Ascian Thaerdroth (ɑseæn θɛərdrɑθ)
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Background: Cloistered Scholar
"If killing you is damnation in every fragment of reality, I will jump into hell with a smile on my face."
Ascian is pale and fair-haired, thin and wiry. Unlike his peers in his hometown of Athetol, growing up small kept him from progressing physically for many years. He finally hit his growth spurt in his final year at Zareya's Academy for the Magically Inclined, transforming him into a well-trained Battlecaster who could easily hold his own in hand-to-hand combat.
Ascian had always been shy and demure, preferring to stick to his books and the shadows before his attendance at Zareya's. Once the battles began, he bloomed in a way, growing into himself and finding his footing in the world. As the Magic War raged against the upper echelons of Estrana, he grew to appreciate his time on the battlefield, but always kept his bloodthirsty friend Cadoc Godriath in careful check.
Ascian was highborn to a rich family in Athetol, a large trading city in Estrana. His family quickly recognized his talents for memorization and his ambidexterity, and while his father allowed him time to read his favorite fiction novels and taught him the ways of the world, his mother put him to work in the family trade of shipping goods.
He spent his younger days hunched over ledgers, a child recording data and churning numbers through his significantly advanced mind. His nights, he spent consuming novel after novel, absorbing the stories of great heroes and romances, and wishing for a fantastic future like the characters he so loved.
At the age of fourteen, his application to Zareya's Academy for the Magically Inclined - written by his mother - was accepted, and he traveled across the country to attend the great school. There, he met Cadoc Godriath, a young Raessae sorcerer attending in his year. They quickly became friends, but in their second year, Ascian's natural inquisitiveness revealed a dark secret.
Cadoc's training lessons with the Headmaster of Zareya's were not all they appeared to be to the students and staff of the school. Each lesson, the Headmaster would use magic to manipulate Cadoc's genetics, an extremely rare and painful process, slowly transforming Cadoc from a Viscan to a Raessae. Cadoc hoped to grow more powerful from the exercises, and trusted Ascian with this secret, but the knowledge of Cadoc's torture angered Ascian.
Ascian searched the stacks of Zareya's library, and found an Agraeyan writing of Spark Twinning, a process that binds Sparks together. In secret, they performed the ritual, swearing to protect and defend each other against all ills. Unbeknownst to Cadoc, Ascian changed the ritual, binding him to Cadoc, but not Cadoc to him. When Cadoc was confused and thought the ritual didn't work, Ascian allowed him to believe it.
As they plotted, Cadoc's lessons were forced to continue, the both of them too unskilled to change anything - yet. The years continued, and their little rebellion grew, adding Avyanna Iarastraad and Psyga Woldrin, two students of Zareya's. Cadoc's power grew, but so did Ascian's.
Eventually, in their fourth year, Ascian was able to gather enough evidence against the Zareyan Headmaster to displace him from his seat at the Academy, forcing him into exile. Despite the end of his lessons, Cadoc continued to train in secret, not knowing that Ascian could feel his growth in power. When Ascian discovered Cadoc's continued - and self-inflicted - torture, he revealed his falsehood about the ritual they had performed so many years before. This created a rift between the two that never quite healed.
Eventually becoming close friends again after the return of the Headmaster, Ascian and Cadoc bonded together with Avyanna and Psyga to destroy the careful structure created by the highborn of Estrana, going to battle both physical and political. Their rebellion against the school cost them their last year and graduation, but changed the society of Estrana forever, raising the lower classes from poverty to prosperity. When the Magic War finally ended after almost two years, Ascian completed his schooling along with his friends, allowed to return as heroes and revered scholars.
"You know this is a bad idea. So why are we doing this? Oh, right, so you can feel accomplished- yes, yes, and the man is evil. I know."
At only fifteen years old, Ascian swore to protect and support Cadoc Godriath through all his efforts, beginning a journey that would change him for life. The discovery of Cadoc's creation deeply unnerved him, and he promised to change the ways that allowed this to happen, as well as destroy Cadoc's creators.
Occupation: Cloistered Scholar, Battlecaster
"No, we will not be making decisions at the whims of your stomach, Avyanna."
- Ascian's photographic memory put him to work at a young age, but made schooling easy, and sent him shooting through his class ranks in only his first year at Zareya's.
