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Yuri Barolov

Written by KoshcheiBessmertnyi

Yuri was born in the village of Vladykino to a family of horse breeders, the youngest of three brothers and was often seen as too much a romantic and a free spirit. Yuri's parents Alexei and Katia were taken by fever when he was 11 and as a result he was raised by his elder brothers, Grigorii and Petr and their wives Anna and Galina (sisters).   Yuri is a young man in his early twenties. He has a square, young face, black hair, and a short mustache sits between a pair of rosy cheeks. He sports an athletic and well toned physique of one prone to acrobatics, and athletics. Unless he has recently bathed, Yuri smells of horses. He is a hothead and a romantic, with a strong sense of justice, but also an appreciation for the exotic. He also has a crude sense of humor, and has a hard time admitting he is wrong.   Yuri first realized his fascination with the world outside of his sleepy village when a well traveled Rakhman merchant named Hassan abu Hakim came into town. He stayed for only a week and was treated warily for his heathen faith and foreign air, but in that short span he befriended and amazed the young Yuri, regaling him with fantastic tales of far off lands and stories of great heroes and wondrous adventures. As a parting gift Hassan abu Hakim gave Yuri a Rakhman lute as a gift, for his friendship and listening to his stories. Hassan never returned to Vladykino and Yuri has that lute to this day.   Since then Yuri was rambunctious, bugging every stranger for their experiences, hard to get to sit still, trying at every opportunity to venture out, much to his family's dismay. Yuri's eldest brother, Grigorii, leader of the village militia, had Yuri put through training to try and instill some discipline in him but to little avail: Yuri was too unruly and would frequently be filled with too much wanderlust to attend training sessions.   Yuri at the age of 18, had met and fallen madly in love with a woman of the village named Svetlana when she came to purchase a horse from his family. Yuri's sisters-in-law convinced Yuri that if he wishes to impress Svetlana he should prove that he can be settled. And so In an effort to impress Svetlana, Yuri attended the militia training, much to his own distaste, taking orders and standing in formations.   Four years later, on the eve, Yuri planned to propose to Svetlana, Kochmak raiders flew over the steppes to raid the village. Grigorii, who had some advance warning, sent Yuri to fetch help from their archbishop overlord a day's ride away. Yuri suspected that his older brother knew he would engage a vastly superior force, and sent him away to save his life, so he tried to argue, but Grigorii insisted that as the head of the family and the Vladykino militia, he had the right to order Yuri to go. Yuri was able to get the archbishop to send a dozen riders, but when they returned, his village had been put to the torch, and all its people had been driven off. Yuri pressed Sen'ka Radomirovich - the leader of the archbishop's riders, to pursue the raiders and free his family, but Sen'ka said he was sent here only to secure the ownership records and to secure the village mill - its most valuable property.   Searching through the village for any survivors, Uri discovered and then freed Innokentii Fedorovich (Kesha), who was trapped in the tannery cellar. After helping him up, both men scoured the village for records and other survivors, but found nothing. They followed Sen'ka to the mill, and were surprised to find it intact. Inside the compound, Yuri and Kesha, along with Fedor, another one of the archbishop's riders, dispatched a vasilisk, and then found evidence of dark magic, as well as sacks of coins, inside the miller's house. Seeing a disturbance in the field outside, the three of them inspected it, and then were mysteriously put to sleep. When they awoke, they found sacks of villager body parts nearby.   The next morning, the men, along with Kesha, decided to return to the archbishop's summer estate at Malinka, as they have the information they came to collect. But Yuri would not quit! With the fire in his breast, he had to track down his beloved, to free her of her enslavement and marry her! But in the back of his mind, Yuri realized that every step towards building his hearth and home was a step away from the open road and the adventures it brings. What adventures lay on the roads before him? What com must be mpromises had to be made in the names of Love and Freedom? He rode south, after the raiders, not afraid to face the overwhelming odds. Yet he told his new companions that he would leave signs along the road so they could locate him should they also decide to follow.   After a hard day's ride, and witnessing signs of the raiders' cruelty in the form of an abandoned child's corpse, Yuri came across their encampment. He tried to spy on them from the top of a bluff, but was spotted, and pursued by several of them. One managed to wound him, but Yuri spurred his horse Vera onward, and was able to escape. Discretion finally triumphed over valor, and Yuri decided to fetch help before confronting the Kochmaki again.   