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Ishmael Hephestus

"Dark arts, my friend, does not equate to evil arts. Please, observe this now."

0 · 162 views · located in Atramencia

a character in “The Red Harvest”, as played by Eisenhorn

Description

Image

Name: Ishmael Hephestus

Age: 38

Race: Human

Role/Occupation: Necromancer

Personality: Ishmael is an easy going and laid back soul, preferring that people get along for more than five minutes before another war breaks out. He is a patient man, but has little tolerance for idiots by choice. He pities those who had no choice in their simplicity, but those who chose the path as one of ease he loathes. He is equally respectful towards those who earn his respect, and they must earn it, he never gives it willingly. He has a natural talent in remaining hidden and unnoticed, but has no fear of standing in the light and wield his power at the same time.

Weapons:
Ritual Dagger – Ishmael’s inheritance from his necromancy mentor, the ebony blade bore no unusual markings or designs, the hilt having a silver chain connecting the blade to Ishmael’s wrist or belt. However, its material and the many moons of work and blood that went into forging the blade left it feeling very wrong in any living beings hand other than some necromancer’s hands. He can utilize it in both combat; stealing away fractions of another’s essence with each cut and stab to further power Ishmael’s spells, or as a wand of sorts, further focusing his combat spells into striking down enemies from a distance. The blade almost sings with dark glee whenever it cuts into or slays whoever stands within its path.

Walking Cane – A simple rod of oak topped in a beautiful emerald, the cane serves a few key purposes. The most simple was the emerald formed the hilt of a hidden blade that ran the length of the cane, and served as a blade to dispatch bandits and those that meant him or those he travelled with ill. The blade itself was of elven design and personally tempered and reinforced with magic. Second, it was an impromptu staff, and could focus his powers if he did not feel like, or had time to, reach for his ritual dagger. Lastly, it served as a perfectly fine cane, and gave him something to use as a third leg after a long day of travelling, or to deceive others into thinking him less physically capable than he really was.

Bio: Ishmael was born in another land, the son of a blacksmith and priestess in a small village. Despite the humble origins of the young boy, his ambition was greater than what such circumstances would allow. His mother's blood gave him the ability to wield magic, and how it manifested depending on how he trained it and focused it. Despite his mother's want for a priest, or his father's want for a warrior, he ignored both and hunted down the elusive necromancers instead. He found one in the same town he grew up in, an already old man living in a mansion considered cursed, and avoided by the townsfolk, giving the man much desired quiet and privacy. He proved his worth to the man, showing his ability to keep his urges and emotions in check when needed, although he was, by nature, relaxed in all things. But the man taught him anyway, and the two vanished to wander, one teaching the other the arts of necromancy. It was a dark art, certainly, but not an evil one like everyone had tried to lead the boy into believing, and as he grew into a young man, he scorned their opinions on the matter of the magical art. It was dark, but no eviler than healing magic could be, in the proper hands.

From these humble wanderings, especially after his mentor died, Ishmael was a very well traveled fellow. Holding no real standing or wealth in any place or location, just what he could travel with, his life was rarely dull and constantly learning new things about how life and death could operate. He fought in a few wars while wandering, honing the combat aspect of his necromancy. He forced himself not to rely on summoning, rather using his own wits and combat spells that most necromancers ignore in favor of summoning undead legions to do their bidding. Eventually arriving in a land of intelligence and innovation, in a tavern he caught word of a certain deal being offered. The scepter sounded suspiciously familiar, and he ventured out to find this job offer and travel along, planning to secret away the relic rather then take the money for turning the thing over.

So begins...

