Cooper Carrion Crown
Isaac Desericus (Deceased)
Human (Celestial/Undead) Crossblooded Sorcerer
As for looks, the picture really does a good job of what I think Isaac looks like. He is slightly more bronze than the image, but the style of dress is very similar to what I imagine. The hair is also what I envision for him, as it has a hint of “Egyptianish” style that I think he would have (at least for his hair).
(Note that the structure of the background is screwed up here. The form is important to the story, but it is somewhat lost in this biobox).Beyond This feeling haunts me.
An ever-present specter looming within my form.
My soul. Is it my own?
A ghostly figure
Within and without, in two worlds
A phantom, a shadow, a spirit
Infinitely corrupted angel
At the hour of the star.
“I-Isaac…Wake up…Please…” she sobbed. “May the graces of the Everlight pass unto you. Please, Sarenrae, do not let this be the end…”
I often ponder the strange thought that my life had somehow began when I was at death’s door; a rebirth, to a certain degree. What I recall about my life when we lived in Solku, Katapesh are not spaces, physical or temporal, but loneliness. A feeling, or perhaps lack thereof. What some could call the absence of space. A void that I kept trying to fill, that no trinkets or treasures my parents procured for me would (or could) suffice. It was as if I was the night sky and they tried to blanket me with stars; even on the clearest night, what will dominate the sky most are not lights in the multiverse, but the black, unknown, unending night.
Both of my parents were (and as far as I know, still are) high-ranking officials in the faith of Sarenrae. The Everlight. The Healing Flame. My mother, (Lady) Chanar Cynore – a divine warrior devoted to Sarenrae and the leader of an organization know as the Dawn Vigil. Mother never had much time for me, given her official position in the city. She was strong-willed and mild-mannered, even under the constant stress she felt looming from unsavory bandits, gnolls, violent heathens and undead.
Undead. Nocturnal horrors. Specters that vex us even when they are not present. They weave through our walls, through our minds, and take what they desire and leave what they do not need. They are everywhere, and even the sun on the hottest, brightest, most brilliant of days will not keep them from your thoughts.
I saw father more often, though he was just as busy as mother (or so it seemed). Father, his name Vanhemar Desericus, was a burly, gruff, virile, but good-hearted man. Also a worshipper of Sarenrae, he and my mother often traveled together to uncharted regions of Garund, rooting out evils and hollowing ground on behalf of The Everlight. It all appeared so strange, so surreal, to put faith in something essentially immaterial. (An illusion?) Especially when they shunned living, material things, like me – a body upon which to project or deposit their wishes. Childhood. A period of shaping physically, emotionally, mentally; yet during this crucial temporal state my parents devoted their actions and desires elsewhere and had no time a son.
“…He is still with us,” she sighed._
The highest, most fortified walls will not protect you from those who can move through them.
I was thirteen years old. The creature’s white skin was taut, it’s eyes a dark amalgam of vermin, twisting in and out of the creature’s face. The being threw me around the room, then onto the floor; I was a marionette for this puppeteer’s amusement. A game. For an undead creature (which I am told it was), beings devoid of emotion, it seemed quite pleased with its actions. I sensed joy, albeit tainted, but rapture in the control, assault, rape, and rapture of my flesh.
My mother arrived with a host of guards, servants, slaves, all of whom gasped and screamed at the event unfolding in the pillared corridors. Warriors drew sword, arcanists launched spells, and waves of tremendous divine energy emanated from clerics. The white, immense creature did not seem fazed. Agitated that it had been interrupted, the creature opened its chest cavity and moved toward my body. Slowly, at first. It soon hovered over me. It reared its head back and let out a primal scream that was somewhat muffled by the sound of crunching bone and the gurgling of blood coming from a…thing inside the fiend’s body. The one within this white monster’s chest tumbled out of the cavity; a bizarre, unnatural form of (un)birth. As the body hit the ground I felt my own rise, though my flesh still lay across the floor. A slight tug. Followed by a much stronger pull towards the creature. I felt like screaming but I could not summon the strength to do so. My displaced materiality soon merged with the monster’s sinews, bones, and plasma. It was cold to me. An unnatural cold that even the Crown of the World did not know. My senses failed and I deteriorated. Within the figure of undeath my body was transformed. Reborn.
I cannot say what happened next. Many died before the creature departed; it was no denizen of this world. Mother claims she eventually banished the fiend from Katapesh.
Banished. Yet not destroyed. Like a disease, a virus, it would remain. Somewhere in the world. Somewhere in a body in the world. A promised eternity.
