People: Kalrios Dilark
- "In time, perhaps we can heal the wounds of the past."
Kalrios Dilark (RIY -28 Nov 11 – ... / CR -141 Var 16 – 507 Lis 23 / AO -607 Ash 6 – 41 Ivy 27) was a powerful elven archmage, known for his rather public schism with traditional elven values, readiness to assist humans and other younger races, and founding of the Magocracy of Diarl.
Kalrios, being an elf, has had a long life that covers much of Trinity's recent history. His knowledge of history and his ability with Magic have made him a key player in many major events over time.
Birth and Early Life
Kalrios was born in RIY -28, and thus did not know much of the world of the Woodland League, though he was born into it. The Dilark family hailed from what would become the Ronkan city of Arcadia, and his father, Shoilar Dilark, was one of the few elves that studied arcane magic, it having been outlawed for human usage several centuries prior. Given his father's position, the young Kalrios had much exposure to the Druidic sponsorship program, and thus met nearly all the humans in the Woodland League allowed to practice arcane magic.
Shoilar, having been present at the time of the creation of the Lost, was a staunch believer in humanity's ability to handle magic, which put him at odds with the elven leadership of the Woodland League. This belief in racial equality was handed down to Kalrios, insofar as he could be taught as such in his early life.
During what the elves called the War of Technological Aggression, Kalrios and his family joined the other elves that fled from Sarteri and headed northward, to the continent of Ashkar. There, the Dilarks assisted the druids in the formation of the Iscali Theocracy, a spiritual successor to the Woodland League. This time, however, the elven leadership vowed that humans would not be allowed access to power of any sort, and they and their allies - the dwarves, in particular - were held in enmity. Meanwhile, Shoilar Dilark slowly went mad from mental illness, leaving the young Kalrios to fend for himself in a world where Magic and Technology both were closely watched and held under deep suspicion.
Kalrios learned what he could from his father, and when the man went completely mad, Kalrios began researching the arcane on his own, replicating steps made by other magicians in times long lost, building his knowledge through experimentation, trial and error. In this manner, Kalrios began to see the similarities between Magic and Technology, and also - in his quest for greater skill in his craft - came to understand the insatiable curiosity of humanity. He was careful, however, to keep these opinions to himself, ever wary of the Druids that ruled the Theocracy with a strong hand.
The Iron Age
As the new generations of Nevhonim were born, those who had known of the elves all their lives, the leaders of the Theocracy decided that perhaps it was now time to further explore the continent of Ashkar. Kalrios accompanied a band of elves headed for the northern-most reaches of Ashkar, and there encountered for the first time vesuvans, an enigmatic race of shapeshifters with stronger ties to the Blue than any creature the elves had ever encountered. Their existence piqued a level of curiosity in Kalrios he had not felt before, and raised many questions. The vesuvans, however, were a secretive lot, and greatly refused to communicate with the elves, instead preferring to remain isolated from the world on their islands.
Rumors now came from the south, that the humans had begun experimenting with combining Magic and Technology. Kalrios, excited by the potential applications of this approach, took up a disguise and ventured to Sarteri alone. Nearing a century old at this time, he explored the world the humans had built, and encountered the new foreigners that had taken up residence there, such as the clavats and moogles. He discovered that Magic, in the Ronkan Empire, was not outlawed, but even encouraged, and thus procured what material he could without arousing suspicion.
In this time, Kalrios also learned of the Empire's position on the Druids, and their outlawing of such studies of the natural world and their oppression of the Gaeli and what few elves remained on Sarteri. The (from an elven perspective) sudden influx of religious extremism in the Empire also surprised Kalrios, and worried him somewhat, as it was yet another factor that drove the general human position towards elves and their ilk.
Kalrios also spent time in the city-state of Wayverith, and learned much of Magic there, particularly from the Espers, a people that had been - unbeknownst to him - strongly persecuted during the time of the Woodland League. Kalrios suspected that the peoples of Wayverith, and particularly its ruling families, harbored a significantly stronger ire towards the elves, as he learned that the Wayveri family had had a long and storied tradition of magic use, and they had been particularly singled out by the elves, as one of the participants in the duel that created the Lost had been a Wayveri.
