Oracle // Cavalier
Javek's tan skin marks him as no one special in the tribe. Generations have lived out under the sun and their olive skin can attest to their heritage. A small beard looks etched into the man's jawline, a common cut for the Triad, and his black hair is kept close to the scalp. Javek has never known wealth beyond the week's pay and his clothing shows as much. He carries no expensive jewelry or baubles.
His demeanor has changed since his youth. Long ago he was a boy with boy thoughts, then his love and subsequent break up to Sonja matured him - somewhat for the worse. When he took upon the responsibilities of Boaz's son and wife, Javek has found the spirit that lay dorment in his heart. He treats Raheem with respect and honor that a father would hold for a son, but he never refers to him as such. His affection for the child are real, as are his infatuation with Sonja (the ever-beautiful rose) but glimpses of his torment lay all too shallow.
Taking up the mercenary job has brought those dorment feelings back out. He fights both himself and his enemy, and his potential makes him a deadly to not consider an ally. Those that stand next to him in battle should keep one eye on their enemy and one eye on Javek if they intend to cross him.
Background and History:
There are holy tomes that speak of such sweet things as love and destiny. These same books enrich the lives of those who cannot wish for themselves, and for those prepared to sweep the lovestruck off of their feet. This fateful love is found among two people only on the rarest of evenings and under the most dire of circumstances, and let their souls be taken if they are betrothed to another.
That is the type of love Javek held for his new bride Sonja. Neither held great standing in the small village and so neither were wisked away by parents that thought they knew better. Instead their love was allowed to blossom in the natural state, like that of the desert rose unbridled by the cactus or the jackal. And while their lives were meaningless against the ever-present glare of the sun, they had no intentions of leaving it as such. Their wedding was quiet with little fanfare and a short marital rest. The tides of fate had rolled in and both were swept away in their opportunities to advance themselves. Sonja went from apprentice weaver to village basket-maker with the death of her tutor and Javek finally received word from the council on his wishes to join the Triad.
The Triad did not approve of his bride - as no true magi should have need for a wife - but they seemed to overlook the unspoken rule because of Javek's thirst for acceptance. Only three nights after his wedding, and with wife still naked in their bed, Javek set out into the desert in hopes of a successful Thekma; the trial of the Triad.
The Thekma was a ritual all acolytes had to endure. Sent into the harsh desert with three waterskins, a gourd of fermented cider, and a few baubles of their chosing, the acolytes are expected to spend three full lunar phases away from their home. Javek gladly accepted the next stage of his training with knowledge that he would be away from his new bride for so long, but the reward would put money in their empty coffers and he decided it was worth it.
The desert was unforgiving to the young acolyte. Heavy winds carried sand and dust for days and kept him from finding true shelter until almost a week into his journey. When he did find shelter, a small animal cave, he had to fend off the snakes and insects that sought refuge inside. Once settled, his time was spent in deep meditation and constant foraging for food and water. He stayed clear of the cider, hearing whispers of the Triad's easiest trick to those out to desert for too long. The cider caused cottonmouth and hallucinations, something Javek wanted to avoid.
One cool night, long after the sun had set, Javek sat by the fire. He had been fortuitous in his search and had filled all his waterskins that afternoon. His spirits were high and his thoughts lazily crept to Sonja. But before long, something happened just outside of the firelight. A scorpion and an adder fought for the scraps of Javek's dinner. The acolyte watched as the two struggled to strike each other while still defending their own skin. The adder lunged for the scorpion's body only to be hit by its venomous stinger, but his fangs struck true as well. The adder, being the larger of the two, held firm until the scorpion stopped moving and eventually laid claim to it's just reward. But as Javek watched the adder swallow the half-scorched remains of his dinner, it too stopped. With the food still lodged in his throat and the scorpion lifeless nearby, the adder fell dead.
The omen put knots in Javek's stomach, and he thought it best not to think about it. He would return in a few days time to his lovely wife, completing his quest, and become a wealthy magi of the village.
