|Race:||Vampire / Nazykir|
|Date of Birth:||Unknown|
|Country of Origin:||Past the great ocean, from the floating necropolis of Nazyre|
|Arrival on Siveth||A flying sky crypt|
|Hair Color:||Dull grey|
|Height:||9’1” in humanoid form, 5’3” on all fours in chiropteran|
|Religion:||The Dead Lords of Nazykir|
|Occupation:||Ambassador and First Acolyte of the Nazykir race.|
Morthoz was born once, but such a thing is beyond his memory, lost to long millenia. He remembers his secondary origins in his rebirth, in the timeless dark between realms, in the chill depths of the unliving void, where hunger and nightmare join in spiteful union to form beings such as he. As a native to this endless expanse of black hunger and infinite jaws, Morthoz’ genesis was that of a simple, unthinking predator who rose to sentience only after a timeless span of violent feasting on his fellow spawn, consuming and growing ‘til he possessed enough immaterial mass to support higher thoughts and motives beyond survival. He was not the first to do so. In the distant planes of reality, kindred older and wiser than he had already sunk their talons into the dreams of willess servants, finding subservience through the folly of mortal men. Fear was twisted into a bleak form of veneration, and then worship. Worship became open servitude. And through the open minds of deluded practitioners, a way between spaces was devised, through the threshold of mortal vessels. Impermanent at first, the hungry things of Morthoz’ kinship could not exist on a physical plane as immaterial beings, requiring willing hosts to walk and feed on the bounteous souls occupying the living world. But these hosts soon burned out, withered by the deathly touch of their shadowy cold. Small cults and veil-thinning rituals were not the way towards lasting satiation, and the taste of cannibalism had long lost an appealing flavor. More centuries passed. Magic evolved beyond archaic black rites. Cults surrounding these netherbound beings began combining other disciplines beyond blood rites and necromancy with others such as biomancy and the mad sciences of fleshcrafting. Through combined magic and sciences, successive generations of serviles devised new ways to keep the objects of their worship permanently bound to the corporeal realms. Flying crypt temples stationed where reality sat thinnest, to better open the way. Containers and coffins to better facilitate willing possession. And finally, the fabrication of articulate husks capable of housing these predators. Predators such as Morthoz. Now unfettered by trans dimensional constraints, these awful denizens could set their sights on the souls beneath their hovering crypt sites. In the intervening decades since they have found alliances in different castes of undead who share their vampiric nature, and taken to ordering themselves in their own ways in a shadowy hierarchy that has as much to do with individual ferocity as it does mental acuity and worldly influence. So these nethereal predators crowned themselves as lords over the human tribes and small nations that had they subsumed for generations. Within this hierarchy Morthoz has found station as both a warrior, ambassador, and adept practitioner in dark mysticisms that bridge the gap between the ageless and the dying.
Morthoz’ perspective is heavily skewed by his origins as an extra-planar nightmare. Emotions are a thing of study and practice, not necessarily something found innately in what passes for a psyche. When not forced to mediate between the cattle of his cult and the organizations who would treat with these shadowy kings, some could accuse him of being a coldly primitive being, and they’d not be far off. But he is more than the ache of his hungers. The near bestial front he presents works well as a ruse, letting many underestimate the cunning he’s exhibited in his centuries on the mortal plane.
His non corporeal form is best described as a flat black outline with vague, immense wings and a shifting head, whose size and weight has no solid definition. His corporeal form is a construct of ritually gestated flesh and bone that does not wither under contact. This is achieved by hundreds of dark sigils and runesigns tattooed into the flesh in a chaotic grid of structural binding. Since this ‘husk’ is shaped for interactions with mortals, the shape of it generally resembles in limb and stature that of a (mostly) human giant, albeit with some marked deformities: Corpse grey skin clinging tightly to an over-muscled frame. Too-wide eyes of formless black. Feral nares. A distended jaw full of retracting fangs. A widows peak over a spined brow with a mane of hair that is more like fur. Over-long arms ending in talons. Simian claw-feet. Scaling persists in bonier regions of the body. But this body is capable of more than lumbering on sickening feet. To better hunt the dark reaches of this mundane realm, such husks were designed with metamorphosis in mind, to provide these Lords of Nazyre something to match the hunts they experience in their native plane of existence. So these giant forms of slabby muscle and bestial deformity can metamorphose into enormous winged monsters. A fiendish mix of chiropteran / wyrmlike forms unique to each Lord. These bodies are front heavy with leathery winged forelimbs, secondary arms for grabbing and handling instruments, clawed feet, and tails of varying length. Fur, scales, and horns add further permutations to the general outline. In this regard Morthoz is a monstrous specimen with lipless jaws, backwards horns, a mane of spines, smoking bats wings, too-human arms, clawed feet, and a membranous tail ending in a bony spear-tip.
