The Prince Bound In Chains Not There

The Solar Exalted

Born as Sheldon Nylekera, the young man who would become the Prince was remarkable in every way. Attractive, sociable and impressively skilled in matters of war and scholarship. It was said that he would surely Exalt and so he did, at the age of 21, on the same day he defeated an escaped demon of the Second Circle and earned himself the position of Winglord in the 8th Legion. What was not expected was his obsession. Although he’d married at 18, to a Sidereal’s daughter with hair the shimmering grey-blue of the stars themselves and eyes bluer then the purest water sapphire and by her he had three children before he Exalted. By 25, his eldest was 7 and his father had not attended his last 4 birthdays. When Sheldon was 30, his eldest son did not remember his father’s face and when Sheldon was 45, his son did not remember that the great general Sheldon Nylekera was his father at all. Sheldon’s wife died, alone, of a wasting sickness that claimed both mother and youngest child, leaving a pair of orphans that had no friends and no family, neither pair of grandparents interested at all in taking on two more mortal mouths. When the general was 57, Sheldon’s children became Hungry Ghosts and were laid to rest mercilessly by low-ranking foot soldiers and priests-of-the-line under the Zenith’s command.

In combat, Sheldon was valiant, brave, charismatic and commanding. He showed mercy to surrendering enemies and those under mental sway, but ruthlessly cut down enemies of the Realm, demons and Fae. Nylekera followed every rule of engagement to the letter and observed proper decorum at all times. His Lunar and Dragon-Blooded officers were loyal to the death at times, several sacrificing their lives to save the general from assassins and deadly foes in the thick of battle. When the Terrestrial Uprising came there was a schism in the ranks of Nylekera’s officers, nearly a third of them siding with the Solar and attempting to get him to hiding before the others overwhelmed them and slew their former commander.

The Deathlord

The Prince has shed the handsome body he wore as a Solar Exalted and inhabits a bulky suit of Orichalcum and Soulsteel chain swathing. Manacles bind his arms, neck, waist and ankles, dragging lengths of chain that float behind him, attached to nothing. Should his chain armor be breached, there is the husk of a physical body within. Held in place with straps of soul-forged leather, a nearly impotent male form exists inside the armor. The body has long since been crushed and constricted into unrecognizable pulp, but it always reforms, giving it the appearance of a much-abused punching bag in human form. Once, it was the body of Sheldon Nylekera but now the armor moves his limbs and his eyes have not opened in centuries. Still, if Sheldon’s body were destroyed, the Prince would be unmade.

The Prince still carries a deep hatred for all Dragon-Blooded, but it has become a chill, mechanical loathing that is as much a part of his routine as checking his Monstrances and reading reports. He allows no Terrestrial Exalted to live in the lands he claims as his own and makes monthly sacrifices of his collected Terrestrial ghosts to the Malfeans at the Well of Eternity.

In modern times the dark Prince busies himself with his troops and Deathknights. He commands a large number of undead and ghosts, but not nearly so large a force as First and Forsaken Lion. Though when alive the two Solars bore each other no grudge, First and the Prince are the bitterest of enemies. While the Lion prepares his Legion Sanguinary and mutters about lacking an adequate Shadowland, an excuse for laziness and incompetence in the mind of the Prince, the Chained One prefers to use Nemesaries, Nephwracks, enslaved spirits and his Exalted to control the armies of others, particularly surrounding mortal nations. He has instigated at least four major wars and innumerable small conflicts. Some rumors say that he began the war between the Haltan Republic and the Linowan Nation. Often the Prince’s forces will offer to ally themselves with one side or both in a battle. He will lend support to the allies of combatants in undead and ghostly form to free up more mortal warriors to join the secondary party’s ally in war. A master tactician, the Prince’s undead armies in the Haslanti League can begin wars in Harborhead.

The Fortress

Unique among the Deathlords, only the Chained Prince makes his home in a living object. As a general, Sheldon Nylekera created many monuments to his victories, but his greatest personal victory, the defeat of a treacherous second-in-command turned to the Infernal Powers, was commemorated only by a single tree he planted with his own hands, a great redwood with copper-tinged foliage and sap that smelled of rotting iron. By some miracle, the tree still lived when Sheldon returned to the world as the Prince Bound In Chains Not There and he made it his eternal base of operations. Hollowing out vast sections of interior hardwood the Deathlord carved a warren capable of holding thousands into the living tree. Sorcery and Necromancy transmuted the tree’s vital life force, calling on the taint of infernalist blood that had mutated it long ago. Now the needles of the tree are drooping lengths of iron wire and parasitic vines are vast chains with links as big as three men. The Chain Tree obeys its master’s every whim, deadwood from the interior and dying parasites emerging from the live wood to destroy invaders and protect the tree. The Chained Prince plans one day to kill the tree and soulforge its spirit, but first he must feed it enough Essence that its soul will be strong enough to withstand the process. One day, his fortress will be a living tree of Soulsteel that will sing of his triumphs for all the world to hear. The Chain Tree grows deep in the shadows of the Haltan Forest, nearly halfway between the Sijan and the Lover’s citadel.

The Servants

He Who Walks In Dreams is a Daybreak Caste that serves as historian and scribe as well as a master of surgical military operations and psychological warfare.
Silencer of Voices is a Dusk Caste mercenary commander who leads the undead forces of the Prince.
The Fair Lady In Waiting is a powerful and ancient ghost who acts as the Prince’s diplomat and envoy.
Shadow Against the Dying Sun is a Day Caste spymaster, in command of intelligence operations.