Professor, Prince Driz'Meratar Shadowblade (a.k.a. Dezzner)
WORK IN PROGRESS
Dezzner Shadowblade (also known as Driz'Meratar by his birth name) causes often confusion simply by existing. If you don't look carefully enough, his ever-present watchful eye can completely go unnoticed. Combined with his perfect manners he can seem rather harmless, middle-aged drow that just happened to decide to take refuge at the surface. That, though, is rather misguided.
This pleasant, if a little creepy looking professor has done quite a bit in his time - and he is much more than one might first expect. Rumors tell that during the Battle of Moon Terrace it was he who fought with the rebels and killed Archmage Sylveiros Traceran in a duel.
Now working as Professor of Arcane Synergies in Silver Shore Academy of Magi, professor Shadowblade has become a known benefactor and good neighbor to residence of Moon Terrace. Is that just a camouflage for something more sinister, or has he just decided to retire from his adventuring days?
In Looking For Answers Storyline, Dezzner has taken both literal and figurative mentor-role on the -party, seeing both into their studies in Silver Shore Academy of Magi as well as being part of the party's support network.
Driz'Meratar, Driz'Mer the Sorcerer, Fallen Prince, Numil, Demon Prince, Dezzner - even considering his age, Dezzner has gone through several names. Surprisingly, he hasn't given himself any of them, though he has approved some of them more than the others.
Meratar, "Mer," meaning "Doom, doomed, fate" and "atar" meaning "prince, prince of" is Dezzner's birth name, given to him by his mother. Dezzner was born as a sickly infant, with crooked legs and he was estimated to have only a few hours to live. According to the story Shynt'vyrae was upset by the state of her firstborn. So she named him "Meratar" to state the obvious: this boy was not going to live. Meratar would, however, outlive the expectations.
"Driz" meaning "Hard, steel, unyielding", was added to the name as Meratar joined Yanta Menothar about 20 years old. However, while it at first glance might make the name sound better, it is widely believed this wasn't much of a compliment. It is believed to be another insult: while happy that her son was continuing family traditions, Shynt'vyrae highly disapproved of his son's methods to get there, using "Driz" to say he was stubborn beyond repair and too headstrong.
Driz'Mer the Sorcerer
As Dezzner's birth name had strong, negative connotations; it would make several people that liked him feeling uneasy about using the name. Dezzner's friends shortened the name to Driz'Mer, which might have been ominous, but more acceptable and typical drow name. Dezzner has used this name most of his life, using Driz'Mer the Sorcerer as name to refer himself when he doesn't want to gather attention to his family name. Driz'Mer isn't as loaded as other names Dezzner has ever had.
During the rebelling years of , it came a tradition to spook up the civilians on the spots they were going to do some display or otherwise make distraction that when the real deal started, there would be as little casualties as possible. On early in his career, Dezzner ended up to this job quite often because of his striking looks: drow, obsidian skinned figure and blood-red eyes. He would use his spells and disguises to appear in places to get everyone's attention before the real storm. His looks made some call him "like a demon," and it became a joke among Moonstalkers to refer this persona as "Demon Prince," and for laughs, this nickname was sneakily planted to the consciousness of common folk through gossip.
The character of "Demon Prince" became so iconic among the civilians that it came to a tradition to either disguise or to use illusion to make the person doing the distraction to imitate Dezzner's likeness. Practice made this alter ego look even more mysterious and intimidating. Dezzner himself seems mostly pretty indifferent about this character but Gnut Weaseltail seems to love it, and it does align with Dezzner's twisted sense of humor.
General Physical Condition
At first glance, Dezzner Shadowblade doesn't look much different to what you'd expect from a male drow, which is more adept at magic. However, if one gets a better look of him or compares him to his sons or even more so, to his siblings, it becomes apparent there is little more to it.
Dezzner is known to be very agile and generally fast in his movements.
While he has overgrown most apparent signs of it, Dezzner was born as a sickly child, and some of the marks of it are still visible. By height, he is about average for a drow male, but significantly more petite than the rest of his family.
