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Event Roleplaying Profile: Zulfiqar Twice-Shamed

Tags: #Redguard  #Workshop-Roleplaying Event; Vampire  #Twice-shamed 
  • March 9, 2017


    "If you find this book, it is likely that I am dead. I sincerely hope that I was killed in the line of duty, fulfilling my purpose as Ash’abah, rather than giving into my cursed nature and harming some innocent soul. I warn you, my story is one of murder and dishonour, but if I did as I feared, it is imperative that you read it, so that you can perhaps show my body some semblance of mercy when disposing of it."




    Name:  Zulfiqar Twice-Shamed

    Aliases: Twice-Shamed, the Fallen Ash’abah, the Khulari, the vampire, the Forsaker

    Sex: male

    Race: Redguard vampire of the Khulari clan

    Class: former Ash’abah, Barbarian, undead slayer

    Alignment: Chaotic good

    Title(s): None

    Age: 28 years old (Time of Death), 51 years old (altogether)

    Place of Birth: Unknown, specifically, somewhere in the Totambu region of Hammerfell.

    Religion: Redguard Pantheon, though struggles with religion after contracting vampirism.

    Residence: None, last seen in the Falkreath region of Skyrim. Near the border with Cyrodiil.

    Family: An aging father.




      Skin Tone: like the rich coffee he used to love when alive. Cast with the shade of spent ash    over a campfire in undeath.   

      Height: 37.5 pertans

      Weight: 10,500 angaids

      Build: medium; athletic, with strong fingers and arms.

      Eyes: Deep brown while living, fiery orange as an undead.

      Hair: A braided mohawk, shaved on either side.

      Apparel: Any light armor. He will often, in an attempt to blend, wear the armor of the  dominant faction of the province he is in. His head is covered in a hood and a cloak is used  to mask more of his form. His trusty pack, containing basic supplies and his journal is always carried.

      Tattoos/Scars: Two puncture wounds on the left side of his neck. White war paint on his  face, consisting of a series of dots and slashes that cut down his nose and across his cheeks.  A slash of warpaint cuts through his mouth. 


      Special Abilities/Skills: Vampirism of the Khulari clan. The Khulari are one of the vampire    bloodlines of the Iliac Bay area. Those of the bloodline are gifted with the ability to paralyse  their prey. The bloodline dominates an area of Hammerfell - specifically the regions of  Santaki, Totambu, Kozanset, Ephesus and the Dragontail Mountains.

      Weapons: When he was alive, he followed the preferred traditions of his Redguard people  and favored fast swords. As it was with magic, however, upon undeath, Zulfiqar began to  explore the possibilities of heavier weaponry.  He now wields a warhammer of steel make. It  has seen better days, dented and scarred, but he does not risk the trips to civilization to do it  the service it has done in defense of him. He  has read of legends of a mighty warhammer used by vampire hunters of the second era, but finding it has elluded him thus far. 

      Spells: Destruction runes, some weaker destruction spells, though he lost the ability to cast  fire spells. The channeling of desert winds to bind his enemies in ash and sand, the ability to  paralyze his foes in the Khulari tradition. In addition, much to his surprise, he has retained  the ability to channel magicks against the undead in the tradition of the Ash’abah, so while  they abandoned him, his magicks did not.



    To those that knew him in life, Zulfiqar was a man passionate about history. His head was stuck in the past, tracing his patrilineal and matrilineal family trees as far back as the early days of Yokuda. If there had been a god of history, Zulfiqar would have been a devout follower. Though possessing a scholar's heart, Zulfiqar was talented with sword, shield, and other arms, as was the custom of any able-bodied Redguard in Hammerfell, though his curiosity about warhammers often earned laughs from his trainers and colleagues. Zulfiqar enjoyed a good battle as much as the next man, but nothing captured his attention quite like talks of magic. 

    It was a spurned path to walk down, to explore in greater depth than just a cursory knowledge of what magic is and how it's used. Zulfiqar abided by the laws and traditions of his people, and let his interests in magic disappear like rain in the desert.

    Until a line had been crossed. The first shaming. 

    And then the second shaming, where life became something else entirely.

