"Simmera/Simmer" Character Sheet
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- **Name:** "Simmera"/"Simmer"
- **Species:** Half-Dragon* Fire Druid **Employment:** Slave-Soldier **Personality Traits:**
- *An Easy Yoke* - The militaristic cultural ideology instilled in him and the magic brand placed on him by his overseers has conditioned Simmera to accept most people as superior to him and will obey commands issued to him, provided they do not heavily overule his cultural values
- *Conceal Don't Feel* - Raised for combat at an early age, Simmera was taught certain techniques to quash his emotions and disassociate himself from other people who aren't in his immediate tribe group in order to hinder the fostering of empathy towards the hostiles he would face on the battlefield.
- *Fire & Fleet & Candlelight* - Images of his desert dwellings, a spartan lifestyle though it was, fills Simmera with a yearning for simpler times when his place in the world was much more defined.
- **Description/History** - Simmera's home is located in the vast Garmuun Desert situated across the northern continent of Dagdha. He was born into a tribe of warrior pyromancers known as the Eremi, one of the four branches of the larger druidic tribe called the Eshi. They dwell in the desert wastes on the outskirts of the Sateyeh Sultanate, an empire which stretches its boundaries into countries controlled by northern powers. The Eremi are indentured into service acting as one of the triumvirate of major mercenary groups tasked with the security of the Empire. Following their sacred druidic text *The Ayika*, or *Book of Cycles*, the Eremi have tried to connect with their cultural roots whilst living lives as soldiers. Simmera's appearance marked a period of contention within the tribesmen present for it. Born in a small oasis village, the midwives overseeing his birth were adverse to touch him once they saw the red tail, ears, scales that covered major portions of his body, and then adverse to be near him when his eyes opened to reveal sharp slit pupils, not unlike a cat's. Superstitions of the region led his Overseers, magi trained by the royal court, to label him as a *ghallu* or demon in his early childhood, which frightened village folk. Children were often told not to go near him, else bad luck would come towards the family. These accusations were sharply rebuked by the village Hearth Mother Iya Edine, supervisor of the village's Kiln Daughters. It was her soothing words that pacified Simmera's wailing, being his chief guardian after his mother went missing following a kidnapping lead.
- Simmera, alienated from the peers of his age group, would be found watching the men that were granted leave from military service exchanging their war stories and practicing what sparring they could in the fighting ring. Mother Edine, however, forbade him from observing the veterans and told him not to idealize their camaraderie, as their bond was likely forged in a hellish environment Simmera will have to face soon. Instead she told him tales and stories of their tribal foundations, the heroes and monsters that permeated their history, and kept him knowledgable about scriptures quoted from The Ayika. She always had a watchful eye on him, knowing his hypersensitivity he possessed. He was always one to cry over the smallest of sensations, imagined or otherwise Mother Edine noted, wailing up a storm and constantly blowing his nose on a rag. After chastising him from wandering about, Simmera exclaimed to feel a rush of underground wind underneath his feet. The spot was later discovered to have an aquifer underneath and a new well was constructed.
- The ill extent of this sensitivity came about when he came crying to Mother Edine after being pelted with small pebbles and dress beads. Simmera cried as if he were being stoned, she said, and in an attempt to soothe him once more, her cheek was scratched by his developing claws. It was just a scratch and drew a little blood, but to Simmera it was as if he committed the gravest of sins by harming his caretaker. Mother Edine then concocted a tribal medicinal recipe, an oil blend that works as a topical analgesic, and doused gauze wrappings in the mixture. Normally this would have been diluted, however she found it necessary in Simmera's case to apply it at its full strength. Simmera felt his sensations ease into a much more manageable level, but still had pangs of deep guilt that ate at him. He'd seen what risk foolishly letting your emotions get the better of you, leading you to hurt and inconvenience the ones close to you.
- When reaching five years of age, Simmera and other village children were visited by the Overseers and taken away to begin the *Bisha*, Trial by Fire, their combat education for the next ten years. Driven to the summit of the mountain barracks, the children were scrapped of their clothing and given a small red cloak as protection from the elements. Led by older active and retired veterans, the children are taught that the mass summation of all their tribe's heritage is battle, and that from this point forward their lives are now in service to the Sultanate. The Overseers then magically brand their foreheads with the sigil of their *Bay'ah*, their oath of allegiance. It is at this stage in the first two years where the children started their ten year education, the results of which would be imperative in deciding their assigned occupation in life. They start the day sitting in silence, focusing on proper breathing rhythms and postures to lay ground work for future strength and ability training. Instead of breakfast each person is given a tribal medicinal drink to ensure the accelerated growth of their cognitive and physical abilities. They are then instructed in the formal grammar of the empire's Sateyeh language, their secret drudic tongue that encompasses The Ayika, geography, and basic arithmetic. Afterwards they are taught passages and scriptures from the sacred texts, and instructed to meditate and ruminate on the feelings they instill, focusing it on a single point. Next they learn the songs, hymnals, poems, and sword dances that herald back to ancient battles fought by their tribe. Finally they end the day physically training and learning the foundation of martial combat, capped off by a shared meal in the mess hall.
