Enlightened Human Archmage
Trostlos Blut-Tanzer was born on a small farm in the hinterlands of Barsaive. At a young age, both Trostlos and his parents knew there was something different about him, and something terribly wrong. Trostlos’ own memories of his childhood are scattered and vague, but he knew that something else shared his mind and body with him, something that terrified the young Trostlos so badly he shuttered it away in a corner of his mind, and gave it a Name: Flametongue.
As with most split personalities, Flametongue would manifest mostly when Trostlos was under extreme stress. However, when Trostlos was about 5 years old, Flametongue manifested after his mother punished him for refusing to eat vegetables. It went berserk, killing Trostlos’ mother and setting his family home aflame. His father managed to escape the conflagration and drug the now-normal Trostlos’ away from the flaming house. The two of them fled to Throal, where Trostlos’ father worked what jobs he could, just enough to keep himself and his son fed.
As Trostlos grew, Flametongue grew further and further buried in his mind and he adopted a pacifistic mindset, devoting himself to study and learning. In time, a mysterious stranger in a tavern told Trostlos he had the spark of magic within him, and he should pursue the Nethermancer Discipline. Finding that this idea appealed to him greatly, he threw himself into his studies. While he was devoting himself to mastering the magical arts, his father died in their shared home, from an excess of drink.
Lacking any roots in Throal and wanting to advance his studies, Trostlos journeyed to the Forgotten City of Parlainth, where he met The Passion’s Champions. He joined them in their adventuring and quickly expanded his knowledge of Nethermantic magic, and also of Horrors, battling them alongside Nazeer and Phylinius.
As his power grew, however, Flametongue began to awaken. Trostlos would occasionally hear a voice in his head, both disturbing and familiar, that offered insight or advice when things were dire. Occasionally he would black out, sometimes losing several days at a time, and awaken in strange places with no memory of what had occurred. When he journeyed alone to the Troll village of Ravenholm, which had been overrun by the Invae, he had another blackout but heard a Name mentioned by a survivor that struck a chord in his mind: Flametongue. The survivor claimed that Flametongue regarded Trostlos as an enemy and was sworn to destroy him. Trostlos assumed, rightly so, that this enemy was a Horror, but he did no realize where the Horror was hiding until he and the rest of the Passion’s Champions were cast into the pitch blackness of the oubliette of Lord Abbadon’s personal behemoth, The Executor. With their very lives on the line and Trostlos out of options, Flametongue exerted the will to dominate Trostlos’ body and manifest it’s own form, spewing a tremendous gout of flame into the depths of the vessel and crippling it, allowing the PCs to escape.
At that point, Flametongue and Trostlos began a constant mental wrestling match for control of his body. Trostlos learned that he could consciously manifest Flametongue’s physical form and gain access to dramatically increased powers, but at the cost of empowering Flametongue and having to wrestle with him every moment. Other times, Flametongue managed to pull a reverse manifestation, keeping Trostlos’ physical form but being in complete control of the body. During these times, Flametongue would do all he could to spread chaos and death, and put a tremendous strain on Trostlos’ relations with his allies, especially Brimmel.
After a tremendous battle in Marac, Flametongue took control of their hybrid form and attacked Brimmel, dealing the Dwarf a serious wound. Weary of constantly having to watch his back against his own allies, he attacked Flametongue and continued attacking even after Trostlos re-exerted control over his form. Once the spat ended, Brimmel left the Passion’s Champions for a time, returning to Barsaive. The conflict disturbed Trostlos enough that he felt it was time he learned to master Flametongue, lest he cause more trouble for his adventuring companions.
During their travels around the world, Trostlos took the time to learn all he could about alternate ways to restrain or even banish Horrors. He learned that the Holy Men of Indrisia had kept the entire Scourge at bay for 600 years through their mental disciplines and constant embodiment of positive emotions. When the Passion’s Champions journeyed to Indrisia, he left them for a time as well, and settled into a meditative trance in a hidden temple, contemplating the burden he bore.
During this time, he had visions of Name-givers all around the world, watching their lives pass by and feeling their joys, their trials, and their hardships. He saw into the hearts of every Name-giver he observed, and learned the common threads that bound them all together, threads that crossed racial, social, and economical lines everywhere. He learned to see through the eyes of everyone else, and in so doing he learned the value and importance of compassion. Finally, he confronted his own personal demon, Flametongue, and dueled him for control of his mind. However, all Flametongue’s attacks were rendered impotent against the power of Trostlos’ compassion and love, and the half-Horror found himself trapped. Readying himself for a counter attack, he was unprepared when Trostlos forgave him for everything he’d done, including the death of his mother, and embraced him as a brother. This wounded Flametongue worse than anything else could have, and he finally fled Trostlos’ body, spiraling into the sky as a pillar of flame and rocketing back to Barsaive. Having finally achieved Enlightenment, Trostlos took the title Mahatma, meaning “Great Soul” and began spreading his message of peace and healing throughout the world.
When the Passion’s Champions returned to Barsaive, Trostlos encountered Flametongue in Cara Fahd, where the half-Horror had possessed his alternate self. They battled again on the shores of Death’s Sea, and Flametongue defeated Trostlos. However, both of them were drawn into the spirit realm together, and Trostlos again forgave his lost “brother”, which granted him the power to restore his physical form in the material plane. Banishing the other Horrors Flametongue had summoned with a wave of his hand, Trostlos found that his grace had made him immune to fire. With Flametongue finally completely dead, he waded hip deep into Death’s Sea, and laid his brother to rest at last.
As he traveled, Trostlos had begun to learn other magician Disciplines, determined to expand his repertoire of magical knowledge. After the Iopan War, he finally mastered all four spellcasting Disciplines, becoming one of the few people in the world to be able to claim the title of Archmage. He also wields Baxa’s Staff, granting him increased power for his Elementalist magic. Trostlos has also worked to spread the ideals of the Mahatma everywhere he goes, devoting his life to easing the suffering of Name-givers everywhere, healing wounds, curing insanity, and feeding the hungry while also battling the great evil of the Horrors alongside The Passion’s Champions.
During the Battle of Aras Nehem, Trostlos and the rest of the Passion’s Champions willingly sacrificed their very existences to destroy the Horror Ristul, who was the source of the corruption of the Mad Passions. They succeeded in destroying Ristul and cleansing the Passions, and for his sacrifice Trsostlos was brought back to the world of the living as the Passion of Peace and Compassion, and he now stands over all those who strive to make the world a better place for their fellow Name-givers.
Trostlos is portrayed by Paul Bettany.
Trostlos’ destiny was inherited from Buulgath when Mitch left the group to go to college. At that point, I had a better idea of how I wanted to build things up anyway, and I didn’t have to modify Phylinius and Nazeer’s childhood memories to account for it. Troy himself has contributed a lot to the development of both Trostlos and Flametongue, and he has occasionally surprised me with the things Trostlos would become passionate about. Troy’s skill as an actor has really served to bring Trostlos to life, and he constantly has new ideas of what he wants to do with Trostlos. His absences made the Flametongue dynamic easier to deal with, and gave me plenty of opportunities to really bring the secondary personality to life without sacrificing total control of his character.