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Hiram Jollenbeck

Hiram Jollenbeck
Citizen of the World
Joined: August 10th, 2014, 1:39 am

August 10th, 2014, 2:46 am #1

Bᴀsɪᴄs

Name – Hiram Jollenbeck
Age – 45
Gender – Male
Alignment – Chaotic Neutral
Social Class – Clergy
Occupation – Hierophant of Morrim
Race – Human
Nationality – Morrimian
Weapons –
  • iron dagger - Jollenbeck carries a dagger at his belt consistently, and knows how to use it with an average level of skill. He isn't a fighting man, however.
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Aᴘᴘᴇᴀʀᴀɴᴄᴇ
[+] spoiler
Jollenbeck is a squat man, 5'6" and thickly-built. Years of seated study and sporadic eating have given him the softness of an academic; he's somewhat portly and his shoulders sag with a tired scribe's terrible posture. He possesses the sort of gold-tinged pallor of a man who would have a healthy olive complexion if he saw much sunlight.

He has a large nose and a thunderous, bushy brow that casts a deep shadow over his eyes, rather comical when combined with a very weak chin. His black eyes seem ever rimmed in red, prone to dark bags and watering due to dryness; they have a raw, personal quality. He has a variety of facial tics and twitches that seem to open a window on his heart (albeit a warped one). His hair, dark and streaked with grey, is straight with a few odd curls out, usually pulled back at the nape of his neck but sometimes allowed to fall free in stiff tangles about his face. He's never quite cleanly-shaven, and is too lazy to attempt the maintenance of any respectable facial hair; he's eternally somewhere between a heavy four o'clock shadow and a patchy beard.

Hiram's attire depends entirely upon his current situation. "Priests" of his "order" often wear the usual shawl of Vespasian, but dyed black and without fringe, to signify their humbleness and alliance with Jollenbeck's reform. While Jollenbeck will often accept guests and discuss theology in this garb, he favors more secular clothing for his leisure and travel, depending on the climate--though he's extremely fond of furred robes and anything in brown or dark green. In addition, he wears a large brass ring on the middle finger of his right hand. It has no significance other than worry: being able to twist a ring round his finger comforts him greatly.

His voice has a fluting, sing-song quality, and he's soft-spoken so that he has trouble addressing large groups of people.
Pᴇʀsᴏɴᴀʟɪᴛʏ

sᴇɴsɪᴛɪᴠᴇ § Hiram is an oddly sensitive, raw creature. As an empath, he will immediately "feel" the misery or happiness of his fellows; also, though intellectually secretive, he tends to display a lot of his own base emotion with his face and gestures. While he has no talent for swaying a crowd, he has a queer sort of energy one-on-one; the combination of his attentiveness and expressiveness can come across as quietly intense, and his fidgeting is to some disturbing and to some compelling (and to many, both).

ɪɴᴛᴇʟʟᴇᴄᴛᴜᴀʟ § Jollenbeck is a learned man, foremost, with a passion for the acquisition and spread of knowledge, having studied at Kinaldi and spent many years writing and reading as an ascetic. He's fluent in several languages, knowledgeable about a number of world religions and cultures, and quite a Humanist, fond of Sotoan practices. Ideologically, he aligns himself much with the Sotoans, making no bones about his disdain for the feudal practices of Morrim-- he would much rather have a religious commonwealth, he claims, that functions much like the Sotoans' republic but seeks guidance from Vespasian-- but practically, he'll say whatever will curry favor with the contemporary regime. (He's also surprisingly progressive; he allows marriage among the priests of his order and encourages female intellectuals.)

ғᴀɪᴛʜʟᴇss § Though he's eloquent and passionate in his sermons, he's begun heavily to doubt the existence of his god. Intellectually, he believes in having a private and transcendental relationship with Vespasian, skipping over the middle-men of priests and saints, but he doesn't feel he has much of a connection with his god anymore. He tries to live by the principles of his religion and prays that faith, in time, will return. In the meantime, he has focused his energies on political thought.

