True Name: Mortigeist
Rank: Demon Prince
In the realm of demons there is but one angel: the Mortigeist. In the time before mortals he was the first creation of the goddess Ll'yandra, an Archangel of the highest order. Ll'yandra created the Mortigeist, then called Whitethorn, to destroy demonkind as she carved out the sacred Garden of her heaven. The Mortigeist was betrayed and tricked by his angelic brethren and this manipulation led to the destruction of Ll'yandra's second creation, the elves. As punishment for his crimes he was cast out of the Garden and locked away for eternity in a realm known as Mizzer'baugh in the furthest reaches of the demonic plane. Shortly after his imprisonment his cell was fractured and the Mortigeist found himself free to sing his death's song to the elves of Arthos for a short time. There in his prison he grew powerful, eventually taking the title and powers of a Demon Prince, though he has no interest or involvement in the politics of hell.
The Celestial War opened avenues unavailable to the Mortigeist in the past. The Stone Elves, now called the Shattered Elves, became his subjects and while he seems not to care for them, they do herald his brief freedom in the mortal realm. The Mortigeist's day of death lasts but a few hours unaided and is tied directly to the mortal deaths of the elves of Arthos. As they die, his prison weakens and when it is weakened enough he is freed. His Shattered Elves arrive on the mortal plane as that dark time draws closer. Casting dark rites of blasphemy and sacrifice, they aim to extend the time their master is free to inflict death and carnage on all Thalan.
What is known of the Mortigeist's history has been discovered through religious texts and books guarded closely by church of Ll'yandra. They speak of his birth, betrayal and descent into madness through prose and hymn.
The Mortigeist appears to mortals as an elven male with black and grey lines of corruption scarring his face. His shape changes often, but he is always dressed in the darkest black. He wears no armour and wields a single black spear named Darkshard. Fused to the flesh of his face is a theatrical mask that shows little but his hate-filled eyes; a reminder of a time long past.
Methods and Motivations
The Song of Death plays forever in the mind of the Mortigeist. That which he once was is gone forever. All that remains is a monster with an insatiable hunger to murder and obliterate any Thalan that cross his path. He has no other motivations. He speaks no words and cannot be bargained or reasoned with, even at the expense of his own being. Elves that suffer final death by him have their shards corrupted, bypassing Ll'yandra's gift of reincarnation and instead sending their blackened shards to the Mortigeist's prison. The tortured spirits of murdered elves lie like trophies strewn about his fortress and principality, expanding it ever outward.
As the Garden fills with the shards of dead Thalan, the hole in the Mortigeist's prison grows. It is not known how many elven deaths are required to grant him this day of murderous freedom, but as the time grows closer his Shattered Elves appear more frequently, heralding his arrival. On that fateful day the Mortigeist roams free, projecting himself out of his hellish prison and into the lands of mortal elves. Worse still, the Mortigeist does not just appear in a single place. The first creation of Ll'yandra has the ability to project his spirit into multiple physical forms in many places at once, a gift from the Mother long ago, now bitterly regretted. When the day of elven judgement arrives all shall fear, for the Mortigeist is many and one.
Powers and Abilities
The Mortigeist is a formidable foe to both the demonic and mortal. He is able to obliterate the spirit of any elves that cross his path, corrupting their shards and damning them to eternal hell in his demonic domain. He is known to be capable of sensing the shards of any elves in his immediate vicinity, even those hidden behind Battle Magic protections. His spear, called Darkshard, is an ancient and evil weapon, forged by the first race of Thalan as a gift before his song became corrupted. It is mixed with their blood and, as such, the blood of all Thalan descended from them. It bypasses almost all known protections and penetrates through both armour and flesh.
In addition to his martial abilities, the Mortigeist uses a number of demonic rites that allow him and his Shattered Elves to extend his time on the mortal plane and to destroy any magic, ritual or Battle Magic, should it stand in the way of his unwavering commitment to elven genocide.
