armies have conquered
AND FALLEN IN THE END
name * sasarai
age * twenty three
star * Tengou | The Jade Qilin (Kirin)
[Star of Conflagration]
hometown * holy kingdom of harmonia
occupation * high priest / bishop
weapon * guardian's eye --> guardian's eye --> guardian's eye
[the guardian's eye is a thin silver ring that sasarai wears on the middle finger of his right hand, allowing him to control the flow of magic without the use of a staff or other magical device that would be more cumbersome. as sasarai has had his rune from birth, it's plausible to assume he has had this ring, or at least some version of this ring, since he was young.]
left hand: ---
right hand [true earth; sealed] earth rune
- clay guardian * defense increase; damage cut 15%
- vengeful child * guards one ally from one magic spell
- guardian earth * cures allies of all status / field effects
- earthquake * damage to all enemies on ground
class and mp * mages and spellcasters; 9 / 7 / 5 / 3
kingdoms have risen
THEN BURIED BY SAND
despite being in such a high position, sasarai isn't exactly a very imposing figure, at least physically. though he is technically over twenty, the true rune keeps him looking extremely young. though short (he stands no taller than hugo of the karayans), he has a lithe and slender build with a sort of sleek appearance that almost makes him appear feminine. he's certainly very well-kept and always presentable, with smooth features and an almost elegant sort of air about him.
on that note, sasarai has quite a commanding presence. he's not a war general, but he's most definitely a leader and a role model, and he knows it. having been groomed to operate at such a high social and political level since he can remember, he knows how to carry himself with calm and confidence even if he's not feeling such.
being luc's identical twin, he shares much the same physical features. his eyes are a bright emerald green color, and his hair is a mossy, earthy sort of brown, cut short just below his ears and parted down the middle.
clothing-wise, sasarai is hardly ever seen not in full bishop garb. he was practically raised in the stuff. the entire ensemble is quite elaborate, with a primarily blue, white, and black color scheme. the robe itself is dark blue and runs down into a small tail in the back, laced with string and small tassels. the pants are ivory white, and run down into black cuffed boots. thanks to his attendants and his innate fastidiousness, he is rarely disorganized in any way and always appears to be completely in order and presentable.
sasarai's voice is perhaps surprisingly mellow, though it carries a bit of a 'holier-than-thou' tone to it as a result of his conditioning since birth. it's not particularly deep, but sits in a mild tenor that is actually fairly pleasant to the ear. he speaks in an elevated monotone with very little inflection to give indication to what he's thinking. it's part of the reason why others can never seem to see past his outer appearances.
the earth is our mother
SHE GIVES AND SHE TAKES
sasarai was born and raised in the holy kingdom of harmonia, under circumstances that were kept secret from everyone, including him. he has had the true earth rune embedded in his right hand since the moment he was born, and since then had been raised to become one of the most favored priests in the kingdom.
he was told that his parents passed away in an accident when he was young, though the details were left intentionally vague. still, it served its purpose and sasarai never questioned further about his parentage, never suspecting that he was a clone of hikusaak himself.
there was another who was there with him, and sasarai distantly remembers the other boy with a true rune who was, for some reason that sasarai didn't understand at the time, treated differently from him. obedient as he was, he never asked why, and that other boy vanished when they were both young, leaving sasarai with nothing but hazy memories that he doesn't bother to dwell on.
as time passed and he rose quickly within the political hierarchy, he came to realize that he was favored by hikusaak for some reason, but never tried to discern the reason why, simply accepting his destiny and position without question. his power with the true earth rune also grew as he was able to assimilate to it and control its powers. he became adept at handling the rune and its abilities, and developed into a very pronounced mage at a relatively young age with the assistance of the rune and the training he received.
he has always considered his duty to lie with the kingdom of harmonia.
