Aristeles Salonikos (only known to most as King Archon) is the founder and leader of the Anima Mundi, as well as the mage in charge of the Iron Lodge of Vienna.

Description

A man between 30 and 40—his age is pretty much impossible to determine. Although his hair is a golden blonde and his eyes a deep, piercing blue, his skin, on the other hand, is of a slightly darker complexion than what would be expected, betraying his mixed origins. A short man according to modern standards, his lithe build hides unsuspected strength and resilience. He also sports a single gold hoop earring in his left earlobe.

Behaviour

Aristeles usually shows himself as a mild-mannered, amiable and genial man, who seems to like nothing more than quiet places and playing chess. Nobody would ever suspect such a small and nice person to have the blood of countless people on his hands. He very seldom leaves his abode, the Eisen Castle on the Kahlenberg mountain near Vienna, on account of his position having earned him too many enemies.

Background story

Aristeles was born sometime at the end of the 16th century near the Salonikà river in Rumelia—the exact date is unknown, himself not remembering it too well for starters. Nothing is known of his family and background, and the very few traces that remain aren’t found before 1615, when he appeared among the members of the Covenant of Rumelia in Monastir. According to rumour, he was apprenticed to this group of Alchemists at an early age, gaining knowledge and power that was often thought as inaccessible for someone so young.

In 1632, however, he put an end to the whole Covenant, sacrificing his fellow mages in order to finalize for himself the creation of the Elixir of Immortality—all of them, save for one, an old man known only as ‘the Astronomer’, whose mysterious past actually hid the rare and dangerous Negation ability. Using all his wiles and power, Aristeles managed to wrench from him information about a certain woman whom he thought had borne the children of the Astronomer himself; the latter outright refused to join him, and attempted at killing him through the sacrifice of his own life, which would have worked, had Aristeles not drunk the Elixir beforehand.

His dark deeds done, the younger and only surviving Rumelian Alchemist set out to find the old man’s descendents; he finally found one of them in Frankfurt in 1654—one Mark Jäger, whose last known name is now Marek Van Cartier—and persuaded him, in exchange for immortality, to join him in his project of reuniting the various communities of European mages under a single authority, the Anima Mundi. (The only such authority, the Holy Order, was clearly moribund at the time). With Mark’s help, Aristeles didn’t hesitate to kindle the fires of the Ottoman-Habsburg conflicts, culminating in the Battle of Vienna in 1683, in order to bring together the mages siding with the Holy Roman Empire. In later years, he went about consolidating the budding Anima Mundi, built on the ashes of the Holy Order, and a lot of the Lodges he contributed to found, such as the Iron Lodge, still exist in the early 21st century.

Aristeles remains the mind and soul of the Anima Mundi, supervising it from his ‘control centre’ in Vienna. He’s also developed quite a special relationship with Mark/Marek, the latter now counting as his oldest friend (if such a word might still be applied to such a nutjob as Zerstörer), and, rumour has it, even as his lover at times. However, immortality has also been taking its toll on him, manifesting itself, in his case, in his growing fear of the outside world.

Powers

Aristeles is an Alchemist first and foremost; as such, his powers manifest through the uses of potions, powders, measure items and distillating implements. He is seldom seen using them, though—his reputation usually does the job for him.

Trivia

+ His last name comes from the Salonikà river. It might be because he never had a last name to start with, being of too poor a background, and went with that one for convenience purposes.

+ Aristeles isn’t the one who discovered the Elixir of Immortality, although he’s now the only one to know its formula. It was actually devised by the whole Covenant of Rumelia. However, due to one specific ingredient it involved (that is, the sacrifice of many human lives to produce just one dose), the Alchemists declared it as anathema.