    In death, Zulfiqar cast aside any additional reservations about magic and the many schools to be explored - dabbling in everything from restoration to conjuration, though he settled into the magical practices of the Ash’abah tradition that he still holds dear and merged it with the traditions of the Khulari vampire. Alchemy and enchanting held little interest for him; he did not come from a land with strong concentrations of medicinal plants, and throughout his travels, Zulfiqar found it tedious to learn what each plant did for every new area he visited and concocting potions, even worse. He wasn't the only one. A holy knight traveling through his village in Totambu once told him with an understanding nod and a chuckle. "One is blue, one is red, and one is green, lad, and that is all one needs knowing." Better times, better days. 

    Honor, respect, and pride. These were all things he thought he once had, but it took a fall from grace and to fall again, this time lower than ever before, to understand what those truly mean. Zulfiqar does not know hatred, though he has many names and faces who deserve his dislike or scorn for their treatment of him, and though bitterness can surface in his dark hours, Zulfiqar has grown deaf to the fear and derision of those he'd once called friends.

    Solitary by choice and by nature (even before his untimely undeath), Zulfiqar boasts an impressive vocabulary, but there are few who get to hear it. He keeps to himself, and keeps his business away from those with keen eyes. Privacy is so important when you have so much to hide. His strong sense of dedication to the Ash'abah involve going from hold to hold, purging dungeons of the undead, and this involves talking with others. Once pleasant company, Zulfiqar's social skills have boiled down to asking questions, answering none directed at him, and leaving town before he can ever get too comfortable.

    This lifestyle of never settling in one area for long can be taxing, but Zulfiqar bears the burdens of his curse as well as any one man could. In some secret hope that others will one day find it and give him an honorable burial should he finally perish, Zulfiqar keeps a series of journals - cataloguing his long life, and spilling his secrets to the only thing that won't judge or harass him for the path he must now walk.

    Sometimes his curiosity gets the better of him, and he struggles greatly with the immorality of needing to feed in order to stay alive, but his spirit hasn't been broken. Not yet. As long as he can still do good in this world, he will keep going. 

    If Zulfiqar could have one wish granted, however, it is that his father never find out what truly happened to him.

    The shame and disappointment would be too much for the old Redguard to bear.





    My story begins years ago, before I truly understood my true heritage. My father was teaching me of my ancestry, when the Redguards were still known as Yokudans. My bloodline was one of the few that were descended from a line of Renegade Yokudan wizards. These unique warriors were gifted in the arcane, and not entirely unlike the battlemages found within the Empire’s ranks. I find it strange to this day that our culture is so suspicious of magic, when our ancestors dreamed of becoming sword singers, but I did not mind. After all, to openly speak out against our ways would have branded me as mad, or worse, a coward.


      As you might’ve guessed, my life was not to continue this way. When a  young man, not long out of education, my father received a note, formally  condemning our ancestors as traitors to Yokuda, and therefore Hammerfell.  The shame! Everyone shunned us, of course. My father and I knew that  these people were mistaken, but who would tell them they were mistaken?  Who would stand up for a disgraced magic user? The Forebears might have  done so, but we lived in Crown territory. Rumors began to circulate that I  was practicing magic in secret. I was given a wide berth on the streets, and  derisive sneers behind my back. What happiness and respect I had known  growing up had been ruined, spoiled like a melon left too long in the  sweltering desert sun. That was perhaps the true beginning of my tale. My  father helped me pay for some equipment and I left to seek my fortune  somewhere more forgiving, or at least somewhere where my face was not  known. No sooner had I left, however, when I was assaulted. 

      Crowns, eager to destroy that which threatened their traditions. They  provoked me with every insult they could think of, and attacked me with  rocks and short knives. I defended myself - shouted at them that there was  no honor in an unfair fight - but I was a shamed creature. To them,  attacking me would not be seen as dishonorable at all. 

      Looking back, that was the moment when I decided to alter my life. I was  hated, condemned, and blinded by fury. I stood up with a new fire within  me. My purpose was clear. Learn of my ancestor, learn of what he did in his  time, and follow in his footsteps. I limped home, and headed for his tomb. 

      I spent some years tracing his history. My father was all too willing to let  me stay with him. I found out more about my ancestor than I could ever  have imagined. How he fought in wars as a young man before retiring, for  unknown reasons. How he wielded a warhammer unlike the swordsmen  beside him, how he turned to fighting the undead, becoming one of the  Ash’abah, and was shunned for defiling the honoured dead. Perhaps this  was why he was branded a traitor - for performing a necessary evil. I knew  I risked the same fate, but I didn’t care. I was already living the life of a  hermit, my father and I holed up in our house like rats, ignoring society.  Was there any more I could lose? 

