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“In the twilight of Cycles past, the strongholds were many. In time they would fade, to be replaced by others; such was the Will of Vrovona. But now, the Sun has set, and land consolidated among the few. Memories grow longer, and wounds do not close with the passing of those who inflicted them. What a sobering sight it is, our mighty Empire laid low not from without, but within.”
- Kolm the Witted
At the close of the Seventh Cycle's first century, few could state they remembered when gods walked the plane of A'therys. Among them was Kolm the Witted. Born in 6C-960, Kolm heard the decree of Llyrrh when he was but a young boy, and witnessed the departure of Vrovona from his people, leaving his Paragon to lead them.
At an early age, Kolm had longed to be a swordsman, but an injury with an axe ruined his plans to be Vrovona's greatest fighter. Instead, he turned his strategic cunning towards the art of magic, and was without a doubt one of the greatest wizards of the modern era. At the death of Paragon Rodav Bravnikh in 7C-34, a meeting of the strongholds was held. Sent as emissary for Clan Zhuvosk, Kolm petitioned to allow the Imperial Host to choose the next Paragon; for they were the truest to Vrovona's legacy as any. The clans demanded unity in their decision, and eyewitnesses state that Kolm pulled the Bravnikh emissary aside, whispered words to him in private. Whatever he said sobered the adamant emissary, turning his face as pale as chalk, and concluding the decision at his change of vote.
Though enigmatic, Kolm the Witted was not distant; often prodding his nose into seemingly inconsequential business. He appeared in strange places, to comfort a barmaid whose liver had left or – or to speak words of wisdom to a small boy who had been beaten by larger children. Sometimes, these strange episodes had subsequent impact, such as the simple suggestion that a young Solodav Ksavik borrow a library book on politics. Other times, they did not – a merchant he once met simply returning to his former life, ending his days telling the story of how Kolm the Witted came his his shop for a trinket and stayed the night by his fire.
Kolm was a practitioner of the House of Candles, instructed by Archmage Cyridon. He took on many apprentices over the course of his lifetime – often choosing his students by what could not be seen rather than what was outwardly displayed. In addition, he was known as a powerful magic wielder beyond the House of Candles, occasionally casting strange rituals, and conjuring beings of fire, ice, stone, and the terrible winter winds of the Vrovonic tundra. Some legends of the north state he stole these abilities from the children he encounters – leeching their magic to feed his own. Despite myths placed against him, Kolm was legendary for his loyalty to the nation of Vrovona. Though he served a short tenure in the position of Pyre Warden from 7C-211 to 7C-218, he never expressed interest in the title of Paragon, preferring to advise and witness rather than directly take command.
As with many powerful magi, Kolm's magic had extended his lifetime well beyond that of the average mortal. To many Vrovonic citizens, Kolm was seen as a demonic figure. He had survived more than fourteen assassination attempts during his lifetime – most notably from High Mediator Erassios Shroudbearer during the Eventide War. For the most part, the wizard even seemed amused by these attempts – and allowed is legacy to deter most attempts of violence against him, rather than his magic.
Kolm the Witted; died peacefully in his sleep on the 53rd of Sun's Might, 7C-265, then very much an old man. He'd heard Llyrrh's Second Calling, and remembered the last Paragon chosen by Vrovona. When the Synod of Blades was called by Paragon Davorin Zhuvosk in 7C-176, he was there to record the words spoken, and saw the first cracks in Vrovona's unity begin to form. He bore witness to the destruction of the old college via tooth magic, and saw the world's view of magic darken. A philosopher, magi, and tutor; his death marked a heavy heart for the future of Vrovona.