Thorn the Courtyard-Keeper

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{{#if: Thorn | | Full Name {{#if: The Courtyard-Keeper | | Title {{#if: Precursor | | Race {{#if: Arcanist/Alchemist | | Class {{#if: 15 years before the ritual | | Born {{#if: 8-17-4339 (2nd dream, unknown age)
During the ritual (2nd dream, age 15)
During the ritual (4th dream, age 15) | | Died {{#if: Male | | Gender {{#if: 5'02" (past)
5'09" (present) | | Height {{#if: 109 lbs. (past)
145 lbs. (present) | | Weight {{#if: Pale blue | | Body Color {{#if: White | | Eye Color {{#if: White | | Hair Color {{#if: Dokani the Necromancer (mother)
Renaldi the Alchemist (father)
Felaji the Servant (sister)
Deioros the King (uncle)
Nomori the Queen (aunt)
Ainori the Heir (cousin) | | Family {{#if: N/A | | Affiliation {{#if: Neutral Good (present)
Chaotic Neutral (past) | | Alignment
Thorn the Courtyard-Keeper
{{#if:Image:Thornpauline.png|250px
| }}
Player NPC
Campaign The Fall of the Ealdremen Galaxy
Statistics
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}}
}}
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8-17-4339 (2nd dream, unknown age)

During the ritual (2nd dream, age 15)
During the ritual (4th dream, age 15) | }}

}}
5'02" (past)

5'09" (present) | }}

109 lbs. (past)

145 lbs. (present) | }}

}}
}}
}}
Dokani the Necromancer (mother)

Renaldi the Alchemist (father)
Felaji the Servant (sister)
Deioros the King (uncle)
Nomori the Queen (aunt)
Ainori the Heir (cousin) | }}

}}
}}
"But if you go alone, you'll probably die. I'm not the only one who can raise the dead here... and I'm not the one you should be most worried about."

Thorn the Courtyard-Keeper is a young, three-fingered precursor from the Ores nation on Mioura. Though often blunt and rude, he has an in-depth knowledge of alchemy, and his years of isolation have mellowed him out significantly from how he used to be. His low status never stopped him from practicing crafting potions and flasks, but it was only after disaster struck that he realized too late just what kind of harm his skills could do.

O child of a shattered bloodline...
You are not yet ready
to know what lies ahead.

Background

Though he was unaware of it for most of his life, Thorn was the son of Dokani the Necromancer and Renaldi the Alchemist, but the two had been convicted of treason and hanged when Thorn was barely a year old. His sister Felaji would have shared the same fate, had the rope around her neck not snapped. Because of Thorn's young age, he was instead passed off to a low-caste family to raise with the intention that he would never know of his true heritage. He was given to a family that was comprised largely of architects, given the commoner name of Thorn and raised alongside Rendreth the Eagle-Mason as a much younger sibling. However, many of the other precursors -- Rendreth included -- knew where Thorn had come from, and they despised him as a result.

Thorn displayed an affinity for alchemy early on in his life; he constantly shadowed doctors and invented potions of his own by copying what he saw them do. He was unusually proficient and adept in identifying even very similar-looking plants for alchemical purposes. Seeing this as a sign that he was taking after his biological father, or perhaps somehow in contact with his spirit, Thorn's adoptive parents punished him and tried to train him to be a mason. This proved to be a useless endeavor, and they eventually gave up, having Thorn put his knowledge of herbs to use instead by tending to the castle gardens.

One day when Thorn was around ten years old, Rendreth started to hound and harass Thorn, purposefully damaging the gardens so that Thorn would be punished. A servant girl in the castle that Thorn had never seen before came to his aid, threatening to curse Rendreth if he didn't leave. To Thorn's surprise, Rendreth quickly ran off, and the girl told Thorn to meet her by the lake outside the castle when the moon was at its highest peak.

When Thorn met with this girl, she revealed to him that she was his sister, Felaji. Using a particular crystal orb, she channeled Dokani's spirit, allowing her to explain to Thorn what had happened to his true family. Though disbelieving at first, Thorn hearing of how his father had been the brilliant alchemist Renaldi eventually convinced him that perhaps they were telling the truth. Felaji warned Thorn that nobody could find out that they knew of each others' existences, or they would surely be put to death. Nonetheless, Dokani revealed to Thorn that they had a plan to get revenge on the people who had killed Dokani and Renaldi.

Like Felaji, Thorn joined up with the rebellion that Fanred the Past-Seer sought to lead against Deioros the King. He was much less of an active participant than his sister, though, as he frequently found himself busy with creating a potion that would turn the imbiber into an undead. All the while, Felaji visited him in secret, helping him along and shadowing Thorn's bullies to keep them at bay. Once the plague was complete, it was time to enact Dokani's plan.

