My name is Kaícha. I am a githyanki, a people who were once only the Gith with our cousins the githzeri. They were slaves to the mind flayers, until they rebelled and split in twain. The githyanki now live in the Astral, ruled by a queen who has used her magic to cheat death.

I am an Outcast.

When I was young, I was caught by slavers, taken as a curiosity on a prime world called Athas. Away from home, family, and anything remotely familiar, I learned of the ancient evil my people escaped.

I was first a pleasure slave for a sadist that enjoyed young girls, the more exotic the better. I left the harem for the fields when I scarred myself, unwilling to decorate that bastardís bed any longer.

I worked in the fields for... Iím not sure how long. In ways it was worse than in the harem. Anything female was fair game for some of the overseers. But that gave me a chance. I cultivated one in particular, a mul called Orrin. He was brutal, more so than the Master, but not particularly smart. He also had a habit of falling asleep after sex. One night he was careless, and didnít leave his dagger outside of my cell. I killed him and six other guards fleeing. I freed several other slaves in the pens on my way out; with more to muddle the tracks, there was a better chance of escape.

But I vowed to die before being a slave again.

I managed to make it into the desert with a thri-kreen who called himself Klik. More for expedience than gratitude, since if anyone caught up they would catch me before him, Klik allowed me to come with him to his pack. I nearly died, but in the end I found myself with a new family; a pack of nearly twenty giant bugs known as the thri-kreen.

Three more years passed. It was harsher, a constant search for water, food, and peace in a desert world of constant violence, but in its own way much kinder than anything I had experienced since I had been first taken from my home.

Then the githyanki attacked.

Not us, but near where we were. Iím not sure why. It certainly wasnít because of me, maybe they were just looking to expand their holdings to this world. Whatever the reason, the result was the same. The githyanki were beaten back, and when they retreated, I went with them. There was every reason to go, and nothing to hold me back; the pack had died during the battle. At the time I didnít wonder at whose hand.

I arrived to the Astral Plane, a place of wonders almost beyond my comprehension. Water enough to bathe in regularly; weapons, even armor, made not of bone, obsidian, or flint, but steel; merchants taking gold as if it were ceramic; and countless people like me.

Rather, people that looked like me. Most made no attempt to hide their distaste of me; a primative savage. Finally, on behalf of my parents Ė who were dead, but in life held enough power to keep their daughter from being killed out of hand Ė I was to be accepted into githyanki society. All I needed to do was participate in a ceremony proving my loyalty. I agreed. I thought these people more... civilized that the ones on Athas. Surely it was all ceremonial.

It was a ritual killing. All I had to do was slice the heart out of a captive githzeri, and Kaícha, seeker of knowledge of the clutch of Klik, and the Chígythtek pack, would be replaced with Toralana Tilvander, daughter of Kelvix Tilvander.

In the slave pens, there is little room for petty hate or dislike between races. There is only slave and master, and eternal hate and fear between the two. I couldnít do it. I have killed nearly twenty people during my life, and I could not find it in myself to plunge the knife into that man. While our people have been at war for eons, the man on the slab before me had done nothing to deserve this. He had just been stupid enough to get caught.

For all their vaunted civilized ways, the assembled gith still thought me a savage. They had let me keep the obsidian dagger I had taken from Orrin, and the dasl chatkcha Klik had given to me as a present. The first they dismissed as a primitive toy that couldnít harm them, and the second as perhaps an odd piece of jewelry instead of a weapon. They soon learned differently.

The githzeri and I left a trial of bodies fleeing the city, and the Astral. Iím afraid neither of us spent our nights comfortably, certain the other would go into a suicidal rage. Somehow, we made it to Sigil. As soon as we entered the city, the githzeri disappeared. One moment Iím walking ahead of him, the next I turn around and heís not there. His choice or anotherís, it doesnít matter. I donít know his name, but I doubt I shall forget him.

Since then, Iíve learned. Adapted. The City of Doors is a dark, twisty, smelly place of wonder, but to me, it is freedom and home.

I am many things. Warrior, mercenary, Indep, hunted fugitive. One day I will be vengeance to Ruslan Potanka, the gith who killed my pack. The Clueless see me waking down the street and consider me a Prime, still with my obsidian knife, dasl chatkcha, and a steel bladed gythka.

But I am not Toralana Tilvander, daughter of Kelvix Tilvander. I am not Tora, the slave girl, or Tora the field hand.

My name is Kaícha.



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