Of elfin stock, RileiLiin was gifted by nature with a long slender body and lithe limbs, delicate features, hair of anthracite hue and eyes the color of a clear winter sky. Pale even in her youth, nowadays she seems to be made of condensed mist, all color stolen, save for a slight tint of blue more prominent on her lips, around her eyes, and topping her petite breasts.
A two-sided cloak she wears to cover her bare frame, resembling a winter sun in radiance and color on one side, woven of lightless midnight and moon-metal threads on the other.
A sole jewel adorns RileiLiin, a blue crystal set into silver on one wrist, bearing the magic to give her shape.
Fitting for a wizard, she leans against a stave of ebony and ivory, in truth life and death patterns woven into a complex yin-yang shape.
An elf of low birth and no noteworthy connections nor wealth, RileiLiin enlisted into the Avernian ranger corps at a tender age of 37, desiring to find a decent place in society.
Barely decent at swordplay and the art of the bow amongst her kin, she lacked the incredible speed and agility of her more talented brethren, remaining a low-ranking soldier with nothing to set her apart.
Peppering the backs of some human would-be conquerors from the shade of the green boughs of her home, she mused about how hopelessly clumsy they were in comparison to even her marginal skills and conceived a plan.
Amongst the sightless, a one-eyed man is king! In this case, a woman.
The Elven lass gathered her meager possessions, and wandered off, towards the radiant metropolis of Khoratas, a hive home to more than two million human souls, witnessing truly a welcome different from her home: it was fashionable to have her around, and people marveled both at her features and skill at arms, threw good coin at her just for accompanying them to a social event, and immature fools wrote her foolish and immature poems.
The sun did not have to set many times over the great city before she had a prestigious place right at the side of Alandor, a court wizard; she was in equal part decoration and a guardian, to amuse herself also his mistress.
Despite all his magical talent and power, Alandor was a fool for his fair liaison, and chose to teach her, knowing well that all Elves take to magic well.
The soul of man and soul of elvenkind handle the sorcerous energies in a different way, though. Humans grasp whatever power is at hand, releasing it in half-worked patterns, while Elves weave energies from their inner self along the path of least resistance, handling dozens of threads simultaneously.
As RileiLiin was taught by her master to grasp the threads of nature, and launch them to do her bidding, she discovered that unlike human wizards, she did not restrain herself to but one at a time, but that many would follow her will.
From a bodyguard, she went to be one of the most prominent battle-magi of Lyra. Rising in stature and respect with every energy she mastered, Rilei sought to unlock further secrets of the Art. Finally, one day, at her command were fire and lightning, stone and water, life and death, creation and entropy, each to be hurled at her leisure against her foes. The young Terdan Tamerlaine, heir to the throne, was enchanted by her personality and exotic looks, and, for all she knew her star had reached its summit.
As Riley locked the last strand of magic in place, crackling energies at command of her spirit, she felt complete: having accumulated fires warmth and winters chill, sunrises hope and midnights kill, the winds cackle and the earths will within her spirit, as much as it would hold and command, she laughed at the folly of the Elven mages: why would they shun power supreme in exchange for sorcerous tricks?
An answer was given by Nature herself, as the opposites within collided. Of equal strength and opposed polarity, all the power she had gathered from nodes and rituals as humans do burned in a brilliant blaze; Rileis skin seemingly burst and burned to ash, the mage herself lost all semblance of form, now but a vortex of magic primal.
Little knew she that the human spirit, so well-versed in accommodating seemingly contradicting thought and boundless folly could keep sorcery separate, while elves were whole and one! Clear was then why her kin would prefer one energy over others, and wander the path of one element.
Blinded by her own light, deafened by the roar of her inner flame, staggered by the power of winds she had stolen she wandered in agony. What for her was a world of pain, for others was catastrophe, as a blind being of pure energy wandered at random through the castle halls, sowing destruction wherever she tread.
Riley was believed to have died in the disaster. Little knew the humans that she was alive, if changed, within that tempestuous cloud.
By chance or by divine will her seething form stumbled against a monolith of old, erected to drain earths energies and halt the earthquakes so frequent in that area before. Able to perceive earth and metal then, as her eyes were no longer blinded by the earth energy within, Rilei halted her flight, and sought aid though she perceived humans only by the iron in their blood and the vague outlines of their bones, sometimes due to a sword or shining suit of armor, to her great dismay they, understandably, turned and fled as soon as the raging elemental cloud approached.
When the sorceress reached out to them, to halt their flight and listen, her energies flew into the hapless humans, and charred them to dust.
