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Drasil Razorfang
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« on: 01 June 2011, 13:21:26 »

Overview

Gratcha Swath (1624 a.S – present) is a renowned Milken Brownie scholar best known for her studies of Sarvonia’s Rat Brownie tribes.  Born in Milkengrad in the province of Vardynn, the researcher’s work has generated a plethora of new information on these often forgotten creatures.  Her treatises have won her recognition as the top of her field among her contemporaries and have inspired the rapid expansion of her beloved field.  Unfortunately, her most recent expedition to the Mists of Osthemangar went awry, leaving the Brownie permanently scarred.  Now completely mad, Swath has been forced into retirement under the watchful care of her family and patrons, the Codommas of the Helcrani tribe.  

Appearance

Standing at just over a dozen nailsbredths, Gratcha is quite petite, even for a Brownie.  Yet, when one interacts with the Milken, it is easy to forget.  Her big, boisterous personality easily fills any space as she glides about, a smile always on her lips and a twinkle forever in her ash-grey eyes.  Though she may not be physically threatening, her quick wit and creativity allow her to easily hold her own, making her a force to be reckoned with in her own right

Since her captivity, however, Swath appears merely a ghost of her former self.  With pallid grey skin and stark white hair, she quite literally lives up this metaphor.  A perpetually haunted looks has taken root on her sunken features; once alight by her eager personality, her darting eyes scream of fear.

In regards to her clothing, Gratcha has always preferred practicality over fashion.  Though her family is more than wealthy enough to afford expensive silks and lavish ornaments, Swath’s wardrobe consists mostly of coarse, worn down woolens good for doing the often messy work of a Cather, and later a researcher.  Now, at the home in which she is cared for, the former scholar can almost exclusively be found in a patient’s smock.  Presentability no longer ranks as important in her lunacy, so the idea of changing her filthy stained dress is not given so much as a second thought.  

Personality

The tiny Greybark has always been an extremely curious Brownie.  With an ardent desire to discover the unfamiliar, Gratcha has always enjoyed poking and prodding at things shrouded in mystery.  It is this tendency which seems to have driven her desire to explore as a young child and is likely to have fueled her persistent study of Rat Brownies.

Despite her eagerness, Gratcha has also proven herself to be a careful and methodical researcher.  Rather than haphazardly diving into field work, the Brownie instead is known to conduct extremely thorough background studies before engaging in any project.  In addition, while actually abroad, Swath has also proven that she pays particular attention to detail by observing facts and drawing conclusions overlooked by other experts.

Unfortunately, Swath is no longer mentally intact, her impressive mind warped by the wicked Mists of Osthemangar during her captivity by the Ghostlings.  Now robbed of her joyfully eager demeanor, the Milken is prone to fits of paranoia and lunacy.  It is not uncommon for this once great intellectual to refuse to leave her room because of some fictional fear or to be found pacing and muttering to herself in a rather unnerving manner.  

Interestingly, what does seem to have survived the assault the mists wreaked on her mind, is the Brownie’s love of milch, particularly that of the Rimmilch cow.  Besides her twin, Kirsa, this creamy liquid is the only thing that Gratcha can consistently recall from her past, and, thus, is one of the few things that can calm her fits.  Much like a fat child in a sweets shop, Swath squeals with delight whenever it is presented to her; her suspiciously beady eyes and milk mustache, making her lunacy almost endearing.  

Biography

Birth and Childhood (1624 a.S) – Gratcha Swath, along with twin sister Kirsa Swath, was born to a Greybark family of Milken Brownies on the thirtieth day of the month of the Singing Bird in 1624 a.S.  As a rather large and well-respected clan, the Swaths were assigned to aid a wealthy helcrani family of the Codomma Fratra.

The financial and social prosperity of the Codommas meant that the Swaths were born with a silver spoon in their mouths.  While they still aided in running the household and caring for children like all other Milken Brownies, Gratcha’s family enjoyed a life of relative ease, filled with fancy clothes, a lavishly decorated maze of tunnels for a home and an extremely good education.  Leisure time was far from a rare commodity and was generally spent socializing or pursuing mutual hobbies with the Codommas.

Though she was quite fond of her patrons, as they were of her, Gratcha’s ever mischievous sense of Brownie curiosity often led her to prefer exploration.  As such, from a young age, the little daredevil devoted herself to discovering all of Milkengrad’s nooks and crannies as well as the secrets they contained.  Beginning from her family’s own mansion and slowing expanding outward, Gratcha knew the city’s streets, sewers and roof tops like the back of her own hand by the time she was considered an adult.

Though she also received some lessons in math, the Brownie had the majority of her formal education tailored to accommodate two more of her interests, history and language.  With access to the Codomma’s substantial library, Gratcha was provided with a seemingly endless record of historical events of all parts of the Santharian kingdom.  Thus, even when not officially assigned a reading by her tutors, it was not uncommon to find the Milken pacing back and forth across the surface of the Helcranis’ ‘big’ books soaking in the material.  