There are unsubstantiated claims that the Mortigeist can be harmed by female elves, but this has yet to be proven and both the Church of Ll'yandra and the elves of Suvant warn against any attempt to test this.
The Mortigeist's principality is both a realm of its own and a prison designed to entrap the former angel turned Demon Prince who rules it. There are two distinct areas in this plane of hell. The first is a simple ten foot by ten foot cell with no windows or doors. This is the cage that Ll'yandra crafted to imprison her first and most beloved creation after his fall. Surrounding his cell is a second, more ominous aspect of his realm, a sprawling fortress created by and for his Shattered Elves after their sacrifice to save Ll'yandra. This stronghold, known to the demonic as the Aberrant, is a mind bending twisted tessellation made wholly from the broken and fractured minds of the Eleghast'Thalan. The size of the Aberrant and the Mortigeist's power over it increase as the Mortigeist returns from the mortal plane with the shards of more murdered elves. They line the walls of his fortress and fill the sky like twisted stars.
The Mortigeist has no desire for the Hell King's crown and he is usually, and often intentionally, ignored by the other Demon Princes and their soldiers. That being said, should any dare enter his realm, they will learn quickly how the once-angelic demon can defend himself. It is not a lesson that needs repeating. Despite the massive size of his realm, the Mortigeist rarely leaves his cell. He opts to sit there, alone, singing his Mother's Love to his prison walls, knowing that it was made with a piece of her heart and she can hear him sing.
No true demon serves the Mortigeist, for the Demon Prince of Mizzer'baugh is no demon. This does not mean that he is defenseless. The broken and fragmented remains of the Eleghast'Thalan nation, now called his Shattered Elves, obey their dark master with their own unique brand of insane servitude. Prior to their spiritual imprisonment to the Mortigeist, the Eleghast'Thalan were known in the mortal realm as the Stone Elves. This race of rational and logically driven elves had learned to suppress their emotions so that they did not influence their decisions and interactions with others. King Leoncio, once the powerful leader of the Stone Elven nation Bakura, sacrificed himself and his people to save Ll'yandra when the Mortigeist found the Garden. While the Eleghast'Thalan were successful in casting him back to his prison hell, the Mortigeist managed to take them with him. There their shards were shattered and the once disciplined minds they clung to so tightly were unravelled. They became what they so long worked to avoid, a host of uncontrollable emotion, bound in hell and forced to do their captor's bidding.
While the Shattered Elves are not demonic in nature, their spirits are bound to the Mortigeist's realm. Those killed or sacrificed on the mortal plane are simply banished back to hell for a year and a day. The Mortigeist takes advantage of this ability through dark rites that, ultimately, end in their destruction in the mortal world.
The Shattered Elves have no habits or behaviours that can be patterned or anticipated. Their minds are a whirlwind of chaos and insanity. They possess the abilities they had in life plus the dark gifts the Mortigeist has given them to usher in his day of death.
Shattered Elves that have been captured by the Church of Ll'yandra exhibit no capacity for reason or rationality in their frenzied state. In their past life, each Eleghast'Thalan had a trigger that would undo the years of emotional repression. The church claims that this trigger has stayed with them in their new form but now has the opposite effect. Presenting a Shattered Elf with their secret trigger will calm their minds and bring them to a state of peace. Unfortunately, this moment of clarity is quickly blighted by the realisation of what they have done and what is to come once the calming effect passes. All Shattered Elves known to have entered this state quickly ended their own lives.
There are no known cults dedicated to the worship of the Mortigeist. Those rare individuals who claim to serve him, be they elven or otherwise, find themselves on the end of his spear regardless of what they have sacrificed in his name. The Mortigeist cares for nothing but the death of the Thalan.