Abilities & Skills
- Ageless Strength:
Physically Morthoz is best described as a dead-fleshed goliath. His anatomy and physiology were not structured after a man’s limitations, providing him strength well beyond ten men, comparable to an enhanced Provakhi.
- Dead Flesh:
Morthoz’ skin is coarse and leathery where it isn’t overgrown with bony scales, making him hard cut with normal blades, but not impervious. That said, he wears a body whose animus relies on dark magic and the coupling of his raw essence. Thus he does not feel pain from conventional wounds, and extreme temperatures offer no discomfort. This does not mean he is invulnerable; simply that he cannot be hobbled by pain or demoralized by loss of limb. His body is still subject to wear and tear from physical stressors, but he's a tough nut to crack through conventional bludgeoning or exposure to high heat / cold. Too long without sustenance, his body slowly degrades over time, leading to performance loss as his physical vessel slowly tears itself apart from natural strain of use.
Morthoz does not need air to breathe. Water and empty vacuum hold no fear for him.
- Flight: When his body is transformed into its more monstrous shape, Morthoz can fly, and is quite agile in the air. Due to his heavy frame he is not the fastest beast in the skies, but he is fast for his size, and often just quick enough to come to grips with other aerial foes of his weight class.
- Martial Prowess:
War and combat is seen as grand theatre to the Lords of Nazyre. Often, freshly fleshed young or especially bloodthirsty Nazykir competed in violent clan skirmishes while the upper echelons of their dread caste watched from hidden regions. What’s more, it has become expected for the Nazyrites to harbor physically bound warriors, keeping them ready to loan to potential allies in further reaching conflicts, or as enforcers / crude assassins to send messages or sow terror. Morthoz has served time in many such roles, and has become proficient in hand to hand combat. He is most adept with polearms, preferring them to swords, which he sees as tools made redundant by his own claws.
- Dark Literature:
Long years have seen Morthoz submerged in the dark arts of his servile cults and the teachings of his elderkin. He understands and recognizes a sizable plethora of dead languages and obscure arcana, and is capable of reading / writing /speaking such texts from memory.
- Immortal Mind:
Unable to perceive time as those burdened by mortality do, Morthoz does not suffer a degrading or temperamental mind. Having no physical brain to degrade, his memory is technically eidetic. Most useful for remembering the myriad bargains and slights that heavy politicking often entails. Unfortunately this means there have been a few notable events which beings such as he may wish to forget, but cannot. This makes recovering from certain grievances a challenge.
- Otherworldly Senses:
Morthoz can see in true darkness, and possesses passive soulsight uninhibited by weak barriers like mundane walls. His hearing is tuned to his realm, and the songs of the dead. Thus he is capable of seeing and hearing ghosts, spirits, and the horrors that lurk in darkest shadow. Though he recognizes magic as a distinct flavor or scent, this does not offer him exacting knowledge on an enchantment or curse. A cursed chair might carry a whiff of something dire about it, but the only way Morthoz could deduce what it *does* is by talking someone into sitting on it.
Inked and chiseled into his grey flesh is a staggering variety of twisting black runes. These interlocking sigils are what keep his shadowy essence from withering his immense body into a pile of dust. Tattooed in excess, the magic that creates these same signs can serve as potent spell-fuel, albeit at the cost of the rune. The heavier the spell, the more runes it consumes. When enough of these runes are consumed the structural integrity of his body is at risk. If his body becomes destroyed through lack of runes, or is simply rendered an unsuitable vessel, Morthoz will discorporate back to his native realm. Resummoning is a lengthy process. Constructing a new husk is similarly a very resource intensive task. So, say Morthoz wanted to use all the runes on his arm to cast a big ‘F*** you’ spell - his arm would subsequently turn to dust, and he’d be down an arm.
- Shun the Light:
Sunlight or other purified light sources are anathema to Morthoz and his kind. Regardless of magical protections or intricate rune patterns, such emanations will burn away rune and flesh with vicious alacrity. It’s quite the spectacle. Exposed flesh violently combusts in a furious bright white fire. This is one of the few ways his kind experiences pain. Especially thick garments of cloth or plating can serve as cover from the sun’s rays, but operating out in broad daylight comes with the considerable risk of banishment. If Morthoz’ raw form is exposed to sunlight for longer than it takes him to decorporealize, he will be destroyed. Only in perfect darkness can Morthoz slip free of his corporeal shell. At which point he is classified as an incorporeal / intangible entity that is nonetheless lethal to living creatures. This entity is vulnerable to bright light and magical containment measures, and cannot bypass snares or protective wards without triggering them. This entity can attempt to force a possession on a weak willed or simple creatures, but such a vessel does not last more than three hours.
