Two-three decades short of the two centuries' mark as an undead. Exact age unknown. Did not count years in the beginning.
The skeleton seems to have come from a male; personally identifies as neither gender.
If he straightens up to the fullest extent his time-eroded body still allows, Igdalmar Am stands at a fairly unimpressive five foot nine inches, whereas quite often he tends to appear an inch or even two-three shorter than the height a perfectly maintained straight posture would grant him. Usually, he can be seen standing with his form looking relaxed to the point of appearing to be just a meager gust of wind away from collapsing to the ground, with his head slightly tilting to either side and empty eye sockets hollowly staring at whatever lies ahead in a thoroughly impartial fashion, no expression on the fleshless face but the perpetual wide grin displaying two gapless rows of oddly mismatched teeth.
In truth, his head has long been reduced to naught but an almost polished-looking bare skull as time and weather have done their job, leaving behind little besides naked brownish-white bone in their wake. Only where his lower jaw connects the skull, where the latter rests atop if his spine, and to an extent in the lower half of the inside of his skull there are a few sorry dark scraps of age-old dried flesh, useless reminders of there having once been a living body around the much more resilient bony frame. The skull is that of a person who might have had a narrow face, high brow and relatively underprominent cheekbones, but strong chin; it bears no evident cracks or fissures, the only lines in it being the seams which make it whole; there is however a gaping hole that has been left in the nose's stead after the flesh of it decayed, and the left side of the lower jaw looks thinner than the right, most likely due to some deformity the person before Igdalmar Am was born with or acquired through disease. The only remarkable oddity is the teeth, which quite surprisingly are all present - a second look at how some of those are damaged and brownish, whereas a handful look white and strangely intact, might lead to the - perhaps quite disturbing from a purely human point of view - conclusion that those few are not a part of the original skeleton, but rather have been taken from someone else and attached to their current places by Igdalmar Am himself.
The rest of his body bears a little more flesh upon its frail-looking frame, if only because the armor and clothing he wears has shielded it some from the harsh outer conditions and preserved it thusly. Though his torso has long been rendered empty of organs and the thin blade-like ribs are laid bare on the sides, a notable amount of the original muscle-tissue - though in blackened, half-dried, half-decayed form - still remains between his shoulders and down his back to the point where the ribs end and a mostly naked spine runs down to the pelvis.
The right shoulder looks unnatural, as the joint seems to have grown short, bony protrusions out of it, almost like spines - bone-tumor formations, which tend to slightly restrict the movements of the right arm from the shoulder. The arm itself has been reduced to mostly bone, only a little of the blackened flesh and paler ligaments remaining around the elbow and wrist, the hand looking as if it consisted solely of unnaturally long, albeit slightly crooked fingers spawning directly from the wrist. The last link of the right index finger has been lost to an unknown event, but rather than living with this disability, it has been 'fixed' - by attaching what looks to be a mildly downwards-curving four-inch steel blade with a thick back to the second link, like a wicked claw. Igdalmar Am tends to hold the index finger up and away from the rest when he is using the hand, but not the blade of it, making it stand out even more.
The left arm is perhaps even more remarkable than the right. While the shoulder is normal - and lacks the odd spines of the right one -, then down from the upper third of the left humerus it is noteworthy in the same manner a handful of Igdalmar's teeth are. Namely, it is disproportionally larger, stronger and sturdier than the right one, and visibly newer. - It leaves the impression that Igdalmar Am has, at some point of his life, sawed his original arm off not far from the elbow, and bolted someone else's in place in its stead. This arm lacks skin and large quantities of muscle, however the ligaments tendons are still all in place, the latter running along the arm, hand and fingers like thin pale slimy ropes, sliding unpleasantly along as soon as he as much as flexes a finger. It is perhaps worth mentioning that while he usually appears to use both his hands equally, then if he ever fights wielding an one-hand weapon, it will be held in the left one.
Finally, his legs and feet both are a part of the original skeleton and lack the kind of modifications a finger on his right hand and almost entire left arm have undergone. Their general state is comparable to that of the right arm, with only small amounts of flesh remaining around the knee, ankle and foot, whereas only the left knee bends fully - the right one appears damaged in some way, as it is almost completely stiff and inflexible. He moves with a plainly visible limp when moving fast accordingly, while when walking at a calm pace his gait seems to be uniformly that of shuffling along, with neither foot raising much from the ground.
