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Yellow/Red (Dark Side)
|Chronology & Political Information|
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- "Ignorance is death."
Nobody is quite sure of when he joined the Dark Jedi Brotherhood (not even himself), but everyone knows that was a while ago. Since that time he had the opportunity to serve in every position within the clan structure, from team member to Consul. Currently he seems content in serving his clan as a regular member, but those who've known him for a while know he is always looking after his own interests - whatever they may be.
Lan is, clinically and definitely, insane. Diagnosed with severe schizophrenia his current state could be described as reasonably "stable", but for a long time cohexistance with him was nearly impossible as he suffered from delusions of persecution, reference and nihilism as well as hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior and affective flattening. He still shows signs of his condition, such as talking to himself when he thinks nobody is watching, occasional incoherent phrases or behaviors and constant mood swings - most people prefer to keep a safe distance from him, but violent episodes have become rare.
But Lan wasn't always insane...
Brief Character History
Lan's past is a mystery known only to a handful of individuals: his childhood in Dathomir, what forced him to leave the planet, the tragic events that forged his obsession for knowledge. What is generally known about him are some facts concerning his life within the Dark Jedi Brotherhood.
Lan joined the Brotherhood already a young adult, in a time when Master and Student programs were far from being common. As a Journeyman, Lan was an eager and daring swordsman, so much that he was first initiated into the Sith Order in a time when Orders meant something. Where some saw courage in his actions, others saw a death wish. When faced with different possible courses of action he would often choose the one with the least chance of success. Many times it resulted in his near-death and just as many times he managed to achieve near-impossible victory, but it was always clear that something, maybe the Force itself, watched over him.
He was deeply interested in dueling, but despite his intrepid nature he did not have the thirst for fighting and war that molded the Obelisk and the Sith. Above all, he craved knowledge: knowledge of the Force, alchemy, Force entities, death and beyond. His interests would seem like a strange combination to a duelist, but keener minds could readily understand that those were means to an end. But what end? His interests eventually made him abandon the Sith ways and become a Krath, and he wandered the clans of the Brotherhood looking for answers.
His life took a major turn once he learned of the Abyssal Tome, the book jealously guarded by Clan Arcona, handed down from Consul to Consul and from which they learned the secrets of Shadowcrafting. Lan became obsessed with the book and its secrets, and soon would find his way into that clan. His devious machinations eventually made him Consul of Arcona, and he had access to the dreaded pages of the Tome.
That was when everything went wrong.
As the months went by, Lan became more and more absent on his duties as Consul as he focused on studying the Abyssal Tome. As Vassan Rokir, the former Consul, had warned him, as an Archpriest Lan did not have the grounding to handle the truths hidden within the pages of the book, so he should proceed with caution. Of course, he didn't.
What followed is a secret known only to four individuals. Lan had not been seen for over a week when his Proconsul, Halcyon Rokir, gathered a handful of the most loyal men he could find and went looking for the missing Consul. They forced their entry into the deepest levels of the Arconan citadel, where Lan spent most of his time locked up, but they were not ready for what they saw: Lan was lying in the middle of a strange arcane circle drawn in blood on the cold floor, holding a knife, and the Abyssal Tome was open beside him. The man was completely nude and the knife bloodied from the tattoos he had carved in his own flesh, covering his whole body up to the neck. Despite the severe injuries he caused to himself he did not die: he was lying there, shivering in a catatonic state. His face was somewhat twisted, rugged and mutating, getting years older every few seconds.
Without hesitating for an instant, Halcyon murdered the men that followed him. He picked the disabled Consul, his friend, from the floor and secretly moved him to the clan summit's chambers. There, he summoned Lan's apprentice, a young Zabrak named Akyria, and ordered her to leave with her master as soon as possible, for "he would not be safe otherwise, in his debilitated state". Confused and fearful for her master's life she obeyed, and in that same night the two departed, not to be seen again for years. The news spread of the Consul's sudden "disappearance", and Halcyon stepped up to lead the clan.