Morthoz and his kin have a severe aversion to all energies who find basis in light and purity. Holy projections, spells, and objects imbued with divine power can cause genuine harm, where a mundane weapon would conventionally fail. Such divine energies seem to weaken his defenses, pummeling wards and damaging corrupt steel where past spells and solid blows were otherwise blunted. In combat, an offensive cleric or Paladin would have a much easier time breaching his defenses and bringing down the pain, whereas a wizard would find him annoyingly resilient.
- Rune Magic:
Morthoz does not need spell components or spell study to sling magic. The energy to do so is inked into his skin through the vile sigils holding his muscled flesh together. The spells Morthoz tends to favor are innate and destructive. Streams of fire, ice, lightning, and dark energy. Corrosive projections that wither metal and stone. He can temporarily imbue mundane objects with these energies by transitioning runes from his skin to that object, but he cannot alter the nature of that imbuement once it is done. The object is consumed once the enchantment is utilized. Doing the same to a living being requires that target to have no magical defenses. Further, the magic he flings can be halted by suitably powerful barriers. While Morthoz himself has the potential to conjure magical shields, he favors raw aggression, and to let his armor turn aside physical /magical blows and save his finite runes for killing things dead. Additionally, if Morthoz wishes to utilize more complicated spells, he must actually study them like a conventional mage. Using such spells thus wipes them from his mind until they are re-studied. Added Drawbacks: Since it’s those runes holding Morthoz together (physically) it is also these very runes keeping him bound to the material plane. With enough of these runes consumed by offensive / defensive magic, his binding to this plane of existence becomes more and more tenuous. If sufficiently depleted of runes, a skilled practitioner could banish Morthoz from his husk, casting him back to his shadowy realm and leaving his physical body limp and empty, vulnerable to harm or involuntary relocation. This is not true death, but it is a serious inconvenience.
- Dread Metamorphosis: The transition from bipedal goliath to winged horror is a near instant process where Morthoz experiences enhanced speed, strength, and agility within the new (and comparatively clumsy) constraints of his more monstrous form.
While this form better channels the raw prowess of his true being - like his unnatural flight speed and aerial maneuverability - it does keep most of his runes busy with maintaining this form. Thus he is incapable of casting any major spells, though thanks to his more dextrous forelimbs - he can still cast minor effects and a few medium-tier energy projections to aid in combat. These lack the potency of the raw magick he wields in his two legged form.
- Aura of Dread: The unnatural state of his being exudes a palpable radius of cold. Mortals unaccustomed to such otherworldly presences tend to experience unexplainable dread not dissimilar to the Uncanny Valley effect.
The effectiveness can be amplified by his will, but if this isn’t someone’s first rodeo then he will inevitably face diminishing returns in his intimidation. The radius of this diminishes considerably with distance, though most humanoids find his appearance and movements disturbing for their wrongness.
- Withering Touch:
The Lords of Nazyre subsist off of the energy of death, and vital soul energy. The mere touch of their black forms wither life. To feed through their husks, they must murder, or be in proximity to a dying being to derive sustenance. Doing so rejuvenates their husks and keeps their physical form hale, while also increasing the size of the entity, and expanding its capacity for knowledge. The greater the soul, the greater the power. This attack can be shielded through specific magical means or holy protection, but otherwise armament has no bearing.
- Osthikire - An enchanted poleaxe
Baptised in the blood of thousands, this immense weapon exudes the unpleasant aura of many deaths, as though it’s stained steel is haunted by a horde of ghosts. The weapon is sized for Morthoz’ immense proportions, rendering it unsuitably heavy and awkward for most humanoids of smaller stature. When wielded it is light as a feather in his grip. The denseness of its construction makes it well suited for cleaving armor and breaking bodies open, while the blade itself is magically sharpened to pierce thick or incorporeal hides.
- Maalti - an enchanted fighting knife with a heavy grip and weighted blade
The unique properties of this blade allow it to survive runic imbuement, but the runes are nonetheless consumed on use.
