|Clan||Seekers of the Sun|
|Citizenship||Refugee (Formerly Ala Mhigo)|
The Crusade of Extermination
Born in the autumn of 1545 to a religious family of warrior monks and priestesses, Athumani was raised within the many temples halls of the religious order known as the Fist of Rhalgr. From birth until the age of seven, he was cared for by the arms of his mother and sisters and watched over by his father, a monk and a devout follower of Rhalgr. At the early age of five, Athumani began being taught the teachings of the Fist of Rhalgr by his father and his cohorts. Coupled with the daily teachings brought by his father and his own fascination upon seeing the fighting prowess the elder monks of the order, Athumani devoted himself to the Fist of Rhalgr, believing that if he trained his mind and body rigorously through constant invigoration and refinement, he would reach the strength of Rhalgr himself.
During the summer of 1552, King Theodorac, the King of Ruin and last seat of Ala Mhigan royalty, led his vast army of zealot lancers to exterminate the followers of the Fist and spill blood upon the halls of their temples.
In the dead of the night, the temple which Athumani and his family resided in was attacked by Theodorac’s army. Ballistas fired flaming projectiles to set the temple ablaze, leaving the holy site engulfed in a grand spectacle of fire. Caught by the surprise, the monks within launched a counter offensive to the preemptive strike, battling the lancer legions of Ala Mhigo in bloody mortal combat. The priestesses within began gathering the women and children, making an attempt to escape through the rear passages of the temple.
As monk after monk fell and blood was spilled across the temple floor, the Ala Mhigan force began slaughtering the women and children they came upon. Among them were Athumani’s mother and older sisters. Athumani, along with his youngest sister, managed to escape the burning temple with the aid of his mortally wounded father. As he held his dying father in his arms, Athumani swore to him that he would exact revenge on King Theodorac and the Ala Mhigan’s who slaughtered his family.
The Journey South
Over the course of five years, Athumani and his sister travelled towards the southern tip of Aldernard to escape the grasp of the maniacal King, eventually meeting and joining another group of refugees stopped along the road near the many destroyed sites similar to the one they had left. Entering the Twelveswood, the group came across a tribe of Miqo’te who took pity on the people, gracing them with hospitality. They stayed there for a time, though they were unable to linger within the forest for longer than a few moons due to the threat of Green Wrath plaguing the exiled people and, worst yet, gathering the ire of the elementals of the forest.
The refugees continued south along the road until they came upon the canyons of Thanalan. Upon finding other survivors and refugees who fled Ala Mhigo herself, Athumani learned from the lost people that the royal palace had been stormed and Theodorac, King of Ruin, had been thrown down from his throne in a city wide revolt before committing suicide himself. Sensing a glimmer of hope, Athumani wished to return to Ala Mhigo to join the other monks of the Fist of Rhalgr in order to create a new governing body over the city. However, before he could let the words leave his lips, news was given to the group that the Imperial army of Garlemald had annexed the city, claiming it as Garlean territory and appointing the legatus Gaius van Baelsar as viceroy of the city-state.
The group of refugees, consisting of both Ala Mhigan citizens and followers of the Fist of Rhalgr, set aside their differences and pinned the cause of the massive bloodshed on the maniacal tyrant. Still, Athumani continued to harbor a great deal of resentment towards the ex-Ala Mhigan soldiers in their company, unable to fully forgive the atrocities committed upon his family and friends.
Coming upon a small settlement of exiled Ala Mhigans settled deep in the crags near the flats of Halatali, Athumani and the rest of the weary group settled down at the camp - their new home.
(The next seven years will be explained in a series of short stories)
Prospect of Future
Athumani, now nineteen cycles old, began growing weary of Little Ala Mhigo. He desired to return to his homeland of Gyr Abania with his sister to give his deceased family a proper burial. It was also during this time that his young ears began to hear the whispers of revolt of the Garlean occupation of the annexed city-state. Other whispers among the refugee camp spread, telling tales of the last true heir to the Ala Mhigan court, Theodorac’s nephew, to be alive and well.
