Chapter 1: The Birth of Arcades
Arcades Badwyn was born as the third son of Ludvic Badwyn, who in turn was the third son of Light Badwyn, one of the bastard sons of Lady Belldona Sterling and banished forever from the nation of Yuvon as the Viscount of Tragedy. From an early age it was made abundantly clear to Arcades that his life was not meaningful or even wanted. His father died shortly after he was born, and his mother had always been distant as many Changeling are when their current role in life begins to bore them. She left soon after his 9th birthday, leaving her children to fend for themselves.
His older brothers, Archimedes and Andros, were cruel and abusive by nature. They were closer in age, with Arcades having been born 5 and 6 years after them, respectively, and were not overly fond of suddenly having the responsibility of a 9 year old thrust upon them. They tormented him daily, but there was no one present to stop them. The years passed by and upon reaching the age of 12, they boys had a visitor. It was Light Badwyn, their grandfather, who had been searching for them for many years unsuccessfully. He took the boys to live with him and for a time things were better. He was kind-hearted and did not tolerate the mistreatment of Arcades at the hands of his siblings. Over time their abuses stopped altogether, even to the point of apologizing to Arcades for their previous actions. But the damage had been done. His mind was warped. His perception of life forever marred by abuse.
One night, years after his brothers had left the care of their grandfather to pursue their own adult lives, Arcades finally snapped. He left his grandfather’s estate in the midst of the night and slaughtered his brothers in their sleep, as well as their wives and children. He left none alive. And he rejoiced, for justice had been served. He slept without nightmares for the first time in his life that night. But he did not sleep alone. In his dreams he had a visitor. An Emissary of Bane. Bane had been following the progress of Arcades, feeding off the hatred brewing in his young heart and the growing desire to take power from his brothers; to take hold of his own destiny. And that was the moment Arcades surrendered his life to Bane.
That was the moment Arcades Badwyn was truly born.
Chapter 2: The Insufferable Listroy
It is impossible to tell the story of Arcades Badwyn without touching upon his cousin Listroy. The firstborn son of Gradus Dragonseed, who in turn was the firstborn son of Eden Dragonseed, the highly regarded bastard daughter of Lady Belldona Sterling, Listroy was always destined for greatness. From a young age he was trained in the arcane, sent almost immediately from birth to the Citadel of Ice to see his full potential reached. And it was there that he was met by Arcades. Upon discovery of their shared ancestry, Listroy declared he would be happy to help Arcades become a powerful mage, but Arcades could see through the deception. Listroy only wished to further his own standing and position, and thought helping his cousin rise would be heard by Lady Sterling and give him even higher praise. And so competition began.
As Listroy rose higher and higher, Arcades strived to overcome him. But before he ever got the chance to surpass his cousin, Listroy was selected to study under the Gran Magus. It was the highest honor imaginable, and it left a bitter taste in Arcades’ mouth. And so he left the Citadel of Ice. He felt he had learned all he could from the mages of the world that only dabbled in the lighter sides of magic. There was more to see and learn in the world. And so his travels began. The visions of Bane he received in the night began to show him the powers that awaited those willing to prove their devotion and offer up the souls of others to Bane. Arcades began studying the intricacies of sacrifice on his own. It was soon after that he received word of heroes being needed for the Broken Isles. At first he wasn’t interested, by a vision in the night from Bane urged him to follow this path.
“Seek my Strongarm that walks the Path of my Black Hand. Find the Prison that holds that which you hold most dear: to watch your enemy kneel before you.”
It was all Arcades needed to hear, and so he set out. The mission was simple enough. Villagers were missing and they needed to be found. After the parties initial trek, the Strongarm revealed itself. Harranak, a great a powerful Minotaur, wore the emblem of Bane upon his body. Friendship is not something that comes naturally for followers of Bane, but an easy and formidable alliance was formed between the two. And as they worked to save the townspeople, the ending of the prophetic vision came to light.
In the midst of a burning encampment, locked away in an enchanted desk, the was a bauble. It radiated dark energies. Overcome with desire to know more, Arcades broke open the “prison” and found himself holding the mighty Doomemblem. With this powerful evil artifact in hand, Arcades’ plans to unseat Listroy started reaching fruition.
Chapter 3: The Feats of Arcades
The following year of Arcades was a whirlwind. With Harranak by his side, and the rest of the party of adventurers he could barely stand, many adventures unfurled. They traveled the continent and fought many battles, but all the while Arcades merely bided his time waiting for the moment to unleash his full potential.
