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Jethias Tolemir

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Bastard Greyhawk character
Jethias01
Jethias Tolemir, as depicted by George Foster (2007).
Jethias Tolemir
Homeland Duchy of Urnst
Gender Male
Race Human (Suel)
Born Patchwall 9, 571 CY
Died N/A
Class Evoker
Alignment Lawful Neutral

Jethias Tolemir is an human evoker from the of Urnst Duchy of Urnst, and a member of the Steelfire adventuring band.

Jethias is portrayed by Dan Bush.

Description

Jethias is old-world nobility, able to trace his lineage back to the Suel Imperium. His own family is, however, a minor power in the Duchy of Urnst and has fallen on hard times in recent years. Still, Jethias never misses an opportunity to exercise his noble birth over those of lesser lineage and always seeks the finest in comforts and luxuries when he is not adventuring.

Jethias is, most of the time, coldly methodical and disinterested, seeking power and knowledge for their own sakes. Yet, there are a few things which can inflame his passion and when they do, his anger often comes in the form of barely-controlled fireballs and lightning bolts. Jethias is vengeful, holds grudges, and never forgets a slight. He gives people the chance to prove their integrity but if they betray him, he has no compunctions about dispensing swift retribution. Though he finds Reinhart's zealotry tedious, he often shares this ideal with the paladin at least, though Reinhart often chides Jethias on his methods.

Jethias considers himself the "brains" of the Steelfire band and is largely responsible for their mobility around the Flanaess, having long ago mastered teleportation spells. Though he often acts like a pompous, self-important and spoiled ass, Jethias is deeply devoted to his friends and routinely risks mind-boggling danger to protect them. He is ill-equipped to be polite or politic, and often his love for his friends comes off as chiding or teasing, but when push comes to shove, Jethias will scorch the earth black, traverse the lower planes and face down the most terrible of foes if that is what is required to keep his friends safe, or, barring that, avenge them.

His favorite spells are fireball, for its elegant simplicity, dimension door, for its unrivaled utility, and limited wish, for its ability to remake reality to suit him.

Relationships

Jethias has a love/hate relationship with Cimmerii. The two bicker constantly and tease one another unmercifully, but there is a deeper connection there that might just be love. Unfortunately, neither of them possesses the ability to say what they actually feel. Cimmerii is too rugged and proud and Jethias is too bumbling and anti-social. Yet, they often prove their concern for one another in battle, where they will drop everything to save the other if he or she is in peril.

Jethias perfectly loathes the wizard Khellek of Greyhawk, one of the Seekers. The two dueled in the Champion's Games, where Khellek kept Jethias busy and increasingly frustrated by countering his spells. Jethias eventually overpowered the rival mage but was so furious with the man (who had previously insulted Jethias' sensibilities, family, and skill as a wizard) that he attempted to slay him with a scorching ray after he had yielded. But the gods had other plans. Through luck or providence, the ray narrowly missed Khellek, which probably saved Jethias' life as well. He was disqualified from the games and teleported away in a fury. To this day, he can scarcely stomach the sight of Khellek and the feeling is mutual.

Jethias has always idolized the Circle of Eight, especially Mordenkainen, whom he has yet to meet. He has met Jallarzi and Otto, as well as Tenser. Tenser played a major role in helping the Steelfire band learn about the origin of Kyuss. Though no longer a member of the Circle of Eight, Jethias found he greatly respected the archmage and took many of his teachings to heart. After drinking from Tenser's Fountain of Fortune's Folly, Jethias gained skill with the bastard sword and had one specially forged for him, naming it Magepoint in honor of the village surrounding Tenser's Fortress of Unknown Depths. Jethias sees Tenser as a hero and a role model, as well as a professional peer. He hopes to one day create his own power bloc, just as Tenser has.

Though he was raised in Urnst, Jethias did most of his arcane training in the run-down village of Diamond Lake under the patient and serene hand of the wizard Allustan. Allustan seldom approved of Jethias' lust for destructive power but nonetheless encouraged his studies and growth as a mage. Jethias began his apprenticeship resenting Allustan, seeing him as little more than a hedge wizard, resenting the fact that he could not afford to attend the University of Magical Arts in Greyhawk. But as time passed, he began to respect, and eventually love, his instructor. Allustan became a second father to Jethias in many ways, giving him the positive encouragement that he seldom received from his real father. Jethias has, since he was swept up in the events surrounding the Age of Worms, surpassed his master in arcane skill but he still holds his old friend dear. Jethias led his companions with great aplomb and courage into the Whispering Cairn and beyond to rescue Allustan in 595, who had become trapped while exploring the tomb.

History

Jethias was born on the ninth day of Patchwall 571 CY in the Duchy of Urnst. His father is a minor vassal to the Duke of Urnst, owning a small manor and the rights to an ill-producing silver mine. The Tolemir family consists of Lord Claeth, Jethias' father; Claeth's wife, Lady Silura, and four children, of which Jethias is the youngest. He has two brothers, Alisarn and Ondrell, and a sister, Lisaen.

Jethias' father was never a terribly successful landowner. His line was once quite wealthy and powerful in Urnst, but by the time of his own father, their power had begun to wane as the nearby mineral veins dried up and trade caravans bypassed the manor. Now, Lord Claeth finds himself the owner of a barely-profitable chunk of land, his most vital years gone by, no longer strong or wise enough to play the nobility game. His is a rapidly declining house and his children all know it.

