Upheaval in Zhaltssom
Solenops Gunslinger, considered the inventor of gunpowder
Rantrabi would be considered the first gunslinger. He also has managed to acquire significant resources while developing pistols and muskets, so it can be safely assumed he has access to magical items related to them. He is known for sure to wield an enchanted double-barrel musket, which he calls “Survivalist”.
Rantrabi Calrashoun was once merely a minor noble in the kingdom of Orozhaki. That all changed when, during his monthly tax collection, a peasant tried to pay off his taxes with a tome written in a very old script. The tome detailed efforts by the arvicol empire to develop an elixir of immortality and the problems that ensued, but the research was unfinished. Curious, Rantrabi commissioned an alchemist to recreate the experiment as far as they could.
Unfortunately, his manor was destroyed in an explosion one night, killing the alchemist and leaving the populace to believe Rantrabi had also died. He had in fact survived, and so had the tome, but now Rantrabi’s successor took over the rulership of his province. Rantrabi left his life behind and set out to work with the tome’s formula. Somewhere along the way, he discovered that the supposed elixir itself was the volatile concoction that had destroyed his manor house. Seeking ways to harness this explosive power, Rantrabi learned how to use the concoction for small, controlled explosions, but attempts to propel things like spears and knives proved unsuccessful. However, rocks were viable, and Rantrabi used this knowledge to develop a weapon capable of firing these rocks at deadly speeds.
This knowledge would be brought to use when Rantrabi was set upon by a group of bandits. Killing their leader with one shot from this new weapon, the bandits cowered in fear, and Rantrabi used this opportunity to take over leadership of them. Several raids on large towns and small cities within Orozhaki occurred, most of them without putting this new weapon to work, but the last of them had the weapon used to kill the beast that protected a border town, which earned him the nickname of “Clawkiller” from the understandably scared populace. (What most don’t know is that the beast’s hide actually deflected the first couple of shots, and that it took pressing the weapon against the creature to actually pierce through to vital organs.)
Having secured control of this town, Rantrabi, who adopted the Clawkiller nickname as his new last name, set out to turn the town into a haven for vagabonds and vagrants, under the premise that they help him develop this new weapon. In time, shorter and larger variations of the weapon, deemed a “fire arm”, would take form, and it would be determined that dense metal pieces worked better as a projectile for the weapon than rocks. Eventually, he would send a team of mercenaries to raid a mining operation in the Ethess Mountains, supposedly for supplies.
The raid on the mining operation went off without a hitch, but Rantrabi’s orders were to seize the mine for his own use, so when the miners started disappearing, the raiders went to investigate. As luck would have it, the raiders were forced to evacuate the mine when a rakshasa turned up. That, plus the fact that his tax collector Quianna was in that raid when she wasn’t supposed to be, made Rantrabi snap. Believing that the state kidnapped Quianna, he instructed Vaurirc, who was the most prominent member of the bandit expedition to return from the raid, to follow him to a major road in the northern provinces, where he would try to terrorize passersby until Quianna was returned.
Unfortunately, the very first group he picked on happened to be an adventuring party headed north, tailed by Damian Xinara. After a confrontation in which he shot two of the adventurers, he was forced to surrender and his prized musket was taken from him. His attempt to persuade the party that he runs a town (Mazikiri) and that everyone in his town acts this way was reprimanded by the party, and Damian hauled him, his bodyguard Vaurirc, and his musket to Ikonroel to stand trial. Rantrabi got some leniency because he divulged his work on gunpowder and revealed that Mazikiri was now in the hands of someone else, continuing his work. For this, his punishment was reduced to mental evaluation and counseling – at the same place where Quianna was getting help. He will only be released when both he and Quianna have recovered.