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* Plot Information for Hayll

Hayll has been in the grip of conspiracy for years, with shadowy hands pulling the strings of a puppet Queen, and attempting to ensure Hayllian dominance well into the future. The Coliseum was destroyed, and the uprising has given a voice not only to the slaves that escaped the bloodsport, but to the frustrations of the people at large. Traditionalists, hedonists, and freedom fighters collide in an effort to shape Hayll, with internecine war a looming threat.
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Author Topic: Ennead al-Bali  (Read 788 times)

Description: Warlord Prince. Purple Dusk to Green. Played by Sol.

Offline Ennead al-Bali

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Ennead al-Bali
« on: Oct 18, 19, 11:01:57 AM »
The Basics

Character Name:  Ennead al-Bali
Age and Birth Year:  28 ; 166 AP
Race:  1/2 Long-lived + 1/2 Short-lived
Caste:  Warlord Prince
Birth Territory:  Pruul
Home Territory:  Hayll

Birthright Jewel: Uncut Purple Dusk
Offering Jewel: Uncut Green

Role: Former Slave
Faction:  Mineborn


Play By:  Franco Noriega
Distinguishing Features:



Ennead al-Bali was suffers from having been born with the burden of expectations, and he managing the trick of meeting none of them.  As a Warlord Prince of his Tribe, he was placed neatly in a box before he could even walk.  There was a path laid out before him, and soemthing in him rebelled at that.  Some would blame the 'volatility' of his Caste, his family would make excuses for him, and attempt to keep him in the company of women, hoping to calm him down.  It did not work.  Ennead often made his own choices, despite the advice and even outright demands of his family.  His successes were wild because the greater the risk, most often, the greater the reward, but his failures were spectacular.  Ennead learned from his failures, and even endured whatever punishments his family though necessary for them, but he never really regretted them.  He was a Warlord Prince, a man of strength, power, and intellect, not a slave--at least not until he was.

In the company of others, Ennead tends to be a calm presence.  He defaults to kindness first, offering the open hand, before the closed fist.  His personal struggles, while self-inflicted to some extent, have given him reason to meet people with a more open mind than his own tribe had where he was concerned.  He tends to avoid assumptions with others, though it is not impossible for someone to just rub him the wrong way.  The calm came with work and effort, and because of his time in the Mines, not despite them.  Slavery is no place for a Warlord Prince with an independent spirit.  The early days of his captivity taught him many lessons, including the idea that the tallest nail in a row eventually draws the hammer.  Ennead did not fear the hammer, but he eventually learned that it was ultimately best to avoid it if he could.  So, he learned in the mines what the tribe failed to teach him; he learned restraint.  He learned to look for friends rather than enemies, if only because the Mines were bad enough without making enemies.  This is not to say that his temper could not get the best of him, but more to indicate that the mines have extended his fuse.

Ennead is little changed by his freedom.  He retains the calm veneer he learned in the mines, but now displays the independence that got him into trouble in the first place, albeit with a better understanding of how his choices affect his friends, his lovers, his tribe and even Pruul.  He has, he realizes, become suspicious of overlanders, and more ready to trust the Minborn, and despite knowing this is a result of his years in the Mines, he has yet to entirely shake this perspective.  He does not place his trust randomly, and while he tries to maintain a friendly demeanor, he knows that this is sometimes strained when it comes to strangers, and members of his own tribe, in particular.


  • Freedom;  The saying is true.  You do not miss a thing until it is gone.  Ennead had believed, wrongly, that he was merely a debtor.  It did not sink in that he was being sold, until he was.  He had expected a bargain of some kind, a deal wherein he would work off his debt.  Instead, his tribe and family had SOLD him.  Youth and pride had kept his back straight, but how he yearned to see even the stark landscape of Pruul’s ‘overland’ once more.  Now that he has, it is a privilege he won’t soon squander.

  • The Martial Arts;  Ennead is a warrior born and trained, and just before being sent to the Mines, he had passed his Rite, albeit barely.  The close brush with failure had not been due to any shortcoming on his part, but rather a lack of orthodoxy.  He had taken to the Combat Arts well, both armed and unarmed, and later with Craft, but he’d had little chance to widely apply those skills on the surface.  In the Mines, they proved necessary—not just for his own defense, but for his sanity and safety.  Exercise and the Forms became moving meditation, as did the simple act of passing on what he knew.

