So, here be the Flight OOC thread, now in its second year!
If you all could yet again repost your character profiles here, I would really appreciate it. Yes, I know the old OOC thread probably won't really disappear all that quickly, but I'd rather not be caught unprepared if/when it ever does. If you would like to pick out/repost a musical theme for your character, that would be snazzy too. I will try to add any suggested ones to the list of selected character themes in the post below.
Other than that, feel free to ask questions in here, chat about the IC thread, make plans, whatever. Have fun!
I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.
Hooray! New thread! To celebrate I've written the longest post I think I've ever written in one sitting! (Not really. I actually found out about this after I'd posted it.
Abilities: Knife Throwing, Playing his Lute, Singing, Dancing, Pocket Picking, Magic Cancellation, Quick on his feet, Stealthy, Poisons
Appearance: Blonde, usually with slightly longer hair, and an elegant beard. He dresses in bright greens, and wears a feathered hat of Yellow atop his head, his green eyes wide and merry peering from under its brim. He is slender of stature, and ordinary of height. He carries a satchel with him everywhere, containing his most valued of possessions, his Lute. He smiles constantly, and looks utterly harmless. Only those very experienced will notice the few signs that say something is wrong with this young man, that what he appears to be is not what he is.
Weaknesses: Over fond of various pleasures (Wine, women, and song of course.) Has a past that is entirely capable of catching up to him. Not incredibly strong.
Alignment: Currently, Freeman and Wanderer
Former Servant of the Baron
Motivation: A desire to live his life pleasurably, without concern for the consequences of his actions.
And stop his past from getting him killed, as well as free/kidnap his sister.
His Sister, currently serving as lady in waiting to the Baron's wife. Formerly of an order of assassins in service to the Baron. Freed by a High Priest to Miriam.
Background: Argan is a wanderer, living his life as free as a bird. He plays for his meal, and doesn't seem to worry about anything. His past is a shifting pattern of lies, changing on a whim and as he decides that altering it improves it. The notion of truthfulness doesn't even seem to enter his mind. Life is to be lived, not shackled with worries over whether something really happened.
(For those who need to know the truth (and those curious and able to disassociate IC knowledge with OCC knowledge.))
Argan was the son of a minor Political Rival of the Baron. Argan isn't his real name, of course. He was born Kalvor. He only dimly remembers his father and mother, and has no idea how they angered the powerful man. All he remembers is the day the Baron's Soldiers stormed his home. His father fell with Sword in hand, but he was no match for the Soldiers, and failed to even scratch one. His mother, he, and his sister (2 Years old at the time) were dragged off in chains as prisoners.
Argan remembers the first time he saw the Baron well. The man sat in front of them, gloating of his strike, bragging of how perfectly executed the strike was, and how foolish his father had been to resist him. He ordered their chains removed, because he wanted to see his enemies Wife and Son bow before and him swear themselves to his service. Argan's mother seemed quiet when they removed her chains, but when the Soldier moved on to Argan, She charged forward, seeming mad. The Baron's only reaction was a snap of his fingers. His mother fell, a knife Protruding from her back before she even got close. It came from a man cloaked in black, standing away from the light, difficult to see without knowing he was there. The Baron's words after that still are seared into Argan's mind.
"Such a shame. Well boy, how about you? Will you choose death for you and your sister, or will you do the smart thing?"
Argan acquiesced. The Baron called in one of his Wizards, and had Argan swear his Oath, binding it with ties of Magic. Argan swore to serve the Baron in all things, beyond life and death, through pain and blood, to the end of time, if need be. And the Baron just smiled, motioning for Argan to be taken away by the man in black.
Argan learned to hate that man. He never learned the man's name. None of the Baron's chosen Assassin's had names. Nothing identified them as persons. They were just weapons, forged to be as cold and hard as possible. He was taught in the ways of stealth, of knife throwing, and poisons. But the Baron's Assassins were not just hired swords. There was more to it then that. They were used against valuable targets, magical targets, people with power enough to trouble the Baron. And so he was taught more then that. He learned to shield himself from Magic, to protect himself from any outside intrusion. He could sheath his knives in the same, allowing them to slip past the defenses of those with power. And he was trained in fitting in, in insulating himself in every social situation so thoroughly as to make no one suspect that he didn't belong. From the Seediest of taverns, to the Royal Ballroom, he could fit the part.
He was given some special treatment however. Most of the boys being trained were beaten when they failed. Argan was never touched. Instead, the Baron had his Sister beaten for him. The Girl grew up as a serving girl, keeping the Castle clean. She was quiet, and reserved, fleeing from anything. She had no idea of her birth, her supervisors just telling her she was abandoned by all that cared for her, and that the Baron had allowed her to stay out of the goodness of his heart. The only sign she was special were the beatings. And she was never told why she was receiving them, just that the strange young man in black was responsible. He stood and watched, never saying anything, nor making a move. At first, she didn't understand. But as time went on, she realized the truth. The boy was evil, and hated her. So she hated him. Whenever she was beaten, she would curse at him, and tell him what a foul, disgusting thing he was. So, Argan stopped failing. And then, he was given his missions.
Argan doesn't know how many people he has killed, and he has no wish to remember. Anytime those memories start coming back, he drinks enough to make them go away. He remembers the last, though. A Powerful Priest of Miriam. Argan had stalked him for days. The mans Magic was strong, capable of overwhelming Argan's shield in an instant. He prepared his meals himself. He slept little, and was guarded by his deacons when he did. Finally, Argan decided how the attack would come. At Sunrise each morning, the man would stand before the Eastern Window of the Church, and greet it with a quiet nod. The Window was several floors above the ground level, but the was a Tall tree nearby. If Argan could strike him through the window, and then flee, none would ever know what happened. Argan's plan went perfectly. He waited, outside, until the Sun rose, drew upon his power, and flung the Knife with that particular flick of the wrist he had been trained in. He watched it crash through the Window, and sink deep into the Flesh of the old Man, lacing his veins with the most powerful poison he had in him. The Priest just smiled. He pulled the Knife from his side, and set it aside carefully, and then looked into the eyes of the Young Man who had just tried to kill him, smashing the barrier of protection he'd drawn about himself. The Priest's power found the magic, deep and black, that tied him to the Baron's Will. And with a single motion of his hand, he severed it. The pain was intense. Argan blacked out, falling from the tree. He awoke later with a broken arm, and a pounding headache. He fled into the woods.
Argan's arm has healed, but the Magic is still gone. He has found one of his former comrades, and extracted the information that the Baron believed him dead, and that his Sister had been elevated to one of the Ladies in waiting of the Baroness. He then killed the man. Since then, he's been wandering. And he intends to wander until he dies. The Baron can't be fought, after all.
Argan’s Abilities: Argan possess the ability to shield himself to the effects of Magic to a degree. Attacks on his mind will fail, and attempts to strike him directly with Magic will meet a barrier about him, simply vanishing. This barrier can be broken, only having the same strength of mind as Argan himself. Repeated strikes can break it, and incredibly powerful magic can ignore it. It also can be gotten around. As an example, purely physical objects thrown by magic will pass through it without problems. He can extend this same protection to a thrown Knife. He believes he could even protect another person with the shield, but such would weaken tremendously.
His abilities weren’t intended to make him stand in an open fight against a Mage or Wizard. He was trained to finish fights with one well placed knife. All his powers do is give him time to get off that one throw, if he has to be noticed. Surprise and stealth are his main weapons, or at least, were his main weapons.
Last edited by Tackyhillbillu : 01-07-2010 at 02:26 AM.
Isera is a member of the Secret Society known as the "Canticle of Seasons." In particular, she is the 2nd rank member of the "Autumn" canticle within this group.
Her focus in particular and 'profession' is in what she calls "Supernatural Investigation" - a broad category that has had her dealing with a wide range of phenomena from ghosts to mysteriously 'disappearing sheep' depending on her clients. Her independent streak has had her cross paths with the church on several occasions, especially in issues of 'exorcism.' So far though she has managed to keep the relationship between the two civil, though there is wariness on both ends. Apart from her profession, she does a lot of freelance transportation or message carrying since she is never in one area for too long. In secret, she does carry out occasional missions at the request of the organization, mostly information gathering, though occasionally in a more 'active' role. (More in Background). Mostly however, she travels as she wills, doing 'what she wants' to do.
[/spoiler] Rest of Profile
At 27 years old, Isera is a confident, though seemingly affable woman when things are going her way. She generally maintains that attitude through combat, though her mannerisms cool.. Somewhat of a perfectionist, she is not one to make mistakes and generally errs on the side of caution in the face of the unknown - a trait that has saved her life more than a few times. Her cool yet relaxed demeanor hides a sharp and witty mind, and though she does indeed have a sense of humor, few will generally understand it, and so she is not often to try sharing it with others. She views life as a path that one can change, though they should do so with care. Her methodical approach to life has served her well in investigation as well as in combat. Though she's not interested particularly in fighting if she can help it, a battle of wits anywhere, even on the battlefield, is likely to draw her in.
