Called The Manipulator, Taqe carries his agenda into the mortal realms as well, where he oversees thieves, assassins, and all manners of covert business. He is ever set on toppling rigid law enforcing societies and is a master of deception and dishonesty. Masters of the shadows, the followers of Taqe eternally war with the righteous paladins of Jakob. The size of the following of Taqe has never been recorded, since those bearing the image of the jackal avoid displaying their homage at all times. Relying more on stealth and a dagger in the back, they utilize Taqe's favor to perfect their craft. It is not sure if Taqe actually has temples dedicated to his worship. Surely nothing has been found and if they exist, his followers have kept them a secret. Some scholars speculate religious contact with Taqe is limited to small gatherings in dark alleys although, again, no hard evidence has ever been found.
Umbra, one of the most well known disciples of Taqe, authored Rise of the Shadow chronicling the god's ascension to prominence in the Nivi Pantheon.
Penned in indigo ink that is only visible under certain conditions and in certain light he wrote, "Perceived as an upstart and lesser god, Taqe sought to become the most powerful of the immortals. Those allied with the light, most notably Jakob and Serene, watched from a distance with relative unconcern. After all, they told each other, who would be taken in by a charlatan such as this?"
"Aware of their perception and enjoying the irony of their soon to be sullied innocence, Taqe moved across the lands as silently as shade falls across a wooded path. Spending his days doing nothing more than whispering, he seemed of little consequence."
Addronus, facet of Taqe, god of illusion and deception came to him one night and whispered an interesting tale in his ear. He told his master the story of how the god, Duvan was deceiving a mortal for whom he had begun to care. Masquerading as a teacher, The Scholar spent hours with the young woman, falling in love with her.
Laughing in wicked delight, Taqe knew that he was about to make his mark on the pantheon. He began to watch Duvan, to trail behind him unseen as he spent his days lingering with Kem. On the fateful day when Duvan confessed both his love and his true identity to the maiden, Taqe stood in the shadows, ready to act.
When the lass spurned him in fear, Duvan used his power in anger and cast upon her a spell, turning her into a unicorn. Making his move at just the right second, Taqe flung a dirty trick of his own, intercepting the spell and altering it substantially!
With a wicked glint in his eye and a smirk curving his sensuous lips, Taqe stepped from the shadows and appraised Duvan as the scholar stared aghast at all that was left of his beloved; a pure white marble unicorn. Glaring at Taqe for but an instant with the realization that it was his own deceit and reckless behavior that had allowed such a thing, The Scholar disappeared in the wink of an eye. The Cruel Trickster strolled over to the statue and caressed it idly.
"Who would have thought stone?" he mused. He ran his finger over a delicately carved ear and down the curve of the unicorn's jaw. "I would have expected something softer and more pliable. But then, given her stubborn nature, perhaps 'tis fitting after all. Eh, Kem?" He smacked the rounded rump of the girl-turned-statue and headed south.
Whistling softly under his breath, he walked down Eberk Lane enjoying the fine weather and the good day's mischief. Almost without thought, those he passed had their pockets lightened as the invisible god absently palmed coins, gems and the odd trinket or two, just to discard them all as quickly.
Bored temporarily with the mundane, he willed himself back to his lair, a dark and brooding keep, cut into the summit of a jagged black granite mountain. Striding down corridors that wound and twisted seemingly for miles, he ignored the dismal, dank miasma that hung in the air, the faint scent of sulfur that seemed to be spewed from the bowels of Thrael itself. Reaching his den, he threw himself down on his gleaming throne, fashioned from a huge brilliant diamond that broke through the hard stone, which was littered with all manner of precious stone and glistening siege gold. The walls of warunja ruby reflected the glow from a vast pit of molten lava as the god sprawled, propping his feet up on a formation of emeralds disgorged from the rock and began to machinate.
Summoning Psebix, a male vulfen in his mid-thirties and facet of cruel jokes, he proceeded to tell him the story and then, scheming together, they plotted a malicious follow-up to take place in the future, when the time was ripe. He then met with his other minions, scheming and conspiring to wreak havoc on the mortals of Thrael, devising plans to trap the morally weak and encourage the larcenous.
Years passed and Taqe entertained himself by sullying chaste women and corrupting honest men. When night fell, he became restless, coalescing into a dark shadow; he traveled on the wind to visit the mortals, where in sibilant whispers and preying on the basest and meanest of instincts, he engaged in conversation with numerous people from all stations of life. Using a combination of charm and trickery, feeding and encouraging their darkest secret desires, the Master Manipulator persuaded the rich and the poor, the statesmen and the malingerers, the truthful and the twisted-tongued to step across the moral chasm. Taking special delight in converting the innocent and pure of heart, he sowed seeds of dissent and mistrust like dandelion fluff in a strong breeze.
