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Plamen

Written by KoshcheiBessmertnyi

Plamen is a very short, though somewhat stocky young man, standing about five feet in height. Reflective of his partly non-human heritage, he is covered by thick, blond hair, which becomes almost fleece-like on his torso and upper limbs. His father Pavel was a human shepherd from Lazarevo, who wandered into a meadow about one verst outside the village with his flock one day, and had a brief encounter with a polevik woman, Plamenka. From this union, Plamen was born, into a polevik family that lived in a series of underground tunnels underneath that meadow. Typically, humans shunned it, not only because they were dimly aware of its residents, but mostly because the meadow had an ill reputation anyway. It was here that the Kochmaki drove their prisoners from Trofimka after the raid, and here that they were inexplicably slaughtered. No trees have grown in the meadow since, and people say that the spirits of the dead rise from time to time, and wander the countryside around Lazarevo. This may be true, but they do not trouble the polevik family that lives there.   Plamen was fully accepted by the poleviks. He developed a deep connection to the land, as his people do, and learned their received wisdom about all the plants that grew in the vicinity. He also developed a facility with flame as he raced joyfully and frenetically through the field with his half-siblings in summertime. But he always looked beyond the meadow. He liked to wander the woods, but would also occasionally steal into Lazarevo by way of underground tunnels that led from the meadow into the village. He would also become fascinated with stray livestock that wandered in from the village. He would tend to them, feed them, and heal them. Sometimes, he returned them to Lazarevo’s outskirts, and encountered villagers. Soon, some would seek out his help, bringing sick animals and calling his name in the meadow, hoping that he would emerge while they are gone, and then return the healthy animal to the village. More bold people would call on him to help with their own injuries, and waited for a face-to-face encounter. As he began to take a greater interest in the outside world, Plamen also came into contact with an uncle – Yegor - another half-Polevik – who had been trained as a heathen priest. When he came to stay with his family in the meadow, Yegor would help Plamen hone his skills as a healer, taught him the ancient dialect of the Volkhv Order, and began teaching him its secrets, and stories about the old gods.   As his reputation spread around Lazarevo, he began to wish for closer contact. Roughly a year ago, he met his father for the first time, and soon came to stay with them in the village, helping them in the field, and supplementing their diet with wild fruit, herbs and nuts that he gathered in wood and meadow. Soon after he came to stay in Lazarevo, people stopped coming to seek his aid, however. This may have been because of his background and his heathen beliefs, though many of his supplicants said that their needs were now better served by Hegumen Yaakov, who had acquired a mystical glowing shrub that greatly increased his effectiveness as a healer. To remain in the village and stay useful, Plamen went to the island, and asked, Yaakov, against his Polevik family’s advice, to allow him to stay in the monastery to practice his craft. Yaakov replied that this was impossible without conversion, and even in the latter case, Plamen would have to stop using his powers, which, he said, had as their source Bes the Devil, and not God. So Plamen returned to the meadow.   In person, Plamen is rather a sweet 16-year old boy, though his furriness makes him look older and a bit bestial. He doesn’t really understand divisions between humans, poleviks, other nechist’ beings, and animals, and tries to help and become friends with everyone he meets. He is very tolerant of different outlooks, and despite his own training as a heathen priest, he accepted a crucifix from Yurii Yelizarov, and swore upon one to deliver a portion of the treasure to Mother Nadezhda in exchange for information about her old lord, Taras Trofimov (though he never fulfilled this pledge). Plamen's weaknesses revolve around his love for creature comforts, when he can get them, and his pnechant to abuse herbal and fungal intoxicants.   After receiving the unexpected invitation to Lazarevo as a potential suitor to Katarina Borisovna, the smith's daughter, Plamen met Chonkorchuk and Rodion Raskolnikov - other suitors, and joined forces with them as seekers after the Alatyr Stone, an artifact sought by Katarina's family "friend", Zhitko. The path seemed to lie through the portal to the Otherwold, and here, Chonkorchuk and his new associates met his old patron, Baba Yaga, who offered to let them enter the Otherworld in exchange for three services - returning treasure that was stolen from her, returning a servitor who had fled from her, and bringing her a bride who is to serve her. Plamen agreed to pursue the enterprise - beyond, lay discovery and the possibility of an advantageous marriage. He soon learned that the treasure claimed by Baba Yaga was hidden away by his mother's family in the warren underneath Crows' Meadow. The money was apparently taken from the villagers of Trofimka by Kochmak raiders, who were to give some of it to Baba Yaga, but Plamenka discovered a way to get the raiders to kill the captives and each other, and took all the money for herself. Plamen was not opposed taking the money back to its rightful owner, but some unsavory characters who joined their group, Lionia the Red first and foremost, slaughtered his mother (and his pet sheep), while Plamen was held hostage by a local boyar. When he got the chance to leave, he learned the frightful truth, and was beside himself with grief. He helped the group fulfill its mission, but ensured that they did not touch other members of his polevik family.   Subsequently, Plamen helped recover Baba Yaga's servitor Vasya, participated in Katarina's initiation and the confrontation with Zhitko (who transformed into a fire-breathing serpent). He helped the group flee to the Otherworld, was later captured by the Knights of Ritterheim, but escaped from them, and was able to find admittance into Baba Yaga's hut.

Current Location
Krinets
Species
Polevik
Ethnicity
Noriki
Year of Birth
6815
Eyes
Grey
Hair
Strawberry blond
Height
5'0"
Weight
130 lbs.

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