Independently learning languages was a task that proved to be substantially more difficult for the Milken for without a formal tutor, she often found herself mispronouncing words, messing up syntax, and having difficulty engaging in fluid conversation.  As a result, Gratcha instead turned to the study of linguistics.  Rather than learning to speak any new languages, the young Brownie devoted herself to studying language structure and how these structures are employed.  This unique understanding proved to extremely beneficial later in the researcher’s life as it allowed her to rapidly gain some semblance of fluidity in the dialects of the Rat Brownie tribes she studied.

Selecting a Guild (1634 a.S) – at the age of ten, when a Brownie is considered to be fully grown, each Milken is expected to select a Guild he or she wishes to join.  Given her extensive knowledge of the city’s underbelly and less-traveled regions, Gratcha chose to join the Catchers, a group of Brownies responsible for protecting Milkengrad’s food stores and hunting down and killing its vermin.

Once her selection was formalized, Swath was assigned to a Master Catcher and spent the next five years learning the intricacies of the profession as his apprentice.  During her tenure as his assistant, the young Milken was taught to track and lay traps, to produce and use potent poisons, to move quietly and trained in the use of weapons.  Though she did not yet know it, this wide variety of skills which Gratcha acquired as a Catcher contributed to her later success as a researcher and discoverer of Rat Brownie tribes.

Perhaps the most useful talent Swath picked up during her time as a Catcher was the ability to make others perceive her as gentle, friendly, and generally non-threatening.  Though it was meant to allow her to draw close enough to rats in order to get a clean kill, this skill is also believed to have allowed her to quickly gain the trust of Rat Brownies and be allowed to wander among them.  Without the ability to do this, it is unlikely that Gratcha would have had the success she did as a researcher.

As a relatively bright student and a quick study, Gratcha was able to finish her apprenticeship within five years and graduated to the position of a full-fledged Catcher in 1639.  Though she would only serve exclusively in this position for one year, she is reported to have dutifully gone about her job and to have been a very useful member for the Guild.

A Life Changing Encounter (1640 a.S) – It was approximately a year after being dubbed a full member of the Catchers Guild that Gratcha Swath came across a Rat Brownie.  It was a seemingly ordinary day, just like any other, in which the young Milken was doing a routine patrol of the various traps she had set up in the sewers and tunnels beneath the city.  Though most had failed, one, which contained some scraps of food mixed with an extremely potent poison, had managed to fell what appeared from the distance to be a rather large rodent.  As Gratcha approached, however, it became apparent that the creature was definitively not a rat.

Slightly longer than the Milken herself, the corpse appeared to be some sort of Brownie.  Rather than being of one of the traditional ethnic groupings, this mutation was a range of mud colors; its hair resembling sand, while its skin was a shade resembling potting soil.  The creature was also much broader than any Brownie Gratcha had ever seen before.  Quite notably top heavy, it was about half a shoulder-width longer across the shoulders than she.

Though she could not be entirely sure of her hypothesis, the young Catcher’s heart skipped a beat when she realized the monstrosity she’d slain could potentially be one of the primitive and highly elusive Rat Brownies believed to be living underneath the settlement.  With her infamous Browniin curiosity now piqued, Gratcha resolved to bring the corpse home with her to reach a more definitive conclusion.

After hours of tediously slow progress, the Milken finally managed to haul the hulking monstrosity to the surface and back to her home.  Concerned that she would be forced to dispose of the corpse before she could complete her research, the beast was carefully stashed away where neither the Codommas nor her own family would find it.  For the subsequent week, Gratcha confined herself to the library, emerging only to make trips to compare her research notes to her physical evidence.

Though by the seventh day she was able to definitively assert that her specimen was indeed a Rat Brownie, most likely of the Mud variety, Gratcha’s research continued to dominate her attention for the next five years.  At the expense of her duties to the Catchers Guild, she became extremely well read on the history and mythology of the Rat Brownies over this period, making her one of the most knowledgeable scholars on the ‘primitive’ tribe in Milkengrad.  Despite all she learned, it rapidly became evident to Swath that treatises on these creatures were in rather short supply.

Into the Belly of Milkengrad (1645 a.S) – On the twenty first anniversary of her birth, Gratcha mustered up the courage to approach her family and Codomma patrons to beg for permission to be allowed to study the Rat Brownies living beneath the city of Milkengrad.  Knowing that such a venture would be beyond her financial means, the eager researcher hoped to receive not only blessings, but also monetary funding.

First explaining her findings five years earlier, the Milken outlined her rationally constructed plan of attack.  By using the location at which she found the corpse as an epicenter, Gratcha was able to identify a general radius in which any settlements were likely to exist.  She then continued by describing how certain areas within this circle could be eliminated as places of residence through her knowledge of the needs of Rat Brownie settlements.  Finally, these few areas were able to be further cut down to just a few accessible zones using her knowledge of the city’s tunnels and known cave-ins.  Thus, by her reasoning, if each of these remaining handful of passages was thoroughly examined, at least one could be identified as being used by the Rat Brownies and could serve as a base of operations for further research.