ᴀᴍʙɪᴛɪᴏᴜs § He's a grasping man at his core, and an envious one at that. A life spent cloistered-- a disappointment to his father and his ancestry-- and, worse, capable of reading snippets of the emotions of the men around him, has embittered him and made him prone to consider the different courses his life might have taken. The acquisition of political power and the exercise of his ideals on Morrim have become more important to him than he lets on.

ᴀɴxɪᴏᴜs § As his empathic abilities often overwhelm him, Father Jollenbeck is a very socially anxious person. At one point, he was a recluse; now, he has difficulties looking men in the eye, and feels a pressing discomfort whenever he has to go out in public. This is an unpleasant experience, but he can deal with it for short periods of time. Occasionally, he gets panic attacks. He depends heavily on his right-hand man, Julius, to get him through tough situations, a dependence extreme enough to be a hindrance (and to seem a bit pathetic from afar).

sɴᴀʀᴋʏ § If he knows and trusts you passably well, he has a sharp tongue and a good sense of comedic timing--and a bad habit of mouthing off when he thinks he's safe.
Hɪsᴛᴏʀʏ
[+] spoiler
  • 155 BR - Hiram was born in the winter to Abel and Gisele Jollenbeck, gentlefolk on a small fief; he was Abel's third son.
  • 139 BR - The family reeled from the grief of losing its first son and heir, a casualty of the First Origa War, and so Abel kept his younger sons close at hand; though the military success he'd hoped for Abel II had been dashed somewhere on the border between Morrim and Soto, he was prepared to lift his remaining sons as far up as he could in the world. As was custom, the middle son-- Geirr-- was to be schooled in Kinaldi and hopefully find his way in politics, and the third son, Hiram, was packed off to the clergy. He joined an abbey of Malarian at 16, and was educated there in theology and history, both subjects at which his quick mind excelled. For the next four years he remained at his station, rising slowly and tentatively to become a brother of the order and a junior priest.
  • 135 BR - At 20, Hiram was sent to the newly-"discovered" Angkar as a missionary. Such pilgrimages were necessary for even the hearth-friendly followers of Malarian to gain prestige in their positions; with a group of other young missionaries, he was expected to provide aid after the disaster and, tactfully, convert some of the Angkarians he "aided".
  • 135-127 BR - Mostly unknown. At Zedrin he learned snatches of Angkarian history-- what he could, with the rampant misinformation and colonialism-- and saw things his previously sheltered life could never have afforded him. In 127 BR, he was sent home on account of an "emergency".
  • 127-123 BR - The abbey of Malarian was kind but not understanding; to all appearances, Hiram had gone utterly mad. In truth something in Angkar had triggered latent empathic abilities-- he simply did not know how to deal with them-- but on the surface, he was wild and babbling with a lack of privacy and a confused identity that came from constant immersion in other people's minds. During this time, his father fell ill and died, and he fell out of touch with his brother, who had gone home to manage the estate.
  • 121 BR - When he started telling the other monks of Malarian their own secrets, they turned him over to Blumenthal Abbey, a secluded order of Linnia in the Do'Suul that specialized in tending to the mad and infirm. He spent the majority of the Mianorite-caused time warp here, at first growing much, much worse, and then better as his ailment subsided. As he began to recover, he delved deeply into Morrimian religion and took an interest in politics; he scrambled together some of his old, feverish writings--which he believed at the time were visions from Vespasian, though he now feels he erred--and compounded them with new writing to form his magnum opus. He met Julius here as well, though Julius left on missionary duties toward the end of Hiram's stay.
  • 20 BR - Hiram was deemed well enough to leave. He rejoined his old order--and began spreading his writings around. He garnered a small following, and then, in 10 BR, defected to the mountains with them. Julius (and some others from Blumenthal) joined him there.
  • 4 AR - He published his manuscript, The Truth of Vespasian's Grace & the Current State of Affairs. From here he became semi-famous in Morrim, in the latter years of AR agitating the stability of Western Morrim and taking advantage of Lothiar Reik's conquest and peasant unrest. The New Order-- sometimes called "the Black Order"-- eschews the idea of Vespasian having multiple faces; instead of worshiping individual god-manifestations and holding saints as holy, they prefer a transcendental relationship with the One God.
  • 8 AR - Now that the Imperial Ban on his works has been removed by Emperor Leofric I (Pelagi de Hollemark), he travels the country freely, trying to get back into the habit of ministering and finding the public world somewhat more palatable than he thought it would be.
Mɪsᴄᴇʟʟᴀɴᴇᴏᴜs
  • Moriel – Jollenbeck owns a large, short-haired brown tabby named Moriel, a creature he is extremely emotionally attached to; he takes her around with him from safe-haven to safe-haven. Moriel is an affectionate creature to nearly everyone she meets, bumping heads with Hiram's visitors and curling up in their laps. She is pudgy, very domesticated, and around 9 years of age.
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Sᴏᴠᴇʀᴇɪɢɴ Iɴғᴏ

