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Well met! I’m Kalista, and I co-admin Istari with my husband, Arius. We've run a few other sites together, from an old west Supernatural roleplay to a Tron Legacy board, but Istari is our first original creation. It was originally adapted as a D&D campaign setting for a group of friends, but I always loved the idea of mixing magic and technology to get both a classic and urban fantasy feel. I still enjoy playing tabletop D&D, but these days I tend to spend more time on writing and online roleplay.

Along with avid writing comes avid reading, and I always have at least one book going. I tend to bounce back and forth between urban or high fantasy and science fiction, but I also enjoy crime novels and a handful of the classics. I also love gaming on the Playstation and Nintendo 3DS. I love a wide variety of games, but the original Mass Effect trilogy is nearest and dearest to my heart.

I tend to be online from midday to late evening, depending on my work schedule, and I usually lurk throughout the day. I love working with coding and graphics, so if you’re having trouble with something or have questions about the setting, feel free to message me or hop into the chat box. I’m always open to feedback, and I hope you enjoy playing in Istari as much as I’ve enjoyed working on it!

Heyla! I'm Arius, one of the admins here on Istari, and Kalista's lucky husband. I love writing (obviously), especially horror, fantasy, and sci fi, though I've been known to dabble in poetry and even fanfiction in the past. Though I don't seem to find the time for them as much as I used to, I enjoy playing games, both video and tabletop, and if I'm not around on the site it's probably because I'm playing my PS4 or 3DS.

I'm a great devourer of all sorts of literature, from high fantasy epics to dry historical tales, from fiction to non-fiction, and even comic books, which I have a huge passion for. I co-own a small comic shop in my hometown, which is something of a dream come true for me, and I've been collecting and reading comics and graphic novels since I was about five years old.

I'm usually around in the evenings to answer questions, play in the cbox, or even just shoot the breeze, so feel free to hit me up if you ever need anything!

Hey there! I’m Kay, Istari's moderator, and it’s nice to meet you! I’ve been roleplaying and writing for more than ten years and have been playing on Istari for about the whole time that it’s been open. I’ve known Kali and Arius for almost ten years now and actually got my online handler name from Arius. I’m a frequent writer and I do get distracted relatively easily as I’m always on social media sites. But currently I’ve been distracted with watching TV shows.

I’m an avid TV watcher ranging from Supernatural all the way to anime and nostalgia TV shows. Currently I’ve gotten myself stuck on Gargoyles. I’m also a classic anime fan, I’ve seen some of the newer animes, but the classics are my favorite. I’m also into a lot of superhero movies and horror movies, but movies in general are the things that I’m doing if I’m not writing.

I used to be a night owl, but given my 4am work schedule, I can be found lurking around here at high noon to about early evening, I’m a lurker so there will always definitely be someone there to answer your questions! Welcome to Istari!


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 Arius de Galdri, Elven Swordmage
Arius de Galdri
 Posted: Feb 17th 2017, 11:38 PM
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Played by Arius
38 Posts
Joined: Jun 20, 2013

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Wanders Istari
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Ben Barnes
Arius de Galdri
I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathways like the back of my hand
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?
Physical Description
Arius is tall, rangy, and leanly muscled. His build and natural elven grace and agility make him especially suited for his chosen style of swordplay, using a rapier to make quick, precise strikes against an opponent. He is pale of skin, paler even than most elves, and his shoulder-length hair is raven-dark. Arius' people tended to have eyes spanning the entire color spectrum, and his own are a shade of purple that seems to lighten or darken with his mood, sometimes seemingly iridescent, other times dark and stormy.

High fashion has never been a real concern for Arius. He prefers to wear clothing that is simple and functional, in blacks and shades of dark brown and grey. Leather armor is more than adequate to protect him in battle, allowing him to move freely and easily while his magic does most of the defensive work. While on the road, Arius wears a dark cloak and, sometimes, a black, wide-brimmed traveling hat.

» Knowledge; he'll devour any new bit of information he can get his hands on

» Using his blade and his spells in service to those in need

» Seeing and exploring all of the new lands and kingdoms of Istari

» Working to perfect his skills, both martial and magical

» The very rare occasions when he finds relics or stories of his vanished homeland

» Being a "man out of time"

» The unseen, gaping hole in his mind and heart where his bondmate once was

» His sword, Daerist, sometimes; the thing is incessantly chatty and superior

» Having been torn away "from the other side" and returned to the living plane

» Conquerors, tyrants, despots, and anyone else who rules through terror

» His hereditary elven abilities and his swordmage skills

» Is patient and thoughtful, never making a rash decision

» Is remarkably intelligent

» Has no ties or allegiances in this time to hold him back; is essentially free to forge his own path

» Daerist is a source of millenia-old knowledge and experience for Arius to draw from

» Iron can be used to bind him, and wounds caused by it heal slowly and painfully

» Magical backlash is always a danger when handling the amounts of power he generaly does; it can stun and incapacitate him

» His skills were always meant to be used in conjunction with another swordmage; without a bondmate he is essentially at half-power

» There is a hole in his heart and mind where his bondmate should be; it can affect his personality and the potency and effectiveness of his spells

