Chiros has proclaimed himself the liberator of worlds and peoples and is intent upon spreading his message and his control over all. He is intensely pale, beautiful, and cold, with bluish veins visible beneath the surface of his ghostly pale skin. His icy eyes, so light of hue as to appear like shining orbs, burn with a fierce intensity. None can deny the overpowering force of his persona. He has long, straight hair, raven black, which just brushes the backs of his knees. His voice is quiet and raspy but deep. He is long of body and limb, athletic in build, and coldly beautiful in features. He has the overdeveloped canines of the vampire, although he is more liche than bloodsucker. He wears trousers of black-dyed leather and soft, white, linen shirts.
While he is not comfortable with most weapons, he is a master of the long sword, being dartingly quick, well practiced, and devious in his application of technique. He has also mastered many of the more aggressive magical arts, including necromancy. Despite the image of invulnerability he portrays, he knows it is possible to be destroyed and is driven to master the blade and martial magics out of fear. His one physical flaw is a thick white scar along the left side of his neck, a gift bequeathed early on in his career by a warrior’s axe. In a few centuries, his paranoia will likely increase until he turns upon his closest allies, but for now it energizes his efforts.
Death and Unlife
Chiros' earliest history is lost to most as all who knew him as a child have long since passed. Just pushing past his 300th year, Chiros is not as old as some of his kind, yet the fires of ambition burn bright. As a living youth, his magical studies did not bring him the status and power that he originally hoped for, and so he sought fame as a religious figure. He created his own faith, vehemently railing against the gods and claiming to have access to knowledge beyond all human understanding. His followers, he promised, would see him reborn after his death. He promised that they too would taste the sweet victory against death's iron embrace if they truly believed in him.
He was well into his third decade when he made the transition from life to unlife. He locked himself inside a cave, his most devout followers guarding, waiting, and praying outside. Within his stone tomb he completed the ritual which ended his mortal life and set him upon the path to unending unlife.
After three days, his followers entered as instructed, to find his body with neither breath nor heartbeat, lain out upon a rune-scored stone slab with his blood drained into ceramic jars. And, as instructed, his high priests brought to his lifeless body the blood and hearts of seven willing sacrifices. The blood they poured into decanters and the hearts they set upon silver platters. After a full day of prayer, all retired from the cave to wait.
Three more days passed with the faithful unwavering. Unnatural storms poured in, lashing them until they were cold, wet, and miserable. And still they did not leave, sustained by their belief. At the end of the three days, Chiros awoke, reborn. He drank the blood and feasted upon the hearts of the sacrificed, then exited the cave. His followers surrounded their gore-encrusted leader, pouring out their love with tear-streaked faces.
The next 200 years were spent spreading his word across the land. His followers traveled far and wide, sewing the seeds for his eventual rise to power. The more established religions have fought against these efforts, driving out the cursed fanatics time and time again, but they may as well have sought to prevent the ocean tide from reaching the beach.
Forty years prior to the current year, Chiros' followers finished rebuilding the ruins of a mountain stronghold. He now has a base of power to strike from and an unholy temple for his followers to worship him in.
Chiros' followers truly believe that he is their messiah. They believe he will save the faithful, giving them life unending. To appease him, they spread his word and bring him the unbelievers to feast upon, for his unlife is sustained by the flesh and blood of the living. He has conveyed unlife upon a handful of his followers; loyal lieutenants gifted to spend eternity by ingesting a combination of his blood and bits of flesh which he carves from his own body. His highest of priests likewise have been given power, though they do not realize that it is a gift from the dark gods with whom Chiros made his pacts centuries ago. Dark gods willing to sit in the shadows and give all the glory to Chiros.
His power base secured, Chiros is in the process of amassing an army, a mix of the faithful and the undead. Mindless skeletons and zombies, imbued with great strength and fortitude, make up his undead ranks. Their numbers grow with every conquest.
When the faithful are asked about the multitudes of followers who have perished over the centuries and have not been raised as their master has, the answer is invariably, "Our Lord will do so at His whim. When the whole Universe has come to know Him and love Him, or have perished at His hands, then will we all be raised to stand at His side once again." His followers willingly give up their bodies to his undead army at their death, believing this to be a great blessing.
