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Zeno Phloropoulos

Citizen of the World
Joined: November 8th, 2011, 12:33 pm

November 12th, 2011, 8:46 am #1

Name – Zeno Phloropoulos
Age – 74
Gender – Male
Alignment – Lawful Good
Social Class – Commoner (At least he prefers to identify as this.)
Occupation – Historian, philosopher and part-time shepherd.
Race – Human
Nationality – Morrimian
Weapons – He carries a polished hickory cane that is supposedly there because of his age but, in reality, is there to beat people over the head with should the need arise.

Physical Appearance – Zeno was once a handsome man, with a chiseled face, a powerful body and thick blond hair. However, this has mostly faded- his face has wrinkled and begun to sag, his nose and ears have grown larger in proportion to his face and the hair has mostly disappeared from his scalp. His appearance is now one that combines the archetypal images of wise old man and angry old man- he wears a short, gray beard and his blue eyes stare out from beneath a prominent, hairy brow ridge, alternately thoughtful or terrifyingly angry. Though not terribly large, these eyes are the most noticeable feature of his rather tanned face, for they are very bright and penetrating. Rarely does his face show any hint of emotion other than anger, but when he is feeling something tender, it will be seen in his eyes, which lose their hard edge.
Zeno is about average height (5’6”) though he used to be a bit taller- his posture has slumped somewhat. Despite this, his body has aged well. He still retains a fair bit of his muscle (though his stomach has filled out a little) and he doesn’t have many bodily aches to complain of. Even so, he is often seen hobbling about in, leaning heavily on his cane; but this is just an act, to throw people off. When he gets into debates with strangers, they think him nothing but a senile old man and, if he becomes incensed, will be surprised to see him rise up with a strength and fury that is nothing short of terrifying.
Like many of the older men (especially those who claim to be philosophers or something similar), Zeno choses to wear a chiton and himation combination, usually in modest colours (he often dyes them himself). He refuses to dress up for any event- even if he were to visit a king. The most he’ll do is comb his beard.

Personality – The emotion Zeno is most known for is anger. He is most often seen getting into arguments with people, usually about ideological issues. These arguments usually end with him winning, but if the other person is being a bigot, he may wind up using his cane. He normally speaks in an antagonistic tone, even to his relatives or friends, and can be quite insulting. However, he does this the most to the people he cares about- it is usually a sign of affection, as he seems incapable of showing it in any other ways.
Zeno is quite interested in the history of Elenlond, especially recent history, and has taken to recording significant events that have occurred in his lifetime. He has been at this for about fifteen years, and he carries the resultant tome (notes, revisions and all) with him when traveling from place to place. He also has some interest in more scientific subjects; for example, why earthquakes happen, how some dragons can breathe fire and how necromancy works. He will not draw a conclusion about something, historical or scientific, without sufficient evidence, and is strongly against allowing bias to interfere in his work.
Zeno’s philosophical views are somewhat more controversial. He is an atheist and believes that chance, rather than things like fate and destiny, is the leading force in the universe. He is against materialism and believes that the upper class is mostly full of self-obsessed idiots. Instead, he feels that credit and power should fall to the lower classes, for it is they who actually sustain society. Vanity and emphasis on appearance are also stupid, because it is the contents of the mind, not the container, that is important.
Zeno’s more abstract beliefs are usually kept to himself- he feels that all things are subject to change, and that nothing is certain in the world. This used to distress him when he was younger, but he has grown accustomed to it, for the most part. He also questions society’s treatment of women from time to time, but this is not a subject he usually must argue.
Zeno displays very few emotional attachments to others- his wife is dead and his children have gotten married; some even resent him. The beings he appears to care most about in the world are his nephew, Alexandros, and his dog, Cyno. He is intent on tutoring Alexandros to be a better person and to help change the world, as he believes that Alexandros is one of the few members of the upper-class who is not a complete dolt.

