The Karal family had always been the strongest military power on River Isle. For many decades after the island’s unification, their fellow families tried to convince them to disarm, but tradition is a strong thing. The Karals maintained their army and their draft. When war broke out with the Blessed Continent, they took over River Isle and led them in battle… and eventually in all other things.
Karal Volan was an experienced warrior and commander before the island’s unification. He rose to the rank of general. Then the opportunity to employ his skills vanished, and he sat unhappily in a senate chamber for fifty years. The war provided him with the opportunity he wanted to show his prowess.
Now he is a legend. It is he who has dominated the battlefield in this war. He who dealt the final telling blow against the Terrible Crystalline Behemoth that guarded the Empire. He who leads the victorious forces of River Isle in what became known as the Final War.
It is also he who approved and financed the development of the Luminous Godkiller Weapon with Yushoto Koletta. More than any other single thing, this weapon has won Volan the war, inspired fear in his enemies, and cemented his place in history. Now, all that remains is for his troops to wipe out the last remnants of the Empire.
Volan is tall and muscular. His dark hair is trimmed close to his head, and his beard is short and well-kept. He has light skin, with a few wrinkles, and darker circles around his eyes from his lack of sleep. His dark eyes often stare off toward the horizon when he is thoughtful, but can be penetrating when his attention is drawn.
He is most often seen in his ceremonial armor, a set of articulated plate that incorporates bronzed sheafs of wheat to represent River Island’s fertile fields and hills.
Imperious and arrogant. Karal Volan is power-hungry, and he doesn’t take much care to hide it now that he’s at the top of the heap. However, he’s not a ranting, raving supervillain. He’s a canny politician who knows exactly how important he is, and wants even more. He uses his house’s military reputation – or indeed, the military itself – to intimidate his opponents into allying with him.
In his home life, he is much the same. When people interrupt his family time, he becomes furious, demanding that his home time be kept sacred – but this is just another way to create leverage and power. His children were long ago dominated into obeying him; his wife sent away when she refused to bow the same way. There’s not much difference between his public persona and his private persona.
Intimacies: “I will rule the world” (Defining), “I will be respected” (Major), “My family” (Major, Positive), “The dying Empire” (Negative), “Everyone will love me”, “I secretly fear the Weapon”
A soldier, an officer, and a politician, Karal Volan is an experienced adversary with two lifetimes of knowledge to draw upon. His willpower and focus are impressive. He has a commanding personality and a clever eye for detail, especially when it comes to his allies and servants. He was promoted to general not just for his work on the battlefield, but for his eye for acquiring and retaining the best soldiers. He’ll make an excellent leader for the New Empire.
Volan is an Amalgam Champion, and Smoke-aspected. He smells of cinders and burning oil. When he becomes emotional, he literally smolders. He can exude clouds of black smoke, which have a variety of purposes. Some are simply dark clouds, for obscurement; others are poisonous or even hallucinogenic. He can create images in the smoke, projecting his senses and voice through them. Those with a sample of his blood can burn it to speak with him through the smoke at any distance.
In addition, his essence flows in more subtle ways to enhance his training. He can hide himself from the eyes of observers, and hide his intentions from his political enemies. His drifting stances evade his opponent’s blows with ease. Social influence slides off his mind. His opponents in war find his tactics unreadable. None of these effects are absolutes, but all of them give him an edge.
Volan keeps himself in fighting trim, practicing with an impressive curved daiklaive known as Prowcutter. He keeps an honor guard of a dozen trained warriors who drill alongside him, preparing for ambushes or dueling challenges. His fighting style is measured but direct, using his smoke powers to attack from concealment.
- Karal Cenethar, his secretary. Attentive, careful, long-suffering.
- Karal Biala, his eldest daughter. Ambitious, dangerous, paranoid.
- Amilar Thea, his greatest political rival. Cautious, experienced, desperate.
- Karal Frena, his estranged wife. Proud, suspicious, compassionate.
- Does Volan realize how dangerous the Weapon is for the world?
- What are Volan’s plans for Koletta? Does he intend to keep her working on new devices, or would he kill her to ensure his control over the Weapon?