The Slaves of House Hezzrat
Alkali is a spirit shaman of his half-giant tribe that survives in the wastes of Athas. He began his pursuit of shamanism at a young age following the death of his surrogate sister figure: a fellow half-giant barbarian named Tacia. Orphaned shortly before being assimilated into the tribe, Alkali’s time with Tacia was short but enough for her morals and beliefs to influence his.
The bookish Alkali insists on raising no arms himself, instead relying on the spirits he conjures to defend himself. His fractured state of mind following the loss of his hero found a kindred spirit in the ravaged world of Athas, and that connection influences Alkali’s shamanism well. When the time comes for him to summon a corporeal form to fight for his life the resulting spirits may resemble a cohesive being but instead are made of the basest of materials that embody Athas: sand, stone, bone, crystal, flame, wind. He is in constant communion with the voices of the world that he hears and attempts frequently to communicate with Tacia, but is vexed to find that she cannot respond except in action or in battle. He hopes someday that his understanding will allow the two of them to communicate again, but until that time relishes the opportunity to have her around in any capacity, regardless of stony appearances.
Alkali’s most consistent spirits he calls are the aberration known as the Tembo, and of course, Tacia. Alkali feels that the monster that is the Tembo very well represents Athas — its form has been altered such that it is rendered unrecognizable, and it has become vicious and cruel. What better means to fight the horrors of a ravaged world than with a shade of a cruel and terrifying beast whose creation was a result of the world’s decline?
The relationship between Alkali and Tacia as victim and defender persists even in spite of death. She comes when he calls for assistance, and when he points out a target she attacks it just as viciously and as efficiently as if she were alive.