The Flower in the Sepulcher
“It was more like four or five shots, but modesty is a virtue unappreciated by bards and travelers.” —One-Shot Xante
Xante al-Qaws ibn Hamid, universally known in Treff and abroad as One-Shot Xante, is one of the finest bowmen ever to walk the lands of the Known World. He is not a Ranger, but a Fighter who dedicated his life more to the cause of the bow than to the sword. He was raised by Hamid al-Qaws, master archer to the armies of the Sultan of the Golden Scorpion but his natural aptitude marked him as a savant. At the age of 10, it is said, he could shoot the wings off a silkmoth as it rose from its cocoon in the Garden of Pearls in the imperial palace. From the top of the Sultan’s tallest minaret.
He did his time in the Sultan’s army, but grew tired both in hand and soul of slaying enemy soldiers for his pasha’s pride. He left home and commission to find bigger game. Harpies, sandwurms, ettins and other monsters all felt his arrows’ bite, but Xante sought bigger game still.
He sought dragons.
There are as many tales about the great duel between One-Shot Xante and Akulatraxas the Blue Death as there are stars in the Archer above. Some say the dragon killed Xante’s one true love, or razed his father’s ancestral village. Some say he did it just for the damn, mad challenge of it all. The story says Xante slew the wyrm after a wild chase across the dunes with a single brilliant shot through the eye, but even he doesn’t confirm that. What is known is that he cut from the beast’s horn a new bow as strong as adamant and true as a paladin’s oath.
Today Xante is an old legend, but he has found a peaceful life in the swamp-city of Treff, where his tavern, the Full Quiver, plays host to adventurers and wanderers of all stripes. No bandit or lout seeks to disturb the good cheer, lest they feel the swift reprisal that tells true that the stories of One-Shot Xante, the Mad Scorpion, the Son of the Sands, are no mere bard’s follies.