Alchos Character Study

Glasswyn's streets bustled with the din of vendors setting their wares, children on their way to classes, and the changing of the first shift of guards.  Alchos stepped past them all, purpose in his moves.  As he passed a stall, Alchos nimbly snagged a steaming meat pie. "Thanks, Cefarina!"

"Good timing, Alchos!" cried the saleswoman, seemingly unperturbed that he hadn't paid as he walked on.  Alchos waved back, calling, "I'm heading out today, I'll check in with you when I get back."

"Righty! Good luck!"

Alchos quickened his pace, seeing the steps leading to the gates to Odess Intelligence Services' buildings.  He nodded to the guards and ducked inside, heading straight to Master Belvelford's offices.

I see rivers and mountains,
I see valleys and meadows,
I see all the land about you,
For I have nature's soul,

"Tată? Why do you and Mama have different colors?"

The elder Genasi laughed softly.  "Alchos, you know this."

"Because of your soul!"

"Yes, because of our soul.  Mama's soul is the earth. She is steadfast and strong."  The elder Genasi paused, waiting for a response.

"Patient and careful!"

"Yes, exactly.  Tată's soul is air, like yours."

"Carefree and light.  Kind and... nim... nimble?"

"Nimble, yes.  It means quick and easy of movement.  We, of all our people, are the most wide wanderers."  Blue fingers ruffled white hair.

"Adventurers, Tată!" laughed the boy, poking at his father's leather armor.

"Adventurers, my little heart."

A feminine but deep voice harrumphed from the door.  "Ventos, it is time."

"Ay, I know, Thera.  Just a moment more with the boy," replied Ventos, stroking his goatee. "Just a moment more."

Thera nodded, her dark brown hair brushing against lighter brown shoulders.  The leather of her sword's scabbard creaked.

"Remember Alchos. Genasi souls give us strength, each different as the soul, but we as a nation are strongest for the mixing of those souls.  And stronger still for mixing with those of the other races around us."

"Yes, Tată.  I remember."

I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul and love no one,
that's why it is easy
for me to roam.

He lay face down on the bed, burying tears into the fabric.  "But why, Torontris?  Why haven't they come back?"

Torontris stood stiffly in his guard's uniform, uncomfortable with Alchos' outburst. "I don't know, lad."

Alchos sobbed.

"We'll get your things.  Bring them here.  You'll stay with me."

Silence stretched in the room.  "Car'onna says everyone is thinking of you.  She'll be by later with dinner and to look in on you.  I have a duty shift tonight."

"They always came back, Toron...  Ever since I was little.  They always came back."

"I know lad."

"They didn't this time."

"I know lad."

Alchos buried his face deeper.

I hear the stories and tales,
I hear the songs and music,
I hear the joys of mankind,
For I have nature's soul,

Feet up on the table, Alchos stretched his arms out over the back of the chair he was draped over.  "Thanks again, Car'y.  Toron's just been so busy lately, it's boring there all by myself."

The firesouled half-Genasi, half-Elven woman clucked her tongue.  Awash in reds and golds with pale hands on slim hips, she cut an imposing figure.  "You haven't been at Torontris' home in a week, Alchos Ohme."

Alchos laughed, szuldar flashing with reflected light.

"I have not! It must be the wanderer in my soul."

Car'onna sat in the chair next to Alchos.  "So this is it?  You're just going to float from home to home?"

"In the Maelstrom, we're all family."

Car'onna sighed.  "And that's a beautiful thing.  But what about Torontris?  What about me?"

Alchos smiled, dropping his feet off the table and looking the other Genasi in the eye.  "You'll always be my she’enedra."

"Not what I mean."

"I need to do this. Car'y.  I'll stay tonight.  I won't be far."

Car'onna shook her head, but said, "Alright.  Alright.  And of Torontris' offer of introduction?"

"I'll tell him yes.  I'll serve Odess."

I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul and love no one,
that's why it is easy
for me to roam.

Alchos shifted his weight forward, feeling more than hearing the attack coming.  A wooden dagger in an umbre fist flashed by.  Alchos' hand shot up, grasping at the cream colored sleeve and arm trailing the attack.  The attacker's free arm wrapped around Alchos' neck, bringing its owner's athletic body onto Alchos' back.

The Genasi bent at the waist, crouching and rolling forward.  His assailant tumbled forward, landing lithely on her feet and spinning to face him in a combat stance.  She reversed the grip on her dagger and darted forward.  Alchos, leaped up drawing his practice daggers.  The woman passed beneath him, dragging her dagger against his left calf.

