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Zain The Universe
...I think I get it now. I mean, why it is I did all of what I've done in the first place. It's so easy to get caught up in the spirit of it all that you lose sight of the forest for the trees, to forget why you fight or what you fight for. Now, in a way... well, I'm almost glad that Earth gave up on me. Now, I can fight to protect it knowing that what I do, and who I am, comes from me. It's not about saving people to hear their cheers- it can't be, out here in the darkness beneath the stars, where no one can hear us but each other. It's about staying true to who and what it is I want to be, and for me, what I want to be is, well, a hero.
~ Zain

Zain Vaerpath is the primary protagonist and main character of Hero's Path, among the most well-known stories in The Ultimaverse series. After awakening from a coma, Zain learned that the world he knew- a world at war, with magic an art ever being perfected and re-purposed for battle against foreign powers- had left him behind. Though his voice had been silenced, and terrifying demonic beings known as the Qliphoth ravaged the world, Zain took comfort in what he did know: that being impaled, for six millennia, without food or water, had failed to kill him. In search of clues regarding what had come to pass during the time in which he was asleep, and the source of his own immortality, he at last came upon what seemed to be the source: Tessera Skye: and, albeit reluctantly, battled to stop her.

Tessera, it turned out, was not even close to the source of the scourge, but an unwilling accomplice to the Qliphoth Lords beyond her domain, suspending the coming end of Dragonwood village Zain called home in the seemingly vain hope that, one day, one like him would rise: who was capable of wielding the Sephira, such as the Tiphareth that caused him to be reborn anew with each death.

From then on, Zain and his ever-growing pool of allies set forth to liberate a world that could not remember them from the rule of these curious fiends, and collect the Sephira that lie beyond them in search of the source of the spreading dark plague. Even as his journey took him to other worlds, beyond the stars, and towards the primal source of all things, he struggled to remain unflagging in his single-minded devotion to his ideal of a world of justice, fairness, and good will towards all people, even if it was forced to compromise in the face of his personal development and experiences to come.

Prior to Birth

Magic and the existence of the Yesod, another plane of being where the powers of one's dreams and subconscious can Manifest in the physical world, was still a relatively new discovery as of the year 2172, yet the mega-corporations that all but owned the world had already managed to industrialize and privatize its production and distribution. Demand for mana shards skyrocketed as World War III raged on, without an end in sight: alliances fracturing and re-assembling themselves in to new shapes and sizes, costing the lives of millions.

Among the greatest heroes of this time was the sword-saint Keiwa Arotsuna, wielder of the Totsuka-no-Tsurugi (among those fabled weapons thought to be of the Old World) and among the chief heroes of the globe-spanning hero organization Farwatch. A public spokesperson for the organization, though not to the extent that Hope was, and mentor to Tessera in her early years, Keiwa was among the few who knew of Zain's parents, Andre and Marie Vaerpath.

Some sixty years prior, Andre, a half-Haitian immigrant to Colorado who fled the country for fear of some disturbing event he was unwilling to disclose to his son, had at last broke down when similar incidents spread en masse from the region. Andre explained to Arotsuna the horrors he had fled: innocent people lost in nightmares, wandering the islands like zombis spreading their psychic pathogen to those they touched... how the whole company he had traveled to remote parts of the island with all collapsed beneath the ruins there. Keiwa Arotsuna, then, of course traveled to investigate... and tragedy struck.

Marie had returned to that place to provide humanitarian aid, when the next rift erupted within a guarded space, seemingly bypassing her shelter's wards. Keiwa, moments too late to save her and her newborn son, lost his blade to the rift that had torn itself open- and with it, his ability to fight at his full potential against the coming threats that initiated Project: Babylon.

Sixty years later, and the combined efforts of heroes Hope and Astryloth with Keiwa's counsel proved enough to spare the world immediate consumption by Vesper, a powerful evil that Project: Babylon had beckoned into the world, even if it had since descended into war.

And then, one day, Zain came back.

Early Life

It was on a stormy November night that the child Zain was first re-introduced to the world. Wandering down from the mountains, the child was afflicted at first, in a trance alike those under the influence of that curse from sixty years ago. Amidst the gunsmoke of bombs and ruin wrought by magic upon the Colorado countryside, Arotsuna: again, present to recognize by memory the magical malady thought extinct: ensured the child found safety, bringing him at last to the doorstep of his aunt Martha and uncle Jordain, who still bereaved the loss of his sister (Marie) and his own son as a consequence of this World War III. Not wanting the child to suffer, they quickly took him in and resolved to raise him as their own: noting his abnormal mana levels, they also sought to hide him from the horrors of the war they knew too well for their own good... to no avail.

Zain, too, was driven even at the young age he was first found at by a burning, passionate curiosity, a demand upon the world to understand not "What?", but "Why?" His headstrong and stubborn nature revealed itself early on, and his reputation as a firebrand that loved to take charge of things he was passionate about (unfortunately, his teachers noted, this seldom included academics) made him well-known among the other children, for better and for worse.

Martha and Jordain, however, feare the loss of their newly adopted, and only, child, yet could not bear to crush his doomed, fiery passion and kindness. Their compromise was the adoption of a second son: the prodigal child Abram, whose irresponsible parents, falling into lifestyles stained with drug use and poverty after a foreign metahuman of the United Eastern Powers destroyed their home, could no longer afford to care for their very dignified and well-to-do child. Stoic, polite, firm, and possessed of an even greater abnormally immense latent magical potential than Zain, Abram very quickly assumed dominance over the household, determined to fulfill his dream of taking revenge against the U.E.P. by joining the Western Alliance as a member of Dragonwood University's "Knights of Lazarus", so named for their investment in developing magics that restored and preserved their immortal order, rendering them famously troublesome to face on the field of battle.

Confronting Abram

Left in the shadow of his brother, Zain grew to resent the "perfect, pure" child and his perceived condescending attitude towards such basic brotherly things as sparring, discussing interests, and spending time together as human beings. He loathed, too, that his foster parents' attentions were stolen from him: from the moment he was born, abandoned in the dark amidst the cosmic vacuousness of the Binah, he grew sensitive to his gnawing loneliness. Even further still, as they grew, Zain's young nerves flared as Abram's tacit attitudes impressed themselves into the minds of his peers, further isolating him from those whose admiration he once reveled in.

When at last Zain confronted Abram about the matter, Abram's expression of frustration with Zain's jealousy in the face of more important matters: justice, vengeance against those who'd wronged him and his people in the past led to Zain demanding to understand the nature of Abram's hypocrisy, leading to an escalating chain of scorching personal indictments... and, at last, to blows, as Abram sought at length to crush Zain's immature dreams of heroism. The battle was short and brutal: Zain, in his anger, at last parried Abram's paralytic needles with his own blade, rather than risking being pricked... yet, the force of the blow was vastly underestimated: Abram's needles shattered, and Zain found that he had at length landed a mortal wound upon his own brother, who had yet to master the Knights of Lazarus's' regenerative arts.

Abram, at last, relinquished his truest rationale with his dying breath:

"The strong must protect the weak, at any cost... you, my brother, are weaker than me. I couldn't let you march to your death, to see your dreams crushed out there in the red haze of war- Mother and Father wouldn't forgive me for that. ...so, I hoped to sway you before it was too late. To take your place. I have failed you, and for that... I'm sorry... so very, very sorry...!"
~ Abram, to Zain

...and died in his brother's arms.

Isolation

Zain, in a numb, speechless trance, carried his brother back down the mountain to his horrified aunt and uncle. Though they could not press charges, they were too distraught to bear to see their murderous son as part of their life before, and so disowned him from the family altogether the next day; Zain, truly and utterly alone for the remainder of his high school years, was left to fend for himself. Zain grew increasingly despondent and bitter in the face of a world whose validation he desperately sought, a world that had come to understand him as a murderer: despite no formal charges having been pressed against him, word of what had happened, in many cases void of context or else exaggerated, had quickly spread.

Zain's resolve to enlist in the Dragonwood University Knights of Lazarus, and prove everyone wrong about him mounted further and further: correspondingly, a new sort of energy signature gradually built up within him. Intrigued, local and national authorities studied this new power in secret, while also encouraging Zain to continue enrolling in spite of the bad PR it gave both him and the University, while also devoting additional effort to deflecting the assorted harassments he received in that time. With the promise of the public's forgiveness for what he had done hanging before the unwitting Zain like an apple on a stick, he eagerly accepted the authorities' proposals, and, resolving to make right what he had wronged, trained himself intensively for the position of Knight of Lazarus, the dream his brother did not live long enough to actualize.

At last, these private researchers: direct operatives under a man named Azel Tenebris, head of the Supernatural Investigation and Elimination Division (or, S.I.E.D.): observed in their test subject Zain a peculiar phenomenon: in times of stress, some foreign, unknown energy, flowed into Zain's mana signature, dramatically warping and amplifying it in subtle and seemingly erratic ways: the only observable constant was that it seemingly grew in proportion to the degree which Zain responded that the event felt important to him. "It's as though the magnitude of his willpower translates into an amplifier for his powers," a thesis published by one S.I.E.D. operative noted. Believing that they had uncovered a breakthrough in Neuroscience as surely as they had in Eldritch Studies, the researchers at once returned to report to their superiors...

Invasion

Zain himself, meanwhile, reveled briefly in his hard-earned accomplishments before at last being contacted by Azel Tenebris, himself. Though he proved amiable enough in their initial encounters, Zain quickly grew suspicious of Azel-

Yet, whatever was to come of such on investigation from there was for naught, as it was too late- Zain was taken discreetly as a prisoner when he stumbled upon Azel and his forces, in actuality the Faceless Lord Ruin and his elite servants on Earth, deep beneath Dragonwood University's Phrenic Disciplines Building. There, Ruin prepared to use residue and leftover phenomena recovered from incidents like the one that had taken Zain's mother, as well as immense quantities of crystallized mana stolen from the world's treasuries, their own hellish technological devices, and finally the Lazarus Emblem: the prototype upon which the first enchantment to create an undying soldier was cast and discovered: to attempt to call forth a power that would enable them to conquer the world at its weakest, in the midst of their battle-

Only, Master Arotsuna had kept his eye on Zain discreetly, not seeking to alarm him or influence his behavior. With the rest of Farwatch alert [including his young student Tessera, much to his chagrin], they were able to scramble in order to successfully intercept the forces that emerged: then, subsequently, the utter catastrophe that followed, as Ruin inadvertently summoned a true anomaly: a tear into the true form of the realm of the Yesod, a calamity evoked by Naux, who sought the chance to act through his agents in order to end the earth once and for all. Master Arotsuna, devoid of the Totsuka, could not cut the void in half, and in the ensuing chaos Ruin laid waste to them along with hordes of Qlippoth...

Last Chance

But Zain, left alone, felt a tug in the core of his being... an inner voice, the voice of Abram and Martha and Jordain and all of those friends who had abandoned him, every living being... they were on his side, for once. They wanted help. They wanted a hero. Zain, picking up his tortured, crippled body to break out of his captivity and move into the anomaly, reached out for the golden light within the rift, his Will and his mana holding him together just long enough for it to reach out back to him, to his origin within the Binah...

And so, the rift closed, the world damaged: beyond repair, seemingly, and shrouded in a deathly fog: but able to cling to what meager hope remained. Six thousand years past this way... until, at last, Zain Vaerpath awoke, in a far different world than the one he left behind. His memories in fragments, his voice torn from his lungs like dust in the wind, the young knight discovered, from the blade buried in his heart, that he too had inherited the Legend of the Knight of Lazarus in some profound, meaningful way that he didn't yet understand: and so the quest to rediscover himself, to find answers, to save this new world and its innocents' suffering, all at once began...!

Base Form

Zain appears as a healthy young man with tanned skin and turquoise eyes. He usually wears his medium-long, unkempt golden-brown hair with a beige bandanna that matches his signature armored coat. Burgundy and blue belts serve the dual purpose of keeping his coat on his shoulders and of adding an additional pauldron to his off-arm to guard against swings for the collar and neck. Beneath this, he wears a black button-up shirt (usually left partially unbuttoned, as Zain dislikes "the feeling of being suffocated, or restrained" by tight collars) with golden trim, and black pants. He tends to prefer leather boots and fingerless gloves, which are often also fitted with plating akin to the pauldron on his coat. A royal blue armband bearing the Vaerpath family crest remains on his arm to punctuate the ensemble: a memento of the past he had left behind.

Aeon

As the Aeon, much of Zain's flesh darkens, with some areas such as his his jawline, lower and outer torso, and forearms sharpening to a metallic platinum. His eyes morph into orbs of turquoise, with slit pupils akin to a cat's. The headband and coat run with deep blacks and violets as the undershirt is scorched away, and the pants flush red with white wind motifs along the hems. A crackling aura dances about this new form, the fiery spirit burning from his coat erupting into wings of flame, and smoldering feathers of flame are kicked up with each of his footsteps.

Pleroma

The Pleroma Form bestows upon Zain a crimson full-body suit akin to those worn by superheroes, along with black gloves decorated along the forearms and hands with esoteric glyphs in snow white. Worn over the suit is a black cloak decorated with stars, galaxies, nebulae, stellar clouds, and other cosmic phenomena that seemingly shift and dance across the fabric on their own. His flesh in this form blends into, and is a part of, the same star-stuff as the cloak itself, with only glowing orbs stationary amidst the cloak's dancing celestial bodies to resemble eyes, his ability to see and understand the paths that tie together the individual spheres of reality made manifest.

Monad

The Monad Form, Zain's Final Form, is ironically barely distinguishable from his Base Form in spite of its nature being to encompass "Consciousness itself". Other than a gentle turquoise afterimage following his radiant eyes and a fierce, silver aura of flickering Kether that on occasion shapes itself into ephemeral wings upon Zain's back, only the ludicrous increase of power betrays any change in his state of being.

True Monad Form

The "true", fully realized shape assumed by the Monad Form appears still similar to Zain, but now wields the Sephiroth in their true shapes rather than contained within the shells of their Genesis Eggs as aspects.

The nimbus of lights that personify Malkuth become an aura surrounding Zain's lower half- a "ground" to stand upon and tread towards the unknown upon. The Yesod is the sash of Humanity's hopes and dreams, worn in order to bind together the silhouette of Consciousness. Four wings alight the True Monad's back: Hod the Intellect as the lower right vibrant orange wing, Netzach the Victory as the lower left emerald green wing, Binah the Understanding as a wing of inky blackness on the upper right, and Chokmah the Wisdom as a brilliant silvery grey on the upper left. Geburah is wielded layered atop Zain's weapon of choice (or his fist) as the exacting sword of Severity, an ever-shifting mercurial red field of energy, and Zain's left hand shines with the blue radiance of Chesed the Mercy. Tiphareth the Beauty, made whole at last, rests within his heart as surely as it rests with the hearts of the people that grant the True Monad its power- the Daathe, or Nothingness, exists as the words he gives utterance to as much as what might correlate to his metabolic systems, and the Kether at last as a halo of light about his head- looped and eternal, alike the power of the Kether itself to govern the Consciousness he embodies and wields against its nemesis.

"Huh...? What do you mean, I'm some kind of pretentious showoff? I have to dress for the job, since I'm technically military. What's wrong with looking cool while I'm at it...?"
~ Zain, while attending Dragonwood University
"What are you...? Countless years, unending vigil... I saved you. I forced you to leave. Why are you trying so hard... to make it all have been meaningless?"
~ Tessera, to Zain
"What? Are you really this pitiful, that you can't take action even now? Are you feeling to heroic to tolerate regret? Look at me: I am king, here, and in my kingdom the only law is that the strong take from the weak as they choose. Her people cursed mine. They stole the Sun, the surface, the warmth of home and family from us. This tainted traitor will pay the price as my bride, and will remake my people anew.

And yet, even now, I see myself as superior to you. You're that pathetic... I have ideals for which I fight!! You fight for yourself, your frail and finite flesh: and your selfishness will die with you, just like every other pitiful human left on this Earth, when the Starfall comes."

~ Metenros, to Zain
"What a selfish, deluded little knight... keeping me from that which will save your world. Look around you- rampant death, destruction, unspeakable disorder. Yet, you continue to cling to that cruel illusion of yours, that just wanting something really hard will make it appear before you on a silver platter.... Fuckin' pampered BRAT-!"
~ Ruin, to Zain
"Don't you remember? Once, this place was your home. You were at peace once, here. Yes, like this. Slowly... relax... and stop to breathe. Your Shells performed unspeakable, depraved acts in your Daathe. They hurt you to see, did they not? You shouldn't worry, then, that it was you to blame for having those demons in you. You are human, too... your thoughts, and feelings, can be cast over by shadows like any others'. The price of knowledge is this sadness. Didn't Tessera warn you as much?