While acrobatic when needed to, Dezzner hasn't built a lot of muscle mass. He has excellent posture though, and often feels a lot larger than he is thanks to his massive personality. His skin is obsidian black, almost absorbing light.
Dezzner's face is rimmed with black dragon scales: some covering his chin like a coatee, some are stationed on his cheekbones, and rest follow his eyebrow- and hairline. He has slightly hooked yet attractive nose and regal features joined with his almost knee-length pearly white hair and blood-red eyes. He tends to keep his hair on a loose bun in everyday scenarios but is known to boast very elaborate hairdos in moments where stealing all the attention is required.
His most recognizable feature would be his sly smile, almost gentle smirk that stays on his calm face like a mask for hours on end. Despite his otherwise menacing appearance, this smile with his voice and mannerisms eventually endears him to most people.
Because of his draconic origins, Dezzner's skin is thick and partly covered in visible black scales that from a distance are hard to spot. Even when trying to be discreet, if he isn't hiding, Dezzner has a habit of dominating any room he is in with his calm and majestic aura. It is particularly amusing when one realizes he is not doing it on purpose.
Joints of Dezzners knees and ankles were forced to a regular position during his childhood, but they do occasionally slip to unhealthy looking angles. When tired or under stress, one can see him limb or use his feet in ways that seem strange. He also doesn't always register the pain he feels if the said pain affects his legs. He appears to have excellent pain tolerance overall, but nothing too remarkable.
Dezzner is also left-handed, and when not paying extra attention to it, his letters tend to tilt to the right, making him have very distinct handwriting.
Dezzner counts as a draconic sorcerer, with conjuration wizard mixed in. His speciality is transmutation and conjuration spells, most of them focusing on movement, area control, buffs and debuffs with a bent towards utility over the damage. Most of these spells support his skills as a swordfighter. Some of his trademark spells include but are not limited to spells like Haste, Slow, Green-flame blade, Grease, Misty Step, Greater Invisibility and Gauseous form.
Apparel & Accessories
Usually, if not in work robes, Dezzner dresses quite humbly. While he makes sure his clothes are excellent quality, things that he usually wears don't catch one's eye immediately. He mostly wears his long hair in a loose bun. When he needs to dress to a part though, Dezzner has very lavish clothes in his wardrobe.
When at home in his days off or after work, Dezzner often gets cosy with his comfy morning robe and a pair from his impressive collection of stylish slippers.
Dezzner, originally known as Meratar Shadowblade was born 8th of Nov, 3609 for Shynt'vyrae Shadowblade, of the family and Mother of Shadows. He was the first born of his mother, and from the very begining his life was filled with discord.Circumstances of birth
Meratar's story was full of controversy even before he was conceived. His mother Shynt'vyrae was proving to be unconventional in her values, causing her mother Drisintralin some concern. Among the noble families, young Shynt'vyrae was seen rather progressive compared to the official stances of Great Matron Council.
She took liking to Durimar of house Onyxshard, talented warrior and swordfighter that who was viewed to be too low in the social ladder for her, causing a small scandal. With Shynt'vyrae's persistence and Durimar's ascension in ranks of Yanta Menothar, couple was eventually allowed to marry, becoming a power couple of their generation.
After Silver Shore Island had ended under the jurisdiction of Empire of Islenor, drow of Silver Shore Island did not come to terms of the new rulers of the land. Failed negotiations ended up to murder of Drisintralin Shadowblade, raising her daughter the of the house and military leader among her people.
As the cold war between the Silver Shore's drow and high elves of Islenor started, Shynt'vyrae became the leader of her people in the worst possible time. While she proved to be a capable leader, with the pressures of ruling started to take a toll on Shynt'vyrae's mental and physical health. Losing family members, friends, and allies became commonplace, making it increasingly hard to cope with her anxieties. To everyone's joy, however, Shynt'vyrae learned she was pregnant for her firstborn, and people wished eagerly for the birth of a baby princess to boost morale.
In 5th of Nov, 3609 Durimar Shadowblade died in a mission, protecting his people. Her husband's death mortified Shynt'vyrae. While his heroic deeds granted Durimar the title of Saint among his people, this gave no comfort to his greaving wife. The event has been since speculated to be the tipping point, where Shynt'vyrae's mental state started crashing down. Only a few days later Shynt'vyrae went in labor out of stress, way before the estimated birth.
