Au’Kan Shi’rin was born to the Serpent Clan 29 years ago to mother O’tala Ur’tahl and father Au’Shah Shi’rin. As a young man he was observed to be amongst the more promising of the clan. His physical strength and martial skill was unmatched as a youth and training by Shi’rin made him even more dangerous. Au’Kan’s greatest flaw was his temper. He would often get in fights with his peers over petty things, earning him an unfavorable reputation in some circles. Besides this, he led an average life for a goliath in the wastes. He learned quickly how to survive the harsh climates, hunt the dangerous animals, and navigate the unrelenting terrain. He was the youngest of three children and the only male. His older two sisters had been married off to other clans: his oldest sister Tia’lara Shi’rin married a Scorpion Clan warrior while his other sister, S’hara Shi’rin married into the Basilisk Clan. At the age of sixteen Shi’rin sent him on his pilgrimage. During his almost three year pilgrimage Au’Kan travelled to every goliath clan, spending several months with each. From the Shadow Clan he learned of the dark side of mankind and the growing need for goliath secrecy. The Windwalkers taught him human society and culture, as well as the value of diplomacy and social skills. His time with the Scorpion clan taught him how to use speed and dexterity as a tool to defeat larger foes. Au’Kan was well liked by the Basilisk Clan, who welcomed his strength and martial prowess. He proved to be a decent basilisk rider and it was here that he mastered the polearm. As a gift from the clan upon his departure, they gave him a magical spear and threw a giant feast. It was because of his success during his months in the clan that they married his sister into their clan. Au’Kan then went west to the home of the Spider Clan, where he learned stealth and acrobatics. He was not naturally proficient in these skills, but the clan was more than willing to teach him. With the Earth Clan he learned defense and toughness and an extreme pride in the origins of his people. His final stop was with the Water Clan to see Aul’kah.
“Come forth, son of Shi’rin.” Aul’kah spoke, his words echoing off the walls of the temple. A great line of priests on either side of Aul’kah bowed their heads in unison, waiting for the youth to approach their Rockborn priest. Au’Kan, the seventeen year old goliath, approached slowly, his adrenaline racing, unsure of what was about to happen. He had asked his elders what happens in the Temple of Rebirth during the pilgrimage but had always received obscure answers, as if they were hiding something. His attention snapped back to the present, noticing that Aul’kah stood ankle deep in a natural spring of some kind, wearing a blue and white robe emblazoned with scripture and symbols. “Kneel.” Aul’kah demanded as Au’Kan quickly complied nervously. As his knee touched the water he could feel a chill throughout his entire body. It felt as if the cold water was coursing through his veins, causing sharp pains to shoot through his muscles and joints. “The spirit of the water, the same spirit that created our race, has entered you.” Aul’kah touched the youths head and closed his eyes, whispering incantations under his breath. Au’Kan continued to fight the pain wracking his body for several minutes while Aul’kah remained in his trance. Finally Aul’kah removed his hand from Au’Kan’s forehead. “Rest, son of Shi’rin. I will speak with you tomorrow.” With that, Aul’kah retired. The priests led Au’Kan to a room within the temple where he slept. Throughout the night his dreams woke him up frequently. He kept re-living the events earlier and he now felt a chill deep inside him, a feeling that was not there before. The next day he was visited by Aul’kah.
“It is time for me to explain to you, as I do all goliaths that pilgrim here, what this place means. The temple is a focus, one that grants our people strength. It is a creator, a spiritual place that turns the unblessed into the blessed. When our people enter the waters of the temple, much like I did many millenea ago, we are forever linked to this place, the place of our birth. You are a new person now, Au’Kan, son of Shi’rin. The spirit of this place is part of you, and you are part of it. The temple chooses a small portion of us, less than one percent in fact, to serve as its army. You will remain here one month while we monitor you and see if the temple has in fact chosen you to be part of this army.”
Au’Kan spoke. “Army? The temple chooses an army? How will I know if it chooses me?”
“It will give you a gift.” Aul’kah responded. “This gift is different for all of us. If you are chosen, I will speak with you again. If not, then this is goodbye. Feel free to spend your time in and around the temple. Learn as much as you possibly can, for this will probably be the last time you enter the temple itself.” With that, Aul’kah rose and exited the small room, leaving the young goliath confused and still filled with questions.
Over the course of the next several weeks Au’Kan spoke with members of the Water Clan, learning their culture and lifestyle, and even began to study some of the temple scripture and artifacts. During the third week the chill deep inside him remained and he had noticed that he could sense the location and amount of nearby water. He wasn’t sure how he could do it, he just knew he could. He mentioned this to another priest, who immediately fetched Aul’kah.
Aul’kah spoke with Au’Kan privately, explaining that the temple had chosen him. He went on to tell Au’Kan that, as a chosen of the temple, he would not be going back to his home. The temple had chosen him to go on a quest. Through the prophecy, Aul’kah foresaw the rebirth of the deceased Rockborn. Finding the reborn Rockborn are the primary goal of the chosen, who have spread throughout the wastes and into other civilization to find them. Aul’kah then told Au’Kan that he foresaw that one of the Rockborn would be birthed within human civilization, “surrounded by metal and machine.”
That day, Au’Kan was inducted into the small group of Chosen; a brand in the shape of the symbol of the Water Clan on the neck was used to signify membership. The next several months were spent in meditation, prayer, study, and training, led by Aul’kah himself. It was during this time that he learned to control his anger and rage.
Within a year, Au’Kan was trudging through the wastes on his way to Hive E, eager to begin his mission.