Cara has only two prized possessions, one personal and the other for “business”.
The first of these, and the more dangerous, is his Amulet of Temporal Transmutation, an artifact Cara created in order to focus his particular type of magical energy. Without the Amulet, Cara would be magically impotent - however, he would sacrifice his own life before he lost the Amulet.
The second item Cara holds dear is a delicate parchment covered in spidery writing in an unknown language. The writing is a poem, composed many thousands of years ago by Lady Enteli Je’Entel, a member of the aristocracy in a long-vanished city state somewhere in the Eastern Realms.
Disturbingly nondescript, Cara (at this point in history) is a genial-looking fifty-year-old human male with close-cropped grey hair and beard. He is of medium height and slender build, his skin tanned and more than a little weatherbeaten. His default expression is one of amiable distraction, as if pondering an amusing story he heard recently. He has little pride in his physical appearance - that is, he will wear whatever is most appropriate to his surroundings.
Cara’s birthplace is unknown, even to himself - the City State of Tretal has long since vanished under the sands of the Eastern Desert. In it’s day, it was a cosmopolitan community, popular with traders and explorers. It was there, back in the mists of prehistory, that Cara was born, the son of a noble family. He was quick-witted, studious and charming, and his future seemed secure. As the years passed, Cara fell passionately in love with Lady Enteli Je’Entel, the daughter of Tretal’s most prestigious merchant family. Dividing his time between the study of magic and the courtship of Enteli, Cara was truly happy.
The situation was not to last. Upon the death of Cara’s elderly father, in the summer of Cara’s twentieth year, dramatic evidence was uncovered that Cara’s parentage was not as he had thought. He was the product of an adulterous affair between his mother and the eldest son of a local guildsman - and worse, branded a bastard, he would no longer inherit his father’s wealth.
From there, Cara’s descent into madness and exile was swift. No longer wealthy, Enteli’s family forbade their marriage, betrothing their daughter to the son of another merchant house. Driven by jealousy, Cara swore to use all of his magical knowledge to prevent the wedding.
The joyous day came quickly, and Cara put his plan into action. Employing his skill in forbidden “chronomancy”, he enveloped himself in a time-sealed bubble, entered the chapel, took Enteri by the hand, and attempted to leave, all in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, he had miscalculated the effect of the spell, and, when he touched Enteri’s slender hand, she immediately shrivelled and decayed into a foul corpse, the weight of centuries laid upon her in an instant.
Cara, unhinged by his actions, threw himself into the mighty river of Time, not caring when, or if, he would surface again.
A moment later, he awoke on desert sands. It took many months for his to discover what had happened, but it slowly became apparent that he had travelled many centuries into the future. At first, he threw himself again and again into the future, trying to lose himself amongst the currents and eddies of history, but eventually a greater purpose became clear.
He must master this chronomancy, and become skilled enough that he could travel back, into the deep past, and prevent the catastrophe which had cost the life of his loved one.
He travelled further and further into the future, skipping years or decades at a time, refining his spells with each transit. Now, after thirty subjective years (and the Gods alone know how many real centuries), he understands that his Amulet is not enough. He requires another artifact, a Circlet which is the match of the Amulet. With both in his possession, he could travel back, and save his love from his younger self.
Emerging into the present day, Cara spends a few weeks scouting for rumours of the Circlet. Familiar-sounding rumours abound regarding an ancient artifact recently found out in the deep deserts of the East. Resolute in his purpose, Cara sets out to recover the artifact and complete his mission.
After all, it’s only a matter of time.
Cara is unhinged, driven only by the memory of Enteli, though one would never know it. He will manipulate, swindle, blackmail and murder in order to get closer to his goal. He does not revel in the amorality of his actions, but instead justifies them - after he has travelled back, this reality will cease to exist, and his crimes well never have occurred. He can appreciate the human qualities of love, empathy and honour, but nothing is more important than his quest. The death of thousand, even millions, is unimportant as long as he claims the Circlet and completes his quest.
A campaign to defeat Cara would be a long and difficult one. His temporal magic is potent, and allows the GM much opportunity for messing with the PCs, though Cara will not skip forward through time and risk losing the Circlet’s trail. Slowing enemies is well within his powers, as is creating temporal bubbles which allow him to escape the flow of time for a short period.
As for motivation? If Cara manages to collect the Circlet and travel back to the distant past, the history of the world will be unravelled. The characters, their homes and families, their allies and foes - none of them will exist, or will have existed.
To begin with, Cara may well employ a party to escort him across the desert, or retrieve information regarding the Circlet. Alternatively, they may end up in possession of the Circlet and be a target for Cara himself.