Yuri caught up with the rest of his companions when they were returning to Malinka from their second foray into Vladykino. Along with them was Zbigniev Dragutinovich, the miller, who they had taken captive after discovering that he was milling the bones of the villagers into coins. Once back at Malinka, Yuri pleaded with the archbishop to send more people to aid him in his quest, but to no avail: Archbishop Nikifor thought doing this was a fool's errand, as he lacked the manpower to defeat the Kochmaki, and was afraid of provoking them to more violence. He said that he also could not help materially with redeeming the captives, as all available funds would now be tied up with rebuilding. But he agreed to allow Yuri to recruit volunteers from among those in Malinka.   Soon afterwards, Father Oleg informed Yuri that a volot traveler from the north - Bjorg Jorgensen, had recently come to the estate, looking for adventure. A man of that size could prove useful, and the volot seemed agreeable about accompanying Yuri in his quest to track down the Kochmaki. Father Oleg encouraged them to leave as soon as possible, so Yuri sent messages to his other companions that he was leaving, and walked out of Malinka with his new companion. Just outside the gates, they discovered a man named Lokan sleeping in a tree. Lokan jested with the giant by throwing a crabapple at him, so the volot jested with Lokan by throwing him back into the tree, nearly killing him. Yuri loudly called for Kesha to come to their aid, and the chud just happened to be walking out the gates at that time, ran up, and saved Lokan's life. Lokan joined the party out of gratitude, and accompanied the other tree back to Vladykino. Along the way, they encountered a mosquito swarm. Yuri tried to lead them away from the rest on Vera, but Bjorg's indiscriminate throwing of rocks and trees provoked the pests all the more, and he nearly killed Vera with a flaming tree. But in the end, the party prevailed, and made it to Vladykino in one piece. Vera, however, lost a horseshoe along the way, and after getting back to the remains of his village, Yuri found three dozen horseshoes underneath the wreckage of their stable, as well as some money and jewelry the family stashed away under their stoop. Lokan drove two pigs back from Zbigniev's mill, and the party roasted them before setting out on the long trek in pursuit of the raiders.   After Fedor and Alden Gravenitch arrived from Malinka and one of the pigs finished roasting, Yuri wanted to hit the road so as not to lose any more time. The second pig was not yet cooked, and Bjorg along with Kesha stayed behind to finish it, so Yuri told them to follow the markings and catch up. As it turned out, that was the last he ever saw of them. He and his companions Fedor, Alden and Lokan also had a tough time trekking through the rain. After a couple of days, they discovered the Kochmak campsite he had seen on his earlier foray. While camping there overnight themselves, they saw a pale white woman emerge from the woods and head toward them, all while singing haunting songs. Yuri and the rest quickly broke camp to get away, but in their hurry, they lost their way. The next day, they sent Alden off to hunt, as they had eaten the last of their pig, and instead of coming back with a deer, he came back with a cow, and was all covered in blood. Questioning their companion, they quickly discovered that he had killed, and then devoured the cow's owner while in hybrid form. Yuri was particularly upset at this turn of events, and Alden's attempts to justify his actions, but he is dependent on his companions, so he told Alden to never repeat this behavior again.   The matter did not end there. That night, the white woman came upon their camp again. It turned out that she was married to the man Alden killed, and was now set to wreak her revenge on his murderer. She quickly beguiled the party to learn the truth, and then dominated Alden to get into the nearby stream with her, where she began to drown him. Yuri, enraptured, began to worry for her safety, and tried to pull her out of the stream, where he thought Alden meant to do her harm. This, along with Lokan's efforts with this whip, distracted her enough to let Alden get away, and at that point, disgusted, she said that Alden would be a curse unto his companions, she left the scene.   The next day, the party's fortunes improved. They caught some game, and began to travel in the right direction. Soon the rains stopped, and in a few days, they found themselves along the banks of the mighty Udena River. Espying a fishing village along the banks, Yuri and Lokan entered it, hoping to find food and information. There they were entertained by the headman Erken, who told them that the City of Udyn, where the raiders drove the captives, was very close by. Yuri, excited by the presence of exotic Bahites, performed for his hosts, and tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to deal with them to sell the party's new cow. Lokan sneaked Fedor and Alden into Erken's house later at night, which may have caused the cow sale to fall through.   