Art by Decadence
Aliases: Lithius, Berri the Squire, Lord Ronosi, Capitan Fabian Luis Buendia, Tariq Ali Hossein Muhammad, Ida Monique de Montpassant, Michel Coria, others attributed
Affiliation: House Kensen
Abilities and Skills: Multilingual. Conniving, false-facing, acting. Proficient in swordplay and acting.
Magicke: Master of Illusionary Magicke - can confuse the sight and hearing of opponents, and combined with training effectively increases agility. In concert with alchemy, can create truly harrowing hallucinations in targets, and manipulate the perception of a battlefield.
Called criminal, cultural pariah, and rogue, but that's not the end of the story. Though a corruption of his true name, "Lithius" is recognized in household conversation across Elysia. Born in Ireland and raised on the run, the child of a brief affair between a mortal wolfess and a wily creature of Fae, Kensen has known little banality in his life, and little peace besides.
Art by Kael
After being chased out of the Irish countryside for fraternizing with devils, a beautiful young gypsy girl named Aedina Kensen hid herself amongst the nations of feudal Europe. The skills of her itinerant ancestors aided her in feeding, clothing, and concealing the bastard child of her faerie lover. She recalled the lessons of her own parents when living as an outsider in someone else's culture; learn languages, trust few, be ready to run. Though the growing lad's faerie instincts complicated their life endlessly, she sheltered the boy, nurtured his gifts, and trained him in the Bard's arts like his mother and grandparents before. But when the wanderlust so bound to his blood could not be placated any longer, she had no choice to let him follow it. Her gifts of skill, wit, and wisdom accompanied him on his travels, saving his life on countless occasions.
Prince of Liars
Though sad for their separation, Aedina had always prepared for her boy to behave in the manner of his faerie Sire. They said goodbye, and shortly after leaving his mother's care, Lithius undertook a nomadic career of varied trades. Those varied trades consisted of soldiery, prostitution, grifting, prize boxing, and mercantile mismanagement. During these years, Lithius amassed a very impressive collection of bogus and misappropriated titles from various kingdoms in Old Europe, and an even more impressive collection of arrests for false-facing various authority figures. Under a number of assumed names, Lithius was arrested for posing as French clergy, posing as a well-known actor in Britain, badly impersonating a Spanish naval officer, theft of a priceless erotic device owned by the Dutch royal family, destruction of an historic landmark in Ireland, and behaving in the manner of an even slightly skilled merchant in Italy.
Lithius travelled East to escape arrest, aided by his mother's lessons, and an emerging talent for magicke that made him an even riper target for authorities. However, it was only so long before his past caught up with him.
Art by Decadence
Life in Elysia
After many years separated, Aedina Kensen tracked her son down to Venice, Italy, where he was being held for charges of fraud, theft, and sodomy. Bribing the hangman, she secreted her son away from the city hours before he could be executed. She had done her best to help the boy avoid a tragic end on some wind-swept gallows. But knowing his instinct for bedlam, she decided it was time he learned the ways of legitimate business.
Though a bard and healer by training, Aedina found another calling of her own as a shrewd and cunning trader of "clean" goods. The reunited family weighed anchor with their minor fortune and set sail to Elysia Island. Upon arrival, Aedina found it fertile ground for her many skills, and is to this day among the most influential businessfurres in Elysian City, even operating with the blessing of the Nawab. Lithius, however, was slightly more gradual in becoming accustomed, and fell to some criminal recidivism before eventually finding his feet. He spent the first year and a half of Elysia residency in jail, this time for misappropriating the identity of a Welsh Knight.
Lithius had some success as a prize boxer in a league organized by Elysian City's Cartels. His first brush with fame was defeating champion Ejiofor Muwate in the Queen's Cup tournament. He retired uncontested at the age of 24. Cartel heavies and common people alike still discuss his brief but successful career, and how a Fae, of all things, managed to secure the respect of hardened criminals.
