Wrath of the Righteous
Dark-skinned and deep voiced, this man exudes kindness and respect.
Sosiel Vaenic has spent several years among the crusaders of Mendev, serving in the (now-destroyed) church of Shelyn in Kenabres. He is no stranger to how the intensity of the conflict can wear down crusaders, having seen this despair strike his lover Aron. Sosiel maintains a frank optimism in the face of even the most daunting atrocities committed by the enemy, working tirelessly to oppose the temptations, ailments, and despair the demons inflict on those in his care. His jovial spirit and genuine concern for others has had a profound effect on those he meets.
Sosiel’s childhood and early years as an adult consisted of a quiet, peaceful life in the Andoren countryside, serving Shelyn’s parish on the outskirts of Carpenden. A gardener, painter, and sculptor by trade, he played an active role in the city’s vineyards and art community before joining the clergy. Later, when his Eagle Knight brother, Trever Vaenic, marched north to join the Mendevian Crusade, Sosiel felt compelled to follow, if for no other reason than ensure his sibling’s safe return. However, after arriving on the front line, Sosiel became horrified by the erosion of beauty across the Worldwound’s landscape as well as the ugliness of the wounds—both physical and mental— suffered by those waging war against the demons.
When his brother went missing on the field of battle in the northeastern Worldwound, Sosiel knew in his heart that he would never be able to leave Mendev before the Worldwound was defeated. He moved to Kenabres and joined the church of Shelyn there, throwing himself into the impossible task of comforting and healing those whose bodies and minds have been fractured and damaged by the war. He’s done his best to set numerous crusaders and refugees alike on the path to redemption.
It was in this way that he met Aron Kir, and as he helped the man recover from a particularly horrible addiction to a demonic drug known as shadowblood, he fell in love. Until this point, Sosiel’s life was without focus—he wanted only to see the crusades end, but knew he alone could not bring that end about. With Aron’s love, he at least now feels that even if he doesn’t live to see the end of the war against the Worldwound, his life will not have been for nothing. Since they’ve met, Sosiel has seen Aron relapse twice into his addiction; both times, he’s helped Aron recover, and both times he’s hidden the true nature of his lover’s vice from the crusade, knowing that if officials knew Aron had been under the influence of demonic drugs, he would be exiled from the crusades at best or imprisoned at worst. It’s been some time since Aron’s last relapse, though, and Sosiel hopes his lover has finally kicked the ugly habit for good.
During the fall of Kenabres, a large group of abrikandilu demons attacked the church of Shelyn. The ratlike demons were tenacious, and each time Sosiel and the other priests drove them off, they returned in larger numbers. Each wave further reduced the priests’ resources, and in the end they made the tough call to get its remaining wards and recovering patients to safety elsewhere while the priests acted as a rearguard. In the end, the demons tore the church apart and killed all of the priests but Sosiel. He tries to keep a brave and positive attitude, focusing on those he saved (who, in truth, outnumber those who perished), but the loss of the temple still gnaws at him. He joined up with the Eagle Watch at Defender’s Heart, and when Queen Galfrey was looking for experts to send with the PCs, his name topped the list.
Sosiel projects a sense of calm and serenity. He believes that maintaining an impeccable appearance in his clerical vestments and well-worn gear inspires those around him, and he’s not wrong. He cuts an imposing figure on the battlefield with his tall frame and spinning glaive. A crystal medallion with the embossed image of Shelyn’s thrush always hangs from his neck against his chest under his armor, taking on an iridescent sheen in the light of the sun.