Political Aspirations — It is nearly universally agreed that Morrim is in need of unity – how this is to be done, however, is often a point of contention. Fawning and flattering though he may be, Hiram Jollenbeck is in disagreement with Emperor Leofric. Ultimately, Hiram would scrap the feudal system altogether and model Morrim after Soto’s republic; this, however, is not an immediately attainable goal, and so he concedes for the present to the need for social order. Nonetheless, he is in the slow process of reshaping Orl’Kabbar’s own organization, attempting to instate more officials and refine the taxing system. While still somewhat lax about mandating religion, he heavily endorses his own view of Vespasian as a cultural point of pride and unity.

It may be his eventual intent to sow discord and split northwestern Morrim off from the southern and eastern regions, but only time can tell. At present, he holds a crucial area – the land border between central Morrim and Ashoka, namely – and one which has been permitted to fall into disrepair. His main focus is on the regulation of immigration, the establishment of bureaucracy and more efficient units of taxation, the abolition of large farms using slaves, and the cultural unification of Morrim's religion as a tool to accomplish much of this.

Country Relations –
  • Angkar – Jollenbeck has few feelings on Angkar other than a virulently anti-imperialist bent caused by his missionary work. This is one of the few political decisions in which his own personal feelings will interfere; any whisper of unfair trade with Angkar (or, gods forbid, slavery) will cause a kneejerk (almost guilty) negative response. He is naturally supportive of an alliance, but he will yield to his emperor’s desires when it comes to the island nation. His own domain has little to do with it, other than controlling illicit trade in Orl’Kabbar.
  • Ashoka – Suspicion and preparation for war. Orl’Kabbar, the current seat of the Black Order, is close enough to Morrim’s border with Ashoka for Hiram to enforce some regulation. While he cannot touch the Kaadian or completely “close” the border, he is open about his disapproval of Ashokan and Morrimian citizens passing freely between the two nations, and his men have been known to stop and turn travelers (and even refugees) away. As for his feelings on the new (at the time of writing) Moghul, he is hesitant. Orion de Lacey and Sophia Ortjarn were a known problem; Neriasis is an unknown. On top of this, his emperor’s intentions prevent him from making any friendly movements: at best, he is neutral; at worst, he is prepared to become hostile and aggressive.
  • Soto – Publicly, Jollenbeck is formal, friendly, and bland to the Council, neatly understanding the competition between Morrim and Soto; privately, however – and this manifests most through his writings – he is extremely fond of the Sotoan political system. It is his intent to make secret alliances and deals with various powers in Soto, such that if his relationship with the emperor goes south, he has support to retaliate. However, due to recent events in Soto, he has been unable to travel safely enough to broker these alliances without putting himself in danger or drawing attention to himself. He also has some healthy wariness; while he admires Soto, he does not want to see Morrim absorbed into it, and realizes that his desired alliances will not be trustworthy forever.
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Hiram Jollenbeck
Citizen of the World
Joined: August 10th, 2014, 1:39 am