Arcing down, Alchos spun and hurled a dagger.  It slammed into her shoulder, stumbling her.  The woman growled.

Alchos darted in, looking to finish it.  He launched himself forward, but realized his mistake all too late.  He landed, digging his remaining dagger into the front of her uninjured shoulder, but her own blade found his sternum.  She was injured, he was dead.  She smiled at him, flashing pearly teeth.

"You lose, Alchos."

A sound like gusting wind came upon them suddenly.  "Mistress Shenre, Master Ohme, you are summoned to report to Master Bevelford's study."

Alchos rolled forward and off of Lerna Shenre, his Human mentor within Odess Intelligence Services.  "Understood, Zephyr."

I see the war and peace,
I see the death and birth,
I see all the bloodshed,
For I have nature's soul,

Alchos hurtled over the barrel as it fell, following the sound of pounding feet.  "Not this time, Dwarf."

Ahead, his quarry ducked between the swinging doors of The Cream Donkey.  Alchos grunted and pushed through them with a shoulder.

"He went through the kitchen, Alchos!" cried the proprietor, a red-headed Halfling woman.

"Thanks, Senira!"  Alchos hopped the bar and darted into the kitchen.  The Dwarf, unbelievably, hopped a set of ovens taller than he was just a moment later.  Swearing, Alchos, darted around them only to see a black Dwarven boot slip out the delivery door.

Alchos didn't follow, instead rushing back out into the common area and into the small manager's office.  Senira called after him, "HEY, OFF-LIMITS!"

Smiling, Alchos opened the small window and dove through, landing beside a very startled Dwarf.  "Scheiss!"

"Durid Thohig, I presume," replied Alchos, putting a dagger to the Dwarf's throat, which was hidden beneath his well-kept auburn beard.

"Blast ye."

"I'm sure my superiors would love to talk to you."

The Dwarf sighed and raised his hands.  "At least have the decency to tell me who I'll be damning to my superiors, lad."

"Ohme.  Alchos Ohme.  Let's go."

The Dwarf grumbled but rose to his feet.

I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul and love no one,
that's why it is easy
for me to roam.

Alchos patted at the heavy scarf wrapped around his nose and mouth.  It wasn't a part of his usual attire, but he was thankful for it.  Barrels of green-yellow powder lined the walls of the store room, far more than the sacks of flower piled up in the middle of the room.

Behind him Lerna made a sound of disgust.  A shifting hinted to Alchos that Melechae, his Tiefling trainee, was about to add an opinion, but Alchos silenced him with a gesture.  The Genasi pointed towards the door and the light shifting through the cracks beneath it.  Their quarry was just outside.

The door would open left to right.  Lerna moved in on the left, ready to push through.  Melechae, as the trainee, went to the right.  Alchos, as lead on this mission, crept up to the door.  He gestured, 1... 2... 3...

Alchos kicked the door open.  Lerna darted through, sword flashing as she moved from the dark storeroom to the lit bakery.  Alchos cried out, "ODESS INTELLIGENCE!  ZEREX, YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!"

There was a small meep from the Goblin woman, who didn't have time to run before all three members of OIS were on her.  Her assistants, however, scattered, leaving half-formed dough spilling off counters and onto the floor.  Half-formed and full of dream dust.

The Goblin snarled at them.  "You won't make this stick!  I'll be back here in a week!"

I feel the stares and jeers,
I feel the envy and fear,
I feel the spite against me,
For I have nature's soul,

Alchos spun the locket in front of his face as the campfire crackled behind him.  His companions slept, resting before the final push to Westmarch.  Three gems set in the front of it, each describing the corner of a triangle, glittered in the firelight.  The symbol of Lliira, the Joybringer.  Her worship was common among the Genasi of the Little Maelstrom.  His parents, certainly, had been devotees, teaching him to look for life's joy.

He ticked the latch on the locket open.  Tată and Mama.  It feels so long.

Their faces smiled out at him, one on each side of the locket.  Ventos' eyes were warm and kind.  Thera's smile was wide and welcoming.  Kind and nimble.  Patient and careful.

If I closed my eyes, now, maybe I could still hear them, still see them.  The thought hurt, like a dagger to the chest, and he pushed it aside, snapped the locket closed.

The symbol of Lliira glittered at him.  He had joy.  He loved his city, his friends, his job.  But the wanderer in his soul pulled at him.  Dragged him from floor to couch to bed.  He had joy, but maybe someday he could reclaim his peace.

I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul and love no one,
that's why it is easy
for me to roam.