- Throughout the beginning of the first two years, Simmera struggled to gain a foothole in the social structure of his new life. No guardian was present to protect him here, and the young from other villages quickly took to the habit of avoiding his space like all the other children. His monstrous and peculiar appearance caused him to be the object of derision by the other pupils (much to the ire to their older tutors and masters). Hunger pangs were frequent and he hadn't experienced a full belly once since he'd gotten there. Some of the bolder cadets would often hide beetles and worms in his meal, and would yank his ears and tail while he slept. And though the gauze's numbing effects can last for weeks once doused in oil, he found requesting materials for more was nigh impossible, eventually keeping the gauze on long after its medicinal effects wore off to hide the appearance of his scales. Physical training was hell at that point, but learning from his previous failure of keeping his outbursts in check, Simmera instead grit through the pain and tried to tune it out by applying the words of the text and focusing on the actions he's doing in the present moment. With his reclusive nature and alienated position he took to the ideal of being as self-sufficient as possible.
- He focused on putting his physical and emotional pain out of the forefront of his mind and tried to focus on the tasks at hand, earning the notice of a older mentor by the name of Jidenna, a wizened man in an age well past the length of duty expected of him. He took a liking to Simmera's attempt to distance himself when he watched his failures of firing off a bow. After Simmera's repeated refusal of the uncharacteristically jovial elder's help and the witty remarks he keeps piling on, Simmera eventually succumbed to the anger and rejection he repressed and lashed out by attempting to attack Jidenna. This, however, earned him a quick trip to the ground with one deft blow, a chastisement, the elder said, for his failure to recognize helping advice. He helped him up and then explained that he was lost at the rim of the circle, revolving back and forth from opposite sides of the diameter. Equilibrium must be achieved, he noted, before brandishing a sweet he pilfered from the mess hall. Simmera hastily gobbled the date cake, unofficially cementing Jidenna as his mentor throughout his time there. At night when the rest of the barracks laid sleeping, he snuck out to sit under Jidenna's tutelage. Jidenna, much like Mother Edine, shared with him tales of the tribes' glory days, tales older than either the younger or soddish mentors knew, and tales brought back from other lands in his campaigning. Rather than ruminating over his lack of connection with the youth he often sought Jidenna to further train his skills and seek new stories. One night, however, he was caught wandering outside the barracks by a mentor and was physically disciplined and confined to the holding cells for three days. He learned the consequences of going behind the backs of his superiors, even if he took comfort in their presence, and so decided to distance himself away from the man. Jidenna though insisted on visiting as much as he could, for his own sake. He just insisted he get better at sneaking.
- When the cooler months started to roll in and the seasonal winds made the desert nights even colder, the pupils were left shivering in their slim cots, Simmera was rather unfazed by them, his scales and skin feeling warm . When Autumn descended upon the open windowed barracks, most students flocked together for warmth. While it was par of the course for them, Simmera felt unscathed, considering the prior warmth of the sun on his scales and his inner body still radiated with heat. No one attempted to bunk with him until one blustery night when a cadet had their cloak taken and asked if they could sleep beside him. He explained that he was ran off by the others due to his big mouth lambasting some of the other students. Simmera, cautious for some trick to be played on him, initially refused but then relented after observing his temporary solitude and saw how it mirrored his own. Simmera beckoned him over, and asked what to call him. The cadet said that most people there call him Ire, since he was incessantly chirping and annoying like a cricket. When Jidenna later visited Simmera, he told the man about his encounter last night. He seemed knowledgable about the cadet already and remarked that it was a good thing he did sharing his cloak, and later tasked Simmera to keep an eye on Ire since he could learn a lot from him. Ire, Simmera soon learned through observation the next few days, was a direct foil to him in everyway possible. People were quick to open up to him, to laugh at his quips as easy distractions from their growling bellies, sore muscles, and chilled bones. Even after getting disciplined his mood was still up enough to spread a warmth that seemed to stick with a person long after he was gone. Some people, however, were just as quick to antagonize him for readily spinning tall tales and rumours behind their backs. Simmera told himself he didn't care if Ire were his friend or not, though he kept a watchful gaze on him for Jidenna's sake. One evening, in possession of another sweet that Jidenna provided, a group of cadets noticed Simmera's morsel and demanded him to share. Simmera refused, which earned the anger of the pack and led them to beat on him, until Ire came to his aid and defended him until the commotion was noticed by the instructors. Everyone involved was thoroughly disciplined the next day, bereaved of their cloaks and thrown in the cells for a full week. When Simmera questioned what stupid idea caused Ire to jump in the fray, Ire responded saying that he wanted to repay his good turn he received nights ago. On their release Ire told the cadets that Simmera was his friend, painting a target on his back for further social ridicule. Simmera thought it was a ludicrous decision to announce his intentions like that, but seeing that he'd be harassed either way, saw an opportunity to gain an ally if trouble arose. And it wouldn't hurt to have someone else to converse with besides the old man, he thought. Learning of this Jidenna told Simmera to let him in on their meetings, and thus their future friendship began to grow.