  • The Darkness:  There was a time when he hated being in the dark, and had no particular opinion about the idea of The Darkness itself.  This changed in the Mines.  He thought he would be desperate to see the light again, but this was not true, he was surprised to learn.  Something in him felt welcomed by the Darkness, perhaps it was his Caste, or perhaps it was the peace offered by it when he stopped longing for the light.  Whatever the case, he finds that now that he has the light, he sometimes yearns for The Darkness.


  • Inaction/Omission of Action; Ennead cannot look away, not willfully.  If he sees something about to happen, if he knows it is a problem, he has to act and encourage action in others.  He has seen what looking away can do.  He has seen what pretending that a problem on the rise is someone else’s issue to deal with, and he will not do that again.  He dislikes it when people ‘pass the buck’, failing to take personal responsibility, let alone wider responsibility.

  • Cruelty;  This is not the same as violence, he can and will do violence.  Ennead understands the natural heirarchy of his world, and where he stands in it, however, he does not feel the need to press it upon his lessers.  In the Mines he saw and experienced cruelty, pointless cruelty whose only purpose was to display that the victim was powerless to avoid it.  Ennead will stand for himself, and others, but he will not pointlessly abuse someone just because he can--and he may defend others against such acts.

  • Crowds:  Ennead was born to Clan Bali, he was used to tribal life, which was close, in some respcts, shoulder to shoulder.  His time in the Mines changed this, not only was their enforced solitude, but those he did spend time with were few.  At first, he thought it was the open spaces of the overlands that troubled him, but soon he realized it was the press of people, the cacophony of a multitude of sounds and voices and even smells.  Ennead can handle it when necessary, but will likely seek solitude or the company of one or two close companions, shortly thereafter, and just as likely, in an enclosed space.


  • Returning;  Ennead has left the Mines, and he knows that he will be approached by his Clan.  Despite his dislike for the family that abandoned and sold him, there is an allure to returning to the people that raised him, at least for a time.  He has resisted it thus far, but he worries that one day he will have no choice, and that by returning to the Clan, he will become someone he does not like, someone that the Mineborn, his friends--his family--will not trust.

  • A Queen;  Ennead found a Queen, and for him it has caused more uncertainty than he has had since he left the mines.  His time in the mines, for all of its trials, did come with hard earned lessons as well, lessons that, in the end, have made him better than he was when he was thrown in.  He did not want to find a Queen, especially with Khadijah leaving Pruul, returning only rarely.  Along with that, Pruul swiftly entered into a time of turmoil, leaving Ennead uncertain about his choices, so he has chosen to follow in Khadija's tracks and, for now, leave Queen's and their burdens behind.

  • Lost Pruul; Ennead had completed his Trials before he entered the mines.  He is a product of Pruul’s Culture, and especially the traditions of the Bali that exemplify that Culture.  He believes in the nature and people of Pruul, he believes in their customs and traditions.  It is clear to him that what the Old Spider and the Sabbah had wrought was the corruption of that tradition by a single mastermind whose desire for power and control exceeded his grasp and ruined the lives of many and cast a shadow over what is good and right in Pruul.  The traditions of Pruul were not the problem, and now he has seen the Mineborn Council lapse in its efforts, and the Sabbah make a mockery of them.  Ennead fears that the Pruul he loves, the Pruul he tried to give to Khadijah and to others, will be lost.

    Craft Strengths:

  • Combat Craft;  the martial arts and Combat Craft, have both served as something of a moving meditation or refuge for Ennead.  With his Khanjar taken from him, he practiced this art with empty hands.  He practiced regularly, both infused with Craft, and without.  Occasionally, he might improvise a weapon from something in his surroundings, strengthening it with Craft.  Ennead's movements are graceful, precise, and brutally efficient.

  • Hunter's Mark;  He did not develop the bond that the other Mineborn had.  He was not born amongst them, no matter how close he felt to them.  Ennead was always concerned about their safety and whereabouts, particularly where Khadijah was concerned.  He had taken her under his wing, had--in some sense--bound his water to hers.  In the absence of the Mineborn bond, he applied the Hunter's Mark--to her and even to Roshan.

  • Combat Shielding; Ennead is a warrior, and he has long understood that combat skills, in general, are perishable, and so he applies them with great effort and regularity.  He trains every day, multiple times a day, and was so skilled that when he emerged from the Mines, he was tasked with training others.  As a warrior he is constantly evolving, and while he has always made use of Combat Shields in battle, he has learned to deploy them quickly and efficiently to supplement his Combat Craft.  Most often, he uses them to turn large scale engagement into a series of one one one duels, as he once did to the Sabbah Guards, but absent a knife they can serve him as a weapon, quickly delivered and quickly dismissed.

