|Numair Salmalín is a name to fit his calling (blackwithsilver) wrote,|
@ 2023-10-21 18:31:00
|Entry tags:||character info|
CONTACT POST | PROFILE
Numair has a good-natured disposition. He is warm and open and has a playful sense of humour. He loves knowledge above all else, and is given to bright-eyed curiosity. At first glance, he seems almost like an overgrown curious child; it's often a surprise for people to find out that he is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the world. He is exceedingly patient and respectful of others, and values tolerance and keeping an open mind. Numair tends to be very open about his emotions. It's not that he's bad at concealing his feelings; quite the contrary. But with friends, he's comfortable with expressing himself. He's not afraid to admit that he's afraid, or to be silly or let himself be teased - though he will tease right back with a vengeance!
When things are troubling him, he's not very talkative until he's sorted through it in his head some. He's pretty level-headed - it takes a lot to anger him, and when he is angered, it can be hard to tell. Often when he's angry, or annoyed, he has a calm and pleasant front, generally expressing himself as disappointed rather than outright angry. When he is forced into a situation where he must fight, he prefers not to kill where he can, even if his enemy is truly despicable. He takes no joy in fighting, and thinks of death as a waste of potential. If it's completely unavoidable, he will kill to protect others.
The one surefire way to make him lose his cool is to directly endanger or attack someone he cares about; he cares very deeply about the people close to him and is fiercely protective of them, especially his protégée Daine. At times when Daine has been threatened, Numair has done everything from turning another sorcerer into a tree to having a screaming fit to attempting to hit a powerful emperor whom he, as part of an ambassador party, was supposed to be in peace talks with. It's those moments of complete wrath that remind one of just how powerful - how dangerous - he can be; an easy thing to forget with how gentle he is normally.
He's a scholar at heart, always eager to learn new things and make new discoveries. When he wants to know something, he is very persistent and thorough, and it can be hard to dissuade him from seeking out answers. If you like talking for hours on end about the particular details of some branch of magic or some little obscure bit of lore, Numair is your guy. Not only does he love to pursue knowledge, he likes to spread that knowledge to others. His caring nature paired with this love of learning makes him an excellent teacher. He's patient with his students, guiding them carefully while letting them explore their interests. He's been called scattered but brilliant, because he's so easily distracted by new sources of information or fascinating texts. He doesn't just research and regurgitate the same old info found in libraries though - he makes his own personal studies and seeks to expand humanities wealth of knowledge as a whole. He feels that those with the Gift have a responsibility to use that Gift to help others - especially those who aren't lucky enough to have magic of their own.
Numair is fond of fine clothing and pays careful attention to his appearance. He jokes that boys worry just as much about their looks, they're just better at hiding it, and is perfectly comfortable talking hair care with the girls. His friends commonly tease him for being vain, saying that he spends more time than any noble lady to prepare for balls and other formal events... only to promptly ruin his clothes laying in the grass to look at meteor showers, or other messy activities in the pursuit of knowledge. He's also fond of the ladies and can be very gallant and flirtatious.
Some might call him arrogant; he knows his abilities and feels no need to be shy or play them down, speaking of his power as simple fact. However, he is cautious and discreet with unfamiliar or unfriendly eyes, faking ineptitude and letting enemies, potential or established, underestimate him without correction. If they doubt his capabilities or assume he's nothing more than a bookworm, it only improves his chances of overtaking and defeating them before they realize what's happened. Certain abilities of his, like his shape-shifting, are kept generally secret, as he uses them for his work for King Jonathan, everything from spying to peace treaty negotiation to halting rebellions.
The Gift - in Tortall and the surrounding lands, this is the name for the magic given to humans by the Gods. When in use, the Gift manifests as a fire-like light, the colour of which changes from person to person. Some noted mages have had blue, orange, red, purple, etc. Numair’s magic is black, and distinct from others in that it has silver lights sparking through it. Mage seems to be the broadest term for magic users, but there are multiple more specific names depending on what their magic does - sorcerers, witches, etc.
