Talavar Scourgebringer is the full name of the archmage Talavar, former Vizier and monarch of the city of Tens.
For the most part he appears to be a human male and stands at around six feet and three inches. He is clad in a long - around knee-length - black coat that sits atop a smart suit and red neck tie. His head is hooded, hands are gloved and it is generally noticed that he has no visible skin. He rarely changes this appearance and is generally recognisable by his stubbornness to change his outfit.
Upon closer inspection it becomes quickly apparent that his humanity stops at the level of basic appearance. Around his body flow the wispy strands of smoke that are constantly monitoring and checking his form to ensure it is kept to its desired form. His hands, while gloved, often transition between a solid appearance and smoking wrists - for most of the time they appear to be a pair of semi-transparent spectral streams of interweaving smoke that vaguely form into hands. Below his hood is a murky, despondency-inducing void of swirling smoke from which his featureless gaze watches the world - and from that streams of smoke gently seep outwards and upwards from the semi-frayed edges of the hood. For all intents and purposes he seems to be entirely comprised of smoke - although how that is possible is quite baffling.
Touching him will bring a mixture of sensations or induced feeling depending on the offending character's alignment, intention and reputation in his eyes. For those who are generally good or neutral there will be a tingling feeling in the spine to warn of danger, and the further into the spectrum of light one goes the more intense this feeling. Paladins, for example, will feel varying levels of sensation depending on their devotion. For those wishing to harm him, it is usually accepted that a sharp bolt of electricity will follow any blow. On the flipside, those who do not register as a threat, or even achieving the honour of not being eviscerated at first sight, are able to interact with a watered-down sensation of apprehension.
Being mostly smoke, however, interacting with him must be taken with a sense of hesitation. The essence of his being is arranged into particle streams that interweave in varying densities to provide a solid wall. This is then lashed together with a binding energy, and layered to allow him to appear solid. He can support weight, to some degree, and exert a directed force. However he has no corproeal body parts to generate breath or be stabbed through. Whilst practical when avoiding assassins, this tends to thwart him when trying to summon allies to his side or pursuing his 'One Hundred Million Coin Challenge'.
It should be noted that his vision is monochromatic and thus he has no perception of colour other than it being a different shade of grey. He has a normal sense of hearing, no touch or taste, and an acutely sensitive sense of smell. This has been generally attributed to his other senses being rather useless and smell being proved reliable in his past adventures.
His voice is a flat but polite tone, ranging somewhere between Shakespearian and absurdly generic posh English. He'll rarely get agitated and usually chooses to settle most arguments with a fireball, strike of lightning or whatever pops into that depraved mind of his. If there is humour to be made of a situation then he will gladly find it, usually at the expense of others and without much in terms of sensitivity applied.
Skill Rolls for Additional InformationEdit
The following skill scores will derive more information when rolled:
→Spot 30 : Beneath his hood a flickering light can be seen shining up through what appears to be his neck. It is a faint glow that seems to ensure the smoky void is made that little bit more clear. It is also possible to determine that his clothing is simply an outer shell to his form - his version of skin, so to speak. It does not look as if it can be removed easily.
→Spot 60 : His mannerisms, such as a slight bulge in his thorax every few seconds to simulate breathing, seem to be habits more than necessities. If combined with Listen 60, it can be calculated that he is not a corporeal being but is attempting to imitate them, as best he can, for some reason.
→Spot 90 and Infused : Characters who have been bound to him through the process of Infusion (see Biography), and sufficiently high Spot, are able to see his wings. They are around thirty feet in length, stump to tip, and appear angelic. They are made of the same smoke that seems to ebb and flow around his form but are without the illusory dressing that his core form is given.
→Listen 30 : If he is found mumbling to himself, the character can hear that he is mumbling in a strange language. Combined with Lore 30 to know that this is Helzian.
→Listen 60 : It is noticeable that he has no heartbeat, breath or any traits that would indicate that he is a corporeal being. If combined with Listen 60, it can be calculated that he is not a corporeal being but is attempting to imitate them, as best he can, for some reason.
→Listen 90 and Infused : Characters who have been bound to him through the process of Infusion (see Biography), and sufficiently high Listen, are able to hear the whispers of the dead flowing with the wisps of smoke. Combine with Lore 90 to determine their purpose.
→Lore 30 : Any time he is caught mumbling to himself then the language can be determined as Helzian. The information in his 'Short History' can be used by the character.
→Lore 60 : Most of the information in his Biography can be used by the character unless otherwise stated
→Lore 90 : All information in the Biography can be used unless otherwise stated. When combined with Listen 90 and Infusion (see Biography), the character will become aware that his form serves, or at least one of its functions is, a prison for victims of his arcane experiments, and their screams can be heard rippling through the fabric of his being.
