Sins of the Solar Empire.
Emperor of the Horselands
An imposing figure if there ever was one, though not the largest. He stands at a respectable 6’6" and weighs about 220 Lbs. His physique is muscled but he still manages to be suprisingly lithe and agile in his movements. He walks with the presence and palpable aura of any man of his stature should. We wears twin short daiklaives, sheathed at his waist. He appears to be in his mid 40’s, based off his his salt-and-pepper hair and beard, but the history of the empire makes it well known that his true age is well over 200 years old.
History tells us of a boy born in the wilderness of what would become the Horselands. Shortly after his first birthday, his mother was killed by a bride of Ahlat and he was forced to survive on his own, even though he was barely able to walk more than a few feet at a time. The child wandered into a clearing and came upon a mare and her newborn foal. Its maternal instincts taking over, the mare took the boy under her care, nursing and raising him as best a horse can a boy. By age 3, he boy was riding what had become his brother, the foal he had met 2 years ago now fully grown. The 2 were inseparable from that point on and he had named his brother Thunderhoof. As he grew older, he remained far away from any civilized lands, roaming the plains with his adopted family, learning the ways of the wilderness and becoming stronger for it.
When he was 6, he found himself near a tranquil pond with his brother and the pair were resting after a long ride. Coming out from the trees that surrounded this place, a centaur approached them. He introduced himself as Khandahl, The Horse Lord, Southeastern God of Husbandry and horses. Khandahl praised him for the care and affection he showed to Thunderhoof, who Nok came to know was Khandahl’s own son. He foretold Nok that many many trials and hardships awaiting him in his life, but that he must never back down from any challenge, and to always trust his bond with his horse-brother. He also told him to beware of the servants of Ahlat, as they were the ones responsible for the death of his human mother.
During his 16th year, he encountered a small encampment within his home territory. As he approached for a closer look, he saw the symbols of Ahlat amongst the makeshift structures that had been erected, and to his horror, he also saw that they had captured Thunderhoof’s mother and were abusing and demeaning her. Infuriated with what he had seen and not having any idea of what to do, Nok and Thunderhoof rode off a ways from their encampment so as to provide Nok with time to create a plan. As they rode, they came above a herd of wild horse. Nok called out to them to follow, invoking Khandahl’s name and demanding that they honor their spiritual father and come free his mate.
Surprisingly, the horses did just that, and they rode back to the camp and stampeded through it, smashing it under their countless hooves. Many of the people there were killed, but one especially skilled woman, a woman whose face had haunted his nightmares for as long as he could remember, unhorsed him and prepared to end him the way she had ended his mother.
Just then, the Spark of Divine Fire, The Exigence, entered Nok’s body, transforming him into a vessel of vast power. With that power, he struck down his attacker and the remaining stragglers that were fleeing the scene wildly. With this newfound power, Nok sat out to find others like him, those who had lived off the lands, those who understand the sacred bond of man and beast. Over the next 200+ years, he painstakingly founded the Empire of the Horselands, setting its rules and laws, its strictures and beliefs, and uniting several xenophobic tribes together to work together as one, to protect Khandahl’s domain from all those that would seek to harm it, its beasts, or its people.
Khandahl was nearly unmade by the sacrifice of exigence, but Nok has spent the last 2 centuries repaying his debt by rebuilding Khandahl’s power base.