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Rating: 3.3182
Condition: Normal
ID: 7305


March 2, 2018, 7:48 pm

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Halan Of Gimirrai


Sometimes the old ways are best. A pivotal undead sorcerer.

Halan is a vampire of the old school, sorcerously created in a days-long ritual--none of this biting stuff. He hails from the lost land of Gimirrai (gi MERE eye), now but a province in the Zaraafi Empire. In his three and a half centuries of unlife he has played many roles: he has been a hunted predator on the edge of civilization--he can predict the weather at a glance, and if he throws a rock, he never misses--, he has been several different artisans, he has been a minor nobleman. Currently he resides in Meyitshehz in Hengistan, a village known for the quality of its honey. He protects it fiercely: many of the adults know what he is and what he does, and will provide blood and mana when needed.


Gimirrai was a civilized place: respect for elders and good manners were the norm, and upward mobility was possible. As the son of a successful farming family--minor landholders, actually--he was taught to read and write, and studied sorcery in the usual, casual way. He married late, at 25, and by age 30 he had a family. Then the Plague came, overwhelming magickal and mundane resources, and among the devastation, all of his family died, save Halan and his niece. This left a dark place in his soul, and he took to sorcery more assiduously, searching for the secrets of life itself: longevity and healing magicks, even immortality. The wizard Lostaani took him on as an apprentice, and due to his previous studies, he became a master wizard in under a decade. During this time he quietly aided his niece's family even though they had gotten religion after the plague (Sorcery and worship are very different paths: there is often discord and hostility between them). Soon afterwards his investigations led him to the Masters of the Tomb, a group of wizards who also sought immortality. He joined them at once (and was brutally cut by his mentor Lostaani, who had no truck with such unnatural practices.)

Halan helped research a ritual to create vampires, basically turning the target's body into an undead machine, uncoupled from the natural cycles (which offended all the elemental gods) and potentially immortal (which offended any god interested in the pantheon's afterlife.) This explains the well-known problems that vampires have with sunlight, running water and the like, and the need to rest in one's native earth: most of these can be dealt with by appropriate magical protection Halan has found. As well, he developed other dark spells such as Soul Reaving. The Masters of the Tomb soon had a cadre of apprentices who hoped to become vampires after years of service (including donations of blood and mana, of course!) This was no Ponzi scheme: it was understood that the ritual was only offered to a select few. When he was seventy-two (looking a hale fifty due to the afore-mentioned longevity magic), Halan decided the time had come for him to avail himself of the fruits of his labour. He survived the vampirification process (not guaranteed), but the cabal was exposed and broken up with much loss of (un)life about a year later--ironically it was Halan's great-grandnephew who was a linchpin of this operation. Being a good member of the local church (which had grown in influence after the plague), he was horrified by their activities and turned them in to the authorities. (He didn't know that Halan was his almost-ancestor, of course.) Halan had to flee, but was able to carry away much of the group's ritual gear.

Much later, when he was 117 years old, Halan took Akchan of Tsendristan as his apprentice. Akchan showed great promise and used Halan's Soul Reaving matrix to create many interesting magickal items. After about fifteen years, Akchan too became a vampire: some seven years later, doing his own research, Akchan fumbled the making of a matrix for the Vampire Creation ritual. A fell spirit possessed the matrix and convinced Akchan that it was the god of vampires, Gwiyodhunas, that only it could create vampires, that Halan had stolen the power from Gwiyodhunas, and was therefore a damned heretic! After a pitched physical and magickal battle with Halan, Akchan fled southeast to unknown lands, taking his tainted matrix and many other magickal items with him: he became the first priest of Gwiyodhunas. Halan called up many potent Sendings to destroy Akchan but (no doubt with the "god's" help), all failed. Eventually Halan heard no more of Akchan, and assumed that Gwiyodhunas had eaten his acolyte.

He continued to watch over his cadet-branch bloodline, and he fought in secret but unsuccessfully to prevent the annexation of his native Gimirrai by the Zaraafi Empire, 182 years ago. (He has worked to bring about the liberation of his homeland ever since.)

Later he fought the nomadic Laraachin who raided his stock in one of his farmer lives. There was much loss of life, and much creation of magickal items!

Much later still, he recreated the ritual matrix and took one of his niece's descendants, Oleastra, as apprentice (there were plenty of sibling and cousins, so the favoured lineage was in no danger of extinction.) He had tried this before, but with indifferent success--often it was religious scruples that prevented his relatives from taking the final step, but Oleastra was different: she took to sorcery amazingly well (she is actually smarter than Halan), beating his short apprenticeship by a year or so, and became a vampire fairly soon afterwards. Like Halan, she has no qualms about using Soul Reaving on "those who would assault or rob a young woman on her own in the city."