→Spellcraft 50 : Those of an arcane persuasion - defined as at least 21 levels of wizard, sorcerer or bardic training - have one of two reactions - those of an evil disposition are drawn to his aura in order to learn more of the arcana, whereas those of a good alignment are generally repulsed. Those of a neutral standpoint, those without arcane training, or simply insufficient spellcraft, feel neither.
It would be appreciated if any rolls could be accompanied with a Tell just for clarity.
For those who are new to the character, or have no Lore skill, IC knowledge is limited to what you find out through RP. For the rest, the information is below. If you're unsure then feel free to send a Tell and I'll let you know.
This section is intended for those who roll Lore 30
Talavar was born in Helzbelt as a human male who, from a young age, was pushed to develop his skills in combat and follow the ideologies of the Dark City. Having proven himself to be adept at dispatching groups of foes with his talents in necromancy, he was enlisted into the army under General Tristain Vondor and taught to harness the arcane forces that flowed through him. As he began to rise slowly through the ranks, his power grew until a time when he realised that his power would become unable to grow with his hunger for it. Thus he made a pact with Asmodeus for great power in exchange for the souls of those he damned - and thus he was born anew. The story goes that Asmodeus stripped him of his corporeality, all sensation of pain or pleasure, and let him feed on the malice, hatred and fear. However the deal went, Talavar spent little time wasting his new talents.
Within a few days he was Warden of the Jails and built a fierce reputation for achieving results, and in the process devised multiple ways in which to break even the most battle-hardened soldier. However this tenure was cut short when he was ordered to take over the army as General - a job he did for several years. Tales of his notoriety range from great epic poems about his never losing a battle, to inn stories of how he took an army out with nothing but a sword and an elephant thong! Eventually, and some say inevitably, he was asked to take over leadership of the city by his king. Accepting such only fuelled his hunger for power and soon he toyed with the very fabrics of creation in order to satisfy such urges - a passion that consumed his homeland in flame and darkness.
During this time he had made excursions to the plane currently known as Styss and had become a silent shadow within the halls of Tens. After the destruction of his homeland he settled back on Styss and started to reforge himself anew. Soon he was elected King of Tens and set about putting out the fires of civil disorder and diplomatic inaction. The pact, however, cut short his time on Styss and he passed the mantle to Zahle Undt, parting with a rumble of the ground as he made his way back into the Hells.
For some time he then engaged himself with The Overlord and is said to have stolen something dear to him.
Once he was done, he set about rebuilding himself into a useful member of Tensian society. He has been quite outspoken in his support for Vier'idil as a leader of the city, and has a known contempt for Brocard of Drakkar as its king. In recent times, however, he has put these differences aside in order to focus on the strengthening of the city.
A lot of the time he can be found sitting on a bench in Blackwater's Rock. It is stencilled with his name in two places and he therefore claims it as his own. It should also be noted that people wishing to converse with him need to adhere to his strict regulations - at this point quite unknown - or face an arcane spark of something unpleasant.
This section is intended for those who roll Lore 60
Early Life in HelzbeltEdit
What you read about in the books is a lie - or rather an intricate web of deceit spun over hundreds of years - designed to obfuscate the lesser learned of the masses and mask the manner in which a mortal can stand upon the brink of godhood. All that nonsense about pacts with Asmodeus should not be believed any more than you should believe that he is corporeal.
Few are privy to where exactly Talavar was born - maybe one or two people across all the planes he has touched - and thus it is generally assumed that it was somewhere within the Moonshay Isles around the time that Helzbelt split from Eladramere as an independent state. He was too young for the commencement of the ensuing Relic War and thus was encouraged to be as ready as possible for the day when he could take up arms for the Dark City against the oppression from the north. Focusing mainly upon divine and martial pursuits, he followed the teachings of Cyric in order to glorify the name of Helzbelt.
During this time he became disillusioned with the general consensus that the city-folk should commit evil acts just for the sake of presenting an image of themselves to their enemies. The counterpoint was in fact true - such actions did not reflect upon the deep-seated honour of the warriors that were asked to commit them, the founding dogma of the state or his own vision of the future. Thus he fell apart from the core group and pursued his arts alone until he was old enough to be counted as a citizen - although at this point where he was a citizen of is a mystery.
His first foray back into Helzbelt had one purpose in mind. He knew that the head of the snake was the city General, Tristain Vondor, and that he was the figure that most represented being evil for evil's sake. However he was the champion of the city's queen, and thus her death would weaken the city enough to bring about change. Slipping into the city he made for the queen. Steeling himself and driving forth with all of his might, he was promptly dumped onto the ground by Tristain and strewn across the floor in a shower of internal body parts and blood. Being dead did not figure into his plans in the slightest.
Helzian Army ServiceEdit
The Queen of Helzbelt, at the time this being Kalisha Leylan, had, for all her beauty, grace and kindness, a cruel streak running beneath her fey exterior. She ordered that the assassin be dragged back to life and forged in the fires of battle to serve her, thus turning hatred to love for her and the city she ruled. It was not long that Talavar was handed a Helzian military uniform and sent out to the front lines to fight for the city - nor was it a great matter of time before he realised that his resurrection had turned his divine teachings the way of the arcane.