- With the completion of two years, the cadets now started to learn in earnest. They started the day when the moon was still out and were piled on many additional lessons to go through. Additional clothing were now provided but physical training was enhanced tremendously, their martial arts become more formalized, and sparring weapons were now allowed. Education on firearms, artillery, and their implementation was included as well. Basic tactics and communication methods were taught. Most importantly though the instructor's taught them the mechanisms of magic, and how their work beforehand was to build an adequate foundation for the work to come. The students began to learn the beginnings of their secret craft, commanding fire, ash, sand, and cinder to their will. To control their native powers was of the utmost importance, they stressed, to such a degree were some say it was proof of their humanity. They also learned to wield the more martial based magics fighters, rogues, and rangers possessed, to jump higher, run faster, enact feats of massive strength and marksmanship, or climb sheer surfaces and sink into shadows.
- Simmera easily took to the route of the rouge, of masking his presence, stalking, ambushing, unseen until driving the unexpected fatal strike only to sink away and hide their being in shadow. However, more than anything Simmera wanted to be able to cast his tribal spells, seeing them as a way to affirm to others of his worth in Eremi society. Once the training started, however, the instructors noticed his slow uptake to produce the most basic of their druidic spells. Initially labled as a late bloomer at the onset, over time it dawned on the instructors that he was one of the few batches of tribesmen who couldn't conjure up their magics, furthering the suspicions of many. Jidenna, meanwhile, was sorely disappointed, as he said his propensity to watch his emotion and general submissiveness lend themselves extremely well in their magics. He then took it upon himself to teach him another school of their tribal magics, turning songs, druidic songs and chants from the Ayika that transmutates, enhances, and weakens the properties of things. He demonstrated by placing a hand over a pebble then sang a verse in their secret tongue, growing the pebble until it became a massive boulder. Through this method, he iterated, it was possible to conjure up similar spells, but it dealt with more of the metaphysical concepts and ideals that the Eremi abandoned to adapt into the militaristic force they are now. If he could overcome his personal weaknesses and blocks, Simmera had the potential to awake a power long laid dormant in their tribe's collective psyche, something that their kin haven't had the unfortunate tendency to lose.
- The final important lesson the instructors passed on, something they stressed was just as critical to an Eremi if not more so. They taught them how to enter into a meditative state, known to them as *aste-gatu*. Inducing this state, using special breathing techniques and visualizations, can remove the hinderances and obstacles of daily living for an Eremi. Pain, sleep, hunger, thirst, and most importantly, emotion. Simmera strove to perfect it, and unlike his ineptitude at the conventional tribal magics, he showed some of the most promise of all, diving deep into aste-gatu. Instantly he could feel the relief wash over him like a deluge, a smooth, tranquil flatness that removed any spontaneity and sensation of accumulated pains built up in his body and spirit. It was for a fleeting moment, however with training he learned to extend it, and by the end of the third year maintain it for the entire day.
- Ire's progression, meanwhile, reflected both of their natures once more. He was an example of a textbook Eremi, slinging their basic spells and pyromancies at ease. Once he overheard the instructors envisioning a place in the Sultanate's police force, or even an apprenticeship in an administrative role. However, when it came down to learning aste-gatu, their praises soon turned to derision once observing the fact that Ire couldn't spend even a minute induced in the state, writing him off as a future concern. It was no concern of his, however. He felt the most powerful helping his fellow comrades in need, putting as much, if not more, stake in his abilities and knowledge as a healer than that of just combat. He saw the wash of Eremi that were consumed by the emotion killing sickness in a state of unbeing, a fallacy of life nearing blasphemy. He endeavoured to improving the health of his tribesman, and sought to mend both their bodies and souls, as much as he could. These were the shape of their days for the rest of the third year, sticking by the other's side, growing in tandem in their own ways.
