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Ask Aklon


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In an idea so stolen that it had to be dismantled and smuggled out of the Tiefling Sisters forum in three pieces, we have the Ask Aklon Thread.


The premise is exactly the same. Pose your questions with your name in bold before each one and I'll come along and insert Aklon's answer to each one. OK....go! :D

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Inara: You strike me as a pensive type. Tell me, what guides your actions, as they must be thoughtful ones.


Aklon:Your perception serves you well. I do tend to be more thoughtful about my actions than most adventurers that you may find. As for what guides me, I am not a devotee of any particular philosophy, although I have studied several and taken a number of their ideas for my own. I have my own personal standards and I simply try to make my way through the world without leaving any enemies in my wake. If this happens to involve killing, then so be it.



Inara: What purpose do you see in laws, in following an order with little thought as to why beyond upholding the rules? How would one guard against corruption, as this is a world where all see through different eyes, and so some would not care for the benefit of security such an order might bring, but more for twisting it to their own ends?


Aklon: Ah, a sudden philosophical moment. The purpose I see in following an order, be it the law of a land or the dictates of a god, is that everyone within the order is assured a certain standard of life and is protected from the whims and actions of others. Of course, many laws are unjust and protect some while exploiting others. I only subscribe to such as far as is needed to protect myself when I pass through areas that are so dominated. In fact, this is how I take all the laws of all of the various groups and societies I pass through. I obey whatever does not conflict with my own ideas or whatever will keep me alive.


Corruption of order and how to deal with it is another issue. Orders must police themselves and most form a functional way of doing so. The best way of dealing with corruption is with a good mix of reward and punishment and with iron control from the top. That said, I believe that those who would pervert the order of a place will always exist, regardless of any attempts to eradicate them. Chaos is in everything.



Inara: Care to take a break from your musings and join me in a pint?


Aklon: With pleasure. Shall I assume that I am paying for these pints, one way or another?



Inara: Are you staring at my sister? Because if you are, I could put in a good word for you. For a price. *Wink*


Aklon: Thank you for the kind offer, but I was only wondering what her horns were made out of. Or yours, come to that. Ale or stout?



DaFitz: What do you look for in a woman? ( Beat Bev to it, ha! )


Aklon: First, I look for intelligence, since I do not relate well to... ah... less gifted people. Education is good, but intelligence, or freedom of thought, is better. Strength of purpose is also a desirable trait, but I tend to find that willpower follows intelligence. I also find lively, but not necessarily athletic, women to be attractive. Perhaps vivacious is the word I am searching for there. Actual physical beauty is an abstract idea and it does not function as my primary method pf attraction to a woman. Or else, one could say that my tastes are wide, for I have seen many women in many countries and many kinds of beauty have appealed to me on my travels.


I do rather find myself attracted to green eyes, however.



DaFitz: What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?


Aklon: Hmm, the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me... Aside from the incident arising from my childhood arrogance with Zardos, which I frankly deserved, there was the time I undertook a drinking competition with a fellow traveller.


My advice to you is to never, ever, drink winter wine from jugs.


If you do, make sure to secure your clothing with chains, have enough money to pay for the cleaning and prepare enough painkillers for a small city.

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[i should probably exercise restraint and let others post, but that would be...restrained... ]

Wouldn't it, though? :D




Inara: I have a personal question for you, cutter. You might think it wise to keep silent, but I'll ask regardless. What do you fear the most? Likewise, as the two are often related, what angers you the most?


Aklon: I might think it wise to keep silent indeed.


However, since I have only recently been in such a situation, I will speak. What I fear most is to lose that which is most precious to me, my freedom. So, as you guessed, it is an attempt to imprison me that most arouses my anger. By extension, slavers and others like them often anger me and I have been known to... assist thier charges to leave, even where such things are legal.



Inara: Apparently you adhere to a strict lifestyle, but I wonder...do you value pleasure for pleasure's sake? Come to think of it...what do you consider fun? ....If you need suggestions, I have many. *Wink*


Aklon: Oh dear. Yes, I am sure you do have any number of suggestions and I should guess that most of them involve alcohol at some point. *chuckle* My apparently strict lifestyle is a product of my battle discipline and years of travelling alone. Yet what is life without pleasure? I certainly do not reject what the world has to offer, like several of the monastic orders I have visited. It seems a waste to me.