Having spent two decades in the Ronkan Empire, Kalrios finally decided to return to his home in Ashkar, in the summer of RIY 72, to commemorate his centennial birthday with his father. Unfortunately, by the time Kalrios arrived, Shoilar had died of complications due to his illness. Knowing that his time spent in the Ronkan Empire and his Magical leanings could be used against him, Kalrios sought out a Druidic sponsor for his use of Magic, and found one in Netanya Loku, a druid not much older than he.
Netanya recognized Kalrios' gifts for the arcane, and noted that his knowledge now far surpassed anything held by the elves, as his was a fusion of many arcane traditions. Netanya urged the young mage to take up teaching, and - with the reserved blessings of the Druidic leadership of the Theocracy - Kalrios was granted the right to form a wizard academy and share what he knew, with Netanya presiding over the institution as resident sponsor. Kalrios took up the work with gusto - using it as a means to take his mind off the death of his father - and in time, despite his young age, was acknowledged as one of the leading researchers of magic in the Theocracy.
In RIY 98, Kalrios discovered, hidden deep within the possessions left behind by his father, a work in an indeterminate tongue. Using his magic to decipher it, Kalrios discovered that it seemed to be a book of prophecy, foretelling events in a riddling manner. Uncertain of whether or not it was useful or simply the last ramblings of a dying man, Kalrios kept the book but did not study it much, finding the matter unsettling.
The Iron Twilight
News of the fall of the Ronkan Empire in RIY 113 was met smugly by the elven leadership, who touted this as an example that Magic - and now, Technology - could simply not be trusted, nor could the humans who wielded them. In particular, the Nevhonim who occupied elven lands now faced greater persecution and oppression, with the elves completely limited their lives and their ability to gain knowledge that could lead to either discipline.
Kalrios confided in Netanya that he believed that such oppression was what directly led to the Ronkan Uprising, though he dared not say as such lest he be labelled a traitor to the elven cause. When word came from Sarteri that Wayverith had incited a civil war, and humans of the rest of the Ronkan Empire were fleeing north, the Theocracy opened its doors only for those of Gaeli origin: the elves believed that the Gaeli were the only humans they had encountered that could be trusted, and even then, they, too, were subject to the rules and regulations the elves had put in place for humans. All others were turned away, and they were forced to venture to other lands, out of sight of the elves of Ashkar.
Armed with the full knowledge of what had transpired in the Ronkan Empire, Kalrios sought to warn the Druidic leaders of the Theocracy that Wayverith harbored great resentment towards the elves, and believed that they might, one day, seek their retribution. Kalrios was laughed out of the council, however, told that humans were incapable of realizing such supposed revenge: their lives were much too short, after all, and after a few generations, Wayverith would collapse, as well.
It was also at this time that Kalrios realized that the prophecies written by his father may have a hint of truth to them, as he recalled a number of passages related to the fall of the Ronkan Empire. He had insufficient evidence to present his findings, however, and having been chided by the leaders of Iscali once, opted not to inform his superiors of what he believed laid in store in the future.
In CR 17, the world erupted into chaos as the great dragons awoke from their slumber. Driven by motives unknown, the world was thrown into disorder as dragons warred against one another, using forces and powers unknown to all but the most learned. The elves of the Iscali Theocracy could only stand by and watch as their skies erupted in flame and lightning, using what powers they could to protect their world from the devastation.
Kalrios assisted in the manner to which he was accustomed. Through his mastery of the powers of Magic, he and his students worked on spellcraft that would prove to be at least marginally functional against the dragons. For this, the Druidic council would look on him more favorably in the future. In the proceedings of working these powerful magics, however, Kalrios lost one of his students through what he would - much later in life - come to understand as a time rift, opened through the machinations of a man from the (then) far future and using Kalrios' own spells as a catalyst for the rift's creation. This event caused Kalrios to realize that there was much, much more to the world in which he lived than he had ever imagined, though he was uncertain what, if anything, he could learn about it from within the confines of the Theocracy.
For the near-century after the Draconic Armageddon, Kalrios continued his studies, teaching and researching magic. Having realized that the Draconic Armageddon had been predicted by his father decades prior, Kalrios now took his father's book of prophecy significantly more seriously, studying it and attempting to understand the riddles inside to better guard against the dangers the future held.