    Craft Weaknesses:

  • Incite Rage;  Ennead had to learn restraint in the mines.  He had to learn to control his own Rage, and while the Bali had once intended for him to be able to inspire their warriors, the mines created other necessities.  He has enough with simply controlling himself, let alone inciting the rage of others.

  • Communication Craft;  Circumstances conspired, once again, to prevent Ennead from flexing his skills in this particular area of Craft.  He and his friends developed a secret language, a code tongue, and it was all they ever really needed.  In some ways, that mundane skills was far more valuable than the mystical version.  Now, on the surface, he has difficulty with this unless someone is in his line of sight.

    Life Story

    MotherZaina al-Bali  :: F36 :: Witch (Warlord) ::  Summer Sky - Purple Dusk
    Father: Ibrahim al-Bali :: M40 ::  Prince ::  Purple Dusk - Opal
    Aunt: Fatima al-Bali  :: F40 :: Healer ::  White - Rose

    Uncle: Walid al-Bali  :: M :: Born 148 AP :: Prince ::  White - Yellow
    Cousin: Atum al-Bali :: M :: Born 166 AP :: Warlord ::  Yellow - Rose


    Ennead al-Bali was born to Clan Bali, to a prominent merchant family.  His kin, on the whole, were known for their Princes and for being well-traveled.  Some few of them, the most boisterous, were said to have dared to ride the Sandworms, and returned a finger or two shy to tell the tale.  There had not been a Warlord Prince in Ennead's line for a generations.  Thus, when Ennead began to give off the Scent of a Warlord Prince, identifying his Caste, his family was surprised and called on the expertise of other Families.  Even as a boy, women both of his Family and of the Clan at large, were his companions and teachers.  It was believed, and rightly in Ennead's case, that the company of women of different Castes would keep the boy Warlord Prince on a more even path.  Though he showed an early independent streak, for the most part, this belief was correct.

    Like everyone, he began his training to be a warrior at six years old.  Unlike the Princes he was trained with, he took to the training particularly well.  Ennead was both aggressive and creative, and he managed to infuse everything he did with those characteristics.  Even as a boy, he made as many friends as he did enemies with a latent iconoclastic streak that had only barely risen to the surface.  In sparring matches, he won more often than he lost, and when he received his Birthright, his creativity and his direct aggressive nature seemed only to be magnified.  His instructors and teachers either found him to be sharp and clever, if a bit cocksure, or altogether too arrogant and full of questions for his own good.  With an uncut Purple Dusk, Ennead was proving to be a promising Warrior, indeed he displayed all the classical traits of his caste, though some believed his inquisitive natured displayed an unconscious disdain for traditions and common practices.

    Ennead continued to grow, learn, and even excel.  He had a particular gift for hand to hand combat, and even managed to surprise an elder from time to time.  He was a promising Warlord Prince, and his family believed their standing would improve more than a little once Ennead was considered a Man, and possibly placed close to a Queen or even a Priestess.  He was roughly fourteen, or so, when he began to understand that his family had plans for him, and it was around this time that one of his Uncles began to express his dislike for the way his own son, a Warlord, more than a year older than Ennead, had suddenly become secondary in the Family’s eyes, at least from his perspective.  Once, in his cups, Ennead’s uncle, Walid, gravely insulted Ennead’s father over a water matter, and was proven to be in the wrong almost immediately.  Publicly shamed, he took out his frustrations on Ennead most often, always watching and waiting for the boy to slip up.  Drunk again, Ennead’s Uncle attempted to fight Ennead himself, and was shamed again by the family, Ennead wasn’t even a man yet—though the fact that his Walid had openly slapped him had been so shocking, Ennead had promised to kill his Uncle once he received his Khanjar.  This proved, perhaps, unwise.

    Fear and shame can make men choose unfortunate paths, and this was true of Walid.

    The young Warlord Prince’s trials came up soon enough, too soon for his Uncle, and the man played the Traditionalist throughout, attempting to sabotage Ennead’s trials any way he could. For the Test  of Strength, true to his nature, Ennead bucked tradition and went to see the battleground.  It was not forbidden, but it was not usually done, despite the fact that letting someone else choose the battleground ran counter to what he had been taught of tactics and strategy.  So, Ennead placed traps in the field, pits for his opponent’s foot to catch in, if not outright make him fall during the duel.  The Trial started the next day, and by maneuvering his opponent, by means of evasion and direct strikes with empty hands and Craft, one of Ennead’s traps gave him the edge, and he won.  Of course, his Uncle cried foul, while the Priestess overseeing his right applauded his cleverness, despite the break with tradition.

