Year of the Tiger
Grandmaster of Flowers
Tharek is usually pensive, though talkative. He is most definitely argumentative, though sees argument more as a refinement of concepts than a contest. If you manage to offend him by going against one of his core values, he can be extremely hardheaded and volatile. The thing most likely to trigger him in such a way is slavery.
Tharek is rather different than most Githzerai in that he follows neither the teachings of Zerthimon (who believes in the destruction of Illithids as necessary, but sees killing other races as evil), nor those of Gith (who believes in the destruction of any race capable of enslaving the Githzerai/Githyanki);
- Tharek sees very little boundary between races, and so sees Zerthimon as absurd.
- He views the capability to do something as a completely different thing from actually doing it, and thus sees Gith as doubly absurd.
- He does not see patience as a virtue (a Zerthimon concept), but instead sees control as a virtue.
- He views heavy focus toward a goal (another Z concept) as a potentially negative thing for the balance of the mind.
Tharek believes that the balance of the internal must be the beginning of the balance of the external. To truly balance oneself in the midst of chaos will make one stronger. External balance born of internal disquiet will never truly be an ecosystem in which your soul may thrive. Free will is the necessary element of chaos in the system, but that chaos must still be balanced to remain free and unfettered by bias.
Tharek enjoys tea.
After taking part in the defeat of an Illithid for the first time since becoming a rrathmal, Tharek was able to clear his soul of self-doubt. Tharek’s self-doubt (and, from that, pride) sprang from the fact that he had never completed the Githzerai rite-of-passage (that is, going on a rrathma and defeating an Illithid), and thus never considered himself a full Githyanki. The removal of the flaw in his soul allows him to take the path of truly perfecting his soul, which is reflected in the Grandmaster of Flowers epic destiny.
Some of the tenets of Tharek’s path are as follows:
Restrain yourself / Have no restraints
Control yourself / Be free from control
Have no pride in your self / Have no doubt in your self
Know the truth / See nothing as true
Aid others / Do not enable others to depend on aid
Cause freedom / Cause order
Be mindful / Keep a clear mind
Act with efficiency / Be without hurry
Act with full conviction / Be fully convinced of nothing
After leaving my monastery, I travelled the elemental chaos for a time. I did not seek to affect the surrounding chaos, instead striving only to bring my mind into an equilibrium with my body, and balance my emotions and my thoughts.
During my travels, I chanced upon a badly-wounded quartet of Githyanki. Despite the animosity between my race and the Githyanki, I did help administer aid. After informing the group that I had left my monastery because of philosophical differences between the ’Zerai and myself, the ’Yanki invited me to join their band. I was 15 at the time.
The four went by the names were Trralk, Lisntra, Dragli, and Shren. The reason that they were in the elemental chaos, or at least so they told me, was to destroy an Illithid city that ’Yanki scouts had reported. The band of ’Yanki originally numbered 13. 9 were slain after being ambushed by a group of Illithids, these four being the only survivors. I did not press for details.
I travelled with the band for the next few years. We called ourselves “Brotherhood” – I came to understand that the four had been through quite a lot together. Evidently, in a fashion similar to my people, the war party was not permitted to return until each had slain at least a single Illithid. Dragli had not yet fulfilled his duty, and the others had decided to stay with him on his quest.
At one point we fought and destroyed a group of elementals who had recently slain a small group of Genasi children. We looted the corpses of the children; the dead have no need for possessions. Lisntra and I threw the bodies back into the chaos after we were done – the others thought we were a bit too sentimental, but did not hinder us.
I came to form a sort of bond with the band as we travelled, particularly with Lisntra. She seemed to be more emotional than the others, though she had a somewhat erratic mind. Trralk and she got along very well with each other; I later learned that the two were to be wed upon return to their home in the astral sea. Dragli seemed a little jealous of the two, though she tried to hide it. Shren pretended to be bored of the romantic love that the couple had for each other, but I could sense a deep pain within him whenever he looked at them.
Some time when I was 17, I was standing watch while the others were resting. We had recently had an encounter with a particularly unstable part of the chaos, and as a result we were quite exhausted. I heard, or perhaps felt, a disturbance behind me. Whirling around, I spotted an Illithid about twenty-eight meters away. I roused the others. Shren began the fight by stabbing at Lisntra – he had evidently already succumbed to the Illithid’s power. Shren’s sword bit deep into Lisntra’s belly. I rushed up to Shren and knocked him to the ground with a powerful blow. Trralk angrily rushed at the advancing Illithid, who dodged his sword swing, resulting in only a minor cut across its shoulder. Dragli jumped at the Illithid, knocking it to the ground. I somehow sensed the Illithid grab hold of Dragli’s mind, so I rushed at the creature in an attempt to distract it. I dodged Dragli’s clumsy swing, and chopped down hard at the Illithid’s neck, cutting almost half way through. Dragli, snapping out of the trance, stabbed his sword cleanly through the Illithid’s head, slaying it.
Lisntra, who had used her psionic powers to immobilize the dominated Shren, released him. She likely could have handled the stomach wound if Shren hadn’t had the habit of applying a deadly venom to his weapons, but as it was she would likely die within the day without some sort of magical healing. We headed toward the nearest Genasi village, which was almost a day away. I was afraid she would not make it.
As luck would have it, we encountered a band of Genasi after only five hours of travel. They thankfully could not tell the difference between Githyanki and Githzerai, and assumed us to be the latter. They had an old cleric with a strange amulet that the ‘Yanki seemed to recognise. After the cleric healed her, Lisntra stabbed him in the back with a dagger, killing him instantly. I never even knew the cleric’s name. The others attacked on her cue, all quickly and efficiently slaughtering unsuspecting Genasi. My soul wavered for half a moment, and then guided my body’s actions in a blur that I barely remember. Only three of the Genasi were still alive after the massacre. I had slain my Brotherhood.