Tak Trooblood - Paleomancer
The study and use of bones in spiritual invocation has a long and storied history. It was often believed that animal bones had properties that connected them with the spirit realm or with specific Gods and Goddesses. Shaman all over the Known World have used bones to predict future events or to ward against deadly diseases, evil spirits and harmful insults.
A lesser known strain of this practice is called “Paleomancy,” which is the use of ancient animal bones in rituals that seek to call forth forgotten spells or obscure gods. This is a rare and highly specialized field as it involves finding and digging up the bones, determining the bones’ age, and then invoking the spirit of the ancient animal to determine if there is good magic to be had.
Tak Trooblood was a direct descendant of the Visenduan Troobloods, great and powerful tribal Kings of Old. Their legacy is indelibly marked on the land in the form of a network of far-reaching cobblestone roads that they built for trade with far off lands. These trade routes date back nearly 3,000 years, and control of these roads has been the cause of some of history’s greatest and bloodiest battles.
Visendu is a largely peaceful land that became part of the extended Empire of Gateway only in recent years, and because of the great distance of harsh mountains that lie between it and Gateway, remained largely unaffected by this arrangement, until recent years. Growing up, Tak developed an early interest in dinosaur bones, which were in abundance in Visendu. He began his own collection in his early teens, and learned the magical art of paleomancy with a mentor by the time he turned 15.
Tak showed extreme proficiency at an early age and became bored of the offerings of Visendu, so he travelled across the Known World, searching for fossils of rare- or little-known dinosaurs and other extinct creatures. He would travel with archaeological expeditions, part of a new form of science that sought to study the bones of ancient creatures for the expansion of knowledge. He helped them study and understand new species by evoking their powers, even creating mental links between the paleontologists and the spirit of the creature itself. Tak would negotiate with these groups to determine which bones he would be allowed to keep; the rest would be shipped off to Gateway to be studied.
Tak thought perhaps he should move to Gateway, and practice his art in the place where so many of these bones seemed to end up. When Tak walked into the Bridgetown Museum of Natural History in Gateway for the first time, his world was turned upside down. Here, in one place, were the collected bones of hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of ancient creatures, all of whom had magic to teach and secrets to divulge. Tak made a deal with the museum officials to let him serve as the official paleomancy expert and consultant.
Tak’s work for the museum was astounding, and the scientists learned more about ancient creatures in the span of six months than they had in the previous 10 years. The ability to talk to dinosaurs directly changed everything, especially since they proved to be honest to a fault. For Tak’s part, he helped to revive some of the Known World’s most forgotten spells and uncovered new forms of magic that had only previously been theoretical.
A pet-lover, Tak even used his abilities to revive a long-extinct species of insect called the mawfly, which were once favored by Visenduan kings. His cat was very jealous.
The Inquisition condemned the practice of paleomancy as well as paleontology and halted all activity at the museum. The Church of Daeus deemed both practices to be heretical, since many of the bones were actually those of ancient demons who once sought to enslave humanity with their unholy magic, so therefore attempting to call forth the powers of these ancient creatures was the ultimate in blasphemy.
Tak was forced to go into hiding almost immediately, and narrowly escaped capture on several occasions. His face was plastered on posters all over the city and wanted cards distributed by the City Guard described him as “a pusillanimous practitioner of profane practices” and that “anyone spotting this heretical hedonist should shoot him dead for a reward of $3,500.”
Tak’s current whereabouts is unknown.