His return was less glorious than he expected. Somber looks and hushed whispers were all that greeted him. He thought to go to the temple first, but instead he wished to see his wife. He opened the door to his home to see her sitting quietly near the cooking fire. She looked content, but her eyes told of her secrets. She burst into tears at the sight of him and took him into her arms. The loving embrace did not last long.
"Javek, we must talk." She pulled him over to the fire and offered him her chair. He didn't notice the woven clothing at his feet, but had he looked he would have known what she was about to say. "Javek, I am with child."
The acolyte grinned from ear to ear and meant to jump from his seat, but she stopped him as she clutched her stomach. He stopped and gave her stomach an odd gaze, it did not pooch like one through her first tri-mester. The adder fighting the scorpion appeared in his mind.
Sonja knew that her husband was a smart man. He would not be an acolyte otherwise, and she could not hold on for another moment. "It is Boaz's."
Javek's fellow acolyte came to mind. Boaz had offered Javek the moon cycle and he would wait for the next. His reasons had been of charity; Boaz was both rich and already counted among the Triad, so the advancement for Javek was richer and would mean more to the newlywed.
Pain burns a man much like the sun itself tans the skin. It comes on slow and unassuming and carries on long past sunset. It is during the night that a man notices the boils upon his skin that show his mistake at trusting the innocence of the sun.
Javek's pain was all consuming. After cleaning himself, he headed to the temple searching out his elders. There he was greeted with rejoice and praise, but it was long past the time of joy for the young acolyte. He was quick to wipe the dissapointment from his face and accept the fresh water and robes from those that looked to bring him into their close-brotherhood.
Council was called and all of the Triad sat around the fire circle to hear of his triumphs and trials out in the desert. The Thekma was as much a bonding right once it was finished as it was a test itself. Each man and woman that had made it had seen it through different lenses and to hear the clairvoyance of another was as if experiencing the event all over again. Among them was a quiet Boaz, acolytes used as servants during such things.
Javek began to tell his tale leaving no detail unmentioned. Each of the Triad would take their own interests and if enough thought the Thekma was successful, his induction would conclude. At the mention of the adder/scorpion fight, many among them exclaimed themselves for the blessing while others had hushed hesitations. His tale slowly came to a resounding end. His gut tightened as Boaz returned to the room to retrieve the empty goblets. He knew his Thekma had not ended once inside the safety of the village fence. He called out to the Triad to reclaim their seats, as his story was almost over. Two of the members had to be pulled back in from the other room at the surprise.
"Brothers, Sisters. I must relate one more part of my Trial. As my Thekma has not ended." Javek's eyes turned to Boaz, who instantly knew that his secret had been made known. "I returned to my home before coming here. There, I found my wife with child. Sonja has told me that it is the bloodline of Boaz Addai."
The room split once again; some thinking the idea was abhorant while others spoke of it as if they knew it would come. Finally one of the Elders quieted them all. "This is sad news my young acolyte. The Council will discuss the matter. Now. Without either of you here. Everyone is dismissed."
While those with no business to be at the council meeting left, the others drew the doors closed to deliberate. Javek found himself standing in the middle of the street, his body floating down the sandy road and his mind barely able to grasp onto anything. He soon found he was drunk on fermented cider while sitting in the bazaar's inner circle.
Hours passed while the Council discussed their options. By late afternoon - just long enough for Javek to sober a bit - one of the acolytes came to him. He helped him to his feet and then led him back to the council.
The elders of the Triad were never long-winded. Moments after Javek entered the room he was given the verdict with little fanfare. "Your Thekma has been deemed unfinished and riddled with ill omens. Your approval into the Triad goes on record as undeclared." The ruling wasn't unrare, many approvals had gone undeclared over the years, but usually because of an acolytes tales being deemed untruthful (without proof either direction) or his/her health keeping them from finishing. But Javek was at a loss for what he must do to complete his, and he wouldn't get the chance to ask as he was wisked away just as quickly.