Summoning and Rites
There is no known method of summoning the Mortigeist other than mass death of Thalan. As the elves of the world die the hole in his prison grows until, after enough shards have passed back to the garden, he is once again freed to bring destruction to the Mother's second creations. Even then his time on the mortal realm is short, a mere few hours, though his Shattered Elves have learned the dark demonic rite known as the Invocacion Demonio that can extend his murderous rampage. It is rumoured that this rite can echo the haunting song once sung by the angel Whitethorn through the minds of Thalan whose shards are pure and uncorrupted.
Rite of Invocacion Demonio
As the day of death draws closer, it is heralded by the arrival of his Shattered Elves. Their purpose is singular: commit sacrifices in the Mortigeist's name and cast the demonic rite that extends his time on Arthos. The rite of Invocacion Demonio can be cast by no fewer than six Shattered Elves. It requires a sacrifice but the sacrifice does not, as many would assume, need to be elven.
A circle made from Shattered Elf blood is drawn by five of the ritualists while the rite leader takes a living, sentient victim into the circle's center. There they begin an aggressive and penetrating mind meld with their target, forcing their broken and fragmented mind into the victim and paralysing them until the ritual is complete. Once the target is immobilized and the blood circle drawn, the true horror of the rite begins. A spear is placed in the center of the circle and a theatrical mask is placed over the victim's face. There, for the next 10 minutes, each Shattered Elf pours out their insanities into the target while placing white roses upon and around the paralyzed body. For some this may be verbal; speaking backwards, talking in tongues, babbling or telling horrific stories of death and murder. For others it may be more physical, the rending of their own flesh, the gouging their eyes or removal of organs. Once the target has been fully assaulted by the minds of the Mortigeist's chosen, the rite leader raises their arms high into the air, calling forth the Mortigeist by name. One by one the others follow. When the last has shouted their dark master's name, they draw wicked bloodstained weapons and repeatedly drive them into the victim until their target is dead. If the rite is successful, a rift to Mizzer'baugh itself opens above the sacrifice. The body and rite casters are consumed and committed to that demonic realm, granting the Mortigeist an additional hour on the mortal plane. If the spirit resurrects, it will remember completely the horrors that were just committed upon it.
Should at any point during the rite the circle be broken, any of the rite casters die or become incapacitated, or the sacrifice expire before the rite's closing, the rite will fail. If the rite is unsuccessful, all those in the circle suffer catastrophic haemorrhaging from their eyes and ears, often knocking them to the ground.
A successful rite will still leave evidence of the heinous act. Although all those involved are consumed by the hell rift, the spear, mask and white roses remain, a dire warning to any Thalan nearby to stay hidden, for their night of terror just grew longer.
The Rite of the Mente Rosa
The Mortigeist has the ability to destroy magic even on a ritual level. This act is not easily performed and requires the Rite of the Mente Rosa. At least three Shattered Elves must surround the intended target at arm's length apart from one another to form a circle with their bodies. Once the last Shattered Elf takes his place the rite begins and the Mortigeist begins to circle. One by one the Mortigeist approaches the Shattered Elves and places his hand upon the side of their face. Melding with their mind, he infuses them with his demonic magic. He sacrifices them and, as the Shattered Elf dies, their life force transfers to the remaining elves. The Mortigeist moves on to the next elf, employing the same power-infusing magics into the mind and spirit of each minion. As they die, one by one, the power grows in the remaining elves. In this state the Shattered Elves become agitated. Their cries, laughter and broken minds begin pouring out, growing louder as the power is transferred and each elf before them sacrifices his life. When only one elf is left, deafening in his screams of insanity, the Mortigeist drives his corrupted spear into his back and, through the body of the Shattered Elf, strikes the object or magics to be destroyed. As the spear passes through the sacrifice it carries with it the combined power of the sacrifices, destroying even the most powerful of rituals in a single strike.
There is no known way to end this rite besides removing the offending magic, such as dropping a magic ward that is protecting the elves the Mortigeist wishes to slaughter. If this were to occur and the ritual fails, there is no known backlash or flawed effect.
