Claudiu Ionel (born 18 DA) is a vryloka vampire. Claudiu was one of many children, and he always had to fight for power and influence with his siblings. He was raised among a secret society of vryloka living in Custon, the Order of the Crimson Rose, and it was there that he was able to put his ambitious talents to good use. His aspirations for control lent themselves well to the elaborate power games the vryloka played in secret among the politics of Custon. However, this was not enough for Claudiu.
Seeking more control and influence in Custon, Claudiu learned of the power of true vampires. He also learned of a secret cult devoted to Vecna that resided in Glidden. Claudiu knew that only those fanatically devoted to undeath could help him achieve his goal. On the pretense of traveling for pleasure Claudiu sought out the cult. After much searching he found them and convinced them of his intent to be transformed into a vampire.
The transformation ritual lasted for three whole degrees and was an agonizing process to undergo, but when Claudiu emerged from it, he felt more powerful than ever. To hide his weakness to the sun, Claudiu donned the black, shroud-like vestments of the Raven Queen’s faithful and did not remove them outside under the pretense that he should remind himself of the shadow in which the Raven Queen dwells. Claudiu left the cult and returned to Custon where he expanded his spheres of influence in the power-games played by the Order of the Crimson Rose.
Claudiu continued to worship Vecna, praying for his actions to remain secret. He also performed sabotage at the temples of other gods in Vecna’s name. However, he was never fanatically religious and worshiped only when it was convenient.
It wasn’t long before others in the order began to become suspicious of Claudiu, especially his equally ambitious brother Stelian. He discovered Claudiu’s secret and riled the Order against him for his treason and blasphemy. Stelian sent assassins to kill his brother, which Claudiu barely managed to escape. He first sought out the help of the cult which made him a vampire, but they had vanished, abandoning Claudiu. He was forced to flee on the Great Migration with his wife to escape to wrath of the Order and find a new home.
He now is on the run as their assassins pursue him south along the migration.
Claudiu traveled through Darksand Desert with the Church of Night in order to save his wife, Mirela, who had been captured by the brown dragon Urum-Shar. Along the journey he repaired his relationship with his brother, Stelian, after defeating him in combat. After rescuing his wife, they set out to find a new home where they could conceal his vampyrism.
Claudiu was summoned to Gloomwrought when a gang war threatened to tear the city apart. In secret he began to forge new pacts with the powers of shadow and renewed his devotion to Vecna. However, the presence of a powerful gang of Vecnites troubled him. Although he did not wish to destroy those faithful to the Maimed One, he was forced to keep the pretense that he had revoked his dedication to the god of undeath. However, he also saw the gang as a way to expand his power and secretly kidnapped and delivered to them Prince Rolan. For this service to their cause the gang's leader, Malachi d'Medani, blessed him with necrotic power from the Whispered One. Claudiu eventually aided in the destruction of the Vecnites because he believed that d'Medani was leading them recklessly, and was rewarded for protecting the city, being granted a keep and the title "Baron of Barovia."
Before the Apocalypse Eclipse, Claudiu occupied his keep in Barovia and set about subjugating the people to his will. There he founded an academy and invited all the aspiring mages in the land to secretly study the arts of undeath. Through the students, Claudiu built up a force of undead servants to defend the castle and impose control over his domain. It was during this time that he learned of long forgotten magic. Scrawled in the margins of an ancient tome were written ramblings of a ritual called the Echoing Void. When completed, the ritual would grant the caster life more eternal than that of the gods, but only at the cost of millions of sentient lives. This dark and terrible magic had been attempted before, yet it was always stopped by the mysterious order of the Guardians of the Void. However, as Claudiu poured over this tome, he was filled with an insatiable lust for power to rival even Vecna, and he committed himself to completing the Echoing Void at any cost.
Scion of Vecna: Claudiu was given this title in secret when he re-devoted himself to the worship of Vecna.
The Dread Menace: Claudiu was given this styling by his enemies when he became an exemplar of evil.
Claudiu is in his early two hundreds, stands 6'1" tall at 120 lbs, has dark gray eyes that blaze red when he is overcome with powerful emotions. Long red hair flows from his head, and he wears black robes (shreadded by many battles) to protect him from the sunlight. He carries a rose carved out of ruby, a reference to the Red Witch, which he uses as a ki focus.
Statistics, Powers, and EquipmentEdit
|Vryloka Male Vampire|
|A Charming Monster|
|Background: Pivotal Event- Escape (+2 to Stealth)|
|Theme: Student of Evard|
|Paragon Path: Vampire Noble-Beguiler Bloodline|
|Epic Destiny: Exemplar of Evil|
|ABILITY||SCORE||MOD + 1/2 LEVEL|
|Athletics +21 (T)|
|Endurance +21 (T)|
|Acrobatics +30 (T), Stealth +36 (T), Thievery +30 (T)|
|Arcana +21 (T), History +16, Religion +16|
|Dungeoneering +15, Heal +15, Insight +15, Nature +15, Perception +17|
|Passive Insight 25, Passive Perception 27|
|Bluff +30 (T), Diplomacy +23, Intimidate +25, Streetwise +23|
|LANGUAGES||COMMON, Deep Speech|
Powers: Vampire Slam, Taste of Life, Dark Beckoning, Blood Drinker, Essence of Death, Strength of Blood, Form of the Bat, Unleashed Fury, Blood Drinker's Pounce, Dark Focus, Unfettered Hunger, Dread Blessing, Aura of Grandeur, Shared Blood, Predatory Splendor, Irresistible Gaze, Vile Assembly, Consuming Swarm, Victory at Any Price
Feats: Ki Focus Expertise, Unarmored Agility, Superior Reflexes, Shadow Reservoir, Shadow Initiate, Superior Will, Lethal Shroud, Superior Implement Training (Mighty Ki Focus), Great Fortitude, Resilient Focus, Devastating Shroud, Killer's Insight, Venom Hand Assassin, Honor-Bound [House Ruled, Dragon Issue 404], Vampire Implement Expertise [House Ruled], Crossbow Expertise, Practiced Killer, Acolyte of the Veil, Truimphant Attack
Equipment: Embers of the Black Flame Mighty Ki Focus +6, Chromatic Robe Wyrmsilk Armor +6, Circlet of Second Chances, Amulet of Elegy +6, Hand Crossbow of Speed +6, Footpads, Camouflaged Clothing, Thieves' Tools, Climber's Kit, Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier), Belt of Vim (paragon tier), Backlash Tattoo, Ring of Fury, Boots of Quickness (paragon tier), Incendiary Ring of Fireblazing, Vecna's Dark Secret (epic tier), Gift of Fire (epic tier), Fire Horn, Strikebacks, Solitaire (Aquamarine), Stone of Shadow, Five Stars Five Strikes, Davros Elden's Blinding Strikes, Ring of Draconic Zeal, Gambler's Eight, Death Rattle, Dice of Auspicious Fortune, Crimson Determination (epic tier)