    I began to research magic secretly. Buying spell tomes from the khajiit caravans that rolled through, with an extra coin or two put in their clawed hands to purchase their discretion. If I were truly to live up to my ancestor’s name, I would need the skills that he possessed.  As I learned more of the destructive capabilities of magic against the undead, my reservations about it ebbed away. How could a race so naturally skilled in combat completely ignore an art form that could shape the very land we walk upon? I researched the skills of my ancestor as well as those of a cleric, and my mind opened. I knew I had found my place. If they were going to spread rumors that I was a magic practitioner, then I was going to give those rumors some substance. I began practicing, alone. Throwing flames from my hands. I cut myself with my sword, only to heal myself again, and repeated this over and over. I was enjoying my life thoroughly. But I knew I was still not prepared. I needed experience, I needed to know how to combat these undead creatures, as the group of mages my ancestor belonged to did.  I knew how foolish it would be to simply walk through the Alik’r desert, hoping to come across a vampire. So I turned to the only tribe I could. 

    The Ash’abah. Back to the source. Back to where my ancestor came from. Undead hunters. Shunned by society, these men and women devoted their lives to destroying undead. Was it them? Were they truly the remnants of my ancestor’s lost tribe? I knew where my place was. Once again, I packed my possessions and left, this time in search of the Ash’abah. It was not long before I found one. I then spoke my ancestor's name. And for once, the desert sand did not see a fresh shower of spit. I  was greeted with respect.  I had not yet earned their trust, but I was not shunned as I was back home. After passing their initiation, my life as an Ash’abah had begun. 

    However, it was some time before I was allowed to go with them on their hunts. 

    Instead, the leader of the Ash’abah, Makurat, had me study their ways - correct ways of putting the Ra-Netu to rest, ways to avoid being defiled by those cursed with vampirism, and ways to fight those few fool enough to practice the black arts of necromancy. 

    After a year of this, Makurat finally deemed me ready to join in their hunts. 

    We met in the early morning somewhere in the Dragontail Mountains, myself and a few men wielding glimmering swords. I remembered a sense of fear, yet excitement. This was how my ancestor must have felt, as he stood before the mouth of a cave, prepared to do his sacred duty. We ventured into the cave, within which supposedly dwelled a group of vampires. The name Khulari was spoken and their faces became grim. I remember the darkness, pressing in upon me from all angles. One of the men I entered with carried a torch, which we remained close to, whispering prayers to Tu’whacca all the while. Further we went. Silence. We ventured further. Still nothing. 

    I turned to face the other men and opened my mouth to suggest we head back, but the words never left me. 

    “Argh!” I watched as one of our men staggered against the cavern wall, a glassy spear protruding from his chest. No, not glass, ice. I heard a rush of air from behind. Ice hit my shoulder and spread fast through my body. I turned and swung my blade but the cold had numbed my fingers, and my sword tumbled out of my grasp. I saw a flash of teeth and, instinctively, raised my hands to protect myself. Without thought, I released fire. 

    The bright orange light of the flames in the darkness of the cave almost blinded me. A high-pitched screech. The flames sputtered. The darkness grew dizzying, and I was overcome by a sudden nausea. I do not remember falling, but I must have, for I tasted dirt and stone. Pain in my hands and neck reminded me I was still alive. I scrambled to my feet and raised my hands once more. The orange flame shot from my hands a second time, throwing the garish shadows of vampires across the cavern walls. 

    I was rewarded by a cry of anguish, but my triumph was short-lived. A flash of green light, and I found myself frozen, but not frozen from cold. Paralyzed. My hands remained suspended in front of me as I fell forward, hitting the ground once again. The screams of my foes and allies continued all around me in the black void, twice I was stepped on, forgotten in the dark. 

    I tried in vain to force my arms and legs to obey me, but I could not. Bloody hands seized me by my clothes and hoisted me up, the hands hooking under my shoulders. I still could not turn my head to see if I was in the hands of my tormentors or my comrades, so I had no choice but to submit to being dragged. 

    My boots dug into the gravel, threatening to cut into their soles, and then suddenly a bright light blinded me. This was not the same light as my flames, but white, and fresher. My sight cleared, the black of the cave replaced by blue with white wisps of clouds, the golden-brown of the desert around us.  We had escaped. 