Excerpt taken from the Book of Provenance, Chapter 2
- As I walk through what will be my garden I am beset upon by demons and devils that have taken root in the realm I would call my own.
- My eyes see only death and destruction and I am overcome with sorrow.
- Upon a hill I see a glimmer of hope, a single white rose. Its petals are beautiful and delicate but as I grasp the plant its razor sharp thorn doth pierce my flesh.
- I shall become as the white rose: graceful and appealing, but deadly to those that would grasp my power.
- I fashion my first weapon from this stem. I name him Whitethorn and he shall be my General.
- My child is more powerful than I could have ever imagined but the demon hordes are great in numbers. I bestow upon him the power to project his spirit into many physical forms but, even then, the demons continue to overwhelm.
- I create others from the thorns to aid him. Ichabod and Icarus, his lieutenants. And then a host of the angelic to be my death and destruction.
- And so it was to pass that my faithful did cleanse the garden and all was well.
- The garden was mine but my heart was empty. My angels were effective but their spirits were hard. Made only for combat but I yearn for more.
- The petals of the rose I withdraw from my crown. I make from them the elves and teach them arts. Song, dance, elegance and craftsmanship.
- They perform for me and my heart fills with joy.
- My angels do not understand. They approach me, one by one, save Whitethorn. They feel my love is greater for my elves because they bring me joy. They ask me to teach them art but I cannot for I sense the jealousy in their hearts.
- My General steps forward and my heart sinks for he was my greatest. His voice is cold and hard, like the thorn from which he was made. He asks not to be taught the arts but instead pleads for me to teach the others, so their hearts may be at rest. I am surprised.
- I command the elves to teach only him. All they know of art and beauty, save the most forbidden; the song to bring destruction.
Excerpt taken from Book of Whitethorn, Psalm 24
1 I have heard it with my ears, O Mother; the Thalan have taught me the gifts that you did bestow. 2 With my spear I drove out the demons so that you may sow the seeds of eternal heaven. Now, with your gift of song, I please you once more. My brothers in form and battle, Icarus and Ichabod, once again stand beside me both in love and in guidance. 3 I have learned all from your Thalan, O Mother. I sing to your trees so that they may grow strong. My steps and dance bring the rivers of life to those that thirst. 4 I have perfected my teachings and learned what the Thalan have offered and yet, O Mother, now I can only sing of my heart's lament.
O Mother, my heart feels but sorrow, my brothers confide. Your songs they have taught me all that they know.
But one remains hidden, my brothers foretell. The Mother's Love, a song of your heart's most desire.
A song they guard true, your commands they betray. My brothers hold fast the song of your love.
I anger, O Mother, for the first time since birth. They kept this from us to keep your heart to themselves.
My brothers, O Mother, have righted this wrong. They speak to my heart, words of guidance and promise.
We have taken from them what they have hidden from us. They have given to me, for my gift to you.
I shall sing this, O Mother, the Mother's Love. I shall don my mask, a performance to please the mother of all.
A song to open your heart to my voice, lest my love bring tears to your eyes.
Excerpt taken from the Angelic Performance
SETTING: The stage is set; ancient ivory pillars overgrown with weeds and foliage mark a bloody battlefield, upstage. All is centered to face a single throne on which the Mother will sit.
Thalan actors: Theatre masks of demonic visages drawn tight around their eyes.
Whitethorn: A theatrical mask symbolizing his rank and station. A spear of impeccable craftsmanship.
Act 3, Finale
[Curtain raises as WHITETHORN enters the battlefield stage left. His spear glows brightly as the horde of demons draws near. The ELVES of Ll'yandra, dressed in demonic costume, enter stage right.]
- LEAD THALAN
- You are no match for us, Whitethorn, first of Ll'yandra, most prized and loved. The garden belongs to demons from hence to eternity.
- Vile pests! You dare infest these celestial realms? I have come to end your lives. By my spear, cast from the Mother's very hand, you will be overcome!
