Siegfried "Black Yoshi" Nolansson God of Secrets
Please, have a seat. There's... much for us to discuss.
The ascendant God of Secrets of a semi-AU Tyria, Black works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep threats to Tyria's well-being in check, particularly those stemming from the realm of the Mists and beyond. He thrives behind a complex veil of secrecy, guile, and lies, going so far as to entirely erase the mortal identity he once bore. Now known simply by his title of Black Yoshi, his actions remain hidden from the general population of Tyria, with only a handful of individuals so much as aware of the fact that he exists.
- Slow to trust
Black has a tendency to maintain a facade of stern, analytical silence, especially in situations involving strangers or those whom he feels are not entirely trustworthy. On the surface, his sense of cynicism has grown to match his signature brand of dry, decidedly dark humor, adding to his outward appearance of a broken, ill-tempered husk of a once-great man. Don't let that fool you, though; the sense of justice, drive, and conviction that spurred Black into action in centuries past is still very much alive. He won't hesitate to break his facade and spring into action if the need suddenly arises, especially in situations involving the weak or defenseless. Those who spend enough time around him to get him to drop his masquerade are usually quick to realize that for the most part, his act is just that; while definitely much more somber and reserved than he used to be, Black is by no means just some compassionless omniscient being.
Black was very much a firebrand in his youth, literally and figuratively. His brash temperament often cast doubt overshadowed his ability to lead, be it Vanguard soldiers or Brotherhood troops, though few could argue the results he produced. Years of battlefield experience tempered his arrogance into something a little more manageable, though his fiery temper and zeal for battle never completely subsided-- something that occasionally proved to be costly.
In stark contrast to his early days of hot-headed reckless abandon, post-slumber Black is almost unrecognizable in terms of temperament. The combination of losses brought on by his guild's ruinous end, the drastic changes undergone by Tyria during his absence, and a decade's worth of battle-related trauma prompted Black to reconsider his methodology of rushing into the middle of every given conflict. Now, he generally sticks to the shadows, pulling strings and offering guidance to those he hopes to influence as needed. In cases that require his presence, he allows his reputation to precede him when it would prove beneficial, while hiding his identity entirely in any other case. Those who are aware of exactly who he is are usually content to consider his actions and words for their face value and leave it at that; Black often uses this to his advantage, utilizing the force of his presence to halt conflicts or outright prevent them from arising.
Skills & Abilities
Black's repertoire of skills finds a wide variety of uses, from things as mundane as research to inhuman feats of divine might. As one might expect from a soldier-turned-god, the scope of Black's combat-oriented abilities is difficult to actually define. He doesn't walk around with his power flaring at every waking moment; much to the contrary, Black resorts to calling upon his reserves of godly might only in the most extreme of situations. For most situations, he prefers to rely on the same Elementalist abilities he has relied upon for years, supplemented here and there by a trick pulled from his repertoire of divine knowledge. In other situations where he can be a little more liberal with his powers, he can effectively replicate the moves of a Tyrian Revenant, as the relatively undefined limits of the fledgling profession allow him to add more of his own personal touch to it. The former is exactly what it sounds like on the tin: a significant mastery over the elements of fire, water, air, and earth, as well as manipulation of raw forms of magical energy. The latter supplements martial attacks with power drawn from the Mists, a natural complement to the heavily Mists-oriented facets of Black's abilities.
In the rare event that Black is left with his back to the wall and no other way out of a situation, he has the option of calling upon the more offensive aspects of his divine abilities. His go-to strategy is to utilize his domain over knowledge and secrets to discern ways to neutralize the threat as quickly as possible, such as physical weak points or blind spots. This usually suffices for smaller conflicts, though his methodology becomes more extreme (and taxing upon himself) as the extremity of the threat increases. On the far end of the scale, his powers become much more tangible and godlike, ranging from tearing open rifts to the Mists to utilization of any number of arcane arts that were lost or forbidden throughout the millennia. Use of the latter range of powers while inside Tyria is unfeasible, however, as drawing attention from the Six Gods or any of the Elder Dragons is the last thing that he wants to deal with.