Ishmael Hephestus's Story

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ishmael Hephestus Character Portrait: Khay Elfreda
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Ishmael Hephestus

Ishmael was near the rear of the group, leaning on his walking stick as he observed the young nobleman, at least he had the appearance and standing of one, as he looked over an apparently insurmountable barrier. It had been a rather simple enough task so far, far simpler than the reward the Alchemist was offering for the prize within the crypt itself. He himself was examining some of the old architecture that was supporting the room they were in, looking for glimpses as for when this place was constructed, and when it was modified to hold the relic within, if the two times were, in fact, separate. The emerald set in the grip of the walking stick shone with a green light, illuminating the rubble he was examining, not terribly concerned with the others in this ragtag band. They came from all walks of life, from who appeared to be nobles, to those who were no better than successful thieves of magical items. He knew exactly who he was thinking of there, but the man had his uses, so the presence was welcome for now. Trusted, absolutely not, but that was another matter completely. The young fellow and the rogue discussed matters of the door while he kept observing and checking over the ruins, and glanced over at the output of arcane power. The thief had decided one of those rings would do good here, and revealed a way forward.

The boy turned away from the thief, and the thief himself stepped back as if to try and let some other one of the members of this band go forth. Now, that would hardly do one bit, now would it? He had a brief smirk as he casually strode forward, walking stick clearly different from his own natural footsteps, examining the passageway ahead of them. He looked over to the thief and gestured with the walking stick, speaking in a quiet tone, but was still clearly heard by the group. "You best go first, my finely clad thief. You've clearly more experience extracting artifacts from such places, and would spot traps sooner then any of us could."

It wasn't an insult, not by any means that could be complained about or pointed out, but it was a subtle stab at the suspected origins of many of his magical items and other objects of value. Not like he expected anything of unusual challenge to be awaiting them in the next passage. The pathetic undead thralls had been mere child play to dispatch, even if the more combat inclined of them had no issues dispatching them. Simple incantations and speaking with the tortured souls within those forms would convince them to move on, leaving the bodies vacated, and inanimate once again. What traps they had come across thus far had simply been a matter of having one of the roguish fellows disarm, or avoid completely. He had not spent much time actually exerting himself, dealing with the occasionally stronger undead in a manner befitting its current lot in unlife. But those thoughts were beside the point, he leaned on his walking stick and waited for the rogue to respond, or some other member of their band to step forward and act.

Khay Elfreda

The pool of water at Khay's feet shimmered as she dropped several drops of fresh blood and inquired on the progress of the band she had hired, the surface shimmering brighter as it answered her question and eventually revealed what the band was up to currently. As expected, they were within the crypt by a healthy amount, and she nodded to herself as the one rogue opened the way as the others simply were scattered about the room, doing whatever their little hearts desired. They were so quick to sell their loyalties on this cause for a paltry sum of gold, they assumed it was such a great bounty of gold that none of those who came forth had said no once the details were shared. At least, none of those who were still alive. A few had declined and left to report her intentions, and met terribly tragic accidents. She had given her condolences, what little they were worth, but had dispatched the rest on their job while she went about preparations for when she held the Scepter. A good dozen Orcs, violent and bestial examples even amongst Orcish culture, were being strapped into their specially prepared full plate, part of the "payment" for the service she required of them. Such shiny and enchanted items were enough to buy the loyalty of those brutish beasts, as simple as they were. One such Orc, the leader by simple fact he held a grasp of common language that surpassed the others, knocked and reported.

"The warriors are ready, lady." Khay turned and gestured, nodding that she understood, and settled her paired swords onto her back, the alchemy kit already set on her waist. She walked out and with another gesture, the orc mercenaries fell in line, following out of the small house that they were staging the final part of the elfish Alchemist's plans. They already knew what to do, and would execute such things on their employer's orders. There were several magic capable beings in the band, part of preparation that was put into the armor. If things went as planned, they would arrive shortly before the ragtag band came out of the crypt, and walked right into her final plan for the lot. They would be rewarded for their efforts, that much was fully certain.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cale Velric Character Portrait: Ishmael Hephestus Character Portrait: Sven Blackshire
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The tomb held a dreary fascination over Sven from the very second the ancient doors had cracked open like the maw of some forgotten Eldrich beast. Laying in a helpless wait for the first to stir it from a slumber in unknown realms of consciousness. The rush of chilled air had ushered from it's initial opening like the breath of a daemon and wrapped itself around each member of the party. Especially Sven who noticed things weren't as they should have been from the start. Cold air, yes but crisp as a fresh apple, not the dank, damp muck-like air a sealed cypt usually carried. He'd idly wondered if anyone else had noticed, a historian and a necromancer did travel with them after all, but such thought was quickly drained from him with each step into the old construct they took.

