9:32 Dragon: The South Reach Company
A Tal'Vashoth turned Templar
Like all Kossith, Anaan is a massive specimen. The warrior towering at eight feet in height and built broad enough for two elves to easily hide behind. His skin is a light grey in colour and his hair is a dirty, off-white. Old tattoos cover his body, the faded reds almost indistinguishable from what they might have once been, if anything, due to years of scarification and travel. An impressive set of horns crowns his head, the twisting mass of bone having been angled and shaped to better support a furious goring charge.
His hands are heavily callused, each having seen hard wear and tear, tiny pale-grey scars lining the roughened flesh. His eyes are brazen, and tend to reflect any sort of light that shines off of them just as violently as if they were the eyes of some sort of night animal.
If seen before his Templar armour was acquired, he would look every inch the atypical Qunari Sten – except for a single item worn around his neck. Tied with torn leather scraps and hanging from his neck is a small symbol of the Chantry – the symbol has been as cared for as possible – though there are still dark brown stains on the silver metal and gouges upon it from blades with a few awkwardly bent angles here and there.
Now, he is almost always wearing armour – fitted for a kossith – and designed in the way of the Templars, made out of red steel – and paired with a massive two-handed sword of the same material.
Anaan’ataashi grew up as Sten during his time in Par Vollen. The young Qunari boy learning all he needed about the Qun and the ways of war. He lead warbands against the ‘southern heretics’ and fought many times against the Templar of the Chantry. He also spent much time in the company of one of the Ben-Hassrath, a female Qunari named Sallit.
It was during an engagement against a colony that had formed at the southernmost tip of Par Vollen that Sten broke from the Qun. His orders were to attack a heretical colony that had slowly formed – the only solid and permanent structure being a stone-and-timber Chantry. Though there were a few Templar and militia, his trained Ashok had no trouble cutting through them – with the help of occasional magic unleashed by a Saarebas that had been put under his control.
It was when taking the Chantry, and expecting to find more Templar, that the doors caved in to revealed frightened women and children, guarded not by heavily armed and armoured men but by a slender human woman clutching in her tiny hands a dinner knife – a small thing blunt at the tip and with only a few teeth to saw with, not a weapon.
When his Ashok asked why he hesitated, told him the heretics needed to die, Sten just growled out a single word: ‘No.’
What followed was a turn in the tide of battle, Ashok dying as the large warrior roamed forward – wielding a blacksmith’s hammer in one hand and his blade in the other. He immediately sought out the Saarebas, thinking that it would be the most dangerous challenge before him, only to see that it had attacked its captors – gouging their throats out with its horns.
Sten, wary, nonetheless set the Saarebas free from its chains and nodded his head, ‘Pick up a sword. Take your justice.’ Then he was off, a dervish of death that set the remnants of his force to fleeing as he teetered on the brink of life and death. The Mother of the Chantry immediately ordered him brought inside to be cared for – his wounds cleaned and mended and the large warrior allowed to rest.
It was only a few weeks later that he was leading a line of refugees from the city, headed for where there would be ships to help them escape from Par Vollen. In that time both Sten and the Mother had become close. At a false cry of alarm, Sten was off to deal with what few Qunari outriders had seen – though when he arrived true screams were heard from the line of refugees. Racing back Sten arrived too late – it was utter carnage.
Arrow shafts fired from Qunari longbows stood, quivering, in the bodies of women and children and the few men who had survived. The Mother was gutted and staring vacantly into the sky. Sten knew who had done this, a roar of outrage and pain and sorrow leaving his lips as he cradled the mutilated form of the women he loved in his arms. He performed what ceremonies he could, dousing the bodies in oil and setting them alight in a single, mass pyre. From the ruin he took two things – a burning hatred for Sallit and the Chantry symbol the Mother had worn.
Since that wretched day Sten had been selling his sword to whoever had need of a mercenary, and it was only after long thought that he eventually decided to take up service as a Templar.