Halan has a number of potent and dark magicks:
--Soul Reaving: normally a wizard uses his own life-force, a part of his soul, to enchant magickal items. This ritual allows a portion of the life-force and intelligence of another, who need not be willing, to be used instead. Halan doesn't know or care what happens to the left-over fragmented souls: he scrupulously employs the ritual only against such uncouth types as try to physically assault him in his old-mage persona--as a Gimirrite he abhors disrespect to elders!
--Vampire Creation: Halan collaborated in the design of this ritual centuries ago; after the disbanding of the Masters of the Tomb, he and his few apprentices may be the only sorcerous vampires in existence--all the rest are Gwiyodhunas' products.

Current State

In addition to his long-standing oversight of his niece's bloodline, Halan has several other projects.
--He protects the village of Meyitshehz and gets protection in return.
--He keeps an eye out for possible recurrence of Gwiyodhunatic activities.
--In the longest term, he works for the restoration of an independent Gimirrai ("just like the old days", he hopes...), in his noble persona of Lord Kraspodos, who can be prickly with strangers.


Age: 432 (looks to be a vigorous 50), about 360 years as vampire
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 78 kg
Frame: medium
Hair: black, close-cropped
Skin: fair but pale
Face: angular, clean-shaven
Eyes: grey
Ears: medium
Nose: hawklike
Voice: medium, resonant
Expression: fierce
Quirks: bushy eyebrows. prickly with strangers.

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Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Gossamer
April 24, 2013, 8:06
I'm old fashioned enough to wince whenever I see a good vampire. Not my style, somewhat Mary Sueish, but all in all well written.
Here are some pointers:

Nice new word there.

"niece's family even though they had gotten religion after the plague"
I didn't know religion was a disease. :P

"used Soul Reaving to create many intersting magickal items"
I dunno if you spelled magic with a k intentionally, but there's at least one typo there.

Also, I learned two new words today, mien and linchpin.
April 29, 2013, 22:14
Thanks for the thoughtful comments on Halan.

"niece's family even though they had gotten religion after the plague"
I didn't know religion was a disease. :P

Some people think so, but that's another submission.
Voted Cheka Man
April 24, 2013, 12:52
Only voted
Voted Dossta
April 25, 2013, 20:07
Welcome to the Citadel, rickster. For a first submission, this one is surprisingly well-polished. There are a few grammar/spelling errors, but nothing cringeworthy, and it is obvious that you put a lot of thought into this person's background and mannerisms.

For me, the most compelling parts were the bits about the sorcerous ritual and the cult of Gwiyodhuna. Two separate methods for the creation of vampires -- neither of which involve the biting or embracing trope -- brought a little life back into an old cliche.

The history is perhaps a little too long for a simple NPC, especially when it strays off into Oleastra's life and times, but on the whole the piece stays on track. If I were to suggest any changes at all, it might be to develop Halan's feud with the Gwiyodhunatic vampires and to explore any differences between the two strains.
April 29, 2013, 22:30
Thanks for your insightful and complimentary comments on my first submission.
I have to confess that the two schools of vampirism were suggested by Chaosium RuneQuest 2 & 3, but they only had one in the field at a time.
As for developing the feud
between Halan and his ex-apprentice's cult and exposing the differences between them,, I will likely post more on the subject soon.
Voted Moonlake
May 12, 2013, 4:30
A decent piece of work. One little nitpick-I wish you had flagged abt the existence of a Magic section when u first mentioned Soul Reaving but I didn't deduct any marks b/c of this.
July 9, 2013, 18:52
Update: 9 Jul 2013 -- resubmitted after being lost to the void, with formatting and proofreading...
Voted MysticMoon
August 26, 2013, 20:12

I feel like I get some teasing glimpses of a larger world here. References to the Plague, using sorcery to induce vampirism, groups such as "Masters of the Tomb", the vampire god (whether real or not), etc. Color me intrigued in the setting.

Aside from that, I think this could benefit from some plot hooks. Halan seems like a major player in this world and I would like to see how you view that in terms of the players.

I hate to say it but the name Oleastra puts me in mind of the food product olestra (not really your fault and I know I'm not really one to talk when it comes to odd names, it just seemed important to point out; of course it could just be me.)

Overall, I like this and look forward to reading more.

Voted Murometz
January 10, 2014, 23:35
Only voted
June 14, 2016, 18:33
Update: Minor corrections
Voted valadaar
October 3, 2016, 9:33
I too like the hints of a much broader world. Good submission!
March 2, 2018, 19:48
Update: Minor edits and elaborations.

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