A myriad of interesting things assailed him with each step he took further and further into the abyssal place in the most literal sense. Their footsteps, each of them from each member of the party echoed oddly, to dense a sound for your average building, even a crypt. As if that wasn't enough to set an air of apprehension into him the tomb contained obvious signs of being built twice. The first time was a simple project, hewn from the very earth's skin with what seemed to be common tools, and then once again in a more advanced manner it was established, though signs of work came from the opposite direction as if it were built form the inside out. As it were both builds seemed to be a little wrong historically. For this region the type of architecture, the placement of different hollows and bodies and even where the long-drained torches rested in their crumbling holsters were out of place. The age of this beast was immeasurable to him. The first construct could easily be in the realm of eight or nine hundred years old, likely more due to how aged yet well preserved it was. The second build though, that escaped him completely. It looked as though it had to be only two-hundred years at most, the cynical smile of a lying child in historical terms. It simply didn't add up, magic was at work here, but the most tell tale sign however was the hieroglyphs.

Pictographs danced about, clinging to each and every wall like a scarred and foreign second skin. Never before had he seen the likes of such glyphs on this side of the world, let alone any such detail in the alleged time period of the initial crypt. At first the carvings progressed in a chronological manner, a simple progression and though he couldn't read them each wall and the ceiling told a story in a linear progression. The tid-bits he could translate seemed to be harmless enough at the start but began to take grave twists. It wasn't long after their decent however things became a jumbled mess. Glyphs atop glyphs, regional styles and time-styles overlapping. Stories going forwards and back and entirely new directions all at once, entirely new stories in some places. Markings looking older than the tomb's suggested age and some looking as new as a decade ago. Wasn't this supposed to be sealed? It had felt sealed when they first entered but now it felt...Violated. It felt like someone or something was watching, maybe the very stone itself. More than once he stopped to stare at a wall or bit of ceiling as the group pressed on. Fascinating, but increasingly deadly he thought. Whatever was at work here was no friend it seemed, a fact made clear by the many, often hidden entrances he found, and not a single exit.

When the group had reached the room with some sort of block Sven had decidedly not taken interest in it. Cryptic doors with a story strewn about them and some 'press-here-to-die-horrifically-or-progress' button were sort of commonplace. Someone would eventually figure that nonsense out. It was the left wall that had captured his attention, and he'd been starring at it for a good five minutes now, in utter silence.

"There once was a man from the seas of Azear.." His low, gravely voice bounced around the chamber perfectly, it's unnatural grace resounding more on each reverberation due to his cloak. "Dressed like a seer, with eyes like a mirror.." If you listened closely you'd notice a hiccup in the echo, as if it split off in another direction. Stepping closer to the wall he unsheathed his proud scimitar and tapped the hilt of it against the center of the wall. The sound moved both through the chamber the group stood in and down what sounded like a hall on the other side of what was supposed to be a solid wall. Common practice in crypts and mines alike, once you dig your way into your final chamber you dig a way back out, this he knew. But he also knew you usually dug all the way back out, not stopped in some sort of random chamber. Still, the whole place was peculiar and it could come in handy if they needed a quick out up ahead.

Their blocked passage finally opening brought his attention back to the group just in time to hear the necromancer offer their much loved rogue up to the darkness of an unknown passage, a sentiment that made him chuckle.

