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Ring of Rivers Guardian

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Ring of Rivers Guardian

This ring transforms the wearer into an exceedingly rare, perceived as extinct form of Otani; once child of Laviku, who claims complete allegiance to Makutsi. These Otani, known as Maku after their adoptive mother, serve as guardians over inland bodies of water such as rivers, springs, lakes and oases.


Origin and Creation

Arnaud Lagrave, known in his later years only as the Drowned Man of Sunberth, was a slave who lived in the mining city during the time of Emperor Kovinus Woniam Nymkarta’s rule over the Alahean Empire. In his time, the government of Sunbeth was supremely fueled by their own individual lusts for power. However, anyone of true influence earned their prosperity on the backs of the slave labor who worked the mines. Arnaud Lagrave was one such person born to be stepped on by the upper echelon of society. Arnaud was a simple man. In fact, he was a short, nervous-looking man with mousy features who only ever wanted to be free of those who opposed him.

Arnaud had rebellious thoughts, but never did much with his life. He was a slave late into the twilight of his life, a slave who could not help but regret how his life had progressed. As he examined his reflection in the waters of the river which ran through Sunberth, Arnaud ran his hand along his receding hairline of silver-gray which spoke of all his hard years of hard labor. His body was well suited for a live of digging through earth, but the wrinkles forming crows feet at the edges of his eyes led him to sob softly to himself after entering into an immense depressive existential crisis.

His pitiful sadness went unnoticed by all save for two people. The first being lurking within the river which watched him the entire time. The second was a slave task master who struck old Arnaud from behind for his inactivity. The blow caused him to fall head first into the water where he never submerged. The miners on duty all reported Arnaud’s death to the mine operators, but Arnaud was actually still alive, whisked away by the a moldling monster in the river.

Arnaud awoke outside of the city bells later on the edge of the river. Arnaud thought he was hallucinating at the sight of a seemingly transparent feminine form looking at him from the water. After all, his mind was still half dazed from the wound on the back of his head where he was struck. As he removed his shirt to bandage the wound, he watched with focused interest as the creature repeatedly transitioned from a feminine to masculine visage.

He spent much of his time with the creature, leaning of the origin of the Maku and its devotion to Makutsi. Arnaud remained in awe of the creature, but wished to know two things. The first was why it seemed to look just as injured as himself. And the second was why did it save him. He was too old do much left with his life, but the Maku cryptically told Arnaud that his will would live on to do great things, and then it completely ignoring the man's first question.

To aid him in surviving his inevitable rise to greatness, the Maku held its arms open as it offered to grant Arnaud some of its power. It was a vague offer, but the former slave had nothing left to lose. The Maku embraced him in a hug, wrapping its arms around his neck where it caress its arm like tendrils along the his head. The Maku then began to exude its immense djed into res, then injected its will through the back of Arnaud's head wound to initiate the ex-slave into the arcane art of reimancy. The Maku waited in curious anticipation once the ritual was completed to see if the human would survive to enjoy its gift.

The initiation into reimancy was an incredibly brutal, yet personal thing. But, it was made all the more unbearable due to the Maku's secret. What it had not told Arnaud was that the Maku had waded through waters plagued with wild djed further up the river. Those impurities were also forced into Arnaud who began to mutate at the wild djed flooding through his body which caused his skin to turn as translucent as a jellyfish. His body took on the aspects of the Maku who had initiated him, which in its own strange way, also caused his body to lose its identity in the same manner as a Morpher.

The Maku was fickle in nature, but enjoyed watching its new plaything as Arnaud tried to understand his new form after having become a Maku-shifter. Within a year of his transformation, Arnaud had practically become a Maku himself; spending most days singing with others, protecting the river of Sunberth where he slowly began to lose track of his sanity from intense amount of daily overgiving. He mastered the transition, then returned to make a name for himself in Sunberth.

The city of Sunberth slowly began to fear ‘The Drowned Man’; a hooded man who would pull people he didn't like into the river. Many would watch as the Drowned Mans body would simply vanish; him becoming fluid as a Maku. And vanish, leaving only the victim struggling to resurface until they finally returned as a drowned corpse. Arnaud became a monster to the city, but became a defender of the river to terrorize those who saw fit to traverse the riverways without giving Makutsi her due praise. And even still, his grudge against the slave masters who ran the mines still lingered.

On multiple occasions, Arnaud led many of the mine Overseers to their death. This became such a persistent problem that the governing Wizard of Sunberth was forced to take a vested interest in the actions of this 'Drowned Man'.