when highland, which had separated from harmonia some time back, requested military aid from harmonia in the battle against the jowston city-states, it was sasarai who was sent as general to lead the army into battle. his troops got as far as the forests of south window, where he encountered luc. there, he suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of luc's true wind rune, but was able to escape with the power of his own true rune, though was forced to retreat back to harmonia. in this battle, the highland army was defeated, ending in prince luca blight's death.
now, sasarai continues to possess immense power within the harmonian government. though he is still young, he is very well-versed in the intricacy of harmonian politics and is able to execute his position and authority with care and precision. as of now, sasarai is wary of the rise of the power of the howling voice guild within the aristocracy, disapproving of the rise of such a dangerous potential contender. recently, he assisted nash latkje in disposing of zaj, a rising guild member, for this purpose.
in the meantime, sasarai continues to act for the sole benefit of the holy kingdom.
we're part of story, part of a tale
SOMETIMES BEAUTIFUL AND SOMETIMES INSANE
composed | tactful | secretive | kind-hearted | nonchalant | devoted
there is absolutely no doubt that sasarai knows how to handle himself. he has been raised to always broadcast an air of sureness and calm confidence. though this may come off as arrogance to other people, it's simply the way he was raised. as a bishop of harmonia, he was trained to always remain composed and level-headed in any situation, and as such rarely loses his temper. he has an image to uphold, after all.
having been involved in harmonian politics at such a high level for such a long time, sasarai knows what to say, how to act, and exactly when to do what. he is well-versed with everyone in the various circles and factions and how they all operate. he is polite, well-spoken, with an eye for detail. one can say he acts distant, but it is not wise to be open and amicable to everyone where he comes from. contrary to what may be stereotyped of people in his position, sasarai is extremely intelligent and knows how to work his way around the aristocracy, gaining information and executing his position without treading too much on anyone else's toes, therefore mostly only earning animosity from others due to his favored status and young age.
no harmonian high official is without their secrets. and sasarai is no exception.
being so elevated, he is privy to a lot of information that other people would not know, even other bishops. it's said he has an especially close relation with hikusaak, though that is kept largely in the shadows. he is very, very good at keeping secrets, concealing them behind the outward wall of gravitas that he carries. it's very difficult to see past his almost easy-going and strong exterior, making many suspicious of him and what he might know. this ties in with his tactfulness - he knows when to use what to his advantage, and when to lie back and wait.
on that note, he also has an agenda of his own, and no harmonian bishop is without his network of spies either. if he wants to remain in his position for very long, he can't be blind to the workings of other groups within the kingdom...
in spite of his secretive nature though, sasarai is not, by any means, a traitor to a cause. if his loyalty is cemented to something, it is rare that he will turn his back on it, at least underhandedly. his loyalties lie with the holy kingdom of harmonia, and everything he does, he does for the well-being of the kingdom. he is very devoted to hikusaak and the circle rune and what it stands for, and acts solely under orders. though he acknowledges his own importance, he would be willing to die for the sake of his kingdom.
however, just because he is loyal doesn't mean he doesn't have thoughts and opinions of his own.
in spite of what it may seem from his status, sasarai is not completely heartless. he is not at all a cruel person, though from circumstances in harmonia's government, it may seem that he would have to be to keep pace with the cut-throat politics. on the contrary, sasarai is actually quite kind - he understands the needs of the people though he acknowledges he can't always do anything about them. he is somewhat of a pacifist and would much rather negotiate peace than go into war (even though he's often sent out to lead the army - perhaps that's the reason why?), though he is by no means a pushover if forced to resort to fighting. and sasarai doesn't like to kill or hurt people, even those the kingdom considers enemies.
but he is very duty-bound. and harmonia and its goals always come first, so he will do anything necessary, within reason, to ensure they are seen through.
often seen as arrogant, sasarai displays a dismissive demeanor towards almost everything. he rarely shows outright excitement or very much emotion, preferring instead to remain calm and seemingly impenetrable.
