The Aen Brothers (Silver Pariahs Supplement)
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Six half-brothers born from dead fathers through the alchemical trickery and vile craft of Gwyoromiith Relein. These are the sainted sons of the Matron Aen, though not all men of virtue they are renowned throughout Rukaea as icons of what may come to pass when one's inner potential is tapped; and the accomplishments that occur when a community comes together with a single purpose.
The eldest son, born of the essence of a proud and swift warrior. From a very young age, though he was kept in isolation, he displayed incredible energy. During the first weeks of his freedom, he relished the space of the outside world so much so that he would run full tilt for hours until he fell to the ground, spent and fully asleep. In the early days, before his wartime experiences, the people called him restless. But the instant he discovered the last remnant of his father's legacy, a twin-scimitar (Two-Bladed Sword) with mirrored blades, his energies became focused with terrible purpose.
Like the mighty Hercules of Spartan legend, Raen was not known for his patience or planning. In battle he would leap from the frontlines to the frontlines before the first volley of arrows could be fired, severing the limbs of the infantry, the heads of the cavalry, and seeking the most direct line to the enemy commanders before unleashing his deadly skills through man-to-man combat. There are some who have seen his skill that claimed lightning leapt from his footprints, following in his wake; though few believe this superstition.
Paulzed has only been known to manifest in the physical world during times of great turmoil, and even then he does not choose to change the tide of war nearly as much. Such would require too much thought, even for his immortal patience. He speaks to his worshippers through single word or single phrase sentences before retreating from the Mortal plane.
His holy symbol is a pair of worn and broken sandals, and his weapon of choice is a two-bladed sword. Worshippers include athletes, soldiers, warriors, and those that don't think things through completely.
Though he is only the second-oldest brother, Denzel has always been fairly large. While in Gwyoromiith's captivity, he would often exercise by bench-pressing his brothers, on their cots. As his power grew, so grew his body. By the time he reached adulthood, it was he who helped to orchestrate their escape. Tapping into whatever strange lineage the Relein had found for him, he ripped the laboratory door from its hinges, broke loose his bonds, and freed himself and his brothers. Before leaving, Gwyoromiith attempted to confront them and subdue them through use of his devestating charms and wiles; but Taen, unmoved by the speeches, crushed both of Gwyoromiith's kneecaps in his powerful hands, hobbling the alchemist.
After escaping, he sought nothing more than to improve his strength. He cared not for battle, he cared not for affection, and he cared nothing for any alliances save for those he kept with his brothers. He was often seen by travellers crushing stones in his hands, heaving boulders over streams, and strangely enough... he was sometimes glimpsed in pensive poses, staring off into the ether, motionless for hours. Some people claimed he was half mountain, and occasionally he was hired (with gifts of food, rather than money) to perform hard labor for regional farmers. It wasn't until he accompanied his brother into military service that the people suspected he possessed the heart for battle.
He took no great pleasure in martial combat, but he also knew he could save several lives by using his strength to the fullest. His commanders had commissioned for him a weapon to match his disportionate strength, the blade being described as little more than a man-sized spearhead with a two-foot handle. (Treated as a Mercurial Fullblade, 2d10 damage, with a critical threat of 20 x4) It was proven on the battlefield that not only was he strong, but he could endure most any attack with which he was assailed. Though he wore heavy, slipshod mail of Jherron make, he turned aside swords, spears, arrows, and even stones hurled from catapults.
He no longer counts himself among the living, however he occasionally makes appearances before Mortals. His worshippers include deep thinkers, warriors, farmers, and the dull-witted. His holy symbol is a square, pierced iron coin, scraped free of adornments and text. His weapon of choice is any sword larger than a Bastard Sword.
One of the Aen twins, and for whatever prideful reason attempting to claim the title of Eldest Twin Brother, he is often called the Undisciplined Disciple. Jaunzen, you see, took traits not only from the essence Gwynn used, the essence of a slain High Priest of some forgotten monastery; but also of the curiosity that fed the imagination of his mother in her girlhood. From an early age, he found within him a reservoir of skill and potential, and was able to train himself in the arts of self defense. He was not, however, able to focus on much of anything outside of that subject for overlong. After his escape, halfway through a conversation with the captain of an itinerant platoon of soldiers, he wandered off to pick up a fuzzy caterpillar and examine it for a few minutes.
Unlike his elder brothers, Baen was not known for getting into fights so much as avoiding them, getting out of them, preventing them, and other such behavior as was considered unpopular by warriors of the time. The only known battle in which he participated, he did not throw a single blow, but took his opponent's weapon from him and snapped it over his knee, then proceeded to remove his opponent's armor piece-by-piece over the course of the seven-minute bout. By the end of it, rather than knock his opponent out, he opted to tie his ankles to locks of his long, greasy hair, and bind his wrists with his beard. This story, however, is second-hand, as it was done away from the prying eyes of the public, to save the other warrior's reputation should he have chosen.
Jaunzen's symbol is a clave, just a hand-length rod of wood no more than an inch in diameter. This can be silver, but his disciples are often too poor to afford the luxury. His weapon of choice is a hand with all of the fingers and the thumb brought to a point. (Unarmed Strike)
His worshippers include - hey, does anyone else smell curry? I like curry. Especially curry with steamed greens, and milk rice. When was the last time you had rice milk? It's not quite as good as you think it should taste, but it sure makes porridge better. What's porridge made of anyway? ... What were we just talking about?