To add salt to the wounds of the grieving matron, she gave birth to no princess, but a sickly little prince. The boy had twisting legs and was small and barely breathing, first speculated as stillborn. He would, however, have the dragon scales of Shadowblade family, and blood-red eyes of his father. Healers doubted the child wouldn't last overnight and offered to let him out of his misery, considering at most merciful option. Shynt'vyrae refused. Instead, she told her servants to take the child and make sure he would be taken care of. They ordered to guarantee that the boy would be as comfortable as possible, but they were instructed not to revive him if he would die. According to her own words, she owned that to her late husband. After that, she would leave the boy to the servants and name him Meratar, Doomed Prince, as she believed he'd be soon gone.
Against all the odds, little Meratar did live a day, then another, then a week, month, and soon a year - but al this time his mother refused to see him.
Despite the rocky start, Meratar would survive. His mental skills started to develop as expected, where his physicality would stay behind. He would stay his first years as painfully small, and his legs would grow so twisted that he was thought never to walk. He would be kept in his room and never to leave it to more than a few moments in the balcony or the gardens of the palace, always tended by a handful of carefully selected servants. No one else was to see him or interact with him, so for a good while he stayed hidden from the rest of the world.
In his first six years, his whole life revolved around an area of less than 50 square meters. His only touch to the world outside were the servants and stories they told, as well as his sizable bedroom window that opened up to streets of Netehdrez. He would spend his time with books, gifts by his mother, and watching people far below his window.
As Underdark is a cruel place to live, many of the tending servants took a harsh approach to raise the young prince. They would guarantee In such a dangerous environment, the defenseless cripple child was considered as a burden and teaching that to them as a valuable lesson for survival. As such, Meratar was made very aware from a young age he was only living out of his mother's mercy and father's noble sacrifice. While the young boy endeared some of the few servants, others would be cold and unforgiving. To cope with his environment, Meratar started to show sheepish behavior but also began to bargain with his servants for things like food and gossip to better his position. Training to read people and their needs to negotiate with them caused more than enough trouble for him but proved to be his most effective means to survive.
As Meratar had terrible legs, he would mostly move by dragging himself around or was carried by the servants. At the age of 3, however, the boy started to force himself to stand with varying results. Servants reported this behavior to his mother, who sent healers to examine him. Healer declared that there might be a way to repair Meratar's legs, and the skills of healers were put to the test. For the next three years, Meratar's legs were slowly bent to their position by leg bracers, letter straps, and magic, which proved to be a painful endeavor. Little Meratar proved to be strong-willed though, and despite the pain and being tired quickly, he soldiered on the treatment and practiced his shaky steps whenever possible.
At the age of six, the cosmetic problems with Meratar's legs were solved, though his legs would remain weak for a while. He would keep a strange waddle in his walk for decades to come, but it would eventually disappear, only reappearing when he got tired. While his ability to move was still minimal, for the first time since his birth, his mother was taking an interest in him.
He was called from his chambers, made pretty and presentable by the servants. For the first time he was allowed to venture outside of a few rooms he knew to rest of the castle so that he could be presented to his mother. Meratar would have dinner in his mother's presence and couraged to sing to her. For Meratar, whose mother had always been this almost mythical character, this was a momentous occasion. After the meeting, his life would change drastically.
To be continued, under works
During his childhood, Dezzner's education was excellent yet one-sided and incredibly controlled. He would learn languages, history, poetry, singing, and several other subjects expected to a noble boy, with the distinction that his training was laser-focused to only particular topics to please his mother. Dezzner would take swordfight lessons from the age of 7, and in the age of 12 Tebrakyrr Shadowblade became his mentor in matters of arcane. These lessons would be very narrow, mostly just training him to hide his magical talent instead of displaying it. He was also a subject of military training in Yanta Menothar.
