Loikos Āsc'akir (/'lɔɪ.kɔs-ɔʃ.'æ.kɪɾ/
) is a legendary a'drekh
figure who features prominently in the story of Ha Jen Zi'qar
, the holy war for liberation that was fought by the Krosha
, a coalition of the five oppressed races of the Pāll-tanír
, against the tyrannical reign of the tussari centhiri.
Although there is debate as to the historicity of the figure of Loikos Āsc'akir, his story plays an important role in the history of Ha Jen Zi'qar. All that is known of Loikos comes from a shared oral tradition between the races that formed the Krosha
, as well as written dedications to the character unearthed in a number of excavation sites throughout the Pāll-tanír.
Born to an a'drekh pleasure slave owned by a brothel in the slums of one of Mulrakh's sprawling cities, Loikos Āsc'akir
grew up a timid and reluctant boy. Half a'drekh and half alossi centhiri, he shied away from play with his contemporaries and doted on his mother, taking care of her at the end of long working days.
His lineage and appearance earned him no end of torment, and although he had a loving father, this man, for Loikos' own safety, stayed away and visited only when circumstances permitted, lest the boy be taken and exterminated as an abomination in the eyes of the gods. Though shy, Loikos was bright and quickly learned how to run the front of the house at the brothel his mother was employed at.
By all rights a slave, Loikos never aspired beyond his position, eager enough to please. He learned his numbers helping the master balance the books, and he learned his letters penning stories to help promote the services offered by the brothel and to drum up enthusiasm about some of their employees' _abilities._ He learned how to fight by intervening in tussles between waiting customers and bodily throwing out the more abusive ones.
As a Gladiator
Though life in the slums was difficult, it is said that Loikos never envied or resented those who lived in luxury in the heart of the city. His life was relatively uneventful, remaining in the employ of the brothel for years after his mother passed from natural causes, but it all changed one day when a promoter for the local gladiator arena came through the brothel and saw him. The master was loathe to part with such a valuable slave, but was intimidated into selling Loikos.
This, the legends allege, was Loikos' first true experience of the injustice of his station. He learned to fight, no longer the timid fledgling he had once been, and learned well. When he entered the arena, he was undefeated. Yet, for all the adulation and the glory, he was still just a slave, and he learned to resent being made to kill others who were fighting, just as he was, for survival.
He earned the admiration of some of his fellow gladiators by being respectful and making every kill as clean and painless as possible. His position as a champion allowed him a certain latitude. Using his free time, and choosing his words carefully, he began to foment revolution.
It is unclear what the catalyst was for Loikos' insurrection, but it is suspected that a bad crop of arcane stones to use in the production of rainstones brought on a drought. Consequently, rations for the gladiators would have affected, and it is reasonable to speculate that therein, Loikos saw an opportunity.
Accounts differ as to the number of slaves that joined the rebellion, and, for that matter, the true effectiveness of the uprising. All known accounts, however, agree that following days of fighting, Loikos was the only one to escape. Stricken with grief and guilt, it is said that he wandered the desert for forty days and forty nights, where his mother had told him was where home was.
It was there that the great white dragoness Kaladrea
Knight of Eburnos
Upon recovering from his injuries, Loikos found himself in one of the few still-independent sovereign regions of the Pāll-tanír, the Ascendant Queendom of Eburnos
. He was now with his people, and he marveled at them, for even though as far as technology and magic went they were inferior to the tussari, they maintained a feeling of community that he had never felt, even among the gladiators that he had befriended.
Ever grateful for the new lease on life that he had been given, Loikos would have been satisfied with taking up the art of smithing from the man that had taken him in, if not for the fact that the injustices he'd experienced in the heart of Mulrakh continued to haunt him. When he heard that Eburnos was suffering from the constant threat of tussari invasion, he knew that he could not set down the blade. He put himself through training and gained a knighthood in the royal army.
Throughout this time, Loikos inadvertently built a name for himself, becoming the youngest of the Kavoran Companions
and participating in a number of decisive battles that helped to secure the borders of Eburnos. He was responsible for heading a contingent of stormcallers off at the pass during the Battle of Teshaburos, which took place near a settlement built in Eburnan territory for veldrani
refugees, among other feats.
Such acts of bravery brought the attention of the Eburnan Sovereign, the Ascendant Queen Kaladrea, upon Loikos, and he discovered that this was only just the beginning of a life of conflict for him.