Nidah, the City of Immortality and capital of the Presbyterate kingdoms. Here lies the secret of immortality, here lies the lords who hide it from the world. Many years ago, seven men and women went on a crusade to democratize death and topple the status quo of the Elder Continent. They failed, and their remnants fled to the darkest corners of the Neath to hide from the wrath of the Presbyterate. They lie in waiting, perhaps one day an ambitious captain can bring them together for a second chance at eternity.
Mariam, the Schemer Edit
"Her skin is the exact black-blue of the bone walls. She brushes dust from her apron. A small copper kettle steams on the floor at her feet, emitting an sharp, nutty odour.
Every surface in the chamber - a tessellation of cemented bone - is engraved. Amongst the threading scrawl, certain phrases repeat.
REMEMBER THE WAX-WIND
IT WILL FIND YOU
I AM A CANDLE
WIND WAX-WIND WAX-WIND WAX"
Mariam is the founder and coordinator of the Seven. She was once a Presbyterate princess and daughter to one of the Kings of Nidah. She was always rebellious and deemed the Presbyter system a corrupt and unchanging system. In an attempt to appease her her father offered her the gift of immortality, which she promptly gave to a Khagan lord in an act of rebellion. Shorty after she brought the Seven to Nidah in an attempt to take it, but was lost due to increasing reinforcements. She fled the Elder Continent, taking refuge in the Fathomking's Hold. The Fathomking cursed her to forget everything she knows and sent her to the deepest parts of Scrimshander, making statues of her comrades and carving memories into the wall in an attempt to remember her grudge.
Batuk, the Soldier Edit
"Yes. Rosina's cousin. He was one of the Presbyterate's border-guards: the Gracious. But they discharged him when he allowed an explorer access to the Interior. An explorer..." she taps her teeth, thinking. "Lorenzo? Afterwards, Batuk became a mercenary, and joined our number."
"He'd had enough of discipline. He will have sought a place of freedom."
Commander of the armies of the Seven and cousin to Rosina, Batuk is a cold and reserved man perfect for rallying and leading armies into battle against the seemingly infinite armies of the Presbyter. He takes the failure of the campaign as his own, claiming he charged at the city while not noticing an approaching army. Angered and embarrassed by his loss, he rejected the world and fled to Nook, where no one cares about the outside. He may say he no longer cares for immortality, but perhaps a bit of encouragement is needed.
Lytton, the Philanthropist Edit
"Lytton. He was more than our financier. He was our courage. He inspired us when we faltered."
Charged with financing the campaign, Lytton was the second oldest member of the Seven. His and his wife's ability to raise money were vital to the quest for Nidah. He acquired money from bankers, nobles, and anyone else with money and a lust for eternity. After his failure he fled to Low Barnet, where he... rests, sort of. His entire lower half has been encased in coral growth and merged with the wall of the church. Broken at the loss, Lytton has given up on his quest; he wouldn't be able to even if he tried, given his current condition.
Lorenzo, the Guide Edit
"An explorer from the Surface, who came down here to be the first to climb the Mountain. The Nidaheen drove him away. I recruited him. He charted the Interior for us, and plotted the course of our armies.
"Now? He fled into the north, where I have heard he maintains a lighthouse."
A former Surface explorer, Lorenzo was tasked with navigating the dangers of the Elder Continent. He was supposed to scout the area for incoming armies, but accidentally failed to report a nearby army known as "The Hyenas." He considers it entirely his fault that the Seven failed, and when they fled he went to the Ragged Crow lighthouse to atone for his sins, making sure no one would be led astray again. Surrounded by moths, Lorenzo is now old and decrepit. His attempt at eternity is over.
Bourdain, the Propagandist Edit
"We were confidantes. He was a Frenchman and - in his day - a member of the revolutionaries' Calendar Council. He wrote pamphlets and placed bombs. I could not say which were more incendiary."
A former member of the Calendar Council, London's anarchist revolutionaries, Bourdain saw the quest as a way to liberate his fellow humans from the chains of time. His charisma and writing rallied many men and women to the cause. After his party's defeat, he fled to Frostfound, and was never seen again. After several years Mariam attempted to rescue him, but her agents were attacked by Wreckers and failed in their search.
Rosina, the Healer Edit
"Our healer, Rosina. She was the abbess at the hospital in Adam's Way, and petitioned Nidah on several occasions to afford her patients additional time. The Nidaheen ignored her. I did not."
A skilled healer, Rosina was in charge of medical services to Batuk's men. Her greatest hindrance was the Animescence, the strange disease that ravages the men of the Elder Continent. In an act of biological warfare, the Presbyter sent infected men to contaminate and kill the Seven's armies. Rosina, in a moment of passionate anger, was quickly infected. This was a major factor in the Seven's loss, and Rosina was seemingly doomed to death by burning innards. She hasn't given up, however; she has fled to Anthe, where crystal kidneys suppress her emotions and prevent her disease from progressing further. Her research into curing the Animescence still continues, but she is running out of time.
Arik, the Captain Edit
"I remember that he was the first I recruited to my scheme," Mariam says. "He was a scion of the Taimen, injured in a battle against my homeland. I saved his life. My father was not pleased."
Captain of the living ships the army traveled on, Arik is a Khaganian captain and navigator. Along with Lorenzo, Arik played a vital role in logistics and repairs during the campaign. After the destruction of the army and the scattering of the Seven, Arik hid in the moving city of Hideaway, where he prepares an even greater vessel to travel back up the river.