add something further to his mental lexicon, be it through reading a book, sharing a story, or aiding allies both well-known and ephemeral in instances of combat.
It's hard not to think of Hukmen when one thinks about the word "curious". With each new iteration of life, his knowledge of things from lives already lived becomes dulled and in need of resharpening; the blade not used and maintained becomes rusty, and all that. Whenever he encounters something new that he can't drum up something more than vague or uncertain tidbits from his past lives or just simple book knowledge of, he finds himself wanting to know whatever it is instead of merely knowing -of- whatever it is.
This has lead to a few dangerous spots for him in the past, which is to say this past as well as other pasts from what those glimpses of the lives of his self-forebears have shown him. So his wanton curiosity is understandably tempered with the self-control to know when something might be thoroughly hazardous to his health...at least in this life. He isn't sure how, but he had to die -somehow- in order to be reincarnated.
Other than his [mostly] contained curiosity of the new and more-or-less unknown, Hukmen is an interesting person to get to know. He's friendly and accommodating, and isn't likely to turn away any individual. He sees each new person he meets as an opportunity to learn. He's more than willing to, and even enjoys, sharing his acquired knowledge with others, and such a penchant for doing so makes him very well predisposed to conversation. Friendly, argumentative, philosophical or otherwise.
Brief History: To call this Samsaran old is an extreme understatement of his actual age, when one considers that, except in rare cases, Samsarans never truly die. Even if his memories are vague and indistinct, hardly more than a passing déjà vu on most days, he's lived and died more times than he can remember or personally cares to try and count. If one were to ask him about what he remembers from lives long past, an answer is bound to be situational at best, usually pertaining to where he is at the time.
Sometimes his memories come through a little less vague when he tries hard enough to remember something from lives past. Unlike most Samsarans, his memories do tend to return a bit clearer than usual, but at best they're still vague and take a little bit of thought to really recollect. This is why he keeps a life journal, a book in which he records what he thinks are the most important of recalled memories, as well as significant things he's experienced in his newest life.
His current life is that of Hukmen Dunir, a name chosen for himself as an amalgamation of pieces of names he had in lives past, just as they always were. He wasn't so much born as he was returned to the mortal coil anew in the body of a young Samsaran of less than ten years of age, around the time when cognitive, rational, and abstract thought are capable of being undertaken by one's mind; the general age that his kind mostly reincarnate around to experience life once more. Without need of parentage to guide his umpteenth journey through adolescence and development, one could call Hukmen an orphan in that he has gone through multiple upon multiple lives without parents.
More abstractly, he is his own parent, the memories of the lives of his past helping him to remember how to do things and how to live. It would be an impossible endeavor for him to try and remember who his biological parents are, and more tragically (or hilariously, depending on how you look at it) to think that his parents, obviously Samsarans via evidence of himself, most likely or definitely wouldn't remember him even if he met them, assuming they still lived.
Hukmen finds himself in Sandpoint for a few reasons. His endless travels have brought him to the area and earlier memories of his current life, reinforced by a small excerpt in his life journal, have reminded him of the upcoming festival, which he'd had the pleasure of attending some time ago. He also recalls a friend that he had who said he lived in the area, a monk by the name of Sorn Enderaki, whom he hadn't had the luxury of speaking with for quite some time.
Campaign Trait: Friends & Enemies: Sorn Enderaki
Secondary Trait: Focused Mind
Tell Me Something
I know this is going to sound terribly narcissistic of me, and for that I apologize, but I can't help but find myself to be the most influential and important person in my life. I mean, who is more important to you than yourself? Though, my reasoning for saying this is rather unique to my kind. You see, we Samsarans never truly die, except in the rarest of instances. If and when we pass on, and nothing is done rather quick about our departure (more specifically in the case of those unfortunate enough to not die of old age), then we return to the ever-flowing river of life in a new body, in order to live life anew once more.
