Monday, November 4, 2013

Iconic Fighter: Lialla Ki-lal

By Scott Bingham

The raucous and wild cries of the celebrating men did nothing to faze the despondent Lialla. She stared into the depths of her drink and lost herself in the swirling mixture. Uncertainty plagued her and the lizardwoman longed for the peace of Tari Dar and the security of the Grand Spire at her back. So far from home, so far from her spear-sisters, Lialla again wondered at the wisdom of the Talos Bak Sal in sending her before berating herself. Ishari Eye-Mother would not require Lialla in any place beyond where she now sat, hundreds of miles from the marshes and alone in a loud and strange tavern. The men’s shouts intensified and Lialla was pulled into consciousness as she listened to their words.

“I’d wager she doesn’t even speak!”

Lialla remained silent as their taunts and laughter grew increasingly louder. Many of the other patrons looked over at the stoic lizardwoman nervously, wondering if she would respond. Finally having enough of their cruelty the barkeep attempted to silence the men but was immediately beset upon by their malevolence. One man drew back his arm to throw his drinking glass and in an instant Lialla was on her feet. She didn’t attack and she didn’t bellow a battle cry; she didn’t even look over at the men. Silence reigned throughout the bar as the lizardwoman simply stood. Rising to her impressive eight feet of muscle and sinew Lialla commanded the eyes and attention of every soul within the vicinity. Placing a handful of coins upon the table top the Gale Sal grabbed her spears and made her way for the door.

“Thank you for the drink.” The quiet that followed her departure lasted long enough that those who entered after soon left in confusion, seeking a livelier atmosphere.

Few lizardwoman outside the Sala-Ma of the Talos Bak Sal ever set foot at the base of the Grand Spire and the high priestesses alone are ever permitted within the Core. Those who have the responsibility and blessing of standing guard over the most sacred sites of the Geato Abira make up the elite warriors of the Gale Sal, the Watchful Eye. The Gale Sal are tasked with the protection of both the Talos Bak Sal and of the sacred sites of their people, a duty undertaken by only the most tested and proven of their number.

Lialla Ki-lal remains one of the youngest lizardwomen to join the ranks of the Gale Sal and though she is not the strongest nor most cunning among all of the spear-sisters of the Watchful Eye she is among the most courageous. Lialla showed her strength of spirit early in life when she lost her way among the marshes. Separated from her tribe the young Lialla survived for nine days alone in the wilderness and when searchers finally found her the child showed no signs of distress at having seemingly been abandoned. Rather Lialla seemed as calm and centered as she ever had been, a trait that would only grow more noticeable as she grew older. Such an attribute earned Lialla her surname and nickname Ki-lal, Geato Mar for Quiet Heart.

As Lialla grew in body and mind she learned the spear with ease and soon proved herself to be a capable warrior. While on the hunt with her sisters she would show no signs of fear when facing down the beasts of the wild and at times would stand alone when all others had fled for safety. Considered reckless by some her quiet courage was instantly recognized and praised by the priestesses of her tribe. Lialla was frequently called upon by the Sal Abira when a challenging task needed done. No matter the difficulty or danger involved Lialla would see any charge through to its completion.

Her unwavering obedience and silent fearlessness impressed the spear-sisters of the Gale Sal while Lialla was overseeing the transport of an offering for the Talos Bak Sal in Tari Dar. After sufficiently testing the young lizardwoman in their own ways the Gale Sal happily extended their order to embrace Lialla Ki-lal. The Quiet Heart now follows the mandate of the Talos Bak Sal directly, her unshakeable spirit seeing her through any challenge the goddess Ishari desires to test her with. Lialla will not falter and will not fail, the expectation of the Talos Bak Sal and the promise of the Gale Sal.