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Meet the Arcanists

Post  Genisisect on Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:51 pm

This will be where the arcane campaigners will post there HIGHLY DETAILED back-stories! Can't wait to scrutinize them!
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N'MIIR ARSHIL, WARLOCK; PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR; UNPLEASANT JERK

Post  KnifeytheWanderer on Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:00 pm

(here's his backstory, wooh! Apologies if it's not perfectly written, and I feel like it could be more detailed in regards to some parts but for now hopefully this is alright? There's additional notes at the bottom!)

To understand how N'Miir came into existence it is important to first understand what exactly drew his parents together. The sun elves are, after all, not known for their acceptance of other races, or even other elves, and due to their inate goodness (despite all their elitism) the likelihood of one having relations with a warlock is particularly low. And yet, it has occurred, so an explanation is required.
Thus the story starts with Valanthe Amascient, a female sunelf from Evereska who felt an undeniable urge to travel. Though such a thing was uncommon among the sunelves, it was not unheard of. The colleges and institutes within Evereska were of a high quality, but they did not teach Valanthe anything she desired to learn. Even the military orders, the ones she felt closest to, held no particular interest for her. Thus she decided to leave Evereska for a period of time and explore the outside realm, in an attempt to find something that interested her and that she could learn, and then return to her home with her newfound knowledge.
Valanthe set out on her journey, venturing into the somewhat foreign world beyond Evereska. On her quest she encountered many odd individuals, from a whole variety of races with many different skillsets and personalities. Though each sunelf and moonelf in Evereska was an individual too, the valley was nowhere near as mad than the world beyond. Her curiosity allowed her to disgard her sunelf elitism, as she was much more interested in understanding the strangeness of all that was around her than alienating others with her feelings of superiority.
She joined with a travelling group for a period of time, befriending -in her serious manner- the merry troupe. She did not remain with them long however, for a life of jokes and joy did not appeal to her entirely. She left the group when she encounted an arcane college, specialising in the art of the warmage. As the art was something not taught back home (the teachings of the wizard, paladin, and other classes were much more common), she entered on a whim. Surrounded by people of many other walks of life, though especially humans and half-elves, she undertook the gruelling training required to become a warmage. It was not at all what she had expected upon entering, but she took it all in stride. While she knew her kind were not know for their constitution, their stamina, she refused to fall. This honing of one's self, the discipline required to withstand the training and keep up with her fellow warmage trainees, was everything she had ever looked for. It took all her focus, all her effort, and she fought hard and long until finally she ascended the ranks and became a fully fledged warmage.
Upon finishing her training she said farewell to the allies she had made in the college, with promises to them that one day she would see them again and fight by their sides. She felt she had to return home, however, to her people, even if only for a short while. Thus she ventured towards Evereska, her journey home only interrupted by one event. The impact that one single event would have though was unimaginable. For it was on this journey home that she encountered Argoth Ashain, or Argoth the Shade.
Just beyond the sight of her people, just out of reach of the border patrols of Evereska and off the road where she had gone, she encountered the man in his camp. It was an odd first meeting, not romantic or even friendly. She wondered why he was here, so close to Evereska, and he wondered at the strength in her eyes, the forcefulness of her voice. She was perturbed, he was intrigued. If Valanthe had been her younger self, she would have frightened him away from Evereska, but she was both irritated and interested in the strange man with the dark aura around him.
Thus the two travelled, always just out of reach of Evereska's border patrols, but never so far as to venture into the world beyond. The two conversed and exchanged banter, and uncovered much about each other. Argoth's history was so strange and dark, a tale of pacts with demons, yet Valanthe found she did not fear him, or hate him. For someone so touched by creatures of evil, he was undeniably good. A being of chaos, certainly, but not one of cruelty. 'I take the powers of evil and turn them into something of good. How many can say they are capable of that?' he would claim, laughing.
In turn, she showed him how a being so seemingly frail could hold such strength inside, to pursue the path of a warmage away from her people, to mingle with those that the Ar-tel-quessir would see as lesser. To be proud not simply because she was a Sun Elf, but because she had forged herself into a being worthy of such pride. And over the years their strange relationship become one of comradery, and eventually evolved beyond that into one of intimacy. Whether it was love or something else that drove them was beyond their understanding. Romance was an odd thing to both of them.