Lan returned to the Brotherhood after years of wandering the galaxy with his apprentice, and the Archpriest's insanity was on its peak. He arrived completely unexpectedly: one day he simply was there, wandering the halls of the citadel as if he never had left. Most people barely recognized him, he looked more like a walking corpse than a man: his skin was rotten and decrepit, his eyes shined with an unnatural light of their own, but his hair was still black as a moonless night. Incapable of coherent speech he gave no explanations to where he had been, and all treatments were proven incapable of healing his broken mind.
He did not consider himself insane, of course: in his view, others were simply too slow to understand his ideas, which eventually led him to a more introverted attitude, speaking only when necessary. The only person able to understad him without any difficulty was Akyria, who often "translated" his intentions to others. Those more attuned with the Force could sense that the Archpriest's condition was not merely physical: when sensing the Force near him they would feel several "presences", as if the man had become a shell inhabited by a myriad of spirits. As if it weren't odd enough, the numbers of "spirits" varied, but there were always at least three.
Since his return, the Archpriest would vanish without a word, presumebly pursuing his own goals in distant systems. He would then return in times when the clan was in need and, just as suddenly, vanish again. His movements were not completely ignored, however: Proconsul Strategos was growing increasingly convinced that Lan had schemes against Arcona and, once again, someone decided it was time for Lan to disappear. This time he wasn't put in a ship and ordered to leave, however: Lan was sedated, pluged into tubes that kept him alive and eliminated excrements, bound in a metallic cage that restricted his movements and then was left all but forgotten for two years in the darkest cell of the Clan of shadows. Akyria, not knowing what had happened to her master, fled and hid amongst the native inhabitants of Selen.
After two years, Lan was almost forgotten by most - some even considered him dead. In that time, only two people occasionally thought of him: Akyria and Strategos.
Due to her apprenticeship the Zabrak had developed a strong Force bond with the Archpriest. That allowed her to reach him through the Force when she meditated, but he never replied: she would often tell him what she was doing and ask for guidance, but received only dark silence as answer. When Arcona left the Dajorra System as consequence of the Vong Invasion, Lan's cage was transferred to a cell in the clan's flagship, the Eye of the Abyss II. Akyria managed to become a prominent figure in the underworld of Selen, retaining her influence even after the Vong invasion. When Arcona returned to Dajorra after its exile she called to her master again, and for the first time came an answer: wait.
At first, Strategos would visit his old and demented friend hoping to understand his peculiar condition and learn of his plans, but the prisoner would never speak to him, even though his mouth was unobstructed. The man's eyes were always open and fixated on him while he was in the cell, but they alone were expressionless. As the answers eluded him, visiting Lan became more of... a habit. Strategos would often have lengthy monologues with the caged Archpriest while savoring a cigar, the topics would usually concern recent happenings and prospects for the clan. It was a way he found of putting his own thoughts in order. It was when the clan returned to Dajorra and Strategos mentioned the need to cull possible remaining Vong cells in the planet that he heard Lan's voice for the first time. In a surprisingly calm, clear and centered tone, the Archpriest proposed him a deal, a way to easily solve the matter that wouldn't cost anything to the clan. He explained how he would use his apprentice, who had contacts in the underworld, to find any possible resistance and eliminate it.
Strategos naturally reached to the Force, and what he felt from the Archpriest was something entirely new: chaos no longer raged inside him, but Lan still wasn't alone. Now there was a single, constant "entity" within him, one that was cold and black. Lan's future was clouded, but there was no imminent danger flowing from him. After the issue was debated with a surprised Consul Sashar Arconae, the cage was opened. The resistance cells were dealt with swiftly by clan Arcona and Selen returned to order.
Lan is currently a member of Wolf Guard in House Qel-Droma of Clan Arcona. There he serves quietly and unpretentiously, offering words of advice when needed and assisting in the team's day-to-day activities. He doesn't have any real allies: nobody really trusts him, as his condition makes him somewhat unpredictable, and many feel he is a threat. His superiors recognize him as a valuable, yet expendable, asset - his condition gives him a strange form of insight that proved useful in the past, while his brutal effectiveness in whatever tasks are assigned to him is unquestionable. One might say that the only ally he has is the thing that seems to watch over him - if one chooses to believe in such crazy talks.
