Who designed and created Vane the Void King's fortress? Who creates the weapons for his armies and summons his war creatures? In this villainous character design post, we explore Vane's architect. An alchemist of the void who twists the concept of equivalent exchange.
Concept art by Thyton
Since the earliest books of magic, Wizards and hedge mages have sought to find or create the legendary Philosopher's Stone. This artifact could purportedly convert lead to gold... or transmute any element into another. Imagine what wonders it would be capable of. Or... what depths of evil it could be abused for.
What if every elemental plane had its own manifestation of the Philosophers Stone? What if... the Void did. The Void is a place of absolute "nothing". To create something from nothing (and worse, the opposite...) breaks the concept of equivalent exchange. It defies comprehension.... and so does the magic that Vane's Alchemist is capable of.
Void magic does come at a terrible cost to the alchemist. As he allows the essence of the void through him with each cast, it also consumes his flesh. Creating Vane's massive floating stronghold cost him dearly. But it was just another small price to pay to bring Vane's vision one step closer to reality. The Alchemist has also hears voices. This is the only secret he keeps from the Void King.
As our story begins, we need to choose how badly disintegrated his body already is. We were thinking C on the chart above. Would love your input on this and any part of this character.
Here in the physical world, Vane needs things to accomplish his plans. The Alchemist is the one who creates them. Choosing the right title for this villain was difficult. He is a archetypes of Mad Scientist, Architect, and Summoner mixed in a cauldron with a little bit of Advisor added for flavor. We have never had an Alchemist as a major villain in our games before-- so it opens up a lot of interesting things we can do.
Aesthetically, we wanted him to look like a Battlemage (see Escherion from AQWorlds). Initially, his armor would conceal that he was losing a bit of himself which each cast. Over time it would become more and more obvious. We like the robes that are open in the front. This way, you have a view port to watch it happen. What do you think?
Artists Thyton & Dage create a number of concept sketches. In the one above, you can see the architect in various states. I like the scrolls in the middle. It would be interesting if he constructed designs from spell scrolls and threw them at the ground which formed Void summoning circles-- which would conjure the desired monster, item, or thing. I am sure the Priestess of the Void would recruit no end of guinea pigs for his more ambitious experiments.