I’ve had Tareks on my mind of late. No, it’s not what your thinking, nothing sexual or erotic I can assure you. I just happen to have one in my Dark Sun game and, well, I think it is time for him to sort of step into the spot light a bit. I wouldn’t necessarily say he has been a bump on the log but if you just happened to be sitting on a log and felt something uncomfortable it’s probably not your hemorrhoids. When we did a bit of Q&A as he introduced his latest character (his 2 previous ones have been KIA) he stated that he was an orphan who had been picked up by the Muto Tieflings as a child and had lived outside their cave for most of his life, never traveling outside the area and having no ties to anything. I kind of chuckled at this and then ribbed him mercilessly at work about the non-background he created. Even when one of the other players tried to collaboratively build him into the fiction and emergent story of the game he steadfastly clung to his history.
This player tends to stick to the rear in social interactions and collaborative story telling scenes (in fairness he does have a bit of social anxiety and often worries he will make a mistake or do/say something foolish) but that is all about to change because I am going to drop him squarely into the centre of a shit storm. In the “business” we call that exposure with response prevention (although in fairness it is going to be and feel more like flooding). I am going to start the next session with the party in a large pit surrounded by the Dark Sun equivalent of wolves and a mob of Tareks looking down, cheering, hurling feces, cursing, and betting. Then with some Q&A we’ll try and sort out how this all came to be.
*Warning* if you are some kind of Dark Sun cannon purist then this next part might make you feel like I dropped trou and bricked in your mouth. I am going to model the Tareks on Klingons from Star Trek The Next Generation. They are going to be a nomadic collection of clan/houses lead by an overall war leader. Perhaps in the green time they had a larger nation/empire but where almost extinguished during the racial cleansing of the brown times. One of their motivations might be to create another great Tarek empire. I have been researching some Klignon terminology so I can mix that into conversations.
With regards to my player (and the group) it should be interesting to see what they create. In my mind I have a couple of possible elements of fiction I can add such as the Warf story line from STNG where he is considered an outcast because his family was falsely branded traitors or if they survive the pit they might prove themselves worthy to be hunted ala “The Most Dangerous Game”. Well whatever it turns out to be it should be interesting; I just hope it is not too traumatic for the Tarek PC