    One Priestess thought that Ennead had been cunning and resourceful enough to make them reconsider what had been selected for the Test of the Mind.  It actually sparked a debate, which his Walid saw as an opportunity, and Ennead was made to undergo his Test of Fortitude while that was being discussed.  Ennead had learned what they had in store for him, while listening to Walid suggest he take the Test of Fortitude while they made their decision as to the nature of the Test of the Mind.  One of them had slipped, and his Father, who was involved to counter the traditionalist ranting of his Uncle, had made sure he knew.  Ennead made certain that he was exhausted when the Test of Fortitude arrived, and when he was buried in a box full of scorpions, he simply fell asleep, or seemed to.  There was little room to roll over and stir, and all he had to do was meditate and center himself for long enough, that he would simply fall into a empty and resting state.  When the Test of Fortitude ended, he had to be prodded by the Priestess to rise, though she gently restrained the scorpions while he did so.  Another success, and his Walid's’s fears and annoyance only increased.

    Finally, it was decided, likely in part because his Uncle had recruited others to his protests, citing Ennead’s unorthodox approach to the Trial, that he would undergo one of the most difficult Tests of the Mind.  He was charged with entering the desert, and returning with water.  And here is where Ennead’s story takes a tragic turn. 

    Ennead’s Uncle had pressed for the test involving the return of Water, he had pushed for it in light of what Ennead had been allowed to do so far already.  He had not broken any rules, but he had broken a path that might lead to more people following it in the future.  If he were so clever, Water ought not to be an issue, and the Priestess took it nearly as a challenge, even though none of the effort would be hers.  The fearful man put a plan into motion, hoping that it would end with Ennead’s untimely death.  Ennead entered the desert, and at the end of the first day he was out there, he stumbled across a man and a camp.  He took him for a Sandrider, based on his clothing and gear, but in truth, the man was paid by Walid to give the young Warlord Prince a waterskin full of poisonous Sandworm water.  Ennead could not refuse what seemed like an offer of hospitality, so he took the skin, and explained to the man that he would save it for his family, as for his Test, he must be able to find water on his own.  By the third day, Ennead considered having that drink, but once again, what he took for luck or even favor came to his rescue. 

    He stumbled over a Sip-Well, one not marked by any other Clan or Tribe, and it seemed particularly deep.  He drank what he needed, marked the location, and returned with both the location and a full waterskin for his efforts by the late evening of the third day.  He was congratulated, once again, much to his Uncle’s annoyance, who could say nothing about the valuable discovery of a sip-well.  Walid was so fearful, so annoyed by Ennead’s success, that he forgot about the poisoned water, the uncleansed exhalation of a Sandworm, just as he had paid for.  The skin was given to Ennead’s father, and forgotten until Ennead received his Khanjar, and the promise that he was not only a Man, but that he would soon be able to receive his Offering.  In celebration of the day, Ennead’s father passed around the Waterskin—and the confused Warlord Prince looked on as family and friends died.

    His Uncle knew what had happened, and was shocked by what his jealousy had wrought, and yet—he said nothing—nothing except to suggest that for Ennead’s shame, a result of his iconoclasm and lack of respect for tradition, ought to have him sold to the mines for whatever Water he was worth.  Ennead tried to fight the idea, tried to tell them he had not known, that he had never known, that he had done the Test fairly, but his protests fell on deaf ears, his voice drowned out by wails of mourning.  And so Ennead al-Bali was sent into the Mines, where he was collard, beaten, disabused of the idea that he was clever, and put to backbreaking work.

    The Mines were beyond cruel.  Ennead had gone from a promising Warlord Prince to a slave literally overnight.  Despite his shame, with his Brother, Ibrahim dead, Walid had taken over Ennead’s family, and the young Warlord Prince had not even been allowed to mourn his dead.  Grief, shame, and guilt made him even more aggressive, even more prone to rages, more likely to try and kill his masters, but they were old hands at control.  It was not the cruelty, though his masters were cruel, nor the pain, though there was plenty of that, nor even the work—it was the cold calculation of it.  The slave masters had controlled people in collars for a very long time, and they knew exactly how to control even a Warlord Prince, they knew what to watch for, and with his Birthright, all he could do was rage.  Ennead learned quickly to restrain himself, or the abuse would make him useless, unable to even think.  The work was repetitive, mind numbing, but if he were also using a tortured body to do, what good could he do?  How could he ever find a moment to escape?  Others had tried to tell him, tried to make him see reason before someone used the collar to bear down on him.  Ennead learned firsthand that defiance came with a price.