    Suddenly my limbs relaxed, released from the magicks that had ensared me, becoming mine to control again. They ached, my bones, and cold, I was cold, trembling, feeling keenly the effects of the blast of winter's chill I had received in the cave. I stood, despite the trembling, however.  When we entered, there were at least half a dozen men. Now, there were myself and two others, one of which looked severely more out of breath than the other, who had a bad burn on his left arm. I felt a little embarrassed for my inexperience, if it had caused the burn on my comrade’s arm, and apologized to the floor. The apology was met with silence. Had I failed in my duty? Was I a disappointment to my ancestor’s legacy? 

    Again, I attempted apology, this time choosing to face them directly, to answer for my shortcomings without hiding.   I looked up and saw the look of horror upon both faces, and watched as it transitioned into hard-eyed conviction. 

    “What? What is it?” I heard myself stammering. 

    Keta, one of the men who had survived the encounter, addressed me coldly. 

    “You are no longer Ash’abah.” 

    The other drew his sword. Astonished, a sharp pain in my neck stopped me from retaliating. I reached up and felt two small bumps, like insect bites. A wave of terror struck me as I realized what had happened. I was bitten. My mind began to spiral. What could I do? I had failed as an Ash’abah. Where could I go? My people detested everything I had become. Calm. It’s just a bite. I have a disease, not undeath. But who would see it that way? I certainly didn’t. Everything was over. My career, my honour, my life. Calm. It’s just a bite. 

    But I wasn't calm, my terror took over. Instead, I ran, stumbling away from their swords, feeling the cold eyes of persecution on my back as I fled. They would not kill me until my body had completed the transformation; that would be murder, otherwise. 

    A part of me wished they had at least tried. 

    I could not tell you how long I wandered the desert, having lost my way. A stone sat at the bottom of my stomach. I did not sleep that first night, thinking over what was to be done. I knew I would not find a cure in two days. Redguards care almost as little for alchemy as we do for magic. I could not count on reaching the Ash’abah before the curse took me, and I didn't. I did, indeed, die, the next night. 

    My only hope then was to leave. Go somewhere magic was not shunned. Where none would know my face, and that I had been shamed twice-over. The Summerset Isles were not an option, the elves, for the most part, were – and still are – not exactly accepting of man. The next closest place was Skyrim. The land of the Nords. Warriors, like the Redguards, I felt it would be the next best place to seek a cure for my vampirism, and should that fail, to keep spreading the influence of the Ash’abah, even in a land with strange gods and stranger customs. After all, who better to hunt the undead, then one of their own? 

    This is where I end the first part of my story, friend. The story of how I became what I am. Many years have passed and only now do I make good on my naive promise to go to Skyrim. Only now. You lose time, you know, when you are undead. Time bears little meaning when you do not age, when people all around you are born, live, and then die, while I remain in the stasis that is undeath. I read, I did what I always do, read, hone my skills. There are many undead in Cyrodiil too. And I hunted them, along with others. 

    Accidents can happen, despite the best intentions. I sought to redeem myself from my first shaming, and fell deeper into disgrace. For by now I am likely a beast, cursed to drink my fill of blood and hide from the light of day. Or there is the light of redemption? A cure? Who knows. I go to Skyrim to find out. Rumors of Redguards, who, like me, dare to touch the undead. 

    Goodbye traveller,

    I pray to the divines that you never follow the path I did.


    Zulfiqar Twice-Shamed


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    Thanks for looking. Long-Chapper here. This is team Anarchy's Submission for the Workshop/Roleplay team event Heretics.  I collaborated with Spotted Fawn and Ronny Philange. Great to work with them and we are proud of our entry. 


  • Member
    March 9, 2017

    Excellent work guys, very inspiring. It is hard not to feel for the man. This is very well written, beautifully presented and utterly captivating. I hope to see more of Zulfiqar Twice-Shamed as this is something special :)

  • Member
    March 9, 2017

    Thanks Phil! Lissette's definitely got plans for Zulfiqar, so this won't be the last of him. :)

    Big thank you to Lissette for doing most of the heavy lifting at the end. I really appreciate you formatting and posting it. It was a lot of fun working with you and Ronny, I hope we get to collab again soon. ^^

  • Member
    March 11, 2017

    Brilliant entry guys, a shining example of how to create a profile!