A woman of about average height and a slightly athletic build that belies her long travels on foot, Isera has reddish chestnut colored hair that just reaches her shoulders, though she generally wears it pulled back in a loose ponytail, tied with a strip of leather. Perhaps one of the things astute people notice first about her is that her eyes are in fact, dramatically different colors. Her left eye is a murky brown, but her right eye is a brilliant turquoise that seems to reflect glints of gold within as the light hits it.
Her wardrobe could be described as functional with an afterthought to fashion. She wears a white shirt, with an embroidered leather vest over it. She wears leather journey-trousers that end in a pair of leather boots that have seen more of the kingdom than most of it's peasants. Over the whole outfit she wears a 'duster' style long coat that comes to her knees. The coat is actually a gift from a village of shepherds up in the mountains to the south of Narle, who gave it to her in thanks to her assistance during a terrible snowstorm a few years ago. The red interlocking circles that now hem the cuffs of her coat are a sign of her membership in the "Canticle of Seasons" (see background). Not particularly fond (or able to afford) jewelry, she wears only a bracelet on her right arm, and a small leather necklace with a single ruby encrusted on a silver star around her neck, and under her shirt. The final defining feature is the leather glove she wears over her left hand, which conceals a secret.
Alignment & Motivation
Alignment: Isera currently belongs to a faction that is neutral (the Canticles of Seasons). She is an outsider in the eyes of the Barony, which may lend to her being accepted, or scrutinized, depending on the case. It is likely however, that she won't stay neutral for long...
Motivation: In terms of motivating forces, Isera has never backed down from a challenge, and she really truly loves the rush from a good battle of wits. The fundamental goal of any sorcerer is to enhance their skill through seeking the single universality that lies at the core of magic. In all honesty however, Isera is not sure that is really what she wants to do with her life. She has been committed to the wandering lifestyle for most of her young adult life. Perhaps her ultimate goal is to finally find a good reason to settle down and stop her ceaseless traveling.
Concerning the "Canticles of Seasons"
A secret society of sorcerers and magicians, much like the Freemasons. They are dedicated to their studies of magic, and the society was originally formed in order that there was a bond of trust between groups, so as to allow them to share ideas, and promote cooperation. In addition they served as a community that could organize and cooperate to take out 'rogue sorcerers' - generally necromancers or magi who disrupted the common order. Whatever the initial founding reason, this is only part of the organization's purpose as of now, and if any outsider knows anything about the group (Rare) apart from rumors this is probably the completion of their knowledge. Instead of a single unified group of magicians, nowadays the group really operates in four 'spheres' which are known as the 'seasons.' The seasons are organized based on the general principles and behavior of their members - a reciprocal situation, as the 'seasons' induct members based on these principles/behaviors. In order to gain membership one must either be born into a family that is already a member, or one must be approached by a member of the society. Each of the Seasons is associated with a Color, which may be the only visual identifier that the person is in fact, a member. As it must be inconspicuous, the color is generally located on some article of clothing, item, artifact, etc on the body.
A description of the Four Seasons and their corresponding Colors:
Spring (Green): Perhaps the most sympathetic of the group, the Canticle of Spring are generally focused on studying their magic in order to help others. Healing magics and specifically the elemental power of earth are related to this group. In 'normal' society they tend to be either clerics, healers, teachers, or somehow connected to a life that serves others.
Summer (Blue): Currently the most influential of the group, the Canticle of Summer are focused on evocative sorcery and charms. Being the largest group of the secret society, they generally have a lot of say in the bigger group decisions. In 'normal' society they tend to be wizards or even battlefield sorcerers. In recent years they have steered the Canticles towards more 'proactive' involvement in the magical community.
Autumn (Red): The most 'aloof' of the society, the Canticle of Autumn is also the smallest in number. In fact, the current number within the Canticle is Five. Members of this Canticle have pursued ever-changing lives, and rarely stay in one place for too long. Their whims in magic are also the most unique, and generally fit the standard of 'jack-of-all-trades.' Due to their nature of being travelers, the members of this Canticle generally are the ones to keep the society's various branch houses in contact with each other, and are also often the ones who pursue the gathering of information from faraway lands. In 'normal' life they tend to be wanderers, journeymen, or even peddlers.
Winter (White): The knowledge keepers of the group, The Canticle of Winter has always been of central importance to the group and it's goal to study/improve magic and sorcery. These members are record keepers, as well as pursue their own magical interests - generally the field of divination and runic magic. the records they keep of information from the ancient days is priceless, and some of these magi are quite skilled in the lore of old. In their 'normal' lives they tend to be much in the same roll - librarians or staff at a more common magical academy, scholars or bookkeepers.
The Canticle of Autumn (and the Society as a whole...in theory)
There are only five Canticles of Autumn, and currently Isera holds the 2nd rank. Her father is in fact, the 1st, which may make him an important figure. The other three members are rarely seen in Gast, and are spread throughout the kingdom of Narle at any given time. Though she has contact with them, they also have their own missions and works to worry about. Should there be a great need, the 4th rank member - a 24 year old man named Berikos - is the closest to her area, and can be trusted to get word back to the Society for her.
Her Childhood Friend Cerise, and her Family
Cerise is a blue eyed girl of Narle who wears her long black hair straight down her back. She is in the Canticle of Winter, and is a studious mage of runes and language. Cerise is the childhood friend of Isera. Often when Isera was still young and her father was away on 'business' she stayed with Cerise and her family. Her father and mother - Alfred and Selvi - are also organization members of the Canticle of Winter. Cerise is still a much more junior member. Her close friendship with Isera really could be the de-facto reason why Isera has stayed with the society so far, and Cerise is the person perhaps closest to Isera, so much that they consider themselves sisters. Though Cerise is not particularly a fighter, she is a smart girl and seems to be well on her way to living up to the family tradition. The family lives in the Kingdom of Narle, not too terribly far from the Barony of Gast.
Isera's Father (currently unnamed)
The relationship Isera has with her father could be euphemistically described as 'currently on hold.' The two have not really corresponded in five years (beyond the occasional letter), and really they were not speaking much for the five years before that. There are a lot of complicated issues around it (see background), but though she may not admit it aloud, Isera has mixed feelings about the relationship with her father - the man who also has the highest seniority in the Canticle of Autumn. Her father likewise, is a man of few words, who devoted his life to the society after his wife died. He harbors a lot of guilt and regrets about missing his daughter grow up without him, but has not had the courage to approach her and make amends. Nonetheless, he has a good heart, and it is his tireless efforts that have kept the society informed and working throughout the kingdom.
Wit & Intellect
Perhaps the ability that has kept her alive for as long as she has, Isera is an incredibly smart and quick thinking young woman. She is careful in sizing up her opposition, and in choosing her battles - only taking ones she knows she can win. In the ones she can't choose, she has always used her smarts and wits to pull out on top. In addition, she grew up in a society, specifically a family, that was in constant exposure to ancient texts. While she is not fluent by any account in the ancient languages, she is not too bad at piecing things together. She is meticulous in her information gathering, and uses the vast amount of information and experience she has accumulated to outmatch her opponents.
Phantasmal Descrying Eye (Also known as 'The Eye of Odynn')
The reason why Isera's right eye is such a dramatic turquoise and gold color is due to it being in fact, a Magus Eye - that is to say, an eye that has been augmented through a powerful (and often taboo) ritual sorcery. Isera's eye can see an aura of 'supernatural' energy in place of form, whether it be essentially 'magical' energy (spells, barriers, magical creatures, etc), or 'spiritual' (ghosts, spirits, undead appear as a black aura). Isera prides herself on having 'overcome' the essential weakness of the eye, which is that if used in a pair, the user can no longer see the 'real' world, and is capable of only seeing a world of auras, not people. By only having one descrying eye, she can 'overlap' the 'reality' with the 'supernatural,' or close one eye to view in 'fullness' either form of existence. Considering her line of work, it is a very useful skill to have.
Psalms: The name Isera gives her incantations. All sorcery is derived in some form by the use of Words to activate power. Unlike a 'spell,' which serves only to awaken a sorcery and may require other objects or props, the 'Psalms' are simpler method that require no 'focus.' Rather than a focus object, like a wand or staff that some circles use, the Psalms of Isera use her tongue as the focus. She casts the variety of spells she knows purely through evocative power of language. Most of the psalms in her repertoire are shielding or barrier spells and glyphs - tricks she learned from the long time growing up with her good friend Cerise. Alike however, she has some psalms of the earth and fire domains, and one or two undead-turning psalms. She does however, have her unique spread of sorcery: Autumnal Sorcery - Undead-Turning wards and spells, 'elemental magics' (generally in the form of Sigils and Glyphs of Fire or Earth), message and scribing spells, and one in particular that lets her understand/speak an additional language, once per day. This has proven useful in her travels. Autumnal sorcery, unlike her psalmic sorcery, is more akin to a specialized field of 'normal' sorcery (that is to say, she performs the incantations or draws the seals and glyphs with the proper preparations required of a sorcerer). The 9 Syllables:
The Nine syllables are the pride of Isera's magic. As all magic comes from the same eternally sought after "Root," there are many ways to go about activating and controlling it's power. That is why there are so many kinds of spells or methods to bring about similar effects. Therefore the shorter the spell or incantation the magus uses, the easier it is to invoke their sorcery's power, and thus the higher the skill level of said Magus. Isera has exactly nine incantations that she has perfected to a single syllable utterance and an accompanying symbolic gesture with one hand.