However, as Dezzner grew more independent, he was known to train himself in several fields from the sheer joy of learning. He wouldn't be particularly competent on most of it, but his natural knack with people and magical talent made him talented in the field of arcane, diplomacy, research, information, and swordfight. He would acquire base skills for teaching out of his voluntary work, a skill he would further practice and learn in every opportunity. If asked, Dezzner will tell that his dream job has always been to be a teacher.
Dezzner would search several mentors, and other ways to broaden his studies, even more so after leaving Underdark behind. He spent some of his downtime in Stone Halls Archives and expanded his knowledge. After the War of Scale and Arrow he would put his learnings to use, getting a title of Professor and putting his effort to Arcane synergies.
Like expected from a member of the Shadowblade house, Dezzner started his career as a soldier in Yanta Menothar. Because of his overbearing mother and lack of interest on the matter, he never ranked particularly high on hierarchy and wasn't let to do surface patrols. He would start to do volunteer work on the side, taking part in community projects and teaching people to read and write and mentor a few younger mages behind his mother's back. His good relations to commonfolk and surface refugees made him work as a representative between nobles and commoners for several decades.
After escaping to the surface, Dezzner would join the rebellion group Empire of Islenor at the time. This included smuggling things and people to safety, helping those outcast by government, free people accused from crimes against Empire which disagreed with, having negotiations with those of Empire that was inclined to listen and solve the cold more mess as much as the rebels were and educating those Empire had abandoned. But as time went by, military action became more prominent among the group. Dezzner would flourish as a diplomat under these circumstances, and eventually, he would rise as the spymaster in the rebellion, and doubling as a squad leader., which mostly tried to protect people from the
Currently, Dezzner works as Professor of Arcane Synergies and the Head Advisor in Silver Shore Academy of Magi in Moon Terrace. He seems content to have left his more aggressive past behind though he might have never let go of his robust spy network. To everyone's distance, he is also stuck to present Great Matron Council of Silver Shore time to time, though both him and Council itself do avoid bothering one another.
Due to his upbringing and colorful life, Dezzner has gone through several traumas that have left their mark on him. While age has given him time to heal and the ability to conceal most of it, at times, the mental scars become more obvious.
This section is heavy on spoilers and deserves a trigger warning.Psychological scars
While mainly calm and well maintained, Dezzner suffers PTSD symptoms and feelings of heavy disassociation in stressful environments. Typical to people with anxiety, sudden, uninvited touch can cause him discomfort, making him seem colder as a person than he is. He touches and lets his self to be touched only by people he feels relative trust towards, and in moments he feels safe or perceives it to bring feelings of safety.
Dezzner is pleasant and polite most of the time and avoids speaking of his own emotions, mostly due to his incapability to put them into words. It's far more likely to learn things about him from others than it is from himself, as he seems unwilling and unable to speak about his own inner life, past or present unless he really needs to. Even when he does tell things, they are well-constructed snippets, only containing exactly the right amount of information to give his point across. While he enjoys performing and some attention, he is notoriously hard to get perform anything, as that reminds him of times where he simply existed as his mother's entertainment and toy.
"I am not a Circus monkey."
In moments of hard decisions and actions, it's common for Dezzner to feel a deep sense of detachment and disassociation from the situation and himself, making him sound like an entirely different person. It is good to note, however, that while Dezzner experience these moments as acts of someone else, he does consider them still as his own actions (read more under the "Attitude, and values") and considers himself responsible for said actions.
Acts of containing and controlling individuals and their ability to decide for themselves are both anxiety and anger-inducing for Dezzner. Despite being known as a mental manipulator, he is rather adamant of not giving orders, but giving suggestions, even if perceived otherwise. He is sensitive to notice possible boundaries broken by individuals and when situations are about to slip into the realm of abuse, even when the situation is relatively harmless. This puts him in a particularly tricky spot, as his instinct is to guide people and end up in power positions, while he feels deeply uncomfortable in a pure leadership role and being the constant center of attention.
While not exactly claustrophobic, Dezzner is uncomfortable with being restrained, confined, or otherwise contained from free movement. Even when he would otherwise be perfectly fine just with just staying in one place the whole day, a knowledge that he cannot leave a space or move in it can make him restless and trying to break out, just to keep the option of free movement available.
