(In case it is not immediately and voluminously evident from the incompleteness of this page to the errant typo which is likely a consequence of my writing in an intermittent stupor, this page is a work in progress, and largely just for me to keep an account of the character. Glad to have you read it, though.)
Xenophilius Vilevolt is a gnomish warlock with a storied and lengthy career as a practitioner of the dark arts and as an author of several books concerning philosophy, magic, and the natural sciences. Many of his works are shadowed in obscurity, which is exactly how he likes it. Most of these books are arranged as collections of essays, as he eschews lengthy treatises, and several have been published under pseudonyms or written in languages other than Common, such as Gnomish or Eredun, both of which Xenophilius finds more precise and methodical as technical languages.
Due to his expertise in fel and shadow magics, Xenophilius has been bestowed the title of Grand Warlock by the Council of the Black Harvest, though he has pretty consistently maintained a comfortable distance from the group. Several years ago, he was the originator and Maester (a gnomish title not commonly used) of the Felflux Circle, one of Gnomeregan's most contemporary cabals of warlocks. The Circle sustained itself for roughly seventy years before infighting as well as the irradiation of Gnomeregan scattered its members to the winds. Though the Circle no long exists, Xenophilius still enjoys wearing the title as a means of preserving fond memories of his home.
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 3 Personality
- 4 Magical Capabilities
- 5 Trivia and Notes
Xenophilius is a few inches above average for his race, setting him at a whopping four feet tall. His build is slender, denoting the scholastic lifestyle he's led typical for gnomes, though he maintains a litheness even in his age. His face appears slightly pinched as a consequence of a lifetime spent with furrowed brow and alternating grimaces or grins present on his face, though this disquieting countenance is offset slightly by a refined set of features. He tends to keep his hair, both on his head and his face, shorter, though he does style both as some slight and probably vestigial sign of vanity from when he was a younger gnome. Moreover, he has a small silver stud piercing in his right nostril, and two small silver loops in the shapes of spirals in his left ear.
His bearing usually fluctuates between nonchalance and the slight mania which usually accompanies both gnomes and inventive sorts in general. Overall, he moves with the subtle dexterity characteristic of his race, and with the confidence of a gnome who knows what he wants and how to get it.
As a consequence of centuries spent interacting with dark magics, Xenophilius bears a few unusual physical characteristics. His violet eyes sometimes glow with flashes of fel green or shadowy purple, most particularly when he is casting spells. It is unclear whether his unusual eye color is natural or a byproduct of his magic. Additionally, his fingers end in slight claws, with long black nails replacing his normal fingernails. The appearance is not dissimilar to the endings of night elven fingers, though it does stick out on a gnome. Finally, the last digit on his left pinky is missing, presumably used as a bargaining chip in some foul ritual, though the cut looks clean and well-healed. As a consequence, Xenophilius' ability to grip things with his left hand is hampered slightly, though almost never in his day-to-day does this present a problem.
Xenophilius tends to prefer functional clothing over anything particularly elaborate, though the gnome is not without a sense of style. His usual outfit consists of a wine-colored gambeson of overlapping cloth strips, held together with a silvery metal of unknown origin. The gambeson also has a hood, which Xeno almost always wears down around his neck. His pants, boots, and gloves are of an apparently related make, all similarly burgundy and composed of the same cloth and metal. His britches are held up by a deep violet cord, maintained by a buckle bearing an odd sort of sigil. His spaulders are more unusual, though not immediately conspicuous, as they feature craftsmanship of nathrezim design. If pressed upon them, which he almost never is, Xeno will insist they were a "gift from a friend" and then immediately change the subject.
A discerning tailor or warlock will recognize the cloth of Xeno's ensemble as silk spun of the aranasi demons, though who created the armor is not known. The sigil on his belt buckle is that of his old Circle from Gnomeregan, though its obscurity would likely render it nothing more than a curiosity to most.