So, what do I consider fun? Firstly, discovery. I have always been curious, something of a character flaw, and my travels are a way for me to see new and interesting things. Of course, my definition of interesting includes thousand year old inscriptions and new varieties of plant, but I am sure it also includes more familiarly interesting activities. I enjoy a good wine or ale, though I will not be drinking winter wine out of a pitcher again. A game of cards or chess or a tavern sing along is a good way to while away an evening as well. I also find a good bit of fighting practice or other athletic pursuit to be stimulating, especially if I am staying in one place for an extended period.


My throat is rather dry after that. Another round?

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Meira: Why such urge to travel? (Seeing that you have been in so many places.) Do you just get bored easily or are you perhaps running away from something?


Aklon: In a word, curiosity. My urge to travel was sparked in my childhood, when my education revealed to me hints of strange and distant places. The few trips I made in that time served only to whet my appetite for exploration. When I left my childhood home, from which I was, actually, running, I was free to see all the places that I had read and been told about. There are still many places I have not seen and I occasionally return to places that I have been to before, because I am not always able to study a place for as long as I would like to.



Meira: Do you see yourself wandering all your life or do you have plans for settling somewhere?


Aklon: I have not particularly considered staying in one place permanently. On the other hand, I have spent relatively large amounts of time living in one place while I studied a place or people. There is still much for me to see here in Faerun and I have not yet visited the new lands of Maztica, so I will not be totally stopping my travels any time soon. However, I imagine that age or some other unforseen circumstance will halt my travels eventually.



Meira: Of all the places you have seen, what would you consider to be your favourite?


Aklon: A difficult question. Each place has its own merits, from deep wilderness to great city. Since you no doubt want a solid reply, I would say the great mountains of the Roof of the World in Kara-Tur. It is inhospitibale country, cold and unsuitable for large scale civilisation, but the mountains have a majesty and serenity that makes the land truly beautiful.



Meira: Do you prefer blondes?


Aklon: I certainly do not object to blondes, if that is what you mean.

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DaFitz: You seem to know many things, and so must have learned from many sources. What do you consider your greatest teacher?


Aklon: I have learned many things from books and been taught many things by my tutors. Without the grounding they gave me, I would almost certainly not know what I know today. However, I think the world itself has been my greatest teacher. The lessons can be harsh, but it holds everything to be found in books and teachers, if you only look for it.



DaFitz: How in love have you been? To what extent would you have gone for this person, if she does exist?


Aklon: Although I have had a certain number of close friendships with women and a boyhood fancy or two, I cannot, with any truth, say that I have been in love before, though I was nearly married, once. As to how far I would go for a hypothetical loved one.... (Aklon shrugs) I would do whatever needed to be done.



Inara: I have a trick I'd like to show you with my knife. But...you'd have to trust me. Do you?


Aklon: I see no reason why not. You seem well skilled with your blade and I sense no real malice in you, so go ahead.


As long as I do not have to be tied to anything.



Inara: Well, that was a bloody battle. I say we go jump in that lake over there to wash off the gore. ...Surely monks aren't prudes?


Aklon: I cannot speak for all monks everywhere, but I am not a prude. I could certainly do with a wash after that fight. You should probably stitch up that wound after you clean it.



Bev: So am I to understand you are not a bigot? What I mean is, you will romance a female PC of any race?


Aklon: Yes. For love, it is the heart that is important, not who one's ancestors were.



Keli: As a cleric of Selune, and a Silverstar, I have been taught, and fully agree, that racism and slavery are wrong and should be considered crimes against humanity. What is your stance on these issues?


Aklon: Some forms of racism are born of experience. For example, most people are quite happy to kill orcs by the cartload, because all the orcs they ever met were vicious killers. But I believe that it is a mistake to assume that all members of a race will conform to the general perception of them. I have met many who broke the mould, a slobbish elf, a beardless dwarf, even an honourable orc chieftain. Humans are a mixed bag at the best of times. So I find it useful to regard all I meet as I would a human, unpredictable, but generally within certain norms.


As to slavery. I have seen it practiced with a certain dignity in a few places. As another example, the Grand Sultan of Zakhara has a core of elite warriors, who serve him in many capacities. Though they are part of the ruling classes, they are, in fact, slaves of the Grand Sultan, though I never met one who wished to be free. I have no objection to this sort of arrangement, but slavery typically lacks this kind of... fairness. Wherever possible, I like to release those held in bondage by others, especially if they are unable to free themselves. And as for the slavers, who needs them cluttering up the world anyway.



Keli: Have you travelled extensively? What is the most interesting place you have visited?


Aklon: Yes, my travels have been quite extensive. They cover most of the lands in the world, and one or two places in the planes. What was the most interesting place I have vistited? That depends on whose perspective we are using. From my perspective, the most interesting place I ever visited would be a tie between the capitals of Shou Lung and Zakhara, the City of Brass and the isle of Peldir, on the Sea of Fallen Stars. Probably the City of Brass for sheer wonderment.