In CR 110, Kalrios learned that the leader of Wayverith had been deposed by his only son, Kotrit Wayveri, and that the boy had unparalleled command of Magic, particularly necromancy. Having thoroughly studied his father's prophecies, Kalrios believed that this was the signalling of the beginning of the War of the Illusionist, as his father referred to it. Kalrios attempted to warn the Druids of the Theocracy, but by this time, they had come to fear Kalrios' command of Magic, and were unwilling to trust his word. Even Netanya vouching for the mage did little to convince the druids, and the warning was unheeded. Kalrios, however, began working diligently, training his mages in ways to combat Magic, as well as training a new breed of warrior, one who wielded sword and magic in tandem.
In CR 114, the Iscali Theocracy was suddenly subject to an onslaught of undead that seemed to come from nowhere. Kalrios' fears of Kotrit had finally come to fruition, but with his warnings unheeded, his force of wizards were only able to slow the forces of darkness, unable to stop them from completely overrunning the Theocracy.
Unable to save the Theocracy, and believing that other nations had fallen prey to Kotrit's hatred as well, Kalrios - along with Netanya - fled to Chaliraz, seeking whatever assistance they could. In a very public debate, Kalrios openly defied the leadership of the Theocracy, who had no interest in turning to anyone - much less humans - for assistance. Kalrios, in turn, argued that only through banding together could the world be saved from this monstrosity: a monstrosity, he pointed out, for which the elves had planted the seeds from which it sprouted. Appalled by this accusation, the Theocracy forbade Kalrios from ever returning, lest he be tried for treason. Kalrios took this as a sign that his time with his people had come to an end, and knew that, once the War ended, he would have to seek out refuge elsewhere. He left the best of his apprentices behind, that they might marshal what little of the Theocracy's arcane forces they could, and promised that he would find a way to end the necromancer.
Arriving in Chaliraz, Kalrios found that these lands had not gone unnoticed by Kotrit. Finding a sudden and ready ally in Tamerlane, Kalrios and Netanya assisted the half-elven warlady as best they could, utilizing Magic and Nature the likes of which had not been seen in Chaliraz. At Tamerlane's urging, the pair headed to the capital of the Hofstadt Confederacy, Sharlyik, where - she said - the major powers had gathered, a final stronghold against Kotrit.
Kalrios' arrival in Sharlyik was not viewed without suspicion on the part of its inhabitants, but here Kalrios found a land where all were considered equal, finding himself rubbing shoulders with users of psionics, technology, divinity, nature, and even stranger powers, wielded by members of races Kalrios could scarcely identify, much less name. Despite this sudden culture shock, Kalrios was recognized by the leaders of Sharlyik, and his assistance welcomed: his power as a mage, it seemed, had granted him a reputation that flew far beyond the borders of the Theocracy.
It was here that Kalrios met the leader of the resistance against Kotrit: a man called Tarian. He called himself a "Wanderer," though Kalrios - nor anyone of the Confederacy - knew precisely what that meant. Tarian informed the mage that he had been waiting for he and Netanya, speaking of a need for members of each Force, though this term's meaning was lost on Kalrios. The man then explained, in patient but little detail, the nature of the Forces, and Kalrios' eyes were opened to the ways of the world. So many events - in particular, the fall of the Ronkan Empire - were suddenly made clear in light of this new knowledge.
Tarian explained that while Tamerlane occupied Kotrit's forces in Chaliraz, he wanted to assemble a small group to seek out Kotrit and end him. Doing so, he believed, would bring an end to the War. Kalrios agreed, and along with eight others - Netanya among them - they went forth and did battle with Kotrit directly. Kalrios' contributions to the conflict, particularly his knowledge of shield stones that he had gained during his sabbatical in the Ronkan Empire, were major factors in the groups' ability to succeed in penetrating Kotrit's defenses and reaching the necromancer.
During this time, Kalrios asked many questions of Tarian, and the two grew close over their time during the War. Kalrios kept extensive notes on nearly everything Tarian said, believing that the foreigner to Trinity was a keeper of secrets that Kalrios had not even known existed.
In time, Kotrit was defeated, through means that The Nine - as Tarian called them - were forbidden from speaking of to any other. Before Tarian sealed the Tower in which the necromancer was defeated, Kalrios collected a number of spellbooks that the young necromancer had either penned or found, determined to study them so as to be able to fight such evils on his own in the future. In particular, Kalrios was perplexed by the secrets of what Tarian referred to as "Epic Magic," the sorts of power that Kotrit had used to turn entire regions into frozen wastelands or raise entire continents from below the sea. Kalrios had never witnessed such power, and believed that - if the people of Trinity were to be able to save themselves in the future - he would require such magic.