Traits and Appearance:
Personality: Calm, thoughtful and inquisitive. Ko'ulu has the patience of a born fisherman. He can fish for days, content that he will successfully bring home a catch.
Appearance: Ko'ulu has a build common to the people of his village: compact with a wiry strength that is not evident until you watch one of them hauling a thrashing net full of fish into a rocking boat. His skin is the deep brown common to people of the tropics and his eyes are dark and solemn. He is too young to have earned any tattoos so his arms and legs are bare of ornamentation. He does not wear boots as it is easier to keep footing on a deck slick with fishguts with bare toes.
Tarpinscale baked under the glaring tropical sun. The fishing village of a few hundred souls sat on the sandy strand of a blue-green lagoon. The reef across the inlet to the lagoon kept the worst predators at bay but let the shallow bottomed fishing boats of the village sail in and out, as long as one kept a careful eye on the bottom.
Ko’ulu sailed alone. Ever since his father had passed on he hadn’t found anyone with the same quiet confidence who he could work with. Tarru, Kikal, Bessik, they were all good men, wise in the sea and wind, but they just didn’t have that something that he was looking for in a crew.
It wasn’t as if Ko’ulu wasn’t able to sail the boat by himself. Years of hauling nets, working with spear and blade and hunting the rare shark that made it into the lagoon had hardened Ko’ulu. He had an excellent weather eye and could navigate by the stars. He knew, with the confidence of youth, that he would be successful on the water.
So, he was planning to go out for a few days to the deeper water, to catch the tarpin, for which the village was known. He hugged his sister goodby, nodded at her husband, and patted his nephew on the head as he walked through the quiet village to the sandy beach where the boat waited. High tide was coming, and time and tide wait for no man.
Ko'ulu had been becalmed for several days before the storm blew in. By itself, that had been nothing new. He had already caught a small load of fish before the wind died, and while his small cask of water was running low, he knew all the small tricks to staying alive on the open sea. He rigged his sunshade up over the small craft, and after the typical cold meal of seaweed and fish he slept. In the morning the dew collected on the shade and poured in a steady trickle into the water cask. It wasn’t much, but it would stretch for days.
Having nothing better to do, Ko’ulu fished.
On the fifth day, when the water was as smooth as a piece of taut cloth, and shone like Sarenrae, a leviathan broached the surface some distance away. It rolled over once, its tail smacking the surface with a crack like thunder, before it vanished.
On the ninth day, there was no dew in the morning and Ko’ulu began to get worried. The small cask had barely two finger-widths of water left.
On the fifteenth day, when Ko’ulu awoke, Sarenrae did not rise with him. The sky was a mass of clouds, grey-green and full of water. The water was no longer still, but pulsed and shook as small hiccupy swirls of wind splashed down on the surface. He took down his sunshade as quickly as he could and dumped all but a few fish over the side. Then he tied everything to the boat, including himself, and looked up in time to see the grey curtain of wind and water sweeping across the surface of the sea.
Ko’ulu could would never know how long he fought the sea. He used every trick that he knew: riding along some waves, paddling with his oars against others, using a small scrap of sail to run with the wind, turning against the wind when the waves were too strong. He fought in the inky darkness of the storm, his arms, legs and back burning with exhaustion. When the wind finally slowed from its furious gusting, the waves died down to a slow easy roll, and the rain fell gently, he slept.
And awoke to the terrible scrape of rock against wood. Ko’ulu stared in horror at the knife edged rock protruding up through the stove-in ribs of the small boat. Water pulsed into the bottom of the boat. In shock, he looked around, desperate for an escape and saw that he was dashed against rocks barely a quarter mile away from what appeared to be a harbor. His ancestors would laugh at the irony of losing his boat so close to safety…wherever this was.
He gathered his few belongings and left the boat behind, swimming with broad, powerful strokes for the shore.
Walking down the beach, his bare feat quiet on the soft sand, he watched the people and ships with the critical eye of a sailor. Many of the boats had the broad beam of merchantmen. Some, however, had a narrow, rakish cast, something that only warships or pirates would have. This was a free port then, where pirates docked without fear. Ko’ulu smiled, a plan forming. This many freebooters and free captains meant that there would be many people looking for business. Once he determined where he was in relation to Tarpinscale, he could and would buy passage on a ship and get back to his village. If he had to, he would fish until he had made enough money. He could always fish.
Ko’ulu pushed his way into the Formidably Maid looking for any information on how to buy passage on a ship. A few fruitless hours later, he remained without direction. Nobody seemed to have any idea where Tarpinscale was. Nobody had heard of the name even in passing.
I guess I will have to stick to my plan...fish, work and keep asking questions. Perhaps if I get passage on a ship I will sail somewhere I recognize... Ko'ulu took another swig of ale from the mug that had appeared on his table. If I am patient and dedicated, I will make my way home in time. It would be exciting to sail this way..., he thought, eyeing the sailors who were spending money on drinks and wearing gold earrings and chains. Wouldn't Meala be impressed...
Male Human (Mwangi) Fighter 4
LN Medium Humanoid (human)
Init +2; Senses Perception +4
AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +2 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 31 (4d10+4)
Fort +5 (+4 vs. suffocation or hot or cold environments), Ref +3, Will +3 (+1 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities Bravery +1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Dagger +8 (1d4+4/19-20/x2) and
. . Javelin +4 (1d6+4/x2) and
. . Trident +9 (1d8+4/x2) and
. . Unarmed strike +8 (1d3+4/x2)
Str 18, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +4; CMB +8; CMD 20
Feats Diehard, Endurance, Improved Unarmed Strike, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack -2/+4, Weapon Focus (Trident)
Traits Touched by the Sea
Skills Acrobatics +2, Climb +9, Escape Artist +1, Fly +1, Intimidate +8, Perception +4, Profession (fisherman) +6, Profession (sailor) +9, Ride +1, Stealth +1, Survival +6, Swim +10 (+14 vs. exhaustion)
Languages Common, Polyglot
Combat Gear Chain shirt, Dagger, Javelin (5), Leather armor, Trident; Other Gear Amulet of natural armor +1, Fishhook (10), Fishing net, Flint and steel, Potion of cure moderate wounds, String or twine, Whetstone, Wrist sheath (empty)
Bravery +1 (Ex) +1 Will save vs. Fear
Diehard You are stable and can choose how to act when at -1 to -9 HP.
Endurance +4 to a variety of skill checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Power Attack -2/+4 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Touched by the Sea Underwater attack penalties are lessened by 1.