Zerieth is an important character in my Universe of the Nine Roads setting, a human wizard who walks the White Road. In the era of the novel-in-progress, “The Dawn Prism”, Zerieth holds the office of the White Hierophant and is a senior member of The Order of the Open Hand. However, in his youth Zerieth walked the passionate and destructive Red Road and was responsible for innumerable deaths and incredible devastation, until a battle with an aged White wizard changed his life and point of view forever. Since that moment he has devoted his life to atoning for the misdeeds of his past.
A kind and humble man, concerned with the well-being of others above all else, Zerieth adheres unwaveringly to the Oath of the Open Hand, never refusing to provide healing and protection wherever it is needed. Though usually calm and centered, he still bears a burden of guilt for his past, and the sight of cruelty and malice has been known to send him into a righteous fury at least as terrible as the rages of his Red Road youth. Though adept at all forms of White Road magic, his skill with healing and defensive spells is unsurpassed, his powers augmented by his position as Hierophant of his Road and his deep dedication to aiding others.
For several years Zerieth has traveled with a young White Knight named Ethenae, whose life (I believe) he saved at some point in the past. He sponsored her into the Order of the Open Hand and tutors her in White Magic. Ethenae sees herself as his protector (forgetting that a master White wizard hardly needs a bodyguard) and refers to him as her “master”, a habit he continually tries to break her of, considering himself no ones master.
There are some within the Order of the Open Hand who have begun talking about making Zerieth the leader of the Order, an unprecedented idea since the organization has never had a central authority. Zerieth wants no part of this and does not see himself as a leader. The situation has created a mild tension between Zerieth and Ethenae, who believes the Order would be better off with strong, specific leadership.
Zerieth has friends (and enemies) all across the world as a result of two decades of wandering all the lands helping, healing and opposing evil. Early in “The Dawn Prism” Zerieth learns through the actions of young warrior and hedge-mage Sephias, whose life he saves, that a White Road mage named Fausiel, who he once denied sponsorship into the Open Hand, has hired the powerful Onphar Nine assassins to apprehend him and kill each of the other Nine Hierophants. In response to this threat, Zerieth calls a Conclave of the Hierophants.
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