|Class||Tempest of Set|
|Professions||Slave, spy, alchemist|
Paks is tall, softly athletic and well endowed. She has a youthful ageless look and flawless skin. She has an old scar on her left shoulder, and if you look carefully, in the right light, a mesh of very fine scars on her back. Her mid-length blonde hair falls across her face hiding her from the scrutiny of the world. Her skin tone is light mocha and she has red/mahogany eyes. She wears the Stygian stylized eye liner to accentuate her eyes. She has high cheekbones and a narrow aristocratic nose. She is prone to changing her hairstyle through the use of various head pieces to avoid easy recognition. She is well groomed and uses fragrant sensual oils in her bath that are designed to enhance her natural pheromones.
Paks is a slave to sensual appetites and a god-touched masochist. She is amoral, not understanding the artificial codes of conduct that others live by. Highly intelligent, she voluntarily enslaves herself to a Master. There is nothing that she will not do for her Master. Paks is highly adept at pleasing both men and women, gaining 'champions' who use her for their own ends, while she ultimately uses them to further the goals of her Master. Having given all control to her Master, Paks is at total peace with herself in all things and in all actions that she performs. She exudes a calm and sensual presence.
The Temple of Set
Paks first memory is of her fair skinned mother numbly watching as the Priest of Set took Paks to serve in the Temple. They called her a half-breed with disdain, yet took her for the promise of physical beauty and the strong touch of talent they could sense within her. Raised without nurturing, at the beck and call of priests both cruel and venal, Paks learned to survive in the vicious internecine climate that pervaded the temple. She matured with beauty and intelligence and no conscience, using her body and mind to gain her favor among the powerful and her intellect to glean as much knowledge as she could from priests who preferred to keep her ignorant and helpless. She learned the arts of pleasing men from a young age; as well as a predilection for finding intense sexual pleasure in pain. Upon the onset of puberty, she began having rapturous visions when in the deepest throes of passion. Rather than the dark god Set, an overwhelming vision of a female goddess with compassion for her pain would lift her through the red haze that descended on her.
As she came into full maturity, Paks worked her way into the graces of the High Priest, Amahté. Gaining favor by yielding to him in all things and giving him a play thing and slave that not only endured the most violent rituals but found ecstacy and release in them. She used this position to wield her own subtle power, at times petty, but often to ease the burdens of other slaves. Not that this was done selflessly, but rather she cultivated friendships and supporters creating a web of information that could be used for leverage ... and for protections. She was content and secure in position as long as she kept Amahté enthralled with her, and kept potential enemies undermined and misdirected.
Life settled into a predictable pattern. Her existence sheltered and enclosed within the temple, with very little contact with the outside world. Each year passed without much to mark it with the exception of two pregnancies. One with a Cimmerian that Amahté had her seduce; for what purpose she neither knew nor cared. Another by a noble Stygian, again seduced and his will destroyed by the order of Amahté. This use of her skills was not unusual, yet these were the only two conceptions that she was forced to carry to term. Both infants were taken at birth, never to be seen again. She was thankful. She wanted nothing to do with their squalling mess. She grew crafty in knowledge and uses of various drugs and soon prevented any re-occurrence that might mar her physical appearance.
The Fall of the Temple
Secure in her place and existence, Paks was little concerned when hushed whispers of violence, war and pillaging began seeping inside the temple walls. There was a rampaging horde of brigands and non-believers. They pushed all before them, killing everything living in their path that did not bow down to their leader, a self proclaimed embodiment of Ishtar herself. Some apostate version of Darketo it was whispered in fearful corners. They did not stay in the pillaged lands, but moved ever onward, migrating like the herds of feral cattle that they were compared to and had adopted as their name. The Herd, it was whispered, The Herd is coming closer. She did not feel it important; Set would protect the temple, his priests and priestesses.
