This is the story of Claogh Jarota of Clan Jarota, eater of beasts and student of ideals, eighteenth son of Graglosh the Promiscuous, shaman and spiritual guide to many. He is a male Zangali, born in an underdeveloped area on Grimlahd. The Jarota clan owns this patch of landscape, having a simple town with relatively little technology. A particularly virile individual fancying himself a shaman, the aforementioned Graglosh the Promiscuous, was personally responsible for roughly 30% of the Jarota clan’s population growth within his lifetime. He personally took care of all the children he sired with help from only a handful of their mothers. He did this for several reasons; one, most of their mothers wanted nothing to do with them; two, he had a responsibility within the clan to teach them anyway; three, looking responsible happened to make him more attractive to the opposite sex, and a dozen or three children worked wonders in that area. The village’s other males, incidentally, did not think highly of him.
The children of Graglosh were a varied lot, all of them quite badly neglected by their only parent and thus having little direction in life. Few of them knew who their mothers were exactly, Graglosh not having a flawless memory. Several seemed interested in following in their father’s footsteps, all of them coincidentally male. They touted the vague benefits of following the teachings of Zan, they repeated verbatim the Twelve Appellums at random intervals, and they assisted in all ceremonies and rituals their father conducted (though they were asked to occupy themselves elsewhere for what usually followed). Claogh was one of these. Just not for the same reasons his siblings likely had.
Though he had indeed memorized the Zanitrivex and carefully studied its meaning, Claogh found something missing in it. At a very young age, when he learned about the nature of the prophet Zan’s death and the practice of consuming one’s ancestors, a warped understanding finally dawned on him that went unaddressed and unnoticed for years to come. His strong belief in the importance of this ritual is what ultimately lead to his impromptu exile from Grimlahd.
This unfortunate tale begins with a young Claogh hunting, killing and immediately eating small creatures native to the relatively rural area occupied by clan Jarota. Adults of the clan found this to be harmless, not to mention adorable, behavior. As he grew older his prey grew larger, ultimately earning him the title “Eater of Beasts” and the respect of his peers for taking down dangerous creatures with little more than ambush tactics and clever use of impromptu weaponry. Needless to say, Claogh sustained many grievous injuries from his blatantly fatal hobby, obtaining scars of all shapes and sizes to brag about. He has survived mainly due to being a remarkably fast healer, a trait likely obtained by much physical exercise and a healthy appetite; both results of his aforementioned hobby, leading to a fast metabolism.
Things were going swimmingly for Claogh. His greatest exploits captured the interest of his entire clan for short times, few and far between though they were. His many siblings made it difficult for him to rise above the crowd and be recognize for any amount of time, but he didn’t mind. He was content with his own pursuits, and any admiration he got for them was just icing on the cake. If not for several clan members mysteriously going missing over a period of several weeks, Claogh could well have lived a very full life in his little corner of Grimlahd.
As you might have guessed by now, Claogh did not hunt for sport, glory, or food. He obtained these things in the process, but they were not his motivation. Claogh believed very strongly, and still does to this day, that eating something (or someone) feeds both body and soul. The nourishment gained depends on the “power” of what is eaten. For a while he was content to consume wild animals, thinking they would somehow make him wiser in addition to stronger, but eventually he realized that these two benefits are distinct: Claogh had grown physically powerful, yet felt no profound spiritual growth. It was at this time, when he was 23 years of age, that he decided animals lacked something fundamental which only existed in sapient beings. He had been overexposed to Zangali beliefs all his life, and come to the only logical conclusion.
You can never be too wise.
The tragedy didn’t end until three Jarota Zangali, as well as no less than seven other Zangali and Grimlahdi, had lost their lives. After three solid weeks of avoiding suspicion, Claogh was finally caught. His punishment was “to be devoured ironically by insects over an excruciatingly long period of time”, disregarding the fact that this would be more poetic than ironic. Obviously, that did not happen; Claogh escaped. He escaped so well, in fact, that he left Grimlahd entirely.
He was being transported to the nearest city for execution, his murders having captured the attention of newsbringers worldwide and now requiring very public retribution. With all his experience and physical aptitude, it wasn’t difficult to break free when given the opportunity and sneak aboard the nearest space vessel about to depart.
Today Claogh is just setting foot on the galactic stage halfway through his 23rd year of age, with only as much knowledge as he needs to get by. He remains steadfast in his belief that what he did was the right thing and marches unflinchingly to whatever the future brings, perfectly content with how things turned out in the end. Destiny will inevitably bring him to a line of work that makes use of his unique talents, as well as furthering his “enlightenment”.
This is the story of Claogh Jarota of Clan Jarota, eater of beasts and student of ideals, eighteenth son of Graglosh the Promiscuous, shaman and spiritual guide to many.