Maester Vilevolt has amassed a few relics of note in his day, some of which have been his own creations, others the spoils of adventures or demonic pacts.
Exavitus: An athame of Maldraxxi origin, this dagger was gifted to Xeno by a lich to whom Xeno gave advice concerning the preparation of certain fungi for culinary purposes. The blade is fashioned from an oxxein and shadowsteel alloy, and is inscribed with various glyphs and runes taken from the incantations of the House of Rituals. Further, it has a hilt made from the spine and ligaments of some fallen adversary, and is set with a large Maldracite crystal, which pulses with energy and causes greenish shadows to writhe and pulse along the dagger's length. It is a fine implement for channeling anything from necrotic to shadow magic.
Kathyr: A relic of Argus, this small dagger is fashioned from the severed tip of a pit lord's horn. It has been inscribed with demonic runes and affixed with small, jagged blades to add a vicious edge to the weapon, thought its primary function is to draw out souls from Xeno's victims and store them. In many respects, the dagger has replaced the need for soul shards, though Xeno still keeps a few one his person at all times.
Enigmus: Enigmus is a simple scythe gifted to Xenophilius by a student who hailed from Westfall. Imbued with dark magic of the student's own design, this thing looks about as inviting as an electric chair, and in a sense, that's precisely what it is. But with magic. Fel and shadow magic. And portable. As a staff. Best not to ask... Enigmus is not the most elegant of weapons, but it does have the singularly interesting effect of enticing ravens, crows, and other corvids to its wielder's presence.
The Argussian Liturgy: An anthology of Legion scripture taken from a shivarra priestess, this tome contains tracts of nihilistic doctrine concerning the simple and total eradication of all things. While not uniquely powerful in its own right, the book details several fundamental principles of the Legion's ethos, which Xeno uses when making demonic pacts. Additionally, several sigils and runes are described as means of enhancing demonic summoning, which Xeno safeguards religiously, so to speak.
Mind of Xal'teesh: Xal'teesh was a powerful eredar sorcerer known on a nameless Legion world for his dedication of hedonism and novelty of sensory experiences, amassing sources of pleasure and pain in his immense citadel. This resulted, however, the sorcerer's demise when his underlings, so disgusted with their master's less savory indulgences, decided to murder the nearly mad demon and cast his soul into the Twisting Nether, where Xeno discovered the demon's disembodied essence. Sensing an opportunity for a marvelous deal, Xeno offered the soul a chance to experience worlds and powers unlike anything he knew, in exchange for his knowledge. Xal'teesh agreed, and Xeno set about decapitating a draenai in order to restore the demon to a suitable vessel. Now, the pair are sometimes seen together, with the floating and putrefying skull agape and snapping this and that way for a tasty morsel, all the while whispering dark secrets into his new master's ear.
The gnomish tendency to neglect historical accounts extends itself, regrettably, into the early details of Xeno's life. Most of his youth is catalogued, haltingly, in his writings, though his history is never as much the focus as the more detached and abstracted concept which guides the work.
Xeno was born to a book dealer and his wife centuries ago in the once-thriving metropolis of Gnomeregan. Because of the gnomes' inclination towards amassing knowledge and his father's business acumen, the dealership did very well, and Xeno was tutored privately by leading scholars in the arcane arts, as his mother detected from his youth a predilection for the arcane. Her suspicions proved correct, and Xeno was quickly lauded by his mentors for his prodigious grasp of the magical arts. The literary occupation of his father, however, also impressed upon Xeno a deep love for literature and poetry, and so he set about learning composition, rhetoric, philosophy, and history, in addition to drinking deeply of the fonts of prose and verse housed in his family's dealership.