The following day, the companions arrived in the Kochmak city of Udyn. At the gate, the keeper explained the laws they had to abide while there - they could not openly carry weapons or ride horses, they had to stay in the Gaalite quarter on the other side of town, and they had to wear ribbons that identified themselves as part of a religious minority. Ultimately, the companions made their way to the Nart Quarter and found a place to bathe. Alden found a useful youth who introduced them to a Norik monk - Hegumen Mitrofan. The hegumen bought their cow, gave them a place to stay, and allowed Yuri to unburden his sins, while also warning him that the rusalka's curse weighed heavily upon him and Alden's other companions. In response to Yuri's querying after paid work, Mitrofan also told them about the situation in the local cemetery, which was beset by unclean creatures. If they could drive them off, Yuri and his companions might make a bit of money, if the parishioners were feeling generous. Lastly, Mitrofan's niece, the peculiar Agapia Vladimirovna, could put the group in touch with local members of the Banu Tabar, whom she supplied with alcohol, as the society might have information about Yuri's family and the other captives.   Agapia led the group into the main city, and from there, to an establishment by the central souk which was frequented by the Banu Tabar. There, the party encountered Berke Bolat, a local tough. After negotiating with Lokan, Berke demanded a hefty payment for what he knew, but he told the group that the captives were being housed in a caravanserai on Slave Island, in the middle of the river; that many had been sold, though many remained; that the young women captives were immediately separated from the rest upon arrival, and sent to the other bank of the river; and that an envoy of the Grand Prince of Kliakva had arrived in the Nart Quarter shortly after the raiders.   Armed with this information, the companions returned to the Nart Quarter. Fedor earlier expressed a desire to return to Malinka, having gotten Yuri to within striking distance of his goal. Alden had gone off to send his friend off in style, so Yuri, with Lokan and new friend Agapia went off to the guard the cemetery, as they agreed with the Hegumen. That night, some grave robbers dressed as undead entered the premises from an underground tunnel. In the resulting tussle, they wounded Yuri with a poisoned knife, which left him paralyzed till the next morning. As it turned out, they were after the water from a holy spring within the cemetery grounds, and they stole Agapia's cauldron, which contained the liquid, before fleeing through the tunnel. When the party told the hegumen about the tunnel, he surmised that it probably went under the wall and into the main city.   The following day, Yuri and his companions paid a visit to the Grand Prince's envoy, Zinovii Surikov. Zinovii was ill, and being treated by the Fogarma physician Yaakov bar Asher, who became interested in the companions. But Zinovii told the party members that he was in town to find out what transpired with the raid. He knew that Yuri's overlord, Prince Trofim of Ladeisk, would likely blame his archrival, the Grand Prince, for conniving with the Kochmaki. But Zinovii said that his master had nothing to do with the raid, and offered to grant the companions his master's protection if they find proof that exonerates him. Lokan asked for a letter of introduction to the amir's daughter, as he heard that a rich reward was in store for anyone who made her laugh. Zinovii promised this as well, provided that the party gives him what he wants. Lastly, he introduced them to his own servitor - a rooster shapeshifter named Anatoly Frolyn, who would help them in all their endeavors.   Later in the day, along with Lokan and Anatoly, Yuri visited the Kochmak camp outside the city walls. There, they engaged in various contests to try to learn more information, but ultimately, after Anatoly bested the Kochmaki's wrestling champion, the daughter of the clan's bey, Zhuldyz, told them that the raid was paid for and organized by a certain Yaqub, a lord from the other side of the river. The companions returned to Zinovii with this information, but he told them he needed it in writing in order for it to matter.   That night, Yuri, along with Lokan, Anatoly, and, surprisingly, Yaakov, return to the cemetery. It is not attacked that night, but the companions discover another underground tunnel. They also find that both the new and the old tunnels are now blocked with newly built walls, though the builders left easy-to remove blocks in the edifices for easy access later.   The following day, Yuri led Lokan into the city, to see what could be learned about Yaqub. At the docks, they were pointed to a man named Mamoun, who ferries slaves on and off Slave Island. For a prince, Mamoun revealed that Yaqub is actually a fire-breathing zilant, who lives under a hill on the other side of the river.   Armed with the new knowledge, Yuri and Lokan returned to their benefactor Zinovii, who in the face of the group's efforts, relents, and granted them a letter of introduction to the amir's daughter, which Hegumen Mitrofan later read. Later that night, Yuri and Anatoly removed several sarcophagus lids, and set them up as traps to drop on potential grave robbers who might go through the "back doors" of the walls they constructed.   