History – Zeno was born to Herodion and Theodora Phloropoulos, who were members of the Morrimian upper-class Phloropoulos family. He had three siblings- an older brother named Tryphon, an younger sister named Iphigenia and a younger brother named Demitrios. From a young age, he learned to hate the special treatment his brother got, and he deeply resented his parents for this, with the result that he ran away when he was thirteen. He succeeded quite well as a runaway- he managed to escape to the farmlands between Kinaldi and Orl’Kabbar and was unofficially adopted by an older couple, who were childless. He learned how to be a goat shepherd, and really enjoyed the job- it gave him time to think, and when he had a book, to read and learn. In these years, he decided that the upper class were stupid to ignore the beauty of hard work and the land as such, and wondered why they received such special treatment when, in reality, they offered very little to society. He had his first dog at this time, as well, named Timaea, who was his favourite companion.
His sojourn only lasted three years- he was recognized by an aristocrat passing through the area and returned to his family, who were understandably very angry. Zeno perceived this as anger against his decision to be a “commoner” rather than out of distress for his well-being, and ran away again but a year after his return. He was apprehended quickly this time, because it was obvious that he was heading back to the farmlands where he’s spent the past few years. It was in this way that he spent several years- constantly running away with various degrees of success, until he was eighteen and allowed to decide his own fate. In any case, his parents tired of trying to control him at this point, and let him go. He was essentially exiled from the family for his behaviour and became something of a black sheep and a joke to them- a situation which only deepened his resentment.
When he was nineteen, he married Hypatia, a fairly comely woman who was part of the farming community. She was equally as angry as he was, sometimes more, and they often fell into arguments, which, to anyone else, sounded violent, but were really the overblown version of friendly bantering and usually ended in very satisfying sex. Despite the outwards appearance of the relationship, he really did love her, and was even able to show some tenderness towards her- the likes of which has not been observed with anyone else.
He sustained them with his work as a shepherd, selling fine-quality cheeses and various herbs to members of the nearby village. With Hypatia, he helped to produce a slew of children- Ariston, Pamphilos, Pherenike, Xanthippe and Thales. He was content with his life- a burgeoning family, a dog, enough food to eat and lots of time to think. So it was until he turned 40, at which point his children learned that they were descended from aristocratic stock. The youngest three weren’t terribly affected by the discovery, but Ariston and Pamphilos resented the fact that Zeno hadn’t told them of their ancestral background, and wished to rejoin the upper-class. Thus Zeno suffered the same distress he had inflicted upon his own parents- his children ran away and resisted any attempts to bring about their return. Zeno’s parents gladly accepted Ariston and Pamphilos into their arms and they were married off to wealthy women.
Zeno came to understand the sufferings he had caused his parents but was too proud to reconcile with them, and angered by the fact that they had so readily accepted his sons.
Several years after this, his remaining children were all married off. When he was 47, Hypatia died, and he was unwilling to live in his old house. He left it to Thales and his wife and left for Kinaldi, hoping that he could reconcile with his family. He was not in luck- his parents had died only recently. However, he managed to find some acceptance from Demitrios (though his wife didn’t appreciate him very much), through which he met the young Alexandros. He became quite attached to the child, and so stayed for a year or two, until he felt recovered from the events in his life.
When he was 50, Demitrios lent him some money so he could invest in some goats and a new dog, Euanthe. He was able to support himself, living in a small, tidy cave turned into a home and selling cheeses and herbs as he used to. He visited Alexandros regularly, leaving his flock with the teenage boy whose family lived nearby. He informally tutored Alexandros in (primarily) philosophical subjects when he could, and got into the habit of arguing with people in the city.
He picked up history at 52, and has been working very hard at it since. He has largely given up on shepherding, as it tires his body more than he can handle. He only does it when he needs time to think, in which case he borrows the flock from the boy who used to take care of it while he was away. Instead he stays in his cave, travels sometimes and often visits Alexandros. His life has flowed along these lines up to the present, though Euanthe died when he was 66, leaving him to acquire a new dog, Cyno.

Pet – Cyno is something like a border collie- she is of about the same size and shape, but with slightly more rounded ears and a thinner face. She has large amber eyes which make her look nervous most of the time, and she has a coat of silky fur- white with reddish-brown spots. She is the type of dog who thrives off attention- she will place her head on a person’s lap, demanding to be petted. If people ignore her, she looks pitiful and whines, seeming to think that it must be her fault, for whatever reason and apparently on the edge of death from the lack of attention. She is easily startled and is terrified of thunderstorms. One of her favourite past-times is chasing flies. She’s not a very good shepherd dog since she's so easily frightened, not that Zeno minds since he doesn’t do it so often now.

-Birthday: April 19th
-His avatar: Heraclitus by Hendrick der Brugghen.
-Relevant music:
Para dar luz immortal by Chanticleer
Odessa Medley- by Paul Cantelon
This profile has been approved by Guess!