But, in knowing that in spite of it all, you keep going... you keep finding even the smallest reasons to believe that we're worth fighting, and dying, and fighting again for. I feel, as though... that says a lot about the kind of person you truly are: that you chose to be. I think, too, that other people should know. Go on... and do your poor, sad master proud. There's a great big world out there, and they've been waiting for a very long time to hear your voice again."

~ Master Keiwa Arotsuna, to Zain
You don't get it, do you? Of course I believe in human beings! The rest of the world's hopes and dreams, that you've extinguished... all of that burden lies on us! And humans? Human beings strive to be even more than what you set before them, no matter what. If I can just show them the doors to their hearts, they'll make those last steps all on their own! They'll face their True Selves with their heads held high!
~ Zain
...Being stripped of your voice will do wonders to make you better understand an entire world that feels they've never had one.
~ Zain
The world is made of precious seconds: of smiles, and laughter, and butterflies sputtering off into the sunset. It's made of those things we choose to hold onto, rather than push away; its made of the things we do when we realize we only have so much time to do them. We hold onto those memories because we already know everything you were saying, Naux... we already knew that nothing mattered. That without a God, or some force out there writing divine laws, there was nothing that made anything we did or said, or believed, mean anything at all anymore. And you know what? We're changing that. We decided it matters, and honestly, for me? That's more than enough.

You want our future so bad? Come on! Take it from me.''

~ Zain, to the Naux Avatar
So... this is the end, huh? My best friends, a drow lord, an alien invasion, a living planet, Tessera's old man, and now a talking tree with God himself inside. Heh!... I guess there's nothing more fitting I could think of. I'm glad I was able to spend these last few moments with you all, gang... if I don't see you again after this, I want you all to live the best lives you can manage, with what's left of this.

It's time to go, now. Ready?

~ Zain, having sundered the Paroketh and preparing for the true Final Battle
...that's it. I get now... what Will is. Every moment- every heartbeat, every breath, every single drop of sweat and blood I shed. It's dying, and coming back... It's just like Tess said- it's dying, as many times as it takes to make the world right worth living in! That we can change: that we can wake up, and see the world, and decide that something more is worth fighting for... that's who I am. Who I decided to become.

The world doesn't need Gods like us, standing over them and pointing down, commanding they throw themselves away for a nightmare they don't believe in. Human beings, no, nothing was meant to live like that! Nobody deserves to suffer like you have... not even you.

So, I'll die, here. And I'll die again. I'll die countless times more, each time more torturous and painful than the last, I'm sure. Eventually, you think, I'll decide that I'd rather have you- I'd rather have Nothing. But if I just throw up my hands?! If I decide that everything I've been through, if everything Tessera, Magus, that the entire world has been through just doesn't matter?! ...haha, you're a fool. Infinity: you: cannot be true, if you've Manifested like this. So even you have to have a limit, and it's not as high as mine. I'll die as many times as it makes to make you understand that we're here to stay.

~ Zain, to Samael

Zain adopts the persona of a chipper, confident go-getter in day-to-day life, choosing to do what needs to be done or to take on what everyone else is afraid of- this often extends to accepting daunting or even foolhardy challenges, on the principle that someone, somewhere in the world needs to challenge the notion of what is possible. Sometimes, this results in him rushing off with undue haste into situations that he knows in all likelihood he should think about more thoroughly. For Zain, accepting that mistakes will be made at times is part and parcel of being the sort of "hero" he aspires to become: the sort of person that can stand before the horrors of the world unafraid, with a smile that can inspire others to follow him. Taking action and failing, after all, he believes, is better than languishing and doing nothing at all...

This tempestuous nature of Zain's translates often into a stubborn and unyielding refusal to abandon what he sees as the best course of action, in times of crisis. He is generally self-aware, regarding this, and attempts to do his best to take into consideration the desires and thoughts of others. However, when push comes to shove, hesitating in such times of crisis costs valuable time: time that could be spent taking action. Combined with his learned understanding of the external world as his enemy, and his showoff nature manifesting as a need to solve the problem himself as much as he is capable, as he sees it, there is rarely time to be anything but assertive in going to right a wrong- acknowledging of the opposition and the merit to be found in its reasoning, but nonetheless carrying on with what he believes is the best course of action.

The assertive personality Zain exhibited in combination with his unusual powers naturally nominated him for the role of leader, though at first he didn't desire such a role. For Zain, it both reminded him of his past poor experiences with trying to lead and inspire others, and wanting to be responsible for himself alone in trying to face the world's evils. Over the course of the story, however, Zain warms up, and re-accustoms to, his mantle.

This all said, however, Zain is still fundamentally a kind-hearted person, even if a stubborn one that often undermines his own attempts at being such. Often, hearing of the problems the world faces, Zain is already halfway through the act of working out a solution for whatever woe they face, acting almost as if possessed. This doesn't seem to bother him very much, however: he draws a distinction between acting based on one's own primal impulse, devoid of the ego naturally, and actively being forced to act against, or in spite of, one's own ego by some external actor.

Ultimately, the motivation for all of Zain's mannerisms: his compulsory desire to help those facing hard times, the firebrand demand for the spotlight, his easy-going demeanor and tendency towards the behavior of a daredevil and showoff: all stems from the primordial, fundamental loneliness that has pervaded his entire life. Zain was left stranded in a higher reality- fed only the cosmic dread of the finality of fate, the emptiness of a world in which consciousness dissolved away into nothing and was rewritten as new individuals- before at last escaping through the latent power of the Hero's Path, the Mystery of "Zain", the path of the Lovers Arcana that unites and brings together the hearts of disparate things. His childhood and coming of age, characterized by ascending to have the love he longed for only to have it taken away, and then to worsen the situation with his own actions, sharpened this pain to an acute point, as the feeling that the world had turned against him grew and grew.

As Zain sees it, the very meaning to be had in life is derived from the connections you choose, voluntarily, to make with others and the world. So at the end of the day, he desires merely to form meaningful connections with other people; perhaps, it could be said, a rather common desire for a young adult trying to make his way in the world, outstanding circumstances aside.

Near everything he does, he does to fuel his own desire to see himself as a savior... yet, being rejected by the very people he sought to save: punished, even, by the Gods (or so he'd say) by stripping him of his agency, more literally his voice: a more sullen and bitter side of his personality, one more akin to Tessera's, comes to the forefront more in the beginning of the story. Even so, it begins gradually ebbing away after meeting new allies, and after reimposing itself when he finds new evils inside of himself to conquer and expunge, finally takes a backseat after Zain finally regains his voice, restoring him to his more confident and friendly self.

Date of Birth: Unknown, technically

Birthplace: Unknown

Height: 1.82 meters/~5'11.7"

Weight: 77.0 kg/~169.8 lbs.

Likes: Sunsets/sunrises, Emotional honesty, Good-spirited competition, Spicy foods

Dislikes: Winter, "Pretentious Assholes", Being ignored/brushed off, Being alone/dejected, Peas

Hobbies: Hanging Out with Friends, HEMA, Basketball, Philosophy Club, Playing Video Games, other assorted young adult things

Values:

  • "Be honest with those around you- that always brings about the best in the end."
  • "Loyalty's a heavy burden to bear, sometimes, but it's worth more than its weight in gold."
  • "Secrets and Back-handedness waste time; just respect me enough to tell me what needs to be told. I'll do the same for you."

Martial Status: Single

Status: Ambiguous

Affiliations: S.I.E.D. (formerly), New Farwatch (as its leader)

Alignment: Chaotic Good

MBTI: ENFJ

Color Identity: Red, White, Black, Gold (in roughly that order)

Powers and Stats

Tier: Low 7-B

Name: Zain Vaerpath, The False Envoy, Whitecoat, "Stubborn Bastard"

Origin: Hero's Path

Gender: Male

Age: 20

Classification: Human, Envoy, Knight of the Kether

Powers and Abilities:

Attack Potency: Small City level+ (Fought Tessera evenly, who could scatter a storm over Dragonwood once Zain undid the Idea Fracture on it)

Speed: High Hypersonic+ (Can fly from Colorado to Houston within one minute) with Massively Hypersonic+ reactions and combat speed (Parried the Skyweave's lightning-speed cannonballs; could match Tessera, who was capable of catching bolts of lightning from the sky)

Lifting Strength: Class 50+ (Lifted and threw a crystallized giant overhead), Class G in Aeon Form (In the Aeon Form, hurled Tessera to Earth at speeds comparable to a bolt of lightning)

Striking Strength: Small City Class+

Durability: Small City level+, possibly higher (Survived several impalements and blast attacks from Tessera, as well as Magus's Teleportation mishap)

Stamina: Superhuman (Trained himself to this level as part of the Admissions progress to becoming a Dean's List Royal Knight at Dragonwood Academy; could continue fighting Tessera despite residual pain felt from his previous deaths)

Range: Extended melee range with Weapons. Varies from several meters to thousands of meters with Spells and Skills

Intelligence: Gifted. Managed to keep up with multiple rigorous academic courses whilst also receiving tutelage from Keiwa Arotsuna, along with other master warriors.

Standard Equipment: Includes a number of weapons and tools:

The Cardinals: Four tools that became so tied to Zain's legend, they became steeped in his power inherently.

  • The Blade: Zain's "blade" is Gram: roughly four feet in total length. It is forged of a shimmering metal called atlarite that is naturally far stronger and keener than adamantine, and lighter too boot- it's overall density is much closer to that of the comparatively lightweight steel. It bears a unique aptitude for Blade Metamagic spells cast on it, and will both extend their duration and potency.
  • The Pentacle: Zain's "pentacle" is Turin, a beige coat lined with light armorweave and bearing his emblem upon its sleeve. Generally worn with a pair of leather belts: one for the waist, another for the chest: this artifact is named for the shroud the Messiah- an omnipresent Archetype in all human belief- supposedly wore when buried, then left behind after his resurrection. However, it was later decried as a fake by the very church that venerated it. Amplifies the effects of all healing Zain benefits from.
  • The Wand:: Zain's "wand" is Babel, a long, ebonwood bo staff named for the biblical tower constructed by a united humanity in order to achieve Heaven. In addition to providing him a less lethal means of fighting in melee, and serving as a focus for his Spells, the staff is made of the especially lightweight and durable ebonwood, though is painted in sections to resemble the colors of the spheres of the Tree of Life.
  • The Cup: Zain's "cup" is Soma. A stylized thermos of his that he only vaguely remembers from college, before his collapse into coma, he has since discovered that the Tiphareth's excess vital energy flows into it with each attunement he performs, granting him what is essentially a self-refreshing supply of healing potion. He can alternatively attune for other effects, such as mana or a temporary amplification of his capabilities.

Auxillary Tools: Includes scrolls for applying Metamagic effects to his spells (or casting spells he doesn't know), miscellaneous tools for mundane tasks, maps, a cell phone, and a few other items.

The Sephiroth: Crystallized essentia drawn from the Echoes of the Tree of Life, which: wielded as a part of an individual's soul: render their expression of its primal archetypes immutable. The primary objects of Zain's quest. They are useful for undoing what are known as "Idea Fractures": irregularities and alterations from the "true" state of the Archetype as they appear in the physical world, as Zain has the power to link himself to such phenomena via The Lovers mystery and purge them from within himself. Each, save the Tiphareth, was restored to the World Tree after its discovery, to share its powers with the whole of New Farwatch.

  • Malkuth: The Tenth Sephira, an incarnation of Archetype "Kingdom". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the physical realm.
  • Tiphareth: The Sixth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Beauty". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the notion of death. So thoroughly bound to Zain's being, unlike the rest, that it is more an intrinsic element of his nature than it is an essence that is wielded as a weapon or piece of armor.

Weaknesses:

  • Hotheaded, stubborn, and somewhat narrow-sighted.
  • Refuses to drop a matter he cares about until it is decisively resolved.
  • Has a limited supply of mana with which to use his Spells and Skills.
  • Cannot speak.
  • Will not take a human (or human-like) life if he can find a way not to.
  • Somewhat vulnerable to Wind and Darkness-element attacks.
  • The Sephira, as potent as they are, cannot be used offensively in most situations, as they only mend abnormalities present in the "normal" state of their keyed aspects, rather than let the wielder freely manipulate them to fit their desires.

Feats:

  • Cut a magic-equipped mech the size of a two-story house in half with nothing more than a rusty sword and his learned powers after having been in a coma for six millenia
  • Survived for over a minute in direct contact with Banemist-saturated rainfall
  • Defeated Cpt. Darte Jone's vessel with a pair of his ship's own reflected cannonballs
  • Died several times to Tessera in order to prove the sincerity of his desire to better the world, awakening the first of his own Inner Truths in the process of doing so
  • Using the Malkuth, mended the Idea Fracture in the clouds overhead, in order to help Tessera disperse the Banemist over Dragonwood

Notable Attacks and Techniques

  • Light Blade Styles: Styles compatible with light sword-like weapons.
    • Vaerpath: The signature sword style of the Vaerpath family, taught to him by friend of the family Keiwa Arotsuna in adolescence. Wields the blade in a forward-pointing, two-handed grip near the head, focusing on persistent offense and trapping opponents in subtle patterns of defensive maneuvers before switching tactics to land decisive blows. Considered "unique" to the Vaerpath line due to the immense amount of discipline it requires proving impossible to muster up for most individuals.
    • Rowdy: A loose, "style-less" style that uses wild abandon, perversion of expectations, and youthful energy to overwhelm and confound foes. Utilizes plenty of rough tactics, such as headbutts, shoulder checks, kicks, toe stomps, snagging clothing, and other unconventional tactics.
    • Florentine: Traces a memoryform of the wielded sword to assume a dual-wielding stance, combining offense and defense with each movement. Its techniques require considerable exertion as a trade-off for their efficiency.
  • Polearm Styles: Styles compatible with polearm-type weapons.
    • Von Tag: A "high guard" stance that focuses on menace and balancing patience with agressive high blows.
    • Olber: A "low guard" stance that specializes in swift, light movements applied skillfully at the proper moment to disrupt an enemy's flow.
    • Wild Monkey: A dramatic and flashy combat art that favors trickery and whirling attacks.

Offense

  • Fire: A Tier 1 fire-element attack spell.
    • High/Great Fire: A Tier 2/3 fire-element attack spell.
  • Wind: A Tier 1 wind-element attack spell.
    • High/Great Wind: A Tier 2/3 wind-element attack spell.
  • Holy: A Tier 1 holy-element attack spell.
  • Basic Offense Metamagic: Modifies the effects of an offense-class spell. These are relatively easy to apply to any sort of spell. Slightly increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Blade: Targets a weapon, allowing it's to apply the spell at a fraction of its strength with each hit.
  • Advanced Offense Metamagic: More complex metamagics with specialized effects on the properties of the spell cast. Moderately increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Chrono: Inflicts a short-lived Slow malady upon targets damaged by this spell. So long as any target damaged so suffers from a Slow, the caster benefits from the Haste boon.

Utility

  • Amp: Temporarily amplifies a single attribute, based on the spell used.
    • Strength Amp: Increases the target's Strength attribute.
    • Charisma Amp: Increases the target's Charisma attribute.

Zain's Archetype Armiger is Hero's Path: his Legend is shaped by a combination of the personal aspiration "Hero" and the world attribute "Tree of Life." His Armiger Skills are thus largely direct and to-the-point, and include a number of support skills that bring out the best in others in the world around him.

  • The Fool: Charges headlong into the fray while becoming pseudo-intangible to deliver a sweeping strike, dealing moderate (Weapon) damage in a small area. Briefly gains Defense Up, stacking in duration for each target hit by this attack.
  • The Magician: Traces a swing of his blade through his will, generating a sharp wave of light dealing moderate Slash and Holy damage to a single target.
  • The High Priestess: Concentrates, augmenting his next technique used with a variable effect depending on the technique in question.
  • The Empress: Dashes to an ally, granting himself, the ally, and all nearby allies a minor shield for a time. For as long as the shield persists, all affected regain health over time
  • The Emperor: A sweeping melee combo preceding an upward swing, punctuated at last by a descending blow punctuated with platinum fire. Deals several hits of (Weapon) damage in a small area, then several more hits of (Weapon), Fire, and Astral damage to a single target, and inflicts Stun.
  • The Hierophant: After a short charge time, blasts a cross-shaped area around him with cascading waves of blue energy. Deals moderate Holy damage over a wide, cross-shaped area centered on himself, and knocks enemies away.
  • The Lovers: Zain's most complicated and versatile unique Armiger Skill, awakened in the same moment as his Inner Truth: via its activation, Zain bridges the gap between himself and his target, joining together as one. What this entails is variable, and largely dependent on the context at hand. By conjoining himself with a distant location, for instance, Zain is capable of teleporting himself to it, and by conjoining himself with a targeted weapon he may take possession of it, effectively undoing it's prior ownership and reclaiming all of the benefits of owning it for himself. Furthermore, with the aid of the Sephira, Zain's ability to perceive and comprehend Idea Fractures makes him capable of truly outstanding things such as bridging the gap between himself and the true state of the object afflicted by this fracture, or of tethering himself to a person so afflicted in order to pull their True Self out or enter the world manifested by their Idea Fracture.

