Legends of Arcur
Historical Figure: Archmage Lucas Darkwind
Mastermind of the Arcane Purification
As he is often remembered in art and description, Lucas Darkwind was a stern man in his late fifties. His hair had gone nearly white at a very young age, and no portrait of him ever bears even the slightest sign of a smile. He kept himself in very good shape until his death, lean and muscular without being overly bulky. Scorning the traditional robes of the Archmage’s position, in public Darkwind wore his military uniform that, it is said, he was wearing even when he died.
Lucas Darkwind was born a thief’s son in the slums of Espar, Callarea in 139 AU. His mother died during childbirth, leaving him the only child his father ever had. Being born to nothing, Darkwind lived the early years of his life learning how to be self-reliant and living his life to his own rules. When his father was killed by agents of an opposing criminal cartel, Lucas was only nine years old. He left Espar to avoid potential further persecution from his father’s killers, and after a year as a wanderer found himself on the streets of Tirandis.
The City of Sorcery (as it was then called) proved to be the perfect environment for Lucas to flourish in. Not quite as corrupt as Espar – notoriously the most crime-ridden city in Callarea – Lucas found that he was easily able to manipulate and influence those around him, and by seventeen had established a sizable fortune. However, despite many predictions that Darkwind would end up running one of the city’s more powerful criminal organizations – perhaps even returning in force to Espar – Lucas used his not inconsiderable fortune to pay tuition at the legendary Mage’s College of Tirandis.
Darkwind’s tendencies for ruthless self-reliance proved an invaluable resource in the college, avoiding many potential pitfalls that brought many students to ruin. Indeed, Lucas Darkwind excelled at the magical arts, and plied his talents to the schools of Evocation and Enchantment. After graduation from the college, he was quickly accepted into the Academy for Arcane Military Command. Once more, Darkwind’s nature did wonders for him, and he quickly rose through the ranks of the Academy, graduating and earning his first command after only three years.
Darkwind dedicated himself to national defense, and was soon widely respected as one of Callarea’s most prominent military commanders. Stern, confident, and frighteningly powerful, Darkwind was deployed do multitudes of dangerous missions. He was lauded as among Callarea’s greatest heroes, and by 197 AU he was given total command of the Callarean Military Corps. Under his command, the Arcane division of the military gained more prominence and overall authority than it had in the entirety of Callrean history, which led to many soldiers unskilled in the arcane arts to criticize Darkwind as a “Mage Supremecist.” Darkwind always denied such claims, of course, but despite these rebuffs it was easily apparent that the longer Darkwind stayed in power, the less authority those without magic had within Callarean society while those with Arcane gifts gained more power and prestige – Wizards in particular.
There are many historians who say that Darkwind’s hardline methods and their results upon Callarean society were a direct cause of the Sorcerer-led rebellion in 199 AU. A band of powerful sorcerers – civilians born with an innate grasp of magical power – formed a large organized rebellion and seized control of Tirandis. They attacked both the Mage’s College and the Palace of the Archmage, eventually managing to kill the Callarean political leader. In this time of crisis, the surviving members of the country’s governing council unanimously agreed to grant Lucas Darkwind the title of Archmage, granting him complete control over the country’s government.
Darkwind’s response to the rebellion was swift and brutal. Scores of powerful summoned elementals were unleashed into the streets of Tirandis, obliterating all resistance from the rebellion’s non-magical members. After this first onslaught, Darkwind entered the city with a vanguard of his finest battle-mages, and together they retook the Palace of the Archmage and put down the leaders of the rebellion, leaving their identities forever anonymous. While most considered the liberation of Tirandis as Darkwind’s crowning military achievement, he recieved some small amount of criticism over the collateral damaged caused by the initial elemental blitz. Keeping in tune with his usual style, however, Darkwind never commented on the matter.
The next year, Lucas Darkwind passed into law the act that would make him infamous for the rest of Callarean history – the act of Arcane Purification. Concluding that arcane spellcasters outside the training and restrictions of the Mage’s College were dangerous, the Archmage declared all arcane spellcasters with innate magical power enemies of the state. Nationwide Sorcerers were ruthlessly hunted down and killed, while Warlocks – long valued by Darkwind as megical shock-troops – were were captured by the College and taken deep underground for brainwashing and re-education.
Lucas Darkwind died only a few years later in 207 AU, peacefully in his sleep at the age of 68. Today the Arcane Purity act is still enforced as zealously as it was the day it was written, despite the scorn it draws from most other nations. Hundreds of young men and women are killed each year upon manifesting the skills of a sorcerer, with precious few managing to escape to neighboring Utand or Lethray, who thankfully welcome and protect these refugees. Depending on who you ask, Lucas Darkwind is either Callarea’s greatest hero or its most infamous dictator – an argument that will likely never reach a full resolution within the country.