» Feels perpetually alone and out of place, which can cause him to brood and lose himself to dark moods

» Find as many legends and relics of his homeland as he can

» Hone his abilities with sword and spell until he is a true master

» Pass on his knowledge and try to train up a new generation of swordmages

» Not being able to fully adjust to the strange new world around him

» Someday forgetting his people; they live on only in his memory and no one else's

» Failing someone who needs him due to hsi own failings and shortcomings

Arius is quiet and thoughtful, always thinking things through before he acts. He projects an aura of calm and confidence, leading people to feel at ease and safe around him, and he is adept at maintaining this aura even when he feels uncertain or afraid. For Arius, protecting those around him comes first and foremost, even if that protection lies only in allowing others to feel comfortable in his presence. Selflessness comes naturally to all shielding swordmages, and Arius is no different.

There are precious few people still living who can claim to know Arius well, but those few see a different side of the time-displaced swordmage. He allows himself to relax a little more around those he knows and trusts, not feeling it quite so necessary to be the pillar of strength that he is to many others. He has a dry sense of humor and a quick wit, though sometimes his comments can come off as scathing, unintentionally. Arius never hesitates to share advice or wisdom, and when a rare mood strikes him, he'll even talk about his lost homeland and people. That loss is just one of the many unhealed wounds he carries every day.

There is a piece of Arius missing, a hole in his heart that can never be filled, and that hole aches as surely as any old physical wound. The sudden, violent loss of his bondmate tore him open on the inside, and that pain often overwhelms him, driving him into dark moods and silent, brooding introspection. There is an emptiness to his smiles and a shadow in his otherwise clear amethyst eyes that some might miss at first, but that those who know him cannot unsee. He will carry this pain for the rest of his days, no matter how long or short that may be, and though he has come to terms with it, he has yet to find a way to control it.

Eons ago, when Istari was still in its infancy and mankind had yet to ponder its own existence let alone discover the magical world that was twin to their own, Galdria was the pinnacle of Istaran power and civilization. A kingdom of highly advanced elves and their fey subjects, it was a massive, sprawling nation second to none, for what land would be foolish enough to quarrel with them? Of course, that didn't mean Galdria was without its enemies: dark fey and mad, twisted primordial spirits and creatures often troubled the elven kingdom, but they were always countered and defeated by Galdria's elite military force of swordmages.

Melding swordcraft and magery into a single, seamless style, swordmages worked in bonded pairs of one defensive specialist who practiced shielding and wards, and one offensive warrior who used powerful, node-fueled magic to devastating effect. The pair fed off of one another, seeking strength and solace in a bond that joined heart, soul, and mind. When one half of the bonding fell in battle, the other died soon after, following their bondmate to the Blessed Isles, their equivalent of the afterlife.

Arius was born into a low-class family, trusted servants to the royal line, and he never expected to do anything other than follow in his parents' footsteps. From an early age he showed a talent for magic, but he never considered seeking actual training for his gift, choosing instead to work alongside his family in the royal palace, cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry of the king, the queen, and their brood of children and hangers-on. Finally, just after his twentieth birthday, one of the king's court mages sensed power in Arius, and he was taken on as an apprentice, learning the basics of magecraft and finding a satisfaction in the work that he'd never known as a simple servant.

Decades later Arius became a master mage, though he had long since decided what he truly wished to do with his talents: showing proficiency with wards and shielding magic, Arius joined a group of of swordmage trainees and began studying the defensive style of swordmagery. While he excelled at the arcane aspects of the training, he found the physical part of it to be much more difficult than he'd expected. While many of his fellow trainees had chosen the standard combination of shield and longsword, Arius eventually found that he was unsuited for that style and began working with the lighter, faster rapier. As his skill grew, he found a worthy sparring partner in the king's eldest daughter and heir, Velissar. She also used a rapier, and as an offensive swordmage it seemed obvious to everyone who knew them that Arius and Velissar would become bondmates once their training was complete.

It was during this time that a period of political upheaval struck Galdria. Velissar's father, King Veran, was actually the oldest in a pair of twins, and his younger brother Galian had always cursed the moments that had allowed his brother to become king, while he was relegated to other, lesser roles. Trouble had been brewing for the better part of a century, until finally an army was raised by Galian and the nation erupted into civil war. For a long time, the king and his court tried to keep things as normal as possible, utilizing the standard army to face off with Galian's rebels, but eventually it became obvious that the swordmages would need to step in, and that those in training would need to be elevated and bonded quickly. So, with the last of their training rushed, Arius and Velissar were deemed full swordmages, and they performed the ritual of bonding and went off to war.

Months passed, and things only escalated, with each side struggling to overcome the other as Galdria itself suffered the consequences. The kingdom was situated over a particularly powerful magical node, and as the king's forces and Galian's usurpers battled, each side tapped into the node more and more frequently, until it became unstable. Spells began to work erratically and unpredictably, when they worked at all, and disconcerting, unnatural occurrences sprang up all around Galdria, and many began to think it was the end of days.

Few understood how right they actually were.

