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 Assessment of Shard Gallows

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Join date : 2015-10-21

PostSubject: Assessment of Shard Gallows   Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:55 pm

Assessment of Shard Gallows.
By Slick the king of thieves.

I know no one at the tower wishes to admit it. But sooner or later the chosen champion Shadow, will eventually fall in battle. It is his life, he’s a fighter. And even though the champion isn’t suppose to be aware, let alone be a part of the organization. That being said, I believe Shard Gallows should and is the best candid for a champion. Being he’s not in the habit of looking for a fight, and he seems gifted with limited immortality such as myself, and the Atlantien prince, Kodo. However unlike myself, Shard seems to enjoy his long life and always seems to be the optimistic sort, who’s not afraid to challenge those in power.

Before I can continue with my assessment, let me begin by discussing the hierarchy of Atlantis. Other than the royal line, their Legislative guide, and a social architecture governing the people, defined the role of everyone and everything in their society regardless of whether it is spiritual or mundane. For example, some Atlantieans are raised as soldiers from a very young age. They are expected to be strong, disciplined, and stoic, adhering without fail to the tenets of honor and duty as defined in the law. Those who were bright were forced to become scientist, teachers, and researchers. Fanatical in this devotion, the Atlantieans were prepared to wage war throughout their entire lives as part of their attempts to "enlighten" all other races in regards to their philosophy.
Becoming known as the Titans, until they were nearly decimated by the Meltra aka the Gods. Despite their technology advantages, only a small number of Atlantieans possessed any real power. Chronus, the king of Atlantis had physical domain abilities; he had the strength of 20 men, skin as tough as boiled leather and accelerated healing abilities which made him a force to be reckoned with. But others of his race possessed vastly varied and very different abilities such as Shard’s nature domain abilities, Kodo’s power of transmutation, with others who much weaker power, such as fishing, (knowing instinctively the best places to fish and what bait to use.) Powers that are, well useless on the battlefield. Those who had powers of any note, such as fighting, or elemental powers, were often promoted to captains, generals, or whatever field best situated their abilities. The Atlantieans also had smaller numbers then the Meltra, only one of twenty couplings ever resulted in children.
Their culture also lacked dreams, creativity, and independence. Those who were weak, unskilled, or lacking in intelligence were given menial jobs, poor quarters and rations. Yet strangely enough everyone was treated as equals, (except for those deemed as royalty)
But their decree covered a broad and complex range of topics, summarizing or explaining it to those not raised within it is difficult for those not trained to do it. Most inquiries from outsiders were met by refusal, not out of ill will, but because most the Atlantieans knew only those parts of their law that affected their specific duties. Only royalty was equipped to convey it, and even they had to study it rigorously.
Every aspect of the Atlantieans lives were dictated by the legislation, which they followed unquestioningly, and saw as their moral duty to forcefully "educate" those who didn’t comprehend or who had questioned the law.
Shard was lucky that his father was a royal ranger, which earned him a special privilege of choosing to train his son in the ways or the royal ranger force. The Rangers were ranked nearly as highly ranked as royalty and were highly valuable. One ranger was equivalent to a hundred soldiers. They were the elite, best of the best and numbered in the very few. Their training was rigorous, taking only the strongest and the brightest of their kind. Part of the reason why the Ranger’s were often given the king’s authority which made them even more revered.

However when Shard a young man he was given the task of assessing potential threats and enemies, he was ordered to keep interaction with outsiders to a minimal. Which Shard quickly disobeyed, finding himself drawn to the outside world and wanting to find out more about the people he was ordered not to interact with.
Soon Shard found himself in the middle of a kingdom under siege, which he quickly leapt to the aid the defenders against the attack. Naturally Shard was quickly recognized and hailed as a hero. At first Shard was uncomfortable with the praise, but when the king had asked for Shard’s aid in another matter threatening Kingdom, Shard asked for an reward which the King agreed to, which begun his career as a hero for hire.
For awhile Shard seemed to briefly forget his original assignment, seeing the other races and kingdoms less of a threat, but more as people. His adventuring and being around others had changed him. He loved people, enjoyed mingling with other cultures and races, fascinated most with humans and they dreamed and would form rebellions to rise up against dictators and injustices. He believed humans had an incredible will and spirit about them, with unsurpassed ingenuity and spirit.