His new found power grew as his anger did. Fighting for that which he had come to despise drove him to find new and more powerful ways to break free from his shackles. The problem was, however, that the more he came to despise those around him, the more he understood about the fundamental ideals behind the facade of evil and darkness. Without realising the abyss stared back into him and he slowly lost the will to bring harm to his new monarchs. This was concreted further by finding trust in those around him - the likes of his king Damascus, and great warriors such as Tristain Vondor, Julious Fox, Thilius Rose, Aenar Moonshadow, Nikki, Skye, Dranak Serenthel, Belpheron Azazel, and Akando to name a few of his most favoured and known compatriots.
It is in this service that he made famous the phrase 'Banshee Bomb' and 'Fear Bomb'. Traditionally the term 'bomb' has been applied to grenade-like objects that explode when triggered - the intention being to catch as many people within the explosion to deal maximum damage. By the same token, by casting 'Fear' or 'Wail of the Banshee' into the largest group possible, an arcanist may maximise the damage that is done. This phrase is believed to have been originally coined by Thilius Rose, High Priest of Helzbelt.
His work, however, came with great consequences. The more he inflicted ill will upon his foes, the more they took notice of him and performed their own brutal remonstrations. Paladins, druids, and a whole manner of creatures in between soon found it their pleasure to maim and scar his body. His hair was mostly burnt from the flesh, marks of torture devices littered his body and, after one particularly extensive dungeon visit, his eyes were removed and eyes sewn shut. Whilst he could create a basic vision using arcane means, his body became a drawing board for the depraved and sadistic.
Before long he tired of this and sought to become so powerful that none could harm him. The next step would be into the realm of the Gods.
The second problem, aside from being an experiment in torture techniques, was that he had developed a great hunger for power. This was due to the Helzian dogma of power being the only thing worth having - and thus as his understanding of the city and arcane prowess grew, so did his lust for more. He knew, however, that mortals were limited and he would not be able to achieve the power he desired, perhaps even felt deserved, whilst remaining human. He therefore began to research the mortals that had transcended their worldly bounds and made themselves into gods.
This led him to a small church that sat as a neutral ground during the Relic War. Within these walls were the texts for the ritual to climb upwards and transport a mortal to the gates of the Heavens. The text stated that by following this he would become a God and have all the power of the multiverse. His desire for power, as well as the well written manner of the book, made his sight oblivious to the glaring omissions and obvious errors - performing the ceremony got him to where it said it would, but Helm simply laughed at his petition. Having not planned to go back to the mortal coil, Talavar was trapped outside the entrance to the Heavens to forever walk in limbo.
Note that any creature with Celestial or Angelic heritage will know of Scourgebringer without a Lore roll - they will not be able to identify him, however, nor divine any celestial heritage from Talavar
The Scourgebringer started life as any other creature created by the Gods. He was born during the Dawn Wars and was bred to be a soldier for them. Typically he was charged with hurling himself into battles and coming out the other side in one piece, or at least enough pieces to be reconstructed. In this realm time is rather a bizarre thing. It moves vastly differently and thus beings, despite being immortal, age faster. Throughout the ages, Scourgebringer grew in power and prowess and was allowed to move between realms to fight the skirmishes and wars that erupted between gods. Before long he was leading armies for Cyric, and through that Bane, Bhaal and other dark Gods long forgotten. His age grew and grew and added zeroes to its tally, and various skirmishes in chaos realms would last millions of years in standard time flow relative to the mortal realms.
His nature was that of an Angel of Valour, working his way up to become an Angel of Battle, and eventually an Agathion in the court of Ao. During this time he was an agent of the Overgod, ensuring the Gods were behaving and ensuring Ao was informed of their misdemeanours. He and four others were also kept as keepers of the mortal arts for a fixed time period - at any point in time there would be an Arcanist, Priest, Thief, Warrior, and Druid. The four 'males' of the group rotated roles and monitored the affairs of the corners of the alignment grid, whilst their 'sister' remained the Druid within the centre of the group. Scourgebringer was that of Lawful Evil and was several billion years old by the Time of Troubles.
The Time of Troubles came and went; various quests required him to ensure artefacts of great power were disposed of. All of the meddling in mortal affairs, however, made Scourgebringer wish to walk on the mortal plane – a desire fuelled by a curiosity of the mortals and how they were different to the Gods that they worshipped. Following the Time of Troubles, Ao granted him his wish on two provisions: firstly that he maintain the balance by consuming a willing mortal, and secondly that he exist by the rules that govern mortal beings. Agreeing to this, he set out to find a willing corporeal.
Note that Celestial and Angelic knowledge does not apply from herein. Regular Lore rolls are fine.