    He learned quickly to adapt, pain was a harsh and always successful teacher.  Ennead learned to control himself, though it took effort to do so.  He found refuge in the quiet of his mind, learning to use meditationa nd introspection to control himself.  He turned to performing his combat arts in the darkness, in order to center himself, as often as he could in those early days.  It was during these quiet moments that he tried to think about hsi fate objectively, and everything that led up to it.  It did not take Ennead long to realize that the poisoned water that had doomed his relations had been meant for him, nor did it take him long to realize that his Uncle had been behind it.  After that realization, survival became his prime necessity, or rather, he had believed that is what it would be, what he would become.  Perhaps it was fate, or perhaps it was simply in his nature, Ennead did not lose himself in either the singular need to survive, or even thoughts of vengeance.  Instead, he found two of the Mineborn; Khadijah and Roshan.
    Ennead had been in the mines for some time before he found Khadijah.   The Mines were a strange mix of back-breaking work, and rest periods where despair ruled for most.  It didn't pay to work a slave to death, especially strong ones like Ennead that could produce mroe than most, but there was no such thing as 'free' time.  Just gaps in which one could wallow in despair or self-pity, or one could attempt to better one's self.  Ennead tried for the latter, engaging in meditation as often as he explored his subterranean prison.  No one cared where he went, barring restricted areas that were guarded, so long as he showed up for work--and if he were late for that, the collar would remind him.  There was no need for chains, when Craft would do.  Ennead witnessed a great many things, and when he could do something he felt was right, he did.  It did not make him popular with everyone, but that had been true for most of his life, why should the Mines be different.  It meant he fought with other Male slaves, more often than not, but that also meant his combat meditation could also be applied.  Ennead struggled, regularly, to find the positive elements in his prison, and was shocked to discover there were a few if one knew where to look.

    He found Khadijah while exploring the deep mines, perhaps even looking for a means of escape.  Not that even a tunnel to the light would have freed him from the collar.  She was badly hurt, and more than a little feral.  It took effort to earn her trust, but Ennead could not find it in him to abandon the young woman, perhaps because he himself still felt abandoned by his Clan.  He could not do that to someone else.  Once Khadijah allowed him near, he could see what had been done to her, and he picked her up, hide her away and returned to her as often as he could.  He nursed her back to health, expecting nothing in return.  He helped Khadijah because someone had to.  Ennead kept her safe, even going so far as to risk the punishment of the collar, to keep her hidden.  In time, he began to train her remembering that teaching someone how to find water was often better than giving it to them.  Ennead couldn't always be there to protect, try as he might.  As he and Khadijah bonded over training, stories  (told by him, Khadi only listened), animal mimicry, and a secret language, he became aware of Roshan circling them.

    Roshan became part of their circle, or perhaps he became part of theirs, since Khadijah had known the Black Widow before she met him.  Roshan even learned the animal code language that he and Khadijah had invented.  The three of them became close, in many ways, like family.  He eventually became close enough to Roshan for her to ask him to help her through her Virgin Night.  Ennead had believed he was taking advantage of their relationship and unique circumstances, but he and Roshan discussed the risks--some of which were his own.  He was a risk, if a small one, the Rut could strike him, and there were ways to prevent that.  He saw Roshan through that Night, and they continued to be lovers from time to time.

    It was his third year in the Mines, training Khadijah and finding some comfort with Roshan, had somehow conspirated to make being a slave a little less burdensome, and a little less odious.  He had not been born in the darkness, though he felt adopted by it, and while he had been betrayed by his family, he at least knew what freedom was like.  The Mineborn could not miss what they ha never known.  His heart ached for them, sympathized with them, and considering how overlanders had treated him, he debated whether or not the harsh school of the mines would make for better people or not.  Ennead felt certain that whatever else might happen to them, Khadijah would need his strength, and Roshan too.  He eventually found a Priestess, another slave, though she had been taken from some foreign land--she agreed to perform his Offering, and keep it quiet.  All Ennead had to do was lie with her for a week.  It was a shocking price, not that Ennead was unwilling, but the Priestess would not even give him her name.  She didn't want to be implicated if he was ever caught with his Descent in hand.