Despite Black's combat prowess, the abilities that see the most use these days are his non-offensive ones. Years of planning out and managing a successful guild helped sustain his innate talent for strategy and battlefield coordination, further bolstered through his previously-mentioned knowledge domain. Said domain also comes with a number of other benefits, such as a vastly-increased ability to take in and decipher information, as well as comprehension of countless languages. More outwardly-apparent aspects of this domain include suppression of his own divine energy signature, at-will rift travel between Realities via the Mists, and, most notably, the ability to 'scry' secrets and other hidden knowledge. This particular power, of any other of Black's, is the least well-recorded, as few have ever witnessed Black utilizing it. The amount of knowledge about any given being's secrets is based on a variety of different factors, such as the being's age and magical potency, how many individuals are privy to said secret, and the amount of time Black has to work, and even then the influence each has on his ability is not clearly-defined. This power, moreso than any other, allows Black to stand up to entities far above his proverbial weight class, allowing him to present himself as holding at least some of the cards no matter how outmatched he is.
Like many other cases in his war-torn home kingdom of Ascalon, young Black was left in the care of the Ascalon Army before he was even old enough to remember his parents. As is the procedure for such children, he was given a surname that corresponded with the military academy with which he was left at birth-- in his case, Nolani. Black was quickly determined to have a natural aptitude for elementalist magic, especially the signature Ascalonian brand of pyromancy. On top of that, the young elementalist proved to be quite a persuasive force, ensuring a fast track to becoming a trainee of the Ascalon Vanguard. There, he met his closest friends, with whom he went on to found the Brotherhood of Yoshis guild. While it was more of a secret, NO GIRLS ALLOWED treehouse club in its early days, the relationships he formed and enemies he made during his time with his guild and the Vanguard as a whole would go on to help shape the course of both his and his friends' lives in more ways than the young elementalist could imagine.
The first of Black's many experiences with the Mists came during an assignment with the Vanguard, in which he had been placed in command of the operation-- tracking down the Coal warband of Flame Legion charr, responsible for a great deal of damage to Nolani, as well as the death of Black's elementalist mentor during the first charr attacks immediately following the Searing. Luring their foes into a far northern section of the Ascalonian-Shiverpeak foothills, Black's unit cut down the entire warband, sans leader Erol Coalsmoke. After a long pursuit that ended with Black engaging the charr legionnaire in an icy moraine, all hell broke loose, a series of unstable Mists rifts tearing open and spiriting away all of the members of the unit. Months later, a ragged and shell-shocked Black dragged himself back to Ascalon City, never speaking of what he encountered while in the Mists. While some assumed that he had simply abandoned his unit and ran, his extensive injuries and fatigue from his encounters were difficult to explain away. For a time, Black was regulated away from field duty, just to be safe.
Thus, the events of Guild Wars took place. Now an up-and-coming local hero and loyal follower of Prince Rurik, Black assembled a guild of friends both old and new while on his travels throughout Tyria, leading him from the desolate ruins of Ascalon to the Crystal Desert and back again. The next two years were spent both fulfilling the Flameseeker Prophecies and assisting in putting a stop to the machinations of Shiro Tagachi, and upon conclusion of these events Black set his sights on Elona. Nightfall came and went mostly as dictated by the game's canon, though the major split from standard events would occur with the death of the God of Secrets, Abaddon. Being the one in command of the operation to slay the renegade god, as well as the one to land the final blow that ended the his twisted schemes for good, Black's hands were both literally and metaphorically stained with divine blood. Kormir took on the role of Goddess of Truth, whereas the role of keeping Tyria's darkest and most dangerous knowledge safe was passed to Black. This was further cemented by Black's eradication of Abaddon's remaining facets of influence, up to and including a shard of the fallen god's personality capable of claiming mortals as hosts.
So, what does a guy do when he has the mantle of a god thrust upon him? Well, the whole "secret seventh god who isn't a true god in the Tyrian sense" thing never really sat too well with a couple of the Six, particularly Balthazar and Grenth. It wouldn't take long for them to voice their concerns over a mortal wielding divine power as a means to his own ends, especially once Black got married and his daughters quite literally poofed their way onto the scene out of nowhere. Black had more than a few issues controlling the power assigned to him at times, his mishaps resulting in everything from a refusal of acknowledgment by the Kurzicks of Cantha to a fracturing of his own soul, the latter of which would prove to be the defining point of his many conflicts. That fractured shard of soul, the embodiment of Black's many rampant negative emotions and the lingering taint of Abaddon's unyielding madness, took on a life and personality of its own: Ignis Phasmatis. It didn't take long for Ignis to prove himself to be more than just a thorn in Black's side, whipping up support from Black's enemies in Tyria and beyond in repeated attempts to rend the mantle of God of Secrets from Black and claim it for himself.