He found elves equally fascinating as well as dwarves, and particularly enjoyed their drinks and songs. Same with humans and elves (The latter of which taught him magic, which he had an affinity for) But this is a long way of saying, he fell in love with culture, the imagination, religions, art, drive and dreams of those his people considered outsiders. Everything his people had lacked. They had Science instead of religion; they didn’t have art, for they felt it being pointless.
When Shard finally managed to return home to Atlantis, the council demanded Shard be lashed for his interfering in the lives of outsiders. He then received four lashes as punishment. (Four doesn’t sound like much, but this was a plasma lash, causing four times the amount of pain as a whip, and sends pain across every pain receptor throughout the body, which feels akin to setting oneself on fire, it also attacks a person’s spirit, and mind.) But Shard took his punishment as gracefully as he could, passing out only twice.
Later when he saw his people, he saw how many of them were unhappy, with many longing for more, to do more, but none wishing to admit it, or give such thoughts voice. This bothered Shard immensely. Prompting him to try and change the decree of Atlantis. Wanting to give his people something to aspire to, to be inspired and to dream, to become more then what they were. So he first went to the people, and found it exhausting. Those, whom agreed with him, were too afraid to openly admit it out of fear of being put to death or receive lashings.
So he did what any liberator would do, he went to the royal council and pleaded with to change how they govern. The council wasn’t pleased and many of them began demanding he be executed. Fortunately Chronus refused to kill Shard on the grounds that he was one of their best and strongest rangers. So instead he ordered eleven lashes for his insubordination and reeducation.

This time Shard stayed conscious, and when he asked how he felt by the royal decree, Shard could barely stand, and with steel in his voice, said, and I quote,
“You know….the dwarves have….a form of government they called a democracy, they vote on new leaders every fifty years based off…how they appeal to the people, and the…ideas…and values they offer….and the elves…they have a Technocracy government…while others… have gerontocracy their leaders are often…the wisest and oldest amongst them.….”

Again the royal counsel demanded his head, and this time even the king was tempted, however it should be said prince Kodo agreed some of what Shard had said, and had also believed their government could benefit from a change. (also should be noted that Shard had once trained Kodo and the two had become friends and frequent sparring partners) It was the prince who asked for leniency and pointed out that if Shard wanted to, or was so threatened, he could rip Atlantis apart with his abilities. So the king ordered Shard to receive 34 more lashings, very nearly killing him. By the end of it, he couldn’t even stand, and looking pale…more so then usual and covered in a sheen of sweat, breathing heavily, Shard…attempting to make a point or something rasped, “So…you…tossers…don’t…want to…even talk about it?” Prompting the king to stand up from his throne, marched over to Shard, and took his head gently in his massive hands, and head butted him, promptly knocking him out. Then had him dragged to their prison, without food or water in hopes of breaking him and his ideology, and once more Shard almost died from sticking to his ideals and from being a smartass. So eventually the royal council, threatened to have his mother lashed if he didn’t recant his newly found ideals. Reluctantly Shard agreed and believed the counsel crossed a line by going after his mother.
However the counsel wasn’t quite finished with making an example of Shard and ordered his mother’s execution without his knowledge, then branded him with the second name “Gallows” Those given the name Gallows are forbidden to see or speak with any family or friends, they deemed as outcast, stripped of titles, rank and privilege. Forbidden to marry/breed under the threat of castration (Which thankfully for Shard was something even they wouldn’t dare to do on account of Shard’s powers) they also lose their rank, privileges, personal belongings and property. Being named a Gallows also forbade others from speaking with him unless of course he was acting on official Ranger business, but had lost his position as Royal High ranger, but he was still too good of a ranger and too valuable to stripped of his rank entirely.
It should be said that before Shard was finally released from his cell, (they held him for several weeks in attempt to reeducate him. But during this time, two weeks after his mother educated, several of the royal counsel who had suggested in his mother’s execution and voted for it, had all died under questionable circumstances. It’s not known, and not even I could see if Shard had something to do with it, or as I’m implied to believe that the prince may have had something to do with their deaths. Unlike Shard, Kodo knew his place and knew he couldn’t openly speak out against the decree, but often hinted at the idea of changing the government and decree under the guise that any government that didn’t grow and change with the people, would eventually become stale and stagnate. Then again Shard’s reach is quite long, he can not only communicate and control plants, he can also communicate and command animals. But if Shard had anything to do with it, he gave no hint of his involvement.

