|Lyonhardt, the White Lion|
|Advantages||Handsome, Immunity: Cold/Ice Magics, Inhuman Strength, Inhuman Speed, and Physical Regeneration|
|Disadvantages||Mortal, Ill Repute|
|Skills||Cryomancy (Adept), Final Guard, Lethal Strike, and Power Strike.|
|Melee Weapons||Eldritch Blade (unique longsword crafted by a chaos forger. Its properties at this time are unknown.)|
|Armor & Other||Enchanted half-plate mail (renders most attacks ineffective.), a lion-headed shaped pendant, and miscellaneous artifacts and rings of minor powers.|
|Knowledge||Elias knows enough of the Realm to know that this land is a collection of broken realms. He is also fairly familiar with native locales.|
|Family||Nadine & Kaeli (daughters) and Rhoan (son, deceased)|
Elias was born in a nameless town to a noble man and his wife. He was the aristocrat's firstborn son and would be the sole reason for his mother to remain with her abusive lover. Of course, this woman was nothing more than some tavern wench the man had fancied in his drunken stupor and would take the unfortunate woman for his nightly debauchery. The cycle of drunken abuse would continue ... until bandits happened upon the estate. Killing only her husband and claiming to have slain the boy, the bandits eventually would be traced back to the woman's own scheme of several years, who stood to inherit her husband's fortune.
Within a year, the woman had wasted the estate's fortune on alcohol and entertainment, cheap thrills and had little passion for the babe that was spared. Soon, they would be forced from the estate, unable to pay for services she now owed debts to.
Penniless, the mother and unwanted child moved to Tradeburg were the woman would work as a serving maid to one of its many taverns. Life for the widowed mother was hard as she actually had to work for her wages and she grew to resent the fair-headed child she had given birth to. The mother was cursed to care for her dead husband's child, or so she told prospective lovers; the child's father was an arrogant man who deserved his fate, such a pity the bandits didn't take the babe as well.
Elias soon learned to care for himself, something that his mother was growing less capable of as she grew deeper into her drunken madness. The young boy had proven his worth many times over - a skilled fighter, a capable lover and friend, and a hard worker. That left a certain, bitter taste in many of the town folks' mouths. His mother's reputation cast a dark shadow over him and he scorned the affection of the local girls for a wandering gypsy, an unwanted piece of trash that Elias had found, stumbling upon her troupe one fateful night. Together with their aspiring bard, Elias grew into adolescence despite the wishes and efforts of his mother.
The boy's mother had grown increasingly barbaric in her tactics - claiming all coin Elias made belonged to her, that the woman he loved was nothing more than some lying █████ who deserved a punishment worse than death for stealing her money. Many nights ended with Elias holding his tongue and finding bliss in what the woman brought him. Together with their tiefling friend, the three hatched a plot to escape the town with their lives.
Nearly six years later, the girl came to Elias with her news of conception and yet he had his own gift. Presenting a single platinum ring made from lapis and blue diamond, he asked her to be his forever. She did not hesitate to give her answer and end their night in another bout of romantic passion. As the next morning came, he told her to take their coin and flee town to the wild roads, where he would find her within the week just outside of the capitol.
So as the dark day pressed on, Elias would part from his friends at the edge of the city, where their created hut brought them shelter from the rain and wintry air. He would go to his mother's tavern, where he would put on the act of drowning his broken heart, they would gather what they could and then travel from the city. It took a great deal of convincing, but Elias managed to coerce the bard to join his bride, as her guardian until he could rejoin them.
As it became evident that he was no longer welcome within the tavern, Elias stood to leave. The drink made his mind hazy, sending the room around him spinning - this had been planned, he thought. He spent a moment too long trying to gather himself and had let himself be surrounded. Words were exchanged with him, but all he could manage was a sharp retort before he found himself on the floor, dull pain rising from his face as blood began to flood his vision. His mind numb from the poisoned drink, Elias began to laugh derisively as those who had wanted to bed his mother pulled him from the building. He was unceremoniously thrown to the dirt road and surrounded by familiar faces. His senses dulled from the loss of blood, he was barely aware of the his so-called family and friends armed with blades and stones.
His vision quickly fading, the last memory this ill-begotten youth would be of his own mother standing above him, laughing maniacally as she ignores the pleas for his life by the woman and bard rushing to his aide and brought her stone down on her own son's skull. The fates of his crimson friend and newly-wed wife, however, he would not live to see.
Several years pass.
He wakes inside a ruin that is shrouded in a cold, other-worldy mist. Perhaps it was a temple, long since abandoned by either its divine or their followers, or both. As he rises from what seems to be a raised platform, he looks to his hands as men have done for centuries when they sought clarity.
But he does not remember the questions he should be asking.
What the man finds instead of answers are segments of white metal that have been grafted into his skin like armor.
' No, not like armor ', he thinks. ' It is armor.'
It fits him upon his hands, his chest, legs and feet. He stares at his boots for a moment, wondering if it was only the armor or had he become some manner of beast.
' What … what happened to me '?
Where this armor did not cover, he is covered in a black material that seems to be as skin. It moves fluidly, without protest, and he takes notice that this grafted armor is more akin to a second skin than the plate mail it resembles. A pause, he tries to collect his thoughts once more. He feels emotions building inside of him, unbidden and without purpose. It was evident that something happened to him, far beyond what his mind could comprehend. But.. what, and more importantly, how?
His answer comes as haunting laughter, echoing from deep within the decrepit ruins. A voice follows the chilling laughter, making the ruins seem even colder.
“Do your memories fail you, young one?”
