|Collection:||Alik’r Desert Lore|
Hunding’s ancestors reach back to the beginning of recorded time in the high desert, living as artisans and mystics. His grandfather was a retainer of the Elden Yokeda, Mansel Sesnit, and led many of the battles of unification prior to Sesnit’s assassination.
When he was 14, Hunding’s father died in the one of the many insurrections, and he was left to support his mother and four brothers. His prowess with the sword, however, made his life both difficult and easy. It was easy in that his services came in great demand as a guardian and escort. It was hard in that his reputation preceded him, and many awaited their turn to face him in battle, hoping to gain instant fame through his defeat.
By the time Hunding was thirty, he had fought and won more than ninety duels, killing all his opponents. He became virtually invincible with the sword, gaining such skill and mastery that he finally stopped using the real swords created through the artistry of his people and began using the Shehai or "way of the spirit sword."
All sword-singers learn through their intense training and devotion to the gods of war and way of the sword, the forms of discipline that allow the creation of the spirit sword. This is a simple form of magic or mind mastery whereby an image of a sword is formed from pure thought. The sword singer forms the sword by concentrating, and it takes shape in his hand. It is usually a pale thing of light, misty and insubstantial, a thing of beauty perhaps, or a symbol of devotion to the Way and the gods, but no weapon. However, those Ansei of the highest level and sensitivity and those with talent in magic can in times of stress form a spirit sword: a Shehai that is far more than light and air. It is an unstoppable weapon of great might, a weapon that can never be taken from the owner without also taking his mind.
The Shehai became Hunding’s weapon, and with this, he killed bands of brigands and wandering monsters infesting the land. Finally upon finishing his ninetieth duel, defeating the evil Lord Janic and his seven lich followers, he was satisfied that he was indeed invincible. Hunding then turned to formulating his philosophy of "the Way of the Sword." He wrote his learnings down in the Book of Circles while living as a hermit in a cave in the mountains of the high desert in his sixtieth year.
In that year Hunding, having enlisted in the many battles of the empire, and having defeated all opponents, had thought himself ready for death. He retired to his cave to capture his strategy and mystical visions to share with other sword-singers. It was after his completion of the scroll of the Circle that the singers found him composing his death poem and preparing to join the gods of war in final rest.
At sixty, he was a vigorous man who thought himself through with life, but his people, the sword-singers, needed him. They needed him as never before.