Vishik the Viscious
The mighty fraeling emperor who ruled over 10% of Pallo's landmass
Emperor Vishik (a.k.a. The Viscious) (He/Him)
While not the largest fraeling by far, he was so uniquely cruel and viscious that he became the most feared being on Pallo for thousands of years. His lust for power was not limited to the people who lived on the surface - it was not uncommon to see him shredding other fraeling into splinters. While his reign had the fewest wars of any on Pallo, it saw the most death. His subjects were more akin to cattle that could produce goods and form societies. Constantly soaked in blood, he instilled fear in anyone even remotely in his presense. He welcomed assassination attempts: they kept him sharp and well fed.
General Physical Condition
His tall stature and large frame compared to most people made him an intimidating presence. Long, sleek arms and legs along with tendril wings with massive root structures allowed him to disguise his incredible dexterity. Even though most fraeling were taller than him, he had a posture and build that was far more intimidating.
He liked to keep his roots trimmed very short. Instead of rooting he prefered bathing in blood, especially enjoying eviscerating people and coating himself in their viscera. His bark-like skin was always covered in chips, cuts, scars, and burns. The fibrous pulp underneath was dense. Most of his body was slender and streamlined. The exception was his torso, which was a gnarled, dense knot with a more bulbous shape. He had four, blade-like, wooden talons on each hand and foot with three at the front and one hallux. Frequently torn off were the small thorns that covered his body. While they did little for bleeding his opponents, they gave him an advantage by allowing him to weaken his opponent with a painful nuisance that would disrupt their normal movements.
His face was very angular. His beady red eyes were seated in narrow ridges on his face. Their narrow focus gave him incredible clarity on his target when in his sight. His eyes would seem to glow bright red with making direct eye contact, especially at night, as light reflected off the back of his eyes. His mouth was lined with thick, sharp thorns that had a similar appearance and orientation to shark teeth in his triangular jaws.
Incredibly sharp sharktooth-like thorns in his mouth
Take root: living being - being a blodfraeling, Vishik gained nutrients from rooting in living beings and taking nutrients from their body. The process took hours to fully drain a person, but having done so gave him the strength to carry on for 2 days. Extrasensory: Even though they were trimmed and kept short, his roots were very sensitive to changes in air pressure and reverberations in the ground. Though his field of view was very narrow, he could sense creatures and objects in his periphery with incredible accuracy. It is said that he apparently tried to learn echolocation, but he was never able to master it to aid him like his roots did. This delicate sensory ability also helped him perceive invisible creatures and objects.
Coiled sword - a sword made from coiled metal, meant to look as if it were made of metal vines. It did not slash well, but it was able to pierce and bludgeon with terrifying efficacy. It's said to have been favored by Vishik because of the intense blood loss it often inflicted on his victims.
At the time of the Eruption of the Underdark, Vishik was still a forming fraeling. Borne from a burl on the roots of a great deeproot tree, he formed over the course of approximately 300,000 years. When his formation was completed, and his form gained sentience, he broke ground in the city of Khoz Omkuth. At that time, it had long been transformed from its duergar origins into a thriving city of fraeling. The blood and death that seeped into the earth of the city affected his formation, turning him into a blodfraeling. Fresh from the sediment and hungry, he began feeding on the chattle he could find. While fraelings were organized into a relative few factions in the underdark, once the surface world was in view, those factios fragmented and dissolved. Even deep in the ancient city of Khoz Omkuth, there was barely any societal structure. The king of Khoz Omkuth was more a champion than ruler. His life was consumed with brutal conflict as he fought for food and safe spaces. As time went on, he began to win more fights than he lost. While short for a fraeling, he grew to wield remarkable strength. Eventually, he impressed the king of Khoz Omkuth and became a sort of warlord. Trusted with leading a small group of fraeling to population centers in the underdark to hunt, he was given the name Vishik and began to thrive. Hearing of the bountiful harvest available on the surface, Vishik left Khoz Omkuth in search of greater strength. as he journeyed up, he kept his skills sharp by fighting anything he could. At the time, a fraeling with a name meant it was a creature to be feared. His reputation preceded him in his journey. He enjoyed the easy meals that gave him, but sought out tougher opponents to avoid complacency. It was not a calculated move, but one of compulsion - his life has been struggle, and he felt anxious and lost if he went too long without a fight. As he reached the surface, he was pleased to see that there was, infact, an abundance of food available. He began ripping into people he found, slaughtering hundreds of people very quickly. Alarmed by the rapid attacks, the fraeling in the area came to stop this hellion. Even outnumbered by groups of fraeling, Vishik remained victorious. His constant battles brought him to Khoz Frae, the capital city of the first Fraeling nation on the surface in what used to be Chirider. Whether