"Confidence in my magic isn't the problem, it's the fact you think I'm capable of carrying the world on my shoulders."
"Well, I never said thee were doing it alone, child."
"Which is precisely the other problem."
Aquaries is an Assistant Archivist and shadow mage at Vaholm College and the ward of Amoldo Val'Therra. He is also the Chosen of Umbra, born with a destiny to protect the world of Nihen from outside forces that seek to control and destroy it. Of course, he'd really rather live out his days in the College Archives, studying and chronicling history alongside his uncle.
Unfortunately for him, trouble doesn't care what he wants. One day, Amoldo is called away to investigate strange occurrences at an ancient ruin, only to vanish without a trace. No one, not even his colleagues who accompanied him to the site, knows what happened to him, and Aquaries finds himself alone and confused.
Soonafter, he finds a package left to him by his uncle containing a seemingly old and well-worn cloak and a letter urging him to go west, towards the home of Amoldo's personal friend Xander Amastacia. Upon donning the cloak, Aquaries discovers two things:
- The cloak has the power to conceal him from all kinds of sight, including magical detection techniques.
- The cloak is also the vessel for an ancient spirit, who introduces herself as the Sage Senka Majer, who fought for the people of Nihen at the behest of the goddess Umbra thousands of years ago, and is also Aquaries's ancestor.
With Senka's guidance and the cloak's protection, Aquaries gathers his two best friends and sets out from his home in Vaholm for the first time in his life. His steps are shaky, but he holds faith in returning with his uncle in tow...
Aquaries is a young human man of eighteen, standing at 5'7" with long dark brown hair tied into a ponytail and green eyes that exhibit moon-shaped pupils--a unique trait inherited from his mother. He often wears refined clothes in monochromatic colors with splashes of blue and gold. He carries a lantern attached to his belt, and has a pair of matching daggers he keeps hidden.
Aquaries is noted as having a very quiet and reserved personality, generally keeping to himself unless something catches his interest. Thankfully, he is a naturally curious young man who happily throws himself at learning something new at the drop of a hat. Though this tends to cause people worry. He's also known for being stubborn and doesn't always know how to handle social situations. However, if one is willing to get past that, he is a loyal and honest friend whose kind nature cannot be understated.
Aquaries is also an adept shadow mage, allowing him to manipulate shadows. His primary struggle, however, is in maintaining control. He keeps an outwardly calm appearance, but inside his mind is often a storm of emotions that he cannot fully sort through. His spells are powerful, but also quite destructive if he does not maintain some level of calm.
Additionally, like other shadow mages, he exhibits two physical quirks: an ever-moving shadow that moves to mimic his emotions and inner thoughts, and blood that bleeds ink black.Art by Onidrills (click for artist source)
The following section contains potentially triggering content, including:
- Parental death
- Suicidal ideation
- Eye trauma
Aquaries was born into two great bloodlines. On his father's side, he is by all rights a prince of Vasguard, a position that would grant him tremendous wealth and authority if he took the title. On his mother's side, he is the descendant of the great sorceress Senka Majer, a claim that boasted great magic waiting in his veins to awaken. On paper, Aquaries was set to be someone whose growth and achievements would be center stage for the world to see.
But things are rarely ever so simple, are they?
Shortly before his birth, his mother had a dream that frightened her so deeply she took it as a premonition. Instead of raising Aquaries the way she had raised her elder two sons, she sought out her brother, Amoldo, and asked him to raise Aquaries instead. Amoldo agreed, seeing it as an opportunity to make up for his regrets in being unable to visit or play a part in the lives of his sister's other children.
And so, a different identity for Aquaries was born: Amoldo's adopted child and student, raised in the halls of Vaholm College among scholars and knowledge stretching back centuries. He proved to be a prodigy of magic regardless, but was able to explore his abilities in the safety of relative secrecy compared to the public eye a royal upbringing would have thrust him into.
As a child, Aquaries was fairly lonely. A shy child, further isolated from other children by generally struggling to understand people. When his magic first sparked, his shyness and isolation only grew worse as it proved to be incredibly potent and knocked out several lights. Fear of hurting others led him to withdraw into himself further, clinging more tightly instead to the familiarity and comfort of his uncle and mother.
Aquaries would slowly make steps to escape from his lonely childhood, however, with his friendship with the orphan Rosalie, whose repeated curious questions and requests for help learning to read served to pull him away from his room every day. He often muses about this friendship being the thing that saved his life after his mother's passing a few years later.
The reason being, Aquaries was struck particularly hard by the news of his mother's death, to the point he spent months afterwards locked up in his room, unable to feel motivated to do anything. His studies slipped and he visited Rosalie less and less frequently. This emptiness and sorrow led him to slipping out one night, climbing up the stairs of one of Vaholm College's highest towers with only one goal in mind.
Fortunately for him, he found out he wasn't the only one there. Waiting there was Calum, a boy whom Aquaries didn't know particularly well, but whom had also befriended Rosalie. Calum had heard Rosalie worrying about Aquaries and decided to tail him when he saw Aquaries sneaking out. Calum convinced Aquaries to sit with him--away from windows--and talk. And talk they did, well into the night, leaving both of them with an understanding of each other.
The next few years would pass without incident, however just shy of his seventeenth birthday he was forced to contend with the idea that not everyone in the world was on board with his uncle's work, or with the work of the Sages who had sought to protect the world. An assassin snuck her way into Vaholm College, pretending to be a student in order to get closer to Amoldo. To this end, she ended up "befriending" Aquaries before turning against him to use him as a hostage to convince Amoldo to surrender, unaware that Aquaries himself was a valuable target for her goals as well.
In the ensuing struggle, Aquaries had his eye damaged by the assassin and lost control over his magic, resulting in her death. The sight of her body on the ground would haunt him for years to come, and further inspire him to keep a stricter, tighter control over his abilities.
Things began to change again when, shortly after Aquaries's 18th birthday, his uncle vanished. No one within the halls of Vaholm Academy would speak to Aquaries about what might have happened, and Aquaries interpreted this as a lack of care. In his frustration, he began to search through his uncle's office and discovered a letter and a package, addressed to Aquaries.
The letter told Aquaries to travel west, seeking out a man named Xander Amastacia, who would have answers to Aquaries's questions. Within the package was a seemingly old and faded cloak, the nature of which remained unknown until he put it on and began to hear the voice of his ancestor speak in his mind.
"We have a lot of work to do, my child."
- Aquaries's first name comes from the constellation "Aquarius", misspelled due to the incomplete records available for the "astronomy of the old human world".
- Aquaries is a pre-op transgender man. He uses a binder and used magic that permanently modified his voice.
- Aquaries's speech sounds vaguely like a Danish accent. He has a very soft voice because he doesn't like the idea of intimidating people.
- As a result of a blessing he received when he was born (one that gives him nightvision), his eye has an eyeshine effect like a cat's, which means he can unintentionally surprise people in the dark.
- He looks a lot like his mother, which he has complicated feelings about due to a mix of his grief and his gender identity.
- He is ambidextrous.