Darien Usher-Tessadril's page

No posts. Alias of UnArcaneElection.

Full Name

Darien Usher-Tessadril


Tiefling (Qlippoth-Spawn)


Fighter (Lore Warden) 1/Brawler 0/Slayer 0 (Crunch coming later)




Medium (6' 6", 220 lb)



Special Abilities

(See Extended Crunch, Quick Statistics, and Temporary Conditions sections)


Chaotic Neutral, trying to be Good, but detects as Chaotic Evil due to accursed heritage


None, but see Appearance and Personality section




Common/Taldane, Abyssal, Elven, Varisian (not active yet), Thassilonian


Trying to find who and what he really is, while wiping out the Demonic invasion

Strength 17
Dexterity 14
Constitution 12
Intelligence 12
Wisdom 14
Charisma 7

About Darien Usher-Tessadril

{Concept stage. Not yet in a campaign.}


Darien was born in Ustalav, to the accursed minor noble nominally Human family of Usher, in its last few decades of existence. Right away, his parents, Roderick and Madeline, could see that something was dreadfully wrong with him, from his bloated and discolored appearance and glacially slow growth to his alien behavior (a bizarre mix of aggressiveness and lack of most normal Human emotions); yet their family's experience with accursed births gave them resolve to raise him anyway, for although they were accursed, they were not wholly evil, and being bereft of other children and having had the greatest difficulty and delay in conceiving him, they saw his life as their last hope for their family's salvation from oblivion. They did this, despite warnings from both the local Pharasmin priests and an Iomedean Paladin brought from nearby Lastwall that he was an abomination irredeemably infused with Abyssal taint, and that in light of their family's past history of accursed births and spawning of offspring monstrous in body, soul, and deeds, they should let the Usher family fall into oblivion rather than continue their taint. They complained to the authorities both locally and in Lastwall, and got visits from Inquisitors of both churches for their trouble, that visibly seemed scarcely more satisfactory, and as far as they (and later Darien) knew, nothing was done to discipline the individuals who had made such dire warnings; but their refusal to knuckle under may have spared them from a pogrom that at the time was threatening to wipe them off the map.

But whether or not Roderick and Madeline Usher's efforts actually helped preserve their family, one thing was against them that would doom their effort to raise Darien, that they could not do anything about: Time. For they were Human, and fast approaching their inevitable death by old age accelerated by the congenital diseases plaguing the Usher family, while Darien was a Tiefling, and thus growing and maturing very slowly. (Darien has often wondered whether the Pharasmin Inquisitor actually just persuaded the other forces arrayed to wipe out the Usher family that the passage of only a few more years would guarantee that the Usher family "problem" would solve itself.) In addition, the dwindling numbers and vigor of the Usher family conspired with the curses plaguing that family to sink the family into impoverishment. Roderick and Madeline knew they would have to find another home for Darien.

Fortunately, they had friends in the Elven noble Tessadril family. The Tessadril family itself had problems that were causing it to dwindle in numbers, but these problems seemed to be limited to poor fertility, and the family reputation remained unsullied, and its finances remained in good shape. Some years previously, Desnoreth and Seleniel Tessadril had already successfully adopted a Dhampir baby (Mirosir) who had been outliving his similarly chronologically-challenged Human parents (of the likewise accursed Tepescik family), and was now gradually approaching adulthood (even after taking into account the even slower Dhampir rate of maturation), and Desnoreth and Seleniel seemed to be unable to conceive a child of their own, and had given up hope of doing so. So Roderick and Madeline successfully petitioned for Darien Usher to be adopted by the Tessadril family, and they successfully raised him to adulthood and gave him (following along after the example of Mirosir) the best education they could under the odd circumstances.

