Khantara: the One who Moves like Shadow
The Thellisian Empire had become too bold for its own excellence and had launched an irreparable attack upon the far island of Mharvholan. The Haanta stronghold which was normally prepared for any assault Thellis could conceive to convey had not expected such an unprecedented attack after they had delivered such a substantial blow to the empire themselves. When seeing such damage done to their home, the Emperor of Thellis order the Haanta island's immediate destruction in order to quell such dissent from the northern lands and when the nations of giants had suffered their last, they had begun to plan their vicious retaliation. The Hakriyaa ordered that a battalion of one-thousand Amghari, the celebrated warriors of Mharvholan and Sanhedran alike, attack the eastern settlements of the Thellisian Empire instead of attacking the capital in the west as was expected.
The military leader of the islands ordered the regiment of one-thousand raging mountains be lead by the Den Amhadhri of Mharvholan, Khantara. Although not a becoming man, Khantara was certainly the largest Haanta to be recollected. Standing tall at nine feet, the giant Haanta had lived to lead many wars against Thellis and had enjoyed much success as a commander and master of his people. There were many gifts bestowed upon the quiet giant and although handsomeness was not one of them where he failed in appearance, he succeeded greatly in ability. The gargantuan man was an Amghari of the highest decoration and master hunter of the western isle. As proof of his skill at war, he carried with him his large two-handed axe which he claimed was all his ambition as the enormous giant was mostly silent and reserved in his manner. He favoured his skill at observation over speaking or attacking and though not the greatest orator of his time when the dark grey mammoth venture to say little, everyone around him listened. He rather enjoyed his gifts as an Endari and possessed what his people called the Sotaa, the talent for speaking wordlessly with the various animals of the islands. As his confident and decided mind was plagued by conversation from all of nature around him, he remained quiet throughout most of the day to listen and learn from the twittering sounds of birds and the bellowing roars of beasts.
Khantara did not enjoy the taking of life although it was something he did rather well as he overshadowed and overpowered everyone in his path. He often preferred to give his opponent the object of running away and after seeing his enormous size and unrelenting might, they often took his kindness and fled from his foreboding silhouette. All of the Amhadhri beneath his station bowed to him with reverence and as he was an Odaibha, master in all things to his people, many crowded around him hoping to glean a morsel of wisdom from the mighty giant. They watched all his actions and dealings with great interest and because of all the attention and adulation Khantara was paid, he often sought the comforts of solitude and silence whenever he was permitted.
His long grey locks hung chaotic from his high head and his yellow eyes peeked out from his black sclera, making him seem intimidating when he believed himself to be anything but. As he was not fond of the raining season, he walked about in a Dhanna, a Haanta shadow cloak made from a strange and heavy silk, to keep the chilling rains from his boulderous shoulders, which gained him the fond name of Vhessehl Dhoss-hi, He who Moves like Shadow. Khantara had grown pleased for this name as it was much more fitting than He who Conquers as his name was translated in the common tongue.
Khantara walked with a slow and shuffling gait everywhere he went and garnered much attention, gaining bows and words of praise and supplication from every one of his blessed people. His stride was small for a man of his height as he was careful not to harm any who may cross his route and he often stopped to pay regard to many of the workers along Mharvholan's coast. As he was an Odaibha and divided his time between teaching various subjects in temple and training the commanders on the shore, Khantara often had little time for himself and frequently took to walking about the island in the darkness, strolling in the warm breeze of the island nights. When he required rest, he sat against one of the looming trees and closed his vivid yellow eyes for a few moments. His men were often eager for his tutelage but worried for his lack of sleep and his general dislike for his duties at Khopra. Even though there were few women who offered to attempt the ritual with such a massive and thoughtful creature, Khantara had never honoured anyone in the sacred act for fear of harming them with his overbearing weight and incomparable size. He would not be responsible for such ill deeds and it was therefore ruled that his duties at Khopra were unimportant when his duties as Odaibha and Den Amhadhri were.
He had become an Amghari was he was only nine and was taken to be trained in seclusion with an Odaibha of his own. His dark grey skin was abraded quite often and his strength and prowess had quickly become unmatched. When the Hakriyaa honoured him with his axe upon instatement he had given him the name Khantara as he saw the immense potential the giant possessed. Although he did not enjoy this name, he fulfilled the expectation of it well and where he was bid to lead, he would go. He dutifully followed the order of his superior but always acted with prudence and respect with regard to his command. As supreme commander, much was expected of him and he found his duties effortless as many had cowered before him without needed provocation. He was a giant of legends and a learned beast, and all who followed him greatly admired the tremendous and unspoken shadow-like monster.
