You were raised a warrior; a fighter for the peoples of Maravan. Maravan is a great city that many people, of all species, can call home. As a fighter, you rose in ranks quickly, soon becoming a leader in the Maravan armies. Unlike most militaries, the Maravan army did not wage battles with other kingdoms, instead, this military was built for defense alone.
A great being, known by the common folk as Tulakk waged war upon all peoples; its eyes now being fixed on Maravan. Tulakk sent countless waves of demons to sack your city, but you never let them win. Battle after battle, year after year, you held back Tulakk’s forces, becoming stronger and wiser in the process.
As time went on, you received word that Tulakk, himself was going to appear on the battlefield. It would be soon. You gathered your men and planned an attack. You devised a plan that would leave Tulakk exposed, then you would finally strike down this mortal enemy.
The leaders of Maravan agreed to your plans and funded your mission. You set out for the Palenir Fields, where the final battle would commence. Your soldiers took their positions and waited. They waited for what seemed to become an eternity. Time seemed too slow and the air became still.
Then you heard it… the sound of drums. The drums came from all around you, surrounding your squad. A look of dread filled your soldiers eyes, for they realized, just as you did, that this was a trap.
Your soldiers, who were previously separated in their tactics, now regrouped, forming one large circle in the center of the field. Arrows darkened the skies for a moment. The next thing you remember is the screams of your men. Arrows pieced your shoulder, your belly, your leg, yet you still stood, never giving up the fight. A small group of your soldiers still stood as well. They grouped together and formed a shield wall.
Then you saw it, the horde. The never ending horde of demons of the Waking Inferno, marching towards you in the distance. Death was calling to you all and you knew your group would not survive.
In a last ditch effort you told your squad to retreat. You alone, would stand against the fires of death that marched towards you. Your healer cleansed you of your ailments and the group retreated to the south. You stood alone, watching as the endless horde grew closer and closer. They charged.
With sword and shield drawn you slew many, never recognizing where sword ended and bodies began. Black blood spat upon your face from the dismembered bodies you left behind. For a moment, you felt hope.
“Where is Tulakk! Face Me, You Coward!” You called from the battlefield.
At that moment, the fighters halted, they lowered their weapons and moved backwards, regrouping into a complete line. Dark clouds covered the sun and the battlefield became dark. The monsters began chanting, calling for Tulakk. They bashed their swords onto their shields, rallying their master. Bolts of lightning began striking from the sky. These were no ordinary lightning bolts. Fire sun from their strikes, casting shadows in the air. These shadows painted a picture of your squad, the ones who had retreated, being assaulted and dying.
Screaming begins erupting behind you. You turn around and see heads flying in the air toward you. They land and you recognize the faces of your friends, the members you told to retreat. They’re all dead.
You turn back around to face the horde once more, but collapse to your knees, you’ve accepted your fate. You’ve been beaten. You’ve lost. You look up to witness your fate and you see him there, standing there, with the appearance of a typical man. Tulakk has revealed himself.
“How could a man, a simple man wield this much power?” You think to yourself.
With every ounce of willpower you stand again to your feet, rejecting fate. You cast your shield aside and raise your sword. You charge at the man, as fast as you can. You gain ground on him and leap into air. The world becomes slow. Each second taking an eternity. Tulakk grins for a moment and slowly raises his hand. Your sword, inches from his neck, Tulakk bends and averts the sword by seconds. His hand touches your chest. Then you feel it. Trails of fire begin to spread from Tulakk’s hand. Your body freezes and you become immobile.
Your eyes lock with Tulakk’s for a moment. You see his grin. A mouth filled with teeth, endless teeth; nothing like that of a human. You watch from the reflection in his eyes as your body disintegrates. Your body engulfs in flame. You feel every atom of your being burst and wither. He lets go of you and you collapse to the ground. Your vision fades to black.
– – –
You awaken. You feel pain everywhere. Every part of your stings, like your body has been burnt. Rain crescendos off your skin. You realize you’re laying on the ground in the sand. As you look up, you realize that hands are burnt. Your legs burnt. You belly burnt. Each part of your being is burnt, but worse, you realize you’re still burning. On your chest you see a handprint. A fully formed handprint that is on fire inside you, under your skin, burning you alive inside. That fire sends streaks of pain up your neck and onto your face, across your arms and down your legs. Each part of your body feels this fire, constant pain seeping into your cells. The pain is endless. Torture.
– – –
In life you sought to destroy the being known as Tulakk. In battle, you fell to this monster, but his hell was not enough. His realm, The Waking Inferno was not torture enough for you. For you were too angry to die. You would not give in to his methods. So, he banished you back to the mortal realm, forever burning alive inside. You’ll forever be cursed as a burning cleric. Life itself is a curse.
This character’s story begins here, but how it ends, and what happens between you and Tulakk is up to you. I can’t wait to see what you all do with this character. This is definitely one of my all-time favorites and I hope to play this toon someday. For this character, we’ve used the Custom Lineage abilities from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything to properly create the “Burning” race.
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