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“I'm no hero. Some talk about reclaiming our species' lost glory, some lament about our current state, and some... well, some just want to kill everything that might be a threat. I avoid such sentiments. We're in our current state, somewhat unavoidably, and each of us need only survive within our capacity to do so. There is no shame in this.”
- - Qurik
Qurik Skel (/kʰjurɪk skɛl/), born Qurik Corvosa, is a Saviki marshal attached to the exiled prowler Silent Retribution. His status as the illegitimate runaway son of Orsik Corvosa is a well-kept secret, known only to himself, Orsik, and Rikken Eksil, the Void Chrill. He left the Blood Combine at an early age due to his disagreement with many of his father's beliefs and policies, while his birth was still unknown to the rest of the Metafleet, and made a deal with Rikken that would keep him away from Orsik's influence. However, he has recently left the Void Combine as well due to his quarrel with Rikken.
The title of Plague-Smiter was granted to him following his work ridding several Dusk frigates of a deadly parasitic lifeform, an act which has earned him a slight reputation within the Void Combine that he cares little for. His Xi-Ur name, which he has largely left behind, is Evrigulon, meaning "Shadow of Endings." However, his repression of this side has caused it to become difficult to control since its resurgence.
Opinions on Qurik vary across the spectrum of individuals who know him. Those he works with may describe him as anything ranging from reliable to egotistical to unsettling, and often combinations of the three, while those who have faced him in less positive circumstances recount him as dangerous, amoral, and disagreeable. As a mercenary, he is often looked down upon by those who find such a lifestyle unfavorable or immoral.
Early Life Edit
Qurik was born in 3228 LD, the son of Orsik Corvosa and an unknown mother. His birth was kept secret, and his father attempted to indoctrinate him withteachings from an early age. However, the young Qurik was resentful of such teachings, and his internal rejection of his father's beliefs helped fuel his later rejection of the Architect and Regulators as objects of worship.
Isolated from all but Orsik and his inner circle of followers, Qurik found some favorable company in Orsik's brother Kovari, who also secretly rejected therusism and sought to kill or incapacitate Orsik before he could gain too much power. While Qurik saw Orsik's ambitions as futile, he agreed to grant Kovari some assistance in his plot, and at the age of 17 helped Kovari access the Chrill's private quarters, opening the door for him whilst Orsik apparently slept. However, Orsik, who had become suspicious of both over the past year, ambushed and slew Kovari. Qurik, while not seen aiding his uncle, could sense his father believed him to have been involved, and he began planning to leave the Blood Combine.
Defection to Void Edit
Several days after the failed coup, Qurik payed off a skiff captain attached to the Pullulation arkship to take him to Rikken Eksil, Chrill of the Void Combine. Upon meeting with Rikken, he explained his intent to covertly defect from Blood to Void, and Rikken sent him to be stationed on the Silent Retribution as a stealth reaver.
As the so-called "bounty scout" of the Retribution, Qurik put together a list of contacts from across the Gigaquadrant, which would be passed on to Tenvir Irkili, his successor in the role. This list currently includes figures such as High Queen Kirta Clett of the Mendel Pact, Ullathromah Karkutazou of the Merosian Imperium, Eovinjai lethal arms producer Kyve Ece Taroll, the Salirian Vhesus Sharivar, Speaker of Speakers Auvia, and more recently, President Apollo of the New Cyrannian Republic through his deal with Rikken.
Early Missions Edit
In 3246 LD, Kyve Ece Taroll, Superintendent of Arms Production in the Eovinjai Sovereignty, hired the Retribution to covertly follow various freighters he believed to be selling weapons to an illicit buyer or group of buyers, and detain those involved if necessary. The crew of the Retribution rapidly found that every freighter they were sent to track was smuggling weapons to insurgents for the personal profit of their crews, with freighter captain Ovsha-roqaer acting as the ringleader. Qurik joined the boarding team sent to capture Ovsha, sneaking into his ship and hacking its door control system in order to trap Ovsha and grant the team an easy path to the smuggler. After delivering Ovsha into Eovinjai custody, Ece Taroll rewarded the Retribution with the AI Shadow Without Body, who currently resides within a data core on board and prowler and maintains the its complex sensor array.
Smiting the Plague Edit
In 3257 LD, after the Pheras Conflicts had died down and the Blood Combine had begun relocating the bulk of its forces to Tuuros, a battlegroup of frigates loyal to Dusk went dark in Mirus. The count they served under payed off the Silent Retribution to investigate, bringing Qurik into the situation. Following the trail of the frigates, they soon found the trio of vessels mere kilometers from their last known coordinates, having apparently drifted after their engines shut down.
