Kestar Skrill Geree

I will not repeat what has already been said. My succession to the Geree library does not change anything about our current priorities—it only strengthen our resolve.   I know some of you wanted to be chosen in my stead; I used to doubt my predecessor's choice myself. But now it all makes sense. I understand your fears, and even if you do not believe me now, I can assure you: it won't be long before they are gone.   Now, let us not dwell on the past, but focus on what we know how to do best. To your workshops.
— Kestar Skrill Geree - First speech as a Keeper
 
Kestar Skill Geree is the current Head of the Spire and Keeper of the great library. After spending a lifetime working as a sensor within the Flood Divers, their efforts and researches caught the council's eye. As the former Keeper was preparing for their retirement, they chose Kestar to become the next leader of the Morknar realm.   Being not the best nor most successful student in the Spire at that time, their access to such a prestigious position was heavily frowned upon. Years later, while some resentment remains within some departments of the Spire, Kestar managed to prove their talent as a leader. Their on-the-ground expertise combined with the "Geree" library gave birth to many significant discoveries helping to fight the Flood.  

Apprenticehood

Kestar was born in the western part of Hope's end, in a Saraakian workshop. Their egg was provided by the Spire of science as a token of friendship to the Saraakians. The government was trying to find ways to win back the heart of its vassal, whose relationship with their sovereign sunk after the Dark Flood. Losing all their land and many of their people, Saraak turned its back on the Spire. They blamed the scholars for their losses and were threatening to leave Grishnak and the alliance altogether.  

In a way, Kestar was thrown into the lion's mouth—the source of strong resentment against their homeland which took many years to vanish. The kid's Daygraspian roots put a target on their back for bullies, something they had to deal with for a long time. Still, it eventually died out. As years went by, and Kestar started to prove themselves useful to the workshop, they blended right in.   The Saraakian workshop was working on runes to be used for navigation. They were learning how they could manipulate the saltwater surrounding boats to make them go faster. Kestar, who was not the smartest nor the most educated student, was an excellent rune crafter. They slowly worked their way to become one of the most promising mages of the pack, making water manipulation their specialty. A skill that would prove vital later in their life.
Growing alone among Saraakians opened more doors to me than I would have, had I been born in my homeland. I might even have become a Low-Morknar instead. Saraakians care about their people as a whole. They cultivate their sense of belonging in a group, of being a part of something larger than just ourselves. Something we Daygraspians completely shut away.   Something I betrayed.
— Kestar Skrill Geree
    Their departure from the workshop was due to an unfortunate turn of events. The progress made on the runes caught the attention of the Spire, who invited the crew to demonstrate their findings. Always keen to prove their superiority to Daygraspians, the Saraakians accepted. What they didn't know, however, was that the invitation was sent with the intent of acquiring off the runes. A technology that Saraakians prided themselves on.   As they started to understand the real purpose of their visit, the heads of the workshop enraged. Despite the Spire explaining that they wanted the runes to help to fight against the Flood, the Saraakians remained deaf.  

Generations clash

  As they were leaving, the Saraakian leaders left a bitter taste in their young students' beaks. Many had met a few Flood Divers, who explained the stakes of their mission and the dangers they were facing. Enough to win young hearts' admiration.   Quickly after they had left the city of Nightgrasp, the apprentices, including Kestar, started questioning the elders' decision. Wouldn't it be better for Saraak to deepen their bond to Daygrasp? To claim glory by retaking parts of Grishnak and playing a role in its reconquest, so that their name would be remembered? Wouldn't Daygrasp be in their debt? No. The answer was clear. Saraak wouldn't take the slightest risk by taking part in Grishnak's reconquest. Should Daygrasp fall, Saraak would have boats ready to leave within a day.   On their way home, and for a while after they got back, the debates continued. Tensions between the young and the old generation increased, and Kestar became one of the heads of the small revolt. Eventually, some students decided to leave for Daygrasp. It was the final blow, and the elders had enough. They summoned Kestar and the main agitators to give them an ultimatum, but singled the Daygraspian by blood afterward.  
You... you are a parasite sent to sow discord among us. We should never have taken you in. Go. Go with those you convinced to join your cause. There will be no last chance for you. You are banished, never set foot here again.
— Tirk Fas'Talok
  ... And Kestar went. With them came the vast majority of the other complaining students, but they would not go empty-handed. The treason against Kestar raised a wave of indignation, pushing the disciples to leave with a good part of the Saraakian studies, that they discreetly copied.   A few weeks later, they were at Nightgrasp. After explaining the situation, they were welcomed to stay within the Spire. Half of the students, including Kestar, enrolled in the Flood Divers.  