Nir - The first syllable innately representing Conviction, Nir is not by itself an offensive or defensive ability. It is in the sense, an Amplifier and Strain Dampener. By invoking this syllable before another sorcery (or even another of the Nine), the effectiveness (whether that be damage, shield strength, turning ability, etc) of said spell is enhanced. The fundamental realization of the magic is altered by this syllable, and in a way the toll of the spell is reduced. Although the fundamental realization is changed, generally Nir only minutely effects the quota against her total capacity for invoking the Nine if paired with another syllable (since she is basically invoking Twice for the price of something like, 1.75 the cost). By itself, used with normal 'psalmic' or 'autumnal' magic, she can call Nir out much more.
Veip - The second syllable innately representing Presence, Veip is a spiritual barrier against the dead. When Isera utters this syllable, a sigil in the shape of a duplex barrier (two overlayed octagons surrounded by a ring of runes) forms at her feet, and spreads to a ring of width no greater than fifteen feet. As might be expected, undead or incorporeal things that enter that range suffer tremendously, and the weakest ones cannot even cross the barrier. If combined with Nir, the duplex barrier becomes a quadruplex barrier, pretty much doubling it's effectiveness.
Tek - The third syllable innately representing Charisma, Tek is a kind of 'disguise' and the only illusory ability Isera possesses. It is capable of one of two effects:
1) To mask her presence, both magical and physical (she is not invisible, rather people just don't seem to notice her). She invokes this version by holding an object in her hand, on which a faint glyph is traced. So long as she does not become separated from the glyph (and object), or try to interact with another person, the effect works. People can see her, but there's a natural compulsion to believe that she should be there, and people pay no attention to her as they would a stone wall (they won't run into her for example). This lasts at maximum for thirty minutes. Obviously since speaking cancels it, she can't actually invoke any of her magic while using this form.
2) It alters her appearance magically - voice included. There is a hitch to this one - the only form she is able to assume is basically a sixteen year old version of herself. This is due to complications from the Magus Eye - part of the screw up in the ritual she performed when she was sixteen. Still, it isn't utterly useless - if combined with Nir, she can maintain the disguise for a period of about three days (one day otherwise), and it isn't a bad disguise if one wants to say, infiltrate a magic academy to spy on one of the staff members who is rumored to be a necromancer.
Sahk - The fourth syllable, innately representing Wisdom, Sahk is a Shield that combines the best of a protection spell with a reflective barrier. Sahk is the single most powerful barrier 'spell' Isera can offer, but it is a stressful one, so she generally settles for a psalmic or autumnal version, only using this one when she is caught off guard, or in a real pinch.
Kautch - The fifth syllable, innately representing Preparation, Kautch when invoked can 'augment' the object Isera is touching. In a sense, it makes the object more efficient at whatever it's purpose is - a sword becomes sharper/sturdier, a locked door becomes harder to break, etc. It's a very broad category ability, and Isera has made good use of it. Nir cannot be combined with this syllable.
Lige - The sixth syllable, innately representing Night, Lige is a binding sorcery. A ring of runes encircles the target she is facing, generally appearing on their neck, or around their hands. A corresponding sigil appears on the back of her right hand. Essentially puppetizes her target, which she 'controls' with her right hand. The effect lasts about ten minutes (twenty, with Nir), but the more complex actions she forces the target to preform (fighting with a sword instead of say, sitting on the ground), the shorter the effective duration.
Utz - The seventh syllable, representing Harmony, Utz is a healing invocation. Runic letters cover the entirety of her skin, and as she touches the target of her healing (or focuses on herself), the letters pass down her arms into them, bringing healing magic as they disappear from her skin. It is a slow and gradual healing, as the letters dissipate. Nir increases the speed of healing.
Zai - The eighth syllable, representing Love, Zai is a kind of blessing. For one time in the coming day, some sort of bad luck or danger is averted. Nir makes it last through the night as well. Isera cannot invoke this on herself. (The only times she really has is for Cerise, or someone helping her in a dangerous case).
Dæg The ninth syllable, representing Day, Dæg is a banishment invocation. Isera's Exorcism spell, she draws a vertical line in the air from top to bottom with her index and middle finger. As it is said, the word sends out a pulse that wraps about her target in a hail of letters forming a mantra, glowing with light. When she brings her hands together, they constrict, and then erupt in a conflagration of green and red flames.
Isera's left hand is a fake - there is a glyph embedded in the her leather glove which gives her use of the hand. She lost her hand in an encounter that nearly ended with her losing a lot more. It is ever a reminder to Isera of the price of arrogance and overconfidence, a lesson she has not forgotten. The only special thing about the hand is that, as a fake hand she feels no pain, or rather, anything from it save the sensation of grip. This occasionally has it's uses: stopping a knife or spell at the last minute, for example can give her an edge when she needs it. It also hurts quite a bit more to get hit by this fist than say, a normal human hand (It's still susceptible to her arm strength however). Isera has had to repair the hand enough times to know how to fix it up, assuming she has access to a town where miscellaneous supplies or clockwork gears could be obtained.
Psalmic Sorcery: The obvious drawback of the Psalms as sorcery is also their strength - words must be spoken. Obviously if thwarted even with something as simple as gag, Isera can't use this ability. In addition, the Psalms leave a residual 'echo' of magic. It is in some ways, her trademark, but it also can be a very bad thing if bad people are tracking her.
Human: The frailty of mortal life is both a blessing and a curse. Isera has had enough close encounters to know this well.
The 9 Syllables: The amount of work and energy it takes to invoke sorcery is the same no matter the method used - For example: A dark cultist sacrifices a life as a part of a ritual to summon a demon. A different magus skilled in sorcery could use a combination of sacrificial offerings - slaughtered livestock and bountiful meal capable of feeding a family of four - alongside a three hour incantation to achieve the same effect. Still another may try and summon the demon solely through the phrase "I invoke ye!" - Yet the rest of the required energy has to come from somewhere, and it may well be his own magical or life energy.
All this considered, the Nine Syllables are capable of some powerful effects, but are exhausting to use for Isera. The first Syllable may help her conserve energy more efficiently, but she is not able to cast the whole set more than once a day, and the more she uses a single syllable (in a day), the more strain it puts on her. So far at least, she's never had to use them all at once.
Low Profile: While the distinct advantages of being overlooked and unknown are clear, there are of course, similar disadvantages. She does not command an air of respect beyond that one would afford an ordinary traveler or, if she reveals it, sorcerer. She generally prefers to keep it this way, so that she doesn't draw attention to herself or her organization.
Born into a family who served as members of the Canticles for generations, it was expected that Isera would also continue the tradition and immerse herself in the world of sorcery. At the age of nine she lost her mother to disease, leaving her to grow up under the guidance of a father who was dedicated to his work, and almost always traveling. Little Isera was often left in the care of a friend's family, and made friends with the daughter Cerise of that family as well.
As her budding potential matched her coming into her teenage years, Isera began to join her father on the occasional journey, and so learned the ropes fairly quickly. By sixteen she was initiated into the order officially. Shortly thereafter however, she committed a taboo ritual act to gain the Phantasmal Descrying Eye, having convinced her friend Cerise to aid her in the ritual. There was an accident, and the ritual could have proven tragically disastrous if it wasn't for the timely intervention of Cerise's father. Soon after, Isera was put on a year of suspension - a sentence that had been lessened in severity due to the strenuous defense by both her father as well as Cerise's family. Nonetheless, Isera left, determined to spend that year on her own journey. It was a tough journey, especially during winter, and it was only in part because of her own doggedness and the occasional correspondence via letter with Cerise that Isera made it through.
Her father did not endear himself to her because he did nothing to meet or contact her during that time, though he had advocated strenuously on her behalf before (something Isera has never known). As she returned soon after her seventeenth birthday, she had become much more 'disinterested' and 'cool' in demeanor. Wandering from town to town in the winter will do that. Upon her return she rejected the notion of trying to repair her family's name, willfully following her own nature, and ignoring the complaints and suspicion of some of the other canticle members. Ironically perhaps, she fits the description of a Canticle of Autumn quite well, and that irony is not lost upon her. By the age of twenty two she was already doing her own work, and had mastered the sorcery she refers to as 'psalms.' There was an official ceremony to honor her achievement within the organization, and while she may have redeemed her family's name through this, she would never say that was her goal. It was at this ceremony that she last saw her father.
Five years later, now twenty seven years old, Isera has matured fully into her own. She has worked all across the Kingdom of Narle, as well as beyond its borders on occasion, and she has completed several very difficult assignments (she calls them 'requests') from the Canticles. Her 'cover' business in towns is in dealing with "Supernatural Investigation" as well as Parcel or Message Delivery. She knows quite a few different tavern innkeepers and bartenders, who pass on clients to her as well as local information. In the smaller villages, she generally trades her services in exchange for room and board, and though she never stays for long, her polite and generally personable behavior has left earned her gratitude many times over.