As he traveled, his eye fell occasionally on a woman of beauty and grace, with a heart as larcenous as his own. Known by the name of Leta, she was making a name for herself as a bardess of some repute. Wicked and selfish, yet charismatic enough to charm the very orcs from the woode, she made her way in a manner that Taqe wholeheartedly approved of. When she began the mass slaughter of wealthy, learned men in a fit of anger, he began to study her intently. [Deification of Leta, page 72]
He began to woo her, as a cat plays with a mouse, and the two of them destroyed lives with glee and abandon. When he finally revealed his true nature to her, she was so enamored with the possibility of becoming a goddess that she begged and pleaded and promised her very soul for the opportunity to be elevated in status to immortal.
With a careless smile and seeming indifference, he bade her to impress him. Then he reveled in her efforts and abandon as she did all that she could to satisfy the god. On the verge of death through exhaustion, he arose and touched her cheek, whereby her mortal body died and her spirit was reborn as a goddess. [Deification of Leta, page 213]
Although the Nivi Pantheon was appalled by his actions, Taqe was not only uncaring of their reaction, but rather, openly mocking. He had made his mark; become a force to be reckoned with and feared, if only for his unruliness and unpredictability.
His fervent interest in Leta as a woman disappeared once the diversion was over, but he was still was able to use her as a pawn in his torment of Duvan. Commanding Leta to don costumes to impersonate Kem, the new goddess was directed to go to The Thinker, her likeness that of his beloved, her countenance that of a harlot. Over the centuries at Taqe's insistence and enforced by blackmail, she has gone to The Eternal Scholar again and again taunting and teasing him as she tries to lead him down the path of self-disgust and destruction. The fact that she loathes the duty and has no desire to tempt him coupled with Duvan's own repugnance is what The Prince of Mischief finds so appealing, two gods dancing on his strings. Her success, or lack thereof, was watched closely by all members of the pantheon. Particular interest is paid by the darker side, all of whom keep their eyes closely on The Scholar knowing that an ally tied by the black ropes of shame is a powerful, yet dangerous one.
In conjunction with his many facets, and along with Vaen, Aorre and Shaellis, Taqe plans similar travesties on the other gods who dare to thwart his plans, but only the unfolding of history will tell whether or not he succeeds.
|Aliases||The Manipulator, Master of Thieves, The Cutthroat|
|Portfolio||Lies, Deception, Illusions, Hallucinations, Misconceptions, Betrayals, Shadows, Secrets, Stalking, Intrigues, Mysteries, Anarchy, Anarchists, Rebellion, Unrest, Mobs, Vigilantes, Lawlessness, Thievery, Thieves, Lawbreakers, Criminals, Outlaws, Murder, Violent Death, Assassins, Cruel Mischief, Cruel Jokes, Larceny, Reckless Behavior, Forgetfulness, Pranksters.|
|Physical Avatar||Whispering voice, sinister shadow|
|Symbol||A shadowy fist gripping a sanguine dagger|
|Animal Symbol||The Jackal|
|Color(s)||Grey, indigo, black|
|Gem Affinity||Jet, Gray Quartz|
|Holy Book||Taqe's Everlasting Contract|
|Temple/Shrine Style||Unknown, rumored to be underground or hidden in the back rooms of merchants' guilds.|
|Primary Dominion||Wrong (lies)|
|Spell User Type||Pure|
|Spell Style||Uses strictly astral effects.|
|Time of Day||8pm - 10pm|
|Month(s) of the Year||Plade|
|Religious Holidays||Black Fasulday, Fourth Fasulday of Plade A Day and Night of Deceptions, Lies and Intrigues.|
|Allies||Aorre, Shaellis, Vaen|
Lesser Power of Lies, Deception, Illusions, Hallucinations, Misconceptions, Betrayals
Addronus appears as a daun in his 40's.
Lesser Power of Shadows, Secrets, Stalking, Intrigues, Mysteries
Delath appears as a female il'lthye in her 300's.
Lesser Power of Anarchy, Anarchists, Rebellion, Unrest, Mobs, Vigilantes, Lawlessness
Gewddyn appears as a daun in her 60's.
Lesser Power of Thievery, Thieves, Lawbreakers, Criminals, Outlaws
Ziddai appears as a haefdin male in his 60's.
Lesser Power of Murder, Violent Death, Assassins
Careon appears as a sylvan male in his 500's.
Lesser Power of Cruel Mischief, Cruel Jokes, Larceny, Reckless Behavior, Forgetfulness, Pranksters
Psebix appears as a male vulfen in his 30's.