Male || 200 || Lich
"The shortsighted consider my art a travesty. I, however, consider it pragmatically. A corpse is simply a resource after all, just like any other. 'Twould be a shame, therefore, not to use it."
The most notable trait that Varael possesses, and indeed the one others often take note of first, is his pragmatism. For he - unlike most - has absolutely no qualms with resorting to all manner of unsavory deeds to get what he wants, especially when it comes to robbing the grave. Or several, as the case may be. It is to be expected, of course, that a man as versed in the darker arts as he is would have little to no ethical scruples, but that does not make it any less shocking for those who get to see such amorality put into practice firsthand. Beyond that Varael seems to be a rather mellow individual, not overly ambitious or cruel (though the latter is especially debatable given the horrific nature of some of his prior experiments, and even the former can be dismissed on the basis of his current existential state alone), preferring on the whole to be left to his own devices if possible. Unfortunately for him however, the wider world doesn't take all that kindly to practitioners of necromancy regardless of how neutral their intentions might be, so he has had to spend the majority of his un-life on the run from the powers that be as a result - lest they find him and destroy his phylactery.
Varael is a two hundred year old necromancer turned lich, with a rather sordid past at that, who hails from a distant and largely obscure land. Then again, a person does tend to acquire such when they work with the dead and dabble in defying fate itself. He prefers not to focus on his personal history, however, as those years hold memories he'd really like to forget. In regards to how he cheated death the first time around, that's actually quite simple. He trapped his soul in a particular object - in this case a plain silver ring that he always keeps on his person - as it is one of the most common methods by which mortals achieve lichdom. Crane guards this item compulsively, becoming antsy when someone so much as glances at it, and snapping outright should someone attempt to take it from him. Putting aside his perversion of the natural cycle of life and death for a moment though, he eventually decided to depart the land of his birth some point in time, though his real motivation for doing so is hazy at best. While rest and relaxation are the main reasons Varael cites when anyone asks him why he decided to leave his homeland, and he seems quite intent on sticking to that story, the actual truth of the matter is a bit more complicated; and may or may not involve him fleeing his home for heinous acts committed against the gods, his people, and the state, to say nothing of his numerous other crimes against the proper order of the world itself.
x1 Crystal Staff: A simple wooden staff with a pinkish-purple crystal embedded in one end, which Crane enchanted prior to his ascension to spew powerful streams of electricity at foes. This is the only kind of non-necromantic magical effect he can summon without the use of corruption.
x1 Journal: A simple leatherbound book - enchanted to have infinite pages - that Varael uses to keep records and notes on such things as important events, interesting spells, and the happenings in his day-to-day life.
The following is the actual build I used for Crane, ala the Undeath CYOA, plus some extra information regarding what types of magic he can and cannot use now.
Method of ImmortalityA Phylactery: You trapped your soul inside a particular object, the most common method to achieve lichdom due to it's relative simplicity. It leaves you very vulnerable given how easily one could break it, however it also grants you full access to your magical potential as your soul remains entirely within this plane of existence, simply placed elsewhere. The closer you are to your phylactery, the more of your power you can access. At 3 miles your power unnoticeably affected, from 3 to 9 there will be some decrease, and from 9 to 36 your power will be close to three-quarters. From further distances the decrease is more significant. At 64 miles away your magical power will be cut to but a twentieth or less, before diminishing to nothing soon after.Way of ResurrectionAt Your Phylactery: The 'natural' form of resurrection for one whose soul is bound to an object. When your body is destroyed, it soon fades to ash and then nothing. After several hours your body reforms at a phylactery belonging to you.Physical FormAlmost Mortal: In body, you will be almost identical to a true mortal. Perhaps you may not react as strongly to the cold as others and appear sterile with no root cause, but in everyday circumstances no one will be able to see what you truly are. You will be able to engage others in physical confrontations fully, with the advantage that the warm blood in your veins is not what's keeping you alive but magic instead, requiring your body to sustain serious damage in order for you to defeated and let your form fade.DetailsAn Enchanted Phylactery: That which holds your soul is strong. To break it would require a powerful enchanted weapon and great strength, strong and particular magics, or great environmental dangers such as magma.
Sudden Resurgence: Once your body dissipates, you resurrect in a matter of seconds. Your enemies will not have escaped.
Greater Strength: You improved your physical strength. If a skeleton, your strength would rise to that of a man with flesh and the wards keeping you together would become stronger. With flesh, your strength would nearly double.NecromancyPossess Undead: From within half a mile you may inhabit the body of any being you have reanimated. Through that being you may use whatever abilities it possesses and also your powers of necromancy. You are immobile while doing this, but protected by a strong barrier that alerts you of any damage to it.
Raise Greater Undead: You can now raise powerful beings from the dead. Where before you could only raise beings such as elephants at most, and similar giant creatures or races, now you can raise dragons. Raising an elephant may take the power to raise twenty-five men, while raising a miniature dragon would likely take the power to raise five hundred, yet the power would still be within reach.
Superior Necromancy: You can now raise over five hundred undead soldiers, a formidable warband.Other SkillsCorrupted Arcana: Varael is a masterful practitioner of the magical arts, and has a vast repertoire of spells at his disposal... or did anyway. Following the completion of the ritual, however, any magicka (aka mana) that was not used to fuel his ascension to undeath had been utilized to strengthen his connection to the dead. As such, he is limited to casting spells and cantrips relating solely to the dark arts. Even then he must have an ambient source of magicka in the environment to draw upon and corrupt to achieve such an effect. Think of it as the trade-off one makes to attain powers many would consider... unnatural. (It should be noted that the above does not apply to Crane's aforementioned necromantic abilities.)Basic Combat Training: While no master-at-arms or warrior monk, Varael is no slouch when it comes to close-quarters combat, and is more than capable of holding his own in a fight. His enhanced strength and experience with wielding a staff both help greatly in this regard.Master Mortician: It might sound odd to some, but Crane is quite good when it comes to refuting wear-and-tear on corpses. Granted, the only reason for this is his pragmatism and choice of magical art, as undead servants are generally more useful when not lying on the ground as an assorted pile of useless viscera and inanimate bone dust. Still, should funerary rites be required then Varael can certainly provide. Just don't ask him to give the world's best eulogy and you should be fine.