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Kel'noz Val'Sarghress

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Appeared in chapters  1 2 3  5  7 8   11                   30  32        40          50 51 52  54     

Kel'noz is the son of Quain'tana Val'Sarghress and a trusted Sarghress diplomat. He also serves as a headmaster at Orthorbbae. He was raised alongside his twin sister, Mel'arnach Val'Sarghress, since the early days of the Val'Sarghress clan, and his sensible nature has proved invaluable to his otherwise hot-headed mother and sister.

Kel'noz was instrumental in Ariel's development. He snuck her into the Orthorbbae under the guise of being a male student in order to hide her from Vel'Sharen influence. He served as a confidant for both Mel'arnach and Quain'tana, hoping to soothe both sides of their arguments with each other.

Appearance and Personality

Kel'noz is a diplomat in a clan of warriors. He is intelligent, calm, and uses reason to calm the tempers of those around him. He is a trusted friend to his mother and sisters, and it is common that they rely on him to inform their otherwise temperamental decisions. He is kind and compassionate to those who need it, and for that is a rarity in the midst the iron fists in his clan.

Kel'noz is also proficient with the use of mana arts. He is a headmaster at the Orthorbbae, and he is respected by his co-workers. He is also well-liked by his administrative counterpart in the Val'Sullisin'rune clan, Salan'dara Val'Sullisin'rune.

Kel wears the cloth robes typical of a practitioner of mana arts. He also typically wears a simple gold circlet with a pointed blue gem in the center. His white hair is long, and the strands that fall from his temples are streaked red.

Biography - Background

File:Kel Comforts Mel.jpeg
Kel'noz stands by the people he cares about, even if he has to hurt them for the good of the clan.[1]

As he grew into adulthood, Kel'noz often found himself stuck between two parties - his twin sister Mel'arnach, and his mother Quain'tana. Even before the clan had obtained Val status, the two never saw eye to eye and would often fight over their responsibilities to the clan. Kel'noz attempted to stay loyal to both women as best he could, but as the rift between them grew, he found himself simply staying true to the best interests of the clan.

As a male Val largely free of political responsibility, Kel'noz was able to devote a great deal of time to scholarly interests, eventually securing a position as a prominent headmaster at Orthorbbae. Though this gave him a great deal of informal power, it served to further divide his attention and left him often absent from the Sarghress Fortress.

Biography - Arc I

Ariel's Youth

When Mel'arnach gave birth to Ariel, Quain'tana took the girl to raise as her own daughter. This sent people close to Kel'noz into a heated frenzy over the fate of the child and her presumed status as heir to the clan. Unlike most, Kel'noz managed to set the whirlwind of responsibility and pride aside in order to provide for Ariel's best interests. While Syphile abused the girl and Quain'tana maintained her cold distance, Kel'noz reached out to Ariel when time allowed. He read her stories, taught her the history of the clan, and aided her in her studies. It wasn't often that he had the time to meet with the young girl, but Ariel came to love her brother for the warmth he showed her.

Shortly before Ariel's tenth birthday, Kel'noz made another rare visit to the fortress. A delighted Ariel rushed to meet her older brother in his quarters, not even giving the chance to sit down before asking him for help with an assignment from Syphile. After managing to calm the excitable girl, Kel'noz turned his attention to the book she was assigned to read. To his disgust, he found Syphile had tasked Ariel with reading a dictionary, frustrating him with his adoptive sister's sheer incompetence as a tutor. Instead, Kel'noz provided Ariel with a recounting of the clan's founding under her mother, though she soon fell asleep.

As the girl slumbered, he brought forth a gift intended for her tenth birthday; a small grey kitten. Woken up by the cat's licking and meowing, a delighted Ariel named him Fuzzy. As Ariel asked what the creature was, Kel'noz informed her it was a smaller relative of the ferals used as servants by the Val'Sullisin'rune. Inviting the young girl to play with her new companion, he departed to return to his formal duties.

Weeks later, he was present as Ariel was brought before Quain'tana for review. After Kel'noz reminded Quain'tana of the girl's identity and reason for her presence, the mighty Ill'haress examined her potential heir, asking the child to name her greatest desire. As Ariel eagerly blurted out her desire to kill Syphile, Kel'noz could only place his palm against his face in exasperation. He watched helplessly as the review quickly revealed the results of Syphile's incompetent tutoring, and Ariel was declared unfit to serve as Quain'tana's heir. Seeing the distraught expression on Ariel's face, Kel'noz ordered the girl into the hall while he attempted to salvage the situation.

