Durrick Ladei possessed a personality that was as multifaceted as it was captivating. At the core of his character was an irresistible charisma that drew people toward him, a presence that he frequently wielded to manipulate and influence others. Yet, Durrick was not one to conform to established norms. His rebellious nature constantly challenged conventional popularity and authority figures, making him a symbol of defiance within the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends, and in such a way, he served his profession with surgical precision. He was a lawyer of courts, often constructing elaborate defenses on behalf of criminals and other wrong-doers. He had the ability to generate enormous sympathy for their perspectives with a tongue that spilled harrowing narratives and skewed worldviews. Using such talents led to the many acquittals bestowed upon the Aes Sedai historian, Ezra Rashka, against whom violent crimes were alleged. His negotiations brought him into the circle of a woman known for her rehabilitation of criminals, Alethea Sayre Maelsourva, and into her care he would often advocate. It was for this service that he was bestowed a third name, Chamora.
His artistic side also shone, particularly in his love for the Age’s legendary gardens, a passion that propelled him to become a fancier of orchids and other rare flowers. Hedonism also coursed through his veins, as Durrick indulged in a life of pleasure and luxury. He sought gratification in various forms, from his deep love for beautiful flowers to extravagant living and fine dining. However, beneath the pursuit of hedonistic delights laid an ambition that burned like a relentless fire. Durrick was driven by an insatiable desire for power, wealth, and fame, often taking calculated risks to achieve his ambitions. To his grandeur, Durrick was self-absorbed and egocentric, frequently placing his own needs and desires above those of others. Nevertheless, he was not without complexity. His moral compass was intricate, evolving over time he spent around criminals, and led him to grapple with profound ethical dilemmas.
Beneath the layers of his character, Durrick harbored a deep sense of loneliness and isolation, a consequence of his personality and shallow connections. He often found himself questioning the meaning of his long life and powers, engaging in surprising philosophical contemplation from time to time. Despite his flaws, he would also be fiercely protective of those he cared about, few persons as those were.
Beneath his charismatic exterior lay a deep-seated fear—an apprehension of the eternal void that may await him after death. His long life gifted him with time beyond measure, but it also overshadowed him with the looming possibility of an eternity devoid of meaning or purpose. This fear, alongside his perpetual existence, drove Durrick to the Shadow, seeking true immortality.
The Forsaken, Bel’rik – The Caster of Nets
Upon turning his soul over to the Shadow, Bel’rik’s encounters with people was beset by moral ambiguity around the meaning of life and death. His connections with what he considered transient beings served as stark reminders of the vast chasm between his promised eternal life and their fleeting existences.
This stark contrast became a catalyst for his introspection, compelling him to delve deeper into the value of human existence and the fleeting nature of life, and in it, he found disappointingly little substance. As a result, Bel’rik’s manipulative actions were often rooted in the pursuit of self-interest. He is unapologetically driven by his own desires, whether for survival, wealth, or power. Behind his charismatic masquerade that he was still serving the Light, he concealed ulterior motives that the others found difficult to decipher — excluding among the other Chosen. Deception and misdirection were his allies in this regard, enabling him to orchestrate elaborate schemes while maintaining an air of charm and innocence.
What set Bel’rik apart from the other Chosen was the way he masked his sadism with an alluring charm, rendering it all the more disturbing. His ability to present himself as affable and engaging belied the sinister pleasure he derived from causing pain and torment. It’s in this stark duality that Bel’rik became particularly unsettling—a character who can, in one moment, be captivating and charismatic and, in the next, reveal a cruel and merciless streak.
The War of Power
Once his turn to the Shadow was revealed, he served as a fearsome and terrifying Governor during the War of Power, but his sadistic tendencies were not confined to mere cruelty; they were often intricately interwoven with manipulation. Bel’rik possessed a remarkable gift for manipulating and exploiting those around him, deriving satisfaction from their vulnerability and suffering. Whether emotionally manipulating or toying with the unsuspecting, he demonstrated a penchant for inflicting psychological anguish that mirrored his own inner turmoil.
Upon his release from the Bore, he wormed his way into power in Tear, and his manipulations lured the Dragon Reborn into taking callandor whereafter he intended to seize it for himself. He almost succeeded, too.
After his escape at Tear, Bel’rik regrouped at the side of a long-time companion, Samóch. The enigmatic Chosen was of similar disposition concerning the nature of life and death, and together they shared in dark sadism that brought them as close as they had been during the War of Power, but unlike so many others that Bel’rik encountered, Samóch’s self-assuredness and charisma could stand against his considerable influence. It was this independence, as well as the sharpness of his mind, his taste for the beautiful things of the world, and the intrigue of his mysterious aura that plies uncharacteristic possessiveness in Bel’rik to this day.
Dmitry do’Bourdeau a’Marucci
Now, ensconced in turbulent Murandy, he sought out weakness there, reveling in the exploitation of it, and romped in the joy of what he stewed much like a predator luxuriating in the midst of a bloodied hunt. Bearing the guise of a Lord of Lugard and High Seat of House Marucci, he deftly manipulated the puppet-strings of the kingdom’s ruler into an alliance with the Seanchan.
There, his sadism is free to be practiced particularly reveling in the Lugarder fighting pits where his combatants brutalize one another. It was his malevolent actions that forced the only formidable threat to his design to flee the nation, scenes that unfolded around such barbarianism. He deftly pulled the strings that led to Lythia Sedai’s grievous injury by sending a Gray Man seemingly after himself, luring her into its trap that led to its knife buried deep in her bones and her desperate flight from their borders. He will be rather amused to discover her allegiance to the Shadow, and will seek an alliance with her, if she can stand it.
1st Age: Daniil Myshelovich Tarasovich
6th Age: Thanatos, Greek god of Death