Average height for a human (5’8”), slender built, pale complexion. He’s got shoulder-length, straight dark hair and bright blue eyes. Dark circles under his eyes give him a perpetually tired appearance. While travelling he wears neutral coloured shirts and breeches, soft leather boots and his Beletre ti’cirolle Espagra Cloak. At a glance, he looks almost inconspicuous for a Nethermancer.
He wears a bunch of leather cord amulets: an engraved bird’s skull, a pitch black stone wrapped in a silver wire, a couple of bone pendants with nethermancy symbols carved into it. He keeps a sturdy bone dagger in a small sheath attached to his belt.
He is a little bit reserved and does not like to be the centre of attention. He prefers small gatherings or solitude if it’s a possibility. He is very affectionate towards Chirp, but keeps his distance from most Name Givers. His reaction to Name Givers not respecting personal space ranges from slightly bemused to silently fuming.
He doesn’t quite understand the fear that his discipline sparks, and believes it to be an utter misunderstanding. All he seeks is knowledge and understanding of the most important concepts pertaining to the very fabric of reality, underpinning the entire existence…. Yes it is a bit self important, but he tries not to rave about it unless explicitly asked or called out with insults.
He doesn’t fear pain much, and he tries to accept the stoic views of his discipline on death being just part of the process, a doorway, a temporary state.
He understands that a lot of the knowledge and experience he has, and more of what he is yet to acquire, inspires fear in other Name Givers and he is aware that this fear can be reflected back at the beholder. He sometimes feels the temptation of falling in line with other Name Givers’ expectations of him and his ilk, or at least playing along.
He is a very curious individual, he finds the most random things interesting and worth pursuing, if he can listen and nod along he will hear out the most improbable stories any T’skrang or Windling can tell.
He has on off-putting fascination with bones and macabre. He can be heard exclaiming admiration for gory or sombre phenomena. He likes to know what things look like inside, but he has the patience to wait until those things enter a state of indifference towards this notion. Which usually means death.
He doesn’t sleep well. He used to have night terrors as a child, according to Evariel, his mother figure. They subsided until the fateful night when his Rite of Passage had started, but have come back since then. This often results in an inability to have a restful sleep, until he reaches a point of exhaustion and then the cycle begins again. He prefers nocturnal lifestyle as well, which doesn’t mesh with adventuring, given that travelling at night is not the smartest idea. As such, he often spends part of the night setting up bone circles near the campsites and spending quality time with Chirp or meditating. On an odd occasion it wins him some approval with fellow travellers, as he takes over their watch.
|AGE||22||DATE OF BIRTH:||DD MM 1496|
|DEXTERITY||16||Astral Sight||1||Animal Bond||1|
|WILLPOWER||16||Thread Weaving||2||Animal Training||2|
|Spell Matrix [FREE]||1||Wilderness Survival||1|
|Spell Matrix [FREE]||1|
|Artisan: Bone Carving||1|
|LANGUAGES||Dwarf (R/W & S)||1 + 1||Knowledge: Scourge History||1|
|Sperethiel (S)||1||Knowledge: Elf Lore||1|
He was found wandering the streets of Liandrill, the elven quarter of Urupa. A human boy, walking around aimlessly, as if sleepwalking, barefoot and underdressed for a windy, rainy night outside. He didn’t protest when an elf woman approached him with concern, wrapped him in a blanket and tooked in for the night. Evariel, whom he later came to know her as, went to great lengths trying to reunite him with his parents. She knew how precious children were, at least for her kind.
She went scouring through the human inhabited quarter of Zenicce, and many in her community joined her in her efforts. By the end of the next couple of weeks they were certain that whoever has lost or left this child behind, was nowhere to be found in the entire city of Urupa. As her hope for finding his parents started to dwindle, her fondness was growing for the little stranger in her home.
A sense of kommulos didn’t allow her neighbours to stand by as she took on the responsibility for this human boy. In a display of unity that would have been deemed unusual outside of Zenicce and Liandrill, the dwellers of Crescent Waterfall insula came together, creating a peculiar family for the child.
The Rite of Pronouncement
His new family could only guess his age. He looked to be about five, maybe six year old, as assessed by a human physician, Sienna, Evariel’s next-door neighbour and most trusted friend. They were uncertain as to whether he couldn’t or wouldn’t speak, but he seemed to understand what they were saying to him in Throalic. They held off, waiting for him to give his name. Alas, by the time he re-learned spoken language it seemed to have been forgotten.
In what some elves from different communities would denounce as pure mockery, Evariel and other insula dwellers decided to follow elven traditions of pronouncement in order to name a new child. For the three witnesses to the ritual she chose Sienna and another Elf called Kelburn and herself. The ceremony took place at the far end of the Long Pier in the middle of the bright summer night. These Name Givers became his closest family and supported him through his journey towards the Ritual of Passage.
