Willem Cole

The Black Sarith is a name seldom spoken by the people of the Isle. They say that even the utterance of this legend’s name brings down the wrath of the Divh upon you, and, perhaps more vile, that he can hear the voice of anyone who speaks his name no matter how far away they are. Upon the wall of the Basilica at Thairon there is a single, poorly maintained mosaic in one of the forgotten prayer rooms. It depicts a figure standing naked with a sword in one hand and an axe in the other staring defiantly into the faces of the Divh and bathed in wrathful fire that seems to leave him unmarked. This is the Black Sarith.

Description


Willem Cole is a man of average height, who appears to be in his mid thirties. Powerfully framed, he is reputed to be inhumanly strong and durable. His features are classically handsome with high cheeks, strong jaw, large dark eyes and jaw length jet-black hair. He moves with composed surety and his words are so meticulous and persuasive and his voice so deep and rich that it is said he can actually persuade men that they are in the presence of an earthly divh merely by speaking to them. As a result occasional visitors come to his tower, some to kill him, others to learn from him, but many go away and spread his word. As a result small cults have begun to arise around the man’s name, especially in times of social unrest. However what is most striking is Cole's aura. The Sarith's gift of magic is sinister indeed. Anyone in the Black Sarith's presence sees him as a radiant divh on earth, and is compelled to fall on their knees and adore him there and then, and evermore after. They see him as the most perfect physical specimen, the wisest and the most learned, and little will shake this belief. No matter what his opinion of the Black Sarith, a man in his presence is compelled, almost irresistibly, to fall upon his face in worship of the man. Few who have met Cole speak any ill of him ever again, many cannot even bring themselves to leave his presence, and make camp at the base of his tower to forever remain in his presence.

Personality


Willem Cole is an enigmatic man, he is at once welcoming and charming more than any other man, and also eminently reasonable. Yet anyone in his presence also realizes that at the very heart of his being he is ice cold and totally uncaring, almost inhuman. He is a calculating man, and a careful one not given to great displays of bravado and impossible to provoke. Cole deals with people on his own terms, and uses his extreme personability and physical beauty very much to his advantage. He is arrogant too however, he will not bargain or make agreements and seldom listens to the words of others. Many have also claimed Cole is an honourable man, though if this is true his code must be twisted indeed.

History


Willem Cole began his life in Southaven, the eldest son of a prosperous merchant. He entered into the clergy and was granted a congregation at a little over his twentieth year. Moving up through the ranks quickly he became the youngest man to have ever been admitted to the Order of the Sixth Oracle, and was trained in their secrets thoroughly. On the suggestion of his superiors Cole was promoted to the supervision of the High Prelate of Southaven with the intent of becoming his apprentice at only twenty-seven years of age, and inducted directly into the Order of the Garden. He spent four years in training, and was eventually named the High Prelate’s eventual successor, but mere days after his acclamation he left Southhaven unexpectedly and without a word. For reasons known only to himself Cole traveled down the Forest Way and came to Skyreach, there he entreated at the door of the High Warlock to be allowed to enter the tower and study under him. For a week he waited outside the door, departing only to gather food in the forest. Eventually the Warlock came to the door and told him to leave, but still Cole would not go. After a full year to the day after his arrival the High Warlock, impressed by his tenacity, accepted Cole as a student. William Cole spent the next five years of his life in Skyreach, but left after some disagreement with the Warlock, with a good quantity of his most powerful tomes. Why the Warlock has never attempted retribution is unknown to this day.