After waking late the next morning, Yuri returned to the docks with Lokan and Anatoly. He wanted to find Mamoun again, in order to hitch a ride to Slave Island, or to the other side of the river. Instead, the party was confronted by a group of armed men who claimed that they are in the service of Vizier Ilyas bin Umar. The party willingly surrendered, and was taken to the Udyn citadel. Here, they were confronted by the vizier himself, who told them to forget about going after Yaqub, as this would endanger the well-being of the city. For emphasis, the vizier also brought out Alden, who was apparently found drunk in a ditch after a multiple-day binge. The companions refused to promise that they will relent in trying to free the prisoners, so Ilyas orders them all to be thrown in the dungeon. Yuri, however, volunteered to go in by himself - he was the one aggrieved by the raid, after all, and he successfully persuaded the vizier to release the rest of his companions.   He was then escorted down to a dungeon at the bottom of one of the citadel towers. The place was completely dark, though Yuri discovered that he had a cell-block mate nearby. Judging by the stench, the man had been there for a while. Though they shared no mutual language, Yuri learned that the man's name was Karim. He was almost certainly a Bahite, and spent most of his time muttering incomprehensibly, praying, and crying, though he also seemed to appreciate Yuri's singing. Yuri did understand that the man said something about the vizier and Berke, but nothing that he specifically understood. Karim also likely through a note with incomprehensible characters scrawled on it into Yuri's cell, and probably tried to throw another one.   When not trying to converse with Karim, Yuri inspected his cell. The grate and the door seemed impervious to his best efforts to dislodge them. The back wall seemed to have some obscene scratchings on it, but below, Yuri found a piece of brick which he tried to shape into a door jam for possible later use.   On the following day after his imprisonment, the guards brought him bread and water. He was then visited by the vizier, who pressed him for more information on his mission and his collaborators. Yuri revealed nothing that he had not already said. Ilyas ibn Umar then pressed him to see if he still intended to continue with his mission if he were free, and Yuri answered in the affirmative, asking how the vizier could tolerate such a vile beast as Yaqub to live, and to threaten the city. The vizier replied that the human lot in this world is a sad one, and that our only choice was to make the best of things until the Fearsome Trial. He then told Yuri that he would be better off worrying about the fate of his relatives, some of whom might still be alive, instead of pining after his betrothed, who was lost to him forever.   After being left locked up, Yuri explored his cell and made tentative plans for a possible escape if the situation presented itself. However, the vizier soon returned with two soldiers, had Yuri taken out of his cell, and taken up into another tower in the citadel. Here he met the Amir's daughter - the Princess Botagöz, whose story he had heard in passing from Lokan. As it turned out, the princess was confined to the tower and never smiles because she has seen a vision of the city's destruction, and her vision strongly suggests an aerial attack by a fire-breathing serpent. Ilyas ibn Umar then clarified that the princess' vision is the reason why he, as a high official in the city, could not permit Yuri to go on with his mission. When Yuri objected that the princess' vision does not have to be accurate, the vizier countered that she had a proven track record, and for this reason, he could not risk allowing Yuri to go forward with his mission.   Yuri was then taken from the tower and brought down into the courtyard, where he and his captors encountered Hegumen Mitrofan. The hegumen had come to vouch for Yuri desisting from his scheme in return for his release, provided the cossack was ready to make that promise. However, Yuri refused, and an exasperated hegumen took his leave.   After he is returned to his cell, Yuri decided to act. He attacked one of the guards before he could close the door, and tried to use the door to block the other. As he struggled, the door to the neighboring cell opened, and Karim existed. He then did most of the work in overpowering the guards. He and Yuri changed into their armor and uniforms, stashed their bodies in the cells they had just occupied, and used their keys to exit the cell block, and enter the staircase going up to the ground level. Here, Karim, who had used magic to withering effect against the soldiers, turned Yuri into a cloud of mist, and gestured for him to follow him out of the compound. At long last, they found their way to a safe house, where Karim gave Yuri a cloak, and then bid him farewell.   