Monday Mysteries – Grak

Grak – Level 11 Tortle Tempest Cleric Acolyte

Early years:

Grak was born on the island of Chult. After ripping free from his egg, in his birthplace at the tortle fort of Ahoyhoy, his father took him to their large family home in the south of Chult, where the forest sat at the edge of the most inaccessible mountain. He was mostly raised by his older sister, Nulka, who has become a successful merchant in Ahoyhoy. Grak never knew who his mother was, and the message was that his mother had disappeared one night and never returned. Within a year, his father had passed away.

During his childhood, both Nulka and Grak had many childhood friends. While Nulka was one that enjoyed her studies in school, Grak found himself closer to nature. Despite their different paths in life, their relationship was always friendly, even if Nulka had a more ambivalent relationship with morality.

Despite the tropical climate on Chult, Grak was always intrigued by the vagaries of the weather. The only place he knew with different weather was at the top of the mountain above his family home. Grak always wanted to climb it to see what this unusual weather would be. He saw that it was white at the peak, different from most of the landscape he had ever seen. As he got older and more willing to explore, he started to experiment with climbing, using his sharp claws as crampons to help with his climbing. It took many attempts to find a safe path and after many years, he eventually found his way to the top. When he got there, he found a snow-covered temple to Attakhushu, the tortle god of knowledge, skill, and winter. When he stepped inside the cold, snow-dusted temple, he found himself imbued with a real feeling of belonging.

He spent the next few months cleaning the temple, reading the scripts that had been carved into the walls. Grak carefully removed the animals that had made the temple home, finding them a new home outside that is more appropriate for them. After a year of cleaning and preparation, he lit the candles for the first time in the clean, central atrium and bowed his head in prayer. Almost instantly, he was blessed with a vision from Attakhushu.

Attakhushu thanked him for servicing the temple that so many had forgotten. While Attakhushu appreciated the support from Grak, it was not time for Attakhushu to return to prominence. He would welcome Grak’s prayers in return for continued understanding. In time, Grak would be directed to a new place in the world, to find a better place for his worship. Attakhushu encouraged Grak to look after the less fortunate in the world, to use what he had learned from the runes to heal and rectify injustice.

Over the years, Grak would learn Elvish from Nulka and the merchants that would visit Ahoyhoy. He would learn more from the runes on the walls of the temple to Attakhushu. He would then help more of the unfortunate in Chult, but with such a small population, his work ran out quickly. Despite doing his best to serve the island of Chult, after several years, Grak felt unfulfilled. He filled a belt with what he felt he needed and went back to the temple. He prayed, seeking understanding for his next step.

This time, Attakhushu appeared to him, saying that Grak was ready for the next step of his journey. Attakhushu said that it was time for Grak to serve a community that would recognize his potential, and Grak would be able to study a new god. With a rush of air, Grak was teleported far from his ancestral home.

In the service of Rellavar Danuvien:

Shaken by the sudden teleportation, Grak forced himself up from the snow-flecked floor inside a cavernous room. Looking around, he found himself being stared at by elves and bird-like creatures that were taller than him, a situation that did not often happen now that he was an adult.

One older elf stepped forward and handed out a hand. Speaking to Grak in Aquan, he introduced himself as Arch-cleric Tharivol Erenaeth, while indicating a greying bird-like creature. Tharivol said that it was Hierach Oorr Aera, an aarakocra.

Switching to Common, Tharivol said that it had been many centuries since Attakhushu had sent a scholar to their temple, and he would be consulting with other members of the Seldarine to see when they had last seen a tortle among their ranks. Regardless, Grak would be given plenty of opportunities to prove himself and improve upon his previous skills. Grak began his intensive study of Rellavar Danuvien. He found that their commitment to fixing injustice remained, but found that controlling harsh weather was an excellent way of serving a wider purpose for society. He buried himself in his study, spending hours of study among scrolls to catch up to his more studied colleagues.

At first, the snow elves and aarakocra viewed him as an oddity that would depart quickly. They had seen many arrive from other gods in the pantheon and disappear just as quickly. Grak was different. He was studious, and while he might misremember specific parables, his fundamental understanding of the lore and his medical skills was regarded as some of the best in the class.

Some long-term scholars would even come to him for advice and thoughts due to his unique knowledge set from Chult. His commitment to a shared education made him many acquaintances across the acolytes, clerics, and hierarchs of Rellavar Danuvien. They would carve poems gently into his shell, whether elvish or aarakocran, to mark their deep respect for him.

One day, a young elf and aarakocra child came up to Grak and showed him a drawing. They said it was something carved into the center of his back, but it was not elvish, common, aarakocran. They wanted to know what it was. The picture was that of a spear between two turtle shells, silhouetted against a cloud. He spoke to the loremasters, who said that to the best of their knowledge, it is the first time they had ever seen tortle imagery incorporated into both Rellavar Danuvien and Aerdrie Faenya at the same time.

They could only conclude he is destined to represent Aerdrie Faenya as a representative of Rellavar Danuvien, sent by Attakhushu. No such occurrence had ever happened, and his future indicated greatness. However, Grak was due to face significant challenges ahead. The diviners and scryers went to work, concluding that after 130 years of excellent study, it was time for him to show what he could do in the outside world. Finding him a warhammer and a shield, the blacksmiths made him a holy symbol with the turtle shells surrounding a spear, jutting out of an ominous black cloud. An elegant silver necklace was placed around his neck, with the holy symbol tied to it in easy reach.

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