NPC Closeup 06/15/2002

Vakra, Bane of Elves

Vakra, the Silent

Vakra grew up in the sewers of Pal Ador after being abandoned by his human mother, who was distraught with shame over her relationship with an elf. However, she knew that the mean streets of Pal Ador did not treat half-elves kindly. Despite this knowledge, she left him behind anyway as she left Pal Ador, and she hoped that the fates would do something to protect her child.

Vakra's salvation came from a band of humans who lived in the sewers. They found the newborn squalling among the filth and raised Vakra as one of their own. However, it was not a loving situation -- Vakra was raised to be tough and do anything to survive. His human family roamed the tunnels underneath the part of town most heavily inhabited by elves. Patrols of elven soldiers constantly swept the sewers, arresting or killing any person that they found. This harrowing experience taught the young half-elf the skills to survive and instilled in him a deep hatred for elves.

After a time, Vakra started keeping more and more to himself. Used to the quiet depths of the sewers, Vakra said little when his way of living was interrupted by others. What contact he had with his former human band was only to barter for supplies and trade information about elven patrols. To the sewer dwellers, Vakra simply became known as "the Silent One."

Vakra, the Hunter

For years, Vakra wanted only to be left alone. He dodged constables and made forays to the surface to steal bits of food and equipment. That all changed, however, when he visited the sewer dweller stronghold. Vakra found it under a massive assault by elven warriors. He could do little but watch the slaughter of the closest thing he had to family. From that moment on, Vakra went from being the hunted to the hunter.

He began making raids against the guard posts, hunting down any elf that dared to venture down into the depths of the sewers. Once, he raided a large stockpile of weapons and magic items, taking some of them and burning the rest. This only angered the elves further and caused the number and size of the patrols to be doubled.

Both sides were taken off guard when a sudden infestation of carrion crawlers made traveling through the sewers very hazardous. Vakra fought a two-sided conflict and used his skills and knowledge of the tunnels to lure patrols into nests of the disgusting creatures.

During one of these ambushes, Vakra was moving stealthily through a tunnel close to the surface. He came upon a lone figure that was shrouded in darkness. Vakra drew his weapons and eyed the mysterious person warily, who introduced himself as Mezriss. Mezriss was a fellow half-elf, and he offered Vakra employment with his band of assassins, the Scars. Vakra accepted after Mezriss explained that his group would allow Vakra more access to the high-placed officials -- and the elves that he hated so much.

Vakra, the Bane of Elves

His vast knowledge of the sewers and tunnels beneath Pal Ador served Vakra and the Scars well over the years, allowing them almost complete access to all parts of the city. Vakra's burning hatred for elves turned him into an impersonal killing machine, and he dispatched his foes with practiced ease. The elves he hated placed an enormous bounty on Vakra, but few mercenaries were willing to enter into the sewers to hunt him down.

Vakra met his final match when Jesrug, the dwarf constable, was brought in to end the terror of the Scars. The dwarf proved a difficult target, because the dwarf used drastically different tactics than the elves that Vakra was accustomed to fighting, and the dwarf seemed very much at home in the cramped tunnels. Jesrug led several parties into the sewers to flush out the half-elf, and he almost succeeded in capturing Vakra.

Vakra was lured into Jesrug's trap at the docks, along with the rest of the Scars. Traveling with a small contingent of trained killers, Vakra emerged from the sewers and converged on the dwarf, who seemed to be alone and vulnerable. Suddenly dozens of soldiers, sorcerers, and wizards appeared out of nowhere. Almost all of the lesser members of the Scars were killed or captured. Vakra's escape route was blocked by protective magic, and he was captured by Jesrug's assistants.

Jesrug's men and women hauled Vakra off to the elven High Council of Pal Ador, who immediately decided that he was to be executed for his crimes. Vakra found himself locked in a high tower, where he now waits for his death at the hands of the people he hated with such passion.

About the Author

Eric Cagle is the Administrative Assistant to the R&D Department at Wizards of the Coast. Don't let the title fool you: He's also a regular gamer. Eric has edited several different projects for R&D and co-designed a D&D sourcebook due in 2002, and he playtests several products a month. He also currently works on the Star Wars Roleplaying Game and takes a perverse delight in playing the bad guy whenever possible.

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