August 10th, 2014, 2:54 am #2

Abilities

Simple Abilities
  • Empath I – Hiram can "sense" emotions, as if they were broadcast faultily about him; he can't read thoughts, per se, but he can tell when someone is sad or pleased or perhaps even hiding something. In some extreme circumstances, he can even catch snatches of thoughts-- only a single word, or an impression, and only when he is extremely close physically.
  • Astral Projection – If he performs the correct mental rites and has a trusted servant draw his symbol on the ground, he can inhabit a ghostly image of himself within the confines of the room in which that symbol is drawn. This image cannot physically interact with anything around it, but appears crisply as he might and can speak in his voice, effectively allowing him to "show up" for various private invitations without leaving safety. He is extremely vulnerable while this is under way, however, and requires someone standing by to jolt him awake to come out of it of his own accord.
  • Sixth Sense – If something particularly terrible has happened in an area -- something that would cause extreme trauma to one or more people -- Hiram can "sense" it. Particularly powerful impressions come in the form of images and smells (and even visions), whereas weak ones only impart anxiety or a sense of dread, as well as a certain 'knowledge' that something bad has happened here. The more traumatic the event, the higher the quantity of people it affected, and the more recent it was, the more powerful and/or disabling the impression it makes on Hiram.
  • Guile in Ink – Hiram has garnered a considerable amount of priests and believers that do his bidding across Morrim, and has the patronage of a few powerful people; he owes most of this to the sway he tends to hold over people when they read his writing, which is said to be powerful and moving. What his sensitive, small presence lacks in person, it makes up for in the illusion of the grand and spiritual man behind the pen. That's not to say that he's not arguably likable in person, too, depending upon your preference, but he's really good at weaving words, and his work is prolific and circulates well.
  • [NPC: Aldric d'Lsigny] Unnatural Strength – Hiram has a knack for finding good bodyguards. Brother Aldric, whom he keeps with him wherever he goes, is entirely trusted; he's also 1.5x stronger than a normal 'strong' individual. While his fighting-style is somewhat crude, he'll win a brawl with most normal-sized men, will even be fairly intimidating to people of above-average strength, and might as well be able to throw another man of Jollenbeck's size and scholarly frailty out a window. Heavyset and a little under six-and-a-half feet, he's not to be trifled with.
  • [NPC: Julius] Weak Invisibility – Nobody knows why, but Brother Julius--one of Hiram's closest attendants, and one that he uses as a spy and a scribe--can turn himself (and others) invisible under certain very specific conditions. If he stands extremely still for a period of five seconds, he blends completely into his surroundings on the count of five and does not become visible again until he makes a major movement: a step, for example, or something that makes a great deal of noise, like a particularly loud sneeze. (He can do subtle motions, like scratching his nose or tapping his fingers silently to keep from spasming, but everything else is null, and anything that makes significantly audible noise will give him away immediately.) In addition, he can bring one other person into this spell, provided that he's touching them (on the skin) and they're capable of being just as still as he is.
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Hiram Jollenbeck
Citizen of the World
Joined: August 10th, 2014, 1:39 am

September 4th, 2015, 7:44 pm #3

NPCs

Name – Julius Metaxas
Age – Unknown (presumably mid-twenties)
Gender – Male
Alignment – Undecided
Social Class – Clergy
Occupation – Priest
Race – Human
Nationality – Morrimian-Sotoan
Weapons –
  • N/A as yet
Physical Appearance – Julius cuts a tall, slim figure at 5’10, somewhat wide at the hips. He seems fine-boned and fragile at first, but this thinness belies the whipcord strength he has cultivated over the years; climbing was a particular pleasure of his, and he has the build of a climber. His hands are quite large, but long-fingered and slender, almost spidery in their deftness. They have a cold, vice-like grip, but his fingernails are cut (often detrimentally) to the quick.
A shock of curly blond hair frames his slender, oval-shaped face; his nose is small and upturned, his mouth small but generous of lip, but his dark blue eyes are deep-set and ringed with sleepless bags. His voice is soft but rasping and oddly boyish.
He used to wear only his clerical garb, severe and black and formless, but since moving into his quarters in Orl’Kabbar he has taken to wearing finer secular clothes. His favorite color is forest-green, and this manifests in his choices; while black is still predominate in his wardrobe, his robes and doublets are often embroidered with a foliage color.
He always wears a locket around his neck, too pock-marked and dusty to glint as brightly as its own slender chain.

