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Calanon


Calanon

Post by Calanon on

[It has been a long time since I've done anything like this and it shows. Please bear with me. I took some liberties with the setting and hope I haven't caused any conflicts with existing lore. Feedback is love.]

Name: Calanon
Age: 32
Race: Half-Elf

Description: Calanon is tall and lean with a mess of golden curls that hide gently pointed ears. He is fair-skinned but has clearly spent most of his life outdoors. He has expressive blue-grey eyes and an easy smile. He carries himself with quiet confidence and usually prefers listening to speaking. He favors simple, comfortable clothes in blues and browns. If you manage to catch him without his usual layers of clothing you can see the tattoos from his right wrist to his chest, a blend of traditional Norroenirlundic iconography and arcane elven symbols.

Possessions: A sturdy oak staff and weather-worn blue cloak for long journeys. Pouches of aromatic herbs and tinctures. He never goes anywhere without carrying a large leather-bound book with him, usually kept in a leather satchel slung over one shoulder. His most prized possessions are the half-dozen letters from his sister written in a cipher the two have used since childhood. Being a wanderer he has the standard traveling kit: bedroll, tent, flint and steel, etc.

Powers or Strengths: Empathetic healing magic. Calanon feels an innate connection with other living things and can use this skill to cure illnesses or heal wounds. The greater the injury, the more focus and energy are required, making this magic unsuitable for the chaos of battle but quite useful in the aftermath. Theoretically this connection could be used to cause harm rather than healing, but he has adamantly refused to explore that aspect of his talent. His magic is a last resort, especially in Thar Shaddin. He has studied medicine for most of his life and can function quite well as a physician without having to use magic.

He has an analytical mind and a deep-seated curiosity about the nature of reality. He firmly believes that no knowledge should be forbidden. He is fond of codes and ciphers and keeps most of his writing encrypted for fun rather than concerns for his privacy.

His staff is mostly just a walking stick, but when pressed he can use it to defend himself with moderate skill. It’s enough to drive off the occasional bandit or wild animal, but against a trained swordsman he’d be better off using diplomacy.

Weaknesses and Flaws: Empathy is a strength and a weakness. Calanon finds large social functions exhausting, particularly those dominated by negative emotions. He has very little patience for machinations of any sort, particularly sinister ones. His curiosity and thirst for knowledge have gotten him into trouble before and likely will again, as he is quite willing to bend or break the rules in order to learn. He is a terrible liar. For the first time in his life he is separated from his sister, and he is still trying to adjust to being alone.

He has an instinctive mistrust of anything connected to Puradynism. For obvious reasons. He tries to be polite to everyone he meets but finds it especially difficult with clergy and the very religious. Since his existence is illegal in much of Eyropa he has developed a relaxed view of the law: if it doesn't hurt anyone and no one saw it, who cares? (The guard, usually. Bunch of sticklers.)

Lightning Round: Terrified of spiders. Into muscley warrior types. Prone to headaches, especially if he overuses his magic. Gimpy left shoulder. Sweet tooth. Idealist. Doesn't trust horses. Loves puns and other dad-jokes.

History: Calanon was born in a small village in northwest Norroenirlund. He is eldest of two children born to Svanir One-Arm, a human fisherman, and Nemalatuis, an elven mystic. His sister, Haelia, is two years younger and was his closest friend growing up. She was the first to know Calanon had inherited his mother's connection to the astral plane. He recalls very little of his parents, as they died in a fire when he was young. He and Haelia lived with their uncle afterward. Their village was small enough that most of the townsfolk didn't mind his magic. He returned their trust by acting as the town physician. He only used his magic sparingly, sticking to herbal medicines if possible to avoid attracting attention.

A small fishing village on the edge of civilization could only hold the interest of a pair of curious, adventurous souls for so long. Soon after Haelia came of age she and Calanon left to find their fortunes. Haelia had her sword and her music, while Calanon had his books and his herbs. The pair traveled Eyropa taking odd jobs as they found them, but between Calanon’s magic and Haelia's rebellious nature they were never able to stay in one place for long.

Their wandering finally came to an end when they arrived in Ta Netjeru. The Puradynics' hold over the local populace was tenuous at best and Calanon's magic was seen as a useful quality rather than a mortal sin. The archipelago in which they settled was a notorious pirate haven kept mostly civil by its shrewd governor, Adeyemi, who maintained a profitable peace through suspected connections to organized crime. The pair attracted his attention by stumbling on and thwarting a plot to assassinate him. Adeyemi and Calanon immediately hit it off, and over time he ended up being appointed official court physician and unofficial consort.

It was a comfortable life. Calanon had access to the impressive library and devoted most of his free time to studying medicine and magical theory. Haelia turned down the governor’s offer of patronage in favor of playing at trashy taverns and doing freelance mercenary work. Adeyemi never really recovered from the attempt on his life. He became increasingly paranoid over the years and eventually brought in a telepath to ferret out dissent. He also pushed Calanon to use his skills to quietly eliminate his political enemies. When Calanon refused, he arranged for the telepath to “convince” him otherwise. Haelia went searching for her missing brother, discovered the plot, and killed the telepath. They fled north and agreed it would be safer to split up for the time being. After landing in Keltaris Haelia traveled west while Calanon headed east, figuring Thar Shaddin is the last place someone would think to look for a mage.

Re: Calanon

Post by Kitan on

Hello, and once again welcome to Thar!

Sorry about the sheer length of this. In an effort to clearly and efficiently give you feedback and improve this application I wrote quite a bit.