I awoke to the sound of muffled prayers. Atonal, yet peaceful, I moved back into myself. Mother and father stood over me, surrounded by a cadre of other priests and acolytes. Lights flared in the room as the residual effects of the spell that had restored me lingered on the materials in the room. Amidst the calm sighs I found myself to be uncomfortable and out of place; I was (am) a temporal anomaly. A miracle, but at what cost? Suddenly, my body convulsed and a putrid, vile smelling black liquid leaked from my ears, nose and mouth. The taste, smell, feel of this substance assaulted me. What happened to me? What did that creature do? What did these priests do? …Why bring me back?
_“Our magics have failed to expunge whatever curse has befallen our son,” I heard my mother cry from the other room.
“There may be an alternative” my father solemnly interjected. “Brother Alton claims that there is a… “Specialist”…practiced in arcane magic that may be able to help Isaac. “This man, Professor Petros Lorrimor, lives quite far, in Ustalav, but we have the money to arrange for expeditious travel.
Mother stumbled to find the words… “Ustalav?!” Will that not just exacerbate this situation…?”
My father interrupted with a heavy, grim sigh, “What other choice do we have?”_
Choice? Well, I had choice. To some degree. I chose to return, albeit not in the same form. I chose to go with my father to see Professor Lorrimor in Ustalav. Indeed, I was willing to take any kind of measures to help control this affliction that penetrated my body and mind. For three years, my parents and visiting priests, soothsayers, and hedge mages tried to restore me to my former life. My minor innate magical abilities, appearing during childhood, manifested wildly; without warning, lights would brighten or dim, small fires would alight without source, and at times magical auras would seemingly erupt around me, producing an almost overwhelming perceptual disturbance. Further, I knew my parents were running out of options and their full attention was needed in Katapesh. For these reasons, I decided to stay with the Professor in Ustalav.
Professor Lorrimar’s legendary status as an eminent scholar on innate arcane magic led me to stay under his tutelage. Lorrimar became a surrogate father for me; I had not been close with my parents. It was an intriguingly rewarding experience for both of us, I think, and apropos for where we both were in our lives. Lorrimar rigorously forced me to practice controlling my urges and emotions, the affective overloads to which I was prone. At first I was incredibly unsuccessful; as time went on and I grew into my rebirth, I became better equipped to use my powers for more pragmatic purposes. At the same time, I became a prized subject of study, situated almost perfectly at the intersection of Lorrimor’s various scholarly interests.
Still, he could never quite figure out how to fully remove this virus within me. Lorrimor surmised that coming into “contact” with a very powerful undead creature at a young age blended with my innate bloodline. Somehow, during the process of this creature attempting to take my soul into itself, I died. I was resurrected, but a fraction of this undead’s essence lay within my body still. Trapped. A trapped piece of a soul, if you believe an undead could have such a thing. Spirit or essence were words that Lorrimor used, recognizing the limits of our linguistic capabilities to describe such an event.
After five years of study with Professor Lorrimor, he requested that I leave Ustalav, to travel to other areas to use and develop my abilities. He had done enough for me. He had done all he could. Lorrimor gave me a home, allowed me to take classes and accompany him when he gave lectures. Sometimes I was the subject of the lecture, the object of study for the academic voyeurs. On other lecture circuits, I served as support if we encountered trouble during our travels. (The occasional bandit troupe unfortunately tried to pilfer our goods; this was always met with swift justice). Lorrimor encouraged me to write as a way to cope with the stresses of daily life. In the quotidian, not just the extraordinary, was where pressure, danger, and the threat of losing control were most difficult. Writing, in all forms (autobiographical, creative, nonfiction) allowed us to explore the dimensions of my life.
My parents did not contact me often during my time in Ustalav. This was a closed adoption; I was the proverbial damaged child, the penultimate mistake. Lorrimor professed that mother was currently suppressing the rising number of gnolls (and other horrors) in Katapesh, while also actively participating in some kind of underground resistance group of Sarenraeites in Rahadoum. Father stayed by her side, helping her with her resistance efforts. He remained in love with her, too infatuated with the thought she might eventually love him back. Someday. Who was I, but their son, to drive the wedge between them?
Lastwall seemed the perfect fit for someone like me. New recruits were rare and orc hordes from the Hold of Belkzen continued to strongly push back the borders everyone believed would stalwartly stand unfazed through time. Further, perhaps more importantly, this nation, reborn from fragments of other states, served as the watchers of Tar-Bophon, suppressing, holding, restricting, and binding this undead creature so his venomous form would not touch our lands again. Living on top of soil, of a nation, of flesh that vigilantly held powerful forces back was what I had been learning to do for years. I lived, in my body, in my flesh, what these
Lastwall citizens sought to control for many years. These were good, respectable people, who, against all odds, stood against evils pinning them down on all sides.
This – Lastwall. I belonged. I was Lastwall. I am Lastwall. I am a man, a border, that struggles against the heavy, strangling, pervasive, sometimes enfeebling energies bearing down upon me at all times. I must be vigilant. Always.
I am Lastwall.