Galactygon: What is your greatest secret?


Aklon: If I told you, would it no longer be secret? It is a secret shared by all the peoples of the world and few ever reveal it, save to thier most trusted friends. That is all I am prepared to say about it.



Galactygon: What do is your goal in life?


Aklon: In a single word: Learn. I seek knowledge in the same way that other men seek gold. Gold comes and goes, but knowledge is forever.



Galactygon: What is your dearest posession?


Aklon: My pharmacopoeia. It was gifted to me by my master when I was but a boy and it has been my constant companion ever since. It is a good friend that is always there when I need it and has never let me down.

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Galactygon: What do you wish to do with your knowledge?


Aklon: Use it to gain more. Some would argue that this is dodging the question, but I see the achievement of knowledge and wisdom as worthy goals in and of themselves.



Galactygon: Can you tell me more about your pharmacopoeia?


Aklon: Yes, I can. It was made specifically for me by my master and has been attuned to me so that only I am able to use it. It is, in essence, bag of holding, but it is designed to hold fairly small objects, like my herbal preparations, as well as the apparatus I require to make more advanced concoctions. It is able to retrieve specific objects on command, thus making the process faster and an additional enchantment, or possibly a simple side effect, keeps perishable substances fresh for longer than one would expect.



Galactygon:Can you teach me some of your unarmed skills?


Aklon: Assuredly. Some of the techniques take a long time to master, however.



Galactygon: Can you share some of your experiences?


Aklon: If you wish. Hmmm, let me tell you of the unusual cave I found in eastern Faerun.....


(note: this question would lead to many experiences if Aklon wishes to tell a tale; having the same answer repeating over and over again becomes boring)


BigRob: I've accounted for that. :D There's already more than one story written, and I've got the skeletons of the others in mind. That particular question will be the last PC interaction written.

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Bev: So you have a pharmacopoeia... does this make you an alchemist?


Aklon: I have recieved a certain amount of alchemical training. I would not call myself a master alchemist, but I can make various chemical concoctions, potions, salves and such-like.



Bev: And on a more personal note (at least for me :D ), just how fast do you move? :D


Aklon: (Aklon raises an eyerow) I move as fast as I feel I need to.

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Ravenna: You mentioned that you were almost married once. Was it a possible marriage of convenience proposed, or an arranged marriage perhaps? There sounds like a story here. Please, indulge my curiosity.


Aklon: Ah yes. It was something in the nature of an arranged marriage, but not quite. While in Shou Lung, I spent some time working as a guard for a merchant clan, mostly because their business activities took them to a wide variety of locales. This enabled me to see many new and interesting things and get paid for the privilege. Over time, I became the family's chief guard, and got to know the clan head very well.


The clan head had only one child, a daughter, who needed to be educated in the ways of the family business, so that she could take it over, once her parents had grown too old. On her second trip out from the capital with us, she was captured by a group of notorious bandits, who demanded a huge ransom for her.


My employer was reluctant, but he allowed me the chance to try to rescue her on my own, while he made the trip back to the capital to get the ransom money. With a little disguise and a sharp display of needless violence, I managed to join the bandits and gain access to their camp and began my work. Once I was trusted enough, I freed my employer's daughter and escaped with her under cover of darkness.


Now, it may seem a bit obvious, but my employer's daughter was very taken with me after that. She certainly saw me as something more than I am. Several months later, her father spoke to me about how valuable I was to the family and how all my efforts were appreciated. Her mother also began to speak to me about what a hard worker I was. When my employer mentioned, practically in the same breath, that my talents had made me almost part of the family and that his daughter would need to be married soon, I knew something had to be done.


My employer's daughter could be very persuasive and I think she had her eyes so fixed on what she thought she would get, that she had not considered what she would actually get. I was certainly a poor choice for a marriage. I was a foreigner with no family, no land, no wealth, and no history. My employer's clan would have lost a great deal of prestige if I were suddenly the consort of it's head. There was also the possibility of internal strife, for a lot of other clan members had begun to give me some very dirty looks. If the marriage had gone ahead, my employer's daughter would have had a far less pleasant life than the one she expected to get.


I sat my employer down and spoke to him about the reality of the situation. Eventually, he agreed that his daughter would not be served by a marriage to me and headed off to try to explain this to his daughter. I did not discover what happened there, but afterwards she spoke no more of it, though she threw me some sad looks. Rather than remain and aggravate her emotional state, I terminated my employment with the clan and left Shou Lung, heading south into Zakhara.