Desnoreth and Seleniel decided to investigate Darien's condition further, being not only curious, but also having better financial resources and connections than the Usher family. Having successfully raised an adopted child born of partial vampirism infection, and having some personal familiarity with Tieflings of various Lower Planar derivations, they felt well-prepared to handle whatever they found. But what they found was truly shocking: The Usher family had somehow gotten infused with Abyssal taint, it was true, but it was not Demonic or Demodand taint as previously assumed, but truly Deep Abyssal taint: Somehow, the heritage of Qlippoths had worked its way into that family, and was most recently manifesting itself in Darien. The Qlippoths were horrifyingly alien Outsiders bent on the dstruction of all mortal life to stem the flow of sinful mortal souls into the Abyss that had fueled the Demonic takeover of all but the deepest parts of the Abyss and threatened the Qlippoth with extinction; however, a few Qlippoth had turned away from the rest and found ways to benefit from sinful mortal souls, essentially turning themselves into Demon Lords. And yet the Necromantic tests performed on Darien hinted that his taint came not from these rogue Qlippoth (whom other Qlippoth consider to be traitors), but from the undiluted Qlippoth of the truly Deep Abyss, hateful even to Demons, and having its greatest manifestation in the great destroyer, Rovagug.

Chilled to the cores of their hearts, Desnoreth and Seleniel resolved that the most important lessons for Darien would thenceforth be those aimed at making sure that he would not be a danger to others, naturally excluding justified acts of self-defense, including the defense of the homeland against invaders -- in fact, they considered that martial training under a legally controlled structure would be the best use for his abilities, while avoiding the pitfall of telling him never to fight back, and then having him turn against all their lessons when he would inevitably be attacked. As they repeatedly told him, "If you can't be good, at least be careful." Fortunately, this actually dovetailed rather nicely with the lessons his original parents (Roderick and Madeline Usher) had been giving him (if not as coherently), and he learned to avoid being a danger to others, in order to avoid being a danger to himself.

Desnoreth and Seniel had adopted Darien with some trepidation, since this meant that they would be raising two accursed children, but although Darien and Mirosir did not take to each other right away, they didn't have an active aversion or animosity to each other, either. For a while they were like two largely separately raised children. But eventually the ice broke when the much younger Darien finally grew up enough (for, as noted above, Tieflings grow up rather quickly by Elven and Dhampir standards, although still glacially slow by Human Standards) to take an interest in Mirosir's study of languages, including the legendary language of sin, Ancient Thassilonian. The two engaged in philosophical conversations about the nature of sin and the history of the Thassilonian Empire, including the infamously legendary Sin Mages that (mis)ruled it. Mirosir wondered if he might be able to become a powerful Wizard himself, but retain better intentions than the legendary Thassilonian rulers. From his readings of history, he became well aware that the Thassilonian province of Haruka and its ruler Krune, the ancient Runelord of Sloth, used their powers to enslave others to force them to do the work they did not want to do themselves, and that while this practice had been the norm throughout ancient Thassilon, it had been particularly severe and cruel there. Mirosir thought that if he could somehow find a way to make enough money to pay people a fair wage to do for him what he could not do for himself, he would not have to sink to this level, and also not depend upon handouts. It was clear even to him that finding an honest way to make that much money was going to take a miracle, so naturally he turned to magic. Mirosir's philosophical musings may have been crucial for Darien's ethical development, in showing him an example of a flawed mortal striving for redemption; Darien still doesn't know how redemption would actually work, but at least came away with a concept that such a thing might be possible.

Eventually, after a long time by Human standards, but on a accelerated schedule by Elven (and Dhampir) standards, Darien finally came of age for formal martial training. He entered Ustalavic Special Forces training just after his 66th birthday, which taught him to take advantage of his unearthly strength and fortitude to become a fearsome shock trooper for his country, with the implied promise that he would be sent to aid the forces at Lastwall against both the hordes of Belkzen and the hidden horrors of the Whispering Tyrant. But just as his training was complete except for formal recognition, he was discharged from the Special Forces without explanation, and all inquiries and appeals by him and his adoptive parents were to no avail. Attempts to apply directly to join the Knights of Ozem in Lastwall initially seemed promising, but likewise soon ran into an inexplicable stone wall of denial. After a few attempts to find out the problem went nowhere, he decided to look elsewhere.

Something was pulling him to Mendev and the neighboring Worldwound. In the Worldwound incursion, Demons were invading Golarion just as they had invaded the Abyss. He didn't have to deny his heritage to feel common cause with the Crusaders in Mendev, and Mendev was desperate for recruits -- one of the more battle-scarred and gritty Mendevian recruiters told him "Things have gotten so bad that not only are we having to commission all kinds of rabble and refuse as Low Templar, but pretty soon we are going to have to start commissioning Really Filthy Templar. Come on in." And so, despite the misgivings of his adoptive parents, he began his journey to Kenabres, and his quest to to find who and what he really is, while wiping out the Demonic invasion.