This is a powerful transformation, unlocked within a person upon the defeat of their Shell normally- Zain is unique in that he possesses one to start with, for reasons unknown at the start of the story. Activation alone partially restores lost health and mana, in addition to throwing back enemies nearby: each also unlocks a skill. Inner Truth skills are each usable once per transformation.

  • Aeon Form: Zain's True Self, a mighty transformation that bestows upon him considerable power, in addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration. Also confers upon its user unique True Self skills.
    • Nephesh: The Aeon's first unique Skill unleashes the first Soul- its "animalistic instinct"- to stop time for up to five seconds, relative to Zain.

Tier: 6-C

Name: Zain Vaerpath, The False Envoy, Whitecoat, "Stubborn Bastard"

Origin: Hero's Path

Gender: Male

Age: 20

Classification: Human, Envoy, Knight of the Kether

Powers and Abilities:

Attack Potency: Island level (Capable of damaging and seriously wounding Metenros, who could raise and throw mountains; comparable to Act II Tessera, whose activation of her True Self passively generates a massive storm as a side effect

Speed: At least Massively Hypersonic (Can fly halfway across the world in a minute) with FTL reactions/combat speed (Can react to and parry the Harab Serapels' focused lasers)

Lifting Strength: Class T (Lifted the cap of a large mountain overhead and threw it), likely Class P with telekinesis (Shouldn't be drastically weaker magically than Metenros)

Striking Strength: Island Class

Durability: Island level (Withstood numerous attacks from Metenros, who raised mountains and threw halves of them into one another at great speeds; clashed with Tessera as a part of their training)

Stamina: Superhuman (Superior to before)

Range: Extended melee range with Weapons. Varies from several meters to thousands of meters with Spells and Skills

Intelligence: Gifted (Somewhat smarter than before)

Standard Equipment: Includes a number of weapons and tools:

The Cardinals: Four tools that became so tied to Zain's legend, they became steeped in his power inherently.

  • The Blade: Zain's "blade" is Gram: roughly four feet in total length. It is forged of a shimmering metal called atlarite that is naturally far stronger and keener than adamantine, and lighter too boot- it's overall density is much closer to that of the comparatively lightweight steel. It bears a unique aptitude for Blade Metamagic spells cast on it, and will both extend their duration and potency.
  • The Pentacle: Zain's "pentacle" is Turin, a beige coat lined with light armorweave and bearing his emblem upon its sleeve. Generally worn with a pair of leather belts: one for the waist, another for the chest: this artifact is named for the shroud the Messiah- an omnipresent Archetype in all human belief- supposedly wore when buried, then left behind after his resurrection. However, it was later decried as a fake by the very church that venerated it. Amplifies the effects of all healing Zain benefits from.
  • The Wand:: Zain's "wand" is Babel, a long, ebonwood bo staff named for the biblical tower constructed by a united humanity in order to achieve Heaven. In addition to providing him a less lethal means of fighting in melee, and serving as a focus for his Spells, the staff is made of the especially lightweight and durable ebonwood, though is painted in sections to resemble the colors of the spheres of the Tree of Life.
  • The Cup: Zain's "cup" is Soma. A stylized thermos of his that he only vaguely remembers from college, before his collapse into coma, he has since discovered that the Tiphareth's excess vital energy flows into it with each attunement he performs, granting him what is essentially a self-refreshing supply of healing potion. He can alternatively attune for other effects, such as mana or a temporary amplification of his capabilities.

Auxillary Tools: Includes scrolls for applying Metamagic effects to his spells (or casting spells he doesn't know), miscellaneous tools for mundane tasks, maps, a cell phone, and a few other items.

The Sephiroth: Crystallized essentia drawn from the Echoes of the Tree of Life, which: wielded as a part of an individual's soul: render their expression of its primal archetypes immutable. The primary objects of Zain's quest. They are useful for undoing what are known as "Idea Fractures": irregularities and alterations from the "true" state of the Archetype as they appear in the physical world, as Zain has the power to link himself to such phenomena via The Lovers mystery and purge them from within himself.

  • Malkuth: The Tenth Sephira, an incarnation of Archetype "Kingdom". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the physical realm.
  • Yesod: The Ninth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Dreams". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the dreams and both the conscious and subconscious mind.
  • Hod: The Eighth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetypes "Heart". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to emotions, impulses, and feelings.
  • Netzach: The Seventh Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Eternity". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to time, space, or memories that are inexorably etched into such.
  • Tiphareth: The Sixth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Beauty". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the notion of death. So thoroughly bound to Zain's being, unlike the rest, that it is more an intrinsic element of his nature than it is an essence that is wielded as a weapon or piece of armor.

Weaknesses:

  • Hotheaded, stubborn, and somewhat narrow-sighted.
  • Refuses to drop a matter he cares about until it is decisively resolved.
  • Has a limited supply of mana with which to use his Spells and Skills.
  • Cannot speak.
  • Will not take a human (or human-like) life if he can find a way not to.
  • Somewhat vulnerable to Wind and Darkness-element attacks.
  • The Sephira, as potent as they are, cannot be used offensively in most situations, as they only mend abnormalities present in the "normal" state of their keyed aspects, rather than let the wielder freely manipulate them to fit their desires.

Feats:

  • With the help of Magus and Asha, tracked down Metenros after he abducted Tessera and fled to the other side of the world
  • Endured Metenros's spiders' nerve-wrecking poisons enough to escape captivity himself, temporarily
  • Learned how to unleash the Aeon Form mid-battle in time to defy his own capture and turn the tables on Metenros

Notable Attacks and Techniques

  • Light Blade Styles: Styles compatible with light sword-like weapons.
    • Vaerpath: The signature sword style of the Vaerpath family, taught to him by friend of the family Keiwa Arotsuna in adolescence. Wields the blade in a forward-pointing, two-handed grip near the head, focusing on persistent offense and trapping opponents in subtle patterns of defensive maneuvers before switching tactics to land decisive blows. Considered "unique" to the Vaerpath line due to the immense amount of discipline it requires proving impossible to muster up for most individuals.
    • Rowdy: A loose, "style-less" style that uses wild abandon, perversion of expectations, and youthful energy to overwhelm and confound foes. Utilizes plenty of rough tactics, such as headbutts, shoulder checks, kicks, toe stomps, snagging clothing, and other unconventional tactics.
    • Florentine: Traces a memoryform of the wielded sword to assume a dual-wielding stance, combining offense and defense with each movement. Its techniques require considerable exertion as a trade-off for their efficiency.
  • Polearm Styles: Styles compatible with polearm-type weapons.
    • Von Tag: A "high guard" stance that focuses on menace and balancing patience with agressive high blows.
    • Olber: A "low guard" stance that specializes in swift, light movements applied skillfully at the proper moment to disrupt an enemy's flow.
    • Wild Monkey: A dramatic and flashy combat art that favors trickery and whirling attacks.
  • Hand-To-Hand Styles: Styles compatible with the use of one's own body, and weapons that augment the body's natural motions like knuckles and gloves, as a primary weapon.
    • Aikido: A martial arts style that lets all motion flow about and around it without greivously harming the foe. Minimizes offense in favor of deflection and defense.
    • Capoeira: A dance-like martial style with an emphasis on exaggerated form, unpredictability, and mobility.

Offense

  • Fire: A Tier 1 fire-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand Fire: A Tier 2/3/4 fire-element attack spell.
  • Wind: A Tier 1 wind-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand Wind: A Tier 2/3/4 wind-element attack spell.
  • Astral: A Tier 1 astral-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand Astral: A Tier 2/3/4 astral-element attack spell.
  • Holy: A Tier 1 holy-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand Holy: A Tier 2/3/4 holy-element attack spell.
  • Basic Offense Metamagic: Modifies the effects of an offense-class spell. These are relatively easy to apply to any sort of spell. Slightly increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Admixture: Combines the spell cast with another spell.
    • Blade: Targets a weapon, allowing it's to apply the spell at a fraction of its strength with each hit.
    • Focus: Causes the spell to target only a single enemy, dealing increased damage.
  • Advanced Offense Metamagic: More complex metamagics with specialized effects on the properties of the spell cast. Moderately increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Blast: Increases the area of effect, and adds an aftershock that knocks enemies in the area after a delay to the ground, but reduces the initial damage.
    • Chrono: Inflicts a short-lived Slow malady upon targets damaged by this spell. So long as any target damaged so suffers from a Slow, the caster benefits from the Haste boon.
    • Lunar: Boosts damage in the presence of stellar light.
    • Nova: Substantially boosts the spell's potency and area of effect, but limits its range to melee, centering it on the caster.
    • Solar: Boosts damage in the absence of stellar light.

Utility

  • Amp: Temporarily amplifies a single attribute, based on the spell used.
    • Strength Amp: Increases the target's Strength attribute.
    • Charisma Amp: Increases the target's Charisma attribute.

Zain's Archetype Armiger is Hero's Path: his Legend is shaped by a combination of the personal aspiration "Hero" and the world attribute "Tree of Life." His Armiger Skills are thus largely direct and to-the-point, and include a number of support skills that bring out the best in others in the world around him.

  • The Fool: Charges headlong into the fray while becoming pseudo-intangible to deliver a sweeping strike, dealing moderate (Weapon) damage in a small area. Briefly gains Defense Up, stacking in duration for each target hit by this attack.
  • The Magician: Traces a swing of his blade through his will, generating a sharp wave of light dealing moderate Slash and Holy damage to a single target.
  • The High Priestess: Concentrates, augmenting his next technique used with a variable effect depending on the technique in question.
  • The Empress: Dashes to an ally, granting himself, the ally, and all nearby allies a minor shield for a time. For as long as the shield persists, all affected regain health over time
  • The Emperor: A sweeping melee combo preceding an upward swing, punctuated at last by a descending blow punctuated with platinum fire. Deals several hits of (Weapon) damage in a small area, then several more hits of (Weapon), Fire, and Astral damage to a single target, and inflicts Stun.
  • The Hierophant: After a short charge time, blasts a cross-shaped area around him with cascading waves of blue energy. Deals moderate Holy damage over a wide, cross-shaped area centered on himself, and knocks enemies away.
  • The Lovers: Zain's most complicated and versatile unique Armiger Skill, awakened in the same moment as his Inner Truth: via its activation, Zain bridges the gap between himself and his target, joining together as one. What this entails is variable, and largely dependent on the context at hand. By conjoining himself with a distant location, for instance, Zain is capable of teleporting himself to it, and by conjoining himself with a targeted weapon he may take possession of it, effectively undoing it's prior ownership and reclaiming all of the benefits of owning it for himself. Furthermore, with the aid of the Sephira, Zain's ability to perceive and comprehend Idea Fractures makes him capable of truly outstanding things such as bridging the gap between himself and the true state of the object afflicted by this fracture, or of tethering himself to a person so afflicted in order to pull their True Self out or enter the world manifested by their Idea Fracture.
  • The Chariot: Surrounds himself in a whirling aura of etheric blades, dealing continual Astral and Slash damage to nearby enemies and mitigating projectile attacks. These blades can be thrown, rode about the battle, and more.
  • Strength: Exerts himself to exhibit prestigious, heroic strength. Can either be used to deal heavy Blunt damage to an area at range, plus additional bonus properties based on the local environment, or to convert all Body and Heart Maladies into additional mana regeneration for a time.
  • The Hermit: Blasts all enemies nearby with a pulse of force, dealing Astral damage to enemies in an area around himself and knocking them back. Zain benefits from Zen upon using this Skill, and if undamaged for a short time, is healed and benefits from Wisdom Up.
  • The Wheel of Fortune: Draws in all nearby enemies with a chaotic vortex, inflicting a random Malady upon them and knocking them nearer to Zain and airborne, before striking the gathered foes skyward with a leaping radial strike that deals heavy (Weapon) and Lightning damage.
  • Justice: Conjures a short-lived barrier around one target that reflects all damage they would take, repelling half of it back to the attacker and converting the other half into healing for the attacked target.

This is a powerful transformation, unlocked within a person upon the defeat of their Shell normally- Zain is unique in that he possesses one to start with, for reasons unknown at the start of the story. Activation alone partially restores lost health and mana, in addition to throwing back enemies nearby: each also unlocks a skill. Inner Truth skills are each usable once per transformation.

  • Aeon Form: Zain's True Self, a mighty transformation that bestows upon him considerable power, in addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration. Also confers upon its user unique True Self skills.
    • Nephesh: The Aeon's first unique Skill unleashes the first Soul- its "animalistic instinct"- to stop time for up to five seconds, relative to Zain.
    • Ruach: The Aeon's second unique Skill unleashes the second Soul- the "distinguishing spirit"- to undo five seconds of time local to Zain, effectively resetting him to his prior state.
    • Neshameh: The Aeon's unique Skill unleashes the third Soul- the "motivating intuition"- in order to channel an overbearing aura that passively saps willpower from nearby enemies, and adds it to Zain's own.

Tier: 5-B

Name: Zain Vaerpath, The False Envoy, Whitecoat, "Stubborn Bastard"

Origin: Hero's Path

Gender: Male

Age: 20

Classification: Human, Envoy, Knight of the Kether

Powers and Abilities:

Attack Potency: Planet level+ (Seriously wounded Ruin, who survived being shot through the heart with the same chakra lightning bolt that obliterated the Starfall)

Speed: Sub-Relativistic (Can travel to the Moon in under a minute) with FTL reactions/combat speed (Tagged Ruin several times, who parried Tessera's chakra thunder with his bare hand following the Starfall's Destruction; faster than his Act III self)

Lifting Strength: At least Class T, likely Class P with telekinesis (Superior to his Act II self)

Striking Strength: Planet Class+

Durability: Planet level+ (Withstood hits from Ruin)

Stamina: Superhuman

Range: Extended melee range with weapons. Varies from several meters to Planetary with Spells and Skills

Intelligence: Genius (Has grown considerably under Tessera's guidance as a leader and a scholar, and has learned much of the world's history- managed to briefly outwit the far more experienced Ruin)

Standard Equipment: Includes a number of weapons and tools:

The Cardinals: Four tools that became so tied to Zain's legend, they became steeped in his power inherently.

  • The Blade: Zain's "blade" is Gram: roughly four feet in total length. It is forged of a shimmering metal called atlarite that is naturally far stronger and keener than adamantine, and lighter too boot- it's overall density is much closer to that of the comparatively lightweight steel. It bears a unique aptitude for Blade Metamagic spells cast on it, and will both extend their duration and potency.
  • The Pentacle: Zain's "pentacle" is Turin, a beige coat lined with light armorweave and bearing his emblem upon its sleeve. Generally worn with a pair of leather belts: one for the waist, another for the chest: this artifact is named for the shroud the Messiah- an omnipresent Archetype in all human belief- supposedly wore when buried, then left behind after his resurrection. However, it was later decried as a fake by the very church that venerated it. Amplifies the effects of all healing Zain benefits from.
  • The Wand:: Zain's "wand" is Babel, a long, ebonwood bo staff named for the biblical tower constructed by a united humanity in order to achieve Heaven. In addition to providing him a less lethal means of fighting in melee, and serving as a focus for his Spells, the staff is made of the especially lightweight and durable ebonwood, though is painted in sections to resemble the colors of the spheres of the Tree of Life.
  • The Cup: Zain's "cup" is Soma. A stylized thermos of his that he only vaguely remembers from college, before his collapse into coma, he has since discovered that the Tiphareth's excess vital energy flows into it with each attunement he performs, granting him what is essentially a self-refreshing supply of healing potion. He can alternatively attune for other effects, such as mana or a temporary amplification of his capabilities.

Auxillary Tools: Includes scrolls for applying Metamagic effects to his spells (or casting spells he doesn't know), miscellaneous tools for mundane tasks, maps, a cell phone, and a few other items.

The Sephiroth: Crystallized essentia drawn from the Echoes of the Tree of Life, which: wielded as a part of an individual's soul: render their expression of its primal archetypes immutable. The primary objects of Zain's quest. They are useful for undoing what are known as "Idea Fractures": irregularities and alterations from the "true" state of the Archetype as they appear in the physical world, as Zain has the power to link himself to such phenomena via The Lovers mystery and purge them from within himself.