- One day, however, a majority of the instructors were called out of teaching in order to deal with rising conflicts popping up in the nearby provinces. Jidenna was among the departing, and instructed Simmera to remember his teachings he shared, warning his overuse and dependency of aste-gatu, and instead to look to his companion for help and to keep the songs and chants constantly on his tongue. He tasked Ire to look out for Simmera and to keep out of trouble, embracing the two boys before leaving. The next four years saw the duo go through a sure but steady growth, strengthening their teamwork. Ire, however, tried to make his concerns vocalized as Simmera was always in the constant state of meditative trance. Yet Simmera dismissed this replying that most Eremi in the barracks are in this state, and that their superiors would require them to be in a state where emotional and psychological compromise is as slim as possible. The other cadets who aren't in a constant state of aste-gatu, Simmera remarked, were either inadequate in gaining the right mindset for the technique, or impudent for not seeing the slew of practical benefits it bestows at such little cost. It bothered Ire that Simmera was talking like this and he wondered whether this same person even considered him a friend. Such thoughts were put to the side, however, as the instructors ordered cadets ages ten through fifteen to gather in the mess hall. Tinges of commotion filled the air when they noticed a straight line of Overseers at the wall behind the instructors. They explained to them that the provinces that occupied the Sultanate's badlands has thrown a coup d'etat in the hopes to secede from the empire, getting backing and support from local major powers in that sphere of influence. Effective immediately, they said, that all cadets aged ten through fifteen are to be enrolled in the military division. Some Eremi were scared, not expected to be thrust into the reality of war on such an early basis. Others either screamed or cried from indignation, feeling cheated from the opportunity of earning out of military sercvice and prosperty that they could have experienced after putting in so much effort only to have it account for nothing.
- The frenzied commotion was instantly squashed when the staffs of the Overseers started to glow, casting a painful spell on the minds of the Eremi in the room. They reminded that their lives belonged to the Sultan and that to serve him is their only purpose in life, aspirations and goals have no place in a soldier when they're expected to follow commands at a moment's notice. After the incident they were instructed to spill into the outskirts of the barracks to be selected into willing companies. Simmer and Ire caught the eyes of a few officers, however one was quick to lay their claim on them both. Captain Asa, stern-voiced and possessive like feeding lion, set his hands on the crowns of their head and declared both of them under his immediate authority. The other officers mysteriously ceased their insistence and looked to recruit other promising cadets. With the induction into the group approved and finalized, the captain greeted the two alongside other new members that they've gathered. When Simmera questioned the captain of his reasoning for choosing them, Asa related that the colonel insisted on having the two onboard. After getting transported to a nearby city further up in the country, the two were introduced to Colonel Jidenna, commander of the 121th Infantry "Sunburst" Brigade, one of the brigades consisting entirely of Eremi. The old man embraced the two boys like sons and was want to make up lost time before Asa interrupted to introduce them to their team members in Khansa Company underneath the 13th Battalion.
- As they took a glance at their squad, they saw that half of it comprised of noticeably older veterans of more than a decade, while the the remaining squadmates were equivalent to their age and younger. Some, like giant Ibu, bemoaned the fact that the squad was getting outfitted with so many more squirts, especially ilk that looked like Simmer. Others like "Iya" Anza saw it as an opportunity to shelter more children from the influence of other catatonic units. Simmera also observed that barely anybody in this company utilizing aste-gatu, and when he brought it up he got a teasing remark from his elders. They explained how the colonel has an adversion to it since it's like yelling at a strawman, so he nearly exclusively recruits those with poor aptitude for the technique. Ire quickly made it known that he was grateful to be fighting alongside them and was quick to consoul the quiet spoken Mausu, two years he and Simmera's younger, who had hoped to flunk out of the program and be discharged to a village as a farmer, even if it meant becoming a eunuch and prohibited from marrying. Ibu found that ludicrous, as the only life an Eremi should be assured of is hardship and struggle in battle, even the eldest Hearth Mothers are fully willing to fight and protect their tribesman if needed. Simmera eventually vocalized his concern of being one of the only units who is, in his opinion, the only legitimate Eremi, explaining that bearing your emotions could compromise team cohesion, and should be counted as a sign of weakness for a soldier. It earned a swift reproach from Ibu that knocked Simmera down a peg, figuratively and literally, calling him an newborn that doesn't know the first thing about being an Eremi. Snowy-haired Bestet, however, was quick to help him up and agree, who saw Simmera's point but had since given up trying to convince them otherwise. Simmera, reading the dispositions of the veteran squadmates, made an empty apology and made a note to hold his tongue in front of the squadmates. Staff sergeant Horo relayed to the squad that they were to relocate towards the archipelago of islands off the coast of eastern Dagdha, reporting that seperatist ships were spotted docking at hidden ports on the archipelago's main island Elayona. The squad equipped themselves, shipped off, and deployed the three recruits on their first mission of many.
- Two and a half years passed, with the war against the seperatist rebellion intensifying fervor amongst the intellectual elites in the Northern provinces. The powers shadowing the Sultanate's influence in the badlands have copiously involved themselves by putting their own nations' boots alongside the rebel forces, arming them with ammunition and equipment that were state of the art. And while the war effort hadn't reached the interior of the mainland, conflicts disrupting the eastern river responsible for producing almost all the major food crops supplied across the Southern provinces, food shortages have turned their eyes to the sultan with disdain. By this point Ire had been promoted to Speacialist, showing the most growth out of the new recruits, whilst Simmera remained the rank of private. Most of the team had warmed up to them and were accustomed to their personalities. Ire worked with Anza to increase his healing knowledge and capacities, and both of them worked in tandem with Mausa to get him into a much more capable position. Ìde, with all his griping, grew under the tutelage of Ibu. Simmera, preferring the company of Bestest, was taken under her wing and cultivated his marksmanship, martial prowess, and shade techniques. With the support of his senior squadmates Simmera always took something away from his experience. From the first battles in the Elyona archipelago that tested the mettle of the recruits in the exchange of fire fights against the rebellion hugging the rocky hill routes, testing his resolve with the death of Ibu at the Ruji mountain fortress beset by cave beasts, and the testing the extent of the care of his squad during the bombardment of motar fire on the northern provinces southernmost meadows of Rosentria.