The more sensible of the Aen twins, Jourzek has expressed a mastery of all things tactical from before he could speak. The essence with which he was made was a powerful tactician whose trust Gwynn had gained, only to be betrayed by the Alchemist. Jourzek was a master at chess, and to say the least, nearly any other game of skill. He was also noted for speaking only what was necessary when not around his brothers. (This, of course, seemed more his opinion than verifiable fact, but it never seemed to backfire)
When he was able to speak, he seemed to possess an inherent ability to calm his brothers when their moods reached fever pitch during their incarceration. Stories of his methods seem to involve little more than storytelling; though he had no access to libraries or even books at the time. This certainly shows his inventiveness and creativity, given the lack of outside inspiration. Some of the stories he told to his brothers later become the stuff of fictional heroic tales, nursery rhymes, and even run-of-the-mill bedtime stories.
Jourzek did not consider himself a fighter. He was physically frail, for the most part, but had tremendous strength of the arms, shoulders, and chest, and was very nimble. As he did not wish to leave his comrades without aid, he quickly mastered the first non-melee weapon he could lay his hands on: a Jherron Recurve (Mighty Composite Distance Longbow, +3 Strength bonus, 220' range increment, 440' when in Jourzek's hands to a maximum of 4,440') with ketek sinew wrapped around the shaft of the bow, each arrow about the thickness of his thumb so that they would stay straight when loosed. It is true that he was never seen on a battlefield, but his capability to disable or even kill enemy commanding officers from long distances made him the ideal leader to many archery platoons.
Zaen's symbol is a chess piece (pawn), or a model soldier or military unit, such as those used in strategy and tactics. His weapon of choice is the longbow, or composite longbow. His worshippers include strategists, tacticians, lorekeepers, storytellers, students, teachers, and soldiers.
Physically weaker, perhaps, than Jourzek; Tiemzet Kaen sometimes had trouble just keeping up with marching soldiers. He was lighter of skin and lighter of eyes than any of his brothers, these traits being attributed to a desert Jherron heritage. Gwynn's experiments led him to wonder if he could, perhaps, use the blood of the Marquis Relein, his own father, to create a potent psionic apprentice. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to take...
The boy was sickly, and for much of his adolescent life after the escape was bedridden for days at a time. This, however, encouraged him to focus his talents as a scholar, and as soon as he could get his hands on any books at all, he began building a substantial collection. Jourzek inspired him with storytelling, Denzel's moments of pensive thought allowed him to recognize the virtues of "staying put", and his first teacher allowed him to hone his knowledge to a razor sharpness.
While he never developed any of the psionic abilities for which Gwynn had hoped, he was able to compensate for that with a most strange talent. He was able, often with a remarkable degree of accuracy, to see things before they happened. He was waiting next to the cell door and told his brothers to take cover just before the Pendulum Masks broke through. His teachers attempted to hide this talent from the outside world, but it would not be so for very long. Soon, monarchs and politicians, great generals and even the common folk travelled many hundreds of miles just to hear a single prediction from the prognosticating prodigy.
By far, Tiemzet's story is the best documented... though this may have had something to do with Kaen's love of writing.
Never truly being a fighter, and rather practicing martial arts later in life for purposes of health, Kaen's weapon of choice is an edgeless wholeblade (1d8 bludgeoning, 19-20x2), a non-sharp sword made from a single billet of silver and steel. He used it for the pleasing tone it produced. His holy symbol is a jaded quill. (Not necessarily jade-adorned, merely one that has been used to write more than a page of text)
His worshippers are almost exclusively scholars, though those that fear the future, and what it holds may turn to him in time of need.
Young Taezer was the last in line of the Aen brothers, and without a doubt the one with the most psychological imbalance. At an early age, he was prone to kleptomania and seemed to seek punishment from those in authority. Though, for what it was worth, he was certainly good at avoiding trouble when it was outside of his comfort zone. He displayed abilities that boredered on supernatural stealth, and was more than capable of removing an "imbalance" in his life. In his late adolescence, he made a habit of making certain people that opposed the ideals he and his brothers shared (what few the brothers did share, at any rate) go missing. In a nutshell, Laen could make people "disappear" in much the same way that any good assassin could.
His brothers could neither condone nor prohibit Taezer's actions, for at the time none of them knew, and none of them could detect when he was doing it anyway. Three of his brothers went to their perverbial graves not knowing what true talents lie hidden in their youngest brother, though which three precisely is a secret lost to time.
Taezer's weapon of choice, though no one had ever documented it but he himself before leaving this plane, was a pair of punching daggers (katar), and his holy symbol is a box whose contents are unknown to its keeper. (This odd fact leads what few clerics of Taezer there are to locking or otherwise magically warding their holy symbols, especially if they are of precious metal make - for if the contents were ever revealed to them, either intentionally or unintentionally, the holy symbol would become useless to them, and anyone that had seen the contents)
Those who pay homage to Taezer Laen include trouble-makers, rebels, the disinfranchised, liars, cheats, thieves, and the gullible. The last group of worshippers does not worship out of gullibility, but because Taezer's doctrine of faith clearly states that those prone to failure at their own expense who are willing to admit to their shortcomings will be protected by all of the previously mentioned groups of worshippers, though the vailidity of this statement has yet to be proven 100%.