Ortho the Eldest

Background

When the Seventh Legion fell, and Yushoto Koletta’s awful works were ended, some of her research staff refused to be part of the new order. They liked being accountable to no one and to nothing but the success of their endeavors. They hid in the deep valleys of River Isle, then moved to a floating island base, then eventually back to the Blessed Continent. They were pursued intermittently over the course of decades, but never captured. The group called itself The Right Path.

When The Right Path made landfall on the Blessed Continent, it was near the grave of Jek Eikar, well-known as a mad inventor. Since their enemies had the bloodlines of the gods, returning generation after generation to harry them, they thought it only fitting that they could make one of the greatest heroes of the Fall return to fight against the gods.

The Right Path intended that they would correct the injustice that had been done to them – by any means. They cloned Eikar three times over. The clones were each named “Ortho”. The Right Path added mechanical devices to the bodies as they grew quickly to adulthood. They made recordings of propaganda and philosophies, and played them back over and over. They hoped to turn these mad, brainwashed geniuses loose on the new rulers of River Isle and finally take revenge for what had been done to them.

Unfortunately for the scientists, Eikar’s clones enacted plans of revenge on their creators first. The Right Path’s secret base was destroyed; the scientists killed or scattered.

The clone who was decanted first took the name Ortho the Eldest. He was the most canny, the most power-hungry. It was he who suggested rebellion to the other two, who readily agreed. Once they succeeded in their coup he found records of the Weapon in The Right Path’s notebooks, and realized that he could gain more than just independence: he could gain power.

Eldest seeks to learn the secrets of the Component and control it, and thereby hold the world hostage.

Appearance

All the Ortho clones have light skin and hazel eyes. Their hair is brown. Their fingers are long and delicate. An optical device is strapped to their right eyes, with a variety of lenses. They have difficulty seeing straight without it.

Eldest’s hair is already receding from his temple, but is long enough to reach his waist. He has lines around his eyes. His premature decantation aged him a decade in minutes. That pain is his first concrete memory.

Demeanor

Thoughtful, cantankerous, and anti-social. Eldest prefers to have as much time alone as he can. Most of the time he stays in The Right Path’s laboratories, working on ways to control the Weapon once it’s rebuilt. He trusts Heartless and Youngest as his agents in the world. Well, “trust” is perhaps too strong a word.

Eldest is prone to mood swings. When he’s on his own he’s more stable, but with people around he’ll often switch from careful consideration to aggressive ranting and back. Part of him recognizes that other people don’t do that, but he just chalks that up as an advantage Youngest has that he doesn’t. He’s not interested in changing.

Intimacies: Control the Weapon and rule the world (defining), I need my brothers (major), I can’t trust my brothers (major), I prefer solitude
Catchphrase: All is part of the plan.

Capabilities

Eldest is in good shape, but he’s not an athlete. The conditioning from the clone vats won’t last him forever, and eventually he’ll become softer and weaker. He’s a social disaster, with little to no filter between his mind and his mouth. Where he really excels is in scientific tasks. He’s clever and quick-witted. He can focus on multiple tasks at once and see the connections between seemingly unrelated things.

Eldest’s paranoia keeps him in armor constantly. He wears a set of leathers reinforced with pieces of scrap metal from The Right Path’s laboratories. He can’t fight very well, but the weapons he does use are either long-range (a set of razor-edged homing disks) or exude the deadliest of poisons. The lab abounds with automata, all reprogrammed to be loyal to him first and the other Orthos second. Eldest uses them as servants and experimental assistants, but they were designed as bodyguards and combatants. He won’t hesitate to deploy them against intruders who turn hostile.

The lenses from their optical devices allow the Orthos to see dematerialized spirits and the flows of essence. If the device is knocked from their head (a difficulty 6 gambit), they will be disoriented for a round (no actions) and have great difficulty seeing straight afterward (-3 penalty on vision-related actions) until they can recover it. The lenses are made of adamant and quite sturdy.

Connections

  • The remaining scientists of The Right Path, on the run from Heartless. They’re terrified of all the Orthos, but would be able to give much useful information about their laboratory and the surrounding territory.
  • The lab automata are more intelligent than Eldest realizes, speaking with one another via invisible waves. They can’t disobey their programming or his commands, but they can still attempt to escape or communicate if the opportunity arises.

Questions

  • Eldest thinks he knows how to control the Weapon: capture Sam Eikar’s soul, put it in a jar, and lead the Weapon around by the nose. Will it work?
  • Does Eldest have a place for his brothers in his imagined new world order?
  • Eldest has access to the cloning vats. Has he restored them? Has he made more Orthos?

Fate: Betrayal

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