Akzeres is Owen Seyler's PC, male human priest.
“If a drop of water falling into the pool of infinity stirs a ripple to reach the edge, then it be the will of Isis that I shall serve thee”
1) Thulsa Doom and the High Inquisitor conspire with demons; I must prove their corruption to the ruling families so pressure may be brought upon Kordaava to restore the temples of RA, Osiris, Isis, and Horus to put their evil in check.
2) The Oracle revealed I am one of Isis’s chosen who must serve Her will to earn grace in the Afterlife; therefore I will share my vision with the mystical order of Osiris and aid them in their quest to reassemble the Divided God.
3) The gods have seen fit to preserve the Holy Order of the Scarab and send one of its knights to me; It’s divine will that I guide this holy warrior to complete his training, find his sacred blade, and restore the Order to its rightful status.
1) As an ordained exorcist, I instinctively recognize the signs of possession and alter my behavior to avoid alerting demons of my divine powers.
2) Being a former Inquisitor of Set, I instinctively relay the secret call-signs and catch-phrases using “Priest Cant”, identifying me as a fellow priest of in spite of whatever common garb or disguise I may be wearing at the time. [This could work against me in times where I don’t wish to identify myself to members of the high clergy]
3) Having disavowed my former faith, charge and status, I now disguise myself as a simple pilgrim and remain eternally vigilant for minions of the Church who seek to arrest me and bring me to foul justice.
Many fear the priests of Set, and I was an Inquisitor whom even other priests fear. Charged with routing out heretics, sorcerers and witches, I traveled the land bringing torch and sword to those harboring malice for the holy Church. Yet the sinister zeal of Uhlotep’s Holy Inquisition troubles me, and the voices of innocents haunt my sleep. Guided by Isis, I shall find the strength to lead the people from darkness, or suffer damnation in the hell-pits of Duat for trying.
Character Background (Chronological by Life Path)
Born City Dweller (Age 1-12)
Akzeres was born the illegitimate son of a Handmaiden of Isis some fourteen years before the purges of Set swept the Empire. Separated from his mother by Temple decree, he was raised in the priory orphanage among other unfortunates of his kind. As young boys are wont to do, Akzeres frequently found trouble growing up in Temple confines. He enjoyed spying on temple acolytes and pestering temple guards. One of these, a young soldier of the castrati guard (Opikatcha Kahldu), took a reluctant liking to Akzeres and taught him the rudiments of swordplay over a series of years before the purges came. Being bright and inquisitive, Akzeres earned kind affection of the Temple Abbot who recommended him for initiation as an Acolyte when he reached sufficient age.
Akzeres acquired skill in Observation, Stealth, Swordplay, and Streetwise during his childhood. His upbringing could be fairly described as a sheltered Temple brat, whose curiosity took him outside the temple on infrequent occasions when he could slip away to the market or local festivals. On his twelfth birthday he was accused of stealing in the market place, where the angry merchant threatened to cut off his hand. But he was rescued by Captain Kahldu who settled the matter discretely and escorted Akzeres safely back to temple grounds.
Temple Acolyte (Age 12-17)
Scared straight by the events in the great market of Saratov, Akzeres turned his attention to his studies and excelled as an acolyte of Set. Years of diligent study and devotion passed quickly and without much incident of note. Akzeres demonstrated himself an able student and true believer during these years, acquiring skill at Reading and Writing, Doctrine, Bureaucracy and Temple-wise.
The conversion of the Temple of Isis to the worship of Set was a relatively swift and unremarkable event from an acolyte’s perspective. There was no bloodshed, nor overt conflict to be seen inside the temple. Whatever internal conflict occurred was resolved swiftly within the Palace and sacred chambers of the high clergy. Outwardly, the event was marked with the respectful but unceremonious removal of religious icons and artifacts, which were immediately replaced with more grandiose trappings honoring the newly exalted god Set. The conversion happened in Akzere’s second year of study, and made little impression on him at the young age of fourteen.
Priest (Ages 17-22)
By the time Akzeres was initiated into the Priesthood, the glory of Set had swept the Empire. Akzeres was proud to be a promising young member of the most honorable and celebrated Temple in the nation. He worked hard to impress his teachers and earn their approval, succeeding by earning his vestments in his 20th year. He believed the Church propaganda, and looked forward to a privileged life among the priests of Set.
Akzeres acquired skill in Oratory, Suasion, Symbology, and Religious history during his study in the Priesthood. It was during this time he demonstrated his Faith and talent for miraculous feats, which earned him acceptance into the Order of Exorcists.
Exorcist (Ages 22-28)
By the time Akzeres passed his twentieth year, the high priesthood had identified his Faith and marked him for training among one of the temple’s inner “mystical orders.” Upon his 21st birthday, Akzeres was admitted to the Temple Oraculum where he was tested by a council of gifted priests to determine the nature of his talents and best course of study for advancement in the mystical rites. Within the month, Akzeres was designated to transfer to the Seminary of Exorcism (location?) where he trained for four years under gifted exorcists who assembled there from across the Empire.
The training curriculum resembled guild tutelage, with two years of apprentice scholarship followed by two years of understudy practice (journeyman stage) followed by two years of independent field work as directed by the seminary’s advisory council. Akzeres excelled in his study, advancing through the curriculum near the top of his fellow students. He was paired with an able monk fom Luransk named Sabestien who served as his mentor during his understudy and served as his chief advisor during his first 18 months of field work.