She maintains pretty loose ties with the organization especially since her last mission, except through Cerise, who is the one she usually meets with, and keeps in regular correspondence.
Snapshot - Age 16
"Are you sure we should be doing this?" Cherise asked anxiously, the concern apparent not only in her voice, but in the glances she kept throwing back towards the door to the basement. "I don't think it's going to work." She said softly, for the fourth time Isera noted.
Isera tucked a few idle locks of hair out of her face and turned to her friend with a smug grin that belayed her confidence.
"I'm sure. And yes it will work. Both of us went over this a hundred times already." She responded, looking back at the circle she had drawn with chalk 'borrowed' from Cerise's father's box. With a triumphant smirk, she drew the last rune at the edge of the circle and then dusted her hands.
"There. Perfect." She said, satisfied, twisting to look at Cerise with her insufferable raised eyebrow. Cerise didn't see the look, as she was glued to the ancient book in her lap, studying the circle that was drawn within. The two sixteen year old girls had found the book a few months back while helping clean some things out of the library on a rainy spring day, and Isera had gotten it through her head she was going to get one of the "Eyes of Odynn" that was described within the third chapter. Cerise had gone along with the idea, in part because the enthusiasm Isera bled was contagious, but also because it sounded like a fun challenge for her own deciphering skills. Compared to Isera's talent for the spoken word, and her travel experience with her father, Cerise didn't want to be too overshadowed by her friend. Here in deciphering ancient works, she was Isera's equal, if not better. Now though, she was having second doubts as she checked Isera's work to the book's diagram. The two were in the basement, sitting with the lights dim and the door locked, safe from any prying parents - though Cerise's father and mother were out for the evening.
"Umm, Isera? That one looks a little sloppy." Cerise said, rubbing out one of the runes Isera had scribed around the circle, and drawing a better one in. Isera's smug grin turned to a scowl, but she didn't complain.
"Right. Well, I need you to draw the ones around my eye now." The chestnut haired teen replied, holding out a black lead stylus. Cerise hesitated, but pursed her lips. They had come this far already. She took the stylus and drew the circle around Isera's right eye, and then began writing the corresponding glyphs about it, careful with her work. After five minutes, she sat back and sighed.
"There, what do you think about that?" She asked. Isera leaned over the hand-mirror the girls had brought with them and grinned.
"Perfect! Cerise you're amazing!" Cerise laughed weakly, the butterflies in her stomach preventing her from appreciating the complement.
"Alright, here I go!" Isera said, moving to the center of the circle, and holding the turquoise stone she had brought, as the book had instructed. They sat in silence for a minute, and at least Isera took a deep breath and began chanting, her eyes squeezed tightly shut. As great as the praise for her rune-work was, Cerise always was breathless at the ease Isera had come to express incantations. Now though, it would be a marathon for her friend. Four or five minutes into the ritual however, Isera sat upright with a jerking spasm, and the runes around her on the floor burned into glistening blue and gold letters, bathing the room in an eerie glow. The sigil Cerise had drawn around Isera's right eye burned to life, just as the crystal in her hands flared to it's turquoise radiance. But Isera's voice shattered all hopes of success. With an agonizing and bloodcurdling scream, Isera shook as the runes burned brighter, and though her body shook, it was clear to Cerise she could not move. Isera screamed her voice raw in agony as her right eye erupted in searing pain - as fiery symbols burned their way magically into her eyeball behind her closed lids. Blood ran down as tears flooded forth, and yet she kept screaming. The runes on the floor burned brighter, and Cerise could smell the acrid scent of something burning. She moved into action and tried to reach forward to grab her friend; to try and save the only person who had ever been a sister to her. But Cerise slammed into an invisible wall at the edge of the circle, trapped helplessly beyond as Isera suffered within, bathed in that unearthly light. And Cerise screamed, if only from the sheer horror and terror.
Two hands grabbed Cerise and flung her back, and she snapped out of her shock as she landed on her back. Above her, Cerise's father Alfred towered, brow knit in concentration as he chanted faster than Cerise had ever seen him before, his hands a blur as they went through the motions to unbind the spell. With tremendous effort, he placed his hands upon that invisible barrier around the trembling young Isera, and he pushed with all his might with a yell. The invisible field became visible, and then it shattered like glass, sending a swarm of cuts across Isera's face and now ruined shirt, at the same time tearing into Alfred's nice jacket. But that didn't stop the man, and he grabbed Isera's hands, still locked around the crystal and with a tremendous tug, yanked her out of the circle. The glyphs on the floor sizzled, and then the glow faded to darkness. The ring around Isera's bleeding right eye stayed for a minute longer, before slowly fading to nothingness.
"Oh Lady Miriam, your Grace be upon us! Isera! Cerise!" Her father yelled. At the doorway above, Cerise's mother appeared and came down the stairs as fast as her feet would carry her, eyes wide in shock. Cerise could feel the tears on her own cheeks, and soon she could only see the shirt her mother was wearing as she was pulled into a protective embrace. But that momentary feeling of comfort was enough, and she turned in horror to look at her friend.
Her father had Isera in his own arms, as the girl lay trembling and trying to curl into a ball on the floor. With worried but kind eyes, Alfred brushed her hair back gently trying to comfort her softly.
"Shhhh...It's okay Isera... it's okay..." With a pained look over his shoulder at his wife he tried to gesture for her to go towards the stairs.
"Get her father. HURRY." Alfred emphasized. Cerise felt her mother tense up for a second, obviously not wanting to leave them here, but she assented and pulled away from Cerise and ran towards the stairs. Alfred turned back to Isera and turned her face towards him so he could see her in the faint light. The skin where the magic runes had been drawn was still red, but it wouldn't leave a scar, he thought in relief. But the eye... With the sleeve of his shirt he gently wiped away the blood that had tricked down, still shushing Isera's whimpers and trying to calm her down.
"It's okay Isera... you're safe..."
It had been a week since the terrible incidents of that saturday night. Isera, hair in a loose ponytail, looked down at the ground as she stood next to Cerise in the hallway, waiting for one of the Magi from inside the big conference room to call her in to hear her fate. Cerise looked over at her friend in sympathy, and squeezed her hand gently. Isera tensed, obviously still feeling greatly embarrassed and more than a little guilty. Finally she dared a quick peek up at Cerise's face, unsure of what she would see. Isera's right eye wasn't bleeding anymore, but it was a brilliant turquoise which caught the torchlight and seemed filled with flecks of gold. When she looked at Cherise now, or anyone actually, she didn't just see them. There was a wash of colors that surrounded them. It was still a bit blurry, but Cerise's father had promised her that it would sharpen to focus. Cerise gave a reassuring smile.
"Don't worry." She whispered. Isera nodded glumly and looked back down at the cobblestone floor. She knew she would be kicked out of the organization for this offense. No one was supposed to steal books of rituals, let alone someone so young. It was dangerous. That was how evil sorcerers were brought into the world. She had failed miserably, and almost gotten herself and possibly Cerise killed. No, this was it. She was done for.
Before her despair could grow any thicker, the door opened, and of all people, Alfred appeared, a stony expression on his face.
"Isera." He said. "Come here please." Isera hesitated and threw a glance at Cerise once more, squeezing her hand tight as her friend did the same.
"Good luck." Cerise whispered as Isera let go, and followed Alfred into the room.
Name: Korram "The Firebrand" Alstan Race: Augmented Human Abilities:
Physical Abilities: Korram is an extremely skilled fighter with years of experience and skill. His time in Ironheart has left him quite rusty, but it's coming back to him. He was also in great physical condition before Ironheart, and still is fairly strong. Korram is also a fairly capable acrobat, although he isn't particularly flexible. Korram is very good at stealth, one of the few skills that didn't diminish during his time in Ironheart, and he has a lot of control over his body and mind.