An idea manifested in his mind. Coupled with the charred manuscripts he found amongst the rubble the various temple ruins, he’d continue to practice the teachings that his father passed down to him before his death. From there, he’d taking his honed skills to Ul’dah to prove his prowess on the Blood Sands - following the footsteps of the Bull of Ala Mhigo himself. In time, he’d surely garner the attention of Raubahn Aldyn, the Bull himself and fellow Ala Mhigan. He’d somehow convince him to take up arms for Ala Mhigo, and together with the rest of the Ala Mhigan refugees, they would take back their homeland from the Garleans by force .
Setting his plan into motion, he left his sister in the care of his elderly uncle who they had come across during their journey south. His uncle, a devout follower of the Fist much like Athumani’s father, chastised the boy for chasing such a futile endeavor and protested that his place was by his remaining family. Young and brash, Athumani rebuked his elder by accusing the once proud monk of abandoning the ways of the Fist of Rhalgr, and in turn, his faith and his people. A bitter feud embroiled the two monks. Fuming with anger and seeking to prove his uncle wrong, Athumani set off towards Ul’dah. However, before he could leave he was stopped by his sister. Wishing her brother luck and Rhalgr’s blessings, she handed her sibling her prayer beads as a way to remember her by before embracing him and seeing him off.
Hand Over Fist
Athumani arrived in Ul’dah by dawn of the next day, having hopped onto the back of a passing carriage which had been travelling along the Royal Sunway towards the city. As he made his way through the bustling market streets, he was met with many side long glances from the citizens of Ul’dah - clearly not accustomed to seeing the rough and tumbled Miqo’te dressed in dirty and tattered monk garb. Knowing nothing of the city, save for the Coliseum and her Blood Sands, Athumani made his way to the Platinum Mirage’s Pugilist Guild upon hearing the high standing the guild had.
Entering the halls of the guild, he was greeted by the meek smile of the desk receptionist. He inquired what the purpose of the guild was, who a pugilist were, and other details of their history. He was met with a barrage of answers while he mocking undertones in the words of the receptionist answering failed to stay hidden and subtle. As Athumani expressed that he wished to join the guild, the pugilist before him simply laughed, stating that the guild was no home for street rats and lowly beggars, let alone Ala Mhigan filth. Angered by the man’s comments and blatant disrespect, Athumani grabbed the man by his collar to pull him over the counter before throwing him to the ground and beating the him to an inch of his life.
With blood on his hands, the pugilist of the guild erupted in a frenzy at the sight of the new comer’s actions and demanded he be punished for his display of disrespect to them. Headstrong and stubborn as always, Athumani demanded that if they wished to punish him, they should do so by fighting him. The tension escalated quickly as a trio of newly inducted pugilist began to rush the monk in a flurry of punches. Making use his brute strength over their still under-developed hand to hand fighting skills, he overpowered the three pugilists with relative ease.
The scene began to draw in a large crowd as the wayward refugee challenged the higher standing pugilist to a fight. Not willing to be made a fool in the face of the public, the pugilists accepted the challenge, sending out one of their seated ranking members to challenge the monk.
As the two clashed in combat within the ring of spectators that had formed around them, Athumani and the pugilist he was facing off against found themselves at rather even odds despite their clear differences in their combat styles. As the fight pressed on, the spectators cheered on the pugilist while insulting the foreign monk, throwing slurs to insult his Ala Mhigan bloodline while jabbing at Athumani in disgust. The two fighters exchanged heavy blows, both receiving jarring strikes to their faces and bodies - internal bleeding and severe bruising being inflicted upon them both. Finally gaining the upper hand despite the interfering crown, Athumani began to pummel his fist down onto his opponents face, creating a bloody mess in his blind rage.
Having lost control of his senses, several other pugilist pulled Athumani off their comrade before kicking the downed Miqo’te in his ribs repeatedly. As a higher ranked pugilist called for the fighting to stop, the crowd gasped as they looked upon the battered face of the man who had faced off against the furious monk. Bringing himself to sit up, Athumani saw the damage he had wrought upon his challenger in full clarity. The man had been beaten until his face was unrecognizable, and worst still, one of his eyes had been gouged in the relentless pummeling he had received.