Their intimacy led to their eventual downfall however, for it was in these moments they were most unguarded. And the two were discovered. The pregnant Valanthe and Argoth with one another, found by an Evereska patrol when they had wondered too close. Upon discovery they were immediately attacked due to the nature of Argoth's abilties. The unsettling aura of a warlock was telling, and such beings of evil would not be accepted near the sacred land of Evereska.
Valanthe and Argoth fought valiantly, but the numbers were against them, and though both were well-trained and powerful, so were their opponents, and Valanthe was burdened by her still unborn child. Still, they took down several of their opponents before Argoth was mortally wounded. The patrol slit his throat and then knocked Valanthe unconscious, takinng her back to Evereska, leaving several members behind to deal with the dead, and to burn the corpses of both their soldiers and Argoth.
Upon her return to Evereska, Valanthe was taken to the Evereskan Hill Elders (possibly a Sun Elf sect) and was given a trial, for her relations with a warlock, and her hand in the deaths of several members of the patrol group. Found guilty, she was to remain under house arrest, have her magic powers dispelled for the duration of time she remained in Evereska, and upon giving birth to her child she would be exiled for the disgrace and danger she had brought to her homeland. In return, the Council of Elders ruled that they would do whatever was in their power to raise and protect her son, to ensure he would no make the same mistakes as his mother.
Valanthe was unable to negate her sentencing and thus was forced to leave, abandoning her child with the people who killed Argoth and cast her out. She remained proud and strong however, no signs of sorrow or anger. Only bitter, brutal calm that unsettled even some of the most powerful among her people. Once she had given birth and recovered, she collected what few things she was allowed, and exiled. She left, without looking back, though her heart was heavy at the thought of her child. Still, she had no choice and thus she returned into the wider world, disillusioned with her kin and seeking out her old warmage college allies -eventually joining up with them once more-.
This is where Valanthe's story ends, and N'Miir's truly starts. He was named Miir (elven for 'priceless') at birth by Valanthe, her only way of letting him know that she was not abandoning him out of any sort of spite or irresponsibility. Unfortunately, that would never become clear to him, for as soon as he was born he was taken from his mother's arms and placed in the care of a group of Tower Mages whose duties involved tutoring and training young elven children in Evereska.
It was these elves that discovered Miir's dark secret. As is sometimes the case, Miir had inheritated his deceased father's pact with demons. His very blood was infused with the powers of these evil creatures, his soul bound to them. Miir was a warlock, living proof that they were born, not made. And the Council of Elders had decreed that he be raised and protected among them.
And so Miir was. He was treated poorly however, with many of the other Sun Elf children taunting and harrassing him for his half-elven features and his dark powers. Not a day went by without Miir being bullied and mistreated. The adults in his life did little to protect him, and instead constantly lectured him on the horrendous nature of his power, and the monstrous actions of his human father that led to him being born this way. They told him of how his mother had abandoned him, his foolish mother who had been so weakminded as to be seduced by a mere human. They ingrained in him that it was his fault that the other children bullied him, by having tainted blood and corrupt powers, and that the only thing he could do in response was to allow it, to prove to them that he would not resort to using the foul abilities bestowed upon him.
Thus, Miir did not fight back. Instead he drew into himself, taking joy in his innate ability to manipulate magical devices. To escape from the everyday harrassment from his peers, he would often spend his tiny playing with wands, arcane, divine, whatever he could find. He tried to block out the voices in his head, telling him to disobey, to use his warlock powers. Many nights he did not sleep/trance, fearing that the other children would perform some sort of cruel trick while he was unaware, and thus spent his time learning the art of using magical devices, finding some comfort in his power over them, his ability to deceive them, manipulate and bend them. It was the only thing in his life he felt he had any true power over, and he relished it.
Miir's childhood continued for a while like this, with him being bullied by his peers, demeaned by his elders, and spending his hours mastering magical items. He was taught the ways of the elves, the superiorty of the Ar'Tel'Quessir. He learnt of the history of Evereska, of the arcane, of religion. He was allowed to learn of the planes somewhat, but was barred from learning of them in-depth, especially the Abyss plane, birthplace of the demons that were bound to his soul. Miir took the most interest in his arcane lessons, and of religion he cared little. He worshipped Corellon, as was expected of all sun elves, though he was only a half-elf himself. He found some comfort also in the god Fenmarel Mestarine, though the deities dislike of those who had non-elvish blood made it difficult for Miir to worship him.