The meeting was inevitable - Talavar wondered around the plane aimlessly, with the desire to become more powerful than he could as a mortal, and Scourgebringer sought a human host. Their coming together yielded only one possible outcome - Scourgebringer stripped Talavar of his corporeality, pleasure, pain, morality, and everything else that made him human; in exchange Talavar gained billions of years of arcane knowledge, secrets of the Gods and power that he had only dreamed of. With an ease akin to snapping his fingers, he departed back for his homeland to destroy all that opposed his city - born anew as Talavar Scourgebringer, Archmage of the Forbidden Circle. Most, however, would only ever know his as Talavar.
But first he had to master a physical form. For the first few months he was nothing but a cloud that wondered around the place bothering the locals. Occasionally he could muster a lightning bolt or ball of flame to make them flee for their lives. The problem was that there was a conflict of minds. Scourgebringer desired his projected form - a halfling in a monk robe and hood - and Talavar wished to be human in appearance. After weeks of arguing, Scourgebringer won - the argument was that a smaller body would be easier to create and maintain at the beginning - and the process of self-control began. The process was akin to meditation, with each passing day yielding new ways in which to arrange the dense plumes of smoke and ensure that they would not be rended asunder. Furthermore he sought to ensure that his arcane knowledge could be practiced, that his cloudy form could not be locked in a jar, and that he could maintain his contractual agreement with Ao.
The First InfusionEdit
The being Scourgebringer was already able to merge with corporeal life forms, as evidenced by his current host, and therefore the idea was spawned that Talavar would need to adjust to incorporeality by feeding from the physical sciences governing corporeal beings. By digesting and dissecting the way in which creatures were constructed, he could slowly begin to establish sensory perceptions.
The first creature that he floated into was a young elf maiden who was travelling to the front lines for the first time. Coaxing her into the belief that he was a being trapped in agonising limbo, she agreed to allow the infusion to save this poor soul. Stripping her of her sight, speech and hearing, the archmage tore the means by which to sense the world beyond his physical boundaries. The outer husks of his carapace were aligned and transformed into energy receptive surfaces that absorbed light and passed the information to a central core - thus he could decipher levels of radiation around him and create an image. Furthermore vibrations in the air could be captured and deciphered to allow sound to make sense. He learnt to use the air to create a voice within himself, and mastered words within a few months. His new found senses, albeit it untrained and monochromatic, were the foundation of his establishing himself on the mortal coil.
The elf maiden was left blind, mute and dumb to wonder the plane for the remainder of her long days. Years later Tal was known to express remorse for this as, due to the benefit of hindsight, he realises that it was a moment of weakness in himself that precipitated the incident.
Re-Integration into HelzbeltEdit
After several months of aimless wandering, the archmage returned to the ranks of Helzbelt with his new found power. Determined to put it to good use, he petitioned the king to allow him to run the city and fortress jails to hone his skills. Granted the necessary permission, he set about experimenting with his form and the pain of others to satisfy a curious hunger that he could not explain, not until his First Trial at least.
Here he made his first real impression on Helzian society and gained a reputation as a cruel and sadistic host. Employing the shifting nature of his form, improved infusion methods and arcane powers he began to carve a legacy from the cadavers of those unfortunate enough to pass his way.
The first weeks of his role were not all glum though. It was here that he made his first friend within Helzbelt - as opposed to compatriot in arms - in Chatte Noir and it soon became apparent that she understood the arcanist more than most. She was even the first to pass his Warden challenge, and thus the first to be allowed to deputise in his jails.
Throughout this time he also practiced and perfected his battlefield prowess, rising slowly in the ranks of the army and gaining further notoriety within the inner circles of Helzian society. After a while he was chosen as one of the four leading men of Helzbelt to become the Four Lords - the others being Tristain Vondor, Julious Fox and Belpheron Azazel - and thus became a champion of the Helzian monarchy and the last line of their defence. It is during this ceremony that he swore his oath to protect Helzbelt until his end - being bound to such a contract to the end of time itself. It is this oath of fealty that would ultimately lead to him further ascension within the city and across the kingdom as a whole.
Shortly after the king of Helzbelt made the final push to cement Helzbelt as unassailable and, in response, Michael Gend of Eladramere unleashed the fury of his Gods at the gates of the dark city. A battle of celestials and hell spawn raged for three days until the whole island was consumed in its fury, signalling the end of the kingdom as a whole.
Rebirth and Military ServiceEdit
Sprung to life by the Relics that the nations warred over, the kingdom was reborn on a separate plane entirely devoid of its origins in the Material Plane. Many of the players were also drawn back, reborn or simply dragged back to the war by the very objects that fuelled the kingdom's perpetual conflict. Talavar found himself head of a legal system that had very few criminals - the reputation of Helzbelt scared most into not breaking the law in the first place - and thus he focused on his military ascension.