Of course, during this process, we lose much of the knowledge of our previous life, and only the most important of things do we remember of our past lives to help guide us through this new life. We are our own teachers and mentors on this most personal level. Shards of our past lives instruct us on how to live and keep us on the path of balance, enlightenment, and harmony. The more martial of us remember the basics of how to fight, and those of us more predisposed to the magical arts learn through our memories, which slowly but surely return in very small snippets, magic we once knew, be it from our most recent life, or a hundred lives prior. Some even do both, or have done both throughout their multiple lives.
Whenever we reincarnate after our inevitable death, we're more often than not not even the same person as we were before. All we have to fall back on are the shards of our past, and through them we forge each new life. So, it is because of this that I say I am the one—or, if I were to be more accurate, we are the ones—who is/are the most influential person/people in my life/lives.
Friends & Enemies: Sorn Enderaki
Of course, this isn't to say that I am the only person who has had any measure of influence on my life. That couldn't be farther from the truth. When you have the ability and opportunity to live life after life, you surely meet some extremely interesting people, and some of them you just can't help but remember for one reason or another. For me, one person I really remember, thanks in no small part to the memories in this life I have about the man and the fact that I found him more than important enough to write about in my life journal, was a wandering monk by the name of Sorn Enderaki (or, to state his name more accurately, Enderaki Sorn).
It was during my own infinite wanderings that I came across him one day, traveling down the same road that I had decided to take. Always willing to strike up conversation with unknown individuals as I am (or was and still am, I think, I do like to talk to others), I decided to engage him in an exchange of words as we walked. Very shortly into our conversation did I learn that he was a disciple, or rather a follower since disciple is more befitting of clerics and paladins that champion a deity's cause, of none other than Irori, like myself.
Well, I can't say I'm a devout follower, myself, as he explained he was, as I give shrift to all the gods, known and unknown alike, but I can definitely say I favor my kind's patron, Tsukiyo the Prince of the Moon, as well as Irori the Enlightened One, whose tenets and ideals are parallel to those of my own kind's want for the same harmony and balance in oneself. Pharasma, as well, receives special mention, as the Lady of Graves holds sway over the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth; a cycle I am intimately familiar with.
We had marvelous discussions at length about each other, and why we both observed and/or upheld the Master of Masters' tenets as we did, for the duration of our side-by-side travels. I learned quite a bit more about my own supposed ideals from the viewpoint of another, and the time I spent traveling with him helped me get some glimpses of my past life, the memories from which seem to return a lot clearer than my lives before. It was about a month's time I spent with him around a decade and a half or so ago, I think, so I don't suppose I can count myself amongst the man's most personal friends.
I wonder how he's doing? I visited the House of Blue Stones some nine years ago, ever so briefly to attend the lauded Swallowtail Festival and for a spirited chat with Sorn before moving on once again, so I can only hope he's still doing well.
Risk Versus Reward
Hukmen, first and foremost, does try to look out for himself before others. Not out of any form of selfishness, really, but simply more along the lines of one's natural instinct of self-preservation. He'd rather see those he counts as friends, or at the very least allies, healthy rather than harmed, sure, and he doesn't shy away from helping them and others when necessary, as long as he doesn't put himself at great personal risk to do so.
For example, if saving a mortally wounded ally from death would only put him in a position where they were both more likely to die than live, or guaranteed to die for that matter, what benefit would that have to either of them? Better to let them, however possibly tragic, die if it keeps himself and others on the board. When those skilled enough in the arts of magic have the power to bring back those who died before their time, what really was there to worry about? This probably sounds rather callous of him, doesn't it?
Like the rest of his kind, he has a seemingly lax perception in regards to death, most likely as a result of the fact that even if he was to die, he would still come back from it. Death isn't the 'end' for all things, more like an interim stopping point, part of the endlessly rotating wheel of birth, death, and rebirth; and this belief places him firmly amongst those who believe that a new life awaits them after the end of the old, whether the old was ended on one's natural deathbed or at the claws of a hungry beast.
