Frega Artaz

Frega Artaz is an explorer, mercenary, and bodyguard for the Scholars of Sulgent. Though known as one of the best in the business for any of his multitude of professions, his name was largely unknown outside of his own own circles. This changed when he discovered a mysterious new plant with war-inciting implications.  

History and Emergence

  With his rise to fame, Frega's previously obscure and unknown identity has received new attention, for better or worse.  

Early Life

  Frega Artaz was born into a mining family in the bowels of Ligrav. Like others in of similar status, his life was difficult, dangerous, and strenuous, but never dire. His education was limited, but it is said Frega was always desperate to learn and discover, teaching himself to read, write, and and do math in two different languages, from pilfered shop records and the occasional book.  

Mercenary, Bodyguard, Mercenary, Explorer

 
"Explorer or hired killer? He's both. And he's young. And dumb."  
-Ghani Artaz, née Praxia, childhood friend and wife
  Frega was never known for patriotic proclivity towards his city-state. In fact, it was to the contrary. Soon after emerging from under his family's wing, Frega consigned with a small mercenary company loosely affiliated with the Sulgent city-state as anti-Ligrav insurrectionists. He found success in mercenary work, quickly rising in the ranks as both a capable soldier and diplomat. His acumen drew the attention of the Scholars of Sulgent themselves, and mere years after his appearance on the military scene, he was hired by the Scholars as a bodyguard for high-ranking spies and diplomats.  

Rise of Achilles

  With a history of anti-Ligrav behaviors, Frega was an immediate personal supporter of the the coup and conquest of Achilles, though his Sulgenti-alignments kept him from joining the Ascendancy. However, when the city-state was taken over by the Sunmaker, and the Scholars' resources acquisitioned, Frega and his colleagues were allowed to continue operation as explorers and researchers.   With new sanction from a far more powerful government, Frega was able to launch an expedition that would discover an revolutionary new substance.  

The Discovery of Ghazali

  After the political turmoil in Granis that stemmed from Achilles' takeover died down, Frega Artaz led an exploratory expedition into the Esuri jungles, where he discovered the Ghazali.   Returning to Sulgent with samples, he and his colleagues quickly realized the implications of their discovery. The mushroom was quickly explored, catapulting Frega Artaz into the social-political circles of Granis. It is even rumored that he is serving as a personal advisor to Achilles himself on how to implement the mushroom into the Ascendancy armies.  

Appearance and Demeanor

 
"He doesn't really look dangerous. Don't believe it. He'll cut your throat if you get in his way. He's the most dangerous person to cross in this whole court, but if you can get him on your side, he can sway half the people here with a word.
-An advisor to a low-ranking official
  Frega Artaz is a fire half-genasi male. In some cultures, he could pass as a fullblooded human, but amidst the naturally pale-skinned Granisians, Frega's distinctly reddish-bronze skin betrays his Fire Genasi heritage. His hair is reddish golden, but an encounter with an Inkwhip has caused a large portion of it to bleed to black. His eyes are a hazel-golden.   Frega is of slightly below-average height. During his years as a soldier, he was well-built, though with his consignment to the Scholars of Sulgent, and his climbing age, his once-chiseled physique has begun to atrophy.   Frega is said to be pragmatic but kindhearted, reserved but idealistic. Despite his sudden political import and value, he cares for both a wife and child, and is known as being highly protective of them.   However, he is also ambitious to the point of vice. In politics, he is cutthroat and merciless, deftly removing, manipulating, and sometimes eliminating anyone who stands in the way of his upwards claw towards power.

Negotiations

  The room was large and empty. Larger than it needed to be, intimidatingly, disturbingly empty. The walls were a pearlescent white and grey, rust-colored tapestries depicting scenes of firey destruction not covering enough of the space. The floor was the same marbled color, an obscenely soft rug covering most of it.   In the center was a high desk, dark black wood, and at the desk sat Frega Artaz.   Golden-green eyes trailed him as he walked across the too-large room. The ground quivered, and he stumbled, recovered, flushed in embarassment.   "Turbulence of the city. You'll get used to it." Artaz spoke in perfect Ajiri, devoid of the accent that he was purported to have. It was a sign of respect for a businessman to speak in the native language of their client.   Yril looked past the mercenary-explorer-politician, at the wall-length window looking out onto the Palace district of the floating city of Gravesbane, once Ligrav. He hid a scowl as a second tremor went through the floor, finished the too-long trek to the desk, heaved himself into the too-high chair.   Artaz leaned forward, clasping his hands together in a manner indicating he was prepared to do business.   "I take it you are here to discuss a Ghazali export to Ajir." Artaz's words seemed to carry some sort of power, twisting and lasting their way through the air to Yril's ears.   Yril couldn't stop his eyes from flicking to the right, where the room's only other furnishing say. A pedestal with a rectangular ceramic container housing three small, white mushrooms. His heart leapt into his throat. He realized Artaz's eyes were still boring down on him.   "Naturally." He finally responded.   "And what is the noble Caliphate prepared to offer in such a trade deal?" Artaz spoke the words with a strange mockery.   "Twenty million khafe every quarter." Even a lie, something deep in Yril thrummed at just saying the disgustingly large sum. Artaz sat back. He was running numbers in his head, converting to Granis svelte, or maybe Rhaske-Sadish vöner.   "Unfortunately for you, the Caliphate does not have such funds. Do not make such a pretense."   Yril flushed. "What do you know of our funds?" He snapped.   "More than you suspect, apparently." Artaz responded, dryly. Then he smiled, wolfishly. "Walk with me, ambassador." He stood, turned towards the window.   Yril steeled himself and stood as well, following behind the genasi as he drew out a long, thin knife. He sniffed. This would be quick. A knife between the ribs, into the heart. Steal the mushrooms on the pedestal, start a culture in Ajir.   Artaz stopped moving halfway to the window, and instinctively, Yril did as well.   "You seem slightly nervous for an assassin."   Yril swore to himself, and leapt forwards.   He was dead before he could blink.
Children

Character Portrait image: by Yu Khaos (Cécile Ménard)

Comments

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N01InParticular
N01 InParticular
9 Jan, 2022 21:35

Doctor, inject Sovereign lore directly into my veins.

10 Jan, 2022 15:55

Sorry, that drug is in limited supply. Go join an RPG or something.   wait


The wisest person I know once called me a glorious pinnacle of human mediocrity. I feel this is more or less accurate.   (Ignore what my username says. I am far from grand, let alone a master).