Teller of Tales and Duelist of the Golden City
Name: Cael Castellon
Age: Three-hundred and forty-eight moons. (29)
Homelands: Oron City; formerly Gimble and Gyre
Family: Estranged, Grecil Castellon, (96, father, Oron City). Lisa Castellon (113, mother, Gyre)
Description: The sprite is rarely seen without a grin on his face, just visible beneath the brim of his hat that hides his wide, frantic green eyes and singed, patchy eyebrows. He is broad shouldered and carries his head high and his beard is neatly trimmed and his thick black hair cut just below his jaw., and his thick clothing betrays little of his slight build. Though hidden by his ostentatious dress, his chest and side bear painful scars, the remnants of lightning magic.
Clothing: The sprite is heavily overdressed in dark, rich fabrics, with what he lacks in height being made up for in sheer presence. Slashed sleeves, sable fur, heavy black velvet and thick dark leathers, topped off with a tall feathered cap accentuate his size, and around his neck a heavy chain bearing a golden harp hangs below his neckline denotes his allegiance to the Laughing God. At his side are two long, ornate pistols and an elaborate rapier, with an inscription set into the blade. When the situation calls for it, he dons a sleek breastplate in place of his doublet. Though his clothes are handsome, they are torn in places and his boots scuffed from the road.
· Uncover the mystery of the Scrolls of the Triune and obtain the three blades, Durendal, Curtana and Joyeuse .
· To discover the fate of his old companion Nikola Tesla .
· Oppose injustice wherever he finds it, especially at the hands of Carceval and the Black Order.
· To learn new tales and songs, and emulate the warrior-skalds of old.
Dreams and Ambitions: To prevent the End of Days, to wield one of the three blades and be immortalized as a hero, and to live out his twilight years as a travelling bard in service to the Laughing God.
Personality: A cheerful individual with a good heart and a great love of tales and songs, Cael is no-longer the wide-eyed greenhorn he may seem at a glance, but a man with many stories to tell: of the abandoned castles of the distant east, the horrific lords of the Black Lands, and of the primal, hedonistic Baccae, Cael has survived them all. Cael has grown confident in his abilities and carries himself confidently, but despite this he prefers to travel in a group, content to let his more-capable companions call most of the shots and exaggerate his role later in the safety of the taproom. Cael believe in the old-style of heroism, and is distraught to see good men turn a blind eye to wicked deeds, especially those closest to him. Recent times have somewhat dulled his idealism, but Cael holds strong to the belief that true heroes, like those in the tales, are out there.
Backstory: Born on the sky city of Gyre, a merchant’s son, Cael spent his long childhood alone with his lute, a treasure he still carries with him today. His father, an entrepreneuring spirit, set out to Oron City to set up his trade. Cael spent his younger years fascinated with the caravan guards and their fanciful tales, and eventually joined his father’s caravan from Aldebaran to Levon in the distant north. Before his return to the Golden City, Cael told his father he had no intention of continuing his life as a merchant. The two had a vicious argument, and have not spoken since. On his return, he ran away from home, apprenticing himself to a Gracian swordsage and learning the basics of swordplay. The man, a member of the temple of the Laughing God, took the Sprite under his wing, and when his apprenticeship was completed Cael was a fully-fledged member of Andike’s church.
Confident in his newfound skills and heedless to the advice of his swordmaster, Cael ran off to join the Breaker’s Guild and begin his life as an adventurer, but in his haste, barrelled into a creature of the likes of which he’d never seen, a blind Alfar of the Mithril Isles. The white-haired man gripped him firmly by the shoulders, holding the struggling sprite still and appraising him with sightless eyes. “[Mysterious Stranger] It is to be you, then, child? Disquieting indeed… Be silent, and take heed. In these scrolls lie your part in the web of Fate. The path you tread this day does not lead you to glory. If you truly aspire to greatness, reach out your hand. Seek out Durendal, Curtana and Joyeuse, and three worthy hands to wield them, and taste what it means to be a true hero.”