  • Malkuth: The Tenth Sephira, an incarnation of Archetype "Kingdom". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the physical realm.
  • Yesod: The Ninth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Dreams". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the dreams and both the conscious and subconscious mind.
  • Hod: The Eighth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetypes "Heart". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to emotions, impulses, and feelings.
  • Netzach: The Seventh Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Eternity". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to time, space, or memories that are inexorably etched into such.
  • Tiphareth: The Sixth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Beauty". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the notion of death. So thoroughly bound to Zain's being, unlike the rest, that it is more an intrinsic element of his nature than it is an essence that is wielded as a weapon or piece of armor.
  • Geburah: The Fifth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Severity". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to powers and strength- such as the nullification of such, for example.
  • Chesed: The Fourth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetypes of "Kindness". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to humanity's moral concepts- good, evil, order, and chaos- even undoing the definitions of such scribed by divine law, should their "true" state prove dissonant with the Will of a single Godform.

Weaknesses:

  • Hotheaded, stubborn, and somewhat narrow-sighted.
  • Refuses to drop a matter he cares about until it is decisively resolved.
  • Has a limited supply of mana with which to use his Spells and Skills.
  • Cannot speak.
  • Will not take a human (or human-like) life if he can find a way not to.
  • Somewhat vulnerable to Wind and Darkness-element attacks.
  • The Sephira, as potent as they are, cannot be used offensively in most situations, as they only mend abnormalities present in the "normal" state of their keyed aspects, rather than let the wielder freely manipulate them to fit their desires.

Feats:

  • Helped Darius "Rune" Freeman find resolution when confronted with the truth of his brother's betrayal of Earth
  • Willed himself back into human form after turned into a common radish by The Chartreuse Sage
  • Continued fighting after half of his flesh was burnt off
  • Distracted Ruin long enough: while impaled, crucified, and falling into the Daathe: for Tessera to land a finishing blow

Notable Attacks and Techniques

  • Light Blade Styles: Styles compatible with light sword-like weapons.
    • Vaerpath: The signature sword style of the Vaerpath family, taught to him by friend of the family Keiwa Arotsuna in adolescence. Wields the blade in a forward-pointing, two-handed grip near the head, focusing on persitent offense and trapping opponents in subtle patterns of defensive maneuvers before switching tactics to land decisive blows. Considered "unique" to the Vaerpath line due to the immense amount of discipline it requires proving impossible to muster up for most individuals.
    • Rowdy: A loose, "style-less" style that uses wild abandon, perversion of expectations, and youthful energy to overwhelm and confound foes. Utilizes plenty of rough tactics, such as headbutts, shoulder checks, kicks, toe stomps, snagging clothing, and other unconventional tactics.
    • Florentine: Traces a memoryform of the wielded sword to assume a dual-wielding stance, combining offense and defense with each movement. Its techniques require considerable exertion as a trade-off for their efficiency.
    • Knightly: A refined, regal style of swordplay that maintains a level head with a focus on deft, in-an-out maneuvers and tricks.
    • Oldcastle: Manifests a memoryform of a shield that analogues to the wielded sword, assuming a reactive stance that sacrifices mobility in place of heightened reflexes and countering potential.
  • Polearm Styles: Styles compatible with polearm-type weapons.
    • Von Tag: A "high guard" stance that focuses on menace and balancing patience with agressive high blows.
    • Olber: A "low guard" stance that specializes in swift, light movements applied skillfully at the proper moment to disrupt an enemy's flow.
    • Wild Monkey: A dramatic and flashy combat art that favors trickery and whirling attacks.
  • Hand-To-Hand Styles: Styles compatible with the use of one's own body, and weapons that augment the body's natural motions like knuckles and gloves, as a primary weapon.
    • Aikido: A martial arts style that lets all motion flow about and around it without greivously harming the foe. Minimizes offense in favor of deflection and defense.
    • Capoeira: A dance-like martial style with an emphasis on exaggerated form, unpredictability, and mobility.
    • Krav Maga: A brutal, yet efficient martial arts discipline practiced by the Israeli Commandos prior to and throughout World War III. Learned from Tessera as a means of thanks following the Metenros incident in Act II.

Offense

  • Fire: A Tier 1 fire-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra Fire: A Tier 2/3/4/5 fire-element attack spell.
  • Wind: A Tier 1 wind-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra Wind: A Tier 2/3/4/5 wind-element attack spell.
  • Ice: A Tier 1 ice-element attack spell.
    • High/Great Ice: A Tier 2/3 ice-element attack spell.
  • Astral: A Tier 1 astral-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra Astral: A Tier 2/3/4/5 astral-element attack spell.
  • Holy: A Tier 1 holy-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra Holy: A Tier 2/3/4/5 holy-element attack spell.
  • Zie: A Tier 1 typeless-element attack spell.
    • High/Great Zie: A Tier 2/3 typeless-element attack spell.
  • Basic Offense Metamagic: Modifies the effects of an offense-class spell. These are relatively easy to apply to any sort of spell. Slightly increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Admixture: Combines the spell cast with another spell.
    • Blade: Targets a weapon, allowing it's to apply the spell at a fraction of its strength with each hit.
    • Focus: Causes the spell to target only a single enemy, dealing increased damage.
  • Advanced Offense Metamagic: More complex metamagics with specialized effects on the properties of the spell cast. Moderately increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Blast: Increases the area of effect with an aftershock that deals reduced damage, but over a wider area, and knocks enemies over.
    • Chrono: Inflicts a short-lived Slow malady upon targets damaged by this spell. So long as any target damaged so suffers from a Slow, the caster benefits from the Haste boon.
    • Lunar: Boosts damage in the presence of stellar light.
    • Nova: Substantially boosts the spell's potency and area of effect, but limits its range to melee, centering it on the caster.
    • Solar: Boosts damage in the absence of stellar light.

Defense

  • Heal: A Tier 1 Healing spell.
    • High/Great Heal: A Tier 2/3 healing spell.

Utility

  • Amp: Temporarily amplifies a single attribute, based on the spell used.
    • Strength Amp: Increases the target's Strength attribute.
    • Charisma Amp: Increases the target's Charisma attribute.

Zain's Archetype Armiger is Hero's Path: his Legend is shaped by a combination of the personal aspiration "Hero" and the world attribute "Tree of Life." His Armiger Skills are thus largely direct and to-the-point, and include a number of support skills that bring out the best in others in the world around him.

  • The Fool: Charges headlong into the fray while becoming pseudo-intangible to deliver a sweeping strike, dealing moderate (Weapon) damage in a small area. Briefly gains Defense Up, stacking in duration for each target hit by this attack.
  • The Magician: Traces a swing of his blade through his will, generating a sharp wave of light dealing moderate Slash and Holy damage to a single target.
  • The High Priestess: Concentrates, augmenting his next technique used with a variable effect depending on the technique in question.
  • The Empress: Dashes to an ally, granting himself, the ally, and all nearby allies a minor shield for a time. For as long as the shield persists, all affected regain health over time
  • The Emperor: A sweeping melee combo preceding an upward swing, punctuated at last by a descending blow punctuated with platinum fire. Deals several hits of (Weapon) damage in a small area, then several more hits of (Weapon), Fire, and Astral damage to a single target, and inflicts Stun.
  • The Hierophant: After a short charge time, blasts a cross-shaped area around him with cascading waves of blue energy. Deals moderate Holy damage over a wide, cross-shaped area centered on himself, and knocks enemies away.
  • The Lovers: Zain's most complicated and versatile unique Armiger Skill, awakened in the same moment as his Inner Truth: via its activation, Zain bridges the gap between himself and his target, joining together as one. What this entails is variable, and largely dependent on the context at hand. By conjoining himself with a distant location, for instance, Zain is capable of teleporting himself to it, and by conjoining himself with a targeted weapon he may take possession of it, effectively undoing it's prior ownership and reclaiming all of the benefits of owning it for himself. Furthermore, with the aid of the Sephira, Zain's ability to perceive and comprehend Idea Fractures makes him capable of truly outstanding things such as bridging the gap between himself and the true state of the object afflicted by this fracture, or of tethering himself to a person so afflicted in order to pull their True Self out or enter the world manifested by their Idea Fracture.
  • The Chariot: Surrounds himself in a whirling aura of etheric blades, dealing continual Astral and Slash damage to nearby enemies and mitigating projectile attacks. These blades can be thrown, rode about the battle, and more.
  • Strength: Exerts himself to exhibit prestigious, heroic strength. Can either be used to deal heavy Blunt damage to an area at range, plus additional bonus properties based on the local environment, or to convert all Body and Heart Maladies into additional mana regeneration for a time.
  • The Hermit: Blasts all enemies nearby with a pulse of force, dealing Astral damage to enemies in an area around himself and knocking them back. Zain benefits from Zen upon using this Skill, and if undamaged for a short time, is healed and benefits from Wisdom Up.
  • The Wheel of Fortune: Draws in all nearby enemies with a chaotic vortex, inflicting a random Malady upon them and knocking them nearer to Zain and airborne, before striking the gathered foes skyward with a leaping radial strike that deals heavy (Weapon) and Lightning damage.
  • Justice: Conjures a short-lived barrier around one target that reflects all damage they would take, repelling half of it back to the attacker and converting the other half into healing for the attacked target.
  • The Hanged Man: Dilutes the strength of presence of his allies, in the face of danger, without truly reducing their sense of self. Increases the likelihood that Zain is targeted by enemies with a sort of subtle, attention-drawing charm, and dramatically increasing his own defense, while also reducing his attack power somewhat. Also slightly increases allies' Defenses.
  • Death: Invokes a powerful hex that dilutes one connection to their present life, and draws their nature as a being with an end closer to their present. Deals immense Dark damage over time, in addition to dispelling all Boons that the target benefits from and inflicting Curse.

This is a powerful transformation, unlocked within a person upon the defeat of their Shell normally- Zain is unique in that he possesses one to start with, for reasons unknown at the start of the story. Activation alone partially restores lost health and mana, in addition to throwing back enemies nearby: each also unlocks a skill. Inner Truth skills are each usable once per transformation.

  • Aeon Form: Zain's True Self, a mighty transformation that bestows upon him considerable power, in addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration. Also confers upon its user unique True Self skills.
    • Nephesh: The Aeon's first unique Skill unleashes the first Soul- its "animalistic instinct"- to stop time for up to five seconds, relative to Zain.
    • Ruach: The Aeon's second unique Skill unleashes the second Soul- the "distinguishing spirit"- to undo five seconds of time local to Zain, effectively resetting him to his prior state.
    • Neshameh: The Aeon's unique Skill unleashes the third Soul- the "motivating intuition"- in order to channel an overbearing aura that passively saps willpower from nearby enemies, and adds it to Zain's own.

Tier: At least 4-B, likely 4-A

Name: Zain Vaerpath, The False Envoy, Whitecoat, "Stubborn Bastard"

Origin: Hero's Path

Gender: Male

Age: 20

Classification: Human, Envoy, Knight of the Kether

Powers and Abilities:

Attack Potency: At least Solar System level, likely Multi-Solar System level (Defeated Vesper, a being that had consumed and destroyed most of the world's stars in the six thousand years that Zain was asleep; though the exact timing in which it accomplished this is unknown, it was only in recent years that this phenomenon became apparent to people on Earth. Vesper furthermore stated its strength was enough "to rend the last of all the stars from the sky", and its core seemingly contained a pocket reality filled with the stars it had devoured, which Magus "broke" before facing it.)

Speed: Massively FTL (Can fly to the edge of the Solar System in under a minute and evade Outer Vesper's Solar System-spanning Perish Cannons, albeit from a distance)

Lifting Strength: Pre-Stellar (Physically contended with the Vesper Core, whose walls continually supported its entire outer shell)

Striking Strength: At least Solar System level, likely higher

Durability: At least Solar System level, likely Multi-Solar System level (Took hits from, and defeated the Vesper Core)

Stamina: Virtually Inexhaustible (Remained active and conscious for the entirety of his several month long imprisonment within Vesper, during which time the Banemist was constantly trying to corrode and devour his Mind, Soul, and Self)

Range: Extended melee range with weapons. Varies from several meters to Interplanetary with Spells and Skills

Intelligence: Genius (As of the end of Act IV, has additionally learned several revelations regarding much of the nature of the conflict he and his world are embroiled in)

Standard Equipment: Includes a number of weapons and tools:

The Cardinals: Four tools that became so tied to Zain's legend, they became steeped in his power inherently.

  • The Blade: Zain's "blade" is Gram: roughly four feet in total length. It is forged of a shimmering metal called atlarite that is naturally far stronger and keener than adamantine, and lighter too boot- it's overall density is much closer to that of the comparatively lightweight steel. It bears a unique aptitude for Blade Metamagic spells cast on it, and will both extend their duration and potency.
  • The Pentacle: Zain's "pentacle" is Turin, a beige coat lined with light armorweave and bearing his emblem upon its sleeve. Generally worn with a pair of leather belts: one for the waist, another for the chest: this artifact is named for the shroud the Messiah- an omnipresent Archetype in all human belief- supposedly wore when buried, then left behind after his resurrection. However, it was later decried as a fake by the very church that venerated it. Amplifies the effects of all healing Zain benefits from.
  • The Wand:: Zain's "wand" is Babel, a long, ebonwood bo staff named for the biblical tower constructed by a united humanity in order to achieve Heaven. In addition to providing him a less lethal means of fighting in melee, and serving as a focus for his Spells, the staff is made of the especially lightweight and durable ebonwood, though is painted in sections to resemble the colors of the spheres of the Tree of Life.
  • The Cup: Zain's "cup" is Soma. A stylized thermos of his that he only vaguely remembers from college, before his collapse into coma, he has since discovered that the Tiphareth's excess vital energy flows into it with each attunement he performs, granting him what is essentially a self-refreshing supply of healing potion. He can alternatively attune for other effects, such as mana or a temporary amplification of his capabilities.

Auxillary Tools: Includes scrolls for applying Metamagic effects to his spells (or casting spells he doesn't know), miscellaneous tools for mundane tasks, maps, a cell phone, and a few other items.

The Sephiroth: Crystallized essentia drawn from the Echoes of the Tree of Life, which: wielded as a part of an individual's soul: render their expression of its primal archetypes immutable. The primary objects of Zain's quest. They are useful for undoing what are known as "Idea Fractures": irregularities and alterations from the "true" state of the Archetype as they appear in the physical world, as Zain has the power to link himself to such phenomena via The Lovers mystery and purge them from within himself.

  • Malkuth: The Tenth Sephira, an incarnation of Archetype "Kingdom". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the physical realm.
  • Yesod: The Ninth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Dreams". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the dreams and both the conscious and subconscious mind.
  • Hod: The Eighth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetypes "Heart". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to emotions, impulses, and feelings.
  • Netzach: The Seventh Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Eternity". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to time, space, or memories that are inexorably etched into such.
  • Tiphareth: The Sixth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Beauty". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the notion of death. So thoroughly bound to Zain's being, unlike the rest, that it is more an intrinsic element of his nature than it is an essence that is wielded as a weapon or piece of armor.
  • Geburah: The Fifth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Severity". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to powers and strength- such as the nullification of such, for example.
  • Chesed: The Fourth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetypes of "Kindness". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to humanity's moral concepts- good, evil, order, and chaos- even undoing the definitions of such scribed by divine law, should their "true" state prove dissonant with the Will of a single Godform.
  • Daathe: The Non-Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Emptiness". A trophy earned from battling his own Shell, Vesper, it mends and guards against Idea Fractures that would deny him the right to exist.
  • Binah: The Third Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Understanding". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to Fate, and to souls.
  • Chokmah: The Second Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Revelation." Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to Will.

Weaknesses:

  • Hotheaded, stubborn, and somewhat narrow-sighted.
  • Refuses to drop a matter he cares about until it is decisively resolved.
  • Has a limited supply of mana with which to use his Spells and Skills.
  • Will not take a human (or human-like) life if he can find a way not to.
  • Somewhat vulnerable to Wind and Darkness-element attacks.
  • The Sephira, as potent as they are, cannot be used offensively in most situations, as they only mend abnormalities present in the "normal" state of their keyed aspects, rather than let the wielder freely manipulate them to fit their desires.

