Lanta 5: Eyes of Bitana
There are few men who look as depressed as this bony 90 year old. At 6’2” is a brittle peasant with a mostly bald head. The hair that refuses to give up clings around the ears and hangs about 3 inches to his shoulders. The frown on his face never leaves and his black eyes seem to droop with his mouth. He has skin under his neck and his belly sags, the only signs that he was once obese. He is often seen with his feet tightly together, leaning forward on his staff with both hands laying at the top. The staff reaches just under his chin. His clothes are either a tunic and pants that are too big or his well-fitting red Aruclam Mage’s Guild robe.
Master of Aruclam’s Mage Guild, The Great Mountain Wizard
Said to be some powerful dead mage reborn, no one is more frightening than Yulaf Cloan, except maybe Isaac Alvindross. This wizard runs all three wizard and sorcerer guild-academies in Aruclam. From his residence in the eastern guild, where he rarely leaves, he gives orders and lesson plans to all of his underlings. No teacher in his system has given lessons that they have planned and no high ranking wizard in Aruclam has reacted to a problem facing the wizard’s guilds without consulting Master Cloan. His mind works harder than any other mortal and he is rumored to be telepathically linked to no less than 4 creatures at once. Very few are allowed into his office and those that do must present everything they wish to say before he opens his mouth. And he will know if they are holding back.
It is known that Yulaf was born in the mountains to the west of Aruclam, but who his parents were may only be known to him. Yulaf is a man who learns from the past, but looks to the future. What he takes from his experiences are what he teaches; he does not say what his experiences were. There is a great deal between the past and future and the two should not be mixed together. He has no wife, mistress, or any family. Only on rare occasions does he refer to the guild members as “close friends”. Most of the time they are just “workers” or “students” to him. Distancing himself from everyone, plus his incredible ability to block his mind, make it impossible for anyone to learn about him. Most of what people know is from what he has said.
For 50 years Yulaf has run the guilds with a grand scheme that can not be matched by even the most powerful of Dira’ma wizards, something these mages resent. He has engaged in few political agendas, except for those that hinder the use of magic. Whenever some arrogant politician presents the idea that magic should be illegal, Yulaf will walk out of his chamber, find the man, and threaten his life, even if they are in public. No one has ever tried a second time to outlaw magic and no legal action against Yulaf has ever been taken. Most likely because Yulaf has never done a thing to harm the city and his mastery of magic would be a terrible thing to lose if the city upsets him.
Yulaf’s goals appear to be in rich artifacts and places where the secrets of magic are hidden. When he arrived in Aruclam, however, his first plan of action as head of the guilds was to dive deep into Baatorian and Abyssal folk lore for answers about magic. Mages began leaving the guilds and some were warning that they would fight him if he continued. Then, inexplicably, after several weeks of protests, Yulaf uncharacteristically backed off on his research into the lower planes. He admitted to several high ranking wizards that taking such an interest in evil matters was a mistake, adding that it was something for the more experienced, but less public mages to look into. The guilds were somewhat bothered by his implication that other wizards should do this work, but he stopped his research and it was all they had asked for. Since then, he has not gone back to his lower planes notes.