@Turboshitter The fact that several hours of uninterrupted channeling is necessary to mend broken bones means he still adheres to my rules, especially because he doesn't seem to be great at anything else.
Name: Balen Oril/Eno Indor
Birthsign: The Lord
Appearance: Balen is a Dunmer of tall stature, almost as tall as an Altmer, though nonetheless he possesses the sinewy, hard physique and rugged complexion of his kin, although he is a bit on the thicker side. He is, like most other Dunmer, ashen skinned, and red eyed, both his sclera and pupil blood red. Balen is not just peculiar in his height, but also his visage – he has an almost comical face, with a thin, hooked nose, and incredibly large, beetle-like eyes that look like they’re a slight squeeze away from popping out of their sockets whenever he opens his eyes fully. Thanks to this and his swept back hair, narrow chin and gaunt face, his upper head looks much more prominent than normal. He sports large sideburns that curl down from the sides of his head in locks, and is clean shaven otherwise.
Balen’s clothing favors function and simplicity over form. His common attire consists of a grayish-blue waterproof broadcloth robe, recently tailored to bear a sleeveless, leather raincoat on top to function as a cape, and false sleeves; it is a piece of attire that is probably two sizes too large for him and held close by help of a tightly wound sash, over a dull yellowish long-sleeved shirt. His lower body is covered by breeches that are tucked into gaiters, with simple leather slippers covering his feet.
Balen likes puffy, wide-brimmed hats and can often be found wearing one, tucking his ears well into the hat’s crown.
Biography: Balen has led a rather interesting life and picked up many professions throughout, and has mostly managed to stay away from physical harm.
Born in Blacklight, in a foggy Middas of the First Seed, to an upper middle class family affiliated with House Hlaalu, Balen grew up through a rather uneventful childhood as the youngest child. For most of his childhood, he was educated by his grandparents and his father’s grandfather, who was an immensely elderly scholar that claimed to have been saved by the Nerevarine from Kagoutis in Vvardenfell hundreds of years ago. Perhaps thanks to this man’s countless stories, or perhaps thanks to natural disposition, Balen earned a penchant for reading, reading up on the past, of the times before the Red Year. It was during these times, while he was reading the Sermons of Vivec, when he first questioned his faith in Ancestor Worship and Daedra Worship.
Following his father’s death, Balen, the youngest child, was given the duty of taking care of his father’s remains, while his elder brothers tried to get the family profession running again. Seeing this as an opportunity, Balen decided to uphold his father’s last wish and take his remains to Necrom, and joined a trading caravan to go there. During this journey, Balen befriended a Bosmer bookseller, Godron, who told Balen that he’d be happy to accommodate him in Valenwood. After interring his father’s remains in Necrom and buying a bunch of trinkets claimed to be of Akaviri make, he took a ship from Necrom to Southpoint. Here, Balen’s fine writing skills, Godron’s profession, and the money they made selling the so-called Akaviri artifacts, opened an interesting business venture – Godron would buy rare books, Balen would write down the content of books they’d find, Godron would sell the original copy to the highest bidder and then stock his shop with copies of the real book. During this time, Balen practiced his skills of writing, and more importantly, got his hands on books he wouldn’t be able to hear of otherwise. Making spare copies of books he got interested in, Balen eventually built up his own collection. Eventually, he parted ways with Godron amicably, and got on a ship to Alinor, to learn the secrets of the Aldmer. However, he could not get along with the Thalmor officials, and did not stay on the isles for long.
Balen got on a ship to Stros M’Kai to learn more about the Sload and perhaps Yokuda, but the ship was attacked by pirates. It was during this time when Balen first took his first two lives, cutting down a pair of pirates trying to carry his chest out of his room. Following the attack, the ship’s captain decided to dock at Rihad instead, finding its original course too dangerous for the damaged ship to handle. Balen spent a good amount of time in Rihad, comprehending the rather large amount of knowledge he had gathered in form of books so far, and going over them. During this time, Balen began pearl hunting as a hobby, but soon turned it into profit. He earned his fondness for Skooma in Rihad as well, thanks to its relaxing properties.
Balen left Rihad in a hurry after participating in a ritual to summon Hermaeus Mora that went awry. He had participated in the ritual, mostly as a guest, in hopes of learning more about the content of the Elder Scrolls from the Daedric Prince itself. However, the ritual went awry, and Balen, savvy enough to run before the Prince was fully summoned, was able to survive. He’d later learn that the corpses (if they were dead, that is) were literally merged with the walls of the Shrine. Going south, Balen moved to Chorrol and settled there, spending his time with the Mages Guild members. He found most of them too attached to the arts of Magicka to actually care about the grander scheme of things, however. Balen sold books in Chorrol for five years and tried to live a simpler life, compared to his time as an eccentric in Rihad. Then one day, Godron showed up at his doorstep.
After a long talk about what he’d been doing with his life since Balen left, Godron made Balen an offer. Godron told Balen that he was no longer a book seller, but a trader of artifacts. Of course, the risks were much higher as Godron had to fund his own expeditions and often partake in them himself, but it was also much more profitable, and he was able to see first-hand sources, and stop having to rely on inaccurate accounts. As expected, it went somewhat disastrously, and Balen’s friend Godron died, although Balen himself was not harmed physically. Many others could not say the same – he was even once accused of sending the group to their doom by one of the survivors, despite having not led the expedition.
