Meet the Character: Azandar al-Cybiades

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Originally published 05/23/2023. Original article can be found here.

Pursue forbidden knowledge alongside the brash-yet-brilliant Arcanist Azandar al-Cybiades, one of the two new companions you can recruit in the upcoming Necrom Chapter.

From the desk of Elydrina Nathriin, Shad Astula Academy

Cousin, I offered you support during your ill-fated bid to become a Bouyant Armiger. I held my tongue during that fiasco with the Telvanni Mage. You recall, the one with the “chin that could crack a shalk’s shell?” But I must draw the line at supporting, endorsing, or in any way condoning a collaboration with the arcanist extraordinaire, Azandar al-Cybiades.

Is Azandar a brilliant theoretician? Without a doubt. His transliminal theories are without peer. During his time studying at the Academy, he regularly impressed me with an understanding of Daedric realms that rivaled our most august scholars. One of my colleagues compared his arcanum to that of Morian Zenas, late of the Arcane University in Cyrodiil.

He’s also notable within Academy circles for rising from humble origins. Azandar’s family was of meager means, no history of magical talent to speak of. I’ve seen his invitation for tutorial scholarship, signed and sealed by Archmage Valeyn himself. Not a singular invitation, but one only offered to those of unique and unimpeachable talent.

That’s why the man is so infuriating. If he was some charlatan hedge mage with an overblown ego, he would be so much easier to dismiss. Not so. He’s a world-class talent.

A world-class talent armored in a cocksure attitude, anchored by a devotion to needlessly complex wordplay, and blinded by a complete lack of understanding that his actions have consequences. You know my own academic history with the man, and you still want to pursue a collaboration?

An anecdote, which I can substantiate through a number of letters. You recall Telenger the Artificer? Favored son of the Mages Guild, local celebrity in Auridon, world-traveling researcher. I can picture you furrowing your brow in confusion, so instead recall that debutante ball in Mournhold last year. He was that High Elf? You wanted to be smothered beneath his ‘beautiful beard’? I imagine that jogs the memory!

Telenger had for years been excavating a ruin at the center of Skywatch, an Aldmeri construct that was heavy with planar magics and mystic potential. Understandably concerned about unleashing something that might impact the city, he took a careful and measured approach. Requiring a consultant familiar with some of the deep-theory aetheric constructs within the ruin, Telenger invited Azandar to join his team investigating the site.

Two weeks later, Telenger returned to the dig site to find the gates to other planes sealed, most of the magicka wells capped, and Azandar moving some of his belongings onto the premises. I’m unsure of what specifically passed between them, but a friend of mine overheard Azandar proclaiming that the portals had been “pedestrian pablum only interesting to children” and that he was doing the archmage a favor by closing the enigmatum that had existed there (presumably) since the days of the Aldmeri.

The long and short of this is: Azandar al-Cybiades cannot be trusted. He is too self-assured of his own brilliance and too charismatic by half. And while his cooking is divine, he cannot take criticism in either magical or culinary circumstances. Please, cousin, stay well removed. And do remember to write your mother. She worries about you.

Best wishes,
Your cousin Elydrina

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