[insert: How Akzeres came to appoint his traveling guard, selecting his former friend Captain Kahldu to lead the company]
[insert notable account of exorcism of merchant who traveled abroad, who proved so thankful of Akzeres service that he bequeathed his townhome in the Garden District of Saratov as reward]
Late in his second year of field work, Akzeres returned to the Seminary to report on his progress to discover that his mentor has passed away under what proved to be hushed circumstances. He was appointed a new mentor, Inamumet a righteous young priest who seemed less interested in helping the possessed than he was of rooting out witches, heretics, and the possessed in support of the Holy Inquisition.
Under his Inamumet, Akzeres last six months of fieldwork focused on inside cases of possession and heresy. His assignments more often led him to remote temples, abbeys and monasteries than did his previous years attending the possessed in the churches serving small towns and villages throughout the empire. Now, acolytes, priests, monks and Abbots were the target of his scrutiny, though open denouncement and exorcism was forbidden with the holy order of exorcists. Instead, Akzeres was to document internal heresies and report them directly to his advisor, who would review and improve upon his reports to make them fit for consideration within the Holy Inquisition. Again, Akzeres excelled in his duties and he was inducted into the ranks of the once he completed his final assignment for the Seminary.
During his training and years of practice, Akzeres honed his skill of Observation, and acquired new skills in Symbology, Church Law, Demonology, and Exorcist Ritual. He developed healthy skepticism for charlatans feigning mystical powers conferred by Gods and powerful spirits, and gained an instinctive talent for discerning chicanery from true signs of possession.
Inquisitor (Ages 28-34)
At this point, his life was exciting and Akzeres was proud nearly to the point of hubris. He’d succeeded in each assignment the Church saw fit to deliver, and basked in the praise his superiors laid upon him. Few had been inducted into the Inquisition as such a young age, the high Inquisitor Uhlotep being the most notable exception (it being him who’d largely defined the order and was first appointed the nascent rank of Arch Inquisitor by Thulsa Doom himself!) If he did well in his new position, a life of luxury followed by admission to Heaven was assured.
Unlike the Seminary, the Order of the Holy Inquisition is not a scholastic college or closed order of its own right. Rather, inducted Inquisitors hail from a variety of backgrounds and specialties within the Church of Set, be they priests, abbots, priors, theologians, or the most prevalent justicars, the undisputed masters of Church Law.
Akzeres’ successful tenure as exorcist provided the skills and qualifications sought by the Inquisition for its privileged membership. Upon induction, each inquisitor is assigned a region of jurisdiction; however novice inquisitors are assigned to serve the jurisdiction presided over by a senior member, who serves as their supervisor and director. It is not uncommon for large, important political provinces to be overseen by a High Inquisitor supervising two to three ordained inquisitors, who also have 1-3 novice inquisitors serving beneath them.
The High Inquisitors and ordained inquisitors form the collective body called the Inquisitor Conclave. Each member of the conclave reports directly to the Arch Inquisitor, though if any ordained inquisitors serve underneath a High Inquisitor, it is customary for them to report to their immediate superior who serves as liaison with the High Inquisitor, except under extraordinary circumstances (such as their superior being on a field assignment or in the case that they need to report suspicions about their immediate superior).
Under this arrangement, it happened that Akzeres discovered Inamumet was also an ordained affiliate of the Inquisition, serving as a secret watcher within the Seminary. Akzeres dutifully served Inamumet and became formally ordained near the end of his second year. At that time, he was appointed to assume the recently vacated jurisdiction of [p], which included the city of Nahir and the province of Angkul where the Arch Inquisitor had originated. Akzeres considered this an auspicious appointment, possibly laying the foundation to follow in the Arch Inquisitor’s place.
Arch Inquisitor Uhlotep now leads the Holy Inquisition under the aegis of Thulsa Doom. The Arch Inquisitor is extremely crafty, well-established and ambitious, but he’s too elderly or vested to travel around the lands, so he relied on the ordained Inquisitors (including Akzeres) to gather information, rout out heretics, and carry out the will of the Inquisition and Temple of Set.
Over his years of service to Uhlotep as an ordained inquisitor Akzeres has witnessed the rampant hypocrisy and inner corruption of the Church, made evident in the hateful persecutions fabricated by the Holy Inquisition under Uhlotep’s dominion. Initially, Akzeres believed Uhlotep was carrying out higher orders (Set’s plan, commuted through Thulsa Doom). But now Akzeres is uncertain whether his Uhlotep has gone mad, or whether it’s Thulsa Doom or Kordavaa that’s gone insane with unbridled power. Weary of being an agent delivering boundless suffering upon the enemies of Church and state, Akzeres has resolved to thwart Uhlotep and Thulsa Doom by reviving the worship of Ra, Osiris, Isis, and Horus to limit Set’s primacy and restore balance in the land.
Very recently, Akzeres was charged with persecuting Aman, a prophet of Osiris whose illuminating words shook his faith above all others. The heretic experienced a holy vision during the weeks of his confinement and torture, and imparted a divine vision upon Akzeres with his final breath, expressed in the mystical ideology and phrasings of the order. When facing the would-be-assassin (Christian) who came to exact vengeance for Aman’s death, the import of the prophet’s words exploded into a transcendental epiphany, inducing Akzeres to utter aloud his astonishment in the phrasing of the sacred, Osiric mantra. Though the assassin could not see into Akzeres heart, he witnessed the compelling transformation confirmed by the sacred utterance, which stayed his hand and spared Akzeres’ life.
Since his spiritual conversion, Akzeres has abandoned his former identity (Xerhet Set-Atun) and hallmark Inquisitor’s garb and paraphernalia. Now he disguises himself as a common pilgrim, bearing a simple lantern for illumination and crooked staff to lean upon. He keeps his well-tended shortsword scabbarded within his bedroll, or wears it lashed to his leg hidden beneath his robes.