Legate Vayne Steelhart
"There is no creation that does not contain a contradiction. Duality is intrinsic to existence itself."
Social Rank: 4
Concept: Divine Duality
Marital Status: single
Religion: Pantheon; Tehom
Height: average height
Hair Color: black
Eye Color: dark brown
Description: Slightly taller than average, the weighty, unflinching gaze from dark almond eyes and the soft sweep of his long, loose inky black hair are the usually the first features to be recognized. He has strong eyebrows and a long nose sloping down to a neatly trimmed mustache and beard. His face is thin and angular, his build is lanky and lean nearly to the point of outright asceticism. He typically radiates profound self-assurance with a faintly bemused demeanor that makes him seem privy to some unspoken private jest.
Personality: Vayne is a man who fully embodies what it is to embrace and master your darkest impulses. He is not especially demonstrative in his normal aspect, but when he is moved to emotion, he holds nothing back and feels it wholeheartedly. If he rages, his fury bellows from the depths of his soul. If he lusts, he does so with wanton abandon. If he is envious, his jealousy practically seethes from him, and so it is with all his other vices and faults until he takes a shuddering breath and his absolute self-control reasserts itself in an instant. He does not repress his passions, but they do not set his course. He may or may not react immediately but does not deny his urges, he channels their energy into the purposes of his choosing. His is the quiet joy of living his life truly honestly, to be at peace with his flaws and imperfections just as easily as his strengths and talents.
He believes completely in Tehom's deserved place in the Faith, and that to be Godsworn and truly committed to serving the needs of humanity, there can be no aspect of the human experience left uncovered under the Pantheon. He enjoys a diversity of individuals and experiences, and in his limited spare time patronizes the arts and even writes his own musical compositions. There is no taboo too unthinkable to halt his deliberate consideration, nor any soul too dark to gain his empathy. He will accept anyone as they are and seek to lead them to a better harmony between their inner self, their outer reflection, and the external world they live in. He knows without a doubt what it is like to have your whole world turned against you, and how you can rise from it to find your true calling in the end.
Background: Born to a certain Valardin noble family, Vayne was nothing less than a child prodigy. His early blooming and ravenous appetite for new knowledge saw him sent to Sanctum to study with the Faith before even ten summers had passed. When he arrived there, he won over the skeptics with his precocious insight, his unflinching courage in his convictions, and his continual drive to challenge and refine his ideas in ethical debate. Thrilled at reports coming home about their rising star, his family gave him the sobriquet of "the Incorruptible" to the annoyance of his siblings and cousins, forced to compete with an absentee golden child. Vayne's eighteenth birthday was to be the capstone and a triumphant occasion for his family, where he would leave them to take his Godsworn vows but surely begin a meteoric rise up the ranks the Faith, perhaps even to become the Dominus. Instead, it was the beginning of the end.
Always a believer that true dogmatic beliefs will stand up to any amount of scrutiny, Vayne began to focus on the concepts of Tehom worship as a Godsworn, calling the 'split' in the Pantheon the fundamental theological issue of the Arvian religion. The leadership was uncomfortable with Vayne's study of an issue they felt was /very/ settled, but confident that he would draw the proper conclusions. Instead, his determination shook Sanctum like a thunderbolt: the traditional Oathlands proscriptions against venerating the Thirteenth were in fact prejudicial and incorrect, he said. In disbelief that one of their brightest hopes was suddenly on the verge of heresy, the Sanctum leadership even requested help from his former House in turning Vayne away from his course. But the very qualities for which he had always been praised now stood as implacable opposition. Even if a whole fealty stood against him in disapproval, Vayne would not relent to family or social or political pressure, only rigorous theological argument. None could craft such a one strong enough to dissuade him. Before things came to a final head, however, one day Vayne was simply... gone. In his quarters he left a note.
"The gods do not have dominion over only parts of the world lovely to behold. To turn away from hard truths is to surrender control to them, to let them dictate how we do or do not act. A light necessarily casts a shadow, an assertion must have a negation. If we are to make the best world that we can, we must first accept the truth of the world as it is in all its aspects. Our Dark Reflections are created with us, as part of who we are. To deny Tehom is to remain willfully blind to our true natures. But if I am to truly help others find their way, then I must first understand myself, in all of my facets. May the wisdom of all the Pantheon bless us all."
For the next fifteen years, Vayne was a cautionary tale. He ceased to go by his given name, and fell into obscurity. Occasionally some rumors or fanciful tales would surface of individuals resembling Vayne, or resembling what people thought Vayne would look like at the time, no one could say for certain. Some were that he had found a niche with a fringe cult, others claimed he had let himself go to dissolute or even outright criminal behavior. His House practically declared him dead and moved on. The story was over, until many years later the man in the mirrored mask arrived in Arx.
He seemed generally uninterested in his past apart from reclaiming his given name, merely referencing a long and challenging journey of self-discovery and that he was ready to resume his duties. Despite his clear fealty to Tehom there was little question that Vayne was a true priest of the whole Pantheon conversant in its ritual and dogma, and he gained a grudging if uncertain respect among the clergy of Arx. Ironically, upon establishing himself in Arx he began the quick rise up the ranks of the Faith that had so long ago seemed to be all but a preordained thing. The last step came when Vayne presented incontrovertible evidence of the previous Archlector's financial corruption and violation of his oaths; crushing his largest block of internal political opposition in the process.
Ascendant to the Archlectorship of Tehom, Vayne felt the delightful rush of triumph, the sweet vindication, the tickling satisfaction of looking down at every close-minded person who had called him heretic, sneered at him while blind to their own arrogance, slighted or betrayed him while he sought to understand his own self and his own darkness, worked to undermine his ambitions to drag the discipleship of the Thirteenth into ending its exile and realizing its full potential kicking and screaming if necessary... he savored it all, he exulted in it all, he felt it all to the very depth of his bones. And then he banished it to memory, and got to work.
The Faith of the Pantheon exists to bring the will of the gods into the world, and the most devoted of Tehom will not settle for anything less than his flock's rightful place among them.