Despite their misgivings, the Codommas eventually agreed to fund Gratcha and a small team of Brownie assistants until one of them was hurt, or for a maximum of two years.  The aspiring researcher was ecstatic and set about gathering her aids.  Within a month, the group set out, and, only half a year after their departure, made their first contact with the Rat Brownies.

Though it took much longer than she had hoped, Gratcha was eventually granted permission to enter the Rat Brownie settlement beneath Milkengrad and interact with its inhabitants.  As Rat Brownies are notorious for their hatred of the superiority complex other tribes seem to have in regards to them, to this day Swath remains the only individual ever to intermingle so intimately with this mysterious group.  Even the other members of her team were not allowed to venture beyond the outskirts of the settlement.  Exactly how she managed to gain the Rat Brownies' trust is a secret forever locked away in her now-deranged mind, but it is indisputable that without many of her discoveries and her ability to infiltrate other settlements would have been impossible.

Publication of Research (1647 a.S) – When her allotted two years of research time had expired, Gratcha returned to the surface.  With the aid of her team, the researcher compiled her chicken-scratch notes into a much clearer text and published them as a treatise.  Despite the extensive amount of time she had spent below the surface, the Milken’s work is still noticeably tainted with the racial prejudice ‘true Brownies’ feel for their subterranean cousins.  

This treatise definitively categorizes the Rat Brownies of Milkengrad as being predominantly of the Mud variety.  More importantly, Gratcha provides a detailed description of physical characteristics that allow for easy classification of future Rat Brownie settlements as belonging to the Mud sub-group.  As if talking about some form of semi-sentient beast, she writes:

“Mud Rat Brownies have lost just about everything that makes Brownies distinctive. They look like little mud-brown parodies of other races, having eyes, hair, and skin that no longer match in color, ranging from black through to light, sandy browns. Their bodies are strangely warped and rather top-heavy, with powerful shoulder muscles and backs from grubbing around underground. Large, dark eyes of a brownish hue are darkened further by thick brow ridges and something about them is far closer to the dark spirits they worship than to the rest of their race.

They walk upright, although hunched over, all the time, and are often a little taller than true Brownies averaging 15-16 nailsbreaths rather than 14-15. Of course their larger build makes them seem even more intimidating and one can easily see how they became the subject of so many horror stories. The intelligence in their eyes and the smooth assuredness of their movements gives them an air of unshakeable confidence which makes them far more terrifying than a wild beast.” – Discussions of the Rat Brownies of Milkengrad by Gratcha Swath

The publication of Gratcha’s findings produced a wide variety of reactions.  Within Milkengrad, it was greedily soaked up by scholars, while layfolk used its confirmation of the Rat Brownies existence as a basis to mount an extermination movement.  Luckily for the sewer-dwellers, this faction is still viewed as extremists by the general population and thus lack the man-power necessary to achieve their goals.  The Codommas also reaped some benefits from their client’s success, gaining further power and prestige within Milkengrad that accompanied their new image as patrons of researchers and academics.

For Gratcha, the treatise brought respect both within Milkengrad, and in the Santharian Kingdom as a whole, as a scholar and an expert on the elusive Rat Brownies.  Though she did not particularly care for the fame, she made use of the leverage it provided her as a tool for securing future funding and gaining permission to investigate other cities.

Tour of Vardynn and Nermeran (1648 a.S) – Encouraged by the vibrant reaction her first study received, Gratcha resolved to embark upon another mission and once again turned to the Codommas to serve as her patrons.  Unlike when she first came to them for assistance, the Codommas readily agreed to aid her, enjoying the many benefits their newfound prestige had brought and hoping to acquire more through the continued exploits of their best-know client.  A sum of one thousand nune was granted to the Milken for use in her six year journey.

This second outing was most noticeably different from the Brownie’s first in that it was more a journey of exploration rather than one of research.  Rather than looking to gather extremely in depth information about a single Rat Brownie tribe, Gratcha instead hoped to identify more basic attributes of a wider variety of settlements throughout middle Sarvonia.  Beginning in the province of Vardynn, and later making her way into Nermeran, the Milken toured major towns and cities looking for evidence of Rat Brownie activity.  In those areas where Rat Brownie communities were confirmed, her stay was lengthened and basic research was done to discover the sub-tribe, approximate size, language, and cultural identifiers of each population.

As it would have been unwieldy to drag her Browniin team around the Santharian Kingdom with her, Gratcha conducted the research on this journey alone.  In fact, the only other members of her party were a Centaurian horse purchased using her grant money to carry her and a retainer hired to steer the horse and navigate.  As the beast was much too big for the Brownie to ride comfortably in the traditional style, a special saddle containing a little pocket in which Gratcha could sit was constructed specifically for the voyage.

Second Publication (1654 a.S) – With her second research trip finally over, Gratcha set about working on her second major treatise.  Titled quite simply “Encyclopedia of the Rat Brownies of Northern Santharia,” the publication provided a series of brief overviews of the tribes of Rat Brownies whose existence Gratcha had verified in her journey.  Though it lacked the deep insights into Rat Brownie culture of her first work, the Encyclopedia was nonetheless quite influential because of its unprecedented scope and its ability to serve as a foundation for future research.

