Name: Miles Xander
Character Appearance: Xander is an older, dignified man, and has much of the appearance of one. He has a rough, weathered face but maintains the stronger features of his younger days, and has his silvering hair kept short and swept back. He tends to wear formal attire whenever possible, believing that one should always appear to be at their best, and so will almost always be seen in a white shirt, grey waistcoat (complete with silver pocket watch), and black coat and trousers, along with dark leather shoes, all of which are fitted and tailored for him.
He also wears a set of grey fingerless gloves, which cover the backs of his hands and his wrists and continue to his forearms, at all times. These serve the purpose of covering the myriad runic tattoos that he uses to channel his favoured spells. The tattoos cover most of his body, though he keeps them well covered, and is quite secretive about them.
History/Bio: Hailing from Burleigh, a world rife with traditional magic and alchemy, Xander was once a respected scholar and magician, though he turned to the life of a businessman shortly after his father passed, leaving him the head of a small mercantile empire. In the years that followed he continued his studies and ran the business simultaneously, using the excuse of conducting security and safety surveys to join merchant convoys as a security detail and practice his magic. With the level of care that he took in each of his dealings, it wasn't long before he started turning substantial profits.
His favourite fields being the study of alchemical physics, magical circles made up of runes called ‘arrays’, and the way they affected each other. He found himself quite proficient at the curious branch of Runic magic widely known as Void, he could shift mass, mould walls of solid photons, manipulate gravity, and before long he had figured out how layer several spells atop one another. By applying this knowledge to his business, he managed to come to the forefront of trading companies the world over. By the time he was forty, he had managed to set up a closed system of long distance transport-arrays based on his own magic, controlled entirely by his company, and through this he made his fortune. By making use of his business, he was able to vastly further his understanding of his world’s native magic, and come across a number of powerful ancient artefacts.
Many years later, he found himself somewhat bitter. His dedication to his work and his magic had left him without a partner or children; he often wondered just what the point of his success had been. It was on one of his more morose nights that a raiding party of extra-terrestrial invaders struck one of his facilities, drawn in while passing by due to the energy being generated by one of his largest arrays. Xander managed to get to the facility in time to join with the defence of the complex, and was instrumental in the successful effort, but with his homeworld being a long way behind even the most basic of space-faring technologies, this event sparked massive controversy among the populace. Rumours began circling that it was Xander's transport arrays that had caused the attack in the first place. Eventually this ruined him, and while closing up the last of his facilities, the invaders struck again.
Caught by surprise and without backup of any kind, Xander was eventually incapacitated and captured. When he awoke in the isolation cell of a slaver vessel, he was appalled to find that his possessions had been locked away beyond his reach, though his captors seemed to have neglected his magic. Making use of what time he had, Xander inscribed several spells across his body with magic, for easier use later, and bided his time until the best moment to stage his escape.
Personality: Cold, harsh and business-like in all of his dealings, Xander's primary objective is always turning the highest profit possible, other people and their needs of concerns come second. Though just what he considers profit is anyone’s guess. Given his present circumstances, however, Xander is rather angry at most everything, but may well be on to a major change in his outlook on life.
Weapon(s) of Choice:
Onyx Cane: Xander always carries an ancient walking cane with him, the shaft made of perfectly smooth, silver-veined black marble, and the head made of burnished silver, studded with various gemstones. The entire thing has a fair deal of weight to it, and is covered in arcane symbols and scrawlings set into small silver rings along its length.
This cane is actually an artefact of fantastic power; a spell-storing device and amplifier acquired by Xander through his trading contracts. He is able to store a great deal of energy within the marble-like material, and can modify the runes on the silver rings with only a little need for preparation, providing him with a malleable set of spells that are always available for his use. Additionally, he keeps a pair of spellbooks handy in small satchels on his belt, each reduced in size via more traditional magic to make them easier to transport. These tomes contain the sum total of every spell Xander has ever crafted, and still have space for more. He is able to use the circles inscribed on the pages to cast these spells, though it has become something of a chore for him to retrieve the book, restore its original size, find the page, cast the spell, and return the book again, so he rarely does this in his day-to-day. It's far easier to just write the spells as he goes.
Runic Magic: Finding himself to be adept at this curious form of magic due to his natural affinity for understanding alchemic runes -the language in which Burleigh’s magic is written- Xander has spent a great deal of time improving his mastery of the art.
At its most basic, Runic magic involves making circles; by drawing a circle made up of specific runes and channelling mana through it, certain effects can be achieved. The drawing of a circle can be accomplished via physical or magical means, the runes are either drawn by hand, or are literally fabricated from Burleigh’s native mana by the caster (an ability no longer available to Xander. He has compensated by inscribing a circle for ‘drawing’ on his right index finger). Writing circles, however, takes time, and larger circles with more complicated runes are required for larger effects. A spell to open an unlocked door at close range, for example, may be cast near-instantly, while a spell to lift a building would require a fair deal of time and careful concentration, as well as requiring a lot of channelled mana; drawing a single rune incorrectly may have disastrous results and all mana channelled through a circle will be expended in an attempt to fulfil the rune’s purpose, regardless of the caster’s intent.
Most Rune-mages of Burleigh are simply ‘taught’ circles, the way one might be taught a simple sentence within another language, but Xander understands the runes, the specific words and letters, the grammar behind their use, and the science of how the runes do so. Where the average Rune-mage would rely on spell-book to call upon pre-created spells, Xander is capable of writing them on the go. Admittedly, doing so takes a fair deal of time and effort, so Xander tends to rely on a certain ‘set’ of spells, though these are all of his own creation. Due to recent events, where an average Rune-mage would rely on a spell-book and channel their magic through the circle on the page for rapid-casting, Xander now differs by having his favourite or most used spells tattooed upon his body, such as basic utility spells, defensive arrays, levitation and transport circles. He still keeps his spell-books about his person though, as literally hundreds of pages of spells can only prove to be useful.
