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Selca Ducani was a human warlock of great power. Once the chief adviser of King Luther Arimanes, he was accused of murdering his employer and forced to flee Amarna. Eventually he wound up in Apicarta, where he served as the Temple's Grand Inquisitor. His actions there made him the target of Leon Gorrister, who vowed to become a paladin in order to kill him.

Due to a deal he made with the Magician, he was able to shapeshift at will. Other dealings with spirits granted him various magical gifts, including an unnaturally long life. He was stripped of his powers by Watchman Dimiter Yen and finally slain by Gorrister in 170 AYZ.

Appearance/Personality

Though his ability to shapeshift meant that his appearance varied widely, Selca's true face was very distinct. He had a tall, prominent brow and a cruel, smirking mouth. His most memorable trait was his heterochromatic eyes - his right iris was pale blue, while his left iris was black as pitch. He typically dressed in black velvet, and styled his flaxen hair in "foppish" curls. He was rarely seen without his familiar, a ferret named Nyx.

Selca was, in many ways, totally amoral. Cold and calculating, he was bottom line ruthless and self-serving. He was willing to betray absolutely anyone if there was something to be gained by it, and displayed a near psychopathic disregard for life. The few people who managed to earn his respect and admiration did so because they shared in his selfish, narcissistic, egotistical behavior.

Despite this, he was rarely openly antagonistic toward others. His actions were not motivated by hatred - if someone got in the way of his plans, he would remove them. If he could not remove them, he would move on, adapting his plans around the issue. He was difficult to surprise, as he had seen just about everything the world had to offer.

Though he has worked for clergymen and other proponents of organized religion, Selca himself has a fairly low opinion of faith and religious adherents. He laments that he cannot be skeptical, having had too much experience with the divine and supernatural to be atheist or agnostic, which he considers a much more relaxing and positive view. He used his job as Grand Inquisitor to hide, to make money, and to amuse himself.

Biography

Origins

Selca's origins are obscure, but it is generally assumed he is of Zantine or Apicartan descent. He alluded to having been captured as a child and sold to a wizard. The wizard died after leaping from a tower in an attempt to magically fly, and Selca used his death as an opportunity to escape.

As a young man, Selca possessed an overwhelming fear of death. He began searching for ways to evade death, which eventually led him into studying the occult. From a book on the subject, he learned of a way to gain an unnaturally long life, along with eternal youth and beauty. He successfully summoned a being that identified itself simply as "the Shadow". This being agreed to grant him immortality, but it required a sacrifice in exchange. Selca's desire to cheat death was so great, he agreed without question. The deal not only bound him to the Shadow for all eternity, needing a constant supply of human sacrifices, but it resulted in the immediate destruction of an entire village, including (it is implied) Selca's own family. After this, Selca concluded that he was a monster, and in trying to remake his personality into something stronger and better, he wound up acting even more like a monster.

For much of his life, he held a morbid curiosity and interest in magic, especially after having witnessed the dramatic death of his former master. He began avidly collecting books on magic, and the more he immersed himself in the field, the more he wanted to try it himself. He successfully summoned more demons and spirits, consulting with them in order to gain supernatural abilities and gifts. These included the power to create witchfire, a demon familiar to serve as his companion, and access to various magical items.

Selca eventually wound up in Amarna, where he began to operate in the royal court, seeking the aid of several magic-tainted beings who dwelled there in plain sight. His path coincided with Luther Arimanes, who was just coming into power, and the two quickly became friends - or at least, as close to friends as they could manage. Selca served as his Luther's lieutenant and was among the forces who took control of the city of Amarna.

Many years later, his favor with Luther was surpassed by Ardath Dastagir. Selca became somewhat jealous of Ardath's promotion, but he put aside all thoughts of getting rid of the boy until after the planned ritual, which promised to grant them all powers like they had never dreamed of.

The ritual granted Selca the power to shapeshift, but came at the cost of losing his own identity. He was accused of murdering King Luther; one of the courtiers claimed to have heard Luther cry out his name before he vanished, and Selca had the most obvious motives and means for killing him. The warlock was arrested and found guilty, but escaped custody and fled the city before his execution.

The Inquisitor

In 164, he turned up in Apicarta, where he was hired by Guardian Neil Lars to investigate Dagda Vormund's cult. The Temple never formally ordered him to go beyond spying and reporting suspicious activities to the bishop, but Neil tasked him with sabotaging the cult. Using various false identities, Selca set about obstructing Vormund in every way he could, taking pleasure in fooling everyone.

