Ravel's Last Dance

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Born in the Great Swamp, in an obscure Prime Material World known as Terra, Ravel has gone through a life of hardships. The Sacred Swamp is the home of a hardy and religious people. The life is harsh, natural resources are scarce and valuable. Their only source of entertainment is the underground arena.

Of his childhood, Ravel only has hazy memories. He worked with his mother and only sister collecting frogs from the mud and selling them to poison dealers. A life of suffering made his mother cold and reserved and his sister was his best and only friend. It doesn't come as a surprise that he was heart broken when she got married and moved away. Her husband was a good man and they invited Ravel to move in with them, to start a new life. He accepted, but to this day Ravel still feels fleeting moments of remorse for leaving his mother alone in that broken hut.

Both Ravel's sister and her husband became warriors in the underground arena, and despite his desire to follow that path, his sister forbid him to risk his life in combat. At that same time Ravel met a striking man named Kento, a man who would change his life. Kento was the captain of Kento's Lament, an infamous planar slaver ship. Self confident to the extreme, the slaver lord was a charismatic and wise man, the kind of person that tends to attract the attention of a crowd upon himself. He often enchanted his slaves instead of capturing them by force, giving them the false impression that they're just going on a cruise before selling them to the highest bid.

Ravel and Kento soon became really close, weaving a deep and meaningful relationship. Ravel eagerly absorbed the stories about the wonders of the planes, the mysteries of the arcane arts and the secrets of the cosmos. Eventually Kento had to leave and move his business elsewhere. But Ravel would no longer be the same man he used to be. He loved Kento and all he represented and that marked his life forever.

Upon Kento's departure, Ravel decided to follow his dreams and become an arena fighter. To cause an uproar with his every move and send the entire arena bursting in shouts of excitement. The thrill and the glory of being a gladiator is not something that can be easily described in words. And Ravel revelled in that life.

But the day came in which Ravel was forced to face his own sister in combat. The whole thing was a cruel set up to boost publicity. Everyone wanted to watch brother and sister in a deadly match. Ravel and his sister were caught by surprise when they saw each other in the arena. If one of them refused to fight, both would be executed. They had no choice. But in the last moment his sister hesitated. Ravel did not. In one fell swing of his halberd she was no more.

Ravel turned to the wild crowd, his eyes wet with tears. And he saw a dark cloaked woman, quietly appraising him from afar. Through the gates he ran, to never return. His life as a gladiator was over.

Midnight came as shadows cloaked the Great Swamp. Ravel knew what he had to do as he stood in the gloomy graveyard. And at last it came, just as he knew it would. The Phantom Train, off of the Ethereal Plane to snatch the souls of the dead and depart with them to the dark beyond. The ominous train flashed past him, leaving a trail of darkness and decay, taking his sister as well as many other helpless souls in its wake. Ravel ran with all the speed that his legs could carry him, but that wasn't enough. His sister was gone.

Ravel howled to the skies above and cursed the gods with all his soul for the pain and suffering they make his people go through. To this day Ravel still searches for the whereabouts of the Phantom Train and its mysterious owner, an undead entity that calls itself Death.

Some days later Ravel was summoned by a wealthy woman, the same woman that watched him from afar in the day he killed his sister in the arena. Elessena she was called, a woman at least twenty years older than Ravel. She was a known merchant, somewhat lonely and definately excentric. Rumor has it that one time she spent a vast amount of money in a sumptuous dinner, bought herself the most expensive gown she could find, and then dined all alone. Most of the food was left untouched and she gave the leftovers to the poor.

Ravel began to frequent Elessena's house and eventually he moved in with her. He didn't love her or anything of that sort, but he craved the power and the wealth that se could offer him. She, in turn, desired him. His youth and his intensity were irresistible to her. After some months they got married. Elessena was in fact an Ur-priest, an atheist that learns how to steal the power that the gods usually channel to their clerics and followers. She fought a non declared war with the local priests and temples for power and prestige. And Ravel was turned into her hunting dog, doing all her dirty work.

