This is something that came out of the novel I’m writing.
Tonalis is thin, but not a whippet, and a couple of fingerlengths above average height. His brown beard is barely there, just a hairs-breadth of color that runs the length of his jaw and draws to a point at his chin, and his hair is flat on his head. He has an air of quiet, self-contained arrogance, and in any situation his face speaks of knowing a better solution though he’ll likely not offer it up unless asked. Looking at him in his long, goldenrod robes, it’s hard to tell just what he is. A young scholar? But that’s not quite it. And he’s not quite a rogue either. Who is Tonalis to be so young and have such thin, square, sure eyes?
The Guild of Arcane Combatants is a well respected and tightly organized group of mages whose magical specialty is warfare. Their most highly trained members become advisors to royalty, renowned generals, campaign co-ordinators and spymasters.
Since its founding, the guild has always kept a terribly large book of regulations and a terribly tight reign on its scholars as they train their way up to the highest rank of Battle Mage. As the guild was formed as both a brotherhood for arcane strategists and to instill a sense of restraint and righteousness in those with the skill to wreak so much havoc on the battlefield, the guild elders demand that initiates strictly adhere to the rules.
One of the most sacred of these rules, and one which is drilled into the head of every young recruit apon arrival at the guildhall, is that every commission one takes as an arcane combatant must be registered with the guild. The purpose of this is not only to keep an eye on the various pursuits of guild members, but also to allow the guild to keep a finger in every conflict across the continents.
With such a long history as the guild has, it’s inevitable that this rule would have been broken before; but it has never been broken to such an extent as Tonalis has broken it now.
Tonalis never seemed like the type to go rogue. He was a good student, if quiet, and was wholly accepted into the guild, though there was always something about him that no one was quite able to put their finger on. After he’d attained the rank of Skirmish Mage, only a few degrees away from earning the highest seat the guildhall had to offer, the reason behind his mild aloofness finally came to light: Tonalis was brimming with unvoiced scorn. Power corrupts, Tonalis told them, and pulling political strings throughout the kingdoms as they did was a prime example.
Marshalling some supporters - supporters who were one and all the guild’s up and coming young stars - he broke off from the guild. He and his new loose-knit crew began taking on group and individual commissions, refusing to register them with anyone. When news of this got around, he became highly sought after by everyone with a grudge or bit of maneuvering they felt was better kept off the books.
What’s more, since Tonalis did step so far out of the traditional line, he discovered new aspects to the art of combatant magery that would have been impossible had he followed the path laid out for him.
Tonalis’ refusal to share his new knowledge with the guild elders, his meddling in matters of court and muddying the waters, and the influence his name and story have over younger guild trainees continues to infuriate the guild.
Tonalis is, in not so many words, a mercenary mage for hire and a good one at that, but he comes with his own problems and at a high price. Anyone doing business with him may find him or herself the enemy of any number of guild members and allies, or part of a feud in which they’d rather not be involved.
Tonalis has his own brand of honor and will keep agreements once made,especially to uphold the name of all those whole oppose guild edicts. He won’t do random assassinations, but if you can give him a big enough game to play, he just might be interested. You may even have to exaggerate a little…
No mages in your party? Foe too big for you to handle? Want to influence a battle from afar? Need an ‘in’ to a particular noble’s court? Want to know just what kind of trouble is brewing? Search out Tonalis, if you can. Or rather, if you dare.