All he ever wanted was to be appreciated.

Alekel hails originally from the city of Tyr. If asked, he tells of being the youngest son of a merchant family that bettered its lot in life largely through his parents’ spectacular fertility. There were so many kids that Alekel was mostly forgotten. Even as a small child, he was sometimes left to fend for himself for entertainment and mentorship. Naturally, Alekel fell in with the worst sort: street performers.

Early in his teen years, Alekel broke away from his family. He traveled first with merchant caravans and performance troupes, hoping to make a name and a life for himself as a minstrel. He had the talent, to be sure, but he had a hard time overcoming the reputations and jealous sniping of entrenched performers in the cities. Moreover, he was a genuine adventurer. When he might have been plugging away at small venues, he was instead on the road or even in the wastes pursuing some new and interesting legend or rumor.

When Raam was besieged after Dregoth’s coup, Alekel was caught in the city spying for (TBD). He was tossed into the arena, doomed to face a grisly end. While awaiting their matches, many of Alekel’s fellow prisoners were overcome with fear, with grim resolve, or with plans for escape. Instead of all that, Alekel watched the proceedings of the arena with a performer’s eye: when he should have been preoccupied with thoughts of survival, he was instead watching the other gladiators and asking himself, as a performer does, how he would do things differently. He had accepted that he was bound to die; he simply didn’t want to die poorly.

Where other competitors scrambled and struggled and fought, Alekel danced. He taunted his foes and bolstered his teammates. He sang. While many established gladiators projected power and called for respect, Alekel shrewdly presented himself as an underdog and a man of the people.

Rather than losing the big crowds and wealthy patrons to more established minstrels, Alekel had finally found himself on a grand stage before huge audiences, and he played it for all it was worth. Before long, Alekel was a star.

All those adventures in his past kept him alive. Operating as a team player, Alekel formed alliances with other gladiators to ensure mutual survival. Backstage, he managed to dodge out of most one-on-one and last-man-standing events; there were some, to be sure, but he eluded his fair share. Alekel played to his strengths, allowing him to not only survive, but thrive.

The authorities of Raam noticed. Agents of Dregoth eventually realized that Alekel was one of those minstrels, the kind with a dagger up each sleeve and as mindful an eye on the exits as they kept on the audience. These agents spoke with Alekel in his cell, ascertaining that the young man had no ideological or familial loyalty to other city states. He was offered a chance for new employment. Sensing some measure of appreciation, Alekel accepted.

Alekel is bizarrely cheerful and energetic for someone who has seen so much of Athas. It’s entirely possible he’s just mad. Yet his energy is infectious, and many gladiators in the arena have found that it’s good to have a fighting cheerleader on their side. His breadth of knowledge and skills are certainly a great boon to many endeavors, and at the very least, he’s not stuck playing taverns full of poor people anymore.

Personal Card: The Gladiator – Fire – Exaltation & Death / Fame / Bloodlust
House Card: The Thief – Fire – Greed / Desire / Risk / Stealth


The Reign of Dregoth scaryblackdeath