Rumors have reached a few ears outside of the faithful that Chiros is seeking something in particular, some powerful artifact or place that will give him power over all worlds.
The Dark Gods
Chiros has made pacts with some of the darker and more ancient gods. He has been gifted with immortality and arcane lore in exchange for wiping the world clean and transforming it into a hellish wasteland of the unliving. He has put his natural charisma to the task and is slowly but surely working his way toward success. But as with all strong, charismatic leaders, he is being changed by the process. The more he surrounds himself with death and devotion, the more savage and fearful he becomes. Savage, because power causes him to crave more power, and fearful because he has so much to lose.
Secret plot: The Church of Chiros has been banned from the city but members are secretly inserting themselves into key positions. Once these infiltrators are in a position to affect the outcome, Chiros’ army will march in and decimate the land.
Lost Artifact: Chiros has sent one of his lieutenants to follow up on the rumor of an artifact located in the ancient tomb of a once revered King. The disturbed tomb will be noticed, as will the fact that only a single item is missing: a sapphire pendant the King wore every day of his rule.
Reconnaissance: What is Chiros up to in his mountain stronghold? Where will he strike next? Many nervous leaders would pay handsomely to learn this information.
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? Responses (12)-12
I must say that you surprised me with this, Mystic. As I was reading the description of Chiros' appearance and personality, I was preparing myself for another stereotypical lich -- a vast, hidden power who acts through proxies. Instead, we have a vastly successful con-man masquerading as a holy figure. Love the parallels to Chrisitanity.
He is a little uber, imo, so adding a few weaknesses (even just flaws in his personality that could be exploited) would help. Introducing some plot hooks or other important NPCs who are close to him would also increase the value of this post. But overall, there is very little for me to criticize here, and much to praise. Well done!
Thanks. I really appreciate the feedback.
I see what you're saying about the lack of weaknesses. I'll go back and make some changes after I mull it over. This is the first in a series of subs I'll be working on for the campaign I'm developing (the first I've run in a number of years). Future subs will include some plots, locations, other NPCs, etc.
Update: Rounded out Chiros' character a little and added some plot hooks.
Well-written with some evocative imagery! (Like this: blood in decanters and hearts on platters. And this: His followers surrounded their gore-encrusted leader, pouring out their love with tear-streaked faces)
Well developed villain. I'd agree with Dossta on the weakness part. He needs some sort of "soft spot" or maybe he fears something greatly, but as is, he's already memorable.
I keep picturing *him* as being effeminate, or androgynous or a hermaphrodite or something. Not sure why, perhaps the "intense" beauty and his physical characteristics and all that.
Looking forward to seeing more from your upcoming campaign!
Thanks. I look forward to writing more.
Yes, he is intended to be androgynous (but not hermaphroditic). I'm glad that came through. I was going for a dual nature, combining masculine and feminine qualities (not necessarily the best of examples of either) to create someone who is strong, power hungry, and aggressive, but also charismatic, intelligent, and capable of subtlety. I suppose that does make him kind of uber. One of the effects I was going for on the rewrite was to show that it is his weaknesses that have driven him to become so strong. He has an intense fear of true death and he hungers for fame and power. These things have motivated him to become as invincible as he possibly can. Of course, he is dependent upon the assistance of gods both old and dark, with no guarantee of their loyalty. Without them, he would lose some of his power. Eventually, being so driven and living with the possibility of losing everything will cause him to go mad. The question is, will the world last that long?
Very nice. I think it is well fleshed out and even makes sense, I can't wait to hear more about this campaign. Also: Great imagery, as Muro said, and as Dossta said, it was a bit surprising. Not what I expected, but certainly enjoyable.
Wow, this rocks, glad I stumbled upon it.
Update: Added the necromancer freetext.
Wow. This is pretty metal. Great flavoring, and well written. Just the same, I feel like I've seen the charismatic-death-cult-leader before. The hair is a unique touch, though, and one of my favorite things about this.
I'd like to see him more humanized. Favorite non-death-god books? Friends? Childhood?
He's going to be the Big Bad in at least part of my developing campaign with the pocket realms, so I don't want him too humanized :p
I know this sub is a bit old, but I really do have more planned around it, Mathom be praised.
Happy to have been given the link to this, thank you Mystic.