Codex Entry: Dantena van Torquaz

All systems of morality are fine. The gospel alone has exhibited a complete assemblage of the principles of morality, divested of all absurdity. It is not composed, like your creed, of a few common-place sentences put into bad verse. Do you wish to see that which is really sublime? Repeat the Lord’s Prayer.

Napoleon Bonaparte

 

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His Excellence Dantena van Torquaz is an inquisitor of Aldoradel’s Holy See, hailing from the Westerlands. Of royal blood, Dantena van Torquaz is reviled in the Imperial Order for his treachery during the Wars of Conquest, in which he sold a vital stronghold to the Keshian, almost causing a defeat. Claiming to have been framed, Dantena was only spared at King Conrad’s request.

He doesn’t hide his intent to destroy House Fulgam, holding them responsible for repetitive attempts on his life, one of which deformed his entire body. Witnesses believed he should have died from his wounds, thus branding him the “Bloodless of Tyria”.


Dantena attributes his inability to die to a dark witch who introduced herself as Death. Twenty-five years ago, Dantena van Torquaz was once an immensely powerful Battle Mage, trained at the University itself. Trained alongside Crowned Prince Conrad van Fulgam and the Marquis de Lubac, he bested both of them at basically every class, by far. He won the Gathering, the Imperial’s greatest magic tournament, thrice in a row, before inheriting his lord father Arathos’ wealth. Reputed equally handsome to a Valyrian, Lord Dantena was the Imperial Order’s most desired bachelor.

One night, a mad wench calling herself ‘Death’ came to his villa in Hawklanding, where she confronted the young man with his friends Godefroy, Conrad, getting drunk after celebrating the end of the Schism War and Conrad’s ascension to the throne. She asked to marry any of them. Drunk, Godefroy accepted jokingly, and ‘Death’ told him not to take such an offer so kindly before having sex with him. After Godefroy had collapsed from his drinking, the gloomy wench left in tears, and Conrad comforted her. Dantena caught them smoking a pipe and kissing, telling Conrad he was a sweet boy who whose kindness will reunite them. Hallucinating from the pipe, Conrad fell asleep. Death then turned towards Dantena, trying to seduce him. Refusing her, she called him an ‘evil’ and ‘ugly’ brat who shall never receive her grace ever, before storming outside the mansion, telling Dantena to meet him in ten years at the Fountain of Dryads.

Ever since, Dantena suffered six deadly wounds during the Wars of Conquest. He begged King Conrad to abandon the campaign, but the latter refused and offered him the administration of Caelidor, a frontier city between Kesh and the Westernlands. Conrad’s intent was to prevent Dantena from the battlefield, leading the rear forces.

Unlike Conrad’s prediction, a coalition of six foreign kingdoms marched upon Caelidor, led by the notorious Great General of Khurelai Dhar Moira. Facing certain defeat, and offered the keys to Dhar Moira, who called him ‘the finest enemy the general ever faced, for he is one who cares about the greater scheme’. However, Lord Torquaz’s rivals framed him for treason, and imperial propaganda dubbed him ‘turncloak’, imprisoning him as a war criminal in the Pits of Hashin facing treason charges after the war.

Following the Battle of Fredegar and the Treaty of Shimeh, Dantena was released after Conrad pleaded for him to Emperor Arius himself, taking his treason under accounts of ‘humane fear of death’. After suffering the Question, Dantena was released a cripple, avoiding two others ‘deaths’, one during imprisonment, and one on the way home, where he earned his ‘Bloodless’ epithet.

Ten years had passed, and a broken and disgraced man, Dantena met with ‘Death’ and the Fountain of Dryads and offered his ‘apology’. Crippled and flayed, ‘Death’ called him too ‘ugly’ and told him to meet her again in a decade.

Seeking refuge at the Holy See, he joined the White Cloaks as lector, than inquisitor, a position he earned through sheer hatred and sadism towards nobles and criminals. Under his mandate as Great Inquisitor of the 27th Penitent Expedition, five greathouses collapsed. After the Kovanni Rebellion and Godefroy’s fall, Dantena announced his intention to bring Conrad to justice.

He is a man awaiting death.


After exposing a necromancer in Aldoradel with his assistants, help, Dantena van Torquaz was summoned the Crimson Cloaks themselves, the ruling body of the Holy See, and told he would ‘take the red’ if he completes a task in the Westerlands, for the Closed Council of Hawklanding, his birthplace.


Reluctant, Torquaz travelled across the Empire, meeting on the way Crowned Prince Destrega the Lesser and witnessing his beating at Nicolaye Marrick’s hands. He warned Destrega that he would later come for him, once he is offered a red cloak.

Am Iron Order officer appeared at his camp, begging for an audience. The former asked Torquaz to consider the lycanthropy crisis that followed the Kovanni Rebellion, before being mocked and told to convert to witchhunting, branding it ‘more popular’.


Arriving to Hawklanding with his squire Florian and his sworn sword Worm, Torquaz met with the Closed Council after reminiscing on his prime while walking down the Way of Kings.

Told that rumours of Crowned Prince Malthan, Conrad’s official son, being Godefroy de Lubac’s bastard were being spread by an unknown group, Dantena van Torquaz accepted to help them find the source of such agitations, and silence it. However, he secretly vowed to use the evidence to destroy House Fulgam, even if it meant losing the red cloak.

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