Feats:

  • After overcoming his own Shell within the Daathe, fought his way back into the Malkuth with the help of the Hero's Path technique, effectively willing himself back into existence
  • Reunited with his pre-War mentor, Keiwa Arotsuna, within Vesper, and completed the last of his training, in addition to learning much of the world's history in a short period of time
  • Led a significant chunk of a complex plan to defeat Vesper while imprisoned inside of its immense cityscape
    • Eventually incarnating at a fraction of his true strength to help his friends free his true physical body from non-existence within Vesper
    • Vesper, a hole into the Daathe the size of Saturn, was constantly attempting to erode his body, mind, and spirit, while simultaneously drawing the Willpower of those within it back into the non-existence of the True Daathe itself, on top of its immense gravity as a massive physical body
  • Aided the other members of New Farwatch in defeating the Vesper Core, and in freeing the World's souls by pulling them back into the material world from it's portal to the Daathe before it collapsed

Notable Attacks and Techniques

  • Light Blade Styles: Styles compatible with light sword-like weapons.
    • Vaerpath: The signature sword style of the Vaerpath family, taught to him by friend of the family Keiwa Arotsuna in adolescence. Wields the blade in a forward-pointing, two-handed grip near the head, focusing on persistent offense and trapping opponents in subtle patterns of defensive maneuvers before switching tactics to land decisive blows. Considered "unique" to the Vaerpath line due to the immense amount of discipline it requires proving impossible to muster up for most individuals.
    • Rowdy: A loose, "style-less" style that uses wild abandon, perversion of expectations, and youthful energy to overwhelm and confound foes. Utilizes plenty of rough tactics, such as headbutts, shoulder checks, kicks, toe stomps, snagging clothing, and other unconventional tactics.
    • Florentine: Traces a memoryform of the wielded sword to assume a dual-wielding stance, combining offense and defense with each movement. Its techniques require considerable exertion as a trade-off for their efficiency.
    • Knightly: A refined, regal style of swordplay that maintains a level head with a focus on deft, in-an-out maneuvers and tricks.
    • Oldcastle: Manifests a memoryform of a shield that analogues to the wielded sword, assuming a reactive stance that sacrifices mobility in place of heightened reflexes and countering potential.
  • Polearm Styles: Styles compatible with polearm-type weapons.
    • Von Tag: A "high guard" stance that focuses on menace and balancing patience with agressive high blows.
    • Olber: A "low guard" stance that specializes in swift, light movements applied skillfully at the proper moment to disrupt an enemy's flow.
    • Wild Monkey: A dramatic and flashy combat art that favors trickery and whirling attacks.
  • Hand-To-Hand Styles: Styles compatible with the use of one's own body, and weapons that augment the body's natural motions like knuckles and gloves, as a primary weapon.
    • Aikido: A martial arts style that lets all motion flow about and around it without greivously harming the foe. Minimizes offense in favor of deflection and defense.
    • Capoeira: A dance-like martial style with an emphasis on exaggerated form, unpredictability, and mobility.
    • Krav Maga: A brutal, yet efficient martial arts discipline practiced by the Israeli Commandos prior to and throughout World War III. Learned from Tessera as a means of thanks following the Metenros incident in Act II.

Offense

  • Fire: A Tier 1 fire-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra Fire: A Tier 2/3/4/5 fire-element attack spell.
  • Wind: A Tier 1 wind-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra Wind: A Tier 2/3/4/5 wind-element attack spell.
  • Ice: A Tier 1 ice-element attack spell.
    • High/Great Ice: A Tier 2/3 ice-element attack spell.
  • Astral: A Tier 1 astral-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra Astral: A Tier 2/3/4/5 astral-element attack spell.
  • Holy: A Tier 1 holy-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra Holy: A Tier 2/3/4/5 holy-element attack spell.
  • Zie: A Tier 1 typeless-element attack spell.
    • High/Great Zie: A Tier 2/3 typeless-element attack spell.
  • Basic Offense Metamagic: Modifies the effects of an offense-class spell. These are relatively easy to apply to any sort of spell. Slightly increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Admixture: Combines the spell cast with another spell.
    • Blade: Targets a weapon, allowing it's to apply the spell at a fraction of its strength with each hit.
    • Focus: Causes the spell to target only a single enemy, dealing increased damage.
  • Advanced Offense Metamagic: More complex metamagics with specialized effects on the properties of the spell cast. Moderately increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Blast: Increases the area of effect with an aftershock that deals reduced damage, but over a wider area, and knocks enemies over.
    • Chrono: Inflicts a short-lived Slow malady upon targets damaged by this spell. So long as any target damaged so suffers from a Slow, the caster benefits from the Haste boon.
    • Lunar: Boosts damage in the presence of stellar light.
    • Nova: Substantially boosts the spell's potency and area of effect, but limits its range to melee, centering it on the caster.
    • Solar: Boosts damage in the absence of stellar light.

Defense

  • Heal: A Tier 1 Healing spell.
    • High/Great Heal: A Tier 2/3 healing spell.

Utility

  • Amp: Temporarily amplifies a single attribute, based on the spell used.
    • Strength Amp: Increases the target's Strength attribute.
    • Charisma Amp: Increases the target's Charisma attribute.

Zain's Archetype Armiger is Hero's Path: his Legend is shaped by a combination of the personal aspiration "Hero" and the world attribute "Tree of Life." His Armiger Skills are thus largely direct and to-the-point, and include a number of support skills that bring out the best in others in the world around him.

  • The Fool: Charges headlong into the fray while becoming pseudo-intangible to deliver a sweeping strike, dealing moderate (Weapon) damage in a small area. Briefly gains Defense Up, stacking in duration for each target hit by this attack.
  • The Magician: Traces a swing of his blade through his will, generating a sharp wave of light dealing moderate Slash and Holy damage to a single target.
  • The High Priestess: Concentrates, augmenting his next technique used with a variable effect depending on the technique in question.
  • The Empress: Dashes to an ally, granting himself, the ally, and all nearby allies a minor shield for a time. For as long as the shield persists, all affected regain health over time
  • The Emperor: A sweeping melee combo preceding an upward swing, punctuated at last by a descending blow punctuated with platinum fire. Deals several hits of (Weapon) damage in a small area, then several more hits of (Weapon), Fire, and Astral damage to a single target, and inflicts Stun.
  • The Hierophant: After a short charge time, blasts a cross-shaped area around him with cascading waves of blue energy. Deals moderate Holy damage over a wide, cross-shaped area centered on himself, and knocks enemies away.
  • The Lovers: Zain's most complicated and versatile unique Armiger Skill, awakened in the same moment as his Inner Truth: via its activation, Zain bridges the gap between himself and his target, joining together as one. What this entails is variable, and largely dependent on the context at hand. By conjoining himself with a distant location, for instance, Zain is capable of teleporting himself to it, and by conjoining himself with a targeted weapon he may take possession of it, effectively undoing it's prior ownership and reclaiming all of the benefits of owning it for himself. Furthermore, with the aid of the Sephira, Zain's ability to perceive and comprehend Idea Fractures makes him capable of truly outstanding things such as bridging the gap between himself and the true state of the object afflicted by this fracture, or of tethering himself to a person so afflicted in order to pull their True Self out or enter the world manifested by their Idea Fracture.
  • The Chariot: Surrounds himself in a whirling aura of etheric blades, dealing continual Astral and Slash damage to nearby enemies and mitigating projectile attacks. These blades can be thrown, rode about the battle, and more.
  • Strength: Exerts himself to exhibit prestigious, heroic strength. Can either be used to deal heavy Blunt damage to an area at range, plus additional bonus properties based on the local environment, or to convert all Body and Heart Maladies into additional mana regeneration for a time.
  • The Hermit: Blasts all enemies nearby with a pulse of force, dealing Astral damage to enemies in an area around himself and knocking them back. Zain benefits from Zen upon using this Skill, and if undamaged for a short time, is healed and benefits from Wisdom Up.
  • The Wheel of Fortune: Draws in all nearby enemies with a chaotic vortex, inflicting a random Malady upon them and knocking them nearer to Zain and airborne, before striking the gathered foes skyward with a leaping radial strike that deals heavy (Weapon) and Lightning damage.
  • Justice: Conjures a short-lived barrier around one target that reflects all damage they would take, repelling half of it back to the attacker and converting the other half into healing for the attacked target.
  • The Hanged Man: Dilutes the strength of presence of his allies, in the face of danger, without truly reducing their sense of self. Increases the likelihood that Zain is targeted by enemies with a sort of subtle, attention-drawing charm, and dramatically increasing his own defense, while also reducing his attack power somewhat. Also slightly increases allies' Defenses.
  • Death: Invokes a powerful hex that dilutes one connection to their present life, and draws their nature as a being with an end closer to their present. Deals immense Dark damage over time, in addition to dispelling all Boons that the target benefits from and inflicting Curse.
  • Temperance: Tempers his soul within the cosmic fires of its origin, causing it to burn and harden, like steel in a forge. By damaging himself for a period of time, Zain increases his Attack Power, resistances to Fire and Holy, and the rate at which he regains his stamina- at the end of the duration, he gains a shield equal to twice the harm he inflicted upon himself over the initial duration: these bonuses are also doubled for as long as the shield remains.
  • The Devil: Zain steals all active Boons and stored items of a single character he touches with a magical hex, redistributing them to himself or to nearby allies.
  • The Tower: Throws Babel away before entering melee with a combination strike, concluding at last with a series of elemental energy-accented ascending strikes that propel the target into the path of Babel, telekinetically pulled back downwards in a burst of chaotic light. Deals immense Astral and Wind damage in a wide area, and inflicts both additional Blunt damage proportional to the target's current remaining vitality and multiple random Maladies upon the target struck directly by Babel.
  • The Star: Throws a brilliant clump of stellar matter that explodes vibrantly. Deals heavy Fire, Astral, and Holy damage in a large area, and inflicts Slow.
  • The Moon: Passively gains the ability to retroactively turn near-misses into true misses, deceiving the universe itself with a mirage of sorts- a Will to evade a strike. As an active skill, casts an eclipse-like ring of blue fire about an area. Enemies within this immense circle have their detection radius decreased, cannot leave the ring, and are faced with summoned Shells of themselves if not someone who has mastered their True Self or that is a Qliphoth. Allies within the ring instead benefit from The Moon's passive power.
  • The Sun: Erupts with a brilliance like a star in human shape, inflicting Blind and Slow over a wide area. All Heart Maladies of allies within the area are dispelled. Zain's attacks burn with a brilliant light afterwards, and deal additional Holy damage for an extended period of time.
  • Judgement: Strikes the ground to release dual novas of darkness and light that spiral outwards and upwards, blowing away all foes nearby with Holy and Dark damage. May reduce Charisma of enemy's struck, adding it to his own and granting himself Zen.

This is a powerful transformation, unlocked within a person upon the defeat of their Shell normally- Zain is unique in that he possesses one to start with, for reasons unknown at the start of the story. Activation alone partially restores lost health and mana, in addition to throwing back enemies nearby: each also unlocks a skill. Inner Truth skills are each usable once per transformation.

  • Aeon Form: Zain's True Self, a mighty transformation that bestows upon him considerable power, in addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration. Also confers upon its user unique True Self skills.
    • Nephesh: The Aeon's first unique Skill unleashes the first Soul- its "animalistic instinct"- to stop time for up to five seconds, relative to Zain.
    • Ruach: The Aeon's second unique Skill unleashes the second Soul- the "distinguishing spirit"- to undo five seconds of time local to Zain, effectively resetting him to his prior state.
    • Neshameh: The Aeon's unique Skill unleashes the third Soul- the "motivating intuition"- in order to channel an overbearing aura that passively saps willpower from nearby enemies, and adds it to Zain's own.
  • Pleroma Form: A 'Truer' Self, stacking with the Aeon Form before it to further bolster his power, in addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration. Also confers upon its user unique True Self skills.
    • Chiah: The Transitional Essence, with which Zain fully heals and revives himself and incapacitated allies, in addition to curing their ailments and restoring their energy via an infusion of Will.
    • Yechidah: The highest quintessence of humanity's potential- "self-actualization." By 'becoming the sort of person one wants to be the most', they solidify themselves as etching on the endless walls of the highest Sphere, the Kether- a "self" that is immutable across the breadth of that which it occupies. In essence, the acquisition of this skill makes one's own 'concept' immutable, and can be activated to dispel any and all detriments to the active expression of that concept in the world, such as via distortions or external control via the Banerifts. Essentially, sets Zain to his peak condition, and enables him to fight effectively invincible for some stretch of time.

Tier: At least Low 2-C, likely 2-C. Potentially far higher via Ahura Mazda

Name: Zain Vaerpath, The False Envoy, Whitecoat, "Stubborn Bastard"

Origin: Hero's Path

Gender: Male

Age: 21

Classification: Human, Envoy, Knight of the Kether, The Collective Subconscious of all Sapient Life

Powers and Abilities:

Attack Potency: At least Universe level+, likely Low Multiverse level (Defeated Naux, an "empty" possibility created as an avatar of Samael's in the lower spheres- Naux single-handedly kept the Celestials, an aggregate of possible realities like himself, in check as Vesper slowly polluted the world); potentially far higher via Ahura Mazda (The Monad's skill enables its wielder to pierce the veil into the higher spheres, upon shattering higher-dimensional manifestations that have reached down into his own current plane of reality)

Speed: Infinite (Capable of functioning within the True Netzach: a "World Beside Time", where its flow stands completely still: and battled Naux there)

Lifting Strength: Galactic (Pushed back the Naux Avatar's galaxy-sized hands for an extended period of time)

Striking Strength: At least Universal, likely Low Multiversal

Durability: At least Universe level+, likely Low Multiverse level (Contended with Naux)

Stamina: Infinite (As a result of possessing the Monad Form)

Range: Varies from extended melee range to Universal+; potentially higher via Ahura Mazda

Intelligence: Genius (Smarter than his Act IV self)

Standard Equipment: Includes a number of weapons and tools:

The Cardinals: Four tools that became so tied to Zain's legend, they became steeped in his power inherently.

  • The Blade: Zain's "blade" is Gram: roughly four feet in total length. It is forged of a shimmering metal called atlarite that is naturally far stronger and keener than adamantine, and lighter too boot- it's overall density is much closer to that of the comparatively lightweight steel. It bears a unique aptitude for Blade Metamagic spells cast on it, and will both extend their duration and potency.
  • The Pentacle: Zain's "pentacle" is Turin, a beige coat lined with light armorweave and bearing his emblem upon its sleeve. Generally worn with a pair of leather belts: one for the waist, another for the chest: this artifact is named for the shroud the Messiah- an omnipresent Archetype in all human belief- supposedly wore when buried, then left behind after his resurrection. However, it was later decried as a fake by the very church that venerated it. Amplifies the effects of all healing Zain benefits from.
  • The Wand:: Zain's "wand" is Babel, a long, ebonwood bo staff named for the biblical tower constructed by a united humanity in order to achieve Heaven. In addition to providing him a less lethal means of fighting in melee, and serving as a focus for his Spells, the staff is made of the especially lightweight and durable ebonwood, though is painted in sections to resemble the colors of the spheres of the Tree of Life.
  • The Cup: Zain's "cup" is Soma. A stylized thermos of his that he only vaguely remembers from college, before his collapse into coma, he has since discovered that the Tiphareth's excess vital energy flows into it with each attunement he performs, granting him what is essentially a self-refreshing supply of healing potion. He can alternatively attune for other effects, such as mana or a temporary amplification of his capabilities.

Auxillary Tools: Includes scrolls for applying Metamagic effects to his spells (or casting spells he doesn't know), miscellaneous tools for mundane tasks, maps, a cell phone, and a few other items.

The Sephiroth: Crystallized essentia drawn from the Echoes of the Tree of Life, which: wielded as a part of an individual's soul: render their expression of its primal archetypes immutable. The primary objects of Zain's quest. They are useful for undoing what are known as "Idea Fractures": irregularities and alterations from the "true" state of the Archetype as they appear in the physical world, as Zain has the power to link himself to such phenomena via The Lovers mystery and purge them from within himself.

The Sephiroth: Crystallized essentia drawn from the Echoes of the Tree of Life, which: wielded as a part of an individual's soul: render their expression of its primal archetypes immutable. The primary objects of Zain's quest. They are useful for undoing what are known as "Idea Fractures": irregularities and alterations from the "true" state of the Archetype as they appear in the physical world, as Zain has the power to link himself to such phenomena via The Lovers mystery and purge them from within himself.