After the girl left, Kel'noz furiously turned on Syphile, confronting the younger Val with her shamefully inept teaching methods. As Quain'tana quickly leveled Ariel's faults at Syphile's feet, Kel'noz began to propose alternate forms of education for the young girl. As Quain'tana dismissed the possibility of having a female of the clan tutor Ariel, Kel'noz made the suggestion of educating the girl himself, noting the practice of male tutoring to be relatively common among the common people. He further suggested that he might take Ariel with him to Orthorbbae, though he agreed that she would have to be hidden from Snadhya'rune, the school's headmistress. Though hesitant, Quain'tana agreed to his unorthodox plan.

Journey to Orthorbbae

Kel'noz brushes off Ariel's attempt to get physical reassurance.

Reentering the hallway, Kel'noz comforts Ariel and informs her of the plan. Eager to escape both Syphile and the confines of the fortress, Ariel readily agrees and goes to fetch her belongings while Kel'noz prepares for their departure. When Ariel returns, he notes her lack of belongings and the absence of her cat. She informs him that Fuzzy was slain by Syphile some time ago, and that Mel'arnach had stolen her belongings on the way there. With a weary disgust, Kel'noz notes Mel to have lost her mind, and Syphile her heart. Leaving Ariel in the care of a Homeguard soldier, he goes to reclaim her possessions.

After a short time, he returned and the pair departed the fortress upon the back of a wolf. Kel'noz took the opportunity to point out the various sights along their path, answering Ariel's questions as they traveled. He succeeded in fostering the young child's curiosity, and she loudly proclaimed her desire to explore the entire world, much to his amusement. His lectures soon took on a sterner mood as they passed the Val'Sarghress gate to the Overworld, explaining both the importance of the gate and the dangers that lie beyond. Eventually the two began passing the territory of other clans, and Kel'noz explained each clan's relationship to their own, as well as the dangers that lie within Chel. The pair eventually reached Orthorbbae, the school for the clans, and Kel'noz roused Ariel from an unpleasant dream.

Kel’noz and Ariel were then forced to wait at the entrance to Davya tower for the children of the other clans to arrive. The first student to arrive was Gailen, in the company of his mother Ini’riia, revealed to be an old friend of Kel'noz. As the pair greeted each other warmly, Kel'noz introduces Ariel as his brother, much to the girl's surprise. Though she began to object, Kel'noz interrupted her before she could reveal the truth. Next to arrive was Nau'kheol, in the company of his father Sabrror. Kel'noz made a cheerfully half-hearted attempt to greet the grim warrior, to which Sabrror responded with a dismissive grunt before departing. Among the other students to arrive was Yafein, though Kel'noz noted his arrival to be several years early owing to an unspecified physical condition. Eventually, the last of the students arrived and the group prepared to enter the school.

Ariel's First Lessons

With all the present students having arrived, Kel'noz led the group into Davya tower and instructed them on the six rules of the school: The first rule is that students may not leave the cavern of Orthorbbae without permission; secondly, male students are forbidden from entering the lower levels of the schools where the female students reside, as they may be captured for use in experiments or studies and the headmasters will make no effort to recover them in such event; thirdly, students are forbidden from entering the rooms of any of the masters of the school; fourthly, it is forbidden to kill or wound a fellow student, though if a dispute results in a death students are encouraged to discreetly dispose of the body; fifthly, students are to obey the commands of the masters, who are free to expel students from their classes at their discretion; and finally, all students are provided a keystone that provides access to school resources, the loss of which would result in loss of access to the school itself.

Learning how to use these keystones was the classes' first lesson, with each of the students tasked with imbuing the stones with a portion of mana from their own aura. Each of the students did so, with varying degrees of difficulty. Once all of the students had successfully powered their keystones, Kel'noz trained them in the first of their uses: Activating the personal floaters used to move between levels of the towers. Recognizing the futility of preaching caution to the excited students, Kel'noz allowed the children to learn through humiliating and painful experience the costs of reckless piloting, though he noted with interest that Ariel was using innate wind sorcery to assist her control.

The remainder of the day was spent introducing the students as to the layout of the school's facilities, after which they were shown to their rooms to rest. Kelnoz then visited Ariel, informing her of the need for her to pretend to be a boy for the next few years. When Ariel objected, Kel'noz explained that this demand was for her own safety, as the male students would resent her for her gender and make her like much more difficult. After Ariel reluctantly accepted, Kel'noz encouraged her to make friends with Yafein, whom Ariel had earlier shown interest in, as it was always useful to have a study partner from an allied clan.