First Dream of Arplakoon

Felaji was the one who executed most of Dokani's plan, though it was Thorn who plagued the castle's waters with his flasks. Originally, the intention had been for Thorn to join Felaji and those they killed as colossi, but Thorn was already starting to have doubts about this plan. Felaji's murder of Ainori the Heir especially disconcerted him, as Ainori had done nothing at all except be the only surviving daughter of Deioros. As such, Thorn purposefully let himself be caught spying on Deioros' royal court. Suspecting he was up to something, they imprisoned him, and Thorn missed the ritual entirely. On escaping, Thorn carefully kept to the shadows to avoid his mother's colossi, and he eventually managed to use the last of his father's notes to create an elixir of immortality. This, at least, would buy him some time while he tried to figure out what to do with this nightmare of a world he had helped create.

Thorn raised Ainori from the dead, but his worse skill in necromancy meant that when she came back from the dead, she had countless gaps in her memory and barely remembered who she was. Not wanting her to know of his role in her murder and in the current state of the land, Thorn lied to her and purposefully kept her knowledge of the past as blank as possible. He warned her to never be seen by the colossi, for they would kill her if they saw her.

Years and years passed, and Thorn eventually knew that it was time for the true Heir to take the throne of the ruin now called Dokani Castle. He also hoped that his sister could be freed from Dokani's grasp. But to do that, he would need help...

Second Dream of Arplakoon

Mioura: The Forgotten Past

In Arplakoon's second dream, Thorn was encountered in the Mioura campaign near Fort Darackei, first met by Cameo and Ddremmu along with the sibling guards Baccano and Eranni DiVanni. He vaguely informed them of the situation and convinced them to meet with him again at the Village of Stone, where he would explain what was going on more in-depth. However, when they didn't show up, Thorn went looking for them. He found them camping alongside the road. In indignant disbelief, he berated them, only for Dokani's colossi and Dokani herself to show up. Thorn was captured by Throntuk to stand judgment with Dokani. Dokani revealed that all along she had known about Ainori lurking in the castle, and she killed Thorn in front of Ainori to make an example of him and terrify her into never standing against the false Queen.

In Mioura's past, the player characters found Thorn in prison for spying on Deioros, led there by Fanred. Thorn was arrogant and rude, but they eventually found out that he was related somehow to "the Queen". Because Thorn's future self had helped them, they trusted him, though Thorn strung them along and lied to them to conceal Felaji's existence and to protect Dokani's plan out of fear of disobeying the Necromancer. Eventually, Thorn's treachery was revealed, and he recanted his loyalty to Dokani both to avoid retribution from the player characters and to avoid, in effect, making the same mistake twice. However, when two prison guards caught him out of his cell shortly after Fanred's murder, they attacked and mortally wounded him. In the attack, the waterskin that Thorn had -- which was intended to contain an antidote for the plague but had been swapped out by Dokani's future self that had followed the players back in time -- infected his wound, turning him into an undead.

Though Galkurk the Snake-Caller did his best to save Thorn, Thorn became a colossus at the ritual. His form was that of a wolf, and he was the Second Colossus; rather than serve Dokani, though, he pleaded for Cameo to kill him. After being struck down and after Dokani was stopped, Cameo retrieved Thorn's mask and took it with him back to the modern-day.

In the Altar of the New Gods found in the present-day, the inscriptions indicate that Thorn was redeemed in the minds of historians for fighting against Dokani in the end, and he was given a new title to reflect this: the Repentant.

Alti Maru: The Last Stand

Along with the rest of the colossi, Thorn's body was dug up and brought to Dai Lhan. The Veriol Alliance intended to use the colossi as invincible weapons against the Alamo Empire. However, Thorn's wounds were too great to easily revive him. Nonetheless, he -- and possibly all of the other colossi -- had a device attached to his body that allowed him to be remotely controlled as part of the facility's security system. Once activated, Thorn pursued the intruders (who refused to fight him off, as they still felt guilty for his death) until they deactivated the device, causing him to fall limp again.

After getting the Time-Weavers got the help of Zervat Aniklý, Thorn was brought back to life. At first, he was resistant to coming back -- just as one of the researchers had speculated -- but hearing Cameo's voice convinced him to at least hear him out. Cameo, along with Ddremmu, expressed regret at their hands in Thorn's ultimate fate. Although Thorn insisted that he had caused more than his fair share of trouble for them as well, the fact that they had come back for him despite all he had done made him willing to live again.

With Zervat's help and the unique powers of Fanred the Past-Seer, the colossus petrification was reversed on Thorn, and he was able to return to being a precursor. As part of the agreement for receiving Felaji, Ainori, and Fanred's help, he and some of the other precursors were free to leave with the Time-Weavers. Cameo became something like an older brother for Thorn, also promising that Thorn as well as Felaji, if she wanted it, could join Cameo and his brother Silver in the future business they planned on starting up once this was all over.

