When it comes to guiding you safely through the desert, He's the Cat's Pajamas.




“…Gosh…You’ll have to excuse me, I can’t really…remember much about all the stuff that happened before I got to Katapesh…but here goes…

I can’t even remember my old name, but I do remember being really happy, back when I was little, growing up with my family in a small oasis village. There was my Mother and Father, with my little sister and me. Then, out of nowhere, one day it was all over. Father had shut us in the house and stood guard to protect us, but they battered down the door like it was nothing. My father fought them, the Dogs…Gnolls, whatever… but there were just too many, too strong for him to take on alone…
He was beaten, and, and he just…stopped moving…
They dragged the rest of us out of the house, and one of them grabbed me tightly, choked me, I thought he’d never stop but he did, only to grab my head and force my eyes open.
That’s when they…they unleashed the, the other dogs, the hyenas…the Gnoll held me there against my will, and forced me to watch the hyena’s tear my mother and little sister to shreds…
I hissed and screamed, struggling with all I had. I finally managed to get free of his grip and I ran quickly to my mother’s side, taking her hand in mine. The Gnoll grabbed me again and dragged me away from her. Her hand broke loose from the rest of her arm, and I…I just held it close to me…
They stomped, kicked, whipped and spat on me for what seemed like forever, while I just curled up as tight as I could, clutching my mother’s hand tighter and tighter. After they had their fill of abusing me, they shoved me into a small wooden cage and locked me in. Took me with them, wherever it was they were going…

As it turned out, their destination was Katapesh.
It wasn’t until much later in this story that I learned I was meant to be sold, to a very rich merchant, very rich with very…exotic tastes…
Here I was, a kitten in Katapesh, held by a band of Gnolls as a slave to be sold and bought and sold again at the whim of strangers. When the caravan stopped on of them opened my cage and pulled me from it roughly. I curled up into the fetal position again to avoid as much hurt as I could. He kicked me a bit, then picked me up in his hands to try and force me out of my ball. That’s when I took my chance. I uncurled myself, and with all my strength, I shoved one of my mother’s rotting arm bones into his eye. As he yelped and howled in pain, I wriggled free and dashed away in the opposite direction of the other Dogs as fast as my paws would carry me. I heard the Hyenas chasing and gaining ground behind me, with the Gnolls not much farther back. I did my best to shake them, but as I turned a corner I ran straight into a wall. Well, it felt like a wall. I ran straight into a man walking the opposite way. I looked up and saw him glare down at me, he was like me, he was a Cat…Catfolk, whatever…
The Hyenas and Gnolls came around the corner not much later and skid to a halt. Then, the now one-eyed Gnoll pushed his way through the pack. I stood between the tall black Cat and the one-eyed Gnoll as they began to communicate, in some strange tongue I’d never heard before. The conversation seemed to make the Gnoll more and more upset, but the black Cat showed no sign of emotion whatsoever, until suddenly the Gnoll stepped forward to grab me. I curled up into a ball again, but when I wasn’t grabbed or beaten soon after, I lifted my head to see what had happened. The Cat had defended me, sliced off the Gnoll’s outreached hand and then pierced his heart, leaving him dead on the street.
The rest of the Gnolls and their Hyenas retreated to their caravan with haste and never looked back.

Nazthaero Rei, that was his name. He saved my life. Not only saved my life, but gave me a life. He gave me a name, Corestes. He took me in, looked out for me, and taught me so much about Katapesh; it’s people, it’s economy, it’s history. He taught me how to talk to people, how to haggle, and how fight, and I worked for him for a few years as an agent of the Duskwalkers.

One day, Nazthaero had to leave on a trade voyage on behalf of his superior Khafira Blacktongue. I talked to him on the dock before he boarded the ship, and he told me that he could see it in my eyes that I wasn’t happy being a Duskwalker. I’d never said it before, somehow he could always see through me, but it was true, I needed something more, I wanted what ever young man wants, excitement and adventure…and a buttload of treasure certainly wouldn’t hurt either…
He told me to begin my adventure, find my treasure, and he’d be back to hear all about it in a month or so.

A month has turned into a couple of months, and Nazthaero still hasn’t returned, but I’m still looking for my treasure, and I’ll tell him all about it someday…"

Corestes is a pretty happy-go-lucky kid, self-confident and comical most of the time. He likes to joke and keep things light to bring smiles to the faces of the people around him. He can be a bit irreverent and occasionally offensive to the more religious folks of the area, and to some people he’s more of an annoyance, but that’s their problem for taking his jokes so seriously.
He’s nimble and loves to go running, jumping and climbing in parkour fashion anytime he has to travel across town or through some ancient ruins.
When things get heated, Crei prefers to try Diplomacy (or a well-crafted Bluff,) to diffuse the situation, but on those occasions when people or monsters can’t be reasoned with, he’s a wiz with his Shortbow, darting around the battlefield from hiding place to hiding place, shooting from the shadows when his target least expects him.


Legacy of Fire hawkeye3532 Philossus