Ikhael was the first Scintaro gifted with godhood by the All-Mother. In addition to being the patron god of the Scintaro, he is the God of Nerves.
Ikhael was a young, fearful man sent by his overbearing father to serve in the watchtowers maintained by the local militia. Disaster struck one morning when a roving band of tuskfang marauders infiltrated under the cover of darkness. They killed the militiamen on watch and secured the warning beacon before they could raise an alarm. Despite his fear, Ikhael fought in the militia’s attempt to retake the beacon. The poorly trained and armed militia stood no chance against the experienced Tuskfang soldiers and all but Ikhael were slain. He survived only because the marauders believed him dead from a glancing blow to the head that left him drenched in blood and semi-conscious.
As the marauders regrouped to press their attack on the village, Ikhael slithered away and hid in a nearby copse of trees. Here his cowardly nature urged him to flee to one of the other watchtowers. The alarm would be raised, but no doubt too late to save his village and probably too late to save its closest neighbours too. One alternative was to run ahead of the tuskfangs on the main path to the village. Assuming he could outpace them at all, he’d return with no time for the villagers to organise. The final option was a shorter distance but involved sneaking through a cave often inhabited by slagfiends and then crossing a narrow, crumbling rock arch over the Riordan Ravine. Of Ikhael’s many fears, heights was his greatest.
Though his nature urged him to flee to safety, he instead found courage and took the dangerous path. Entering the cave, he soon discovered that it was indeed occupied by a nest of slagfiends. Fortunately, they had entered their daily slumber. Ikhael nearly turned around, but again his courage won out. He made his way through the cave seemingly without incident, but unbeknownst to him, a slagfiend hatchling found its way into his pack.
The arch over the ravine was his greatest challenge that day. He stood before it for a few moments that to him seemed an eternity before resolving himself to cross it. Standing atop the middle of the arch, he panicked and fell to his knees and hands, hugging the arch, unable to move. But again his courage won out over his fear and he crawled the rest of the way across the arch and ran to his village.
The villagers lit their warning beacon and prepared their defences. The tuskfangs arrived soon after and demanded tribute. As the village elders discussed their options, Ikhael saw the slagfiend hatchling crawl from his pack and launch itself at the elders. He leapt to their defence, slapping the fiend away with his bare hand. The hatchling bit him before a nearby soldier skewered it with her sword. Ikhael looked at his hand in stunned disbelief and slumped to the ground. Terrified of his impending demise, he began to cry.
With a burst of light, The All-Father appeared and wiped Ikhael’s tears away. He gently took Ikhael’s hand and turned it so the palm faced upwards. Already the wound was blackened and swollen, pulsing and oozing a viscous purple fluid. The All-Father sighed and spoke in hushed tones with Ikhael, then he drew a knife from his belt and handed it to the boy. Ikhael looked at the knife and then The All-Father and his face contorted with fear. A moment passed and his expression settled to one of steely determination. In one swift motion he cut the infected hand from his body.
The All-Father nodded and the pair were enveloped in divine light as he spoke and was heard by all Scintaro. He proclaimed that Ikhael had been ascended to godhood by The All-Mother for his selflessness and courage. He bestowed the title of The Brave on Ikhael and announced that he was now the patron of the Scintaro and God of Nerves.
Ikhael stood by the palisades, looked at the tuskfangs, and spoke a single word ‘Run’. They fled, abandoning many of their supplies in their haste to escape.
Ikhael’s hand was not restored by his ascension and he has become known as The One-Handed. His church teaches that his hand will regrow only when he is no longer afraid.