Ba’ai’i, The Dark Star (A to Z Challenge, B)2 April, 2015
Ba’ai’i, the Dark Star, Ruler of the Dark Star Dominion
Quote: “The only thing that matters is power.”
Description: In his true draconic form, Ba’ai’i is a massive four-winged black dragon. His scales absorb light so completely that it is difficult to make out any details about his form but it causes unease just being around. His eyes are a dark, molten gold and are the only part about him that is not black. His voice echoes as if emerging from a distant and otherworldly place.
He is more commonly encountered is his humanoid form, which is a tall (7’/2.13m) black skinned human with dark molten gold eyes. His skin is not so light consuming as his scales and details can be made out, such as a scar that runs from under his left ear to the base of his throat. He dresses in the best and most formal clothes for the occasion, favoring military uniforms and ornate robes, with a minimum of tasteful but fabulously valuable jewelry for decoration. In his human form, his voice only retains a faint otherworldly echo when he speaks.
Background: Older even than the Empress, Ba’ai’i has always sought to increase his personal power even at the expense of others. He was a late recruit into the Dragon Empress’ plot to overthrown the gods but once committed, he performed admirably. Seizing prime land, he immediately set about consolidating his power, even going so far as to build churches and cults to himself, as to be the sole ruler and sole god of his Dominion.
He has used the time since the Sundering to build his personal power and to slowly expand the lands under his rule. No source of power is too dangerous for him to investigate and he has mastered summoning, necrourgy and other sinister arts in his quest for power and mastery over the world.
Presenting this Character: Ba’ai’i is power personified, power both corrupting and corrupted, he is widely thought to be the most personally powerful dragon in the Sea of Stars after the Empress. His arrival dims magical light and extinguishes candles and carries the hint of otherworldly dangers. Ba’ai’i takes what he wants and does not suffer fools, but it also a patron of learning and the arts, promoting both throughout his realm.
Anyone meeting him should feel as though they are walking on eggshells and that their next word could be their last, because it might be. Ba’ai’i is not wasteful, talent people are useful resources, but those that do not seem to have value in his eyes have every reason to fear his displeasure.
What can he do?: An elder dragon, several millennium old who has mastered the arts of summoning, necrourgy and more? A better question may be what can he not do?
Who might know him and why: Everyone in the Dark Star Dominion knows of him but a much smaller subset actually knows him. But those within the Dominion who show exceptional talent for, well, just about anything may come to his attention which is almost guaranteed to be an unsettling experience. Foreign dignitaries, scholars or even merchants of exotic goods may come into his orbit.
Plot Hooks: Ba’ai’i love competitions to determine who or what is best and every few years he sponsors a tournament for court musicians, painters, architects and more exotic roles needed by his inner circle. (Which is the basis for the Evard’s Black Orchestra game in fact.)
If the characters come across some secret or powerful knowledge or item and offer it for sale, Ba’ai’i would almost certainly be interested in purchasing it (though he may send agents rather than going himself).
Even the totalitarian state and cult of personality that Ba’ai’i has built in the Dark Star Dominion is incapable of crushing the spirit of all involved. The characters may be recruited to smuggle information, a magic item or even a person out from under Ba’ai’i’s watchful gaze.