While Gratcha’s second treatise by no means garnered any criticism, it failed to produce the inspiring response of her first.  Its simple concepts and terminology made a basic understanding of mid-Sarvonia’s Rat Brownies available to the general public, but also quite unappealing to other scholars.  Expecting another brilliant account filled with groundbreaking discoveries and observations, Santharian academics were disappointed by the lack of detail and depth in the Encyclopedia.

Rat Brownies of Manthria (1656 a.S) – Gratcha’s third expedition brought her further south, to the Manthrian city of Marudan.  Lured by rumors of strange creatures dwelling under the city, the Milken unearthed a clan of Faded Rat Brownies who referred to themselves as “the Red Biters.”  As she would later admit, Swath quickly became quite fascinated with the unique culture these blind Brownies and dedicated nearly two years to their study.

By the end of her time in Marudan, Gratcha became a very strong proponent of the squeak theory as the method used by the Faded Brownies to guide their movements.  Her reasoning for this stance is quite clearly outlined in her journal.

“Despite their obvious blindness, these sewer dwelling creatures have proven able to move as adeptly as any creature with sight.  Perplexed, I have spent the last week attempting to uncover by exactly what means they are able to accomplish this feat.  Based on my observations, the Faded Rat Brownies do not seem to employ any tools, like a walking stick, to aid their movement, nor have they tamed any beasts to act as their eyes.  In addition, I have ruled out magical-sight as a possible clause as their low intelligence would make them incapable of utilizing magic, Life or otherwise.

In these tunnels, there is this persistent sound, however; one which vaguely resembles the faint chirping you can frequently hear on a warm summer’s night.  At first, I thought nothing of it, dismissing it as the sound of some subterranean insect.   But my search for the bugs turned up naught, as did my hunt for another animal, plant, or device that could be the source.  As I recalled what I knew about this tribe from my studies, it soon dawned upon me that this chorus of faint echoes vaguely matched the squeaks these Rat Brownies supposedly used to navigate their tunnels.”

Toward the end of her stay with the Red Biters, Gratcha also uncovered an ancient Rat Brownie myth passed down by the clan.  The legend tells of the creation of a mysterious race of Brownies, the Shadow Brownies formed from the blood of demon Gaurgaroth, whose victory in battle over one of his kin is believed to have formed Fanghenge.  The Red Biters referred to their brethren as "Prowlers of the Teeth," and claimed that they are cloaked in darkness so they cannot be seen when they emerge every night from their tunnels underneath the fangs to hunt and prowl the land around Fanghenge.  According to the Rat Brownies, Shadow Brownies are a very real and dangerous threat, even though no one has been able to prove their existence.
 
Fascinated by the story, Gratcha refused to heed the warnings of the Red Biters and decided to extend a final leg of her journey to nearby Fanghenge.

Journey to Fanghenge (1658 a.S) – Gratcha’s hopes of uncovering a tribe of long-hidden Shadow Brownies were quickly ended when she actually arrived at Fanghenge.  Instead of finding the large, underground society described by the Red Biters, Swath found quite the opposite.  Not a Brownie sized bone, tool, or foot print was found when the fixture was scoured.  The only supposed sign of the mythical race were deep scratches along the rock faces, which Swath asserted could be potentially attributed to the powerful claws the Shadow Brownies were rumored to possess.  In the end, however, the researcher was left no choice but to view the Shadow Brownies as mythical creatures that served an integral role in Red Biter tribal lore.

Thoroughly discouraged, Gratcha did not remain for Fanghenge for very long before beginning the trek back to Milkengrad.

Third Treatise (1660 a.S) – Following the model of her previous expeditions, Gratcha compiled and published her research notes upon returning to Milkengrad.  This third book was styled similarly to her first, containing extremely detailed observations about the Red Biters’ society.  In addition to her usual discussion of day to day activities, language, and structural evidence, Swath provided an extremely in depth analysis of the Faded Brownies’ ability to ‘see’ without the use of sight.  These sewer-dwelling creatures used of a form of pulse-navigation similar to that of the Flittermouse, the Milken explains. At a regular interval, each creature emitted a quick pulse of noise of a unique pitch.  Then, using their hypersensitive ears, the Brownies would wait for their own sound to re-register in their ears as it bounced off the objects in the room.  The differing lengths of return from each direction, the researcher imagined, would provide the Red Biters with a mental flash of ‘sight,’ by letting them know exactly where and how large other object in the area were.

Gratcha also chose to dedicate a significant portion of this third treatise to recounting the myth and lore recounted to her by the Red Biters.  Most prominently featured was the story of the formation of the Shadow Brownies at Fanghenge; a tale which the Milken recounted in highly dramatized detail in her prose.  Her narrative begins with the battle between the two Netherworld demons and goes on to describe the birth of the Shadow Brownies from the demons’ spilled blood, their physical appearance, powerful dark magic and extensive labyrinth of tunnels beneath Fanghenge which serve as the seat of their kingdom.  In the final portion of her discussion of this mythology, Gratcha voices her own skepticism to the validity of the story, however.  Here, she recounts to her audience her own expedition to the ruins of Fanghenge in search of this mythical Brownie tribe and her disappointing finds.