People with the Gift generally use chants, circles, or gestures to direct their power. Physical objects also help to channel it - herbs have certain properties, gemstones can store and amplify magic (black opals work the best), clear and reflective surfaces can be used for scrying. Salt water and cold also help conduct and amplify magic, and are very helpful when one is tired or drained. Using blood in spellwork will bind the results to the person whose blood it is. They can also do image magic, in which spells worked on an image of a person or thing will affect the real version. This can aid with doing spells from a distance or more subtly. Many with the Gift learn to meditate, as this aids with control.
Numair has extensive knowledge of magic in all its known forms. He studied esoteric magics for eleven years at the great university in Carthak, earning the prestigious black robe. Since leaving the university, he studied both on his own and with many other scholars and great sorcerers. He eventually went on to become King Jonathan's chief mage, the most powerful sorcerer in the kingdom of Tortall.
He is not all powerful, but there are only seven black robe mages in the world, and Numair is one of them. He is strong enough that speech and gestures are not always necessary for minor spellwork. He says at one point that "In magic, the thought is the deed," implying that it is strength of will that makes magic work, and the gestures and words only aid in a mages confidence of success and therefore, their success. Numair actually struggles somewhat to do minor spells; i.e., he will try to dry his clothes and accidentally set himself on fire. It’s not a lack of control - if he had no control his magic would likely have been the equivalent of a nuclear bomb going off. His Gift is just that powerful.
Numair can see peoples’ minds and magic if he wishes, and sense other people with magic nearby. He can shield other’s minds from supernatural intrusion, even separating their own magic from their mind if it starts to overpower them, so that they can maintain control. He can transfer knowledge to and from people's minds, putting his memories in their head or viewing their memories in his. He can scry for magically hidden things, establish a magical communication spell across distances (though this requires a second mage on the other end), and spell a room against people trying to eavesdrop both magically or physically.
Numair does make a point to learn and understand even that which he cannot do himself. For instance, he has no healing magic, but he is still able to teach his student Daine how to heal. He says that he has only limited battle magic, but he's shown that he is creative enough to work around that and is very formidable in a magical battle nonetheless. He can both create and bring down magical barriers and shields, throw magic “fire” (which is more akin to just raw magical energy than actual fire), conjure and transform things both living or inanimate, and break free from being petrified by a basilisk (and in fact asked the basilisk to do it a second time so he could see if he could break the spell again).
He can magically mask his presence, and summon up simulacrum - magical doppelgangers of a person near indistinguishable from the real thing. He can even attach magic to them, giving the illusion of a magical signature - something that the powerful Emperor Mage Ozorne claims is impossible. They can be conjured up long in advance and stored for weeks at a time far away from Numair until they are needed.
Numair can shape-shift into animal form, though the shapes he takes are not quite recognizable as any real species. In his hawk form, he’s too big to be a real hawk, and is a solid, dull black, with no gloss to his feathers. People with strong wild magic, like his student Daine, can usually sense something is off about him, that the animal is not really an animal. Daine said that trying to look hawk!Numair in the eyes made her dizzy. The only sort of animals off limits for shape-shifting are immortals - dragons, griffins, and the like - not because it's impossible to do, but it it impossible to change back again once you take such a shape.
He knows and can use what are called Words of Power, words tied into heavy, deep magic that can have dangerous consequences - he used one once to turn an enemy sorcerer into an apple tree, and mentioned that somewhere else in the world, some poor tree was now a very confused two-legger. Another time, he uses one to open up a giant crevasse in the ground and then close it back up again in an attempt to seal a monster into the earth.
Arram Draper was born the son of common-born merchants in the country of Tyra. Even as a young boy, his gift was very strong, stronger than the teachers available to him could really manage. At age ten, he went across the Great Inland Sea to the capital of Carthak, and the great university there. Scholars and trainees came from all over to this university, the best and most widely respected school in the known world. Here, Arram could receive training suited to his abilities, going in for studies of ancient esoteric magics.