His childhood took a turn however, when one cruel joke by his peer's went too far. Mocking him for his blood his fellows surrounded him one night dressed as demons and acted as if they were a manifestation of Miir's own. Dragging the confused Miir from his sleep/trance, they convinced him they were real and taunted him mercilessly. Miir, terrified by the demons and believing they were truly there, attempted to flee, to block them out. But the more he failed the more he began to succumb, the true voices in his head growing louder and louder until finally, in a burst of madness he unleashed his eldritch powers, knocking his peers down.
At this point it became clear that 'the demons' were no more than the other children, but the event had shaken Miir past the point of caring. For who would play such a cruel joke against someone who spent their every waking moment trying to supress the apparent darkness in their soul? It changed Miir forever, for better or for worse. No longer would he accept such treatment from the others. Not when those he jailed his powers for spent their time taunting him for it. When the demons were the ones who protected him, he had difficulty seeing who was truly evil.
Thus, Miir opened his mind to the demons. From his years of supressing them he knew he could control them, but no longer did he ignore the voices entirely, and no longer did he allow his powers to be bound. Instead he practised their use, though mostly in private. While the children reported his actions, Miir was no longer so easily oppressed. He fought viciously for his right to use the powers he was born with, allowing his latent darkness to come forth and add to his new found demeanour. His tutors tried to contain him, but years of mastering his magical devices allowed him to remove any spells they placed on him to contain his powers.
Likewise, he was no longer bullied so openly. He was hated by many, but now it was because of how they feared him, how cold and cruel he could be. How he did not allow himself to be bound by their laws and rules. Any who threatened him was countered tenfold. Sorrow and bitterness turned to anger, and with the power to protect himself now he was no longer the plaything of the others.
And he was no longer as 'young' as them either, aging as the half-elves do. Thus he was moved from his old 'home', away from the children now terrified of him, and the tutors who abhored him, and placed amongst others of his 'age', sun-elves on the cusp of adulthood. While the group was large, the lessons he were most attentive in were all those that assisted in the furthering of his warlock powers, or his ability to use devices of great magic. Many hated him for his continued pursuit of his foul skills, but he cared not. His magic protected him when all others sought to hurt him.
It was surprising then, that amongst these elves Miir made a friend. Most shunned him naturally, for he was inferior to his fellow sun elves due to his half-human blood, and they reviled him too, for being willing to embrace his warlock powers despite the fact that the cruelest things he did with them were protect himself and intimidate people (which tended to contribute much to his protection, as those that feared him dared not approach him). But yet Miir was still approached, by the sun elf Ivae Essebrath.
Friendship was a foreign thing to Miir, as never before had he been approached in a kind way. Still, Ivae was good and gentle, a pleasant young (chaotic good) paladin of Corellon. While Ivae's path was divine, and Miir's arcane (and apparently dark), the paladin did not lose his powers for associating with him. 'Corellon wills it', Ivae would say, 'He would not see you abused as you have been.' Ivae's knowledge of his suffering confused Miir, as Ivae had not grown up with him, but Ivae did not use it to harm Miir. Instead, the two became close friends, a strong bond forming between the two unlikely companions.
And for once, Miir was happy. Though he was still bitter and unpleasant to those around him, striking fear into those who spoke cruelly to him, with Ivae he did not feel the need to be so guarded. For all the years of hurt and pain, Ivae was an oasis in an endless desert. He showed him his powers, all his skills, and in turn Ivae helped to teach him things. He taught him finer arts of diplomacy, beyond plain intimidation. He helped to temper his resistance to his demons further, to channel his powers even further into good. 'You have a good heart that has been hurt, my friend. A priceless treasure it is, and I would see that you are not mistreated, nor would I have you succumb to your demons.' Ivae's words once more, words of comfort.
The two spent countless hours together. They shared interests, both serious and not-so serious (Ivae's obsession with drawing despite his lack of talent, Miir's love of bright clothes that irritated the other sun elves). They expressed their frustrations and struggles, but also hatred many good moments together. The two only separated for their individual lessons. For the rest of the time, they were always in one another's company. And the more they were, the more they angered their fellows. For despite the fact that Ivae's powers remained intact, it was believed that Miir was corrupting him, using his dark powers to draw Ivae in. And thus hatred for Miir grew.
