Barakah was an NPC with a sliver of a backstory that one of my players adopted as his PC. He greatly expanded Barakah’s place within Cimmeria. While I helped with some parts of the conception, Throgg rightly retains most of the credit and this entry would be incomplete without mentioning it.
Barakah is the last of the sand giants and the vessel of Ammutseba the Demogorgon. His life was saved by Hektor and he promised to fight against the Aractrashan wizard’s enemies. He helped Hektor and the Exiles briefly against the Dragovinians, but was overwhelmed by the dangerous beast within him. He consumed his own ally, Zelus, and fled to parts unknown.
Barakah was born several hundred years ago amid a sand giant society that was threatened by outside forces. The Eimlaq Rimal, as they called themselves, lived in the Shacklack Desert. They suffered encroachments by Bavastatner and the blue dragons on one side and the undead of the Lich Shade on the other. When Barakah came of age, he and three of his childhood friends formed an adventuring group. They did their best to protect their families from the ever-increasing rate of monster attacks.
Eventually Barakah and his friends felt they had to eliminate the sources of their troubles, Bavastatner and the Lich Shade. They moved on the Lich Shade first. The four of them struggled through traps and undead within the Lich Shade. The monsters sought to overwhelm them. Every time they came close to death, one Eimlaq Rimal fighter stayed behind while the others went deeper into the Lich Shade to find the Bane. Barakah watched two of his friends protect his rear while he went further into the basement of the hellish monolith. A few minutes later it was his turn. He planted his feet and vowed to let nothing pass him. His friend, Motep Al-Horth the Prince of Eimlaq Rimal, thanked Barakah for his sacrifice as he went further on to confront the Bane itself.
Barakah protected the Prince’s rear, but he did not survive. Barakah’s body and soul were taken into the body of an undead beast known as a Devourer. He was tortured for centuries, trapped within the creature. Motep Al-Horth met his end deeper within the Lich Shade. The two companions that had sacrificed themselves before Barakah were separately tortured for eternity. None of them every learned of the fate of the others.
Many centuries later Barakah was rescued by Hektor Rackgard of Lakatia. Barakah’s companions were freed from their damnation, but unfortunately they could not be returned to life. Barakah swore to serve Hektor, but asked for a reprieve to return to the Eimlaq Rimal Kingdom and visit his family. Giants are immortal, so Barakah thought it likely that his parents and relatives would still be alive.
Barakah searched for months, going to multiple villages and hiding spots, but found no one. There were occasional signs of violence, but centuries old. As best as he could tell, the Eimlaq Rimal were gone. Barakah guessed they were wiped out by the Bane in revenge for when he and his companions attacked the Lich Shade. Filled with guilt and anger, Barakah realized that his actions had indirectly led to the extinction of his people. As the red storm of undirected rage clouded his mind, Barakah went to the forbidden World Well beneath the dead city of Jeruln. Deep under the desert he stared into the abyssal depths and imbued himself with its ancient power.
Barakah emerged a changed man. His golden eyes changed to pitch black with red and orange centers that smoldered like the embers of fire. His shadow flickered as if cast by light of bonfire and his body gave off incredible heat. Long retractable tentacles sprouted all over his torso. The writhing mass remains barely hidden beneath his billowing blood-black cloak. A voice began to whisper in Barakah’s mind of forgotten secrets and terrible knowledge.
Barakah met with Hektor and agreed to help fight the Dragovinians. Hektor was wary of Barakah’s changed appearance and kept an eye on his new companion. As the two journeyed together Barakah’s competence was clear. He easily dispatched foe after foe at the Battle of Demeter’s Ford. Unfortunately it was also evident that the World Well had corrupted the sand giant. He now shared his mind with an ancient power, Ammutseba, the Demogorgon. The beast that existed in Void and Chaos before the gods and would exist long after they faded from the earth. Ammutseba had been split by the creation of the world and she sought to reclaim her lost pieces. One such piece now resided within Barakah.
Ammutseba’s obsession with uniting her pieces spilled over into Barakah’s mind. He reclaimed a lost piece expressly against the wishes of Hektor and the other Exiles. The sand giant continually tapped into Ammutseba’s power beyond what any of the Eimlaq Rimal had done before and when the Exiles raided the Museum of Power, Barakah lost control. He attacked and devoured the divine ally of the Exiles, Zelus. Fearing reprisal from those who were once his allies, Barakah teleported away to another plane of existence. He remains there for now and the voice of Ammutseba whispers to him, slowly driving him mad.
For those of you that are wondering what class we used for Barakah, he is a Harrowed. The class was written by Lord_Gareth on the Order of the Stick Forums. Lord_Gareth is also known as Jade Ripley, one of the key authors and contributors at Dreamscarred Press. The class is available here if you’d like to check it out and you can look at more of Jade Ripley’s work at dreamscarred.com