- Tyrant’s Panople:
Morthoz’ armor is a series of dense slabs of heavily enchanted steel mixed with finer, interlocking plates that provide him fine articulation. It is fully enclosing, allowing him to walk in full sunlight. If any plate is removed or otherwise compromised, Morthoz will burn. The enchantment is simple: Heavy magic resistance. This suit can take a beating from spells that would otherwise melt a warrior to a sizzling puddle of blood and slag. Prolonged exposure to punishment degrades the enchantment and damages the plates, weakening their resistance and physical integrity. These enchantments are made from the energy of souls. Re-imbuement is costly and painstaking, and the quality of metals required to shape new plates is exorbitant compared to mundane armors. Physically this armor resembles a horribly ornate suit of plates where the helmet is a winged, inhuman skull, and the plating is shaped to resemble the desiccated remains of the dead titan Aslykir, who the dead nation of Nazyre regard as the first to brave the Materium. By all accounts Morthoz wears the face of a hero. To most, it’s a hideously bestial rictus that inspires loathing more than awe.
- Cursed Tome: Penned in blood dripped from the talons of ancient kindred, this book of human parchment contains the dark hexes, curses, rituals, and more horrid spells besides for Morthoz to study and meditate on.
It is as much a spellbook as a meditative source, for it contains both the workings and philosophies of over a hundred inhuman minds and their secrets. Morthoz has yet to decipher the breadth of it’s pages, for the language it is written in is a shifting puzzle that only ceases to crawl and twist once the reader has conquered it. The spells Morthoz might read from it are few, and fewer still are suitable for battle. They work on one condition - they must be read straight from the page, and they still use runes as a fuel source. Gifted to him by his ancient masters as both a test and a challenge, when not engaged in diplomacy, hunting, or meditation, Morthoz will often be found reading this tome. Either in study of learned verses, or decrypting unconquered pages.
- Slave Caste:
The Lords of Nazyre are serviced by an entire population of slaves who abide by their own high and low castes. Menial castes are servants who are given little more than the purpose to serve the bodies of their dark masters. -Providing sustenance if hunting is scarce -Cleaning and maintenance of crypts and lairs -Donating blood and pain to ink reservoirs Thrall castes are slightly elevated from the average menial, in that each Lord of Nazyre is bequeathed two dedicated servants to see to his or her specific whims. Morthoz possesses three thralls, but only one attends him regularly. Their duties include: -Tattooing new runes to replace those spent on magic casting -Offering blood as mixture for ink -Bathing / lathering of flesh and panoply in holy oils Acolytes are a slave caste who aspire to earn the rite of transformation into the beings they venerate. Few are chosen to aspire to such a lofty position among the thousands of slaves. Fewer still survive their service and reach full apotheosis into a creature of living darkness. The duties of these respected servants goes beyond service, to the study and fabrication of new methods of binding, more efficient runesign, enchantment of panoply, and the creation / restoration of a Nazykir’s corporeal husks. One such acolyte serves Morthoz. Her duties are exactly as listed above: -Enchantment and repair of new or damaged components of his panoply -Fabrication of new and efficient runesigns -Assisted study of Morthoz’ cursed tome. Reading it is highest privilege, and Morthoz often appreciates the insights of a fresh perspective on his musings -Guarding the sanctity of the Nazykir’s crypt -Singing the Nazykir to sleep -Waking the Nazykir from dream -Summoning the Nazykir from the Dark Place -Operating and positioning the flying crypt tower
- The Flying Crypt Tower:
Morthoz is in possession of a magical floating crypt tower six stories tall and four wide. It serves as a mobile lair and sanctuary in all biomes but undersea. Built to withstand assaults from rival Lords, the stone exterior is magically warded with barriers that shield it from spells and elemental blasts, while the substructure is an armored skeleton built to withstand a genuine pummeling from siegecraft and other mundane attacks. However, it boasts no offensive capabilities in it’s own right. It is instead lined with statues which allow either Morthoz or his Acolyte to cast spells through. These attacks are in no way bolstered by the tower itself, nor does it do anything to supplement the cost of their magics. It can comfortably support the needs of roughly one hundred slaves, but currently houses less than half that to fit the necessary supplies for prolonged expeditions. Slaves will often live their entire lifespan in such structures, never seeing the flying necropoli of their Lords. Such are below the consideration of the Nazykir. This is not something he intends to park in plain sight or high above the city - not without several layers of obscuring clouds to shield it from view. Otherwise, the tower is left somewhere safely desolate or otherwise uninhabited.
To expand territorial boundaries and establish bounteous relations with governing bodies that are conducive to feeding, enslaving, and sifting for potential Acolytes. Elaboration: Morthoz does not come to Siveth to make war or aggressively expand the influence of his masters. His arrival near Drache is thus; to establish political allies (if applicable) who would be willing to tolerate a subtle Nazikyr presence, for the purposes of potential trade, food, and slave-stock (aka human abduction). He stands not as a herald of doom, but a salesman seeking those in power who share the more sinister inclinations of his race for the sake of fostering mutually beneficial agreements, rather than seizure of territory or bloodletting. Politics is the name of his game.