Appearance and Personality:

Darien Usher is of generally Humanoid form, but anyone who can see him at all clearly can see that he is alien to all the true Humanoids. He is on the upper end of Medium size, being very sturdily built, but with a strange bloated appearance that belies his hefty musculature, and that is gradually evolving into a bizarre array of somewhat mushroom-like growths that are taking over his skin. These growths are too regular to be mere tumors; they may serve some protective function as they develop further, but they give him a bizarre appearance that is very unnerving to most people. Although they have yet to start forming on his face, his face already looks quite inhuman, with his nose being barely recognizable as such, and what appear to be an extra eyes on the midline of his forehead. His skin ranges from blue-tinted on his face to a very slightly pinkish grey at his extremities; the transition is actually gradual, but may appear jarring due to clothing and/or armor covering the parts of his body on which the transition occurs. Most Tieflings spawned from Demons, Demodands, Devils, or even Daemons or Kytons look normal compared to him, as do most of the more common mixed-blood Tieflings. When wielding his greataxe, he looks even scarier. As he is somewhat aware of this; he has repeatedly considered trading the greataxe for another weapon to avoid the known association with The Destroyer Rovagug, but trading away this hefty weapon just doesn't feel safe.

Darien has learned his parents' lessons well to avoid being a danger to himself by avoiding being a danger to others. Nevertheless, he has an unsettling mix of unemotionality and Wrath, the latter of which he directs at those who have invaded what he considers to be his homeland. Of course, his consideration of what is homeland is rather strange: Since Ustalav and nearby Lastwall apparently rejected him, he has transferred this attachment to not only the region of Golarion around the Worldwound (including Mendev), but to the Abyss itself! The Scions of Sin must be purged. And yet, due to the critical thinking taught to him by his long and intensive education, he is able to realize that his Qlippoth-infused Wrath is itself sinful. He has not found a solution to this paradox, and it plagues him without end, but at least he acknowledges it to himself, if not to others (upon whom the distinction between Demons and Qlippoths, and even between Demons and other Fiends, is often lost). His preoccuption with the nature of sin has even led him to go so far as to learn the legendary language of the empire of sin: Ancient Thassilonian. He actually wants to be Good, and doesn't even want to be Chaotic, but his Qlippoth-tainted heritage keeps pulling him back from redemption. He wonders whether it would be possible to redeem a Qlippoth; unfortunately for his own sake, he has no answer.

And deities have shown no promise for helping him. After all, if they were good, why was he made accursed? More specifically, while evil from the evil deities (including the more evil of the "neutral" ones, such as Besmara, Calistria, and Gorum) is to be expected (and he didn't waste time with any of these churches), why have the others also participated in shaping a world that -- outside of his dwindling home -- seems set on rejecting him as a monster, and why has he been shaped to warrant rejection? Nevertheless, he has bothered to look at specific deities. Pharasma's church fairly clearly wishes him dead, although they seem not quite ready to kill him directly -- at least, not openly. Besides, if you are going to be good, enforcing a cycle of pointless birth and death is not the way to go about it. Abadar's, Gozreh's, Erastil's, Irori's, and Torag's churches seem even more disgusted with him on sight than the church of Pharasma, and he has to wonder if at least one of them has put a veiled price on his head simply for being what he is. Abadar's, Cayden Cailean's, and Nethy's churches seem awfully closely tied to various Deadly Sins (respectively: Greed & Envy & Pride, Lust & Gluttony, and All Seven Deadly Sins) that feed the Demons polluting the Abyss and Golarion. After decades of life, he STILL can't figure out how theologians can classify those churches -- and these deities themselves (and for that matter, Besmara, Calistria, and Gorum) -- as not being evil overall, and EVEN MORE STILL can't figure out how theologians can classify Cayden Cailean and his church as being good, unless, of course, his suspicions are founded that the theologians are partaking of the "services" of these churches.