Now, this isn't to say that he courts death simply because he knows that death isn't the end for him. In fact, he prefers to not die at all! Living to be old enough to die in a bed without the strength to move is a more favorable end than being eaten by a dragon or having his throat slit by a thief who wants his money. Reincarnation is a lot of work! First you come back in the body of a child, then you have to spend years on end re-learning the world around you, not to mention going through the throes of maturity once more, and then you forget a lot about your life before this one, and there was virtually no guarantee that you'd even be remotely the same as before.
It's a big hassle, really. The longer he can stay alive, the better. This tends to translate to those he befriends or sees as allies, as well, at least as long as it wouldn't put him in peril's path.
Memento Mori: The Life Journal
Hukmen keeps a book on his person at all times. It's roughly the same size as a wizard's spellbook and contains maybe twice as many pages. Within this book's pages, almost half of which are filled with writing penned in his native Samsaran tongue, are the different memories—fragmented, incomplete, vague, indistinct, and some almost incomprehensible even to him—that he's recalled and tried to keep track of via writing them down. Most of these came to him in his dreams, so one could compare this to a dream journal, one of those things that some people decide to keep to record interesting dreams they manage to remember, only in his case the dreams are things that happened at some point, be it in his past life or a life far beyond that.
The excerpts most detailed are the memories that have returned most clear, and he's managed to tie all of these to his past life, piecing the most important memories together to form the conclusion that he was once an oracle of his people, and to feel as strong a pull as he has in this life to do the same leads him to believe there was something he hadn't accomplished during the last life he lead. Unfortunately, with each new life came the loss of most of oneself, so he'd first have to relearn what he knew then in order to accomplish now or in the future what he hadn't.
Beyond the writings of the memories of his past lives, he also records significant events he's been a part of in this life so that they would always be remembered. People he'd met, places he'd been, those sorts of things.
New People, New Opportunities
Hukmen certainly isn't picky when it comes to meeting others, regardless of whatever race they may be or whatever disposition they may have. He welcomes each new individual he meets as an opportunity to learn. Be they human, elf, dwarf, gnome, or any other race of creature, at least as long as they aren't overtly hostile; it's not like he'd waltz right into the midst of an orc encampment for a fine "Hi, how are you?" and expect a warm reception.
Everyone is a unique individual, no two people are exactly the same, and what can be learned from this is how our differences make us unique, but our similarities is what lets us become better acquainted. Coming from someone who has been more than one person quite possibly hundreds of times over, that's saying something. Call him the cliché 'overly tolerant one' or whatever you will, but prejudice (or at the very least unjustified prejudice) is just another obstruction on the road to harmony.
What is your character's favorite food?
– Believe it or not, bread and water.
Where do they get their clothing cleaned?
– When you travel a lot, you learn how to clean your own clothes, and soap isn't really a frequent thing in the equation, either. Depending on how long it's been since he last cleaned them, he'll either just dunk them a few times in a clean river or pond and call them washed or give them a good scrub-down in the nearest body of freshwater.
Name one guilty pleasure.
– Just about anything on the side of luxurious. A nice glass of fine wine, a full three course meal, a good night's sleep in a warm bed with a soft pillow. Traveling lends itself to a simplistic lifestyle, so on occasion, he'll indulge himself.
Is your character allergic to anything?
– Death. Everyone's allergic to death. He just happens to recover from it naturally. Also dandelions.
When was the last time your character laughed?
– A little bit ago. There's a lot in this world to laugh about, be it a good joke, a social gaffe, or a fight between drunken fools.
Name a notable like and dislike of your character.
– Like: Prime numbers. He really likes prime numbers, for some reason; they just can't be divided by anything but one and themselves, how neat is that?
– Dislike: Mistreated books. Tomes, novels, and other such reading material contain the valuable knowledge of their authors and should be read, enjoyed, and taken care of. Also, he can't stand it when people dogear pages of books; seriously, buy a bookmark.
You can't buy happiness...but you can buy bacon, which is about the same thing.