The Order of Four
An odd Tiefling who loves explosives. Some might say it is un unhealthy love. Less for him than those around him.
The explosives expert known as Boca is a Tiefling male standing roughly 5’6”, with horns swept back over his head in what could be mistaken in silohuette for greased back hair. His most notable physical characteristic, however, is his bobbed tail. The prehensile three-foot-long appendage appears to have been gruesomely and unevenly sawed off close to the spine. The pain must have been excruciating.
Boca was not he name to begin wit. Eet was jus’ wha’he call him. Boca’s father. Boca was a loud baby, he father say. “We put a stop to that, though” he use to laugh. Then he heet Boca, but not too hard when he laughing.
Boca’s accent is, at best, untraceable, and at worst, indecipherable. It seems to be a dialect of common, or at least derived from it, but how much of his way of speaking is accent and how much is speech impediment is unknown, as no other survivors of Darudan have ever been found. Lacking any better definition, his idiosyncratic form of speech is often referred to as Boceese (pronounced Boke-ees).
Boca was de only one like heem in de village. Boca’s mother, she lef when he was a baby. Boca’s father say eet was for hees crying. There was nobody in de villige like Boca, so nobody en de villige like Boca.
Ruins along the northern coast of a cliff-dwelling adobe culture hint that this may once have been Darudan, and the recent activity of Boca in what was, according to him, the region of his birth places the ruins at approximately the right place. It would be reasonable to assume then, that the village of Darudan was a fishing center.
She was no’ prettie, she was no’ tawll or could seeng. An’ she did no’ love Boca. But she did no hate Boca. And so Boca love her.
The exact means by which Darudan was destroyed remains a mystery. Malformations in the masonry suggest extreme heat and flash burns imply that the devastation was rapid. It is no surprise that there were no survivors. Almost no survivors. The only thing certain about the destruction of Darudan is who caused it.
She watch de ocean while de men cast nets. Next year she be married to one. Boca hate whoever eet would be. He knew not heem. Never heem. But Boca would rather hate a man dan fear heem. She never married.
The cliffs at the potential Darudan site face a warm sea teeming with sea life, so a fishing life style would be fairly lucrative. The hurricane season, though brutal, often yields up species that typically stay at unreachable depths. Occasionally these species are more dangerous than edible.
Boca was de only one who knew. Dey look for her in de caves. Dey tink she was eaten by a bigfish. Boca know how she leave. She walked. He could smell her blood on de sand. Little drops from her feet, cut on seashells. She walked barefoot. She did no have far to go. Walked into de sea. She escaped. She did not take Boca wit her.
Though Boca has described on few occasions a brutal and abusive childhood, he is quite open about the missing tail being a self-inflicted wound. He refuses any healing or restorative action, claiming that it is his reminder of what happens when one denies a part of oneself.
De feast of Yorast was coming wit de storms. All de wealth de sea horded would wash up. Boca wanted to be in de parade more dan anything. Boca sand down he horns wit a whetstone. It stop hurting after a while, jus felt like scraping de backs of he eyeballs. De tail hurt more. But Boca think, eef he look like dem, he can dance. And eef he dance to de sea wit de utters, maybe she wash up wit de fish.
Boca refers to himself in the third person, almost always. He avoids eye contact during most conversations, and stands close to only those he trusts implicitly, and those he intends to kill.
Boca put he father’s saw up careful, wash de blood off. Nobody would know till de feast day. But he father catch Boca. He beat him with a hammer. He see de place Boca cut, an he jus laugh an’ say Boca ees stupid. He jus bob-tailed monster now. He jus more freak. He hit Boca where de tail ha’ been. He kick…then Boca pass out.
Boca speaks almost entirely in the third person. Again, whether this is his own idiosyncrasy or an aspect of his dialect is unclear. One thing is clear: Boca has referred to himself using a first person pronoun on three occasions. On two of those occasions, he killed someone almost immediately afterwards.
Boca dream of Yorast’s storm. He watched from de cliff top as de seas boiled over. But dere was no water on de wind. Eet was fire. Eet was warm, but did no’ burn. Eet felt better to Boca than rain.
Boca’s use of fire is well documented. It is believed that he invented at least two weapons, and has modified multiple existing designs. Much of those designs run off the principle of fire, including a plethora of firebombs and the infamous “Boca‘s Tongue” flamethrower.
When Boca wake up, he could no’ find he father. De sun was down, and de saw have blood on it again.
Many of his designs appear to be collaborations, however. For example, the anti-magic charges he is currently developing possess arcane elements that are surely well beyond Boca’s knowledge, and many of his other devices, including the Boca’s Tongue, share Dwarven clockwork elements that imply at least partial construction by another’s hands. What became of these collaborators remains a mystery, and it could very well be that Boca stole the designs from another hapless victim.
De utter boys. Dey say de same ting to Boca as he father. Dey throw rocks and laugh. Always laugh. Always calling Boca monster, but dey laugh. Eef Boca was a monster, dey would no’ be laughing…
What is so remarkable about the destruction of Darudan is how utterly the town was incinerated, as a prolonged fire would have been at least partially extinguished by the regular rainfall. Certainly, more people would have survived a slower inferno, and the structures would not have so easily collapsed into the sea. One possible explanation lies with what excavators have determined was a kind of communal storehouse, chiefly dedicated to salting fish. The concentration of flash burns in the storehouse and trace amounts of colored paper imply that here was housed a large stockpile of crude black powder explosives.