Swath’s analysis of the Red Biter clan was well received among the Academic community, re-earning her the respect and admiration of her peers who appreciated her return to a focus, in depth discussion.  This third book remains one of Gratcha’s most influential and is considered to be one of the best sources of information on Faded and Shadow Rat Brownies.  As a testament to its repute, this book has been quoted on multiple occasions by the Compendiumists of the famous New Santhala Library.

Journey to Eight Winds Bay (1663 a.S) – After her time spent with the Red Biters, Gratcha shifted her attention northward to the upper reaches of Northern Sarvonia, where it would remain until her premature retirement.  The Rat Brownie clans in this region have thrived independent of “Big People,” making their homes in natural caverns and tunnel networks as opposed to the underbelly of a major city.  As a result, these tribes have remained disconnected from the rest of Caelereth since nearly sixteen millennia ago, when the Rat Brownie tribes split from their surface-dwelling cousins, and thus have developed in independent, and often quite unique, directions.  Through the study of these modern Rat Brownie tribes and their comparison to the better known lore of ‘true’ Brownies, researchers hope to uncover universal truths about Browniin history dating back to nearly the beginning of time.

The first of these clans that Gratcha sought to make contact with was a relatively small collection of Rat Brownies living in the network of tunnels scattered throughout the Prominent Mountains.  Much to her disappointment, Swath was unable to pique the clan’s, which she dubbed ‘the Filchers’ as a result of their reputation for raiding the trading caravans of the Arthyron, Kuglimz and Kurakim tribe, curiosity enough to engage her.  Thus, the researcher had little beyond basic observations to show for her two year stay at the Eight Winds Bay, most of which proved inconsequential in her attempt to create a purely factual reconstruction of the earliest years of Brownie existence.

Gratcha’s observations did allow her to establish some concrete facts about the previously unresearched tribe, however.  For one, she was able to use her observations, and interviews with the local peoples, to definitively declare that the Filcher tribe was comprised of Mud Rat Brownies.  Given their stature, which was often described as hulking when compared to Gratcha herself, their pigmentation, and aversion to sunlight, Swath decided it was impossible for them to be anything but.

Furthermore, it was established that the Filchers most likely lived in a number of small and extremely interdependent, semi-nomadic groups.  In every single encounter any individual has had with the clan, the Rat Brownies always moved in groups of at least ten, but no more than twenty and always took supplies of roughly enough to provide sustenance to that many.  These raiding parties also never displayed any definitive pattern in the location of their attacks, striking at traders’ wares silently in the dead of night throughout the mountain range.  Besides the missing goods, the only evidence ever left as to the Rat Brownies’ presence were pressed brush and smoldering coals of their previous night’s camp.

The Filchers' pilfering is always very precise, almost as if it is a well practiced dance which every young Brownie is trained to perform.  For the most part, the raiders tend to take mostly food, but never so much that it is likely to spoil before it can be consumed, leading Gratcha to believe that they secure most of their foodstuffs through this process, rather than growing it themselves.  Other, more permanent goods are also taken, as well, such as its of metal, small shafts of wood, and tiny trinkets, though at much less regular intervals.  As such, it is believed that these are used to manufacture weapons and tools by the Rat Brownies and are only taken on an as-needed basis to prevent weighing the ever-moving clan down with frivolous knick-knacks.

When Gratcha published her journals from her time at the Eight Winds Bay in 1665 a.S, her work was met once again with great excitement.  Historians and Brownie enthusiasts throughout Caelereth were ecstatic about the secrets her attempts at interviewing these early off-shoot clans could unveil about the world’s earliest days.  The book also received glowing reviews from her usual audience, other Rat Brownie scholars, who enjoyed her insights into the previously undocumented Filchers.

Venture into the Mists (1667-9 a.S) – After the Filchers failed to provide her with the information she was looking for, Gratcha turned her attention to the Ghostling Browneis of the Mists of Osthemangar.  Little was known about the Ghostlings at the time of Gratcha’s expedition, given their inhospitable habitat, beyond the fact they were extremely savage.  In 1667, the Milken set out northward once again, this time with a small research team to both assist and protect her from the dangers of the North.

Swath’s journey proved to be quite short lived as after just a few months of research within the Mists, Gratcha’s team fell prey to a Ghostling raid.  Striking out from the disorienting haze that has permanently settled over the Mists, the Rat Brownies better knowledge of the terrain and superior numbers allowed them to make quick work of their larger opponents.  Within a few, short minutes the entire party lay dead, save for Gratcha who was bound and taken as a live captive.  Exactly why the Milken’s life was spared still puzzles even the most knowledgeable Mists scholars, but it has been speculated that being the party’s only female and Brownie may have had something to do with it.

