The Lost Plane
Heir Apparent to the Fallen Merchant House Bhalannon
Practitioner of Traditional White Magic and uses a rare form of Black Magic in Combat known as the Thanatosis. This discipline focuses on augmenting hand to hand combat.
His War Sword Ascalon acts as a focus for magic, making Ashryel’s castings far more potent than they would normally be. Spells that use the blade as a focus can break most barriers and enchantments with ease. His stiletto Fang possesses the ability to drain the life-force of it’s victim and transfer it to the wielder.
Having been born to wealth but scorned because of his class, Ashryel is driven by the pursuit of power. To control his destiny and be truly free, that is the only cause worth fighting for. Notions of honor and justice are lies the strong tell the weak that they may be content in their place and never strive to be more than they are. While the Merchant House Bhalannon had amassed vast stores of wealth both for themselves and for the Golden City through its trade agreements with the Merfolk, they were still rebuked by the brightest of Elven society for being unclean Coin Lords. Few have felt this sting more clearly than Ashryel and none have been more driven to make Golden Lords eat their words with a side of blood. All that he has done is in the pursuit of this goal.
Ashryel quickly learned that wealth alone would not lead him to the freedom he so desperately craved. His father, the Merchant Prince Elthreld hoped to better his son’s station and by extension, the family’s by sending him to train to become one of the War Clerics of the Elven people. The Bhalannon clan turned to war in an attempted to gain acceptance by imitating the Elven Warriors who shunned their family. Though Ashryel was an apt pupil, he was continually beat down verbally and physically by the various members of the aristocracy he came in contact with in the Golden City but this only drove him harder. Soon he began to best even the tutors who came to teach him, yet still they mocked him! Still he persisted, less to bring glory to his House but to prove to the filth that called itself noble what one of tainted blood could achieve.
Eventually the War Priests could not deny his skill with a blade and grudgingly accepted him as an initiate. The Priests doled out arcane knowledge as a miser doles out Yule Tide coins. Ashryel quickly learned that if he were to find freedom it was only to be through his own skill and ingenuity. He began what would become a life long obsession when he acquired his first Grimoire, a copy of senior acolyte’s Spellbook. Priestly acolytes are not yet inured to the lure of a heavy coin purse, so it seems. The collection of items of power became a secret obsession with Ashryel. He often risked the wrath of his teachers as his bought, barrowed, and stole any object with a hint of true power, and it was this that was his family’s undoing.
His instructors were continually bemoaning his mindset, that he was twisting holy power to perform unnatural acts. While this was not quite enough to condemn him it was enough to see that he was watched closely. The events that led to his expulsion from the priestly order are unclear. What is known is that he was forced to return home in disgrace. Many thought Elthreld would be enraged beyond description and it was certain that he would disinherit the boy to salvage what good will he could with the Golden City. Yet the disinheritance was never filed with the Royal Court and Elthreld hid himself away from the world. Those that were able to see the Merchant Lord stated he seemed terrified. Any mention of Ashryel made him sequester himself in his study for days, and he flatly refused to see the boy under any circumstances. Something had happened to make him fear his own son. Yet, he never was allowed the opportunity to act on his fears.
Not long after Ashryel’s return from the Golden City, his father met with an untimely end, but not before his fears were made known to certain members of the Bhalannon household staff, most of whom were local Merfolk servants. One of the servants, a blacksmith named Vrayne, was intrigued by the young lordling. Vrayne was a master of the black arts and had been taught at the knees of his mother, a high priestess of Yserif. While it was near unthinkable to teach an outsider the secrets of the cult, this boy’s soul had been Yserif’s since birth. Her mark was plain enough for any of the Merfolk working in Bhalannon Hall to see. Vrayne took the boy under his tutelage, training him in the ways of Yserif and opening Ashryel’s mind to the eternal shadow. Vrayne even went so far as to forge Ashryel’s signature weapons Ascalon and Fang , though it was only until later that those weapons became more than just steel.
The two bonded as much as a dark master and his apprentice are able, and if Ashryel loved anyone in Fulsia, it would have been Vrayne. He was, after all, far more the father than Elthreld had ever been. But it is power and the freedom power offers that is the Bhalannonian prince’s obsession and there is great power to be had in sacrifice. Ashryel graduated from his dark academy in the only way a true dark sorcerer would. He attacked, defeated and sacrificed Vrayne during a solar eclipse and used his master’s soul to power the two mighty enchantments he laid upon his weapons.
Ironically it was this last act that finished House Bhalannon. The Nobles of the Golden City had been looking for an excuse to end the upstart House’s ambitions and there were far too many grim rumors surrounding the family for their liking. The Houses seat of power was on the edge of the Elven border and the King was unwilling to commit forces that might provoke their Merfolk trading partners to satisfy the jealousies of his nobles, but the Merfolk were far more willing to do so. The nobles funded the ringleaders of a mob from a village near the Bhalannon estate. These entrepreneurs incited the locals against their Elven “Masters” under the pretense that the Elves were sacrificing their Merfolk Servants to their God, the irony of this claim was apparently lost upon the locals. The enraged mob attacked and looted the palace, murdering everyone inside, Merfolk included. Ashryel had been on one of his many artifact hunting expeditions and returned to find all the power he had done so much to gather to himself scattered like the wind. In a blind rage Ashryel once again turned to the sacrifice ritual to fuel his spell to heights beyond what mortals should weave.
His newest acquisition was one of the notorious Black Lanterns used by mighty necromancers to lure the souls of the dead across the barrier between life and death and trap them in soul cages turning them into undead batteries for their dark experiments. The dead crave life, to feel it, to consume it, to extinguish it. Ashryel snuck in to the local graveyard which overlooked the village. He watched in a black fury while they gorged themselves in revelry for “freeing” themselves from Elvish tyranny. He used Ascalon to saturate the town with life force, making the village a buffet for the hungry dead. He then destroyed the Black Lantern as the final act of the spell, turning it from a subtle beacon to a blazing phantasmal sun. He quickly leaped upon his horse and rode away, only looking back long enough to see the legions of now corporal dead descend upon the village and hear the screams of those who would think to challenge him.
Most of his artifacts were destroyed in the attack but he was able to salvage a few trinkets while the village died. It was time to forge a new life for himself and recently, Ashryel has heard rumors of a great Tomb of Black Rituals somewhere along the divide. Freedom is for those with the will to grasp it.