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Teodor the Savant by Docbad

Teodor the Savant by Docbad

Aug 15, 2022, 21:4308/15/22

Teodor the Savant by Docbad

Teodor the Savant


A prodigy, they called him. A natural-born chymist with the potential to change the world with the profundity of his alchemical discoveries. Teodor was born in Kaerok in the days when Duke Kalvalax reigned with an iron fist, and the waves of plague and disease inundated the land, laying waste to all. After Kalvalax was infused by the mad prophet with the plague, freeing the lands of Kaerok, the young Teodor’s blood retained a trace of the vile poisons, a malady that would afflict him his whole life, rendering him perpetually infirm. The toxins never impaired his mind, however, and while his body languished, he used his astonishing intellect to earn him an apprenticeship with one of the premier apothecaries of Kaerok who specialized in eradicating the lingering traces of Kalvalax’s plague.

For years, Teodor studied under his tutor, astonishing all with his appetite for knowledge and his propensity for outpacing his lessons and accomplishing complicated alchemical procedures well beyond a typical apprentice’s abilities. It was never enough for the young Teodor, however. What he sought was a cure for his malady, to rid his body of the toxins and reclaim his strength and vigor.

One night in the apothecary’s basement, amidst the racks and benches of glassware and stores of chemicals, Teodor was on the brink of a breakthrough. He completed his mixtures and administered the concoction directly into his veins, but the effect was not what he intended: instead of alleviating his illness, it potentiated and accelerated the latent plague in his blood, sapping him of all color and lighting a fire in his veins that nearly drove him mad. After that, Teodor knew he couldn’t risk experimenting on himself further. He would need test subjects instead.

In the morning, the local townsfolk recoiled at the sight of him — he was hunched and haggard, drained of any liveliness, his eyes alight with a toxic glow, and noxious fumes wafting from his pores. They called him a monster, an aberration. No more praise for Teodor, only mistrust and revulsion. He pleaded with his mentor for help, but upon discovering what Teodor had done, the apothecary refused and abandoned him as a student.

Riddled with pain and misery, Teodor limped into the woods nearby to a forsaken ruin and began the arduous process of setting up a laboratory for himself. He performed a painful procedure on himself, installing a brace to support his collapsing spine, and fashioned an alchemically augmented staff to help him walk. He pilfered makeshift alchemical supplies from the town by night and slowly, over the course of many months, made himself a place where his work could continue.

His next step was to acquire test subjects, for which he required aid. Concocting a vile physick that induced a trance-like state and increased an imbiber’s gullibility, he used it to enslave a pair of local ruffians, and used them to kidnap unwary travellers off the many byways in Kaerok. His methods were simple: inject his tainted blood into his test subjects and administer different variations of his cures until something took. The unwilling subjects writhed in agony as the toxins took hold, begging for mercy. At first, Teodor struggled with guilt, but he eventually put it aside. Progress required sacrifice, after all. Eventually, the pleas and cries for clemency perturbed him no longer, and his experiments continued.

For years the pattern continued, all to no avail. Teodor’s disappointment and frustration were only matched by his fascination by the effects of his blood on the untainted. After a thousand alterations to the formula, his cure had mutated into a catalyst for the poison. When administered, the catalyst caused a rapid fulmination of the poison that caused instantaneous ulceration, blistering, weeping sores, and pulsating pustules. He found a way to cause a thermic reaction, literally lighting the victims’ — no longer test subjects — blood on fire as the poison gripped their hearts and their blood boiled in their veins. In the pursuit of a cure, Teodor, the prodigy, the savant, had created a weapon. A horrifying and fascinating weapon.

Forgotten were his hopes of curing his own illness. Teodor’s entire attention was on his work, no longer the hope for a health which eluded him. Many years after his work began, a terrible storm overtook the ruins where Teodor’s laboratory was located, and with it came the former duke of Kaerok, Kalvalax. Drawn to the location by the spreading reports of the savant’s toxic experiments, the duke had come to investigate. Now a revenant in the service of Wurlim Frostking, Kalvalax saw the potential in Teodor’s work, as the revenant king was ever in search of new weaponry to level against the Arbiter and her followers. Teodor was delighted to once again have his work, his brilliance and savvy, recognized, and he threw himself at the feet of the towering revenant and pledged his service. No matter what the future brings for the Frostking’s chymist, it will doubtless come with plague, torture, and death.