- LEAD THALAN
- Nay, one who is closest to the mother's heart, for our numbers are great and you are but one. On this eve of your destruction have you any final words to speak?
[THALAN DEMONS downstage ready their weapons and cheer. WHITETHORN steps center stage to face the Mother and raises his spear.]
- On this day it is not my spear nor my hand that brings victory. It is love and duty to you, my creator, that fills my heart. I sing forth with all of my being. I let the yearning for your love course through me. Now all bear witness to the Mother's Love.
[WHITETHORN turns to the THALAN DEMONS and performs the choreographed battle with song. THALAN DEMONS fall to the ground on cue at the touch of his spear. It glows brighter as the finale draws near. As the last THALAN DEMON falls, cue curtain.]
[Curtain raises. Actors take a bow. Curtain falls.]
Excerpt taken from the Book of Ichabod, Chapter 4
- The Song of Death. Death's Dirge. We taught him this under the guise of love. He was naive and pure of heart and suspected no reason to distrust us.
- Mother loved them more. We did everything she asked and she loved them more. We carved an entire realm through the armies of the demonic so that she might sit upon her throne and she loved them more.
- We knew the song she kept from the first. The song to end. The song to close. The final act.
- He felt jealousy like us, her most beloved, although misplaced by our poison words.
- The irony is grand. The Thalan, as a gift to Whitethorn on his first performance, fashioned a spear for his performance. Tempered in their own blood, a drop from each they did give. They loved him so.
- He sang it to her. He sang it for her. She smiled as he raised his spear to salute and began the final act.
- The Death Song overtook him. His spear grew black and corrupted with each Thalan he slaughtered. His steps became dance, his dance became death.
- They all fell as she watched on. She knew the song that he sang. The song that could not be stopped once begun.
- When they were gone, all of her chosen dead, I looked in his eyes and saw nothing behind the darkness. My brother was gone. I felt no remorse.
- She stood then. Her hands raised high and we were forced to our knees. She looked at him and then past him. She turned to us and knew. Our betrayal and jealousy lay upon our skin like a disease.
- For the first time since my creation, I felt fear. I pushed my brother Icarus towards her.
- I watched in horror as Icarus was unmade. From his essence she fashioned shards of rebirth and gifted them to her fallen elves.
- She turned to her first and her spirit then shattered.
- She fashioned out of her broken heart a prison and cast him into the realm of hate, for his form was corrupted beyond redemption.
- I deserved death but my cowardice took me instead to the mortal realm, where I hid from my mother's scorn.
The performance put on by her General, meant to be a song of beauty and love, became instead one of death and destruction. As the curtains closed and the blood of the dead Thalan spread across the stage, the brothers of Whitethorn took their final bow. The Mother Ll'yandra imprisoned her First in a prison fashioned from her own flesh and bone. The creation she had made was gone, replaced with the killing madness of the Song of Death. It devoured his mind and spirit, and Ll'yandra knew he was beyond redemption. Still, he was her First, and she vowed that nothing she had created would be destroyed by her hand or the hand of elves. It was some time later that Ichabod resurfaced. It is not known why the fallen angel chose to visit his brother in his prison, nor why he brought his brother's spear with him. He spoke no words that have been recorded. He simply took the corrupted weapon, once belonging to the Archangel Whitethorn and forged by the Thalan it was used to murder, and pierced a pinprick hole in the cell. He left then and settled in the frozen northern wastes of the mortal world. The speartip hole he left behind gave just enough freedom for the Mortigeist to leave his prison for a short time to continue inflicting the Song of Death upon the elven race. For the rest of his time he sits in his tiny cell, singing the Death's Dirge, for he knows Ll'yandra made the prison from her very being and that she can still hear him.
Writers and Contributors: David Ashby, Kieran Lawless, Cat Mercer, Geoff Simpson, Edward Watt