The injured cossack tried his best to make his way through the windy streets of the city toward Kesha's tavern, as he vaguely understood that Berke may be inclined to help him. However, he soon encountered two vigilant guards who were apparently on the lookout for someone matching his description. Yuri fled from them, but after a short pursuit, they were distracted by Agapia, who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. Yuri managed to hide well enough to lose the pursuers, but badly enough so that Agapia found him. The two slunk away from the pursuers, and wandered over the the west wall, where Agapia healed some of his injuries.   At this point, they decided to seek out Yaakov, as he lived in the main city, and may have had news about the other companions. As it turned out, he was not at home, though his compound was being guarded by two soldiers. Yuri stayed out of their sight, but one followed Agapia to the East Gate, as she expressed a desire to leave town. Though Yuri could not understand their Kochmak conversation, he interposed himself between them, and the soldier, who did not recognize him, decided to turn her over to his custody, as he feared being absent too long from his post.   Yuri and Agapia then double-backed to the center of town, and went to see Berke. The brawler had heard of Yuri's escape, and for a price, was willing to smuggle them out of town. Agapia told Berke that Zinovii was waiting to meet Yuri's companions in the fishing village of Shatkal. For Berke, the only hitch was Yuri's lack of money, but he suggested keeping Agapia hostage until Yuri found the money to redeem her (presumably, by borrowing it from Zinovii). Yuri objected to depriving Agapia of her freedom, but Berke said that he could always collect the money from her uncle the hegumen if Yuri could not come up with it. At that point, he reluctantly agreed, and the two of them were loaded into barrels in the tavern basement, and then moved to a watercraft of some sort.   At night, Yuri was brought to the vicinity of Shatkal by boat, and then released. Berke's henchman told him that Agapia would be released on this same spot, but only after Yuri brought the money. Yuri successfully convinced him to bring Agapia after he lit a fire in that place. He then walked to the village, and after another less than pleasant encounter with the rude children, found Erken. The headman was not very happy to see him again, but took him to Zinovii, who was staying at his house.   After hearing Yuri's story, Zinovii told him that he had sent Anatoly out to watch the approaches to the village, to make sure no one was going to inform the vizier of their presence there. But the main task was to find a way to cross the river with their horses without alerting the villagers that that is what they were doing too far in advance. He suggested that Yuri ought to find a way to persuade the villagers to build a large raft, but without telling them what it was. Yuri then asked Erken if he had a capable carpenter, and after the latter recommended his nephew Ermek, asked if Ermek could make them a cart. To ease relations between them, he also volunteered to do some work for the village for free. Erken said that the perimeter fence needed to be fixed, and there were boats that needed tarring. Yuri set himself to the first task, and completed more than half of it before sundown that day, in spite of pestering by the local children. In the evening, Lokan and Alden had arrived from Udyn, and found him hard at work.   Tired from a full day's work, Yuri relaxed with Zinovii at dinner, while Lokan and Agapia (who arrived soon after being dropped off by Berke's men) went to look for Anatoly. The rooster-man hadn't returned from his watch, and Lokan and Agapia discovered that he had been captured by Kochmaki, who were now camped out nearby. After they came back to report, Zinovii made a snap decision to leave immediately, fearing capture. After Yuri rowed the party across the Udena in a boat for which they traded the two remaining horses, the party camped out halfway up the embankment, to avoid detection.   The following day, Yuri followed Lokan and Agapia to scout ahead. They discovered a burnt-out, abandoned village on a nearby hilltop. But it soon became clear that the village was inhabited, after a hairy, large humanoid bashed Lokan over the head. Yuri drove the two creatures back with his spear while Agapia cured Lokan, and the scouts soon discovered that the confrontation was the product of a misunderstanding: the creatures thought they had endangered their offspring, who was in the house Agapia was inspecting. Lokan convinced them to trade information in exchange for some tools, and the creatures told them, in broken Kochmak, that Yaqub lived on the next hill over, that he was immense, that he had numerous servitors (some snout-headed, some apparently human) and children (some serpentine, others possibly humanoid), and treasure (which the creatures, calling themselves "Chwee", described as 'magical').   After Yuri and his companions returned to camp, they discovered a foreign woman named Augusta de Urbino there. She claimed that she witnessed Anatoly being executed in the main Kochmak camp, and administered confession and last rites to him just prior. Zinovii was very suspicious that she was a spy for the vizier, as well as of the fact that she was a foreign heretic. Alden was characteristically threatening to kill her. But she did know a fact about Anatoly's early life that the Vizier likely did not, and she had cured Lokan from his injuries, so Yuri decided, along with the majority, that it would be good for her to join the party.   