The unfortunate crippling effect that mangled Dezzner's legs echoes to his state of being to this day. He disassociates heavily from the pain he is experiencing, especially when said pain affects his legs. While his body reacts to pain, he doesn't always realize he is in pain, which has previously caused him further injure himself or tolerate painful situations. This is just as much a blessing as it is a curse.
When in Mori'tarna or under the influence of his mother for extended periods of time, Dezzner's otherwise fixed limp can suddenly resurface involuntarily. As this is a psychosomatic effect, he has very little control over it.
Dezzner has been so customer to be vilified, that he has very little to no reaction to any moral judgment people make of him. Acutely aware that he is going to be considered as a monster and a failure regardless of what he does, he puts no value for purely moral or feeling based arguments. He has learned in his long life that he takes no pleasure from suffering and rather works towards justice, and bases his actions on what he believes to be the best action to move towards that goal.
Loyal, caring, gentle, and supportive are words used to describe Dezzner by those closest people of his life, yet his aloof, scheming feeling exterior with his brutal sounding values don't immediately give that impression. The distance he keeps and harshness of his words he may display is not out of cruelty or indifference, but from a genuine belief that it is the best way to help others grow to their best selves. His success depends a lot from person to person.
In hard situations where others hesitate, Dezzner easily takes to himself to make the hard, uncomfortable decisions, in the belief they must be done. Dezzner rarely regrets these decisions, though he may feel sadness from them, though he does hide it when possible.
"Every story needs a villain, and sometimes it has to be you. Sometimes the only way to defend what you believe in is to work against them, to shield them from harm."
Towards Dezzner Shadowblade
Towards Welda Briarrose
Towards Dezzner Shadowblade
Towards Tebrakyrr Shadowblade
Clash of Meratar and Tebrakyrr
Unbeknownst to anyone outside of Shadowblade castle, Meratar Shadowblade, child of Shynt'vyrae's first husband, had scales of the Shadowblade family. Instead of showing them off to the world like other matrons, Shynt'vyrae wished to keep Meratar's sorcery as a secret, claiming it to be too vile and unstable to use. She tasked Tebrakyrr to watch over Meratar's training to control his powers trough wizardry and boy's magic as a secret. Young Tebrakyrr would take the task and holding this secret as his top priority to prove himself to his wife, but this proved to be harder than expected.
Neither Tebrakyrr or Meratar 12-year-old seemed to feel comfortable in their relationship, which ended up to several clashes from the get-go. These would start to culminate when it came to the time of the young Meratar to join the ranks of Yanta Menothar around the age of 20. Meratar would fail to get to his military training, as he was forced to hide his magic. Meratar would get frustrated for constant failing and steal Tebrakyrr's spare spellbook copy, and against all the rules of his mother, apply for to Yanta for one more time to win over his mother's favor. And combining magic to his sword fighting, indeed helped Meratar to join the ranks of Yanta.
But if Meratar thought that this would win him or Tebrakyrr any favors from his mother, he was very much wrong about that.
Shynt'vyrae was outraged and blamed Tebrakyrr for failing to train her son correctly, and would melt part of his face with acid. After this, he would tell to Tebrakyrr to discipline Meratar properly from his audacity. Tebrakyrr would comply, further severing the relationship between the two. This incident also caused a pause for the Frozenheart family. As they pride themselves in their professionalism in arcane, the fact that Shynt'vyrae paraded a male given from their line in such manner. Especially since the boy he was training difficult and also succeeded with his magic rather than failed. Shynt'vyrae's actions compromised Frozenheart's image and weren't seen favorably by House Frozenheart.
The situation further escalated by the rumors told about Wae'Dirzidil Shadowblade's parentage. While Tebrakyrr has been officially recognized as the father of Shynt'vyrae's other children: Wae'Dirzidil, Chess'Molafay and Nadataraxle, vicious rumours suggest that the official heir Wae'Dirzidil would actually be a daughter of Meratar, not Tebrakyrr. If this rumor would be true, this would suggest that Tebrakyrr was married to the family to cover an incestuous relationship which is considered as a grave insult towards House Frozenheart.