Life as a Flood Diver

To the surprise of the Saraakian students, the Spire refused to accept the stolen runic studies. The researchers explained that though they appreciated the thought, they wanted to buy the studies legally, to stay in good terms with their Saraakian friends. Still, every student would be accepted in the division they wanted to join.   Kestar went to the Flood Divers. Inspired by their duty, they thought that their knowledge of water manipulation could help since the Flood's weakness is saltwater. Kestar's innate affinity with magic opened most doors within the organization, from Vanguard to Bearer. As they enjoyed building tools and accessories during their time at the workshop, Kestar decided to join the researchers crew of the Sensors. They wanted to study the inner nature of the Flood so that they would know how to put their water manipulation expertise to best use.   Becoming a Sensor is often described as the most difficult route to take when joining the Flood Divers. Kestar had to learn both Reinforcement and Projection, two branches of Magic they were not so familiar with to be accepted. As the job of Sensor requires a strong understanding of the Flood, students are often sent to the border between Hope's end and Grishnak mainland to study samples from up close. This process is known to be particularly dangerous, as one misstep might lead to Flood corruption which can, if not treated immediately, be fatal.   Kestar was one of the unlucky students who got to study the Flood during a bad day. Students usually gather at a location known for having an especially weak Flood, but this time was different. As soon as they set foot in the corrupted area, the Flood stroke. Before teachers could react, three students were hit, and Kestar was one of them. It was later found that a metastasis was forming a few kilometers away from their position, which led the local Flood to surge.   On that day, two students lost their lives, and three others including Kestar had to be amputated. Kestar lost their left hand.    

Getting back on track


Once they were back to their laboratory, Kestar spent a year elaborating a rune that would replicate a hand made of Reinforced water. Since Reinforcement Magic allows mages to change the physical properties of elements, it was virtually possible to make a working hand by combining it with Conjuration and Manipulation magic. A tricky spell for sure, but Kestar was already proficient in two of the three branches that it required.
Many students actually welcome the Flood's bite. While it very often costs us a limb, it greatly accelerates the process of becoming a Sensor since it sensitizes our bodies to the spell.
— Kestar Skrill Geree
  With the help of another student who was focusing on Conjuration, they created a rune that Kestar had tattooed onto their stump. The rune would let them summon a watery hand at will and use it as if they were born with it.   Finally, Kestar was back to work.   After spending a few years alternating between Dives and sessions in laboratories to work on new equipment, Kestar worked their way up in the Spire's hierarchy. They would often volunteer for missions involving metastasizes, asking their crew to wait a bit before destroying it so they could study its structure. This gave Kestar vital information they later used to design better weapons to cut off metastasizes from afar.   Soon enough, Kestar's inventions started to make their way to the upper council's ears. Their laboratory was visited by the current Barek library holder, who later brought the word to Saroj Harel Geree, head of the Spire at that time. Saroj immediately got interested in Kestar's work. The three of them worked closely to develop a new generation of water staffs for Bearers to use. They then turned their attention to designing long-ranged Vanguard weapons, drastically making Dives safer.   Yet, every collaboration had its limits. Saroj did not have much time to spare due to their position and their own studies, leaving Kestar to complete most projects on their own. As fighting the Flood was always the realm's top priority and Saroj was getting old, Kestar's name started to be heard around the Spire.  

Becoming one

Rumors of Kestar being chosen to become the next Keeper spread within the High-Morknars community. Slowly, their childhood was playing all over again as mean looks and blunt remarks crawled their way back into Kestar's routine. It took some time before they would understand what was happening. That their name was starting to come up during the discussions about who will become the next Keeper. As astonished that they were, Kestar immediately requested an audience with Saroj. By the time that the two were able to meet, the whispers in the hallways had turned into loud insults.   Saroj let Kestar talk at the beginning of their meeting. As they were asking questions and expressing their doubts, Kestar's fears turned into reality as Saroj's expression slowly turned into a smile. The decision had already been made.   Saroj then explained what led them to believe that Kestar would be a perfect fit and that they understood why so many people didn't, including Kestar themselves. That they would have to wait until they had the Geree library to fully understand.   On that, they gave Kestar a paper. A date, and everything to bring at the Nightgrasp Cathedral to go through the memory-transmitting ritual and receive both the Geree library and the title that comes with it. An honor one just cannot refuse, no matter how much it can be frightening.  
Don't worry about leadership. It comes with the memories. Every experience from every Keeper of the past, including myself, will help you. Trust us.
— Saroj Harel Geree
  Now that the decision was made public, Kestar could not be left unprotected. Keeper candidates are always a target for jealous pretenders who wanted to have the honor for themselves. Despite not having the title yet, Kestar could already feel its pressure. They were now surrounded by at least four guards at all times, brandishing halberds with more runes on them than on a Barek staff.   Then, before they could even notice, the day of the ritual was here. Kestar found the traditional outfit worn by those who attend the ritual in their room, and heard the bells of the Spire ringing five times; The sign that the ritual was about to take place, asking everyone else to leave the Cathedral. Still followed by twice the amount of guards than usual, Kestar made their way to the ritual room. Their escort waited in front of the doors, leaving only the former Keeper and their successor inside. A few minutes later, the ritual began and would last three hours, turning Kestar Skrill into Kestar Skrill Geree.   Like all those who went through the ritual before them, Kestar passed out the moment foreign memories started to flood their mind, falling into a week-long dream.  