Citizen of the World
Joined: November 8th, 2011, 12:33 pm

May 26th, 2012, 11:58 pm #2

Zeno's Abilities
Abilities thread

Simple Abilities
  • Cane Wielding – He's quite good at this. He can give people bruises and could manage a concussion if he wanted to- he's surprisingly strong for his age.
  • Intimidate – When Zeno is in a rage, he can be quite terrifying. And this is before he uses the cane as well.
  • Telekinesis – Zeno can move objects weighing ~35 pounds mentally, sustaining the movement for up to ten minutes (He can move lighter objects for longer periods of time- he will only be able to move objects of 35 pounds for about thirty seconds). This includes sometimes levitating his dog to keep her out of trouble.
  • Compel – Zeno can influence some people mentally and get them to do his bidding. He doesn't use this very often, preferring to use words, and it only works against people who are not trained to resist such thing and those who aren't particularly stubborn.
  • Mental Fortitude – Meanwhile, Zeno's mind is very difficult to infiltrate- most people would struggle to read or alter his thoughts, partially because he has trained himself against it and partly because he is a very stubborn man.
  • Swift Reflexes – Zeno is surprisingly quick to react for a man his age, and can move with a nimbleness akin to a man of ~30 years old.
  • Zeno's Paradoxes, Part I: The Arrow Paradox –
wrote:If everything when it occupies an equal space is at rest, and if that which is in locomotion is always occupying such a space at any moment, the flying arrow is therefore motionless.
  • Using this logic, Zeno can halt projectiles with his mind, anything from arrows to rocks, causing them to hover in the air momentarily so they can be plucked and dropped to the ground. He has to actually focus on the object to cease its motion- obviously he might not notice something thrown from behind. This does not work on anything moving along the ground or still held by a person. This effect is not limited by the size of an object.
Intermediate Abilities
wrote:The first asserts the non-existence of motion on the ground that that which is in locomotion must arrive at the half-way stage before it arrives at the goal.
  • Using this logic, Zeno is capable of slowing a person or other living being down significantly with his mind. At first the being will seem to be moving normally, but when they get halfway to their destination, then they must traverse half the remaining distance, and halfway again, until, as these denominations become increasingly small, they seem to be walking fruitlessly in place, unable to fully reach the place where they'd like to be. Zeno can hold this effect as long as he is able to concentrate the target(s) (he can usually manage up to two) though the moment his concentration breaks (due to distraction, tiredness, mental assault etc.) he loses control and the target(s) can move properly again. This can also be applied to isolated body parts, ie. if a person tries to punch someone, their fist will be stopped.
  • Zeno's Paradoxes, Part II.2: The Dichotomy Paradox – (Intermediate) Zeno can also apply the logic of the Dichotomy Paradox to his perception of time. This effect can be applied over the course of 30 seconds. During the first 15 seconds, Zeno will seem to behave as normal, and then, over the next 7.5 seconds, he will seem to move twice as fast while time for him slows down 2x. Then, for the next 3.75 seconds, he will move twice as fast again, as time for him slows down another 2x. And so on for as long as Zeno can hold his attention, which is usually to the extent of 5 dichotomies, meaning that 30 seconds will seem to be a minute and a half while, to the rest of the world, he seems to be an elderly blur wielding a cane.
  • Postulate: To describe a circle with any centre and distance – Using his education in geometry, Zeno can imagine a circle and bring it into reality, though he must dedicate some concentration to comprehending fully the properties of a circle as he does so (ie. "a circle is a plane figure contained by one line such that all the straight lines falling upon it from one point among those lying within the figure are equal to one another"). It will be visible as a black line, which is impassable to most beings and creatures, as well as projectiles from those beings (even if they are projectiles of unintelligent beings such as insects (see below), since they were thrown with intent), no matter the height at which they approach it. The only way to be able to pass over this boundary is either for Zeno to relinquish his hold on the thought or for a person to realise that lines and all figures made of them exist only in the collective imagination of intelligent beings and that they have no real manifestation in the physical world, therefore this line isn't in real and in no way can hinder them. Thus the one who has realised this can pass over the boundary and they cannot bring any other with them unless they have explained the concept to them.
    Mind you, this idea is not one that commonly occurs to people who haven't been educated in geometry (speaking as the author, I only came across the idea that lines don't physically exist when I had read Euclid's Elements, a very obscure book indeed), so it won't occur to many people to counteract Zeno's geometry this way. The most likely way that a person would know about this is through being a scholar or philosopher or through being educated by a tutor as a noble.
    In the case of animals, some will pass over the boundary of sheer ignorance, others will not. Ones that understand concepts relating to lines - divisions and such - are held back by it, such as cats, since they can walk so primly at the edge of a table. Others that have no such ideas, such as insects, will pass through without a problem. The boundary is purely a mental one. No humanoid being is stupid enough to ignore the line; all such beings recognise lines and all things related to them.
    The circle that Zeno imagines can be of any size, but he won't be able to hold it for a long time unless he can comprehend it. Thus, he could surround Kinaldi with a circle if he wanted, but that would only last a few moments because he cannot possibly hold the imagine in his mind, especially since he could not see the edges of it unless he managed to be in a very tall tower at the time. Thus, if he wants the circle to last any length of time, it must be seeable and, if not, at least encapsulating an area that he knows well. This holds true for all other geometrical abilities that Zeno uses.
  • Construction: To construct and ellipse with any focii and distance – The main purpose of this ability is not to create a barrier, but to create a whispering gallery. If Zeno imagines and comprehends an ellipse with himself as one focus and another person as the other focus, then he creates a device by which he can communicate discreetly and remotely with another person. The way this works is a simple matter of applied geometry: basically, any sound wave that comes from the person at one focus bounces off the elliptical surface such that it arrives cleanly to the person at the other focus. Thus the smallest sound is transmitted to the other person as if it were being whispered right into their ear.
    Since the focus here isn't the curved line containing the figure, but rather the straight lines interacting with that line, the ellipse will not act as a barrier. In fact, the line of the ellipse will not be visible to most unless one realises what is happening. Thus Zeno can use this to surreptitiously communicate with people who are a great distance away, though he has to be able to comprehend the ellipse, just as he has to with the circle.
  • Slingshot – Zeno has practiced with the slingshot since he was a boy, so he is able to accurately shoot all manner of projectiles with far above-average accuracy. This can be fatal against smaller animals, such as squirrels, and can knock out larger animals such as wolves and even humanoids if he's especially lucky. Mostly he just bruises stuff. Zeno works best with the slingshot he's had since he was young, but he will do almost as well with any other slingshot.