Cole returned to Southaven, determined to re-assume his prior role, claiming to have simply taken a clerical sabbatical, but making no attempt to conceal where he had been. The Order of the Garden convened and in a secret meeting presided over by the Grand High Prelate Kristofer II himself. Cole was given the most ancient and sacred of tests and was eventually welcomed back into the fold and restored to his office. Mere months after the High Prelate of Southaven sickened and died, and William adopted his post, and then within the year he began to be visited by voices and visions, which he claimed to be from the dioune. He was examined by his former master, the Prelate of the Order of the Sixth Oracle, and was proclaimed by the order to indeed be an oracle, and his visions divine, however upon inspection Grand High Prelate Kristofer II moved to overturn the proclamation. In the midst of this controversy the Grand High Prelate became deathly ill and eventually died. Claiming that the retribution of the divh had fallen upon him, Cole was appointed to candidacy for the post but in council the Order of the Garden rejected his candidacy. Cole graciously conceded to the wisdom of the council and continued in his post. Eventually however the new Grand High Prelate Morgan I authorized a full investigation into the High Prelate of Southaven, and when they searched his quarters and infiltrated his inner circle they found something very disturbing. Willem Cole, purported sixth Oracle of the Dioune, Prelate of Southaven, was constructing a magical apparatus that, if his readings were correct, would allow him to possess a divhi. His plans to infiltrate the upper echelons of the church and supplant the Dioune with himself, shockingly detailed and planned over the course of generations, were all clearly laid out. A Holy War was immediately proclaimed, the only one ever to be proclaimed against a single man. And the armies of Southaven were quickly arrayed against him. Such was the potency of black magic unleashed that day that most of the Order of the Garden and the inner circle of the clergy died that day, as well as hundreds of men at arms and innocent citizens. But amidst all of the death and destruction the Black Sarith, as he would come to be known, flew, and travelled north. In the most remote north of the roughlands he raised a sorcerous tower with the power of his Black magic from the living earth. There he still dwells, and has for nearly four centuries, awaiting any challenger to his power.

Associations


Cole is a man with few allies and many enemies. His family are long since dead, and those who are descended from his kin have hidden this fact with great care. Cole's sycophantic cult, camped at the base of his tower and scattered throughout the world might be considered his allies, but he does nothing to encourage them and seems largely to overlook their existence entirely. The giant tribes he employs as minions are at least acknowledged, but again he seems to place no real value on them or their lives. Perhaps the only ally Cole acknowledges is the Scarlet Witch Rowenna Soeromel, his former lover, though even she has returned to the fold of the Warlock's students. Whether the Black Sarith truly does love her, or whether she is valuable as an intermediary to keep the Warlock and Cole from a cataclysmic showdown is unsure, but even since turning her back on Cole she remains welcome in his tower.

Of course the High Warlock and his students are avowed enemies of the Black Sarith, though there is an uneasy truce between them, and Garrin and Morgan seem to remember a time when Cole was a friend. However everyone seems to consider the Sarith a personal nemesis, despite Cole likely not even knowing who they are. Odo of the Roughlands would dearly love to see the Sarith burn, as would the King of Highdunn, Eldin Reise, though all the Kingsown he has sent to the tower have invariably joined Cole's cult or never been seen again.

Statistics


Race Male Ahlonian Skills
Age category (n) Skill Points: spent/total
Profession profession (n) skill value rationale
Faith faith (n)
Class description (n/n)
Talents Inventory
Fast n weapon cap threshold reach
Graceful n
Hale n
Strong n
Tough n armour hard tiers enc/limit
Clever n tool cap test
Insightful n
Knowledgeable n attire environment
Perceptive n
Wilful n
Brave n
Persuasive n
Forceful n
Lucky n

Character Traits


Divh on Allornus (3)

Willem Cole truly believes that he is the prophesied sixth oracle - as do many others - and that he is nothing short of a divhi upon the mortal earth. He claims that the mortal world has chosen men, not alien divinities, to inherit divinity and dominion of the world, and points to his personal power and longevity as evidence of his fledgeling divinity. Such is his conviction, and weight of evidence, that it is hard to argue with the man.

Hated Foe (3)

The Sarith is the most hated foe of the landsmen of Allornus, and every man woman and child who is a true servant of the Church of the Dioune is charged to strike down with terrible vengeance upon him should they have the opportunity. His name is monstrous to most people of the world - too profane to be uttered - and his every movement an attempt to bring about the downfall of all things good and pure in the world. In short, the world has come to hate and fear him.

Man of Honour (2)

The Black Sarith holds himself to a perverse code of conduct, that even his foes have come to grudgingly respect (and exploit). He is neither a liar, nor an oathbreaker, and the Sarith pays his debts. He may slay a man he called ally, but not before he has made restitution for his service, and even his direst and most hated enemies can always trust his word.

The Sun and the Moon (2)

To many who meet the Sarith, he becomes all that there is in the world to them. He is the source of all divine glory and gladness that flows into the mortal realm, and they would gladly give anything to bask in his presence. While a portion of this comes from being cruelly ensorcelled by his power, some part of the adoration held for Willem Cole comes from within the man himself.