Under his mother's wing, Lithius eventually gained some success as an actor with the Queen's Pets. Later he performed with Ryssa Kodora's minstrel show, traveling the island and parts beyond. This was a successful period for him (with a few remote moments of criminal weakness besides). During this time, he studied magicke as a hobby.
A particularly bizarre chapter to the Kensens' early life in Elysia was when "Ronosi" - a mysterious nobleman and war hero - appeared in Elysian City, and was quickly raised to the office of the Duke of Austerath. "Ronosi" first appeared in red armor, his face obscured by a severe red mask that was said to conceal hideous war-wounds. He began to issue bizarre and despotic "edicts" - such as decreeing that all livestock animals must wear pirate hats - gradually plunging the Southern province into absurd autocracy.
One night, Ronosi's soldiers heard of open defiance, and the Duke decided to bring his entourage to personally arrest the irate citizens. During the confrontation, Tetsuya Tsubasa struggled free of the Ducal Guard and struck Ronosi, knocking off the Duke's mask and revealing the face of none other than Lithius Kensen (with a black eye).
Kensen explained that he had been blackmailed into the charade by an Unseelie agent known as Gallant (who was posing as one of the Duke's secretaries). The Unseelie Court had taken a close friend of Kensen's hostage, and compelled him to test the sanity of mortal government using all his theatrical ability. What seemed like an elaborate prank, Kensen claimed, actually had far-reaching implications in the long-sought quest to establish Faerie Royalty.
In the confusion, Gallant escaped using bizarre illusionary magicke before he could be taken into custody. But not before thanking the citizens of Elysian City for advancing the cause of his Court.
Due to the legal impossibility of the situation, several months passed before Kensen was officially removed as Duke. In that time, Kensen attempted to rule in earnest, and implicated reforms that lasted through the terms of his "successor", Alya Kalim. His brief but spendthrift reign as Duke is considered a source of unending embarrassment to government officials and nobles alike, who insist he should be tried and executed for impersonating a noble.
Among the commonfolk, however, there remains some affection for this time, due to the warm reception to many of his commoner-friendly reforms, and in no small part from the ridicule that Lithius brought upon the upper class.
After the Ronosi incident, Lithius was inactive for a long while, living among the Yanaka peoples. It is assumed that he furthered his study of Magicke while in the company of Dagdah, the chief of the Kirun tribe. Some say he was able to forgo years of Magister's training. During this time, his body began to exhibit strange markings similar to ancient arcane ruins.
Kensen had enlisted secretly in the Queen's reserve prior to the Arrym Invasion-timeline of 1580, was a guest of the Sakamotos of Lodis Island at the time.
Kensen was ordered to the mainland by his superior officers, and was involved in the Dublin Forest Massacre where many hundreds of Peace Keepers and militia were betrayed and killed as the forest outskirts were burned around them. He is one of few to escape alive - a subject of continuing controversy, also. Kensen aided in the defense of Elysian City later that month.
Lithius left the defense forces at the time of the Novari entrance into the war. He was arrested by Eli Sykes while trying to procure black market textbooks, apparently containing magicke of a most taboo nature, and sentenced to 2 months jail time. Even though a chronic repeat offender, the nature of the war required as many sorcerors as possible, and he was released on probation. Upon release he was re-enlisted in the Queen's Army, but fled to Ireland instead. There, it is said he entered the realm of Fae.
Kensen returned to a Kingdom under Novari occupation, and immediately fled underground.
The runic markings on his body were more prominent, and had begun to react with direct exposure to moonlight. More bizarre, he had begun to sprout antlers from the fore of his skull, similar to that of an Elk.
Kensen was charged with treason, resisting arrest, and multiple counts of first degree murder of Novari officials shortly after the occupation began, and was detained by the Novari Occupation force for 18 months at an unknown location. He received a severe injury during interrogation, and since then has begun physically aging for the first time since reaching maturity.
Kensen was found to be in too poor health to serve his sentence, and was granted reprieve by executive order of the Duke. He was released into his mother's care for several months.