  • Malkuth: The Tenth Sephira, an incarnation of Archetype "Kingdom". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the physical realm.
  • Yesod: The Ninth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Dreams". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the dreams and both the conscious and subconscious mind.
  • Hod: The Eighth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetypes "Heart". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to emotions, impulses, and feelings.
  • Netzach: The Seventh Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Eternity". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to time, space, or memories that are inexorably etched into such.
  • Tiphareth: The Sixth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Beauty". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the notion of death. So thoroughly bound to Zain's being, unlike the rest, that it is more an intrinsic element of his nature than it is an essence that is wielded as a weapon or piece of armor.
  • Geburah: The Fifth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Severity". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to powers and strength- such as the nullification of such, for example.
  • Chesed: The Fourth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetypes of "Kindness". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to humanity's moral concepts- good, evil, order, and chaos- even undoing the definitions of such scribed by divine law, should their "true" state prove dissonant with the Will of a single Godform.
  • Daathe: The Non-Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Emptiness". A trophy earned from battling his own Shell, Vesper, it mends and guards against Idea Fractures that would deny him the right to exist.
  • Binah: The Third Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Understanding". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to Fate, and to souls.
  • Chokmah: The Second Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Revelation." Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to Will.
  • Kether: The First, ultimate Sephira, a sublime incarnation of the pinnacle of Conscious existence. Normally, communion with such a force would obliterate its wielder, yet Zain bypasses this by becoming one with the willpower of all sapient things in the world, distributing the burden, sharing the enlightenment, and championing their right to exist against the Unmanifest. Defines all undesired phenomena within oneself as Idea Fractures, and thus allows the Will to function as an "absolute defense" against any and all irregular phenomena.

Weaknesses:

  • Hotheaded, stubborn, and somewhat narrow-sighted.
  • Refuses to drop a matter he cares about until it is decisively resolved.
  • Has a limited supply of mana with which to use his Spells and Skills.
  • Will not take a human (or human-like) life if he can find a way not to.
  • Somewhat vulnerable to Wind and Darkness-element attacks.
  • The Sephira, as potent as they are, cannot be used offensively in most situations, as they only mend abnormalities present in the "normal" state of their keyed aspects, rather than let the wielder freely manipulate them to fit their desires.

Feats:

  • Traveled to the edge of the Universe in roughly a minute
  • Defeated the Naux Avatar... without killing him
    • The battle resulted in the destruction of massive swaths of the "empty world" beyond the edge of the Stars, where the Fading had torn away at reality over time
    • Afterwards persuaded him that the world was justified in existing: that his nihilistic emptiness and rage were directed at the wrong target...
  • Claimed the Kether from him, completing all eleven Sephira
  • Resolved the last of each of his friends' personal arcs
  • Ahura Mazda requires a manifestation of its target on the same plane of reality as Zain to target, in order to use the pierced target's own power and nature as a means of transcending to its plane of origin.

Notable Attacks and Techniques

Technically, as the Monad, Zain has accepted a Bond with all of Mortal Consciousness, and thus wields the collective physical and magical prowess of all existent or once-existent beings. However, as he is still primarily Zain, he would most likely favor his own techniques the majority of the time: the most notable techniques are listed here.

  • Light Blade Styles: Styles compatible with light sword-like weapons.
    • Vaerpath: The signature sword style of the Vaerpath family, taught to him by friend of the family Keiwa Arotsuna in adolescence. Wields the blade in a forward-pointing, two-handed grip near the head, focusing on persitent offense and trapping opponents in subtle patterns of defensive maneuvers before switching tactics to land decisive blows. Considered "unique" to the Vaerpath line due to the immense amount of discipline it requires proving impossible to muster up for most individuals.
    • Rowdy: A loose, "style-less" style that uses wild abandon, perversion of expectations, and youthful energy to overwhelm and confound foes. Utilizes plenty of rough tactics, such as headbutts, shoulder checks, kicks, toe stomps, snagging clothing, and other unconventional tactics.
    • Florentine: Traces a memoryform of the wielded sword to assume a dual-wielding stance, combining offense and defense with each movement. Its techniques require considerable exertion as a trade-off for their efficiency.
    • Knightly: A refined, regal style of swordplay that maintains a level head with a focus on deft, in-an-out maneuvers and tricks.
    • Oldcastle: Manifests a memoryform of a shield that analogues to the wielded sword, assuming a reactive stance that sacrifices mobility in place of heightened reflexes and countering potential.
  • Polearm Styles: Styles compatible with polearm-type weapons.
    • Von Tag: A "high guard" stance that focuses on menace and balancing patience with agressive high blows.
    • Olber: A "low guard" stance that specializes in swift, light movements applied skillfully at the proper moment to disrupt an enemy's flow.
    • Wild Monkey: A dramatic and flashy combat art that favors trickery and whirling attacks.
  • Hand-To-Hand Styles: Styles compatible with the use of one's own body, and weapons that augment the body's natural motions like knuckles and gloves, as a primary weapon.
    • Aikido: A martial arts style that lets all motion flow about and around it without greivously harming the foe. Minimizes offense in favor of deflection and defense.
    • Capoeira: A dance-like martial style with an emphasis on exaggerated form, unpredictability, and mobility.
    • Krav Maga: A brutal, yet efficient martial arts discipline practiced by the Israeli Commandos prior to and throughout World War III. Learned from Tessera as a means of thanks following the Metenros incident in Act II.

Offense

  • Fire: A Tier 1 fire-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Fire: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 fire-element attack spell.
  • Water: A Tier 1 water-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Water: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 water-element attack spell.
  • Earth: A Tier 1 earth-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Earth: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 earth-element attack spell.
  • Wind: A Tier 1 wind-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Wind: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 wind-element attack spell.
  • Lightning: A Tier 1 lightning-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Lightning: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 lightning-element attack spell.
  • Ice: A Tier 1 ice-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Ice: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 ice-element attack spell.
  • Psi: A Tier 1 psychic-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Psi: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 psychic-element attack spell.
  • Bio: A Tier 1 bio-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Bio: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 bio-element attack spell.
  • Astral: A Tier 1 astral-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Astral: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 astral-element attack spell.
  • Holy: A Tier 1 holy-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Holy: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 holy-element attack spell.
  • Dark: A Tier 1 dark-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Dark: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 dark-element attack spell.
  • Zie: A Tier 1 typeless-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Zie: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 typeless-element attack spell.
  • Basic Offense Metamagic: Modifies the effects of an offense-class spell. These are relatively easy to apply to any sort of spell. Slightly increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Admixture: Combines the spell cast with another spell.
    • Anima: The spell doesn't directly attack, but rather creates an elemental or cluster of elementals from the energy used to cast the spell.
    • Blade: Targets a weapon, allowing it's to apply the spell at a fraction of its strength with each hit.
    • Burn: The spell deals continual damage over time of the same type used to cast the initial spell.
    • Field: Targets an area, dealing a fraction of the spell's damage incrementally over time.
    • Focus: Causes the spell to target only a single enemy, dealing increased damage.
  • Advanced Offense Metamagic: More complex metamagics with specialized effects on the properties of the spell cast. Moderately increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Acid: Damaged enemies suffer increased incremental damage over a short duration, and are afflicted with Pain and Defense Down.
    • Aurora:
    • Blast: Increases the area of effect with an aftershock that deals reduced damage, but over a wider area, and knocks enemies over.
    • Chrono: Inflicts a short-lived Slow malady upon targets damaged by this spell. So long as any target damaged so suffers from a Slow, the caster benefits from the Haste boon.
    • Cloud: Conjures a great cloud of energy that deals incremental damage to enemies within and reduces their detection range. The area affected by the spell gradually moves, in a direction of the caster's choosing upon the casting of the spell.
    • Crystalline: Refracts the spell energy as rays in random directions about the caster.
    • Divine: Increases the spell's damage against Fiends, and applies Defense Down to them, piercing resistance to Maladies.
    • Entropy: Increases the spell's damage against Mortals, and applies Defense Down to them, piercing resistance to Maladies.
    • Erosion: Has a small chance of inflicting Dusting.
    • Eruption: Causes the spell to deal continually ramping incremental damage over a wide area to enemies. The damage can be avoided (and this ramping-up reset) by taking shelter from the attack, accomplished by standing on top of something it does not target, as one might flee a volcanic eruption.
    • Explosion: Targets in the area are knocked away and prone.
    • Filament: Places the spell in an area as an intangible energy trap that triggers when an enemy enters the vicinity, pulling the target to its center, dealing its damage, and inflicting Restrain.
    • Graviton: The spell creates a whirling field that deals incremental damage to enemies within, and gradually pulls them to the center of the effect.
    • Huntsman: Increases the spell's damage against Beasts, and applies Defense Down to them, piercing resistance to Maladies.
    • Infernal: Increases the spell's damage against Celestials, and applies Defense Down to them, piercing resistance to Maladies.
    • Lunar: Boosts damage in the presence of stellar light.
    • Nova: Substantially boosts the spell's potency and area of effect, but limits its range to melee, centering it on the caster.
    • Nuclear: Enemies are far more easily detected, and are afflicted with Fatigue and Fester, for a short time.
    • Polaris: Knocks down and/or Disarms enemies hit.
    • Solar: Boosts damage in the absence of stellar light.
    • Spirit: The caster regains a percentage of their missing vitality for each enemy wounded by the spell.
    • Storm: Causes the spell to deal continually ramping incremental damage over a wide area to enemies. The damage can be avoided (and this ramping-up reset) by taking shelter from the attack beneath cover, as one might a true storm.
    • Toxic: Damaged enemies suffer increased incremental damage over an extended duration, and are afflicted with Fatigue and Attack Down.
    • Viscous: Conjures the elemental energy as a great semi-liquid mass that drips slowly pools out from the selected area. Reduces the damage dealt in addition to rendering it incremental in return for a slowly-expanding area of effect with the potential to inflict Entrap.
    • Void: Inflicts Stun on enemies hit.
    • Warp: Teleports all struck enemies in their own random direction.
    • Wyrmsbane: Increases the spell's damage against Dragons, and applies Defense Down to them, piercing resistance to Maladies.

Defense

  • Heal: A Tier 1 Healing spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Heal: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 healing spell.
  • Balm: Cures one Malady the target suffers from.
    • Metamagic: Mend: Also cures all Body Maladies the target is suffering.
    • Metamagic: Tranquil: Also cures all Mind Maladies the target is suffering.
    • Metamagic: Expel: Also cures all Heart Maladies the target is suffering.
    • Metamagic: Rewrite: Also cures all Essence Maladies the target is suffering.
  • Strike Mirror: Reflects the next physical attack the target receives back to its source.
  • Spell Mirror: Reflects the next magical attack the target receives back to its source.

Control

  • Amp: Temporarily amplifies a single attribute, based on the spell used.
    • Strength Amp: Amplifies the target's Strength attribute.
    • Agility Amp: Amplifies the target's Agility attribute.
    • Endurance Amp: Amplifies the target's Endurance attribute.
    • Intelligence Amp: Amplifies the target's Intelligence attribute.
    • Wisdom Amp: Amplifies the target's Wisdom attribute.
    • Charisma Amp: Amplifies the target's Charisma attribute.
    • Luck Amp: Amplifies the target's Luck attribute.
  • Spike: Temporarily decreases a single attribute, based on the spell used.
    • Strength Spike: Decreases the target's Strength attribute.
    • Agility Spike: Decreases the target's Agility attribute.
    • Endurance Spike: Decreases the target's Endurance attribute.
    • Intelligence Spike: Decreases the target's Intelligence attribute.
    • Wisdom Spike: Decreases the target's Wisdom attribute.
    • Charisma Spike: Decreases the target's Charisma attribute.
    • Luck Spike: Decreases the target's Luck attribute.
  • Analyze: Augments a keen, intelligent analysis of a target with preternatural insight, granting one advanced knowledge of their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Zain's Archetype Armiger is Hero's Path: his Legend is shaped by a combination of the personal aspiration "Hero" and the world attribute "Tree of Life." His Armiger Skills are thus largely direct and to-the-point, and include a number of support skills that bring out the best in others in the world around him.

  • The Fool: Charges headlong into the fray while becoming pseudo-intangible to deliver a sweeping strike, dealing moderate (Weapon) damage in a small area. Briefly gains Defense Up, stacking in duration for each target hit by this attack.
  • The Magician: Traces a swing of his blade through his will, generating a sharp wave of light dealing moderate Slash and Holy damage to a single target.
  • The High Priestess: Concentrates, augmenting his next technique used with a variable effect depending on the technique in question.
  • The Empress: Dashes to an ally, granting himself, the ally, and all nearby allies a minor shield for a time. For as long as the shield persists, all affected regain health over time
  • The Emperor: A sweeping melee combo preceding an upward swing, punctuated at last by a descending blow punctuated with platinum fire. Deals several hits of (Weapon) damage in a small area, then several more hits of (Weapon), Fire, and Astral damage to a single target, and inflicts Stun.
  • The Hierophant: After a short charge time, blasts a cross-shaped area around him with cascading waves of blue energy. Deals moderate Holy damage over a wide, cross-shaped area centered on himself, and knocks enemies away.
  • The Lovers: Zain's most complicated and versatile unique Armiger Skill, awakened in the same moment as his Inner Truth: via its activation, Zain bridges the gap between himself and his target, joining together as one. What this entails is variable, and largely dependent on the context at hand. By conjoining himself with a distant location, for instance, Zain is capable of teleporting himself to it, and by conjoining himself with a targeted weapon he may take possession of it, effectively undoing it's prior ownership and reclaiming all of the benefits of owning it for himself. Furthermore, with the aid of the Sephira, Zain's ability to perceive and comprehend Idea Fractures makes him capable of truly outstanding things such as bridging the gap between himself and the true state of the object afflicted by this fracture, or of tethering himself to a person so afflicted in order to pull their True Self out or enter the world manifested by their Idea Fracture.
  • The Chariot: Surrounds himself in a whirling aura of etheric blades, dealing continual Astral and Slash damage to nearby enemies and mitigating projectile attacks. These blades can be thrown, rode about the battle, and more.
  • Strength: Exerts himself to exhibit prestigious, heroic strength. Can either be used to deal heavy Blunt damage to an area at range, plus additional bonus properties based on the local environment, or to convert all Body and Heart Maladies into additional mana regeneration for a time.
  • The Hermit: Blasts all enemies nearby with a pulse of force, dealing Astral damage to enemies in an area around himself and knocking them back. Zain benefits from Zen upon using this Skill, and if undamaged for a short time, is healed and benefits from Wisdom Up.
  • The Wheel of Fortune: Draws in all nearby enemies with a chaotic vortex, inflicting a random Malady upon them and knocking them nearer to Zain and airborne, before striking the gathered foes skyward with a leaping radial strike that deals heavy (Weapon) and Lightning damage.
  • Justice: Conjures a short-lived barrier around one target that reflects all damage they would take, repelling half of it back to the attacker and converting the other half into healing for the attacked target.
  • The Hanged Man: Dilutes the strength of presence of his allies, in the face of danger, without truly reducing their sense of self. Increases the likelihood that Zain is targeted by enemies with a sort of subtle, attention-drawing charm, and dramatically increasing his own defense, while also reducing his attack power somewhat. Also slightly increases allies' Defenses.
  • Death: Invokes a powerful hex that dilutes one connection to their present life, and draws their nature as a being with an end closer to their present. Deals immense Dark damage over time, in addition to dispelling all Boons that the target benefits from and inflicting Curse.
  • Temperance: Tempers his soul within the cosmic fires of its origin, causing it to burn and harden, like steel in a forge. By damaging himself for a period of time, Zain increases his Attack Power, resistances to Fire and Holy, and the rate at which he regains his stamina- at the end of the duration, he gains a shield equal to twice the harm he inflicted upon himself over the initial duration: these bonuses are also doubled for as long as the shield remains.
  • The Devil: Zain steals all active Boons and stored items of a single character he touches with a magical hex, redistributing them to himself or to nearby allies.
  • The Tower: Throws Babel away before entering melee with a combination strike, concluding at last with a series of elemental energy-accented ascending strikes that propel the target into the path of Babel, telekinetically pulled back downwards in a burst of chaotic light. Deals immense Astral and Wind damage in a wide area, and inflicts both additional Blunt damage proportional to the target's current remaining vitality and multiple random Maladies upon the target struck directly by Babel.
  • The Star: Throws a brilliant clump of stellar matter that explodes vibrantly. Deals heavy Fire, Astral, and Holy damage in a large area, and inflicts Slow.
  • The Moon: Passively gains the ability to retroactively turn near-misses into true misses, deceiving the universe itself with a mirage of sorts- a Will to evade a strike. As an active skill, casts an eclipse-like ring of blue fire about an area. Enemies within this immense circle have their detection radius decreased, cannot leave the ring, and are faced with summoned Shells of themselves if not someone who has mastered their True Self or that is a Qliphoth. Allies within the ring instead benefit from The Moon's passive power.
  • The Sun: Erupts with a brilliance like a star in human shape, inflicting Blind and Slow over a wide area. All Heart Maladies of allies within the area are dispelled. Zain's attacks burn with a brilliant light afterwards, and deal additional Holy damage for an extended period of time.
  • Judgement: Strikes the ground to release dual novas of darkness and light that spiral outwards and upwards, blowing away all foes nearby with Holy and Dark damage. May reduce Charisma of enemies struck, adding it to his own and granting himself Zen.
  • The Universe: The ultimate power a mortal can hold- ‘the individual's full awareness of his place in the world, the answer to their journey.’ It is by this power that Zain is tethered wholly to the Kether, the etchings of Yechidah upon its walls made legible to the world. For as long as there are sapient beings with will or aspiration, Zain’s presence as an aspect of the human spirit, exerting itself: a ‘Knight of the Kether’, his chosen aspect of self-actualization: will be an immutable, intrinsic aspect of the world. If Zain is touched, or contacted by a being of a higher sphere, the latent will present in the action taken to contact him itself bears this mark, and enables his potential manifestation in that higher plane, though he must first acquire the means to traverse there.

