Hey guys. I've invested a lot of time in my Thri Kreen Ranger and I'm really digging him. I came up with an entire back story and how I'd LIKE for his story to play out (obviously whether it does or not is at the DM's discretion but in the pre-planning/"encounter 0" stages of our campaign I can at least present my character's story for some ideas.
That being said I'd definetely like some thoughts, critiquing and possibly some ideas/suggestions on my Kreen story here. It IS A LONG READ. So make sure you're ready to sit down and relax before you get into this.
The whole idea is that my character is a Warrior Prince from the Kreen city of Thaythilor. The following is meant to be (at certain points) back story and how I'd like to imagine his story to play out optimally (stuff I'll present to the DM who is a buddy of mine). Again, I realize that the DM may or may not play things out the way I want them but I was just writing my backstory for my character and was on a roll. In terms of where my character will start out from in the actual campaign: at the start of the campaign my character will be fresh out of the "Picture Perfect" arc (so basically everything before the end of that is definetely just backstory). So check it out...
Name: “Prince” Hakka
Race: Thri Kreen
Class: Ranger (Two Blade)
Age: 4 (which is about mid to late teens in human years)
Premise of the story:
Hakka is young adult Tohr Kreen warrior. His father Lakta-cho is the pack leader/”king” of Thaythilor. Lakta-cho is a known name among most Kreen. He is respected as a legend among Thri and Tohr Kreen warriors and at the height of his career/fame as a warrior was nicknamed “The Green Whirlwind”. Lakta Cho is a brave, fearless leader who will do whatever it takes to protect and help his people and race to the point of defiance. He has a twin brother named Ka’tho who is a foil to Hakka (he is a lackluster warrior but one of the most intelligent and cunning Kreen among them). For all his life Hakka has been a child prodigy in the way of the warrior among the Kreen. For most of his life he’s traveled with his father to various locations around the world, experiencing (but not necessarily partaking) in adventures with his father (before his father became pack leader) and learning the ways of the warrior from many great masters and teachers. For these stretches in his childhood, his brother Ka’tho was left home by his father to learn the ways of the scholar and politics from teachers. Hakka has had many masters from various reaches of the world (many of them were not Kreen but different races). When Hakka completes his warrior training/apprenticeship with his father, they both return home.
Lakta-cho was also revered by the people of Thaythilor so much that when the time came, the people named him the pack leader (or “king” if you will) of Thaythilor.
The relationship between the two brothers appears to be a good one. Both their skill sets compliment each other well, Hakka with his might/battle prowess and Ka’tho being a brilliant scholar strategist. The two of them on multiple occasions have helped defend their home city from tribes of foreign bandits/raiders and the like and have proven to be an unstoppable combo (“Prince” Ka’tho coming up with battlefield strategies and “Prince” Hakka leading/fighting on-field with the Thaythilor armies/defense force). They’ve both made their legendary father very proud in their own respective way.
Before we continue, some important notes about the Thri/Tohr Kreen for those unaware:
-The “mantis people” are “Kreen” essentially. What differentiates “Thri” and “Tohr” is whether a Kreen is traveling/nomadic (Thri) or settled down living somewhere (Tohr).
-Thaythilor is one of the major “nations”/cities among the Kreen race. There are also several other “nations” among the Tohr kreen.
-There is a rumored “capital” city of the Thri Kreen far up in the Northern reaches which is where the Kreen “emperor” or “king” that rules over his entire race (from afar) is located). No other races know anything (let alone its existence) about it and any Kreen that knows about the city or its location (most are “thanes”/”kings” of smaller Kreen cities or settlements that must report the status of their city to the emperor regularly) holds that information as secret from any non-Kreen til death. In any case, nobody that’s ventured to the far northern reaches to find the “Forbidden Hive” has returned. Some of them may have chosen to live there as Tohr Kreen and others may have died trying to get there (the path to the location is super-hazardous terrain-wise).
-Thaythilor is the “home of the Zik’Trin” which are essentially manufactured Kreen: organic artificial intelligence programmed for specific tasks/duties. Think the Storm Troopers from Star Wars. They’re manufactured and “programmed” in Thaythilor and are typically known as peaceful benefactors who for all intents and purposes act like normal kreen. There’s nothing robotic about them aside from their requirement to carry out specific duties.
-“The Great One” is in short, the closest thing to a god that the Kreen have (and he’s not really a “god” persay, he’s just the greatest and most legendary kreen who’s ever lived)
-The Kreen view their “group” or “pack” as the highest priority. It’s a tremendous part of their culture. Whoever they consider their “clutch mates” are like family to them.