"Aye," He said, his ton of voice dropping as low as it could while his glowing blue orb-like eyes narrowed into slits and fixated on his the target of jest. "Don't you rogue-likes enjoy traipsing off alone ahead of the group to grab yourselves a bunch of loot because we even see it, then come reporting back about all the danger you masterfully sidestepped?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cale Velric Character Portrait: Ishmael Hephestus Character Portrait: Fang Shinozuka Character Portrait: Sven Blackshire Character Portrait: Lacuna Rolme
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Lacuna had kept a brisk pace with the group as they made their way through the ancient crypt. He was relieved with how well they had managed to dispatch the small groups of undead that attempted to end their quest. None of them had sustained injuries and they had at least proven in the meantime, that his services as a healer would only be use when an actual threat came to challenge them.

If that challenge ever came…

The bulk of Lacuna’s body was hidden by a cloak he had outfitted himself before setting out to join with the rest of the team, unlike the lavender and nigh-obsidian that adorned the rest of his garments and armour, this cloak was a deep oak brown. The gentle ambience that emitted from the series of ageless torches did well to hide his features as he walked. He hadn’t spoken to the group as of yet, the only sounds coming from his mouth being the slight grunts of combat made as he fought off the undead that had shambled toward his direction. Strikes from his powerful punches had broken the assault of a few of the undead while his tail was used quickly and acrobatically to smash into the chest cavities of a couple more, the impact sending their bones splintering in many directions and their undead skulls still chomping and gnashing in their eternal unrest. Lacuna had made sure to pay close attention to the focus of his allies when he revealed his tail, not fearing any of them or any sort of reprise but just as a sub-conscious habit formed from years of exploration of peoples un-open to the concept of foreign looks.

He knelt to pick up a short sword that still had the decomposing hand of a restless dead attached to it as the group made their halt in the chamber. The blade was still in stable condition, his fingers running slowly along the edge of the blade to test his theory. Meanwhile his eyes alongside everyone else’s in the party scanned over the myriad of runes, carvings…stories and glyphs that echoed their silent stories and passages. He hadn’t worried when the path before them appeared stalled, as the one in their group who had finally made use of one of his many rings revealed the way before them. Indeed this group was at the least competent, and prepared for a host of situations by looks of their current appearance.

When the door opened, and the party scattered themselves to decide who would be the first to trek through, Lacuna decided that at this moment he would reveal some of the uses that he held. He slowly removed the cloak that had hidden the bulk of his features and allowed the brilliant craft of his armor work radiate within the gloom of the crypt. The tri-peace insignia upon his chest gave off a gentle glow before him as he neared the entrance to the newly opened chamber, one hand resting along the hilt of the blade that he sheathed upon his belt, and the other hand firmly gripping Adastra his trusted staff. He stepped forward, silent graceful steps contradicting the size that he his body held as a light slowly began to form around the hand that held his staff.

With a shallow incantation the light split into tendrils and began to travel languidly along the walls of the passage, Lacuna’s eyes closed in a subtle meditation as he felt the energy and force of the path that they traveled. His now hidden face gave the appearance of a newborn wraith as his eyes were now the only visible part of his head . The energy that crept along the walls served as his new eyes as he navigated their course. Though he could not see what lay ahead of the group, this magick was allowing his body to feel what lay before their path. He was able to discern the stories of spiders as the energy circled over their ancient webs. Ripples of water that the energy cascaded over told their tales of undisturbed ages. But then there were the runes….

He could feel their grooved carvings cast from an unknown maker. He could sense their omens, their purpose, but what they defined was eluding him. As much use as this ability was, it was limited and he had not enough experience in his mental bank to be able to decipher the lore. Such would take some time and unfortunately that was a commodity that they did not have an abundance of. Thus he shook his head and attempted to force his energy onward but then his body was violently shaken out of its meditation. One of the runes that were ahead drew his energies like a magnet and scattered it like an egg fallen from a great height. Before he would come to, his real eyes saw the image of a horrifying Geist, formless yet staring back at Lacuna for that brief moment before his vision cleared and he once again found himself within the confines of the chamber, scanning over his temporary allies before clearing his voice to speak.