The Nightmare of Passage
By the time he reached the age appropriate for the traditional Rite of Passage, Kallias knew his situation was far from typical. Straddling the line between his undoubtedly human appearance and Elven family background, he quickly learned that outside of his tiny bubble, he belonged with neither. He was withdrawn and didn’t do well in social circles, a problem compounded with his unsettling interests. He could be found cleaning bones of dead animals and attending burial places for seemingly no reason, traits that flustered evening his carers.
He did, however, want to go through with the Ritual of Passage. It was proposed by Evariel, who believed it would give him the clarity he needed in choosing his path, even if treading the Wheel of Life was not something he could do as a human. It was another source of strife between the dwellers of the Crescent Waterfall and more traditional Elves of the Quarter, some gravely offended at their rituals being divulged and profaned by a human.
The first stage of the ritual began a week before his twentieth birthday, or, one could say, the fifteenth anniversary of the fateful day he was found on. Evariel accompanied him to the woods a few days travel from Urupa. He was familiar with the woods, as Evariel did not neglect to pass on what she considered essential for anyone to learn: stalking prey and hunting for food. He was not one of her greatest or most passionate students, but willing or not, a student he was.
He felt uneasy. Even more than usual, he was not the most outdoorsy person as it was, but there was… something else. Something he could not put a finger on. Evariel said her goodbyes and he was left to settle for the night, listening to the rumbling stomach, having fasted all day. The shadows were deeper than usual, or perhaps only seemed that way. He was supposed to meditate on what he wished to make of his life, but his thoughts scattered. He slipped into restless slumber, jolting awake at every snap of a twig. He was growing tired and frustrated with every waking, the expected dreams of his future nowhere to be seen. Until they came.
A writhing and billowing tangled onslaught of nightmares. Countless deaths, followed by some more, the pain never numbed by the sheer volume, each tearing horrified screams from his throat.
He woke up an hour before sunrise to the shrills of an unusual creature, which seemed to have nested itself comfortably in the pile of his travel gear. Initially, he thought it was a bat, but a closer inspection revealed a segmented, shrimp-like body. What he mistook for wounds on its’ maw, perhaps eyes gauged out, turned out to be the actual eyes. The creature shrilled again and jumped towards him, hooking its claws into his coats’ sleeve, walked up and settled in the fold of his hood.
He didn’t want to disappoint his mentor, his mother. He didn’t tell her that his future didn’t come to him, or so he hoped it didn’t. He couldn’t decipher her thoughtful expression as she was making peace with the future he did not yet grasp for himself. She didn’t know what he dreamed of, but she knew of Krilworms. And their strange affinity for Nethermancers.
He decided to go through with the second stage of the ritual, but he scrambled to figure out what token of his future he could come up with, not having dreamed it up beforehand as it was customary. He spent most of his time hiding out in abandoned caves near Otosk, those little caverns deemed to small or unstable to live in. They were perfect for his little craft, cleaning the bones, stacking them neatly in various shapes and piles. He had, in the past, taken a few lessons in wood carving from a community artist who lived closed by, and although his technique was lacking and tools were inappropriate for using the bones as his medium, he found this craft strangely relaxing. Before he knew it a crude bone knife was completed. A weapon, signifying life of adventures.
His birthday approached quickly and alongside with Evariel, Sienna and Kelburn he travelled to the heart of the woods he had visited the week prior. He had dreaded he would stare at them blankly, lost for words, but none of that happened. He found the right words, thanked them from the bottom of his heart for their guidance and affection. He went on to declare he was an adult and needed not their protection. He chose the name Kallias and they each repeated after him. Thus, the Rite of Passage was complete.
The Path of Nethermancy
Kallias joined the School of Adepts, under the tutelage of master Adarion, a wise old dwarf, who introduced him to the ways of the discipline. During this time Kallias began to acquire an understanding of all the signs and events leading to that point in his life and worked on forging them into talents and skills that he could use consciously in his future endeavours.
Although accustomed to exclusion and isolation, he was taken aback by the pure prejudice that he faced amongst the common folk when he entered on the path of shadows. Although the closest to his heart stood by him, he did lose a few people he had considered friends.
Master Adarion offered his teachings on the nature of existence and soul, as well as precarious knowledge of Horror lore. He shed light on matters of un-death and how through fear, Nethermancers hold keys to Name Givers’ souls.
At the end of the teachings, Adarion sent him off on his merry way. Saying there was no point talking about things that had to be experienced.