fraeling or Firebrand, nothing was able to stop him. In the capitol, he met his first defeat in a long time at the hands of a powerful solarfraeling, the advisor to king Pallokin, Pillar. Pillar was impressed by Vishik and saw the potential to improve his own station as he had grown tired of working with Pallokin. It is speculated that Pillar also enjoy the challenge of trying to mold Vishiks raw, instinctual power into a mature and cunning creature of impossible power. Regardless of his reasons, he began teaching Vishik about the world and how he can start using the resources available to him. In only a few short years, Vishik went from the disaster of the surface to the cunning, blood-thirsty, preeminent demon of the world. From Khoz Frae, he began his conquest. As with the other fraeling leaders, he had no interest in money or other surface dweller needs, so he did not demand taxes or other tributes from his subjects beyond those he fed upon. The firebrands disbanded under his rule as he saw them only as a way to test his abilities. After one challenge, the rest quit and fled to avoid the same fate. He similarly had no interest in expanding his power through artifacts or manipulating Mist. He frequently generated Red Mist when he fed, but never tapped into its power. It was clear, though, that he didn't need it. Nation by nation, whether a small kingdom or vast empire, he conquered. At the height of his power, he controlled roughly 12.2% of the landmass of Pallo, with around 27% of Pallo's population. His rule brought a paradoxical peace. Wars and other conflicts that brought mass deaths were practically non-existent during his reign. Economies and education flourished bringing relative peace and stability to most people. Magic saw a boom where old magic was refined and new spells were created, technology began advancing to the point where large scale metallurgy would soon become feasible. The downside was that the ruling class and the favored fraelings viewed these people as nothing but a renewable food source. Vishik and the end of the Fraeling Golden Age provided many lessons that shaped the world moving forward. Unfortunately, fraeling brutalitiy, especially from blodfraeling, kept people in a constant state of dread. And as Vishik grew in power, he seemed like he was not deteriorating. Some mutation in him, the rate of his feeding, or maybe some spell or curse affected him. Instead of the normal fraeling lifespan of 5,000 years, he was living tens of thousands of years. Through it all, he maintained a youthful vigor. His bloodlust and competitive nature never abated. Every challenge, every attempted assassination, every day, his evil grin of excitement terrorized. Very few fraelings are able to live such immensely long lives, and he was the first. The people in his empire began to deify him as his legend grew. It also made feeding him with regular sacrifices become easier over time. If it wasn't for the The Order of Ashes and the Phoenix King, people wonder how long his life and rule would have been. The home he created, Abondale, became his resting place. The massive effort that would start the Age of Rebellions started there. The Invasion of the Planes was an unprecedented effort that saw millions of people from many different universes and planes unite to end the Fraeling Golden Age. The Phoenix King was the last one to defeat Vishik, and the only one to do so since Pillar around 95,000 years prior. His death was the spark that gave hope to the rest of Pallo. More specifics about his rise to power and life have been lost to time. Without a shadow of a doubt, he was the single most influential being to life on Pallo since Mokusdin created it.
Accomplishments & Achievements
- Largest and longest lasting empire in history
- First fraeling to have non-fraeling heads of state in minor nations under his control (though of which there were not many)
For all of the stories of his terrifying presence, there are many stories about his apparent humility and ability to make long term decisions. There is no way of knowing if these decisions we calculated, lazy, or somewhere in between, but he entrusted much of the diplomatic and governance decision making to other people. One thing that accounts frequently corroborated was his ability to predict and read people. It helped conquer, but more importantly it helped him understand those he ruled over, leading to policies that kept him powerful and in power for a long time. His decentralized rule is also what made toppling his empire so difficult during the Era of Rebellion. Even with his death, and no real chain of command to fill the power vacuum, his empire stood. It needed to be dismantled piecemeal and the fraeling he left in control had significant power and influence in their respective regions.
His only motivations were to feed and win. Gaining power and ruling over people was more a means to an end, and he did so to appease an abstract idea of competition. Contented with a massive empire, and no real desire to expand further, he naturally ended his conquest. For all intents and purposes, he was the fraeling, and he was free to fight and feed as he wanted.
Since his preferred method of feeding was being covered in blood from combat, he frequently had a very metallic, rusty smell. It was not uncommon for him to smell somewhat rotten, though he did like to maintain a clean and sleek appearance. Smell never bothered him so if chunks of viscera were caught between the ridges of bark.
Date of Birth
Year of Death
Circumstances of Death
Killed after the success of the The Red Feather Rebellion, though exactly when and where is a mystery.
Place of Death
Slate grey skin with patches of dark red bark