Meet the Iconics
|“|| Velloro was adopted into a large ysoki family on the dusty planet of Akiton as an infant, never knowing another home—and never having much interest in finding one. His family were devout worshipers of Iomedae, goddess of justice and honorable battle, virtues the young lashunta gladly embraced. He spent his youth playing and scavenging among Akiton's numerous wrecked starships with his many siblings. Time and again, Velloro proved a fierce protector of his family, whether extracting them from collapsed wreckage, fighting off rival scavengers, or otherwise putting himself between them and the many other dangers of their dying world.
When Velloro reached adolescence, he developed into the korasha clade of his species, packing on muscle and becoming rather headstrong. As he grew, he became less able to squeeze into the small spaces common to salvage sites and began to look around for other ways to expend his boundless energy. His years of roughhousing and scrapyard scrapping quickly pointed him toward one obvious direction in Akiton's limited job market: Velloro traveled to the ancient city of Arl to become a gladiator. The VitariTech Coliseum, a new sporting venue that hosted nonlethal gladiatorial combats, began rotating Velloro into their regular fight schedule. The arena promoters capitalized on his youthful and attractive appearance and off-world species, dubbing him the Castrovel Kid and giving him a set of armor sporting the planet's ancient symbol.
As Velloro moved up through the ranks of other local combatants and gained a small following, he also became close with a fellow gladiator, a shobhad named Dhareen. She saw potential in the young competitor, and after defeating Velloro in a particularly important show match, Dhareen invited the dejected lashunta to take the Test of the Mountain. In this shobhad tradition, travelers climb to the summit of Ka, Pillar of the Sky, the tallest mountain in all the Pact Worlds. Velloro accepted the challenge, making the grueling 22-mile climb over several months.
While climbing Ka, the charismatic and sociable Velloro experienced something entirely new and, at first, unpleasant: loneliness. Yet as his isolation grew, so too did his connection to the mountain and to his home planet. He spent long evenings watching the wind blow dust off the volcano in arcing swirls, and took note of how each step he took changed the mountain in an almost imperceptible way.
One night, while sheltering under a shallow outcropping during a violent storm, Velloro felt a strange acceptance and calm wash over him. As he did, he noticed the whirling mixture of ashy sleet around him turn to a gentle eddy. With sudden clarity, Velloro remembered dozens of instances earlier in his life when he had subtly affected the state of matter around him—events he had dismissed as coincidence or even imagined. Invigorated, the lashunta began to intentionally exert control over his surroundings, structuring and deconstructing the molecular lattice all around him, draining energy from one system and pouring it into another as easily as pouring red tea between cups.
Upon his return to the Coliseum, Velloro had new purpose. He honed his newfound skills, mastering the subtleties of molecular change and using it to great effect in his gladiatorial matches. His tendency to crumple the armor and weapons of his opponents as he sent them flying across the arena quickly earned him the nickname the Castrovel Crusher. But change is constant, and as Akiton's gladiatorial combats continued to gain in popularity, the demand for blood sport also grew. Claiming the need to compete with other arenas, including Eox's infamous and deadly Halls of the Living, the Coliseum's management began to pressure Velloro to mortally wound his opponents. Velloro adamantly refused; he saw no honor in needless blood sport.
One day, just before a match against Dhareen, Velloro's manager told him, "finish her—or you're finished." Velloro walked into the arena, embraced his mentor, and deliberately walked out to an uproarious mixture of cheers and mockery, knowing he could never return to his beloved profession. Instead, Velloro turned an eye to the stars, where he knew there were others like his family, others who needed protection and assistance—and he knew he had the power to help.
Having inherited no small part of his ysoki family's gregariousness, Velloro is quick to laugh and make new friends, and is an amiable adventuring companion. His Iomedaean personal code predisposes him to giving second chances, even to the seemingly irredeemable—but he does't hesitate to unleash his full might against unrepentant foes. And despite the sour end to his gladiatorial career, his love of games and sport have not waned, and he is always happy to strike his famous Castrovel Crusher pose at a fan's request.