He made friends at the university among his classmates and teachers. He quickly found a mentor in Lindhall Reed, a mage and scholar as in love with knowledge as Arram was. Already a bright and eager student on his own, Lindhall enabled Arram further. Both of them would rather talk about learning than anything else, and could easily get lost in books without care. Then there was Varice Kingsford, a young lady who delighted in fun and beauty and seeing people happy. Numair always saw great talent in her, and pushed for her to work harder at her studies because he had full confidence that she could be a great sorceress someday, but she was content to use her Gift for entertainment and art and cooking. In their later teen years, they became lovers. Most prominent of Arram's friends, however, was His Royal Highness Ozorne, Prince and heir apparent to the throne of the Carthaki Empire. Ozorne and Arram were best friends, both of them powerful mages. Unfortunately, this friendship would prove the demise of Arram's comfortable scholarly life at the university.
Arram completed his mastery, earning the highly prestigious black robe, one of only seven sorcerers in the world permitted to wear this mark of power. He made a study of the Banjiku people, a tribe from the lands far south of Carthak who had great skill with animals. Through their power and their myths and legends, he came to believe in wild magic, rooted in nature and definitively separate from the Gift. Wild magic was generally disregarded as a myth by many of the scholars in Carthak. Fascinated, as ever, by new things and different kinds of magic, Arram set about studying this, eventually becoming the only known expert on wild magic.
While Arram was establishing himself as one of the most powerful mages in the world, Ozorne took the throne, becoming His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor Mage. Ozorne decided that "human bonds" were beneath him - specifically, his friendship with Arram quickly deteriorated. He couldn't have another mage with more power than himself after all. To bring insult to injure, he tried to play the victim, claiming that it was Arram who'd abandoned him the moment he gained his mastery. Accused of treason, Arram was put into Ozorne's dungeons. He was kept contained in rooms hidden within the palace that were made to cancel out the Gift, from within or without. No one would be able to find him or break him out via magic, nor would he be able to use his own magic to break out. The only way in or out was with the appropriate key. When he did manage to break out, he quickly fled across the sea to the great kingdom Tortall, shortly before his 21st birthday, leaving Varice, Lindhall, and his backstabbing "best friend" Ozorne behind.
He went into hiding, changing both his appearance and his name, becoming Numair Salmalín (hiding aside, this was a far better name for a sorcerer of his caliber than Arram Draper anyways). His early years as a refugee in Tortall were quite rough - he was homeless, penniless, and in constant fear of being caught and dragged back to Carthak, where there was now a warrant out for his arrest and execution for crimes against the Emperor. He didn't dare use his Gift for fear it would attract Ozorne's attention and bring his mages down on him. He worked as a street magician, trying to scrape by on the streets between Carthak and Corus, the Tortallan capital. He very nearly starved to death.
Eventually though, Numair made friends that drew him to the attention of the king of Tortall himself, Jonathan of Conté. Jonathan gave him a home, and personally taught him a great deal of simpler practical magic that had never been part of his curriculum at the university. Numair had a second chance here, once more delving into his studies of magic. He befriended many respected and powerful people - among them the King, Queen Thayet, and the King's Champion, the famed Alanna the Lioness, first female knight of the realm in over a century. With his strong Gift, Numair easily found a place among them as Jonathan's chief mage. He also continued his studies of wild magic, working with people he met who had it to help teach them.
In his late twenties, things began shifting in Tortall. Creatures called the Immortals, whom had been sealed into the Divine Realms centuries ago by powerful mages, suddenly began to appear in Tortall and its neighbouring countries - griffins, stormwings, spidrens, flesh-eating unicorns, centaurs, and many other creatures besides. Emperor Ozorne and his mages were suspected as the ones who'd begun to summon them back to the mortal realms - only Carthak had the documents of the original spells used to seal them up in the first place. Numair was set helping to investigate these appearances and Ozorne's involvement. It was thought that Ozorne wished to invade and conquer Tortall.