Iomedae, Ragathiel, and Saranrae talk good lines, but their churches also consider him an abomination and want him dead, and fanatics of the latter goddess tried 2 times to make this so. He is torn between wondering if he was out of his mind when he tried to apply for service with the Knights of Ozem, and wondering if he should try again -- or at least try again with a similar organization in a different place. He really wants a chance to prove himself to them -- or at least, to the ones other than Ragathiel, who upon a closer look seems sinfully Wrathful. In appreciation of his loving families (both of them), he considered the church of Shelyn, but their obsession with self-adornment and that awful artwork of Shelyn that you see when you go into many of her temples weirded him out just as much as his own appearance weirded them out. Arguably these are actually the products of a heresy within Shelyn's church and do not reflect her real intentions, but he had heard the same excuse about the church of Sarenrae in between their 2 attempts to kill him, and after their second attempt, he decided it was best not to stick around to try to confirm or deny such hypotheses. After he made the mistake of trying to contact the church of Findeladlara and finding that No Non-Elves Need Apply, he was about ready to give up his quest for faith; at least, on the bright side, they were so busy falling over laughing that they seemed unlikely to kill him any time soon, and he found out later that they discriminate against AN AWFUL LOT of people less obviously monstrous than him.

One of the last churches he tried was that of Desna; he hadn't meant to leave them for last, but the Desnans always seemed to be AWFULLY scarce for the Varisia/Ustalav region, and more so than you'd think from hearing other people talk about them, and any of their clergy that he actually managed to meet seemed to disappear soon afterwards, to the point that he began to wonder if someone was doing something to them on his account, or if his accursed nature was somehow causing them to come to harm, although it seemed more rational that they simply didn't want to see him again and made use of their religion's predilection for traveling as an excuse to get away. At any rate, they seemed to be demonstrating their predisposition for travel by traveling away from him, and it was spooky, which is saying something for someone whose emotional makeup (as it were) doesn't even lend itself to the understanding of spookiness (as distinguished from raw fear, which he does understand all too often). In principle, maybe his own journey to Mendev might gain some favorable attention from Desna, but he certainly wouldn't dare to hope for such a thing, even if he knew properly how to hope. If nothing else, he might be able to accomplish something by taking up that offer for commissioning Really Filthy Templar to fight the Demonic invasion there, for which his own special tainted heritage just might qualify.

And yet it does not require an extraordinarily perceptive observer to notice that his Wrath is not the fiery rage of the Barbarians of the regions around Mendev, but a cold rage that produces less of a flurry of action, but is more terrifying for its inhuman focus. Likewise, those who have magics capable of detecting taint on the soul will perceive that he has a truly alien taint within him, which his best outwardly successful attempts to follow the Golden Rule seem powerless to cleanse.

Extended Crunch:

Almost all coming later. Provisional stats based upon 20 point buy; if forced to use 15 point buy, drop Dexterity to 10 and forgo Dexterity-using feats; if given 25 point buy, pump Dexterity and Constitution up to 15 and 14, respectively, and/or possibly pump Wisdom higher, or maybe even un-dump Charisma to make Intimidate better -- unfortunately, mere un-dumping would not be good enough to enable use of Terrifying Mask)). First Ability Score Increase with level advancement will go into Strength; Second will go into Charisma to reflect Damien's learning to express himself to other people slightly better; increases after this go into Strength. Current (re)build intention is Slayer, but out-of-the-box Heretic Inquisitor just might be possible. His alien appearance and personality is reflected in part by dumping Charisma (which unfortunately forbids use of Terrifying Mask), and he will use Intimidating Prowess and Monstrous Mask (eventually also Ancestral Scorn to offset the resulting penalty to Intimidate; he will use the Soul Seer alternate racial trait and a reskinned version of the Mutant Eye trait along with a reskinned Campaign Trait (Exposed to Awfulness or Stolen Fury -- none of the Wrath of the Righteous Campaign Traits fit very well), Cornugon Smash, the feats noted above, and both ranks of Fiend Sight) to synergize with his Slayer abilities, to be a supernatural yet non-spellcasting tracker and warrior. He will first need to dip 2 levels of Lore Warden Fighter to alleviate feat starvation, and 1 level of Brawler to qualify for Combat Maneuver feats (without needing to pump Intelligence up to 13, and to use with Martial Flexibility, which also further relieves feat starvation). Favored Class will be Slayer (or Inquisitor if going that route), and Favored Class Bonus will be 1 Skill Point per level (to alleviate skill starvation).

Mental note: If rebuilding as single-class Slayer, steal Lemmy's build.

Quick Statistics:

(Coming later)

Temporary Conditions:

(Coming later)