Matter Shifting- By creating a circle in the air with the simplified purpose of ‘take me/this here’, and moving that circle, Xander is capable of limited teleportation. He can move instantly to wherever the circle is, and can take or send things in the same manner. The limitations of this ability involve the time it takes to draw the circle, as it must be large enough to contain the thing that is being sent, and the energy required to shift it. The size of the thing to be sent, the number of things, the distance travelled and the speed at which the circle is moved all become limiting factors to this spell, and while Xander is able to shift himself with little effort, it will tire him after a number of larger hops. If Xander’s concentration is broken while casting the circle, it will discharge harmlessly; though he is practised enough to remain well aware of his surroundings while casting that he will often simply complete the spell before something may disrupt him.
In addition, when Xander shifts, he must take everything he is touching with him. He uses an additional circle to provide limited levitation for himself or others that he wishes to shift, though if he were tethered to something, or grappling an opponent, then his spell would require that the additional thing be brought with him. If he attempts to shift with something larger than the circle in tow, then anything that the circle cannot accommodate is simply left behind. The drain on his mana that this imposes is the only thing that stops him from weaponising this particular effect, as being able to take a sizeable chunk out of almost anything is quite a charming thought, though preparation can alleviate the cost.
Void Manipulation- Void magic is, for all intents and purposes, the manipulation of mass. From causing something to be lighter than air to creating miniature, temporary singularities, this is the field of Runic magic in which Xander is most skilled due to his understanding of Burleigh's laws of physics, and how runes affect them. Within his standard ‘set’ of spells are circles that allow him to levitate himself and other things around him, create barriers of hyper-dense air and hard light, generate powerful particle-beams, and limited manipulation of gravity through mass effect. In order to make these spells more efficient, he will often use one of the tattooed circles on his body to summon small orbs of compressed magical energy, then use another tattooed circle to allow himself to move them at will, and then finally he will ‘store’ the spell within the orb. He can, theoretically, create and maintain an infinite number of these orbs, as they require no mana to keep stable or floating. They have no mass, and float in perfect synchronisation with his body unless he expends tiny amounts of mana to move them, and the spells stored within will remain inactive until enough mana is channelled through the orb to trigger them.
Xander’s skill at layering and ‘storing’ prepared spells into these orbs can make him quite a challenging opponent, as there is no telling what spells have been used until they discharge upon his direction. The main limiting factor to this magic is distance; each and every one of his spells lose their effectiveness the further from Xander they are cast- his barriers become weaker and harder maintain, and his orbs are more difficult to control, and require more effort to activate. He gets around this mainly by casting the spells closer to him, then sending them further with the orbs, however the spells will not activate until he ‘sends’ the mana required to activate them, or adds another ‘activation circle’ to the array, and both methods become more difficult over a distance. Another alternative is making use of an activation circle, setting an effective timer to it, however these require careful planning and execution to make use of.
Spell Shields- Due to the limitations of his magic at great range, Xander has reached a curious ultimatum. His magic is strongest when the target is close, however he is most at risk in the very same situation. Due to his age, and his lack of any real close-combat training or proficiency, having any opponent at close range is dangerous to him. To combat this, he has developed a method of immersing himself in a large number of defensive spells; barriers and shields that activate only when something threatens him. For example, he almost always has a circle prepared to create a hard-light barrier at great speed, which is triggered by a much simpler circle that constantly observes the space around Xander within a large radius. If something that threatens him enters the area of effect, the barrier circle is activated by the detection-circle. In this manner, Xander keeps himself safe behind a complex series of wards and protective shells triggered by IF-statements that would make any programmer proud.
Drawing the circles for these barriers is the easy part, and keeping them from activating requires only a minor level of concentration, it is a thing that Xander has been doing for decades, and is very skilled at. It is the activation of the circles that drains him. He may take several hits quite easily when the shields are active, and it matters not how damaging to the barrier incoming attacks are, simply keeping them active drains his energy, and Xander may struggle to do this for more than a few minutes before needing a breather. His stamina is, unfortunately, not what it used to be.
Trap Circles- Making further use of his ability to prepare various levels of spells, Xander excels at placing magical traps- a number of circles layered atop one another which ultimately activates to a certain predetermined stimulus, complete with the magic required to make it happen. These traps are, like his wards, built in the same manner that one would write a program or formula- one circle waits for a certain something to happen (though more circles can be added for more ‘triggers’), then releases the stored magic into another circle which then activates. This could be as simple as ‘when this circle is stepped on, create an explosion’, or as complex as ‘when [this sentence] is spoken, create a singularity [this powerful] until [this event], then reverse the singularity, etc.’
Arrays like this can contain any number of circles, and while they take some time and energy to set up, they require no magic to maintain once active. Xander has a habit of adding some trap arrays to his defensive wards, creating some manner of reactive protection. There is something of a time-limit, however, as the sensor-circles require some tiny amount of energy to maintain their watch, which depletes the energy available for the array’s more offensive parts. As a rule of thumb, Xander’s personal wards will be cast with about four hours’ worth of magic stored within them, and he will attempt to ‘refresh’ with new instances of the same wards every three hours, should he have the magic required to do so- His traps, however, are able to sustain themselves for days, should they need to.
Home Planet: Burleigh
As someone who really enjoys contractions: It's what it's.Also I make games sometimes!