When he was around twenty-two years of age, still a stripling by the aging standards of his people, Xenophilius was first sent to Ironforge as a means of furthering his education in the liberal arts, and to get a glimpse of Khaz Modan beyond the metal walls of his technologically marvelous city. Xenophilius pretty immediately meshed with the Dark Iron clan, whose comparative mastery of magic and nuanced political ploys fascinated Xeno to no small end. So, too, was he intrigued by the Bronzebeards and Wildhammers, though he found significantly less kinship with either clan as he did with the Dark Irons. In particular, their historicity when it came to their studies of magic proved an invaluable resource to the young gnome, and it was here that he first learned about the existence of alternative magics and demons. Utterly fascinated by stories of the Well of Eternity and slews of monstrous creatures with mastery of chaos itself, Xeno resolved in his mind to study these beings further.
Upon returning to Gnomeregan, Xeno maintained his studies earnestly, though the thoughts and figments he had happened upon during that first fateful trip to Ironforge lingered in his mind. He thought of alternative avenues of magical power, but was unsure of how to ask any of his tutors about such a thing, and so resolved to simply keep his queries to himself. Quietly, he began rifling through his father's stock, trying to find anything he could about the worlds beyond his own, such as they were understood.
Departure of Mechagon
Being born under the reign of the increasingly maniacal King Mechagon, Xeno was in his mid thirties when the monarch of the city took his followers and abruptly departed for a fabled land of pure technology. There was some to-do in the city about this, and Xeno's father saw a swell in his business as books concerning the known lands beyond Gnomeregan and the snowy mountains in which it was nestled started to fly off the shelves. Xeno's father, never one for fervent idealism, quietly chuckled as he profited from the city's passion, and funded his son's education more amply than he was previously able, putting Xeno up in a small apartment not far from the family home.
As Xeno continued attempting to master the arcane, he also kept an ear out for others within Gnomeregan who were of similarly curious minds about the fel and the powers which lay beyond the conventional areas of magical study. Eventually, Xeno would find a few like-minded scholars who would delve into these more esoteric tomes with him during the wee hours of the night. Though not explicitly forbidden by any law, these few individuals sought a certain degree of privacy for the sake of academic integrity, or so they claimed to themselves. Xeno was aware that most of the clandestine nature of their dealings with these darker magics was because of the novelty. While demons had been on Azeroth for thousands of years, the gnomes hadn't studied their history on the planet very extensively, and so were unaccustomed to the degree of resolve and magical skill it took to bind them and utilize their power. Thus, mishaps with summoning were not uncommon, and more than one fledgling mage lost either his mind or his head to a demonic entity.
It was under these circumstances, which remained unchanged for a number of years, that the young gnome decided, rather abruptly, to disavow his studies of the arcane and instead engage in a comparatively holistic approach to studying the fel. He became pretty quickly a devotee of certain gnomish practitioners of the craft, that is, the ones who'd lived long enough to pass their insight along to less experienced mages.
Xeno's twilight years have largely been characterized by mentorship and more intensive studies of necromancy and demonology, though he has always found time to indulge the occasional social call
Xeno is perhaps best characterized by his immense capacity for sardonicism and a wry, grim sense of humor, in addition to a proclivity for long-winded conversation and debate.
- Xenophilius is decidedly not a pious man, often critiquing religious institutions without reservation, as he believes that though they might provide some benefit to the societies in which they abide, these benefits are completely incidental and predicated upon the inadequacies of the individuals within aforementioned societies. Blind devotion, Xeno thinks, is as deep an evil as anything else Azeroth has faced.
- Xeno tends to shy away from politics on principle, though he enjoys discussing them in a manner well distanced from the actual policies at hand. Generally, Xeno finds laws quaint and worthy of acknowledgement only because of their prevalence, though not worthy of respect given their general inanity. Concerning most matters, Xeno finds that sovereignty is only derived from the will and consent of the people, and finds hereditary power revolting. In this regard, Xeno might be best classified as a progressive populist, advocating, when he does decide to advocate for anything politically, for constant reform and revision as thought itself ought be revised and reformed in the light of continual discovery.
