Sunday, April 19, 2009

Malasion Attukha

Malasion Attukha
Common Man, Urban, Magician
23yo, 73" 165#, thick black hair, green eyes, fair skin, angular features, smooth feminine complexion, "pretty"
TP: Amateur Mage (L)
Talents: Mentor, Knighted, Innate Magician, Rune Lore, Herbalist, Quick Calculator
Flaws: Poor Eyesight (Far), Complete Klutz, Duty (Lesser)

Malasion, or Mal, of the Attukhas of House Attukha, hails from a family that considers itself to be one of the oldest and longest established of all of the old families of the Triad cities and has the geneologies and arranged in-bred marriages to prove it in court. But being one of the oldest and longest established, with long traditions of mercantile endeavors and public service, has not made the Attukhas amongst the wealthiest of the old families of the Triad cities. Generations of neices and nephews of the Attukhas, plagued with hemophilia and mental illnesses, have long been supported off of a combination of old money and income from entrepreneurial endeavors on the part of the hale and healthy. Still the family maintains the legitimate claim of pure descent from the ancient Mariners and High Men of the Empire of Man from that great age in the Old Country where noble Men laid claim, for a brief moment in time, to rule of the entire world. Those were the days.

Those Canaan days we used to know,
Where have they gone, where did they go?
Tres bien. Raise your berets, to those Caanan days.

Mal was raised in his uncle's estate, his mother's brother's house, as an Attukha. His mother, hemophiliac, died in childbirth and his father (and nephew) refused to accept Mal as his own. As a young child, Mal was considered a sickly, pampered by wetnurses and herbalists, and feared of being hemophiliac like his mother. Confined with books, with herbalists and dabblers for tutors, Mal developed a voracious appetite for reading. His propensity to acquire prodigious bruises from seemingly innocent activities, such as reading in the library, proved to be of a more innocent diagnosis than his mother's bane. Mal was simply clumsy. Extremely clumsy. Even with corrective lenses for his mildly poor eyesight, he was a klutz. Once it was proven safe for him to do so, countless hours were spent in enforced physical activity as Mal was compelled to learn basic swordwork and develop his pitifully underdeveloped physique all to little avail. No amount of tutoring in the art of swordsmanship could give Mal even the basic capacity to defend himself from a small child with a stick, and no amount of threatening or punishment could keep him from tutoring himself in academic dabblings such as theoretical mathematics, alchemy, herbalism, and astronomy.

I closed my eyes, drew back the curtain
To see for certain what I thought I knew
Far far away, someone was weeping
But the world was sleeping
Any dream will do.

It was through those self-directed study hours, and thanks to the availability of obtuse texts from the libraries of his uncle and his uncle's friends, that Mal stumbled upon his greatest love: ancient symbols. At first it was a study in cryptography, an easy task for a boy with a brain like a natural abacus and some basic grounding in advanced maths. As if before his eyes, symbols revealed their meanings. Meanings became languages. Languages belied cultures. Ancient peoples long dead whispered to Mal from pages of rubbings of ancient craftwork and runes. The shapes cooked in Mal's brain like his aunt's spicy curry, a heterogenous mass, until the truth of the symbols finally revealed itself to him in a dream. Mal was studying Runes, the written form of pure magic in the tongue of the Ancient Gods, and in their pure form those Runes could be the words by which whole worlds could be created or destroyed. Runes, the symbols of command of the magical essence that ties and binds all living things in the world, revealed themselves to Mal through the language of dreams.

To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
To run where the brave dare not go.

A thousand years now since the fall of the Empire of Man and the close of the Second Age, the cities of the Triad have managed to keep many of the old traditions alive and look to these days as the dawn of a new Silver Age - forever billing the Empire of Man as the Golden Age of Mankind. Tomes of ancient knowledge have been hoarded, reprinted, rewritten, and filtered down. One of those old traditions that the Triune have managed to keep reasonably well is the practice of maintaining an organized College of Wizardry as a cloistered and sanctioned institute of higher learning. Reserved for the elite families and those with exceptional talent, Mal had the advantage of both and parlayed his self-directed study of ancient symbols into scholarly appointment to the College of Wizardry.

Nearly five years later, Mal has developed a sage-like understanding of the language of runes and a solid comprehension of the magic of symbols. His theoretical foundations have been polished with practical knowledge of the direct effects of essence magic. His raw knack for herbology has tied together the dabblings in herbalism he observed as a youth with academic study of arcane flora to make him something of an accomplished apprentice herbalist on top of everything else. Yet despite his raw talent, it was not talent alone that made possible his years of academic study. The knowledge of magic and of runes accessable to the wizards of the Triad cities is like embers in the cold ashes of what Empire wizards once stoked as a bonfire. It is from these raw embers that a small group of mages seek to restore the secrets of those Empire wizards like a Phoenix rising from ash. Mal completed his education indebted and inducted to the Order of Phoenix.

Frocked and collared, graduated with honors, and bearing a sigil of the Order, Mal also found himself earning recognition as a Diplomate of the College of Magic in recognition of his work in deciphering the symbols of magic of the Empire of Man now being secretly trickled back to the Triad Cities from explorers in the Old Country. Explorers of mercenary motivation and little or no understanding of the value of their discoveries, who necessarily leave the choicest bits behind or fail to share key pieces of information. Or who fail to come back at all. The motivation of the Triad old families has been to seek out exploitable resources and ancient treasures for mercantile or personal gain, with similar motivations attributed to independant explorers and even those few explorers secretly sponsored by the College of Wizardry itself.

And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable star.

Without any specific mandate from his family, his city, his College, or his Order, Mal has made his own way with a little help to the Old Continent. Somehow he hopes to find, attach himself to, or organize himself some sort of expedition to seek out sites of Old Empire population and ferret out secrets of Old Empire magic. There is treasure and wealth to be found, or so the tales say, but the real treasure that Mal seeks is that of knowledge. Mal finds himself lost and out of place in the rough frontier town of Vertius Port. Maybe he'll be able to attach himself to a larger group as a loreist or an herbalist, but the ideal would be to assemble a smaller band that can travel light and prospect rumors that other groups of explorers have overlooked. The dream of discovery and the lure of being the first in over a thousand years to rediscover some crucial key to understanding the essence of magic drives Mal forward.

May I return to the beginning
The light is dimming, and the dream is too
The world and I, we are still waiting
Still hesitating
Any dream will do.


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