-Kreen generally have a life expectancy of around 30-something years (which evens out considering the Kreen have no need for sleep).
And so this is how the adventure begins…
Imperial Decree…a Whirlwind Fades
-One day, each of the pack leaders of the Tohr Kreen nations announce to their people that the Kreen Emperor from the Forbidden Hive has issued that there is to be a “tournament”/”competition of sorts among the Kreen race and that each Kreen nation and notable/renown/select few (hand picked?) Thri Kreen packs are required by imperial decree to send their best warrior to the Forbidden Hive/City to be briefed by the Emperor himself in 2 months’ time. If the decided warrior rejects this request, a race-wide bounty will be put on his head and assassins will be sent (in short, it’s punishable by death).
-The people of Thaythilor take a vote and Lakta-cho wins in a landslide on his reputation alone with his son Hakka trailing in second place among others.
-Lakta-cho is in his late 30’s (in Thri Kreen years) and although he’s slightly over the hill and isn’t as young and physically capable as he once was, he’s still a force to be reckoned with and is capable of showing why he was once known as “The Green Whirlwind”.
-Despite his slight decline, Lakta-cho doesn’t object to being the one selected. The people of Thaythilor love him for being one of the best leaders in the city’s history and are fully confident he’ll win whatever “tournament” the emperor is holding easily.
-That night Lakta-Cho sits down with his sons Hakka and Ka’tho outside of the family estate to look at the stars. He puts Hakka in charge of running the city as an “interim-king” of sorts and assigns Ka’tho to be Hakka’s advisor while he is gone. Ka’tho objects as he believes he is the more qualified of the two brothers to run a city as a ruler (in reality he is more qualified and is a far superior political mind than Hakka is but is still immature at his age and still lacks the maturity required to control his emotions and in turn make the right decisions for his people). Ultimately Ka’tho storms off leaving Hakka and his father by themselves. The two have an intimate father-son talk and Lakta-cho reveals to Hakka why he chose to put Hakka in charge. He also reveals that he has high hopes for Ka’tho and knows that his youngest son could be the greatest Kreen ruler the world has ever seen and in time could make it all the way to becoming emperor (just as he tells Hakka that he can be a greater warrior then he himself ever was). Hakka agrees with the sentiment and has always believed that his younger brother would and will someday be a great ruler to the entire Kreen race and do great things.
-Both of them drift off to sleep outside under the moonlit sky.
-The following morning it is revealed that Lakta-Cho has been brutally murdered (his body is found at a different location than where he was with his sons the night before)
-The two sons are devastated by their father’s death. Hakka swears to take justice/vengeance on whoever has done this.
-Eventually it is decided that Hakka must take his father’s place in meeting with the Emperor while his younger brother Ka’tho will run Thaythilor while he is gone.
-Hakka spends several weeks in his personal training facility training viciously for his future task. He secretly hopes that along the way of doing the Emperor’s task he will be able to find his father’s killer also.
-Soon thereafter Hakka decides it is time to leave for the Forbidden Hive (his father, against regulation, told his two sons of the Hive’s location: doing this is forbidden until one of the two sons officially succeeds their father).
-Sometime before Hakka leaves strange evidence starts appearing that points to Hakka as Lakta-cho’s killer. He was not the killer but there’s too much irrefutable evidence and the once beloved Prince Hakka becomes hated by his people, even his own brother. The fact that the people of Thaythilor acknowledge Hakka as the only capable warrior of possible besting/killing “The Green Whirlwind” in combat doesn’t help his case. He is almost sentenced to death but his brother sorrowfully interjects and overrules the decision, instead deciding to exile him from Thaythilor and telling him to “never come back from your journey to the Forbidden Hive”.
-With that Hakka takes the things he prepared for his journey (and even finds/decides to take his father’s old “Green Whirlwind” armor/garbs) and takes his leave from his home city. Hakka knows he is innocent and makes it his goal to somehow prove his innocence to his people and find the true killer to bring him to justice.
Forged by the Great One…Legend of the Star Shrine
-Hakka endures various hardships and journeys trying to make it to the Forbidden Hive but eventually arrives there. He can’t believe his eyes. The whole city looks “super modern” and advanced and unlike any Kreen settlement he’s seen before. It’s a tremendous industrial city that’s hustling and bustling with what looks to be endless waves of his fellow Kreen brethren (try to imagine a Thri Kreen New York City or Tokyo or a city like that). To Hakka’s surprise the Forbidden Hive looks nothing like a hive but like one tremendous, foreign super-city.