Many eyes are upon him. When will the crazy, demented sociopath snap again?
After immersion in Bacta to recover from his inHumane imprisonment, more oddities were revealed. The once decrepit face rejuvenated to a more natural look for Lan's age, but it is disfigured by wounds that refuse to heal by any means, just like the tattoos he carved on himself. The Archpriest's once blue eyes are now red and yellow, a color most familiar to those who dwell in the Dark Side. He is tall and of average build, tending towards slim. His hair is very long, down to his waist, and black. He is always seen wearing the traditional Brotherhood robes which cover all of his tattoos, often with the hood up, and always carries both his lightsaber and his Sapphire Blade.
Whenever someone senses the Force near Lan, two presences are felt where he stands. One is the Archpriest himself; the other is something else, a thing completely alien in nature, cold and unforgiving. The possibilities of it being a Force spirit or a Force Wraith have been discarded. Anyone attempting to sense into it any further feels a strong pull, as if heading towards a black hole: no one was curious (or stupid) enough to dare beyond that point.
Still insane, Lan is much more stable now than he used to be. Most of the time he is very quiet and very focused on whatever he is doing. His feelings aren't always accurately expressed: he may look depressed in a moment of victory, or show a broad and proud smile when doom is imminent, but that doesn't happen all the time. Some acid comments hint of a morbid sense of humor. He makes himself clearly understood most of the time, but occasionally he will say something seemingly out of context or incoherent.
His mood, however, changes all the time and for no reason: he can be calm, then anxious in the next moment, then irritated, then calm again... the moods have no connection between them and they are not attached to any circumstantial causes, they just happen.
Once a proud duelist, Lan doesn't care much about physical combat anymore. He used to practice with his lightsaber and swords daily, but that hobby was abandoned a long time ago. A person who does get to see Lan when forced into a one on one melee combat is in for a horrifying experience.
Lan has always been underestimated as a combatant, specially in the past, when he looked like a decrepit and senile mummy. Today, one still doesn't assess much just by looking at him. When the fight does start, the first surprise is often how absurdly fast he is. Lan relies on his speed and feinting movements to land decisive strikes through his opponent's defenses. He often uses the Force to augment his abilities and / or cause distracting inconveniences to fool his opponent's perception and help that simple strategy. In a one on one showdown he will not spare any energy, using all he has to take down the target as fast as possible; when faced with more than one foe he will attempt to manage his fatigue, taking down the targets he deems less threatening first so he can focus on the real challenge later.
What does distinguish him is the savage brutality with which he fights, plunging into the fight with a maddening scream, growl or laughter in a way that completely contradicts his more quiet nature. When he fights he usually relies on his Makashi or Dun Moch training, but these forms are corrupted, their movements completely devoid of any elegance or finesse: although deadly accurate and fast, they seem to lack the restraint and discipline one would expect. It is almost as if watching a savage, mad beast fighting, attempting to rip the meat in front of it apart. On the verge of frenzy, he does not stop until his opponent is dead and his clothes are soaked in blood - often his opponent's and his own.
DB Info and Trivia
- One of the few Brazilians in the DB. Possibly the only currently active.
- One of the few straight male members in Arcona. Possibly the only currently active too.
- Changed names twice. Originally joined as Ravnos Nottingham, then changed to al'Lan Mandragoran. Now it's just 'Lan'.
- Joined the DB as a Sith in House Ludo Kressh of Naga Sadow.
- Passed by Naga Sadow, Taldryan and Scholae Palatinae before settling in Arcona.
- Wrote the descriptions for Arcona's old home in the now abandoned Coronada system.
- Has been in every position within a clan's structure - except Rollmaster.
- Never really understood what the hell a Rollmaster is good for.