The voice belonged to something feminine. He finds that he is unable to reply to the question, both physically unable to speak and mentally unprepared to deliver the answer. As the seconds pass in silence, footsteps could be heard echoing through the halls. He imagine they belong to a being of small frame, or some enchanted being muffling their own steps.
"I am the matron of this anguished ruin, and it is by my generosity that you are not among the dead.”
A woman moves into the dimly lit hall as she speaks. Her beauty is like no other he has ever bore witness to. Her movements were subtle, yet fluid like the deepest ocean and as alluring. Tendrils of living shadow seem to swirl around her ethereal form of sensual curves and lithe frame. Her body is both seductive and dangerous, but he succumbs to her charm, unable to look away. Her lips form into a thin smile as she notices the man's enraptured gaze, as if she is pleased by it.
“All for that you may desire, my young man ... I can offer you."
Her voice is like a sweet honey, laced with obvious poison. He see her eyes betray the minimal warmth her words carry. It is in these eyes that he sees something familiar, however. He tries to summon words, but none would come from his mouth. With his immediate memories hazy, he can not help but feel as if there was something. Something that may have helped me realize her meaning. Perhaps then his fate could have been avoided.
As the woman approaches, he finds his hand reaching towards his face. She takes his hand into hers before he touches his own flesh. This startles the man for a moment. As he look to her, he sees her eyes filled with something far more wicked than should possess a human soul.
“Don't. Your face ... is like the remnants of your body.”
' Remnants '?
There is something appalling in the nature of her words, as if he knew that he had become some sort of nightmarish abomination before her.
' What malady had I become? '
He searches inside of himself for the answers, but as before, he realizes that he has none. Her gaze upon him softens and he is filled with shame at his need to remember himself.
"Your body had already begun to ... by the time I found you."
Her voice begins fading again, or was that the man not wanting to hear her words? He keeps his gaze on the floor, trying to understand her words.
' I was dead? '
' Of course I was, I had to be. Nothing else would explain this. '
' I am dead and this is my personal hell. '
The woman takes a step back from him, releasing his hand while her head lowers. The discordant sound of metal striking stone follows her hesitant sigh as he sees the object she was holding fall.
“You may leave, if you wish ... I know that you must thirst for vengeance.”
' Vengeance? Why would I ..? '
He takes his gaze from her and picks up the fallen object. It is a helmet of some kind, although how one would see through the front of the mask was anyone's guess. He adjusts it so that he could use it as reflective surface, a makeshift mirror.
' What was I? '
He closes his eye and finds himself caught by another bout of unbidden emotions. Shades of memory hint at something violent, of betrayal and such bitter anger that he is unaware that his fingers clench around the helmet. Her next words snaps his mind out of its muddled depths.
“Take it. May it hide away what the world has taken from you.”
Immediately, he feel the venom in her words and witness something malicious in her eyes. It is as if she wants him to be angry, and it is working. Unable to suppress his emotions any longer, he stand as he bring the helm over his head. She takes a single step closer to him … and bares a beautiful, wicked smile as he pulls it over his head and -
Shame. She was disgraced by this world and forgotten.
Agony. Eons She had suffered alone, waiting for her Knight.
Hate. Her bitter desire for vengeance now becomes his heartbeat.
These things fill his thoughts, overriding all other processes as if his core being was being rewritten. When he open his eyes, he sees Her standing before him in Her dark radiance. She smiles and offers her hand to her slave. He places one knee onto the ground and reaches upward, not allowing himself to initiate contact. Her cruel laughter graces him as she beckons the White Lion to rise with a single gesture. “Come, my sleeping Knight. It is time you quenched my thirst for vengeance."
He finds himself surrounded by faces that should be familiar. The memory of who they were lingers just beyond his grasp. They are armed with primitive weapons and barbaric stones, calling out to him in voices he should remember.
They were screaming at him.
The woman whose throat he is holding looks to him without understanding why she is dying. He doesn't understand either, but She told him that these were the ones who were responsible for the death of his mortal body. He presses the woman against the walls of her home and feels her bones begin to snap. It is an agonizing death, one that he seems to be enjoying. One that seems to have been something he wanted.
He is accosted by a sword as he lets go of the woman, her broken body sliding down the wall like a bloody sack of meat. The blade breaks off of the man's blood-soaked armor, and he turns to face the quivering offender who struck out at him. He take the man's head into his hand and crushes his skull against the very same wall. When he doesn't feel the same satisfaction snuffing out this one's life, he begins to realize that not everyone in this town owes him their lives for a crime against him.
A crime that he should remember.
He can see Her in the distance, watching him. She is pleased with the carnage he have brought to this town, yet he knows She hungered for more. He turns his gaze to the gathering of visiting adventurers and smile behind his mask of white steel. What follows next is an orgy of violence and madness -- the Lion's hands tearing through their bodies before taking their weapons and plunging the traitorous steel into their skulls. Their dying screams echoing into the bitter cold air, it was a picture of abject horror. Perhaps there should be buildings aflame to match this bloody scene, but none of his assailants carries a torch with them.
Once they fall, the armored man finds himself back at the same woman he killed just before. Why was this wench so familiar to him? It is then that a memory comes to him: of a child cradled in the arms of his mother. Was this woman his mother? What would possess him to feel such satisfaction upon her death?
"It was that woman who orchestrated the end of your life, my wondrous Lion."
' If she was my mother, she had her own son murdered? For what crime did I commit to earn me such a cruel fate? '
He plunges his hands into the woman's flesh and pulls as his fingers tear through her muscle and wrap around her neck's bone. After a sickening array of sounds, her spine tears free from her flesh.
' If my life ended at the hands of the woman who birthed my dead body ... I will honor her sin by crafting a weapon from her corpse, so that every life I end, we will sin together. Mother and son. '