The Herd crashed through her city, breaking through walls and pillaging the temples. Amahté was immersed in a ritual with Paks, when the warriors of The Herd burst into the inner sanctum. The Herd brutally killing the priests and all that they found in the hallways, found Paks as well, chained and bloodied, half dead on the altar, lost in ecstatic pain and oblivious to the massacre and desecration of the temple. One cold murderer slashed down into her left shoulder with a bloody knife to finish her off on the altar when he was stayed by a fierce dead-eyed woman with fiery red hair. "Hold" she say in a battle hardened voice. "This one, free from chains and let live. She can follow us if she is strong enough to find her freedom." And Paks looking through the red pain haze saw the face of her visions come to life.
The Herd moved on, leaving her as she was too badly injured to follow. She was thrown into the city to live off the mercy of its citizens. And what was freedom but the opportunity to starve? Her ability to protect herself from the human predators outside the temple slowly grew, but the cost was an increasingly hostile city watch. Nothing could be proven, but people who crossed her died. As the city patience with this displaced temple serpent grew thin, she weighed her options, remembering the fierce-eyed Matriarch. Once her health was fully regained she followed the shattered path of the Herd. She found their encampment and approached a likely soldier offering herself in exchange for protection. She would be his slave. The life of a nomad is harsh. The transition from maliciously civilized pleasure slave to a nomadic fighter almost impossible. Yet she survived, and learned. Paks used her skills in bed to advantage. Once more she worked her way up through the ranks, replacing one would be protector with the next stronger one. The more possessive and jealous protectors died in innocent and convenient ways, others, more astute, used her to gain favor as they passed her on to a superior. And so she flourished as she made herself ever more valuable, promoting her masters' interests and growth until such time as she saw a better master become available. Then the Herd claimed its territory and the Matriarch founded Fort Bane. The tempo of life shifted.
At that time Paks became the property of Averius, one of the War Chief's of the Herd. He was unsure if he wanted a slave, but needed someone to help grow his nascent opium and extortion trade in Khemi. Averius was never subtle, just brute force terror and enforcement. A Stygian courtesan with a willingness to do anything he demanded seemed to be a good fit. There were -other- benefits as well for someone with his tastes. The leadership council of the Herd decided it would also provide much needed information about the political climate that the Herd now had to work within and against. Paks obtained a position at the Serpent Head Inn as a courtesan catering to the pain trade and began selling opium out of the Purple Carp. Insinuating herself into the graces of several members of the Hand of Set, she soon took control of the lower floor at the Serpent Head and after a time, talked Hotepre out of the upper floor opium trade as well. There was no need for the Hand to dirty itself with such things. Paks dealt in pain and submission and those that used her services were usually free with both their gold and their conversation. She built a network of regular clients, careful to selectively encourage individuals from each of the guilds the Herd may need to track. Information flowed with the drugs and the sex. She passed the gold to Averius and the information to Limdul, another War Chief in the Herd. But the gold was never enough and the information spawned the need for deeper and more dangerous investigations.
The Herd began hearing rumors about a potential enemy from the city of Sin'reth in the Poitan region, accompanied by rumors of a shadowy organization called the Cabal. By this time Paks had become closely involved with the ruling council pulling in threads of information from her network at the Inn and responsible for gathering information about the cities and guilds that the Herd otherwise had little to no diplomatic contact with. Unable to discover as much information as she desired and wary of that lack, she and Limdul set out on the task of discovering all they could about the city, it's governance and citizens. Paks befriended a slave of Sin'reth called Shalah that she had seen several times at the Inn. Through Shalah, Paks was introduced to various members of the city, including Cirus, Shalah's master and the Lord of Sin'reth; Sasha, the head slaver; and Lord Indrajit, a noble of some rank in the city who both terrified and fascinated her. Rather than ignore her comfortably as Lord Cirus and other nobles of the city did to most slaves, Lord Indrajit gazed at her with his dark mercurial eyes and smiled, promising 'his little flower' that he always obtained what he desired.