-Hakka makes his way to the palace and eventually meets up with the Emperor in his throne room (alongside a handful of other tough-looking Thri Kreen who were also selected)
-The Emperor tells the select “chosen” Kreen the legend of the “Star Shrine” that was supposedly built by the Great One before his death. The legend is that inside the shrine there is a power that can “tip the scales of destiny” (not known to the PC’s or otherwise, the power is an artifact that can magnify someone or something’s power to god-like proportions).
-The first of the “chosen” to bring the Emperor this power will be named the heir to the Emperor’s throne.
-The “chosen” including Hakka set out to find the Star Shrine
Star Shrine Arrival
-When Hakka eventually finds the Star Shrine he finds that there is an impenetrable door.
-A scripture on the door translates to Hakka that one must find the 7 shards/pieces of the “star effigy” to unlock the door to reach the inner sanctum of the shrine (where the power is).
-Hakka sets out to find the 7 pieces of the effigy
-During his travels, Hakka discovers that one of the pieces of the star effigy is located somewhere in Thaythilor. So he uncomfortably decides to head back home.
-He finds his home city to be totally different from when he left. It is a total militaristic dictatorship ruled by Ka’tho. Ka’tho somehow has programmed and is controlling his own Zik’trin army. Ka’tho has the people of Thaythilor under his control via his Zik’trin enforcers. Strangely the Zik’trin tell Hakka that he is expected and that he should meet with “Lord Ka’tho” as soon as he can. The people of the city are ecstatic to see their beloved Hakka back home and some of them tell him brutal stories about how things got so horrible after he left.
-Hakka eventually confronts his brother (who reveals that he’s been using a star effigy shard as a power source to build his army of Zik’trin and start invading other Tohr-Kreen settlements one by one and expanding his “empire”). Ka’tho also reveals that he was the one that had their father killed but said that he did it for the “good of the Kreen”.
-Ka’tho is about to fight Hakka to the death but strange assassins kill him from afar.
-Ka’tho in his dying breath can only mutter that he is sorry. His dream was to be “just like my big brother” and before he dies he is only able to tell Hakka that the Emperor isn’t what he seems and that their father’s death is linked to the “secret of the Forbidden Hive”.
-Hakka takes his leave after he mourns his brother
-After Hakka acquires all the star effigy pieces and gets the power from the Star Shrine he returns to the Emperor (now highly suspicious of him).
-The Emperor reveals that in his youth he made a deal with a mysterious stranger that would “net him immortality”. He would sell his soul for the ability to “siphon the life of others for his own”. The Emperor is a soul stealer. Concurrent with reports of random abductions/disappearances since the Emperor has been in power, the Emperor secretly has Kreen abducted so that he may devour their soul (via a magical music box given to him by said mysterious stranger) and add their youth (along with their memories and knowledge) to his own. In fact, the Emperor has been in power for over 200 years and has ruled over multiple generation of Kreen. The reason he had Hakka look for the Star Shrine’s power was because the Emperor was now aging at a rate that he could not “eat” enough souls for to keep up. He needed/needs another way to stay alive at any cost.
-The Emperor reveals that he is the one that persuaded Ka’tho to kill Lakta-cho. Lakta-cho was meddling too deep into Imperial affairs and nearly found out the secret of the Emperor.
-The Emperor also revelas that the "powerful artifact" from the Star Shrine has the power to magnify the powers of his soul stealing box to great enough levels that he will be able to consume entire settlements and in time entire nations at a time.
-The Emperor tells Hakka that he never truly planned to make anyone an "heir" to his throne as a result of the quest. Hakka's true "reward" is that his soul and talents will now be eaten by the Emperor "for the good of the Kreen".
-Hakka defeats the Emperor and destroys the “evil box” effectively setting the generations of trapped Kreen souls that were in the Emperor free.
-And so a new personal quest begins: find the mysterious stranger that gave the Emperor the soul stealing music box and confront him
Somewhere along the line Hakka finds out that he is the reincarnation of the Great One (take Demigod Epic Destiny)
Thri Kreen Ranger goals:
-You’ve been framed for the murder of your father, the pack leader. Find out who the betrayer in your pack/village is.
-Prove your innocence to your people
-Quell the Zik-Trin uprising and solve the mystery
-Take part in the Kreen King/Emperor (Haazi) of the Forbidden City/Hive’s “tournament” of 12. The first to find him “immortality”/the “star shrine” (Tomb of the Great One?) (then find the 7 pieces of the star effigy to unlock the door) will be crowned the King’s successor and earn his favor.
-Find the man your father mentioned in the past who may know the whereabouts and location of the star shrine.
-Find out who supplied the King with the box to steal souls and what his motivations were for dealing him the box in exchange for his soul price.
-Fulfill your destiny as the reincarnation of the Great One.