The Oni and his Mistress

Adventurers often stand out in a crowd, noticeable for their rough and tumble nature or their flagrant use of magic. In the case of Nintai and Kaary, they simply stand out. This is because Nintai is an oni, a powerful spellcaster with blue skin who stands twice as tall as a human man. Kaary, a human woman from a desert land is often mistaken for a dancer, but she is deadly with sword and dagger and fast enough that she doesn’t need armor.

When they first arrive in a new land, many people are quick to fear Nintai, or to assume that Kaary is his slave. More than once she has had to explain that she is not in danger and that Nintai is the one beholden to her. Though they never go into the specifics, it is widely known that Kaary saved Nintai’s life the first time they met, and that he has sworn a life debt to her.

Since then it has also become apparent that they are the best of friends, and work very well together, as attested by numerous tales. Princess Sabela of Dro is quick to tell the tale of how they rescued her from the ghost warriors of Zaar (and how Kaary stole her heart), and the people of Colm adore Nintai, who is known far and wide as a friend to all children. Together they cured the plague which had lain waste to Biae, recovered the Lost Labrys of Lalage Luklanos, and even mapped the Tangled Briar.

Though the pair is quick to establish a reputation in any given land to which they travel, they tend not to stick around for very long. Those who have met them often assume they have an insatiable wanderlust, but the very few people who have gotten to know them well sense something more sinister that keeps them on the move. Neither will speak about the circumstances in which they met or say much about their past, allowing rumor and legend to speak for them instead. All of this certainly lends them an air of mystery, which tends to bring people to them looking for help, and not a few suitors for both. Though Kaary is quick to smile and willing to break a heart or two, Nintai is far more stoic, and seems to carry a long-burning flame for someone. While some poets have written that he pines for Kaary, both dismiss the idea.

Kaary and Nintai have been known to work with other adventurers from time to time, and though exceedingly competent in their own ways, are smart enough to recognize when they need the help of other qualified persons. Though they are loath to share much about themselves, they are quite willing to share the rewards they earn in their adventures, and care more for trinkets than gold. Kaary travels light and needs little, but Nintai likes to collect bits of magical ephemera, always seeking to expand upon his inborn talent with the arcane.

Artwork: “Sleeping Genie and Lady,” by John Tenniel, from Dalziel’s Illustrated Arabian nights’ entertainments, author unknown, circa 1865.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s