While successful in encouraging Ariel to befriend Yafein, Kel'noz soon had to contend with the pair's curious wandering throughout the tower. Having ascended to the top of Davya tower to retrieve a metallic box from storage,[2] Kel'noz encountered the two children trying to access a door leading outside of the tower. After Ariel explained their reasons for investigating, Kel'noz informed them that nothing lay beyond the door except a long fall to the ground below. As Ariel pressed the issue, Kel'noz speculated that the door may once have been used as a Dragon landing by their ancestors before the dragons lost their wings. The exasperated headmaster then sternly ordered the pair to return to their rooms and to stop behaving recklessly.

Meeting of the Headmasters

Later that day, Kel'noz moves to attend a meeting with his fellow Headmasters. However, he is met at the door to the meeting chamber by Tralyn, who confronts him with the knowledge of Ariel's true gender. Kel'noz requests the old master keep this knowledge a secret for the sake of the Sarghress clan's stability, allowing the matter to handled between the masters of the school, but Tralyn remains unconvinced by what he views as an outside concern. As he asks Kel'noz for a better reason, the younger Val argues that by raising Ariel (heir to a great clan) among males, it represents a powerful potential step towards gender equality. Satisfied with this response, Tralyn brings forth Master Soleam'ji's discovery of Ariel's possession of an innate high sorcery, encouraging Kel'noz to investigate the matter swiftly.

Kel'noz offers to help Ariel develop her mana affinity in order to fend off the bullies in her class.

Entering the meeting and taking his seat at the table, he was chastised by Headmaster Ashu'athama for his tardiness. As other masters moved to begin their respective reports, Kel'noz informed the assembled group of Ariel's arrival and true gender, as well as his wish for secrecy. This idea was met with a level of skepticism from the other Headmasters, who noted both the risks of drawing Snadhya'rune's attention and the high likelihood of the secret being discovered. Kel'noz pointed out that, even should the secret be uncovered by Ariel's peers, they were forbidden from leaving the tower during their next five years of study. Trusting his fellow Headmasters to ensure their masters do not reveal the secret, Kel'noz announced his intention to take full responsibility for any consequences of housing Ariel in Davya Tower. Though there were remaining doubts among the Headmasters, a vote on the issue initiated by Headmaster Tirre'nolt ended with five votes in favour, allowing Ariel to remain for the time being.

An Heir to the Clan

When Ariel's identity was discovered and she was asked to transfer to the girls' sector of the school, Kel'noz brought her back home to the Val'Sarghress fortress. He gave Ariel all the support he could when Quain'tana demanded that she prove herself to the clan. After Ariel proved herself and was officially declared heir, Mel'arnach plotted to steal her daughter away from the clan in a rage. Kel'noz managed to soothe Mel'arnach, convincing her to wait another few years before making efforts to convince Ariel to leave with her. Mel grew imapatient, but Kel'noz knew that Ariel's status as heir was critical to the clan's stability.

He continued to provide guidance to Ariel as she made preparations to depart for the surface. Upon her return, Kel'noz decided it was finally time to take her to Mel'arnach to be told the truth about her birth. His timing, however, was poor. Mel'arnach had been severely punished by Quain'tana after fleeing the clan to visit with one of Quain'tana's worst enemies - Snadya'rune Vel'Sharen. Her arms had been smashed to a pulp and she was interned in the Sarghress prison. Ariel tentatively approached Mel'arnach as she told the girl about her true parentage. Ariel refused to believe Mel, but Kel'noz corroborated his twin's story. When Ariel ran for Quain'tana, Kel'noz reassured his heartbroken sister, telling her to let her daughter be free of the struggle that had haunted Mel and Quain'tana for years.

Meanwhile, Ashu'athama Sharen and Tralyn the Clanless in Orthorbbae note Kel'noz' noticeable absence, and it is likely that he has abandoned his post.

Biography - Arc II

Kel'noz and Nei'kalsa Tions Sarghress are now located at the Sarghress surface bastion of Machike'Shikumo, and at one point in time they were awaiting Quain'tana's arrival to begin the assault on Dariya'ko.

The Little Wolf Returns To Machike

Kel'noz breaks the news of Quain'tana's death to Ariel.