Yet no action was taken against him, even when they both came of age. Miir and Ivae considered adults by the understanding of their respective races races (so Miir was an adult in half-elven years, and Ivae in the years of a sun elf). Ivae was able to secure a house, and he invited Miir to share it with him. The two moved in together, and for the first time in his life Miir felt like had had a true safe haven. Within the house's walls it was fine for him to be completely unguarded, to spend his hours with scrolls spread out as he practised using them, to not have to worry about being cold or intimidating or the like. He could spend his hours without worrying about his heritage or his powers, instead immersing himself in his personal pursuits of knowledge. Ivae often brought him home unusual magical devices as well, and Miir spent much of his time working to uncover the mysteries of them, immersing himself in learning the secrets of such things. Ivae wasn't even too bothered by Miir's occasional verbal conversations with his 'voices', most likely because Miir had no intention of doing evil.  Ivae continued his work as a paladin, and for a while life was peaceful, blissful even.  Their relationship even took an interesting (and totally obvious) turn too, as the two became romantically involved. They even shared rings, a gold signet ring with black stones for Miir, and a gold band with blue and green crystals for Ivae. At this time in their lives, Miir was twenty two years old, and Ivae was one hundred and twenty seven.
One day Ivae returned to their home with strange news, however. He had been approached by a member of the Fellowship of the Forgotten Flower, in regards to a missing artifact. The Fellowship was struggling to discover who had stolen the object, and were searching for assistance among their fellow elves. Ivae had agreed to assist, and Miir's curiosity was ignited. Like the mysteries of his magical items, the urge to uncover the secrets of this crime fueled something within him. Thus, he and Ivae joined the hunt for the artifact and its thief (though several elves were not pleased with Miir's presence). Miir was pleasantly surprised to discover he was quite capable during the investigation, and quickly gained one of the leading roles in the search. Ivae was proud, though many considered Miir's skills a sign of his inate dishonesty and evil, being able to understand a thief's actions and find their clues so well.
Eventually, the thief (a young moon elf) was discovered and the artifact restored. Yet Miir had enjoyed the thrill of the chase too much, and thus Ivae decided to search for more mysteries for his beloved to investigate. Miir found himself spending much of time researching and exploring the enigmas of Evereska, from petty theft to murder. In some cases it was for the good, but in others it was simply so he could look into the unknown and find a tangible answer. Ivae supported him, due to the good his actions did, but also the happiness it brought to Miir. At times he also assisted in the investigations, the two working off one another to come to a conclusion and solve the case.
For many years they continued as such. Enjoying an unguarded homelife, conducting private investigations, and Ivae being a good example of his faith. Miir rarely left his home for things other than his 'work' however, and when he did (and without Ivae) he was typically as cold and intimidating as he always was, refusing to allow any of his oppressors to trample over him as they once did. And thus, Miir remained hated, even loathed by some in Evereska.
A particular group of sun elves had taken a distinct dislike towards him, viewing him as not only vile, but a corrupter. They could not believe that a paladin of Corellon would be a friend and lover of a warlock, even though Ivae clearly had not lost his powers. There rage in regards to him grew, and they felt they were not bound to protect such a corrupter. The oathes made by the Elders to try and protect Miir were of no concern to this group. Thus, they plotted to kill Miir, free Ivae from his 'enthralled' state, and save Evereska from his influence.
Thus it was planned one night for the group to sneak into his home and slaughter him in his bed, for though it was not the most honourable form of killing, it was the quickest and safest. They bided their time well, trying to plan out the intricacies of the plot so as to not get caught. Then the time came to attack. The group snuck into Miir's room one night, careful to ensure that he slept in his bed, and then stabbed him, with the final attack a slit to the throat.
And the horrific truth came to light. For that night Miir had snuck off under the cover of one of his invocations, to search for clues in his latest investigation. Ivae however, slept in his bed, resting peacefully. And now, Ivae lay dead, and the blood of the good paladin drenched the hands and blades of his killers.
