Los Wades: Adventures in Tannin
Ruin "Raa" Etteedan
A Human Monk searching for mastery and perfection of the body.
Born in the small city of Chanyi, he was heir to the Red Tiger Clan. Chanyi was a small city with various clans that had various specializations who served the Divine Emperor Qi Shao. His young life was typical to his clan members, however, on his fourth year, he wandered outside the city’s limits and into the nearby forest. By chance, he found himself within brush and watched as soldiers marched through the forest. He waited until they leave and attempted to head back home; however, as the forest was unfamiliar to him, he got lost. As darkness fell, he started to lose hope that he could return home, but saw a large light to the north; it was fire.
He raced toward the light, but heard noise coming closer; he panicked until he saw his uncle running toward him. He was relieved for a split second, but his heart started to beat quickly again as he realized that his uncle was being chased.
“Where have you been?!” exclaimed his uncle as he grabbed the young boy by the arm and ran in the opposite direction of the fire. They continue running for about a few minutes until they reached a river. His uncle turned and drew his sword against five soldiers—the very ones who he saw earlier in the day—and engaged.
The average swordsman managed to strike down three soldiers before being mortally wounded by an enemy dagger. The young boy stood paralyzed as his uncle backed up to the river.
“Run!” cried his uncle, but the boy was too scared to move a muscle.
As his uncle drew his last breath, the two soldiers approached the boy. Something overcame the boy for a split second. Whether it was his guilt or his adrenaline, not even he knew; his body drew an unknown energy and he quickly rushed the two soldiers. They attempted to subdue the boy, but he weaved through them and managed to grab the dagger that struck his uncle. He slashed one of the soldiers in the face causing him to fall to his knees and scream in pain. As the other soldier swung his sword, the boy ducked, danced to his side, and thrusted the dagger deep into his arm.
Suddenly, a much higher-ranked soldier came through and quickly drove his elbow into boy’s nape. Everything turned black for the boy. The higher-ranked soldier commanded his subordinates to toss the boy and his uncle into the river and made their way toward the city.
His life restarted in the elvish village, Chatai. He was found unconscious and barely breathing clinging to a dead body which had been caught on the river bank. An elvish scouting group found him and the leader, Hir Nande, made a decision to bring him into their village. At first, the leader, Harneth Nehtar, refused accept the human child into their community; he did not object with giving the child medical attention, but wanted to have him dropped off in the closest human orphanage. However, a mysterious stranger arrived on the day the scouts were to transport the child; he went directly to Harneth and spoke to him in private. No one knew what they spoke of, but the order was rescinded and he was allowed to stay with the villagers.
The boy’s life was hard, these elves did not trust humans and they did not trust the boy. Worst of all, he was given the Elvish name, Ruin-raa Ette-edan, which meant Red Lion—which was given to him because of a picture of a cat-like creature in crimson red—and Human Outsider. Elvish children also inherited their parents’ distrust which only isolated the boy further and worried both Hir and Harneth. Still, the boy managed to survive within the village and made some friends as he got older; one such friend was Ithil Nehtar, Harneth’s daughter.
On his thirteenth year, the elvish community started to worry that Raa was becoming a bad influence on various members—namely, the friends he was able to make. Harneth was torn between his commitment to the mysterious stranger 9 years ago, the public sentiment, and his own worry that his daughter was interacting with a human outsider. As things got heated, Raa was summoned by Harneth; after a long conversation between the two, Raa agreed to leave the elvish village. He felt frustrated and lost; the only home he remembered vividly rejected him for as long as he could remember. One day, he met a fey by chance; at first, he questioned the entity, but realized that there was something special about this creature. The fey mostly spoke enigmatically, but the main point was clear: Raa was destined for something great, but he would not be able to fulfill his destiny with his mind, body, and soul shrouded in shades; he needed to find clarity within himself first. He wandered for a bit afterwards until found himself at the footsteps of the Shou Lung monastery.
Raa trained within the Shou Lung monastery for five years. In between training, studying, meditating, he journeyed out with his peers and masters on errands with chance encounters and helping those in need. At first, his group would merely “become water” and avoided or talked through situations; however, something brewed within his soul; whether or not his inaction to defend his uncle or fight back with the other elvish children when he was being bullied, his frustration cracked a lock in his mind. He stormed into action and saved a caravan from hungry wolves. Afterwards, the group became more open to take action to help the people. This way, he became a sort of folk hero to the people, but eventually felt like there was more he could do. He approached Shou Lung’s great master and asked what more he could do; the master could see that—although Raa had not completed his training—he could learn more, faster by journeying outside the temple walls. He tasked Raa with an assignment to visit all of the neighboring monasteries and cities to expand himself further as a person and accomplish what he came to Shou Lung for—to find himself and pursue his destiny.