After several months of putting Eladramere's resurgence to the sword, he was appointed General of Helzbelt. It is during this time that his great rivalry with Timothy Stormbringer was waged. It is also the time when Damascus took him in to teach him the inner workings of the city and kingdom politics, acting almost as a father figure towards the orphaned archmage.
Seeing the Relics as what they were, he began to dissect their power and purpose to the point of trying to recreate them. He worked extensively with them and determined them to be fragments of a Creator Stone, of which two shards were missing, and worked to be able to feed from their energies. At some point near to the end of the Second Age he was thought to have mastered them entirely and could tap their well of near limitless power. The end of the Second Age is attributed to him trying to concrete this understanding in a bid to ascend to godhood again.
The First TrialEdit
Destroying the kingdom was his first mistake of a size significant enough to warrant the attentions of the Gods. By now they knew of his ambitions and thus he was deemed to have murdered all inhabitants of the plane in order to satisfy his own selfish desires. Thus he was dragged before the Triad themselves to face trial for his sins. A petition to Ao went unheard - the Overgod stating that Scourgebringer wished to know what it was to be mortal - and thus he was found guilty of genocide.
The sentencing came in two parts. Firstly Talavar was to be sent to the Outer Planes to be twisted and tortured for no less than ten million years. The second part was that he was to serve one of the Triad in his next incarnation on the mortal coil. Choosing Tyr, the archmage departed for his laborious twisting at the hands of whatever crawled from the darkness at the edge of the multiverse.
After his trials and tribulations, he was returned to where most of the survivors had wound up - a small village called Winterfirth.
The village was a small settlement atop a mountain. It guarded an old carting track that traversed the local hills and mountains and stood between warring factions of vampires and werewolves. The local temple, later deemed to be purely coincidental, was dedicated to Tyr's teachings. Applying himself to his sentence, Talavar went about aiding the village. Mostly this involved defending it from the hordes of unnatural creatures and helping the untrained with their combat skills.
Over time the abilities of leadership, as gained from his time as General, as well as demonstrating his dedication to defending the village meant that he was elected as its Mayor and chosen to lead the people against the feuding creatures. It was during this time that he met his future wife, Skye, and the being began to question its place on the mortal coil.
The story generally goes that there was a crisis of confidence in himself. The plan had always been to remain incorporeal, reap power and riches, and allow Scourgebringer to explore the life of mortals. However this was not possible due to the limitations of the smoky form to fully experience the world around it. Furthermore Scourgebringer would never feel the emotional capacity of mortals. Thus a new deal was struck between the two entities - Talavar would walk in his own image as a corporeal human male and Scourgebringer would retract his powers to act more as a dormant symbiote. With Tyr's blessings, and power to grant such a thing, Talavar regained his corporeal status to as much a degree as could be achieved.
It is rumoured that Talavar gave up his desire of godhood in exchange for Tyr's blessings. This rumour has been known to have been confirmed on occasion, and also denied.
His refound corporeality was egged on by Scourgebringers desire to experience what it was to be near-corporeal. Thus Talavar pursued a relationship with Skye, a lady from the upper echelons of Helzian society, and they began to see more of each other. It was soon after that he proposed to her.
This raised a complication. Skye was, in the eyes of Helzian law, still property of the High Priest of their home city. Citing that the home city was but a floating wreckage of garbage in a pocket-dimension, Talavar insisted that they continue and deal with the law later. However, it is well documented that he knew that he could not legally marry his bride to be without first seeing the bond broken first.
To resolve this he communed with his former king, the slumbering Damascus. The king of Helzbelt could override the union and as such allow the marriage - furthermore he was a father figure to both bride and groom and would surely allow such a thing to carry on as planned. Asking Tyr for a second favour would cost Talavar later, but with it granted he asked that it be done. With the union dissolved as way of marriage present, Talavar was once again able to proceed.
The pair were to be married at the temple of Tyr by the resident priest. However, shortly before the ceremony the earth rumbled and the doors opened. Damascus walked in, Skye cried with joy at him living and the priest was soon replaced. What Talavar did not know was that his marriage had started a chain of events to see the home kingdom reborn again, the butterfly effect of two Helzians coming together rippling throughout the fabric of creation itself. The rise of his homeland again saw Talavar return there to resume his duties as General.
It was this event that gave Talavar a new focus for his desire for power: Damascus' words when the kingdom rose anew were simply "When I breathe, the kingdom breathes". Such power was still beyond the archmage, and thus he knew that he would need to become as powerful as Damascus in order to fulfil such.
Family Life and MonarchyEdit
Returning to Helzbelt, the pair moved into Skye's former apartment and Talavar returned to duties on the front line. He was given several dressings down, for his power-hungry ways, by Damascus - this is mostly attributed to Damascus knowing that Tal now had the crown in his sights. This was largely two people with differing views of the same situation. Whilst Tal did wish to become as powerful as Damascus, he would not act against one he had sworn loyalty to. Thus all Tal was able to do was continue to focus his thoughts upon the Relics and the power they could grant.