Personality – Julius does, has done, and always will do his duty. In all things, duty comes first; obligation comes before personal faith (of which he has very little these days, and even less patience to deal with those who do), friends, and comfort. He has passed the time in his life when he was a self-flagellant, but the mentality has remained, translated from the language of sin to the language of human worth. He has spent enough time as an eleventh-hour comforter to know how easily life can slip away; individual lives are worth very little to him – including his own – and certainly worth less than his obligation to the greater good.
He isn’t without any virtues, however. Dutiful and serious though he may be, he has a quick wit and can talk on a variety of different subjects, from Ashokan poetry to Sotoan lute technique (and the composition of his own hymns, about which he is usually private); it’s difficult to make him laugh, but once he’s gotten to laughing, he’ll be smiling and laughing all night. His sense of humor is finicky; he’s easily-offended, but then what comes out of his mouth is likely the most shocking comment in the room, if he feels at ease (or, Vespasian forbid, is drunk) enough.
Julius has a lot of fears with regard to losing control. He feels that he has to have a handle on every situation at all times; this buzz of anxiety follows him, much like Jollenbeck’s follows him, but in Julius it manifests quite differently.
As a final note, he and Hiram Jollenbeck are quite inseparable.

History – Not much is known of Julius’ history. At one point, there was a settlement somewhere along the Kaadian known as Metaxas; it was raided by Lothiar Reik’s men and, if it was even still called Metaxas by this time, it is now gone. At an early age Julius ran away from his abusive father and joined the order of Linnia; he served as a nurse to the infirm and dying at an abbey in the Do’Suul – the same Blumenthal that Hiram was sent to, -- thus beginning his life as a man of the cloth.
During his time at Blumenthal, Julius met Hiram and was acquainted with his ideas. While he did not initially take his patient’s philosophy seriously, he saw a much-needed mentor and father figure in a steadily recovering Jollenbeck. After he traveled Morrim as a healer and missionary in the wake of the Mianorite migration (and just before the Dark Conquest), he would return to the Do’Suul to rejoin Hiram, renouncing the blues of Linnia and joining the Black Order.
At this point, he is Hiram’s right-hand man and informer, and his ability to “vanish” – to become invisible indefinitely so long as he stays still – has served him well. There are rumors that he has a secret only Father Jollenbeck knows, but if there is anything to them, the Black Order has done its best to stamp them out.

Aldric d'Lsigny is the huge brute of an attendant that Hiram keeps with him for physical defense. He broke off from the order of Filie later, but Hiram will assure anyone who questions his loyalty that he is fiercely loyal. He's often seen looming behind Hiram, staring about as if threatening anyone who would dare come close enough to lay a hand on the theologian.
  • Nationality: Morrimian
  • Age: 34
  • Appearance: Aldric is 6'5" and well-built, with dark red curly hair and a great bushy beard. He has a rough voice with the accent of the Do'suul. Much like Julius, he's rarely seen out of his clerical blacks, but he comes across as a bit more jovial; he isn't nearly as ramrod and uncomfortable as Julius, fond of a slouch when he's at rest.
  • Personality: He's fiercely loyal and passionate about his spiritual life, fond of Jollenbeck's teachings and the Humanist southern work that inspired him. Having grown up as the son of a shepherd, he's also enthusiastic about nature, taking any time he can to walk in the woods; he has an extensive knowledge of herbs and footprints, especially in the environment of the Do'suul. While he may seem stern and intimidating from afar, he's fond of jokes and a deeply caring person when one gets to know him. He's a bit trigger-happy, though, and can be morbid. He hints at a dark and wild youth and knows how to kill.
  • History: Once again, not much is known. He was born the son of a shepherd in the Do'suul, but there's evidence he spent quite a bit of his teens and early twenties in Orl'Kabbar. He knows how to fight--roughly--and he's killed in the past. He joined the Order of Filie when he was 26 and stayed there until he caught wind of Jollenbeck's reform. He's particularly vehement about the Dark Conquest; the parts of Jollenbeck's writing that claim such troubles were a mark of straying faith seem to speak to him especially.
  • Abilities: See Hiram's 'Abilities' section.
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