The guild erupted once more in a roar of anger, the crowd called for justice against the outsider. As one of the pugilist of the guild drew a dagger from his belt, the others he faced held Athumani in a tight grip as the audience began to chant out repeatedly, “an eye for an eye!”. In one swift motion, the pugilist slashed at Athumani’s face who managed to jerked his head out of the grasp of the men holding him. Though partially free of the tight grip he was locked in, he was unable to escape the blade of the dagger - the tip of the knife slashing down his face and across his eye in one vertical stroke causing a deep crimson stream of blood to quickly gush from the fresh cut.
Satisfied with leaving the Miqo’te half blind, the pugilist ordered the men to toss the vagrant to the sands outside the city gates to let the carrion deal with him. Calling upon the Brass Blades, the city guard arrived to remove the vermin from the halls of the guild, carrying and tossing the injured and still bleeding man to the scorching sands of Thanalan. Athumani, shocked by his newfound affliction and severely fatigued from his last fight, passed out in the sand as he bled out while the sun sat high over head.
Having lost a great deal of blood, the unconscious monk laid in the burning sand as buzzards began circling high overhead, clearly waiting for their next meal to finish cooking in the sunlight.
Locked in his own psyche, Athumani found himself trapped within the blank field of his own subconscious. As recollected memories of his past constructed themselves before his eyes, they were quickly set ablaze and turned into ash before he could react to them. Filled with despair and regret, Athumani grovelled to his knees, berating himself for his weakness and failure. As he shouted out and cursed himself within the empty hollow of his subconscious, a dark figure began to form, having taken on a featureless silhouette of a man. He gazed upon the figure as a white sliver of light appeared on the shadows face where a mouth would be, slowly forming into an arrogant smirk.
Though he was taken aback by the figure, Athumani took a step forward towards the smirking shadow, stretching a hand towards the dark being. Before his fingers could make contact with the empty blackness which made up the shadow, the figure grabbed hold of Athumani’s arm, the smirk on its face widening. The shadow finally spoke to the startled monk, chastising Athumani for letting himself reach this low point. Inquiring what point he had reached, the figure simply laughed when he responded to Athumani that he was in fact dead, or at least, on the verge of dying.
His eyes widened upon hearing the shadow’s words, the events leading up to this point rushing back to him in one instance. Looking for answers, Athumani asked what the being before him truly was. The shadow merely laughed again, this time its voice becoming more defined to match Athumani’s own voice. Shocked by what he was hearing, Athumani attempted to reel back from the shadow who began gripping his arm tighter in its grasp.
As the dark being mocked the monk and explained that it was merely the manifestation of Athumani’s own consciousness, the empty blackness which constructed it began to dematerialize into particles of aether, exposing an exact copy of Athumani beneath. Releasing its grip on his arm, the doppelganger pushed Athumani down to the ground to stand over him, laughing all the while as memories began to rapidly build themselves once more around them, tormenting Athumani with images of the night the temple purge.
The subconscious construct offered the dying monk a choice. He could either die here and now and let himself die a failure, or he could stand up and fight to break free of the prison he was in. Not one to back down from such an offer, Athumani rose to his feet, explaining how he refused to let himself die so easy.
Grinning at his answer, the copycat nodded and began to attack the monk relentlessly, throwing him around the once empty field which had now been filled with the burning ruins of the temple Athumani had been raised in. As the shadow mocked him, Athumani managed to regain his footing and stance, putting up an even fight against his reflection until he gained the upper hand.
Managing to pin his dark mirror to the ground, Athumani prepared to deal the killing blow. However before he could throw his fist towards the creature, the doppelganger changed forms to take on the visage of his sister. Unable to strike the face of the only family he had left, the shadow began to laugh maniacally, telling Athumani how he was too weak to do what it took to live. As Athumani fell back, the shadow rose to its feet once more, returning to its original form of a featureless shadow as the scene around them began to slowly dissolve into the air until it was just an empty canvas once more.
