Legends of Ridian
A seeker of knowledge who has ties with the Guardian's Hand and the Lukeni, one of the lesser-known mage tribes of Rakuvec
As the child of a minor noble House, Dar el’Hassan had a more privileged upbringing than many in the city of Hirazja. His father, Rajesh el’Hassan, was a Temple Warden of the Hand, and was responsible for testing candidates as they joined the order. As such, Dar spent much of his young life studying the Parlance and working under the watchful eye of the Hand.
As he studied, he found that he had some measure of skill in the Parlance, but was far more interested in discovering exactly how the magical language worked. When he was old enough, he began his formal schooling with the rest of the Noble children, spending more of his time with his nose buried in a book than other children – where they spent their time fighting and vying for social position, Dar studied the histories of Ash’Azir and whatever knowledge he could find on the Parlance. This set him apart from the other children, and he caught his share of bullying and ridicule for it.
He did well with his studies and caught the notice of his teachers, doing what research he could on his own to further his understanding of the Parlance. This eventually led him to spend at least some time with each of the various Disciplines throughout Hirazja – he had spent time studying crafters in their shops, healers in their clinics, cutpurses in the market, artists of a dozen varieties, all to expand his knowledge of the variety of ways the Parlance functioned.
Even with his eccentric interests, he maintained high marks in his schooling, but with little direction as to what he wished to pursue further. Knowing of his desire – and wishing to avoid his son being branded an apostate – Dar’s father used his standing to press him forward as a potential candidate for the Hand. Though he had little interest in many of the duties that the Hand performed, he was more than willing to acquiesce to his father’s wishes in the hopes of having greater access to the inner levels of the Ashen Archives – with his father, and during his schooling, he had only had access to the public snippets of knowledge, a drop in the bucket when compared to the rumors he had heard about the underlevels of the Archives.
His first year as a member of the Hand was spent learning more about the various functions that the Hand presided over – apart from the Emperor, they seemed to be judge, jury, executioner, clerk, and janitor all rolled into one organization. From his years of sitting at his father’s knee, watching him go through records and interviews, he had a bit more familiarity with the more administrative aspect of the Hand… but he wanted the knowledge that he knew lay under his feet. It may have been viewed by some as greedy, but he always thought of it in a good way – he wanted as much knowledge as he could wrap his mind around.
Eventually he was able to take a junior position among upper floors of the Archives, a career step which gave him hundreds of hours of new material to analyze. For many who visited the Archives, he became a permanent fixture there – rarely going home, constantly buried behind piles of books and records and stories, always looking for a new insight into the Parlance. The stories of the ancient floating Rakuvari cities fascinated him, as there was nothing of their kind still present on Ridian or anywhere else in the known world. Around the same time, he stumbled across the historical records of the first interactions with Khem, long ago. An entire population, devoid of the Parlance! Rather, they used alchemy and machinery to simulate at least some of the same effects that the Parlance could demonstrate (yet not nearly as well, he felt). They were each interesting in their own ways: an ancient culture whose use of the Parlance appeared to be far more advanced than the most experienced practitioners of Ash’Azir, and a culture who built constructs to work around their lack of ability and become a military threat. He dedicated at least a bit of his time each day learning both Rakuvar and Yaasan so that he could browse through additional records from each of those cultures. The more he read about the floating cities and Khem, the more he felt as though there were some unifying connection between the two, one he could not quite put his finger on.
His pursuits and research did not go unnoticed. Through his time at the Archives, Dar had made friends with a number of researchers working on various projects across the entire spectrum of topics. Naturally, however, he spent much of his time with those researchers pursuing topics of the most interest to him: ancient history and the Parlance. So when the time came for an expedition to the northern deserts of the Rakuvari people to study the ruins of what may have been one of the legendary floating cities, he was on a very short list of names to be included in the trip. So within a much shorter period of time than he would have expected, he was encamped in an archaeological dig studying the ruins of the ancient Rakuvari city – whether it was a floating city that crashed or one that had just been lost to the depths of time was still debatable, but it was still incredibly exciting! While in the north, Dar began to split his time between researching the ruins and spending time with the elders of the Rakuvari, learning about their theories and use of the Parlance.