After the fall of Quain'tana, word spread through the Whispering Towers to spread the news of her death. Ariel, who had been sent with an escort to Machike until the political upheaval calmed down, was met at the entrance by Kel'noz. As he welcomed them, Ariel pulled him into a hug, telling him that she had missed him greatly. Kel'noz returned the hug this time instead of gently pushing her away as he had when she was a child, commenting that she had grown since he last saw her. He also broke the news that Quain'tana had not survived her wounds, leaving Ariel as the new leader of the Val'Sarghress clan.[3]

Renewing the Alliance

Kel'noz speaks with Ash'waren regarding the alliance between their clans.

Kel'noz later accompanied Ash'waren Val'Sullisin'rune on a lift, where she stepped out onto one of the upper peaks of the Machike'Shikumo fortress. She lamented the loss of Quain'tana and began reminiscing about their relationship; before she could move on to the more personal aspects, Kel'noz brought the conversation to its main point - the current status of the alliance between their clans.[4] Ash'waren grew despondent, stating that her opinion on the matter would be irrelevant and feeling that not only would the Sarghress cease to be, but that the alliance would continue to grow without them.[5]

Instead of melancholy, Kel'noz showed determination, demanding that she not give up and to trust in Quain'tana's legacy. The passion with which he spoke seemed to intrigue Ash'waren, and after telling him that she had never really noticed him before, she asked if he would share her "fire" with her. Kel'noz merely replied that he would not abandon his clan or hers.[6]

Biography - Arc III

The Invasion Of Machike

Kel'noz, now advisor to Ariel, is among Sarghress defenders during the Hermionne siege on Machike'Shikumo.[7]. He heard urgent news of the heavy bombard the goblins used against the wall alongside, and the sudden appearance of 100 mounted riders on the colony's main road. While Ariel is antsy to get out on the field, Kel'noz applies order and calm to remind her of her position. He later steps out to personally aid the defense effort with his earth foci, by creating landslides and earth spikes to separate the Hermionne into smaller groups.

Kel'noz stepped out for a day while the Nidraa'chal airship visited, and returned with raider Nomi'na Nori'fu Sarghress to see his colony in ruins. Despite best efforts by Ariel and the colonists, he orders a full evacuation to the city below by Highland Raider escort. There, he met Ash'waren once more to reassure that he had plans laid out for in case of another attack, earning amicable approval from the exiled Illhar'ess.[8]

The Pursuit Begins

Kel'noz lies unconscious due after the second Nidraa'chal bombardment.

Kel'noz's planning proved fortuitous, as the airship followed the retreating colonists further underground to the town of Fustin'darun. After encountering the wire traps that had been laid out to delay their progress, the colony defenders began to fire on the airship crew, following it up with a blast from the Hermionne's giant bombard cannon. The ship quickly retreated, giving the residents and defenders a short-lived sigh of relief.

While the colonists continued to arm and prepare for yet another attack, the airship arrived again, this time bearing a payload of giant boulders and rock chunks that they began to drop onto the civilian population and buildings below. At some point during the bombardment, Kel'noz was injured, but not before saving many lives by shielding them from the falling rocks - one reported to be the size of a house, according to Vara'nin.[9] He was evacuated, along with the remaining defenders, who regrouped on the outskirts of Fustin'darun and prepared to lead the airship away from the Machike civilians.

Kel'noz remained unconscious during the defenders' next encounter, where they witnessed an ambush on an Alliance traveling group by the Kavahini clan. They laid low, not interfering with the attack, as they did not know where the allegiances of either party lay. As the Nidraa'chal had been claiming to be operating under the purview of the Sharen Alliance prior to attacking Machike, the defenders opted to side with the Kavahini, rescuing one of their Koubagia from her Alliance pursuers and accepting a challenge from Chakri Kavahini to prove themselves.[10]

As they discussed their next move, Kel'noz woke, and was helped back to Ariel's side by Vara'nin. After chiding her for not following his earlier advice, he instructed them to head further inward to the underworld to the outpost of Sha'shi.

Finding Sha'shi

The group of defenders moved further into the underworld, surviving on hidden caches of rations and supplies that Kel'noz had secretly placed in the event of an emergency. As they traveled, they continued to play a game of cat and mouse with the Nidraa'chal airship, drawing fire by leaving dummies and decoys along the trail. Eventually, they arrived at Sha'shi, where Kel'noz continued to act as teacher, explaining the history of the outpost and the nearby moon fragments to Ariel and Faen.

