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Whisper Iron Wind


Sing, o muse, of Whisper Iron Wind, the unfettered scholar, the dread speaker, the shaper of Essence.

In Four Salt Plains was he born, a small village too near to Fire for comfort, a ruddy boy, strong of limb and mind, but stubborn.

Four Salt Plains, an uncultured place, with few words, and much work to be done.

Four Salt Plains, where no heroes walk.

Four Salt Plains, where a stubborn young man suffers for his pride, whose elders have no patience for the young.

Sing, o muse, of the day he left, stumbling out into the desert, the bright white salt burning in the sun. Of the night he first hid in the dunes, covering himself agains the creatures of the desert. Of his journey northward, and of the burning heat, scouring away the eye he left unshielded.

That any man should make this journey was unfathomed. That any man should make it as he did; wandering along through the land of flames, for a decade and more; is a feat for bardsong.

But it was not this that made him a hero.

It was when his tortured, wandering path brought him, lost and scourged, to Four Salt Plains.

Sing, o muse, if you dare, of his rage. Of the richness of his spite, of the depth of his betrayal. Ten and two years had he walked the sands, only to find himself in Four Salt Plains. He drew near, as though to strike at the place of his birth, to shatter it. And then he stopped, as the elders of his village cowered.

“You are small,” he said, “and this is a small place. The road is long, the horizon broad, the sky goes on forever. There are other realms than these. I will travel them. I will learn them. I will not let this small place define me any more.”

He set aside his anger, and accepted ambition, and the call of mastery. It is these that make him a hero. It is these that we sing of.

There are other songs. Songs of the places he has fought, the scrolls he has written. It is said that even scholars of the Blessed Isle know the writings of Whisper Iron Wind, the man unbound who seeks the nature of history and the works and lives of mortals and Exalted. Songs of the neomah demon Isha, his sometime student, sometime teacher, sometime courtesan. It is said that she follows him so long as he never lies to her, and for what purpose, none may say.


  • “Words of Flame” - An alchemical plasma-tongue repeater, acquired during his wanderings. A simple but functional weapon with worn handles of heavy wood and a classically-styled barrel.
  • “Dragon-Eye Strike” - A jade long powerbow Wind “relieved” a Wyld Hunt patrol of. Its wielder was of sufficient valor that Whisper Iron Wind assented to hear the provenance and history of the weapon, and kept its original name.
  • “Sun's Rage” - A mundane but exceedingly well-crafted warhammer, acquired on a whim from a merchant of Chiaroscuro. Wind's capabilities with it are limited, but as he sees no sense in having a weapon he cannot wield, he trains assiduously with it.
  • “Righteousness Shields the Envoy” - An ancient, well-used reinforced breastplate of orichalcum that Wind recovered from the same Wyld Hunt patrol. It is functional on its own, but also shows indications of being part of a more complete suit. Some papers were found with it, but Wind has not yet uncovered the full details.
  • Orichalcum Hearthstone Bracers
  • Hearthstones
    • Stone of Quick Thought (Fire •) - Attuned to the minor manse and oasis of Spring-in-Summer, which Wind encountered wandering southwest of Paragon (and far west of Sanctuary). +1 on all Wits rolls. Socketed into Dragon-Eye Strike.
    • Gem of the Celestial Mandarin (Sidereal ••) - Attuned to the Lap. +2 on social rolls that target gods, demons, or elementals. Socketed into the Stone Crown of Southhaven.
    • Adder's Eye (Earth ••) - Attuned to the Lap. Coats the weapon holding it with coral snake venom (or the arrows fired from a powerbow). Socketed into Dragon-Eye Strike.
    • Home's Hearth (Sidereal •••••) - Attuned to the Lap. Allows instant transport of the circle to the Lap, or from the Lap to anywhere within 100 miles of it, once per day. Socketed into the hearthstone bracers.
  • Other Backgrounds
    • Retinue - Wind is followed almost everywhere by Isha, and two erymanthoi. In addition, he armors himself with a perronole beneath Rightousness Shields the Envoy, and is occasionally accompanied by a tomescu as well.
    • Resources - Although he has refrained from his usual income of publishing papers through a friend on the Blessed Isle, he does draw resources from Southhaven when necessary. He's also compiling several books' worth of material in his current activities, that he hopes to eventually have published.
    • Recognition - Whisper Iron Wind maintains a higher profile throughout the south then is, perhaps, a brilliant idea. Although he's not known far and wide as Anathema, his tendency to travel with the aforementioned demonic retinue marks him as a sorcerer of nontrivial capability. Following several altercations with the Wyld Hunt, his Solar Exaltation may also be the worst-kept secret in Chiaroscuro. And it's distantly possible he's been seen once or twice in a flying chariot.


Motivation: “Return Creation to Solar rule”
Wind has what he thinks is a pretty good idea on why the First Age fell, but all the same, is convinced that civilization can never reach the same heights until it's back under the auspices of those created to govern it.

Intimacy: “Southhaven and its protectorates”
He's forsaken his old wanderlust and gained a certain attachment to his lands. He works to expand them, and see that they're governed well, and is fairly possessive of his prerogatives. All the same, he also tends to view the whole situation as an endless opportunity for experiments in culture and behavior.

Intimacy: “The fledgling Solar Deliberative”
Wind has staked a lot of personal will into the idea of a new Deliberative. And of course, since he wrote the charter, he wants it to do well.


Whisper Iron Wind is straightforward, but usually polite. He dislikes lying, though he will if he has to. He is casually arrogant to a fault, and when he considers it necessary, is quick to rely on sorcery to call up Malfean aid. Indeed, other than the neomah Isha, who has been with him long enough to be more an ally than a mere thrall, he usually travels with tomescu and parranole demons as bodyguards, and a pair of erymanthoi for heavy muscle. He won't leap immediately into combat, but he's capable enough and won't back down from a fight.