De fireworks were at de end of the parade. When everybody reach de beech, dey shoot them up from de caves beneath the villige. Right over de heads, to shower sparks onto dem. De children would scream and dance when de sparks got in dey hair. Boca think he would no’ scream, he would no’ even be burned. Boca think, Yorast protect him. Dey would have parade, but he would have de fireworks. Dey would shoot all over, screaming through de sky the fireworks would scare dem, send dem into the sea with sparks on dey clothes. Dey would shoot up into de streets and scare de old people, send de dogs barking all over. Make dem all feel like Boca. Make dem all feel scared.
Boca himself most likely survived due to his Tiefling heritage, absorbing much of the heat, though how the concussive blast and tumbling rubble didn’t kill him is unclear.
Maybe Boca use too much powder. He was new to eet. Nobody let Boca handle fireworks before. He did not know how much was too much. Why would anyone put more than dey needed there to begin wit? Dey were stupid. Boca should no’ feel bad.
Excavations suggest that the positioning of the storehouse at the base of the cliff-side village meant an explosion there would be concentrated right next to crucial support structures. Different qualities of masonry suggest stratified expansion upward as the population of the village increased over the generations, increasing strain on aging support beams. Of course, the mountain itself provided much of the support. The rock at the base of the cliff appears to have been sheared away by a blast comparable to dynamite. The resulting cascade of what appears to have been dozens of tiers of structures would have swept across the beach like an avalanche.
Boca come to in a cave. Only now de cave have no ceiling. Eet was morning. De gulls were out, picking at de rocks that littered de beach. Only dey were no’ rocks. Boca pick among dem too. He take what he can find. Money, boots, a blanket from an old woman. De coins, dey pay for a boat down de coast. Dey take him north. Dey say dere other place dere, far from here. Boca pay dem. He pay dem too much. Dey tink dey take what Boca have and leave him in de sea. Boca no’ sure eef dey burn or drown. He wonder eef eet change where someone go after.
Boca’s psychology is one of extreme paranoia and superstition. He is convinced that anyone slain by his hand will haunt him unless properly appeased, usually by gifts of coins. He claims that the coins provide “safe passage” to wherever his victim is heading. He sleeps lightly and always awakens with a start. He usually appears harmless, even demur, making his sudden bursts of violence all the more unexpected and unsettling.
Boca come to Ragton before de wall go up. Before de shit river wound round, before de fire eggs dropped. Jus’ before. Boca wonder eef he bring it all. Boca tink, maybe Yorast make him a storm. Den Boca laugh. Maybe Yorast make him a monster.
Boca was discovered by a regiment of Fivilani forces during the liberation of Ragton, late in the war. He was holed up inside of an abandoned warehouse, where he had somehow managed to gather enough materials to assemble several weapons which caught the commander’s eye. That is, once his men managed to take the warehouse, an effort which took the lives of several soldiers.
Dey try to come into Boca’s house. Boca tink dey like de ones who try to come before. Try to take Boca’s babies. Boca love hees bombs. Dey no look at Boca funny. De soldiers, dey set off Boca’s traps. Some of dem die. Boca no feel bad. Boca put coins on dere eyes on hees way out. De captain come see Boca. He say ‘We can give you job. We let you build dese and you get house and food and coins’. He hold up Boca’s worst bomb, he no have eye for weapons. Some of dem, dey give Boca angry looks. Dey try to keep Boca from giving de dead ones dere coins. Boca almost keel another one, but de captain stop Boca. He try to help Boca give de coins, but he no understand. Boca make dem dead, Boca will give coins. One of de soldiers, he try to take de coins from dem behind Boca’s back. Boca did keel him. De captain took Boca away heeself den. Take Boca to wizard, who send Boca far away.
The loss of life was mainly attributed to the extensive booby traps placed by Boca to keep people out of ‘hees house’. It is for this reason that Boca was not executed for the men’s deaths, allowing the deaths to be filed as ‘accidental’. The apparently lax judgment was due mainly to Boca’s great potential as a weapons developer. After the organization of the Order of Four, the Fivilani government decided it would be best to send Boca to the summons. Both to contribute their best weapons developer and to have someone else responsible for him, as several more ‘accidental’ deaths went on file during Boca’s tenure at the Royal Academy.
Dey tell Boca he have new job now. Dey say he help whole world now, not just dey world. Boca no care. Boca happy as long as he gets to make fire. So many ways to make. Boca wonders eef he ever find last way to make fire.
Upon the death of the original lieutenant of The Flame, the High Council of the Order decided to grant Boca the position. This controversial decision was made based on both Boca’s prodigious ability to create weaponry as well as his more than adequate performance during the Battle for Carmeros. As many as half of the enemy casualties during that short battle were credited to Boca, though the true number is most likely much lower (Though, it must be noted, not enough lower to be less than remarkable).
Dey ask Boca once, ‘why Boca work for Order?’. Boca say, ‘dey let Boca make his weapons’. Den dey ask, ‘You no do eet for de good guys?’. Boca say, ‘Boca no know who de good guys are. Boca just know he get to make tings. Maybe Boca one day make someting so he can keel Yorast’. Dey look at Boca funny after dat. Boca just know dat keeling Yorast would make him happy. Make Yorast happy too, Boca hope. Boca admit, eet is nice here. Some of dem here, dey no look at Boca funny.