After his release, Shard actually took to the name brand with pride and actually seemed to enjoy being hailed as Shard Gallows. Often talking with his fellow Atlantieans about it, rather they listened to him or not. (he was mostly ignored)
Eventually Shard was ordered to oversee a uprising of slaves and gladiators in Rome, where he was accompanied by a Royal high ranger who had assumed Shard’s previous rank. The two had surveyed and studied the uprising for three days, until Shard managed to slip away and began aiding the rebellion. It to the Ranger in charge several months to track down the Shard, while undoing everything he had done to help the rebellion before finally managing to bring Shard down by posing as a friend, but betraying him, then dragged him back to their ship and back to Atlantis, where Shard was forced to stand trial for his actions for once again aiding outsiders.
Shard pleaded his case, saying that their kind with all their power and technology should help the other races, build alliances and learn from each other. The King and the royal counsel answered his call for change, by ordering a form of decimation. Shard was shackled, against two poles which held his arms out wide in a y shape. Then 30,000 Atlantiean soldiers were ordered to strike Shard twice as hard as they could at any part of his body. Several of these soldiers tried taking pity upon Shard, for he had always been a source of amusement, moral and had helped or saved them in several battles and wars. So many tried not striking him in the same place as the others, but the result was still incredibly painful. But Shard kept smiling at every solider as they approached him, (Or at least tried to) And telling them it was okay and that they were just following orders. But he always kept his eyes on the King and his counsel, who had him woken up every time he passed out. By the end of his punishment Shard was blind with both eyes swelling shut and he lacked the strength of even lift his head. Several had assumed he had been killed. When it was revealed he was still alive, he was dragged back to his all too familiar cell. It took months for Shard to heal, and when Atlantis became under attacked by unknown raiders (horsemen, most importantly Death and War and all of their forces, including that of 3 sins and their followers along with a contingent of raiders, demons and races. So prince Kodo managed to convince his Father into releasing Shard and ask for his aid in helping them to destroy the flying city. To the King this felt like a suicide mission, so when it came to making terms with Shard, who had agreed to the mission on the grounds he’d be allowed to leave Atlantis, the King agreed.

Upon his release, he also received his former rank and equipment and set out for Sky City, which he managed to infiltrate with the aid of a humanoid lizard creature named Deekin (Who taught him a few spells and incantations in return for saving him from….well a dragon.) Long story short, the two were successful. But upon Shard managing to destroy the sky city, he witnessed the destruction of Atlantis moments before he was sucked into limbo, saving his life.

What Shard doesn’t know, or doesn’t want to accept. Kodo truly didn’t have a choice but destroy Atlantis. Over two million of his kind was wiped out in an instant. Of course I don’t know what it’ll be like to watch your entire species becoming wiped out in a single moment. Despite all of their Atlantiean’s strength and vastly superior technology they couldn’t stand up much to the regular invading armies, plus a full, concentrated assault by so many horsemen, with Death leading the charge. The horsemen desired the Atlantiean’s technology to ruin the world use the people as slaves, or worse. Shard had been correct, by seeing the other races as outsiders and never extending an olive branch to them gave them no allegiance to call upon. So Kodo, knowing the harm the invaders could cause if they gained any of the Atlantiean’s technology would cause doom to the world, and his people would suffer, he used his power to sink and blow up Atlantis, fully expecting to die with his people. Now there has been some speculation that Kodo saw the sky city drifting closer to Atlantis and had believed Shard had failed and acted out of desperation. Something Kodo begrudgingly admitted once or twice. And Shard believes this as well and hates Kodo for now giving a chance to pull through. (In Kodo’s defense, Shard was to destroy the flying city several days prior.) And Kodo knew there was no way they could turn back the current invaders along with the invaders from the flying city, who had technology and weapons that matched their own.

Despite all his torture, loss of friends, and his losses in general. Shard remains a genuinely upbeat and positive soul. He’s cracks jokes and wise in dire situations more for his comrades then itself. He’s the type of person to suck the marrow out of life and he loves being alive and his limited immortality. I haven’t even lived half as long as he and I’ve been longing for a way to break Baba Yaga’s enchantment so I may age normally and finally look forward to retiring. But not Shard, he keeps going no matter what. He has my most heartfelt respect.

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