The group was horrified, due to both Ivae's death and their hand in it, but also because their plan had failed and now they would face the consequences of their actions. But they saw an opportunity even then, to ruin Miir. Thus they made to flee, but encountered Miir himself, returned from his search. Seeing the blood on their hands and their presence in his house Miir attacked, killing two of them. But the other three fled and Miir returned to his home only to discover the reason for the blood on the blades. Ivae's dead form lay brutally assaulted, and Miir fell to his knees and wept. A part of him wanted to listen to the voices in his head and simply kill all who dared allow this, but another part of him simply could not. In a way, he felt that this moment proved the truth of his own life. That no matter where he went, who he knew, how hard he tried, that he could never be unguarded, never let himself believe in happiness, never. That in the eyes of the world, he was a worthless monster, a creature that ruined all he touched.
And now Ivae was lost to him because of it.
Not long later people approached the house to investigate. Miir turned himself invisible once more and observed. He did not fight, for even for him there were too many, and he was no fool. The voices in his head shouted at him to destroy his enemies, but he maintained his control. He heard the cruel lies of the survivors of the group that killed Ivae, their claims that Miir had slaughtered Ivae and then killed their friends when they had investigated to noise. He remained and watched as people were sent to search for him, as the 'survivors' were taken away. He waited until the room was left, and then he did one thing for the voices. He took out a dagger and cut off Ivae's ring finger, flesh and bone and gold band, and then fled.
He left Evereska entirely, fleeing from its confines. Though some detected him, they did not act quick enough to stop him, and with only Ivae's finger and ring, and the few items of worth he'd had on his body (most of them magical devices) he travelled until he found a traveller's inn. He was twenty-eight years old at this time.
It was then that he renamed himself as well. He called himself 'N'Miir', for the 'N'' negated the original meaning, and thus no longer did his name mean 'priceless'. Instead it now meant 'worthless', a reflection of how he felt. How he had always felt. The only one who had made him feel otherwise was Ivae, and Ivae was dead and gone, and with him any feelings of worth. And he took the name Arshil, Shade Sun/Shadow Sun in the common tongue. For he was both of the Sun and the Shadows.
But slowly still, he rebuilt his life. He was tired of being abused despite his feelings of worthlessness, and thus he allowed his cold intimidating self to come forth. He brought himself an ornate vial, beautiful jade object with figures of angelic gold and demonic onyx entwined around it. Then he burnt Ivae's finger and ring, and poured the smelted remains into it, filling the vial and then capping it, sealed powerfully as the top solidified with the melted gold beneath. Then he attached it to a chain and wore it around his neck, his reminder of Ivae, carrying his light even if N'Miir could not longer truly be a being of good.
To gain money he began to take work as a private investigator. He worked alone predominately, due to his typically unpleasant disposition. He only utilised his diplomatic skills (aside from Intimidation) when trying to extract information, and was for the most part 'honest' with those who was forced to work with. With his money, he travelled, collecting magical devices as he went, choosing clothes appropriate for an investigator and also for a warlock. He did not speak openly of his powers to most, and to those he did speak of them too, he made it clear that if they crossed him he would kill them.
And thus he eventually made his way to the city of Waterdeep, a place full of mystery, of cases unsolved, and intrigue. A place full of work for a man like him. It was difficult, for the most part, as a warlock was unwelcome and he was a strange sight, but he managed to hide himself when he needed to, strike fear when it was required, and began his work as a private investigator of Waterdeep, for the selfish fulfilment the cases granted him if nothing else.
And that is where we find N'Miir Arshil now, at the beginning of yet another case. This time however, his sources indicate he has allies, those he must work with.
We can only see how this tale unfolds.

(quick notes: I think I've justified most things about N'Miir well enough, from his personality to his UMD skill being 21 (28 for scrolls though) to him being a private investigator. Ivae as a Chaotic Good paladin works according to the Forgotten Realms wiki (which states that if a paladin is not lawful good, they must be of the exact same alignment as their patron deity, which he is), but if him being a Chaotic Good paladin in a relationship with a warlock half-elf bothers you, feel free to make him a bard. Likewise, I believe Ivae's friendship with N'Miir works as N'Miir was never evil, just chaotic and cold due to fairly understandable circumstances. Ivae approached him, brought out the happier side of him, and the two had a fairly healthy relationship. So I don't think ol' Corellon would mind. If he does, he can smite me later.)

(But yeah, I think this makes sense and justifies most things about N'Miir. Hopefully. If not then dang, because the arcane campaign starts tomorrow! -also, should I have any feats for being from Evereska or not?-)
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