Tragedian Of Death S Thousandfold Passion Plays

The Tragedian of Death's Thousandfold Passion Plays

A custom Deathlord from Jutlander

In the ranks of great generals determined to march their armies of the dead into Creation, master politicians putting nations under their heels with politics and bureaucracy, and mad God-kings preaching Oblivion; one in particular stands out among the 13 Deathlords as being none of the above.

The Deathlord known as the Tragedian of Death’s Thousandfold Passion Plays commands no great army; he wields no unstoppable political machine; and Creation houses no widespread cult praising him as a chthonic god. The Tragedian is an artist and his weapon of choice is the pen.

When on the Isle of Stygia, the Tragedian appears as a small androgynous man of indeterminable age. He has long silky, black hair that frames the soulsteel tragedy mask hiding the Tragedian’s face at all times adding to his already eerie presence. He usually appears dressed in simple, stylish, loose-hanging black robes keeping his feet bare.

The Tragedian’s make his home in the Broken Smiles’ Playhouse in a minor port city, Tjeleso, at the eastern shores of the Isle of Stygia far from any shadowland of a considerable size. This does not seem to bother the Tragedian much for while this makes it troublesome for him and his servants to reach Creation, forcing them to travel to more distant shadowlands, it also serves to defend his realm from the living. With no plans for martial conquest in the lands of the living, a little traveling for him and his servants to reach Creation seems a fair trade for security.

The Broken Smiles’ Playhouse

The Broken Smiles’ Playhouse was once referred to as an architectural nightmare by the ghost of a First Age architect as he witnessed it for the first time.

Huge and imposing, the black stone buildings that make up the Broken Smiles Playhouse towers over all the surrounding buildings with its spires, arches and grotesque gargoyles. It is a chaotic mess to look at, but alien geomantic designs and structures adds an unnerving beauty to the almost impossible architecture.

At the heart of the Broken Smiles’ Playhouse is an actual playhouse. Here ghosts, Abyssal Exalted and anyone else foolish or brave enough to make their way this far into the Underworld can watch scenes from the Great Tragedy played out by the ghostly entourage of the Tragedian.

While parts of the buildings are rive with activity of the Tragedian’s many ghostly guests and servants, others have been practically empty for centuries except for the occasional soul that lost his way in the lonely corridors.

It is here, in one of the lonely towers looking out over the inland Sea of Shadows, that the Tragedian spends long periods of his eternity completing his grand work of art.

The Great Tragedy

Since he first entered the Underworld, the Tragedian has been plying his art as a playwright crafting innumerable tales of tragic fates from all over Creation. In order to write these stories, the Tragedian has agents throughout Creation at all times searching for suitable settings and protagonists for their master to use in his plays.

When reports of a suitable leading character reach him, the Tragedian usually travels incognito into Creation and investigates for himself. If he deems the suggested subject worthy for a role in his work of art, the Tragedian starts weaving an outline for a tale involving his new protagonist. While the outlines for these stories some times involve a rise to glory for the protagonist, they are always certain to include a fall from grace as well.

Once the outline is completed, the Tragedian assigns roles to his servants and has them act as antagonists, messengers and mysterious strangers to goat, manipulate and otherwise lead the protagonist to meet the dark fate the Tragedian has designed for him.

Kingdoms have fallen, lovers have killed each other, monks have given into carnal desires and at least one Solar has forsaken the light and pledged his allegiance to Oblivion all as a result of the Tragedian’s elaborate productions that the poor unwitting victims suddenly find themselves a part of.

Alone the stories are macabre and beautiful tragedies, but together they are much more. The fates the Tragedian is collecting each represent a small piece in a much grander and seemingly never-ending project: The epic tale of how all life in Creation ends.

It is uncertain to any except maybe the Tragedian himself how he intends to conclude his epic work. But while it may seem an overwhelming task at first, the tragedy was close to reaching a climactic ending with the Great Contagion almost eight centuries ago so it is by no means impossible. Especially now, with the current instability in Creation the final act of the Tragedian’s epic may very well be at hand.

The Tragedian’s Servants

To implement his master plan, the Tragedian of Death’s Thousandfold Passion Plays has many servants doing his bidding. Many of them are ghosts, some of them are deathknights, and one of them is something entirely different.

The Scoundrelly Circus

One would not have to search long in the Hundred Kingdoms to find a storyteller or maybe an acting troupe that knows the story of the Scoundrelly Circus and their tragic demise. What these stories fail to tell, though, is that after the now legendary acting troupe was killed by their audience, they came to be the most skilled infiltrators among all the Tragedian’s nemissaries honing their skills as actors to perfection.

Odalisque of Oblivion

Some who has encountered the Midnight Caste Abyssal known as Odalisque of Oblivion whisper that she is in fact the antithesis of Mela, the sickly whore, incarnate. Like most of the Tragedian’s servants, she has been known to assume many different appearances and to go by many different names depending on which role she is currently playing, but true for all these roles is an undeniable seductive force behind her breathtaking and often morbid beauty.

Faceless Under the Mask

No one seems to know who Faceless Under the Mask of the Day Caste was before he was exalted by the Tragedian. And if someone do, they are not telling. The underworldly essence that pours through his being has erased any physical features that could reveal nationality, age and even gender. Faceless Under the Mask has no mouth, eyes, nose or ears. Not a single hair grows on his body and even his genitalia and nipples have been swallowed by his powerful essence and so has every memory of his life except the fact that he, or maybe she, once had a life. The resulting psychosis has left Faceless Under the Mask one of the finest method actors Creation has ever seen. In his search for the face he knows was stolen from him, he has developed a unique power that enables him to completely steal the physical features and memories of the people he kills leaving them as featureless corpses. Unfortunately, for periods of time Faceless Under the Mask often forgets that he is not the life he has stolen and is currently living. This makes him one of the Tragedian’s most dangerous tools: A perfect infiltrator that gets so enamored in the life of his victims that he forgets he is in fact an infiltrator is a double-edged sword indeed.

The Costumier Draped in Shrouds

The Tragedian’s most recently exalted Abyssal, the Costumier Draped in Shrouds, distinguishes herself as a craftsman rather than an actress. Of the Daybreak Caste she serves the Tragedian as his foremost soulforger, necrosurgeon and necromancer. Antisocial in the extreme, she is the Tragedian’s most trusted servant behind the scenes, so to speak.

Dreams of Death

Not much is known about the creature known as Dreams of Death except that it came to the Tragedian in the time after the Great Contagion and that Dreams of Death is probably not its true name. Receiving occasional grave offerings from the living and heading a small underworld cult, Dreams of Death would logically be assumed to be a ghost, but no arcanoi matches the mystical world-shaping arts that Dreams of Death have been witnessed to master. The truth of the matter is that Dreams of Death is a noble raksha of the Artisan Caste that was trapped in the Underworld as the Fair Folk were forced to flee Creation almost eight centuries ago. The Tragedian has no true friends, but there exists a mutual respect between these two other-worldly storytellers that is unmatched between the Tragedian and any of his other servants.

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