Talavar's greatest military victory occurred during this time. Adorning nothing but an elephant thong he attacked the Eladramere fortifications and killed their King, General, High Mage, and several soldiers in order to demonstrate his prowess to his wife, Queen and enemies. Eladramere never recovered from the blow and faded in the latter days until Timothy Stormbringer came to rekindle the city much later.
Soon after things went drastically wrong. The Scourgebringer, who saw Talavar's inaction as a weakness, sought to separate himself from his host and forge his own path to greatness. Having gathered enough power and expertise to form a body of his own, the smoky essence soon had enough about himself to reek a wicked path of destruction in his wake. He endangered Talavar's wife, his city and the kingdom as a whole. In one battle a crack in time appeared and required the intervention of all three nations to seal. In the final battle, Talavar revealed a secret to the entire kingdom in his prevailing over the smoky powermonger.
The Relics, in their shattered form, provided the doorway to an anti-multiverse in which all things were reversed. Thus Talavar tricked Scourgebringer into the second dimension and then sealed the doorway. Scourgebringer was, for all intents and purposes, trapped and devoid of power.
Life went on and Damascus announced his intention to allow Talavar to take the throne over from him. Talavar continued to balance duties at home and in the city, and is adamant that he made Skye happier than when he found her. However cracks started to appear in the doorway that the Relics guarded, and soon the whiff of chaos unmistakably wafted from behind its portal.
Almost as soon as he was named king, Talavar set about harnessing the Relics and ensuring the doorway remain closed. He reignited his feud with Timothy Stormbringer and crushed an Almarian attack designed to seal the Hellmouth that granted such power to Helzbelt. For the most part, however, his rule was rather dull by his predecessor's standards. His final act, however, was to crush the Scourgebringer's hopes by uniting the Relic shards again. Destroying the kingdom for a second time landed him back before the Triad.
The Second TrialEdit
His Second Trial was far shorter than the First. The Triad accepted his intentions but still accused him of a second crime of genocide. Talavar challenged this on the basis that no creature had actually died, and they were merely relocated to other planes. It was this argument, as well as a demonstration of Scourgebringer's efforts to break through the gate, that allowed Talavar to be exonerated of his current and previous charges and allowed to make one request of the three Gods. He simply asked to become guardian of his home kingdom and control its fate as Damascus had once done. This was granted, and in doing so Talavar became the most powerful being in the kingdom - albeit on a short leash from those who had granted such power.
The Wandering YearsEdit
For the next few years Talavar travelled far and wide. He came to Styss in one of its early incarnation, long before the fall of Argannon, and fell in with a mercenary group calling themselves the Black Rose. They were one of the most powerful groups of the old days and brought Tens to its knees on one occasion the city only allowed to survive by a last minute bargain struck between king and group leader.
For the most part, however, he went unnoticed by the citizens around him and spent a long time simply learning the arcane arts o a deeper level than most could be bothered to. At some point he challenged King Brocard of Tens to a duel and won, but other than that he faded into obscurity.
Finally, bored with his existence as a corporeal, he reformed his homeland in his own image.
Thus the home kingdom rose again from the dead; drawing back many of those that had helped form its original landscape. Talavar sat as king whilst his opposition in the other cities offered little resistance to his plans and whims. At one point he even managed to have a demon named as queen of Eladramere - an action that would never have been tolerated in the days of king Jhidrac of the old kingdom. The new Eladramerian rulers, the Hammerhand brothers, were known to focus too heavily on military power and not on politics, whereas the Almarian shogunate were too focused on mercantile profits to bother with war. Talavar had little opposition to his rule.
Scourgebringer, however, was slowly beginning to wriggle free from his shackles. Instilling a moment of chaos in Talavar, from his prison, the powermonger managed to drive Skye to the verge of suicide. It was this incident that, it is believed, led to her seeking the counsel of the High Priest Thilius Rose. Rose and Talavar were at loggerheads over how the city should be run. Skye offered herself to the priest to garner his support, and when Tal found out he erupted into furious anger. He shattered the Relic seal and called down the Heavens to see his revenge through. What was unleashed was a coming together of the Triad, dark gods and demigods vying for power - the result of which was for Talavar Scourgebringer to be reformed and Helzbelt to be emptied.
The God War consumed Helzbelt and soon the rest of the plane was sucked into its anger. Briefly avatars of gods could be seen walking the plane, and before long the plane was subsumed by the war that raged. Talavar threw it into a pocket dimension, similar to the one that it had come from, and scattered the people far and wide as his last act of angry mercy.
Return to StyssEdit
It had not taken him long to re-establish his sense of control whilst bound to the Scourgebringer and soon his arcane power flowed as it once had. Furthermore it was fuelled by an utter malice that the entire episode with his wife and the High Priest had provided. For all intents and purposes, many of the restraint and niceties, that Tal had tried to maintain in the past, were lost to his fury.