As human mages take from nature, not only borrow, her sorcery could not flow back into the ley lines, only through humans could it be vented, and welled up within her again, threatening again to obscure her vision.
Happening upon a township, Riley made an inhuman decision and entered it, to start what was later known as the Larsaine Conflagration, touching townspeople left and right, searing them with arcane power to relieve herself of its burden.
To her great surprise, an Elven wizard visiting the township too burned under her touch, leaving but his stave and bracelet. Examining, she found it to be a tool of disguise, one meant to give the wearer Elven form. Taking it up, she had a form again, though the town around was in ashes and ruins, the screams of the last fleeing survivors fading in the smoke-shrouded distance.
With reason somewhat relieved of the shroud of pain, RileiLiin set out to find a cure, and she is at this today still: though she can expend the power through spells, and does indeed maintain several mighty wardings to drain her power somewhat, upon waking she cannot wield even the tiniest spell due to the pain of accumulated energy, forced to resort to killing.
Hunted for murder, Rilei curses her folly and arrogance. Few are willing to take her in, fewer still to assist her search. None believe her tale, deeming her a demon or insane wizard; RileiLiin herself wishes for some kind of release, but none is granted abstaining from sleep as long as she can, the sorceress wanders the land in search of anything to set her free, killing her pursuers and many innocents just to continue her quest.
Special Equipment and Unusual Abilities
*An old amulet: the blue crystal hold a transmutation spell allowing Rilei to have something akin to a body. Without it, she is but a cloud of swirling energy.
*The Stave of Dead Life: deisgned by Riley to allow her to bleed off some energy, the stave has a life and a death end, surprisingly corresponding with the colors white and black.
Both ends are pretty random in their effect, depending usually on the amount of eneregy welling up inside its owner: The white end may cure or cause plants to grow, or force-grow a child to adulthood, cause cancer and mutation.
The black end may cause forgetfulness, sleep, pain, weakness or death.
In the hands of another wizard, it will leech him dry of death and life spells, and manifest its effects only as long as he has some death and/or life mana left.
Basically an elemental, Rilei is immune to poison and disease, though she still needs to rest and sleep.
Her touch, unless she is -very- low on energy is deadly to humans; a mighty mage who is low on mana himself might survive the touch and see his energies replenished, though at the cost of dire wounds.
As for spells, Rilei is a battle mage with an incredible supply of energy. Unless encountered in an agonized state, she can fling dangerous spells almost at will.
Constantly in pain, Rilei is of a rather short temper. Forced to kill regualrly, she is on the brink of insanity, paranoid about hunters, and deathly scared of touching humans - and even more of not doing so.
She is no hero, and fears death even more than the everpresent pain - thus, she can be coerced to do someone's bidding if he manages to persuade her that maybe he knows of a cure (though her paranoia will hamper such an effort greatly). Selfish, Rilei will serve only herself in the end.
Generally, Rilei will try not to attract attention, for her reputation for ruthless killing means chaos whenever she is recognized.
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? Responses (6)-7
I like the concept of the elven mage who failed to understand her limitations and was transformed into a vortex of destruction, but I was less enthralled by her personality: I imagine that she might find a conscience, even as the pain reduces her to a level of basic survival.
I suspect that most player characters finding her would try to destroy her as soon as they understood what she really was. She might be a hard one to kill, though, as a sort of "magic elemental".
Okay, her background and development sound pretty good, and make sense. The short trip to absolute power came to a deserved horrible end. The question is, what is she now... is she a mere monster of uncontrolled power, or is there a chance of saving her? And even if she is saved, by now she has a reputation of a mass murderer, and it is deserved.
How could she be saved... how could she be stopped, for that matter, without a huge loss of life? (Also, is it only human souls she can use? Could not animals be a valid target, or something else? Okay... hard to look for victims at this powerlevel.)
Not a bad idea, though it may be hard to apply in a game.
She's meant to be a villain - one who is not evil for evil's sake, but rather out of need. Not that any of the victims care!
If she managed to shed energy recently, she's your average moderately sinful moderatly flawed person who can use a little flattery for one's ego, and a little compassion too. After all, in elven terms, Rilei is just a teen.
And yes, she can let her energies drain away only through humans.
As for saving? Perhaps some artifact that can take away a mage's talent and all magical aptitude could be what might cure her, and can be used as a way to tempt her to do one's bidding.
I like her as well, but the by placing limits on Elves, it makes it a little hard to fit into established worlds without a bit of work.
Well, it -does- mean that humans are better at hurling spells, but elves have finer control over magic, and can use multiple spells at once...