Upon speaking with his party members a plan was hatched for massive sacrifices to take place for True Wishes. Unknown to Arcades… he had been deceived. Upon sacrificing the entire town of Jumper to Bane to power his wish, Arcades was met by the Timehold. He was imprisoned, removed of all his power, and forced to sit in exile awaiting his trial. Meanwhile, elsewhere, his allies successfully unleashed their own grand sacrifices and achieved their goals. Arcades had been used as bait. And he would never forget.
The trial went about as well as a trial could go. He was given the opportunity to send missives to various people to aid in his defense. One of these was sent to Lady Belldona Sterling, who in turn took pity on her great-grandson and sent Light Badwyn to stand in his defense. The trial concluded with Arcades being set free on the condition that he truly do as he argued: maintain the balance in this world. And that Arcades did. In a world of Good and Evil… he would be the Evil.
Soon after he sent his minions out into the world, Kelus and Velf. They performed the necessary rituals on his behalf that led to the destruction of Folba, Tobius Stand, and Pedelpie over the span of a few hours. This grand sacrifices not only fueled an immense growth of power to Arcades turning him into a Prophet of Bane but also turning him into the Amidah of Changelings. This change was short lived, as the existing Amidah of Changelings could not stand to be competition to the role, and so through a few speed bumps, Arcades eventually created his own race: the Xanevim, Angels of Bane. And he then turned himself into one.
Chapter 4: The Seven Sinners
Along the way, another powerful artifact had come into his possession: the Diablo Hellstar. At the prophetic urging of Bane, and now being strong enough for such a task, Arcades forcibly fused the two artifacts together creating the Diablo Doomstar. With this powerful new artifact, Arcades set out to create his own force upon the world. His Seven Deadly Sinners.
He sent Kelus to find suitable candidates on his behalf, and upon successfully finding them, Arcades met with each of them. He offered them power. Most accepted. Others resisted. But all were turned. He gave them all the seed of Sins from the Diablo Doomstar and then turned them into Xanevim. They would serve him for the rest of their days.
However, this did not go unnoticed. The pure destructive and immense power of such a task drew the attention of those that were seeking him out after all his crimes: the Church. Its agents were dispatched. The mighty warrior Lucertola “Silver” Argento appeared before Arcades on an island just south of Port Taylor. But he was not alone. Listroy had been sent as well. Arcades knew that he could easily dispatch Listroy at this time, but the quiet voice of Bane urged him to surrender. He could not stand to Silver at this time.
He was taken captive to the Church. And there was no escape this time. The Aspect of Bane that resided on the court of the Church argued for his release, but it was not going well. While held in exile a powerful entity broke through to set him free. Volvelex, an Interdimensional artificer bent on creating the perfect lifeform. And all it requested in return was bodies to use for augmentation. Now that was something of which Arcades had in plentiful supply. Summoning demons and devils from the Doomstar for this entity took no time at all, and soon Arcades was free to seek his own path once again. But he was still on the run.
There were short adventures adventures with his party after this, but it was all on a timer. The Church was searching through his past, present, and future with the aid of the Timehold. It was only a matter of time before they would know exactly where and when he would be. His own powers over Time, courtesy of his Divine Ascension to a Champion Deity and Portfolios, could only help him so much. And so he followed the only course of action available to him: he fled to Banehold. He would be safe there, for even the forces of the Church would not dare step foot in the realm of Bane to take someone from his Pantheon. Arcades knew he could not return to Novaterra until such a time that his presence would go unnoticed. He peered through time and saw it would be thousands of years before that would occur. So, he made a simple request of Bane.
“Let me go to Toril. I will claim it as my own, for Your Glory, and the powers of the Church will be nothing there against me.” His request was granted, and Arcades left for Toril.
Chapter 5: The Birth of Arcadia
With his Seven Sinners in tow, powerless to resist him and over time coming to love him, Arcades appeared in the realm of Toril. The former gods of the realm had long abandoned it. There was nothing there to stop him. And so he claimed it. The entire realm bowed before him. With no other forces there to stop him, he shaped the realm as if it were an extension of himself. It became his Plane. His Arcadia. No force on Novaterra could stop him here.
The Seven Sinners uphold his laws. They have converted the entire population to the teachings of Bane. Many have even ascended to being deities in their own rights; under Arcades, but loyal to Bane. They are his hands and feet. His mouth to the people. They rule as he rules as Bane rules.
He lives out his exile, awaiting the day when he can finally set foot on Novaterra again, and take his vengeance out on the Church for their crimes against him.
And to see Listroy take his final breath.