The shadow offered his hand to Athumani, the wicked grin on its face having returned as well. As the being smirked down on him, Athumani reached up to the dark figure, his fingers making contact with the black smoke like substance that created his copy. Before he could reel back, he was engulfed in a cloud of blackness, the demonic grin laughing as Athumani was caught in a dome of darkness, the slit of a mouth the only thing left visible to the monk. As his subconscious sucked him further into the dark cloud, Athumani’s own voice rang in his ear - the shadow explaining how it was taking over him because he was too weak.
The white slit of a mouth widened in the otherwise pitch black dome the Miqo’te was caught in, blinding and engulfing Athumani in a bright light before leaving him senseless and lost within the white.
Training Tigers and Lions
Athumani jolted up from his sleep, sitting upright and panting for air as he stared wildly at the foot of the bed he had been resting in. Reaching to his face to wipe the sweat from his brow, he realized that someone had wrapped a roll of medical gauze tightly around his face - covering the damaged eye which had been slashed in his last fight. Recollecting his thoughts for a brief moment and accepting he been blinded eye, he turned to examine the small tent he was in.
Before long, he realized that his injuries had been dressed completely and a pungent salve had been rubbed over his wounds beneath the cotton wrappings. Finding his blood stained robes on a nearby stool and donning his tattered garb once more, he stepped from the tent into the chilling air that was Thanalan’s desert night. A camp fire crackled beneath an iron pot filled with a bubbling stew of buffalo sirloin and popotos, the scent of which quickly meeting Athumani’s nose and reminding his stomach of the need for food.
With his stomach grumbling, Athumani helped himself to a serving of the soup upon finding a clay bowl set on a nearby rock by the fire pit. After scarfing the meal down, he contemplated going in for another hearty helping, only to realize that doing so would empty the pot. Not willing to disrespect whoever tended to his wounds, Athumani set the bowl down before leaving the quiet camp, making his way down a winding canyon path.
Though he still felt rather weak due to being bed rested for an unknown period of time, Athumani felt strangely invigorated and ready to fight once again. Even with one eye, he felt he was ready to fight again and his blood began to boil as he came down the path and set his eyes upon the night-time skyline of Ul’dah, its magnificent golden glow of torches emanating from over the high city walls.
He continued down the road, finding his way back to the Royal Sunway which led to the Gates of Nald. Though his innate desire wanted to return to the city and prove his mettle against the pugilist once more,, he began thinking about his original plan to fight on the Blood Sands and the promise he had made to his sister. Reaching to his eye once more as he clutched onto the rosary beads his sister had given him, he realized that with his newfound blindness, he was at a strict disadvantage until he could learn how to overcome his handicap. Reassessing himself and replaying his recent battles again in his head, he realized that he needed to further his skill and train his mind and body to a greater level before thinking to challenge the guild once more.
Turning west, Athumani began heading down the road towards Vesper Bay, making the trek in the dead of night with little to no care as to what he might encounter on the way. After several bells of tireless walking, he came upon an aetheryte camp as the sun began to break over the towering crags and canyons. The camp was littered with adventurers - some huddled around the campfire as they cooked their morning meals and chatted amongst one another, others readying their packs to set off for a new day, while still others continued to slumber in their bedrolls which were sprawled in front of miniature scaled cities constructed of tents and chocobos.
As he approached the camp, his stomach began to rumble from the pit of his belly once more. The lack of food due to his bed rest was clearly taking a heavy toll on him. With no gil and nothing on him worth of value to sell or barter, his only thinkable option at the time was to steal from someone who wouldn’t mess a loaf of bread or two.
Subtly scanning the travelers around the camp, he searched for an easy target to steal from. As he was feeling weaker than earlier, he was looking to avoid a fight if possible, finally setting his eyes upon a tent beneath a large savanna tree.
Silently creeping up to the tent to check for the adventurer who claimed it as their own, Athumani found an old man sleeping in his bed roll within the rickety canvas tent. Though he took no pleasure in stealing from the decrepit old highlander, he snuck into the tent and began searching the elderly mans pack. Upon finding several dried and salted meats and some sticky rice wrapped in a large banana leaf, Athumani grinned to himself as a thought struck him.