Drio: The Lost Promise

Though Thorn was present in Drio, he stayed behind on the AEN Sparrowhawk to help watch the kid and Gwyna Velkt to keep them out of trouble.

Sigzlor: The Giant's Shadow

Thorn accompanied the group to Sigzlor, where he stayed with Cameo as they split up to investigate the area and figure out a plan of action for dealing with the looming conflict between the three major factions and possibly the local sallowpaws.

Third Dream of Arplakoon

Mioura: The Forgotten Past

In Arplakoon's third dream, the newcomers to Fort Darackei encountered Thorn, though only Aydin spoke to him. Thorn revealed his necromancy powers to Aydin, convincing him to help him by bringing a group of people to the Village of Stone. However, on the way there, the travelers -- Aydin, Ambre, Anouk, Nadia, and Maeja -- were beset by Throntuk the Lionhearted's colossus self. Thorn attempted to cause a diversion when the colossus began to attack Aydin, only to have Throntuk start to chase him into the trees. A quick spell from Anouk saved Thorn's life, allowing him to escape to the village with the others.

He explained -- albeit vaguely -- of the problems that plagued Ruenfora. He told them of the colossi, of the Queen, and of a girl in Dokani Castle who was able to combat the Queen. Though originally he intended only to give them that information and stay away from Dokani Castle himself, circumstances drove him to accompanying them to Dokani Castle anyway. Shortly after their arrival in the past to Dasedrak Castle, continued suspicion of Thorn drove him away; they only found him again when they saw him attempting to kill his past self to prevent him from "causing further trouble," whereupon he angrily revealed that he was, in fact, the son of Dokani the Necromancer. When they stopped him and took the past version of Thorn with them, the present-day Thorn angrily departed again.

Trying to soothe the rattled younger Thorn, they got him to talk a little bit about his circumstances around the castle, particularly why he had been thrown into prison to begin with. However, they soon found that Thorn didn't appear to have the answers about the ritual that they sought. Thorn suggested they speak to Galkurk the Snake-Caller, who was likely by the Altar of the New Gods. They departed without him, leaving him behind with several of their group in Dasedrak Castle.

Fourth Dream of Arplakoon

Mioura: The Forgotten Past

During Arplakoon's fourth dream, Thorn's warning was cut abruptly short by the newcomers assuming that he was responsible for the attacks on Fort Darackei and that he intended to overrun the fort later -- in fact, Thorn had been leading into a warning about Dokani, but the misunderstanding prevented him from finishing. Later on, they were convinced in part by the Queen that Thorn was the true danger to Ruenfora, having used necromantic magics and potions to make himself effectively immortal. She commanded them to kill him, and they came close to doing so when Thorn ambushed them in the Village of Stone (having recognized that some of them had the Queen's power), but Thorn's willingness to fight them dissipated when Hjördís insisted that she didn't want to fight him -- a nonviolent attitude that reminded him too much of Ainori.

Thorn was more forthcoming with information after they healed the wounds he sustained in their fight. He explained that he was the last protogod; the rest of his people had been turned into either "people like theirs," referring to the various Kylian races, or into colossi like the Queen and her minions. This conversation also revealed the misunderstanding, prompting an apology from Thorn's new apparent allies. When Raanya asked about the voice she had heard that whispered the name "Felaji," Thorn reacted with surprise and suspicion, but denied that Felaji was the name of one of the colossi, as Raanya had expected. He said the other colossi were Goluragg the Second Colossus, Throntuk the Third Colossus, and Dermazd the Fourth Colossus... and that there was possibly a way to keep them from coming into existence to begin with.

Indicating the mark on Marc's hand, Thorn described a portal with similar properties in Dokani Castle that seemed to lead into the past. Thorn was unable to get to the portal, but perhaps there was a chance the others could get there without the Queen noticing. He doubted the Queen put the portal there, but the portal did present an opportunity to get rid of the colossi once and for all, as they were effectively unbeatable as they were now. If they intended to go to the castle, Thorn continued, they had to protect a girl there.

This girl, according to Thorn, needed to be kept safe from the Queen. It would be bad if the Queen found her while they were exploring the past. When they agreed to keep her safe, Thorn gave them one final piece of advice -- if they had to stop anywhere, it ought to be the Village of Stone, as the colossi didn't go there.

In the past, the group met the younger Thorn in passing, not realizing his involvement in Dokani's plans until Felaji ratted him out -- which was after they had released him from prison, believing him to at least be somewhat wrongly imprisoned and possibly trustworthy. The present-day Thorn himself made an abrupt appearance as the group contended with Dokani's spirit, using a spell to let them harm the specter. Once she was dispatched with his help, he stayed behind with them to attend the ritual; he decided that he had spent enough time as a precursor, and if he was going to return to the present-day, it would be better to be something resembling a Kylian.

