Class: Archivist (Dip into Cloistered Cleric, going for Dwoemerkeeper and Sacred Exorcist)
Role: Party Buffer & Party Support & Utility Caster
Alignment: Lawful Good
Expected Posting Rate: Can manage up to multiple posts a day, with occasional downtime of a few days every so often
This human man grew up deep in the temple-city of Ignis Fatuus. He was a church orphan, given a last name at random due to the particular practices at the church he was left at. He was most likely the son of a local prostitute who couldn’t pay for black market infertility drugs – or even a black market Bestow Curse – Infertility from an anonymous Cleric in need of money. At a young age, the nuns running the particular orphanage realized that he both had a proclivity for reading, far more so than his peers, and that he had the potential divine spark. Teaching him the prayers and history of Phelis and the Empire, they realized he was wonderfully competent at remembering intellectual topics.
Figuring out which particular path of divine training to give him was quite arduous. Most of the sorts of training given to religious scholars, even those who were very intellectual and scholarly, required a certain amount of awareness and intuition to be able to properly commune with the divine. Still, he was given this training, and it was a happy day when, after an hours’ dawn prayer, he gained access to divine abilities that suited his outlook. Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that, though he gained access to one of the more coveted patterns of divine abilities, his mental fortitude was such that he would need magical augmentation to go beyond the first valence of magic. His true path would be elsewhere, it seemed.
He at one of the many libraries that the cathedral owned, he found—misplaced—a prayerbook of a self-styled ‘Prayer Archivist’. Asking some other priests about this, he determined that this was an intellectually focused method of worshipping Phelis that had gone out of style in the past century or so. While he wasn’t able to permanently keep this prayerbook, it finally let him have a path that he truly, honestly felt was his to follow. Maybe he would bring about a renaissance in this method of worship; after all, it was only out of style, and not considered taboo or wrong or heretical. In his researches, he found that some of these Archivists were especially useful for bringing foreign heathens into the fold, by reinterpreting prayers to their gods in such a way that the prayers and observances were worships to Phelis, and that they were still familiar enough to the would-be heathens to be accepted and recognized.
Eventually, he realized that the hustle and bustle of Ignis Fatuus was too much for him. He would never find the time to truly devote to his studies as a friar who was so ingrained in the daily life of the temple city. No, his course was clear – to truly recreate, from books, the study of Prayer Archiving, and his techniques on how to reinterpret prayers, and to write a manuscript on his studies, he would need time and space. To truly make an impact, he would have to go to a place with fewer distractions.
So he left to go to a monastery, and take temporary vows of asceticism and others, fully expecting to eventually take the permanent versions of the vows, and stay there all of his life, practicing his craft. He even had set up some contacts with other religious scholars through the monthly post, where he would send long letters of various topics of the divine to other scholars in the region, and receive the same, including trading copies of obscure prayer scrolls with one another.
The last thing he expected to find, the thing to give him a reason to not renew his vows, was love. Sometimes, the more diplomatically minded individuals who are from other cultures go to centers of learning to expand their bodies of lore and knowledge. This is the case with the dwarves of the Eastern mountain ranges; some family lines are not quite so suited to the traditional crafts for which dwarves as a whole were known. One such of these ‘Dream Dwarves’, for their more cerebral and social outlook of the world, eventually made her way to the monastery where Soelen was staying.
Soelen found himself spending quite a bit of time with this foreigner, ‘Hilda Eisenberg’, an Earth mage with a strange understanding of how to cross the threshold between holy prayers and arcane magic. She never said anything heretical or heathenish, and was studiously interested in Soelen’s views on the importance of saving the souls of foreigners who hadn’t heard about Phelis, and how missionaries who partook in such a task had a responsibility to integrate aspects of the culture and practices and observances of these foreigners to proper belief in Phelis. Also of interest to him was that she was incredibly well read and familiar with languages and classics that he knew nothing about. They would spend hours in the night talking about culture and esoteric theories.