- Throughout it all, however, Simmera took notice of what he felt was the decay of Eremi ideals, with flares of some emotion or another typical with all except Bestet, who he stuck close to for that very reason. This stunted the relationship between Simmera and Ire, culminating in a blow-up after Simmera commented on how Ire gets too attached to locals, and is to quick to praise or condemn those who catch his interest. Mausa, though he's improved during the years, still failed to aside his anxiety during moments of crisis, and felt that he lacked the crucial will to sacrifice himself at a moment's notice needed for a soldier. He felt even went so far to comment to Horo how his fraternizing with squad members of the non-Eremi platoons in other brigades were unbecoming of him as a staff sergeant as Eremi shouldn't be expected to have connections outside their own group since they are the only ones who can serve the Sultanate undoubtedly and without question, and might have to turn their arms against those they once served with. Anza gave Simmera advice and said that though his reason was logical, seniority and experience outweighed the concerns of tribal etiquette and customs, which can be laxed at a moment's notice if it's for the good of the mission.
- Simmera felt a growing extent of isolation from all but Bestet when they drove in an aid convoy moving from the capital of the Northern provinces towards the sultanate controlled forested mountains of eastern Cernidu, suspected of harbouring rebels. He, however, made note to put aside any feelings of having his squad live up to his idealized picture of being Eremi soldiers, and focused on living for the task at hand. The convoy, suddenly, was ambushed by separatist forces near the village of Krasivyj, resulting in the death of the commanding officer of a non-Eremi battalion. Furious, troops from the battallion's brigade demanded action, while Colonel Jidenna cautioned for cooler and focused methods of extracting the combatants. The major general sought the need to make an example for the region to see, and tasked the troops from Sunburst Brigade to assist in the offensive. Mausa, appalled at the aspect of attacking civilians pleaded with the staff sergeant to make the general reconsider, but was instead incapacitated by his brand and was sent in for reprimanding. Horo, powerless in his position, tasked reluctant Ire and Anza in assisting the razing of Krasivyj, while Simmera and Bestet were set on the wooded perimeter to kill those attempting to escape. Their pyromancies made quick work of the tinder like structures, and civililians had little escape from the flames and smoke. Both Ire and Anza participated in the burning of the town under the watchful eye of the adjacent brigade's commander. The overwhelming smells, sounds, and sensations caused by the act drove Simmera into a deeper state of aste-gatu, enhancing his reflexes and focusing his perception into such a narrow point for the utter completion of the single goal he was given, blocking him off from the surrounding stimuli. Once it was over the battalion proceeded back to their previous headquarters nearby to stock up. Mausa was returned severely injured, needing the urgent care of Anza and Ire to bring him up to an adequate strength, a much needed distraction from the atrocity they took place in. Simmera and Bestet patrolled the perimeter of the ruins and came across a group of children that sheltered in a cellar. Simmera, still in the deeper stages of aste-gatu, questioned Bestet whether they should shoot them or not. Bestet disagreed since their objective was already fulfilled, and left a breadloaf and canteen of water near the portal before leaving. Instead of reprimanding her for the gesture like he would have done in the past, he asked what was her reason in doing so. She simply didn't know, she responded, knowing that the rations could have provided more practical purposes for them rather than enlongating the lives of war orphans, but that she felt some vague small thing inside her stomach would've just broken apart if she hadn't. She didn't know why ensuring the wholeness of an obscure and irrelevant smouldering of emotion felt important, but that it just was. Simmera noted that he recognized the feeling that she described and that he's felt it too in meditation, a shriveled thing clinging on the end of a tiny thread of consciousness, but he isn't sure if the feeling was always that small or that it was just an echo of when he still did feel it. He also said the only other time he felt that was in a battle or a purpose he was fulfilling alongside his comrades, and that if it weren't for his protective skin and scales that allowed him to put all his effort completing his appointed task, he would have most likely died a long time ago. They both stayed silent and made the trek back to base.