The young Mivaari of the island enjoyed his quiet manner and reserved company. He was attentive to their skills and watched them closely as they developed, making certain to nurture their inborn traits correctly. He did much with action and much less with speaking, as he knew well that children must be shown and not told. The significant beast adored his students and silently wished to one day nurture his own without the Themari's interference. Such a desire, however, was thus far unfounded as he refrained from Khopra in exchange to lead the newest assault. One-hundred years he had fought for his people and though he was honoured to lead the battle, he preferred the comforts of peace ever so much more.
By the might of Khantara's powerful hand, the battle for the eastern settlements was easily won. The war was waged only a few days and yet the one-thousand man army had conquered nearly the entire eastern half of the Empire. As the land was now under the leadership of the prevailing behemoth, the Hakriyaa allowed the Den Amhadhri Khantara to rule it as he pleased until they required his presence on the shore once again. He was ordered to begin the plans for a settlement of their own and the creation of a temple to begin their practices in the newly won outpost. Khantara complied and gently gave word to his people to begin construction at once.
The giant had left many of the human inhabitants in their homes and agreed that they may keep their ways and customs as they liked. He offered conversion to the Haanta for all those who asked it and refused to be named as a warlord in their land. Those who attacked the beast and his people with vehemence for his kindness were sent to Mharvholan to be placed in a camp for their damaging behavior and although they were not ill-treated they were asked to convert to calm their fevered sentiment or remain in the camp for their crimes. Many began to fear the Haanta and their mountainous leader in the outpost but those who converted enjoyed their new given purpose and dignity amongst the kindly and tranquil Haanta people. When others were encouraged to join their culture, the Church of Thellis lashed out at them, banning Haanta from their buildings and forcing them to remain away from the human settlement.
And so the outpost was divided into two sections only joined by the collective of the marketplace where all were welcome if only to spend a few coins. As the Haanta had little need for copper and gold, they were seldom seen in the markets accept to travel from their potion of the outpost to the docks where many Haanta came to populate the settlement. They began to build the foundations of their race into the mortar of the mainland and a celebration was called in honour of their newfound glory at striking a substantial blow to the Empire. The Church forbade their attendants from going and if any human was caught speaking with the gentle giants, immediate reprimand was promised. The ruling demands of the Church however were silent when the tremendous Khantara silently walked by and although he respected their presence he did not venture to look at them to keep suspicions against him hushed.
The celebration for the Haanta outpost was held in the new grounds near the erected temple and it was declared that the outpost was to be named after the temperate giant in honour of his immense achievement in attaining it. The enormous man said nothing to refute the offer and only bowed toward the announcement, huddled within the confines of his Dhanna and walked away to gain some much needed seclusion for his consideration. His three Amhadhri thought to follow him and call him back to the celebration, feeling disheartened by his early departure.
"Odaibha," one of them said to the colossus. "Will you not join us at the commemoration? It was
made to honour you."
Khantara hummed in deliberation and placed his massive paw on the commander's shoulder to show his appreciation for the thought.
"Are you not pleased, Odaibha?"
"I am," Khantara said in a low hum. "Let our people rejoice. I must walk."
The Amhadhri bowed and watched as the moving shadow shuffled away to enjoy his solitude in through the outpost. He only stopped to converse with birds on the matter of their newly made nest and the continued on, gaining one of them for his shoulders.
"Leave our Odaibha, Jhiaanta," one of the Amhadhri said. "He has done his duty to us and deserves the quiet he seeks."
The Amhadhri Jhiaanta looked at his master's shade with concern as he walked away. "I worry for him," Jhiaanta warily said. "He will not be able to instruct here for some time until the temple is fully erected and the training grounds are finished. He finds much comfort in teaching us and the rebellion of these Dhagovhari will upset him."
The other Amhadhri laughed. "Our master is hardly disturbed by anything, Jhiaanta. His size and composure affords him that. Come, leave him alone."
Jhiaanta and the two Amhadhri returned to the celebration made in their master's name and Khantara continued on, resigned to the consolations of the discourse of the nature around him.