The Wilds – Kumar

Name

Kumar (Surname)

Premise

This was the NPC wilderness survival expert for Event Horizon’s Wilds campaign. I wanted them to have a layered, yet composed personality. players tend to favor wacky protagonist characters, so I needed there to be an ‘adult’ in the group to rein the party back into the main plot. Kumar could fulfill that role. Since Kumar isn’t very knowledgeable about city life, other characters would be able to socially interact with them while taking advantage of their certified wilderness survival skills (the NPC guide is a certified survival expert).

Biography

You were once a lesser member of the pantheon. That was when you lived a cushy life in the city, your hedonistic lifestyle backed by your parents. They were decent folks, and even better biochemical engineers, but they were constantly busy with important research that will change the shape of the galaxy forever. Their legacy would be found in the gene-splicing patents, not the strange child they left at home. You don’t resent them for it; after all, you are the child who would eventually abandon their world.

This is not a sad story. You still received the finest education that could be attained on Ottsalia. You knew more about the composition of the human genome than you knew about pop stars or rising actors. Flora and fauna were long scientific names to you; you could easily recite them in your sleep. Intricate three-dimensional models danced lazily in your dreams. You traced the shape of their neural pathways with your knowledge. You created worlds in your head, and you didn’t find it lacking. Yet.

You were twelve when you journeyed outside of the city for the first time. You remember: it had started with your cousin’s birthday party. You only saw them once a year, and your mother was trying to reconcile with her brother. You had forgotten to remove the price sticker from the birthday card, but it would only be one card among a hundred. Sanjiv would never notice.

While you were content with your own military-grade laboratory, Sanjiv’s parents had afforded them a small planet, fully human servants, and every surgery that was fashionable for that week. They would post photos of themselves with gills in the morning and avian wings in the afternoon. You wouldn’t even recognize them at some family dinners. They had purchased a lush plot of land that was rich with wildlife. There would be enough jungle for everyone to launch their own expedition.

It was a very bloodless expedition. Turrets popped out to blast whichever animal got too close to you. Poisonous spores were neutralized by solvents that rendered them impotent. Everyone returned in ten minutes. Death and accidents were for the poor; your clan is eternal.

You were disturbed by the burnt patches on the ground. Devastation follows gods at play. “What happens if you run out of Quartz-Tailed Lynxes?”

An adult answered simply, their eyes still glued to their tablet screen. “We can breed more. A full life cycle takes two hours. We’re still working on getting it down to twenty minutes.”

In nature, it takes three weeks. You didn’t have a lot of time to wonder about it. Sanjiv’s infuriated yelling could be heard over the music. “What do you mean, you lost the Gold-Talon Fenghuang?” An exceptionally rare creature, you couldn’t stand thinking that it would be eaten like a common sparrow. You journeyed outside of the gates in order to pursue the bird, along with a young girl who had lost it. She would be gored to death by a wild boar. You failed to save her, and you lost your left eye in the attempt. You survived the outer forest for about five days until rescuers finally arrived.

It would take three hours to reconstruct your left eye. You picked the augmentation for night-sight, for you intended to return for the Gold-Talon. You outfitted yourself adequately, and you recovered the bird.

You later found out that Sona was a cousin, and you did not recognize her. You had thirty-seven cousins whom you were aware of. You placed three golden tail feathers of the Fenghuang on her memorial marker.

Since the party, you began to uncover secrets that only existed in nature. You brought supplies until you were truly self-sufficient, and you didn’t tell anyone about your trips to the outer forests. Hierarchy and symbiosis were mere theories before. Now, they are laws. You wanted to be a member of this nation, so you followed them to the letter. You were rewarded with experiences that would have killed even the smartest engineer in Enterios. You reveled in the knowledge that your parents could not fathom.

Migration. Play. Fratricide. Symbiosis. Desire. Predation. Everything has a place, and nothing is wasted. You respect the natural laws that predate civilization, but you are not an enforcer. Mortality is an integral part of your contract with the natural world.

You are a godling who chose to become mortal.

You were entitled to a seat in your parents’ department, but you would be tasked to destroy anything that did not obey: genes, systems, and behaviors. That seat is now occupied by your clone, which you eagerly authorized. You still miss the moss nectar of the city, but your wisdom is sterile there. Although you are currently contracted to the Ottsalian government, you only return to the city to attend weddings and funerals.

You had two protégés in your life. The first died of a swamp toxin, and you did not have the means to save them in time. The second sold all your teachings to Triskeles Enterprises. You did not own a monopoly on your knowledge, but you are still bitter about the betrayal. You have not taken a protégé since.

Light

You are a highly logical person, and you tend to prioritize the big picture over any individual. You’ll fight like hell before making the decision to ditch anyone, though. You’re also not going to sacrifice yourself, since your presence doubles the odds of survival for anyone you travel with.

Dark

You tend to be unflattering in your assumptions of other people. When you tell people that a plant is lethally poisonous, you usually assume that someone will try to touch it anyway. If they’re not stupid, then you’re wary about the intentions of those who are urbane and powerful. You come off as polite despite all of this, though.