Posing as a lawyer, he intimidated Joachim Babbitt into having his mother, Heather Babbitt, committed to an insane asylum, where she later died. As "Cezar Montag", a flamboyant actor, he seduced one of Vormund's known associates, the bard Jade Athanasi, at the Muse Theater in Hiberia. He used this position to keep tabs on Jade, who was worried about Vormund and had expressed her concerns to the police. But it wasn't until Vormund and several of his followers returned to Hiberia and paid Jade a visit that the nature of Selca's mission changed, as he saw an opportunity to destroy the cult once and for all.

Disguised as a woman and wearing the costume of a monk, Selca attempted to drug Vormund while the prophet was preaching to a crowd. The drug, a powdered form of the hallucinogenic darjeel, missed its mark, hitting Vormund's son Ethan instead. Vormund's lieutenant, the ranger Drusus Rolfe, shot Selca in the back as he was fleeing.

Wounded, Selca managed to escape and used his powers to heal himself. Despite his having failed to hit Vormund, Ethan went mad due to yignaal exposure, and his resulting insanity is what ultimately caused the cult's downfall. Selca followed the cult as they attempted to flee to Tyr, eventually taking revenge on Drusus and assuming the ranger's identity. He then helped the oblivious Leon Gorrister to betray Vormund to the police.

Selca was sent to Tyr as Inquisitor to intervene in the court proceedings there after Vormund, Ethan, and Drusus were arrested by the Rhinehart police. He successfully arranged for Vormund to be given a heresy trial under the Temple's jurisdiction, which he personally oversaw. During the court proceedings, Vormund called Selca "assassin" - a statement Selca interpreted as a fraudulent reference to Luther's disappearance.

Vormund died in prison before the trial could be concluded. Neil Lars ordered Selca to locate the coveted original Mandorlin document which Vormund had used as the basis for his translation. Disguising himself as a manservant named Faulkner, he followed Gavin Zosimus and Leon to Arza Kell. Selca revealed himself to them on their way out of the caves and forced Gavin to uncover the manuscript, which he then destroyed. Believing the cult's credibility would collapse without proof, Selca agreed to take money from Gavin in exchange for sparing their lives.

Return to Amarna

In 170, Selca returned to the city of Amarna, having heard a rumor that Luther's ghost was haunting the palace. He took on the identity of a palace servant in order to investigate. As he quickly discovered, Queen Philomena suffered from recurring nightmares of the king's phantom, which had made the queen highly paranoid and irrational. The servants had noticed some strange and inexplicable occurrences, but none had actually seen a ghost.

After learning that Marena, a young woman with a connection to Ardath, had been imprisoned by Philomena due to Luther having mentioned her by name, he contacted Ardath and told him what was going on. He even helped Marena escape with Ardath, if only to get them out of the way as he continued to investigate.

During a ritual intended to coax the king's ghost out of hiding, Luther's spirit appeared and accused Ardath of killing him. Ardath was promptly arrested and thrown in prison. There, Selca appeared and questioned him about what had really happened that night. Ardath claimed he couldn't remember and apologized for not standing up for him. Selca later attended the trial, and observing that the jury was undecided, he revealed himself and confessed to the crime. He was arrested and slated to die the next morning.

In the meantime, Marena discovered the truth about the murder. She and Ardath raced to prevent the execution from occurring, but seemingly failed. Unbeknownst to them, Selca had faked his death and continued to spy on the palace, knowing the ghost of Luther would not rest.

At the masquerade held at the palace in celebration, Selca lost his powers after Watchman Dimiter Yen exorcised the palace and reversed the ritual which had killed Luther. Enraged, Selca killed Dimiter. As Marcus Roland began chasing him, Selca was forced to hide.

Marcus became distracted by other matters, namely the disappearance of Marena. Selca was able to sneak out, where he witnessed the resurrected Luther enacting changes and punishing those who had betrayed him. He invited Selca to join him as his lieutenant, even though he had lost all his powers.

But it was not to be. Seeing that Luther was planning on executing Philomena, Cyrus Spyridon slew the resurrected king.

Death

Hearing the ensuing commotion, Leon abandoned his post and rushed to the scene. He dueled with Selca. Despite Selca having cheated during the fight, Leon was able to run him through with his sword.

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