There are rumours that allude to a connection between Lithius and Somerwood Sickness.
Art by Decadence
Kensen received a Knighthood of the King's Aegis for his actions in defense of Elysian City, thus authentically becoming Ser Lithius for the first time. This was the first Knighthood granted to a former convicted criminal in the history of Elysia, and was met with some public controversy.
Kensen has professed no particular affiliations, but through his mother and his former boxing career has some loose connection to the Elysian City Pride Cartel. He has stock holdings in Aedina Kensen's mercantile company, but also runs a small high-demand business (in partnership with Riesz Schellheim) as the only purveyors of magickal contraceptive elixirs in Elysian City.
Though having retreated from public life in general, Kensen is often seen socializing in the upscale Shattered Emerald Tavern. He does have personal friendships with a few well-known individuals, and has pursued relationships with both men and women in the past, though is now currently unattached.
His appearance seems to mix several species, possessing most of the characteristics of an adult lupine or coyote, but as well grows buck's antlers from his forehead (seasonally). Common conjecture would indicate he has varying degrees of control over his strange appearance, which seems to befit his reputation as an impersonator and con-man.
Several of his features, however, work against his gift for false-facing. He has strange runic markings on his body that react to moonlight, including his most distinguishing mark; an everpresent crescent-moon-shaped mark on his left buttock. At times, his eyes lack pupils, and instead are punctuated by glowing lights. Many of these changes seem to have come about since his visit to Fae and his increased study of strange magicke.
A notorious poppinjay, his fashion sense can be described as ostentatious, and almost satirical, though he does at times don elaborate finery of the most up-to-date kind (usually infused with a flamboyant disregard for taste and moderation).
He has a very unusual speech pattern (some would say utterly indecipherable), as well as a mixed accent of European languages such as French, Gaelic and Spanish. Close friends and family claim he did not always speak this way, and it is unknown as to why he continues to do so. He is known to speak a number of languages apart from Common-tongue, most of those unaccented.
Don't Give a Damn 'Bout My Bad Reputation
One of Elysian City's highest profiles, Lithius Kensen's reputation is worthy of its own section.
Lithius tends to be considered a bizarre celebrity by the common people; when spirits are high, it is fair to say they want him investigated at the least, and dragged out and burned at the stake at worst.
His large home to the West of Elysian City is said to be haunted by dreadful faerie magickes. This makes it very difficult to get regular mail service.
His personality is highly informal and eccentric. Kind, but hard to call "approachable".
Though seeming fairly libertine, Lithius is an adherent to a fringe religious sect of monotheistic Goddess-worship. This is frowned upon by related polytheistic faiths, who worship both a God and Goddess. He strictly abides by this religion with fanatical devotion.
Though a hybrid, and viewed with suspicion accordingly, he is one of Elysia's most prominent and well-known faerie-furre expatriates. He has a rocky relationship, however, with that of the Tuatha de Danann.
For reasons unknown, he is rumoured to be hated by the Magister's Guild. They have publicly denounced his role in the war as an unauthorized Magister.
At many Elysian City merchant shops and kiosks, as in many other parts of the country, it is possible to purchase novelty items fashioned with Lithius' effigy and name. Included among these are Lithius lunch boxes, Faerie Duke arrow quivers, pins, stationery, designer clothes and, much to the chagrin of parents, Halloween costumes. Particularly popular are tiny Lithius collectible dolls, with their own separately-sold clothes. Frequently, new outfits are recreated in miniature doll sizes, so avid collectors can stay up-to-date. These phenomena are a mixture of celebrity and ridicule, and indicative of his on-again, off-again infamy.
- A strange cherrywood cane that he doesn't appear to need.
- Multitude of unique costumes, clothes and accessories.
- Large collection of black market magicke-textbooks.
- A red mandolin.
- A mysterious ring made of intertwined yellow gold circles.
- Often wears an ostrich feather and a white rose brooch
- A mysterious ostrich feather he wears at all times.