Yeah, Yeah, Aroden, Whatever
male half-elf Pathfinder chronicler
In the months before Aroden’s death and the fall of the Chelish way of life, two bedraggled Pathfinders returned to Westcrown with a harrowing tale. Pathfinder Donatalus Bisby and his erstwhile chronicler Ilnerik Sivanshin returned from a gruelling three-year expedition to the Mwangi Expanse (having departed in 4603), two years after the Pathfinders had given them up as lost. With tales of cannibals, simian demons, jungle rot, hideous monsters, and river madness, the pair’s account of the grisly and varied fates of the other forty-five porters, servants, and explorers (including several other relatively well-known Pathfinders) who had accompanied them into the jungle was hushed up by the Society. All the lone two survivors had to support their wild tales was a curious relic they’d managed to salvage and bring back from a strange and ancient jungle ruin. This relic consisted of two interlocking components—a golden bird’s head and an obsidian bat’s head. The bird head represented an ancient sun deity, while the bat’s head depicted a foul demon of the night. These two deities were the foundation of the long-dead civilization whose ruins Donatalus and Ilnerik had gone to the Mwangi Expanse to explore, and the relic’s recovery was an incredibly important find, for the Pathfinders had long sought more clues into the nature of this ancient and mysterious society.
Donatalus’s return was much celebrated, and the Pathfinder’s glory and acceptance into the Chronicles seemed assured, yet as Donatalus’s star rose, Ilnerik grew increasingly jealous and bitter. Finally, consumed by this jealousy, he broke apart the relic and fled Westcrown with the bat head component. He suspected that on the markets of Nisroch in Nidal, the shadowy bat-head relic would fetch a fair price, yet what he hadn’t known was that, together, the two relics symbolized a single dualistic concept—the balance of light and darkness. Separated from the sun idol, the bat idol had no counterbalance, and with each day of Ilnerik’s journey toward Nidal, he grew more sickly—his flesh began to burn in the sun, his hunger grew but the thought of food nauseated him, and he was unable to sleep at night and barely able to function by day. He crossed the border into Nidal on the same day Aroden died and Cheliax erupted into chaos, and by that evening, Ilnerik had crawled into a cave and died—only to rise with the next moon as a vampire.
Ilnerik spent the next century in Nidal, becoming a master of the shadows of the night and learning of the true powers of the bat-head relic—such as the fact that the relic was sacred to a now-dead demon lord of bats and shadows named Vyriavaxus, and that it granted its owner all manner of power over various beasts of shadow, including the ability to call them up and bend them to servitude. His standing in Nidal grew yearly, and it was not without a delighted sense of irony that Ilnerik returned to Westcrown after being secretly contacted by the new government of Cheliax to provide a service—he and his shadow beasts would serve in Westcrown as the midnight guard, to ensure that after the fall of night, the city’s citizens remained safely in doors, lest beasts of shadow take them down. Today, Ilnerik’s allegiance has shifted away from the Arvanxi family and to the Council of Thieves—to Ecarrdian and Chammady Drovenge, in fact, with whom he shares the desire to claim Westcrown as his own.
Traditionally, the keeping of Walcourt as a hidden safe house, training ground, and repository of Council documents has been the charge of the Drovenge family, but once Sidonai Drovenge fell from grace, his father allowed the vampire Ilnerik Sivanshin to take over rule of the building. Since then, Walcourt has also served as the “command center” for the shadow beasts that stalk the streets at night.
Ilnerik has four important vampire minions and a vampire lover, plus lots of minions in Walcourt.
Ilnerik wears elegant, gothic clothing, befitting a minor nobleman, and has decadent pale features, though they seem to be constantly obscured by an unnatural play of shadows about him.