- His innate magical skill may have destroyed many household objects in his younger years, but it was just another leg up once he got to school.
- Ascian was also ambidextrous, giving him an advantage at studying - as well as certain occassions when forgery was necessary.
Ascian's education was never lacking, his parents recognizing from a young age that Ascian preferred his books to swords. He attended multiple schools throughout his younger years, constantly preparing to succeed at Zareya's. Once his attendance at the magic school had begun, he worked as hard as he could to stay ahead in his classes - and help Cadoc scrape by - so that they would have no issues planning and plotting to change the wicked regime.
Ascian struggled with his mother, constantly trying to impress and please her insatiable need for success. Zareya's only began to accept lowborn students a few years after her age qualification was exceeded, and she never forgave the school for it. Despite her low societal rank, she married well and became well-educated after her marriage, and eventually began to live vicariously through her only son.
Ascian's father was supportive and kind, but died well before his time when Ascian was only nine. He regularly allowed Ascian to avoid his mother's strict rules, taking him on trips to the nearby rivers and lakes to teach him wilderness survival skills, as well as vital life lessons about finding yourself and helping others. Acting as the only barrier between Ascian and his mother's hunger for recognition, Ascian descended into a depression after his death, only truly recovering once he met Cadoc.
"Am I the only one here with any sense? Or a brain in general?"
His trusty spellbook never leaves his side, heavy and leatherbound. The pages grow as he learns new spells, saving him considerable gold on ink, but creating a severe indexing problem that he constantly works to correct.
A charm his father made from a small bird they found dead in the woods lives in a small interior side pocket of his bag, kept carefully close. The meticulously cleaned blue feathers - bound together by a small copper wire - have comforted him many times throughout the years, lending him strength when he felt he had none.
His application to Zareya's lives next to that charm, written by his mother so many years ago. Despite her typical demeaning tone and condescending expression, her description of his intelligence and work ethic keep him believing that she did, in fact, consider him highly, and maybe even... love him.
While Ascian has never wanted for money, he never considered it necessary until he saw its power in the upper echelons of Estrana.
His arcane focus, a small wooden wand woven around a fragment of a Knowledge Prismatic. The wrapped willow branches formed a fitted handle, carefully holding the stone in place, which could be peered into by the user, where memories could be stored within.
Cadoc theorized this was what gave Ascian his incredible photographic memory, since he received the focus from his mother at the age of five after accidentally shattering a wooden toy with his magical ability in a temper tantrum.
Ascian would make sure that Cadoc was cared for and protected, and would refuse to pass until this was secured.
While his father kept him from losing his mind in the difficult turmoil of his childhood, he would prefer to live with his mother. She kept him on track, and pushed him to greater heights than he could have dreamed.
Ascian actually never dreams. At least that he can remember.
Stressing out about Cadoc's safety, or his own.
Fun Character Questions
What does this character not yet know?
Ascian is not aware that his bond to Cadoc could kill him if they are not careful.
What does this character know that they would never admit?
That he lied to Cadoc, and was proud of his decision.
In what or whom does the character have the greatest faith?
Cadoc, most definitely. Though he may question him, he never doubts his friend's abilities.
To retire quietly with his friends and his books.
Getting the killing blow on the Headmaster of Zareya's.
Never getting to show his mother his success before she passed during the Magic War.
Most devastating moment?
Telling Cadoc that he lied, and losing him as a friend - even if only for a short time.
That he and his friends will remain safe during the war.
Watching his loved ones die because of his choices.
Why is this character angry?
Having to lie to his friends, and use his abilities to their absolute maximum.
What calms them?
Reading his favorite fictional books.
Who depends on this character? Why?
His friends all do. He keeps them safe with his careful calculations, and guides them through the chaos of the War.
What is this character hiding from themselves?
His own doubt in his skills and abilities.
What do they want?
To free Cadoc from his demons - internal and external.
Playing by the river with his father.
Grudges they hold?
He hates the Headmaster of Zareya's for what he did to his friend.
What is the best thing that could happen to them?
His father, somehow not being dead.
The death of his friends, especially Cadoc.
What do they like/dislike about themselves?
He hates that he needs to lie, he would much prefer to tell the truth.
Who do they try to be?
The heroes he reads about on a near daily basis.