Ivander Grain, known as the then ruling Wizard of Sunberth, was also one of the premiere arcane master crafters and lead animatior who aided, oversaw, and constructed many of the advanced golems which aided in the day-to-day operations and control of the mines.

He knew that all disruptions to the flow of treasures being shipped along the river from the mine shafts furthest from the city would mean a loss of treasure use to support Emperor Kovinus’s war efforts against the Suvan. While many of the Wizards who ran the city hated Kovinus for inciting false hope within the slave populous by removing many of the Wizards best privileges that came with their status, the Wizards responded by ruling rightfully over their slaves with a tighter iron fist.

Ivander's plan was simple, catch the Drowned man by being a harsh task master near the river. He studied The Drowned Man's method of operation, which ultimately led to his success. Arnaud tried to assault Ivander, but quickly found that the man was protected by arcane shielding from most of his attacks. In the end, the Drowned Man was slain by a vast multitude advanced humanoid golems designed specifically to protect the Wizard Ivander.

Ivander took Arnaud's remains to study them to understand how a man had become an Otani. As a result, Arnaud's death gave him insight into the ways of the sub-Otani known as the Maku. And in its own twisted way, the Maku who had empowered Arnaud was correct in saying "his will would live on". Ivander ordered that several shines to Makutsi be built along every bridge across the rivers of Sunberth to honor the goddess. It was an act which seemed to calm any Maku in the area, and even after Ivander used Malediction to craft Arnaud's skull into a ring a of morbid beauty.

The band of the ring was made up of a carved and hollowed out section of Arnaud’s femur, and the jewelry held in place by gold plated section of his skull, remains a shinned area of the front of his skull. Makutsi herself had been watching Arnaud with the unknowable curiosity of a god, she saw fit to bless appear before Ivander to bless the Ring of Rivers Guardian, which left the ring with a shimmering blue hue as if looking at the surface of a lake. When Ivander died he passed it onto the next ruling wizard of Sunberth who died during the Valterrian, which oddly enough, at the time they stood on the edge of the river of Sunberth to which the ring fell into when the successor's body was vaporized by the blast.

Second Owner

Uhaga The Slitted Throat was a Myrian male, born in Taloba was one of the first to leave the city to explore far off land post-Valterrian. In the years of his youth, he was considered the most talented scout to many Dhani war efforts in the Taloban army and was often asked to stay out in the wilderness which gifted him the skill necessary to take on the harsh personal endeavor of exploration in his adult years. He was also a affluent dancer in is free time. When ever there was a celebration, he would be the first to start dancing around the fire.

When Makutsi heralded her arrived a day before he chose to set off on his adventure, he joined with the many raindancers to honor her name. Makutsi had long since rescued her blessed ring, and saw fit to gift it to one of the dancers that day. Uhaga was shocked to learn that the goddess enjoyed his dancing and decided to dance with him as he turned into a Maku during the Rain Festival. She touched him on the shoulder, marking him with Raindancing.

Uhaga had already served his mandatory years of service in the military, so was set to wander off on his own adventures to make way before returning home. However, was asked to rejoin the military by many who saw his gift as a tactical advantage over the Dhani and even those beings who invaded from the water known as Charoda. Uhaga was a free spirited person who's thoughts of adventure and exploration were far more progressive than any other Myrian at the time, but he was also a proud Myrian warrior. The call for battle dulled his thoughts of exploration, if only for a few years longer.

His greatest deed was one of an undaunted defender; with no expectation of survival, he along with a fang of three other myrians kept a foothold at the Kandukta Basin after being beset upon by thirty Dhani in a surprise ambush. He used his ability to shift into a Maku to defeat many of his opponents by using the lake to his advantage until reinforcements arrived.

It was an awesome sight to behold by his allies when Uhaga's watery form shifted in size, growing his upper body as large as that of a whale with his lower body under the surface of the lake. His lashed out wildly in all directions, reaching out like watery tendrils of a giant squid at his foes. The Dhani were instantly caught off guard by the Maku who suddenly decided to drown any snake it could capture in the lake, even worse, launching hash jet streams of water reimancy at them. The skirmish ended with Uhaga The Slitted Throat being hailed as one of the few male Myrian heroes of his age. While he never did live to ever explore beyond the borders of Falyndar, he joined Myri's Shadow guard in his afterlife once he died of old age. The Ring of Rivers Guardian was then returned to Makutsi by Myri herself.

Last Known User

Kal Metrini, High Priest of Makutsi's Tower is an earnest man. He spent a vast majority of his life devoted to the river goddess, a peaceful man of the river. It was why he was marked as a Raindancer. Makutsi does not offer her boon to those who are undeserving or lack devotion. She takes pride in knowing that her worshipers would utilize her divine nature with care. That was why she gifted Kal her ring prior to him obtaining his third mark. He was a man who simply wished to dance as he worshiped, but she tasked him to a quest that would require him to enter combat.