The conflict between Black and Ignis, for the most part, played out in a series of proxy wars, brief scuffles between followers, and underhanded subterfuge campaigns; the few direct confrontations between the two were both spectacular and violent. Black's increasingly cavalier attitude towards eradicating Ignis and the latter's own penchant for extreme violence prompting the Six to propose an end to his duties-- or, in the case of Balthazar, Black entirely. That would prove unnecessary in the end, as not long after Black and his subordinates beat back the reawakening Great Destroyer and its minions, Ignis's endgame plans would embroil the Brotherhood in a battle that would see to the end of business as usual for both parties.
The Battle of the Nameless Island, as it would come to be known in the few stories describing it, resulted in untold loss and destruction for both Black and Ignis. Not-so-thinly-veiled threats from Balthazar prompted him to safeguard his daughters in magical stasis until the maelstrom of troubles had blown over, and a series of deaths and betrayals among Black's senior officers left him more vulnerable than ever. Ignis, being ever the opportunist, capitalized on this window and launched an all-out assault on the Brotherhood's island guild hall in an attempt to bring Black and his allies down in one fell swoop. The attack initially proved fairly successful on Ignis's part, his undead and demonic servants overrunning Brotherhood defenses whilst he personally killed off the vast majority of Black's friends and officers. The turning point once again came about as a result of betrayal, with Ignis's pair of top generals turning on him in the midst of battle; said generals were slain by Ignis for their treachery, though the distraction provided enough time for Black and his few remaining officers to mount a desperate counter-offensive. Through their combined efforts, Black managed to finally get Ignis alone, and after a lengthy struggle entrap Ignis's physical form in a tomb of heavily-warded obsidian from which he could neither escape nor reform and continue on as he usually did.
Despite Ignis being essentially removed from the picture, the damage he had caused was already done. Black's officer corps had been reduced down to two living officers, with all others having either died or transfigured into something not human in an effort to stop Ignis. The Brotherhood's standard group troops fared even worse, the majority of the Brotherhood companies suffering a total loss of all personnel. The few remaining survivors didn't exactly get off easy there, either; in an effort to sweep Black's existence and status under the rug entirely, Balthazar dispatched cleaners to snuff out those who turned up in Tyrian society once more. Those who went undetected either went into hiding at the fringes of Tyrian society or were assisted by the mesmer magic of Alexander Vaermund - the now former Green Yoshi and highest-ranked survivor of the battle - in assuming a new identity and slipping unnoticed back into civilization proper.
As for Black himself, the act of entrapping Ignis in his own separate prison of a Mists plane strained his abilities beyond what should have been his limits; just sustaining the barriers keeping Ignis in check drained the limited facet of divine power Black had access to in the first place. That in mind, and knowing that the Six would continue to scrutinize his efforts even with Ignis gone, he decided that a good, long nap was in order. After entrusting the Vaermund family with keeping vigil over Tyria in his absence, Black fell into a slumber deep beneath the island that housed the now-ruins of his former guild hall.
He would not rouse from his extended sleep for another 250 years, even sleeping through the rise of the Elder Dragons and the subsequent disasters wrought by each of their awakenings. All the while, Ignis continued to find loopholes around the wards of his prison reality, with each subsequent generation of the Vaermund family laboring to keep the increasingly-powerful and independent entity contained. Despite multiple extremely close calls, Black continued to slumber until just before the events of Guild Wars 2.
While it isn't entirely certain what prompted him to wake up, he immediately went to work familiarizing himself with the drastic changes which Tyria had undergone in the time that had passed since his fateful final conflict. Keeping to the literal and metaphorical shadows to avoid arousing any suspicion from the Six Gods, he instructed the latest in the line of Green Yoshis, Alexandria VI, in assembling a new guild of heroes to combat threats both new and old. Referred to by multiple names (officially the Chromatic Order, though the New Brotherhood is most often used), this new organization proved itself almost immediately in the battles against Zhaitan and Mordremoth, while at the same time ending the machinations of a resurgent Ignis and his new cronies behind the scenes. Black himself doesn't see any action at all, instead operating as the man behind the curtain, making sure that threats from outside Tyria are kept in check-- and making an appearance to threaten guilty parties, if necessary.
- The oldest of my OCs, dating back to early 2006. He's been through... a lot.
- The whole Yoshi thing is a naming convention 13-year-old me thought was cool. I've somehow managed to stick to and rationalize it ever since.
- Comes fully armed with dad jokes from across entirety. Beware.
- Black was an elementalist in GW1 and core GW2, but revenant was just too fitting to his theme to pass up.