For that reason, Jethias' two older brothers, both strong and athletic, began training as knights from their earliest years and have since gone on to serve as bannermen for the Duke, in the hopes that their swords will earn them a better chance at nobility than their father can provide. Lisaen, Jethias' sister, always a cold and distant woman, once refused an arranged marriage between herself and another minor lord whom she utterly loathed. The union would have consolidated Lord Claeth's power significantly, and the entire family was counting on it, but Lisaen surprised them all by joining the priesthood of Boccob and sequestering herself in the temple in Seltaren. For this reason, the Tolemir family highly disapproves of Lisaen's actions and has virtually nothing to do with her.

Jethias joined neither the military nor the priesthood. Always a weakling, he hated vigorous physical activity, and especially hated the outdoors. His brothers teased and tormented him mercilessly as a child when he couldn't keep up with their romps through the countryside or their mock-battles with oak branch swords. He suffered more than a few bruises and breaks from their horseplay, and he believes, deep down, that their treatment was intentional, and indeed, that had they been able to kill him by accident, they would have been pleased. Jethias also had no head for the priestly arts. He revered no god, though his family's patron deity was Boccob. The thought of slavishly serving a god for one's whole life made Jethias ill. As such, he barely knows his sister, and is not overly concerned with ever changing that.

As the youngest child of his family, Jethias was spoiled in his early years but was soon forgotten as his brothers came of age. Jethias had no obvious talents that his parents could see. He could barely lift a sword, and was a terrible rider. For that reason, and also because they had little time to devote to him, they let Jethias choose his own path, more or less. Once Jethias had learned his letters, he discovered reading was his greatest passion. He would spend days in his father's modest library, reading old stories, history, geography, even religious ritual. o know was what drove him. He found the more he read, the more he understood things, and this gave him a sense of power that he had never had growing up.

At the age of eighteen, he came upon an old book that told of the bloodlines of Urnst. Jethias soon learned that Urnst had one of the purest populations of Suel descendents in all the Flanaess. Fascinated, he searched for more books on the Ancient Suel, and eventually made his way to the capital city of Leukish to plumb their great library. After a week, he emerged with the knowledge that his own family could trace its roots all the way back to Suel family who founded Urnst, the Maures. These enigmatic people fascinated Jethias; their flight from the fall of their great empire, their dreams of glory to be restored, and, most of all, their command of magic. So it was that Jethias discovered his true calling. In his short life, magic had always been interesting to him but he had never felt any inclination to study it himself. Until now. Over the next few years, he read every tome he could get his hands on about magic, about the nature of the arcane, and the ways it could be harnessed by mortal men. He read much that he did not understand, but that did not stop him. He took a particular interest in the works of Mordenkainen, the most powerful mage who ever lived, or so the stories said. But above all, he desired to know what his ancestors knew, to tap the power of the ancient Suel and know more of the world than anyone else. When he told his father of his desire to learn the arts of magic, Claeth reacted in anger. He had always been disappointed by his youngest son, by his frail physique, by his timidity, by his moody obsessiveness. But this talk of magic frightened him, for he knew Jethias was smarter than he was, and knew that if the lad truly devoted himself to such a cause, he would be successful. Perhaps too successful. Claeth also knew some of his family's history and did not like the idea of stirring up old troubles that were better left dormant. But his son would not be dissuaded and at length, Claeth reluctantly gave his blessing.

Jethias wanted to enroll in the University of Magical Arts in the Free City of Greyhawk, but the tuition was far beyond his father's means. They had many bitter arguments over this subject, but Jethias was finally appeased when his father compromised and apprenticed him to Allustan, a local wizard in the town of Diamond Lake. Jethias resented the fact that he was forced to study with a man he thought of as a sort of country bumpkin hedge wizard, rather than the professionals in Greyhawk, but in truth, Allustan had once been apprenticed to the mighty Tenser, and was a formidable wizard in his own right. And so, for the past four years, Jethias has served as an apprentice wizard, learning the art and the science of the arcane. He found early on that his main interest lay in the school of evocation. Through it, he felt he could tap the most raw form of arcane energy. To be able to command such energies was to be all-powerful. Allustan encouraged him, surprisingly, to focus in the school of evocation, but warned that such tight focus would come at the expense of other schools of magic. Jethias did not care, and happily ignored his studies of the schools of necromancy and enchantment to learn more of evocation. By his twenty-fourth year, Jethias had learned all that he could from Allustan. It was time for him to explore the world on his own and begin his own path to knowledge.


Jethias02

Jethias at the start of his adventuring career. Art by Dan Bush (2005).

The Steelfire band has become instrumental in preventing the coming of the Age of Worms and the second rise of Kyuss. Jethias wields the Ring of the Wind Dukes, recovered from the Tomb of Icosiol, deep beneath the Whispering Cairn. He was given the staff Aftermath by Tenser and is also armed with the bastard sword Magepoint. He crafted for himself a robe of the archmagi, colored silver with red trim.

Jethias has played an important role in recovering a talisman of the sphere, defeating a mind flayer beneath the streets of Greyhawk, helping the Steelfire Band winning the Champion's Games (though he himself was disqualified), slaying the black dragon Ilthane, discovering the Tomb of Icosiol and its many treasures, befriending the archmage Tenser, destroying the Spire of Long Shadows, and discovering the whereabouts of the Phylactery of Dragotha.

Jethias developed a quiet respect for the goddess Jas Wee Jas late in 595 and reveres her, though he seldom mentions it in public. His only outward sign of religious devotion is a small brooch set in the shape of Wee Jas' holy symbol, the flaming skull. Because the Steelfire band depends on the skill of Verben Ranzoff, priest of Pelor, Jethias also has a great respect for the Sun God. Most other deities and religious practices bore Jethias and he largely ignores them.

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