FeNal’LKlark of the Brown Feathers Clan was born into the armorer class of the servant caste on JKwauk, a planet of the Vulthra Empire. Among the servant caste, the armorers are one of the higher functionaries below warriors. FeNal was instructed in magick at an early age, as are all Vulthra, and proved to be a promising pupil. This skill was noticed by HwTkalk’Kluk, a master armorer, who served the great heroes and generals of the Empire. When FeNal was of age, he was apprenticed to HwTka.
As an armorer, FeNal was expected to function not only as servant, but as man-at-arms, should the needs of the warriors demand it. So he was taught the elementary katas of the warriors’ dance. His skill was recognized again and he was given the great honor of being sparring partner to the young warriors in training. He progressed from apprentice to journeyman, and was assigned as the personal armorer to General TirWahe’Bbok, in charge of the Recon Corps. FeNal travelled with him to many worlds as they sought out threats to the Empire.
One day, the Recon Corps discovered one of the populating systems neighboring them empty. Then another, and another—seven civilizations completely denuded of living beings. General TirWah feared the worst; the Caal had struck. They returned to the homeworld to report their findings. They analyzed the timeline and pattern of the empty systems. The Caal had been building a force headed to the galactic northwest… right into Human territory.
They knew the humans to be powerful warriors, so although many in the High Command wanted to invade immediately, they knew that their last two campaigns against the Humans did not end well. So General TirWah had an idea: Instead of a “reconnaissance-in-force,” which was standard Vulthra tactics, send some camouflaged scouts instead to discover if the Caal had taken over the Humans. The idea was sound, but all the warriors they approached refused to obey. To face your enemies in disguise, to hide your true nature while among them, was dishonorable and would make them lose face among their caste… more than disobeying their superior would.
But then General TirWah was exercising with FeNal and it struck him… they didn’t need a warrior, they needed any Vulthra willing! So he offered FeNal the job and he took it gladly. Since he would have to carry a sword without a warrior to watch him, by their code of conduct, having a free sword elevated his status to warrior. So they made FeNal a provisionary warrior—his vigil to prove the worthiness of his caste was to discover if the Caal had conquered Humanity. He had to disavow his past—family, caste, even his own name—and became known as Scout. Until he returned successfully with the knowledge of where the Caal had gone, he could not return, receive his new name, and honorably join the ranks of the warrior caste. Three years later, he reached the edge of human space, hid his ship, and bought a K’Nes vessel to sneak into the Holy Terran Empire. He put on his camouflage, hired a group of ex-Federation sailors to man his ship, and set forth to trace the passage of the Caal.
Although the Vulthra could use magick to disguise themselves, it would stick out like a sore thumb for anyone magically sensitive. So they borrowed some technology from the Horadrim, and have a dummed-down soul web. Their nanobots aren’t as sensitive or sentient like Horadrim ones, but they’re only there to disguise the obviously large Vulthra. They make him look like an average human male without magick, but they wouldn’t pass an extensive scan.
The soul web creates an average male human skin, compressing the natural avian feature. It uses the wearer's bioelectric energy to extend its power, but not being a true soul web, it must be removed every day or so to recharge using conventional energy sources. It has no sentience and must be manually activated and deactivated by the wearer.
After hiring a human crew, he followed the trail of the Caal Invasion . Although he discovered no evidence on Jennifer's Star , it did give him the story of the Orb. This led him to Wilke's Star, and eventually to Avalon.
Behind the Scenes
Although Marcus borrowed the basic concept for this story from Ed, Marcus developed all the details of Vulthra culture. The name "Scout" (or at least, the concept of naming someone after their task. was borrowed from the character "Tosk" from the episode "Captive Pursuit" from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.