This is a powerful transformation, unlocked within a person upon the defeat of their Shell normally- Zain is unique in that he possesses one to start with, for reasons unknown at the start of the story. Activation alone partially restores lost health and mana, in addition to throwing back enemies nearby: each also unlocks a skill. Inner Truth skills are each usable once per transformation.

  • Aeon Form: Zain's True Self, a mighty transformation that bestows upon him considerable power, in addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration. Also confers upon its user unique True Self skills.
    • Nephesh: The Aeon's first unique Skill unleashes the first Soul- its "animalistic instinct"- to stop time for up to five seconds, relative to Zain.
    • Ruach: The Aeon's second unique Skill unleashes the second Soul- the "distinguishing spirit"- to undo five seconds of time local to Zain, effectively resetting him to his prior state.
    • Neshameh: The Aeon's unique Skill unleashes the third Soul- the "motivating intuition"- in order to channel an overbearing aura that passively saps willpower from nearby enemies, and adds it to Zain's own.
  • Pleroma Form: A 'Truer' Self, stacking with the Aeon Form before it to further bolster his power, in addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration. Also confers upon its user unique True Self skills.
    • Chiah: The Transitional Essence, with which Zain fully heals and revives himself and incapacitated allies, in addition to curing their ailments and restoring their energy via an infusion of Will.
    • Yechidah: The highest quintessence of humanity's potential- "self-actualization." By 'becoming the sort of person one wants to be the most', they solidify themselves as etching on the endless walls of the highest Sphere, the Kether- a "self" that is immutable across the breadth of that which it occupies. In essence, the acquisition of this skill makes one's own 'concept' immutable, and can be activated to dispel any and all detriments to the active expression of that concept in the world, such as via distortions or external control via the Banerifts. Essentially, sets Zain to his peak condition, and enables him to fight effectively invincible for some stretch of time.
  • Monad Form: A 'Truest' Self, stacking even further with the Aeon Form to achieve effectively unlimited power- expenditure of Mana ceases to be an issue. In addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration, it grants access to one, final technique:
    • Ahura Mazda: The first name created by mankind for expressing the notion of a creator- an Archetype made manifest by human imagination since the genesis of imagination itself. Such a creative spark as this, that generates purpose and reason to persist in the face of uncertainty and darkness, in turn grants Zain an almighty weapon to wield in opposition to entropy.
      • Best described, perhaps, as an all-piercing bullet that “unravels” the conceptual origin of any given thing that has manifested a presence, this technique’s first primary use is a sort of strange, round-about Sealing technique. By imploding this origin and shattering the boundaries between possibility and truth, Zain can use Ahura Mazda to expunge a target from the Tree of Life entirely, effectively casting it into a non-space that lies outside of the spheres, or at least outside of the Daathe. Such a technique, much like Zain himself at this point, ceases to care about the distinction between fantasy and reality- regardless of its state of being, such targets are rendered apart from the world of mortals.
      • Secondly, as a side effect of shattering the boundaries between possibility and truth, the holes bored in whatever space the target of this technique occupied can be used as a means of ascension, or true transcendence over one’s current level of existence, using a higher-dimensional interloper’s manifestation in the current sphere as a gate, of sorts- a means of reaching their world of origin. Though within his own world, the presence of the Ain Soph Aur to stand between the Tree of Life and the higher pages of the Tome of Echoes would prevent a situation in which a being from above the Kether manifested within the first eleven sphere from ever transpiring, in theory there is no cap to the heights unto which Zain may ascend- though, again, in theory. Because this technique is an “expenditure” or “unraveling” on a scale that transcends what the common man understands as “infinite”, it remains capable of fatiguing and dampening Zain’s strength after use even as the Monad.

Tier: High 2-A, potentially far higher via Ahura Mazda | High 1-C, potentially far higher via Ahura Mazda

Name: Zain Vaerpath, The False Envoy, Whitecoat, "Stubborn Bastard"

Origin: Hero's Path

Gender: Male

Age: 21 (in his Manifestation as Zain; technically no longer applicable)

Classification: Human, Envoy, Knight of the Kether, The Collective Subconscious of all Sapient Life

Powers and Abilities:

Attack Potency: High Multiverse level+ (Sundered the Paroketh, the Seal barring the Tiphareth, or fifth sphere of reality, from bridging the gap between the four lower spheres and the upper six. Defeated Yggdrasil, which was capable of wielding an infinite array of inert Genesis Eggs as weapons, and of holding the Paroketh in place just by existing); potentially far higher via Ahura Mazda | High Complex Multiverse level with the True Monad (Fought and defeated Samael, a primordial Qliphoth that had subsumed the Tree of Life itself, and all eleven spheres of reality along with it. Afterwards, restored the Tree of Life, himself becoming a new, eleven-dimensional reality for it to generate); potentially far higher via Ahura Mazda (Though the Ain Soph Aur renders such impossible within his own world, it has been noted that, in theory, there is nothing stopping Zain from using Ahura Mazda to ascend to 'before the Tome of Echoes')

Speed: Immeasurable (Exists entirely beyond the fourth Sephira Netzach, all of time itself; can perceive Yggdrasil's true form, an entity born before time) | Immeasurable

Lifting Strength: Immeasurable | Immeasurable

Striking Strength: High Multiversal+ | High Complex Multiversal

Durability: High Multiverse level+ (Contended with Yggdrasil after breaking the Paroketh) | High Complex Multiverse level via the True Monad (Took numerous direct blows from Samael, including his All Must Die attack that looped an attack that destroyed the infinite hyperspace with the Kether an infinite number of times)

Stamina: Infinite | Infinite

Range: High Multiversal+; potentially higher via Ahura Mazda | High Complex Multiversal, at least Low Hyperversal via the Kether; potentially higher via Ahura Mazda

Intelligence: Nigh-Omniscient (As the True Monad, Zain has complete access to and has merged with the Kether, a perfect record containing the actions, thoughts, and feelings of every being to have ever been) | Nigh-Omniscient

Standard Equipment: Includes a number of weapons and tools:

The Cardinals: Four tools that became so tied to Zain's legend, they became steeped in his power inherently.

  • The Blade: Zain's "blade" is Gram: roughly four feet in total length. It is forged of a shimmering metal called atlarite that is naturally far stronger and keener than adamantine, and lighter too boot- it's overall density is much closer to that of the comparatively lightweight steel. It bears a unique aptitude for Blade Metamagic spells cast on it, and will both extend their duration and potency.
  • The Pentacle: Zain's "pentacle" is Turin, a beige coat lined with light armorweave and bearing his emblem upon its sleeve. Generally worn with a pair of leather belts: one for the waist, another for the chest: this artifact is named for the shroud the Messiah- an omnipresent Archetype in all human belief- supposedly wore when buried, then left behind after his resurrection. However, it was later decried as a fake by the very church that venerated it. Amplifies the effects of all healing Zain benefits from.
  • The Wand:: Zain's "wand" is Babel, a long, ebonwood bo staff named for the biblical tower constructed by a united humanity in order to achieve Heaven. In addition to providing him a less lethal means of fighting in melee, and serving as a focus for his Spells, the staff is made of the especially lightweight and durable ebonwood, though is painted in sections to resemble the colors of the spheres of the Tree of Life.
  • The Cup: Zain's "cup" is Soma. A stylized thermos of his that he only vaguely remembers from college, before his collapse into coma, he has since discovered that the Tiphareth's excess vital energy flows into it with each attunement he performs, granting him what is essentially a self-refreshing supply of healing potion. He can alternatively attune for other effects, such as mana or a temporary amplification of his capabilities.

Auxillary Tools: Includes scrolls for applying Metamagic effects to his spells (or casting spells he doesn't know), miscellaneous tools for mundane tasks, maps, a cell phone, and a few other items.

The Sephiroth: Crystallized essentia drawn from the Echoes of the Tree of Life, which: wielded as a part of an individual's soul: render their expression of its primal archetypes immutable. The primary objects of Zain's quest. They are useful for undoing what are known as "Idea Fractures": irregularities and alterations from the "true" state of the Archetype as they appear in the physical world, as Zain has the power to link himself to such phenomena via The Lovers mystery and purge them from within himself.

  • Malkuth: The Tenth Sephira, an incarnation of Archetype "Kingdom". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the physical realm.
  • Yesod: The Ninth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Dreams". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the dreams and both the conscious and subconscious mind.
  • Hod: The Eighth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetypes "Heart". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to emotions, impulses, and feelings.
  • Netzach: The Seventh Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Eternity". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to time, space, or memories that are inexorably etched into such.
  • Tiphareth: The Sixth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Beauty". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to the notion of death. So thoroughly bound to Zain's being, unlike the rest, that it is more an intrinsic element of his nature than it is an essence that is wielded as a weapon or piece of armor.
  • Geburah: The Fifth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Severity". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to powers and strength- such as the nullification of such, for example.
  • Chesed: The Fourth Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetypes of "Kindness". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to humanity's moral concepts- good, evil, order, and chaos- even undoing the definitions of such scribed by divine law, should their "true" state prove dissonant with the Will of a single Godform.
  • Daathe: The Non-Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Emptiness". A trophy earned from battling his own Shell, Vesper, it mends and guards against Idea Fractures that would deny him the right to exist.
  • Binah: The Third Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Understanding". Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to Fate, and to souls.
  • Chokmah: The Second Sephira, an incarnation of the Archetype "Revelation." Mends and guards against Idea Fractures that correlate to Will.
  • Kether: The First, ultimate Sephira, a sublime incarnation of the pinnacle of Conscious existence. Normally, communion with such a force would obliterate its wielder, yet Zain bypasses this by becoming one with the willpower of all sapient things in the world, distributing the burden, sharing the enlightenment, and championing their right to exist against the Unmanifest. Defines all undesired phenomena within oneself as Idea Fractures, and thus allows the Will to function as an "absolute defense" against any and all irregular phenomena.

Weaknesses:

  • Hotheaded, stubborn, and somewhat narrow-sighted.
  • Refuses to drop a matter he cares about until it is decisively resolved.
  • Will not take a human (or human-like) life if he can find a way not to.
  • Ahura Mazda requires a manifestation of its target on the same plane of reality as Zain to target, in order to use the pierced target's own power and nature as a means of transcending to its plane of origin.

Feats:

  • With Naux's help, broke the Paroketh without needing to truly sacrifice himself, having recovered the True Tiphareth and experiencing a rebirth
  • Defeated the Yggdrasil Avatar, tricking Samael from beyond into 'killing' Tessera, in order to travel directly into the True State of the Kether itself
    • Subsequently weaponized the three pieces of Samael's own Shell: Tessera, Naux, and the Tree of Life itself: to surpass his "Archetype Armiger: Infinite", transcending infinity
    • Unraveled Samael such that he was remade into the foundation of the world he had destroyed in his battle against Zain, his own mentality unwound and merged with "all of Consciousness": effectively, absorbing Samael and becoming the new Tree of Life
    • Finally, imprinted himself onto the world he'd left behind to restore it, though this seemingly resulted in Zain's final, true death- it is at least not known whether or not any version of him remains present in the physical world

Notable Attacks and Techniques

Technically, as the Monad, Zain has accepted a Bond with all of Mortal Consciousness, and thus wields the collective physical and magical prowess of all existent or once-existent beings. However, as he is still primarily Zain, he would most likely favor his own techniques the majority of the time: the most notable techniques are listed here.

  • Light Blade Styles: Styles compatible with light sword-like weapons.
    • Vaerpath: The signature sword style of the Vaerpath family, taught to him by friend of the family Keiwa Arotsuna in adolescence. Wields the blade in a forward-pointing, two-handed grip near the head, focusing on persitent offense and trapping opponents in subtle patterns of defensive maneuvers before switching tactics to land decisive blows. Considered "unique" to the Vaerpath line due to the immense amount of discipline it requires proving impossible to muster up for most individuals.
    • Rowdy: A loose, "style-less" style that uses wild abandon, perversion of expectations, and youthful energy to overwhelm and confound foes. Utilizes plenty of rough tactics, such as headbutts, shoulder checks, kicks, toe stomps, snagging clothing, and other unconventional tactics.
    • Florentine: Traces a memoryform of the wielded sword to assume a dual-wielding stance, combining offense and defense with each movement. Its techniques require considerable exertion as a trade-off for their efficiency.
    • Knightly: A refined, regal style of swordplay that maintains a level head with a focus on deft, in-an-out maneuvers and tricks.
    • Oldcastle: Manifests a memoryform of a shield that analogues to the wielded sword, assuming a reactive stance that sacrifices mobility in place of heightened reflexes and countering potential.
  • Polearm Styles: Styles compatible with polearm-type weapons.
    • Von Tag: A "high guard" stance that focuses on menace and balancing patience with agressive high blows.
    • Olber: A "low guard" stance that specializes in swift, light movements applied skillfully at the proper moment to disrupt an enemy's flow.
    • Wild Monkey: A dramatic and flashy combat art that favors trickery and whirling attacks.
  • Hand-To-Hand Styles: Styles compatible with the use of one's own body, and weapons that augment the body's natural motions like knuckles and gloves, as a primary weapon.
    • Aikido: A martial arts style that lets all motion flow about and around it without greivously harming the foe. Minimizes offense in favor of deflection and defense.
    • Capoeira: A dance-like martial style with an emphasis on exaggerated form, unpredictability, and mobility.
    • Krav Maga: A brutal, yet efficient martial arts discipline practiced by the Israeli Commandos prior to and throughout World War III. Learned from Tessera as a means of thanks following the Metenros incident in Act II.

Offense

  • Fire: A Tier 1 fire-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Fire: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 fire-element attack spell.
  • Water: A Tier 1 water-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Water: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 water-element attack spell.
  • Earth: A Tier 1 earth-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Earth: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 earth-element attack spell.
  • Wind: A Tier 1 wind-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Wind: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 wind-element attack spell.
  • Lightning: A Tier 1 lightning-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Lightning: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 lightning-element attack spell.
  • Ice: A Tier 1 ice-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Ice: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 ice-element attack spell.
  • Psychic: A Tier 1 psychic-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Psychic: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 psychic-element attack spell.
  • Bio: A Tier 1 bio-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Bio: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 bio-element attack spell.
  • Astral: A Tier 1 astral-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Astral: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 astral-element attack spell.
  • Holy: A Tier 1 holy-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Holy: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 holy-element attack spell.
  • Dark: A Tier 1 dark-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Dark: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 dark-element attack spell.
  • Zie: A Tier 1 typeless-element attack spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Zie: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 typeless-element attack spell.
  • Basic Offense Metamagic: Modifies the effects of an offense-class spell. These are relatively easy to apply to any sort of spell. Slightly increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Admixture: Combines the spell cast with another spell.
    • Anima: The spell doesn't directly attack, but rather creates an elemental or cluster of elementals from the energy used to cast the spell.
    • Blade: Targets a weapon, allowing it's to apply the spell at a fraction of its strength with each hit.
    • Burn: The spell deals continual damage over time of the same type used to cast the initial spell.
    • Field: Targets an area, dealing a fraction of the spell's damage incrementally over time.
    • Focus: Causes the spell to target only a single enemy, dealing increased damage.
  • Advanced Offense Metamagic: More complex metamagics with specialized effects on the properties of the spell cast. Moderately increases the expenditure of magical energy required.
    • Acid: Damaged enemies suffer increased incremental damage over a short duration, and are afflicted with Pain and Defense Down.
    • Aurora:
    • Blast: Increases the area of effect with an aftershock that deals reduced damage, but over a wider area, and knocks enemies over.
    • Chrono: Inflicts a short-lived Slow malady upon targets damaged by this spell. So long as any target damaged so suffers from a Slow, the caster benefits from the Haste boon.
    • Cloud: Conjures a great cloud of energy that deals incremental damage to enemies within and reduces their detection range. The area affected by the spell gradually moves, in a direction of the caster's choosing upon the casting of the spell.
    • Crystalline: Refracts the spell energy as rays in random directions about the caster.
    • Divine: Increases the spell's damage against Fiends, and applies Defense Down to them, piercing resistance to Maladies.
    • Entropy: Increases the spell's damage against Mortals, and applies Defense Down to them, piercing resistance to Maladies.
    • Erosion: Has a small chance of inflicting Dusting.
    • Eruption: Causes the spell to deal continually ramping incremental damage over a wide area to enemies. The damage can be avoided (and this ramping-up reset) by taking shelter from the attack, accomplished by standing on top of something it does not target, as one might flee a volcanic eruption.
    • Explosion: Targets in the area are knocked away and prone.
    • Filament: Places the spell in an area as an intangible energy trap that triggers when an enemy enters the vicinity, pulling the target to its center, dealing its damage, and inflicting Restrain.
    • Graviton: The spell creates a whirling field that deals incremental damage to enemies within, and gradually pulls them to the center of the effect.
    • Huntsman: Increases the spell's damage against Beasts, and applies Defense Down to them, piercing resistance to Maladies.
    • Infernal: Increases the spell's damage against Celestials, and applies Defense Down to them, piercing resistance to Maladies.
    • Lunar: Boosts damage in the presence of stellar light.
    • Nova: Substantially boosts the spell's potency and area of effect, but limits its range to melee, centering it on the caster.
    • Nuclear: Enemies are far more easily detected, and are afflicted with Fatigue and Fester, for a short time.
    • Polaris: Knocks down and/or Disarms enemies hit.
    • Solar: Boosts damage in the absence of stellar light.
    • Spirit: The caster regains a percentage of their missing vitality for each enemy wounded by the spell.
    • Storm: Causes the spell to deal continually ramping incremental damage over a wide area to enemies. The damage can be avoided (and this ramping-up reset) by taking shelter from the attack beneath cover, as one might a true storm.
    • Toxic: Damaged enemies suffer increased incremental damage over an extended duration, and are afflicted with Fatigue and Attack Down.
    • Viscous: Conjures the elemental energy as a great semi-liquid mass that drips slowly pools out from the selected area. Reduces the damage dealt in addition to rendering it incremental in return for a slowly-expanding area of effect with the potential to inflict Entrap.
    • Void: Inflicts Stun on enemies hit.
    • Warp: Teleports all struck enemies in their own random direction.
    • Wyrmsbane: Increases the spell's damage against Dragons, and applies Defense Down to them, piercing resistance to Maladies.

