Heiro (pronounced Hee-eye-roh)
Laruka (Quadrupedial lupine species)
All Laruka are highly photosensitive and as such wear a light filter when above ground so that they can see without being blinded. Their lupine characteristics make it impossible to speak any human language, and to compensate they can communicate telepathically, though this is limited to sending messages. They also walk on all fours, but can stand up on their hind legs for a few seconds if need be.
Appears similar to a Giant Schnauser, ~3 ft. tall on all fours, as tall as a human on his hind legs. Wears a segmented metal cuirass that extends to a spaulder on his left shoulder, as well as a plain fabric light filter secured by a gold chain. The cuirass is enchanted to decrease its weight and to lessen damage from magics or enchantments.
Heiro is fairly sociopathic, having been raised in the pre-contact Laruka culture. Other than those few he respects, he sees other beings as opportunities to be taken advantage of. He prefers to strike from the shadows, but can also fight up close if need be. If someone tries to treat him like a normal dog, though, they feel the bite of his dagger. He enjoys a pint or several after a long day of combat, be it political, magical, or physical.
Heiro started life in the home caverns of his people, a while before contact with the surface’s Empire. There was but one law in this pre-contact society: If you can’t defend what you have, you don’t deserve it. In this, his sociopathic nature was a decisive advantage. Heiro rose high in this society due to a combination of magical skill, diplomacy, and sheer ferocity. He had power, prestige, and wealth. His reputation was such he could take anything through intimidation alone and keep it secure by the same virtue. Once contact was established with the outside world, Laruka society underwent a drastic change. Heiro, however, weathered it quite well. Since he brokered the terms under which they would join the Empire, he was given the Region where they lived to rule. Now subject to laws, however, murder, theft, pure intimidation no longer served him as it once did. Those on the surface were ignorant of his reputation. They sent armies against him to try and claim power, while his supposed vassals refused to commit anything; Heiro found himself trying to defend his homeland without an army.
True to his roots, he found a way to take what he needed. Developing his signature enchantment, he gathered a group of his fellow Laruka and unleashed a series of hit-and-run attacks on his foes. Those wounded by their enchanted blades grew sick and died. All of those killed by the blades or their effect simply vanished. The enchantment poisoned its victims, sapping their strength. Those who died with the poison in their system were turned into what is called a Restless – a Revenant which still has an intact soul, making it far more powerful. These Restless are absolutely, unquestioningly loyal to Heiro alone. Enchanting their blades, he added them to his ever-growing forces. By the time he consolidated his rule, he had taken the armies of several nations for his own.
In recognition of his accomplishments and as a reward for his faithful service to the Empire, its leader granted him Immortality of the Spirit. Heiro's soul is bound to a Collector, a device similar to a Phylactery. Overriding any other enchantments or effects, Heiro's soul returns to his Collector upon death. When he activates its regenerative functions, his body is rebuilt from the materials surrounding the Collector. Heiro has a special chamber for this purpose, with his Collector sitting in a massive tank of blood. Why blood? He needs somewhere to put it all and a purpose to use it for.
He spent the eons alternately serving on the High Council, experimenting with magic, and travelling with a fellow immortal – a Sorshal** named Lynd. The two quickly became friends, as there were precious few other beings who had obtained immortality.
*Bipedial lizard-like species; think a cross between a Bangaa and an Argonian. Sorshal are hermaphrodites and self-identify their gender.
Heiro has provided single-use collectors primed for Zan Lang's and Equites Occulus's souls, so that they can go all out without fearing a permanent death.
- Signature Enchantment: Heiro has a personal enchantment, which he uses on all of his weapons. Its effects were outlined in the previous tab, but I’ll copy-paste it here for the lazy:
- Enchanted Dagger: A simple, unadorned dagger enchanted with Heiro’s signature enchantment, outlined above. It is stored on a sheath built into his spaulder. He draws and uses it with his teeth.
- Bow and Arrows: Heiro carries a simple folding bow and a quiver of arrows. Each arrow has his signature enchantment, outlined above. He is a competent archer, though far from the best. He can rear up on his hind legs, open the bow, nock & draw an arrow, aim, fire, and stow the bow back in exactly 10 seconds.
- Teeth: Heiro can bite people quite hard, about 2.5x the strength of a normal dog. Don’t worry, he’s had his interdimensional rabies shots.
- Ghost Magic: Ghost Magic is fairly simple, but can be devastating. The first spell creates an ethereal bond between Heiro and his victim. Subsequent spells take advantage of this bond to drain a portion of the victim’s stamina or health to replenish his own, the amount varying based on the strength of the spell. If the victim is aware of this bond, it requires an immense amount of concentration to use, since he has to fight to open a channel through the bond as well as to siphon off the energy.
- Void Magic: Heiro’s mastery of Void Magic allows him to manipulate the Void, the embodiment of nothingness. The support spells rely on bringing the Void to existential prominence, and its attacking spells use the Void to break reality. These spells can increase his stealth capabilities by cloaking himself in the Void, can allow him to mentally break opponents by confronting them with the embodiment of the cessation of existence, or can manipulate the Void itself to send small fissures in reality linearly away from his body to attack with. Heiro does not like using this form of magic overmuch, since too much use of its attacking capabilities can tear the local reality to shreds, killing both him and his target.
- Lunar Magic: Lunar Magic spells serve one of three purposes. They either darken an area, damage a foe by weakening their soul's connection to their body, or do both at the same time. Lunar Magic does not require a line of sight to be used. Like most Laruka, Heiro uses the support spells to protect his eyes against bright light. He has also found a use for it if cast in a large area by darkening the area past the point where most beings can't see, but still leaving enough light for his eyes to see by. He takes a large risk with this, though, as if the effect is dispelled before he can get his light filter back on there is a high chance he will be blinded.
- Blood Magic: The manipulation of blood. He can use it to heal himself by speeding up the regeneration of his own blood, attack others by manipulating the blood in their veins, or use any blood lying around as a tool. Blood Magic is one of the newer and least-defined areas of magic, and as such Heiro likes experimenting with it.
- Necromancy: Necromancy spells allow Heiro to manipulate and create the undead and other nonliving entities. Using this magic, he can create and command skeletons, revenents, or golems out of whatever material is available. If necessary, he can drain his own constructs or those of others to heal himself. Using the higher-level spells lets him wrest control away from other Necromancers, allowing him to use his foe's undead against them.
- Earth Magic: Earth Magic involves manipulating the ground beneath the caster, target, or some point in between. TBC