    Khadijah and Roshan served as lookouts, assisting with the ceremony when it was needed.  Ennead came away with Uncut Green jewels, and the Priestess received the comfort of roughly a week of comfort from the Warlord Prince.  He missed his friends in that time, but a bargain was necesary, and so was keeping it.  He kept his Descent hidden, and wondered how long he would be able to do that--and then he no longer had to worry about it.  The truth behind the Mines was uncovered, the Black Jeweled Queen freed from the Mines, and the Mineborn with them were freed.  Ennead was released because Khadijah and Roshan insisted on it, and he felt a debt to them both, even if the source of their kindness was Khadijah's unwillingness to see him left behind.

    When Khadijah went to the Little Citadel, Ennead went with her.  He was not sure when the Clan knew that he was freed, nor did he know if his Uncle knew, and one day on the surface, he realized that he didn't care.  Ennead had been abandoned by one Family, and he had made his own.  His Uncle had to live with what he did, and despite all of that man's efforts, Ennead was free.  There was a lot of talk about Fate and Prophesy around the Mineborn, and maybe he was caught up in that, but whatever the case.  His water was tied to Khadijah's, and he would not leave her to, what to her, were the unknown dangers of the overlands.  Through Khadijah, he met other Mineborn, and to make himself valuable, he trained others in combat at the Little Citadel.

    Lucky al-Izar was introduced to him by Khadijah, and at first, Ennead had a reflexive dislike for the other Warlord Prince.  Word of who Ennead was, and how he had been sent to the Mines had spread by then, and the other Warlord Prince hadn't known him for longer than a day before he used it against him as a barb.  His Rage had come to the surface quickly.  No one had gotten under his skin so swiftly before, not when he had been an Overlander, and certainly not when he had been a slave.  He had been instantly prepared to fight, and just as quickly, he let it go, though not without effort.  He had to leave.  Lucky was one of the Mineborn, he would be close to Khadijah and to Roshan, they were all tied together, and Ennead could not ignore him--nor could he destroy him, even if he wanted to.  Not because of any disparity in strength and skill, but it became increasingly clear that for the Mineborn, what happened to one, would be known to the others.  He had already lost one family due to impetuosity and unorthodox thinking, he would not lose another due to his pride.  Lucky would only become closer to Khadijah, and so he would have to befriends the younger Warlord Prince.

    It took time, but over the next couple of years, Ennead began to realize that he was in a unique position.  There had been some early overtures from Clan Bali, but thus far, he had been able to avoid them.  He used his name, because he felt he had earned that much, but he never drew on that connection.  Instead, he remained close to Khadijah and the others that he knew.  He did, however, avoid the Mineborn Queen.  He was happy to be free of the Mines, and did not relish the idea of suddenly being bound to a Queen.  He was surprised to learn that despite a relatively short amount of time spent in the mines, compared to the rest of his years, the Mines had left their mark on him.  Not in the way of scars or rough hands, though he had those too, but in his fears, even in his preferences.  Where once he reveled in the closeness of tribal life and celebration, now he disliked crowds, and indeed, felt uncomfortable without walls around him.  Ennead has resolved to remain by Khadijah's side, even with the changing social and political landscape around her, she would need someone steady.

    His Water.  Her Water.  He had saved her life, and he would not see it wasted now.

    Despite Khadijah’s warnings, Ennead believed in the idea of a new Clan for the Izar, and he dedicated himself to it, training the fighters that flocked to their banners after the rains.  He became friends with the Queen of the Bali and fell under the eyes of the Voice of the Bali.  He had been afraid of the Clan he was born into, and worried what they might demand of him given his freedom, but when he went to see them, he found justice rather than fear.  The Queen of the Bali showed him more kindness than he had any right to expect, and the Voice had found the truth about his sentencing, and found the true villain.  Without any demands of their own, restitutions for his wrongful imprisonment included all of the wealth his murderous Uncle had accrued while Ennead had been in the mines.  Ennead, very quietly, was a wealthy man in terms of hard currency and practical wealth in goods.

    Now, Ennead has left Pruul behind to find Khadijah in Hayll, where she travelled when she was not needed in Pruul--and in recent times, that was not often.  The Sabbah had been allowed to run rampant, and the experiment of the Council was in shambles.    Uncertain about his future, and lamenting a portion of his recent past, Ennead presses on as he always has, persevering into this next chapter of his life, and whatever it might bring.