It took all of his guile, but Cael managed to steal his prize into the academies of Oron City (and nearly being disintegrated for his trouble), where Cael poured over hundreds of tomes of dead languages, trying to decipher the mysterious scrolls. It was here he met Nikola Tesla, a wild, passionate scholar with a penchant for lightning magic. When the young prodigy offered Cael a place to stay for the small pittance of volunteering for an experiment or two, how could he refuse? Almost five years on, the Sprite’s eyebrows still won’t grow back fully. The two became unlikely friends for a time, the man’s passion and energy not unlike that of his own people, though when pressed about his own purpose Cael he simply waved his hand and buried himself in his books, stating that it was “[Cael] A curiosity, my dear fellow. Nothing more.” Cael learned much from the scrolls at this time, of something called the “triune”, and mentions of a great calamity that would eclipse all of Verde. When Tesla abandoned Oron City to chase a storm brewing in the north, Cael stuck by his side, knowing his answers didn’t lie in dusty books.
The pair reached the coastal town of Minato in Higashi-Rei, and after an incident involving enchantment magic and a lampshade, joined a HOST convoy heading northward, headed by Gen, Hektor and Ikaros, Free Agents of the Black Order. Also among this convoy were Evi, a flighty young girl of Rei-Jin descent and the warlock Cael knew only as “Fishy Joe”. When Evi slipped from the caravan in the dead of night, drawn to the ruins of her former home city, the three quickly pursued her, only to be set upon by a terrifying Blutkreiger and forced to barricade themselves in the Redcap-infested ruins of Shiroishi Castle. Exploring the ruins, and fleeing their Redcap pursuers, the group had a near-fatal encounter with the mute madman, Isembard. The sprite did what he could to keep his far-more-powerful companions from losing hope, lifting their spirits with bard’s songs and sharing around his wineskin, and praying each evening to the Laughing God for strength, and in the lonely days to come the four forged a camaraderie, and he revealed to the three alone the existence of the mysterious scrolls, but nothing of the mysteries they held.
Eventually, rescue arrived, at the hands of the MK IV Black Initiates, but Cael’s gratitude was short-lived when he discovered their rescuers true objective was to apprehend the prisoner Isembard. The Order, it seems, were content to leave them to their fates. With some reluctance, he rejoined the convoy, amazed by the means they were to cross the Black Lands, a massive, many-legged construct that Ikaros called ALICE. The convoy made their way through the Sanmyaku pass and into the Black Lands. Flocks of eyeless crows watched their passage in silence, and Cael grew increasingly mistrustful of his companions. Tesla grew increasingly unstable, Evi was prone to black moods, and the warlock had many eccentricities of his own, but it was the Order that worried him. Their motives were a mystery, their methods harsh, and their magics were strange and unnatural. Monsters of the like Cael had never seen nor heard before attacked the caravan; dusk giants, necromentals, wyverns and the undead. Many more of these monsters the Order freely bartered with, such as the demon Fane, the Watcher in the Waste and the drider Faelion.
It would be in the realm of the Black Wyrm, a land of murky swamps and poison lakes, that Cael’s mettle would truly be tested. Atop a frozen lake ALICE was set apon by a ghostly ship full of undead spectres, The Captain’s Rage. Here he had his first taste of the duel, boarding the ship with his companions, fighting the Dread-Captain Grimshaw, to a draw atop the mizzenmast before the ship was sunk into the depths by the arrival of the great Wyrm itself. Unshackling the madman Isembard to do battle with the mighty dragon, the convoy escaped into the lands of Ryedale and, surviving a Felgard attack, parted ways with the Order (to Cael’s great relief).
Evi bore with her a heavy burden, an enormous enchanted blade, the likes of which Cael had never seen before. It’s name was Balmung, the ancestral sword of the mightiest of the Aldman tribes, the Durlonds. Cael was fascinated with it, studying it intently for some clue, some inkling of where he might find Durendal, Curtana and Joyeuse. The four travelled westward to return the blade to its rightful home, and reached an imposing sight, the enchanted Forest of Firr. Here they met the flighty Baccae, and a mysterious, ethereal man with a harp and an enchanted blade. Greeting them in the tongue of the wild-places, Cael and his companions joined the Baccae in their dance, and took part in a night of revelry none of them could quite remember; the quiet before the storm. “[Cael, inebriated] O for madder music and stronger wine! Join me in the dance, and fetch me that lampshade!”]
Blinking back the pain, the four awoke to an empty camp and the sickly taste of wine in their mouths. Cael could scarcely remember the whispered instructions from the man with the harp, but when he opened the scrolls again, he understood them perfectly and gleaned the location of each of the legendary swords, and were once lied a mundane blade now laid a magical blade for his own in its place. The group set off deeper into the forest, but they would never reach their destination. Ambushed by fey, Tesla unleashes an earth-shattering display of power, causing a landslide and nearly burying his friends alive as the forest around them burns. Lightning surged through Cael… and his heart stopped.
