Sunday, 19 June 2011

Hero: Yolander van Zaar

“I am Yolander van Zaar - and you have no place in the future!”

[The picture is painted in modern Wezellian fashion, sometime during the spring of YE 1022 when the cabal returned from the Dark Continent and set out to gather the Convocation.]

Storyteller's note: I tried this last night, but due to some formatting issues, I had to delete that post. Now that has been dealt with, and here it is. The bio is written by Håvard.

Yolander van Zaar born YE 976 in Zaarbrügge, Wezell into an influential family. Yolander’s mother Els was the oldest child of Rufus van Zaar, the Grand Uncle in the van Zaar family and so was expected to marry well. Unfortunately she was made with child at a very young age - the trespasser a handsome Northerner of shady decent. 

Yolander’s first claim to fame was when he partook in the thwarting of the St. Revan’s Day Plot with Sir William Blackstaff in YE 997. His particular skills in throwing metal dining plates at the assailants earned him a permanent position among the Kings men. 

Over the next several years Yolander fashioned himself friend to the King, Wezellian spymaster and lover of the black lotus. After almost 15 years of opulence and excess in the Pendrellian court Yolander conspired with his Wezellian Uncle Jaap (now head of his family) and King Arthor XIII to make a covert diplomatic envoy to Goeteshafen and the Ordo Hermetica. Yolander was set up as the leader and recruited the first members of what is now known as the Pius cabal.

During Yolanders years of drug abuse he received one of the 50 letters of alarm from the dream lord Morpheus - and he unwittingly attended the first dreamcast of the demi-god in YE 1012. Although Yolander did not fully recognize the events he nevertheless acted as an agent of the dream lord by shearing information about the Pendrellian and Wezelian states in his drug induced sleep. 

Note: “The letter of Morpheus”. The letter itself contains the simple words “The Olympus is coming - you must prepare!” - seemingly mundane, this artifact serves multiple purposes: it gives its bearer status as 1st of the Dream Caste and thus protects him in the dreaming. Depending of the bearer it also gives command over some dreamcreatures. A letter-bearer can also use the letter as a multipass inside the dreaming and lets him walk through the dreams of men. The original 50 bearers may also issue 5 secondary copies of the letters each and thus create a linage of his caste. The letter may also be handed over to a new bearer at any time - resulting in the loss of status by its former bearer.

After a somewhat failed diplomatic mission to the Order State and the imprisonment of his protector, the King, the real adventures of the Pius Cabal ensured. While Yolander was the first of the Cabal to awaken to true magic he kept his new found insight to himself - awaiting the awakening of the others. 

Yolanders true conviction lives in the fight against the great Enemy. For Yolander his calling has only grown stronger with his power - and he believes himself to be an instrument of destiny and the Creator. This blind conviction leads him to become impatient, rude and uncompromising - much to the distress of his fellow mages. 

“Let me tell you the truth - The world is ending NOW - horrors from beyond creation are ending us - they are succeeding because of our incompetence, our ignorance, our cowardice and our lack of imagination. I tell you friends - there is no use in hording treasure, gaining glory or clinging to honors of times yore - our future holds only fire, death and ashes - and that’s if we succeed in fighting the Exarch - if not; ALL ENDS!”

Yolander feels that he understands creation more keenly than the other mages and to their dismay takes it upon himself to educate them on occasion. Often Yolander is conceived as a doomsday prophet and bringer of ill news - but the calling has become so strong that any mortal qualms or petty human needs are considered just that - petty and small. 

“We are in it for the species boys and girls! The Enemy plans to end us all”

Yolander's first sphere of command is Time and with it comes the feeling that both past and future is at risk, so Yolander prefers his magic to work indirectly. His most famous feat however is insanely vulgar. He calls the effect: “try again” - this magic involves anchoring time at the beginning of a turn and holding his own action til he can see if the turn has produced a favorable result - if not - he takes it back to the beginning of the turn. This formidable magic combined with the Pius hive-mind makes it possible for the cabal to change its approach if a critical round fails. His other favorite magic is his blessing: whenever Yolander manages and plans for a specific adventure whoever he “peps” receive a 9-again bonus. Yolander’s pep-talk may seem harsh, but he prefers to bless his allies rather than curse his enemies.

“I am disappointed - I had higher hopes for you - it seems your inability to deliver may cost us our very existence”.

Through his command of time and fate Yolander has performed several grand feats of influence on Argos. The grand convocation of the awakened being his peak performance. Through cunning, diplomacy, prophecy and magic he administered for the first gathering of the awakened forces in modern times and commissioned for a new law of the awakened. The results of this event was the forming of the union of the awakened under leadership of the Wezelian syndikaat and protected by the Ordo Hermetica. 