Notable Name Givers
Ranelle – (sperethiel, family):
Evariel: Female Elven Scout
One of the original settlers of Liandrill quarter. She left behind her life of adventuring as an adept shortly prior finding Kallias, having been struck by a personal tragedy. She supported herself and Kallias making embroidering and creating beautiful tapestries. As beautiful and elaborate her art was, it wasn’t easy to find buyers in a saturated Urupan market. She was able to provide a very modest life for herself and Kallias. She tried to pass on her knowledge of the wilderness, taught Kallias how to remain unseen and hunt with a bow. Her attempts on teaching Kallias sword fighting were a complete fiasco and after a number of incidents she settled on him being able to safely breakfall.
Sienna: Female Human (Non Adept) Physician
One of Evariel’s closest friends, she was taking care of Kallias whenever Evariel was busy working. She’s sometimes beating herself up that it was time spent in her office that sparked Kallias’s odd interests. She would often tend to broken bones and other afflictions, with young Kallias often underfoot. She had a complete human skeleton assembled in her back office for her studies of anatomy and it was her who answered relentless questions about preparing bones for preservation.
Kelburn: Male Elven (Non Adept) Scribe
He grew to love Kallias as his own despite his initial reservations. It was Kelburn who educated Kallias on most of what he knows about elven customs preserved since before the Scourge and tainting of Wyrm Wood. Kelburn taught Kallias to speak, write and read throalic and he was one of his most staunch allies when the boy was facing ostracism because of his unusual family background and later his choice of discipline.
Perritaesa –(sper., Scholar)
Adarion: Male Dwarf Nethermancer
A gloomy, old dwarf with a perpetual aura of unsettlement following him everywhere he goes. He was ambivalent about passing his teachings onto a short-lived human, but decided it was better than nothing, considering the popularity of his discipline as well as the upsetting amount of young nethermancers not making it to sage old age. Offstandish, disciplined, a little bit arrogant, which he often passes onto his students. He survived encounters with a few horrors and included some of his stories in the knowledge he passed on.
‘Rillabothien’ (sper., ‘An unresolved chord in music. Poetically, an unresolved situation in a relationship’)
Morwen: Female Elven Troubadour
A childhood friend, they drifted apart, a rift that followed an unfortunate event involving a Flower of Desire which took place shortly before their Respective Rites of Passage.
NAMED ITEM AND FAMILIAR
Beletre ti’cirolle: Espagra Cloak
Kallias’s most treasured possession. Gifted to him by Evariel, who inherited it from her father. The cloak has seen countless adventures, but the sturdy material and careful maintenance, or perhaps some intricate magic woven into its structure, allows it to retain its shape and condition.
The origin of the cloak has been obscured by the passage of time, but it’s name translates from Sperethiel to ‘the passion for travel’. The cloak appears to be made of espagra’s scales, but it has an unusual feature, suggesting perhaps it came from a species of espagra that did not survive the scourge. This distinct feature is the cloak’s ability to change its colour.
When unworn, it appears the same brilliant blue as any other espagra cloak, however when put on it seems to shift through the colour spectrum. It usually adapts to the most dominant colour in the current environment, but it is known to go wonky from time to time when the wearer experiences intense emotions, flaring bright red or turning deep black. During usual travels it typically turns muted grey or brownish-black, while cities and festivities often bring out the natural espagra blue.
Chirp: Male Krilworm
This disgusting little critter is smaller than most of its kind, 14” long including the tail. He has bat-like wings and an elongated, segmented body resembling an inch worm or a shrimp. The creature has no eyes, but at the top of its maw there are six divination organs, allowing it to see, even in an absence of a light source. The fact that these organs appear to be open sores, combined with a small maw full off tiny, sharp, needle-like teeth, gives the creature a rather unappealing look.
Kallias named him Chirp, which is a very generous characterisation of high-pitch shrill the creature emits to communicate. Krilworms are nocturnal creatures, so Chirp spends most of the day sleeping tucked in a rucksack. He hunts at night, preying on small rodents and insects.
Every now and then, often to Kallias’s dismay and sometimes embarrassment, Chirp becomes restless and his teeth start dripping a foul-smelling substance, which can go on for a few hours. The problem is typically gone by sunrise, at most causing an inconvenience of having to clean up rucksack’s interior, before any companions start to complaint.
Chirp is trained to follow two commands – stay and fetch. Kallias is very affectionate towards Chirp and so far managed to avoid situations in which he would need Chirp’s aid in order to survive a violent encounter. He would be reluctant to let Chirp fight for him, even if Chirp’s instincts to defend his master kicked in.
Kallias sits down and spreads out a number of bones in front of him or around him. He takes one into his hands and ponders upon the nature of existence and spirits’ journey, starting with the fate of the spirit that used to inhabit the body the bone once belonged to and visualising its form and whereabouts. He murmurs the questions he has yet to formulate answers to, inviting any nearby spirits to converse if they wish to.