Before Delzed and Felaji returned to the castle to finish up some business, Thorn spoke at length to Delzed about Delzed's ultimate fate in the future he came from. Apparently, Delzed had died trying to stop the Queen after her rise to power. Though he did so in something of a roundabout way, he told Delzed to stay safe -- for Felaji's sake as well.

The ritual came to pass, and Thorn was turned into a reot -- but much to his despair, Dokani took over Ainori's body and brought forth several colossi, including his younger self, who had been turned into an undead shortly before the ritual. After a long fight, the colossi were laid to rest, and Thorn himself cried with joy when they were able to save Ainori by reversing the effects of her undeath. He agreed to stay with the group and return to the present-day. After all, someone would need to act as a go-between with the other precursors they were bringing with them and the Kylians until they could operate in modern-day society on their own.

Nicta: The Corruption Deepens

On the spaceship to Nicta, where they hoped to find Absinthe's stolen ship, Thorn began to slowly teach the Orians they had with them Standard Kylian. He, along with some of the Orians, split off from the main group to find a place for them to stay while in Fol Atzo and to gather any supplies the group needed. He thought that staying in a smaller group would make them stand out less -- something they desperately needed when Ainori, Felaji, and Delzed were all still precursors. In hopes of getting Delzed and Felaji to reconcile a bit and resolve some of the tension in their relationship, Thorn also "accidentally" got the two of them to share a hotel room alone.

However, Delzed discovered that the dagger she had taken from Felaji, and also Delzed's only weapon due to running out of arrows for her bow and leaving her sword behind in Mioura, was able to be used to commune with Dokani's spirit. Fearing that this might make the group suspicious towards Felaji, Thorn requested that they keep it a secret until they figured out how to destroy it. He was uneasy and wary for Delzed's safety, but there was no other way to get her another weapon without the members of their group wondering why the dagger was suddenly unfit for use.

Thorn and Kaicho, Daughters of Streeg overheard a Madrante goon talking about a recent arrest in the Madrante Prison -- the description matching up with their group. They tailed him to reach the prison, and, with some help from a reot named Cameo, were able to convince Boss Madrante to let their friends go. However, as Thorn started dealing out the things he had bought for everyone, he realized he had forgotten to get arrows for Delzed's bow and had left them with Felaji. As there was little time to perform Boss Madrante's errand of investigating Cameo's claim about the rival Vacaddi gang, Thorn opted to stay with the group and help them instead of try to relocate Felaji.

Fifth Dream of Arplakoon

Mioura: The Forgotten Past

In Arplakoon's fifth dream, Thorn's arrival and warning was punctuated by his realization that Aurette, one of the recent arrivals to Fort Darackei, was a precursor herself. Initially baffled, he soon saw that Aurette was emotionally overwhelmed by his reveal that he was like her and also even more confused than he was. Somehow, she didn't know what either of them were. While he still remained vague about what he intended to do, he did warn that Fort Darackei would soon face things worse than the usual undead they had seen, and he bade the group to meet him at the Village of Stone so he could explain further. At the group's insistence, he also gave them his name before leaving to wait at the Village of Stone.

After the group narrowly escaped an encounter with the Third Colossus, Thorn brought them to one of the intact buildings in the village to give them shelter. He explained a little of the colossi's origins, including the existence of the Queen, also explaining that the group would be safe in the village because the colossi did not go there. However, he was mostly concerned with explaining to Aurette what exactly she was. He doubted that she could be an Orian, but because it was all he knew, he told her some of Orian culture, glossing over the horrific caste system for the sake of not scaring her. He also told her of the portal and the nameless girl within Dokani Castle and spoke of his sister, asking Aurette to be nice to her because nobody else had been.

An abrupt beginning to the subsequent morning meant that Thorn forgot to tell the rest of the group much of the information he had told Aurette the night before. However, he reiterated his promise to follow the group later and also gave them vague directions to the cave within the forest, also warning them of the Queen and her colossi and to run if they saw her. They parted ways to avoid being caught all together by the colossi as they traveled to the castle.

Meta

In his native story, Thorn wasn't a native to the "Spirit Fortress" (which became Dokani Castle in Chrono Stars). He was an outsider who was trapped in there, and he eventually met and befriended Ainori in his attempt to escape. When that story's Felaji killed Ainori, Thorn opted to stay behind in the castle, seeing no point in escaping without Ainori, and his spirit haunted that castle. Later on, he helped the protagonists of the story's later arcs.

Had Thorn been raised in Dokani's family, he would have been named Renaldi, after his father.