The following day, the group left to explore Yaqub's hill. It soon became apparent that the vizier's soldiers were hiding under the eaves in the gully beneath the hill. Yuri climbed a tree to get a better look, and saw that they effectively blocked access to the hilltop. Meanwhile, Alden and Lokan changed into wolfmen (Lokan, apparently, was one, too), and tried to sneak past the soldiers. They were discovered, and some riders charged them. Lokan succeeded in driving them off, but Alden was nearly killed. Yuri was far from the action, and arrived just in time to see Agapia save Alden's life in the nick of time. But after he was brought to his feet, he began arguing that he should eat the one fallen soldier, as Lokan looted his body. The party was undecided about this course of action, but Yuri reminded Alden the condition of remaining with the group - no cannibalism. As they argued, he called on everyone to try to approach the hilltop from the side of the river.   Ultimately, it was decided that the party should pull back, to draw the soldiers out, so as to find an opening to sneak in. The plan worked, as six riders tried to overwhelm the party, but they were driven back by Alden's howling. One soldier was taken captive, and he revealed that they were preventing the party from getting in, but did not know or want to get in themselves, and were actually planning to leave before dark, when the serpent was due to return. After watching the soldiers sailing back toward the city on a raft, the group advanced to Yaqub's hill, and soon discovered a cave, hidden by an illusion that made the entryway look like the hillside. However, they were themselves discovered by slitherings - fat, fiery snakes that crawled out of the cave and gave chase. These were cut down, though Yuri took the brunt of their biting, poison, and burns. When the party entered the cave, and slew a few more slitherings. A burnt spot covering an inscription was then found. It contained a riddle in Rakhman, calling on the reader to speak the jinn name to enter. Yuri figured out that this meant speaking the language of fire, so he asked Agapia to hold a torch to the verse, and the stone moved to reveal a spiral staircase in the back of the cave. The party descended to find a long regular passageway that ended in a door, but when Alden moved to inspect the door, he set off a pendular scythe trap, and an alarm system.   After the door opened, and the arrows began to fly at the party, Yuri grabbed the scythe, and held it while the party ran under it to get inside the lair. Here, the party was confronted by Yaqub's dogheaded guardians. Yuri was quickly taken down by one of their arrows, but he was revived by Agapia, and then, catching a second wind, he climbed the outside of the guard tower in the hallway, and fought off the shooters stationed there (though not without help). His allies managed to subdue the dogheads' commander and two more shooters, and then, they took the commander prisoner. The latter did not reveal much information, so the party explored the lair, finding the dogheads' dorms, and several locked rooms. After Yuri destroyed a curious moving statue with his spear, Lokan managed to pick the lock on one of the doors, behind which they discovered a mill mechanism. Yuri immediately recognized it as being very similar to the Vladykino mill, and Zbigniew's words about his father killing them immediately came back to him. Zbigniew must be Yaqub's son, he told the party.   Roaring was then heard from outside the room, and Zinovii with his servant Yushko came rushing in to join the party, fearing that Yaqub had returned. Yuri immediately became scared that the party had run out of time, and had not found who they came to find. But the group was in no shape to continue an active search. Yuri decided to leave Zinovii and Yushko in Alden's charge (with Augusta to watch them, just in case), and for expediency's sake, agreed to have Lokan kill the commander, who had become a liability. He then pressed Lokan to start opening the locked doors they had found. Behind them, an empty room with a falling panel trap (that nearly killed him and Yuri), a room with an artifice connected to pipes that released a poison gas (that nearly did the same), a room with curious cauldrons attached to barrels of liquid, and a library were discovered. As the roaring died down, the party settled in to rest in the library. The chiming heard nearby in the night were then connected by Agapia and Augusta to the triangular room, which they determined to be a rotating clock mechanism. After rising, Lokan discovered a panel in the back of the library, which he subsequently opened in the course of playing a game of chess with Agapia (using a set found in the same location). The panel opened, which caused a small dragonoid, appearing out of nowhere, to bite an immobilize Lokan, while two surviving dogheads assaulted the party with missile weapons from the hallway. Yuri ran the dragonoid through (which caused it to disappear), and then moved to help Alden deal with the dogheads. While hanging back to ensure that Alden didn't desecrate their bodies too badly, Lokan and Agapia descended the stairs toward what smelled like a kitchen. They soon, returned with the cook, who, upon discovering that the ilbrary had been occupied, decided to breathe fire on them, and then to fireball them. Though he killed himself in the process, he also nearly burned up Lokan, Alden and Augusta, as well as the library itself. Yuri tried to prevent it by holding the cook's arms, but perhaps his lenience nearly cost the whole party their lives.   