Defense

  • Heal: A Tier 1 Healing spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Heal: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 healing spell.
  • Balm: Cures one Malady the target suffers from.
    • Metamagic: Mend: Also cures all Body Maladies the target is suffering.
    • Metamagic: Tranquil: Also cures all Mind Maladies the target is suffering.
    • Metamagic: Expel: Also cures all Heart Maladies the target is suffering.
    • Metamagic: Rewrite: Also cures all Essence Maladies the target is suffering.
  • Barrier: A Tier 1 Shielding spell.
    • High/Great/Grand/Supra/Ultima Barrier: A Tier 2/3/4/5/6 Shielding spell.
  • Strike Mirror: Reflects the next physical attack the target receives back to its source.
  • Spell Mirror: Reflects the next magical attack the target receives back to its source.

Control

  • Amp: Temporarily amplifies a single attribute, based on the spell used.
    • Strength Amp: Amplifies the target's Strength attribute.
    • Agility Amp: Amplifies the target's Agility attribute.
    • Endurance Amp: Amplifies the target's Endurance attribute.
    • Intelligence Amp: Amplifies the target's Intelligence attribute.
    • Wisdom Amp: Amplifies the target's Wisdom attribute.
    • Charisma Amp: Amplifies the target's Charisma attribute.
    • Luck Amp: Amplifies the target's Luck attribute.
  • Spike: Temporarily decreases a single attribute, based on the spell used.
    • Strength Spike: Decreases the target's Strength attribute.
    • Agility Spike: Decreases the target's Agility attribute.
    • Endurance Spike: Decreases the target's Endurance attribute.
    • Intelligence Spike: Decreases the target's Intelligence attribute.
    • Wisdom Spike: Decreases the target's Wisdom attribute.
    • Charisma Spike: Decreases the target's Charisma attribute.
    • Luck Spike: Decreases the target's Luck attribute.
  • Analyze: Augments a keen, intelligent analysis of a target with preternatural insight, granting one advanced knowledge of their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Zain's Archetype Armiger is Hero's Path: his Legend is shaped by a combination of the personal aspiration "Hero" and the world attribute "Tree of Life." His Armiger Skills are thus largely direct and to-the-point, and include a number of support skills that bring out the best in others in the world around him.

  • The Fool: Charges headlong into the fray while becoming pseudo-intangible to deliver a sweeping strike, dealing moderate (Weapon) damage in a small area. Briefly gains Defense Up, stacking in duration for each target hit by this attack.
  • The Magician: Traces a swing of his blade through his will, generating a sharp wave of light dealing moderate Slash and Holy damage to a single target.
  • The High Priestess: Concentrates, augmenting his next technique used with a variable effect depending on the technique in question.
  • The Empress: Dashes to an ally, granting himself, the ally, and all nearby allies a minor shield for a time. For as long as the shield persists, all affected regain health over time
  • The Emperor: A sweeping melee combo preceding an upward swing, punctuated at last by a descending blow punctuated with platinum fire. Deals several hits of (Weapon) damage in a small area, then several more hits of (Weapon), Fire, and Astral damage to a single target, and inflicts Stun.
  • The Hierophant: After a short charge time, blasts a cross-shaped area around him with cascading waves of blue energy. Deals moderate Holy damage over a wide, cross-shaped area centered on himself, and knocks enemies away.
  • The Lovers: Zain's most complicated and versatile unique Armiger Skill, awakened in the same moment as his Inner Truth: via its activation, Zain bridges the gap between himself and his target, joining together as one. What this entails is variable, and largely dependent on the context at hand. By conjoining himself with a distant location, for instance, Zain is capable of teleporting himself to it, and by conjoining himself with a targeted weapon he may take possession of it, effectively undoing it's prior ownership and reclaiming all of the benefits of owning it for himself. Furthermore, with the aid of the Sephira, Zain's ability to perceive and comprehend Idea Fractures makes him capable of truly outstanding things such as bridging the gap between himself and the true state of the object afflicted by this fracture, or of tethering himself to a person so afflicted in order to pull their True Self out or enter the world manifested by their Idea Fracture.
  • The Chariot: Surrounds himself in a whirling aura of etheric blades, dealing continual Astral and Slash damage to nearby enemies and mitigating projectile attacks. These blades can be thrown, rode about the battle, and more.
  • Strength: Exerts himself to exhibit prestigious, heroic strength. Can either be used to deal heavy Blunt damage to an area at range, plus additional bonus properties based on the local environment, or to convert all Body and Heart Maladies into additional mana regeneration for a time.
  • The Hermit: Blasts all enemies nearby with a pulse of force, dealing Astral damage to enemies in an area around himself and knocking them back. Zain benefits from Zen upon using this Skill, and if undamaged for a short time, is healed and benefits from Wisdom Up.
  • The Wheel of Fortune: Draws in all nearby enemies with a chaotic vortex, inflicting a random Malady upon them and knocking them nearer to Zain and airborne, before striking the gathered foes skyward with a leaping radial strike that deals heavy (Weapon) and Lightning damage.
  • Justice: Conjures a short-lived barrier around one target that reflects all damage they would take, repelling half of it back to the attacker and converting the other half into healing for the attacked target.
  • The Hanged Man: Dilutes the strength of presence of his allies, in the face of danger, without truly reducing their sense of self. Increases the likelihood that Zain is targeted by enemies with a sort of subtle, attention-drawing charm, and dramatically increasing his own defense, while also reducing his attack power somewhat. Also slightly increases allies' Defenses.
  • Death: Invokes a powerful hex that dilutes one connection to their present life, and draws their nature as a being with an end closer to their present. Deals immense Dark damage over time, in addition to dispelling all Boons that the target benefits from and inflicting Curse.
  • Temperance: Tempers his soul within the cosmic fires of its origin, causing it to burn and harden, like steel in a forge. By damaging himself for a period of time, Zain increases his Attack Power, resistances to Fire and Holy, and the rate at which he regains his stamina- at the end of the duration, he gains a shield equal to twice the harm he inflicted upon himself over the initial duration: these bonuses are also doubled for as long as the shield remains.
  • The Devil: Zain steals all active Boons and stored items of a single character he touches with a magical hex, redistributing them to himself or to nearby allies.
  • The Tower: Throws Babel away before entering melee with a combination strike, concluding at last with a series of elemental energy-accented ascending strikes that propel the target into the path of Babel, telekinetically pulled back downwards in a burst of chaotic light. Deals immense Astral and Wind damage in a wide area, and inflicts both additional Blunt damage proportional to the target's current remaining vitality and multiple random Maladies upon the target struck directly by Babel.
  • The Star: Throws a brilliant clump of stellar matter that explodes vibrantly. Deals heavy Fire, Astral, and Holy damage in a large area, and inflicts Slow.
  • The Moon: Passively gains the ability to retroactively turn near-misses into true misses, deceiving the universe itself with a mirage of sorts- a Will to evade a strike. As an active skill, casts an eclipse-like ring of blue fire about an area. Enemies within this immense circle have their detection radius decreased, cannot leave the ring, and are faced with summoned Shells of themselves if not someone who has mastered their True Self or that is a Qliphoth. Allies within the ring instead benefit from The Moon's passive power.
  • The Sun: Erupts with a brilliance like a star in human shape, inflicting Blind and Slow over a wide area. All Heart Maladies of allies within the area are dispelled. Zain's attacks burn with a brilliant light afterwards, and deal additional Holy damage for an extended period of time.
  • Judgement: Strikes the ground to release dual novas of darkness and light that spiral outwards and upwards, blowing away all foes nearby with Holy and Dark damage. May reduce Charisma of enemies struck, adding it to his own and granting himself Zen.
  • The Universe: The ultimate power a mortal can hold- ‘the individual's full awareness of his place in the world, the answer to their journey.’ It is by this power that Zain is tethered wholly to the Kether, the etchings of Yechidah upon its walls made legible to the world. For as long as there are sapient beings with will or aspiration, Zain’s presence as an aspect of the human spirit, exerting itself: a ‘Knight of the Kether’, his chosen aspect of self-actualization: will be an immutable, intrinsic aspect of the world. If Zain is touched, or contacted by a being of a higher sphere, the latent will present in the action taken to contact him itself bears this mark, and enables his potential manifestation in that higher plane, though he must first acquire the means to traverse there.

This is a powerful transformation, unlocked within a person upon the defeat of their Shell normally- Zain is unique in that he possesses one to start with, for reasons unknown at the start of the story. Activation alone partially restores lost health and mana, in addition to throwing back enemies nearby: each also unlocks a skill. Inner Truth skills are each usable once per transformation.

  • Aeon Form: Zain's True Self, a mighty transformation that bestows upon him considerable power, in addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration. Also confers upon its user unique True Self skills.
    • Nephesh: The Aeon's first unique Skill unleashes the first Soul- its "animalistic instinct"- to stop time for up to five seconds, relative to Zain.
    • Ruach: The Aeon's second unique Skill unleashes the second Soul- the "distinguishing spirit"- to undo five seconds of time local to Zain, effectively resetting him to his prior state.
    • Neshameh: The Aeon's unique Skill unleashes the third Soul- the "motivating intuition"- in order to channel an overbearing aura that passively saps willpower from nearby enemies, and adds it to Zain's own.
  • Pleroma Form: A 'Truer' Self, stacking with the Aeon Form before it to further bolster his power, in addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration. Also confers upon its user unique True Self skills.
    • Chiah: The Transitional Essence, with which Zain fully heals and revives himself and incapacitated allies, in addition to curing their ailments and restoring their energy via an infusion of Will.
    • Yechidah: The highest quintessence of humanity's potential- "self-actualization." By 'becoming the sort of person one wants to be the most', they solidify themselves as etching on the endless walls of the highest Sphere, the Kether- a "self" that is immutable across the breadth of that which it occupies. In essence, the acquisition of this skill makes one's own 'concept' immutable, and can be activated to dispel any and all detriments to the active expression of that concept in the world, such as via distortions or external control via the Banerifts. Essentially, sets Zain to his peak condition, and enables him to fight effectively invincible for some stretch of time.
  • Monad Form: A 'Truest' Self, stacking even further with the Aeon Form to achieve effectively unlimited power- expenditure of Mana ceases to be an issue. In addition to restoring his health and mana continually throughout its duration, it grants access to one, final technique:
    • Ahura Mazda: The first name created by mankind for expressing the notion of a creator- an Archetype made manifest by human imagination since the genesis of imagination itself. Such a creative spark as this, that generates purpose and reason to persist in the face of uncertainty and darkness, in turn grants Zain an almighty weapon to wield in opposition to entropy.
      • Best described, perhaps, as an all-piercing bullet that “unravels” the conceptual origin of any given thing that has manifested a presence, this technique’s first primary use is a sort of strange, round-about Sealing technique. By imploding this origin and shattering the boundaries between possibility and truth, Zain can use Ahura Mazda to expunge a target from the Tree of Life entirely, effectively casting it into a non-space that lies outside of the spheres, or at least outside of the Daathe. Such a technique, much like Zain himself at this point, ceases to care about the distinction between fantasy and reality- regardless of its state of being, such targets are rendered apart from the world of mortals.
      • Secondly, as a side effect of shattering the boundaries between possibility and truth, the holes bored in whatever space the target of this technique occupied can be used as a means of ascension, or true transcendence over one’s current level of existence, using a higher-dimensional interloper’s manifestation in the current sphere as a gate, of sorts- a means of reaching their world of origin. Though within his own world, the presence of the Ain Soph Aur to stand between the Tree of Life and the higher pages of the Tome of Echoes would prevent a situation in which a being from above the Kether manifested within the first eleven sphere from ever transpiring, in theory there is no cap to the heights unto which Zain may ascend- though, again, in theory. Because this technique is an “expenditure” or “unraveling” on a scale that transcends what the common man understands as “infinite”, it remains capable of fatiguing and dampening Zain’s strength after use even as the Monad.
  • True Monad Form: The Monad made whole, with Zain tricking the Yggdrasil Avatar into extending itself into Zain's reach, and subsuming it to attain access to the Kether itself. Instantly destroys weaker foes in its presence, and gains unlimited access to all of his previous Inner Truth skills, as well as infinite Kether. If the Monad can be described as Zain "becoming all of the world's Will", then the True Monad recognizes the world in its entirety as made up of Will, effectively making him all of the world.
    • Allbring: Less a technique and more a property, the very nature of the True Monad is such that it continuously casts all of its powers infinitely, spanning the breadth of every world and layer of reality it touches: a reflection of the notion that wherever sapient life exists, it asserts its existence upon the world via action. When opposed by another "infinite" technique of this sort, it simply cancels out instead, such as it did against Samael, allowing for Zain to combat him properly.

Key: Base | True Monad

Note: See here for lore explaining the higher-dimensional mechanics of the verse.

Other

Notable Victories:

Yanald Fahrent (STRW) Yanald's Profile (Act III Zain and Yanald with Spirits Absorbed were used, Speed was equalized.)

Notable Losses:

Inconclusive Matches:

Trivia

  • The lining of Zain's armored coat contains, in small, dark blue text behind his upper back, the entirety of the lyrics to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven".
  • This character has gone through a multitude of reboots and pseudo-reboots: formerly, he was consciously aware of these, and could break the fourth wall.
  • Much of the character's Gnostic/Occult themes, including the connections to the Tree of Life and the work of Aleister Crowley, were inspired primarily upon my earlier childhood, during which time I had regular contact with practitioners of the Ordo Templi Orientis, Golden Dawn, and so forth. It wasn't until more recently that I began looking to other series that have handled similar material before, such as Shin Megami Tensei, for some inspiration.
  • As mentioned in his page, Zain shares his name with Path 6 on the Tree of Life, connecting Binah (his birthplace; various complicated plot things happened, but the TL,DR: is that his true mother was trapped there and became a part of it) and the Tiphareth (the bridge linking the material to the divine). This was done in part to foreshadow both his eventual role in the story as its heroic protagonist, and to hint at his origins: a self-sacrificing hero figure (the Tiphareth) that stepped directly from the Supernal Mother (Binah) rather than having been born traditionally.
  • Zain is cousins with Darius Freeman, another early character in his party. Neither bother bringing it up more than very briefly, when visiting the Ruined Vaerpath estate.
  • An explanation for the in-verse "game" terminology is coming soon: just know, for now, that the Parameters and such as presented do not mean that Zain is literally a character in some game, save as it extends to the way that Samael first wrote the world whilst penning its divine law.
  • I plan to add newer art, soon, but currently lack the means to do so.

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