Second Great Cyrannus War Edit
After personally witnessing the Allied loss at the Battle of Cianbur, Qurik participated in the Battle of Vasuband, being stealthily deployed on the ground in an attempt to take out the reborn Xae Vandon. He participated in the fight against the demonic Warmaster alongside old allies Kara and Aoirtae, and later assisted the former and the rest of the Allied group in their battle with Mar-Júun, which resulted in the Imperator's demise. However, the high Saviki naval casualties of the initial battle have not resonated well with Qurik, who has grown distasteful of Rikken over the course of the conflict.
Qurik's distaste with Rikken would eventually explode upon the latter approaching him about being promoted to the position of War Marshal. Having already made plans with the rest of the Retribution for leaving the Combine, he allowed all his dissatisfaction to pour out, admitting his intentions to the Void Chrill in the process. The ensuing fight between Qurik and Rikken would see the Chrill best and significantly injure Qurik in combat, alongside Akyla, Yvrak, and Tenvir. However, while being electrocuted by Rikken's guard, Qurik's repressed Xi-Ur hybrid nature violently reawakened, causing extreme Essence-induced pain to the Chrill and his guards and unintentionally freezing Tenvir. After fleeing the Countenance, Qurik and his crew would be joined by several other deserting vessels, before leaving the vicinity of the war entirely. Qurik would subsequently find himself struggling with the repressed Xi-Ur within him.
Qurik, unlike most marshals, generally prefers to wear a substantial scarf in the colors of his Combine and a more streamlined helmet similar to that of reavers, as opposed to the standard cloak and horned helmet. Underneath his armor, he partially resembles his father, with a slightly more widely set head and extremely dark skin. His eyes have dark red sclera, but appear to glow light blue due to the lenses he and most other Saviki wear. His dorsal quills are somewhat green in color, rare for a Saviki, though he has dyed their more vibrant edges Void Combine purple.
In more recent times, Qurik has taken to wearing a hooded purple cloak, and has given his armor significant tweaking using recovered Carina Foundation tech that he has only recently succeeded in repurposing. His mask now bears a set of six cyan "eyes" which reflect light and can detect electromagnetic radiation on a much broader spectrum than natural Saviki eyes. On hid left arm, he wears a set of abnormally durable and apparently superconducting bones of unclear origin, received as payment from his Vanara contact, Auvia.
Personality Edit“I prefer to see things logically; rage and altruism are both equally blinding.”
- - Qurik
Qurik is one of the more pragmatic Saviki, preferring to leave little, his life least of all, to chance or probability. As opposed to letting emotions cloud his judgement, he assesses all situations as objectively as possible before making final decisions. This has given him a unique view of both himself and the Saviki as a whole—he and his brethren are simply trying to survive, and their ability to hang on and push through tough times is a kind of strength. He believes there is no shame in doing what it takes to stay alive, though he sees many of the Blood Combine's recent actions as unnecessarily aggressive and potentially threatening to the species, as it may attract retaliation from more powerful factions. He also has an opportunistic streak, always on alert for anything potentially beneficial to him or the crew of the Retribution. Also of note are his love for sarcasm in low-stress situations and minor dislike of altruism, the latter of which he admits has some subtle influence over his decision-making in spite of this distaste.
Qurik belongs to a rare mindset among the Saviki regarding Metix Null and Regulators, in that he does not truly revere them. He acknowledges his species' dependence on them, but sees no logical reason to actively worship them. This view, of course, he keeps to himself in fear of punishment, to the point that he abstains from intoxicating substances whenever they are available. However, as with many of his more privately held beliefs, situations can and have arisen that cause him to explode with revelation of these beliefs to those around him, with apparent disregard for the feelings or opinions of others while torrents of formerly concealed feelings spill out of him.
Skills and Weapons Edit
In combat, Qurik primarily relies on a custom electrified skewer—which does not effect him thanks to his insulated armor—that generates enough voltage to stop an Oslun's heart. In addition, he wears a modified pulse gauntlet of Eovinjai design on his left arm, allowing him to fire a blast of electricity and raw kinetic energy from his palm with a simple hand motion. When ranged combat becomes necessary, he also carries an execution rifle with an improved scope, and unlike most marshals, he retains the invisibility module from his time as a stealth reaver.