Very last insult to injury for both Tebrakyrr and House Frozenheart came in 4026, as the Silver Shore Island came under the rule of Aradace Tharur. One of the founders of Silver Shore Academy of Magi was famously Ant'gloth Frozenheart, and through this, Frozenhearts have had shared history with the Academy for generations. When Silver Shore Island became part of the Empire of Islenor this relationship was temporarily severed, and now after change of rule it was perfect opportunity to rekindle this relationship.
At this time, young Meratar had taken name Dezzner and was offered a position as the Keeper of Secrets in the Academy, a position initially held by Ant'gloth. If Dezzner had accepted this role and even credited Tebrakyrr from some of his arcane training, this could have been seen as a gesture of peace and respect towards Frozenhearts and Tebrakyrr. It would have also been poetic justice that students of a Frozenheart would take place in Academy after islenorians trying to deny their influence.
Dezzner would, however, refuse the position and did not recognize his old teacher in any of his further endeavors for reasons he has not publicly enclosed, but House Frozenheart has taken this as a deliberate insult against their family name. Even though Dezzner shows continued disregard towards his mother, Shynt'vyrae has refused to denounce him, for further dismay of the Frozenheart family.
Towards Dezzner Shadowblade
Towards Wae'Dirzidil Shadowblade
Dezzner and Dirzidil have always had a difficult relationship. Rumors about the family politics, differing opinions and way how society around them viewed Dezzner as well as how much Dirzidil was afraid to end up to her brother's shadow and Dezzner doing nothing to better the relations: there has been many obstacles tearing them apart.
Nicknames & Petnames
Dirzidil loves using interrogatory terms to call his older brother. His brother, on other hand, has nicknamed her "Dizzy". Partially because he knows it irritates her.
Towards Dezzner Shadowblade
Towards Nadataraxle Shadowblade
Towards Dezzner Shadowblade
Towards Gnut Weaseltail
Gnut and Dezzner met while involved with the rebellion group . According to eyewitnesses, the two became fast friends in the course of a single evening.
First half an hour he (Dezzner) would stare Gnut like he was a mad man, but by the end of the night, they were both laughing and already plotting about word domination. Hah, I remember how Gilbert would turn to me and say: "I think we just made a huge mistake and created a monster." We knew they would get along, but I don't think anyone expected what would follow.While highly unlikely that it indeed was that simple, it was clear from the get-go that there was something special between the energetic gnome and silent drow. Starting as occasional get-togethers and favors between the two, the pair formed a deep friendship, that would seem to make them inseparable.
Nicknames & Petnames
Gnut tends to call Dezzner by several names, including "Prince of Doom and Gloom" and "Chessie," often having teasing tone. Dezzneron another hand doesn't use nicknames at least in public.
Commonalities & Shared Interests
On first glance, it is very hard to tell what Gnut and Dezzner have in common; from their energy to their presentation and Pickering they seem like two very different people. However, in closer examination, it becomes rather obvious that the two share a much deeper understanding with one another than it first appears. While presented in drastically different ways, both Gnut and Dezzner are known from their endless curiosity, thirst for learning, want to try things "just for the heck of it", a deep belief in personal freedoms, twisted sense of humor and devotion to their respective principles. They both love the study of magic, good wine, giving people what they deserve and enjoying simple things of life. Neither is particularly concerned about how the world around them perceives them, and both are unable to keep their noses from other people's business.
Both Dezzner and Gnut were part of both and , and thus share many aquintances. Though, as Gnut would put it "the drow usually does the talking unless he pissed them off."
Towards Dezzner Shadowblade
Towards Dezzner Shadowblade
Towards Chess'Molafay Shadowblade
Towards Dezzner Shadowblade
Towards Oku Shadowblade
Towards Dezzner Shadowblade
Towards Allie Jonder
Towards Shynt'vyrae Shadowblade
Towards Dezzner Shadowblade
Nicknames & Petnames
Shynt'vyrae is known to call her son "Driz'llar". After few drinks and behind closed door, Dezzner might call his mother "a hag".