Gai'tan Shadowstar

A relentless desert warrior, and the last of his nomadic people.


Gai’tan was born into a tribe of desert nomads, the last vestige of a dying people that are now lost forever. In this culture, the ancestral name of the father was bestowed upon each male child as his first name. This family name was a remnant of an ancient tribal language nearly forgotten by time (in the modern era, due to highly increased interactions with encroaching civilization, these tribes spoke a variant of the common tongue). A male’s second “given” name was selected by the tribal elders based on omens or deeds, and was typically earned during the ritual trials of adolescence or in battle; for example, Gai’tan’s ancestors include Gai’tan Bloodhammer, Gai’tan Wyrmslayer, and Gai’tan Devilwind. However, in some rare circumstances, the elders saw fit to assign a second name immediately at birth or even after death (if a second name had sadly not been "earned” during life).

Thus, Gai’tan is the family name of this eccentric individual; while the meaning of much of the ancient language was forgotten long before his birth, it is believed that this word means “God-Hand.” His second name was atypically assigned at birth, as he was born in the midst of a solar eclipse significant in tribal memory.

Gai’tan grew to adolescence amid the harsh climate of the desert, and in the company of a people noted for their fighting expertise and ability to survive in conditions that would kill most. He had temporarily left the tribe to face the trials of manhood when a unit of soldiers commissioned by the consul of Silverhaven (a nearby city attempting to lay claim to the desert and its surprising wealth of resources), murdered all that remained of his people. It should be noted, however, that this force was nearly decimated by the much smaller band of nomads. When Gai’tan returned from his trials and discovered the tragedy, he departed at once and secretly entered the city with the intent of exacting revenge. While planning this act, however, he was discovered by Manis Barlow, an elderly adventurer and swordsman who had retired to the city; this man took Gai’tan into his care, explained the source of the massacre (the city’s consul felt threatened by the refusal of the nomadic tribes to recognize his sovereignty), and promised to give the boy the training necessary to one day accomplish his goal. Gai’tan resided with this man for several years, training diligently in the use of the sword (his tribe had primarily fought with a modified, hooked spear) and learning all he could about the world beyond the desert. Gai’tan proved to be an apt pupil. Sadly, when his teacher was ambushed and killed by thugs in the employ of the consul (who rightly claimed that Barlow was involved in ‘subversive activities’), Gai’tan was forced to flee Silverhaven. He has lived on his wits, finding work as a mercenary in various lands ever since.

Gai’tan feels extremely conflicted within. His family name of “God-Hand,” combined with the dark omen of his birth (to which the elders of his tribe attributed some unexplained importance) led his people to view him as an eventual instrument of the gods. However, he believes he has been cheated repeatedly by Fate: he did not have the chance to “earn” his given name in battle, he missed the opportunity to fight honorably and defend his family while away from his tribe, he could not participate in the coming-of-age ceremony which was to follow his ritual trials, and he has missed the opportunity to avenge himself upon the powers responsible for the death of his people and his mentor. He has vowed to be cheated by Fate no longer, and has pledged to one day drag the body of the consul of Silverhaven to the gates of the city, piss on his corpse (this purging of water was seen as the ultimate sign of disrespect to the desert-dwelling people), and place his head upon a pike (or more symbolically, a spear).

Gai’tan harbors an understandable mistrust of government and individuals who would place themselves in a position of power over others; however, he does have a deep sense of fairness, and believes in the importance of tribal law (or its equivalent). Although Gai’tan never seeks to do evil, his view of “goodness” may differ at times from the general population; for example, Gai’tan believes that there is no emptiness in revenge. He believes that we should serve first those who are closest to us. While Gai’tan would not willingly harm or wrong an innocent person (and would perhaps even seek to assist such a person, if possible), he is often suspicious of others. However, when bonded to another through friendship and shared experience, Gai’tan is fiercely loyal, and would place that individual’s needs and safety above even those of an entire city…particularly those of Silverhaven.

In the mountain settlement of Briarwick Hollow, Gai’tan first encountered Buzz Burrfoot. The two adventurers, though from vastly different backgrounds, quickly bonded. Though their ways have parted temporarily, Gai’tan is eager to rejoin his only living friend in battle.

Gai'tan Shadowstar

Tales of Aelyndia DMEli