- The days that pass are filled with small reports of Eremi soldiers that are either found wandering from their posts unsupervised returning to base unresponsive, or Eremi soldiers going missing in the middle of conducting operations. Simmera's squad was assigned to search out the potential presence of hostile forces that could be responsible for their disappearance. Horo, Ire, and Simmera went scouting together, and noticed a meteor streaking in the afternoon sky. It was followed by another comet, then two, then ten, then a hundred innumerable until they whirled like streaks of lighting snaking over the earth. Once the meteors dissolved from their view, they both felt a charge weave down their skin and noticed the smell of ozone that permeated the air. A loud boom was heard behind them and the heat from the rush of light warmed their back, which lit the trees in front of them all in a wash of iridescence, and casted winding, snailing shadows behind their trunks. After they realized it was an assault by hostile forces, they attempted to retreat and notify the commander. The connection they established was garbled nonsense, however, but once they managed to find the contingent of another platoon in close engagement with purportedly rebellion forces. But something about their shape, their expressed perception, and their existence in this current space and time threw the duo off. The time they stalled long enough to try and comprehend what was fighting their comrades was enough for an enemy to send a shot through Ire's throat. Simmera watched his friend's body crumple to the ground, taking the sensation in for mere seconds until he returned suppressing fire behind him and made a fighting retreat to the other platoon. Like a switch Simmera dove into the deeper state of aste-gatu that he mustered in the burning village. The figures that showed themselves were highly trained and wielded enchanted armours and weapons from the way their conventional weaponry and tactics did little to affect them. He had no doubt that the comets were products of their sorceries too, though he had never heard of such force conjured by mages in all his time of service. The platoon resorted to their pyromamcies to ensure their escape while Simmera could do little to support other than shadestep maneuver ahead to try to take out spotted combatants. The explosions of light and terrible rumbling still went on as they made their way to base, but despite that the platoon held their steady pace, until the arcane artillery closed in on their position and struck their formation asunder. Discombobulated Simmera, besieged by those same strange creatures, whose only means of deterrence was the pyromancies he couldn't wield, was prepared to die fighting trying to protect an incapacitated comrade.
- It was then that the meteoric lights clashed with other lights streaking overhead, and from the trees came a roaring desert wind and tempestuous fire that reduced the beings to kindling. Forces rallied toward the scattered platoon and brandished burning blades and fizzing, glimmering bullets, with the voice of the colonel charging his men to beat back the enemy. Simmera pushed on to fight with the counter-attack, eventually routing the enemy until they disappeared as suddenly as they came. In the aftermath Jidenna hugged Simmera and exclaimed his worry for him and Ire. Simmera informed the colonel of Ire's death and learned of the assault on the base, Anza's death defending Mausa, and Bestet's disappearance in the enduring chaos. Mausa rested at the behest of Jidenna, though Simmera insistented on staying awake. Mausa rested undisturbed throughout the night until he stirred from his slumber finding Simmera nowhere to be seen. He set out to track him down, through the dark of the forest and with the worried expectation of retribution from lingering enemies, until he spotted him shambling through a copse. Mausa ran over and attempted to bring him back to base, but Simmera was catatonic, unresponsive to his voice or gestures, only galvanized in a belligerent manner when touched. While Mausa pondered an efficient way out of the situation, his worst fears were realized when both their Bay'ahs shot a searing pain in their skulls, leaving them incapacitated enough for their assailants to capture them.
- Simmera awoke with an indescribable swirling pressure in his head and slim recollection of his recent memory. He didn't know where this stone dungeon wall he was chained to was situated, why he was overlooking the bloodied tatters of his friend Bestet behind the hooded figured, or heard the gurgling wheeze and the stitching of flesh beside him. The pain helped none when it was his turn, going through the torture, the emptying out and growing up of components from his being, in a cyclical cycle under hazy gazes that his mind only registered as lasting an eon. And when the last twine of being was threatened to breaking, the only conceivable sanctuary was to retreat in deeper waters. So it receded and plunged into a deeper aste-gatu, deeeper and deeper still, until it no longer recognized the same waters it dove into.
- The last time Simmera opened his eyes, his clouded milky vision saw towering inky black trees, plumes of red fog raising from the ground, and ponds of water reflecting spectres flying in the space between the stars. He remembered most the face of Jidenna, almost glowing in the iridescent light. He felt the relief of warm fingers and a heavy breath on his forhead, a shawl much too big for him wrapped across his sparse emptying frame, a sheathed dagger in his grip wrapped in seven bands, and a song sung in uttermost importance.
