Halan is a vampire of the old school, sorcerously created in a days-long ritual--none of this biting stuff. He hails from the lost land of Gimirrai (gi MERE eye), now but a province in the Zaraafi Empire. In his three and a half centuries of unlife he has played many roles: he has been a hunted predator on the edge of civilization--he can predict the weather at a glance, and if he throws a rock, he never misses--, he has been several different artisans, he has been a minor nobleman. Currently he resides in Meyitshehz in Hengistan, a village known for the quality of its honey. He protects it fiercely: many of the adults know what he is and what he does, and will provide blood and mana when needed.

History

Gimirrai was a civilized place: respect for elders and good manners were the norm, and upward mobility was possible. As the son of a successful farming family--minor landholders, actually--he was taught to read and write, and studied sorcery in the usual, casual way. He married late, at 25, and by age 30 he had a family. Then the Plague came, overwhelming magickal and mundane resources, and among the devastation, all of his family died, save Halan and his niece. This left a dark place in his soul, and he took to sorcery more assiduously, searching for the secrets of life itself: longevity and healing magicks, even immortality. The wizard Lostaani took him on as an apprentice, and due to his previous studies, he became a master wizard in under a decade. During this time he quietly aided his niece's family even though they had gotten religion after the plague (Sorcery and worship are very different paths: there is often discord and hostility between them). Soon afterwards his investigations led him to the Masters of the Tomb, a group of wizards who also sought immortality. He joined them at once (and was brutally cut by his mentor Lostaani, who had no truck with such unnatural practices.)

Halan helped research a ritual to create vampires, basically turning the target's body into an undead machine, uncoupled from the natural cycles (which offended all the elemental gods) and potentially immortal (which offended any god interested in the pantheon's afterlife.) This explains the well-known problems that vampires have with sunlight, running water and the like, and the need to rest in one's native earth: most of these can be dealt with by appropriate magical protection Halan has found. As well, he developed other dark spells such as Soul Reaving. The Masters of the Tomb soon had a cadre of apprentices who hoped to become vampires after years of service (including donations of blood and mana, of course!) This was no Ponzi scheme: it was understood that the ritual was only offered to a select few. When he was seventy-two (looking a hale fifty due to the afore-mentioned longevity magic), Halan decided the time had come for him to avail himself of the fruits of his labour. He survived the vampirification process (not guaranteed), but the cabal was exposed and broken up with much loss of (un)life about a year later--ironically it was Halan's great-grandnephew who was a linchpin of this operation. Being a good member of the local church (which had grown in influence after the plague), he was horrified by their activities and turned them in to the authorities. (He didn't know that Halan was his almost-ancestor, of course.) Halan had to flee, but was able to carry away much of the group's ritual gear.

Much later, when he was 117 years old, Halan took Akchan of Tsendristan as his apprentice. Akchan showed great promise and used Halan's Soul Reaving matrix to create many interesting magickal items. After about fifteen years, Akchan too became a vampire: some seven years later, doing his own research, Akchan fumbled the making of a matrix for the Vampire Creation ritual. A fell spirit possessed the matrix and convinced Akchan that it was the god of vampires, Gwiyodhunas, that only it could create vampires, that Halan had stolen the power from Gwiyodhunas, and was therefore a damned heretic! After a pitched physical and magickal battle with Halan, Akchan fled southeast to unknown lands, taking his tainted matrix and many other magickal items with him: he became the first priest of Gwiyodhunas. Halan called up many potent Sendings to destroy Akchan but (no doubt with the 'god's' help), all failed. Eventually Halan heard no more of Akchan, and assumed that Gwiyodhunas had eaten his acolyte.

He continued to watch over his cadet-branch bloodline, and he fought in secret but unsuccessfully to prevent the annexation of his native Gimirrai by the Zaraafi Empire, 182 years ago. (He has worked to bring about the liberation of his homeland ever since.)

Later he fought the nomadic Laraachin who raided his stock in one of his farmer lives. There was much loss of life, and much creation of magickal items!

Much later still, he recreated the ritual matrix and took one of his niece's descendants, Oleastra, as apprentice (there were plenty of sibling and cousins, so the favoured lineage was in no danger of extinction.) He had tried this before, but with indifferent success--often it was religious scruples that prevented his relatives from taking the final step, but Oleastra was different: she took to sorcery amazingly well (she is actually smarter than Halan), beating his short apprenticeship by a year or so, and became a vampire fairly soon afterwards. Like Halan, she has no qualms about using Soul Reaving on 'those who would assault or rob a young woman on her own in the city.'

Magicks

Halan has a number of potent and dark magicks:
--Soul Reaving: normally a wizard uses his own life-force, a part of his soul, to enchant magickal items. This ritual allows a portion of the life-force and intelligence of another, who need not be willing, to be used instead. Halan doesn't know or care what happens to the left-over fragmented souls: he scrupulously employs the ritual only against such uncouth types as try to physically assault him in his old-mage persona--as a Gimirrite he abhors disrespect to elders!
--Vampire Creation: Halan collaborated in the design of this ritual centuries ago; after the disbanding of the Masters of the Tomb, he and his few apprentices may be the only sorcerous vampires in existence--all the rest are Gwiyodhunas' products.

Current State

In addition to his long-standing oversight of his niece's bloodline, Halan has several other projects.
--He protects the village of Meyitshehz and gets protection in return.
--He keeps an eye out for possible recurrence of Gwiyodhunatic activities.
--In the longest term, he works for the restoration of an independent Gimirrai ('just like the old days', he hopes...), in his noble persona of Lord Kraspodos, who can be prickly with strangers.

Description

Age: 432 (looks to be a vigorous 50), about 360 years as vampire
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 78 kg
Frame: medium
Hair: black, close-cropped
Skin: fair but pale
Face: angular, clean-shaven
Eyes: grey
Ears: medium
Nose: hawklike
Voice: medium, resonant
Expression: fierce
Quirks: bushy eyebrows. prickly with strangers.

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