Equipment and attire:
The skull is mostly left bare and on full display, whereas the neck (which is little more than naked spine) usually has at least some kind of dark ragged fabric wrapped around it - he could probably draw it up like a hood if he wanted to. The rest of his body he has meticulously covered in various pieces of lighter armor and articles of clothing - or which have once been articles of clothing. Beneath everything else, he has the ragged remains of what have once probably been many rather expensive garments, but have long lost their worth due to being soaked by various fluids and suffering from heat, cold and time. The once-bright colors have been reduced to multiple shades of bleached lighter and stained darker browns, the fabric has worn thin and can be torn into two with bare hands, with little to no strength used. It is hard to even identify what kind of articles of clothing those once were, since for the most part, the rags are but independent pieces tied to one another or even simply around the bones. On top of those, he wears worn leather armor of vastly mismatched pieces, and on top of that in return a slightly rusted chainmail vest and finally something which might have once been a long dark blue coat or robe, but has by now - in addition to looking hopelessly ragged - become to be of unidentifiable nameless dark color. He also wears boots - which are in the same sorry state as the rest of his clothes - and mismatched (probably due to his own disproportionality) gauntlets on his hands, with the blade-tip of the right index finger always cutting its way out. Igdalmar Am has abandoned the use of an actual belt - mostly because all that is left of his waist is his spine and a few strips of flesh barely the width of a finger each -, and instead wears multiple leather straps across his ribcage on purely practical calculations, and even might wrap pieces of cloth around and stuff a few medium-sized things inside his chest-cavity rather than use a bag, given that this space is hollow to begin with and lacks much purpose otherwise.
Of weapons he has picked up along the way he currently has: a long steel dagger with a highly decorated hilt which is mostly free of rust, but the very tip of which has snapped diagonally off, leaving it ending in an asymmetrical point; a relatively plain and robust iron shortsword with a blade which has been eaten uneven by rust and has notched edges; a solid spiked one-hand mace which has suffered surprisingly little damage; finally a single piece of iron shaped like a two and a half inch thick round pole, around two meters tall, with both ends narrowing to dull points, painted entirely reddish-brown by rust, but still being solid enough to withstand and deal impacts of significant strength. - The latter he tends to carry in hand when he walks, sometimes habitually leaning on it as he does so. It was probably not even meant to be a weapon - whatever it originally was meant to be - but Igdalmar Am figured that even if it is a bit cumbersome, it still makes a rather efficient weapon if used to hit someone, on top of having a wider reach than his other weapons.
Outside of the fact that he has somehow retained the ability speak despite the lack of tongue, lips, lungs and vocal chords, and can perceive the world – and sometimes even spot things which should have remained hidden from the common humanly senses - despite the evident lack of eyes to see, ears to hear, tongue to taste, nose to smell and the nerves in the skin and flesh to feel pressure, heat, cold and pain, Igdalmar has mastered the skill of tearing energy from his weak mockery of a true soul and manifesting it as lightning... Weaker in power than he would ultimately like, that is true, but at necessity the ability can be called forth and be used to thoroughly obliterate an opponent or a few in a rather violent and sudden show of power before he dares strain the source of his unlife no more.
It is within any being's nature to reject concepts which are thoroughly alien to the point of being inconceivable to the one's mind. No matter how openminded, a person will inevitably follow only one branch of logic, and neglect the alternatives as nonsensical, though those might be just as valid to another. Right and wrong in their essence are but a matter of one's perspective, and thus there is no good, and no evil, but everything has its damaging and beneficial aspects to the right interpretor. The conclusion one is going to draw is however strictly dependent on one's standing, knowledge and way of thinking, and there the mind sets a limit to itself.
He was Igdalmar Am. Before that, he had been someone else, and before that, he had been someone third. His name had changed as his understanding of self had changed, and the self had become altered as his perception of the world had morphed into new forms. In the very beginning, he had simply been 'I'.
He had first awoken to darkness and still silence. He did not when exactly the uniform blackness had come to replace utter nonexistence, and thus he did not know for how long he had been aware in the unbreaking monotony, nor for how long he ended up staying there altogether, but eventually he had noticed a barely perceptible change and it had occurred to him to try deliberately moving himself - or perhaps it had been not much more than a coincidence, a consequential subconscious reaction to the sudden understanding that he was to begin with. His hand had touched something not half a foot overhead, scraping against it and bringing sound into the absolute silence.
