Skessuc of Clan Nakhra
(2nd February 2003 - 30th July 2003)
A Jezharrain Judicial Champion upholds the law, but he is not a policeman; petty crime does not interest him. Rather, he travels, seeking for disputes where the outcome is being decided by force of arms. Occasionally, one side or another will request the involvement of a particularly renowned Judicial Champion. Once committed to a particular issue, the Judicial Champion will study the details carefully, and will then support the side which is in the right under Jezharrain law. It is entirely possible, and not unknown, for the Judicial Champion to decide against the party who has requested his involvement in the first place. He is impartial, and - for him - the word of Jezharrain law as he understands it is final. Concepts such as 'good', 'evil' or 'fair' do not affect him much; likewise, honour only exists for the Judicial Champion insofar as his own upholding of Jezharrain law is concerned. If two Judicial Champions find themselves on opposite sides, both will suspend operations and compare notes, deciding which cause has the better legal justification, and then combine forces to aid that cause. Under no circumstances will they fight each other. Jezharrain law is very harsh in any case, but against a renegade or corrupt Judicial Champion it is truly brutal.
The Nakhra have produced several famous Judicial Champions in the last century or so; Skessuc's father Touemit was one such until his recent death at the hands of one of Milas' Daywalkers. Clan Nakhra elected to have young Skessuc complete his training in Northern Greyhawk as a form of insurance in case his younger brother Lodar, who remained in Jaz Harra, failed to survive.
The traditional two-handed sword of a Judical Champion is only used in formal disputes as a rule, and never, ever on non-sentient opponents. If the Champion is forced to defend himself against attack with his formal weapon, he must undergo a meditative ritual to "apologise" to the blade's honour. Skessuc's formal sword is called "Ending of Stories" (Bakiamten in the Jezharrain language).
After spending some time on Radhagar getting involved in the
doings of vampires, paladins, daywalkers and magi, and running a shop
selling supplies to would-be Skarnabeast hunters, Skessuc and Val
Turion set off south to return the Sword of Asmor to the Jezharrain
lands - though not necessarily to its' king. En route they discovered
they'd hired the last Shadowship, and were drawn into the doings of the
plane-hopping demon-slaying sorcerer Zand, initially to gain his aid
slaying a demon, then to track down his killer, then to rescue him from
the stasis which had saved him from a demon sniper assassin.
quest took them to Hades, where Skessuc was attacked and badly soulburned
by shadows of undead, as was the Malkaran priest Fangstrom. Provided with
the opportunity to restore such damage for one victim, Fangstrom chose
to succour the unbelieving Skessuc rather than himself.
The impact of this was significant. Presented with such
evidence of Malkar's existence and true compassion, Skessuc was
converted on the spot to a committed member of the Church of Malkar. In
a flash it was clear; the reason for the Jezharrain decline was their
lack of faith; of a leader, a role figure. One day, Malkar's word would
lift them from the sand to the light, and Skessuc would be the one to
show them the way.
Returning from Hades, the party made their way to Kai in
Darim, where the old King Aldric Swifthand had recently died under
suspicious circumstances, and involved themselves in the shaping of his
young son - Fangstrom's cousin - into a confident and competent king.
In the process they met the High Priest of Hofgar - and his goats - and
Barralan, son of Barrios and representative of his father. Skessuc
encountered a fellow Jezharrain, shape-shifted into a snake, and
uncovered the long-lost fact that Jezharrain have a history of
shapechanging. The two-handed sword, made by Zand, that he'd retrieved
from Hades was blessed by Morliath, high priest of Malkar, and renamed Malkar's Hammer.
When Aldric's old spymaster Gunthar Hollowteeth was killed by
the Jezherrain assassin Morlock, the group set out to intercept him,
planeshifting onto the shadowship they'd sailed in before (now captured
by the Jezharrain) and slaughtering the crew. They set things out on
ths ship so that they could meet with and talk to Morlock rather than
attack him out of hand, but the conversation slid rapidly into
animosity and (as was often the case) Val Turian struck the first blow.
Morlock, despite bearing a slow and fatal wound himself, was too much
for the party, and all were killed. Skessuc had been hit in the face by
a crossbow bolt fired by one of his own side early in the battle, but
managed to fight on until he was the last standing before falling at