In the midst of a brutal battle, Arius and Velissar found themselves surrounded by enemy forces, trying to fight their way back to their own people. With magic beginning to fail and become unreliable, the fatality rate of swordmages had skyrocketed, and the two young warriors were among the last, refusing to give up their arts, determined to make their spells work through sheer force of will. With the enemy closing in around them, Arius erected the most powerful shields and spells of warding that he could, and for a moment it seemed that they would hold, but it wasn't meant to be. Without warning the shields crumbled, the magic that had gone into their forming dissipating and drifting away on the wind. A flight of arrows came down from above, and a full dozen shafts pierced Velissar, who was caught off guard, having expected and trusted the shields to hold.

Arius still isn't entirely sure why what happened next actually happened. He felt Velissar's life end, and he howled in agony and sorrow, refusing to let her be taken away from him. In a way that he cannot fully explain, he simply clung to her retreating lifeforce, and was drawn away from the physical plane, following her to the Blessed Isles, where flesh and blood had no place. For what felt like only a few brief moments, Arius was bathed in the most pure, warm, white light. He felt at peace, and was content in knowing that he would spend eternity in that bliss, with his bondmate, to whom he still clung desperately. The worst pain he had ever felt in his life struck him when he felt his connection to Velissar truly severed, and felt his body being shot back to the realm of the living. Cold, empty darkness enveloped him for a long time, and he drifted, without purpose, holding tightly to the only thing he had left of Velissar, her bone-hilted rapier.

Arius awoke with the sun in his eyes, a cool breeze wafting over him. He was lying in the middle of a field of tall green grass, and as he sat up, he realized that there was nothing around him but nature. No soldiers, no city, no anything, just the meadow, a meandering stream, and a distant forest. Somehow, though, it didn't feel alien to him. He felt instinctively that he knew this place, and as he stood and looked around, orienting himself, he began to pick out a handful of familiar landmarks. The way that distant mountain peak blocked a bit of the sun... The slightly undulating landscape around him, broken up by the wandering ribbon of the stream... The plateau to the south, where a mighty watch tower had once stood...

This was Galdria, though any hint of the once-mighty nation was gone, seemingly swallowed up by nature itself.

Arius thought he must have been mad, but corroboration of his thoughts came from a most unlikely source. A voice sounded in the young swordmage's mind, rich and clear, and claiming to be Velissar's sword! He claimed that his name was Daerist, and that he was a spirit bound to the bone that made the sword's hilt. Long ago, in the earliest days of Galdria's beginning, Daerist had been one of the first elven kings, and before his death, he had his most trusted mage perform a ritual that bound his spirit to the bone that would be used in the construction of the rapier, which had been passed down from king to heir for generations uncounted. Daerist, with untold eons of knowledge and experience behind him, explained that he, too, had noticed the terrain and landmarks around them, and was certain this was Galdria, though it seemed a great deal of time had passed. For Arius, it had felt like moments, an hour or two at most, but Daerist knew the truth: time flowed differently in the Blessed Isles.

The war for Galdria was long over, and it appeared that no one had won, in the end.

Confused, alone, and still mourning the loss of Velissar, Arius began a journey that would take him from one end of Istari to the other, seeking out knowledge of his fallen kingdom and lending his sword to those in need. Much had changed in the world, including the introduction of human beings to Istari, a race that Arius had never even heard of, let alone seen and studied. Through them he learned of Earth, and of the conflicts that had come and gone between the two realms. Few knew anything about Galdria, and what little he did learn was the stuff of myth and legend.

For half a century Arius--and Daerist--have lived the life of nomads, moving from one place to the next, never truly feeling at home anywhere. The loss of Velissar and the question of why he remained alive after her death still trouble Arius, though he suspects the unstable node and its affect on all magic at the time are to blame. Rather than give in to his sorrow, the lone swordmage continues to piece together what he can of his long lost kingdom and work to perfect his skills, handicapped as he is by the loss of his bondmate. This new world might not be the one he left behind, but the need for one of his unique talents might just be more than ever...

Powers and Limitations
» Fey Heritage: Arius is stronger, faster, and has more acute senses than a human. He will never grow old or die of old age, and he's immune to human disease. Arius also heals slightly faster than a human from normal wounds. Wounds inflicted by iron, though, heal at a slower rate and are more likely to cause scarring and/or permanent damage.

» Aegis Swordmagery: Arius is skilled and trained in the Aegis style, which specializes in defensive spells and wards. He can channel magical energy into shields to protect either himself, another individual, or a group of around a dozen or so. While shielding, Arius can reduce or prevent damage to the target, and he can even take on their physical injuries and wounds as his own. It should be noted that Arius' abilities were never meant to work on their own, and that without an offensive-style swordmage as bondmate, his abilities will never meet their full potential.

» Adept-Level Mage: As an Adept, Arius can "see" and sense magic, and draw on the power of magical leylines and nodes to fuel his spells in place of his personal energy. He has a solid grasp of "traditional" magery as well, such as spells, cantrips, rituals, and the like.

RP Sample
See Lily.

Player Info
Arius, obviously!
Coded by Kalista for Istari
 Posted: Feb 18th 2017, 01:34 AM
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Played by Kalista
1009 Posts
Joined: Dec 16, 2012

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