Calcifer: as a spirit of fire, Calcifer is very knowledgeable on matters that pertain to extradimensional effects, especially relating to the plane of fire. Weaknesses: Korram was weakened by Ironheart, and it will take some time for him to fully recover from years of torture and malnutrition. Also, Korram is extremely protective of his daughter, and would do almost anything to ensure her safety. Finally, Korram shared a deep bond with his group of fellow freedom fighters, and would go out of his way for any of them that are still alive. Alignment: Former prisoner. Motivation: A need for revenge against the Baron and a desire to see his daughter again. Associates: Korram's daughter, Katrina, as well as his former group. Background: Korram was born and raised in a small village called Callaway. He led a relatively happy life for a time, being married to a loving wife, Sarah, and having a dear daughter, named Katrina. However, despite the fact that Callaway was an out of the way farming village, Korram's wife somehow caught the eye of the Baron. She was taken one day to be a plaything for the Baron, likely tortured to death. Korram's life was shattered. Grief soon turned to rage against his fate, against his powerlessness, and most of all against the Baron. Korram learned how to fight, using only his fists as he could not afford weapons. He began working as a thief, stealing things of value from caravans or groups heading for the Baron, and cracked the heads of a few soldiers. Despite this, he felt it wasn't enough, and left Callaway for a time, traveling to the capital city in search of a weapon he could use against the Baron. He eventually found it in the form of a mage, who bound a Spirit of Fire into his right upper arm, granting him powerful abilities with fire in exchange for causing him constant, excruciating pain. Korram traveled back, sad that he had temporarily abandoned his daughter but still glad he could exact revenge. He concealed the nature of his arm from his friends and Daughter with strips of enchanted leather which suppressed the burning (although not the pain) of his arm. Korram began attacking larger targets, his unique abilities gradually giving him a name, spoken with awe by the people and fear by the soldiers: the Firebrand. Months went by, and Korram began hearing tales of others such as himself, powerful men and women also dedicated to fighting the Baron. He began seeking them out, allying with them, eventually forming a small group of very powerful people. This was very effective, getting in the Baron's way and stealing or destroying items of interest to him. One night, however, Korram made the mistake of killing the Baron's cousin. Enraged at this, the Baron had several expensive spells of identification and location at the Firebrand, discovering Korram's identity and home. When Korram later returned home, he was confronted with a contingent of guards holding his daughter at knife point. Given no other option, he was forced to surrender and was taken to Ironheart. Eight years past, and Korram became a favorite subject of the torture chambers, resilient enough that a betting pool was made to try to figure out when he would crack. Recently, Korram actually managed to escape, slicing open the glove that was suppressing his arm and slaughtering his way through Ironheart. During a battle with a powerful demon, the seals on Korram's arm broke, freeing Calcifer, the spirit of fire. Still trapped in Korram's body, Calcifer made a deal with him: in exchange for not killing him, Korram would have Calcifer removed at the nearest opportunity. Things continued, and Korram eventually reaching the darkest depths of Ironheart, where he and a group of other escapees halted the Hierarch and destroyed him. At this point, the Baron revealed that his plans had gone far deeper than everyone thought, outmaneuvering the escapees but allowing them to leave with their lives. Korram was given a choice: flee Gast and never return, or go back to imprisonment. Bound by his oath, Korram made a deal: he would be allowed to leave for six months, during which time Calcifer would be removed from his body. Accepting his fate, Korram left Ironheart...for now.
Truly awesome Ark Tamaeus avatar by Bryn. Full size version here.
I'm so excited!! Here again is Tare, a lovely shade of Deep Sky Blue being his linguistic chroma of choice.
Name: Tare Race: Human Age: Mid-20s Abilities: Tare is a skilled thief, and a more talented one than many others in the Baron's territories at that. However, he has several other less traditional abilities at his disposal, but all disguised behind simple legerdemain and sleight of hand. Able to cast a few low-level cantrips, he has developed practical uses for otherwise useless abilities and always manages to conceal it behind some act of showmanship or misdirection. This gives him a definite edge over most people who assume that he is working with the same 'tools' as everyone else. Weaknesses: The eldest of a large family, Tare feels a deep-rooted 'older brother' instinct towards those who are left alone and unprotected when an older brother in their situation would shield them from the world. Sometimes he even assumes that role himself. Any threat to those he has adopted as his siblings will hold sway over him as though his own family were being threatened. This led to his capture. Crimes: Basic pickpocketing and breaking and entering; open disrespect for the baron and incititing more than one riot and then vanishing seconds before the Baron's men arrived; and most seriously, attempting a very broad-scale heist against two of the Baron's lesser nobles. If everything had gone according to plan, both noble houses would've lost nearly half of their total material wealth in one night. It didn't go according to plan. Motivation: Tare is a survivor, able to live and thrive in almost any situation or circumstance, before Ironheart. Now viewing it as a challenge to his skills and survivability, he attacks life at the Bastille as a challenge to his reputation, particularly in light of the most recent twist to his daily life. Also, his older brother instincts have singled out one or two fellow prisoners that he strives to protect, allowing himself to get wrapped up in their troubles in order to spare them some of the 'punishment' that they normally receive, either physically or psychologically. Those two other prisoners have come under extreme danger, and now he seeks to get them out of the mess that they all have landed themselves into. Associates: The ill-advised heist that he was forced to plan and execute involved eight other thieves of similar proficiency and standing as he. However, in the thieves' world, if you get caught you're on your own. His large family lives far away from him and has not heard from him in years; even if they did they would not know it, because he has changed his birthname.
Since his stay in Ironheart he has 'freed' an Elven couple, who seem to be more important than he realized, and has made an odd 'alliance' with a dangerous assassin, their agreement born of necessity rather than goodwill of any kind. Appearance: Tare is clad in simple burlap prison clothing, not having had the opportunity or the resources to change into anything else since his 'escape'. He has thick, dark hair, which has grown into his eyes from lack of care even since before landing in Ironheart, and muscles toned for steady hands and fleetness of foot rather than for direct combat or heavy armors. Resources: A handful of assorted daggers, two Silver; a smaller handful of needles, all silver; one watered-down healing potion.
Background: Just before his capture he was approached by the Organized Crime ring that held sway over the local area and they threatened Karami, a young girl that he feels personally responsible for. Not long before he bought her out of the underground slave trade and found a family for her. Not even willing to entertain the idea of leaving her in any trouble whatsoever, he complied completely with the promises that this would be the last they required of him, and after this they would leave Karami alone. They were telling the truth, as far as they told.
I will also say that it is a very exciting thing when a character outgrows their initial profile. I will be honest, most of the characters that I create have more time spent on writing up the profile than I actually back in play time, because the game inevitably dies before that character 'reaches maturity' and I have a chance to explore all of the subtle foreshadowing that I try to work into the profile. Tare is the first of I believe only Four characters that I have ever had that have lived to overshadow their profile.
Amusement: In Elven, provided their sentence structure is in any way similar to ours, 'Quiddich' is an insult, and probably not a very courtly one either. Tut tut, Teareal, do you kiss your girlfriend with that mouth?
Name: He has a cornucopia of them. The one he has taken for himself is Umber
Race: Vampire (Not the angsty kind, I swear!)
-Great physical strength, far exceeding that of a normal human, (Can lift several tons, break rock with his bare hands, that sort of thing)
-Superhuman speed and agility.
-An impeccable knowledge of history, thanks to living through most of it.
-A jack of all trades, he's tried almost every profression, though he's not an expert at nearly all of them.
-An encyclopedic knowledge of magical rituals and alchemy - (note, this isn't the same as spellcasting. He can't sling fireballs and the like, but if you need an esoteric magical ritual or brew a rare and virtually unknown potion, he's your man.)
-Can gain strength and power by drinking the blood of other creatures. Blood has multiple functions - one, a small amount is required on a regular basis to sustain his unlife. Blood also serves as both a short-term boost of strength and a smaller long-term gain, both based off the potence of the vitae consumed
-Functional immortality. Doesn't age, can't be killed off permanently. He's also incredibly tough; a combination of his undead nature and his enormous willpower allows him to shrug off horrendous wounds. See weaknesses for more information.
-Intelligence. Umber is intellectually gifted and possessed of a dark charm and charisma in addition to being extremely knowledgeable. He's also an insufferable smartarse.
-Healing: Similar but separate from his ability to draw strength from blood, Umber can use the precious red fluid to heal his wounds. However, he is incapable of healing without it. The greater the quantity and the more potent the blood, the more grievous the wounds that he can heal.
-Vampiric flaws. Umber suffers from a number of problems resulting from his condition. Sunlight weakens him and burns exposed skin, though he doesn't have the more dramatic problems (I.E. instant death) that some others of his species do. Silver also weakens him physically and causes immense pain. Holy symbols, running water, and other such weaknesses have no effect. Pinning him through the heart with a stake immobilizes him. If he sustains enough damage destroy his physical form, he's reduced to ash until blood comes into contact with said ashes. Blood deprivation over long periods weakens him immensely.
-Visions. The years do strange things to a person's mind, and Umber's was never all that normal to begin with. He has just a touch of the Sight, and gets occasional glimpses of things that are yet to come. However, this one is a bit of a double-edged sword... more often it just leads to cryptic muttering and delusion than anything helpful
-Oathbound. Due to a curious confluence of personality and his undead nature, Umber is incapable of breaking a solemnly sworn oath.
-Weakened: though potent, Umber's current state is but a shadow of his former power. Long years of imprisonment and indescribably torture have drained away most of his power. The only way for him to regain it is to start again, that is to steal the strength of other creatures with the abilities previously mentioned.
-Bloody Creepy: Umber is not a nice fellow. He's the sort of thing nightmares are made of. And he likes it that way. Despite the fact that he's quite handsome and can be very charming when he wants to be, there's always something a bit eerie about him that's rather off-putting, especially to those who are magically or spiritually sensitive.
Crimes: Umber's done enough nasty things to merit ten times his sentence, however, the crime he was imprisoned for was not one he committed. He was accused of murdering a powerful noble's daughter after "seducing her to darkness." This, however, was merely a cover so that his captors could use him for their own ends.