Wanting more information about the shadowy inner workings of Sin'reth, Paks sought and gained the approval of the Matriarch to see if she could infiltrate the hierarchy of the city by becoming a slave to Lord Indrajit, who had been slowly but surely stamping his personal claim on her at every meeting. While increasingly frightened at his attentions and what she was learning of slavery in Sin'reth, she also became more convinced that he had access to core information of the city. She had always been able to influence men, what was one more? The whisper of unease was driven back in the face of opportunity and need.
Averius, unaware of the political machinations, was not pleased at the whisperings and distractions that kept Paks from making money for him. Both Paks and Limdul misjudged his anger and the speed that he would bring to discipline or repudiate his slave. Although usually absent, he chose to check on his slave one night at the Serpent Head Inn where she was sitting with several members of the city of Sin'reth including Lord Cirus, Lord Indrajit and the slave Shalah. He grew extremely angry that she was sitting in apparent ease, socializing instead of working. He had a few words with Cirus and Indrajit then pulled her away. Those worthies continued with their business. Paks' was a slave and while amusing to occasionally speak with, was of no importance except as a potential possession. What passed between Master and Slave will stay private, but at the end of it, Averius was no longer her master and Paks stumbled back into the main room with her neck bleeding from where he cut his collar from her neck. She walked back in shock into a nightmarish scene.
She got a glimpse of the true Sin'reth that night. One of the revelers from the table was missing. Blood stained the floor of the Inn, enough to declare a life had been lost and slaves dragging away ... something ... the slave Shalah clutched at a deep dagger wound in her abdomen, eyes pained and glaring at Indrajit ... and a glass tumbled on the floor, red wine leeching into the blood. Lord Indrajit stood smoothly to the side, eyes glittering and ordering his house slave to get him a tunic to replace the one on which Shalah spilled wine. He casually discussed his wardrobe, absently cleaning a bloody dagger. Lord Cirus stood calm and in command, seemingly apart from it all, giving concise orders that would ensure that the events would be forgotten, through fear or bribery. As Paks slowly backed away, suddenly aware that her plans were perhaps unwise, Cirus froze her in place with a barked command: "You, girl, come here." He grinned as he noted the collar was gone. "I always did say your master was severely lacking. It appears we have a little lost kitten, Indrajit. Could you perhaps use someone to do laundry?" He laughed with cold humor, pinning Paks in place, "you can do laundry can't you?" He gestured toward Indrajit, "Go on, go to him girl" and he looked at Indrajit "Keep her from the city until she's trained. I trust you'll overcome the shortcomings in her training." Paks walked numbly to Indrajit, dropping to her knees beside him. He sheathed his dagger, and nodded at Cirus, casually grabbing a fist of her hair, twisting her head to expose the curve of her neck. Indrajit smiled and murmured in a silky dark voice, "Welcome to my garden, little flower."
In her arrogance and pride Paks had thought she could control what happened, report back to the Matriarch and give the Herd the information they needed. But Indrajit used her uncertainty and fear from the night's events and taking her into his home he bent her to his will. In the course of days, she was turned, as he took her will and twisted it to his own purposes, setting her against the Herd itself, pulling all of her knowledge from her. She betrayed ... everything to him. Betrayed herself and shattered in his chains. All that she was became his, and for the first time, she loved.
Soon afterward, Indrajit left on a journey. Not unusual. He traveled as he gathered the information from his own network to report back to Sin'reth, to Lord Cirus. A week passed, then two, he didn't return. Sin'reth sent word to Khemi that his property would be held for him until he returned. Another week passed with no word. Each day, the slaver Arrax would come near. "How long has it been?" He asks in a silky voice "20 days?" He smiles cruelly. "His property will be recovered for the city." "When he is declared dead, I will see to your ... re-training."
All too soon, the newly appointed slave Taskmaster, Arrax, came to collect her. His eyes cold and full of avarice. "He is never coming back slave." Paks looks at him from the pens with anger, snarling in hollow defiance, "Shalah said you had Indrajit killed." Arrax smiled, brushing his fingers casually against his shirt as he turns to walk away "And what if I did? Does it matter now slave? You are mine."