    Show Us What You've Got

    Character in Play:

    Ennead closed his eyes, which almost seemed unnecessary, given that he ha worked his way into a side tunnel of the mines that had no light sources.  He had felt his way to this spot because it was cool, dark, and completely silent.  No one came this way, except for the occasionally intrepid explorer, or maybe someone that was hopelessly lost.  Ennead had found the side path between periods of work, and had resolved to go back there to work in the darkness.  The silence would let him fool himself into believeing he was utterly alone, floating sin space without the collar or the shame or the guilt to weigh him down.  Ennead found the center of the chamber, and stood relaxed amidst the darkness and the silence, listening to his own breathing.  He was still for a long time, not that he had any way to count it.  He lost track of the breaths he had taken, some time after he lost track of the beats of his heart.

    He was not sure what to call the state that he was looking for.  Nothingness?  Equilibrium?  Peace?  It was all of those things, he supposed, except Nothing--he had no thoughts in his mind, he had learned to push those out, along with despair and guilt and shame--but he was a Warlord Prince, and there was always something there, lurking, caged, pacing within its confines, waiting to be set loose by command or because Ennead left the cage door open.  It was his Rage, his Killing instinct, at once burning hot and coldly calculating--an instinct, no, a need to not only do violence, but to do it in the most precise and direct manner possible.  That was always there.  He had just learned to look past it.

    Ennead began the first steps and movement of the combat form, the motions proceeding one to the next with what most would consider excruciating slowness.  The slowness built control, and ultimately power, or so he had once been told.  He never rushed, and he held certain poses for so long his muscles, abused from heavy work, would protest and quiver.  His whole body would begin to perspire, but he would continue on, slow and stready and precise.  Ennead lost track of time in his meditations, moving or still, which was part of the reason he did them.  It was a way to get away from himself and the Mines, to some extent.  He could retreat into his mind and body, two things that being a slave could not take away from him.  Ennead would finish his return, and return again days later.  He had learned long ago to save and hide food, and in those days, he moved his stash to that dark dead end tunnel.

    He was there again, in the middle of his meditation, when he heard her for the first time.  Not a whimper of pain, but the snark of a wounded beast, and the ragged breathing of someone doing their best to get on with living, despite their wounds.  Her name was Khadijah, though he would not hear that name spoken until a long time later, and when he found her she was small, wounded, and broken.  For a moment, he felt his Rage building, at the idea that they would enslave a child and send her into the mines to be--he could only imagine what had happened to her.  Ennead regained control of himself swiftly, before enyone could feel the danger he represented in that moment through the collar.  He fetched his hidden story of food, and offered her some.  It took time and a steady but gentle voice to coax Khadijah into letting him tend to her.  He didn't think about why, or whether or not he should, it never occurred to him not to.  She healed in time, and soon he was teaching her how to protect herself, in spit of her injuries, she was fierce and he knew she would learn well.

    Khadijah was like a sister to him, and somehow, he felt as though she had saved him from something.  What, he could not say?  A life as a mine-bound hermit?  Ennead did not really believe he would ever see the overlands again.  He was not hopeless, but there was a certain amount of pragmatism one had to adopt to survive in the mines, but--Khadijah made him talk, made him tell her about the overlands, the animals, where he had come from--and it was like having a confessor.  It was cleansing.  She never talked, never judged him, and remained always his little sister.  Her Water.  His Water.  It never occurred to him to feel or do otherwise, she had needed his help, and he had given it, and in return--Family.  Not that he had planned for that, nor had he planned for Roshan.

    Now he was in The LIttle Citadel, and Ennead thought back to those years in the Mines, and was surprised to find that sometimes, every now and then, those memories made him smile.  He felt a wooden knife poke him in the ribs, and realized that he had let his mind wander while his students were practicing.  A senior student, a young woman that assisted him, had been forced to get his attention.  "Right, so then.  Continue to work this form.  I know its slow, and I know it must seem boring, but I promise you, you will see results."  Then he heard the sound of a certain bird, and the small smile he had been forced to abandon returned again.  It was Khadijah's call, and she would not have made it in the middle of his class if she didn't have something serious to discuss.  He turned to his senior pupil, "Keep this going, I will return as swiftly as I can."

    "But Prince Ennead!"  But the Warlord Prince was already gone, up a flight of stairs and out of sight.