She tasked him with destroying the seedheart of a Vinumia stifling the flow of water through the Bluevein as it crafted a multitude of dam like structures to protect its heart. He accepted the quest happily, but knew it was far beyond his skills to preform. That was why he called on the Akalak to aid him in his task. It hardly surprised him when several groups of warriors volunteered to join him.

The journey along the Bluevein went as fast as travel could be when traversing the Sea of Grass. Kal followed the low flowing river until he and his party came upon an unusual sight. The first damn they came across had of a multitude of dead bodies tightly sown together within the patchwork of vegetation. It took them several bells to remove the dam, but as they progressed onward, the kept running into similar blockages. After the fourth dam was destroyed, the river seemed to flow as normal, which Kal was happy to see but it was not his task. There was no sign of a Vinumia. They pressed on for a day before camping for the night.

The night was going as normal when the Akalak on watch let out a deep scream in agony. Kal woke up in a start, hurrying out of his tent to find the camp being attacked by a group of strangely monstrous creatures. Each of them were different in some way. One had horns where another had insect-like antenna, others had elongated noses like beaks where others had snouts of a pig. Kal glanced around as an Akalak yelled out "Wretched Ones". Kal quickly wondered why those who served Uldr would try to halt the river, but then quickly found the answer from his own question. Those who serve the god of undead simply want everything to die, even rivers.

The Akalak were proving to be an equal match for the invaders, but they had a titan on there side. From behind them, attacking any one it could with wild abandon, came the raging Vinumia from river.

Kal knew what he needed to do from that moment. He ran his thumb along the ring as he focused on his transformation into a Maku which shifted his body seamlessly into its humanoid state as he went to confront it at the shore of the river where he quickly ran into the water. The monster lashed out with a vine, aiming to stab him through the gut, but it simply pieced his liquid body, causing him to revert into a fluid back into the river.

The landspawn believed it had destroyed its prey, causing it to turn its attention onto the ensuing battle at the campsite. Kal reformed as he resurfaced from the water, and lashed out in a similar way the Vinumia did but with a long blast of water that cut through some of the creatures vines from the pressure the water exerted. The beast lashed out with another vine of its own, but found the vine quickly decapitated from the uses of water reimancy.

A creature that was hard pressed to be beaten in water, had met a like minded foe in Kal so long as he had the ring gifted to him by his goddess. Several Akalak had joined him once they had slain their foes, failing to keep one as a prisoner as the last foe committed Suicide rather than be captured. Many of the others had also perished, but Kal was glad his party were the victors. They stood at range, primed to fire at the creatures seedheart as Kal shredded away its protective shell of vegetation.

It came down to a battle of inches as Kal traded blows that would have felled a normal man. He used his arms to reach out and pull its body closer to the water, but the beast proved smart enough to know that it would fair better on land against the Maku if it wanted to survive. Kal threatened it repeatedly with the danger of being in water when he felt it was far to focused on trying to strike at him.

He let go of whatever group of vines his watery arms could grab, then fired a blast of water at it gut which managed expose the seed heart in its belly. “Fire” Kal yelled, signaling for the Akalak to fire a volleys of crossbows bolts at it gut. Most of the bolts managed to hit their mark which only proved to stun the monster for just the fraction of a tick. It was in that moment when Kal musted up all the power the ring granted him, then launched a water bolt with immense concussive force at the exposed seedheart, yelling in excitement as the water bolt shattered it like a sledgehammer bashing into a glass trinket, and exploding out the backside of the Vinumia’s torso.

Kal had finished his task and understood how strong the ring of power was that the goddess of the River had bestowed to him. He returned to Makutsi's Tower, contemplating the ring the entire way back to Riverfall. He was a humble man, one that did not wish to use the Goddess power for selfish or petty reasons such as violence. He transformed into the Maku form one last time, just to know how it felt before reverting to his his human form again, then removed it to holding it out towards empty air. He prayed in silence. “I can not keep this.” He said, but before as he opened his eyes from praying, Makutsi stood across from him with her hands clapped around his where he held it. She then blessed him with his third mark, telling her new priest to guard it and use it wisely.

The ring is now guarded by Kal Metrini in the city of Riverfall at Makutsi's Tower. Although a rare site to behold, he often uses the Maku form the ring grants him when preforming his version a rain dance.


Ring of Rivers Guardian
heightRings of Power ChallengeQuzon's winning entry.