Of course this suited Scourgebringer just fine. He was now far happier to sit and watch how the hatred would drive his host. Thus his involvement in steering Talavar's life became far more passive; instead he decided to focus on masking his presence to other beings that may be able to detect creatures of great power. Thus the powers were scaled back to be in line with an archmage of the mortal realms. It has been documented, however, that Tal is adept at many areas of magic and there is an affluent rumour that he has licence to cast spells above the ninth tier.
As is so often the case when he was deposited in a new land, he sought allies from his past adventures whilst he determined his purpose and aims. This mostly involved aiding Ker'izic Serenthel during his time as Chancellor of Anamchara and fighting for the White City. This phase soon passed, however, and soon he realigned himself with Tens. He began to snake his way through Tensian politics and soon found himself as second-in-command of the Mage Tower.
Spell Research and ExperimentationEdit
Whilst in the service of the city's arcane guild, he found that he had access to resources and freedom that allowed him to develop several theories that he held on assorted magics. The first was to research Anti-Magic Fields in order to examine their application for blocking actual divinity. Thus he set about developing a substrand of the spell with elements of Ethereality. He soon found that it was folly to try and block a God's will, and thus he reversed his thinking. Instead of blocking the God, he focused on the link going the other way. Applying his expertise in Psionics, he set about having the spell divert thoughts of a person's god to an otherwise empty pocket plane. This, in effect, stranded any cleric, paladin or druid from communing with their God for several minutes.
His first application of this found great praise from city officials - a particularly stubborn paladin was broken within seconds of the spell being applied. His demonstration of innovation, perseverance and intellect had certainly left a mark.
After this he set about researching all manner of surgical procedures. His thoughts were that clerics had it rather easy when it came to healing the afflicted. Surely if someone was to understand enough about corporeal biology, they could perform surgery to the same healing capacity and therefore open up a whole new stream of medical pursuit.
In order to do this he would require a great deal of corporeal material. He set about gathering in wastrels, waifs and strays from various societies and cleaning their insides of their organs. He used these to document the various biological differences and traits of each species – though mainly his work focused on the most common races as opposed to demonology – and practice surgical procedures. After several weeks of trying, he eventually completed his first successful organ transplant. Other inventions and advances during this time were such things as:
→ A musical box that casts Reverse Gravity when it reaches a certain note
→ A bow that shoots real lightning
→ Perfecting of his alcohol distillation techniques
→ Perfecting of his energy manipulation techniques
→ The Rabbit Trick
Over time his notoriety grew until public opinion was of a level for him to make a claim to the throne. During the latter days he feuded extensively with Brocard, who at the time was king, and the drow priestess Lililothamia Drusia who he believed to be corrupting Tens. He was also a fierce oppose to the system of layered titles within Tensian society.
Reigning in TensEdit
Through a mixture of demonstrating his political skills, propaganda and good fortune, Talavar was seated on the Tensian throne a mere 45 days after his return to Styss. His first task was to set about dissolving the farce of a governmental system that his predecessor had left and extinguish the fires of civil war that had been started by such. Having done this he set about defining the roles of each leader more thoroughly and ensuring that there was minimal confusion when working out who was in charge of what.
He organised the city into a series of wards. Each ward had a leader and they were free to run the department as they pleased as long as they achieved the objectives set to them. For example it was expected that the Justiciary punish criminals – it didn’t matter how they did it as long as they did it. This system was not a smooth ride, at times, and the arguments that sprouted between Vier'idil and him were common. In this regard he was quite lenient with what was done in the city.
Diplomatically Talavar was rather more strict and thorough. His opponents were Amy Swift in Anamchara and Lazaeroth in Elzigard. His view was that Anamchara’s fuel in the war was a hatred for the actions that Tens undertook. Thus by abolishing acts of rape and torture to Anamcharan soldiers he could create diplomatic leverage whilst culling their desire to fight. However, knowing that his soldiers would still yearn to keep the spoils of war, he ordained that any Elzigardian be treated with double the disregard for their rights. Essentially Anamchara’s fire turned down to a simmer and Elzigard were crushed by military might.
For him this was his greatest victory. The two cities were subdued and Tens ruled supreme. It was not to last, however, and a call back to Ao meant that the last third of his reign was left in the hands of his Vizier, Zahle Undt. Before he departed, however, he made his way to the core of the Overlord’s power and stole from him something of great importance. The foundations of the land shook and Tal disappeared into obscurity.
Return to Styss... againEdit
Once free to return to the plane, he made his way back to see what carnage had befallen his legacy. Vier'idil now ruled the city and for the first few months he spent his time dodging the attentions of the Overlord. Once business had settled, he returned to the city in full.
His departure, however, had cost him a great deal of infamy. Leaving Zahle in charge had done him few favours with those in power. Performing odd jobs around the place kept him buoyant until Brocard granted him the position of Vizier. He held this position for some time before leaving it under Katarina's reign.
