The Beacon Over Still Waters
“You may not like me, but after today you’ll know exactly what I’m for.”
Abyssal Exalted of the Daybreak Caste
A lighthouse towers over his head, the pale blue light of daybreak flickering at its top as still water seems to spread out from the Beacon’s feet as if he walks upon it.
Once he was the smartest orphan in the orphanage in some Northern Town. He’d let the other orphans know he was smarter, not to mention any possible adopting parents. All it got him was beaten and neglected. Then one day he was the oldest orphan in the orphanage. Before they could throw him out on the street, he threw himself from the fourth story window.
Nose an inch from the frozen street, he hovered in the air. A woman’s sultry voice promised him love and power, and the chance to show all those who wronged him just how much better he truly was. Eagerly he accepted, yet when he cast his name in the Void, the Neverborn laughed and gave him his Abyssal title: “Sweet Forgotten Nougat.”
Mocked by the sleepers in the Deep, the new Daybreak became the least of the Deathknights serving the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears. She kept him busy and far away with makework assignments, until a reconnaissance mission in the West sent him into the path of Tepet Mela and Warenthal Birch. Though they did not really trust Nougat, Wart and Mela did treat him like family. He became their sniveling, shifty brother, but a brother nonetheless.
Worse, the more he helped his Circle accomplish noble deeds — though the Neverborn, always loud in his head if only to torment him, would scream and scream — the more fulfilled he felt.
Then came the events of Hollow Nexus. Content to leave him to his seemingly insignificant devices before, the Lover watched as Nougat helped foil the Mask of Winters’ best laid plans. So she summoned him home and reassigned him to explore the tunnels under Gethamane, to find whatever great dead thing hid there and bring it into the Lover’s service.
Sweet Forgotten Nougat walked alone into the dark and the Beacon Over Still Waters emerged, his stance straighter, his gaze keener, his purpose clear, his fealty to the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears entirely discarded. The Beacon never talks about what happened beneath Gethamane, but he left the underways scoured of the lesser monsters and horrors that had plagued the city before. Clear of all life whatsoever, in fact.
The Beacon struck out west to Skullstone, to study Obsidian Circle Necromancy under the Bodhisattva Anointed by Dark Water. Then he rejoined his Circle in Rathess, where he helped found the Deliberate State of Zion and destroy the Mask of Winters.
In the ten years since, he has set up extensive laboratories in the underways of Rathess, emerging only rarely to confer with or perform some service for the Deliberative, or pay the odd social call on his Circlemates. Among the wonders of the Age of Sorrows, is that the pale and clammy creature once insulted by dead gods now knows, in his macabre way, how to be a friend.
Very few people living in Creation associate the name Sweet Forgotten Nougat with the Beacon Over Still Waters, who is known across the world as a fearsome and mysterious necromancer. He keeps his own council, and even those who hail the Circle of Unbroken Fate as heroes worry about his ultimate agenda. Realm propaganda paints the Beacon as simply the most overtly evil among a twisted band of Anathema, the rest of the Circle his unwitting muscle as he schemes to feed all Creation to the Void.
Tales of the Beacon
- Stole his own Monstrance of Celestial Portion from the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears
- Secretly the kingpin of all crime in Nexus
- Built a vast Shadowland under Rathess, through which he will usher the Deathlords’ armies to destroy Zion
- Manipulated Durandal and the Mask of Winters so the latter’s defeat was inevitable
- Secretly steals the corpses of Zionites for his necromantic experiments
- Wishes to destroy the Neverborn themselves for their insult when he first took the Black Exaltation
- Has made it his life’s work to counter and defeat the Deathlords
On the surface, the Beacon Over Still Waters is a different Deathknight than Sweet Forgotten Nougat, every inch the sinister and sophisticated necromancer lord. He rarely speaks in public and his gaze can clear entire streets of foot traffic. He is always working on his next black miracle or Byzantine manipulation, and those who cross him once seldom live to do it again.
His Circlemates still call him Nougat, and find him to be simply a less odious version of his former nerdy self. His sense of humor is bone-dry and gallows-black but remains might be a tad less cruel than it was when he first Exalted. The Beacon never tells his friends what he’s planning, but they know (or hope they know…) it’s in Zion’s best interests.
The Beacon is different from other heroic Abyssals in that he feels no shame or revulsion at what he is. He refuses to be a tool of the Neverborn, but understands the Void cannot be denied, and the dead must be protected. He also shares the Silver Prince’s belief in necromancy as a potential benefit to mankind, and offers families a stipend to donate loved ones’ corpses to his research. No hideous repercussions have befallen anyone so far.
The Beacon is very tall, very thin, and very handsome in a pale sort of way, with elfin ears and silver-white irises in black sclerae. He wears his hair in a long forelock over his left eye and ornate black arabesques crawl along his alabaster skin, symmetrical down his meridian.
He’s never seen in public without his dragonscale greatcoat, his trousers and waistcoat criss-crossed with philters, phials, and buckles everywhere, his Lichwyrm Spike in one hand.
In private he mostly goes about in high boots, leather trousers, and a billowy white shirt with puffy sleeves. Hey, just because he matured doesn’t mean he developed a fashion sense.
The Lichwyrm Spike
This sharply pointed eight-foot length of unadorned soulsteel boasts a grip and top sheathed in pale marble Gravestone, and crowned with a slumbering miniature bone dragon. Although usable as a Wrackstaff, the Lichwyrm Spike is primarily a conduit for necromantic magic.
The Beacon has never shared its powers in full, but it seems to enhance any Lore or Occult magic and grant him power over the dead. As it’s used, the undead dragon at its crown rouses, unfurls his wings, and roars eerily, “breathing” out the Beacon’s offensive magic. The dragon can also detach from the staff to serve as a spy and scout, and has even been known to carry the staff to the Beacon in time of need.
The Beacon has had this jet black silk cloak sewn into the lining of his greatcoat. In a special ritual, a ghost swears fealty to the cloak’s wearer upon a specially crafted glass replica of the ghost’s own skull. When a skull is pinned to Demongo’s Broadcloak, it will appear as clean white bone with glowing blue eyes. If broken, it shatters, summoning the ghost at once to do the wearer’s bidding. Once the appointed task is complete, the ghost discorporates to its prior location and is free of any obligation to the wearer unless made to swear on another skull.
The Beacon currently wears eight skulls on his cloak, one for each of the ghostly minions who oversee his affairs.
Xiu Lo Qin, the Ashen Lady: witch and soothsayer
Latimor, the Skeletal Lord: General of the undead
Neuqral, the Smiling Lord: Arch-schemer
Serra Ozar, the Laughing Lady: Courtesan and confidante
Kimba, the Emerald Lord: Bodyguard and hunter
Jugular, the Silent Lady: Ethereal assassin
Nexus Gray, the Beggar Lord: Criminal administrator
“C’mon, baby! I’m just puttin’ the romancey in necromancy.”