When he was 27, he was working a spy mission for the king, checking out a corrupt nobleman suspected of conspiring with Ozorne, when he was caught and drugged. Panicked, he shape-shifted into his hawk form and tried to escape, forgetting the amount of drugs he'd been fed. In human form it would have been bad enough, but in the much smaller hawk form, he overdosed. Disoriented, ill, and dying, he barely managed to escape and was picked up by a friend of his, Onua Chamtong, horsemistress for the Queen's Riders, who was nearby. With help from her assistant Daine, who had the most powerful wild magic any of them had ever seen, he lived long enough for Alanna (also a powerful mage) to reach them. Between Alanna and Onua's Gifts, and Daine's wild magic, they managed to coax him through the transformation back to his human form, saving his life.
While he recovered, Numair began to get to know Daine better. She was an orphaned village girl from nearby mountainous country Galla, and she had the strongest wild magic he'd ever seen. Animals flocked to her, adored her and did all they could to please her. She could speak to them as though they were two-leggers, or as though she too were an animal. She didn't even realize what she did was magic - her mother had been from a long line of hedgewitches and had been so disappointed when Daine didn't have the Gift too. Daine grew quickly frustrated with people suggesting she had magic.
Eventually, with much coaxing and gentle guidance, Numair got Daine to see that she DID have magic, just a different kind. She was hesitant at first, but when he promised he could teach her how to heal with her magic, she agreed to let him teach her. He took her on as his student, showing her how to control her magic and how to expand her abilities. He, Onua, and Alanna coaxed her into opening up, to telling them what troubles her magic had brought her in the past, overwhelming her until she forgot who she was and went running with a wolf pack. Numair helped her to separate her mind and magic, placing control of her own self back into her own hands. He very quickly came to care for Daine very much, and was more ferociously protective of her than any of his other friends.
They were present at the seige of Pirate's Swoop, Alanna's coastal home. Numair ran himself into the ground using his power to hold off the blocks the enemy mages were putting over their stronghold so that the other mages could work. Daine used her wild magic to save them all, first turning the dragon their enemies had summoned to their side, then, after the dragon was killed, she summoned an Immortal that had been missed when they were shut away so many centuries ago, the Kraken. After the battle, Daine took in the dragon's orphaned infant Skysong, nicknaming her Kitten.
As his protégée, Daine started accompanying Numair during his work for the king, including quashing a rebellion in Dunlath Valley. Numair had a run-in with some old schoolmates from Carthak here, Tristan Staghorn and a few others. During the battle for Dunlath, Numair had fought a sorceror's duel with Tristan. He would have preferred to capture the other mage alive, but when Tristan tried to attack Daine, Numair didn't hesitate to use a Word of Power to turn him into a tree. According to what he told Daine after, that particular Word meant that, somewhere else in the world, a tree was now a very confused two-legger.
Some time later, the Tortallan court received a slightly ominous surprise. Carthak had never outright declared war, preferring to rely on underhanded attacks on the sly via raiders, and attempting to stir rebellion among the nobility. Now they had word from Carthak that Ozorne wished to negotiate a peace treaty. He even offered Numair a full pardon as a sort of peace offering. Numair and Daine, along with Alanna and a handful of other noble dignitaries, made their way to Carthak as ambassadors. Not trusting Ozorne in the slightest, long before their arrival, Numair created a simulacrum, a magical copy of himself, and sent it to his old mentor Lindhall for safekeeping, just in case things went sour. He may have a pardon, but one word from Ozorne could take that pardon away just as quickly.
And things, of course, went sour. The talks began to go badly as the nations argued over trade rights. On a more personal level, tensions ran high between Numair and Ozorne. At one point, in a private meeting, the emperor made some very crude insinuations about Daine and Numair's relationship and Numair attempted to hit him, stopped only by Ozorne's magic. The emperor had never intended for a peaceful outcome to the talks. Towards the end of the ambassador's visit, he abducted Daine, hiding her away and claiming that she had left to stir up rebellion with Carthak's slaves. The Tortallan's were evicted from the empire. None of them, of course, believed Ozorne's claims about Daine, and Numair was certain that she'd been imprisoned just as he had before, Ozorne's slap in the face to Numair. Refusing to leave without his student, he stayed behind. To give himself some cover, he awakened the simulacrum, having it get caught and then executed on the Emperor's orders. Now officially dead, he had some freedom to move and find Daine without being pursued.