With patience Ravel played Elessena's game. Slowly he gained her full trust and convinced her to share her secrets with him. He wanted to become an ur-priest like her. Nothing more fair than stripping the gods of their powers after they made him and his family go through such a horrible life. The idea that men's fate was in the hands of the gods was a strong one in the Great Swamp.

Elessena granted Ravel's wish, but something went wrong in the forbidden ritual that would turn him into an ur-priest. Ravel was supposed to tap small amounts of divine power from several different deities, to avoid detection. But he ended up drawing too much from a single power, an entity composed of multiple beings and known as the Xammux, a dark god of wicked knowledge. A small essence of the evil power would forever be trapped within Ravel, giving him dark powers and troubled nightmares. It would be a matter of time before Xammux' wrath washed over him, and he knew that.

In a devious scheme, Ravel turned stag on Elessena and exposed her to the local priests, giving them the opportunity for revenge. He led her to a trap and had her killed there by the high priest's assassins. Gathering all he could carry, Ravel fled to Sigil, the only place that could protect him from the wrath of Xammux.

It was only a matter of time before Ravel joined the Athar and gave his life a new meaning. He now sells his services to the highest bid and is known as a top notch mercenary in the Cage. The money he earns is used to support his underground terrorist crusade against organized religions and temples. At times he goes into fits of melancholy and launches himself in deep investigations to locate the Phantom Train and his sister's soul. Thus far he hasn't had any success.

Ravel has made some friends in Sigil. The closest one is Lenora, a blind eleven years old girl from the Athar. Despite her age she is a reserved and mature girl, respected as an oracle for her divination magic. Ravel is never seen without Lenora, she is his best friend and confident. She is also the only person that helps him in his war against the powers.

Another friend is Dan, a charismatic giant sized incarnate construct with a good heart and a lot of curiosity. Dan was once a stone golem, but somehow he was given sentience and turned into a living being. He awoke in an old abandoned tower, full of bizarre things such as sentient pieces of furniture. After a nice chat with Mrs. Cup Dan walked right into Sigil, ready to discover the meaning of his existence and to find out who was his creator. When he is not debating and studying philosophy, he occupies himself with his woodwork as a carpenter. Dan met Ravel while visiting the Shattered Temple to learn more about Athar philosophy.

And then we have Silonassy, ooze mephit by birth and scholar by choice. Unlike most of his kind, Sil, as he's called by his friends, is interested in books and knowledge. He is known across the Cage for his crazy theories about the multiverse as well as his exuberant and fluid behavior. One week he may claim that the multiverse emerged from a puddle of ooze only to contest that idea the next day with his newest 'discovery'. His skills as an illusionist as well as Harys Hatchis' advertising have turned his weekly lecture into quite a public show. Ravel was introduced to Silonassy by Dan. It turns out that the carpenter adores the mephit's lectures. Sil's current research project involves ancient languages of power. He is currently reading ancient tomes about the Alef.

The dark of it- Dan was actually created by the Golem Sculptor, a renegade proxy of the Norse Pantheon. The Sculptor decided to give his creation life and soon after that Dan was travelling the planes to find a meaning for his existence. After many adventures Dan arrived in the Castle at the Edge of Time, a structure in the Deep Ethereal that floats near the Demiplane of Time.

After a huge misunderstanding with Montgomery the Sapphire Mage, Keeper of the Castle, Dan was cursed and trapped in an endless time loop. He would settle down in Sigil and live there for nine years searching a meaning for his existence. After that he'd retreat to an abandoned tower and begin his studies in the arcane arts until he was powerful enough to create a stone golem. By killing himself in the process Dan would give sentience and life to the new golem, which would then become the new Dan, with no memories of his previous life.

The spell works in such a way that when Dan transfers his essence to his new incarnation, the entire multiverse forgets about his former self. His timeline in the Demiplane of Time is simply rebuilt. Is there a way to rescue Dan from this time loop' Only the Sapphire Mage would know.

OOC: See also End of Time for more information.

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