Wednesday, June 19
Tuesday, June 18
"ALEX"Played by Jeremy Crawford
Alex is the son of Vincent and Karelle van Hyden of Io'calioth. His father is a high-ranking member of the Nerathi Consortium, a powerful mercantile company that primarily trades in wood supplies. When Alex was very young, the Shan Qabal (a sect of the Dragovar empire's arcane caste) made arrangements to take him and several other non-dragonborn children to a remote temple, where they were subjected to a magical ritual that invested each of them with the spirit of an ancient, long-dead dragon sorcerer. For his loss, Alex's father was well-compensated.
The Shan Qabal intended to raise and train the children as secret assassins, but Grand Vizier Turazad, who had initially authorized what would later become known as the Wyrmworn Experiment, ordered the Shan Qabal to terminate the children and end the experiment. Unwilling to see his life's work destroyed on a whim, Lenkhor Krige, the leader of the Shan Qabal, made arrangements to smuggle the children out of Io'halador on two ships, the Tempest and the Morrow's Folly. Alex was aboard the latter vessel when it was caught in a freak storm and presumed lost.
Alex and the other survivors of the Morrow's Folly made lives for themselves on the small island of Kheth. Alex's adventurous spirit eventually led him to team up with some longtime friends and adventurous strangers — what would later become his adventuring party. It took nearly two decades, but the Shan Qabal eventually learned the fate of the Morrow'w Folly and came to the island to eliminate any surviving wyrmworn. Alex survived the inevitable confrontation; however, his surrogate father, Captain Denarion Morrow, was killed in the crossfire. Thus, Alex grew to despise the Shan Qabal.
In Episode M-179: "Time's On Our Side," all of the heroes except for Alex are transported three years into the future. The campaign picks up on 8 Chronepsis 1478, and what follows is a summary of how Alex spent the intervening years. . . .
Three years ago, Alex became so involved in family matters that he chose not to accompany his friends to the Second Hand Traders warehouse, where Yuriel's missing crewman, Lashem, was being held by the Horned Alliance. When his friends never returned, Alex went to the warehouse and found it littered with corpses (several tieflings, two barbed devils, a doppelganger, and a female halfling). In the middle of the warehouse, he found the destroyed remains of a huge contraption comprised of clockwork gears and mechanisms. But there was no sign of his companions. Alex was unable to reach his friends by any means, but some arcane notes found in an upstairs room of the warehouse referred to the contraption as a time prison.
Alex gathered as many fragments of the time prison as he could, but he needed somewhere to store them. Zandra Miralko had access to a closed theater house owned by the Nerathi Consortium (the old Sarkiil Theater), so she gave him the keys and helped him transport the remains of the contraption there.
Believing that his friends might be lost in the past or the future, Alex devoted time to studying the time prison, in the hopes of somehow freeing those trapped within. Eventually, he created a teleportation circle in the theater and relocated his workshop to the Maelstrom. He also left some clues at the old Second Hand Traders warehouse that would point his companions to the theater should they suddenly and inexplicably return.
Alex has spent most of the last three years hopping between Io'calioth and the Maelstrom (now under the command of Levere Blackwave). In that time, Zandra has become Alex's close friend and confidante. She now resides aboard the Maelstrom, having severed all ties to Alex's father and the Consortium.
Several months into his study of the time prison fragments, Alex realized he was exposing himself to residual amounts of chronomantic energy. He began to age more quickly. One look in the mirror showed that he'd aged maybe a year or two in a few months. He began to limit other people's access to the shattered contraption. He also realized that his research was going nowhere. The mad genius who'd built the time prison had much greater understanding of time magic . . . more than Alex could hope to learn in a lifetime.
After some debate and prodding from Zandra, Alex spoke to Lenkhor Krige in Io'calioth. Lying on his deathbed, the wizened archmage knew nothing about time magic, but he was instantly fascinated. He granted Alex full access to the Shan Qabal's libraries and even assigned research assistants to follow Alex's lead. Although disinclined to join the Shan Qabal, Alex quickly found himself surrounded by clever underlings dedicated to solving the riddle of the time prison and learning more about this new kind of magic. Over time, Alex began to appreciate the Shan Qabal's genuine interest in magical research. Two members of the Shan Qabal in particular proved worthy colleagues: a brilliant female dragonborn named Ahk'na and an insightful male human bookworm named Talvin Sarrazno. Alex kept his other Shan Qabal colleagues in line using fear — fear of the powerful dragon spirit slumbering within him and fear of Lenkhor, who simply refused to die and held Alex in such high regard. Alex understood how important this research was to Lenkhor. After all, were he to harness the power of chronomancy, Lenkhor might find a way to restore his youth and vigor.
Alex's focus on reuniting with his friends put his adventuring career on hold. However, he kept tabs on various acquaintances in Io'galaroth and found plenty of time to study Lady von Zarkyn's journal and the three volumes of The Legacies of Vhalt.
In her journal, Thariel von Zarkyn describes a Vecnite plot to conceal the existence of a vast kingdom long thought destroyed. Lady von Zarkyn also believed that the Black Curtain was created by Vecna to hide a dark secret known only to his most powerful servants. In one passage, she describes a type of structure referred to as a “watchtower,” and though she doesn't claim to know its function, she describes it as a "dark spire, its peak resembling a skeletal hand grasping a large crystal eye." She believed that several watchtowers were built and hidden within the Black Curtain. She also refers to a lich named Alathar Balefrost, who knows a great deal more about the purpose of these towers. Alathar was Kytherion Shadowhorn's superior, and Thariel met him once in a place called The Black Candle, but Alex has been unable to locate it.
The Legacies of Vhalt chronicles the rise and fall of an ancient human kingdom — a kingdom the very mention of which the Vecnites have apparently gone out of their way to obliterate from the annals of history. Vhalt survived for centuries despite internal conflicts and great wars against mighty dragonborn empires. Alex doesn't know what brought the kingdom to its knees, but there's every indication that Vhalt suffered its ultimate demise at the hands of its dragonborn enemies. Various geographic and navigational clues suggest that Vhalt lies well beyond the Black Curtain. Alex has also ascertained that Vhalt was a magic-driven society, gifted with more than its fair share of wizards and archmagi. Its ancestral ties to the kingdoms of Bael Nerath and Bael Turath are undeniable.
When not immersed in his work on the time prison, Alex also visits Lenkhor and plumbs the libraries of the Shan Qabal for magical lore that might help him devise a ritual to free the Jhal Shard thralls. Alex also spends a great deal of time and energy keeping the Maelstrom crew out of trouble. The Maelstrom is due to arrive in Anchordown, where Alex hopes to find the remaining Wyrmworn survivors and assure them on Lenkhor's behalf that the Shan Qabal is no longer their enemy.
Wednesday, June 19
Tuesday, June 18