A small hovel near the edge of the village became his home. Sonja and Boaz announced to the village their plans to marry, giving Javek a small bridal price to redeem their infidelity and appease the Gods, and she continued to show her baby pooch. On the next cycle Boaz went into the desert among cheers from his friends and family. Javek spent his time among the harem and the cider, wasting the little coin he had on continuing his downfall into oblivion. But when the three moon cycles were up and Boaz did not return, the Triad began to worry. They first suspected foul play with Javek, but the girls and brewmaster always knew of his whereabouts.
Upon the fifth day, the Elders sent trackers. They found him within half a days ride. His body had rotted and the gourd of cider lay empty at his feet. The news put Sonja into early delivery. Javek sobered at the news, as his own Thekma returned fresh to his mind.
After the commotion of the funeral and the babies arrival - a four day event in its own - passed, and the midwives had taken leave for the night, Javek came to Sonja's door. He had a secret of his own, one he wasn't proud of nor had he ever shared with anyone. The secret was the reason for his endless drinking, constant visits to the harem, and any of the other terrible decisions he had made over the pass season.
"Sonja, I am not strong enough to stay away."
And all three; Sonja, Javek, and the young Raheem cried. Future:
Whew, did we all make through that drivel I call a background? Yes? And everyone survived? Good. Now, I'm thinking Javek will be taking the Oracle class. I like the idea of the witch or even sorcerer for his role, but I think I want to mess with the Oracle class in ways PF did not truly intend. Expect Javek to be something of an aggrevating front-line fighter and slightly more compromising spellcaster. I'd love to hand him a bow and let him take out his aggresions that way, but that'd cost me a feat... and I'm using those for something else.
Javek's dysfunctional life will have passed a year or two since chapter two to the beginning of the game. The Pendrakes and Javek are out of money and he must find work. A passing Society member has offered Javek a bit of money to guide him out of the desert, but the trip ends up being in Javek's favor as he is introduced to the Pathfinder Society.
Javek found some solace in an honest days work. It had been many months since anyone had given him a chance to work outside the picking of crops or repairing the barding for an animal. Even then, Javek could not ignore the pity cast down upon him as he did his task. For now, he revelled in pure annonimity with the traveler. He did not know shame for Javek, and Javek thanks him with a loyal duty to guide him out of the desert.
The traveler, a portly dwarf who had an affinity to alcohol, told and retold tales of his time as a 'bona-fide, God-Fearin', Society member'. Most of his stories involved caravan drives to different corners of the world to collect anything from spiced meat to ancient wines, but the dwarf had one or two tales of heroism. He spoke of pride, honor, justice, all with a tinge of self-gratifying twists but Javek ate them up whole-heartedly. He had not known anyone outside the village ever, let alone someone with worldly experiences that he could relate to his own harsh life.
The trip north was coming to a close when Javek started building an idea. The dwarf had promised to pay handsomely for the guide and near the end offered twice that for protection while his shipment crossed the sea. Javek at first protested, but the gold offered would feed Sonja and Raheem tenfold from any job he could muster at home.
Their path was not a secret one, and they left many landmarks and trails in their wake. When the caravan finally made it to the shoreline the dwarf offered his deal a final time, only this time his connections had added a bonus. Another society member was heading south through the desert, and at the request of the dwarf, she would be making her way through Javek's homeland. The stars seemed aligned for Javek for the first time in a decade and he could not pass it up. While he boarded a ship for Absalom, aboard a vessel his dreams could barely fathom, his wages were heading swiftly south with the female halfling and her missionary team.
The trip had been eye-opening for both the dwarf and Javek, both learning books' worth of cultural knowledge from one another. Eventually the dwarf's persistance paid off, and Javek was prepared to sign up for the Pathfinder Society and begin a new chapter of his life. One he wished he could be proud to introduce Sonja and Raheem to after it was finalized.