Attributes: Invested 2/3 in Health & 1/3 in Magika
Perks: Two-handed, Blocking, Light Armor & Restoration
My first play session of Raydien's story was all about getting into the characters head and taking a close look around me through the lens of his experience. This is the root of all role play for me. Working from the psychology of the character outward is my idea of the ideal role play methodology when combined with a dash of mystery and a liberal helping of open mindedness. It is not essential to have an exhaustive background story, only an understanding of the character's psychological makeup. This allows the player to relax into the joy of figuring out details as the environments inspire you.
The foundation of who Raydien is is based on his cultural and religious beliefs. Hailing from the nomadic Ash'abah tribes of the Alik'r desert, Raydien was raise to be a killer of the raised dead. The Ash'abah are isolated from the larger Redguard culture because of their willingness to confront the undead in combat. While the Ash'abah people are considered to "unclean" for this reason, they are also accepted as necessary to ensure Redguard society is protect from these abominations.
This isolation and tribal lifestyle has imprinted upon him a high level of self-reliance, survival competence and solitary behavior. Raydien is quite comfortable alone and within his own mind. In many ways, Ash'abah culture instills this trait in its people and Raydien is no exception. While many who do not understand Ash'abah culture might view him as an introvert, most often he simply has nothing to say and would rather quietly observe those around him.
Raydien is unique among his people as he is of mixed race. Born of a High Elf father and Redguard mother, Raydien has some features derived from this father, such as slightly pointed ears, almond eyes and golden hair. Despite this is was raised by his mother and fully integrated into Ash'abah society. An Ash'abah priestess of Tu'whacca, Raydien's mother intentionally set out to have a child fathered by a High Elf hoping that the innate magical traits of the fey might help to protect him as he grew into his role as warrior.
Play rules are generally a work in progress until around level 10 this is what I have established so far:
Daily prayer to Tu'whacca - Prayer takes place either during the twilight hours of morning or evening. The time of day is symbolic of the transition from light or dark, life and death.
Undead as victims - Undead are viewed as venerated ancestors who have been victimized and turned into something ugly. The raised dead are not despised but pitied and their destruction is considered an act of mercy.
Make room for the living - The philosophy behind the destruction of undead is not only based upon the Redguard's culture of ancestor worship but also the idea that the realm of Mundas is for living souls and to allow a dead soul to wander Mundas is to deny a living one.
- Ten Dragons - Ten Dragon's Tea and the Dragon's Tongue blossoms it is made from are important to Raydien and symbolic of the flame of passion in his heart and memories of his mother. Collecting the blossoms and making the tea is a ritual he may perform in times of memory.
- Ritual Memory - Ritual memory is a time of extended meditation in which ancestors are remembered and their deeds of both good and ill are recalled. The ritual honors those who are gone and also keeps alive the memory of their mistakes and faults as well as their successes and legends.
- Places of Power and Service - Raydien will always visit houses of the dead and graveyards out of respect. While there he will often look for signs of the raised dead. In addition, he fill offer his services with preparation of the dead for burial. His background as a member of the Ash'abah tribes has given him extensive background in the procedures and rituals of burial as well as a healthy curiosity about the burial customs of others.
- Arkay - Raydien has been taught, by his mother, the religious equivalencies of Tamriel's Imperial pantheons to the Yokudan gods. As such he will often pray at shrines to Arkay while invoking the name of Tu'whacca.
- Dark Intent - The feeling that comes over him when un-death is near.
- The Departed Toll - Those who are released by Raydien pay a departed toll which will call them back to fight with him in times of trouble. They are eventually released from the obligation and set free to travel to the Far Shores. This is an ability that none of his people have and seems to be completely unique to him. His mother was in awe of it but many other Ash'abah were frightened by his ability to do this and his apparent acceptance of it as "normal".
Raydien has traveled to Skyrim after the death of his mother. After discovery of her impending death due to age and declining health, she reveals to Raydien that his father is in Skyrim and that he might also be able to do some good in the troubled land. Raydien has never known his father and has no burning need to find him, however he is curious. His mother gives him a staff she says belonged to the man and tells him that he will recognize the staff when he sees it and understand it could only have come from her.
Raydien enters Skyrim as part of a Khajiit caravan. He offers his services as a warrior to help protect the caravan but the accord is troubled from the start as he carries no sword or armor. He has been trained in the Redguard styles of sword song and turns his nose up at the weapons he is offered. When forced into action he will accept a weapon from the Khajiit but always gives it back when the fight is over. This, combined with his quiet nature and stops for prayer eventually strain the relationship. When the caravan is attacked by a rampaging mammoth and one of their number killed, they agree to part ways.
On his own, Raydien picks through the remains of the cart for any gear he can use then makes his way to the highest point in the East March waste to get a better view of the surrounding area. Upon the hill he encounters undead and finds two relic blades called Destiny and Baptism In Fire. Raydien is a two-handed wielder and Baptism In Fire fits his hands perfectly. The other sword he keeps vowing to find a person worthy of the blade and gift it to them.
Having gotten his bearings, he travels across the waste to the west toward the river and camps for the night in an abandoned shack near the river. Here he takes time to craft supplies including water skins and pelts for later use.
The following day is travels upstream looking for a crossing and is drawn to cave that radiates dark intent. He goes inside to find many spiders and a coven of three vampires who he kills in battle. His travels then take him to a narrow spot in the river where he witnesses the execution of a vampire at the hands of two Vigilants of Stendaar. This experience of two vampire encounters in a single day begin to paint a grave picture of the situation in Skyrim.
Traveling up the road he is drawn to Hillgrund's Tomb where he finds Golldir, a young man near his own age, preparing to enter the barrow. After hearing his story Raydien elects to go with him on a mission to save his aunt Agna. Golldir appears to be both terrified and full of regret for not following his aunt inside and this inspires Raydien to help.
Inside the tomb Raydien has his first encounter with Draugr and his Ritual power of the Departed Toll brings back the spirit of Agna who is able to fight side by side with her nephew and help defeat the raised dead and bring solace to Golldir at the same time. Following the destruction of the necromancer Vals Varen, Raydien considers if some day Golldir might be the right person to wield Destiny and then moves on to Whiterun.
On the way to Whiterun he kills a number of bandits at Valtheim Tower and gathers a supply of food, gear and pelts. Once in Whiterun he invests time filling out the rest of his travel gear with a pack, tent, cook pot and fur crafting kit. He worships at the house of the dead, helps destroy undead infesting the catacombs, prepares a body for burial and spends the night sleeping on the floor inside the catacombs.
The following day he meets a fellow Redguard named Amren who acknowledges Raydien as Ash'abah and Raydien offers to help him recover his family sword in exchange for information about the city, province and Nord culture. Raydien is able to recover the sword and takes the skulls of all the bandits as an offering to Tu'whacca, interring the skulls at the house of the dead. During this encounter he recovers a set of light leather armor and officially switches from heavy to light armor.