Looking to the sleeping man once more, Athumani crawled over to him to search for any jewelry that may be worth some value back in Ul’dah. Carefully removing the cover of the bed roll from the man, Athumani gently lifted the man’s hand to look upon his fingers for any rings before noticing a ornate pendant hanging from the man’s neck. As his eye homed in on the pendant, Athumani realized that the symbol etched on to the stone set within the gold trim was the symbol of Rhalgr, god of destruction and breaker of worlds.
As his hand reached to the pendant almost subconsciously, his eye affixed on the symbol, the hand of the sleeping man suddenly gripped Athumani’s wrist. Shocked and stunned by the sudden grab, Athumani looked to the man’s face, expecting a look of anger and fury. However, much to his surprise, he found that the decrepit old man was still sleeping, yet his hand was gripping Athumani’s wrist as tight as one would awake. Perplexed, the monk attempted to pry himself free of the man’s grip without waking him.
Trying to break free of the iron like monkey-grip which locked onto his wrist, Athumani scowled and cursed his ill luck. Preoccupied with the matter at hand, he didn’t hear the canvas of the tent flip open as a young girl stepped in behind him. Seeing a strange man crouched before her elder, the girl screamed out, waking the old man who released his grip on Athumani’s wrist. Free from his handcuff, he looked behind him to met the girl’s leg sweeping towards his head , barely ducking in time to dodge it.
The old man, now sitting upright in his bed mat, held the girl’s foot in one hand while an open palm rested on Athumani’s neckline, ready to strike down while sending a passive threat to the would-be thief. The girl, a highlander clearly in her late teens glared at the Miqo’te while the bearded man behind him inquired calmly who the one eyed man before him was. Athumani, feeling a sense of great pressure and strength emanating from the elderly highlander, felt compelled to confess to his actions, which upon hearing, the old man released the girl’s leg from his tight grip and removed his palm from Athumani’s person.
Laughing, the old man introduced himself and his granddaughter to the perplexed Athumani. As the Athumani apologized and attempted to return the stolen foodstuffs, the elder simply pushed the offerings back to the monk, telling him to keep the stolen food and even going so far as to invite the man in tattered Fist of Rhalgr garb to stay and drink tea with him and his granddaughter.
Unable to turn down the offer, the three talked over breakfast and tea with Athumani explaining to the duo before him of his heritage, which the old man seemed very interested to know more about. Before long, the elder wearing the pendant of Rhalgr explained to the monk that he and his granddaughter are also of Ala Mhigan descent and are practitioners of the Fist of Rhalgr as well. He explained how he escaped with his infant granddaughter during the purging of the Fist and fled Gyr Abania to escape the bloodshed brought about by the crusade.
The elder also revealed to Athumani that he and his granddaughter were on a pilgrimage of sorts, headed across the realm to visit shrines created by other survivors of the crusade of Theodorac. Upon hearing this, Athumani bowed before the old monk before him to ask to join the two on their journey in hopes that he would learn more about the way of the Fist of Rhalgr while growing stronger in doing so.
Though his granddaughter disagreed vehemently, the elderly monk agreed to let Athumani along with them, but only on the condition that wild and undisciplined monk abide by the teachings and creeds the elder had been passing down to his pupil. Agreeing to his conditions, Athumani joined the two on their pilgrimage.
An End of an Era
A Realm Reborn
Height: 6 fulms and 2 ilms
Hair: Dark umber, nearly black
Complexion: Although possessing natural smooth skin, he his rather rough in complexion and his face is marred by various scars. A long vertical scar runs down his right eye, while two sets of Miqo'te tribal tattoos run across both cheeks.
Build: Very chiseled and muscular in tone.
Attire: Athumani typically dons loose fitting and light colored robes commonly found on those who take up residence in Thanalan's scorching heat. However, he is far more likely to take up the robes passed down to him by his uncle, a survivor of the Crusade of Extermination and a devout follower of the Fist of Rhalgr. To this end, Athumani wears clothing made from parts of the monk's traditional garb with some alterations and coupling it with a black robe which he wears openly, exposing his bare chest.