- The last thing he felt was the cold impact of falling through the star filled pond. Falling, flying, burning, nearly drowning, and wet sand on his cheek and the lick of waves across the soles of his feet. A runner found his body shortly after and was quick to send him to the nearest Laukish hospital, a country halfway around the globe from the province of Cernidu. When he awoke he remembered even less than before and still found himself restrained, trying to muster a futile strength to free himself from the bindings before he noticed the fittings looked like that of a residence than a prison. He was startled by the shock of a peering through the doorway, but his fears were elated when he saw emerald green eyes and heard scribblings of a familiar tongue, and urged her to tell him who and where he was. The pair that signed for him was from the Dorun tribe, the forest dwelling kin of the Eremi and greatest in number, settled him in the guest bedroom. In the mangled druidic tongue they told him of the state he was in when he was recovered, prevented the doctors from sending his body to the morgue, assured that they would be able to restore him. But they had to resort to tying restraints on him after seeing his severe reaction of being touched. Patchouli and Clary urged the tribal herbalist over, who worked for three days and three nights to get his body back to a semblance of normalcy, but that his mind will need much further nurturing for it to recover. They said that he howled like a near lunatic at night, sometimes alerting the presence of the police. Simmera, still in the process of recovering his willpower and strength, answered why did they even bother to bring him in, knowing the way he looked when they found him, and the fact that he didn't even know Simmera, kin or not. Patchouli said that it was because of the eyes that marked him as his kin, not just the crimson eyes shared by all Eremi, but his dead expressionless look that reminded him of his missing younger sister who had just the same sort of stare, in which he came to interpret as a sign for help. Simmera tried to refuse their hospitality, but Clary was adamant in saying that doing so would besmirch the memory of their ancestors, and that he was in no position to refuse anything until he got his strength back.
- So Simmera spent the couple of seasons in the cabin with the couple, who taught him the Laukish language known as Common in some dictionaries. He was quiet, worringly so thought Patchouli, and had a severe adverse reaction of being touched, locking himself in the room for days on end when the slightest of sensation of contact grazed his body. He'd eventually step outside like nothing ever happened though, wrapped around in a cloak and shawl that are practically blankets. Clary noticed how he sparsely ate, only taking sufficiency from very little if he did. Sleep was never frequent, but on the rare chance that Simmera slipped up, memories played out like a puzzle box for an entire lifetime, sleeping visions that compressed days, weeks, years of life, jumbled into randomness for an hour period of active dreaming. It was an inefficient method, surely, but eventually Simmera managed to piece most of his identity back together. His desert village, his Mother Edine, his branding, his comrades, his experiences. But everything past his initial entry of Cernidu materialized as a speck of sensation against the backdrop of an enveloping void. The burning and screaming; shifting, fluttering, terrible creatures; a breaking of the center. Every day, as he dreams, the same dream. Always at the end, though, clearer, but never without fog and muck. He dreams of the same landscape of towering trees, rising red fog, and spectres in the skies. Most importantly he knew he was Eremi. But the revelation came with no sense of jubilee. He couldn't speak, he couldn't sing. The texts did not call to him, and his ears only heard the rush of water and empty winds. Clary wanted him to tutor them in Stonesong with Cindercant, and to his credit he tried, in the sense to reciprocate the good karma done by him. But the lengths were of a paltry amount and insufficient for any serious instruction, only suffering a little moment before retreating in the backroom once more. Talk amongst the neighbors began to spread of the couple hiding a no-good recluse in their abode. So Simmera took his effects and left, not wanting ill-will on the couple's name. Laukish people, however, weren't too savy seeing him stroll their streets, already having a firm and sophisticated dislike towards Deorian beastfolk, especially considering they marvelled at what bastardized amalgamation of unsanctioned magic that spewed him out. Simmera cared little that they misjudged him for a Deor. He was Eremi, first and foremost. But then what did that even mean, he wondered. Did he even know what it meant to be an Eremi? Did he ever did? Was he just masquerading as one all this time? And if so was it even worth it? Simmera took haste to bunch up and avoid the brushing shoulders of the populace. For now he needed a sufficient place to roost, anywhere would be fine he assured himself. Coming down a street pass he looked across and saw the face of a concrete pipe staring from back down an alleyway. Perfect, he thought.
- Simmera immediately set claim to his pipe and settled all three of his belongings aside: the shawl, the cloak, and the knife. From the looks of the sheathe the knife was broad-bladed with a subtle curve to it. The large leather bands were symmetrical, each sporting a faded wash corresponding to a color of the rainbow. Simmera tried to inspect the condition of the blade at least, but it failed to budge and seemed stuck. On each of the leather bands was a single buckle of silver, which also failed to stir from protest. Jidenna's belongings, he thought. He closed his eyes, tightly, solemnly, and offered up a prayerful word. The moment of was interrupted with a stomach growl, having had gone atleast a week and a half without food he noted when he exited the cement pipe. But then there's the notion of being in a foreign country with not a dinare. He could always steal, his worst nature mused, it would be easy. If you aren't sure you're Eremi, then why live under their conditions? Simmera drove to push these thoughts away, but miasmic and intangible as they are they always came back if you didn't have a full grasp to banish them. Lost in thought Simmera nearly had a heart attack bumping