I did, however, return to Shou Lung some years later and met her, completely by accident. She had done very well for herself and her clan, seeming none the worse for the experience.




Ravenna: Also, when possible, I like to wash my black hair after battle. Can you recommend something to keep its shine and remove the...ah...smell of blood?


Aklon: There is a plant that grows near rivers and lakes, usually in cool locations called soaproot. It has wide leaves with four points, jagged edges and a large bulbous root. If pulverised it can be an effective substitute for soap, but it does tend to damage hair.


It may be unpleasant, but if you boil the liver of an animal, take the liver out and mix the soaproot, or normal soap, into the water and use it to wash, it will help maintain the condition of your hair. If you happen to have any desert succulents to hand they also work well for this pupose, unless their sap is white.


If you want to remove the smell of blood, I would recommend the use of fruits, dried or fresh. Strong fruits like oranges or lemons are the best, but almost any will do. Simply crush the fruits and add them into your washing water. Many softer fruits may also substitute for the liver used above, but are usually not as effective.

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BREN: Pharmacopoeia...does that mean you could possibly make a perfume for me?


Aklon: If I can find it again, I am sure I have the materials required within it. Mind you, suitable substances for perfumes are not rarities, so given time to look, I could probably put something together.



BREN: Would you be offended if a woman offered you a gift to show her affection for you?


Aklon: Not in the least. Is there a reason I should be?



BREN: Do you agree with the thought that everyone has a soul mate?


Aklon: I have heard that idea before. If there is such a thing as soul mates, then not everyone finds theirs. But I have known a few people who seemed to fit together, so there may be something to it. To answer your question directly, I am undecided on the subject, but leaning towards the affirmative.

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Bev: If this question is too personal, I will understand. But I am curious about your beginnings. What were your parents like? Do you have any brothers and/or sisters? Where did you grow up?


Aklon: A personal question indeed. But I will say a little for you. I was born, and grew up in, the house of a powerful mage, up in the northern reaches of Faerun. It is there that I also recieved my education.


My mother, Akada, was a servant in my master's house, starting her life as a chambermaid and eventually worked her way up to head laundress. My mother was a kind woman, much given to helping others, though she was not above accepting help herself when she needed it. I do not know who my father was, but that was not unusual in my master's home and there were plenty of other bastard children therein. In my eighth winter, my mother married a stonemason by the name of Hraki, who also worked for my master. Hraki had a boistrous, rough personality, but he was a fair man who never showed me anything but respect.


I also had a sister, two winters younger than I, whose name was Cirenya. Actually, Cirenya was adopted by my mother after her real mother, another of my master's servants, died while giving birth to her. Cirenya was, like me, given a certain degree of education by my master, though his interest in her waxed and waned somewhat over the years. Cirenya was a thoughtful, quiet girl and wise beyond her years, though her being a seer probably had something to do with that. She was also inordinately fond of stories and would have me read them to her during our few free moments.

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Delainy: Boxer's or Briefs? Why someone would eat briefs is beyond me, but there you go...


Aklon: It is because all the fighting makes boxers stringy. I am surpried you do not know that.


My choice of underwear, since I believe that it what you are asking, is usually dictated by the weather. Here in Amn the average is loincloth.

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Aphril: Can we REALLY dye your hair pink? I think it's a good color for you.


Aklon: Frankly, I think I would look ridiculous with pink hair. (Aklon cocks an eyebrow at you) You will also find that I am a light sleeper.


And you may discover that green is not a fetching colour for hair.

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Mahault: Are you the jealous sort or?


Aklon: Not as a rule. I have occasionally desired things that are in the possession of others. I can usually work my way into gaining them, or something similar, for myself.



Mahault: Ever done anything bad? :cry:


Aklon: (Aklon raises an eyebrow) That would very likely depend on your definition of "bad".



Inara: You mentioned a sister... Yours sounds like an uncertain home. In such cases, some make their own. What does family mean to you, Aklon?


Aklon: Family is... trust. Yes, trust. The world is filled with those who will betray you for their own reasons. Even those who would be called virtuous will do so, if the circumstance is right. In family you can trust , if you can give it back.



Inara: It has been a long time since I have taken a quiet walk in the wood at night. I do not do so often, and then, alone. I would enjoy if you came along this time, cutter, and taught me some of what you know of nature. Care you for an evening out?


Aklon: If you wish it. In the wood there are secrets that are revealed by the darkness. Thank you for the gracious invitation.

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