Sprites are made of different stuff than humans. Their hearts thrum at a different beat. The energetic young creature had barely set foot on death’s doorstep before he begun to pull away. A cacophony of voices echoed through his head, and a series of tugs pulled on his heartstrings. There was so much left to do. So many things to see. So many stories to tell… then, suddenly, another voice formed. Barely an echo, but familiar; his own voice. Did he even think to dig you out of the rubble before he left you to die? Who is he to call you friend? You should make him suffer. Come with me... Suddenly, it appeared before him. The tug on his heartstring became a wrenching pain as the creature gained shape. Before him, in this place-beyond-places, stood himself, lined by deep streaks of burned flesh, and hatred in his eyes. The creature spoke. “[Shade, smirking]That is your answer? Such loyalty… Perhaps you will share his fate, when the time comes. But I fear this is goodbye for now… Farewell.” he said, voice distorted as one face became many, and stole off into the darkness. Cael awakened, battered, but alive, as a familiar face smiled down on him. Evi.
Thanking her profusely, the pair found their other companions, Tesla and Joe, were nowhere to be found. With nothing to do but press onward, the wounded duo join up with the Dirgesinger Gen once more and track down the Durlond Blade, finding it in the hands of Sirius Durlond. Suspicious, they investigate and discover Sirius’ plan – to awaken the Tuatha with the ancestral blade and use them to conquer Clador. The three are beaten back and forced to retreat and, with much distaste on Cael’s part, retreat to the nearest garrison of the Black Order, Malus City, where they find the Order tied up with the budding revolution and are forced to wait for reinforcements, where they are reunited for a short time with Tesla and board with the tailor Xavier and his intelligent, ghoulish manservant Haig.
Tesla is as distant as ever, and while the sprite quickly forgave him for his near-death, he can scarcely recall their time together in Malus, as it became a foggy memory. The group was quickly swept up in the revolution and, as it seems the revolutionaries are about to be victorious, the Black Order detonate an arcane warhead on the quarantined western quarter, consuming much of the city in fire. Tesla too disappears from the city. Pursued, Cael suspects bitterly, by agents of the Order. Horrified and the sheer scale of murder at the hands of the Order, Cael weeps. The once-cheerful sprite is distraught when he finds Evi still plans to work with them to stop Sirius’ plot. “[Cael, angrily]Carceval has more blood on his hands than a troll midwife, and you’re going to work with them? As one of them? I can’t believe you could… I thought- No. I will work with these murderers once more, but then never again.”
Marching among a squadron of Topaz Knights would have once delighted Cael, but even their glistening armour could not hide the blood on their hands. Among them travelled Cael, Gen and Evi, and alongside her the ghoul Haig, who had sworn an oath of fealty for her after learning of their shared heritage. He kept the scrolls hidden on his person at all times, fearing the repercussions of such a thing falling into the hands of the Order. They take the road northward to Heim, and find that the warrior Reel Behirsbane had begun a coup to oppose Sirius’ rule, and joining their forces, managed to defeat Sirius and chase him into the Cave of the Ancients where he attempts one last time to complete the ritual. They defeat him, but the man slips into the shadows before the final blow is struck, and, after a heroic battle, Reel becomes Chieftain of the Durlond Tribe.
Morning comes, and Cael discovers Evi intends to become an agent of HOST. He approaches her, and bids her a final farewell, setting out for the southlands alone. “[Cael, sombrely] I won’t ask you to reconsider. I shall remember the good times, and tell no tales of these dark days. It is as my people have always done. Farewell, my old friend. Please don’t get yourself killed. I shall pray to Andike that when we meet again it is in happier times.”
His four companions were gone. One had walked a path Cael would not tread, another lie dead in the Forests of Firr… and one had vanished in the chaos, his memory becoming hazier by the day as if some unseen force had erased him from history. Cael clung to the memory of his former friend, the man known as Nikola Tesla, knowing there is no worse crime than telling a tale wrong.
With little else to do, Cael set out to track down the man Sirius and find the three blades, heartache still fresh. It is a dangerous path to walk alone, and Cael still awaits the day when he finds those worthy three that will join him in his quest...