At first he did not even try to break out of the place he had somehow ended up being in, but rather quite simply entertained himself with the fact that he could do something, even if the action accomplished naught but faint scraping sound, however after a while it had lost its novelty and he forced his way upward and broke out of his first residence, which he only long time afterwards realized had been the grave of the person who had before him been in charge of the body he now controlled.
With his expensive robe of fine fabric being covered by dust and his thinning, long white hair falling haphazardly over his shoulders he had sat in his tomb, dried-out eyes observing the dim-lit room in wonder, but not quite managing to relay the glint of excitement living eyes might have showed.
Had he paid more attention to his condition then, he might have learned what killed his predecessor for that body, as back then his form was comparatively undamaged save for the obvious signs of humanly old age, the restricted right shoulder and knee, and mutilated fingers - lacking the ability to sense pain altogether, he himself had broken off his nails and skinned his digits while making his way out, even inadvertently amputating the last link of his right index finger entirely in the process. That had been long before he first started to take interest in the differences between unlife and the fickle lives of the living.
It had been not a too great a span of time afterwards that he departed from the region, picking a random direction to no other aim but simply seeing more of the world and perhaps finding something of interest on the way.
At first, the world divided itself into two: 'I', which was everything he perceived the rest through and could use freely to manipulate the nearby objects, and 'everything else'. Dividing 'everything else' into smaller categories took longer time, but over time it happened as he became capable of distinguishing, say, rocks from both the living and unliving. The first almost never did anything on their own - unless they decided to roll down a slope or fall down upon someone unsuspecting - whereas the latter could act on their own and were more often than not notably more prone to being interesting in some fashion or other than rocks.
Initially, he had a trouble conceiving that there were other people accurately referring to themselves with the word 'I' - it borderline angered him. He was the only proper I - after all, he only sensed the world through his own body, and not via someone else's. The fact that the same kind of thing might apply to those others, and that they might see him as something separate instead, did not occur to him for years to come, but nevertheless he was forced to speculate on his own nature and figure out another way to call himself. - I Am - what? What Am I? I Am, but what? Existential matters were concerning in nature, so in the end he gave up and took the name of a living who had perished in his presence. If a person did not react to it, the name no longer belonged to the person, or so he concluded, so he considered the unfortunate soul's former name to be up for free taking.
He also quite quickly found out that most undead cared little what he looked like, whereas the condition of his hands and eyes seemed to bother the living, and thus he, for a long while, opted to walk around wearing gloves and a strip of cloth tied around his head to hide which the living considered to be an anomaly. He did not know why, but most living seemed to fear him when they realized what he was. Sometimes they cowered or hid or ran, sometimes they attacked and he was forced to somehow make them pacified - why he felt the urge to retaliate, he did not know, but he istinctually did -, which more often than not required him to make them broken - dead. The more broken they were, the quicker they died. Again he did not know why, but some inbuilt instinct told him to eliminate any attacker as quickly and effectively as possible.
Not even all undead were friendly, as he found out much to his dismay, and if he could not avoid the confrontations, they suffered much the same fates. Out of necessity, he had picked up a few of the weapons, walking around as a ragged warrior - his limping figure was perhaps not precisely agile or fast, but it seemed that he was somewhat stronger than living counterparts of similar build. Left the impression, at least.
The company of the more tolerant living was often frustrating even without having to put up with their irrational fears of him. They required far more than him to manage in their more fragile than the undead's existences, and plenty of them complained almost constantly - though not entirely without a reason, as he soon realized by more or less trial and error.
The living simply were like that - feeble, frail... A mere gash or hole in one's body, or sometimes just a small puncture-wound in the right place, even the mere lack or overabundance of water or heat, absence of air or food, wrong food, old age, disease... There were so many things which could end a living but would do nothing to him or any other undead. The living just ... inevitably broke at one moment, and there was nothing much that could be done about it.