Note: The two primary laws of the awakened - the Pax Arcanum - as formulated  by Yolander reads as follows; 1) All awakened answer to the call of creation and must guard it’s borders. 2) Protect the unawakened for they are the children of creation and the future of existence. The rest of the law was formulated and negotiated by Actor Smith as his master-piece in the Arcana of Fate.

Taking 15 years of his own life (rewriting his drug abuse history) he also wrote several books under the pseudonym Ruben Kaizer and published them into the past, and thus contributed to the development of the Enlightened Syndikaat so that they where better prepared for what awaited some 20 years into the future. Yolander himself has not taken credit for these feats since he fears the paradox it will unleash. He does however he sport himself “the man in white” and is furious that he is not accepted as a Grand Uncle.

List of publications

  • "Rubens Kubus - elf lesjes van Magi" (Rubens Cube - elleven lessons of Magic) by Ruben Kaizer - Dick & Zoon, Zaarbrügge, YE 1002 (republished 1021)
  • "Prognosis - een manifest van moderne Magi" (The Prognosis - a manifest of modern Magic) by Ruben Kaizer - Blauwerk, Fals ob Bügge, YE 1003
  • “Elf studies in tijd en beveging - een model for de handelsweitenschap” (Eleven studies in time and motion - a model for the scinence of commerce) by Ruben Kaizer. Neuwe Syndikaat press, Rederhafen, YE 1006
  • "Na Paradoxa - de Metaphysic van het Werelt" (After Paradox - On the Metaphysics of Creation) by Yolander van Zaar, Weimar sugar trading co., Rederhafen, in press YE 1022

Although not blessed with a pleasing demeanor Yolander is a dashing man. After obtaining mastery of time however his apparent age has been unstable, and most often he seems like an energetic old man in somewhat futuristic clothes. He claims to be traveling both future and past and that he carries the burden of many lifetimes.

“I follow the modern times - I expect efficiency and results”

Yolander's style of magic is eclectic. He uses whatever ingredients, artifacts, foci and incantations he sees fit at the time - and will give lectures on the magical theory behind it if questioned. His favorite being metamagic. Early in his awakening he leaned towards technomagic and ecstatic practices, but has become increasingly hermetic and primordial. 

“After (the apocalypse) I see the scorched earth - in the end there is only ashes and dust”

Colonel Yolander van Zaar
Man in White,  Master of the Third Degree, of the Arcana of Fate, Time and Death, Knight of the Golden Dawn, Knight of St. Invictus, 1st of the Dream Caste, Man of many futures

Concept: Magic man, adventurer, spy, international man of mystery, drug addict and prophet

The man in white, Ruben Kaizer, Georg(io) Futura

Virtue: Hope
Vice: Gluttony
Path: Transendence

Intelligence 3, Wits 3, Resolve 3
Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3
Presence 2, Manipulation 3, Composure 3

Mental: Academics 2, Occult 2, Politics 1, Scribe 2, Investigation 1
Physical: Athletics 3, Ride 2, Firearms (Pistol) 4, Stealth 2, Survival 1, Weaponry (Rapier) 4
Social: Socialize (Party) 3, Streetwise 2

Status (St. Invictus) 3, Status (Golden Dawn) 3, Status (Syndikaat) 4,  Resources 4, Quick draw 1, Striking looks 2, Barfly 1, Contacts (Pendrellian underground) 2, Dream 3, High speech (Arcane) 2, High speech (Abyssinian) 1, Fame 5

Death 5, Fate 5, Mind 2, Space 3, Spirit 3, Time 5

Defense 3 
Armour 5 
Initiative Mod 7 (12)
Health 8
Willpower 6
Humanity 5
Gnosis 5

Yolandroscope primulars 
Ares predator 3 & 4 Hermetic handguns
Last death mask of Jepetto
White bear coat
1 bottle of fire demon
Bansl gewehr
1 bottle of Wimar water
Ring of St. Invictus
Medal of the Golden Dawn
Letter of Morpheus
Pouch containing several books (including “Truth until paradox” and “Rubens Cube”)

[Picture created by Håvard]


  1. "During Yolanders years of drug abuse he received one of the 50 letters of alarm from the dream lord Morpheus - and he unwittingly attended the first dreamcast of the demi-god in YE 1012."

    This is one of those sentences that encapsulates exactly what I want fiction of the fantastic to do. I have no idea what it means necessarily (not until I read the note that follows)--but it doesn't matter: it immediately conjures numerous possibilities of what it could mean.

  2. @Trey: thanks alot - and exactly what I was aiming for ;>

    What I appreciate most in both Harald's writing and storytelling are the numerous possibilities he conjures. I think that the rich and thoughtful descriptions layed down in the world of Argos opens for a very fresh take on fantastic fiction --> and this makes me sure that he will take it even further after our ways part (for now).