Name: Armand Epopus Riechtjol
Title: Grand Inquisitor of Frankmark
Ethnic Origins: Borkstvovan
Armand is neither tall nor short for a Borkstvovan, standing just a bit taller than many of his colleagues in the Church. He is a broad-shouldered man for his age, and is muscled more like a 35-year-old lumberjack than a young holy man. In his Inquisitor's robes, however, it is hard to notice any discrepancy.
He wears his wavy blonde hair very long, reaching a little past his shoulders, and sports a thin mustache of a slightly darker color. While his eyes are green, they are such a pale sort of green that they are often mistaken for blue or light gray. They are also rather large, giving him quite an intense stare.
As for his nose and mouth, both are unquestionably present. The nose, a great, long beak of a thing, dominates half his face, though not in a bad way. The other half of Armand's face is taken up by his mouth—thin, pale lips that just barely stand out from his ghostly-white skin, stretch across his smooth face, and when he smiles, his eyes scrunch up and his cheeks yank the ends of these lips up high. Some have likened this expression to a twisted mask, and indeed, his smile gives birth to a rather unnerving caricature of his true visage. In all, he is generally considered handsome when he does not smile, if a little intense.
Armand, as Grand Inquisitor, does not have need of much equipment, and so he carries only a polished black cane with a silver handle.
The Riechtjols hail from Borkstvo. They were a very unremarkable family, living in a village practically equidistant from the borders of Celland, Frankmark, and Estradee. Armand's father, Hrungnir, was a kind enough man when sober. He was not picky about when and where he took a drink, and this “open-mindedness” of his got him a reputation in the small village. It was nothing too harmful, but everyone recognized that he was almost always in good spirits.
In spite of his constant reverie, Hrungnir managed to be a very hard worker, and it showed in his thick, tough arms. A man of modest origins from a family of modest origins, he made his living as a lumberjack. As he was the only lumberjack to his whole village, it was said of him that he was the greatest wielder of a hatchet to ever grace their humble collection of houses. They later bemoaned the truth of that compliment.
At a very early point in his life, Hrungnir wed a beautiful young girl. She was tall, as Borkstvovans often are, and straight-backed. Her posture was so exceedingly perfect, and she moved with the grace of a lioness, her skirts flowing in silence as her delicate legs pulled her along the ground. Her platinum hair fell in playful curtains over her soft, pale features. To Hrungnir and the rest of the village, she was the picture of radiance, and she bore him one beautiful boy named Armand.
Another man, the village blacksmith, coveted Hrungnir's gorgeous bride, and made an indelible show of it. One night, when the bride and the aspiring usurper were alone in his smithy, the wretched man made a forceful advance on the fair lady. She tried to call out, but the man's rough hand clasped over her mouth and muffled any sound. They struggled in that embrace for a time, the wretch trying over and over to subdue or unclothe his victim, and the woman fighting back in turn. Finally, she wrested an arm free and grabbed a fresh-made dagger, which was close at hand, hoping to gain freedom by injuring her attacker with it. She slashed at his face and he let go, simultaneously releasing an awful wail of pain. Her small hand released the horrid, dripping implement, and it clattered to the ground. The man picked it up, still wailing, and worked his awful design on her. Her screams and his were intertwined as they echoed through the twilit town.
Hrungnir heard. The husbands always hear. He had known of the blacksmith's desire, and with all his might, he ran to the smithy; but too late. Hrungnir's rival was crouched over the bundle, lamenting his fatal trespasses. Without another sound, the husband picked up this gashed and bleeding beast that sat before him, and tossed it into its own furnace. That very night, he took Armand and all of his most valuable belongings and fled the kingdom.
When they arrived in the capital of Frankmark—weary and demented pilgrims, each of them—the officials had already been notified. Riders were able to make the journey in a third of the time Hrungnir made on foot. As he entered the great city with his precious son, the only family left to him, he was cut down. Armand was just three years old.
He became a ward of the church. All of Armand's schooling was done by them, and he took the cloth as soon as he was able. It did not take long for him to rise through the ranks, having learned of the Creator's teachings all his life, and when it became necessary for the Faith to be enforced, Armand was quite pleased to participate. He had always been a virulent boy, but one with unwavering faith. Armand's tenacity, along with his unwillingness to accept heresy, made him a perfect candidate for the part of Grand Inquisitor. Since being granted that office, Armand has elevated the Inquisition in Frankmark to legendary (and terrifying) stature.
The deaths of his parents never quite left Armand, and as a result, he is quick to anger. Some say that he takes intense pleasure in his work, which almost always takes on a very grim tone. His wrath is feared by most in Frankmark, and with good reason: he is a man with a very good handle on his spirit. He has studied the ways of Ghostwalking, and finds his ethereal hands much more effective at enforcing the Faith than his physical ones. All of his subjects seem to agree.
Those who find themselves in Armand's good favor are almost equally terrified by the degree of affection he shows for them. His faith in the Creator is so intense that anyone he views as “enlightened” is usually treated so well that an outsider might mistake his feelings for lust.
Other: Armand's Ghostwalking abilities, while stronger than a layman's, are not very powerful. He must concentrate very hard to move beyond his corporeal form, and is unable to control his physical body once he succeeds in exiting it. He is, however, able to inflict great pain and psychological terror upon a restrained victim.