Edge of Darkness: The Broken Circle
Pyrus Infernus, the Crimson Emperor
Great Wyrm Red Dragon (though often appears mostly human), Emperor of Seran
In his full glory, Pyrus is a massive red dragon.
He is usually found in human form, but he makes very little effort to conceal that he is not really a human. His human form has black skin and is completely hairless. His eyes glow red like embers, and the smell of smoke follows him everywhere. Occasional wisps of smoke sometimes curl up from his nose or mouth, and he his teeth appear to be filed to points. He maintains very long fingernails, but those fingernails appear to be extremely strong and never break. Even his human form is unsettling to nearly everyone and more than one person has described him as “creepy” (though never within earshot of the Emperor).
Pyrus Infernus in his human form has long been a fixture in Seran. Governor-General Adolphus Tjernold brought Pyrus onto his war council a century and a half ago. Pyrus possesses a keen intellect and has a knack for filling the royal coffers. Pyrus was placed in charge of collecting the Seranian taxes and fees, a task for which he was well-suited. Even though the position of Governor-General has changed many times since then and the makeup of the Warlords Council has changed many times, Pyrus has remained. His skill at bringing in money was too valuable, and frankly, nobody had the stones to ask him to step down.
Pyrus maintains a human form, even though he obviously disdains the “mortals” and often calls them “insects.” According to him, humans are too frail to look upon his true form (after the initial amusement, it grew tiresome when servants and people fled in terror from him every time he wanted something). He also claims he doesn’t want to taint himself by allowing the “insects” to deal with his true self directly.
Pyrus has a fondness for fire and uses it often for executions and punishments. Pyrus was noted, shortly before burning a Knight Crusader that was causing problems in his realm, as saying “if mortals were not meant to burn, the Watchers wouldn’t have made them so easy to catch on fire.” Those who serve under him live in terror and strive to avoid mistakes. However, if he cannot find a reason to burn someone within a few weeks, he will often send for a prisoner or a random servant to light on fire just because he can.
For several decades, Pyrus seemed to have little interest in the politics of Seran, maintaining often appearing to daydream or scratch pictures into the conference room table with his fingernails when mundane policy issues came up. The only times he showed interest were where money was concerned and on the subject of warfare or punishment of rebels, captives, or enemies.
This all changed just under a century ago. Pyrus showed up at the Warlords Council as normal. Little is known about what happened at this particular meeting as Pyrus was the only survivor of the session. His only comment about the affair was that he “had grown weary of incompetence.”
Despite his cruel and bloodthirsty nature, Seran has thrived and grown in power under his stewardship. The coffers of Seran have never been more full, the size of the Empire has more than doubled, he has brought the renegade clans of fire giants to his banner, and he has sealed an alliance with some red dragons to aid Seran.
Despite the fact that he makes rules and imposes his will on others, Pyrus appears to believe himself to be above any authority. He does not negotiate, and he is not used to being denied. It is whispered in Seran that the only thing bigger than Pyrus’s true form is his ego, and it is probably true.
Pyrus is known to be eyeing both the remnants of Palathia and the Dragonlands hungrily. Thus far he has not made any real attempt to take them.