Though it was irreparably scarring, Gratcha’s time among the Ghostlings provided her with the unique opportunity to observe this elusive tribe up close.  Thus, at the cost of Swath’s sanity, scholars have been provided with a number of new insights on the Ghostlings.  Perhaps most perplexing, she uncovered that physically, the Ghostlings appeared to fit into none of the established Rat Brownie categories.  Instead, the tribe seemed to be almost a weird fusion of both the Faded and Twisted sub-groups, having both pale features and a number of physical mutations.

Gratcha’s observations also reaffirmed that the Ghostlings had an extremely primitive culture.   Prone to primitive superstitious beliefs, Gratcha noticed the tribe was not friendly to any race but their own, and behaved quite instinctually.  They worked entirely as hunters and gatherers, producing no goods that could be traded to their neighbors.  They worshiped the Mist as the home of dark spirits and used ooze pools and cannibalistic rituals to sacrifice to appease these deities.

The Mad Flight (1670 a.S) – One morning, the Codommas of Milkengrad awoke to find a small, crumpled Gratcha fast asleep at their door step.  At first glance, the Brownie appeared quite foreign to them; their previously youthful friend now apparently old and decrepit.  It was Kirsa who first realized that this unsightly squatter quite strikingly resembled her sister, whom was believed to still be studying near the Mists of Osthemangar, and at her urging the unconscious Gratcha was taken inside by her perplexed family.

The biggest shock for the family would not come until their beloved scholar awoke, however.  As soon as her eyes fluttered open, even before she launched into a frantic fit of half-jumbled sentences, her loved ones could tell something was very wrong.  The once vibrant, youthful light that had characterized her demeanour was gone, replaced instead by a terrible fear that all but explained her premature aging.

After some time, the Swaths were able to determine what had happened to their daughter since she left them three years earlier by piecing together her various tirades.  They learned of her capture, her escape and her long journey home.  Though they have never been able to deduce exactly how Gratcha managed to elude her jailers, her family suspects she used her incredible guile to outsmart the primitive Ghostlings.  In actuality, however, it is much more likely that the Brownie made use of her vast training in the preparation of poisons and use of weapons to depose of her guards and slip away from the encampment.

Final Publication (1670 a.S) – Since her sister has proven unable to gather the presence of mind required to write, the task of compiling Gratcha’s Ghostling research fell to Kirsa.  The resulting treatise was drafted from an amalgam of Gratcha’s notes, which the Brownie has scribbled in a small journal she kept hidden on her person, and her half-deluded ramblings.  As her twin’s biggest fan, Kirsa had attempted to muck her way through Gratcha’s book, but even so, her lack of background knowledge caused her presentation of the Ghostling research to fall flat.  As such, the second Swath sister has been dismissed as a joke within the academic community; the lesser sister incapable of living up to Gratcha’s fame.  In honour of her sister’s memory, however, Kirsa has made it known she plans to continue Gratcha’s work despite the ridicule she has been the subject of and is rumored to be embarking to Ximax to study the Rat Brownies in the sewers in the near future.

Even though they received wide spread critique, Gratcha’s observations of the Ghostlings, as published by Kirsa, are still commonly used as one of the only factual sources of information on the tribe.  Thus, the Milken’s observations remain a staple in the coursework of rising researchers of Ghostlings and scholars of the Mists, ensuring the Swath name will continue to be commonplace in the field for quite some time.  

Importance

Gratcha Swath’s vast number of publications has made her a major figure in the emerging study of Rat Brownie culture.  As a Brownie herself, the Milken has been able to gather information previously unattainable to “Big People.”  Since she is both shorter and less broad than the clans she studies, Gratcha is one of the only researchers capable of actually infiltrating the systems of tunnels that serve as the primary conduits of Rat Brownie transportation.  As such, she has unsurfaced a number of new artifacts, skeletons and other objects for study.

Swath’s work is also groundbreaking because she is the first individual to ever safely enter a Rat Brownie settlement and be allowed to interact with the clan’s members.  While earlier researchers may have had the opportunity to observe one or two of the elusive creatures over the course of their careers, Gratcha was able to regularly converse with them.  This has provided her with new insights unable to be grasped from simple observation, such as knowledge about clans culture and myths.  In addition, as the first person to enter a Rat Brownie settlement and return alive, Swath has had a chance to intimately study their day-to-day activities and housing; something which could only have been guessed previously.  

Less importantly, Gratcha has also served in some capacity as a “king-maker” for her patrons, the Codommas.  Though already a quite wealthy and prestigious helcrani family that heads one of the Fratrae of Milkengrad, the Brownie’s success has brought them even more repute.  As the financial means which have enabled Swath to conduct her research trips and publish her books, the Codommas have claimed some of her fame for themselves.  Furthermore, now that they are seen as great supporters of Academia, the family is sought out by scholars far and wide of assistance.
« Last Edit: 19 June 2011, 20:57:51 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged
Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #1 on: 11 June 2011, 05:15:19 »

bump.