When the time to retake his vows came up, he let them lapse. A few weeks later, he was discovered entangled with Hilda in the bushes outside of the monastery. It seems that Soelen’s interest in not actually acting on the grounds of the monastery, as well as the difficulties in going to the nearest town, were a recipe for scandal. The church had a very negative view of this sort of dalliance. It became obvious that all of this meant that he had to leave the church life, either in a distant monastery or in a cathedral in the middle of the city. Hilda would be sent home as well. She confided in him that, at the rate of how her family and House would view things, it might be several years before he could come and see her without causing a scandal; his reputation was too low now.
As she left, Soelen vowed that, somehow, some way, he would restore his lost reputation, find something that would help him be appreciated in both their cultures, and he would figure out a way for the two of them to grow old together.
After she left, the most immediate question was 'now what'? The churches and the various monasteries and abbeys were becoming, if not an overtly hostile place, definitely cold to him. Still, he was a man with several divine gifts and the ability to cast miraculous prayers. That is significantly important – he had not yet lost the favor of Phelis. There are limits in what the church could openly do to such folk; he could not be formally excommunicated without major intervention of much more powerful church officials.
He decided to seek his destiny at places where the politics of church life would be less intense; he signed up with an expedition to Ostorea, as a paramilitary chaplain and medic, and as a missionary. Perhaps he could apply some of the techniques of bringing foreign prayers into the fold, on whatever magics the foreigners had…
Soelen is a man who believes he has found his destiny. He knows he still has his divine abilities from Phelis, and he believes that the reason is that he has been given a parole, but also a responsibility to use them the way Phelis wants. He sees the collection and reinterpretation of foreign prayers and practices as his ticket into several things: the good graces of his church, his penance for displeasing his god, a way to save the souls of foreigners, and a way to bring him closer to the woman he loves. Thus, it is becoming a driving passion, and he is willing to take a large number of risks to do this.
He has a weakness for good teas and incenses, and for beautifully illuminated manuscripts. He can lecture endlessly about various topics of interest to him, including what he learned on Earth Magic from his studies with Hilda, even though he can't actually apply such practices himself. In addition to his theological predilections, he adores the study of philosophy and astrology, and he is competent at Chess and Go and other games of strategy.
This hirsute, olive skinned man in his mid-thirties keeps a thick beard so he will look older than he actually is. When expecting danger, if he can afford it, he tends to favor a peascod breastplate under some clothes which don't really hide the fact that he is wearing armor. However, due to planning on being near ocean water -- and perhaps swimming in it -- with armor on for the near future, he had to get a breastplate out of formed chitin; less protective, but at least it won't rust. His most prized possession is his prayerbook, and his second most prized possession is his holy symbol. He tends toward modest and un-ornamented clothes, perhaps due to some stylistic preferences he retains from his time as a be-vowed ascetic. He's relatively fit for his age, and made of solid stock.
Soelen spots an inn that appears to be sufficiently safe and upscale for his purposes. Hailing a stable boy, he inquires about vacancies, and making sure that there are some, he tips him to make sure that his pack mule is stabled and taken care of appropriately, and that the bags are taken to his room when he obtains one. He walks in, looking around; yes, this will do nicely, he thinks to himself.
Meandering over to the innkeeper behind a bar, he speaks up, throat dusty from the road. “I’ll have one private room for the night, stabling and care for my mule, a mug of weak ale, and a large order of your common stew, please.”
The innkeeper looks at him, and realizing that this is the sort of man who he won’t likely be able to sell anything more valuable to, sighs and quotes him a price. “One gold and four silver. That’ll get you as many servings of the stew as you want. It’s even got a little bit of meat in it.”
Soelen nods and hands over the money, and then takes a place by the fireplace of the common room, to warm himself from the rigors of his journey, waiting for a serving wench to bring him his food. Unfortunately, he sees no one playing chess or go or even checkers; the only games are people gambling with dice in the corner. He frowns as he looks at them, and then shakes his head. When the serving wench comes, he even smiles and thanks her, to a look of confusion on her part.