As the group settled down to recover from the conflagration, Yuri charged downstairs alone, and soon discovered servants dressed like Hakim, who had herded some captive women into a common room, and barricaded the door against the invaders. Yuri then led the group downstairs after they had rested, and discovered kitchens, work rooms, servants' quarters, Yaqub's throne room and bedroom, and lavish bedrooms for some of the captives. He ascended a shaft behind the throne, and beheld the monstrous serpent that had been bellowing for the first time, but the party soon established that it was not Yaqub, but his serpent-wife. Agapia used a ruse to sound like Yaqub to get the servants to open the common room, and there, the party discovered the Vladykino captives, along with Yuri's beloved, Svatlana, though she did not recognize him, being under Yaqub's enchantment. The party questioned Nuri - another one of Yaqub's sons, but he soon turned on them in the bath, where Yuri wanted him to drink the water that put the women under the enchantment. Much of the group was nearly burnt by Nuri's fireball, but he was finally subdued, and Yuri also nearly felled the bannik that aided him in the bath before the nechist' hid himself with a veil of invisibility.   The party then discovered some salves that healed their burns, and then, confronted the returning Yaqub in the fountain room. Paralyzing him with poison early on, they knocked him out of human form, and then subdued his true serpent form. Yuri finished the monster by skewering him with his spear, and then removed his head. Later, they sought out the serpent-wife, who, as it turned out, flew off in the direction of Udyn. Yuri tried to goad her into returning by firing arrows at her, but to no avail.   The following day, Augusta helped the party crack the riddle of the artifice with the levers and pipes, which opened the door to Yaqub's treasure room. Yuri's concern was always with the freeing of the prisoners, and a renewed confrontation with the bannik in the pool resulted in a deal with the creature, whereby it told them that lifting the enchantment on the captives involved throwing Yaqub's treasure into the pool. Despite some resistance from Lokan, Yuri convinced him that this was the proper course of action, and, after the chest full of coins was deposited into the pool, the lair flooded, but the curse was lifted. Svetlana acknowledged Yuri, and begged him to leave with the rest, so they could be married as soon as possible.   After the vizier arrived with his soldiers to investigate the lair after the demise of Yaqub and the serpent wife (who had been killed after she burnt down a good deal of the city), Yuri worked with her friends to trap the men inside the organ room so as to incapacitate them with poison gas. The vizier then made a deal which involved allowing the party and the prisoners to return to Ladeisk in his ships.   After a two-week journey upstream, Augusta and the rest were received by Prince Trofim Andreevich, who granted Yuri and his companions a reward for returning the captives home, though he insisted on housing them in a local convent while Vladykino was being rebuilt. In that time, Yuri also joined the prince's retinue, and was promoted to the rank of desiatnik, with nine other riders under his command (though he simultaneously gained the enmity of his immediate superior, Yaropolk Khmelnitskii). Yuri was also thrilled with the fact that Trofim Andreevich was a martial sort, who was planning to strike at the Kochmaki, but Svetlana pressed Yuri to use his newfound status to establish himself in Ladeisk, forswear the fool's quest to find other relatives, and to start a family here in the prince's capital.   While Yuri brooded over his future, his companions asked him to take a short trip to a nearby village called Sitnitsa, where a hen had reputedly laid a golden egg. The egg was jealously guarded by the hen's owners, and presented no interest to Yuri. Neither did the stories of a local wise woman called Cherniava, who told his companions that the true treasure would come to him who cracked the egg. Yuri longed to return to Ladeisk to his bride and his prince, but his companions may have other ideas.   Yuri is currently in the village of Sitnitsa.   He appears in Chapters 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23.

Current Location
Yaqub's Lair
Species
Human
Hair
black; and a black mustache
Height
6 feet

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