- Concerning the warlock arts, Xeno believes ardently that the stigma which exists around them is largely a consequence of shortsightedness and a lack of widespread understanding of the fel. Proper understanding of natural phenomena, Xeno believes, will teach people not to fear their magic, including the elimination of the ridiculous term "the dark arts." Xeno understands that the nature of the universe is to devolve into chaos in the course of due time, as all complex systems must, and that warlocks uniquely understand how to bring about synchronicity from this chaos, as they best understand it. This does not mean, however, that one ought not simultaneously study the arcane, at least preliminarily, so that one does not come to fetishize or idolize chaos itself.
Xeno generally is extremely blunt, finding that a well-constructed point should speak for itself and require neither obfuscation nor persuasiveness to appeal to one's rational sense. More often than not, if it becomes evident that one's capacity for intellectual discussion is lacking, at least to Xeno's standards, the gnome will instead of engaging with them abstractly either find a point of common interest, if the interlocutor is deemed suitably articulate, dismiss the person roundly, or toy with them rhetorically.
Xeno tends to be polysyllabic in conversation, preferring precision of meaning to accessibility. This does not mean, however, that he means to show off or sound highhanded, though his speaking patterns are often misconstrued as either or both simultaneously. In an attempt to rectify this problem, Xeno also has a fondness for wordplay and simple obscenity, believing that an engaging or entertaining conversationalist is forgiven for his rhetorical shortcomings more than a bland or droll speaker.
Xeno does not maintain many personal relationships, having a longstanding preference for his own thoughts as suitable objects of contemplation. Tracking down his old associates from Gnomeregan has proven difficult to the point of ultimate fruitlessness. However, in moving to Stormwind, Xeno has been keeping a keen eye out for new opportunities to meet particularly inventive or thoughtful individuals, largely leery of groups or collectives, which he views as perpetually preferring dogma to exploring ideas.
If there is one thing for which gnomes are consistently lauded, it's their capacity for novelty and vision. Xenophilius is no exception to this rule, having devised several new means of mastering his magic, though his inclinations against proliferating his spellcraft have made him something of an anomaly among other warlocks.
Finding most of the writing concerning souls and their application largely redundant, Maester Vilevolt has moved beyond the simplistic cataloguing offered by many of his contemporaries into more speculative and theoretical elements of using souls as energy for spellcraft.
Xeno has spent considerable time refining his harvesting of souls for the sake of efficiency in utilizing magic, considering most of his spells use souls as a primary source of energy. To that end, calculating the coefficients of "friction" of the movement of soul energy into and out of the crystalline batteries has proven a fruitful query, as it has proved revelatory in terms of quickening his channeling of the energy into his spells. Additionally, a rigorous study of the structure of the most conventionally used crystals has given Xeno ideas to refine this structure, and using, surprisingly, arcane energy and shadow magic, Xeno has made these crystals more expansive in their housing of souls, thus allowing him to get more power out of a single crystal.
Xeno's techniques for summoning are one of the few inventions he has catalogued and disseminated in written form broadly, as most of these developments came during his time in the Felflux Circle, and some were developed concurrently with his colleagues within the Circle. Drawing from his study of the manaforges of the Twisting Nether, Xeno has honed his drawing of power from the Twisting Nether, allowing him to maximize his efficiency in utilizing soul energy in conjunction with fel magic to draw more demons more quickly, as he embraces the chaotic nature of summoning as innate to the process. Summoning specific demons, in contrast, is much more simplistic or ritualistic, and does not allow for as much development magically.
In the course of his philosophical studies, one of the most arresting subjects for Maester Vilevolt was phenomenology, which lent itself well to his study of magic. In attempts to better understand this area of research, Xeno began meditating regularly, a practice which he maintains even into the present day. This habit has given him, unexpectedly, more liberty in moving about in the Twisting Nether, as he can better project his consciousness into the detritus of the astral realm. Maester Vilevolt consequently advocates, extremely strongly, for warlocks to study under monks for a time, so as to better understand the process of meditation to strengthen their craft.