It had been so strange at first to see how something entirely insignificant could render a living completely lifeless, with no amount of poking waking them up again. (What made a living so different from an undead that what did nothing to one removed the other's ability to do anything at all? Why did a living not automatically continue as an undead upon death? And later, when he already knew more: Why can the original soul not simply stay in the body and continue on?)
Sleep, however, was something he could not even begin to comprehend - he himself could either move or sit still for years to no difference. (Why did the living have to frequently play dead to continue functioning normally?) It was probably no wonder there were not too many living left, with how fragile and needy they were. No amount of observation seemed to accurately reveal why they were like that, he had just eventually comprehended that they were... After a few unfortunate happenings and a few tests of the theory, anyway.
On the other hand, if there had been no living, there would be no undead, thus the living were probably still necessary, or even essential, somehow, as much as he theoretically owed his own existence to (the death of) one specific living.
In time his body succumbed to natural influences and rotted away bit-by-bit, which, though it did not bother him, seemed to immensely increase most of the living's reluctance towards him. The inability to feel pain made him personally relate little to his skin falling off in pieces or the flesh beneath decaying - it was a fairly irrelevant thing that just happened. It might have altered his looks, but it made his existence no more uncomfortable. His visual appearance he had never thought much of, only caring about the fact that he was functional. Altogether, he was on general basis incapable of distinguishing the things often thought of as aesthetically pleasing from those sights most living hurriedly backed away from in repulsion; consequently, he did not consider a living body more beautiful than a rotting corpse. The concept of something being 'disturbing' was entirely foreign to him.
His moral code - if it could be called such - was also strictly his own - others might consider him selfish and inconsiderate, a few odd spouts of seeming kindness excluded which did not have noticeable benefits to his own person, save for sating his curiosity. In truth, if things were not strictly useful, they could at least be interesting, and that by itself could be a sufficient motive do something... Interesting things were not always even hard to come across or produce...
Like fire, which was not truly useful in destroying things with sufficient efficiency , and had few other uses which were of any use to him in person (cooked food and warmth had never been something he required or even had any want for), but which yet was somehow fascinating to look at when it with peaceful strenuousness consumed everything flammable in its path and reach, the same way time slowly rotted and crumbled and rusted everything which could not resist its might. Fire was just like time, but he did not need to stand in one place for decades and observe it in progress to truly grasp and comprehend its inevitable - and often irreversible - effects on living and lifeless alike.
Admittedly, he could be fascinated by seemingly random things, and on other hand be capable of perhaps too easily wishing that something - or someone - or other would be evenly spread across a few square miles in an excessively violent and abrupt fashion. More easily than other things, sudden and devastating change was something he thrived to witness, something which had great magnitude, something which could destroy and create new forms within moments, something truly spectacular, magnificent... Something powerful which could make anything yield to its might. ...And not as the result of a long, carefully calculated battle, but in an instant, in one move eradicating whatever was on its path. He wanted that kind of power to be in his disposal, though wanted was not strong enough word. Needed, desired...
While fire was interesting to watch, then seeing lightning, and a tree being split from the highest branches to the very base of the trunk, scattering into mere sticks and igniting in but a flash he barely even registered before it had already done its devastating job had been thrilling. Fire could burn, but a lightning bolt could melt sand to glass and rip apart the mightiest giants in forests in a blink of an eye.
Over the course of several decades, his body was rendered more and more skeletal, and bit by bit, he started to look after his later self. To stay less apparent in the eyes of living, he tied scraps of cloth to his bones and donned over it all a coat, then a dark rag around his neck to pulled up as a hood at need. Not always did it suffice to keep unwanted attention away, but it helped keep his figure more ambiguous.
It was around then that he purposefully began seeking a way to obtain a means to obliterate things at will, to annihilate in an instant with a wave of hand, by word, through mind, via anything...
This search however took him to paths which were more hostile than the ones he had been taking up to those days, and with that unfortunate unpleasant encounters seemed to increase in frequency and become more probable for each day. More probable ... and harder to get through. More than once it happened that he escaped intact by more luck than would have been acceptable for his later self. But, to one fateful incident he did not fully comprehend his actual vulnerability, therefore not caring for the potential threats to his wellbeing he faced.