Thoughts Kestar.png

Upon waking up, Kestar had to rediscover the world around them. Things they did not understand before were now clear as glass. People they didn't know now felt like close friends. They saw everything about the Spire. Its past, how each stone was put in place, the people who served here, generation after generation...   But most importantly, they got what Saroj meant. Their expertise, combined with the Geree library and the resources brought by the title of Keeper changed everything. They were now able to change everything when it comes to Dives and cleansing metastasizes.   Now having access to the best workshop of the Spire—probably unmatched in the whole world—Kestar dedicated the first years of their reign to studying. With their newly acquired knowledge, they began with making plans. Lots of plans. Staffs, bows, robes, they reviewed each and every one of the Divers' equipment to include high-quality saltwater runes to both protect and attack more efficiently. Their project of long-ranged metastasizes remover also concretized and the first prototypes got tested on the ground a few years later.   Flood strongholds who had been unreachable for years were now cleansed. While completely removing the Flood was still not possible, at least the metastasizes were losing ground.   In front of such success, most of the Spire had to recognize Kestar as a capable Keeper. Having won the heart of their subjects and brought more security to the Flood Divers, Kestar started to dedicate more time to the rest of their duties as a Keeper.   Finally, Kestar had found both their home and purpose in this world.
Species
Year of Birth
184 66 Years old
Children
Related Myths
We lost our lands because of your foolishness. Even before that, your kin kept draining us from our culture, beliefs, and traditions. It is solely Daygraspian scholars who poisoned our homeland, killing thousands and forcing us into exile. Thus, Daygraspian scholars will have to find a cure. Daygraspian soldiers will have to shed their blood.   You will not rob us of the last few things that bind us together. Not even if it brings you closer to ending this whole mess.  
-Tirk Fas'Talok, leader of the Saraakian congress
         
Flood Divers
Organization | Dec 6, 2020

Our lives rest at its border

Grishnak
Geographic Location | Jul 29, 2020

Morknar's homeland

         
Even today, I still think that Saraak would gain a lot by joining us. It's a shame that their pride keeps them from doing that, though it is understandable.   They now have to talk to me since I am the new Keeper, but they keep each of our exchanges brief. I'm hoping that one day, we can truly work together.  
-Kestar Skrill Geree
               
Being able to see what the Flood was capable of before my first dive was a precious experience.   Losing a limb was surprisingly motivating: this curse took my hand, but it gave me an unwavering resolve in exchange.  
-Kestar Skrill Geree
                         


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The Five Claws' rune, core of any Barek gear
               

... What? The Saraakian refugee?   They don't even hold a library!   Well, I heard that their work was very helpful to the Dives...   So what? They craft some water-splashing spells, and we give them the Geree library?! Nonsense!   Saroj wouldn't dare... would they?
     



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We are one.
 














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The Rune of the 9th eye, watching for intruders in the Spire

Consequences

Losing Saraak

  While Saraak is still theoretically the Spire's vassal, the separatism within its wall keeps growing year after year. Kestar's access to power did not help in any way because of their relationship with the vassal.
Most Saraakian representatives tend to avoid talking directly to Kestar and often ask to have someone else as an interlocutor instead. Seeing the saltwater runes mysteriously develop after losing so many students to the Spire also left a very bitter taste in their beaks, making them relentless negotiators.   Within the Spire, many people start wondering what will happen to Saraak in a few decades, fearing that they might straight-up abandon the continent and leave the alliance.

Empowering Divers

  Kestar's priorities and energy always went to helping the Flood Divers' cause. They spent and still spend a lot of their study time working on improving or creating Divers gear, making Dives safer and more efficient each time.
While Kestar's position as the Keeper forbids him to ever leave the Spire, they still work closely with Divers squad to plan each expedition and collect the samples needed for the researches to move forward.     Kestar also granted their former workshop extra funding to keep on researching new ways to fight the Dark Flood and hopefully retake lands.
 

Further reading


Character Portrait image: by Kevin Macio

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