He speaks fondly of Chiaroscuro, a to which city he frequently returns, and in which he rents a vault to store copies of his work. He speaks rarely of Four Salt Plains, and usually claims that he could never find it again. This is an uncharacteristic falsehood.

He knows something of the Realm, but has never traveled to the Blessed Isle. He has corresponded with scholars there on a few occasions, and has a friend who sees that his papers get published.


His raw arrogance, bordering on hubris, is almost certain to get him in trouble sooner or later. Particularly with his easy reliance on summoned demons, which is the kind of plan that just can't go wrong, really.

He has very little self-control, and is highly attached to earthly pursuits, including alcohol, a variety of intoxicating agents, and all the more intimate reasons one might summon a neomah demon. He has, however, avoided outright addiction - fun is fun, but the work is too important, and an addiction would bind him, limiting his freedom.


Wind's been travelling with Isha for years, and by contract, he is bound “to neither lie nor dissemble in debate or discussion”, as long as the conversation is reasonably private. Thus, she knows a great deal about him and his goals, and if something were to happen (the contract broke, she was unexpectedly banished and couldn't be resummoned, or some other unlikely event), he could be in a bit of trouble. He also thinks he knows why she took the bargain and hangs around (because he's a damn cool guy doing damn cool stuff, and neomah like interesting things and people), but he can't be certain.

Some Select Papers

Archived by the Office of Principled Scholarly Aggregation

  • An Examination of the Most Probable Roots of the History and Culture of Ma-Li-Sah
  • A Rising Wind: Impacts of the Chiaroscuro Trade on Regional Barbarian Tribes
  • Implications of the Uncapped Demenses of the Far South: The Fair Folk, the Clever Mountain Clan, and Patterns of Anathema Sightings
  • A Study of the Hundred-Gods Heresy Among the Uncivilized of the Greater Paragon Region
  • Some Thoughts on the Nature of the Lap
  • On Malfean Social Structure

An Excerpt

From Principles of Pre-Shogunate Governance, an unpublished monograph started prior to his encounter with Rain

… The Immaculate Faith instructs that the Dragon-Blooded are the natural height of a soul's progress, and thus the rightful rulers of creation. It is interesting that though they are called the “Chosen of the Elemental Dragons”, the power of the Dragons flows along family lines - a man need have no special virtue to be Exalted of the Dragons. Even the Immaculates admit this - they teach Exaltation as a reward for virtuous past lives, but this says nothing about the conduct of the present.
Yet if we look at the writings of Furious Blade, or the aftermath of Cyris Atrakus's encounter with Ma-Ha-Suchi, we see that regardless of the danger the Anathema represent, it is indisputable that they are specifically invested with their power. A powerful force chooses a man or woman who meets certain unknown criteria, and pours into them their Essance, and though I court heresy, perhaps even a shard of their spirit. I say not god, but if any spirit were to receive that title, surely it would be that which powers the Anathema. And it is worth pointing out that there must be more than one: Again, referring to the tale of Cyris Atrakus, and looking at that in context of the other sightings recorded by the Wyld Hunt over the years, we may identify at least two seporate such beings: one, whose chosen shine gold, and another, whose chosen burn with silver.
Here, consider the theories of the alchemist Dust Falls Gently on Essence-laden materials - as jade is naturally attuned to the Essence of the Dragon-Blooded, we see that forbidden artifacts of orichalcum and moonsilver might attune themselves with these “gold” and “silver” Anathema. Two other materials of similar, though distinct, properties have been observed, but a full examination of these is not within my means. The reader, if interested, should consult the writings of Dust Falls Gently, in particular, Soulsteel: Theories on Origin, Potential, and Dangers, and Examinations of Meteoric Iron in its Unshaped State. These are archived at the Office of Principled Scholarly Aggregation. …

Some Select Quotes

“My plan? My plan is to sweep away your men like childrens' toys, and crush your head like a melon. If you make this difficult, I may become annoyed enough to hand you to Isha still living. You would not enjoy the experience.”
- on encountering the Wyld Hunt for the second time

“I like this city. I'm not here to start trouble. I'm here to rent a vault, and enjoy a drink and few days of leisure. Let me be, and I promise not to start a cult. Honest.”
- to the guards, on his entrance to Chiaroscuro

“Iron Wind?”
“Yes, Isha?”
“It has come to my attention that we seem to be under assault. By way of emphasis, I should point out that one of your erymanthoi just ate a guard.”
“That means it's time to leave.”
“Yes, it usually does indicate that. Taking any prizes?”
“No, and I'm not leading a horde back, either. I told you. I like this city. They're just a little… exciteable.”
- on his subsequent exit from same

“What by Ligier is going on here?!”
“Uh, Whisper Iron Wind?”
“Yes, Isha?”
“I happen to know that Ligier the Green Sun, Keeper of the Soul of She Who Lives In Her Name, does not appreciate being sworn by. Not even where the Chosen of the Sun are concerned.”
“Isha, axe-wielding madmen first, etiquette lessons later.”
“Oh, I have nothing further to add. Just making sure you're aware. You may have to negotiate with him some day.”
“I'll keep that in mind.”
- following a breakdown of relations with the Ma-Li-Sah tribe

“Traveller Wind, you cannot trust her! She is leading your soul to damnation and slavery!”
“Hm. Isha, are you leading my soul to damnation and slavery?”
“At the moment? No.”
“Well, there you go then. She said she's not. You don't think the blood apes are, do you? I mean, I don't think they can even pronounce 'damnation'.”
- 'explaining' his retinue