The core idea of a wandering physician is solid, but there are just a couple issues we’ll need to clear up. First is the brevity of the application, and the second is your lack of consideration to geographic distance. Let’s break some specific parts down first:

“a blend of traditional Norroenirlundic iconography and arcane elven symbols.”

You don’t necessarily have to do anything here, I just wanted to start by contextualizing some parts of this. ‘Arcane elven symbols’ would most likely originate where the elves did, Darleone, which is a xenophobic patronage nation unlikely to be interested in exporting its prized culture.

This isn’t to say his mother couldn’t be a Eyropan-born elf as well, of which there are many. However, only some would cling to their original culture instead of embracing imperial magic. While there are certainly pockets of elven culture throughout Eyropa, the further you get from Darleone the less plausible mystical elven symbols become. Just something to keep in mind: this would be a pretty unusual tattoo to get in Norroenirlund, about as far from Darleone as you can get, and not generally put on one’s self lightly.

“Since his existence is illegal in much of Eyropa he has developed a relaxed view of the law”

As James already pointed out, this is not true. The Eyropan government is very much pro-mage, and Puradynism has almost no sway in any parts of Eyropa except the far Eastern parts, where they remain a persecuted minority. However, just because the government approves of magic does not mean the people do. Your average farmer will likely be loaded with old superstitions and practices, maybe even life experiences, which result in a fair amount of mistrust towards magic even outside the Puradyne faith.

“He recalls very little of his parents, as they died in a fire when he was young. He and Haelia lived with their uncle afterward. Their village was small enough that most of the townsfolk didn't mind his magic.”

This is a big event for a kid to go through, but it has about two sentences devoted to it. How did this tragic event affect Calonon? What does he think of his uncle? Why did his house burn down? You’ll need to think about this much more from the perspective of both character and narrative. What does this event mean to your character’s personality, and why did you include it if the answer is nothing?

It’s also worth mentioning a small town is more likely to be mistrustful of magic than a large city, due to its increased rarity. You can certainly still say this particular town is pro-magic, especially if they have some mystic or spiritual tradition governing its use.

“Haelia had her sword and her music, while Calanon had his books and his herbs. The pair traveled Eyropa taking odd jobs as they found them, but between Calanon’s magic and Haelia's rebellious nature they were never able to stay in one place for long.”

“doing freelance mercenary work.”

I’ll note that his sister’s proficiency with her sword seems to run into conflict with Calanon’s strict refusal to turn his magic into a weapon. If he’s against violence while she is adept with it, how does this define their relationship? A relationship can be good without being perfect, and this could be a nice way to expand on both characters.

“After landing in Keltaris Haelia traveled west while Calanon headed east, figuring Thar Shaddin is the last place someone would think to look for a mage.”

While true, the empire is a big place and there are definitely safer places for a mage to hide. Still, if Calanon is paranoid enough about the governor’s reach it might seem like a good idea?

I suspect you want to put his arrival into Marn as a thread, but I hope that if you do choose to stick with Marn you define how he will make his living. Your typical Marn citizen is going to attend the official hospital. Marn has a healthcare system for its citizens, which leaves somebody like Calanon to either try to apply for a job at the hospital (difficult due to xenophobia, but possible. You may want to make a thread out of this) or become a back-alley doctor who works on criminals who are afraid to go to the hospital and the rare foreigners, who often can’t afford it. Calanon is a smart guy who would probably know this going in.

That about covers it for specific passages. More generally, we’re going to need to ask that you expand on his strengths and weaknesses. Try to look at approved applications: you’ll notice that they split each strength and weakness up into its own very short paragraph. For example, your weakness look like this:

Calanon finds large social functions exhausting, particularly those dominated by negative emotions. He has very little patience for machinations of any sort, particularly sinister ones. His curiosity and thirst for knowledge have gotten him into trouble before and likely will again, as he is quite willing to bend or break the rules in order to learn. He is a terrible liar. For the first time in his life he is separated from his sister, and he is still trying to adjust to being alone.


When they would be better split up and elaborated on, more like this:

Exhausted by Large Social Functions: (2-3 sentence description of the lengths he will go to avoid such functions, how they negatively affect him if forced to attend)

No Patience for Machinations: (2-3 sentence description of his reaction to secrecy)

Thirst for Knowledge: (2-3 sentence description of the lengths he will go to for information and learning)

Terrible Liar: (2-3 sentence description of how he acts obviously when he lies)

Lacks his Sister’s Support: (2-3 sentence description of how he used to rely on his sister, and how it affects him now that he can’t)

Needless to say, you can write more than what we ask for any particular part. None of the above is a hard and fast rule. The same is also true of his strengths. His empathy could be expanded on: if somebody was dying in front of him, would he use his magic to heal them if it would expose him to Marn? Would he use magic on somebody he couldn’t save otherwise if they didn’t want him to?

I'm afraid the same goes for your "lightning round." It's a fun idea, but you'll need to define what each of those things actually do to Calanon.

His magic in particular requires expansion. While we appreciate greatly that you have already gone to substantial lengths to indicate that there are limits to his healing magic, we’re going to need more description of the extent of this ability. How much can he heal? Does he just quicken natural healing, or if somebody has their arm chopped off, can he cause it to grow back? How much can he heal before he gets tired and has to stop?

Once you feel like your application is ready for another read, simply post in this thread and I'll take another look! Best of luck!
The Dreaded App Assassin




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