Motivation: Umber's a rather... driven fellow. His overall motivations aren't terribly clear. However, he's extremely irritated by his long incarceration, and is quite intent on wreaking revenge most terrible on the responsible parties, and anyone who might get in his way. He also plans on reducing the prison to rubble, just for kicks. (and out of spite, of course.)
Associates: Fianna - his love from ages past, he now seeks her to bring her either a cure for her madness, or a final death.
Bran - A young man whose bloodline Umber is somehow associated with, he possesses vast magical power - but little control over it. Umber has interesting plans for this young man.
Ross - The Werewolf-Paladin who served for a time as Umber's jailor.
Helion - One of the vampires who captured Umber - and later served as the tool of the Baron in manipulating Umber. Something that Umber, of course, does not appreciate. This one also apparently has his own plans - plans that Umber intends to foil.
The man - or creature, if you prefer- who now calls himself Umber was born in an earlier age, when the world was younger and the blood of men ran hotter. It was a savage time, or rather a time when savagery was more openly displayed, when the blood ran hot and battles were fought more often in the open, with bright blades unsheathed and stained crimson, and the delicate arts of politics were left to petty schemers and inscrutable wizards. Born into this age was a league of seven sorceror-monarchs, the Lords of Blood. These seven were masters of spell and steel, and they carved a crimson swathe through the young world. In the end, however, they found that their power accounted them little. In a few short decades, they would die and their kingdoms would crumble. They resolved against this, and together they made a pact to find the secrets of immortality, and to become gods among men, eternal kings and queens who would rule the world until time's end.
Thirteen long years they labored, and in the end none of them could remember whose search was the first to bear fruit. But bear fruit their research did, and the seven gathered in the tallest tower of Malangarde, their capital city. There, they poured over their research, and together they found a solution: An elixir made from ingredients for the most part unspeakable; the most innocent among them being the distilled blood of a hundred children and the tears of a tortured angel. This elixir they consumed, and in consuming it condemned themselves to final damnation. It granted them immortality, indeed they could not die even if they wished it, for a single drop of blood would revive them, but they were doomed to fear the sun and silver.
Still, to these seven twisted souls the trade seemed paltry indeed. They had forsaken their mortality without looking back, and they reveled in their new lives of darkness. But their peoples grew to hate and fear them. Where once they had been conquering heroes, now even their own armies saw them as wicked despots, and plotted against them. And the more they supressed these plots, the more they grew back, so that eventually each came to realize that to truly control their kingdom ,they would have to be ruling a kingdom of the dead. Two were killed by the raging mobs, and their ashes scattered. Whether they have ever reformed by some chance drop of blood, the legends do not say. Two more clung to their thrones, and laid waste to their kingdoms, until they were nothing more than gibbering lunatics ruling kingdoms of the dead. At last, with no living things to feed upon, they fell into a deep torpor, and passed out of the knowledge of men.
The last three chose to wander. And wander they did, down the ages of history, living lonely existences. The one called Umber, with whom we shall concern ourselves, took the name as a reminder that he lived always in shadow (And also because, frankly, he thought it sounded impressive.) Having always been a solitary man, the life of a lonely wanderer did not cause him overmuch distress. He stepped quietly through the pages of history, never again taking up the reins of rulership or rising to great prominence, but his progress might be tracked by those who knew where to look. A mercenary without peer, he led countless armies to victory, slaughtered great beasts and drank their vitae, and vanquished champions unnumbered. By and large, he was content with his life, to enjoy the simple pleasures as he could find them, to walk lightly on the world and avoid the eye of those who would make a name for themselves destroying so fearsome a monster.
Despite his best efforts, however, his movements were, indeed, followed. A cabal of powerful vampires of the more conventional sort had, for the past several hundred years, been tracking him. They envied his strength, his immunity to so many form of harm that he lacked... and were resolved to steal it from him. Ambushing him at a particularly vulnerable moment, they managed to subdue him, despite heavy losses. Bound in chains of runed silver, he was brought to Ironheart, where his captors have mercilessly experimented on him for the past century, draining away his strength bit by bit. Recently, however, disturbances in the prison have weakened the bindings on him enough to begin plotting his escape. Using a little-known magical ritual, he has sent dreams to other prisoners asking for aid in return for vast material rewards, for he knows the location of numerous treasure caches he has hidden over the centuries. He has begun to work on his bindings, weakening them bit by bit.
Now, however, he has escaped - and, in doing so, found his long lost love, the Lady of Blood by the name of Fianna. He now seeks to track her down, to bring her either a release from the madness into which she has fallen, or a clean and final death in his arms.
Personality: Umber is actually a (somewhat disturbingly) cheerful fellow. He's often rather gregarious, quick witted, and has endless volumes of tales to regale a listener with. He's also a very wicked creature who feeds on the bloodof mortals - and relishes in it, and will cheerfully send others to horrible fates if he sees benefit in it. Despite this, he obeys his own twisted code of honor and never betrays anyone he thinks of as as friend, and always keeps his word and pays his debts.
Appearance: Umber is a fairly tall man who appears to be in his late thirties. His skin is slightly pale, and his eyes are a deep crimson. He tends to dress stylishly, though his sense of style is often about twenty years behind the times. He has dark ebon hair which he wears shoulder length. His fangs retract when not in use so, save for his eyes, he appears fairly normal. His smile can be rather unnerving, however, even without the fangs.
Reposting Sohssal. I'll hold onto the navy color for his speech.
Name: Sohssal Race: Demon Spirit (formerly human) Abilities: Sohssal, before becoming a demon, was a skilled evoker, and still has great command over evocation magic. He is also experienced at demonology. But, as a demon, he is capable of possessing inanimate objects. If he possesses an object, it is granted a magical suppleness, allowing him to move around, hovering if he must. Otherwise, he is an incorporeal being, incapable of changing the physical world in any manner. He may also possess the body of a willing person, though this is understandably rare. He is also capable of feeding upon magical energy, and, indeed, he must do so in order to sustain himself and power his magic.
Sohssal now also possesses his trusty letter opener, now enchanted to be a magical battery, and can still accept any spells he casts to enhance it for healing or to make it into a deadly weapon.
Weaknesses: The presence of a mirror, set in pure silver, is anathema to Sohssal, for it presents only the truth in his presence. Its reflection of his true form, that of a mere man, is like boiling oil unto his skin, sapping his strength and leaving him powerless, as well as forcing him back into human form. He can still break the mirror, and thus its hold, as long as he does not touch it with his exposed skin. The time it takes to recover from the mirror is proportionate to how long he was exposed. If he saw it only for a moment, he recovers nearly instantly. But if he were imprisoned next to one for a year, it would take upwards of a year to fully recover his power. His fear of death is surpassed only by his fear of these dreaded mirrors.
In addition, Sohssal is no longer capable of gathering or generating magical energy for himself, and must drain magical energy from other spellcasters or even magic items. He must also drain some just to sustain himself, though he need not do so when forced back into human form.
Having been subjected to the dreaded mirrors for around a year, Sohssal will not recover his full power for about one year. He has already regained a significant chunk of his power, but this is normal after escaping a long period of exposure to his bane.
Crimes: The murder of no less than 19 individuals, plotting against the crown, acts of unholy wizardry as well as associating with demons. Alignment: Former prisoner Motivation: For now, Sohssal merely wishes to recover his lost power, and find a way to protect him from his weakness. Revenge will have to wait, but he's always on the lookout for opportunities. Associates: Omega, and possibly other demons he has summoned. He has also bound elementals and the like so deep into specially-constructed 10ft spires that they forget they even exist, now only generating magical energy for Sohssal to use. Appearance:
In his incorporeal form, Sohssal appears merely as a translucent, shadowy form, appearing mostly humanoid in appearance. However, he stretches over 8 feet tall, and has unnaturally thin arms and legs. His hands are large, the fingers seemingly claws, and his legs finished with unnaturally twisted feet. His head is not a man's, but instead that of a demented predator, with long, twisted ears. Those who can fully see spirits, or who are spirits themselves, see the horror of his demonic form. His skin seems to have the negative color of human skin, and his large torso appears to be encased in twisted armor (truly scales) covered in glowing white symbols. His hands drip with crimson blood, and his eyes burn a fiery white. He appears to have no mouth, but speaks in a deep, yet wispy voice.
Sohssal was originally a mere human wizard, specializing in manipulation and creation of energy. He was actually born over 100 years ago, his life extended by his own meddling, though not like in any other way he had observed. Even from birth, he showed some innate talent for magic, though as a small child, he never got along with any of the spellcasters who saw an advantage in teaching him. He seemed to prefer just playing with his friends, though his peers were often reluctant to befriend someone who accidentally sets fire to classwork.
Once Sohssal hit puberty, however, his magical talents exploded into existence, and if he even sneezed, bad things would happen. He had little choice but to accept the tutelage of another wizard, though, paranoid as he was, suspected that he placed a curse on Sohssal so his talents would fly out of control. The kindly wizard was not without his own motives, however, as he was nearing the end of his life, an he wanted someone to continue his work, and Sohssal showed great promise.