on the other hand, he is almost easy-going and is easily amused. it's not that he doesn't take anything seriously, but he's been raised to take things with a degree of detachment, such as war. as a general, it's his job to make everything look effortless; as a result, he often comes off as uninterested or over-confident.
no one remembers
HOW IT BEGAN
The sun radiated warmth from overhead the endless Grassland plains. For such a bloody day, the weather was deceptively lovely. Unaware of the carnage that would follow, birds soared through the cloudless skies, calling to each other and foraging for the first seeds and fruits of spring. To nature, this was the apex of life - the beginning of spring called for birth and freshness, a salvation from harsh winters. Hibernating animals were taking their first deep breath in months and opening their eyes to a snowless world.
Far below, the scratch of metal grating against metal, the soft clanking of weapons and armor filling the otherwise sternly silent air. A battalion of three-thousand strong or so marched quietly through the plains, none of them even daring to so much glance backward for fear of breaking formation. The bright sunlight played delicately off their silver helms, reflecting off the strong mirrored surfaces and dancing back into the air.
But the soldiers were not thinking of the beauty of nature's creation. The calls of birds were muted by the shuffling of leather on steel and the steady sound of horses' hooves thudding against the soft ground. Their minds were on thoughts of bloodshed, their hearts hardened to the task ahead. Some men, perhaps, were thinking of the lives they led back home. They were thinking of wives, children, siblings they had left behind and perhaps would never see again after this battle.
But overall, spirits were high. Morale was high.
The Grasslands were weak, and it would not be hard to subdue them again and demonstrate the sheer might of the Harmonian forces.
Still, lives would be lost.
Lives will be lost.
Riding near the center of the battalion was the figurehead, eyes forward and posture relaxed but his mind no farther from the battle than his soldiers'. An emerald gaze swept over the heads of the armored men and he frowned, barely perceptively, to himself. He didn't know any of these men personally - it was unheard of for a mere soldier to address a bishop of high status such as himself in any informal manner. But he knew that these were men, like himself, perhaps no less or no more wise or determined.
Still, this was war. And he acknowledged, albeit with a dash of regret, that sacrifices were necessary. These men, he knew, would be proud to give themselves in the name of Holy Harmonia.
As they came over the crest of a hill, the Grassland town came into view. Lifting a hand delicately to shield the sunlight from his eyes, Sasarai observed the people gathering at the front gates of the settlement, armed and assembling to face the Harmonian army that was more than twice their size.
He admired their courage, but they would fall. It was a pity, almost - there must be some better use for people with their strength of heart.
But now was not the time to think about that.
After a moment of pause, Dios at his right side turned to look at him, and Sasarai returned the wordless inquiry with a brief nod. His chief of staff raised a hand. "Charge!"
Sasarai's horse shifted slightly as the men around him surged forward, their horses' hooves pounding against the ground and shaking the terrain, but remained obediently still. He remained where he was as the battalion launched forward, chestnut hair flowing around him from the wind generated by so much movement.
Soon, the noise faded into the distance, the dust cloud churned up by the battalion floating several meters behind them and clouding his view. Tugging on his horse's reins, he urged the steed towards the denser area surrounding the plains.
"My Lord, we must take cover and take precautions in the case of an ambush." Dios approached on his side before his steed slowed to match pace.
Sasarai lifted his head to regard the wooded stretch before them, allowing his horse to ease into a quick walk. "Of course, Dios. We wouldn't want anything to happen to us, would we?" he remarked calmly, as if he was commenting on the nice weather instead of battle procedure. Without waiting for a response, he turned his head to face the other man to his left. "I trust that everything will go according to your plan?"
The stern-faced strategist replied without hesitation. "I have taken all possibilities into account, sir. There won't be any failure."
Sasarai turned back to face the sunlit trees they advanced into. The sounds of battle at the nearby distance could be heard - the sounds of steel against steel. "Good. The sooner we can return to base, the better. All the marching in formation has made me rather thirsty."