|Full Name:||Ashar Shenwari|
|Country of Origin:||The Eretz, Najjir|
|Religion:||Not religious but Menxiyeh|
|Occupation:||Ranger, amateur botanist|
|Income:||hunting bounties, providing protection|
Ashar’s life began on a small inn in a picturesque valley in the Eretz. His father, a retired soldier in the Eretz guard, was its co-proprietor along with his mother. They were aided by Ashar and his four siblings. It was a quiet life that had a young Ashar gazing wistfully over the waters at the great merchant ships docking in Mashriq. From a relatively early age, Ashar developed an affinity for botany, and helping his parents grow and breed new strains of crops. It was not until much later than he realised that his skills were more than mere learnt traits, but something more arcane.
People with botanical magic were highly sought after in the arid Najjiri mainland. Ashar had dreams of studying in the Universities of Dashtrakhan, furthering his knowledge. But his father would not countenance his son going to get lost in books, and scrolls far away while the little tavern struggled to get by. No, Ashar being the eldest sibling would have to learn the trade and take over the family business once he was gone. It was either that or follow his father’s footsteps into the state guard. Ashar, already a proficient cook from learning from his mother, opted for the latter, figuring that he would get to see more of Najjir, if not so much the rest of the world.
His training in the Eretz guard was a gruelling ordeal. Over the years in the guard his botanical skills regressed and his survival and combat skills came to the fore. He proved adept at his duties, so much so that he was added to the personal guard of the daughter of the Emir of Eretz. This enabled Ashar to travel the length and breadth of Najjir (though mainly to the big main states). Ashar became a favourite of the Princess, elevated to the rank of captain and less formally a loyal confidant. Perhaps inevitably feelings between the two started to emerge and they ended up falling in love. Their relationship was kept a secret for a while but it could not last. The Emir found out and banished Ashar from the guard and The Eretz under pain of death.
Ashar embarked on a new chapter in his life on the Najjir mainland. He became a sword-for-hire, taking up with a band of mercenaries who protected merchant caravans through the treacherous desert routes. During this time, Ashar learnt how to survive in the desert, read the sand and the stars and track prey and enemies alike across mile and mile of endless desert and dunes. He is accompanied from this point by a female peregrine falcon he named “Gul”, whom he came across as an injured fledgeling in the mountains of Ul’habad. He would split with his mercenary company and go it alone for a few years. Doing odd jobs for Emirs, merchants and nobles alike, as well as joining with some of the nomadic tribes. Ashar longs to be able to return home, but though his name becomes reasonably well known throughout mainland Najjir, his homeland in Eretz until now remains closed to him.
Ashar has been able to study botany in greater depth, despite having no official training. Accompanying scholars in their travels, he has gained some significant insights into this field of science, and his now latent botanical magic. As his knowledge increases, so does his desire to see new lands. He seeks to leave the dunes and heat of Najjir behind and venture forth into the rest of the world. Though he still harbors hope of being able to legally return home to Eretz one day. He has heard a rumour that the Emir seeks an especially rare plant, a type of orchid that has not grown in Najjir for generations and no specimens exist currently. The ‘fire orchid’ also known as the ‘phoenix flower’, or the ‘blood hellborine’ characterized by its flame red petals and golden orange stamen and dark grey stem is said to grow on parched barren soils on which blood has been shed. The botanists Ashar has consulted are of differing minds on whether this is true or even if the fire orchid even exists, but Ashar wonders if presenting the Emir with such a gift would regain his favour and allow him to return home.
For the most part Ashar is even tempered for the most part, and outwardly is not a man of many words. Though this belies a curious mind, and a thirst for knowledge and adventure which the passing years have not dulled. He has an impulsive streak to him, and will often undertake a task without giving it too much though, relying on instinct and a quick mind to get him through. Despite being proficient at it, Ashar isn’t someone who particularly enjoys combat, but he loves the thrill of the chase. Tracking someone or something, following field signs and judging his quarry’s motives and pursuing them doggedly does get his blood flowing.
He is at his most relaxed around a campfire under the stars. This is where he would open up to people more easily, over a pot of piping hot coffee (or poppy tea) and a pipe. Once he is comfortable with someone and trusts them, he is quite loyal (despite his mercenary past) and will endeavour to help them if needed.
Lately he has taken to attempting to grow certain crops in and around oases using his latent magic. He seeks to understand more about botany and horticulture so that he can bring more green to the parched lands of Najjir. His experimenting with potion making has until now not yielded any positive results.
Ashar is 6’0” and with a wiry build. He isn’t particularly physically imposing, and isn’t the fastest runner. But what he does lack in those areas he makes up for in endurance. Able to walk for long distances on minimal rations and water.
His skin tone is brown, and has a thin, if slightly unkempt beard running along a strong jawline. He has jet black hair falling to his neckline, but typically it is wrapped up in a black cotton head scarf typical of his people. Another black scarf is wrapped around his nose and mouth to stop him from inhaling too much sand, so that only his olive green eyes are visible. He wears a long sleeved off-white shirt with loose-fitted black pants and dark brown boots. On top of it is a dull green cloak that is held together with a pin made from an amber coloured crystal in the shape of a falcon, a gift from a merchant he had helped in the past.
He carries a battered leather falconry glove with him, but he has trained Gul by now to rest on his arm or shoulder without its use.
Abilities & Skills
- Agile, has good balance.
- Strong endurance
- Quick with the sword
- Proficient swordsman, and use of quarterstaff
- Excellent tracking abilities
- Developing botanical knowledge
- Able to make herbal salves and ointments
- Good horseman
- Botanical magic - Ashar is able to grow plants, or at the very least cause seeds to germinate in inhospitable environments. His efforts to grow them into fully formed crops until now has lead to mixed results.
- Gul - He is able to communicate with his falcon and, upon meditating, able to see through her eyes. He is only able to do this with Gul and no other animals.
- A curved sabre strapped across his back. Kept in good condition.
- Hunting knife strapped at his belt used for skinning and slicing meat.
- A falcon companion that he can communicate with, use to scout the terrain ahead, and hunt small prey items with.
Leather gauntlets around his wrists
- His trusty tobacco pipe with some tobacco (dried and shredding and infused with some spices).
- Some small tins of ointments and salves he made himself
- Water canteen
- Map of roads and trade routes, featuring locations of cities and larger settlements
- A tin of premium strong Sh’hazridi coffee
- Coin pouch
- Some poppy seeds and pods for either smoke or infuse in tea (safely).
- Learning more about the botanical sciences
- Being allowed to return to the Eretz
- Finding the fire orchid
- Finding more about the world beyond Najjir.