This is now ready for comments. 
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« Reply #2 on: 12 June 2011, 05:32:52 »

I am enjoying this read Drasil.   thumbup   Haven't got through all of it yet (I am supposed to be cleaning right now I am just sneaking a few peaks).  huh oh here comes the wife...back to dishes.  Cya
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« Reply #3 on: 12 June 2011, 08:25:01 »

Thanks Seeker!  :)

I hope the remainder lives up to your expectations. 
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« Reply #4 on: 14 June 2011, 03:47:25 »

This has to be one of the best People entries ever written! I love how Gratcha's escape from the Ghostlings was (again!) left vague and mysterious - because for the life of me, I will never know how she manages to escape them no matter how hard I try. I had no idea how busy and well traveled Gratcha was. A truly remarkable researcher with a tragic ending. Splendid job referencing my work and Rookie's, as well adding a touch of original all your own.

Brownie points for Drasil and an early vote for People Entry of the Year.  :D :D thumbup
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« Reply #5 on: 14 June 2011, 07:12:30 »

Hi there Drasil ... I love the entry ... I don't personally have any real comments on it ... I do love the way you worked the limited information I gave about the Rat Brownies in the Prominent Mountain tunnels in the entry. I'm wondering whether you meant to delete the following paragraph from the entry, as it seems to be rewritten in your language in the earlier paragraphs of the history section.

Quote
In the caverns branching from the underground waterways beneath the Prominent Mountains - the waterways linking the Eight Winds Bay to the Luquador River - live a tribe of Rat Brownies. Despite the Arthyrón, Kuglimz or Kurakim traders that frequent these tunnels, this tribe has steadfastly refused to make contact with any outside tribe. Judging by the work of noted Rat Brownie researcher, theMilken Brownie Gratcha Swath, these are most likely to be of the Mud Rat Brownie variety. Traders travelling north or south through these caverns have often spoken of seeing 'beady eyes peering at them' on their journey either to the Kuglimz or the Arthyrón. Those traders who decide to spend the night in these caverns will find parts of their produce and food stuffs spoiled or stolen if they don't set a watch.

If you could get back to me on this, I'll see about blarrowing the entry for you.

Dek
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« Reply #6 on: 14 June 2011, 07:19:14 »

Whoops!  Yeah that was meant to be deleted.  It was the paragraph you wrote in the Eight Winds Bay entry that I was using as a reference point.  Thanks for pointing that out. 

I'll remove it right away.
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« Reply #7 on: 14 June 2011, 11:05:22 »

Hi Drasil,

Previously, I skim read everything that wasn't the Eight Winds Bay section. Now I'm going to give it a bit more of a detailed look ... Hopefully after that it'll be fine to be blarrowed :D I'm just going to quite the parts of it I have corrections/queries about or am seeking clarification on.


Overview
Quote
Born in Milkengrad
- what province is Milkengrad in again?

Quote
Her treatises have won her recognition
- is treatises a real word? I learnt something new today :D

Nothing else from this section for me.

Appearance

Loved it!

Personality

Enjoyed this section, Drasil ... especially her love of milch.

Biography
Birth and Childhood (1624 a.S)

Quote
The financial and social prosperity of their Codommas meant that the Swaths were born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
 
Codomma is the family name of their Helcrani family, if I understand properly. If so, I wonder whether you need another word after Codommas, or even maybe changing the 'theri' to 'the'.

Quote
With access to the Codomma’s substantial library,
Is the apostrophe needed and in the right place here? or should it be after the s.

Selecting a Guild (1634 a.S)
Quote
this wide variety of skills with Gratcha acquired
should be 'which' not 'with', I believe.

A Life Changing Encounter (1640 a.S)
Quote
the beast was carefully stashed away where neither the Codomma nor her own family would find it.
should Codomma have an s on the end?

Quote
At the expense of her duties to the Catchers Guild,
I think that Catchers need an apostrophe after the s. --> Catchers' Guild?

Into the Belly of Milkengrad (1645 a.S)
Quote
Exactly how she managed to gain the Rat Brownies trust is a secret forever locked away in her now-deranged mind,
I think that you need an apostrophe after Rat Brownies in this --> Rat Brownies' trust

Publication of Research (1647 a.S)
All of that one seemed rather good to me, no queries/comments apart from that.

Tour of Vardynn and Nermeran (1648 a.S)
Quote
As it would have been unwieldy to drag her Browniin team around the Santharian Kingdom with her, Gratcha conducted the research on this voyage alone.  In fact, the only other members of her party were a Centaurian horse purchased using her grant money to carry her and a retainer hired to steer the horse and navigate.  As the beast was much too big for the Brownie to ride comfortably in the traditional style, a special saddle containing a little pocket in which Gratcha could sit was constructed specifically for the voyage.
Voyage in here suggests to me travel by ship ... is that how she travelled, or was it by horseback, if horseback, maybe change voyage to another word??

Second Publication (1654 a.S)
This part all looked great to me. :D

Rat Brownies of Manthria (1656 a.S)
Quote
Gratcha’s third expedition brought her further south, to the Manthrian capital of Marudan.  Lured by rumors of strange creatures dwelling under the city, the Milken unearthed a clan of Faded Rat Brownies who referred to themselves as “the Red Biters.”  As she would later admit, Swath quickly became quite fascinated with the unique culture these blind Brownies and dedicated nearly two years to their study.
Marcogg is the capital of Manthrian province, not Marudan. Marudan is an important coastal city, but not the capital, from what I can see. Did you mean city rather than capital?