Eventually, Sohssal took a liking to his mentor, and mourned after he passed on at the ripe age of 127. Not even this wizard was without life-extending magic. Sohssal himself began to fear for his own life, and, instead of continuing his predecessor's work, began feverishly researching longevity magic. Humans died of age, he reasoned, so a good way to avoid that was to become something other than human. A lich came to mind, but Sohssal refused to be a walking corpse. Instead, he began dabbling in darker arts, learning how to speak with demons. Eventually, he summoned and bound one, and began dissecting it mercilessly, figuring out just how they worked. With this knowledge, he performed one last ritual in an attempt to become immortal. When he completed it, his soul was torn excruciatingly from his body, and hurled into the statue of a demon. Still saturated with residual magic, the new Sohssal stumbled forward, accidentally slamming a fist into one of his magical aides; a mirror set in pure silver. Sadly, it was still filled with energy from the ritual, and the magical backlash permanently scarred Sohssal's soul.
After recovering from the shock of a new body, Sohssal laughed madly, seeing that his hard work paid off. He began testing the limits of his new body, finding that, as a mighty statue, he had great strength. Eventually, however, he found that being 12 feet tall in a lab built for a human was rather troublesome, and he wished he had a smaller body. To his surprise, he was suddenly torn again from the statue, possessing one of the nearby tables. Nearly throwing off the beakers resting on his top from surprise, Sohssal discovered that he could, in fact, possess any object he pleased. After getting used to his new state of existence, Sohssal began plotting.
With his newfound power, Sohssal started plans to accomplish his new dreams of power. But not many people liked this, and numerous assassins were sent after him. However, none were trained to assassinate furniture, and Sohssal still had full control of his magic power. Sohssal conquered his home city, ruling it for a couple of decades as he saw fit. But he eventually grew bored of it, and, after picking a successor, merely packed up and left, going elsewhere to seek something to do.
After nearly a century of adventuring, Sohssal came upon the kingdom of Narle, and decided that it was nice enough to conquer. In secret, he set up a highly-secured lab and began his plotting once again, gathering up a myriad of statues to use as bodies. It was all going well until one final group of assassins arrived, and they seemed to know Sohssal quite well. He was furious at this intrusion. Had he forgotten to ward against scrying? Regardless of this, he began casting his deadliest spells, but was surprised and horrified when they held up a large mirror in a frame of pure silver. Sohssal screeched inhumanly as once again, his soul was torn from his body, and he fell to the floor, solidifying into his weak, human form. He struggled to his feet and tried casting spells again, but he found he couldn't gather the magical energy before they tied him up. He was imprisoned in Ironheart secretly, stopping the menace that was Sohssal before he could cause any more damage.
He was normally forced to possess a very strong-willed man, covered in runes to prevent Sohssal from simply leaving him, as a mobile prison cell. His stationary cell was even worse, chaining him to the floor, and every surface was a mirror set in silver. After what seemed like an eternity, Sohssal saw an opportunity to escape, and leaped at it. During his escape, he made at least one friend, Omega, and multiple enemies, the Four (now Three) Sages, who declared a truce at least long enough to help Sohssal stop Azguloth, and they freed him, from both the prison of Ironheart and the prison of flesh, in return for his help.
A theme song for Sohssal might not be a bad idea. There's certainly no shortage of songs about demons.
Order of the Pstick Avatar by Sneak
In the hills to the north, there resides a small, poor, superstitious village of backwards folk. They have no science, no metallurgy, no magic- except for a box. A box enchanted by a holy man long, long ago- longer than the parents of the oldest elders. On this box is a hole, and beyond the hole is The Spirit.
The Spirit demands sacrifices. No, not blood, though that works. And not gold, though that works too. In fact, anything works. Put something in the hole- a rock, a blade of grass, a body part- and it will dissapear. In its place, something will happen- a noise, a gout of flame, a flash of light will fly out of the box.
The village lives around the box. They worship the box. Children play with the box, speaking to it and putting objects in it to watch the dancing lights. Shaman watch the correlation of what has been put into the box, what comes out of it and the seasons to provide omens and wisdom to the rest of the village.
And The Spirit resides in The Box, and it changes objects into light, or fire, or noise, or shuddering, as it has been doing for the past thousand years or more. Maybe since the beginning of time. It doesn't remember. In fact, it doesn't remember much at all.
Then one day, a precocious child wanted to see what was in the box. She took it off its pedestal one night, and smashed it against the ground. The seals broke, and the girl dissapeared and was never seen again. The village, without its guiding Spirit, dwindled into nothing.
Matter and Energy, Sound and Fury.
The spirit travelled over the hills. It went on, ever on, until it came to places. Interesting places. It found objects, matter, and changed them into light, or flame, or sound, or movement, or itself. And sometimes it changed itself into light, or flame, or sound, or movement.
The Spirit had existed since the beginning of time- a barely sentient force. It could control matter and energy, assuming forms and changing these forms into light, or flame, or sound, or anything. However, as it took that girl into itself, it gained intelligence- a will. It became curious. It wanted to learn things, to see things, to live. In fact, though it is largely unaware, it mostly is that girl- it carries her intelligence and precociousness, amplified by its limitless form, and took on some of her personality as well, though no memories. Nevertheless, when conversing with peoples, it has always named itself Maria. Powers & Limits:
The Spirit has a basic control over matter and energy. It can engulf objects, in essence eating them, and assimilate them into its being. It can then surface them, move them, change their molecular structure. It can take on forms of people, objects, the wind. It also must conserve mass- it can never turn into anything more or less massive than its current mass. If it wants to, it can eat more matter to gain more, or create energy to lose some.
The Spirit is only limited by how much it eats, though it is rather slow. IT could create enough heat to melt anything, it just might take a few hours, and a lot of mass. Personality: The spirit is much like the girl it assimilated, though lacking most but the most basic memories- how to walk, language, her name, some basic objects. This is a dominant personality in its form- however, it can assimilate other peoples, so long as they remain in one place for long enough. Then, it gains a small portion of its knowledge, its personality- just a flash. Most is converted into mass.
In the end, though, The Spirit acts like its progenitor- a highly precocious, massively intelligent, curious child. Of course, it has matured in the years of its freedom, becoming more like an intelligent, precocious, curious young lady. The Spirit is full of fire, and energy, never tired or hungry- any obstacle can be overcome. She can, however, be temperamental at times- nothing has managed to temper her mind, only expand it. In her freedom, she is naive and unpredictable, acting on a capricious whim rather than what is smart or right.
And then to post.
What really makes me... annoyed, for lack of a better word, is that I have to play a character on a regular basis to really get into character. My writing improves, I get more enthusiastic, characterization is more consistent... and that almost happened. And you killed it.
I'm not blaming you, Inspectre. I'm just whining.
Marceline Abadeer by Gnomish Wanderer
Classic Cthulhu by RTGoodman
Critical Failures by Strawberries & Captain Happy, respectively.
So, after a stint as an extra special guest DM in another forum thread this weekend, as well as wanting to give Lonna & The_Snark one more chance to post, I'll be holding off DMs a little. Sorry for any false hopes.
By way of apology (and to postpone things *even further* ) I'll be throwing up a Meanwhile section this upcoming DM as well.
I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.
Here's the character description I earned my place with:
Name: Pyrene the Temptress Race: 3/4 Human, 1/4 Elf (Human mother, Half-elf father) Abilities: Dancing, singing, and other skills useful for seducing men. She's a decent pickpocket, but not usually skilled. Her elven heritage lends her both speed and strength beyond what is suggested by her slight build. In combat she's deadly with a knife and dangerous even unarmed. She is also a bit of a sorceress, but prior to her imprisonment was not aware of the fact, having only ever used her power to unconsciously enhance her more natural skills and qualities - making herself appear irresistable no matter what kind of woman her target preferred. Though her power is now suppressed, her new awareness may allow different manifestations of her magical abilities if she can remove the bindings. Appearance: Unmagicked, Pyrene looks much like a human in her late teens or early 20s. Her hair is the deep red of fresh blood and her skin is pale, almost white. These are her mother's legacy, while her father's features are visible in her large almond-shaped eyes and gently pointed ears. Even magic only modifies these traits; it doesn't erase them entirely. For example, her hair always has some hint of red, no matter how dark or how light it otherwise appears. Weaknesses: Prideful, stubborn, and has a tendency to predictability. She figures, if it worked once it should work every time. Crimes: Theft and murder. Time in Ironheart: 1 to 3 months Motivation: Pyrene doesn't deny that she did the things of which she is accused, but she feels that her actions were justified. Pyrene also worries about her half-sister, who has been sheltered from the harsh realities of Pyrene's life. These, combined with her natural stubbornness, make her determined to escape. Associates: Her younger half-sister. (See background for details) Background: Public Knowledge - Anyone who is aware of current events over the last year probably knows some or all of this.
One year ago it happened for the first time. A minor nobleman's younger son went out on the town for a night of drinking and carousing. He met a dancer at the edge of the pleasure district, a flaming red-headed beauty named Pyrene who agreed to escort him to a room he had rented for just such a purpose. He woke the next day with memories of a night of pleasure beyond what he had ever known - and not so much as a stitch of clothing in the room. As his companion was of course the most likely suspect, a search was made, but no one had so much as seen the woman before the previous night. The case might have been dismissed as a cruriousity, a one-time event, but before long reports of similar incidents were coming from neighboring cities.