    Petitions (if any):

    Reactivation Petition

    Why did this character became inactive?  Other players slow or absent, and little to do with changing plot.

    What will you do to prevent this character from becoming inactive again?  I am moving the character to Hayll, where he was headed anyway, and having him brush up against things there.

    What are your plans for this character? activity in Hayll, possible involvement with Hayll plots and certainly other Hayll characters.

    Number of previous Reactivations: None

    Changes Made to Application for Reactivation Process (if any) :

    I have made the following changes;

    Old Dislike:

  • Clan Bali;  While Ennead is willing to concede that he made his own trouble, he is still not able to see being sold into slavery as a reasonable response by people he calls family.  He was who he was, and while he did not expect unconditional love, he certainly never thought he would be sold.  Forced to pay a debt, made to work, certainly, but being sold felt like not only too much, but also, a betrayal.  He was sold, abandoned, and left to his own devices, after growing up with the closeness of tribe and Family.  So, ultimately, he made his own in the Mines, and he knows they would never sell him.

    New Dislike:

    Inaction/Omission of Action; Ennead cannot look away, not willfully.  If he sees something about to happen, if he knows it is a problem, he has to act and encourage action in others.  He has seen what looking away can do.  He has seen what pretending that a problem on the rise is someone else’s issue to deal with, and he will not do that again.  He dislikes it when people ‘pass the buck’, failing to take personal responsibility, let alone wider responsibility.

    Old Fear:

  • The Mineborn;  Ennead is loyal to his friends, and they are The Mineborn.  He is particularly close to Khadijah and Roshan, and can't imagine a world where he would ever turn on them.  It is the bold the choice, it is the independent choice, and it is precisely the sort of risk that put him in the Mines in the first place.  Thus far, his trust and loyalty have been well placed, but with the whispers of his Family and Clan, he worries that it is possible he is wrong.

    New Fear:

    Lost Pruul; Ennead had completed his Trials before he entered the mines.  He is a product of Pruul’s Culture, and especially the traditions of the Bali that exemplify that Culture.  He believes in the nature and people of Pruul, he believes in their customs and traditions.  It is clear to him that what the Old Spider and the Sabbah had wrought was the corruption of that tradition by a single mastermind whose desire for power and control exceeded his grasp and ruined the lives of many and cast a shadow over what is good and right in Pruul.  The traditions of Pruul were not the problem, and now he has seen the Mineborn Council lapse in its efforts, and the Sabbah make a mockery of them.  Ennead fears that the Pruul he loves, the Pruul he tried to give to Khadijah and to others, will be lost.

    Old Fear;

  • A Queen;  Ennead is an unbound Warlord Prince.  His time in the mines, for all of its trials, did come with hard earned lessons as well, lessons that, in the end, have made him better than he was when he was thrown in.  He does not want to find a Queen, especially if it will pull him away from those he is closest to, and force him to become something he is not.  In some ways, this is part and parcel of his fear of even visiting the Bali, let alone allowing them back into his life.

    New Fear;

  • A Queen;  Ennead found a Queen, and for him it has caused more uncertainty than he has had since he left the mines.  His time in the mines, for all of its trials, did come with hard earned lessons as well, lessons that, in the end, have made him better than he was when he was thrown in.  He did not want to find a Queen, especially with Khadijah leaving Pruul, returning only rarely.  Along with that, Pruul swiftly entered into a time of turmoil, leaving Ennead uncertain about his choices, so he has chosen to follow in Khadija's tracks and, for now, leave Queen's and their burdens behind.

    Additional history has added above, and color coded GREEN, to advance him a little.

    Player Name:  Sol

Offline Haloriel

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Re: Ennead al-Bali
« Reply #1 on: Oct 18, 19, 11:12:44 AM »
Clan Bali and Ruling Queen reference approved by me.  ;D
"The difference between true nobility and false is this. One is gold put to the use of paving stones. The other is tin polished to ape a service of silver. Both are cruel."
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Offline Sol

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Re: Ennead al-Bali
« Reply #2 on: Oct 19, 19, 07:17:48 PM »
Ready for Review/activation

Offline phinneas

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Re: Ennead al-Bali
« Reply #3 on: Oct 21, 19, 09:05:51 AM »
added to the queue.  •  Discord: phinn#0798  •  Writer Tracker

Offline phinneas

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Re: Ennead al-Bali
« Reply #4 on: Oct 21, 19, 10:06:58 AM »  •  Discord: phinn#0798  •  Writer Tracker