His eyes met with those first of Cale before moving back and forth through all that were gathered. If one’s senses were especially sharp, they would notice, albeit just for a second that the colour of the skin upon his arm had a different tone growing from his hands to his arms as he spoke out. The natural caramel tone that was reflected in the light changing match that of the man who was before him.

“ I know not of the dangers that may await us and our prize, however I feel that for the while, our group’s passage is clear until a certain ways….half a league if mercy smiles upon us.”

He then arced his hands towards the group, drawing out a new sphere of energy and letting it disperse over their feet. The glow would surround their boots as long as they held no natural resistances and or were unwilling to have foreign magick envelop them. He stomped his foot hard to demonstrate the padding effect that his spell was currently placing on their feet. While it would not offer complete silence for stealth, for a group of their size the added quite could come in handy. "My name is Lacuna", he bowed solemnly before continuing "this shall be a boon to our quest. May we find what we are searching for in good fortune."

“Come” he then spoke out before quickly taking off into the passage at a brisk pace. While he was far from a rogue or scout, Lacuna’s natural body was well adapted to such places and climates. His eyes were trying their best to scan what he had felt before. He knew that he would eventually be surpassed by one of his group, perhaps the rogue would even get deeper into the crypt than he but at the least progress was being made.

Lacuna was no stranger to meeting the unknown head on, thus he moved ahead with only a small moment’s anxiety before the adventure settled within his mind. His concentration could not afford to deal with such emotions while he tried his best to make sure that his allies’ sounds weren’t heightened as they went forward.

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Character Portrait: Ishmael Hephestus
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Ishmael smirked and chuckled as the eventual argument between various members was silenced by the mage who declared the way ahead safe, a spell that captured sound and nullified it, in this case the sound of footsteps, and strode off to lead the way. Bold mage, he had to give credit towards, and followed right along after the others. It beat him leading the way into a trap and having to deal with the injury taken from such a leadership role again. Better someone else rather than he, for there were important matters he would be attending to within due time. The leading nobleboy and rogue fell to discussing potential matters of security that they had yet to encounter, the rogue boasting about having seen many a different defense, and this having rather lack luster security. He found the statement was asking for trouble, as it had worked this long. They fell to talking about oversized rats, and he chuckled at the mention of the fabled creatures. They existed, in his opinion, but the architecture of the crypt hardly supported the idea that they were used as guard hounds. Of course he was proven wrong when the rogue was jumped through a ruined section of wall and found out, rather curiously, that they did exist in this tomb. He muttered to himself, clear enough that he could be heard, as he shifted his grip on the walking cane to a more staff life manner. "Curious, the design of this crypt hardly supported the time those things were favored as guardians. Odd, isn't it, how some people can't help but buck historical trends?"

With a gesture of the cane, he fired off a conjured blade of bone into the side of the ROUS that was following the first, knocking it off to the side. Another gesture, and the rot and decay that would set in accelerated to the point that the disease spread and rapidly killed the creature. It was a simple matter of aiding the innate disease that was kept outside a beings body to, after being introduced to the susceptible interior, spread and rapidly weaken or outright kill some beings. He leaned on his cane, appearing not to want to really put much effort into dealing with the rats. After all, the nobleboy and rogue were in the line of fire, and he had no distinct interest in accidentally wounding them with a spell that they got in the way of. He would defend himself, and prepared another bone shard just in case there was a fine number beyond a handful that would come into the fray, and he would be required to waste energy, granted very small amounts, dealing with the creatures. He found it amusingly ironic, though, the rogue getting attacked by beings he dismissed as myth and fable. He kept his amusement to himself, he would content himself with pointing out such a fact after any immediate trouble and danger would pass them by for the time being.