into some wealthy Laukish fop making him spill his coffee over his vesture. The Laukishman, red nosed and with a crinkled brow, demanded payment for his clothing. Simmera bowed, and offered his sincerest apologies, but he lacked the funds needed to pay for his clothes. The Laukishman twitched and grabbed the bunch of his shoulder. The shock of the touch didn't fully register to Simmera until the Laukishman's fuming visage shrunk down the street. Later that night, while wandering about, struggling to get into aste-gatu, a posse affiliated with the man from earlier found Simmera and backed him into a corner, all with grasping malicious hands. First came the claustrophobia and quickened breaths, urging any sort of mantra or technique to get into a less vulnerable state of being, second came the dimming of his vision, and finally came the sensation of popping and wetness on his knuckles, finding himself over the bloodied face of an incapacitated goon surrounded by the bodies of his entourage. His body ached, all over, screamed in fact in pain. The punches didn't break a rip, or cause internal bleeding, no, but his skin and scales shrieked like they were being torn from their very foundations. The fight brought back stimulus memories his hypersensitivity failed to forget and reverberated vibrations of the punches, the rhythms of footsteps, the jangling of wires, and the heavy swirling pressure of a greying night throughout every shivering pore of his body, enough to deafen him. He was quick to flee, Simmera felt consequence speeding down a hill to meet him soon. However that meeting had to wait, it seemed, for just Simmera was about to shadestep away as an officer strolled forward to make an arrest, a man even foppier than the last one interrupted their intersectioned and beckoned Simmera a chance to converse. He said he noticed the skirmish, and that the result was like a prayer in motion. His prayer, specifically, as he's a lucrative manager in the underground brawling rings found on the southwestern end of the coast, but he's lost his champion fighter in a warehouse accident by the docks. He wanted him to fight a grand match tomorrow, but now he's short a pair of fists, so he implored Simmera to take his place as surprise contender. Simmera disagreed at first, but the man, noticing his displeasure of people touching him, told him that all he's got to do is avoid people until they tire out, then go for the strike, and to sweeten him with incentives, he'd pay double than what he was initially going to pay. Simmera reluctantly accepted. He won the matches and only blacked out once. Echoes of the fight still rang in his bones, so much so that he wanted to double over and vomit, but he knew nothing major was broken. He once took a dozen direct hits from small arms fire to the chest back on the field, and he was up the next day. Now it felt as if he were to take a grazing by some shrapnel it'd be enough to put him down for days. Fight through it, he mentioned. The pain is just a lesson that your body hasn't learned yet. Pain and struggle. It is a good pain, he assured himself. Remember the breath. Soon the breathing came easier, and the dive into aste-gatu almost subsided half of his aches. The crowd's cheers when he left were like a warbling fade of incoming artillery, which only just made him want to fight more. The manager, pleased with his night, asked what name to call him by. He didn't use his name, because he couldn't remember it, or even his preferred name, because he didn't deserve it, so he chose Simmera, the namesake for both the home of nightmares and the monsters that lurk there that Laukish fairytales like to include in their bedtime stories. He must not have say it right since some of the crowds were shouting Simmer instead. Just another name to go by, he guessed.
- Using his winnings he dropped by the nearest pub, picked up a single serving of meat pie and milk, and retreated to his pipe and meditated until the morning.
- **Driving Goal:**
- -Interpret meaning behind the events in his dream
- -Figure out how to unlock Jidenna's dagger
- -Figure out whether he should return to the Sultanate or stay
- -Figure out the fate of the remaining members of his squad
- -Find something to hold on to
- **Ideals:** Simmera places firm emphasis keeping a set of foundational beliefs and ideals that can guide you in an ever changing flux of circumstances, attempting live in the present moment without compromising what sense of self a person may keep. Believes in the reciprocity of the world, that cause and effect are cosmic forces and no one is free from it
- *Joy Way Way Way Down In My Heart* - Views displays of emotion like laughter, crying, anger, and flirting as unwarranted displays of emotion that distract one from efficiently achieving your goal.
- *Don't Hug Me I'm Scared* - Possess extreme hypersensitivity and suffers from severe haphephobia, and will flee and hide unless cornered. Averse to showing his body.
- *A Game Of Ghosts* - Supresses his guilt in playing a part in the atrocities of Cernidu and being one of the survivors of his squad from the retaliatory attack. Believes that he got Ire, Bestet, and Mausa killed by their association with him and that the torture he went through is karmic retribution
- *The Great Equalizer* - Views himself equivalent to a gun for someone to command him, will block out potential equal social interaction by lowering himself and affirming the superiority of their human agency and ambitions
- *Abracafluffyou* - Doesn't like magic, abhors necromancy most of all
- *Night Vision* - Rather self explanatory
- *Natural Armour* - Scales and skin made up of intense protective material and will stop most conventional weapons other than magic spells or enchanted items which do additional damage
- *Teeth and Claws* - Also rather self explanatory
- *Hypersensitivity* - When not wrapped in a tribal analgesic, body is ten times more sensitive than human fingertips, able to sense minute pressures, forces, and vibrations
- *Shadestep* - Can sink into person-sized shadows and teleport between them for as long as he could hold his breath
- *Combat Mode* - Trained in the use of standard pistol, carbine, close combat martial arts, and sword play
- *Aste-Gatu* - Can enter a four staged meditative state that allows him to limit or completely shut off aspects of his physiology. 1.) Fear, 2.) Pain, 3.) Food/Sleep, 4.) External Stimulus
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