Balen grieved over the loss of his friend, but not much, and not for long. As much as he hated to admit it, the expedition had indeed brought some excitement to his otherwise dull life, and just in time, too, for he had began questioning the things he had learned from books recently. He began to prepare himself for this life of adventure - spending the cash he had earned from his first experience for suitable equipment, Balen started looking for work, hoping to immerse himself in the unknown once more, and eventually found himself in a grave-delving party, where he met Hector Sibassius, with whom he would form a rather odd and unexpected friendship through the series of unfortunate events the group would go through.
After the arduous and almost fatal journey through the Nordic graves, Balen took a rather short break from adventuring, and instead made an innovative return to his roots by making an investment in an invention inspired by the Dwemer schematics he had seen over time – a printing press. Most of the hard work, of course, was thanks to an Altmer, who actually had experience in engineering. The tool itself was not very popular, but it helped Balen create a business around selling books once more, with much more free time.
Despite his newly found prospects, the idea of adventuring still burned inside his stomach, like a guilty pleasure beckoning for another try. Too afraid to seek it himself once more, Balen was both relieved and distressed whenever he stumbled upon anything resembling an ‘adventure’ once again, be it being encouraged by one of his patrons to go for administrative politics in the Imperial City, searching for ancient cities in Anequina, and occasionally helping out his ‘friend’, Hector Sibassius, in their chance encounters.
After the Great Fire of 204 burnt down his printing press, and the building which they were using as a workshop, amongst many other things (such as most his business possessions), Balen finally found himself an excuse to free himself from the ‘shallow life of comfort’ that he had been living. He began oaring and trading through the Niben River and beyond, and even started work on a book that was meant to explain the secret religious creed of the Thalmor. Based off his purchases, bribes, favors and findings, Balen finished the book by 4E 206, had it published, and even sent a copy to the Thalmor Ambassador, hoping to get an Official Permit to visit Alinor again, an act that he considers even today to be a ‘foolish gesture of pride and naivety’. After avoiding three freak accidents following the gift, Balen was eventually invited to Alinor as a guest of honor.
Feeling the invitation as an optional death warrant, Balen contacted his old friend, Hector Sibassius, to help him disappear. Using the connections of his past clients and his friend’s position to fake his own death (nothing more than a bunch of articles asking for an investigation of the controversial writer and some fake mortuary reports), Balen began his life as a Penitus Oculatus asset, going by the name of Eno Indor, working as a cryptanalyst, cryptographer, and walking reference index.
Personality: Balen has gone from amiable and shy, to still and quiet, and nowadays he’s practically somewhat of a prejudiced recluse. He’s constantly monotone, but not dull or dense – he simply believes that he does not have much to share with most of the people around him, so he keeps quiet and does not try to be a sore thumb. He’s not oozing with calmness like a monk, but rather, he’s just contemplative. His quiet and introverted nature does not mean that he tries to get along with everyone for the sake of security, however. As opposed to trying to be on good terms with everyone, Balen simply prefers keeping quiet and picking his words, and the people he speaks to.
Balen is a quiet and considerate man of simple pleasures, making him a useful companion, though he can be hard to get used to, given his rather unorthodox views (such as voicing admiration for the Thalmor’s long term goals). He has developed an interest in the esoteric and metaphysic over time, and enjoys speaking about such matters – at some time in his past, he gravitated towards mages, but over time Balen has realized that most mages don’t care about the nature of magic the way he does.
It’s easy to confuse Balen for a man of peace thanks to his behavior. This is wrong – he’s simply a considerate, practical and somewhat paranoid person, who knows that too much attention is often a bad thing, and thus tries to stick to the corners of other’s eyes, away from the limelight. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty, being well aware that his new position has not been given to him out of pity but usefulness, and has gotten in and out of messy situations more than once. Nonetheless, he’d much rather prefer that they’d stay clean. Balen has, much to his chagrin, taken a preference for looking for practical applications of things, knowing well that the more useful he is, the more important an asset he is, and thus, less likely to be discarded or sacrificed.
Skills: Balen is an odd case – he’s about as much as brawn as he is brains, in that his constitution is almost prodigious. Balen can walk and run miles without tiring, dive for unexpectedly long periods of time, and carry very heavy equipment without flinching. Despite all of this, Balen avoids physical and ranged combat like the plague, keeping his foes at a distance with use of a walking cane and, as much as he despises putting theory to practice, alchemical liquids. An erudite scholar and anatomist, a skilled linguist and a stenographer, Balen has refined his craft of translating and writing to code breaking and cryptography, and, despite lacking any practical skills of Restoration, can perform medical procedures if necessary. Balen has earned slight practice in magical arts out of necessity, having become a fairly practiced user of the school of Alteration.
Equipment: Balen carries a walking cane made of ironwood as his sole ‘weapon’, with a detachable handle which contains a steel dagger, one that has not been brandished yet, to a degree that Balen has mostly forgotten about its function. Save a padded cloth corselet with a layer of silk to hold projectiles worn over his shirt, and a scaled leather sparring gauntlet to hold onto enemy blades, Balen is unarmored. Slung across his shoulder is a satchel that contains a small pestle and a mortar, a couple of books on Valenwood’s flora and fauna, a book on 'practical' alchemy, a book on the anatomy of the races of Tamriel, a surgery toolkit, and an iron retort along with a purse holding fire salts. Worn across his chest is a bandoleer holding lacquered, wooden containers of alchemical potions.
Balen also carries a steel, hand-pumped spray with a refillable container, commissioned for the trip, to function as a weak poison spray against the rather displeasing wildlife of Valenwood. After a bunch of days spent tinkering, he has managed to attach a separate, additional container, which he has experimented with to ‘spray’ potions, be they beneficial or malevolent.
Other: A former Skooma addict, he has quit the habit, and since found out that he has a keen sense of smell.
Because who doesn't want a practical man with knowledge by his side?