Outside of that, no further comments on this section, apart from to say, I love the way you tell the story of Gratcha's life.

Journey to Fanghenge (1658 a.S)
No comments under here.

Third Treatise (1660 a.S)
No comments here

Journey to Eight Winds Bay (1663 a.S)
Quote
In every single any individual made with the clan, the Rat Brownies always moved in groups of at least ten, but no more than twenty and always took supplies of roughly enough to provide sustenance to that many.
I wonder if you meant to have a word after single here ... encounter, perhaps?

Quote
The Thieflings pilfering is always very precise, almost as if it is a well practiced dance which every young Brownie is trained to perform.
Should Thieflings have an apostrophe after it? --> Thieflings'

Venture into the Mists (1667-9 a.S)
Nothing there really for me to comment on.

The Mad Flight (1670 a.S)
Quote
The once vibrant, youthful light that had characterized her demeanor was gone, replaced instead by a terrible fear that all but explained her premature aging.
demeanor needs a u, I believe --> demeanour?

Final Publication (1670 a.S)
Quote
In honor of her sister’s memory, however, Kirsa has made it known she plans to continue Gratcha’s work despite the ridicule she has been the subject of and is rumored to be embarking to Ximax to study the Rat Brownies of the Catacombs in the near future.

Two things here
1) honor --> honour

2) the Rat Brownies live in the sewer system of Ximax, not the catacombs, from what I recall ... I did the catacombs of the revised Ximax Academy, and don't recall putting in any mention of Rat Brownies in there, while I do believe that Azhira used them in the ruined sewer system.

Importance
No comments here from me.

Great work here Drasil. As I have said previously, I've loved the way you weaved her life throughout the entry ... and I'm happy to support Azhira's vote for this entry for People Entry of the Year. :D
« Last Edit: 14 June 2011, 11:44:35 by Deklitch Hardin » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: 14 June 2011, 11:35:16 »

Edits made.

Quote
I think that Catchers need an apostrophe after the s. --> Catchers' Guild?

Catchers Guild is the organization name.  The guild's entry doesn't have an apostrophe so I'm going to stay in agreement with that.

Thanks for the compliments on the entry, Azhira and Dek.  I'm flattered.   :)
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« Reply #9 on: 14 June 2011, 11:52:05 »

I'm fine with that Drasil. :D

I've rung Rookie's bell to see if she wants to look over it before I blarrow it for you. Would you be happy if I were to direct people's attention to this entry as an exemplary Person Entry?

Dek
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« Reply #10 on: 14 June 2011, 12:14:48 »

I wouldn't mind at all!  I'd be quite honoured
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« Reply #11 on: 15 June 2011, 06:24:57 »

I think the others comments pretty much say what I was feeling too  grin

One FYI - 12 nailsbreaths is *very* short for a Brownie, probably the shortest I've ever seen one.  It should be possible, but as I say, she really is a short arse!

I love the Rat Brownie descriptions - particularly the "potting soil".  It's a nice city-dweler-ish touch :)

I'm not sure about calling the Prominant Mountain Rat Brownies "Thieflings", as there is already a type of monkey with this name: Thiefling Monkey.  Where has this come from?  I love your expantion on the tribe idea though :)

"One morning, the Codommas of Milkengrad awoke to find a small, crumpled Gratcha fast asleep at their door step."

"Even though they received wide spread critique, Gratcha’s observations of the Ghostlings, as published by Kirsa, are still commonly used as one of the only factual sources of information on the tribe.  Thus, the Milken’s observations remain a staple in the coursework of rising researchers of Ghostlings and scholars of the Mists, ensuring the Swath name will continue to be commonplace in the field for quite some time."

"As such, she has unsurfaced a number of new artifacts, skeletons and other objects for study."  Ooooo, I hadn't thought of that.  *goes into happy thinking-up-artifacts daze*

It's a really believable, logical, and fascinating account of her life, with plenty of little amusing bits.
« Last Edit: 15 June 2011, 06:40:45 by Rookie Brownbark » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: 15 June 2011, 06:48:24 »

Aha ... I knew I heard heard of Thieflings somewhere previously ... of course, those monkeys.

Alternatives to Thieflings that I've just come up with off the top of my head ... Roguelings, Trashlings, Takelings, Womblelings, Worzels, Gummidges?

The last three are dips of the hat to two kids tv shows from the UK I watched as a kid.
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« Reply #13 on: 15 June 2011, 07:07:44 »

Added Rookie's corrections.  I changed the name from Thieflings to Filchers.

Wombleings, Worzels and Gummidges made me think of garden trolls.  :P
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« Reply #14 on: 15 June 2011, 07:16:37 »

And blarrowed for you Drasil.

Thanks to Rookie, Azhira and Seeker for their read throughs, and to Drasil for the entertaining and insightful read ... now to remove Gratcha from the list of people needing entries.
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