Though he prefers to rely on his stealth module, Qurik is skilled at moving unseen without it. As someone who uses a long-range rifle, he is a skilled marksman, and he has also become adept and using it in closer quarters instead of carrying an extra gun. His training from Orsik and time as the bounty scout of the Retribution also helped him develop a certain level of charisma and exceptional strategic thinking, while his logical and analytical capabilities are more self-taught. He is an indisputably formidable combatant, having faced competent individuals such as Kavaat Sus, Xae Vandon, and Mar-Júun, and survived, though the latter two were only overcome with the aid of others. Qurik's fighting style is noticeably acrobatic, and his ability to coordinate his body with extreme precision in the heat of combat is nearly unmatched. However, his environmental awareness and capacity to creatively use his surroundings is more limited, and generally considered his greatest weakness; Rikken was able to exploit this during their battle aboard the Countenance.
- Yvrak Parakil - “I often wish you had been my father, as opposed to... he who was.”
- Kasik Akoriki - “You've matured much since I saved your hide on Hollow Retort.”
- Akyla Kovor - “Your... unique take on existence proves surprisingly useful,
- Prekis Irkili - “Survival isn't worth much without a little joy to look forward to.”
- Tenvir Irkili - “Use that list well, protégé.”
- Jyrai Ajexik - “I advise you keep your inner flame under control.”
- Kambis Archoli - “A legend without delusions, a taker of many ships!”
- Kovari Corvosa - “You inspired me to free myself of my father. I will miss you, uncle.”
- Aoirtae Valaeris - “You fight well. I truly hope we can work together again, in spite of recent events.”
- Kara Inviá - “Try not to be brought down by pottery in the future.”
- Hachiman - “You certainly know how to deal with the supernatural. I may have some suggestions for your next destination.”
- Kirta Clett - “Belligerent like my father, but more reasonably so. I see you also have a fondness for electricity.”
- Ullathromah Karkutazou - “Yours is an interesting civilization, though your methods of rule are unorthodox.”
- Kyve Ece Taroll - “My oh my, if your form of pay isn't beyond appreciated.”
- Auvia - “What a curious society your people have.”
- Texik Avraer - “Perhaps defecting to a stronger power is the practical thing to do.”
- Orsik Corvosa - “Reckless and delusional. I have nothing else to say.”
- Atrisk Prolikahn - “Also delusional.”
- Chivora Parakil - “Believe me, the dislike is mutual.”
- Kosra Akal - “You crossed a line, and now deserve only death.”
- Kavaat - “You put a dent in aspects of my reputation that I both do and do not care for.”
- Rikken Eksil - “Do not come looking for me.”
“I have witnessed him in combat. He is adequate.”
“The sins of the father are to be laid upon the son; no sin evades the gaze of those who evade the gaze of sin.”
- - Angazhar
“Jeez, I thought my uncle was an asshole for forcing me to listen to Queen everytime we meet. I gotta respect this guy for holding to his own despite everything.”
“An impressive guy, no doubt about it. Call us up whenever you want to kick the Empire up the arse!”
“While I've made use of his services in the past I do not trust this one, not one little bit.”
- - Auvia
“I've heard of this Saviki from fringes of Cyrannus and Tuuros. And if he's anything like what I know of those who live in Tuuros, those who step into the thin waters of Tuuros eventually find themselves drowning in its deepest oceans. He will return here to swim with those demons again, just like I am.”
- - Kit
“Son of the Half-God, you will burn as the traitor you are. Xi-Ur blood pumps through your veins, yet you would side with The Progeny? When my Gods are free, you will perish, and their God will come to rule eternal.”
“I would have he and his corsair kind impaled and left to rot under the Maroon Dark! But...there is...something that I sense whenever his name his mentioned. I know it is not mere anxiety from the mention of his name. I know this, because I feel my very essence flare when the name of ‘Qurik Skel’ crosses my name. There is something about him. Something within him, perhaps, that my essence is telling me to fear, to avoid. Whatever rhis is, I wish not to know what it is.”
- Qurik is the closest thing to a protagonist in Parazrael's Saviki-related fiction, and his most mobile character.
- Shadow Thief serves as Qurik's unofficial theme.
- His fighting style and use of an electrified polearm were inspired by the Arcstrider Hunters of Destiny 2.
- Other inspirations for Qurik from the Destiny franchise include Fallen Wretches and the character of Variks the Loyal.
- Though Smiting the Plague was Qurik's planned first appearance, he ended up making his debut in Precipice, which chronologically takes places several years after Smiting.