Shortly after their arrival, Kel'noz was greeted amicably by the outpost's leader - a light elf who was known by the nickname of Zy'ezra. The two appeared to have a history together, as they bantered flirtatiously before coming to an agreement that would allow the weary travelers a chance to shelter and rest.[11]

Kel'noz, Ariel and Lady Z come to an agreement regarding access to the airship in exchange for support from Sha'shi.

While most of the defenders rested, Lady Z invited Kel'noz to observe the next test flight of one of their experimental golem armors. After witnessing the successful testing with Kau Val'Sharen as pilot and the potential capabilities of the golem armor, Kel'noz formed a plan to take control of the Nidraa'chal airship, which had finally arrived at the outpost. Forming an alliance with the outpost of engineers, he agreed that in exchange for their assistance in capturing the airship, the Sha'shi engineers would have full access to study the ancient flying machine.

A Desperate Gamble

The boarding party made an attempt to infiltrate the airship initially, with Kau and Slyand'iss piloting their golems and acting as standard work golems. Their ruse was soon exposed, however, when Da'xia caught a glimpse of Ariel and sounded an alert to the airship crew. With little other choice, the defenders scrambled to get as many of the boarding party onto the deck as possible. Kel'noz assisted the golems on the ground with holding the ship's gangplank in place using his mana arts, until the ship was able to break away. He could only watch helplessly as the ship appeared to gain momentum, and turned around to fire at the remaining defenders and outpost members on the ground.

To everyone's surprise, the airship became its own worst enemy, as the mana blasts fired from the ship were caught in the mana vortex surrounding the colony and turned back on itself. Shortly afterwards, the ship began to list, until it came close enough for the rest of the boarding party to gain access to the ship.

Kel'noz uses his mana arts to secure the lower decks by blocking access from the inner compartments.

Kel'noz immediately moved below-decks, working to block most of the airship crew by using his mana arts to seal them into the nearby ship compartments. As he did so, Nehleanee Vel'sharen attempted to sneak up behind him, hoping to catch him off guard by summoning nether tentacles. Before the summoned nether demons could reach him, they were intercepted by Bast, who devoured them. Using his mana arts again, Kel'noz used the decking of the ship to create a column, smashing the summoner into the overhead and taking her out of the fight.[12]

Their impending victory over the airship was short-lived, however, as the engines began to lose power, causing the flying vessel to crash. Kel'noz survived the crash, and continued the fight to retake control as Sal'bara Val'Chai'toc activated her war golem and opened fire on the defenders with a handheld mana cannon. [13]

The fight grew fierce, with several defenders swarming the war golem and fending off the mana blasts. Kel'noz continued to shield himself, taking cover on the ship's deck. The tide of the battle was turned when Kyo'nne Val'Illhar'dro had a change of heart, and turned on her fellow Nidraa'chal. Using her spellsong, she fired a blast at the levitating Sal'bara, destroying her mana foci and causing her golem armor to crash. With its controller taken out of the battle and unable to provide commands, the war golem was quickly dispatched.

Kel'noz made an attempt to reason with the mortally wounded Sal'bara, offering to have a healer attempt to treat her in exchange for information. The Chai'toc warrior refused, insisting that her clan was already dead, and so was she.

Return To Machike

Having won a hard-fought victory over the Nidraa'chal and gaining control of a now-ruined airship, Kel'noz convinced Lady Z that the ship was in fact salvagable, challenging her and her outpost of engineers to inspect and repair it. After the ship became flightworthy again, the defenders took to the air, heading back to Fustin'darun and reuniting with the rest of the Machike residents and their families. After reaching the colony, Kel'noz located Ash'waren, who had survived the airship bombardment along with her handmaidens. [14]

Having gained the airship, Kel'noz and Ariel sought aid from Ys against Felde, but were met with resistance. Councillor Kane'ohe did not see a reason to rebel against the colony's protectors, and instead proposed that the airship be returned to Felde in exchange for aid[15].

Notable Quotes

"Tossing in a few books and locking away a child with them is not a good teaching method!" - To Syphile Val'Sarghress, regarding her failed teaching methods.

"I do what is necessary for the clan's survival. Blame me if you wish, but let your child be free of the grudges we've held for centuries." - To Mel'arnach about Ariel's choice.

"Quain had to die someday. We all knew this! She leaves behind a great legacy. She can become a new path for people to follow. A better symbol than she ever was while she lived." - To Ash'waren Val'Sullisinrune, regarding Quain'tana's passing.

"That man can be scary when he actually gets violent." - Sarnel to Ariel, referring to Kel'noz's magical prowess during the Hermionne Siege of Machike'Shikumo.

Character Concept