Reports varied widely as to the appearance of the woman. Some said her hair was strawberry blonde, others insisted it was black, with a curious red shine in certain lights. The accounts differed with regards to the mysterious Pyrene's age as well, with some insisting she was little more than a child, while others claimed she was a distinguished woman in her early thirties. In every case, however, some wealthy young man took a woman calling herself Pyrene into his bed, only to wake with nothing but his memories of a night of incredible pleasure. People began calling her Pyrene the Temptress because she seemed able to seduce anyone she chose, even if the man were married or engaged, and happily in love with his significant other. For 9 months Pyrene was allowed to roam like this, virtually unhindered. Her "victims" included sons from nearly every noble family in the western half of the kingdom, but little real effort was made to capture the Temptress. Indeed, some young nobles actually sought Pyrene out when rumor placed her in their home city, apparently deciding that a night of incomparable pleasure was worth the awkwardness of losing all the clothes and equipment they had with them.
They sought her out, that is, until the day one of them, having found Pyrene, turned up dead the next morning, his throat cut and all his possessions gone. The gentleman in question was the local Earl's oldest son, an arrogant bully rumored to have sadistic tendencies. Unpopular though he was, his death prompted the nobles to decide that they could no longer afford to ignore the Temptress. Accordingly, a trap was set and Pyrene was captured when her target led her into a room full of guards. Even so, she would have escaped (not-quite-promising each man there a night of pleasure without subsequent robbery) if not for the fact that a few of the guards did not, in fact, fancy women at all and so were able to resist her charms and subdue her. When the Earl's court mage identified her as a sorceress, the nobles who's sons she had bedded promptly decided that she was too dangerous to deal with themselves and sent her off to Ironheart, where she could be properly contained and eventually executed.
Private Knowledge - Few people know this, and Pyrene has taken pains to make sure it stays that way.
Pyrene was given the name Jaqueline by her mother, a popular prostitute who managed to secure a permanent position in a high-class bordello when her daughter turned 5. Growing up in the bordello, Jaqueline was encouraged to keep her mouth shut and her eyes and ears open, and in this way learned a great deal about pleasures of the body and about human nature long before she was old enough to fully comprehend them. The woman who taught new members of the bordello how deal with a non-paying customer also taught the child both defensive and offensive fighting from a young age. No one, least of all the girl herself, realized how important the knowledge would be later in her life.
The year Jaqueline turned 10, her mother gave birth to another girl, Ariella. Jaqueline was devoted to her half-sister, and it seemed that the girls would have a happy, if unorthodox, childhood. However, just three years later a fire swept through the city, destroying the bordello along with half the town. Lacking the funds to rebuild on a similar scale, the owner was forced send away some of the ladies who worked there, Jaqueline's mother among them. For the next two years the three scraped out a living, but times were hard, and Jaqueline's mother took on more and more clients in her attempts to feed the children.
Then came the inevitable day when a client noticed Jaqueline, the "young and pretty daughter of a tired old whore" as he put it. When Jaqueline's mother prevented him from touching her, commaning Jaqueline to take Ariella and get out, he turned on her in a rage. This particular customer was always rough, but now he went mad, literally beating her to death with his bare hands. Jaqueline could only hide with her sister, watching in horror and trying to block both the sight and the sound from Ariella.
Then and there Jaqueline made a decision. Her little sister would never again be exposed to the dangers and sick realities of their current life. With the help of a priest of Miriam, she found a new home for her sister with a barren couple, then took up her mother's profession, adding experience to the theoretical knowledge she had gained from watching her mother and the women of the bordello. Often she changed her name, each time hoping to distance herself and her life just a little more from Ariella. Whenever she could, she sent a little extra money to her sister's foster parents, but even then she ensured that they never knew it came from her.
All too soon it was time to send Ariella to school, and her foster parents, while kind and loving, simply could not afford school fees on their own. It was then that Jaqueline struck on her master plan. Traveling to another city, she began seducing and robbing wealthy men, sending the money to pay for her sister's school fees. She first changed her name again, of course, and so she became famous as Pyrene the Temptress.
And here's an update to her condition at the end of "Escape from Ironheart":
Abilities: During the final confrontation leading to her escape, Pyrene was able to consciously tap her magical power for the first time. She can now create a relatively complex illusionary disguise for herself and has grasped how to use a basic compulsion spell. Note to enemy mages - she may be untrained, but she learns fast. Don't cast a spell on her unless you're willing to risk her figuring out how to use it on you.
Associates: Garthax - a small imp whom Pyrene met while hiding from elite guards within Ironheart. He attached himself to her, risked his life multiple times on her behalf, and was injured while saving her from an angry mage. Though she doesn't know his goals, she feels she owes him and will look out for him as much as she can. Countess Amelia Ashargrin - betrothed to Sir Cheran of Gast, the Baron's son. "Entirely against my will, although if I honestly thought I would be free enough to slit the little twerp’s throat in his sleep, I would seriously consider offering him my hand in marriage." Like Garthax, she risked her life to save Pyrene's. As a result, Pyrene feels she owes the Countess whatever help she can give, and will prioritize her goals over Pyrene's own, within reason.
Equipment: Carrying -
Approx. 1 dozen rough strips cloth
4 knives (Countess has 1 more)
2 sets manacles with keys
1 healing potion (Countess has 2 more) Wearing -
Non-functional magic-suppressing collar, locked
Fromerly nice blue silk dress
Broken manacles, chains tied to calves with scarves, one green, one yellow
Make-shift sling, carrying Garthax
Cloth strips wrapping feet
Physical Condition General -
Pyrene has been running full throttle far longer than she would have thought possible, but still managed to perform magic three times despite that. When she finally made her escape, her body was beginning to shut down from sheer exhaustion. She is so tired she almost doesn't notice the pain of her injuries. Injuries -
Left hand: half-pierced by crossbow bolt, partially healed by potion, re-injured by overuse. Bandaged with red sash from elite guard.
Right thigh: chunk bitten off by desperate elite guard, cauterized with make-shift brand (arrow), partially healed by potion. Bandaged with red sash from elite guard and strips from elite guard's tunic.
Heavy blood-loss due to above injuries, partially addressed by healing potions.
Heavy bruising to face, torso, and limbs, due to ticking off a mage who could and did bash her against the walls and ceiling with a glance.
Edit: I forgot to mention, Pyrene speaks in Blue, but she won't care if someone else uses the same color.
I started a blog! Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...
So, I just finished Dragon Age: Origins tonight and I must say that it was absolutely fantastic. I'm sitting here, a half hour later, still basking in its afterglow. It's probably a good thing that I wrote up the various paladin orders before I started playing this game, or there might seriously be an order called the Grey Wardens.
Okay, got the Meanwhile posts up. Considering the sort of mood I was in tonight, that's actually really really good. I will work on the DMs themselves throughout the rest of the weekend as I have time. Should hopefully have them up by the end of the weekend.
Oh, and Baerdog7? Looks like I beat you to the punch. (Absolutely fantastic game, by the way. You can be sure I took lots of notes on how to run GRIMDARK!!!!!111 fantasy. )
I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.
Well, if not for the return of yet more of Umber's "old friends" the stage would be set very nicely for Titania to put Pyrene on the throne (just as soon as she finds her). As it is, I rather suspect it's going to be rather more complicated than she thinks.
Oh, and why exactly do all the Lords of the Blood hate Umber? Do they just generally all hate eachother or did he do something in particular?
I started a blog! Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...
Have you met the guy? I think that's reason enough.
But no, in all seriousness most the Lords of Blood don't hate Umber/each other. However, they have all drifted apart over the millennia, and now each is pursuing their own agenda. Agendas which pretty much are at odds with what Umber wants. Or perhaps not, since so far it's only been revealed that Fianna wants to kill herself (and the world), and Kartul wants to kill everyone (and raise them as undead).
I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.
Archdemon? Dusk Wardens? God, you have been playing Dragon Age, haven't you?
Also, Inspectre, if you really think Dragon Age was Grimdark... we need to talk.
I would be quite amused (and at the same time horrified) if there was anything at all you could teach Inspectre about Grimdark that he does not already knowdid not himself Invent to begin with. No offense intended-- the man is just that hardcore.
Deo Soli Sit Semper Gloria
Originally Posted by Innis Cabal
Its offical. Overwilliam is Duke Devlin.
Last edited by OverWilliam : 01-16-2010 at 01:25 PM.
I would be quite amused (and at the same time horrified) if there was anything at all you could teach Inspectre about Grimdark that he does not already knowdid not himself Invent to begin with. No offense intended-- the man is just that hardcore.
Then that begs the question: why is he taking notes from Dragon Age, of all things?
Marceline Abadeer by Gnomish Wanderer
Classic Cthulhu by RTGoodman
Critical Failures by Strawberries & Captain Happy, respectively.