|“||He's a charlatan who liked to dig up pretty artifacts and call himself a scholar.||”|
A man hunches over the strange mechanism, his spine a sharp ridge rising from his arched back. He's barely clothed in filthy rags, and the patches of skin you see are mottled green. A spoiled stench emanates from him. When he turns and sees you, he snarls and scuttles behind the adra pedestal. Only his bared teeth seem to have escaped decay. His eyes are yellowed and bloodshot, but they flicker with intelligence. He averts his gaze and holds a hand in front of his face.
Aldhelm Graeg is a scholar of animancy who worked at Brackenbury Sanitarium for over fifteen years and made seven tours to Engwithan ruins beyond Solace Vale. His expertise made him a natural candidate for researching Teir Nowneth, the massive Engwithan tower in Heritage Hill in Defiance Bay. Together with Trindig, his assistant, he set to analyzing the ruins and poring over them with a fine-toothed comb, after gaining access to the inside by unlocking the secrets of the doors. For eleven days he and his assistant tried to understand the basic workings of the tower and the intentions of the Engwithans. He even tried to ask Icantha, another scholar, for help, but Aldhelm's history of research and more importantly lack of respect for Icantha's own led to her refusing him.
Everything changed on the eleventh day. Trindig mentioned that he saw a masked figure with blades at its side lurking around the tower, but Aldhelm dismissed the Leaden Key infiltrator as a trick of shadows. The infiltrator activated the Engwithan machine while they were asleep. The device activated, acting like a magnet for the souls in the district, anchoring them to their bodies. The infiltrator killed Trindig and Aldhelm, ensuring they would come back as darguls and keep their secrets. Of course, they didn't anticipate that Aldhelm's drive would keep his mind fairly intact. After his initial outburst - after all, he ran hundreds of experiments and achieved nothing, while a random asssassin woke up a machine that lay dormant for two thousand years - the rotting scientist decided to focus on understanding the machine.
To maintain his sanity, he hunted down men and women in the Hill to infuse his rotting body with living essence and forestall madness, then locked himself and his team in the tower to continue their research. After two months there's just him left clinging to shreds of sanity, trying in vain to figure out a way to deactivate the machine and be released from the suffering.
|This character is involved in quests.|