One of his most famous episodes came during this period. Seizing on the supply of surplus workers from the island's slave trade, he set about creating a means to collect and regenerate organs from donors. Mostly these were unwilling and the method required a mix of herbal, surgical and arcane knowledge. Once mastered he set about collecting victims to fuel his necromantic desires and didn't care about the histories of those that came into his possession. Men, women and children were all butchered in the name of science. Later this would lead to rallying of the paladins by Raphael in a failed attempt to purge Tal from Styss.
Other skills were also improved upon when his arcane pursuits were not being chased. His enterprise with Izz'yraen and Elyrie meant that he had a ready supply of ingredients and a basic knowledge of how they could be combined. Over the course of several months he honed his baking skills, application of arcane twists and methods of getting people to test his cakes. He currently has a wide selection of baked products available for sale - cakes, buns and doughnuts.
Talavar formally left the city of Tens' hierachy due to a dispute with Katarina when she ruled. Her departure has not seen him return and many seem to question his motives for the coming months and elections.
For many months he dwelt in the shadows, manipulating the powers that be to create a game for himself to revel in. As leaders fell from the Tensian throne, he was edged closer to power once more. A brief stint in the twilight of another's reign before an election landslide saw him rule Tens once again.
His main order of duties was reformation of Tens' ancient systems. Law, the military and the very social hierachy of Tens itself was brought into line with a new vision. A large, over-complicated and unwieldy legal system was condensed into seven new laws. The military was reformed to have fewer ranks and more leadership from its knight orders. The city was arranged such that those of long and great service were honoured with formal titles and powers to go with them.
It was not to last, however. His work was done long before his reign ended, and a new endeavour required his attention. Thus he disappeared again.
Tal returned to little pomp or ceremony. He has been seen around Tens trying to remain largely anonymous and away from interfering in things. Such a stance would suggest that he is plotting, though there are few close enough to tell what he is doing.
Occasionally large amounts of energy are discharged from near where he is. This is his latest step in his long term plan; http://ios.hyperboards.com/action/view_topic/topic_id/10311.
He is known to associate with Aerin and her slave. He is also a proud Master of the House of Thingy, formerly the House of Smoke.
List of Known PowersEdit
It is presumed that his ghostly form is a conjunction of mist form, divine energies and necromantic desire. Over the many years control has been exerted and demonstrated to bring the form to appear as he once did as a human.
There are also several abilities that he has demonstrated over the years. Some are more documented than others and some have not been used in many years:
- Matter to energy conversion - he argues that all objects are comprised of a simple basic energy. To demonstrate such his personal storage medium is a physical imprint of the object in his mind and then absorbing the object as energy; then reconstructing the object when he requires it. This leads to a vast array of items stored about his person, and also explains why he has no pockets. Larger objects are thought to be kept in a planar vault as part of his home city.
- Energy to matter conversion - as above, but relates to a wider array of energies. Physical objects can be reformed, but emotional states can also be distilled. This has led to several theories that state he feeds from the anguish of others to sustain himself, but no such rumours have ever been proved.
- Energy manipulation - as part of his quest to find vision, he first had to understand what all of the different energies mean. He can absorb, memorise and store energy wave patterns for future reference just as someone would remember what colour the sun is. It is also rumoured that he can recreate the wave forms for his own ends.
- Corporeal Infusion - Once per day he is able to graft his form to that of a corporeal figure. If the victim is willing he is able to manipulate any energy form within their body that has been agreed. Any unwilling violation requires Tal to overcome the target's will (DC 30), keep the target suppressed (circumstantial roll) and maintain Concentration checks per action attempted (DC 50 though modifiers apply).
- Electrical discharge - being of a cloudy construction, generating particle friction isn't difficult. He is capable of emitting one electrical discharge per hour that causes 10d6 electrical damage and stun the opponent. Reflex halves damage (DC 40) and will avoids the stun (DC 40).
There are many shortcuts that a creature of Tal's composition could take. For example it is theoretically impossible to apply bindings to a creature comprised entirely of smoke. However it has been reported that an oath was sworn, as part of his conditions for walking the mortal coil, that he live by their rules. Thus he is honour bound to never betray the rules they live by.
He does, however, have unique quirks that are unavoidable. When disarmed his staff and blade will fade from view. This is due to the detached smoke not having any cognitive force transferred to it and thus being unable to sustain itself. In order to reform his weaponry, he requires the presence of the Obelisk, the essences of death from his disarmer, or permission from those that took his weapons.
Binding is always upheld. Not having a mouth, however, gags generally float in the space atop his shoulders until discarded. Usually on fire.
Whilst honourable, he will still try to escape.
The following details may be useful for players in an OOC context
Feel free to ping me if you have any questions, wish to clarify anything or plan any RP that you think would be good fun.
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