Schools of Magic
Maester Vilevolt is an excellent demonologist, having spent nearly half a millennium exploring the vast seas of the Twisting Nether. He has forged relationships of many kinds with demons of all stripes, from befriending the occasional imp to trading secrets with mighty nathrezim. Several of these bonds are strong enough, in fact, that cadres of demons can be summoned with just a snap of the gnome's fingers, and his research into their natures has allowed him to understand the optimal ways of bringing them into the material world. Xenophilius is a master demonologist.
Fel magic appeals tremendously to the mind that cannot sit still. It does not eschew the forms contemplated by more conventional mages in their casting, it merely encourages the mind to examine from all angles and to understand the perpetual nature of change. Xeno's mind, therefore, is tremendously suited to fel magic, and he weaves it into his spells with ease and grace. Maester Vilevolt is a master nethermancer.
Xenophilius learned much of what he knows concerning shadow magic from two sources: the nathrezim and experimentation. Though it was a school he perfected only later in his studies, it has quickly become a preference of his when dealing with adversaries. Generally, he does not employ it in his day-to-day as often as he does fel magic, but whenever he unleashes this dark energy, it warps the mind, body, and soul of whoever is unfortunate enough to be in his way. He has also developed a fondness for weaving illusions with shadow magic, as a substitute for his lost ability to do so once he abandoned the arcane. Xenophilius has mastered shadow magic.
Another area of study gleaned from conversations with nathrezim, Xenophilius found his necromantic studies enhanced by reading tomes written by various members of the Cult of the Damned, though some of their scribblings hardly qualified as "informative." Conversations with death knights and further experimentation upon undead subjects, mostly captured members of the Scourge, provided more insight into reanimation techniques and the magical properties pertaining to death and the Shadowlands. Xenophilius has mastered necromancy.
Xeno was never particularly fond of blood magic, understanding it as comparatively primitive in scope, practiced largely by societies and individuals who were not magically developed enough to focus on more abstract forms. Nevertheless, he has spent enough time studying it to become something of an adept, since though both shadow and fel magics can heal in varying capacities, hemomancy is more palatable to the masses, which is generally the context in which Maester Vilevolt would ever ply his trade as a healer.
A few vestiges of Xeno's time, properly, as a mage remain, such as his still-potent powers as a pyromancer, and his tremendous fondness of divination, though he thinks categorizing arcane magic into schools is fairly stupid. Though the arcane powers of ley lines no longer heed his call, he still reads the occasional book on arcane theory to keep his mind fresh on the subject and for potential insight into his own work.
Essays and written works
Discourses, Volumes 1-4 (written primarily in Gnomish, though some Common translations exist)
Fragments of Dreamscapes (a satire)
Flirting with a Succubus, and Other Mistakes (written in Eredun)
Felfire and You
Arrangements of Poetry
Here one will find some of the essays Xeno has written, as excerpts from the books listed:
Trivia and Notes
- Xeno's likeness was once used for a Hearthstone card, though what, precisely, the card's effect or name was is still a mystery even to him.
- Xeno has a strong preference for bourbon, particularly bourbon of the Dark Iron Clan.
- Xeno's "cat," Michel, is named after a writer the gnome particularly admires. He recently has been training the beast to quote passages from the writer in question.
- Xeno has a bad habit of not paying his bar tabs. On more than one occasion has an irate bartender put out a price on the gnome's head equal to whatever was owed for a night of drinking.
- Xeno possesses a surprisingly lovely baritone voice when singing. Unfortunately, his repertoire consists mostly of songs in Gnomish, which rather diminishes the beauty of his singing.
- Xeno once ate a troll to ingratiate himself into a Gurubashi subgroup. It was agreeable to the trolls and disagreeable to his innards. Go figure.