It however took just one fraction of a blink of an eye - if he had not already lost his eyes completely by then - of delay, and at once he found himself devoid of his entire left lower arm, with the jagged ends of his broken humerus ending just above where his elbow had to that day been. He escaped with the rest of him then, but the disability remained - he found himself less capable of doing things he wanted to be done - doing formerly simple things was suddenly irritatingly and painstakingly compromised -, and for the first time, he was actually concerned over the state of his physical body. Some vague and fairly undefined fear of being left without the ability to move entirely slowly crept up on him, to remain. It did not kill or diminish his want of destructive powers, the opposite, now it got another aspect of importance. Never again, a foe shall be too close to him without being torn to shreds, never again shall it occur that an adversary gets the chance to deal a crippling blow. Never!
The disability was a menace, a constant reminder of the fact that he was no longer complete... He started donning pieces of armor on his body, based on the simple estimation that if he was hit by something, it would at least offer some protection from being scattered and rendered unable to act. He still constantly wanted to use his left hand, but if he reached it forward out of sheer habit, every time he was hit by the devastating reminder that it was no longer there, where it should be and had been. It was distressing, immensely so. It was the direct proof of the fact that while he as an undead might not die, he might become unable to do anything still, and the freedom to influence the world and move about at will he valued. Now, even the last missing link of his right index finger was a sore spot, though not in the physical sense. Physical annoyances would have been easier to escape or ignore.
For a time he fell deep enough to break his search of the power he desired and once more wandered aimlessly, seeing forsaken places and old fields of battle, regions of barren terrain and desolate landscapes. He avoided everyone and everything during that time out of the increasingly prominent fear of his comfortable existence.
- He was not a coward because of the happenings, oh no – he was simply being careful from then on. He became more cautious, and his senses became more attuned - he taught himself to constantly remain in a state of elevated awareness. As an undead, he did not tire from the effort of doing so.
It was however once that he came upon a site of a recent skirmish - the dead human bodies were still fairly fresh - that a thought occurred to him, and he acquired a new left lower arm and hand. If the living became undead, then...
He had no idea to whom his replacement-appendage had belonged, save for that the man had been lying on the ground at the location. ...But since the arm's former owner had not protested against it – or shown any signs of either life or undeath, for the matter -, he had taken it, by ripping the shoulder from its socket and tearing the flesh, letting go of the limb and hacking at the shoulder with his dagger before continuing in his single-handed effort if it did not come loose easily enough.
He cut both bone-ends smooth at the upper third of the humerus, and bolted the new limb to place. At first it did not agree to comply, which frustrated him, but once it was there, he did not bother to remove it, either. Firstly, it appeared it would remain a dead weight, naught but an accessory to mock-mimic completeness.
The lesser fault he had only recently started noticing - the missing tip of his right index finger - he did not even try to replace with once-living flesh, but rather picked something more durable - metal, and not quite in the form of a natural fingertip, but rather as a wicked cross between a claw and a knife.
When his often-subconscious or reflexive attempts to move his unresponsive left hand started to yield results - when he no longer even expected it! - and he finally slowly gained full use of the appendage, he simultaneously regained the confidence he had lost and continued his chosen quest.
He was more careful still, but if he had to fight, he did; in the beginning he picked up the teeth of his felled living or undead opponents which were fit to fill in the gaps in his by then perpetual grin. - It was hard to do anything but grin when one lacked lips to cover one's teeth. Why he did so, he could not fully explain, not even to himself. Perhaps he wanted to complete his image, perhaps those were kind of trophies... He did not however continue with this habit once he had all slots filled.
In the end, his persistence paid off, and he found an old living (far too feeble vessel for such knowledge!) who was willing to share the secrets he had sought for plenty of decades. She explained him how it worked, and she guided him, and he took it in. The excitement he felt when his sorcery first manifested could only barely be matched up with those times he had seen elaborate forces at work, though the effect he had caused might have seemed insignificant in comparison to a bystander. It was only the beginning, not the end of his journey! Was not the fact that he wielded lightning rather than fire not a sign in itself that he was not amongst the most common in an already scarcely abundant group?
Still, he must be careful, lest he will put an end to his achievements before those could develop into something of more raw potential and drastic extent...
However, he felt like someone other entirely, new... The name he carried no longer seemed to encompass what he was. It was ordinary, and not even remotely unique... I Am... But what? He - and only he - was he, and he needed something which represented only him.
And it was thusly that he changed his name once more, to Igdalmar Am.